Business Diary: The bunnies head for Ascot

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The Independent Online

These are tough economic times we know, so one quite understands why racecourses are none too fussy about who sponsors their races. But we do wonder what the Queen would think about the identity of one of the sponsors on tomorrow's card at Ascot, which is, of course, her racecourse. Amid races backed by the usual list of bookies such as Coral and respectable City firms such as Lloyd's of London insurer Amlin, the novices hurdle at 12.25pm rather stands out. It's sponsored by the Playboy Club London.

You've got to be quick to click on new opportunities

We shouldn't say this, but one can't help but admire the entrepreneurial opportunism of online fraudsters sometimes. It took less than an hour following the announcement yesterday of Virgin Money's takeover of Northern Rock for the first phishing email to arrive from the crooks, urging us to hand over personal details so our accounts could be switched to the bank's new owners.

HTC's phones for grown-ups

Trouble for HTC, the mobile phone company, in the form of a potential legal action: not another front in the patent wars but a copyright threat. Vivid Entertainment, a film studio specialising in adult movies, is not happy that HTC has called its latest smartphone the Vivid. Still, HTC has some form on this front – previous models have included Sensation, Desire and MyTouch, all of which sound like they could have been Vivid products, too.

I hear what you say

In a contest to find the most hated phrase customers have to put up with when dealing with businesses, there is surely a long list of challengers. Now we can reveal, thanks to a survey passing across our desk, that, "Your comments are very important to us" wins the day by a country mile in the context of the messages employed by call-centres.