Posts Tagged ‘News’

Facebook reinvents the chatroom with Rooms

October 24th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

facebook mobile Facebook reinvents the chatroom with RoomsWe spoke about Facebook’s anonymous app that they were toying with, and now it is here, in the form of a rejigging of a good ol’ fashioned internet chatroom! And it is called Rooms.

So what’s the skinny? Well, each ‘Room’ acts like a Facebook newsfeed or tiny message board that gets a name, wallpaper and then, people are invited to share stuff on it like photos, videos and jokes stolen from Reddit.

You can adopt a new identity or nickname in each room if you like, as there’s no link to Facebook profiles (or Twitter or any other profile for that matter). Facebook have set some of these chatrooms up already, so you can see what the deal is. Fans of Japanese cup-and-ball toy, Kendama, are in for a treat.

In an even more backward looking thing, you are invited to the chatrooms via QR codes. Honestly. Are we going to see people redesigning pages with CricketSoda like they did with their old MySpace pages?

It looks like Facebook have seen the sprawling, but addictive mess that is Reddit and decided to try and ape it, of a fashion. By giving users the control of a page’s content, they hope that it’ll end up a bustling area for discussion. However, thanks to it being mobile-only and users need to be invited to these chatrooms, they may have hit a stumbling block.

Will this work? Facebook aren’t daft, so it might just take off… provided of course, people are willing to walk away from the services they are already using.

Toys R Us ban Breaking Bad figures

October 24th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

breaking bad 300x182 Toys R Us ban Breaking Bad figuresToys R Us have pulled Breaking Bad figures from their shelves after a campaign by a concerned ‘Florida Mom’.

She started a petition to get the collectibles off the shelves, because they’re related to a violent TV show about crack cocaine. Of course, these figures could only be found in the section designated for adults, but there you go.

The stars of the show aren’t best pleased about it either. Aaron Paul who played Jesse Pinkman tweeted: ”Wait, so @ToysRUs pulled all of the Breaking Bad figures from their shelves and still sells Barbie? Hmmmm…I wonder what is more damaging?”

He added: “And what about all of the violent video games you sell @ToysRUs ? Do you still sell those? Florida mom really messed it up for everyone.”

Toys R Us said in a statement: “Let’s just say, the action figures have taken an ‘indefinite sabbatical.’”

Bryan Cranston tweeted his ire too: “Florida mom petitions against Toys ‘R Us over Breaking Bad action figures.’ I’m so mad, I’m burning my Florida Mom action figure in protest,” adding: “Toys R Us puts Breaking Bad toys on ‘indefinite sabbatical.’ Word on the street is that they were sent to Belize. Nicely played Florida Mom.”

So there you have it. America, where you can’t buy toys from a toy shop, but you can get a free gun when you take out a loan. Crackers.

Apple send porn to company

October 24th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

SFW 300x185 Apple send porn to companyIf Apple weren’t in enough bother for forcing a U2 album on everyone, they’ve now started sending smut to people too!

Carl Smith, who founded Ngen Works in That America, have been send a photo of a bloke messing about with his bare junk by Apple, who were letting them know about an app they’d created which can be used to view mucky material.

The dirty attachment was sent with no warning from Apple.

Writing on his blog, Carl said: “It turns out Apple thought the best way to tell us our app could be used to surf porn was to surf for porn using our app. Then send us some pictures and say take a look at these! Except they said, “Please see the attached screenshot for more information.” So with no warning…”

“Apple sent us pornography without trying to mask it and with no warning of what we were going to see. This means they exposed employees of my company to things Apple themselves said was objectionable. How is this acceptable?”

The picture in question, made modest by Smith, is here for your viewing pleasure. Seems very odd that Apple would send such a thing to another business, but there you go.

1 X I0XVTF2WSTkEiEjNIEvg 281x500 Apple send porn to company

[top image, like all our porn coverage, c/o the wonderful SFW Porn]

Asda face legal action for underpaying women

October 24th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

ASDA logo Asda face legal action for underpaying womenWhile Tesco have been through the mill of late and many other supermarkets having a tough time, Asda have been fairly quiet, getting on with business.

Until now that is. The retailer is looking at huge legal action by the women who work in their stores who claim that they’ve not been paid the same as men who work in the distribution warehouses, even though their jobs are of “equivalent value”.

