Posts Tagged ‘News’
We need to have this in Britain, MAINTENANT. The Paris Metro has issued 12 commandments of good behaviour on public transport, based on suggestions from the beleaguered public.
Called the ‘Politeness manual for the modern traveller’, the mischievous online guide asks the public not to indulge in various anti-social activities on Le Metro, like playing music, gawping at attractive women, and peeing on the floor.
Of course they do it with typical Parisian flair, using amusing old-fashioned illustrations. And it’s as backhanded and sarcastic as it is charming. It asks passengers to help tourists ‘in Bermuda shirts with a Metro map in one hand and the other hand in their hair’. It also manages to have a dig at tourists trying to pronounce the names of the stations. AW HAW HAW HAW.
Still, it really sets the bar for other global cities to introduce a public transport etiquette guide. The London underground could really use one. Perhaps it could include: no groping, no human interaction, no elbowing, no playing the trombone, no eating tuna sandwiches, no wildly careless applications of bronzer, no farting, no phlegm and no selfies.
Oh, and none of THIS, s’il vous plait.
It’s time for phase two of EE’s 4G rollout, and this time the big switch (sadly not turned on by Bob Carolgees and Peter Andre in a dismal shopping centre) has lit up 10 new UK towns with super fast internet.
They are…*drumroll* Bath, Bournemouth, Cambridge, Darlington, Newcastle-under Lyme, Northampton, Poole, Portsmouth and…..REDCAR ba-dum-tish! They plan to increase the 4G service to a total of 160 towns before Christmas, so that everyone can enjoy a faster download speed for all their festive porn.
So the next rollout will take place in the next couple of weeks, and include such sexy hotspots as Grimsby, Ipswich and Swindon. EE CEO Olaf Swantee (too many eees, man) said: ‘That’s the fastest rollout of 4G in Europe, and with well over one million people already using the service, one of the most successful too.’
OK, Olaf, calm down.
But perhaps EE are entitled to show off a little bit. After all, some mobile providers, like the useless phone donkeys Three, are only just launching the service. Others have only managed coverage in big cities. And nobody is matching EE’s new trial of the speedier LTE advanced network, with download speeds of 300Mbps.
EEEEEE! Scream if you wanna go faster…
Three are rolling out 4G in London, Birmingham and Manchester, which is fine but pretty boring news. However, more interesting for the pocket is that they’re going to be giving everyone free roaming in The States and parts of Europe.
In short, that means no extra charges for making calls, sending texts or data unless they are calling non-UK numbers. Three’s deal also includes Macau, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Dave Dyson, Chief Executive of Three said: “We want customers to get the most out of their devices at home or abroad. High roaming charges stop people enjoying their phones while they’re away and Feel At Home is the antidote to that.”
“Adding the USA to the mix is great news for our customers and shows our commitment to giving them the best experience in what is a popular destination. We plan to add more countries to the mix soon.”
This ‘Feel at Home’ offer is available in 11 countries including Ireland, Italy, Australia, Hong Kong, Austria, Sweden and Denmark and as a result, Three have added 300,000 new customers between July and September 2013, which is most likely a result of deals like this one. Their 321 PAYG deal has also won a lot of new fans.
Dave Dyson, said: “We are building a brand and network that encourages and enables customers to enjoy the mobile internet. Customers are using more data than ever on Three, far more than on any other network. As we add 4G capacity to the network, this experience will only get better.”
Tempted to change?
According to a GOV.UK poll, the USA receives 5.5 million British visitors a year. In Europe, Italy gets around 2.5 million and Austria 730,000. All three regions are now covered by Three’s “Feel at Home” service. Happy travelling!
If you’re one of those old fashioned people who like to send a charity Christmas card through the post, then listen up. There’s no point in wasting your money on first class stamps, according to research by Consumer Futures.
Why? Because Royal Mail don’t actually have to meet next day targets during December – from the 2nd to the 23rd. They’re too busy hauling your George Foreman Grills from Amazon up ten flights of stairs to care about your piffling best wishes to Aunty Sheila. Don’t delude yourself that the red stamp of urgency will get it to her quicker. Frankly, at this time of year, Aunty Sheila can lump it.
The Royal Mail loophole means that if you’ve left it too late – after the last posting date of December 20th – then first class delivery is not guaranteed. Only half of first class mail was delivered next day last year, and with stamps costing a whopping 60p, you should probably post early and use second class, or find another way to express your seasons greetings to your loved ones.
