All hail the Dogcam

August 28th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

gopro fecth perros 300x159 All hail the DogcamHere at Bitterwallet, we know what you’re thinking: It’s 2014. Where are our dog cams?

Well, fortunately we can happily soothe you with the news that THEY ARE HERE.

GoPro, who usually see their action cameras for skydivers and stunt-type dude filming, have now launched a harness that allows viewers to capture the world from your dog’s point of view.

They’re fairly robust affairs, being waterproof and the like, so perfect to capture your dog – ideally having jolly adventures, but in reality you’ll get quite a lot of footage of other dog’s arses, various piles of faeces being rolled in and perspectives of a bored animal wishing it was dead while lying on the sofa.

For £59.99, you can do this and more. It can be mounted on either the back or the stomach too [So you can get an extra pervy look at your hound mating? Ed.].

It’s padded, as so the dog doesn’t find it uncomfortable, as obviously they’re used to having devices strapped onto them.

Paul Osborne, GoPro’s senior director of product management, bigs it up: “The adaptability and versatility of GoPro cameras make them the perfect device to document life from a dog’s point of view.”

“We designed Fetch to meet the unique needs and usage for pets and can’t wait to see the images and videos that owners will capture and share now that they have a mount specifically for their dog.”

We can safely adjust the doomsday clock now. HUMANITY HAS STEPPED IN AGAIN.

Customer service is always King, but sometimes companies can go too far and be too eager in their servitude- as evidenced by Standard Life, who were recently the first to offer their condolences to a customer on her own recent death.

The 80 year old widow was very much surprised to learn of her death, and has been somewhat traumatised by the letter, so much so that she has started using a pseudonym (Mrs ‘Fulton’) to avoid further cases of mistaken expiration . Sent in haste following the inexplicable return of a pension payment by the still-breathing lady’s bank, the letter offers “sincere condolences” to Mrs Fulton on the occasion of her death, and asks that she inform them in writing of the exact date of her death, providing a prepaid envelope to expedite the speedy receipt of the information. It is not clear whether the postage paid was enough to cover the cost of sending letters from the other side.

standardlife dead 3010845m1 Insurance company consoles customer on the occasion of her own death...The Telegraph channelled the Daily Fail by remarking that the poor old dear had a severe stroke (before adding that this was, in fact, ten years ago under their breath) but brave old Mrs Fulton was more hardy than might have been expected, given her condition.“You can imagine how shocked I was to receive the letter,” she told the Telegraph bravely, “fortunately I still have my wits about me, but I dread to think what the consequences could have been for someone in more fragile health than myself.” Perhaps someone witless might have been convinced by the letter and believed themselves dead?

Standard Life admitted the letter came after  human error meant the failed pension payment had incorrectly been recorded by a staff member with the reason as “deceased”. Standard Life are very sorry and have now re-paid her pension, as well as giving her a £50 bonus and a bunch of flowers. Which is better than a smack in the belly with a wet fish. Or waking up to a letter telling you you’re dead.

Government now poking nose into barbecues

August 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

bbq 300x168 Government now poking nose into barbecuesPlanning a last barbecue of the Summer this weekend?

Well, you’ve probably been doing it all wrong according to a slightly belated new thing by the government.

The Food Standards Agency have produced a few videos and handy hints on how to keep yourself away from any food-based illnesses and mishaps.

On the FSA website, there’s some reasonably obvious advice, as it bugles:

“If you’re aiming to round off a sensational summer with a barbecue in the garden or park, we’ve served up some advice to help make it a sizzling and safe success. It’s the little things that you do that will help keep your loved ones and friends safe”.

LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT A FILM.

Some of it’s a bit sucking eggs, and we can’t help but think that now the nights are drawing in a bit, and it’s all gone a bit ‘keep a jumper handy’ weather-wise, that this is a little bit, well, late?

Well done everyone. Or more medium rare.

People of Bedford really generous

August 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

 People of Bedford really generousBedford – it’s alright really, according to new findings from JustGiving.

According to figures from the UK’s biggest fundraising website, Bedford is the most generous town in the UK.

