Tesco can’t get a thing right at the moment, with legal action being taken against them for that accounting balls-up, and now, they’re being far too literal with their marketing slogans.
Have a look at this lovely scene and see if you can spot it (we didn’t, immediately).
While the Tesco lorry proudly crows: “You shop, we drop”, you can see that the fella in the hi-vis jacket has taken the slogan on as gospel, and dropped his load everywhere.
If advertising slogans are all correct, maybe Gillette is the best a man can get and the men of the world have already peaked, and we should just give up?
Amazon have launched the Fire TV Stick. A rubbish name but the device itself looks alright. Basically, this new thing is a budget version of Amazon’s Fire TV box and at £35, there’s a lot of people who’ll be interested in it.
Provided your telly has an HDMI port and you’re paying your subscriptions, you can whack it in and watch all manner of television shows and the like. It even comes with a little remote control, or you can hook it up to your phone and use that to navigate the menus.
Of course, it isn’t quite as powerful as Amazon’s £79 Fire TV box, which launched last October, but that’s why it is cheaper.
This stick has more features than Google’s Chromecast and Amazon say that their gadget has a dual-core processor, which is apparently six times the processing power of Roku Streaming Stick. There’s 8GB of storage too, which is 32 times more than the Roku stick and quadruple Chromecast’s.
“When we launched Fire TV in the UK last September, it quickly became our fastest-selling Amazon device,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and boss. “We’re excited to introduce Fire TV Stick in the UK. Fire TV Stick is the most powerful streaming media stick available, with a dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, dual-band and dual-antenna Wi-Fi, included remote control, voice search with our free mobile app, and an open ecosystem.”
“The team has packed a huge amount of power and selection into an incredible price point – Fire TV Stick is just £35.”
If this sounds like your thing (it might not – loads of people hate Amazon on pure principal), then you can preorder it now and it’ll ship on April 15th. Amazon Prime members can get it for £19 for a limited time. Click here to have a look at it.
Boeing have been watching far too many science fiction films, as they’ve been granted the patent for actual forcefields. We hope that they’re also looking at tractor beams and lasers too.
Anyway, they want to use this technology to protect military vehicles and other targets – they could even use it on planes to stop birds flying into their engines.
The design is named “Method and system for shockwave attenuation via electromagnetic arc”, which is not at all catchy. An image from the patent looks like this:
According to patent office website USPTO, this forcefield will consist of two key elements: a sensor to detect a shockwave-producing explosion, and an arc generator that receives a signal from the sensor and uses magical energy to deflect the explosion.
“Such embodiments … may reduce the energy density of the shockwave by creating a second medium in the path of the advancing shockwave that reflects, refracts, absorbs and deflects at least a portion of the shockwave,” says the patent.
We assume Ryanair are building a Death Star as we speak.
Everyone is looking at Lizard Squad, who hacked Xbox as well as Lenovo. They’ve got previous with Twitch as well, when they carried out a DDoS attack, which was only resolved when (get this) four Twitter users gave in to the Squad’s demands to post selfies with “Lizard Squad” daubed on their foreheads.
However, this latest hack doesn’t look like the handiwork of Lizard Squad because, mainly, they crow about their actions very readily and they’re not really about stealing personal information, which is what’s happened here.
It appears that login details, passwords and some credit card information has been stolen in this particular hack. Twitch themselves have confirmed the hack, saying that all users will be forced to reset their passwords. They said: “For your protection, we have expired passwords and stream keys and have disconnected accounts from Twitter and YouTube. As a result, you will be prompted to create a new password the next time you attempt to log into your Twitch account.”
There’s no word on just how many people have been affected by this, but seeing as Twitch has over 45 million monthly viewers and in advance of 1 million people streaming videos, it is likely that this’ll be a large number of people who have had their security breached.
Twitch say that they’ve warned users and told them that the information that may have been swiped includes usernames, email addresses, the IP addresses from where people last logged in, credit card types, truncated card numbers and expiration dates, first and last names, phone numbers, home addresses, and dates of birth.
If you’re a Twitch user, it’d be worth changing the password for any sites you use that has a similar password to the one you use with this lot.
As the government continue to name and shame companies who don’t pay their staff properly, some big names are getting dragged into the mire. Added to this rogue’s gallery are big high street names Foot Locker, Pizza Hut, French Connection and Toni&Guy.
In total, 48 employers owed £162,000 with penalties totalling over £67,000, according to HM Revenue and Customs.
Now, thanks to this naming and shaming, over 200 employers have been published for not paying their staff adequately. Since October 2013, the total arrears stand at £635,000 with penalties of nearly £250,000 coming into play.
Business Minister Jo Swinson said: ‘There’s no excuse for companies that don’t pay staff the wages they’re entitled to – whether by wilfully breaking the law, or making irresponsible mistakes. The Government is protecting workers by cracking down on employers who ignore minimum wage rules. In addition to naming and shaming, we’ve increased the penalty fines and boosted the resources available to investigate non-compliance.”
Companies are being caught out thanks to tip-offs to the free and confidential Pay and Work Rights Helpline. So if you think someone is underpaying their staff and want to blow the whistle on them, you know what to do.
Tesco can’t catch a break these days, with their £236m profit mis-statement coming back to bit them on their buttocks all over again. The retailer is looking at more legal action, which is potentially worth billions of pounds.
So what’s happening? Well, there’s a group called Tesco Shareholder Claims Ltd (TSC) who are backed by the American legal firm, Scott & Scott, and they’re wanting compensation under a co-ordinated action after the drastic drop in Tesco’s share price at the end of last year.
A statement from the group said: “A permanent destruction of value has occurred and had the accounting irregularities not taken place the share price, and value of the company, would today be materially higher. TSC expects the claim to be in the region of 50p-70p per share.”
“Tesco Plc has in excess of eight billion shares listed.”
To add to Tesco’s woes, another firm – Stewart’s Law – are also preparing a similar case. If they all manage to claim compensation for the various shareholders, this is going to be catastrophically expensive for the supermarket giant. Chairman of the claims group, John Bradley, said: “Tesco is one of the widest held stocks in the UK and this loss has hit pension funds and investors across the UK and beyond. We look forward to bringing this claim to court.”
And while the supermarket is showing some signs of recovery, the fact is, they’re not likely to salvage their reputation any time soon. It’ll be years before traders trust the company again. In addition to this, Tesco are in the middle of a massive redundancy programme, as they lose staff in a bid to save millions of pounds per year.
With the Serious Fraud Office still sniffing around them, launching a formal criminal investigation, Tesco’s woes aren’t over by a long chalk.
Those blessed folks at Jagermeister have worked miracles with their product – they turned a rancid, old-fashioned digestif into something young, fashionable people want to neck on nights out. Basically, Jager is the thing you drink when you want to get absolutely wrecked.
With that, the company decided to have a pool party in Mexico and someone thought it’d be a fun idea to create a fine fog over the water, because it’d look cool.
However, to create the mist, they poured liquid nitrogen into the water!
Anyone with a vague grasp of science will know that the end result was not good. Not good at all.
Basically, the pool water was turned into poison with a toxic cloud being created as the liquid reacted with the chlorine, creating nitrogen trichloride.
Nitrogen trichloride is basically something that deprives a human of oxygen. It’s a knock-out gas, in short. Party-goers went from braying and whooping to dry-heaving and passing out. Eight people ended up in hospital while one of them even ended up in a coma!
A Jagermeister spokesman said: “We are aware of this incident in Leon, Mexico, which is currently being investigated by our headquarters here in Germany. We are liaising with the responsible distributor in Mexico who is working with the event organisers and the investigating authorities to understand the full circumstances surrounding the events last Saturday night. We fully support responsible drinking and adhere to the guidelines within each market in which we operate.”
Party on, Wayne!
Have you been eyeing up a tablet for the first time (no, not the clubbing type of tablets) but don’t want to spend too much money in case you don’t take to them? Or indeed, do you just fancy a second one because your other half keeps making off with yours to watch House of Cards on Netflix?
Well, here’s a thing you should look at – we’ve found a deal where you can get your paws on a HP Stream 7 tablet for £49.99! You’ll need a code to get it at this price, but don’t worry, as everything you need is here for this offer.
MORE DEALS FOR YOU!
