Today, Microsoft are going to start rolling out Windows 10, for free to those that want it. From now, it’ll always be free, as Microsoft stop trying to use their OS as a thing to make money with.
So what’s new?
Well, the Start Menu is back (that’s not new, but it will be a relief to some) and there’ll also be the addition of Cortana (Siri-alike and best friend of dance-pop outfit, Clean Bandit) and Microsoft Edge.
According to Microsoft, upgrading to Windows 10 will see them using a system that is easy to understand if you’ve used Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
Lots of people have reserved their right to download Windows 10 today, who will be notified in batches, when it is ready to be downloaded. How do you download it?
Well, if you’re upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8, open Windows Update (search for Windows Update in Start Menu or Start Screen) and if you’re eligible, you’re away! It is very, very easy. It is sure to be a jammed network, so don’t worry if it all isn’t happening immediately – you’ll get it eventually.
Social media. It’s a blessing and a curse. Sometimes it can go off on one creating a hooha over an offensive ad that is actually found not to be offensive at all. And at other times, a single disgruntled young woman can shame a national retail chain into rethinking its mannequins.
In the latest Facebook-offensive, Laura Berry, a customer services assistant from Stroud, Gloucestershire, took a photograph of one of a Topshop mannequins, calling it out for being “quite frankly ridiculously shaped”, and calling for solidarity in her deciding to use her “size 10/12 legs to walk straight out of your store”.
The offending mannequin in question, which the company claimed to be a size 10, was “stylised to have more impact” and was considerably taller than the average British woman at a whopping 6’1″. Within hours of being posted, Laura’s post on Topshop’s Facebook page garnered more than 3,000 likes and more than 700 comments, which even including a response from the retailer.
Laura accused the retail giant of a “lack of concern for a generation of extremely body conscious youth” saying that the stretched out mannequin would leave teenagers “wondering if that was what was expected of [their] bodies.” She cited studies which showed that unrealistic mannequins made young, impressionable women feel insecure, ending with the fairly rant-filled rant “So what makes you feel you can ignore everything that’s been said and considered by other high street stores and even some high fashion designers? What makes you so superior, Topshop? Perhaps it’s about time you became responsible for the impression you have on women and young girls and helped them feel good about themselves rather than impose these ridiculous standards.”
However, the vitriol seems to have taken Topshop by surprise, who admitted that the mannequins, which are made of solid fibreglass, were an unusual shape as “their form needs to be of certain dimensions to allow clothing to be put on and removed easily.” Novertheless, in a public response, Topshop have stated that, following the
very exceedingly cross frank views expressed by Laura Berry and other customers, it was “not placing any further orders on this style of mannequin”, which was “not meant to be a representation of the average female body.”
But is this really a victory? Last year Topshop were previously slated after a size 8/10 girl posed next to a Topshop mannequin, where her legs looked like treetrunks in comparison. And, much like catwalk models, aren’t mannequins supposed to be angular frames from which to drapes clothes, rather than an aspirational ideal for young people? Still, it’s a win for people power- it just remains to be seen whether the high street will adopt a more realistic style shop display- or whether they’d smply like to sell as many clothes as possible…
They’ve just put out a notice saying that they’re going to stop doing business, which is particularly annoying if you’ve only just switched to them.
They say: “Family Mobile will be withdrawing service to all customers and will cease to operate from 31st August 2015. Customers will be unable to make top-ups from from July 1st 2015″
“If you wish to move your service to another provider, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be issued with a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC)”
“Any remaining credit should be used before 31st August 2015.”
So there you have it. If you have any more questions, there’s a FAQ section which you can look at, by clicking here. In there, you should find everything you need.
How the Android fanboys laughed at the Apple fanboys, when there was a text message that could crash iPhones.
Well, the Apple crew can get their own back now, as there’s news of a text that can really stuff things up for Android devices. The rest of us, meanwhile, can wonder why people argue about which phone you should have. Seriously. Go for a walk or something.
Anyway, what’s this flaw? Well, seeing as most Android phones automatically download photos, and there’s a scam going around that enables hackers to take control of your phone via photo messages, and there’s 950 million Android users worldwide, we’ve got a problem.
