I know what you’re thinking – ‘Shut the door, Twitter has a bug’.
Well yes it does, and we’ve found it – but thankfully it’s not too much of a biggie.
Those who have embedded a tweet, for example, on a website or blog will be familiar with the following screen:
All is fine here.
If you’ve ever embedded a reply to a tweet you’ll see a similar screen, but with extra options regarding the parent tweet:
Still, nothing out of place here.
But if you uncheck the ‘Include parent Tweet’ checkbox you may notice your browser window getting longer and longer, with the scrollbar getting smaller and smaller. So what’s behind the page growth?:
Taking a look at the preview section below, you’ll notice that the preview isn’t clearing the previous preview and regenerating it but is instead just tacking it onto the end of the last preview. Hit the checkbox a few more times and you’ll get a few more.
If you’re really bored and are looking for something to do – and in the spirit of full disclosure, yes I did, for a minute or so – you can keep clicking the ‘Include parent Tweet’ checkbox and see how large you can make your browser window without crashing your browser or computer.
It’s not often we see bugs fly through onto a live site by a company as big as this, but it’s not impossible. It always goes to show that it doesn’t matter who you are, you need to QA your code before it goes live to the world!
His department is the former Culture, Media & Sport department and in an effort to show that he considers ‘Digital’ an important part of his role, he’s embraced the world of digital and employed a development agency to make an app. A phone app. An app you can use on your tablets. An app all about…
Introducing the new ‘Matt Hancock’ app! To quote an early adopter, Robert Hutton, “it’s like having an actual Matt Hancock in the palm of your hand!”.
Stills are from the intro video that you are greeted with after first launching the Matt Hancock app. The purported aim of the app is to engage with his local constituents in West Suffolk but, needless to say, in a matter of days, Matt Hancock has gone global. OK, global *may* be a slight exaggeration but he’s certainly gone national. Absolutely further than West Suffolk.
Although no, I’ve not personally joined the Matt Hancock revolution yet.
What’s It All About?
Well, leaving connecting with constituents to one side, it’s social media, kind of Facebook-esque (old world, not current!) and people can be social with each other.
But… rather than having Mark Zuckerberg to idolise like a god you have Matt Hancock. Matt Hancock has put himself all over the app. You can check in on what Matt Hancock is currently doing. Look at what he’s having for tea. Have a look at the latest selfie he’s taken.
But, it’s not a vanity project… honest!
Who Are The People Using It?
Good question – at the moment, journalists have jumped all over. Also, Matt Hancock seems to have a lot of ‘fans’ that have also joined up. Also, following his new found fame with the launch of the eponymous app, a whole cross section of society appear to have signed up. International take up appears low at this time, but it’s early days.
Whilst users of the worlds biggest social networking site Facebook are sometimes unofficially known as ‘Facebookers’ or ‘Zuckers’, following on in a similar fashion, users of Matt Hancock are affectionately (yet unofficially, as far as we know) known as ‘Mancocks’ or just ‘cocks’ for short (hence the 17+ app rating).
What’s Not To Like?
Well, not much I guess.
The department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which oversees the Information Commissioners Office, stresses the importance of app developers following it’s official guidance for privacy in mobile apps.
Seems developers Disciple Media may not have got the memo though.
3/ aggregating and anonymising “your data’ and providing it on an ‘anonymous’ basis to third parties 🤔 So, not only do we gave questions of fair and lawful processing under the DPA 98, but also, non-compliance with Regulation 22 of PECRs.
8/ So, while Matt Hancock is registered with the @ICOnews Disciple Media Limited is not showing a current registration. Matt Hancock and Disciple Media appear to be joint data controllers. 🤔 Oh, and the app sues analytics from mix panel – ok, more digging to do pic.twitter.com/YnLfUrMsX7
It doesn’t matter anymore – you’re in. One way or another, from 2nd April 2017, all BT customers, whether you take phone, broadband or any other BT service will be forced to chip in an extra payment each and every month to fund the ludicrous £1.2bn paid by BT Sport for Champions League football rights for the next few seasons.
But why aren’t they simply increasing the price of BT Sport?
They have. Lots.
And the fact is, the raw customer data is now showing them that if they increase the cost of BT Sport anymore, they will actually start proportionally losing more customers than is compensated for by the increase in revenue.
So naturally, as any good-for-nothing company then goes and does, they see whether they can pick pocket their other loyal customers to get them to pay over the odds for a service that they neither want nor receive.
Now, I’m a football fan – but no one in this country, football fan or otherwise, can actually justify the ludicrous sums of money that companies like BT are paying for one of the most over priced commodities in the land.
Stop whining! It’s capitalism / the free market.
I’m a fan of capitalism and the free market as much as the next man, but actually, the assertion that this is capitalism or the free market is completely and utterly factually incorrect.
The price paid for the goods and services in question, i.e. Champions League football for 3 seasons, are actually not worth what is being paid for them.
In business terms – paying this much for this deal would be seen as total and utter business suicide. Remember, ITV Digital?
The fact is, to fund these kinds of horrific and quite frankly sickening deals, BT Sports subscribers would actually have to be paying 3, 4, 5 maybe even 6 times what they are currently paying. They could easily, justifiably be paying £100/month or more – and it still probably wouldn’t be enough.
Of course, even the most dedicated football fan isn’t going to do this – after all, everyone has their limits – even if it is their passion.
That’s why everyone has to pay.
It’s hardly a large increase!?
Well, actually 8% is a pretty large increase. Particularly as the previous years inflation was scraping around 1.0%.
And that’s not all, BT are at the same time withdrawing discounts for existing customers as their deals come to an end leading to up to 50% increase in price for existing customers on special deals.
And, this is in the context of 4 or 5 times inflation increases by BT year after year. They’re making a complete killing – and it’s at your expense.