The good people of Bedford, in Bedfordshire, gave £1,145,967 in the year to May 2014, with 41,631 people digging deep into their pockets.

Cambridge came in second place, with £1,440, while Reading was third with £1,711,566.

By calculating the figures of funds donated, in proportion to the giving residents of the town in relation to the town’s overall population.

Those Top 10 Towns:

1. Bedford – £1,145,967 given by 41,631; population 79,150
2. Cambridge – £1,440,634 given by 48,295; population 126,480
3. Reading – £1,711,566 given by 58,235; population 159,247
4. Brentwood – £750,509 given by 21,672; population 74,460
5. Woking – £921,165 given by 27,646; population 99,567
6. Aberdeen – £1,872,610 given by 58,307; population 220,420
7. Cheltenham – £976,995 given by 33,381; population 115,900
8. High Wycombe – £1,004,113 given by 31,658; population 93,736
9. Watford – £737,375 given by 22,643; population 93,736
 10. Bristol – £848,674 given by 28,553; population 121,723

Well done Bedford!

You’ve got something going for you, at least!

Help save Earth from cybercrime!

August 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

GCHQ Help save Earth from cybercrime!Fancy yourself as some kind of cyber-crim thwarter? Well, you’re in luck.

The British intelligence agency GCHQ, have launched an online game to test whether you’d be any good at stopping a fictional attack.

GCHQ are hoping to find some masterminds among the gameplayers, and then use them, USE THEM FOR THEIR MINDS.

And it’s not a piece of puff, winners of previous missions have gone on to work at the agency.

In the game, called ‘Assignment: Astute Explorer’, users must protect a fictitious aerospace technology company threatened by imminent attack from imaginary cyber terrorists called The Flag Day Associates. There’s even YouTube threats and all sorts. Fancy that!

The story goes that fictitious company Ebell are concerned about the threat of an imminent attack and have asked GCHQ operatives (the public playing the game) to assess the scale of the threat. Sounds like fun.

If you fancy your chances at, you know, one day possibly saving the world, head here.

Panic on the streets of Derby

August 22nd, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Jet2.com logo 300x110 Panic on the streets of DerbyMass fighting scenes in Derby, as a promotional stunt by an airline went horribly wrong.

A load of young women (why they had to women, but hey – patriachy) ran down the street dressed in red morph suits, brandishing Jet2 tickets.

The stunt was to celebrate five years of flying from East Midlands Airport.

Whereas the same stunt had gone relatively smoothly in Nottingham and Leicester, Derby saw reports of people tackling some of the promotional morphs to the ground, and general mayhem.

Comments on the Jet2.com Facebook page suggested the event turned a bit mob-like.

Jet2 said in a statement: ”We had three events across the East Midlands yesterday and while Leicester and Nottingham went smoothly, the giveaway in Derby generated a little more excitement than anticipated.”

“Whilst one or two of our team were a bit shaken, we took care to make sure everyone was OK.”

‘A little more excitement’ indeed.

Here’s some people on Facebook talking about what happened, with one person saying that the whole thing turned into a bit of a “Fight Club”. Helps pass the time doesn’t it?

77072666 tpjet2 Panic on the streets of Derby

Deathwatch: Hazelnuts

August 21st, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

250px Nutella Deathwatch: HazelnutsIn today’s No. Not this. Not now news, there’s a Nutella shortage a-coming. Widespread riots are predicted among the painfully twee.

Around 70% of the year’s hazelnut crop has been wiped out due to a March frost in Turkey.

The price of hazelnuts has gone right up, too, to a 10 year high, with worries that the prices will only increase as the shortage bites further.

Nutella fans should be very concerned, as it has 50 hazelnuts per jar.

Ferrero, who make Nutella, are the largest consumers of hazelnuts, having bought the Turkish supplier Oltan Group in July.

There’s no clear news at the moment of impending price rises on hazelnut-based treats, but we’ll keep you in the loop about exactly when and where to turn up with pitchforks and the like.

You can also contact the samaritans if you’re having any troubling thoughts regarding this news.

