EE Power Bar explodes

July 29th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

powerbar EE Power Bar explodes 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.”

HSBC and First Direct – now on Apple Pay

July 29th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple pay 300x169 HSBC and First Direct   now on Apple PayApple Pay has been getting loads of attention that other phone makers’ banking apps haven’t. Such is life. If you don’t know how to use it, but would like to, click here.

One of the notable things about the app, was who hadn’t signed-up with it at the time of launch. Most of the banks were on board, and now, at last, HSBC and First Direct are clambering aboard.

Both banks will now allow their credit and debit cards to be linked with Apple Pay, as well as customers now being able to pay for London Underground tickets, Starbucks coffees or McDonalds meals using their iPhone or Apple Watch.

Now, the only bank that are dragging their heels are Barclays. Initially, they had no interest in Apple Pay as they were doing their own thing with contactless payments and wearable technology.

However, customers for Barclays kicked-off and the bank decided it might be a good idea to get with the program. It is thought that they’ll be teaming up with Apple at some time in the Autumn.

YourFamilyMobile to close down

July 28th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

family mobile 300x300 YourFamilyMobile to close downThinking of joining Ikea’s phone service, Your Family Mobile? WELL DON’T. Unless you really want some admin in your life.

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 needhelp@yourfamilymobile.co.uk 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.

Android security flaw could affect 950 million

July 28th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

android logo 300x225 Android security flaw could affect 950 millionHow 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.

Vodafone gives 4G to all pay monthly customers

July 24th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

vodafone 300x216 Vodafone gives 4G to all pay monthly customersThe folks at Vodafone are offering all pay monthly customers super-fast 4G service, regardless of what tariff they’re on. This was formerly reserved for people on pricier plans, but now, everyone can get at it.

They’ve also said that a 4G service will be offered to customers signed up to Data On The Go Bundles as well, so while you’re on holiday or whatever, you’ll be able to watch more videos of cats and Vine clips while drinking by the pool.

Another thing they’re doing, is boosting the data allowances on SIM-only Red Value Bundles and Data on The Go Bundles.

On the Red Value SIM-only bundles, you’ll be able to make calls home for free in the bits of Europe covered in Vodafone’s Europe Zone, and you’ll get three months’ unlimited data with all SIM-Only plans through Vodafone’s Data Test Drive promotion.

They’re not messing around, are they?

Cindy Rose, Consumer Director at Vodafone UK, said: “Our customers have made it clear just how much they love having generous data allowances as part of their pay monthly bundles. So, if they want to enjoy more brilliant entertainment with a Now TV Entertainment Pass, Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV streamed on our ultrafast 4G, they can!”

“With our new bundle structure and Fixed Price Promise, Vodafone customers have the flexibility and security to enjoy more of what they love safe in the knowledge their line rental cost will remain the same for the contract term, making Vodafone the network the puts customers in control.”

Screen shot 2010 09 13 at 11.05.04 Sky to bring near live Premier League highlights to AppsSky have got their hands on some new football rights, which will allow them to give out “near-live” highlights to all Premier League games across their myriad of digital platforms.

What does that mean? Maybe it’ll offer highlights to people while the game is still running? Or maybe you’ll be able to get updates with all the goals, almost as they happen? One thing you can bet on, is that it will cost you money as Sky don’t do owt for free.

Sky says that this 3-year deal kicks off in time for the 2016/17 season, and will cover their mobile and online users.

It looks like News UK has chipped in with some of the money to pay for this, which means you could be getting video content through The Sun and The Times.

Sky Sports MD Barney Francis said “This will allow us to offer our customers even more content across mobile and online. The way people watch sport is changing rapidly and this agreement ensures Sky Sports will continue to offer the best coverage across TV, mobile, online and social media.”

Paywalltastic, but could be right up the street of some people, that’s for sure.

Apple back after going offline

July 22nd, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

apple Apple back after going offlineYou probably know that a lot of Apple services went down last night, meaning that people couldn’t buy apps and albums or whatever it is they do with their phones.

Well, the company have said that the App Store, Apple Music, iTunes Store and others, are back online after their 3 hour downtime. Ever the coy gits, Apple didn’t really divulge any more than that, but for the sake of scandal and gossip, we’re hoping that this was part of the recent spate of hacks that have been doing the rounds.

These outages happened all over the world, but didn’t affect all users. We’ve checked all the various Apple sites and everything seems to be back to normal, with all issues resolved.