This case will look at how Asda decide how much they pay staff throughout the business and, if the women involved in this are successful with their claims, then the rest of the sector should start getting worried as there could be legal action against everyone else.

Over 1,000 employment tribunal claims have been submitted already and, a lot of the cases are being taken up by men who are employed by Asda as they would get a pay rise if the case is successful. Lawyers note: Asda has said it will vigorously defend itself from these claims and say that they do not discriminate.

Lauren Loughheed, the solicitor with Leigh Day who is leading the case, told the Beeb that the difference in pay could be as much as £4 an hour in difference. If the case sides with the workers, then there’s going to be some gigantic back payments.

An Asda spokesperson said: “A firm of no win, no fee lawyers are hoping to challenge our award-winning reputation as an equal opportunities employer. We do not discriminate and are very proud of our record in this area which, if it comes to it, we will robustly defend.”

Ebola email spreads malware! IS NO-ONE SAFE?!

October 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

hackers Ebola email spreads malware! IS NO ONE SAFE?!Even your computer isn’t safe from the threat of Ebola. Hackers and spam merchants are taking advantage of people’s panic about the disease by sending out emails that look like they’re from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Obviously, they’re not from the World Health Organisation.

These messages encourage you to open an attachment, which will show you how to protect yourself from Ebola. However, instead of helping you, it’ll infect your computer and download malware into your system and then, as ever, will allow people to get at all your lovely personal information and bank details.

There is also a scam doing the rounds which is much less believable, where the email is from ‘an Ebola expert’. If you’re daft enough to open the attachments in that, then frankly, you deserve everything you get.

Message topics to look out for are: ‘What you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak’, ‘So Really, How Do You Get Ebola?’, ‘Is there ANY way to cure Ebola?’ and ‘The #1 Food Items You’ll Need In An EBOLA Crisis’.

Seeing as most people are ignoring the small threat of Ebola in real life (unless you work in a newsroom of course, where it is being heralded as the new plague), the best advice is to treat any emails with the same laissez faire attitude you’ve been employing thus far.

loom bands Dad gets slapped with £1,792 phone bill over daughters loom band videosLoom-bands – elastic bands masquerading as craft – as really captured the imagination of the young people of the world.

One young lady called Trinity Groves was such a fan, that she watched tutorial videos so she could improve her looming. However, in the process, she ran up an enormous phone bill over a fortnight after her home’s WiFi stopped working.

Her dad, Philip, was blissfully unaware she’d been using Vodafone’s premium rates to get online, and after 28 hours of videos, dad got the unpleasant surprise of a £1,792 phone bill.

Philip is not happy at all. He said: “She was only learning how to make loom bands so she could trade them with her pals. We thought we were using the WiFi for a good fortnight and there was nothing to suggest it had disconnected.”

“We didn’t know we were using up all these charges for the internet at a premium rate. As far as I was aware, the WiFi was connected. I wasn’t informed otherwise. If a phone company sees a discrepancy in your bill or a huge surge in usage surely they have an obligation to let you know?”

“Suddenly I had this bill through from them on my doorstep, demanding all this money. I was absolutely gobsmacked. Now they are threatening to take me to court – it’s frightening that they can bully you this way. I might have to sell my van just to afford it, but I rely on that for my livelihood. I don’t know where to turn.”

After disputing the bill, Philip got another kick in the groin when Vodafone informed him that he was now blacklisted. They still want paying too.

Philip added: “They cut me off within five minutes. I told them I was going to go to an ombudsman but they have done nothing. They have just demanded I pay £1,410 by next week but I have been out of work recently because of an operation, I can’t afford it. How many of their clients pay this much for their internet? It’s disgusting. I have always had good a credit rating but since this, I have not been able to get a loan or anything.”

Trinity isn’t happy either, saying: “When I come home from school I usually get my phone and all my loom bands… I used to love watching the tutorial videos but now I know it cost my dad £1,792 I have had to stop watching them – it’s made me very sad.”

A spokeswoman for Vodafone said: “We can only confirm at this stage that we will launch a thorough investigation into the matter. We will then get back in touch with the customer once our inquires are concluded.”

