Barclaycard road-testing tap and pay gloves

December 17th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

barclaycard gloves 300x180 Barclaycard road testing tap and pay glovesAll you’ll need is gloves, if a batcrap trial currently being conducted by Barclaycard has its way.

The bank are trialling a prototype glove that will ‘tap and pay’ like shoppers would do with contactless cards.

Barclaycard’s cashless mittens are embedded with a small contactless chip that can be linked to a credit or debit card. And look so, so stylish.

You can use them to pay for items up to £20 which all sounds a bit of an effort to be honest.

They are presently being tested on guinea pig shoppers (not people shopping for actual guinea pigs) in the UK and may take off next year if they go down well.

Barclaycard added that it is working on, rather sexistly, ‘his and hers’ versions of the gloves, with the women’s version having a softer and more ‘fleecy’ appearance than the men’s.

Mike Saunders, managing director of digital consumer payments at Barclaycard, said that the gloves “could be bringing some festive cheer to bag-laden shoppers by Christmas 2015″. No, honest. He did.

The company had previously announced that they have already been testing out bPay wristbands. Oh they might as well just turn us all into cyborgs and be done with it, eh readers?

poo crap 300x300 People literally bought a load of crap on Black FridayOn Black Friday, there was a lot of muttering about people buying crap they didn’t need. Well, it turns out that you didn’t know how literal you were being as, in America, 30,000 people bought actual faeces in a box.

They bought it from the people who brought the world the game, Cards Against Humanity, who said that for $6, you could have ‘actual bullshit’.

Now, online, lots of people assumed that this was all a big wheeze and that there might be a new game in the offing or maybe something collectible and fun. However, those that parted with their money soon found that they’d spent cash on a box with some poo in it.

Even though the game’s creator Max Temkin repeatedly tweeted that the thing being sent out was literally some dung in a box, people still weren’t convinced. And the boxes of poo sold out . 30,000 cardboard boxes with excrement in it. Bought with money.

And there’s a lovely video of someone doing a box opening, which shows a box with something akin to the poo emoji (as seen above) and a wrapped box that says ‘Bullshit’ on it. And inside, lo and behold, something that fell out of a bovine’s arse.

That’d be Cards Against Humanity earning $180,000 from selling actual bullshit. Where there’s muck, there’s brass.

parking space 300x227 Council parking fees are extortionate claims RACCouncils have been accused by the government of rinsing drivers for parking fines left right and centre.

Well. Where to start here with the bombshells? A council being corrupt is up there with the exclusive of bears defecating in woods. Take your pick.

In 2013/14, councils in England made a combined profit of £667 million from their on- and off-street parking operations. This was 12% more than the 2012/13 figure of £594 million, with 44% of the 2013/14 total being generated by councils in London, the RAC Foundation survey said.

How unusual that very, very few councils are actually losing money on parking, as only 16% of the 353 parking authorities in England had negative results. Well, that’s just not good enough.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “These official figures show how town halls are committing daylight robbery by ripping off drivers with exorbitant parking charges and unfair parking fines.”

“The recent growth in fines is coming from the industrial use of CCTV spy cars allowed under laws introduced by the last government. This is why we have introduced a law before Parliament to stop these snoopers, as part of package of measures to rein in the town hall parking bullies and protect local shops.”

A politician there, tough on corruption and bullying and everything.

According to RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister: “Parking profits seem to be a one-way street for councils, having risen annually for the last five years.”

“Yet over the same period spending on local roads has fallen about a fifth in real terms. We understand the pressures councils are under with their overall income still falling and the level of services they have to provide in such areas as social care rising rapidly.”

“One sign that the escalation in parking profits might be coming to an end is that much of this year’s increase comes not from growing income from penalties and charges but cuts in the cost of parking operations.”

“This suggests local authorities are making efficiency savings and should bring some good news to both drivers and council tax-payers. The bottom line is that parking policy and charges must be about managing traffic, not raising revenue.”

Shall we gander at those councils with the biggest surplus in 2013/14 before capital charges?

LOCAL AUTHORITY SURPLUS
1. Westminster £51.03 million
2. Kensington & Chelsea £33.51 million
3. Camden £24.87 million
4. Hammersmith & Fulham £22.96 million
5. Wandsworth £19.69 million
6. Brighton & Hove £18.09 million
7. Nottingham City £12.06 million
8. Islington £10.38 million
9. Tower Hamlets £8.32 million
10. Brent £8.31 million

Tesco get festive with Turkey & Stuffing doughnuts

December 11th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Tesco have been having glue for their breakfast, especially in the accounts department.

Seems like the product design team have been on something stronger than that, as they’ve got in the festive mood by unleashing doughnuts that taste like turkey and stuffing.

Yeah. We know.

weirdoughs 500x435 Tesco get festive with Turkey & Stuffing doughnuts

 

If you’re feeling giddy and mentally poorly, you can buy them for a quid from Tesco’s site and, if you do end up managing to bite into one and swallow it without crying it back up through your nose, feel free to review it for us and we’ll inevitably share your thoughts with the rest of the readers.

