Category: Fun Stuff

Half of men prefer gaming to sex

gamer-sex survey seems to indicate that half of British men have rather strange priorities. VoucherCodesPro.co.uk polled 1,442 men and found that half of men in relationships would rather play a new computer game than have sex with their partner. We feel the need to emphasise the “their partner” bit.

According to the survey, 49 percent of Brits would rather take the wraps off a new video game than take the lace off their significant others. 32 percent said they would rather make love not war, while 19 percent say it really depends on the game, which for some reason seems more demeaning and insulting that just saying no.

Gamers tend to be a rather picky lot, so it is not surprising that some games are more equal than others. GTA 5 tops the list, as 71 percent would choose it over sex. Football lovers are not far behind, as 67 percent would rather play out their Premiership fantasies in FIFA 14 than have sex. Elder Scrolls Online ranked third with 55, although we doubt that RPG fans have sexual partners. Well, at least real flesh and blood ones.

The survey also found that 30 percent of participants believe their partner wouldn’t expect them to make such a choice, but more surprisingly 18 percent said their partner wouldn’t be surprised. Which begs the question, how on earth are those 18 percent in relationships to begin with?

Lamborgini celebrates 50th

lambSports car fanatics over in Italy will today get their fix as 350 super Lamborginis hit the streets of Milan.

The cars from the House of the Raging Bull are beginning a Grand Tour as part of Lamborghini’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Starting in Milan, the cars will then pass pass through the landscapes of Lombardia, Toscana, Lazio, Umbria and Emilia Romagna, stopping over in Forte dei Marmi, Grosseto, Roma, San Giustino Valdarno and Bologna, where they will arrive on 10 May in the afternoon.

On Saturday 11 May the Lamborginis will depart again for Sant’Agata Bolognese, for the final celebrations of the 50th anniversary.

The convoy will be more than 4.5 km in length, with a combined power of more than 190,000 hp.

From the first car produced in 1963, the 350 GT, it will include the entire model range right up to the current Gallardo and Aventador models.

Drivers and co-drivers will arrive from all over the world: with 65 percent men and 35 women, their ages range from 22 to 75 years old.

Scotch Whisky industry escalator for sales causes slump

scotch-whiskySales of Scotch whisky in the UK have declined 12 percent over the last five years and the Scotch Whisky Association has pinned the blame for the slump on the alcohol duty escalator. In 2012 Brits bought 90 million bottles of whisky, down from 102 million in pre-recession 2007.

The escalator increases the duty on whisky by two percent above inflation every single year and to make matters worse the 2013 Budget also featured an increase in duty of 5.3 percent, reports Tax-News.com.

The Scotch Whisky Association says tax accounts for 80 percent of the total retail price of a bottle of whisky. Furthermore, beer is not covered by the escalator, hence the association believes the exemption unfairly distorts the market, as whisky lovers are paying 48 percent more duty than beer guzzlers. The association is now calling for the duty escalator to be scrapped altogether.

“There is no justification for spirits being taxed more heavily than beer. After more than half a decade, the Government should review the duty escalator rather than maintain the mantra that it should run for the remainder of this Parliament. The escalator will further depress the volume of sales of Scotch whisky in the UK,” said Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the SWA,

The Scotch Whisky Association pointed out that the Scotch whisky industry supports 35,000 jobs across the UK, including quite a few in economically deprived areas, i.e. Scotland.

XBox 360 gamers best in bed

buttonsXBox 360 owners are the the best in bed, a spurious new survey has found.

In its research VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, which asked 1,747 gamers’ partners about  their skills between the sheets, found Xbox 360 owners accounted for the highest percentage of partners rated as ‘good’, ‘very good’ and ‘excellent’.

However, ChannelEye’s own quick research suggested that Playstation 3 gamers were slicker in the bedroom, with 15 out of a panel of 20 women claiming that these gamers were more likely to push the right buttons in the bedroom.

One woman also pointed out that allowing her other half to have both consoles made her “very lucky indeed” if the research was correct.

