Tinder CEO Fights Off Supermodels


Tinder’s parent company, The Match Group, is desperately trying to distance itself from Tinder co-founder Sean Rad after giving a disastrous interview to London’s Evening Standard. Apparently a supermodel was “begging” him for sex:

He’s desperate to impress on me how gallant he is, citing the fact that a “supermodel, someone really, really famous” has been “begging” him for sex “and I’ve been like, no”. She’s “taunted” him, he says, and “called me a prude”.

“She’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen but it doesn’t mean that I want to rip her clothes off and have sex with her. Attraction is nuanced. I’ve been attracted to women who are …” he pauses “… well, who my friends might think are ugly. I don’t care if someone is a model. Really. It sounds clichéd and almost totally unbelievable for a guy to say this, but it’s true. I need an intellectual challenge.”

He continues: “Apparently there’s a term for someone who gets turned on by intellectual stuff. You know, just talking. What’s the word?” His face creases the effort of trying to remember. “I want to say ‘sodomy’?”

Rosette shrieks: “That’s it! We’re going to be fired” and Rad looks confused. “What? Why?”

I tell him it means something else and he thumbs his phone for a definition. “What? No, not that. That’s definitely not me. Oh, my God.”

Match Group, which had its IPO today, has attempted to distance itself from Rad, keen to state that “Mr Rad is not a director or executive officer of the Company”. Although he is the CEO of Tinder. It seems Match Group have just swiped left…

Bonfire of the Lads Mags: Zoo and FHM Shuttered

A sad day for connoisseurs of gentlemen’s magazines this morning as both FHM and Zoo announce within a few minutes of each other that they will be suspending publication. Nuts and Loaded are long gone and follows on from the announcement from Playboy that they are dropping pictures of naked women. FHM say:

“Unfortunately it’s true and it has been announced today the intention to suspend publication of FHM. It’s been an absolute joy producing the magazine over the years. Thank you for all your support, we will keep you updated with developments over the coming weeks.”

While Zoo confirm:

“It is with regret we have to inform you of the intention to suspend publication of ZOO. We’ve loved every minute of the near 12 years and 600-plus issues we’ve shared with you and would like to thank each and every one of you who’ve been there with us along the way.”

Heavy job losses are expected.

Their parent company Bauer say in a statement: “Over time young men’s media habits have continually moved towards mobile”. This infographic explains exactly what is happening:


The decline of lad’s mags correlates with the rise of big screen mobiles resulting in a more pleasurable online handheld experience…

Labour Row Over Momentum Data Grab


Guido hears a row is breaking out over Labour members’ personal data, in the latest skirmish between the party’s HQ and Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team. Jon Lansman, the boss of the Momentum Corbyn cheer-leading organisation, is having a barney with Labour’s legal team over his group’s apparent grab of members’ email addresses, telephone numbers and postcodes. As Guido noted last month, Momentum claims to be able to contact all the people who signed up to support him during the leadership contest. They say they are a stand alone company which is separate to the Labour Party, so any transfer of personal data from Corbyn’s leadership team would appear to be a breach of the Data Protection Act:

“individuals should generally be able to choose whether or not their personal data is disclosed to another organisation

Labour MPs are furious and plan to write to the Information Commissioner to ask him to investigate if Momentum have broken the law. They point out that the maximum fine for serious breaches affecting thousands of people is a cool half a million quid…

Return of the Andy Burnham Flip Flop

Guido was wrong to worry that the demise of Andy Burnham’s leadership bid would mean an end to our stories about his textbook u-turns. Fear not.

This is what Andy had to say about Theresa May’s Investigatory Powers Bill just last week:

“We support the Government in their attempt to update the law in this important and sensitive area. We share the Government’s goal of creating a world-class framework… neither a snooper’s charter, nor a plan for mass surveillance… In conclusion, the issues the proposed legislation seeks to tackle go way beyond party politics. Any Government will face a difficult task in balancing the security of the nation with the privacy and liberties of individual citizens. As someone who was in the Home Office on 7/7, I know that that challenge has got harder in recent years. We will examine carefully the detail of the draft Bill and seek to improve the safeguards to build trust. Having listened carefully to what the Home Secretary has said today, I believe that she has responded to legitimate concerns and broadly got that difficult balance right.”

Fast forward five days, and it turns out Burnham has decided he doesn’t support the government after all:

“I have now had the opportunity to study your proposals in detail and have taken advice from the Shadow Justice Secretary. This has given rise to concerns that the safeguards you are proposing are not as strong as it appeared when they were presented to the Commons… On closer inspection of the wording of the Bill, it would seem that it does not deliver the strong safeguard that you appeared to be accepting…”

If Burnham hadn’t read the Bill last week, why did he say May had “broadly got that difficult balance right”? Does he still think it is “neither a snooper’s charter, nor a plan for mass surveillance”? Still, even a stopped clock…

Boris Bikes: Tel Aviv Edition

The Mayor of London has been in Tel Aviv today, undertaking a very serious trade mission to champion tech innovation.

