Facebook: still not paying tax

October 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Bitterwallet Facebook censorship Facebook: still not paying taxFacebook didn’t pay any UK corporation tax again in 2013 – the bloodclots. It’s the second year in a row that the social media company have evaded paying tax.

Facebook reported a pre-tax loss of £11.6m in the UK last year, despite its US parent company reporting a net profit of $1.5bn (£900m).

The company’s UK revenues rose from £34.6m to £49.8m, according to Facebook UK’s latest financial filing at Companies House published on Wednesday.

According to Facebook, its turnover is classed as “marketing and engineering services”, due to much of their ad revenue being sifted through Ireland because lower tax rates.

Facebook also made £371m in advertising revenue last year, which is a 67% rise from £222m in 2012. Facebook UK have however incurred a corporation tax charge of £3,169, as well as receiving a credit of £182,000.

Also, the UK end employs 172 staff, who were paid £40.8m last year, almost double of 2012′s £21m. Most of this could be laid at the door of the £15.5m payment cost for share-based payments, as UK staff received 1.52m free Facebook shares worth $118m at their current share price of about $78.

So yes. All a bit uncool, especially given that Mark Zuckerberg is splashing out $100m on his own island. He’ll probably set a bank up on it so Facebook can ‘rest’ funds there too.

Asda recall explosive prosecco

October 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Hold up boozers, Asda are recalling Prosecco because it keeps exploding, going off like a stag do’s trousers.

The supermarket’s Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry has been withdrawn from sale following complaints that the bottles keeping shattering.

The quite snipular £5.48 Italian wine, which is exclusive to Asda in the UK, is actually described as “a delicious sparkler exploding with zesty lemon”. Not literally, arf!

Basically if you have any of these:  L1402606, L1403271, L1403503, L1403655, L1404044, then get thee back to Asda sharpish.

asda pro 300x245 Asda recall explosive prosecco

An anonymous spokesman for Asda said anonymously “We have had a handful of complaints about our Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry bottles shattering,”

“We take this incredibly seriously as our customer and colleague safety is paramount to us, which is why we’ve recalled certain lot numbers of this product as a precaution.”

If you think you may affected, then take your bottle back to Asda and they’ll sort you with a refund or something.

Amazon Fire TV, available for £79

October 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

amazon fire Amazon Fire TV, available for £79Amazon Fire TV and gaming gadget is available in the UK for £79 – they’re serious about challenging Netflix, Apple TV and Co aren’t they?

If you buy it, you’ll get a host of apps including Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Vevo and Sky News. Others will be added before the year is out.

As for gaming, the launch titles include Minecraft, The Walking Dead and the Android versions of Grand Theft Auto games. You might need a controller for certain titles, which will set you back an extra £34.99.

Amazon reckon that Fire has three times the power of an Apple TV and it has a number of nifty things. The remote, for example, has a microphone built-in, which means you can bark instructions at it to find your favourite shows or whatever.

Another thing it used is the Amazon WhisperSync function, which means that, if you’ve been watching something on your tablet, Fire will pick up where you left off if you’d rather watch it on the big screen. It works in the other direction too. One great idea is the Amazon ASAP function which pre-loads content for you if you have trouble with buffering.

You can pick one up at Amazon here if it sounds like the kind of thing you’d like.

Tesco’s woes are much worse than they thought

October 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

tesco extra Tescos woes are much worse than they thoughtTesco are in a much worse state than everyone initially thought. When is this all going to end? They have reported a much bigger accounting hole today after finding that the mistakes in booking income had gone back further than initially assumed. Profits have fallen by a whopping 92%!

As a result, they’ve scrapped their full-year profit outlook.

Thanks to all this, Tesco has lost 20% of their market value in the past month and naturally, the share value of the company has taken a hit too. In the first minutes of trading, shares fell by 7%.