After establishing  that their partner played videogames in their leisure time, Voucher Codes Pro asked respondents ‘Which games console does your partner play on most frequently?’ and asked them to choose from a list of options. The most common answer was the Xbox 360 with 31 percent of the vote. The Playstation 3 was next at 26 percent. Just 12 percent played on the Wii. Only 10 percent of respondents’ partners were PC gamers.

Nearly half of gamers were voted as being only ‘average’ or below.

Of those asked, 21 percent of partners also said they wanted more sex and less gaming.

When broken down proportionally between the most frequently played consoles, it emerged that Xbox 360 owners were the best in the bedroom, with 54 percent of them being described as ‘good’ or above.

Only 22 percent were regarded as ‘excellent’ by their partner.

In contrast, the smallest percentage of gamers scoring an above average mark in the sex stakes were PC gamers, with only three percent being described as ‘excellent’ and eight percent regarded as ‘very good’.

Booze boffins recreate 150 year old beer

beerA beer spanning back from 170 years ago will be reproduced using modern techniques.

Booze boffins at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have set their sights on reproducing a beer that was found preserved in five bottles at the bottom of a Baltic Sea shipwreck.

They have now cracked open these bottles, which were rescued in 2010 from a shipwreck that is believed to have sunk in the Åland archipelago southwest of Finland in the 1840s, and are analysing the contents in a bid to recreate the original recipe for modern industrial production methods.

The beer,  we doubt it was drinkable, was preserved as a result of the wreck’s darkness and low seabed temperatures. The salt water was kept at bay as a result of the pressure inside the corks.

Once the boffins have deciphered the formula and made a recipe, they will hand it over to the  Stallhagen brewery of Åland for reproduction and sales.

It is thought that drinkers will be able to get their hands on the brew from June 2014 with all profits given to charities focusing on the sea and environment.

Review: Kyocera ceramic chef and paring knives

KyoceraCutting veg, fruit and meat can be trying at the best of times.

Although there are several ranges of knives on the market, some just don’t cut the mustard, meaning carrots take on uneven lines and meat ends up different sizes.

For that rustic look, this may work, but if you’re looking for presentation worthy of Masterchef recognition then those serrated metal knives may just not cut it.

Kyocera’s ceramic knives are however, a cut above the rest. We looked at the Kyocera FK-2PC-WH3 – White Blades: 5.5″ Santoku and 3″ Paring Knife Set in our review.

The company, better known for its document products in the UK, offers a range of knives that literally cut through anything, leaving the clean tidy look reflective of their Japanese heritage.

To the naked eye these knives aren’t much to look at with a white blade so thin it almost looks plastic. There are no serrated edges and to those know almost nothing about knives, may wonder what the expensive price tag is all about.

However, remove them from their careful, prestige packaging and begin chopping and you’ll see they are well worth the pennies.

What looks like a flimsy plastic blade is sharper than most mother in law’s tongues, easily slicing through even the thickest of vegetables and toughest of meats – although we didn’t manage to try it out on horse.

The blades, which must be hand washed, are also totally impervious to acids, juices, oils, salts and other elements and unlike their metallic rivals will never rust.

The thin ceramic also means the knives weigh less than a normal one, making them easier to hold and use, as well reducing fatigue during repetitive cutting. In our opinion they are the best knives on the market, and with a lifetime guarantee and free sharpening are well worth the money.

Vietnamese outfit uses sex to sell flowers

vn-flower-shopA Vietnamese e-commerce startup has come up with an innovative, yet rather tasteless way to sell flowers. It sounds surprisingly liberal for a socialist state, but HappyEndings.vn is using sex appeal to sell flowers, with a ridiculous intro. Sex sells, even though the approach seems a bit upside down. Flowers shouldn’t be sold using sex – it should be the other way around.

Mind you, despite the cheeky name and tacky approach, HappyEndings.vn is a legitimate and serious e-commerce outfit. “Happy ending” doesn’t really have a lot to do with sex, it is a term used to describe a pleasurable ending to a massage in some parts of Asia. However, the site intro has a lot to do with sex.