Nice day for a Vimto wedding

August 21st, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

vimto 171x300 Nice day for a Vimto weddingA Vimto-obsessed man has had a Vimto-themed wedding. No, he didn’t actually marry Vimto, but has settled on a lady instead.

Michael Tomlin of Cheshire, loves Vimto so much, he had his wedding to his bride Liz themed all around the purple goo.

Guests wore purple, they toasted with Vimto and dined on a variety of the soft drink’s spin-off products – even the priest wore a purple sash at St Gregory’s Church in Bollington, Cheshire.

Even the best man pulled out a presentation and joked that the wedding was sponsored by Vimto.

Michael explains that his obsession stemmed from when his gran used to make him the drink: ”When I met Liz I even took her to a Vimto statue in Manchester city centre for our first date and I proposed to her at the same spot four years later.”

“Vimto is at the centre of our hearts, so it was only fitting that it played a major part in our day. When I first met I was telling her the history of the drink and she loves all things history.”

Vimto is just about bloody EVERYWHERE for Michael, and he’s even snuck in a few cartons into his honeymoon luggage.

Which is the point where one would imagine his new wife should put her foot down.

Tesco Reading ready to rock

August 20th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

tesco.jpg small 300x225 Tesco Reading ready to rockWell Tesco in Reading certainly know their market in advance of the Reading Festival.

The Reading branch of the superstore have geared up for this weekend’s annual A-Level knees-up by replacing everything with booze.

Approximately four aisles of the West Extra branch are currently loaded up with alcohol.

And if you wanted an avocado or light leaf mix bag, you’ll be disappointed, as that’s now home to vodka and Jägermeister.

The festival, which has been going since around 1654 or something, usually sees revellers turn up on Thursday ahead of the three day affair, and once camped they’re soon on the prowl for refreshments.

This year’s event features Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, The Horrors, Disclosure and all that sort of thing, and traditionally tends to attract a more rough and ready younger set than the likes of Glastonbury.

A spokesperson for Tesco said they were expecting to serve 35,000 customers each day.

“We know from previous years just how important our store is to those attending the festival and we’re working really hard to make sure we’ve got everything they need, including food, wellies, tents and bedding. We’ll continue to stock everything our regular customers need for their normal weekly shop.”

Although one would imagine regulars would’ve got used to it by now and prepared their fun-shelters accordingly.

Sat navs send homeowner round the bend

August 20th, 2014 4 Comments By Ian Wade

TomTom 281x300 Sat navs send homeowner round the bendA lady in Somerset has pleaded with drivers to ditch their sat navs.

This isn’t as some kind of ‘be free of technology! Throw off your mental chains!’ type nonsense, she’s just a bit pissed off with lorries driving into her cottage.

Caroline Cockman, reckons lorries have caused £50,000 of damage to her home in Coxley, Somerset, due to believing everything that the sat nav tells them.

Cockman has lost count of the amount of vehicles that have got stuck up her lane.

It’s an ongoing hassle for the poor woman, claiming that just this week, there’s been three large vehicles trapped in her narrow strip of road.

“Their sat navs direct them down the lane and they ignore the evidence of their own eyes that it’s too narrow and just carry on until they get stuck.”

“The worst incident happened a couple of years ago when a big lorry blew out my back wall – it cost £33,000 in repairs. There have been many other incidents – I can’t remember them all. It must be well over £50,000 of damage in total.”

Understandably Cockman is now pleading with council officials to make signs at the top of the lane more obvious.

“The trouble is some drivers still use domestic sat navs instead of commercial ones. I’m told the commercial ones do carry warnings about the lane’s width but the domestic ones don’t.”

“Last Monday we had a big sewage tanker, with an escort to make sure it travelled safely, and it took him half-an-hour to reverse out. Then on Wednesday night someone collided with our low wall which stops vehicles coming off the lane and into our courtyard.”

“Another guy was trapped for six hours. If only truck drivers used their common sense as the lane got narrower and narrower.”

Perhaps we do need those new robot lorries after all?

ASDA logo There must be an Asda, and theyre checking out my heartIn ‘this can only end badly’ news, two Scunthorpe branches of Asda have been fitted with heart defibillators.

