All hail the Dogcam

August 28th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kobo make waterproof e-reader

August 28th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

bath Kobo make waterproof e readerAre you clumsy but like reading in the bath? Do you have rivers of moisture leaking from your face, ruining everything you ever hold in your equally sodden palms?

Well, Kobo are here to help with their e-book device called the Aura H2O, which is waterproof and launching in the UK.

The e-reader is so waterproof that it can be submerged for 29 minutes and it’ll be fine. This means you can read The Little Mermaid while thrashing around under the surface of the water for a bit, while dressed up as Ariel.

Or, you could read some depressing poetry while you drown yourself. It is entirely up to you, really. Kobo’s device is apparently dust-proof too, which is handy for the beach or if you are a cowboy who works on a ranch.

Michael Tamblyn, president of Kobo, said: “When we asked our customers what held them back from reading more ebooks, many told us they love to read in the bath, by the pool, or on the beach, but believed that devices and water didn’t mix.”

“We designed the Kobo Aura H2O, our latest premium eReader, so that ebooks could be just as common at the beach or in the bath as they are on the bus or in bed,” he added.

It has a 6.8in screen, 4GB of memory (which you can expand with a microSD card), two months of battery life and will be on sale from 1st October costing £139.99.

Or you could just carry on buying paper books if you think e-readers are a massive crock. No-one’s forcing you to do anything.

Deals of the Day: Thursday 28th August 2014

August 28th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

ps4 300x196 Deals of the Day: Thursday 28th August 2014As the PS4 and Xbox One tussle for the top spot in a competition to see who can urinate the highest, while they soak each other, us sensible sorts are opening our umbrellas and seeing which console has the biggest price drop.

There’s some good deals knocking around and one will get you a Black Destiny PS4 bundle for £329, which ain’t half bad. You’ll need a code to land this deal, which you can find it you click here.

EVEN MORE DEALS!

Free money? £18 cashback for existing customers who take a free 2 month trial of Sky Go Extra
Samsung 40″ 4K Ultra HD LED Smart TV for £549
£35 Playstation network Card for £30.45 (£28.83 with 5% code)
£10 M&S e-voucher for new customers 1st purchase
Nexus 7  £79.99 delivered
Intel Haswell Pentium 3220, H81M-PLUS mATX Motherboard and 4GB of Corsair RAM, all for £107.98 @ Dabs
New 32 inch Hisense TV for £169.98 with pricematch (£119.98 after £50 cashback)
Samsung 32 inch 1080p Smart LED TV with built in WiFi and Freeview HD £239.98 @ Dabs with code
PSN Store sale 27 August to 10 September
Mario Kart 8 DLC pack pre-purchase £11 instead of £14 for the two packs (and bonus 8 different coloured Yoshis and Shy Guys right away). Click here for the details
Dell Venue Pro 8 Windows 8.1 tablet for £166
Motorola Moto G 16GB 3G for £69
Sony 40″ kdl40r473 for £284.99

IF YOU LIKE GREAT OFFERS, UPDATED DAILY, YOU MUST VISIT HOTUKDEALS!

Supermarket sales at 10 year low

August 28th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

basket 300x300 Supermarket sales at 10 year lowSupermarkets are still having a topsy turvy time of it, as sales have been hitting a 10-year low.

According to some research by the Kantar Worldpanel (sounds like a support act for Kraftwerk or Can), low inflation in the price of groceries, has seen sales grow by only 0.8% in the last 12 weeks, against figures from a year earlier.

The ongoing price wars and what have you, has driven inflation down to a record low of 0.2%. And guess what?

The main winners in market share again were Aldi and Lidl.

Aldi’s market share rose to 4.8% from 3.7% a year earlier, while Lidl’s share climbed to 3.6% from 3.1%. And it’s not all budget end, as sales at Waitrose were up 3.6% from a year earlier, and its market share edged up to 4.9% from 4.8%.

But it’s grim news for Tesco, as its sales were down 4% from last year’s period, and the market share dropping from 30.2% to 28.8%

According to Kantar Worldpanel director Edward Garner: “Competitive pricing among the big grocers and deflation in the price of staple items such as vegetables, milk and bread has driven inflation down yet again,”

“This naturally impacts on the overall growth of the grocery market, which has fallen to a 10 year record-low of 0.8%,” he added.

HP recall power cords

August 28th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

hp logo 300x225 HP recall power cordsHewlett Packard, or HP to you and me, have ordered a worldwide recall of some power cords that have been sold with its laptops.

This callback affects products sold between September 2010 and June 2012.