 

UK ahead on content streaming

December 11th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

BBC iPlayer Radio logo UK ahead on content streamingVideo streaming app downloads are all the rage in the UK. ALL the rage. According to new figures, the UK lead the rest of Europe in the Insatiable Appetite For Video Streaming stakes.

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.

Instagram: bigger than Twitter

December 11th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

instagram Instagram: bigger than TwitterInstagram has overtaken Twitter. The photo sharing ooh-look-it-is-gin o’clock-lol site now has 300 million users compared to Twitter’s paltry 284 million.

The Facebook owned network have also revealed a new way of authenticating celeb ‘grammers too.

Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom did a blog, and in it he said: “Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day.”

“Instagram is home to creativity in all of its forms, a place where you can find everything from images of the Nile River to the newest look from Herschel Supply or a peek inside the mind of Taylor Swift.”

Yeah but still predominantly wonky photos of people’s dazzlingly tedious cats.

Systrom also said that Instagram would start using “verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands,” to help users ensure they are following these members and not shyster copycats.

“We’re committed to doing everything possible to keep Instagram free from the fake and spammy accounts that plague much of the web. We’ve been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve your experience. As part of this effort, we will be deleting these accounts forever, so they will no longer be included in follower counts.”

You’re still not allowed female nipples on there though, which is weirdly prudish.

Ofcom cracks down on nuisance callers

December 11th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

old man on phone 199x300 Ofcom cracks down on nuisance callersA pair of companies have been fined £20,000 each for making nuisance calls. Green Deal Savings and MYIML were found both in breach of recent legislation for making bothersome calls to people.

Ofcom had investigated both companies and found that they were both responsible for making calls that would involve them hanging-up or generally pestering people.

The companies have automated calling systems and would dial numbers willy nilly.

Abandoned calls occur when automated calling systems, used by organisations to maximise the time agents spend talking to consumers, dial too many numbers and there are not enough call centre agents to handle them.

However Ofcom’s policy on persistent misuse sets a limit on the number of abandoned calls organisations can make, and now insist on them leaving a message or at least some form of instruction in how to opt out of these irritants.

Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s consumer and content group director said:  “We know that silent and abandoned calls can cause consumers annoyance, nuisance and distress. These latest fines help demonstrate to organisations that there are consequences for operating outside of the law.”

This is part of Ofcom’s new policy of tackling nuisance calls since it started tackling these badmen back in May 2014, which the government have admitted to hitting ‘plague levels’. Ofcom estimates that MYIML, a lead generation company, made 30,296 abandoned calls between 16 December 2013 and 3 February 2014. That’s, like, stalking.

So far, Ofcom has fined 15 companies, including home insurance and repairs company HomeServe, which was fined a record £750,000 in 2012.

Merlin footie stickers are back!

December 10th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

merlin football 300x300 Merlin footie stickers are back!Rejoice, football sticker fans, for the Merlin brand is back!

The Premier League sticker album had been Merlin-branded from 1994 until 2009 when Topps changed it to, um, Topps.

However ahead of this year’s 2015 album being released, the decision has been made to revert back to the Merlin brand. Got! Got! Need! Got! Need!

According to Topps marketing director Rod Pearson: “Over the last few seasons, we have had an increasing amount of feedback from older collectors reminiscing about the Merlin brand. Following further research with our collectors, we decided now was the time to reinstate the Merlin brand.”

“We are also aware that a lot of our early collectors through the mid to late ’90s are now parents themselves, and would enjoy the idea of collecting Merlin stickers with their children, as they enjoyed doing so 20 years ago.”

Brand awareness for football stickers! Whatever next.

Anyway, you can get your starter pack from December 18th, which includes the 88-page album and four packs of stickers will be available for £2, while packs of five stickers cost 50p. If the World Cup was anything to go by, it’ll mostly be adults collecting these stickers, rather than children, who in a reversal of roles, will probably be spending their pocket money on cigs and contraceptives.

Score!

porn What does McDonalds and a Scottish theatre have in common? Porn.There’s a lot of accidental porn knocking about this week.

First, we get some special sauce and someone splaying their quarter pounder as customers at a McDonald’s in Switzerland were, ahem, lovin’ it when they were chowing down while TVs showed some hardcore pornography.

Steffen Reiniger was in Maccies in Zuchwil (translation: suck willy) with his pals when they got a side of jizz thanks to the Sexy Sports Clips show which was being aired by a German sports channel.

“We were only a group of men so it didn’t bother us, although what would have happened if there was a family in the restaurant at that time I don’t know,” Reininger said.

The employee who put the particular station on didn’t know that the channel, Sport 1, also shows bongo films. A spokesperson said: “If our employees didn’t immediately realise what was going on it’s because they were concentrating on our customers and their work.”

extra sauce at mcdonalds with side order of porn 500x333 What does McDonalds and a Scottish theatre have in common? Porn.

Over in Edinburgh, a theatre made a similarly smutty mistake as they accidentally sent out a load of porn films to children and their parents. They were meant to be DVDs of school performances.

However, the acting was wooden for a very different reason.