They’ve frozen the price of line rental – what more do you want?
That’s nice of them. After all, they have been hiking it for years – so one years freeze still leaves you massively out of pocket.
And we do have to remember that actually the majority of line rental customers don’t even want the ‘service’.
And the fact that despite, over recent years, the cost to telecoms companies of providing a line has decreased 75%, this hasn’t stopped them hiking the price, well above inflation, year after year.
In fact, between 2010 – 2016 – despite the wholesale cost of providing phone lines to customers decreasing by 21.3%, BT actually chose over the same period to increase the cost of lines to it’s customers by 23.3%.
No ones losing out though?
No, you’re right. No one’s losing out. Oh…. except…
Why? Well for a start, the vulnerable, elderly and poor are now paying a fortune (that they cannot afford) for an average service which in many cases – may literally – be a lifeline.
But if the death of an older relative that can’t contact anybody because their landline was cut off when they couldn’t afford the extortionate bills anymore isn’t enough to convince you then…
Whether we like it or not – when deals like this are signed, people die.
Don’t be stupid…. Football causes deaths?
Nope, not football itself, but deals like this do.
Because guess what – the more we pay to football organisations for TV rights, the more they pay their players and….
The more the players are paid, the less tax they pay!
Remember, footballers are not like us – they only have to pay the amount of tax that they feel they should (which is usually none/very little) rather than the actual amount of tax they owe.
Don’t believe me? Fortunately for you, you don’t have to:
All this ‘avoided’ / evaded tax means that your local hospitals close, your council tax bill rockets, public services get savaged. You know the austerity script by now I’m sure.
What should I do?
Tell BT to shove their price rises and football rights where the sun doesn’t shine and move to a provider that isn’t going to rinse you and might actually provide you with semi-decent telecoms service!
Although customers are still reeling from the recent BT price rises that were announced at the beginning of the year, BT customers who are coming to the end of their contracts are now finding out that there renewal deals are significantly worse than the deals they were previously on – in some cases amounting to a 50% price rise.
BT has told some customers that this is due to ‘increased costs’ however the scale of the increase for many customers makes this almost unbelievable.
Telecoms customers across all the major brands have been made aware of the previous years how wholesale landline costs have decreased by approximately 75% whilst year on year the costs of line rental and calls on landlines has soared to record highs. Many customers now only want broadband from BT but, as with almost all providers, are forced to take out a landline which costs a minimum of £18.99 / month for line rental – a charge that is due even if it is not used.
The suspicion of many customers is that telecoms companies are offering ‘teaser’ rates on the broadband whilst jacking up the price of line rental – a required component to receive the broadband they are offering – to ‘compensate’ the company.
BT’s recent price rises at the beginning of this year were once again inflation busting, with the flagship BT Infinity 2 product increasing by 8.33% – a price rise which has meant that customers under contract are allowed to leave penalty free within 30 days of being notified of the price increase – although many customers are expected to tough it out and begrudgingly accept the price rise.
The double whammy for existing customers however is that the usually reasonable loyalty discounts that they get for renewing their contract with BT have all but evaporated – with some existing customers, facing a increased bill of 50% due to a much worse discount for renewing this year and the price rises due to come in on April 2nd.
Many existing customers are complaining to BT about service problems and the price rises with many customers suspecting they are being used to subsidise absurdly expensive deals for football TV rights for the BT Sport platform following an agreement to pay UEFA, the European governing body, a hefty £1.2bn to extend their rights deal to Champions League and Europa Cup football.
Thursday 1st September is not just any other day. And with all the other world news that goes on these days, you’d be forgiven (by us anyway! The authorities might not be quite as understanding!) for forgetting that big changes to the way TV Licensing works come in today.
Previously, unless you watched ‘live’ TV (i.e. as it was being broadcast) you could ‘get away’ with not having a TV License. In the day and age of rapidly advancing technology, the law rarely keeps up – and it’s no exception in this case. Back when TV Licensing laws were crafted, there was no way to get around the fact that if you watched TV it was deemed ‘live’. Even if you record TV (in the good old days of VHS) you still needed a TV License as although you were not necessarily watching the programme whilst it was being broadcast, you were actually recording it as it was broadcast – which meant you needed a TV License.
In the days of austerity, and dwindling Government support, the BBC is having to make a series of tough decisions – making efficiency savings and working out how much they need to increase revenue.
So, the solution (or part of the solution) has been to close the TV License loopholes – which license payers often perceived to be unfair. After all, the license fee pays for the BBC’s content – it costs the same to make whether you watch it live or otherwise.
From today onwards, if you watch any ‘live’ TV or you watch iPlayer you need to get a TV License.
‘But They’ve Never Caught Me Before’…
Wait!!! This is not before. Run the risk at your peril – if caught without a TV License when you should have one you can face a £1000 penalty and a potential jail sentence. Plus, it’s not morally right either :-P.
And if you think you can still sneakily watch iPlayer and be safe, please be aware it is much easier to catch you now than it was in days gone by. No need for detector vans anymore! If you’re accessing iPlayer, you’re doing so over an Internet connection. Each Internet connection is assigned a unique IP (Internet Protocol) address – this is as good as a home address in the real world. This IP address can be uniquely linked to your account (either fixed at home or mobile e.g. 3G, 4G). In turn, this can be uniquely linked to you. And if you’ve accessed iPlayer, the BBC will be able to see IP addresses that have accessed their service in their server logs and you’ll be banged to rights.
In short, it was never really a clever thing to evade the TV License. Now it’s near on reckless. Buy your TV License now!
On the plus side, more license fee payers should mean that we still get the great content we love from the BBC (who else can’t wait till Question Time is back on next week!?) and hopefully there won’t be any steep rises in fees (fingers crossed!).