BlackBerry have announced a new smartphone that harks back to yore.
The company’s new Classic smartphone has a qwerty keyboard, trackpad and the usual buttons along with a touch screen. Just look at it would you?
Chief Executive Officer John Chen said at an event in New York: “When I went to visit customers — and these are the CEOs of top banks in this town – a lot of them pulled out their BlackBerrys. Don’t mess around with this thing.”
This brings BlackBerry full circle, after the touch screen efforts that fell flat with regular BlackBerry fans, and people fled the company due to it.
And it all looks quite promising, as pre-orders for it have outstripped demand for any BlackBerry item of recent years. So it’s all looking hopeful for the beleagured firm.
BlackBerry is currently selling the Classic for $449 in the U.S. with a view to introducing it elsewhere in the new year.
The first cannabis electronic cigarette came out in June, but it was only available abroad.
KanaVape, a device similar to electronic cigarettes but with cannabinoids, will be purchasable online from the UK from next Thursday.
The product uses hemp with 5 per cent cannabidiol, meaning that it apparently gives users the same effect – especially the relaxed feeling – as cannabis but without the psychotic side-effects.
The e-joint will mean users can inhale cannabis vapour without the usual smell of smoke.
However the makers of Britain’s first e-joint – Antonin Cohen and Sebastien Beguerie – claim their product is entirely legal as it contains no THC – the chemical in marijuana.
As if to make it sound a bit wholesome, the hemp used in the e-joint is grown in France, Czech Republic and Spain without the use of synthetic pesticides and chemicals.
They said, in unison apparently: “We made KanaVape to give millions of people a legal and tasteful way of using cannabinoids. We craft our production with love, care and scientific research. KanaVape is good for our customers and good for the planet.”
Drug charities aren’t that impressed by the idea, shading it off as something of a lousy gimmick, but accept that it will be legal due to the THC issue.
That’s literally someone’s idea of a very merry Christmas. Not here though. Bitterwallet’s body is a temple.
Just when we thought we’d finally seen the back of Christmas adverts for the year, along comes a late entry from Apple.
The advert – ‘The Song’ – sees a young lady – via a variety of Apple products, naturally – create a nice duet based on her Gran’s recording of Love Is Here To Stay.
The sell Apple is giving it is: “With a Mac, iPhone or iPad you have the power to create thoughtful, emotional gifts and memories that transcend time. It could be a movie, a homemade card or a song that brings two generations closer together.”
Have a gander at it now. Here.
It’s genuinely quite lovely, and seeing gran tear up as she flicks through photos of yore will have you… no, it’s okay… just something in our eye.
Perhaps it is good that it’s come out a bit later than all the others, otherwise December’s commercial breaks would soon become an intolerable minefield of feelings and heart-string-pulling emotions., and we can’t be having that.
You’ll now be offered Sky Sports 1 and 2 on it, as some to-do that’s been wanging on for four years between rival pay-TV sorts, Ofcom and UK competition regulators has now been settled.
The two Sky sports channels will give BT’s YouView customers, who already have access to BT Sport, ESPN and the Eurosport channels, the option of adding an extended range of live Premier League football games.
Which is fantastic news if you like all of the sport, is it not?
BT reckon they’ll offer Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 for £22 a month or £16.50 a month for one or the other of the channels, allowing customers the flexibility to opt in and out of the Sky Sports channels with 30 days’ notice.
Delia Bushell, managing director of BT TV and BT Sport said:“The ability to bundle together great content on our most advanced set-top box will underpin our aim to sell BT TV to more of our broadband customers and to accelerate the number of our customers who take a triple-play bundle from us”.
Existing BT customers who already pay for Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 should be able to swap their Vision+ box for a YouView+ box for £35 at the end of their current contract, but only if they also take BT Infinity broadband.
According to the Sky website, existing Sky customers can currently add all seven Sky sports channels to their subscription for £24.50 per month. New Sky customers can opt for a bundle with sports for £35.25 per month for the first six months, rising to £46 each month after that.