Listen closely for his long-suffering aide heard shouting “Okay Boris. We need to go!”.

UPDATE: More footage has emerged of the Mayor sampling a virtual reality simulator which puts children into the body of animals to teach empathy.

Boris branded it as “a way of trying to overcome childish solipsism”. A feat Guido suspects he is still yet to master…

RAF Airbus Has Just Crossed Sinai


This morning on the Today Programme Patrick McLoughlin denied that RAF transport would be used to evacuate baggage from Sharm El Sheik. This is despite UK citizens being flown out on “sealed planes” with no baggage in the hold.  By coincidence an RAF Airbus has just exited Egyptian airspace* after crossing the Sinai at 40,000 feet beyond the range of shoulder launched anti-aircraft missiles…

*Guido waited until RRR2311 exited Egyptian airspace before reporting.

UPDATE: We’re told it is a fuel tanker.

Theresa May Will Be Able to Identify Journalists’ Sources

Home Secretaries will be given powers to identify journalists’ sources without authorisation from a judge. Theresa May has confirmed she will be able to sign an “urgent warrant” to view journalists’ sources without consulting a judge, which will then be subject to “review” in the courts:

“There will be an urgent process, so it will be possible for a Secretary of State to sign an urgent warrant for it to come immediately into effect, and then there will be a period of time within which the judge will have to review that and then make a decision as to whether it should continue or not.”

Given the widespread abuse of RIPA by the police, and coppers then covering it up, this is a concerning attack on the most fundamental basics of press freedom. They’ll be entering newsrooms to smash up hard drives next… 

UPDATE:  A Home Office source gets in touch to stress that the urgent warrants will only be used in extreme circumstances, for example when there is an immediate threat to life, with a warrant then having to be authorised by the Judicial Commissioner within five days, at which point they would rule on whether the data can be kept or destroyed. They insist this provision means sources will always be protected…

How Much of Your Browsing History Will Spooks Be Able to See?

Readers shouldn’t buy the spin of a Theresa May climbdown on the Snoopers’ Charter over the weekend. The Investigatory Powers Bill still leaves significant scope for snooping. The list of what spooks will still be able to do is chilling…

  • GCHQ will be able to see which websites you’ve visited, without a warrant. If they want to see which individual webpages you have viewed they will need permission from a judge. That means they will know if you’ve logged on to Order-Order.com, but will need a warrant to see what pages on the site you visited.
  • Tech firms will have also have to keep records of your social media activity for 12 months, documenting when you sent emails and when you connected to social media sites.
  • Spies can still search the internet and social media activity of everyone in the UK if they obtain a warrant. This means that whilst spies can see you went on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc, and which device you used to do it, a warrant will be required to read your private messages.

Forget the talk of ‘curbs’, ‘restrictions’ and ‘climbdowns’, spooks are being given massive access to your browsing history…

Undercover Spy Blimp’s Cover Blown

Readers will be pleased to hear that the runaway US Military spy blimp has turned up in Pennsylvania of all places. US State Police initally tried to shoot it down with shotguns – as you do. That failed however, but eventually its tail-piece fell off and the blimp came to a rest around a quarter of mile later.


Seeing as the world’s media have been covering it for the best part of a day, Guido suspects that it probably isn’t the best undercover operative.

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Engineers Move Objects Using ‘The Force’

Star Wars fans will be pleased to hear that they are one step closer to being able to use ‘the force’. The BBC has revealed that a team of engineers have designed a mechanism that can move and hold pea-sized objects from 30cm to 40cm away through the power of “holograms” made of sound waves. The pretty cool video above shows how the holograms manipulate objects, finishing with a “cardboard UFO” circling the speaker grid to show its “tractor beam” capability. A development most interesting it is…

Boris’ Broadband Scoreboard


Boris has launched a programme that will rank buildings in London by their connectivity and help businesses understand whether offices will meet their internet needs. Any building that signs up to the Connectivity Ratings Scheme will receive a technical assessment from WiredScore, who run similar programmes across major US cities, and will be ranked against other London buildings in a searchable database.

There is staggering variability in the the quality of broadband connections across London and a culture of property owners not being upfront about just how bad the connectivity in their building is. By creating a voluntary database, Boris hopes to force landlords to compete against each other to make their properties more attractive to tenants. Now to rank them by proximity to Nandos…

Sugar Taxers Hacked by Viagra Salesmen

Rather unfortunate for the joyless National Obesity Forum that, on the day they are plastered all over the national press whining about the PM blocking a sugar tax, their website appears to have been hacked by Viagra salesmen. Google is warning visiters to their website that “this site may be hacked“:


Sure enough, a quick browse through their site reveals at least three webpages dedicated to flogging “cheap Viagra“:


At least they know their target audience…

Back to the Future Funnies Round-Up

back to the future

Today is the 210th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, it’s also the day Marty McFly went to in the Back to the Future. The jokes got tiresome pretty quickly...