It is all bleak news for the former godzilla of groceries as they were already under pressure from bargain retailers like Lidl and Aldi and people’s changing habits, shopping around online for the best price rather than relying on the local supermarket.

Tesco’s performance has been described as the worst performance in 40 years. Chief executive Dave Lewis, took time from screaming down his sleeve to say: ”Our business is operating in challenging times. Trading conditions are tough and our underlying profitability is under pressure.”

Only last month, when Dave Lewis took over the job, a £250m blackhole was found after the company had overstated their profits. Now it transpires that this practice goes back further than though, the figure keeps rising.

Normally, at this time of year, Tesco would be ramping up for the lucrative Christmas period, but instead, they’re calling in accountants to investigate the mess and sacking loads of senior management. It also looks like they’ll be selling off assets in a bid to get their finances looking healthy again.

We have talked about it before, but should Tesco break itself up in a bid to get back in the game?

Apple admit that iCloud has been compromised

October 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

apple icloud 300x260 Apple admit that iCloud has been compromisedApple have ‘fessed up about iCloud accounts being compromised by fake log-in pages. This follows an incident wherein Chinese users’ account names and passwords were requested by suspect looking web pages.

After all that celebrity nude action a couple of weeks ago, Apple came up with a two-password verification system to try and increase security.

Alas, reports of organised password phishing syndicates harvesting user information via fake iCloud pages emerged, and Apple had to come clean and say it’s a thing.

A statement released on Apple’s support page has confirmed that these phishers were stealing accounts and passwords, but that remained the dimensions of it. There was no further information as to when these happenings occurred or the severity of them.

Apple have helpfully told users to only use sites if there’s a padlock handy. On the site’s address bar, not around your neck.

They said: “We’re aware of intermittent organised network attacks using insecure certificates to obtain user information, and we take this very seriously. These attacks don’t compromise iCloud servers, and they don’t impact iCloud sign in on iOS devices or Macs running OS X Yosemite using the Safari browser.”

“The iCloud website is protected with a digital certificate. Users should never enter their Apple ID or password into a website that presents a certificate warning.”

Last month, Apple chief executive Tim Cook admitted that Apple could do more to inform users how to make their iCloud accounts more secure, but was too pre-occupied with flogging new tat than being helpful.

Nokia now goes by the name of Lumia

October 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

nokia lumia logo 300x168 Nokia now goes by the name of LumiaAfter reporting that the Microsoft looked like they were offing Nokia, it’s now official.

Microsoft could keep hold of the name for another ten years, but obviously thought “no, that’s it, you’re dead to us!” and will now be known as the not-at-all catchy ‘Microsoft Lumia’.

The Nokia brand had been visible on recent smartphone launches such as the Lumia 930 and Lumia 735, but Microsoft has not mentioned it in any press on marketing junk.

The Windows Phone apps have also been re-branded to Lumia, and the firm hasn’t even been referring to Windows Phone in advertising, instead using just Windows instead.

The rebranding will roll out across various countries in due course, however it is unclear what branding Microsoft will decide to use on future smartphones and tablets.

Existing devices carry the Nokia logo on the front and back so it will probably be a little while for new devices all branded and sexed up to arrive.

Still. No more Nokia! The name of a mobile giant is chucked in the bin just like that. We’ll be playing ‘Snake’ all night and crying while seeing if it is possible to actually break a Nokia 3310 without the use of nuclear weapons.

The Sun+ membership – still taking your money?

October 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

The sun logo 300x300 The Sun+ membership   still taking your money?Did you sign up to The Sun’s Dream Team last summer when the football season started? Well, while you were dreaming about topping your work’s fantasy league and gloating in the office, you may have missed something.

You may recall that, as part of the sign-up, you were obliged to take a trial for The Sun+ membership, which was free for two months.

Chances are, you forgot all about it, but The Sun didn’t. And now they want money.

