Archive for July, 2010

ITV set to charge viewers for programmes

July 31st, 2010 32 Comments By Andy Dawson
katie price ITV set to charge viewers for programmes

Pay-per-boob?

Paywalls are all the rage these days and bizarrely, ITV are expected to announce that they’re going after a piece of the action in an announcement early next week.

The Telegraph are reporting that ITV head honchos Archie ‘Asda’ Norman and Adam ‘Royal Mail’ Crozier will let it be known that ITV can no longer get by on free-to-air advertising and that some content will need to provided to viewers on a paid-for basis.

Although ITV is legally obliged to broadcast ITV1 for free on terrestrial TV until at least 2014, it is thought that they’ll look to set up paid-for digital channels or charge viewers to watch their HD output.

But what sort of stuff will ITV charge for? Live FA Cup coverage? Round the clock re-runs of The Krypton Factor? A Katie Price channel? What would YOU be prepared to fork out for from ITV?

HotUKDeals Of The Day – Friday 30th July

July 30th, 2010 3 Comments By Andy Dawson

hukd logob1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Friday 30th JulyRoll up, roll up and pit your wits against our statements of fact or false once again in True Or False Friday. If you’re stumped, why not just buy the stuff we’re banging on about instead.

All of it and more to be had from HotUKDeals… oh, and last week’s statements were all FALSE!

729083 1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Friday 30th JulyTHE DEAL: Alan Wake on the Xbox 360 for only £16.99.

TRUE OR FALSE? The object of the game is to wake a series of Alans from comas – including Hansen, Alda and Partridge.

729427 1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Friday 30th JulyTHE DEAL: 15 free range eggs for £2 or 6 ‘smart price’ eggs for only 63p

TRUE OR FALSE? Experts estimate that there are only about 700 eggs left in the UK.

729583 1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Friday 30th JulyTHE DEAL: A Nokia 1661 phone for only £1.00!

TRUE OR FALSE? This model replaces the Nokia 666, which included the controversial ‘400 minutes of pure evil’ per month.

(deals found by HUKD members lizardkinguk, nicster08 and colonel)

pint bitter 200x300 UK beer sales rise for the first time since 2006 (but it isnt all good news)Beers sales are on the up! HURRAY! Unless, of course, they’ve gone up for depressing reasons like, say, everyone in Britain is depressed and started looking into habitual alcoholism. One source of simultaneous glee and gloom – the World Cup – is thought to be one of the reasons that UK beer sales have risen.

The BBC report that the equivalent of more than 2.2 billion pints were sold between April and June, which according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), is an increase of 2.9% on last year which means that quarterly sales were up on 12 months ago for the first time in four years. The nice weather probably didn’t do any harm either.

It isn’t all good news for the booze industry. Growth was seen at shops and supermarkets, but sales in Britain’s pubs fell by 6.3%. “The World Cup has certainly been a benefit to Britain’s beer sector and we can now hope that the market is starting to turn a corner,” said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds.

“However, while there is some reason for cheer, it has to be noted that beer sales in pubs are still falling and the nation’s pubs need support.”

The BBPA once again called on the government to freeze the tax on beer and support pubs “recognising the economic and social contribution of these vital community assets”.

SAVE OUR PUBS!

Does anyone still care about the iPhone 4? For those of you who do, and in an effort to continue our exhaustive coverage of the handset’s pricing, here’s the latest news from 3. Yes, they’ve just announced their iPhone 4 tariffs several weeks after everyone else, but they’ve had plenty of time to see what the competitors – Orange, T-Mobile, O2, VOdafone and Tesco Mobile – are bringing to the party. Surely 3 will be sticking it to other networks good and proper:

Bitterwallet 3 iPhone 4 pricing 3 finally arrives at the iPhone 4 party, tariffs announced

These are 24 month deals, and while they’re not terrible, 2,000 minutes may not be enough to satisfy some customers, especially when other networks are offering unlimited minutage – and who really cares about Three-to-Three minutes?

