Are you drunk? Cameras can tell you now

August 14th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

hilarious drunk man 232x300 Are you drunk? Cameras can tell you nowWant to know if you’re drunk? Well, if you’ve just sank a load of booze, chances are, you’re drunk. Indeed, you know you’re drunk if someone politely asks you if you’re drunk and you reply “No, I’m fine.” The only people who say they’re fine after being asked that, are usually seconds away from being upside down in a hedge.

That’s not good enough for Japan though. Over at a station, 46 have been installed in a bid to stop accidents from happening. That’s because they’ll be able to detect if you’re drunk or not. They won’t stop you being absolutely blootered or anything.

These cameras at Kyobashi station in Osaka, are programmed to scan passengers for signs of being hammered, and if you are, they will alert an attendant.

A spokesperson for West Japan Railway said examples of pissedness can included “remaining on the platform for an extended time for no apparent reason, and sleeping on benches”. Sounds like they’re going after the homeless to us. Feel free to add your own ‘same difference’ into the equation.

This has all come about after a report from the Japanese government showed that there were 221 cases of passengers being hit by trains in 2013, and 60% of those people were drunk. Getting stuck into that Asahi without having any tea, no doubt.

If they install these cameras in the UK, they might blow up through overuse.

Underpants 300x207 Silver underpants to protect your nads from your phoneMen! Are you worried about your technological devices making your junk sizzle and wither thanks to radiation? Have you been sat in bed with a laptop on your knee, cooking your gonads? Do you think your phone is somehow making your widger boil?

Well, fear not, because someone has invented some ‘smart’ underwear which is designed to protect your business, and ensure that you’re fertility is unaffected.

Richard Branson has already described these scads as “underpants for superheroes”, because the Wireless Armour underwear contains an underlining of pure silver, woven into the fabric, to protect your unmentionables against 99.9% of electromagnetic radiation.

That’s the stuff that emits from smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Inventor Joseph Perkins said: “Like so many people, my smartphone and laptop use has increased dramatically in recent years, which made me realise that I was exposing myself to large amounts of electromagnetic radiation, mostly centred on my groin.”

“With my physics background I knew there must be a way to shield from electromagnetic radiation using a simple solution. Wireless Armour has been tested by an industry leader in wireless shielding and the results show that our fabric shields against 99.9% of the radiation emitted between 100MHz to 2.6GHz.”

“Put simply, this covers the entire range of radiation emitted by wireless devices, from voice and text through to 4G and wi-fi, almost everything is blocked.”

Let’s just hope you don’t end up with argyria from the hi ho silver lining – the illness you get when you’re poisoned by silver and it makes your skin look like you’re a smurf, like this fella.

slvrK9V 500x280 Silver underpants to protect your nads from your phone

BT put customer on hold for 14 hours

August 13th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

rodney dangerfield 292x300 BT put customer on hold for 14 hoursCancelling your contract with a company is a tricky affair, as they guilt-trip you and mither you for ages, hoping you’ll crack and stick with them.

Well, one chap called Paul Donovan was trying to cancel his BT broadband contract and found himself on hold for a whopping 14 hours! He says he called BT’s freephone number at 7.57pm on Saturday, August 1st, to cancel his £42.99-a-month broadband and sports package.

He was told that the lines were busy, via the usual pre-recorded voice, and that he should wait until an operator was free. Donovan waited for an hour and a bit, before going to bed. He put his phone on charge, but decided to leave the call open, while on hold.

The next time he looked at his phone was 14 hours and 31 minutes after he originally rang BT, and lo, he was still on hold. He took a screengrab of the call time, so he could show it to BT’s customer services (when he eventually got through to an actual human being).

He said: “When I have got through before, I was told the service was open 24/7 so I was expecting to get a response. I kept thinking surely someone will pick up but I went to bed and when I got up the next morning, I was still on hold. I hung up as I knew by then nobody would answer. When I called them again, they did not believe me either. It must be one of the longest hold-times ever.”

