home for sale  300x261 Mobile more important than murder rate when buying a homeHome buyers – yes some still exist – have different priorities these days when selecting a new home.

Where once it was all about good schools, transport links and a low murdering rate, these days a good mobile signal is now the key requirement.

The survey involved more than 2,000 UK residents and was commissioned by London-based mobile analytics firm RootMetrics.

According to a demented survey that suggests the coincidence of the iPhone turning up just as the property slump kicked in 2008, has made buyers more about technological advances than the safety of their children or whether it’s built upon a Hellmouth.

The runners up in this poll were council tax band, and hospitals. Schools were ranked the lowest.

45% of the 18-35s say a good signal at home is more important. But then they would, as barely anyone in the age range can get onto the property ladder, so sitting in their parent’s house playing tapes in their bedrooms is as good as it’s gonna get.

40% also said they’d change mobile suppliers if their current one wasn’t serving them well enough, which I guess if your child is being murdered in a bad school, then the hospital and a good signal ARE the main things you need.

Instagram launches Bolt. Eventually.

July 30th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

bolt logo 300x160 Instagram launches Bolt. Eventually. Instagram has unveiled a new messaging app thing.

Called Bolt, it’s a ‘one-tap photo-messaging app’ which allows users to send photos or videos that disappear once they have been seen by the receiver.

Which is good news if you’re a spy or a terrorist or possibly having an affair.

Bolt is manning up to be a competitor for Snapchat, which basically allows people to do the same thing.

This news follows users spotting a Bolt app logo within their Instagram, and thinking “Oh”. Although as soon as Instagram got wind of people noticing it, they took it down.

Bolt is only available in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa for iOS and Android devices at the moment as those countries were chosen – according to some Instagram waffler – “for their geographical diversity, but also for their tight-knit communities”.

Fear not! There are plans to conquer the rest of the planet soon.

That is unless New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa go “nah, yer alright” and Instagram quietly drop the whole idea.

Yes, because that is what will happen.

HOWEVER, there is another similar app also called Bolt, which is a free replacement for Android’s default phone app. So it will be interesting if the Facebook-owned Instagram Bolt will change its name, or the other one – not owned by Facebook – will wither away sadly.

Sounds like a fight is a-brewing.

Microsoft to launch a ‘selfie’ phone?

July 30th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

microsoft logo Microsoft to launch a selfie phone?Microsoft gave their employees a brief gander at a new ‘selfie’ phone.

The phone, which has a 5 megapixel forward-facing camera, was shown off during a meeting this week.

Stephen Elop, the former Nokia CEO who now runs Microsoft’s devices business, flashed the phone in front of thousands at the company’s annual employee meeting in Seattle on Monday.

The 4.7 inch (11.9 cm) screen ‘selfie’ phone, plus another high-end Windows Phone have been in the pipeline a while and are expected to be launched soon.

The 5 megapixel camera pisses all over Apple’s iPhone 5, what with its measly 1.2 megapixel camera. Also, the Microsoft screen is larger, and ideal for narcissists.

This is said to be Microsoft’s attempt to bump rival Samsung, after they launched the Galaxy K Zoom earlier this year.

Apparently you can speak to people on this device too, almost like a phone!

Oh hang on, it is a bloody phone.

chromecast 300x199 Chromecasts birthday   YOU get the giftsTo celebrate the year anniversary of Chromecast, Google are doling out freebies.

If you bought a streaming dongle which plugs into the HDMI port on yer telly, you will now get 90 days of unlimited music listening from the Google Play store for nothing.

NOTHING.

Obviously Google hope you’ll stick around and start paying once the offer runs out, but hey let’s make no promises here.

The offer runs until the end of September. If you already have a Chromecast, then you can get with the offer, but existing subscribers to All Access can’t get the free three months. And yeah, none of your nefarious signing out then in again – newcomers only.

The offer is set to run until the end of September, so all the way through the summer. Note that those who already have a Chromecast can avail themselves of this offer, too, but existing subscribers to All Access can’t get the three free months, and neither can previous subscribers so you can’t just cancel and then grab the offer. It’s for newcomers only.

Gadzooks!

the pirate bay logo 300x300 Pirate Bay: Now you can be naughty by mobileBitTorrent site Pirate Bay has launched a mobile version of its website, with separate TV, music and movie sites.

