Gamers love a good hack, but there’s one doing the rounds that Xbox One owners should be very wary of. Microsoft have put out a warning after the hack in question actually disables your next-gen console… and it could be permanent.
The image is an official-looking affair, called “Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility Unlock” which promises gamers they can play Xbox 360 games on their new device (which of course, you can’t).
Here’s the fake hack that will brick your console.
This is similar to the fake iOS 7 hack which said your iPhone would become waterproof with the new software. It seems both of these pranks came from the infamous 4chan.
Xbox Live’s director of programming – Larry Hryb – tweeted: ”To be clear, there is no way to make your Xbox One backwards compatible & performing steps to attempt this could make your console inoperable.”
Best to leave your console well alone for a while if you’re thinking of customising it. In fact, it might be worth leaving it for a couple of weeks until Microsoft send out a software update to fix all the bugs that have been so frequently complained about. Or, just buy a PS4.
It’s looking like a difficult Christmas for retailers – according to economists from IHS Global Insight, who predict that high street sales will struggle.
The barometer for this, is of course, John Lewis, who are the queen bee of the high street. They reported a 1.8% rise in sales last week, but not all is as it seems. Week on week sales dropped by 1.7%, and retail analysts are not exactly confident about John Lewis’ predictions – take away online sales, and the figures have dropped by 5%. And if JL ain’t doing well, you can bet nobody else will be.
So what does this mean for us? Well, more DISCOUNTS. Because stores that aren’t languishing in the same feted position as John Lewis will obviously need to catch up by grabbing customers any way they can. Howard Archer, from IHS said:
‘John Lewis reported reasonable but unspectacular sales figures, which maintains uncertainty as to just how good a Christmas this will be for retailers. Consequently, a number of retailers may feel under increasing pressure to engage in discounting and promotions over the coming days.’
So we might get some pre-Christmas bargains, but it won’t be plain sailing for the high street.
I blame the bloody bear and the hare.
It seems some of the biggest supermarkets don’t like the idea of Scotland going independent and are threatening to put their prices up North of the Border.
The chief exec of Asda, one of the retailers saying they’ll be putting their prices up, added that an independent Scotland may well be a less attractive place to invest, even though the Scottish government said that they’d lower taxes to make the country more competitive.
“The cost of doing business in different parts of the country does vary,” said Andy Clarke, the chief executive of Asda and they’ve have higher distribution costs in Scotland, on top of cost to a public health levy on shops that sell booze and cigs. ”A ‘Yes’ vote in 2014 could result in Scotland being a less attractive investment proposition for business and put further pressure on our costs,” he said.
A spokesman for Morrisons, also thinking of sticking their prices up, said: “Why should customers in Cardiff subsidise those in Aberdeen?”
Tesco and Sainsbury’s are currently saying “no comment”, but the Financial Times reckon that one of the Big Four have already agreed to put prices up in Scotland.
The Scottish National Party are already planning to cut corporation tax and fuel duty, in a bid to keep retailers costs down and a spokesperson told the BBC: “Scotland would be more competitive and less costly than at present. There is no reason why retail prices in an independent Scotland would be any higher than at the moment.”
Energy companies are clearly getting good at swaying government opinions, persuading Cameron to look at green levies in exchange for cheaper bills for all – are the supermarkets publicly trying their luck too?
It’s a sign of the times when a supermarket has to cut back on its cleaning bill to save cash, but that’s what mucky Morrisons is doing this winter. In a triumph of bizarre logic, bosses have decided to cancel window cleaning at all its stores in a war against slipping sales, which dropped by 2.4% in the third quarter of this year.
The argument Morrison’s have given is this.
‘The weather forecast for this winter shows an increase in snow and frost.’
And as we know, snow is CLEAN. Except when it melts and becomes like grit filled human effluence. They added:
‘Morrisons has decided to reduce window cleaning at stores because it is less important to customers at the darkest time of the year, because the water that runs off windows can be a slippage hazard in the winter, and so we can spend money on maintenance activity that our customers do care about at this time of year.’
Like tinsel! (Covered in dirt).
