Sky to launch mobile service

October 21st, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

sky Sky to launch mobile serviceSky have had a nice chat with a number of 3G and 4G operators as they weigh-up whether or not to launch their own mobile services in the United Kingdom.

Sky has been making eyes at Vodafone, EE and O2 about a potential deal, and presumably, will be going with the most lucrative offer, rather than the one that will serve their customers the best. Have you ever tried to watch satellite television when the weather is a bit lousy?

Instead of your TV disrupted by a threat of rain, it’ll you be you screaming down the phone: “HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME? HELLO? HEL- MUM? HELLO? CAN Y- OH FORGET IT.”

Anyway, with a number of Sky’s competitors offering mobile and broadband packages, it looks like they’ll be going ahead with it, offering mobile services under their own brand.

Sky’s Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Darroch said the company always “remains open to opportunities”.

He said the mobile market is something that Sky “keeps a close eye on”, adding: ”If we thought there was strong customer demand, then we can be in a good place to respond. We’ve got a very significant customer base already that we know we can cross-sell into very successfully.”

Does anyone want to make a joke about Murdoch and phone-tapping so we don’t have to?

Amazon and Royal Mail in job bonanza

October 21st, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Royal Mail Amazon and Royal Mail in job bonanzaJobs ahoy, as Amazon and Royal Mail have announced they’re creating 32,000 of them for the festive season.

Amazon plan to get in an extra 13,000 people to help at their eight distribution centres, as well as looking to employ another 1,000 permanent staff.

The Royal Mail is scoping for 19,000 Christmas workers to help with the additional onslaught that this time of year brings, with contracts from November to January.

Amazon reckon that on their busiest day last Christmas, they had orders for over 4.1 million items – working out at roughly 47 things per second. So yes. Some extra staff might be quite helpful there.

John Tagawa, director of UK operations at the Amazon, said: “The thousands of seasonal associates who join us at this time of year play an integral role in helping us deliver an exceptional experience for our customers during this incredibly busy time.”

“We’re excited to be creating 13,000 seasonal jobs, hundreds of which will lead to permanent, full-time positions.”

“We have created more than 2,000 new permanent roles at our fulfilment centres in the last two years, taking our total permanent fulfilment and customer service centre workforce to over 6,000 employees.”

‘Seasonal associates’. Honestly.

People often like to have a bit of fun with their online orders. Someone asked for their shopping to be delivered by someone in a penguin suit (and they obliged) while others have given dinosaurs with orders.

Well, one hungry redditor ordered a couple of pizzas with some caveats.

B0djzzdCMAAdtmA Behold the silly pizza order about spiders and revenge!

As you can see, the customer asked for a crispier than normal pizza crust with the note of “if that’s not vague enough – make it like you’re taking revenge on a cheating boyfriend BUT you still want to reconcile in the not too distant future.” As for the delivery guy, he was told to keep an eye out for a spider called Frank.

There’s three potential responses to this:

1. Urgh! Arseholes! Why won’t they let people just do their jobs without being so bloody wacky and trying to get internet famous all the time! I hope they spat on their pizzas!
2. Aw! How funny! Adding a little humour to the mundane! How fantastic!
3. $20 for two pizzas? Sign me up!

You can decide which category you fall in for yourself.

Deals of the Day: Tuesday 21st October 2014

October 21st, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

dell xps 11 300x206 Deals of the Day: Tuesday 21st October 2014Want a gadget that is like a Transformer robot that can act like a tablet, as well as a laptop and generally be all swish and fancy for no discernible reason? Well, thankfully, there’s people making such things!

One of them is the marvellously daft Dell XPS 11 2-in-1 Ultrabook, which there just so happens to be a deal on! Starting at £351.90 (with free delivery) with 15% off code, you can get your mitts on one today! Have a look here.

EVEN MORE DEALS!