The Edinburgh Playhouse said “highly inappropriate” sexual content appeared on some of the DVDs after a third-party cocked-up the duplication of the recordings.

A spokesman said: “The Edinburgh Playhouse apologises unequivocally for any distress caused to the families affected by this totally unacceptable and unseemly mistake.”

Edithouse, who produced the DVDs, said it took “full responsibility” for mistakes which led to “highly inappropriate and inaccurate material being sent out”, adding: ”We would like to apologise sincerely to the Edinburgh Playhouse for the inconvenience and most importantly to the children and parents affected by this terrible error.”

Hahahaha!

McDonald’s on the slide

December 9th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

mcdonalds logo McDonalds on the slidePeople are going off McDonald’s.

Global sales at the fast food empire dropped 2.2% for the six consecutive month. Sales in the US fell 4.6% in November, which is more than double than what was projected.

It’s been a bit touch-and-go for McDonald’s as like-for-like sales have not increased since October 2013.

It’s said that consumers are going for healthier lunch-based solutions, even if Big Macs are less fattening than your average pre-packed sandwiches [Or, they're going to places that are unashamedly unhealthy, which is why people eat burgers - Ed]

Elsewhere in McDonald’s world, sales in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa markets were down 4%, but this was partly due to a meat supplier scandal. It’s the same all over though – Russia dropped 2%, and both France and Germany have suffered low sales.

Don Thompson, McDonald’s chief executive, said: “Today’s consumers increasingly demand more choice, convenience and value in their dining-out experience.”

Last month, the fast food giant said it would move into its 120th global market by opening outlets in Kazakhstan next year, adding yet more to the 35,000 locations that serve about 70 million customers a day.

So what are you all eating instead? Are we going to find you all Up The Greggs?

ipod classic Sell your iPod Classic now as it is worth a small fortune!Since their final demise was confirmed in September, iPod Classics are – typically – now going for small fortunes.

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!

People are hapless with their passwords

December 8th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

password 300x225 People are hapless with their passwordsOver 40% of the UK reckon their passwords will never be guessed by a hacker. According to a survey of 1,000 British people, 63% use the same password on a variety of accounts.

The nosin’ around was part of research done by Redcentric, who also declared that 21% of the 1,000 questioned would only change their password when they were prompted.

A third of the respondees admitted that their passwords contained their names or birth date. The clots. 17% of the 1,000 also said that they kept password details on their phone or computer.

A Redcentric spokesperson said: “Online security is paramount in this day and age, especially as people are able to carry out more day-to-day tasks online such as shopping, banking and running businesses.

“There are obvious concerns when people are using the same passwords over different accounts, especially if those accounts hold personal or financial information. We recommend that you change your password every month or so depending on the kind of account it is, rather than just doing it when prompted.”

You could update your password every month, but which conventional normal human actually does?

Bricking it this Christmas with Lego

December 8th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

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.

minifigs 300x151 Bricking it this Christmas with Lego

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.

McVitie have launched their first Christmas advert in 30 years!

The biscuit people have released the fifth instalment in its ‘Sweeet’ campaign, wherein biscuits are actually puppies and kittens and people go all “Ooooh” at them.

This 60-second ad also features a duckling, husky pup, piglet, reindeer calf and narwhal, performing a version of Yazoo’s Only You – we’ve reached out to Alison Moyet for a comment on the matter, but have yet to get a response – in front of a family doing that biscuit assortment Russian Roulette where no one wants a coconut ring.

It also marks the first time that they’ve advertised their Victoria variety selection, which itself has had a bit of a makeover, with new foil trays and had the average pack increased to 700g.

Sarah Heynen, United Biscuits’ marketing director for sweet biscuits, said: “Bringing Victoria to TV screens this Christmas is the culmination of what has been an extremely successful year for McVitie’s, following the launch of our masterbrand strategy early in 2014,”

“The latest campaign aims to tap into consumers’ love for McVitie’s and the Victoria range, whilst supporting our continuing efforts to drive growth into the category.”

The move has paid off, with McVitie’s combined sales have risen 4.9% to £392.8m since the company have a reshuffle earlier this year, placing all the sweet biscuits under the McVities brand, and all the savoury items under the Jacobs banner.

We’re still creeped out by the notion of animals living inside biscuit packets. Ed. Mof saw it too literally and went dark on Photoshop

biscuits 500x349 Christmas AdWatch: McVities launch first Christmas ad in 30 years

Behold: the Christmas suit

December 5th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Bored of Christmas jumpers, but still want to look a bit of a tool this season? Then the Opposuits clothing company have just the thing for you awful, awful swine!

Yes, they’ve come up with a range of designs – if that’s the right word – for a series of Christmas themed suits.

There are three outfits to choose from – the Treemendous suit, the Rudolph, and the Christmaster – which can be yours for £64.95. Or, you could spend that money on buying a bag of lump hammers to hit yourself over the head with instead.

Look at the state of it.

If £64.95 sounds entirely reasonable to look like a div, then get yourself here right now. But be quick, they’re bafflingly selling out fast, but are offering delivery for next July when you most need it.

Coming to a Christmas party near you, soon.