The cut came into effect on the 2nd December and window cleaners won’t be back again until February, when presumably, the shop will be just called ISONS, and coughing, diseased staff will have desperately scrawled ‘CLEAN ME’ all over the front of the store.
Don’t know about you, but I might take my business elsewhere…
What the Autumn Statement means - bitterwallet/Statement
Funny Bic complaint letter - bitterwallet/Complaint
Sending letters first class is pointless - bitterwallet/Christmas Cards
Nintendo is irrelevant - bitterwallet/MariWHO?
Google goes Mary Whitehouse - bitterwallet/Banned
When Christmas goes phallic - bitterwallet/Xmas
The silent rise of WhatsApp - bitterwallet/WhatsApp
Best of the Rest
Couple served bag of money at McDonald’s - metro/McMoney
Sky Go Android news – tech.uk.msn/GoApp
Google builds robot army - wired/RobotArmy
PayPal trial of Anonymous activists - thedailybeast/InsideThePaypalTrial
Wait? Google+ is amazing? The Wired think so – wired/awesome
A botnet has been discovered which targets shop tills, and it has stolen what’s been described as a ‘titanic volume’ of credit card details. 20,000 cards could have been affected since August.
It’s not the first time a botnet has infiltrated points of sale – last year the Subway virus, created by two Romanian hackers, managed to cream off 146,000 credit card numbers by hacking 200 shops. But it seems like the viruses are becoming more sophisticated than ever before, and there’s been dozens of them popping up all over the place in recent months. With this particular virus, hackers are able to access payment machines in real time and issue commands, leaving customers completely vulnerable.
So what can we, the average consumer, who doesn’t know a botnet from their bottom – do about it? Well, nothing really. It’s down to digital crime units, like the one run by Microsoft, who recently busted three botnets. The latest is a group of computers called ZeroAccess, which highjacked search results and led people to dodgy websites, where it would install malware and then steal your information.
So it’s a matter of taking care on the internet and hoping that the hidden army of Cyber Bergeracs out there can take down these botnets before they get your card. Reassuring, eh?
From now on, I’m paying in CASH.
We need to have this in Britain, MAINTENANT. The Paris Metro has issued 12 commandments of good behaviour on public transport, based on suggestions from the beleaguered public.
Called the ‘Politeness manual for the modern traveller’, the mischievous online guide asks the public not to indulge in various anti-social activities on Le Metro, like playing music, gawping at attractive women, and peeing on the floor.
Of course they do it with typical Parisian flair, using amusing old-fashioned illustrations. And it’s as backhanded and sarcastic as it is charming. It asks passengers to help tourists ‘in Bermuda shirts with a Metro map in one hand and the other hand in their hair’. It also manages to have a dig at tourists trying to pronounce the names of the stations. AW HAW HAW HAW.
Still, it really sets the bar for other global cities to introduce a public transport etiquette guide. The London underground could really use one. Perhaps it could include: no groping, no human interaction, no elbowing, no playing the trombone, no eating tuna sandwiches, no wildly careless applications of bronzer, no farting, no phlegm and no selfies.
Oh, and none of THIS, s’il vous plait.
With Aldi getting on the budget-friendly tablet wagon, the UK’s appetite for cheap Android devices gets stronger. With that, Tesco’s rousing success with Hudl is about to get an upgrade.
The £119 Hudl has flown off the shelves, selling around 300,000 thus far and Tesco have revealed that they’re working on a second generation Hudl which will be launched next year.
The current Hudl has a decent spec, with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB of storage and a resolution of 1,440 x 900 px. The new version, possibly called Hudl2, will no doubt have a quicker processor, better resolution and they’ll invariably be looking at full HD resolution. You can assume it will run on Kit Kat and have more storage too. Looks like Tesco are fully intending to become a big player in the technology world.
Chief executive Phillip Clarke has been surprised with the success of the Hudl, recently telling the Guardian that sales have been more than what they “had originally planned in total in the run-up to Christmas”. The Hudl has run out of stock twice already.
Naturally, Tesco will have to work on the image of the tablet as it is seen as something akin to Skoda (nice cars, once desperately uncool) to the Bentley of the iPad. However, money talks and Tesco could well forge a strong position in the market if they get the next Hudl right.
