An end to pop event booking fees! Hurrah!

September 19th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

eBay phishing scam exposed

September 19th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

eBay have been having a right old time of it lately.

They’ve now been hit by online badmen who’ve been phishing and rinsing unsuspecting customers for their usernames and passwords, by placing fake item listings and redirecting users to external sites.

According to a BBC report, it was brought to attention by an eBay PowerSeller who thought something was a bit fishy about an iPhone 5 listing that took him to a weird address.

He’s also provided a video about, bless him.

The IT professional told the BBC: “It’s guaranteed – you can bet your bottom dollar that somebody’s going to click on that and be redirected to a third-party site and they’re going to enter their details and be compromised.

“You don’t know how many of the hundreds of thousands of people who use eBay will have done that.”

eBay have removed the listings, but it’s likely to be the tip of a vast iceberg, as it tries to find out how many people had been fooled by it. It’s the last thing eBay need, having had a dozen service crashes this year already.

But anyway. Keep ‘em peeled.

Amazon to put out more Fires

September 19th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They are out in October anyway.

Boy drops first iPhone6 on TV

September 19th, 2014 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

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

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

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

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

More female gamers than ever!

September 18th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Addison Lee give 4G to its taxis

September 18th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

taxi 300x200 Addison Lee give 4G to its taxisAre you one of those people who gets a icy chill running through their core when a taxi driver tries talking to you?

Firstly, you should grow up. Secondly, there’s good news for you if you’re the kind of person who gets into an Addison Lee cab in That London.

The cab firm are rolling out 4G to their 4,800-strong fleet after a successful trial of, oh who cares how many cars were in the trial.

Through the 4G network, passengers will be able to ignore their driver with upload and download speeds of up to 12mbps. Addison Lee reckon you’ll be able to download an episode of The Apprentice in 3 minutes.

The best bit is that the service will be completely free of charge to customers. The drivers might take the scenic route to recoup some costs, so it might be worth sticking on Google Maps with your GPS system to see if they’re taking the piss or not.

Liam Griffin, CEO of Addison Lee said: “Addison Lee has always been the industry leader when it comes to in-car experience. The introduction of 4G continues this tradition and there are plenty more investments we will be making to deliver more best-in-class services and experiences for our customers.”

“In-car 4G will help our customers be better connected than ever before, by enabling them to work and play on the move, and perhaps free up some spare time along the way. Our passengers are our number-one priority and we know this latest offering will make a real difference to their lives.”

So there.

Usain’s Virgin Media ad runs into trouble

September 18th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

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

This one:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The ASA ruled against Virgin Media over both complaints.

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

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

Dixons Carphone to offer jobs to Phones4U staff

September 18th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

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

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

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

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

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

Charming.

Sony: Still doing rather badly, bafflingly

September 17th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

6 sony logo w Sony: Still doing rather badly, bafflinglySony are not doing well. They’re not doing well at all. They’ve not been doing well for ages.

In ’99, they had the infamous ‘Shokku’ profits warning, then in 2005 Sony had the first batch of major restructuring initiatives before downgrading their net income forecasts four times in 2011. This year, they announced that they planned to sell the Vaio wing of their business and continued to warn on profits.

 

So where are we now? Well, they’ve warned that their expected annual net loss will be nearly five times as big as initially predicted.

It seems constant restructuring hasn’t helped the ailing firm at all, with annual net losses exceeding a whopping $2bn. While Sony have the successful PlayStation 4 in their armoury, it seems everything else is just a massive balls-up.

 

Sony are blaming the “competitive environment” of the mobile business (how dare people compete) and as a result, are looking at a strategy where they aim to reduce “risk and volatility”. They’ve got to do something, seeing as they’ve doled out three warnings in the six months to May, and this loss for the current year will be Sony’s sixth in seven years.

Seems no-one is arsed about the Xperia phones, which will need to challenge Samsung et al, if they’re going to get back in the saddle. The PS4 will sell big units for a while, but they can’t rely on that once the January sales have died down.

Watch out. Quite literally.