According to one avid Bitterwallet reader: “I cancelled back in August and I’ve been charged today. Having looked over Twitter… there is plenty of people being charged after cancellation. So, if you cancelled your Sun+ membership either in the last few weeks or right back in August, check your bank statements either now or in the next few days.”

They also signed off with “Robbin’ b******s!”

And indeed, there’s a number of complaints on social media, with one Twitter user saying: “how do i cancel my sun Plus membership? I wasn’t even expecting the money to come out… Won’t be playing dreamteam again!!” and another adding “Thankyou to @TheSunNewspaper for luring me into a Sun Plus membership just for signing up for Dream team. No food for me next week. #sad”

If you signed-up to play Dream Team, you’d be advised to check your bank account, because there’s a good chance there’s going to be £7.99 missing from your account.

We’ll look into the best ways of cancelling your Sun+ account, but in the meantime, contact your bank and make sure the payments stop and, if you’re in the mood, call The Sun and give them what for at 020 7782 4000. Or, you can find their complaints page here to email them.

2485100596 5310e1de97 300x199 Aldi goes all Waitrose  get your organic veg and caviar on the cheapThe current supermarket price war is leaving consumers a little bemused. While the supermarkets scrap about it amongst themselves, customers slip quietly in behind their backs and buy our jammie dodgers and toilet duck for 4p less than we did last week. But now it seems the supermarkets are morphing into each other, with Aldi the latest, and perhaps most surprising supermarket to announce that it’s gone all Waitrose.

That’s right, to reflect their changing customer base, Aldi bosses have decided that Aldi is going to be the new go-to place for trendies and hipsters to get their organic food, with shoppers looking at a 25% saving on current supermarket organic prices.

The new vegetable range will include potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and onions and the supermarket will also introduce new fresh meat ranges, convenience foods and drinks, expanding their total product ranges by 11%.

Aldi Corporate Buying MD Tony Baines said “We know our shoppers want to buy more organic products, but price is often the reason why it’s not a regular purchase. This is why we’ve launched a 100% British organic range at an affordable everyday low price.”

And that’s not all. This year you can also get a totes posh Christmas at Aldi, with a range of ‘aspirational’ products going on sale, including lobster, goose and, at £9.99 for 20g, caviar. That’s proper snooty that.

So if Aldi is turning into Waitrose, and Sainsbury’s is turning into Asda (although why they would give the good news of lower prices before the bad news of decimating the Nectar card is anyone’s guess), have the German discounters completed a successful coup in the aisles? After all, if you’ve been lured in, why would you ever think to leave and shop somewhere else now…?

Dyson unveil a humidifier for mad people

October 22nd, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

dyson humidifier 114x300 Dyson unveil a humidifier for mad peopleDyson have unveiled a humidifier!

The until-now-quite-hoovery Dyson has launched the HumiMain (which doesn’t sound particularly catchy, but give it time) which uses its Air Multiplier fan technology and claims to tackle health issues around dry air and bacteria.

It’s not the first time the company have used this design, as they originally brought out the bladeless Air Multiplier fan in 2009. In 2011 it updated the fan as a heater and is now launching the technology as a humidifier.

And so they should, seeing as they’ve thrown £37.5 million at the project, and went through 643 protoypes.

Apparently the humidifier uses Ultraviolet cleansing technology to kill 99.9% of bacteria used in the product’s water. Do we really want that much bacteria killing? Either way, great news for nutters out there who feel like they’re being swamped by micro-bugs.

There’s a climate control system to measure the temperature and moisture in the air, while a fancy-sounding piezoelectric transducer in the base vibrates at up to 1.7 million times a second – breaking the water down into microscopic particles which are drawn up into the loop amplifier and projected.

According to Dyson, the machine can run for up to 18 hours on a single tank of water: “It projects clean, hydrated air around the room evenly and quietly. Helping you keep healthy in the winter, and doubling up as a fan to keep you cool in the summer.”

It’s being launched in Japan first, as they have a culture of humidifiers, and will be launched in the UK next March. Perfect for summer, if you’re a lunatic.