BT themselves reckon that Paul should’ve been told that the department was closed: “That main customer services number is open Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am – 6pm. Customers calling outside of those hours receive a recorded message advising them that the office is closed.”

rooster 1372458 1280x960 300x225 Thomas Cook make a true cock up with customer serviceEveryone makes mistakes, and the joy of today’s social media-obsessed society is now everyone can learn about everyone else’s mistakes quick as a flash. And that’s just what has happened to a poor unfortunate at Thomas Cook who accidentally transferred a customer to a live sex line. Oops.

Wide-eyed and innocent, 19 year old Lauren Baker had called the holiday company to check her booking for her upcoming trip to Amsterdam. Unfortunately instead of transferring Lauren’s call to ‘flexible trips’, the call was instead connected with a sex chat line. Fortunately, Lauren had the social-media inspired presence of mind to put the call on loudspeaker, and Lauren’s boyfriend Matt, was quick to video the experience, which was later shared on Facebook.

On the recording, a woman can be heard saying: “Well you’re a lucky boy today then, aren’t you?” to which a man replies: “I think all my dreams have come true.”. The conversation continued in such a smutty vein for around 45 seconds. Which is roughly how long it takes.

However, unusually for today’s grumbly society, Lauren and Matt were not outraged at the shocking treatment they had received, and they didn’t demand compensation for the damage to their delicate sensitivities. In fact they found it amusing:

“We couldn’t believe our ears. I realised straight away what it was,” Baker said. “I was so shocked, I didn’t know what was going on – I thought it was maybe some kind of practical joke at first,” said Lauren.  “I was really confused, both of us were. It’s a bit weird, but quite funny.”

Lauren called Thomas Cook again the following day where a manager told her the operator had mistakenly dialled 0844 instead of 0800 and said it was a ‘genuine error’.

Thomas Cook did amend the couple’s booking for them free of charge, but failed to see the funny side of their accidental cock up. In fact, they seemed quite put out at suggestions that this was part of a ‘virtual reality’ experience to give callers destined for Amsterdam a taste of what might be to come. Figuratively speaking.

A Thomas Cook spokesperson said: “Thomas Cook always seeks to innovate with a view to providing a quality experience across the holiday journey, and offers its customers the opportunity to ‘try before they buy’ in many instances. From expert retail agents offering personal recommendations to our use of varied technologies including online videos and Virtual Reality headsets in our travel shops, we are dedicated to ensuring our customers know what to expect from their preferred destination when choosing to travel with us.

“In this instance, the link-through to the sex chat line was caused by human error, and is in no way indicative of any desire on Thomas Cook’s part to reflect certain aspects of what customers might expect when travelling to Amsterdam.

“Thomas Cook would like to apologise to Ms Baker and Mr Geddes for any offence caused.”


Shane is the king of retail

July 31st, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Working in retail can be very tedious, so you have to make your own fun. You can dream about kicking awful customers up the rear, or you can imagine all manner of accidents befalling your irritating line-manager.

Or, if you’re Shane, you can go down a completely different route.

22290 1240387289309492 1686411065918644685 n 500x373 Shane is the king of retail

Shane, bless him, gets so bored, that he pretends the paper bags can talk.

19311 1240387225976165 3977735093349653104 n 500x373 Shane is the king of retail

As you can see, Shane gets very bored, to the point where he’s got more than one personality.

11063544 1240387252642829 2252286119304354975 n 500x373 Shane is the king of retail

Extended warranties on fried chicken eh?

11245473 1240387229309498 6440499681645166120 n 500x373 Shane is the king of retail

We still want to know about this good stuff in the back though.

11165227 1240387239309497 9091845780329498866 n 500x373 Shane is the king of retail

Shane’s ‘Swinecraft’ could be a moneyspinner in fairness.

11050102 1240387342642820 1361117161367005488 n 373x500 Shane is the king of retail

Of course, Shane is almost certainly a funny fabrication, but you can’t be mad at this. You can see the rest of Shane’s handiwork, here.

chtprodfigure2bweather tcm77 411800 300x190 Cider, beer and sparkling wine on the up, bangers going down the pan...It’s official- we drink cider in the sunshine. Latest figues from the ONS survey of summer products- which identifies the top products bought by consumers during the summer months, shows that ciders, perry and similar follow an almost identical pattern to summer temperatures in the UK – meaning sales have been buoyed by the recent good weather in June and July.

