There’s a lot of concern regarding a company called Alpine Electronics. Not to be confused with the Alpine who make car accessories, but rather, a site people have spotted some bargains that appeared to be too good to be true. And, it appears they were indeed not to be believed.
The company, trading via alpineelectronicsltd.co.uk had offers on cheap consoles. After taking numerous orders, the site is now down and it appears that all orders have gone with it.
BW staff contacted the numbers that were on the site before it went down, and there’s no answer. After finding the address of the company, we called the company next door and found that Alpine Electronics had upped sticks and moved on. The person we spoke to admitted that they’d taken numerous calls regarding this matter.
Looking at scamvoid/alpineelectronicsltd, it seems this was a very new company, which makes it difficult to assume that this is anything but a scam.
Over on HUKD, there’s a lot of discussion about the company, with one user noting too many indescrepencies (see here), and lots of comments about emails going unanswered and phone calls which were vague about the company’s history. Many customers have said that they’ve received fake DHL emails about delivery.
Amazon customers have also been talking about Alpine Electronics, with many feeling they’ve been duped. Some customers have already contacted the police about the matter.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE AN ALPINE ELECTRONICS ORDER?
To be safe, it is worth getting in touch with your credit/debit card company or call Action Fraud on 0300 1232040. When contacting Action Fraud, be sure to let them know that the company has vacated their premises, which means they won’t instruct you to send a Breach Of Contract letter to Alpine. Your bank should stand the cost of the transaction, but you’ll need to contact them for more details.
Should your bank prove difficult, remind them that you are in fact protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act whenever you make a purchase for goods or services worth between £100 and £30,000 using your credit card. Section 75 states that you and your credit card provider are “jointly and severally liable” for your purchase. That means, if you’re scammed, your card provider must refund you if the retailer won’t.
Most debit card providers offer protection also. A scheme called Chargeback offers protection on purchases made using Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard and Maestro debit cards. This makes it possible for you to claim a refund if your transaction is unsatisfactory (goods not being delivered, multiple billing, fraud). Claims must be made within 120 days of when your goods should have been delivered and ask your bank to initiate the Chargeback process and a dispute will be opened by your bank.
If Chargeback fails, take your claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
We spoke about the interesting PhoneBloks project, where you can upgrade bits of your mobile like people used to do with their PCs, and it seems Google and Motorola have taken notice.
The Google-owned company has announced that they’re going to consult with Phonebloks inventor Dave Hakkens to develop a “free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones” under the name Project Ara.
Motorola have said that they’ll be working with Hakkens to develop their “common vision” and that the phone-maker will be handling the “deep technical work”, allowing Hakkens to develop and empowers the community, which presumably means he’ll be an ambassador for the product.
“We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software: create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines,” say Motorola, adding: ”A module can be anything, from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter– or something not yet thought of!”
Could this be the next big thing in mobile manufacturing or is this a nerd-only pursuit?
Word is that the sell-everything behemoth is plotting to bring out its own tablet, using the Kindle Fire as a template. Due in the shops pre-Christmas, the as-yet-unnamed device will come pre-loaded with books, films and music (according to The Sunday Times).
There’ll also be loads of other Tesco-related content on there, including apps for the supermarket’s grocery site, banking and its Blinkbox streaming TV/film/music shizzle.
What about THAT then, dear readers? Would you be seen dead (or even alive) with a portable Tesco machine clasped in your hand? Or will it sink without trace within six months?
The application was made on June 3rd with Bloomberg saying that the filing categorises the product as both a watch device and handheld computer. This comes on the back of the rumour that 100 product designers were working on the smartwatch.
Apple, of course, are already playing catch-up with Sony launching Smartwatch 2. Their device is water resistant and has NFC and now, with Foxconn saying they were getting involved in the race, all eyes are on Apple.
Samsung and Google are said to be developing their own wrist-wrapping devices but no-one knows who out of the big three will get a product out first. Now Sony are out of the traps, it seems likely that it won’t be long before someone else gets one out.
Thing is, is there actually any demand?
And it has an irritating name too! This ‘Talk to the Hand’ initiative sees the designer turning vintage Miu Miu and Pineider gloves with bits of old handsets, supplied by O2 Recycling.
The gloves will have a speaker unit in the thumb and a microphone in the little finger, which will sync with the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth, which means you’ll be able to make calls without getting your actual phone out.