Tesco’s woes are much worse than they thought

October 23rd, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

tesco extra Tescos woes are much worse than they thoughtTesco are in a much worse state than everyone initially thought. When is this all going to end? They have reported a much bigger accounting hole today after finding that the mistakes in booking income had gone back further than initially assumed. Profits have fallen by a whopping 92%!

As a result, they’ve scrapped their full-year profit outlook.

Thanks to all this, Tesco has lost 20% of their market value in the past month and naturally, the share value of the company has taken a hit too. In the first minutes of trading, shares fell by 7%.

It is all bleak news for the former godzilla of groceries as they were already under pressure from bargain retailers like Lidl and Aldi and people’s changing habits, shopping around online for the best price rather than relying on the local supermarket.

Tesco’s performance has been described as the worst performance in 40 years. Chief executive Dave Lewis, took time from screaming down his sleeve to say: ”Our business is operating in challenging times. Trading conditions are tough and our underlying profitability is under pressure.”

Only last month, when Dave Lewis took over the job, a £250m blackhole was found after the company had overstated their profits. Now it transpires that this practice goes back further than though, the figure keeps rising.

Normally, at this time of year, Tesco would be ramping up for the lucrative Christmas period, but instead, they’re calling in accountants to investigate the mess and sacking loads of senior management. It also looks like they’ll be selling off assets in a bid to get their finances looking healthy again.

We have talked about it before, but should Tesco break itself up in a bid to get back in the game?

The bill? Oh, Jesus is paying for it

October 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

jesus christ 225x300 The bill? Oh, Jesus is paying for itYou may have heard the phrase “let Jesus take the wheel”, but letting Jesus Christ of Nazareth pick up the tab when you’ve had a gutful of food and horsed a load of booze into you? That’s a new one on us.

However, that’s exactly what one woman in Lawton, Oklahoma did after she had a lovely evening in a restaurant where she may or may not have broken the gluttony commandment.

Of course, trying to fob your bill off onto a deity isn’t the best idea because, as you know, Jesus doesn’t have a credit card (debt is a sin) and the holes in the palms of his hands means he can’t hold loose change. Kristi Rhines was arrested on the scene by baffled police members at Mexican restaurant El Chico.

It started off reasonably well when Kristi told staff members that she had no way of paying, because her husband would be along to settle the tab.

Sadly for staff, Rhines was convinced she was married to Jesus Christ. Funnily enough, she has no official wedding license. However, she was sure of the return of Christ and that he would “be able to walk in and produce U.S. currency to pay for her bill.”

Rhines with fraud and booked her into the Lawton City Jail.

Kristi could’ve avoided this whole nonsense simply by staying at home and making Jesus cook for her. She would’ve only had to buy one fish and a loaf.

Homebase: creeping toward demise

October 22nd, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

HOMEBASE LOGO 300x300 Homebase: creeping toward demiseHomebase have been in grotty shape for a while now and the company that owns it - Home Retail Group – have decided to accelerate the number of stores being closed following a review.

By 2019, 323 outlets of Homebase will be shut down because they are “unprofitable or are in decline”.

The review of Homebase noted “inconsistent store operating standards” and level of sales across the chain that resulted in a “challenged financial model”.

In plain English, that means they’re rubbish and they’re going to get rid.

That’s not to say all the Homebase shops will be vanishing (although, this is edging toward a Deathwatch) as there are plans to reorganise the remaining stores with 26 Homebases getting a refit.

Tellingly, the Home Retail Group does not plan to refit all of its stores. Looks like the pressure is on for those getting a facelift because, if they don’t work, then Homebase may well get binned off forever.

In a bid to get people into Homebases, the company will put a load of Argos and Habitat concessions within them.

Deathwatch: Landlines

October 22nd, 2014 10 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Mobile phone holiday beach GUIDE 01 Deathwatch: LandlinesRemember in the olden days when, instead of ringing an actual person, you had to wait for them to be in a building and then ring that? What a ridiculous system that was.

Well, thanks to this, it looks like the home phone landline is dead. We all knew this, but now there’s a study to back us up. The study showed that a lot of people don’t even know their own landline number (and the Mirror put it to the test by offering £50 to those that could).