Several of the iPhone 4 deals are within touching distance of one another so it may come down to other factors; for our money, we’ve yet to find a network with customer service as shoddy as 3, and regardless of the deal we’d have to be wrestled into handing over our money.

Topless women in beer advert sparks outrage

July 30th, 2010 14 Comments By Mof Gimmers

An advertising campaign featuring three women with no tops on has been criticised for sexism (“What’s wrong with bein’ sexy?” – N. Tufnel, Spinal Tap):

Hirter Bier Topless Advert 500x285 Topless women in beer advert sparks outrage

According to Digital Spy, CEN  is reporting that some groups have called for the campaign to be suspended.

One protester is quoted as saying: “There is no genuine connection between beer and naked women. The women have just been put there to sexualise beer. The advert is sexist against women.”

In fairness, there probably are links to people getting pissed and taking their clothes off.

Austria’s Hirter brewery spokeswoman Caroline Kroepfl impishly responded: “The poster shows three self-confident beer drinkers.”

Very confident! Of course, we at Bitterwallet don’t stand for this type of rampant objectification of women. DOWN WITH THIS SORT OF THING!

clint eastwood in firefox 300x225 Watch out for fake Firefox update that infects your computer

Clint Eastwood using Firefox

Online shitboxes have developed a strain of scareware that pretends to be a Firefox update which tricks users into visiting scareware portals which run fake security scans on your computer which, of course, report that non-existent security problems are harming your computer. This then leads worried users toward buying software that’s worse than useless.

People are lured to these sites through search engine manipulation, which ensures rogue sites appear prominently in lists of search results for newsworthy terms.

The newest con features a fake Firefox “Just Updated” page of the type that is displayed just after users update their browser software. The page claims that users need to get a Flash update which then produces a download box with scareware tucked away inside it. Once you visit a maliciously constructed website (that is obviously nothing to do with genuine Firefox updates from Mozilla), you’re all set for the attack.

The Reg report that F-Secure were one of the first anti-virus groups to detect the problem and they have a write-up of the scareware slinging ruse in a blog post here.

Screen shot 2010 07 30 at 11.21.47 Gold plated Lampard iPods to become Hello Kitty iPods insteadIt seemed that Frank Lampard had it all – if you count ‘it all’ as a handul of Premier League winner’s medals, shit-loads of money and Christine Bleakley hanging off him. The man just oozed success. But now it’s all starting to go a bit pear-shaped.

Firstly, there was his role in THAT footballing catastrophe in South America Southampton South Pacific South Africa this summer. Now comes the news that his exclusive range of 5,000 gold-plated iPods have flopped massively – they’re going to be stripped of their lovely gold and turned into Hello Kitty iPods instead.

The 24-carat iPod Touch with Lampard’s signature etched into the back was launched by Goldgenie (from off of Dragons’ Den once) and retailed for up to £599. But, either because times are hard or because no one in their right mind would want one, they have been a dismal flop.

The Sun tells of how the iPods will be “melted down”, but later in the story, a ‘source’ ‘says’: “It’s not exactly melting down – it’s a chemical process. But basically Goldgenie are recovering all the gold so they can use it again. They thought loads of people would want them during the World Cup but the backlash against England was so bad that they’ve had to scrap the whole thing.”

The only losers here are poorly children, as the iPods were on sale to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust. No doubt Frank Lampard will dust himself down, pick himself back up and continue to baffle and delight football fans everywhere in equal measures for a few more years.

Hello Kitty was not available for comment.

Yesterday we brought you news of a mammoth bacon sandwich, available at Tony’s I-75 in Birch Run, Michigan. It professed to offer a whole pound of streaky bacon between the baps and the very sight of it could kill a horse at 100 metres.

Inspired, we decided to replicate the beast in the Bitterwallet laboratory yesterday afternoon (the kitchen – much to the disgust of the Dealspwn team), but we wanted to build a bigger bacon behemoth. The original used a pound of bacon, so we juiced our mother up to a full kilogram of raw pig:

Bitterwallet our bacon sandwich attempt Bitterwallets Friday challenge   can YOU build a bigger bacon sandwich?