Sadiq was keen to establish his man-of-the-people street cred:

The Scottish police took a break from arresting journalists:

DWP thought this was a good idea:

Some guy held a hover-board protest outside parliament:


People tried to stop the inevitable:

But to no avail:

American politicians were even more egregious in their co-option of Back to the Future Day. Check out this as from Senator Marco Rubio:

And presidential candidate Carly Fiorina:

Obviously the Guardian live-blogged it:

The future is terrible…

Taxpayers 1-0 Microsoft


The Crown Commercial Service has signed a deal with an open source software company called Collabora Productivity that will make the Libre Office software available across all government departments. Libre Office is a free version of Microsoft Office, a software package that the government spends millions in license fees to use. Collabora will provide a specially tailored version of Libre Office for free and will provide technical assistance and support.

The CCS deal is their latest move in a long running campaign to stamp out the public sector culture of mindlessly funnelling taxpayer money to big software companies and comes on the back of Government Digital Service’s victory in forcing Microsoft into supporting Open Document Formats. Libre Office uses the ODF standard and by making Microsoft support the format, CCS have opened the door for a seamless switch to free opensource software such as Libre Office. Don’t expect Microsoft to go down without a fight…

Momentum’s Dodgy Data Grab


The Corbyn cheer-leading organisation “Momentumclaims to be able to contact all the people who signed up to support Jeremy Corbyn during the leadership contest, but they might not have permission to do so. When people signed up as supporters of the Corbyn4Leader campaign, they were asked to give their email addresses and postcodes; the campaign said they were collecting this information to “enable us to carry out casework on behalf of constituents; issues and campaigns we are involved with locally; maintaining our own accounts and records; supporting and managing our employees and agents.

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office “individuals should generally be able to choose whether or not their personal data is disclosed to another organisation” and if an organisation does intend to disclose information to another organisation, “fairness requires that you tell the individuals concerned unless they are likely to expect such disclosures.”

If Momentum is a stand alone limited company and doesn’t share any formal links with other organisations as they claim, what right did the official Corbyn campaign have to pass over the sensitive personal data of its supporters to them?

Uber Victory: High Court Rules App Not Illegal

The ruling clarifies that Uber’s smartphone app isn’t breaking the law as it isn’t operating in the same way as the regulated meters used  by black cabs to calculate fares. The cabbies will be furious…

UPDATE: The luddites have already appealed

UPDATE II: Uber have responded

“This is great news for Londoners and a victory for common sense. Now the High Court has ruled in favour of new technology, we hope Transport for London will think again on their bureaucratic proposals for apps like Uber. Compulsory five-minute waits and banning ride-sharing would be bad for riders and drivers. These plans make no sense. That’s why 130,000 people have already signed our petition against these proposals. We hope TfL will listen to Londoners and let Uber keep London moving.”

Watch a Tesla Drive Itself

Tesla have rolled out an “Autopilot” update to its Model S cars today; watch as the new software drives by itself through New York traffic:

It’s not quite a fully driverless car yet, but it’s not far off. The cabbies must be quaking in their boots…

Generous Whitto Plugs Hilariously Bad ‘Electric Jukebox’


John Whittingdale turned up at BAFTA’s HQ to help plug the launch of a music streaming device called “Electric Jukebox“. The Jukebox is an ugly oversized remote and dongle that plugs into the back of your TV, and has quickly become the butt of jokes. It is basically the same as a Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire Stick, except with a fraction of the functionality. The Chromecast and Fire Stick cost £30 or £35 respectively. The Electric Jukebox costs £179…

Rob Lewis, chairman of Electric Jukebox, then popped up to tell everyone that the world needs the £180 remote control because it’s “almost like you need a degree in engineering” to use services like Spotify. Lewis has two failed music streaming services under his belt…

Electric Jukebox perks include curated mixtapes from Stephen Fry and Robbie Williams’ wife:


And if you want to keep streaming music after a year? It’ll cost you £60…

GCHQ Can Snoop on Politicians


The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the only judicial body with the power to investigate MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, has ruled today that it’s completely fine for spooks to snoop on the communications of MPs. The ruling lays firmly to rest any pretence that the Wilson Doctrine – the principle that MPs’ and peers’ phones should not be tapped, holds any water with GCHQ.[…] Read the rest


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Quote of the Day

Matt Zarb-Cousin cracks a good ideological joke…

“Conservatives don’t like a ‘robot tax’ because it means they’d have a tax on their own leader – the Maybot.”


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