The devices which help restart the heart after a cardiac-type incident, are now in the stores so that anyone can deliver electric shocks to someone in difficulty.

Not sure if this indicates that Scunthorpe’s Asdas are a hotspot for this sort of thing – as if heart attacks are a daily worry for the store – or if it suggests that the town is in particularly poor health.

Then of course, the danger of falling into the wrong hands, and people giddygoating with it.

They’ve been provided through a team up between the supermarket, British Heart Foundation and East Midlands Ambulance Service.

EMAS community response manager Steve Pratten said: “For every minute someone goes into cardiac arrest before paramedics arrive, the chance of survival drops by 10 per cent.”

“That doesn’t mean there’s no chance after 10 minutes – good CPR increases the chances and every case is different – but defibrillators can make a huge difference while an ambulance is on its way.”

We look forward to someone being an amusing news story after they try and cook some Pop Tarts with the medical equipment.

Do we want robot lorries to roam the roads?

August 18th, 2014 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

lorry 300x268 Do we want robot lorries to roam the roads?There’s plans to have computerised truck convoys which are controlled by a single driver and they look like they’re going to be tested on British roads as soon as next year.

Of course, with robot lorries, school children on coach trips will miss the opportunity to moon at drivers, get lorries to beep their horns at them or, in some cases, get mucky drivers to show off centrefolds from dirty magazines at them while everyone cackles on the back seat.

These driverless trucks will be electronically linked together, so that the driver in the front vehicle will control the lot. Could be nightmarish if they’re falling asleep at the wheel and working through a hangover.

The Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 prototype has already been trialled in Germany.  Scania have also been doing their own tests for the last couple of years. It looks like the automated lorries would have to have humans in them, just in case there’s an emergency, which means that they’ll either have to do admin work or just drink strong tea from a flask while looking at dirty pictures on their phones.

The idea is that these lorries would cut down on congestion. The reality is that businesses will opt for the cheapest thing.

A government source told the Times: “There are potential benefits, notably reduced costs for haulage firms and reduced congestion for motorists, so there is sense in looking into it. Equally we have to be cautious and ensure that safety isn’t compromised in any way.”

There’s going to be inevitable issues with other drivers trying to enter and exit motorways and being able to see the road signs behind a train of robot trucks.

What do you make of it all?

 

Pop-up creator apologises

August 18th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

The man – and it had to be a man – who invented the pop-up advert has apologised for his behaviour.

Ethan Zuckerman, for it is he, reckoned he did not realise what fresh hell he was about to submit the internet to when he birth the code more than 20 years ago.

popup Pop up creator apologises

Wring on The Atlantic, Zuckerman said: “I’m sorry. Our intentions were good,”

“It was a way to associate an ad with a user’s page without putting it directly on the page, which advertisers worried would imply an association between their brand and the page’s content.”

Where to start with the pop-up advert? It’s seemingly innocent intentions were hijacked by the spammers to bring every internet user misery.

Put it this way, if pop-ups were unannoying, there would be no need for the invention of the pop-up blocker.

Anyway, Zuckerman seems apologetic enough. Nothing that a good jail term wouldn’t straighten out.

For sale: disused fort

August 15th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

thamesfort 300x199 For sale: disused fortHousing now, and a disused fort in the middle of the River Thames has come on to the market!

Ideally situated for either an evil empire looking to step up the bomb-proof fort ladder, or as a base for ILLEGAL RAVING.

Sitting off the coast of the Isle of Grain in Medway, Kent, at £500,000, it’s a bit of a snip for a London address, and what an address: No.1, The Thames. Imagine the hassle the poor postie will have.

Quite the definition of ‘needs work’, the estate agent RiverHomes reckons it could be renovated into a seven bedroom mansion, and there’s potential for a swimming pool to be built in the fort’s gun turrets hole.

The current owner Simon Cooper, a builder from south-east London, reckoned it had become a bit of a palaver. ”I purchased it and it just didn’t work out well as a home – plus the cost of doing it,” he told the BBC.

Apparently there’s been interest from all over the world since it went on the market, so no doubt some Russian is eyeing it up as a nightclub for arseholes.