Why not send an outrageously impersonal e-card to everyone in your address book, instead? Or make a Youtube video of yourself twerking naked in a Santa hat in a petting zoo and upload it to Facebook? You’ll have gone viral by Boxing Day.
Would you like to get money for nothing out of your government? You could try and recreate the scam undertaken by some Farmville fans in Romania, who managed to con more than £400,000 in subsidies out of their government for their fake farms.
Of course, the government caught wind of it all and stopped payments, however, that isn’t the end of the tale as the faux-farmers are now suing.
The eight men claimed to be in possession of 1,860 cows and received roughly £100 per animal over three years.
The Farmvillites say they weren’t told the farms had to be real when they applied and are taking their case to court, where a drunk old judge will no doubt irritate himself half stupid because he has to spend time finding out what the internet is before proceeding with the case.
So, seeing as the government Autumn statement means you’ll have to work ’til you die, you may as well try and blag them out of some money for your pretend animals.
Let us know how you get on.
Technology firms have lost their minds. First, Sony announced they were looking at making a SmartWig, and now Microsoft are taking time out from ballsing everything up with the new Xbox to make a SmartBra.
Researchers have made a prototype smart bra that is capable of detecting the wearer’s mood, because obviously, women can’t detect their own mood, so need some underwear that can do it for them.
This thunderously pointless accessory will use removable sensors to monitor the user’s heart and skin activity and send mood data to a smartphone app. A woman’s partner should surely have a companion app called Are They In The Mood Yet?
Microsoft do think that this has a use, such as helping to tackle stress, so women don’t indulge in ‘emotional eating’. Microsoft there, nudging everyone and saying “Women eh? What are they like?” A gyroscope and accelerometer are embedded in the boob holder while an electrocardiogram and electro-dermal activity sensors are used to collate data from the skin and heart.
Apparently, Microsoft researchers tried something similar for men, but it didn’t work out as well in tests because underpants are so far away from the heart (but right next to a man’s brains, some will cry). Until these bras are on-sale, we’ll just have to use the tried and tested method of seeing what mood someone is in, which basically means waiting for them to come home from work and counting how much wine they put away while complaining.
Are you thinking of leaving the country to celebrate Christmas? Why you wouldn’t want to queue at a food bank and watch Strictly in the homeless shelter is anyone’s guess, but if you are, then take heed. The Which! consumer elves have put together a helpful little list of the cheapest dates to fly during December.
Flight prices always vary like the waxing and the waning of the moon, but the closer you get to Christmas, it would be cheaper to hire a private jet and fly to Mars with the Kardashians. So, Which! have been inputting dates into those little boxes on Skyscanner to blag you the cheapest seasonal deals.
The advice seems to be – go early. For example, a flight to Barcelona on Monday 16th December will cost just £37, compared to £110 on the Sunday before Christmas. Fly to Orlando with Virgin Atlantic a week before Christmas, and you could get a ticket for £474, compared to almost double the price on the weekend before the holidays.
All fares start to rise around Thursday 19th, hitting a peak at the weekend, so if you can get away in the days before the rush, you’ll have a cheaper Xmas break. They also suggest that the cheapest day to fly back is New Years Day. Which might not bode well for the booze-addled anxious flyers out there, but at least there’ll be plenty of legroom for your hangover.
Nintendo are doing too well are they? Basically, hardly anyone’s bought a Wii U and everyone is dribbling over the PS4 and Xbox One now, so obviously, they’re struggling to keep the pace. The figures back this Mario malaise, with the company only shifting 3.61 million Wii U consoles.
Compare that to sales of the original Wii, whiched shifted more than 100 million, trashing the PS3 and Xbox 360.
And now, Naughty Dog co-founder and former THQ president Jason Rubin reckons that Nintendo doesn’t have a place at the table next to Microsoft and Sony in the console market. Big talk. He says: “Nintendo’s irrelevant as a hardware manufacturer in the console business.”
He added that Nintendo are indeed a “worldwide treasure” and praised designer Shigeru Miyamoto for his contribution to the gaming industry, but he is irked that big-hitters like Mario and Zelda are exclusive to Nintendo, saying: ”It is a crime that we do not play those games on the systems that we have.”
Nintendo have been slashing the price of the Wii U in a bid to reignite some interest. However, many megamarkets have stopped stocking it altogether, such is the scant demand.
Are we going to see Nintendo offering Mario and Zelda up to other platforms, like Sega did with Sonic the Hedgehog? If they don’t, we might be looking at another Deathwatch.
Good news! If your phone gets nicked and the perpetrators use it to call their gangster pals in Serbia, or decide to Shazam everything and upload snuff movies onto it, you won’t be hit with a large bill.