The problems started just as Apple’s radio station – Beats 1 – was meant to tell everyone, exclusively, about the nominations for MTV’s 2015 Video Music Awards.

“We are investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available,” Apple said yesterday, on their support site.

Anyway, everything is fine now, but rest assured, a load of Apple Fanboys will be getting it in the neck from Android Fanboys, with the tried and tested trolling of ‘just works’.

sim cards petr kratochvil pd 300x168 Hail the new SIM cards that make it easier to switch and travel!It seems like the mobile industry is pushing for SIM cards that let plebs like us, switch freely between multiple providers, which is obviously a really good thing.

Apple, of course, did it with the mobile version of their iPad Air 2, and now, they’re going to be doing it with their phones too. In addition to that, Samsung have joined-in, saying that they’d like to use these new embedded electronic SIM (e-SIM) cards with the GSM Association.

It seems loads of companies around the world are getting on-board with this, and it is easy to see why – instead of being locked into plans and whatnot, users will be able to switch more freely and you’ll be able to buy phones on the contract you want, sidestepping any pointless exclusivity deals.

It’ll also help when you’re travelling too.

“With the majority of operators on board, the plan is to finalise the technical architecture that will be used in the development of an end-to-end remote SIM solution for consumer devices, with delivery anticipated by 2016,” reads a statement from the GSMA.

We think it’ll start becoming widely available in around 18 months, which is good news indeed.

Trees planted by EE knacker mobile signal

July 17th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

london tree Trees planted by EE knacker mobile signalOnce upon a time, the government asked mobile network givers to plant trees around their masts, because their masts are really very ugly.

So, before EE formed like Voltron, and were separate entities Orange and T-Mobile, they were made to plant things around their new mobile phone masts, to help them blend in with the world. Sadly, EE is now saying that these trees have now grown to such a size, that they’re wrecking the signal for everyone.

It isn’t like our MPs to make ridiculous, ill-thought out decisions, is it?

Anyway, since then, the government have relaxed this ruling and mobile networks are allowed to build taller towers in protected, and non-protected areas. This is something to do with the willingness to have ‘near universal’ 4G coverage across the UK.

Sure, it might look a bit ugly around some bushes, but it is good for business and people wanting to upload photos of the countryside to Instagram and all that.

EE themselves have millions invested in countryside expansion, in a bid to give maximum coverage to the country… just don’t tell Swampy or Lisa Simpson, alright?

How to… use Apple Pay

July 14th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

apple pay 300x169 How to... use Apple PaySo, as you know, Apple Pay is kicking off today in the UK, which means people with iPhones and Apple Watches can pay for things with their devices, contactlessly.

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.

Apple Pay to land in the UK tomorrow

July 13th, 2015 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple pay 300x169 Apple Pay to land in the UK tomorrowSo, Apple Pay is going to officially launch in the UK tomorrow. That’s July 14th for anyone who is reading this late.

And that has been announced by a loudmouth from HSBC. In a tweet (since deleted), the @HSBC_UK account, when asked about the contactless service, said: “Yes! It’s due to launch this Tuesday! We are excited too.”

HSBC have since said that “there is no set date for launch”, but no-one is having any of that and the person running the social media account of HSBC has probably been locked in a stationary cupboard with a venomous snake, which will be then set on fire and used in a bankers’ ritual to some false god.

Of course, retailers have already been putting their signs up around the country, saying that they’ll be supporting Apple Pay, so we knew it would be soon. Everyone, apart from Barclays, have signed-up for the service.

Obviously, it’ll be compatible with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch, and if you fancy it, as soon as Apple give the official green light, you can go into your settings and add your card.

Get Apple’s iOS9 – and what’s new?

July 13th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple Get Apples iOS9   and whats new?Apple are getting set to drop their latest operating system – the iOS 9 – which will be available some time in Autumn… but you can get it now. Apple have released the public beta version (which means it might have some things in it that need ironing out), which means you can get stuck into it while Apple put the finishing touches to it.

What’s new? Well, iOS 9 has a bunch of new things, including the much welcomed addition of highlighting when you’ve put the capslock on, when composing text on your iPhone or iPad. There’s also a souped-up version of the Notes app, where you can doodle things with your finger and an improved in-built Maps app, which shows you public transport maps and the like.

Nothing revolutionary, but it looks like the additions will be useful enough.

On the iPad, iOS9 will allow you to multitask, by allowing you to use multiple programs and apps at the same time.Video playback will sits in the corner of other opened apps, and there’ll be a shortcut bar for other applications.