£5 off when you spend £40 at Aldi
Pre-order Amazon Fire TV stick for £19
Crucial 250GB SATA 2.5″ internal solid state drive with adapter for £59.99
Cities Skylines PC Steam £11.99 with code
Zalman optical gaming mouse for £5.99
PlayStation 4 console for £249
A4 laminator for £7
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Easter is a time for gorging on all manner of tooth-rotting items, as we all know. That’s because, in The Bible, Jesus famously hatched out of a giant egg after some Romans had nailed him to a cross. On emerging from the giant egg, Jesus was dressed as a Playboy bunny, hence why we celebrate the resurrection with rabbits and eggs.
Of course, all the supermarkets like to get into the Easter spirit by displaying eggs and the like, but one branch of Tesco went off-piste with their display.
As the picture below shows, some bright spark decided to warn you of the onset of Type 2 diabetes, which could definitely be brought about by eating too much chocolate.
Dr Aseem Malhotra spotted this and shared it on Twitter with the caption: “Is this some sort of sick joke?”
We think this could be the work of someone fabulously clueless or indeed, the handiwork of a bored member of staff or someone who has just handed their notice in and resolutely doesn’t care if they get in trouble or not.
Bravo, either way.
Not only are diesel drivers being ‘demonised’, but there’s a suspicion that they’re also subsidising all the unleaded drivers too, which is just not on.
The RAC is calling for a cut of 4p-per-litre at the pumps because something doesn’t add up regarding what motorists are paying and the wholesale costs. The group noticed that the wholesale price of diesel was 1p a litre more than petrol, however, diesel drivers paid nearly 6p more than petrol-havers at the forecourt.
So what’s going on there then?
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “It’s hard not to think that business is being taken for a ride by the fuel retailers. Traditionally, business runs on diesel, and with sales of diesel at an all-time high the retailers have maintained a higher margin on diesel, perhaps to subsidise petrol sales”.
It appears that diesel drivers are being rinsed as the forecourts trying and recoup money as oil costs have lost (up to) 60% of their value. And while diesel prices hit a five year low in January, they’re not dropping as fast as unleaded. The latest figures show that the average diesel prices at the pumps is 118.31p per litre, while unleaded costs stand at 112p.
It’s still a hundred quid, but it could be worse.
This is a new voluntary scheme which has been backed by the government and Vodafone, EE, O2, Three and Virgin Media have agreed to sign-up with it. To benefit from this, you have to report that your phone has been stolen to the police and mobile network within 24 hours of it happening.
Minister for the digital economy Ed Vaizey is very pleased with himself and this scheme, saying: “Protecting hardworking families from shock bills through no fault of their own has been a priority for this government. By working with the mobile operators, we have secured an agreement that will provide consumers with real benefits as well as offer peace of mind.”
Three are already on-board and have implemented this policy. Meanwhile, EE will roll out their plans in the “coming weeks” while Vodafone are going to introduce it “in the summer.” Virgin Media have said that this will be a thing from July 1st and O2 will bring it in from September 2015.
So there you have it! Now, put your phone somewhere safe and stop leaving your pockets and bags open and you’ll never need to use this.
Most people will have been at least mildly pleased with last week’s Budget, with a number of small giveaways that will generally have a positive effect on the pocket. One group of announcements that most will have filed under positive news were those relating to sin taxes on beer, cider and spirits, which have been cut by 1p and 2% respectively. But apparently we’re all wrong, with the duty cuts being described as “shameful” and “a total disgrace”.
The Alcohol Health Alliance, which is comprised of medical bodies, charities and alcohol health campaigners, has come out in strict disapproval of the cuts, and the freeze on wine duty, with Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, claiming the cuts were evidence that the chancellor had prioritised the interested of big business over public health.
“This decision is a slap in the face to our doctors, nurses and emergency services on the front line that are paying the price for this cut”, he said. “With over one million alcohol-related hospital attendances every year, our NHS simply cannot afford for alcohol to get cheaper.
“The government’s own figures show that alcohol-related harm costs the UK £21 billion every single year. With less than half of this recouped through current levels of taxation, to suggest lowering taxes even further is thoroughly shameful. These cuts also mean that cheap, strong alcohol that gets into the hands of our children will be even more affordable now,” he finished, not mincing his words.