As we’ve previously touched on, BT have money burning a hole in their pocket and they want to buy something with it, fast. The telco have entered exclusive talks with the owners of EE for a potential £12.5 billion deal.
If it goes ahead, it will give BT the top slot in mobile as well as fixed line services.
BT had been chatting with Telefonica over purchasing O2, however it seems things have moved on and BT now expects further negotiations with EE’s owners to take several weeks to reach a definitive agreement.
If it does happen, BT will pay for EE using half cash and half shares to make the 12.5 billion price tag. Deutsche Telekom will get a 12% stake in BT and the right to appoint one board member while France’s Orange will get more cash and only a 4% stake in BT.
Recent valuations have had EE last month at nearer £11 billion pounds, and O2 at £9.4 billion. However, combining the whole thing could face higher regulatory hurdles than a deal for Telefonica’s O2.
According to Deutsche Telekom’s chief executive Tim Hoettges: “If no significant obstacles arise in the due diligence process, it will pass quickly”.
BT have chipped in by saying that buying the UK’s biggest mobile network would allow it to give their customers seamless access to the internet via wi-fi and fibre broadband.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
In the UK, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, ITV Player and BBC Media Player were the top five most downloaded apps in Q3 of 2014, with BBC News, Sky Go, 4oD, BBC Sport and TV Catchup completing the top 10.
Over in Germany they favour something called 7TV, RTL Inside and ZDFmediathek, while the French dig 6Play and YouTube.
According to figures, the UK saw around 20% more downloads of all apps than Germany. Ha. Take that, Merkel.
And the top ten video content app things in the UK had twice as many downloads than the Top Ten in Germany.
The company App Annie also noted that in Europe, many networks are using apps as a supplementary channel to maintain or enhance viewer loyalty. According to the report: “As well as building brand equity through a constant presence on the mobile device, apps allow content providers to communicate directly with their audience and begin a two-way conversation to strengthen brand engagement. In this way, apps are enhancing traditional TV offerings. A strong app is now a vital component of successful viewer retention strategies for TV networks and operators.”
And you thought you were just snorting childishly at Vine compilation videos.
Yes, despite Black Friday’s scenes of riots over such things, it transpires that the number of households with a TV is shrinking, and has gone down from 26.33 million from 2012 to 26.02 million at the end of 2013, according to new facts from Ofcom.
Ofcom said that people are preferring to watch TV via their phones and tablet thingys, as nearly one million homes have a broadband connection, but no TV, indicating that other internet-connected devices are being used.
The popularity of catch-up TV is growing, and seen more as an accompaniment to a journey than tweeting “I am on a train lol”.
In its Infrastructure 2014 report, Ofcom references BBC figures, which showed that in July 47% of requests for BBC iPlayer content came from tablets or mobiles, up from just 25% in October 2012. Ed Richards, the chief executive of Ofcom, emphasised the obvious and said: “The way consumers interact with their TV, phone and broadband is changing as fast as technology is evolving.”
The regulator said the government and telecommunications industry are also looking at options to get superfast broadband into rural areas to cover the “final 5%” of UK households, but reckon that most households in general would need a 100Mps to cope with the needs of a family.
“Digital infrastructure is crucial to the UK’s future,” said Richards.
“As a country we are continuing to make real progress, particularly in the roll out and take-up of superfast broadband and 4G mobile services. But there is more to be done. We need to continue asking whether collectively we are doing enough to build the infrastructure of the future, and to maintain the competition that benefits consumers and businesses.”
We were probably a sentence away from words like ‘engage’ and ‘solutions’ there.
Sony’s PlayStation online store was hacked on Monday, and the company are still investigating the cause of the attack, after it knocked out the store for two hours. Handy, as they’re currently in the middle of a huge 20th anniversary sale.
Some visitors to the online store were greeted with the message: “Page not found. It’s not you. It’s the internet’s fault.”