September 17th, 2014 4 Comments By Ian Wade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Microsoft buys up Minecraft

September 16th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Microsoft have been shopping and have bought Mojang, who own Minecraft. The computery GIANT has shelled out $2.5 billion (£1.5 billion) for it too.

minecraft gratis 500x227 Microsoft buys up Minecraft

The Swedish-based company Mojang’s popular Minecraft has sold over 54 million copies, and lets players build structures in their own little world, but can connect up with other users and have battles and the like.

Mojang’s three founders will leave the company – possibly to build a house made out of gold – but have assured fans that “everything is going to be OK”.

It is hoped that now owning Minecraft will be enough to woo anyone who is on the fence about owning one of Microsoft’s Windows Phones, but the company have assured gamers that Minecraft will still be on all the other platforms.

Minecraft is one of the top-selling apps on both Apple’s iOS store and and Android’s Google Play, and has recently been released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It was the third most popular console game last month, too, according to market research firm NPD Group.

Mojang, who’ve been knocking around since 2009, made over $100 million in profit in 2013, and has a staff of 40. Microsoft said the Mojang team would join its game studio, which is responsible for titles such as Halo, Forza and Fable.

Microsoft chief executive, Satya Nadella, said: “Minecraft is more than a great game franchise – it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”

Apple make tool to delete U2′s album

September 16th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

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

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

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

u2 albumn Apple make tool to delete U2s album

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

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

At last! The selfie hat!

September 15th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

selfie hat 207x300 At last! The selfie hat!It’s London Fashion Week! And you know what, where better a place than to showcase this marvellous selfie sombrero. Say that again to yourself, out loud.

“Selfie sombrero.”

The ‘brainchild’ (used very loosely in this case) of designer Christian Cowan-Sanluis and Acer, the Selfie Hat is a snip at £599.

Yes, for just £599, you could model the hat, which is able to spin and take pictures of you from all angles and is dubbed the ‘Christian Cowan-Sanluis x Acer Selfie-Hat’, it really is quite the thing.

Cowan-Sanluis has designed for that Lady Gaga in the past, so ‘reasonably normal’ is probably not a brief he adheres to.

The camera will assess which is your best side, as well as documenting these and posting them to social networks on your behalf. It’s probably at this point when concerned friends will wonder if you’re having some form of mental breakdown.

Acer, possibly pissing on a bucket of cash, claim: “We wanted to work with someone young and fresh, that not only understands the selfie culture, but both currently is part of it and works with people in it”.

Cowan-Sanluis explains: “With the hat, we wanted to take an element from my last collection, but correspondingly integrate the most popular zeitgeist there is in technology at the moment, the selfie. We also wanted to give it a fun and playful approach, but that in the end helps the user to better understand their face when taking a self-portrait.”

“There has been a lot of articles over the last year looking at how the selfie has gotten so big and being monetised on, celebrities such as Kim Kardashian making a selfie book and the term becoming part of mainstream society.”

“But on the other side, a lot of people taking selfies struggle to find the full potential of their front-facing camera when they use their hand. The hat helps to perfect the shot, either if it’s a cute, sexy or silly selfie.”

It is literally the worst thing ever.

Websites to become more BBFC’ed

September 15th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

bbfc 18 jan82009 cg main99999 Websites to become more BBFCedUK websites will no longer be able to host films that glamourise sexual violence and abuse, due to new government rules.

Material refused an age rating by the BBFC will be banned under new legislation coming this autumn, after David Cameron pledged to sort it out.

What applies to the films in the cinema and TV, will now apply to online.

It’s basically an expansion of the legislation that currently exists for violent sexual behaviours from cinemas and DVDs.

Regulator for video services online, Atvod, Peter Johnson reckons there will be “significant fines” for any websites that breach the new rules, and will also face removal from the internet altogether.

Currently films with scenes removed by the BBFC for consumption in cinemas or on DVD can be shown online in their original form without penalty.

Good luck trying to put a modesty wrapper on the whole of the internet.

Vodafone: Now in HD

September 12th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

mobile Vodafone: Now in HDVodafone have gone HD!

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

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

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

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

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

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