This new design is the first in over a decade, and features better navigation, and they’ve got their fingers crossed that by using various domains, it will make the website harder to close down.

The site has already brought in an array of things to prevent The Man getting to them, including removing the tracker, trading torrents for magnet links and moving its server to the cloud.

Anyone using a mobile domain to access the Pirate Bay website will be forwarded to the Mobile Bay domain and although like any mobile website, this can be overridden if you want to access the full site instead.

There’s more to come, including RSSbay, which will use – you guessed it – RSS feeds to access torrents.

A Pirate Bay, um, “pirate” said these words: “We will add more features later on, such as personal RSS feeds so users can browse torrents at work or school, and start the downloads at home.”

The Pirate Bay’s traffic has actually increased since internet service providers started to block the site, as users can download PirateBrowser to access torrents on Pirate Bay even if their ISP has banned it.

But hey, that’s okay. As we said last week, if you download loads of moody content, you’ll get a few letters and, um, that’s it. Right kids?

Phones to be seized in all road accidents

July 28th, 2014 8 Comments By Ian Wade

mobile car 300x224 Phones to be seized in all road accidentsEvery driver involved in a car crash will now have their phones seized.

This is said to be a help in cracking down on road deaths by those ne’er do wells who text at the wheel.

Police will now check if the motorist has broken the law and possibly been in any way responsible for the accident, and mobiles will now be taken away by officers as evidence.

The Police have said that they must do this due to the growing numbers of fatalities on the road, and this follows stiffer punishments for people who use their mobile at the steering wheel.

The move was welcomed last night by charities and pressure groups who have accused police and politicians of failing to make road safety a priority.

Of course, there are some people who aren’t into the idea, claiming that a mild car-park-shunt could result in phones being confiscated. Also that confiscating phones could delay help.

Although one can imagine that in a motorway pile up, the first thing the police would be concentrating on is confiscating phones.

There is perhaps a logical way to look at how to do this. If a driver has had an accident and the time of the accident matches up with when they sent a text or were gassing on the phone, then yes, this is a very good idea.

If someone is using the phone while manouvering about in a car park, then they are just thick, and shouldn’t be let out of the house.

The phone checks will apply to any accident. Previously they were made only in accidents where people were killed or seriously injured.

More than 500 people a year are killed or injured by people being thoughtless shits at the wheel, and half the time no charges are pressed against the driver, even if they were found to be in the wrong.

About time too.

And now ladies and gentlemen, the ‘under £30′ smartphone.

The £26 affair is set to take on the iPhone and that Samsung Galaxy at a total snip of the price. The Karbonn A50S has a touchscreen display, front and rear cameras, and a dual phone number function.

Right?

karbonn 500x281 The under £30 Smartphone is here! (sort of)

At the moment, it’s only been released in India, but it can be order over the internet and will work in the UK. AND as it’s so cheap, there’s no duty to pay.

Oh yeah, it can be used on most UK networks with a pay-as-you-go sim, runs on Android and also features Google Maps and Gmail.

You want MORE enticements? Well there’s a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 256MB RAM, plus 512MB internal storage and oh no, we’ve lost you.

And you could buy 21 of them for the same price as the Galaxy and iPhone, which is a bit of a mindblower.

Although if anything goes wrong with the Karbonn, there are no shops you can take it into and get it fixed at as yet, but for £26, you could bin it and buy a new one.

Nuisance calls: still a nuisance

July 25th, 2014 4 Comments By Ian Wade

rotary cell phone 300x197 Nuisance calls: still a nuisanceThe Telephone Preference Service is bloody useless, say Ofcom.

The TPS runs a register designed to reduce any unsolicited sales calls. Firms can be fined for ignoring the list.

According to the findings of the research, while the TPS is “highly effective” at stopping calls to consumers registered on TPS by legitimate telemarketing companies,  TPS-registered consumers still receive on average 2.5 nuisance calls per month.

It transpires that only a third of “nuisance” calls are blocked by the service, which allows individuals to opt-out of marketing calls, research has found.

However some rogue companies are flouting the rules, according to regulators. And us lot unwittingly give consent for calls by ticking a box on devious online sales forms.

The research, commissioned by Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office, found that registering with the TPS blocked 35% of all nuisance calls.

If you’re an individual, registration on the TPS is free and takes 28 days to become effective.

It is a legal requirement that all organisations – including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties – do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have the individual’s consent to do so.