Apparently six million of the affected cables had been sold in the US and Canada, and lord knows how many elsewhere.

The cords have been burning users due to overheating. They just got so angry they rose up and punished their captors, so to speak.

Any cords with LS-15 on the side, sold alongside HP and Compaq notebooks, PC and other bits and bobs, are the ones to look out for.

Their site bugles: “HP customers affected by this program will be eligible to receive a replacement AC power cord for each verified, recalled AC power cord at no cost.”

There’s only been a handful of events so far, but y’know, worth getting a new one just in case the one you have now decides to melt into your carpet.

Click here to get your new power cord from HP

School premiums driving up house prices

August 27th, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

beacky high 300x200 School premiums driving up house pricesHouse price news now, and if parents want their nippers to go to the best state schools in England, they’re looking down the barrel of half a million to buy a home in the right area.

According to a report from Lloyds, it reckons the average premium to live nearby to a top school is £21,000

The most extreme example was Beaconsfield High School in Buckinghamshire (pictured) where the average house price is £797,000, compared to an average price of £314,000 in the rest of the county, giving it a ‘school premium’ of £483,031, the largest one in England.

Researchers looked at the top 30 secondary state schools in England as well as the top ten performing secondary state schools in each region, based on last year’s [2013] GCSE data.

But it’s not all demented premium news, as Heckmondwike grammar, in West Yorkshire, has results that place it among the top 30 state schools in the country, but house prices nearby average just £99,000.

For that lot in London, Barnet also stands out as an area with some of the best state schools. But house prices are lower in the area than the average for the capital.

A mortgages director at Lloyds, who we’ll call for this purpose Marc Page, said: “Although property values can be significantly lower in neighbouring areas, many parents don’t appear to be put off from paying a premium to ensure their child has the best possible chance to attend their chosen school.”

Shall we look at the Top Ten of where the biggest house price ‘school premiums’ are?:

1. Beaconsfield High School, Buckinghamshire, £483,031, 154%
2. Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, West Midlands, £131,656, 79%
3. Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, Lancashire, £86,857, 62%
4. St Olave’s and St Saviour’s Grammar School, Kent, £152,680, 59%
4. Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School, Buckinghamshire, £184,058, 59%
6. Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Cheshire, £117,439, 56%
7. Colyton Grammar School, Devon, £53,309, 24%
8. Newport Girls’ High School, Shropshire, £23,432, 12%
8. Wolverhampton Girls’ High School, West Midlands, £20,195, 12%
10. Nonsuch High School for Girls, Sutton, £23,380, 8%

Mostly Girls Schools too, the pervs.

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

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

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

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

IPC magazines start using beacons

August 27th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

nme 231x300 IPC magazines start using beaconsThe first UK-wide beacon campaign is launched by IPC Media.

The company behind such publications as NME, Chat and TV Times, will be running a money-off offer for customers that have downloaded OneStop or Appflare Redeem apps.

The promotion will be available in all of Tesco-owned OneStop’s 740 stores for a month from 1st September.

To be able to receive the promotion, consumers will have to enable Bluetooth and turn on notifications while in the store to receive a discount code they can redeem it at the till.

Katharine Challinor, retail sales director at IPC Media, says the innovative campaign will allow its customers to receive relevant and timely promotions.

It will target customers based on their interests to serve them discounts for magazines they are most likely to have an interest in, and start spamming them accordingly.

So, no doubt you can share in the harrowing despair of the 14,000 people left who buy NME as a magazine.

This is the latest in beacon trialling following the likes of Eat and House of Fraser, where a beacon in mannequins or on shelves sends out orders for you to kill alerts you to offers.

If shop staff don’t mither you enough, now bits of technology will. Fabulous.

TNT Post advert: Banned and blown-up

August 27th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

postman 300x300 TNT Post advert: Banned and blown upThe folks at TNT Post have been doing adverts, but alas, they’ve been chatting a load of BS. They compared themselves to the Royal Mail and implied that they offer the same service and similar prices… when they don’t.

The TNT leaflet showed a picture of a bloke in a TNT uniform and said: “What does my postie look like? Like this – in a smart uniform which our posties wear at all times on duty. Like Royal Mail, all are CRB-checked and fully trained in how to keep mail safe and secure.”

“We operate under exactly the same rules and regs as Royal Mail – authorised by the government to carry mail and watched over by Ofcom.”

However, they don’t and the ad got banned by the ASA.

Royal Mail, naturally, were the ones to flag this up, saying that the ad was misleading because TNT aren’t required to deliver to every address in the UK on a next-day basis like they are and, not only that, it isn’t fair that TNT implied that the service they provided was better than Royal Mail’s.