The site takes a provocative angle when it comes to product categories as well. They are named cheap bastard collection, playboy collection and sugar daddy collection. The last is aimed at big spenders, while the “cheap bastard” one is clearly not.

Better yet, the consumers seem to be loving the in-your-face approach, with plenty of humorous and dirty comments, reports InsideRetail.Asia.

Heavy drinkers get a jolt of brain juice from booze

boozebeltA study could comfort quite a few alcoholics in denial. It found that long term alcohol use boosts brain levels of acetate, an energy rich by-product of alcohol metabolism and it gives drinkers a nice jolt of energy for the few grey cells they did not manage to kill off yet.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and it found that people who drank at least eight drinks per week stood to gain more brain energy from acetate than light drinkers, although eight drinks a week hardly qualifies as heavy drinking, but eight drinks at lunch does.

However, there is a downside, too. Study co-author Graeme Mason of Yale University believes the jolt could be responsible for giving drinkers more incentive to drink and that it might also explain why dropping booze is so hard, reports sciencenews.org.  Duke University biochemical geneticist Ting-Kai Li believes Mason’s hypothesis is good and that it proves previous assumptions that heavy drinkers absorb more acetate.

Acetate is usually associated with vinegar, which is often used as an excuse to justify the existence of salads. However, simply pouring more vinegar on salads won’t help. When people drink alcohol the brain breaks it down and pumps out plenty of acetate as a by-product. Although the brain prefers sugar, it can also burn acetate. Researchers proved their point by injecting sober volunteers with acetate tagged with a traceable atom. Then they measured how much acetate was used up in the brain and learned that heavy drinkers burn acetate at twice the rate of light drinkers. Mason likened the process to a bi-fuel car, which can run on ethanol once it runs out of petrol.

Mason said he was very surprised by the results, which proved his suspicions that people with high acetate levels would be tapping energy from it.

“The effect was way bigger than I thought,” he said.

Mason now wants to see whether administering some acetate could help addicts get over their alcohol withdrawal symptoms. However, he warns that people should not go out and start drinking vinegar to wane themselves off booze. People would have to ingest too much vinegar to get as much acetate as they would from drinking alcohol. Salads aren’t a very good delivery platform and simply chugging vinegar doesn’t work, either.

iPad 3 case is a nice little number

Snugg ipad3 caseThere’s a lot of choice for iPad cases out there.  Out and about, on the train and the road, we’ve noticed a lot of Apple cases which are, frankly, pretty tacky.  If you’re someone who is status conscious, and you probably are if you’ve lashed out hundreds on your Apple device,  putting an expensive iPad 3 into a yucky case doesn’t really cut it.

Apple iPad3s can be considered rather fragile, so you really do need a protective case if you’re often out and about.

Snugg (thesnugg.co.uk) sent us, for review, a black leather iPad 3 case which sells for £29.99 in the UK.

At the same time as it acts as protection for your iPad 3, the unit also can be used as a stand, with two positions.  There’s also a strap you can shove your mitt into to hold the device – illustrated. This isn’t my mitt which is considerably older and more gnarled than this specimen.

This is a sturdy and well-made case with the black leather finish complemented by white stitching.  There’s space for you to insert your contact details so that if you leave it on the train and an honest person finds it, she or he can get hold of you.

Toyota GT86 lets its hair down, goes convertible

gt86-330pxToyota’s GT86, one of the hottest coupes to launch in 2012, is about to get a Mediterranean friendly convertible version. Toyota has spilled the beans on the new cabrio, with a set of detailed and absolutely gorgeous press shots ahead of the Geneva Motor Show.