The Sopranos Complete Season DVD £36.40 delivered
Free Netflix for 6 months with Virgin Media
Beyond Two Souls PS3 £9.98 delivered
Madonna True Blue album for 99p
SimCity Game CD Key Download for PC from 365games @ £6.99
USB to Micro USB Cable – 1.8m 97p
Asus 23″ Full HD IPS LED Monitor for £99
Game of Thrones Seasons 1-3 Blu Ray boxset for £42
The Mad Max Trilogy Blu Ray for £8.60
Minecraft PS4 £9.99 delivered
Back to the Future Trilogy (Blu-ray+UV copy) £8.10 delivered

FOR MORE BRILLIANT BARGAINS, VISIT HOTUKDEALS!

Who are the worst at delivering parcels?

October 21st, 2014 7 Comments By Mof Gimmers

parcel delivery Who are the worst at delivering parcels?Many consumers have had bother when receiving their online deliveries. Parcels can be late, go missing entirely, contain damaged goods or in some cases, thrown on a roof for you to fetch.

According to Which!!!, 60% of us prefer to shop online for the convenience, even though 26% of us have had trouble with the delivery process. Seems like a gamble we’re willing to take because we’re all fantastically bone idle.

The biggest problem is late deliveries and not being able to choose a delivery time.

However, not all companies are bad. Some are in fact, rather good. According to a Which!!! poll, the best in the business are WexPhotographic.com, JohnLewis.com, LizEarle.com and RicherSounds.com.

Which!!!’s Richard Lloyd, said: “One of the attractions of shopping online is the convenience of having your items delivered but we’ve found the experience can be anything but convenient. We want shops to do more to ensure that the service is first class, first time. Retailers need to respond to consumers’ demands and stamp out dodgy deliveries.”

So with that, let us look at the best and worst companies when it comes to delivering your purchases.

Ten Best Online Shops

1. WexPhotographic.com
2. JohnLewis.com
3. LizEarle.com
=RicherSounds.com
5. AO.com
=Lakeland.co.uk
=Toolstation.com
8. ChainReactionCycles.com
=Coopelectricalshop.co.uk
10. AbeBooks.co.uk
=Screwfix.com
=Wiggle.co.uk

The Worst Online Shops

90. Shop.BT.com (BT Shop )
= Halfords.com
= Isme.com
93. ToysRUs.co.uk
94. HMV.com
95. PCWorld.co.uk
= TomTom.com
97. Homebase.co.uk
98. WHSmith.co.uk
99. DIY.com (B&Q)

illegal downloading1 269x300 Google to crack down on illegal downloading sites. Again. Google are planning on making changes to its search engine in a bid to crack down on illegal stuff happening.

The engine will direct users away from sites where they can half-inch content, pushing them towards less dodgy sites.

Google have caved in to pressure from the entertainment industry, who have been campaigning for the search engine to do something, while they carried on rearranging deckchairs.

Google will now list these legal services in a box at the top of the search results, as well as in a box on the right-hand side of the page, but if legal sites want to appear in the slot, they will need to pay Google for placement, something music trade group BPI has a problem with.

BPI made 43.3 million requests for Google to remove search results in 2013 – the U.S equivalent group, the RIAA, made 31.6 million and Google removed 222 million results from search because of copyright issues

Google’s Content ID system, which detects copyrighted material, scans 400 years-worth of video every day, which they then offer the music labels the choice of having the content removed, or monetising by having advertising placed there.

The report said: “Piracy often arises when consumer demand goes unmet by legitimate supply,’ the report said.

As services ranging from Netflix to Spotify to iTunes have demonstrated, the best way to combat piracy is with better and more convenient legitimate services.”

It’s unlikely that this will have a massive turnaround in the entertainment industry’s favour, who are missing the days where everyone was on champagne and cocaine breakfasts, but people will find a way around it. They always do.

However, with Google directing people to Google Play, making money through advertising on YouTube adverts and other schemes to ‘combat privacy’, it looks like they might be having the breakfast of a ’70s record company executive, so not everyone is a loser in this. We never said they were unscrupulous.