There are plans to increase the level of fines levied on firms that make nuisance calls, and these are due in October.

Fines of up to 20% of annual turnover could be handed down to firms using information gathered by unlawful unsolicited calls and texts. That’ll learn ‘em.

Let’s see what the swarthly named Claudio Pollack from Ofcom has to say: “We understand how frustrating it is to still receive some unsolicited sales calls despite being TPS-registered,”

“That is why we welcome tough enforcement action from the ICO against rogue companies who breach the rules.”

Currently, the ICO must demonstrate “significant damage or distress” caused to individuals by nuisance calls or spam texts in order to issue monetary penalties of up to £500,000.

Christ, let’s hope no mobile company has pissed off its users by spamming them willy nilly then. Oh.

Apple start showing off Yosemite, Sam

July 24th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Apple will dripfeed everyone with their new operating system, Yosemite, as of tomorrow.

OS X Yosemite was announced in May, and now it will be available as a public beta test, which will kick off around 1pm EST (which is around 6pm in the UK). If you want to test it out, then hit this link and sign up.

yosemite OS 500x290 Apple start showing off Yosemite, Sam

So what’s new? Well, Yosemite will use translucency throughout the system, so if you didn’t like the ‘flat’ colourful UI design of iOS 7, you’ll probably hate this.

There’s also a thing called ‘Handoff’, where Yosemite and iOS 8 will work easier with each other. If you start work on your iPad, it’ll be simpler to pick up where you left off on your Mac (and vice versa). You’ll be able to answer phonecalls from your iPhone with Yosemite too.

There’s improvements to iCloud and the Mail app too, and AirDrop will now work between iOS and Mac devices.

There’s a load of other new things going on as well, but we advise that, if you’re really interested in all that, you let Apple tell you all about it, here. The short version is that Apple want to hook your iPhone up with your other devices in a way that is much easier for the user.

Atari: Doing it for the gays

July 22nd, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Atari are launching a new game aimed at the gays.

After a variety of complaints that some computer games are a bit too heterosexual, Atari have come up with a LGBT-friendly title for iOS and Android called Pridefest.

pridefest 500x291 Atari: Doing it for the gays

The game is a social sim that invites players to create their own pride parade in a city of their choosing.

Currently in development for tablets and smartphones, the mobile game involves designing parades with “attractions and entertainment” in order to increase the happiness of a town. How jolly!

No doubt you could fill it with leathermen singing Male Stripper and your community will benefit greatly from it. Although one imagine it could bring the overall vibe down if you choose Sinitta to headline your Pride, like London did. That sort of madness leads to self-harm.

Players will be faced with a series of puzzles and challenges as they aim to unlock new decorations and festival supplies in order to increase the vibrancy of their respective parade.

Atari CEO, the humourously named Todd Shallbetter said: “We are excited to be developing Atari’s first LGBT-themed game that will give players of all backgrounds the chance to play a fun and unique game that represents a passionate cause.”

This move marks an interesting new direction for the beleageured Atari.

The company responsible for classic titles such as Pong and Centipede filed for bankruptcy protection in 2013, and then took to specialising in social casino sims and various mobile games thereafter.

Now, like everything else, it’s relying on the gays to help ‘em out.

EE apologise for being annoying

July 22nd, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

zzzw EE apologise for being annoyingEE has apologised after it hassled customers with texts over the weekend.

How much hassle? One user complained of receiving more than 90 marketing messages from Orange, one of EE’s brands, in a four-day period.

Well EE have certainly done themselves no favours in the past, and this latest wheeze looks like seeing off what customers they had left.

These text messages were reminders that the customers were eligible to add to their plans numbers that they can call for free, and the usual old toss that corporate text messaging throws out.

Naturally, customers took to social media and had a good moan about it.

The messages read: “Hi from Orange. Congratulations: you can now add another Magic Number.” It included a link customers could follow to do so.

Trying gamely to underestimate the levity of this shitstorm, a member of EE’s community team named as Miles wrote on Sunday that the firm was “having an issue” with the text message service.

“This reminder should only be sent once, but some customers are getting multiple reminders. If you’ve received any of these duplicate messages, please accept our apologies for any inconvenience. Remember: you’re not charged to receive magic number reminders.”

Is this the final straw for you, remaining EE customers? You better answer quickly or you’ll get asked the same question 90 times.

Carphone and Three: Together at last?