Compare it to yesterday’s sandwich, and it’s clear they’re either using a lot more bacon than they’re letting on, or there’s some photo-trickery involved. Regardless, the bar has been set – this is the sandwich we want you to beat this weekend.

We want to see your attempts to build a bigger bacon sandwich – and we’ll refund all purchases of bacon used in your attempt, upon delivery of a scanned receipt and video evidence of your endeavour by 10am on Monday. We won’t cover subsequent healthcare costs or any other damages that may arise as a result of this frankly foolhardy challenge.

Come on, avid readers! What have you got to lose except your mortality?

Picture 29 300x166 PRICE ALERTOTHON! Bluetooth USB dongle for... £3.99It’s probably a pricing error, but as Hot UK Deals members know, favour fortunes the bold and every so often a handful of these deals are honoured.

So get cracking – Play.com have a Bluetooth USB dongle for £3.99 (RRP £139.99) which “converts a non-Bluetooth PC to Bluetooth enabled, allows wireless connecting to Bluetooth devices such as Mobile phones, PDA, PC, for data transfer, Networking, and Dial-up”. And so on.

It’ll probably disappear within moments of this post, so get over there and take a look. Thanks to avid Bitterwallet reader Matt for the hat-tip.

Tourists warned not to travel to Greece

July 30th, 2010 11 Comments By Andy Dawson

athens greece 300x200 Tourists warned not to travel to GreeceHere’s some breaking madness for any of you who are hoping to holiday in Greece in the not-too-distant future. Sky News are reporting on Twitter that tourists are being warned to avoid the balmy country owing to the fact that everything’s going barmy.

Already crippled by economic meltdown, Greece is now in the grip of a petrol shortage and a strike by truck drivers. To top it all, a terrorist group has now declared that they are hell bent on turning the country ‘into a war zone.’

The group, who call themselves The Sect Of Revolutionaries or Rebel Sect (thanks to avid Bitterwallet reader ‘-]’) have warned that they plan to attack police, businessmen, prison staff and journalists. A statement from them said: “We are at war with your democracy. Tourists must learn that Greece is no longer a safe haven of capitalism. We intend to turn it into a war zone.”

EDIT: As yet, no official warning has appeared from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website, but you should probably make that your first port of call for updates.

More news as we get it…

Justin Timberlake then. He’s come a long way from his inauspicious beginnings as a member of New Kids On The Block or Backstreet Boys or 5ive or whoever it was.

These days, he’s a highly regarded actor, singer, poet and possibly even a tree surgeon, we’re not sure. What we are sure of though, is that he’s now got his own brand of tequila, infused with some of his own body fluids (note to self: check this before publication) and the man himself has even directed the ad for the aforementioned booze drink.

Sadly, he seems to have forgotten to order any lighting, something that is pretty much essential for the budding film-maker. Plus, the girl in the ad disappears out of shot right at the end, so we don’t get to find out what happens. We think she ties the man’s shoe lace. To be honest, it’s so dark in there, we haven’t got a clue what’s going on.

HotUKDeals Of The Day – Thursday 29th July

July 29th, 2010 1 Comment By Andy Dawson

hukd logob1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Thursday 29th JulyPizza, pasta, pop, electronics, and jeans. That’s what we assumed you’d want to hear about today as our eternal quest for special offers carries on unabated.

Of course, there are plenty more bargains to be had at HotUKDeals…

728982 1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Thursday 29th JulyFirst off, here’s one that we’re going to be very quick about because it’s a very hot deal and they’re selling out fast so have a look and get on it and order some if you think it’s a good deal even though we think it is but you’d better hurry right?

Phew – what a sentence! It’s pairs of Soul Cal Deluxe distressed jeans and they’re only £5.00 a pair and you might think they look shite but it’s all about taste and a fiver is really cheap so have a think about it.

728585 1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Thursday 29th JulyNext comes a cavalcade of electronic gadgetry that is on special offer. Firstly, we’ve got the Toshiba BDX2000 Blu-ray player with 12-month Lovefilm subscription that we’ve featured before – only £89.99. But, if you spend another £10.01, you’ll get a £20 voucher back!