The whole thing looks a little tidier too, which means a new font and new logos for all the apps.

So how to do get the beta version? Well, the first thing you should do, is back up your iPhone or iPad. Seeing as this is a work-in-progress version of the operating system, it means that it could be a little temperamental; that means you should have a back-up to revert to, should it end up doing your head in.

It should be very stable, but don’t take any chances.

Sign yourself up for Apple’s testing programme at beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram and click the blue sign up button. Put your Apple ID in there and you’re nearly on your way. Make sure you are using the same ID you use on the iOS device you will be installing the new software on.

Then, on your chosen device, go to beta.apple.com and, using Safari, sign-in. Then, you can scroll to the ‘step two’ bit of the page and hit ‘download profile’. There, you’ll be redirected to your device’s Settings app, where you can tap the ‘install’ button. Stick in the pin for your device, agree to the T&Cs, and then restart your device.

Once it has restarted, launch the Settings app, hit ‘general’ then ‘software update’ and iOS 9 will waiting there, to install once you press ‘update’.

How to… reset a frozen Samsung Galaxy S6

July 10th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

samsung logo How to... reset a frozen Samsung Galaxy S6The new Samsung Galaxy S6 is a great little phone, but unlike others, you can’t remove the battery. This is, of course, a problem if your phone freezes and you want to get it going again. With most phones, you remove and pop the battery back in, and you’re away.

So what to do if you’ve got an unresponsive S6?

The simple answer is to do a soft reset. You do that by pressing down the power button for around 6 seconds and it should turn off.

If that doesn’t work, don’t worry. Press and hold the power key and the volume down key, simultaneously for more than 7 seconds, and that will restart your phone.

If you do that, your device should restart like nothing ever happened. All your photos and everything will be exactly where you left them.

If there’s a bigger problem, your phone might reboot into the new maintenance mode. Here, you’ll see options, which you can scroll through with your volume buttons. Here, you can choose ‘normal boot’, which will restart your phone as normal. Or, if want to get rid of a troublesome app, you can start it in ‘safe mode’. Or, you can go for ‘factory reset’, which will delete everything off your phone and revert your handset to the state it was when you bought it.

Should all these things not work, and you don’t want to get under the hood, then it is time to ring up the people you bought it from to see what they can do for you.

Russians warn idiots not to take selfies

July 8th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Selfies are great. It is nice to see people having the self-confidence to show themselves off. Besides, generations before them were forever checking themselves out in shop windows and the like.

That said, selfies aren’t very good if you’re a thundering idiot.

In Russia, the police have launched a campaign which warns people against taking unsafe self-portraits, after over 100 injuries happened last year, thanks to idiots with cameras on their phones. They’ve even made some logos to help them out, in case reading words or listening to spoken advice isn’t effective enough.

977 500x300 Russians warn idiots not to take selfies

“A cool selfie could cost you your life,” say the interior ministry, warning that “a selfie with a weapon kills”.

The reason they’re telling people about this is to show how badly things can go if you’re a complete nincompoop. This year, a woman accidentally shot herself in the head while taking a selfie with her pistol. Earlier in the year, two dimwits died when they thought they’d take a selfie while holding a hand-grenade which had the pin pulled out.

Another gasping dunce took a photo of themselves while climbing on a railway bridge, and came into contact with live electrical wires. The phones might not be the problem here.

“Unfortunately we have noted recently that the number of accidents caused by lovers of self-photography is constantly increasing,” said Yelena Alexeyeva. “Since the beginning of the year we are talking about some hundred cases of injuries for sure.”

“The problem really exists and leads to very unfortunate consequences.”

“Before taking a selfie, everyone should think about the fact that racing after a high number of ’likes’ could lead someone on a journey to death and his last extreme photo could turn out to be posthumous.”

Samsung profits drop, again

July 7th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

samsung logo Samsung profits drop, againYou may well have seen loads and loads and loads of people with Samsung phones, but the people making them just don’t know how to turn that into piles of money.

Samsung have jst doled out their earning predictions for Q2 2015, and even though their latest devices have impressed critics and consumers, they’re still coming up short. Somehow, they’ve lost money on last year.

Despite releasing the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the company’s finances are still falling, which will be their seventh consecutive drop in profits.

One of the things that is hampering Samsung, is better than expected sales of Apple’s iPhone sales. And if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

There’s rumours knocking around that Samsung has won back the contract to produce chips for Apple’s next iPhone, which will claw in the cash… but really, how are Samsung making such a mess out of making money when they have such a popular phone on their hands?