The picture in question allows nasty sorts to get complete control of Android devices, accessing your camera and everything else. Thanks to Android phones automatically downloading photos in texts, you wouldn’t even need to open it to be vulnerable to the malware.
So what are Google doing about it?
They said: “This vulnerability was identified in a laboratory setting on older Android devices, and as far as we know, no one has been affected. As soon as we were made aware of the vulnerability we took immediate action and sent a fix to our partners to protect users.”
“As part of a regularly scheduled security update, we plan to push further safeguards to Nexus devices starting next week. And, we’ll be releasing it in open source when the details are made public by the researcher at BlackHat.”
There you go then.
Even though there’s a diesel price-war on, there’s always room for someone to try and rip you off. And in ‘water is wet’ news, diesel at motorway stations is overpriced and ripping drivers off. At some forecourts, diesel costs as much as 127.9p a litre, while petrol cost 125.9p a litre yesterday, reckon the AA.
Comparing it to the average of around 116.6p a litre for diesel and petrol on the pumps away from motorways, you can see that the difference is noteworthy – if you fill up a large family car with 60 litres a week, you’d be spending £25 more a month at a motorway service station.
With Tesco and Morrisons dropping the price of diesel, following on from Asda and Sainsbury’s, you have to wonder what the motorway services are playing at.
AA spokesman Luke Bosdet said: “Diesel drivers will think that the latest fall in the cost of their fuel is ‘better late than never’ and is very welcome. However, the average pump price of diesel across the UK remains above petrol’s even though the former is around 3p a litre cheaper at wholesale level.”
“Many of the supermarkets can be applauded for recent price cuts but it is what is happening outside the areas they influence that worries us. The message is clear to diesel drivers: check out the supermarket prices first if they are looking to cut their fuel bills.”
Now, we hand over to our outside unit, live, to find out whether or not bears defecate in woodland areas…
Those rascals over at Sky are preparing to drop a new set-top box within weeks, like it’s their latest mixtape. So what’s new about it? Well, according to blabbermouths, it will offer you the kind of experience you’ve had with Netflix (or Apple, if you prefer).
What does that mean exactly? Well, this thing is called SkyQ, and will let customers watch and record at least four things simultaneously, on multiple devices, and will wirelessly send content to your smartphones and tablets. And of course, it’ll be able to deal with ultra-high definition (UHD or 4K) broadcasts, because that’s what everyone in TV is talking about these days.
Apparently, it is all ‘really very slick’ according to one insider who has seen it working in action. They said that the interface is similar to Netflix, with a virtual carousel being used rather than the crappy old interface that Sky have been using on their current Sky+ HD box.
Like Netflix, it will try and pick up on what your tastes are, so it can make suggestions and all that.
Sky are also going to be launching a new Now TV box next month and, while the exact details about it are being kept under wraps, we’ve heard that it will be “faster and smoother”. Take from that what you will.
Good news! You can get a free cinema ticket when you buy 4 bags of sweets for £1 each. So, for £4, you can have a lovely night at the cinema and, with the treats you bought for the free ticket, you can take them to the cinema to save getting fleeced at their concession stand! Have a look here.
Buy a £40 Amazon gift card and get £10 free
365 days PS+ for £32.29
PS4 in white or black with free games for £289
Lexar 64gb micro-sdxc only £12.99
24% off everything for 24 hours at BHS
Up to 70% off H&M sale, plus free delivery
Seagate 2tb expansion desktop for £35
10ft trampoline with enclosure for £65
Ibis hotel rooms in London from £25 per night, this weekend
As you’ll be able to do this in stores, rather than post them off, this could be just the ticket for a lot of people who would like to get rid of some old tech. Part of this new service sees you getting an instant quote and payment over the Argos counter.
Customers can trade it in and get an Argos gift card to spend on something else that they’re invariably end up wanting to scrap, but still, you can lose your unwanted tat and then spend the money on over 50,000 Argos products. These items will be refurbed and resold.
Amy Whidburn, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Argos, said: “As a leading technology retailer we know that our customers are looking for solutions to responsibly dispose of unwanted gadgets when they replace or trade-up devices. Our new scheme in conjunction with WRAP offers them a safe way to do this, in a really convenient location on their local high street or retail park, with the added benefit of receiving a gift card in return immediately.”