“I hope that my Talk to the Hand project will get people to think again about the waste created by not recycling gadgets,” said Miles. ”While these might not be for everyone, there are hundreds of other uses that old phones can be put to – from being reconditioned and used again to being mined for their components.”
“If a few more people recycle their gadgets rather than send them to landfill, I think this project will have fulfilled its aim.”
We’re hoping for underpants that act as a George Foreman grill.
The average Briton is now watching more drivel on telly, despite the fact that we own less actual televisions than we did a few years ago.
According to the TV Licensing Study, we used to watch 3 hours 26 minutes of TV as day in 2006, but now we watch over 4 hours. Sales of TVs, however, have fallen from 2.3m to 1.8m.
Obviously this is to do with changing habits, ie – taking to your bed at 7.30 with a laptop/ipad and gorging on Breaking Bad and then having dreams about licking crystal meth off Jesse Pinkman and waking up in a sea of toast crumbs and sweat. Or whatever YOU like doing.
Gone is the era of the family gathering around the goggle box as an excuse not to talk to each other. Now, we take our viewing where and when we can get it, using a mixture of live TV, catch-up services and streamed online content.
The survey also turned up some vaguely baffling nuggets about what we like to watch. Although the UK loves comedy, we spend most of our time watching drama and news. People in the North East watch the most music videos, people in the West Midlands watch nearly 6 hours of educational TV a week, and old people love the shit out of cBeebies.
So are massive TVs in the living room on their way out, soon to be replaced by laptops and tablets attached to headboards and sofa armrests?
The geniuses at Google still think looking like Rick Moranis and mumbling commands to yourself is the height of cool. Their frankly deranged Google Glass project is gathering pace, and it’s possible that soon we’ll all be having animated discussions while wearing the worst bins since Deirdre Barlow.
Google first started talking about their ‘smart’ glasses – which respond to voice commands and allow you to take pictures, Skype and watch video – last year, when they unveiled them to a select group of developers. Now they’re asking assorted impressionable Twitterers for feedback.
“We’re looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass,” Google said. (Translation: ‘Please help us. We need to hear from speccy idiots who don’t mind getting their faces punched in’).
Sergey Brin, the brave and foolish Google co-founder, was recently spotted on the New York subway testing the glasses.
Onlooker Paul Simon, 71, said: ‘Be careful, his glasses are really a camera. What an asshole.’
It’s been mooted for a while now, and sing Hosannas, because it’s finally happening. Yes, it’s the 128GB iPad!
Presumably it’s aimed at people who have been addicted to tablets for a few years now and are looking for more storage for their mighty app collection. Either that or Apple have just looked at the fact that there isn’t a 128GB iPad yet, figured that there might be some money to make out of such a notion, and bunged one out in the hope it’ll be a hit.
But at £639 for a wi-fi version and £739 for a cellular data one, you’ll probably either have more money than sense or be ripe for sectioning if you buy one.
For the past few months, users of Apple devices have been falling in ditches, stumbling off the summit of rooftop car parks and becoming stranded in desolate fields, all thanks to the new mapping app that appeared in the most recent iOS update, replacing the sturdy, reliable Google one.
Keen travellers have been up in arms about it all ever since it happened but now everything is going to be okay again, as Google Maps has been cleared by Apple and is now available in the App Store for free.
Head Apple honcho Tim Cook apologised profusely when the Apple Maps service was found to be full of glitches and psychedelic imagery where locations should have been, and it seems that Apple have decided that they’d rather swallow their pride and let Google back into their phones rather than face further criticism.
We expect that Apple will now quietly set about making their own maps work properly and relaunch at some point rather than concede defeat to the Googlers.
In case you’re wondering where the coolest men in the world are, we’re delighted to tell you that they’re mooching about in the artificial light of a Walmart stockroom in Pikeville, Kentucky. Yes, PIKEVILLE.
But what makes them the coolest men alive? Why it’s this video, in which they brazenly hurl some iPads around, while sneering at their vile actions. Still, at least we know where they are – they look the type who would be pulling the legs off kittens if they weren’t chucking gadgetry around for minimum wage.
Oh no, they’ve probably all been sacked now.
It looks as though we can expect to see fewer of those irritating Apple launch events from now on. That’s because the Cupertino-based gadget pushers have finally cottoned on to the fact that people buy loads of stuff at Christmas and have pumped out a range of new and upgraded stuff in one blast last night.