Microsoft to launch new smartwatch for Christmas

October 20th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

new microsoft logo 300x110 Microsoft to launch new smartwatch for ChristmasFirst Apple announce theirs and suddenly everyone’s launching a smartwatch. Microsoft are the latest to get in on the wrist-action and it is rumoured they’ll have a smartwatch due to launch within weeks.

While there’s no word on an exact date as yet, reports suggest that Microsoft would like it out before Christmas. And, ideally, before Apple.

There’s also rumours that the device will offer a two-day battery life, which shades the Moto 360 and Samsung Gear 2′s everyday charging needs.

The Microsoft smartwatch will also have compatibility for multiple operating systems, including iOS, Android and Windows Phone, and Forbes claims it will also be the first wearable to feature an always-on heart rate sensor, making use of Microsoft’s Kinect technology.

According to a report: “When it comes to battery life, Microsoft may benefit from its historic expertise in software, allowing it to create sensor integrations that boost the device’s power train efficiency.”

Microsoft has yet to comment on the speculation. They’re just offering us “GO AWAY” at the moment.

McDonald’s in your facebook

October 20th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

mcdonalds logo McDonalds in your facebookMcDonald’s are to launch 14,500 Facebook pages by the end of 2014, just in case they were omnipresent enough in your life.

This is part of a drive to get every US branch connected to its customers via social media.

While there’s no date of when the UK end plan on doing it, the move will make the burger empire the biggest brand on Facebook.

It will also allow branches to engage directly with problems that customers might have. They’ll probably start wishing you Happy Birthday and butting in on your posts too.

At the moment, in the UK social media consists of bitching about McDonald’s UK and then getting redirected to the branch in question and, should you still be feeling arsed, email the manager directly.

McDonald’s has already rolled out 7,000 pages so far, with a further 7,500 to follow by the end of the year. It will also launch Twitter accounts for individual restaurants.

In a bid to talk the most gunk about a thing ever, David Martinelli, US digital marketing manager at McDonald’s, said the goal was to speak to customers in “real time”.

“Fourteen thousand five hundred pages – we know that’s a lot of pages to get up and running, but we know the customer’s journey doesn’t end at the restaurant. We wanted to connect to them in the place they’re at and deliver that relevant content. It’s important to be part of the conversation and really understand what’s being said, and then join the conversation.”

“We have hundreds of stakeholders that are playing role in launch of this and it’s been a journey bringing them along with us to fully understand the impact on the business.”

He’s said ‘journey’ twice, like he’s on X Factor or something. McDonald’s US will support the new pages with paid ads at a local level, plus activity on other social media outlets.

So grabbing a cheeky Big Mac when you’ve been on the pop is a ‘journey’ now. Fancy that!

Tesco misled auditors to inflate results

October 20th, 2014 4 Comments By Mof Gimmers

tesco bag 300x187 Tesco misled auditors to inflate resultsEveryone is still laughing at Tesco as their woes continue apace. The latest is that, according to leaks, investigators from Deloitte and Freshfields have discovered that a number of execs at the supermarket deliberately misled auditors and accountants to try and hide their dismal financial results.

This is all revolving around the £250m accounting scandal and various sackings that Tesco have found themselves lumbered with.

So what’s the skinny? Well, it is thought that Tesco booked supplier payments that were reliant on condition of them hitting sales targets – ones that they were never, ever going to meet. It seems like this practice has been going on for a while, but were increased just before Tesco’s spectacular slump.

To make things worse, it looks like Tesco’s South Korean wing has been selling the personal data of more than five million customers to insurance companies, which is likely to end in prosecution. Things are so toxic in that area that Tesco’s Asian operations could be sold off. However, that can’t happen while there’s an investigation going on.

As a result, Tesco’s share price has fallen by 48% since the start of 2014.

Tesco are a complete shambles at the minute, but it is very, very difficult to feel sorry for them after they aggressively muscled out countless independent retailers out of the market over the years. So, in short – Haw Haw!