In fact, UK manufacturers’ sales of cider etc have increased by 58.8% since 2010, to £911.2 million in 2014; although the ONS recognise that this figure is likely to have been boosted by the advent of myriad alternative fruit ciders.

Beer was eighth in the recent top 10 products in terms of UK manufacturers’ sales value (competing with large purchases like cars (which topped the table), and was not far behind soft drinks (at number 6) and just beating whisky at number 9. However, after falling out of favour for some years, showing a decline in value  between 2009 and 2012, in 2014 sales increased for a second year, which is likely down to the craft beer revolution- CAMRA report with 170 new breweries having started up in the last 12 months.

But even more surprising than 170 new breweries is the apparent success of the  domestic wine industry, led by the English Sparkling Wine campaign, with news that there are now almost 500 vineyards throughout England and Wales.

However, it’s not all good news. Despite summer being the traditional hunting ground of the barbecue banger, sales of meat products show that consumers are turning away from the traditional burgers and sausages, and moving towards healthier and more upmarket products such as steak and fresh chicken, both of which  having shown solid growth. Sales of sausages, however, have fallen by 2.1%, from £838.20 million in 2008 to £820.70 million today. The volume of sausages sold has fallen more dramatically by 26.4%, a whopping 1250 million kg, since 2008. So with sausages seemingly getting less and less desirable, yet costing more, is this the beginning of the end for the humble banger? And more importantly, will our beloved bacon be next?

People have varying opinions on modesty wraps for magazines that appear in supermarkets. Some people think we should protect children’s eyes from mucky stuff, while others think everyone should shut up moaning about it. Of course, the majority barely give it a thought because they’re too busy thinking about eating Jaffa Cakes whole and farting silently in the queue.

Well, here’s a thing: Sainsbury’s have been chastised for putting a modesty blanket over a copy of Attitude magazine, while not bothering at all with a copy of FHM that was next to it.

Twitter user Jon Rowles spotted it and said: “Why I don’t shop @sainsburys anymore. Naked women OK but @AttitudeMag Pride Hero’s cover indecent.”

You might be thinking that some gay lifestyle magazines do have pretty racy covers, and that it isn’t wrong to cover that up, but they should’ve probably covered up the FHM as well. Okay. Now let us show you the cover of Attitude that was deemed ‘immodest’.

attitude mag cover Sainsbury’s cover up gay magazine but not FHM

The FHM cover featured some on in a state of ‘undress’, while Attitude has… well… some people sat around in their clothes.

Sainsbury’s, when asked for a comment, said: “We have previously contacted the distributor of Attitude magazine with a view to remove the modesty cover on this title. The distributor agreed that whilst the cover of this magazine is now generally suitable for display, there could be future issues where it may not be. This is something we regularly review along with taking guidance from the Professional Publishers Association.”

Maybe one of these ‘regular reviews’ could utilise ‘someone with functioning eyeballs’ next time, eh?

Look at these stupid double yellow lines

July 9th, 2015 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

While the Tube strike causes ABSOLUTE CARNAGE on the streets of London to which everyone IS SUFFERING ENDLESSLY, that’s the least of the capital’s worries.

Even though we gave them all a guide to getting around London during this difficult time, there’s a huge problem with London’s roads.

We are, of course, talking about Clapham Junction and those who will be travelling on it in a teeny, weeny clown car. Or a Smart Car if you prefer. That’s because there’s the disaster waiting for them, in the shape of a six-inch stretch of road that is protected – valiantly we might add – by double yellow lines.

CJZ5axZUkAEJ8KW 500x333 Look at these stupid double yellow lines

All hail!

That’s right, on Mossbury Road, near Lavender Hill, there is, what appears to be, stupidly small double yellows. So anyone thinking of parking their unicycle there, can get bent.

This was spotted by the baffled firefighter Stewart Brown, who noted Wandsworth Council’s sterling work. And, just a few yards down the same road, there’s another tiny set of double yellow lines too.

Well done, to everyone concerned.

When Ne-Yo sang about a ‘beautiful monster’, he had clearly been tipped off about KFC’s plans to make a hybrid of fried chicken and pizza. It looks vile and heart-stopping, and we’ll take 10 portions please.

