An end to pop event booking fees! Hurrah!

September 19th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

DICE landscape 300x199 An end to pop event booking fees! Hurrah!A new gig ticketing app has been launched, hoping to be the first ticketing vendor to be “loved by music fans”.

Dice, has been launched by ustwo and music industry bod Phil Hutcheon.

When it launches, the app will feature 100 gigs curated by DJ Jen Long. So unlikely to be getting any Manilow deals there.

The number of gigs available to buy tickets for will never exceed 250, which aims to give music fans a more curated experience than the current online ticket retailers.

Dice have already got one thing right from the outset, and that’s ridding proceedings of those pesky hidden charges and booking fees.

The app has been designed as mobile-only for security, so that only the user who bought the tickets can attend the gigs available, and so no paper/ printing out home admin crap, and impossible to tout.

Could this be the future of securing entrance into bespoke entertainment solution events? Possibly. We just tend to go round the back and sneak in through the toilets.

Phones4U staff may not get full wages

September 19th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

pr374 Phones4U staff may not get full wagesDespite being promised their normal wages, the staff at Phones4u have been told that this probably won’t be the case, which is a real kick in the nads.

The Independent has seen an internal document sent to the chain’s 5,596 staff, which says that they will be getting some money as administrators look for a buyer, but  they “may not receive the full amount of pay that they’d usually expect to receive” and that “a decision regarding outstanding accrued bonuses and commissions is currently under review”.

Of Phones4u have £110m in the bank,  has £89m worth of stock and is owed £147m by debtors, which won’t please people who have just lost their jobs. However, there’s the little matter of debts, which stand at somewhere in the region of £760m.

Looks bleak for Phones4u.

Administrator Rob Hunt added: “Over the course of the last few days we have considered all the restructuring options … [but] there is no realistic prospect of a debt-for-equity swap.”

The staff may be getting taken on by the Carphone Warehouse/Dixons merger, so there’s hope yet.

Amazon to put out more Fires

September 19th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

amazon fires 300x156 Amazon to put out more FiresAmazon have unveiled a number of new devices!

The niggingly debatable tax-issues online superstore, are now offering a $100 tablet for the masses and more upmarket electronic reader which they reckon is the closest e-reading experience to paper yet.

The $200 Kindle Voyage is the thinnest Amazon e-reader so far, has higher pixel density and is 39% brighter than the Paperwhite. The screen’s texture even looks slightly speckled, to look page-y. As in yore.

The Voyage, includes unlimited 3G cellular connectivity, runs the same software as Kindle Paperwhite readers .

Amazon reckon the audience for the Voyage will be more select compared to the cheaper stuff. They just want it to be the best reader imaginable. Get them. David Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president in charge of Kindle devices, said “When we show it to customers—the ones who love reading—it’s difficult to get it out of their hands.”

The $100 affair is aimed at a much wider audience, and has been produced almost in response to the inferior models the company sell from other companies.

Vice president Peter Larsen said: “If you get down to those low price points, you start to trade stuff off,” he said. “We hear about it from customers all the time.”

Amazon’s 6-inch tablet and a redesigned $140 7-inch Fire HD 7 tablet have screen resolutions of 1,280 x 800 pixels. The two Fire HDs have the same 1.5-gigahertz quad-core processor. Unlike their predecessor, the new 6- and 7-inch models have front and rear cameras, as you need a sodding camera in a book.

The new Fire HD tablets also will be offered in Kids Editions for $150 and $190, respectively.

They’ll come with a rubberized protective case, a two-year replacement plan and a year of access to Amazon’s FreeTime subscription service, which is a library of 5,000 books, movies, TV shows, apps and games built for children.

They are out in October anyway.

Boy drops first iPhone6 on TV

September 19th, 2014 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Imagine for a second, you’re the kind of berk who sleeps rough outside a shop, so you can get your hands on a telephone before everyone else.

Well, over in Perth (the Australian one), a young fella was the first person to get his hands on a new iPhone6 and the TV crews rushed over to him to say ‘Well?’ and the answer of course would’ve been ‘Yep. That’s an iPhone alright’

However, Jack, the owner of the phone managed to drop it on the floor.

As you can see in the video, there’s seemingly no lasting damage to the handset, which is a shame. It would’ve been great to see it smash into a million pieces, but there you go.

More female gamers than ever!

September 18th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Old women on laptop 300x221 More female gamers than ever!The patriarchy appears to have been quashed!

Or at least it has in the world of video games, which now shows that women account for 52% of all gamers in the UK.

That’s an increase from the 49% of three years ago.

This has been driven by 25-to 44-year-old women downloading free puzzle-type stuff and trivia game apps onto their smartphones, according to a report from the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB).