The concept is dubbed FT-86 Open, but by the look of things it won’t remain a concept car to drool over – it will probably go on sale, as is. Toyota is apparently still mulling serial production, but we have no doubt that it will find plenty of takers if it chooses to launch the Open. In fact, the car practically looks production ready, so Toyota might be just playing hard to get in order to boost interest.

gt86-interior

Needless to say, the FT-86 Open shares the same platform and rear wheel drive powertrain, praised by reviewers across the world. It means it should get the same Subaru 2-litre boxer with Toyota’s D-4S injection system, capable of delivering 200bhp and 151lb•ft of torque and a six-speed manual gearbox. There is still no word or performance, but the coupe version can hit 60mph in just 6 seconds, although the cabrio should end up a bit slower (and heavier).

gt86-side

The roof is an automatic, fabric affair, none of that foldable hardtop nonsense, which means it shouldn’t end up too heavy, or lose a ton of boot space with the roof down. Better yet, it looks good, very good. It looks even better than the coupe, a bit more elegant and tame and it should appeal to a wide range of potential customers, including fashionistas, proper petrol heads and ladies, who tend to prefer cabrios over coupes.

Since it is still basically a concept car, although it appears to be production ready, there is no word on pricing or availability. However, the GT-86 coupe starts at £24,995, which sounds like more than a fair price in this segment, so the cabrio shouldn’t end up too pricey, either.

Devicescape seduces MWC’s pished presh

estrellaHacks and flacks disguised as hacks at MWC could do worse than head to Devicescape’s press party tonight for free grub and pub games. Get in touch with them for the location.

In fact, Devicescape is even offering hacks free drinks and wi-fi access at participating bars all over Barcelona. Interested moochers should download the MagniFi MWC app which will tell you what you need to know.

“What are the two things at MWC that can be difficult to find?” a Devicescape representative asked in an email. “Free beer and free wi-fi,” they answered. For obvious reasons we can’t spoil the fun by offering the code, but if you’re a member of the press they’ll tell you. The Android app is here.

 

Here’s the lowdown on the Oscars 2013

redIt was a night of fun, glitz and fashion as Hollywood’s A-listers stepped out to celebrate and show off their frocks at the 2013 Oscars.

And this year the red carpet was awash with pale colours, giving the event a vintage, old school glamour theme.

Jennifer Lawrence, who admitted she was “starving” – a feeling we imagine is quite common for many celebs – went for a white and pale pink strapless Dior gown with a full skirt and ruffled hemline.

Amy Adams opted for an Oscar de la Renta ballgown, which was a stark contrast to the her usual statement column dresses, while Anne Hathaway kept the colour tone light with  simple pale pink Prada column gown, which she claimed had been chosen just hours before the event.

Jessica Chastain, also gave a nod to vintage Hollywood with a shiny copper Armani Prive dress and gold was also the colour of choice for Catherine Zeta-Jones who rocked up in a Zuhair Murad number.

However, some celebs opted for bolder hues in a bid to stand out from the fash pack. Jennifer Garner chose a strapless magenta ruffled back  Gucci gown, while Reese Witherspoon also broke the pale mould turning up in a bold blue column dress.

Sequins, which we thought had been put away along with that Christmas tree also reared their sparkly heads, with a number of celebrities opting for this style. Adele wore a black, sequinned Jenny Packham frock, Naomi Watts went for a gunmetal sequin Armani gown and Nicole Kidman was a sequin queen in a gown by L’Wren Scott.

Over in the male clothing camp, one thing that stood out amongst the huge range of designer tux was the sheer number of celebs sporting facial hair.

This generation of the Brat Pack including Bradley Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, George Clooney, and Ben Affleck all went for beards, while it was mustaches for Jason Schwartzman and Chris Pine.

ChannelEye reviews the Venetian, Vegas

The Venetian, Las VegasI’ve never been to Venice, but I’ve been to the Venetian, Las Vegas before, although only visiting it rather than living in it.  In it?  And despite the tacky first impression of  gondolas, an artificially lit St Mark’s Square and accordian playing maidens in the lobby, there is more to this hotel than meets the eye.