So what’s the craic? Well, Colonel Sanders has got his classic Original Recipe fried chicken thighs and drumsticks, and added tomato sauce and a breaded mozzarella and cheddar mix, and then melted them all together in the oven.

It sounds like heaven and is called the Napoli Crispy Pizza Chicken, and you’ll have to get to Hong Kong if you want to ram it down your neckhole.

CIxla7WWgAAZ8cF 500x500 Look at the state of this pizza fried chicken hybrid!

Of course, this is going to have a gazillion calories and will have enough fat to make the skin on your hands go see-through while you eat it, but that doesn’t matter. Bitterwallet is not about to start telling you to eat kale or drink smoothies. We’re not about that life.

We’re already wondering if it’ll be any good if you get a bucket of these rascals and wrap them up in a calzone and eat the whole thing in one go with a couple of rashers of bacon lobbed in for good measure.

my little baby born nappy time Parents shocked as talking doll teaches child useful lesson of f*** itAs you know, 99% of all the advice ever given is thoroughly useless. However, some parents were horrified when their 2-year-old daughter found that her My Little Baby Born Nappy Time doll was dishing out potty-mouthed, but ultimately useFUL advice.

Anthony Burridge and Sarah Williams bought their daughter Emily the toy, and it was meant to gurgle and mutter nonsense, like babies do. However, this doll was saying “f***” and “f*** it” over and over.

Burridge said: “We opened the packaging on the doll and handed it to Emily. She was so excited to play with her new toy but as soon as she pressed its belly, we heard it say the swear word. Sarah and I were gobsmacked. When we played it again, it was clear that it was saying “f***”. We’ve had to take it away from her but it is too late. Emily is only two but already copying the doll.”

“She keeps saying “f*** it” – I don’t know how to stop her.”

Have you finished laughing? The toy was bought from Toys R Us, who of course, aren’t really responsible, but will no doubt be really embarrassed by all this.

Williams added: “Emily has always loved changing nappies and as soon as we got into the shop, she made a beeline for the dolls. Seeing her face light up as she picked the doll made me so happy. The doll was meant to cry every time you pushed her belly button and I couldn’t wait to see Emily play with her when we got home.”

“When we first heard the doll swear, we couldn’t believe it. We had to play it again to make sure we were hearing right.”

Burridge continued: “Hearing our two-year-old daughter swearing every day is just awful. I think it’s disgraceful that Toys R Us have sold us such a dirty toy.”

A spokesman for Toys R Us said they are ‘looking into the matter’, while the company that made the toy - Zapf Creation – said: “Zapf Creation prides itself on making high quality products that children can play with and love and BABY born is one of our most popular brands, having been around over 24 years.”

“With the aim of teaching young children about nappy changing, my little BABY born Nappy Time only makes “baby babble” sounds and does not say any actual words. We apologise if any customers feel that this babble resembles anything inappropriate.”

Anyway, have a look at the Daily Mail’s video where you can watch a toddler swear her little head off.

beach body 300x168 Beach body advert judged not irresponsible or offensiveWe’ve all seen THAT advert. Whether in person around London tube stations or as part of the social media backlash, who’d have thought a golden image of a young lady in full possession of a beach body would constitute such an offensive advert.

Or did it? Owing to the massive number of complaints lodged (a whopping 378), before the ASA even investigated the advert, Protein World were told not to show the ad again. Protein World have always been totally unapologetic about their advert, even baiting Twitter users, and while they couldn’t show the advert anymore, social media users gave them more media exposure than they could possibly have paid for.

Of course, the ad was taken down for causing widespread tutting, but the ASA did undertake a separate investigation to establish whether the ad was actually in breach of the advertising rules on harm, offence and social responsibility.

While all 378 complaints were not identical, the ASA collated issues into two threads, whether:

1. the ad implied that a body shape which differed from the ‘idealised’ one presented was not good enough or in some way inferior and was, therefore, offensive; and

2. the combination of an image of a very slim, toned body and the headline “ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY?” was socially irresponsible in the context of an ad for a slimming product.

Protein World said that the phrase “beach body” was commonly used and understood to mean looking at one’s best and that they did not believe that the ad implied everyone should look like the model or that the text and image were irresponsible.