TNT said that the whole thing was designed to make consumers feel safe and secure, rather than make Royal Mail cry.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the ad suggested that TNT was subject to the same service levels as Royal Mail in all areas, and that’s not the case.

ASA said the reference to mail being “delivered … all over the UK” was misleading and that information in the advert didn’t allow readers to identify for themselves how TNT was better than the Royal Mail in respect of prices and such.

ASA ruled that the ads mustn’t appear again: “We told TNT Post UK to ensure future ads did not suggest that they were subject to the same service levels as Royal Mail, that they delivered mail themselves to all parts of the UK or that their prices were competitive in relation to those offered by Royal Mail unless they could substantiate that that was the case.”

So there.

Kitemarks for money apps

August 27th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

bsi.png Kitemarks for money appsA new kitemark has been launched to help people trust certain apps with their personal data.

The new BSI (British Standards Institution) kitemark has been applied to Barclay’s new Pingit mobile payment service and Barclays Mobile Banking, after they were independently assessed.

Although the kitemark is initially being piloted within the banking industry, the BSI envisages that its use will be adopted by a wider range of firms – for example within the entertainment industry.

Anyone wanting to get a kitemark for their product will have to go through hardcore testing so that their security meets the required standards for dealing with confidential data.

Those that meet the standards will be able to give customers confidence by displaying the kitemark on their products and in their marketing materials.

This is quite the thing as three quarters of Brits now use the internet for shopping and just over half now bank online.

Maureen Sumner Smith who is the UK managing director at BSI, used her mouth and said: “More and more of us are now sharing confidential information through online shopping, mobile banking, booking flights, gaming, university applications or interacting with local government. These behavioural changes from the physical to the digital demand the need for even more rigorous security measures.”

“Many organisations have good information security processes already established, but by having their systems independently tested on a regular basis as part of the BSI kitemark process, they can clearly demonstrate to customers their commitment to safeguarding information.”

Uber to try food delivery with ‘UBERFresh’

August 27th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

uber 300x200 Uber to try food delivery with UBERFreshUber have been upsetting taxi drivers the world over, and now, they’re potentially going to make the food industry cry tears of blood with a new idea they’ve had called UBERFresh.

This new service is being tested out in Santa Monica over in That America, which will see UBERFresh offering a food delivery service to customers.

As well as delivering meals to you, Uber is also playing around with same day grocery deliveries, which is tantamount to trolling as far as supermarkets are concerned. It looks like Uber are just having a go at anything and seeing what sticks.

With regards to food delivery, if Uber can undercut JustEat and HungryHouse, restaurants and fast food joints could well switch their allegiances. We can only hope that food delivery companies react in the same shrieking way that we saw taxi drivers doing.

It looks like Uber want you to use their app for pretty much everything. If they can corner the Small Time Weed Dealer market, they’ll clean up.

However, with Uber drivers being a law unto themselves, they might snaffle your hash and then eat the pizza you just ordered. Either way, looks like Uber are going after every corner of business.

This could end in a spectacular failure or maximum annoyance for their rivals – either way, it’ll be fun to watch.

Buses: they’ve let us all down

August 27th, 2014 7 Comments By Ian Wade

47861821 nbfl no 08 broadgate 140510 300x167 Buses: theyve let us all downAccording to a think tank, it isn’t a great life on the buses as passengers have been continually let down by a lack of competition and a failure of deregulation.

Despite being privatised back in 1986, buses outside of London were deregulated, but those inside of the London remained subject to regulation. According to the IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) report, it claimed that Transport for London’s regulation had been a success, elsewhere the whole thing had been a bit of a failure.

One in eight of working Brits relied on getting the bus into work, and also that people made three times the trips on the bus than the train, which worked out over five billion a year.

It also pointed out that the poorest used the bus more, but that fares outside of London had risen by more than 35% above inflation between 1995 and 2013.

The report also recommended the creation of local transport bodies modelled on TfL .

IPPR associate director Will Straw said: “London has the best buses in Britain and that’s no accident. TfL has been a great success while the deregulation of buses outside London has largely failed.”

“Outside London, bus passenger journeys are down and fares are rising higher than inflation. Examples of successful bus markets outside London are all too rare so local transport bodies should be given greater powers to hold uncompetitive providers to account.”

“As well as regulating bus services, routes and fares, these new bodies should have a wider role of encouraging better integration between buses and other modes of transport including rail.”

“This will help increase the number of passengers using public transport. Responsibility for transport related to schools and hospitals should be devolved to these regional transport bodies with any savings made from achieving efficiencies retained and reinvested in other local sustainable transport projects.”