Some tweet from a user calling themselves @LizurdPatrol tweeted “50 RTs and we will hit off PSN. 50 FAVs and we will hit off XBOX LIVE.” Whatever gets you hard, dear.
This follows Sony Pictures Entertainment, who were winded by a large attack knocking the studio’s network out for a week, and the added bonus of hackers leaking all manner of embarrassing details about Sony staff. The staff also got emails that they and their families were in danger.
Some sources reckon it has something to do with North Korea being a bit upset about a forthcoming film called The Interview, which stars Seth Rogen and multi-purpose irritant James Franco… but then that itself could be a load of cobblers and part of some plan to flog what sounds like quite a terrible film.
North Korea has denied responsibility for the cyber attack, but called the hack a “righteous deed”, state media reported. Because when you have something like state media, you have the optimum creepy factor.
And in addition to all that, the group has released the pseudonyms used by a host of celebrities. So, if you want to add some famous people and see if you can whoop them at FIFA, here are some names (which they’ll no doubt be changing today):
Tom Hanks goes by “Harry Lauder” and “Johnny Madrid”
Sarah Michelle Gellar goes by “Neely O’Hara”
Tobey Maguire goes by “Neil Deep”
Natalie Portman goes by “Lauren Brown”
Clive Owen goes by “Robert Fenton”
Rob Schneider goes by “Nazzo Good”
Jude Law goes by “Mr. Perry”
Daniel Craig goes by “Olwen Williams”
Jessica Alba goes by “Cash Money
Ice Cube goes by “Darius Stone” and “O’Shea Jackson”
Debra Messing goes by “Ava Harding”
Looks like some celebrities are going to need new fake-names for booking into hotels with.
Ruthless types who racked up a selection of devices merely because they had an Apple logo on them, are now selling iPod Classics on eBay, who reckon they’ve seen 3,000 sold on the online car boot sale since October.
Naturally, some buyers have complained that the condition of the resold ones aren’t quite what the seller was claiming, with something that looks like it’s been stuck up a dog’s arse arriving in a jiffy bag through their letter box.
Collectors editions of the iPods are going for even more. A set of boxed U2 iPods sold for £50,000 on eBay in October, and another rare edition sold for £7,995. An old prototype also sold for £641.33. Demented.
However the main basic non-fancy 80GB and 160GB ones are going for around £100-200.
The iPod Classic was quietly put out to pasture back in September due to Apple claiming they couldn’t get the parts. Which seeing as Apple invented it, surely the whole ‘parts’ issue shouldn’t have been a thing. Perhaps the ‘parts’ excuse was simply them saying “We haven’t given a shit about updates for these things since we went iPhone crazy”.
And it’s all about the cloud these days, as Apple have been shrinking their hard drives, expecting everyone to throw their content in the air like they just don’t care.
Anyway. Cheerio iPod Classic. If you’ve got a couple stuffed away in the back of a drawer, get it on eBay now!
Over here at the Bitterwallet office/cesspit, we love a bit of Lego, and as a rather jolly coincidence, Lego loves us (and you) too, and is everywhere this Christmas.
Why, Auto Trader have teamed up with the brick brand, to render cars in bricks for a handful of lucky customers via various social media channels.
The #DrivenByMe hashtag – dude, it’s all about the hashtags now – sees people sending pictures to Auto Trader’s social presences, and one winner a day will have the Lego treatment. Auto Trader will film the building of the car and then it will be sent to the winner.
However Lego have not stressed whether it will be life-sized or not.
If cars aren’t your thing, but you fancy making a Christmas card using Lego’s vast array of minifigs, then stroll on over to here and make your loved ones into plastic.
It’s a lot easier, cheaper and simpler than sitting down and writing out a ton of cards. This way you be cheap and say “oh yeah I threw a tenner at a charity” and everyone will have you down as amazing (even if your soul will know and will eventually erode you away from the inside).
Lego. Always amazing.