The bill? Oh, Jesus is paying for it

October 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

jesus christ 225x300 The bill? Oh, Jesus is paying for itYou may have heard the phrase “let Jesus take the wheel”, but letting Jesus Christ of Nazareth pick up the tab when you’ve had a gutful of food and horsed a load of booze into you? That’s a new one on us.

However, that’s exactly what one woman in Lawton, Oklahoma did after she had a lovely evening in a restaurant where she may or may not have broken the gluttony commandment.

Of course, trying to fob your bill off onto a deity isn’t the best idea because, as you know, Jesus doesn’t have a credit card (debt is a sin) and the holes in the palms of his hands means he can’t hold loose change. Kristi Rhines was arrested on the scene by baffled police members at Mexican restaurant El Chico.

It started off reasonably well when Kristi told staff members that she had no way of paying, because her husband would be along to settle the tab.

Sadly for staff, Rhines was convinced she was married to Jesus Christ. Funnily enough, she has no official wedding license. However, she was sure of the return of Christ and that he would “be able to walk in and produce U.S. currency to pay for her bill.”

Rhines with fraud and booked her into the Lawton City Jail.

Kristi could’ve avoided this whole nonsense simply by staying at home and making Jesus cook for her. She would’ve only had to buy one fish and a loaf.

The car seat that detects heart attacks

October 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

old driver car The car seat that detects heart attacksAll hail the car seat that detects heart attacks! The motor company Ford has unveiled a car seat that can detect when the driver is having a heart attack, therefore allowing the vehicle to come to a safe stop.

Heart attacks are clearly a thing in Fords, so this is an issue that obviously needs sorting.

Using ‘electrocardiograph’ (heart-monitoring) sensors in the seats to detect an irregular heartbeat, combined with an in-car camera that detects when the driver slumps in his seat, the car can activate automated steering and braking systems to bring the car to a stop safely when there’s a problem.

It can then ring the emergency services for you if you’re so inclined. Or not, if you’d prefer to simply perish in your automobile.

Ford’s Research Centre director, the splendidly named Pim van der Jagt, told the FT that the technology is developed for when “100-year olds driving cars will not be abnormal in the future. About 30% of people above 65 have some kind of heart irregularity. And with the number of older car buyers set to rise dramatically this is an area of concern.”

Ford is yet to reveal when exactly this technology can be made available, as there’s no actual date of release yet, but Mr van der Jagt believes it will be in all new models within the next few years.

Homebase: creeping toward demise

October 22nd, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

HOMEBASE LOGO 300x300 Homebase: creeping toward demiseHomebase have been in grotty shape for a while now and the company that owns it - Home Retail Group – have decided to accelerate the number of stores being closed following a review.

By 2019, 323 outlets of Homebase will be shut down because they are “unprofitable or are in decline”.

The review of Homebase noted “inconsistent store operating standards” and level of sales across the chain that resulted in a “challenged financial model”.

In plain English, that means they’re rubbish and they’re going to get rid.

That’s not to say all the Homebase shops will be vanishing (although, this is edging toward a Deathwatch) as there are plans to reorganise the remaining stores with 26 Homebases getting a refit.

Tellingly, the Home Retail Group does not plan to refit all of its stores. Looks like the pressure is on for those getting a facelift because, if they don’t work, then Homebase may well get binned off forever.

In a bid to get people into Homebases, the company will put a load of Argos and Habitat concessions within them.

Deathwatch: Landlines

October 22nd, 2014 10 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Mobile phone holiday beach GUIDE 01 Deathwatch: LandlinesRemember in the olden days when, instead of ringing an actual person, you had to wait for them to be in a building and then ring that? What a ridiculous system that was.

Well, thanks to this, it looks like the home phone landline is dead. We all knew this, but now there’s a study to back us up. The study showed that a lot of people don’t even know their own landline number (and the Mirror put it to the test by offering £50 to those that could).

