BROWSE ABOUT THAT
Press any IT development buff for their thoughts on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) and, chances are, they will suddenly appear faraway and distant. Expect a sheen of sweat to appear on their brow, their limbs to start trembling and their lips to quiver. Don’t be surprised if they give in to wild and violent impulses, or even break out in hives. In fact, we’d urge caution and advise wearing suitable protective gear before you broach this sensitive topic. As for Internet Explorer 6? Well, don’t even go there unless you have a wish to be severely hurt. Really, we mean it.
While even the most mildly tech-savvy users will have long since made the jump to browsers such as Mozilla’s Firefox or Google’s ultra-rapid Chrome, some less proactive web surfers are still using their trusty old copy of IE7. They’re not necessarily stubborn refuseniks, just people who probably don’t see the need to change. But if they were to be charged for using an old browser, surely they’d mend their ways?
Well, one Australian online retailer has decided to put this to the test, and has started putting a levy on customers still using IE7. Kogan.com, an electronic goods specialist, adds a whopping 6.8% surcharge on purchases through IE7 – that’s 0.1% for every month that the browser has been in existence, a figure that will continue to grow. Chief executive Ruslan Kogan says that the levy was put in place to cover the costs of the company "rendering the website into an antique browser", but that he doesn’t expect many users to actually pay it.
Kogan reckons that only about 3% of his users use the dated Microsoft browser, but says it’s taking a massive amount of his company’s time to make sure that the site works for them. "I was constantly on the line to my web team,” grumbled Kogan. “The amount of work and effort involved in making our website look normal on IE7 equalled the combined time of designing for Chrome, Safari and Firefox."
The ‘Twittersphere’ reacted with almost universal praise for Kogan’s move, with the entrepreneur being lauded as a ‘genius’ and ‘visionary’ in some quarters. It’s certainly a novel way of tackling stubborn web Luddites, but one which we won’t be implementing at Gocompare.com Towers in the near future...
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
The hit parade’s Cheryl Cole – or ‘Cheryl’, as she now prefers to be referred – speaks out on VAT, specifically the partially repealed pasty tax.
BIG IN JAPAN
Big prices, that is. No wonder Godzilla was in such a raging hot funk – he’d just been given the bill for his morning coffee and paper in a Tokyo cafe.
The Japanese capital has been dubbed the ‘most expensive city in the world’ by human resource consultancy outfit Mecer, based on the basic needs of expatriate workers. A steaming mug of ‘joe’ will set the customer back an eye-popping £5.45, while the morning paper will cost £4. Meanwhile, a pint of milk – about 40p back home – costs £2 in the biggest city in the Land of the Rising Sun.
You’d think that Moscow, or indeed London, might be bringing up the rear of Tokyo – but you’d be mistaken. In fact, the city of Luanda in Angola is next on the list, thanks to a massive boom in the exportation of oil to China. A two-bedroom apartment will set you back over £4,000 a month – to put that in perspective, the same thing in London would cost about £2,800. Despite all that money sloshing around the Angolan city, five million of its residents are said to live in poverty.
London turned out to be the 25th most expensive city in the world to live in, with several Asian and Australian cities being more pricey. Belfast was the least expensive major city in Britain, while the European city which offered the most value for money was Berlin – a fine destination for anybody seeking cost effective currywursts and all-night techno raves.
SHAMELESS OLYMPIC CASH-IN OF THE WEEKEvery week from now until the 2012 Olympics, we’ll be showcasing a particularly tenuous attempt to piggyback on this summer’s biggest sporting event outside the Cooper’s Hill cheese-rolling race. Which, in a way, is also a sort of shameless Olympic cash-in. But bear with us. This week, step forward pastry merchant of distinction Pie Minister of Bristol, which has released the limited edition Sebastian Cow, a concoction of British beef steak and beans slow-cooked in a chipotle chilli and tomato sauce. Quite what athlete-turned-politician and near-namesake of the pie Seb Coe makes of all this is unclear, but it sounds all right to us.
NEWS IN BRIEF
David Cameron has urged insurance companies to pay out to families in west Wales whose homes were hit by devastating floods last week.
Fourty-four out of every 1,000 current account applications have been found to be ”fraudulent”, according to Experian.
Mortgage fees have increased by £450 in the past few months due to the crisis in the Eurozone (which, if you ask us, sounds a bit like a nightclub).
The PPI (payment protection insurance) scandal might have been another massive blot on the already unkempt copybook of the UK’s financial institutions, but if there’s a silver lining to the debacle…HR firm Manpower says about 8,000 UK jobs have been created to deal with the fallout.
ON GOCOMPARE.COM NEWS THIS WEEK
Getting your top off in public might be easier than you think, with Chris Pollitt’s list of five convertible cars for every budget.
We pondered long and hard over whether or not we’d use our phones to get money out of the cashpoint.
Having to make a claim on your van insurance is generally a rubbish experience, but Dave Jenkins wrote this nifty guide on making the ordeal as stress free as possible.
Jingle is massive! The song used on our award-winning* adverts has been voted the second most catchy track OF ALL TIME to be used in a British campaign, finishing behind only the Cornetto adverts – which also utilise the services of an opera singer.
We felt particularly proud to pip the likes of game changers such as “I feel like Chicken Tonight” and “If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit join our club”.
Join us for another thrilling instalment of THE MONEY SHOT. In the meantime, why not email the editor with your letters. If we print them, you could receive a prized Gocompare.com stationery set and an autographed picture of Gio Compario, star of our ad campaign. Three are up for grabs every week. (Promoter: Gocompare.com Ltd)
*Marketing magazine’s ‘Most Irritating Advert’ 2009/2010