Apple’s Spotlight opening you to hacks?

January 13th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

sad apple logo Apples Spotlight opening you to hacks?On OS X Yosemite, you may have noticed that Apple’s Spotlight search function is rather sophisticated, allowing you to search the web as well as peering into your machine for content too. All very clever.

However, it also has a flaw that could well expose your local information to nefarious types. Not so clever.

So what’s going on? Well, the weakness focuses on Apple Mail. Basically, as Spotlight Search indexes emails that have been received within Apple’s email service, it also shows previews of your emails, your images and such.

All a hacker would need to do is to insert a tracking pixel into one of your email’s images and hey presto! They could well be enjoying access to your data!

While the email is in your inbox, you can ignore scams, but Spotlight’s preview function opens up a vulnerability. Seeing as Spotlight opens previews of your junk and spam messages, this could be a problem. Even if you have switched off the “load remote content in messages” feature, it doesn’t exactly fix the problem.

Until Apple issue a fix, the best thing for you to do is to go to your Mac System preferences and switch off email indexing.

energy Make sure you claim a refund on closed energy accountsIt looks like a whole host of us have not been reclaiming the money that is rightfully ours after we’ve closed accounts with energy providers. You’re smart enough to know that the energy companies are quite happy for you to leave it in their care and not do a damned thing about it.

Somewhere in advance of £200m has been left in 3.5 million frozen accounts, discovered by Ofgem, and Energy UK want everyone to get their money back.

British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, ScottishPower and SSE have all been asked to refund old customers, but obviously, they need to be ordered to do it.

So how can you get your cash back? Well, Energy UK has launched the My Energy Credit campaign and they reckon they’ve already got £50m back into the hands of the people who were owed it. Now they want everyone else to get on it. They’ve set up a website, which you can see here, as well as a helpline and freepost address. Concerning the latter, you can call 0370 737 7770 or write to:

My Energy Credit
47 Aylesbury Road
Thame, OX9 3PG

Energy UK chief executive Lawrence Slade said: “This campaign aims to inform customers throughout the UK about money that might be owed to them by their previous energy supplier. Energy companies have long had systems in place to give back energy credit to customers. This campaign spreads awareness and makes it easier for consumers to check whether they are owed money or not.”

So don’t miss out. If you think you’re owed money by an energy company, chase them up and you’ll have a nice little bonus to spend on dirty books, booze or whatever it is that tickles your pickle.

What to do if the DVLA have lost your letter

December 3rd, 2014 5 Comments By Mof Gimmers

dvla.jpg 300x300 What to do if the DVLA have lost your letterBack in 2010, we wrote about the problems with the DVLA (where do you start, right?) and how, if you send them a letter and they lose it, they’ll blame you. Their off-road notification system was described back then as “a shambles” and “legally unenforceable” and in “administrative chaos”, and it looks like nothing much has changed.

There’s have been court cases which have shown the DVLA had been acting unlawfully concerning drivers who have failed to notify them when they’ve taken their vehicle off the road (SORN) and judges have agreed that it isn’t the driver’s fault that the DVLA or the Royal Mail have lost letters.

Drivers, judges have said, shouldn’t have to pay for recorded deliveries every time they send a letter and, indeed, they shouldn’t have to ring to confirm letters have been received by the DVLA either. Imagine a scenario where everyone has to send everything by recorded delivery AND ring up to make sure letters have been received by companies. That way, madness lies.

A spokesman for the DVLA said: “The DVLA does not impose any requirements for customers to obtain proof of posting or use recorded delivery in their dealings with us. However, and this is a key point, the onus is on the customer to ensure their off-road notification is delivered to DVLA.”

“With reference to non-receipt of acknowledgement letters by customers, there is no legal obligation on the customer to contact DVLA if they do not receive their acknowledgement letter. However, and another key point, we do advise customers to contact us if this happens so that we can confirm if their notification has been delivered to us or advise them otherwise how to comply”.