Broadband providers Relish conducted some research it they found that 38% of us have no idea what our home phone number is and that half of us only have one because our broadband providers make us have one.

Will Harnden, chief marketing officer at Relish, said: “It’s a sign of modern times that our landlines are increasingly going unused. Despite the fact that many people aren’t using their landline for its intended purpose, they are forced to pay monthly charges for line rental, on top of the cost of their broadband.”

“It seems like now is the time the capital can finally wave goodbye to the landline.”

Of course, we can’t wave goodbye to them completely – businesses aren’t going to start giving staff members mobiles instead of banks of telephones. At home, the landline is becoming increasingly pointless. 4 in 10 of us won’t even answer the landline phone if it rings. People who ring landlines are either after money or mithering you for hours on end.

Social networks, as well as Skype and good ol’ fashioned texting are the most common ways of communicating and 65% of adults already think of landlines as a thing of the past. Naturally, people still leave the house and talk at people’s earholes, but that’s the standard and never going to go away, despite what desperate old lunatics say.

What this all means is that broadband providers need to modernise the packages they sell to customers. Landlines are all but obsolete. We await the rebranding of ‘line rental’ to something more internet based for Ver Kidz.

Lady protects house from the future

October 22nd, 2014 9 Comments By Ian Wade

a child on the internet 300x182 Lady protects house from the futureA pensioner from West Sussex has spent a small fortune renovating her house against WiFi.

Stefanie Russell has spent £4,000 covering her house in four thick coats of ray-repelling paint and has banned mobile phones and computers from her home, as she believes they threaten her health. Stefanie from Steyning, West Sussex, also uses a special device to detect unwanted signals in her house.

She claims that her sensitivity to the rays are responsible for frequent headaches and bouts of nausea.

She also believes that the severity of her condition means that she cannot travel on public transport due to the number of portable devices being used. Adjusting her tin foil hat, Ms Russell said: “I’ve not been diagnosed by a doctor but my GP surgery is aware of my condition.”

“Every time I am near WiFi or mobile phone signals I feel ill. It makes it difficult for me to get around and see people. I don’t touch the internet or email – it’s not safe”.

She’s been assured that she will not have unwanted WiFi guests coming into her home. Stefanie also fears for the children, for the children are the future.

“Schools could use broadband instead of WiFi, protecting them from early exposure to radiation. This is important – exposing them at an early age is essentially cooking our children.”

And there, at ‘cooking our children’, we must leave Stefanie. Bless.

online shopping Shops still play part in online shopping solutionsShoppers still prefer to have a gander at goods in real shops before purchasing them online, a new survey has said.

According to findings, 65% of shoppers prefer to check out a thing in a shop before pressing ‘buy’ online.

The report by Geometry Global, called The Connected Shopper study, interviewed 9,486 people across 12 countries, and found there is a continued reliance on physical stores with 88% of shoppers who visit a physical store first citing seeing the product in real life as the primary reason for visiting.

Of the 12 countries studied, China topped the list in number of online purchases (5.88) with European countries trailing significantly; the countries making the least purchases online were France (2.40) and Spain (2.17).

Checking prices (65%) is the second reason why shoppers visit physical stores.

Actual online shopping only grew by 5% in 2011 to 7% in 2014. Which isn’t all that really.

The elegantly named Cesar Montes, EMEA CSO of Geometry Global, said: “Our findings confirm that we haven’t yet witnessed the complete online shopping revolution some had predicted. There are a number of reasons for this: the high street still occupies a central and vital function in the consumer’s journey to purchase.

“In addition, there remain a number of obstacles to consumers fully accepting online shopping, such as security concerns, payment methods and unwillingness to engage with brands via social media.”

The study also noticed that 63% of users really are not going to ‘friend’ brands online. So stop trying to engage, you big bad corporates. However 70% liked ads tailored to them. Little wonder when some companies deliveries are so poor.