MasterCard really want to see those fingers

October 20th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

zwipe 300x200 MasterCard really want to see those fingersMasterCard are trialling a contactless card with fingerprint reader.

The credit card giant are doing tests to see if a fingerprint function would work instead of a PIN number.

The company unveiled the protoype, which they developed in conjunction with Norwegian company Zwipe, who invented the fingerprint technology.

The contactless payment card has an integrated fingerprint sensor and a secure data store for the cardholder’s biometric data, which is held only on the card and not in an external database, the companies said.

The card also has an EMV chip, used in European payment cards instead of a magnetic stripe to increase payment security, and a MasterCard application to allow contactless payments.

The card is currently thicker than the usual ones, as it will have a battery in it to make it work, however Zwipe plan to eliminate the battery and make it the same as other cards, once they’ve started harnessing energy from contactless terminals.

As the fingerprint authentication is quite unique, there’s no limit on contactless payments, whereas other contactless cards have limits in them so that bad people can’t use them to buy diamonds.

Norwegian bank Sparebanken DIN has already tested the Zwipe card, and plans to offer biometric authentication and contactless communication for all its cards apparently.

Hands up if you want Mastercard to store your fingerprints?

Clothing company get shirty with customer

October 20th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Outdoor clothing vendor Hawke & Co caused a mild stink on Twitter after getting a bit lively with a customer who had made a complaint to them.

A chap called Christian Conti posted a tweet (in a way that everyone on his feed could see, which is wildly irritating as it is) moaning about a cancelled order and the company’s failure to apply the discounts they’d promised. Instead of saying sorry, whoever was running the Hawke & Co account preferred to get their snark on.

Conti tweeted: “Ordered from @hawkeandco and had my order cancelled and they wouldn’t honor the discount on other products. Big fat Do Not Recommends!”

Hawke & Co replied: “@cconti We’re sure your 320 followers will understand.”

hawke1 Clothing company get shirty with customer

Of course, Hawke & Co deleted the remark, but not before everyone on Twitter had a laugh at the whole thing.

Daniel Montelongo, Hawke’s director of marketing and branding, apologised: “I would like to apologize to Christian (@cconti) and to all our customers for the exchange that occurred on the behalf of our brand. The exchange (publicly and in DM) strictly does not express the views or practices of the Hawke & Co brand. We value every one of our customers for who they are, not for their pull or any other attributes, nor do we encourage exploitation for publicity.”

The best thing about this whole episode is that it gives us the chance to share the following video – any excuse really. Warning – there’s industrial language.

meerkat Price comparison sites might be serving themselves, before youIn fantastically shocking news that absolutely no-one was more than well aware of, price comparison sites have been accused for hiding the best deals because they’d rather promote the ones that serve them better. It’s almost like this hasn’t been going on for years!

The Big Deal website have started throwing accusations around (so lawyers, if you’d like to go to them instead of us, that’d be lovely) saying that five of Britain’s biggest price comparison sites are being deceitful.

Which ones?

Well, they’ve said that uSwitch never showed the cheapest deal over the Big Deal’s 13 week investigation, as well as regularly hiding three of the top five cheapest deals.

The sites use mechanisms to “hide deals where they ask users if they want to see deals they can switch to ‘today’ or ‘now’”, according to a statement from The Big Deal. By clicking ’yes’ to this option, the websites remove deals which don’t earn the price comparison sites a commission from the energy companies. Those just happen to be the cheapest deals. The Big Deal says that Money Supermarket and Confused automatically tick the ‘yes’ option.

They also say that Compare the Market and Go Compare automatically show users these results without asking the user, adding that “you have to go through several screens to ‘filter your results’ to see the cheapest deals.”

The bad news for these sites is that hiding deals could well be in breach of EU and UK law.