He goes on a bit, but you get the gist.

We all know catching the bus is a nightmare (as night follows day), but what can be done to fix the situation? And no, dear readers, killing annoying or smelly people isn’t a viable solution.

Deals of the Day: Wednesday 27th August 2014

August 27th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

itunes hal 300x300 Deals of the Day: Wednesday 27th August 2014If you’re the kind of person who buys things through iTunes, firstly, take that smug look off your face. Secondly, stop referring to your iPhone as an ‘iPhone’. It’s a phone, or a mobile. You don’t say “Just popping some bread in my Bosch toaster…”.

Anyway, never mind all that. We’ve found a deal which should tickle you pink. You can get 25% off iTunes codes, which is available until tomorrow (Thursday 28 August 2014 11:59 pm BST), so you’d better hurry up if you want in! Grab what you can, here, you upright swine.

EVEN MORE DEALS!

PS4 refurb with 12 month warranty for £269.99
The Superman 5 Film Collection 1978-2006 Region Free Blu-Ray for £10
Transcend Premium Micro SD Memory Card 32gb Class 10 including SD Adapter only £10.75
Beastie Boys – Licensed To Ill 99p Album of the week @ Google Play Music
Sony Bravia LED HD 1080p 3D Smart TV, 50″ with Freeview/Freesat HD & 2x 3D Glasses for £754.99
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ55EB-K Compact Digital Camera for £149.99
Xbox Live sale – click here to see list of games
Goat Simulator (Steam) £3.50
The Walking Dead Season 2 for £7.59
Toshiba 5TB Canvio USB 3.0 3.5″ Desktop Hard Drive £139.99 @ Dabs
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, 7 inch 8GB WiFi with a 12 Month Argos Warranty for £76.49 (possible further 20% off using voucher)
Acer Liquid E700 Trio Smartphone for £160

FOR THOUSANDS OF DAILY BARGAINS AND OFFERS, VISIT HUKD!

Even bigger iPad a-coming

August 27th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

apple logo Even bigger iPad a comingApple are bringing out a bigger iPad!

According to reports, Apple are launching a new iPad in the first part of 2015 with a new 12.9 inch screen.

This iPad size follows the 7.9 inch and 9.7 inch.

But don’t leap off a cliff just yet, an updated version of the 9.7 inch iPad and the mini will be in the shops by Christmas, according to Bloomberg.

The iPhone is now expected to increase to 5.5 inch screens, which should be announced at an event on September 9th.

Obviously the company is on the skids and keen to do what it can to make up only selling 13.3 million iPads in the Apr-June period, down a colossal 9.% on the same period the year before.

And iPhones only scraped 35.2 million sales, short of the market predictions of 36 million.

Let’s all cross our fingers and hope things work out for them at this difficult time.

RBS fined £14.5m over lousy mortgage advice

August 27th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

rbs RBS fined £14.5m over lousy mortgage adviceThe Royal Bank of Scotland has been fined £14.5m by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after they failed to ensure that they were giving good mortgage advice to customers.

The FCA said: “Two reviews of sales from 2012 found that in over half the cases the suitability of the advice was not clear.”

The could’ve said: ‘As if there wasn’t enough reasons to loathe them.’

Of course, RBS was quick to apologise, with chief executive Ross McEwan saying that these failures are “unacceptable and should never have happened”.

After their investigation, the FCA discovered that RBS and their NatWest buddied had failed to take the full extent of a customer’s budget into consideration when they were making a recommendation.

On top of that, the banks didn’t give proper debt consolidation advice as well as completely failing to advise customers which mortgage term was best suited for them, according to the watchdog.

“Only two of the 164 sales reviewed were considered to meet the standard required overall in a sales process,” the FCA added.

RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said: “Taking out a mortgage is one of the biggest moments in our lives, and our customers have every right to expect the very best service when making this decision. It is clear that in the past the bank just didn’t get this right, this was unacceptable and should never have happened.”

“When I joined the bank we completely overhauled our processes, and took all our mortgage advisers off the front line for an extensive period of time to get the training required.”

Looks like they didn’t give the advisers enough training when it comes to treating customers fairly in a financial agreement that could potentially be for life, and indeed, ruin a family financially. Considering that taxpayers own 80% of the bank, thanks to previous bad behaviour from RBS, you’d hope that at some point, they’d try and up their game.

RBS have already mis-sold loads of insurance (to which they’ve put £3.2bn aside for when that bites them on the arse) and were hit with a £390m fine for their role in the Libor rate fixing affair.