Top of the list was the iPad Mini, which is smaller than your standard iPad but not quite as good, what with it not having the Retina display. Also, it’ll have 4G capabilities, but only with EE’s 4G and not the 4G that will come later from the other providers.
Also, it has the new Lightnight connector that was unveiled on the iPhone 5 a month or so ago. Pricing starts at £269 for the 16GB version, and with increasing numbers of Google’s Nexus 7 knocking around for about £100 less, it’s all fairly underwhelming.
But wait! There’s more! Did you buy the new iPad 3 when it was launched earlier in the year? Well now it’s OBSOLETE! Yes, there’s an iPad 4 coming, with a twice-as-fast processor and not much else that’s new. Oh, apart from the Lightning connector. You can’t escape the Lightning connector. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FIGHTING THE LIGHTNING CONNECTOR.
Woah! There’s even more! The 13” MacBook Pro will now come with Retina display (it was previously only available in the 15” model) along with some other minor spec-tinkering. The iMac has been made even slinkier and sexier – yet somehow it’s still got a computer inside it. Then there’s the Mac Mini – that’s also been boosted with the inclusion of an Intel Ivy Bridge processor and some other upgrading as well.
So will this be the shape of things to come from now on? Fewer launches throughout the year with a bumper crop of new goodies ahead of the Christmas spend-spurt? Very possibly.
What about you, dear readers? Does any of this new Apple kit float your boat? Or is Apple just another tech company now, with Google and Samsung catching up with stuff that is just as good while being considerably cheaper? Tell us what you think about things. We need to know!
Here’s some ‘interesting’ information about how the iPad Mini was created…
The iPad Mini is about to be released, and we’re bored with it before we’ve even seen one. So here’s the Taiwanese NMA take on it all, with Star Wars references and that…
Amazon have had a bit of a rethink after announcing last week that their all-new Kindle Fire tablet would come with adverts incorporated into its display. There was some mile outrage from potential customers who would rather fry and eat their own eyeballs than look at (and presumably ignore) the occasion commercial message.
This sentence is brought to you in association with Texan bars.
Anyway, following the light rage displayed following the Fire’s launch, Amazon has said that a non-ad version of their new dream machine will be released as well. Naturally, this will cost more than the other version, $15 more to be precise.
This sentence is brought to you in association with Pacers.
With $15 working out at about a tenner, it begs the question, would you pay £10 extra not to see intrusive adverts for defunct confectionery brands everywhere you look? Answer the question in the comments box below – it’s important.
It looks as if the new iPhone is about to be launched and, as they did earlier in the year, Aatma Studios are ahead of the game, predicting the new features that we might see next week, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous…
Amazon have been showing off some fancy new gadgetry, with an updated Kindle Fire seeing their tablet device coming to the UK for the first time.
As of 25th October, there’ll be a 7” version of the Fire available for £159 for 16GB and £199 for 32GB. Amazon say that it’s “the most advanced 7” tablet”, a clear poke in the ribs at Google and their 7” Nexus tablet.
There’ll also be a 8.9” version of the Fire, which will be available in the US from November, with 4G connectivity, although there’s no confirmation of a UK release date as yet. However, a souped-up version of the original Kindle Fire, which has never had a UK release, could be yours for £129 from the October launch date.
Among its many charms, the Kindle Fire HD has what Amazon claims is the fastest wi-fi available on a tablet, an impressive 11-hour battery life and a front-facing camera.
If you’re wondering how they can sell it so cheap, the Fire will be subsidised by adverts that will appear on its lock screen. Tolerable? Probably, if a little bit unpleasant.
As well as all of that, Amazon also unveiled a new version of the Kindle e-reader, called the Paperwhite, which can be used in the dark. BUT, we’re not getting any of those in the UK yet – you’ll have to make do with an updated version of the ordinary 6” Kindle for now.
If you’re desperate for an e-reader that can be used in the dark, Kobo have launched such a thing, making it front-lit, calling it the Glo and punting it out for £99.99. They’ve also unveiled the Kobo Mini, which is a titchy, teeny five inches and is only £59.99 (but you can’t read it in the dark). They’ll both be on sale from 1st October.
If THAT wasn’t enough, there’s also a Kobo tablet coming. Named the Arc, it’s a 7-inch, Android 4.0 object that comes with 8GB form (for £159.99) or 16GB (for £189.99). The Arc will be released in November.
Phew! That enough for you?