I was staying at the Venetian because I was covering the Hewlett Packard Global Partner Conference and even though I was only there for two nights, I have decided that I like it. I like it a lot.  And it’s the people who work at the Venetian that make the place.  The check in lady was friendly, welcoming and efficient – the room was pleasant and bigger than the first flat I lived in – the staff were uniformly helpful, even when they weren’t wearing uniforms and went that extra mile.

Venetian, Las VegasAnd when I say that extra mile, I can tell you that if you are not fit, you will be fit even if you’re only staying for two nights. You will walk for miles and miles and miles, oh yeah. I was staying at room 9-525 and to get to the lift, sorry elevator, you are talking more than just a leisurely saunter. And when you get to the ground floor, it’s another trek to get, through the casino, to the Sands conference centre where the HP gig was on-going, or going on, as we’d prefer to say. The old Sands convention centre was awful – the new one ain’t too bad at al.

On the way to the casino, you will be entertained by nice lasses playing accordions and if you look up there’s a heap of paintings on the ceiling while your little legs attempt to make the grade.

Once in the casino, it’s another hike to get to the Sands conference centre and once you’re there there are floors and floors and floors and floors. But when it looked like I was getting lost, I just had to ask the staff and they sent me the right way on my safari.

Venetian: bar in the casinoOn the last day, I was due to be picked up at 5:45PM to make my way back to Blighty.  On the way back from the conference centre, I stopped by the bar in the casino.  I have got to tell you the barman working there (pictured) was one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, and I can tell you I have met a lot of bar staff in my incredibly long life. I was fiddling around with Facebook on my StupidPhone and the barman said: “Talk to me! Stop playing with Facebook and talk to me!”  I talked to him. What a friendly and professional guy.

And so to the denoument of my stay at the Venetian hotel.  I had ambiguous instructions for where my pick up was supposed to, er, pick me up. I asked the bell hop, Luke from Kansas, to give me a hand to the pick up point.  We got to first one pick up point that didn’t work. Then we had to hike across the hotel to another which didn’t work either. Luke stuck by me.  In the end, one of the guys fired up his bus just to take me, on my own, to McArran airport, at no charge. So thank you driver Michael, and your fiancé, Linda, looks beautiful.

I would say what makes this hotel are the people that work in it. I have spent many hours in hotels and, also assessing corporations. The Venetian is a happy ship, that much is clear. I couldn’t fault the place, largely because of the pleasant people – in good moods – that work there.

PS I haven’t been paid for this review.

HP to throw $5.1 billion into the channel

HP, tindall, channel, resellers, sands conference centre, palazzo, venetianAt its Global Partner Conference event here in Sands conference centre in Las Vegas today, HP boldly said it will spend $5.1 billion on the channel, worldwide, in financial year 2013. It will cut out some channel partners.

Dan Tindall, VP of worldwide channel sales (pictured) gave what he described as an overarching account of HP’s Partner One programme on different levels, including alliances and OEM deals.

It will introduce a simplified compensation model with rebates earned from the first units sold, better rewards for specialisations, and rationalised certifications.

“Our compensation model will be easier without gates,” said Tindall. HP will give increased rebates with a “more for more” model.  Expert One is one of HP’s programme – it is cutting own 44 specialisations to 22. HP will cut down the six month model to a three month model for rebates. It will simplify the programme in 2014 fiducial year too.

Tindall said it is improving the software tools for its partners. It will do joint business plans rather than the “ad hoc model” it had before on the MDF (marketing development funds) front. Resellers will be able to close deals faster.

Alliance One is for ISVs and improving it by education, programme certifications and test and development, particularly regarding the cloud, claimed HP. It will build up communities and let ISVs get to HP stuff immediately, online.

HP Autonomy will also simplify, or rather create a partner programme. That will all change. It will have one programme across all partners.  HP is at a point where the next phase of growth is partners, who give it reach into customers. Autonomy programmes were too complicated. HP Autonomy will follow the HP model and move it channel wise before 2018.

The worldwide programme will roll out on the 1st of May. HP sees no distinction between resellers in any territory.