Then there’s the Nintendo DSi in black (which will make you look a bit sinister) and is only £99.99. Or there’s the Apple iPod Nano, massively reduced to £99 for the 8GB version or £115 for the 16GB model. Free delivery in there too. Sweet as mustard.

728730 1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Thursday 29th JulyFinally, we’ve got something to console yourself with in case you didn’t get the cheap jeans you were after. A chance to pig out and ensure that you wouldn’t have fitted into them anyway.

It’s the Happy Hour offer at Pizza Hut – a fiver will get you a pizza (from a limited range of choices) or pasta or salad, a garlic bread and a drink. Soon, you’ll be waddling off down the high street like a dying bee, wondering what the fuck happened and forgetting you’d ever wanted the jeans.

(deals found by HUKD members nickoo0, supergran, bobertini, shaunm360 and spic)

Advert for Sky 3d TV 001 Sky to bring 3D TV to the living rooms of rich fools

The living room of a rich fool, yesterday

Not content with blasting 3D Premier League football into our faces in selected pubs earlier in the year, Sky are going the whole hog and launching a specialist 3D channel later in the year, October 1st to be precise.

Details of programming schedules are somewhere between sketchy and non-existent at the moment, but the aforementioned Premier League, the Ryder Cup, Monsters vs Aliens and Harry Potter And The Something Or Other are among the three-dimensional visual delights lined up. No doubt subscribers will be forced to peel at least another tenner from their thinning cash-bundles in order to see this miraculous content.

Elsewhere, in Sky-related news for people who have a brain, the Murdochian broadcasting overlords have snaffled up the complete catalogue of renowned US cable broadcaster HBO.

The deal will bring new HBO shows to Sky as well as classics such as The Sopranos, The Wire, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Six Feet Under. We wouldn’t be surprised to see that lot eventually snuck away behind some kind of paywall as well. Harrumph.

Our love affair with bacon continues unabated. We’ve just booked flights to Michigan, where we’ll be heading straight to Tony’s I-75 on arrival. We’ve only paid for one-way tickets, however; the probability of living long enough to return home are slim to anorexic. Tony’s I-75 is a restaurant in Birch Run, home to a BLT the size of your head and requiring a pound of bacon in the making. Looking at it is rumoured to cause angina:

Bitterwallet bacon sandwich Behold! The greatest bacon sandwich in the universe!

[BuzzFeed]

Standalone cash machines vulnerable to hacks

July 29th, 2010 9 Comments By Mof Gimmers

dogs cash machine Standalone cash machines vulnerable to hacksI don’t know if this article is a cautionary tale or, indeed, something for you to get excited about. Basically, this is a story about getting free money from cash points. Of course, stealing money from an ATM is illegal, but it is possible.

We know this because one bloke showed off techniques for breaking into cash machines which causes them to spit cash out. Of course, this technique isn’t putting a card in and punching in your number. That would be a shit hack.

“I hope to change the way people look at devices that from the outside are seemingly impenetrable,” Barnaby Jack, director of research at security consulting firm IOActive Labs, told a standing-room-only crowd before launching the demonstration using equipment he purchased over the internet.

PCPro report that Jack spent over a year learning to break into stand-alone bank machines (the kind you find in pubs and shops) and, at the annual Black Hat conference, he showed how he could upload his home-brewed piece of software called Dillinger to an ATM made by Tranax Technologies.

Basically, with this kit, he infects the cash point and then instructs it to empty every note it has out into his hands.

“I’m not naive enough to think I’m the only person who can do it,” he said.

Are you daft enough to try and give it a go and then try justifying it to yourself by flatly stating that these machines sting you with pointless charges anyway, so effectively, you’re becoming a modern day Robin Hood? Anyway, the moral of this tale is that our cash-machines are fallible and if someone can get them to spit money out, then they can no doubt use a gadget to swipe the details from your card.

STAY VIGILANT DUMMIES.