July 18th, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

three1 300x292 Carphone and Three: Together at last?Carphone Warehouse – or should we say Dixons Carphone Whorehouse or whatever they’re called now – are in talks with mobile operator Three to launch its own mobile network.

Carphone had been in discussions with several UK networks, but apparently Three are the ones who been the most interested, as the company looks past its usual fare of simply flogging phones.

It also looks more likely since Carphone Warehouse announced it was planning on setting up an MVNO in Ireland using Three’s network. The new network, set to go live in mid-2015, will utilise the newly-combined Three and O2 Ireland networks, which merged last month in a €780m deal.

Carphone Warehouse already has an existing partnership with Vodafone to resell low-cost contracts under the Talkmobile brand, a partnership which currently boasts around 700,000 customers and is set to continue.

It will certainly stir up shit with other UK mobile operators, who’ll be less likely to want to be involved with Carphone, such as EE, who want to focus on direct selling to its customers.

Yeah. Good luck with that EE!

bike cycling Google Maps: now helping cyclists avoid big hillsHipster cyclists like nothing more than tackling a huge hill in full lycra kit, rewarding themselves with some craft ale at the top, then taking a photo of it on Instagram. This is to say: “Look at me! I’m doing exercise, but I’m drinking beer, so I’m not like those other arses with their kale.”

Of course, they’re exactly the same as those other arses.

Most people who have bikes just want to stretch their legs for a mooch or commute to work, so hills aren’t exactly a thrilling prospect. No-one wants to turn up at the office with sweat dripping off them.

Google Maps already has a function where you can see cycle routes, but the latest update include journeys based on elevation, which means you can avoid hard climbs if you want to. Or indeed, you can look for more strenuous journeys, if that’s your thing.

Android Police have reported that there’s tools to compare different elements of your journey and a whole bunch of voice controls to help you out too.

You can ask Google Maps what the traffic is like and get estimates on arrival times and such.

Android Police have made a video of the new features and, as you’ll see, they’re not 100% great but a decent idea if you get around on your bike a lot.

Just don’t use it while pedalling through traffic or you’ll end up nothing more than a stain on the road.

BT can put all your phones in one phone

July 18th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

bt one phone BT can put all your phones in one phoneBT has launched BT One Phone for the business people

The service will allow business people to receive office and mobile calls to a single device and reduce the risk of them missing important calls. Great for people having affairs with their underlings as well.

The BT One Phone helps streamline calls to any device all into one place. A bit like an email server which aggregates all your accounts. But on a phone.

All phone numbers for the individual are linked to one mobile device, meaning they can manage their calls from anywhere.

Graham Sutherland, CEO of BT Business, said:

“With an increasingly mobile and demanding workforce, businesses need communications technology that is as flexible as they are. Missed calls mean missed business. Today’s announcement, combined with the upcoming launch of our 4G services, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the increasingly mobile UK workforce.”

Users would need a BT One Phone SIM to gain access to the cloud-based call management service, with which they can receive calls from all of their various phone lines. This gives professionals more control, increasing productivity even when away from the office.

Or to translate that for you – YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO ESCAPE.

Snoopsome administrators will also be able to manage employee access by activating or deactivating employee SIM cards, managing call groups etc. Probably at will, when the fancy takes them and you’ll get all paranoid and neck a box of painkillers.

The future, ladies and gentlemen.

payfriendz 300x300 Payfriendz allows you to, yes! Rob your enemies!Payfriendz allows you to do just that – pay your friends.

The new app allows you to transfer money via instant messaging, and goes beyond the current methods of other payment apps (Paym, PayPal, Barclays Pingit, etc) that don’t go beyond offering transactions.

It’s all very genius-sounding, and you wonder why it hasn’t been thought of before.

With an instant messaging network users can chat with their friends and talk about money matters without awkwardness or having to resort to threats.

Users can send and request money as quick as a chat message.

Money can also be spent comfortably via an integrated virtual MasterCard on online stores such as Amazon .

And as it works like a digital wallet Payfriendz makes it easy to split restaurant bills, collect money for a gift or share flat share expenses. Jolly!

That is if you actually have money to transfer, it doesn’t yet offer any tips on how to respond to “Pay your rent or all your shit is going into the skip out front sunshine”.

Let’s enjoy one of their promotional ads with the extremely irritating ‘Kimmy’!

“Ice cream” indeed. She’s clearly off to her dealer.