According to a survey of over 4,000 individuals, half of the women in this age group cited puzzle, trivia and word games as their favourite genre, compared to one third of respondents overall.

Steve Chester, director of data and industry programmes at the Internet Advertising Bureau said: “The internet and mobile devices have changed the gaming landscape forever.”

“They’ve brought down the barriers to entry, making gaming far more accessible and opened it up to a whole new audience. In the past you needed to go out and buy an expensive console and the discs on top to get a decent experience, now you can just download a free app.”

The average gaming Briton who games spends six hours per week playing games, across three different devices.

The study also reveals there are now more people over 44 years old playing games than children and teenagers, with 56% of the 45-54 age group, 44% of the 55-64s and 32% of the 65-74s admitting to have played a video game in the last six months, the mucky herberts.

Now, where’s the rage from men spitting their Wotsits out saying “oooooh, they’re not proper games!” and saying that they haven’t met any women who play games via their dirty Call of Duty headsets?

Usain’s Virgin Media ad runs into trouble

September 18th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

That Virgin Media advert with Usain Bolt in a variety of outfits has been banned after complaints from BT and Sky.

This one:

BT were first to get a bit narky, and complained to the ASA about the claim “you’ll be able to download five times faster than BT’s regular broadband”.

BT argued that the web page referred to in the Virgin Media ad did not provide sufficient information to verify the comparison, which is fair enough. Thanks for that BT, you little snitches.

The second complaint was made by both BT and Sky, arguing that Virgin Media’s claim about its speed was misleading, reckoning that it implied that customers would always be able to “download five times faster” than its rivals’ broadband customers.

The two companies argued that this wasn’t the case at all, and was dependent on the speeds of that area.

In its defence against the first complaint, Virgin Media claimed that the web page referred to in the ads relied on up-to-date data. This included information on the average speeds of its service at peak time and over 24 hours. The website also provided Ofcom data on broadband speeds of its competitors.

Defending itself against the second complaint, Virgin Media argued that the claim “download five times faster than Sky and BT’s regular broadband” would not be understood to be an absolute figure. Which, thanks to the pesky smallprint in the ad, made clear the circumstances in which consumers would be able to download five times faster.

It’s not the first Usain-based advert for Virgin Media to be banned. The ASA ruled that one in 2012 as  the company could not definitely deliver the superfast broadband. Full of fake promises. What are fake promises but LIES.

The ASA ruled against Virgin Media over both complaints.

Regarding the first complaint, the ASA said: “the information provided was not sufficient to ensure the details of the comparison could be verified”. In the second case, the ASA ruled that the claim “download five times faster than Sky and BT’s regular broadband” was misleading, and said the ad should have made it clear that the claim was based on an average, and not an absolute figure.

The ASA banned the ad from appearing again in its current form.

Dixons Carphone to offer jobs to Phones4U staff

September 18th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

dixons carphone Dixons Carphone to offer jobs to Phones4U staffThe Phones4U saga rumbles on, however there’s good news as Dixons Carphone have revealed that they’ve reached a deal with them administrators and able to offer jobs to 800 of Phones4U’s employees.

That’s a nice bit of possible reassurance for those who felt more than shafted when Vodafone and EE threw multi-level shade on Phones4U late Sunday evening.

It also looks like they’re trolling the bosses at Phones4U as well.

The company had hoped to offer jobs to their concession workers, which they now have been able to do, and they will be absorbed into the new-ish partnership.

Now starting to look like cartoon villians of the piece, both EE and Vodafone have been sniffing around Phones4U, interesting in buying various assets.

Charming.

Watch out. Quite literally.

September 17th, 2014 4 Comments By Ian Wade

apple watch 300x200 Watch out. Quite literally. The new Apple Watch may cause more accidents.

Motorists have been warned that using the fancy new gadget while driving could be a bit daft.

While Smart watches can issue regular updates from internet services, apps and the user’s mobile phone, but the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is urging people to turn them off while at the wheel.

The IAM said: “The latest piece of wearable technology from Apple will allow users to make and receive calls, check their messages and monitor their health by operating the device on their wrists. However, the IAM warns that this could significantly impair driving performance – being a major cause for distraction and road accidents.”

If they die in a car crash, at least their watch will tell them which level of fatal their injuries are, which could be interesting when drawing your final breath.

The Apple Watch isn’t due in the UK until 2015, so this advice is more a forewarning.

Past research from the organisation has suggested mobile phones were a contributing factor in nearly 2,000 serious accidents between 2006 and 2010, including 110 fatal crashes.

“Constant alerts will require motorists’ regular attention,” the IAM’s statement continues. ”As opposed to using a legal hands-free piece of equipment the Apple Watch will require drivers to use two hands to operate the device – impacting speed, lane position and time spent looking at the road.”

