Archive for the ‘DEALS DONE’ Category


Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Murdoch link

to phone hacking

fallout deepens

Paola Totaro

January 25, 2011

David Cameron ... friendly dinners.
David Cameron … friendly dinners. Photo: Reuters

LONDON: The political fallout from the News of the World phone-hacking scandal has intensified amid claims of a Scotland Yard cover-up and friendly dinners between Downing Street and the Murdoch family.

Despite the resignation of Andy Coulson as Downing Street’s director of communications, the links between the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Rupert Murdoch’s empire have once again been thrown into the spotlight just days before the media tycoon is due to fly to London.

The Independent revealed that James Murdoch, son of Rupert and chairman of News Corporation in Europe and Asia, was a guest at a private dinner with Mr Cameron just days after the Prime Minister stripped the Liberal Democrat business secretary, Vince Cable, of responsibility for the crucial decision on whether News Corp should be allowed to buy the 61 per cent of BSkyB it does not already own.

Advertisement: Story continues below
Rupert Murdoch ... his son James reportedly had dinner with David Cameron.
Rupert Murdoch … his son James reportedly had dinner with David Cameron. Photo: Reuters

The dinner was held at the home of Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, in Churchill, Oxfordshire, and both Mr Cameron and his wife, Samantha, were present.

The highly controversial decision on the takeover was handed to the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, after Mr Cable was secretly taped telling undercover reporters that he had ”declared war” on Rupert Murdoch.

Mr Coulson’s resignation at the weekend has also renewed interest in police handling of the original investigation into the hacking affair, with claims of a cover-up and calls that the new investigation, announced a few weeks ago by the Crown Prosecution Service, be handed to a different police force or to the Inspectorate of Constabulary.

The Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, criticised the police, saying they had dismissed his calls for a full inquiry, and the former prime minister Gordon Brown has asked police if his phones had been affected when he was chancellor.

A parliamentary inquiry into the row begins to gather evidence this week, but the deputy Labour leader, Harriet Harman, has demanded a fresh inquiry.

Mr Coulson quit as editor of Mr Murdoch’s News of the World in 2007 after the paper’s royal reporter admitted hacking royal phones.

Although Mr Coulson insisted he had no knowledge of the practice, the scandal has riveted London and been the focus of continuing inquiries by Murdoch media rivals, including The Guardian and The Independent.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The $1 mobile:

Incredible deal means

new phone costs less

than a cup of coffee

November 6, 2010
The cheap and disposable Alcatel OT-209The cheap and disposable Alcatel OT-209

It’s the mobile phone that is cheaper than a Big Mac.

Carphone Warehouse is introducing the ultimate throwaway accessory – the 99p mobile phone.

Available in a range of colours as long as it’s silver, the handset is the perfect Christmas gift for the hard-up shopper.

The retail chain claims the OT-209, which is made by French firm Alcatel, is the cheapest pay-as-you-go phone ever to be sold in the UK.

Customers, who are not tied to an expensive contract, will be connected to the Virgin network.

The only catch is they will have to buy £10 of credit to make calls, otherwise there are no other fees other than the cost of making calls and text messages.

The phone is aimed at first time users and people fazed by technology.

It has just a few features and is uncomplicated to use.

Executive chairman Charles Dunstone told the Mail it is also useful for consumers to have as a back-up phone: ‘You have to remember at Christmas the one question we get asked the most in our stores is ‘what’s your cheapest phone?’ and at 99p this is the lowest its ever been.

‘I guess it reflects just how competitive the UK mobile market has become between carriers and manufacturers. Mobile phones are such an important part of people’s lives and so many are manufactured that they have become very cheap to make.’

Consumers are facing a wave of gloom as the Government hikes VAT to 20pc at the turn of the year and the Chancellor’s austerity cuts kick in.

But Dunstone says the 99p phone is not a reaction to Britain’s battered economy.

A screengrab from Carphone Warehouse's website whcih shows the Alcatel on sale for an unbelievable 99p on a pay as you go contractA screengrab from Carphone Warehouse’s website whcih shows the Alcatel on sale for an unbelievable 99p on a pay as you go contract

‘I think if we could have produced a 99p phone in 2007 [when the economy was booming] we would have.

‘It’s not about the current economic climate but more about retailers trying to find best possible deals to attract customers and make Christmas better than the last. The 99p phone is a regular mobile phone that four or five years ago would have cost you £100.’

The budget mobile

The Alcatel 209 weighs only 65g and has large, separated buttons

You can place hands-free calls, start conference calls with up to four other people.

Charges up in two hours and gives five hours of non-stop talk time.

The fake call function allows you to place a call to your phone with just the touch of a button, and quickly excuse yourself to take it.

Built-in FM radio and mobile games

One charge gives you up to 400 hours of standby power.

The 99p phone is the latest example of Britain’s throwaway culture. Tesco started selling jeans costing £4 jeans two years ago and Ikea has pioneered the market for cheap furniture.

Trend guru Lloyd Burdett, director of The Futures Company, said the trend towards value has been around for some time but it has been accelerated by the downturn.

‘There is a general trend towards shoppers not making large investments unless it’s very special,’ he said.

‘While the iPhone is as popular as ever – people are only willing to make an investment if something really stands out. Otherwise they think ‘why spend more than 99p for something so long as it works?’.’

Carphone say its Alcatel OT-209 is a simple, lightweight phone that weighs only 65g.

In its marketing brochure it says: ‘It is ideal for sending text messages, as it has large, separated buttons and a clear, bright display.

‘The group messaging facility allows you to send the same message to up to ten people – handy when organising a meet up or rescheduling a meeting.

‘You can place hands free calls, start conference calls with up to four other people, and stay in touch throughout the day, with up to five hours of talk time.’

Unusually it also has a feature that allows users to fake receiving calls whilst already on the phone. This, the brochure says, is to help users extricate themselves from telephone conversations they are finding difficult to end.

It takes two hours to fully charge the handset, and one charge gives up to 400 hours of standby power.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Wednesday, January 12th, 2011


At a press conference in New York City this Tuesday, Apple and Verizon Wireless announced that the iPhone 4 will be available on the Verizon Wireless network beginning on Thursday, February 10. Qualified Verizon customers will have the chance to pre-order that company’s version of the device online on February 3, however, before general availability. Depending on what users want, it will be either better or worse than the existing AT&T version.

  • The Apple/Verizon press conference in New York City
  • The Apple/Verizon press conference in New York City
  • The Apple/Verizon press conference in New York City

Besides the iPhone’s existing bells and whistles, Verizon iPhone 4 users will be able to take advantage of Personal Hotspot capabilities, which will allow them to connect with up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices. Unlike the current AT&T iPhone 4, Verizon’s will use the CDMA network, not UMTS. It should be noted that if users plan to take their phones outside the U.S., this will severely limit their choice of networks, or could even keep them from using their phone altogether. Users will also not be able to surf the Net or check email while on phone calls, as CDMA doesn’t allow for simultaneous voice and data operations.

Verizon’s iPhone 4 will be available at a price of US$199.99 for the 16GB model, or US$299.999 for the 32GB model, with a two-year customer agreement. Besides all the usual Apple retailers, the phones will also be available at Verizon Wireless Communications stores across the U.S., and via the Verizon website. The CDMA version of the phone is not exclusive to Verizon, so it’s entirely possible that other networks might start offering it as well.

Verizon is currently America’s largest wireless provider. To date, the iPhone has only been available via AT&T, although the deal with Verizon has been in the works for some time now.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha