A medical student ended up being badly burned as her EE Power Bar charger exploded, and set fire to her bedroom carpet. Using her laptop to charge the device, Katy Emslie heard her charging device explode, which then fired across the room ‘like a firework’.
She said that the Power Bar crashed into the wall and then charred the carpet behind it and caused a fire under her bed. The burns came from Emslie trying to extinguish the flames.
Katy said: “I was charging my EE power bar through my Mac computer overnight and at I was woken up by something which sounded like a firework. The power bar had exploded up the wall and flames began spreading around my bedroom.”
“I was screaming for my mum who was in the next room, I tried patting the flames out with my hand because I was worried that the fire could spread underneath and set my bed alight. My mum came through with a towel and put out the flames while I ran through and ran my hand under the cold water tap.”
“We then went to A&E where I had to keep my hand underneath a cold water tap for three hours before it was cool enough to be treated.”
Katy added: “The executive office at EE phoned me up and said that they’ll be holding an internal inquiry but all I want is to have the full use of my hands back.”
EE say that this is an isolated incident, with a spokesperson saying: “We’re sorry to hear about Ms. Emslie’s experience. All of our products undergo stringent safety tests. This is an isolated incident and we’re in contact with the customer to investigate the cause of this issue as a matter of urgency.”
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.”
You might be wondering how to do it, because you might not be as tech savvie as everyone on the internet. Don’t sweat it – we’re here to guide you through it.
What Do I Need?
Right, you’ll need one of the following – an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, an iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3, an Apple Watch that you’ve synced-up with your iPhone 5/iPhone 5c/iPhone 5s/iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus. Your phone needs to be running on iOS 8.3 or above. If you think you need to update your operating system, click here to sort that out.
You will also need to have your fingerprint with Touch ID, as well as having an iCloud account on a phone that has the United Kingdom set at the region. And of course, you’ll need a credit or debit card from a bank that is supporting Apple Pay.
I’m Not Sure If My Bank Supports Apple Pay!
The short answer is that Barclays haven’t signed-up with Apple yet. The long answer is that RBS, Nat West, Nationwide, Ulster Bank, MBNA, Santander, are. In the next 4 weeks, HSBC will have joined-in too. Later in the year, the Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Halifax, M&S Bank and TSB Bank will be on board too.
So How Do I Set Up Apple Pay On My Device?
Get on your device and open Passbook. If you need to go through the menus, go to Settings, then hit Passbook and Apple Pay. There, you’ll add your card by hitting the plus symbol. Or, it might say Add Credit or Debit Card. Depends which device you’re adding it to. You might have already added your card when you linked it with your iTunes account, in which case, you’ll only have to pop in your security code.
You’ll click ‘Next’ to get everything verified with your bank and, once they’ve given you the all-clear, you’re set. In the Passbook section, you can add a number of cards, if you like.
Where Can I Use Apple Pay?
There’s over 250,000 retailers who will be accepting Apple Pay, and we’re certainly not going to list them all here. You’ll see that some shops have signs saying they accept Apple Pay. However, some of the bigger stores include Lidl, Boots, M&S, the Post Office, McDonald’s, Waitrose, Costa, KFC, Starbucks, BP, Wagamama, Subway and Nando’s.
More and more shops will be getting down with Apple Pay in the coming months. You can also use it like an Oyster Card on the readers on London’s public transport.
So How Am I Supposed To Use The Thing?
Have you done a contactless payment with your debit card? If so, very similar to that. If not, it is really straightforward.
Hold your phone over the card reader with your thumb/finger (the one you stored with Touch ID – so sucks to be you if you did it with your nipple or dog’s nose) on the home button, and Passbook will automatically kick in. Your device will vibrate and make a ping! noise, and your payment is done. Just to be extra thorough, your device will day ‘Done’ on the screen.
If you’re planning on using it through your Apple Watch, then, when making a payment, double-click the side button to get your card up, then hold it next to the card reader and, again, it’ll vibrate and ping!, and you’re away.
What Is An iPhone?
Don’t you worry. You can still pay for things with money. Don’t get worked up about it all.
In Europe, this method of paying for stuff you probably don’t need was used more than ONE BILLION times in the past 12 months, according to those swines who work at Visa. As more businesses get the technology in, the more people want to use it, clearly.
Total contactless spending over the year totalled an impressive €12.6bn (that’s around £9bn to you). In March alone, €1.6bn was spent by wafting a card at a machine. That is triple the amount from the year previous.
British shops are, by some distance, the most likely place to see some hot card-on-near field device action. Brits paid for stuff with contactless technology 52.6 million times.
France were second with 20.3m and Poland was third with 14.5m.
In the UK, this number will only rise further as more and more shops get the new technology in and, of course, more people start forking out for shopping with their phones.
“The popularity of contactless will only increase in future as we experience the next generation of digital payments, where the simplicity and convenience is extended to mobile and wearable near field communications technology,” said Visa Europe’s Sandra Alzetta. “We’re proud to have led the way in establishing contactless payments in Europe, and excited to be at the forefront as contactless payments become increasingly available to everyone.”
Google Glass looked like it was being killed off, but alas, not. The thing that was being shelved was the Explorer Edition, while secretly, Google were working on Enterprise Edition.
According to a report in 9to5Google: “We’ve come to learn from people familiar with the matter that the next hardware is being referred to by Google internally as “Enterprise Edition” or “Google Glass EE” (If you remember, Explorer Edition was referred to as “Google Glass XE”).
“The device named “GG1″ that passed through the FCC seems very likely to be this new hardware—or at least some version of it—and it makes complete sense. Almost all of the Glass at Work startups have focused on the video streaming aspect of the device and have invested millions in software built around it. And in the workplace, this is where Google Glass has been discovered to be most useful. Amped up WiFi capabilities with ac WiFi and 5 GHz support, as well as Bluetooth LE, make sense for video streaming—and Glass startups are more than happy to take advantage of this.”
Obviously, wearable technology is a hot topic for companies at the moment, with everyone getting excited now that Apple have brought a watch out for people to buy. The Apple Watch wasn’t the first, but things go up a notch when they throw their hats into the ring. And of course, there’s a host of Virtual Reality headsets due to hit the shelves, go Google could occupy a middle-ground now that people are more willing to give things like this a whirl.
Importantly for Google, businesses are interested in what Glass can do for them. And with the new eyewear, Google have not just repackaged the old gizmo, rather, the Google Glass Enterprise Edition involves newer, and hopefully better, hardware.
The sticking point, as ever, will be price.
There’s a new gadget in town which promises to boost the life of any disposable battery by up to 800%. These types of gadgets usually sell for a fair chunk of money – but not this one – this one will be on sale for a measly £1.60.
The Batteriser is 0.1mm thick and, basically, you pop it on an ordinary AA battery like a sleeve, and it’ll boost your dying battery back to the original 1.5v.
There’s other sizes promised too.
What the gizmo does, is boost the battery’s circuitry – when batteries drop below 1.5v, they stop working in your gadgets, but this utilises the 80% of the power that is left unused. This sounds almost too good to be true – but if it works as well as it promises, this could save you money and potentially stop us having to roll the batteries around in remotes to try and get them working.
“The Batteriser has boost circuitry that will boost the voltage from 0.6 volts to 1.5 volts and will maintain voltage at 1.5 – which is a brand new battery,” said Bob Roohparvar of Batteriser.
According to the website, it is ‘coming soon’.
Do you have some Beats’ Pill XL speakers? Have you been thinking that the mixtapes you’ve been playing through them are absolute fire? Have you been listening to Heat Wave and thinking it is actually getting Hot in Herre?
Well, that might have something to do with the fact that your speakers are a massive fire hazard and you should stop using them immediately. No. This is not a drill.
Apple are recalling Beats’ largest Pill speaker because the batteries are overheating and it might cause the device to set on fire.
“Apple has determined that, in rare cases, the battery in the Beats Pill XL Speaker may overheat and pose a fire safety risk,” says Apple’s recall website. “If you have a Beats Pill XL Speaker, please stop using it.”
You don’t want to be listening to ‘Burning Down The House’ through it and then end up a desperately ironic and amusing footnote in a local newspaper, do you?
To sort this out, click here and submit a request to return it to Apple. You have to do it through the website, so don’t think about taking it to an Apple shop, because they won’t take the speakers off your hands. Via the website, you’ll get sent a box to return it in and then you’ll get £215 in Apple Store credit or they’ll wire you the cash.
Seeing as Google Play is a bit of a mess and there’s a lack of curating going on, on their part, it is hard to find the best apps for you.
One of the reasons there’s such a dizzying amount of apps around is that anyone can submit their apps to Google’s Play market, and that includes scammers and those who want to brick your phone and all that. Apps can also be downloaded from all over the place, not just Google’s store.
With Android being more open than other operating systems, this is often a good thing – but as ever, there’s always someone who wants to spoil it for everyone.
So with that, let us look at what we think are the best Android antivirus apps around. Search for these in the Google Play Store, read the reviews from other users and see what is best for you.
THE BEST ANDROID ANTIVIRUS AND SECURITY APPS
Avast Mobile Security & Anti-Virus (click)
One of the most highly rated anti-virus apps is the Avast Mobile Security & Anti-Virus, which provides you with a load of background tools to thwart any bleakness you may stumble across. The app is free, too! This is probably the best you can get.
Qihoo 360 Mobile Safe (click)
Another good freebie, the Qihoo 360 Mobile Safe has a big array of useful tools and fares well with other users. This is arguably as good as the Avast app.
Kaspersky Internet Security for Android (click)
Yet another good free app, Kaspersky Internet Security is a solid app that offers protection for your Android devices. Well worth checking out.
Ikarus Mobile Security (click)
This app will cost you £7 inc VAT, and is a lightweight security app that should give you what you need to protect your Android device. That said, we feel it isn’t quite as good as the aforementioned freebies.
Norton Mobile Security 2014 (click)
A popular and famous name, the Norton Mobile Security 2014 app has a lot of helpful tools to manage and secure your phone and again, it is a free download.
There’s a myriad of emulators on the internet, that allows you to play old video games consoles. If you have an Android mobile, you’ll know that you can get Mega Drive and NES emulators on your phone, so you can relive the glory years by playing Alex Kidd or Super Hang-On or whatever.
That said, nothing quite matches up to the thrill of playing these things on your television set. Of course, there’s official recreations of these things, be it through bundled games on disc, or indeed, through retro-joypads that you plug-in, and go.
However, here’s a thing that knocks them all into a cocked-hat.
The Cyber Gadget Retro Freak is a great little thing that houses 11 different games consoles in one unit!
So, if you get one, you can play games from the Mega Drive, Famicom, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Colour, Game Boy Advance, PC Engine, TurboGrafx-16 and PC Engine SuperGrafx and more. If you like, you can use the original controllers through an adapter and you can even install games onto the console itself, so you don’t have to muck about with cartridges.
If you can read Japanese, find out more here.
Lugging a TV out of the shop is still a pain in the hole. Even though they’re getting lighter and thinner, they’re still pretty cumbersome. However, LG might have just the solution as they’ve come up with a television set that is so light and so thin, it bends like paper.
The TV is less than 1mm thick, and so light that you’d only need a couple of magnets to mount it on the wall. And if it fell off, it’d probably float like a feather or something.
Of course, this is just a concept at the moment, but it looks like this is the future of TV sets.
This TV uses OLED technology, which LG are really keen on. This means that displays can be much smaller because there’s no need for a backlight, like LCD screens have. And to show off, you can bend it while it is switched on.
Seeing as LG do displays for people other than themselves, you can imagine that a load of electronics companies are going to be sniffing around this. Someone will make a phone that is as light as a cigarette paper – just you watch.
Anyway, technology is getting lighter and thinner, so good news for removal men!
The appetite for Google Glass hasn’t been too great, leaving Google to pull the idea for a while. While the idea of the gadget isn’t all that bad, there was something awry about it and the prohibitive price didn’t help matters.
With all that in mind, the wearable technology could be making a comeback, as part of a new crop of wearable products. With the Apple Watch selling like hot cakes, the time might be right for Google to chance their arm again, in this particular field. We shouldn’t forget that virtual reality is just around the corner too.
So what’s the score? Well, there’s been a number of job adverts on Google’s website. The Google Glass team are now focused on developing “smart eyewear and other related products,” suggesting that Google are going to expand beyond the goggles.
These job listings include an Audio Hardware Manager, a Human Factors Designer, an RF Systems Engineer and a Hardware Automation Engineer (Manufacturing). It has also been rumoured that Google will be unveiling a new version of the Glass headset alongside other wearable products at the Google I/O developer conference at the end of this month.