“Depending on the response from customers, we may extend the scheme to include other electrical items in the future, such as camera, sat-navs or laptops.”
Marcus Gover, Director of WRAP, said: “We’re delighted to see this type of service become available over Argos store counters. Our research told us consumers have an appetite for trading in and Argos is now providing a convenient and easy way for them to do just that and release the value from their unwanted gadgets. By doing so we’re keeping valuable resources out of landfill and in use longer, reducing the impact on diminishing virgin materials and protecting our environment.”
The payday lender, Cash Genie, has been ordered to pay £20m to people they’ve ripped off. The lender was told by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to dole out the money to more than 92,000 customers.
Turns out that they’re been ripping off customers in a number of ways, with Cash Genie charging fees which they were not entitled to, according to customer contracts. In some cases, they charged people who weren’t able to repay their loans £50 to transfer them to their own debt collection firm, Twyford Developments.
Basically, they were taking money needlessly from people who were already struggling with debt.
It transpires that Cash Genie were also rolling over and refinancing loans without customers’ consent, which of course, all means that people in financial hardship were being hit with extra interest and additional costs.
Cash Genie also traded as the online brands txtmecash and paydayiseveryday, with customers advised to go to these websites on the promise of a fresh loan. Then, when customers went to these sites, they were used to harvest banking information so they could take payments from existing loans without permission.
So, Cash Genie will reimburse some people and write-off the debts of others.
Linda Woodall of the FCA said: “We expect all firms to notify us of any unacceptable past or current practices and provide appropriate redress to anyone affected.”
What Do I Do Next If I Was A Cash Genie Customer?
For the time being, if you’ve been swindled by Cash Genie, you don’t need to do anything. Cash Genie is going to contact affected customers by 18th September.
For the time being, sit tight and wait for Cash Genie to get in touch with you. Do not appoint a claims management company to sort this out either, as they’ll charge you for a service that you won’t need.
If you feel that it is important to talk to someone, you can contact the Cash Genie Customer Service team on 0333 366 0023, or email them at email@example.com or by letter at Cash Genie, 2 Reavell Place, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 0ET.
If you’d prefer, you can get in touch with the FCA by calling 0800 111 6768 or 0300 500 8082, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s rare that economists aren’t gloomy, but it seems everyone is feeling more positive about their finances. The latest Nielsen consumer confidence survey shows that UK confidence has overtaken the global average for the first time in more than nine years- last time we were this happy financially, Tony Blair was telling us things could only get better for the third time and the official interest rate was nine times higher at 4.5%
British consumers are also more confident than those in Germany for the first time in five years and we’re now second only to Denmark in confidence ratings throughout Europe. We’ve also stopped shopping around so much, with the switching of grocery brands to save money now at its lowest level since late 2009.
A different study by Lloyds Bank, of more than 2,000 people aged between 18 and 75, also reported an increase in consumers’ confidence. Its survey on spending power found that 70% of empty-nesters- people aged 45 or more whose children had left home- described their financial situation as good, compared with 61% of parents aged 25 and over with younger children and falling to 58% cent of young singles aged between 18 and 24 with no children.
And the Lloyds Bank Spending Power report suggests that confidence is rising with people’s confidence in their personal financial situation increasing by 5 percentage points. And the outlook is rosy- 31% of young single people aged between 18 to 24 said they expected to be able to save slightly more in six months times than they do at present, although this figure falls to 11% for those aged 45 or over, who already think they’re in a good position financially.
Patrick Foley of Lloyds Bank said: “Consumers remain in good spirits, with sentiment buoyed by a combination of strengthening wage growth and muted price pressures,” meaning that lower prices and stagnantly low interest rates, combined with wage increases mean we all feel richer.
And Asda have quantified just how much richer we are. Last week, Asda’s latest Income Tracker report revealed that UK households have an average of £189 of discretionary income to spend each week, which is £18 more than this time last year, a figure that has been consistent for the last quarter. So what are you spending your extra £18 on?
Sold at Asda, and other shops, the recall says that the problem “may impact the fire blankets’ effectiveness in the event of an oil pan fire.”
There have been no reports of any incidents, but testing showed that certain fire blankets are a risk and may not fully extinguish an oil pan fire and/or may allow the fire to reignite very soon after application of the fire blanket.
If you have one of the potentially affected fire blankets, you must not use it on any oil pan fire.
So, if you have one, return it to the retailer it was purchased from as soon as possible. Kidde Safety Europe Ltd will arrange for a compliant replacement fire blanket to be supplied to you which meets the British safety standard.
The recall continues: “The potentially affected fire blankets are 1m2 in size. The fire blanket containers are labelled with the brand name “Kidde” or “Lifesaver” and are marked with the kitemark symbol. The Kitemark Licence Number 35021 is also displayed on the container where marked below. The label on the fire blanket refers to “Homesaver”.
If you have any questions, contact the Kidde Safety helpline on 0800 917 0722 or email to email@example.com. For further information see our website at: www.kiddesafetyeurope.co.uk
Remember when we told you about the product recall of La Chinata Smoked Paprika? Well, it has been widened to include batch codes 322 and 324, because they’ve found salmonella in that to.
If you have bought one of these, do not eat it.
The details of the recall are as follows:
Product: La Chinata Smoked Paprika ‘Dulce’ (Sweet) and ‘Picante’ (Hot) – 70g and 750g tins
Batch code: 322 and 324 (batch 320 was recalled in the original recall)
So, if you’ve bought the product, do not eat it. You need to return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.
Brindisa Spanish Foods, who make the product, have taken the precautionary measure of recalling all of the above batches that may be affected. If you’re unsure, don’t try your luck – return it.
Okay? Good. For all our Product Recalls, click here.
We told you recently about the government shutting down 91 ‘surplus’ courts, and it looks like there’s more legal bother afoot, as barristers are going on strike in a protest against cuts to legal aid.
Criminal barristers are going to start refusing to take on Crown Court cases, as they show solidarity with criminal defence solicitors, who are looking at cuts in their fees of 8.75%. Solicitors have already been striking since the start of July, refusing all new work in Magistrates and Crown Courts.
These cuts will make it harder for small high street law firms to stay in business, which of course, creates the kind of scenario that gives advantage to people with more money.
Jonathan Black, president of the London Criminal Court Solicitors Association, said: “Hundreds of solicitors’ firms around the country will close down, developing instead into mass justice warehouses, legal aid warehouses, where cases will be packed high and sold cheap.”
“High street firms that ordinary people know how to access will be decimated.”
The past two governments have been taking money from the legal aid system, which sees lawyers paid from public money, so that people who can’t afford representation can get the help they need.
So, while criminal defence barristers aren’t actually affected by these cuts, they’re showing solidarity with the legal profession, with the majority going on strike. Joanne Cecil, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers, said that criminal justice is “on its knees and broken” thanks to the measures brought in by the government: “this is really not about our fees, it’s about the wider impact on society.”
“The impact of these cuts to legal aid is not just to defendants, but also victims of crime and witnesses, who have to deal with what is a creaking justice system.”
And why are they doing this? Well, in their bid to ’help prevent childhood obesity’, they don’t trust you adults to buy what you want from a shop. No, they’re going to have to remove things from the shelves so you irresponsible arseholes don’t destroy your children’s lives.
Of course, you might be really responsible and only give children these things once in a blue moon as a treat or, indeed, you might be an adult that doesn’t know any kids and likes drinking Ribena and Rubicon together in the same glass when you’ve got a hangover.
Tesco don’t care. They’re your new dad, now. And from 7th September, these products will be no more, just in time for the kids starting a new year of school.
Naturally, you’ll be able to go to the newsagents nearby and buy whatever you want without having Tesco dictate their values on you. And indeed, you can imagine they’ll still be selling cans of Coca-Cola and the like, so you wonder what on Earth they’re thinking.
And will other supermarkets follow suit? You can bet that they absolutely won’t and will try and exploit this idiotic decision by Tesco by having some lovely deals and offers on sugary drinks. Shall we assume that Tesco are going to get rid of all things that are bad for families, like cigarettes, wine and cake?