Katherine Brown, director of the Institute of Alcohol Studies agreed, calling the decision to cut tax on cider and spirits at a time when the NHS is at “breaking point” a “total disgrace”.
So why did the Chancellor do it? Is he hoping to woo beer drinkers in advance of May’s election? Possibly. However, the subject of alcohol duties has been a subject of sustained campaigning by the trade, specifically the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) who welcomed the cuts to the “extremely high” rates of duty paid by UK drinkers. But as part of the Drop the Duty! Campaign, the arguments for a cut in alcohol duties are that cheaper prices will stimulate this area of the economy, and lead to greater prosperity and more jobs.
Independent analysis commissioned by the WSTA and carried out by Ernst Young showed that a 2% cut in duty would boost public finances by £1.5 billion. David Frost, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said the cuts send an “important signal on fair taxation” to the Scotch industry’s export markets; the SWA previously blamed the 5% decline of the UK market for Scotch whisky in 2014 on the country’s “excessive” levels of tax on spirits.
So what do you think? Will a penny saved in duty result in more alcohol-related NHS spending, or will it just mean our pockets are ever so slightly fuller after a night out?
According to statistics, consumers in the UK are borrowing more than ever. Some think this is a good thing as it shows the economy is improving and temping a good number to reach for the plastic again. Some will think this is a sign that everyone is still skint.
This latest PwC study (in partnership with YouGov) found that the average household now owes more than £9,000 on their credit cards, overdrafts and personal loans. They’ve not covered mortgage debts. This is a 10% increase in the size of the typical debt and means that, what’s happening now is that the average British home that is in the red is now at pre-recession levels.
“Underlying this significant growth in overall unsecured borrowing, we also saw changes in the way people borrow,” noted Simon Westcott, a director at PwC. ”Old favourites such as credit cards are staging something of a revival, while newer forms of borrowing such as peer-to-peer lending are starting to gain ground.”
The positive spin is that it looks like people are borrowing because they want nice things and are confident about the security of the future, rather than borrowing money out of desperation. We can almost hear some BW readers shouting at their screens about people learning nothing about getting into debt and the delicate nature of the economy.
While there’s historically-low interest rates, the Bank of England could put rates up over the next few months which means some folk will find themselves struggling again.
In short, don’t get carried away if you’re thinking of flexing the plastic.
BT are launching their own 4G service this week, throwing their weight around the mobile world once again. Their plans are to throw a load of aggressively priced deals at everyone in a bid to grab swathes of land back from their rivals.
It looks like BT are going to start trumpeting about everything in the middle of this week, so keep ‘em peeled on Wednesday.
It’ll be called, very surprisingly, BT Mobile, and will use the EE network after BT got in bed with them last month and, of course, BT are in the process of swallowing EE whole, provided Ofcom are alright with everything.
From what we can tell, to begin with, BT Mobile will only be offering SIMs and will be available to existing BT broadband customers. Presumably, they’re waiting for the EE buyout to go through if they’re going to offer more. Either way, competitors will be eyeing up BT’s pricing plan and reacting accordingly, which could mean that there’s a load of bargains on the horizon for everyone.
On the BT/EE deal, that looks like it will be happening before the close of the 2015/16 fiscal year.
One of the biggest bugbears with Samsung’s Galaxy mobiles is the sheer volume of bloatware – pointless apps that are constantly being updated and never used, taking up memory on your device, which you can’t delete easily.
On Google Play, most of the customer reviews complain about this very thing, but it might just be a thing of the past.
Of course, the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will be filled with pre-installed apps that you invariably don’t want, but now, Samsung are playing with the idea of letting you remove them.
Imagine that – a load of stuff on your phone, banished to some virtual netherworld so you can clog your phone up with other hugely useful things like photographs of your own undercarriage and 500 clones of Flappy Bird. Either way, the ability to easily rid yourself of these things would make for a smoother Android experience for users. And why is this being toyed with now? A new South Korean law has been brought about which says that all apps should be removable by users.
This could mean that Samsung roll it across all their devices, but there’s the small matter of them making money from licensed third party apps and all that.
If they do it, it could be a small, but brilliant game changer for Android users.