Broadband providers Relish conducted some research it they found that 38% of us have no idea what our home phone number is and that half of us only have one because our broadband providers make us have one.

Will Harnden, chief marketing officer at Relish, said: “It’s a sign of modern times that our landlines are increasingly going unused. Despite the fact that many people aren’t using their landline for its intended purpose, they are forced to pay monthly charges for line rental, on top of the cost of their broadband.”

“It seems like now is the time the capital can finally wave goodbye to the landline.”

Of course, we can’t wave goodbye to them completely – businesses aren’t going to start giving staff members mobiles instead of banks of telephones. At home, the landline is becoming increasingly pointless. 4 in 10 of us won’t even answer the landline phone if it rings. People who ring landlines are either after money or mithering you for hours on end.

Social networks, as well as Skype and good ol’ fashioned texting are the most common ways of communicating and 65% of adults already think of landlines as a thing of the past. Naturally, people still leave the house and talk at people’s earholes, but that’s the standard and never going to go away, despite what desperate old lunatics say.

What this all means is that broadband providers need to modernise the packages they sell to customers. Landlines are all but obsolete. We await the rebranding of ‘line rental’ to something more internet based for Ver Kidz.

Tesco sales falling at fastest rate in groceries

October 21st, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

tesco 300x210 Tesco sales falling at fastest rate in groceriesThe trouble at Tesco simply won’t go away, with reports that the retailers sales are falling at the quickest rate in the grocery industry. As we all know, Aldi and Lidl’s successes are taking a huge toll on the supermarket.

Tesco sales fell by 3.6% in the 12 weeks to October 12th, reducing their market share from 30.1% a year ago to 28.8%, according to Kantar Worldpanel. It might not seem like a lot from the outside, but in the industry, this is bleak news. Or great news if you’re a rival.

 

In simple terms, to turn this around, analysts at HSBC reckon that it will cost Tesco £3bn to get things sorted in the UK. The good news for customers is that this should mean a drop in prices on goods by 5 or 6%. It would also mean 20% more staff and an improvement in the quality of their food.

Sainsbury’s are struggling too, with their sales down by 3.1% in 12 weeks, with Morrisons’ sales down by 1.8%. Asda, who have been quietly getting on with business as usual of late, have seen their sales increase by 1%. These figures are all knocked into a cocked-hat though, as Aldi’s sales have shot up by 27.3% and Lidl’s by 18.1%.

According to a detailed new survey of shoppers, Tesco’s brand in the UK is “severely compromised” thanks to a general and widespread disillusionment from customers with Tesco’s service. Research from the firm Lazarus shows that Tesco currently have the lowest overall customer satisfaction metrics in the grocery industry. As a brand, it has been labelled as “tarnished”.

Banks aren’t making as much money… what next?

October 21st, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Bank 300x193 Banks arent making as much money... what next?Those beloved banks of ours aren’t making as much money as they’d like, so they’re saying that they’re going to have to cut everyone’s pay. This is according to a senior regulator at the Bank of England.

Sir Jon Cunliffe, the central bank’s deputy governor for financial stability, said that it’s all well and good that shareholders have suffered since the financial crash, but salaries and bonuses are still far too high.

He said: “It is noticeable that, since the crisis, for the industry as a whole, employees have received a larger share of a smaller pie relative to shareholders. In the new world, pay bills may well have further to adjust.”

Cunliffe said that in the decade before the crash, profits attributable to shareholders were around 75% of total pay at UK banks and 60% for global banks. “Since the crisis that picture has changed markedly,” he added. Shareholders in global banks get 25% of total pay now.

“Across the big UK banks in 2013, the fraction had fallen to just 2% – i.e. to 2 pence per pound paid to staff,” said Cunliffe. He added that it is “unlikely that we will see or want to see again” the kind of returns that were being made before the crisis, with respect to the tougher rules brought in to make banks safer.

“It is important, in seeking to restore returns, that banks and investors do not think in terms of back to the future” he added; “with less leverage and more liquidity in banks, required returns ought generally to be lower than prior to the crisis. Trying to offset that by taking excessive risk or evading regulation will not, I think, be tolerated in the new world.”

All in all, we can expect that this will be passed on to the customer because, when banks want to find more money, overdraft charges and the like will suddenly start working against customers.

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?

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.

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)