And the ASA agreed. They felt that “‘beach body’ was a relatively well understood term that for some people had connotations of a toned, athletic physique” but also that some people would understand it to mean “feeling sufficiently comfortable and confident with one’s physical appearance to wear swimwear in a public environment.” While the ASA considered the advert might “prompt readers to think about whether they were in the shape they wanted to be for the summer” they found that the image did not imply that a different body shape to that shown was “not good enough or was inferior” and therefore that the ad and the image were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. Of course, the ad did cause serious or widespread offence, but the ASA ruling is that Protein World couldn’t have been expected to anticipate such a furore. The ASA also found that the ad was not ‘irresponsible’ under the CAP code as they “did not consider the image of the model would shame women who had different body shapes into believing they needed to take a slimming supplement to feel confident wearing swimwear in public.”

So there you are, outraged public, you are wrong.

TripAdvisor 300x256 Are TripAdvisor ratings worth the paper theyre (not) printed on?Have you ever visited La Scaletta? Until recently the top rated restaurant in Brescia, Italy?  If not, you aren’t alone, as Italian newspaper Italia a Tavola invented it just to prove the flawed nature of the TripAdvisor review system.

The newspaper decided to create a fictional restaurant, and then add fake glowing reviews, as an experiment to expose TripAdvisor’s vulnerability to fraudulent reviews. Within a month, the imaginary eaterie was the best restaurant in town. After contacting TripAdvisor for comment, La Scaletta’s listing was removed.

TripAdvisor, of course, deny that this means their system is flawed. A spokesperson for the company told The Independent:

“It is a pretty meaningless experiment to create a fake listing or reviews just to try and catch us out, since that is completely different from the fraud we see and catch on a daily basis. We know that, when fraudsters attempt to manipulate the rankings on our site, they leave behind patterns that we can and do trace.”

They added that they are “absolutely committed to ensuring that the content on TripAdvisor provides a trusted and useful source of information for those planning a trip anywhere in the world,” highlighting the fact that they removed the listing and the reviews from their site since they realised it ‘failed to meet guidelines’.

TripAdvisor, which currently lists over 170 million reviews, has become somewhat beleaguered of late. Last December, Italian authorities fined TripAdvisor €500,000  after ruling that it had failed to adopt sufficient mechanisms to protect consumers from misleading information, and last week it became the centre of a storm over accusations that they had deleted negative reviews of a National Trust property after a request from the PR department, who’d much rather not have those pesky ratings on the site.

TripAdvisor reportedly deleted more than 200 reviews of Wakehurst Place, a National Trust estate leased by the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, with many of the negative reviews complaining about a £10-a-day parking charge and about National Trust staff at the property. TripAdvisor said that the deletions were made because they had determined that they did not relate to a genuine first-hand experience. Which is a convenient excuse.

All of this is, of course, great material for the current CMA investigation into the reliability of review sites…

People who are able bodied shouldn’t park in bays set aside for disabled people. You might think you should be able to, but you shouldn’t. Why? You’ve had enough, you bloated swine.

In Brazil, someone found themselves on the end of a grand prank, after they’d parked in such a spot.

The person in question came back to his car to find it covered in stickers, to make the whole vehicle look like a blue disabilities logo. The front, top, sides and even wheels were covered.

As you can see from the video, not only did the driver suffer the defacement of his car, but also, a watching and sarcastically cheering crowd too. He sped off and everyone laughed at him.

Not only that, the driver in question got himself a ticket too.

Now, we hand you over to all those people who have missed the fun of a prank like this, for them to complain about vandalism and littering or something.

parcel delivery Earn extra cash delivering stuff on your way to work?Social media has changed lots of things in life, and those of us who are a little older than Facebook are thankful that our teenage years are not recorded in a series of drunken photos stored somewhere on the internet forever. But social media and social sharing are also spreading away from the screen, with more and more ‘sharing economy’ businesses springing up, Uber and Airbnb being the most successful. But could you use some of the newer apps and sites, not only to save you money, but also to make a few extra pennies? For example, you could become the modern-day equivalent of a delivery boy…

More and more people are  using new ‘marketplace’ websites like Nimber and TaskRabbit to see if they can make some extra cash for doing something they were going to do anyway, like driving from London to Birmingham, for example, or even just commuting across  London. These sites don’t require deliverers to have a specific licence or any special qualifications, the idea being a simple social/community based premise that the sender can save on postage costs and that ‘bringers’ can earn money for something they are doing anyway, perhaps helping mitigate their own rising commuting/travelling costs.