The Government have said that using your watch while driving will carry the same penalty as using your mobile at the wheel. That gets you three penalty points and a £100 fine.

TfL goes all contactless payment

September 16th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

oyster swipe TfL goes all contactless paymentThe London Underground service goes contactless today! We can only hope it causes complete mayhem all day, so the national news can tell the rest of the country about it all, like people in Merthyr give a hoot.

Anyway, you Londoners or People Visiting London, contactless payments come into force for the London’s underground, trains and trams from this morning and commuters will now be able to pay for their trips by smartphone or a contactless-enabled bankcard.

It’s already proven a hit* (*baffled and upset tourists) on the buses, and so now the entire TfL network has followed suit.

Contactless payments are still the same prices as Oyster Cards, however TfL promise they’ll calculate a user’s costs so they don’t pay over the odds.

Each use of a contactless payment will be registered on a user’s bank statement, while journey details will be stored on their TfL account, if they register. There’s been a pilot scheme already, with 3,000 Londoners taking part. Apparently around 65,000 journeys have been taken. Not each, that would be mad.

Shashi Verma, TfL’s director of customer experience, said “Offering the option of contactless payments will make it easier and more convenient for customers to pay for their travel, freeing them of the need to top up Oyster credit and helping them get on board without delay.”

TfL have also been banging on about CARD CLASH so that commuters don’t end up paying twice when two cards are read from the same handy wallet. They’ve even been handing out nice little reminder wallets.

So anyway. Be alert. No one needs CARD CLASH. It’s not a look.

Phones 4U founder kicks off

September 16th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

pr374 Phones 4U founder kicks offThe man who founded Phones 4U in the ’80s – John Caudwell – is not happy about the company going into administration. Of course, he’s alright because he sold the firm for £1.5 billion in 2006, but despite all that dough, he’s annoyed that his old project has collapsed.

Why? He’s “horrified” and “desperately sad” for the nearly 6,000 staff who are going to lose their jobs or, indeed, are having a grim week while job uncertainty hangs over their heads.

Caudwell says: ”They’ve done a great, great job. The business is a very robust, or was a very robust business, trading tremendously well, producing over £100 million of profit a year and it’s a very sad day for everybody.”

There’s going to be some restructuring (from PwC, who have really done very well out of the recession and a number of companies going into administration) and shops may well be opening again, but there’s some outstanding wages to be paid out and that is dependent on accessing the money to pay for the costs of the business.

This all kicked off with major mobile operators ditching the firm and the last straw was EE walking away.

Phones 4U said EE’s decision was a “complete shock”, while everyone else mutters conspiratorially about whether or not the mobile operators were in cahoots in a bid to get their prices up elsewhere. Some think that Phones 4U have been shafted by greedy mobile operators, while others think that Phones 4U were mercilessly greedy themselves and saw this coming a mile off.

The Telegraph have a video interview with John Caudwell if you want to hear his thoughts. Meanwhile, the staff in the Phones 4U store in Manchester left a message for their customers, with the addition of some helpful phone numbers for any worried readers.

68937 10152394562086028 1300925209909814925 n Phones 4U founder kicks off

 

Apple make tool to delete U2′s album

September 16th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Deleting music from your iTunes should be pretty easy, but the hoo-hah as been so loud about U2 appearing on people’s devices without being asked, Apple have had to make a token gesture.

Some of the more hysterical sorts have been screaming their lungs through their noses with things like “IF THEY CAN PUT A U2 ALBUM IN EVERYONE’S PHONE, IMAGINE WHAT ELSE THEY CAN PUT IN THERE?!?!?! AAAAARGH!!!!” while other people have shrugged and thought ‘nice idea, but I don’t like U2.’

Well, Apple have released a new tool which allows people to remove U2′s new album from their iTunes library with greater ease.

u2 albumn Apple make tool to delete U2s album

While it was always possible to remove the album yourself, this new thing is a one-click job, which means that should appease a few lunatics out there.

Apple have also set up a support website to guide people through this difficult time.

Want ‘mobile phone’ lanes on your street?

September 16th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

mobile Want mobile phone lanes on your street?The Chinese city of Chongqing, there’s a smartphone footpath lane, which means that people who walk with purpose won’t get stuck behind someone who can’t stop messaging their bae, or scrolling through an ex-girlfriend’s photos on Facebook in a bid to upset themselves while looking at just how much they’ve moved on, and the various sexual partners they’ve moved on with.

Heartbreaking isn’t it? Especially when they’ve not had it off with them at all and you’re just a paranoid loser. Just us then?

