Business Diary: Gee-gee TV bets on gamblers feeling flush
Wednesday 05 August 2009
You have to love the horse racing industry; it's behaving as if the credit crunch never happened. Racing UK, the specialist satellite channel owned by a number of racecourses, has released its subscription package details after falling out of the bundle offered by Setanta. It wants £20 a month. That may be what the channel charged in 2004 but is more than a little steep when you consider that all the really important races are available free on Channel Four while Ascot, Doncaster and the best Ireland has to offer is available as part of a basic Sky package through At The Races. A Ryanair service, then, at British Airways prices.
Hackers get a taste of their own medicine
For more than 15 years, techie geeks and sweaty teenagers have headed to Las Vegas for the annual DEFCON conference, to indulge their mutual love of hacking. The world's largest such conference was held at the Riviera Hotel Casino this year, and brought with it some criminals with a rich sense of irony. Persons unknown put a fake ATM machine in the lobby, which skimmed the hackers' plastic and pin numbers and scamming them out of their cash. No one knows how long the machine stood there as it was put outside the security office... one of the few areas not under surveillance.
Channel threat leads way out of Kafka hell
A word to the wise when dealing with Sky's nightmarish menu system and less than helpful offshore calls centres. Simply press for the option saying you want to remove channels and you will get a UK calls centre staffed by people who are all sweetness and light and can't do enough to help you (as long as you change your mind). The alternative, as The Diary's US sports-loving colleague found out, is being on premium rate hold for nearly an hour after wading through a kafkaesque nightmare of trying to get ESPN America.
Will Hill has mountain to climb as site slumps
Not a great day for William Hill. The gambling group warned on full year profits after punters started staying away on the weekends. All the more need to get customers placing bets. Which was a shame as its site went down mid morning, citing "essential maintenance". It doesn't rain...
Number of the day: 27
Days that customers have to wait before the launch of the world's first Welsh language mobile phone handset.
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