The government has reached an agreement with four mobile phone companies – EE, Three, Virgin Media and Vodaphone – to put a cap on bills from stolen mobile phones from next Spring.
If you’ve reported your phone lost or stolen, there will be a £50 limit on bills. Also, phone providers will have to behave themselves when it comes to mid contract price rises. Customers will be able to decide to cancel their contract without any charges if their provider announces a price hike – following a ruling from Ofcom.
It’s all part of what the Government likes to sensationally call ‘the great mobile phone rip off.’ As announced earlier in the year, mobile providers must also work with the EU to end data roaming charges by 2016.
These days, if a Tory minister doesn’t mention ‘hardworking families’ in a speech, they’ll be jolly well egged and chucked into the River Cam without a punt. And Culture Secetrary Maria Miller didn’t disappoint.
‘We are ensuring hardworking families are not hit with shock bills through no fault of their own. Families can be left struggling if carefully planned budgets are blown away by unexpected bills from a stolen mobile or a mid-contract price rise. This agreement with the telecoms companies will deliver real benefits to consumers and help ensure people are not hit with shock bills.’
Customers who have bought mussels and clams from M&S are advised to return to their nearest store to get a refund, after ‘a small number’ of people fell ill.
Thousands of mussels have been taken off the shelves pending an investigation from the Food Standards Agency. If your house contains the crustacean critters, do not sauté them, steam them or otherwise ingest them, unless you want to spend the next few days pulling a muscle with all the vomit.
The products affected are: Mussels in Garlic, Mussels in White Wine and Mussels and Clams. The FSA have said that it is yet to be proven that the mussels caused the illnesses, but anyone who has ever had a dodgy clam will know the symptoms of digestive trauma and feelings of wanting to die.
The mussels are supplied by Pinneys, based in Annan near Dumfries. Scotland has been at the centre of a mussel debacle recently: several farms in Shetland were closed down in the summer after the FSA found high levels of toxins.
Anyway, to be on the safe side, don’t be SHELLFISH, and take your mussels back to the shop. Perhaps you can swap them for some less dangerous food that doesn’t resemble wizened orange slugs.
Sweden is set to willingly welcome 100 self-driving Volvos in the world’s first large-scale autonomous driving project. The Swedish government think cars that drive themselves will be good for the whole of society and aren’t at all concerned about fast moving, autonomous death cylinders moving around the streets, filled with drunk Swedes.
The project that will begin in 2014 and use around 50km of roads with the first robot cars in Gothenburg by 2017.
However, as this involves a load of Volvos, it is incredibly difficult to get excited about the whole thing. If anyone dies during this experiment, it will inevitably be through boredom. Why can’t Subaru or Ferrari do one of these tests? 130mph cars with no driver is clearly going to be more fun that Volvos that bring their own leather stringback driving gloves.
Anyway, Volvo technical specialist Erik Coelingh said that the aim is for the cars to be able to handle all possible traffic scenarios by themselves, which means tackling commuter routes, leaving the traffic flow and finding a safe spot if the driver is unable to regain control.
The ‘Drive Me’ project focuses on how driverless cars bring societal and economic benefits through improving traffic efficiency and road safety.
Wonder if drivers will still angrily shout at cyclists in their sleep? Or will the cars do that for them too?
The rise of the budget supermarkets continues –with Lidl planning to double the amount of UK stores to 1500. Everywhere you go there’ll be a Lidl. The UK will be littered with off brand German biscuits and tubs of coleslaw the size of your head, and there will NEVER be any time to pack your bag at the till.
Unlike Tesco, who are struggling like a kitten down a well, Lidl sales are growing by 18% a year. Owner Ronny Gottschlisch (try saying THAT when you’ve had a few) said they were trying to put their cheap and cheerful budget image behind them and grow into a force to be reckoned with.
‘We really see ourselves these days more of a supermarket than the hard discounter of the past.’ He said. ‘Those times are over.’
What they want now is to appeal to their target demographic, a person called a ‘Maidstone Mum.’
‘Those Maidstone Mums are no longer afraid of being seen in a Lidl store,’ Mr Gottschlich said. ‘I actually do think we are entering a new era. I think that people’s perception in the past was that there must be something wrong with the quality of what those people at Lidl offer because they have such reasonable pricing in their stores.’
I can’t speak for those ladies in Maidstone, but I’ve only seen Glasgow Mums in my local store with a Berkeley Superking hanging out of their mouths, threatening children called Lacie-Ann near the JFC frozen nuggets. Still, it’s good to have ambition…