Google just need to remember that, whatever they do, it has to have style as well as substance, as the old glasses looked a bit grim. The Apple Watch has been warmly received for the aesthetic, so Google Glass needs to look like a designer pair of specs and, importantly, not cost a grand. Then, they might be on to something.
Is actual reality getting you down? Is everything too humdrum and irritating? Well, never fear, because virtual reality is on the way! Which one? Well, you can get the highly anticipated Oculus VR nonsense at the start of 2016!
That’s right – Rift with be released within the first three months of 2016.
There’s been developer versions of Rift knocking around, but they’re not too indicative of what customers will see on the shelves. The Facebook owned Oculus VR will be the first of the VR headsets on the market, beating HTC’s rival Vive product, and Sony’s Morpheus too.
Thus far, we’ve been given teasers which promise that Rift has a “more natural fit” and an “improved tracking system” than earlier models which we’ve seen. ”In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming,” Oculus said on its blog.
“Virtual reality is going to transform gaming, film, entertainment, communication, and much more. E3 is just around the corner – this is only the beginning.”
Are you a psychopath that can’t register basic human emotions? Are you Sheldon from The Big Bang theory who can’t understand members of the same species when they’re upset?
Well, Microsoft might be able to help as they’ve patented some smartglasses that will help you detect and interpret the emotions of people you’re looking at. While everyone else has empathy, you’ll have special emotion specs.
The application for a “wearable emotion detection feedback system” was filed in 2012 and awarded this week in That America and says that the wearer will be able to decide who to analyse from the people in their field of vision, without their knowledge. You may know this as ‘looking’.
One use for these could be in job interviews, where a future boss could look at you with these special glasses on and tell what you’re feeling while being questioned. They’re all in for a rude awakening when they find out that everyone can’t be arsed about anything other than the money being offered.
Or maybe the police forces of the world will be into these, come interrogation time?
Basically, these glasses work by using cameras to pick up information from someone’s face, as well as a microphone to analyse speech rhythms and the like. It will amass information and tell you about someone’s state.
Part of the filing said that context would also be important: “For example, if a subject plays with her hair in a social situation, such as a date, this behaviour may indicate friendliness or interest. However, the same behaviour in a business situation may indicate boredom.”
Have you got tattoos? Got a ’50s pin-up girl on your arm like you’re a sailor, riddled with scurvy? Have you got a butterfly next to your navel? Well, you should be okay if you buy one of the new Apple Watches.
However, if you have one on your wrist, you might have problems.
Apple Watch users on a number of social media sites have noted that their expensive gadgets lose connection and delivers inaccurate heart rate results if you’ve got wrists with tattoos on them.
It seems like the watch’s plethysmograph sensor doesn’t like the ink pigmentation of tattooed people and it can’t properly assess whether or not it is maintaining skin contact.
iMore decided to run some tests, and they said “we’re inclined to agree with those early reports — if your tattoo happens to be a solid, darker color. This is has to do with the way Apple measures your heart rate.” They added: “The tests produced misleading heart rate measurements on solid black and red colours. Tattoos with lighter colors seemed to give Apple Watch less trouble, only leading to heart rate readings that were slightly off the mark.”
You can hit the link above to read their test results, but this is potentially bad news for gadget loving hipsters with full sleeves on the go.
And so, they’re pointing at their own Android Wear and hoping someone takes an interest and have released a big update making them more functional, which is what everyone is after, obviously.
In a blog, Google has underlined the changes they’ve made, including an ‘always-on apps’ feature. Android Wear aficionados will know that there’s existing software already has always-on stuff, but now, this update will let you extend it to apps so that they are visible for as long as you need them. Incredible, obviously. Apple must be soiling themselves in fear.
And the battery? Apparently, that won’t get hammered as the screen will only be full colour when you are looking at it.
Android Wear is going to support built-in WiFi, as well as letting you flick your wrist if you want to scroll through your notifications. You can now tap the screen to start apps and send messages, which feels like a thing that should have been around for ages. One neat thing that the kids will like, is that you can also draw emojis directly on the watch screen and send them via message or text.
Expect these to rollout in the coming weeks. Try to contain yourselves.