According to Nimber, around 100 people a day are using the website to cut costs or earn cash, with items delivered ranging from guitars, to legal documents, to fresh flowers. Bringers set their own rate of pay when they offer jobs, or can accept jobs for a pre-agreed price- for example, one user charges around £5 for a short delivery trip through London.

And now is the time to jump onboard- for now the site doesn’t  even charge anything nor take any commission on delivery jobs, presumably while the brand is built, but Nimber says it will be introducing fees in the future.

So what’s the downside? Well, the first thought is that the delivery person you have never met might actually decide to take your item and run off into the sunset with it, rather than delivering it safely to its intended destination. While Nimber cannot prevent this happening, of course, they do actually insure your delivery item up to £500. So it’s a risk, but you would get your money back if it did happen.

However, critics also argue that these ‘sharing economy’ websites, like Nimber, Airbnb and Uber lack the regulations and safety standards offered by more professional, established businesses. We all know what ‘proper’ black cab drivers think of Uber. However, other than not having a reputation for running off with packages, we’re not sure what training, qualifications or regulations would be desperately relevant to occasional parcel passing-on.

But there is one definite downside, and it’s one of the certainties of life. Apparently, HM Revenue & Customs are already ‘in talks’ with the new industry group, Sharing Economy UK,with a view to producing “a standardised guide to alert people using such websites of the need to declare earnings via a self-assessment tax return.” An HMRC spokesman said: “Any trading income is taxable in the normal way. If there is an intention to make a profit, then the trader has a legal obligation to let us know.”

protectmoney 300x215 New best buy savings account  from a car dealership?Given the record low interest rates mortgage-payers have been enjoying for some time, the savings market has been in the doldrums, with poor rates leading many to look to alternatives to high street accounts paying pitiful rates. While some have turned to alternative investments, such as peer to peer lending, a new proposition on the market offers a ‘best-buy’ savings account, but from a slightly alternative provider- French car maker Renault.

RCI Bank, part of Renault Group’s financing brand, has jumped in to the savings market with both feet, offering a 1.5% easy-access rate that goes straight to the top of the best buy tables, tables, matching BM Savings’ market-leading account paying the same rate. However, RCI’s offering comes with no strings attached, including unlimited withdrawals and a minimum £100 opening balance, while the BM Savings account must pay in a high opening balance of £1,000 and the rate includes a 1% “bonus” for the first 12 months. And it is a good rate, the next best are Tesco Bank (1.35%), Saga (1.35%) and GE Capital Direct (1.3%).

The new brand comes from the French RCI Banque, which provides finance for Renault and Nissan, whose new UK branch of RCI Bank follows similar openings in France, Germany and Austria over the past four years.

RCI is the only car finance company who has ventured into the UK savings market, but it makes sense as a business model- it wants to become more reliant on customer deposits held rather than borrowing money on money markets. Besides being a sensible approach to risk, this also highlights how, from a finance company’s perspective, savers represent a cheap source of borrowing, with even ‘best-buy’ rates being pretty low rates indeed.

But what about the elephant in the room? RCI is owned by a French bank and as such, will not fall under the protection offered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which covers up to £85,000. However, our European neighbour has a similar scheme (set up under the same EU directive as the FSCS). The French guarantee scheme  is called the FGDR and protects deposits of up to the value of €100,000 (approx. £73,000 ) in the same way as the FSCS. If anything should happen, there is no lengthy French claim process to go through either- the FDGR will contact customers directly and customers should be issued a refund within 20 days.

Steve Gowler, chief executive of RCI Bank, said: “We’re really excited about entering into the UK savings market, and importantly entering the market with an innovative and competitive product.

“We believe we have a product that people will love. Over the next 12 months we plan to follow this up with further product launches.”