Anyway,  the city’s property manager says it’s intended to be a bit of a joke. Only a bit mind you – the purpose of this wheeze is to remind people that it’s dangerous to tweet while walking in the street. Furthermore, it can get really irritating for others, especially if they’re still a member of ‘I Secretly Want To Punch Slow Walking People In The Back Of The Head’ group on Facebook.

“There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cellphone may cause unnecessary collisions here,” Nong Cheng, the marketing official with Meixin Group – which manages the area in the city’s entertainment zone – said.

And so, there’s a 50m stretch of footpath with two lanes and one of them prohibits mobile use next to one that allows pedestrians to fanny around on their phones (at their “own risk”).

1410831662379 500x281 Want mobile phone lanes on your street?

Nong said the idea came from a similar thing in Washington DC, which was created by National Geographic Television in July as part of a behaviour experiment.

Turns out that this lane is causing more hold-ups than before as everyone is getting their phones out to take photographs of the warning signs and the lane itself.

“Those using their cellphones of course have not heeded the marking,” she said. “They don’t notice them.”

Deathwatch: Phones 4U plunge into administration

September 14th, 2014 21 Comments By Mof Gimmers

pr374 Deathwatch: Phones 4U plunge into administrationPhones 4U have gone straight into administration and did not pass Go, or collect £200. The whole thing kicked off after their last remaining mobile partner, EE, ditched the retailer.

EE brought around half of Phones 4U’s sales in and Vodafone had already said that they weren’t renewing their contract and  O2 walked away from the retailer in February.

The business has 720 stores and employs over 5,000 people, who will be briefed tomorrow morning by management. BC Parters, Phones 4U’s private equity owner, said it is “intended that employees will continue to be paid until further notice”.

PwC will be appointed as adminstrators.

All the Phones 4U stores will be closed while it is decided whether the administrators can open the doors or not. If you have a mobile contract through Phones 4U, you’ll be thrilled to learn that, at the moment, it doesn’t change anything.

David Kassler, chief executive of Phones 4U, said: “Today is a very sad day for our customers and our staff. If the mobile network operators decline to supply us, we do not have a business. A good company making profits of over £100 million, employing thousands of decent people has been forced into administration.”

“The great service we have provided should have guaranteed a strong future, but unfortunately our network partners have decided otherwise. The ultimate result will be less competition, less choice and higher prices for mobile customers in UK.”

There could be something fishy afoot too. Phones 4U, it has been rumoured, were considering a complaint to industry watchdogs, alleging that the mobile operators were in cahoots to reduce competition and start hiking the prices up for everyone.

Vodafone: Now in HD

September 12th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

mobile Vodafone: Now in HDVodafone have gone HD!

The UK endz of the Vodafone operation have announced nationwide availability of the service, which is part of a massive spending and investment spree totalling ONE BILLION POUNDS.

Depending on your network capacity, phones with it in will automatically switch to HD voice (although both callers need it in order to have an effect).

In a statement, Fergal Kelly, Vodafone UK’s technology director, said: ”Our HD voice brings our best call quality to our customers.”

“It is another important step towards our commitment to deliver our strongest ever network to the U.K.”

Vodafone’s eventual catch-up in this area follows Orange (September 2010) and 3UK (May 2011). However O2 haven’t got around to it all. It only works on the 3G network too, so if you’re 4G, you’ll roll back to 3G when you make a voice call.

So there you have it. HD phone calls. Great news for those who want absolute clarity when they’re breathing heavily down the line to their ex-wife who left them for a karate instructor.

Blackberry still really popular (with thieves)

September 10th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Picture 111 Blackberry still really popular (with thieves)Chart topping news for Blackberry now, as it turns out that the 9790 is one of the most stolen phones in the UK.

It’s not even the most popular phone in the UK either, as figures released by the Home Office say that the four most stolen phones are all iPhones, Blackberry handsets are more stolen than those by Samsung or HTC.

Rather than being linked to popularity thieves target phones that are seen as ‘soft’ targets with poor security. The Blackberry 9790 is joined in the top 20 by the Blackberry 8520, Z10, 3G, 9900 and 9780.

Also in the top 20 most stolen list include the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4, HTC One X, One S and One, iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy Note.

The Home Office reckon that the new security features in iOS 7 has helped reduce the lure of these phones as thieveable items.

Home secretary Theresa May chipped in: “The mobile phone industry is already taking vital action to introduce features that enable phones to be tracked and wiped if they are stolen.”

“It is encouraging to see that these security improvements have contributed to recorded theft from the person falling by 10 per cent in the last year, according to the most recent crime statistics.”

Oh and the most vulnerable targets for phone thieves, is if you’re between 14-24. Watch out, if you’ve got a baby face.