However, the DVLA will still send bailiffs and threaten drivers and we’ve had people getting in touch with us about more trouble with this absolute shower. To add insult to injury, they’ve also been selling everyone’s personal details and pocketed £25 million in the bargain.

After 4 years and judges deciding in favour of the drivers, the DVLA are still losing drivers’ log-books and letters and then sending threatening letters and asking for hundreds of pounds. One of our readers got in touch to say that the DVLA had “lost identity documents of both my kids!” and if you look at these comments, you’ll see that things are a mess.

So what can you do?

Well, if your case goes to court, or indeed, you want to tell the DVLA on the phone how the law works, you can say that you have indeed sent your letter and, according to the law of the land, the Interpretation Act 1978 Section 7 says: “Where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post (whether the expression “serve” or the expression “give” or “send” or any other expression is used) then, unless the contrary intention appears, the service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document and, unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.”

In English, if you say you’ve sent a letter, then it is assumed that it was received the next working day (if sent first class). Unless the DVLA can prove they DIDN’T receive it, then by law, it is accepted that it was delivered to them.

If you’d like to make a complaint about the DVLA, then ironically, you have to do it in writing. You should give your full name and address, your date of birth or driver number, the vehicle registration, make and model (if the case is about a vehicle) and your phone number and send your complaint to: Customer Services Manager, DVLA, Swansea SA7 0EE.

You’re right not to trust them with a letter, so you can complain online and fill in the form here. The DVLA aim to answer complaints within two weeks. In all complaints, you can always ask to be referred to an independent complaints assessor or get your MP to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

We’ll keep tabs on this and remember: don’t let the DVLA shove you around. It is mostly empty threats and they will try to get you to pay a smaller fine by threatening you with a larger one. If you have fulfilled your side of the bargain, don’t budge.

How To… deal with nuisance texts that cost you money

November 25th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

mobile apps How To... deal with nuisance texts that cost you moneyWe received a message from someone who had been receiving nuisance texts from a company called ‘Mobjizz’. Stop laughing at the back there. This company send you links to mucky things and charge you for the privilege.

The message reads: “I have been receiving dirty texts from this company mobjizz for the past 3 weeks and have checked my mobile phone bill and I have been charged £6.”

“I don’t go on these kind of sites and have never heard of this company before. The number I get these texts from are different every time, like ’69029′ or ‘Hardcore’. These messages contain links and have an option to replying back with STOP to stop these messages. I have never clicked on the links or replied STOP, I just delete the texts straight away.”

There’s a whole host of companies out there who do this sort of thing, so what can you do to ensure it stops happening to you?

Well, for starters, if you look in the settings on your phone, you should be able to block certain numbers. However, if the company has a variety of numbers from which they spam you, that’s no use. Worth doing all the same. Also, do NOT reply with ‘STOP’ in a bid to end these texts. That just lets the spammers know your number is active, meaning they can send you loads of rubbish.

As far as the law is concerned, just like unsolicited recorded message calls, the general rule is that organisations are prohibited from sending marketing texts to individuals without the prior consent of the recipient. However, according to Ofcom: “However, the law also provides that an organisation may send unsolicited texts in circumstances where:

- the organisation has obtained the recipient’s contact details in the course of a sale (or negotiations for the sale) of a product of service to that recipient;

- the text message relates to similar products or services offered by the sender; and

- the recipient has been given a simple means of opting-out of receiving such messages at the time they provided their contact details and at the time of each subsequent communication.”

If you’d like to stop receiving marketing texts, you can report the text to your network operator, who should be able to prevent further messages. To report a marketing text to Orange, O2, T-Mobile, or 3, simply forward the text to 7726. For Vodafone users, forward the text to 87726. You can remember this number easily because, on your phone, ’7726′ spells out the word ‘SPAM’. Operators have been known to refund money taken from such texts, so don’t be shy in asking them about it. The mobile operators can put a block on any company with a 5-digit code (which is usually used by companies like these).

In addition to this, you can get in touch with the ICO who can take action against companies and investigate spammers. You can call them at 0303 123 1113 or visit their website. You can also call Ofcom’s helpline at 0300 123 3333.

You can also get in touch with PhonePayPlus and make a complaint about one of these companies. They have a ready-made online claim form which you can use. Have a look at that here.

Black Friday tips for bargain newbies!

November 25th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

BLACK FRIDAY1 300x300 Black Friday tips for bargain newbies!In our quest to point you in the direction of some decent bargains, we’ve put together a little ready-reckoner for Black Friday noobz.

Of course, most Bitterwallet readers are seasoned bargain snufflers who need no help (if we ignore the appalling personal hygiene and social skills issues), but for those new to Black Friday, we’ve got some top tips!


Click here to see all the best Black Friday bargains. That’s as good a place to start as any!

If you’re determined to grab a bargain, you’re going to have to get up early. If you’re mad/brave enough to get down the shops to wrestle someone for a new telly, then you’ll have to start queuing up the night before. If you’re sticking to online sales, then you need to be up bright and early before the shops run out of stock.

Research what you’re after now. If you start panic buying gadgets because they’re cheap, rather than good, then you’ve only yourself to blame. There’s a difference between stuff that is genuinely marked down and stuff the shops couldn’t get rid of last week, but are now throwing in your face because you’re determined to spend some money. Stores also do peculiar things with strategic product placement in their shops on Black Friday, so don’t be wooed by them throwing lousy products at you.

Remember: keep your receipts. The madness of Black Friday might see you lumbered with something rubbish and you can still return things to the shops. You are covered by the Sale of Goods Act 1979, so don’t fret.

There’ll be a lot of fraudsters online this week, so keep an eye out for them. If you’re unsure about the validity of somewhere or a bargain seems too good to be true, then walk away. Stick to the names you know and trust.

There’s going to be a lot of bargains knocking about on Cyber Monday and a good number of people think it’ll offer even more good deals than Black Friday. If you miss out, then you’ve got another day of sales.

Don’t assume that the prices online are the same as the prices in-store on Black Friday. If you’re serious about Black Friday, get down the shops first while checking out the deals online.

If you’re buying clothes, shoes or accessories, Black Friday might not actually be the best time of the year to pick up a bargain (January is usually better). With that, it is worth applying the rule of ignoring anything that offers less than 40% off the full retail price.

Google make Christmas shopping easier

November 25th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Google have made spending your money even simpler for you this Christmas.

The search engine has been updated to include new elements on smartphones and tablets to sell you even more stuff this Black Friday.

Extra information will be yours when you tap in something like ‘kettles’, and it will tell you where the product is available and user reviews and will pop up on a regular search. You’ll also have the option to use a 3D, 360-degree rotation tool to view some products.

Google Mobile 151x300 Google make Christmas shopping easier


Google reckon half of all people between 25 and 34 use their phones to shop while they’re out shopping. This new app will enable them to do so with even greater ease, and you’ll be even able to track your items and stock levels. I mean, how much more help does one want here?

android lollipop 300x300 What can Androids Lollipop do, that KitKat couldnt?Android 5.0, or Lollipop, is set to be flung out to compatible devices and there’s going to be some changes. Some changes will be irritating for everyone no doubt, but there’s others that are pretty great.

With the latter, here’s some of the cool stuff you can look out for.

Battery and Charging

Instead of charging your battery and staring at it, willing it to juice-up more quickly, Android Lollipop’s new OS will show you how long it would take to charge your phone and will also have a little graph showing off how much time is left before the battery does. The home screen will no show you the time until full charge, which is handy.


You know how, on your computer, you can set up guest accounts so other people don’t get to nosey around in your business? Well, Lollipop is offering the same thing, so you can add guest users or create a profile for other people. By going to Settings/Users/Add Guest, you’ll be able to tailor what they  can do on your phone.


Most phones have some sort of torch on them, but now, Android 5.0 has the flashlight pinned in the notifications panel. Pull down the notification thingy and there it is! Hardly earth-shattering, but it not bad at all for those looking for some nice practical improvements.

Notification panel

Speaking of the notification panel, the new one has been made much easier to use. Unlike KitKat, the most useful feature you’ll notice is that you can have the ability to view your notifications on your lock screen. If you’re worried about leaving your phone unattended, then you can disable the function in Settings.

Flappy Bird

The new Android 5.0 has an ‘easter egg’ build-in where you can get a modified version of Flappy Bird. If you want to check it out, go to Settings/About Phone and click it a few times and you’ll get the android robot in place of the bird. The game will still irritate you though.


If you’ve got Chromecast, you’ll now be able to access it much easier. Now, you can simply go to the notification panel and tap ‘Cast Screen’. No more waiting for the ‘Cast This?’ pop-up.

Redesigned Soft Keys

Soft key buttons have been updated and the icons are a bit tidier, a little smaller and rather nicely compact.

Prioritise apps

Your phone can get a bit clogged-up when you’ve been using loads of apps through the day. Lollipop now gives you the opportunity to prioritise which apps you receive notifications from. So, if you’re going to bed, you can switch most of them off so you’re not flooded with pointless notifications first thing in the morning, or whatever.

£2.66 a head for Christmas dinner

November 17th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

christmas 300x300 £2.66 a head for Christmas dinnerThanks to the increasingly heated rivalry between all the supermarkets, the price of a turkey and the trimmings has fallen. If you’re feeding eight people, the price of your Christmas dinner will be £2.66 a head.

You can recalibrate the cost per head if you’re the kind of person who does Christmas properly and feeds four people with eight people’s worth of food where you all force it all down you like a hoard of gluttons.

Funnily enough, this cost of a Christmas dinner is actually cheaper than a Meal Deal from Tesco.

Anyway, this is the kicker: If you want a turkey, cranberry sauce, four types of vegetables, stuffing and three different desserts, if you shop around you can buy it for £21.31. Last year, according to the Good Housekeeping magazine, it would’ve set you back £21.84 and, in 2009, it would’ve cost £24.

Soon enough, the supermarkets will be so desperate for our custom, they’ll just fire pre-cooked turkey dinners directly into our mouths for free with a t-shirt cannon. Here’s hoping.

Good Housekeeping found that the best priced turkey was £9.99 from Lidl while Aldi are cheapest for sprouts and carrots. As for your Christmas pudding and mince pies, the best is to be found at Sainsbury’s, while Tesco is the place to buy your cranberry sauce. Morrisons, Asda and Tesco all offered stuffing for the same price.

If you can’t be bothered going to all those different shops, then the cheapest single-basket shop is Peter Andre’s Iceland, where you can buy the lot for £27.84, which is £20 cheaper than the most expensive, Marks and Spencer.

Good Housekeeping said: “Budget ­supermarkets are making a real difference to the cost of our shopping,” adding: “It’s a constant struggle for many to keep family food bills under control, but the current battle between the traditional supermarkets and the discounters is pulling prices down.”

All you have to do now is sharpen your elbows for the inevitable rush in the supermarkets. Remember, Christmas is all about one thing: NO MERCY.

Thermostat tips so you’re ready for winter

October 20th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

cold winter Thermostat tips so youre ready for winterWinter isn’t too far away, which means we’re going to get some cold, bleak weather. Ignore what the Christmas cards say, showing people smiling with rosy cheeks – there’s nothing romantic about trembling in your living room wearing eight jumpers and chattering your teeth down to nubs.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be like that if you have central heating. All hail the magic of controlled temperatures!

Research shows that around 60% of people haven’t the foggiest when it comes to their heating, even when most think they do.

However, a lot of people are using their thermostats incorrectly, so we’ve got some tips to help you use them more wisely and save some money while you’re at it.

Choose the best temperature

This might seem like teaching nana how to suck eggs, but by turning your heating down by 1°C can save you around £55 per year. One good tip is to set your room thermostat to 18°C and then turn it up by one degree every day until you find the optimum warmth. For your thermostat to work well, they need a free flow of air to sense the temperature accurately, so make sure they’re not covered by curtains or hidden away behind furniture.

Turn the thermostat up

According to the Energy Savings Trust, over half of us whack the thermostat up when it is cold outside. They shouldn’t, because a thermostat is designed to maintain the desired temperature, whatever the weather. Greg Shreeve, energy expert at the Energy Saving Trust, says that, if you do turn up your thermostat, you’ll “find it’s a bit too hot” and you’ll have wasted energy and cash in the process.

Leaving the heat on low

Some leave the heat on constantly on a low setting, when they should be using a programmer which means your house is warmer when you’re in, rather than making rooms cosy when you’re at work. It might seem obvious, but according to statistics, around a third of Britons do this.

Zonal heating

If you’re serious about saving money, you could install more than one thermostat, which means each room is controllable. So if you have a room you never go in, what’s the point in heating it? Setting lower temps for bits of the house you hardly go in, or at certain times of the day, will save you cash in the long run.

Thermostat to max

Do you turn the thermostat to max when you get in from work, in a bid to heat the house up more quickly? Noticed how you can’t get it back to a comfortable temperature in good time? 35% of Brits do this. ”People think it’s like pressing your foot down on the accelerator in a car, and the further you press your foot down, the faster you get to the speed you want,” Shreeve explains. ”But actually, a thermostat doesn’t control the speed at which your house heats up – it just controls the final temperatures.”

Keeping the water on all day

Are you one of the third of Brits who keeps the water on all-day so you don’t run out of water? Well, you shouldn’t. It’ll be costing you loads of money and it is unnecessary. If you have a well insulated hot water tank, then if you’ve heated it in the morning, it should still be warm by lunchtime. Set a timer so that the water comes on half an hour before you get up or come home from work and that should do you.

Keeping the electric storage heaters on

62% of you don’t know how storage heaters work. If you own one, know this – electric storage heaters are designed to work by using cheaper, off-peak electricity to rev up through the night and then release heat during the day. Leaving them on all the time will cost you money. The Energy Savings Trust have a guide, which says: “A standard electric storage heater has two controls, an Output setting and an Input setting. The Output setting will control how much heat the heater gives out (as long as there is stored heat available). The Input control determines how much electricity the heater will take from the grid during the coming night, and hence how much stored heat will be available the following day.”

“So you need to set the Output dial according to how much heat you want now, and the Input dial according to how much heat you think you will need tomorrow. If a heater runs out of heat in the evening while you still need it, or if the weather gets colder, you may need to turn the Input dial up. If the weather gets warmer, or the heater never runs out of heat in the evening, you can probably save money without getting cold by turning the Input dial down. Turn the Output dial to zero before you go to bed or go out, so you’re not wasting energy overheating empty rooms. You can probably do this quite early, maybe an hour before you go to bed, as it will take a while for the heater and the room to cool down.

“And when summer comes and you don’t need the heaters any more, turn them off at the wall, not just by turning the dials to zero. Remember you will need to turn them on again the day before you need the heating to come back on.”

How To… get the most out of your PS4

October 7th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

how to expert 300x300 How To... get the most out of your PS4So, you’ve got yourself a PlayStation 4 and have worried an ass-groove into the sofa while hammering buttons through hours of Killzone and the like?

While you’ve been going nutso in your favourite games, there’s a chance that you may not have delved into the useful features inside your PS4 yet. If you have, well done you. If not, don’t worry, we’ve cherry picked some of the best things for you to muck around with.

The PS4 has a load of cool features and here are some of our favourites. If you have your own that we’ve missed, leave a comment and we’ll add them to the list!

Quick Switch Between Apps

If you need to switch between apps quickly – so, say you’re playing a game and you want to go look up some cheats for it – instead of messing around with your phone, you can swap between apps by double tapping the PS Home button. That means you can get from a game to the browser without any faff.

Voice Commands

A lot of people find the Xbox One’s voice control thing a bit creepy, but if you’ve been wanting it for your PS4, you can! You’ll need a PlayStation 4 Camera and, with it installed, go to Settings, then Login Settings and select Enable Face Recognition. Then, you’ll go to Face Recognition Management and complete the set-up. You can also use the camera’s microphones to issue voice commands so you can speak your way through the menus and the like. For that, hit Settings, System and select the Operate PS4 With Voice option. For voice commands you can do that without the camera – you’d just need any microphone connected to your console.

Save Money And Power

Want to save how much power your PS4 is using? Go into the console’s settings menu and find ‘Power Save Settings’ where you can set your PS4 to shut down after periods of inactivity. Great if you’re the kind of person who would fall asleep while playing games, meaning that the thing isn’t left on all night.

Standby Mode Tips

This is well known, but worth mentioning for you console newbies. In standby mode, you can enable auto downloads and uploads which means you don’t have to put up with tedious timebars. Go to Settings, System, Automatic Downloads and Uploads and then access Settings, Power Save Settings and Set Functions Available in Standby Mode. Now, when you turn your PS4 on to play games, you won’t have to wait for a load of updates or whatever, as it will have already done them.

You can also charge your controller in standby mode, which is great seeing as the new Dualshock 4 has a pretty crappy battery life. To switch this on, go to Settings, Power Save Settings, Set Functions Available in Standby Mode and tick the box for Supply Power from USB Ports.

Add Voiceover

Are you the kind of person who likes to make walkthrough videos or what have you? Well, as well as the fact that the PS4 continually records your previous 15 minutes of gaming automatically (which is great), you can also enable microphone audio recording through the Share menu. Go into the options, hit ‘Share Settings’ and ‘Video Clip Settings’ and you’ll see the option for ‘Include Microphone Audio in Video Clip’.

Save Hard Drive Space

You can upload system data to online storage or a USB drive, which is nifty. Go to Settings then Application Saved Data Management and you’ll find a straightforward menu for uploading and downloading data.

Quicker Screenshots

Want to take a screenshot of your game? Well, you have to press and hold the share button for a few seconds normally, but there’s a tweak you can do to streamline the whole process. You can change your setting so that a brief tap of the share button creates a screengrab and holding it down loads up the share app. To do this, open the share menu, hit ‘Options’ and go to ‘Share Settings’. From here, choose the ‘SHARE Button Control Type’ and go through your options. If you like showing off your gameplay, this will save you loads of time.


If you plug a pair of regular headphones into your DualShock controller and adjust the settings on your PS4 after holding down the PS button, you can listen to the game without having to mess around plugging your ‘phones into the telly or having to much about with wireless audio.

How To… fix Skybox problems

October 6th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

how to expert 300x300 How To... fix Skybox problemsHave you been having problems with your Sky+ box? Have you found that it won’t switch on or have become as unresponsive as a drunk pensioner?

Is it showing ‘no signal’ or barking at you, advising that you should get in touch with Sky or visit their website when you know damn well you have a signal?

Whatever you do, don’t call an engineer or buy a new Sky+ box until you have read our How To guide. It could save you a lot of time and crucially, it’ll save you money. Of course, if your Sky+ box has blown up or you’ve poured 3 litres of Apple Sourz into it, it may be beyond repair, but otherwise, let us try and help you out.

Soft Reset

If your Sky+ box’s green light won’t turn on and stays red or amber, you’ll get an error message. Instead of spending 2 hours on the phone to Sky, just do a soft reset. Of course, Sky don’t tell you about this because they’d rather charge you for a fix or, indeed, tell you something that will lose all your data.

Always try this fix before you do anything else.

a) The first thing you should do, is to unplug your Skybox from the mains.
b) Wait one minute.
c) As you plug your Skybox back into the mains, press the BACKUP button at the same time (not the one on the remote) and hold it down.
d) When all the lights come on at the front of your Sky+ box, release the button.
e) Now, wait 10 minutes (don’t skimp on this) or wait until the lights go out, then turn your Skybox on from the remote. You might need to try the remote a couple of times at this point.

What should happen now, is that it’ll show the “SEARCHING FOR LISTINGS” message and then, restore itself back to full service. Unless of course, you got impatient and skipped the ‘waiting for 10 minutes’ piece of advice’, which means you will have lost all your saved programmes and the like.

Last Resort

This method will definitely get rid of your saved programmes and data and it also takes a little longer. However, this is the one that Sky will tell you to do, so instead of ringing them and getting stuck in a queue, just refer to this.

a) Unplug the box from the mains plug for 3 minutes.
b) Press and hold the buttons either side of the ‘select’ button on your Skybox while you plug the socket back into the mains.

After 30 seconds, the light will change colour and you’ll have to wait for roughly 20 minutes until it goes back to being red. When that happens, press the TV guide to see if it is working. Basically, this resets your hard drive settings and should solve the problem,

Why Does This Keep Happening?

There’s a number of reasons that this happens to your Sky+ box. It might be too full with your recordings. Another is that there’s been a power cut. Sometimes, it just happens for no good reason at all.

The important thing is that you might be under the impression that your Skybox is dead and you need a new one, when that isn’t necessarily the case. Sometimes, you only need a reset!

One of the two resets will work, unless your Skybox is kaput, in which case, there’s not going to be a light on the front is there? So try these out and save yourself a lot of hassle and money.

How to fix Apple’s crashtacular iOS 8

September 24th, 2014 10 Comments By Mof Gimmers

sad apple logo How to fix Apples crashtacular iOS 8You may have noticed that there’s been a LOT of complaining about Apple’s new iOS 8, with people pointing out that Apple things don’t ‘just work’.

Apps have been having all manner of issues with the new update and users have been crying over a variety of snags that have made they iPhone and iPad experience the kind of thing that provokes frustrated tears, rather than zen-like calm.

It turns out that iOS 8 crashes more than iOS 7 too, which is no use and, of course, Apple fans have been running to Apple support forums and the App Store to vent their spleen.

One user said on the forums: “After I’ve upgraded to iOS 8, one of my favourite apps no longer works. It opens and then immediately closes. I’ve tried opening it at least 15 times and the same thing happens.” Others have been having issues with iTunes and the Facebook and Dropbox apps.

If you have an older iPhone, you are much more likely to run into trouble, which isn’t a surprise, but it is annoying if you own one.

So what to do next? Here’s some things to try if you want to fix some problems brought about by iOS 8.

Not Enough Space to Install

iOS 8 is a big old update and the download size can be as high as 2GB and needs a minimum of 5GB of free space on your device to update. One way around this is to move all your data on to a computer or to cloud storage (make sure your nudes are safe though, eh?) or, if you prefer, you can use iTunes on a computer to download the update, so the update is stored on the computer rather than your device.

WiFi Issues

Some users have said that they’ve been having bother with their WiFi connectivity after the update. Go to your settings, select Privacy, then Location Services, followed by System Services. There, disable WiFi Networking. This doesn’t switch your WiFi off, all it does is disables the setting that seems to be tripping up your connection speeds.

Battery Drainage

There’s a whole host of reasons why your battery might be dying on its arse after the iOS 8 update. We’d tell you how to fix it, but we can’t do better than the incredibly thorough iPhonehacks guide to save your battery’s power. Click here and see advice on what to switch off and more, to maximise your battery life.

Predictive Text

A lot of users are finding that the predictive text add-ons in the default iOS keyboard are slowing you down. Of course, Android users have had predictive text for years now, but if you’re an Apple user who hates it, then you can switch it off. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard – turn off ‘Predictive’.

Access Pictures From The Camera Roll

The Photos app has been upgraded in iOS 8, however, you may have noticed that there’s no section called ‘Camera Roll’. The section has been removed, but don’t fret, your photos are still on your device. Now, they are all grouped together under the Photos section and to get at your old photos, go to ‘Photos’ and choose to view them as collections, years or moments. Scroll through and you’ll see all your old snaps.


Have you seen the reports saying that the new iPhone 6 is bending in people’s pockets because it is such a flimsy piece of crap? There’s nothing we can do about that. Maybe wrap the whole thing up in gaffer tape and hope for the best?

Customers getting pay-outs from missold CPP

April 17th, 2014 6 Comments By Mof Gimmers

creditcards Customers getting pay outs from missold CPPA lot of people got insurance products that offered card protection or identity fraud protection from a business called Card Protection Plan (CPP).

Many obtained it through their banks and credit card issuers. However, the Financial Conduct Authority ruled that a lot of these products were mis-sold and fined CPP £10.5m in 2012.

Well, it seems like CPP are finally getting the cheques out to customers who put a claim in, and some of them are getting paid around £1,000 for their trouble.

If you haven’t put a claim in, you’ve still got until 30th August to get some money back.

You should’ve received a letter from CPP, which you may have thrown away thinking that it was a circular, but no worries.

You can get information about their compensation scheme by visiting or call them on a freephone number at 08000 83 43 93. If you’re outside the UK, then dial +44 1144 520 800. If you have had a form, but think you’ve completed it incorrectly, then call the number and ask for a new one, then complete it in black ink, in block capitals and send it back in the pre-paid envelope.

Separate letters are being sent if you happen to have been mis-sold card and identity protection. Fill out both forms to claim for your compensation.

As ever, with things like this, be wary of scams. If you have any concerns it is always best to ring CPP to make sure. Good luck, and give us a yell if you get some money from them!

6 sony logo w Sony Vaios are setting on fire! Heres what you need to doSony have issued a warning that some of the batteries in their Vaio Fit 11A laptops could set on fire.

If you have one, you’ve been advised to stop using it immediately.

Sony say a non-removable battery pack built by Panasonic is to blame and, in a statement, they said: “The safety of our customers is of the utmost importance, so we are advising those with affected models to switch off the unit and discontinue use.”

“We have provided customers with a simple tool to check the serial number to identify whether it is an affected model.”

The Vaio Fit 11A has only been on sale since February, so it shouldn’t be too big of a problem.

Affected European products are:


You should visit the Sony page regarding this problem by clicking here. There, you can leave your contact details and Sony will get in touch with you to discuss what to do next. Or, if you prefer, call their hotline on 0844 8466 555.

What to do next now that Ovivo has closed down

March 20th, 2014 15 Comments By Mof Gimmers

ovivo What to do next now that Ovivo has closed downAs you will have heard by now, Ovivo has gone under. As the news was rather unexpected, you might well be wondering what you need to do next if you’re one of their customers.

Let us see if we can help you out.

If you paid for any of this service via PayPal, you should be able to raise a claim for this – but do it quickly. Sign in to your account here.

If you paid for anything with your Visa card, then payments for services under £100 should be covered under the Visa Chargeback Scheme. For this, contact your bank and not Visa and they should be able to sort you out.

Got any Direct Debits with them? Get them cancelled immediately. Phone your bank.

You can also complain about Ovivo to the Ombudsman. If you’d rather do it in writing or on the phone, the address is:

Ombudsman Services: Communications
PO Box 730
Phone: 0330 440 1614
Textphone: 0330 440 1600

Link to Ombudsman details, or if you prefer, here’s a link to Ofcom’s details.

If you have the Ovivo sim and want to transfer your number you will need a Pac code. Use this link.

[with thanks to magicjay1986]