“Price comparison sites are worth hundreds of millions of pounds, make huge profits and with over 5 million people switching a year are a major part of the energy market,” said The Big Deal co-founders Henry de Zoete and Will Hodson in an open letter to the major price comparison sites. ”Yet there is no transparency to how they make their money or how much they charge. Polling by Populus found that 43% of people did not even realise that the sites charge energy companies a commission.”

uSwitch aren’t having it though, saying: “We are fully accredited under the Ofgem Confidence Code, meaning that our results tables are always ordered by the savings a customer can make in a fair, independent and unbiased way.”

“We are fully supportive of Ofgem’s decision to strengthen the code to ensure that all price comparison websites operate to the same high standard.”

Either way, if this is news to you, make sure you tinker with the settings on any price comparison site of any sort in a bid to make sure it is working for you, rather than the middle man.

Deals of the Day: Monday 20th October 2014

October 20th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Xbox 360 Logo 300x170 Deals of the Day: Monday 20th October 2014If you’re not too fussed about being an early adopter and want a console that you can hook-up with all manner of things, and importantly, get a load of games on the cheap, then we’ve got just the thing for you to whittle your free time away while you work on your sofa’s arse groove.

You can get an Xbox 360 in blue, with two free games, for a very reasonable £179.99! There’s a lot of brilliant, modern classics to be played on a 360, and perfect if you’re getting into gaming (warning: video games can ruin your life). Have a look at the deal here.

WHAT? MORE DEALS?

Acer Chromebook for £139
Complete Battlestar Galactica Blu Ray set for £29.69
Minecraft on the PS4 for £9.99 using code
5-string bluegrass banjo – was £281, now £130.53!
Super Mario 3D Land for £13.99
Hire a whole castle to yourself for £64 per night!
Sandisk 8GB Cruzer Blade USB flash drive five pack for £16.49
Moto G from Tesco Mobile PAYG for £60
Champion’s League BOGOF tickets with Manchester City from £12.50
Free Chromecast deal when you get Wuaki TV for £24.99
Kindle Paperwhite for £100 (with £10 giftcard)

FOR MORE AMAZING DEALS, CHECK OUT HUKD!

Spotify: Cheaper for families now

October 20th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

spotify logo Spotify: Cheaper for families nowSpotify is launching a new ‘Family’ plan, which is going to offer cheaper subscriptions to family members of those who already pay for the service.

Basically, if you’re a subscriber to the music streaming platform, you’ll be able to add up to four members of your family for £4.99 each. That means you don’t all have to have separate Spotify accounts at full price.

Spotify’s chief content officer Ken Parks said that a family plan was “one of the most asked for features from our audience”.

Of course, Spotify aren’t the first to do something like this in this field. Rival Rdio launched a similar thing in 2011, while in the States, Beats Music allowed you to add people to your account from January 2014 (they’ve since ditched the deal though, since they teamed up with Apple).

For Spotify, this could be a nice little earner as there are still a lot of people using the free, ad-supported version. According to the company, they have 40m active users, and 30m of those are using the free version.

This new family plan will launch in the UK within the next two weeks.

Iceland unveil the £5 lobster

October 20th, 2014 4 Comments By Ian Wade

lobster Iceland unveil the £5 lobsterPeter Andre isn’t the only orangey red thing Iceland are throwing at you this season.

The frozen food giant is going to offering a cooked whole lobster for a fiver as part of the Christmas line-up.

Coming ‘atcha from November 5th, it’s the first time the prawn-ring and 89p pizza vendor has offered whole lobster.

Lobster has been on sale in the past at Waitrose (for a sinister £6.66), Tesco and Ocado, but this is the cheapest the high street has seen.

Iceland will also be offering what it reckons is the “best value turkey dinner in Britain”, whose chief component is a turkey crown for 12 priced at £14.

Iceland proudly claim a family of eight could buy a full turkey dinner, with starter and pudding, for £29.39, or £3.67 per head.

Iceland themselves aren’t doing too badly either, seeing as they’ve essentially been doing the cost-cutting thing for years, that Aldi and Lidl are now being praised for. Hurrah!