Aldi are going to launch their own tablet for under £80 as it climbs on the bandwagon of Tesco and Argos who launched their own budget devices.
The 7-inch Medion Lifetab E7316 will be available in stores from Sunday for £79.99, but stocks are limited. It’ll have 8GB of storage and a screen resolution of 1024×600 with a four hour battery life. Not great, but this is clearly aimed at the starter market.
Aldi’s Lifetab weighs 301g and runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean processor on a 1.6GHz quad-core CPU. It has front and rear facing cameras with 0.3MP and 2MP resolutions respectively. You can up the memory with a card if it doesn’t have enough space for you.
The main thing here is that this tablet undercuts MyTablet and the Hudl device by £20. Tempted?
It’s time for phase two of EE’s 4G rollout, and this time the big switch (sadly not turned on by Bob Carolgees and Peter Andre in a dismal shopping centre) has lit up 10 new UK towns with super fast internet.
They are…*drumroll* Bath, Bournemouth, Cambridge, Darlington, Newcastle-under Lyme, Northampton, Poole, Portsmouth and…..REDCAR ba-dum-tish! They plan to increase the 4G service to a total of 160 towns before Christmas, so that everyone can enjoy a faster download speed for all their festive porn.
So the next rollout will take place in the next couple of weeks, and include such sexy hotspots as Grimsby, Ipswich and Swindon. EE CEO Olaf Swantee (too many eees, man) said: ‘That’s the fastest rollout of 4G in Europe, and with well over one million people already using the service, one of the most successful too.’
OK, Olaf, calm down.
But perhaps EE are entitled to show off a little bit. After all, some mobile providers, like the useless phone donkeys Three, are only just launching the service. Others have only managed coverage in big cities. And nobody is matching EE’s new trial of the speedier LTE advanced network, with download speeds of 300Mbps.
EEEEEE! Scream if you wanna go faster…
Remember the days when we used to just have one Budget a year? Of course, the Autumn Statement under the coalition is very definitely not a mini-budget (according to them)- although a number of tax and benefit measures were announced. So what are the main ones, and how do they affect you?
Pensions and benefits
Leaked before the actual statement, the Chancellor announced that the State Pension age will be increasing sooner than previously advised, with a minimum age of 68 by the mid 2030s and 69 by the late 2040s. If you have children now, they won’t be able to retire until they are 101.
This means that anyone younger than mid-forties is looking at an increase in retirement age, to keep pensions in line with the latest life expectancy projections, apparently. George did not, however, address the issue of the wildly different life expectancies (figures from the ONS) depending on where in the country you live…
State pension and jobseekers benefits will also be excluded from the welfare spending cap- where the Government is going to tighten the welfare purse strings and allow the lower classes to fight it out amongst themselves for a share of the pot. And heaven help you if you become incapacitated at the end of the financial year, when it’s all been spent.
Cars and fuel
Another pre-announcement was the scrapping of tax discs for cars. Unfortunately this does not mean the Road Fund Licence is being scrapped, merely the perforated circle of paper attached to your windscreen. From 2015 the system will be completely online (most evaders are currently caught through number plate recognition rather than inspection of said perforated circle) and drivers will be able to pay for the disc monthly through direct debit, rather than 6 or 12 monthly as at present. The current rates for 6 month licences are around 10% higher than the annual disc- both this and the direct debit option should come in cheaper from 2015 with a 5% premium instead.
The next fuel duty rise has also been scrapped. After all the Government cares deeply about “hard-working families”.
On top of the personal allowance rising to £10,000 from April, the one policy the Lib Dems have actually managed to get through, the Autumn Statement confirmed some family-friendly measures that have already been wafted about.
The transferable married couple (or civilly partnered couple) allowance will become a reality, but only for those households where one member does not work, or works very little, earning £9,000 or less a year. Up to £1,000 of personal allowance can be transferred to a spouse, saving 20% in tax (£200 a year).
For those with small children, after reading a report by two posh foodies, the Government has also decided to introduce free school meals for every infant school age child (4-7) in years Reception to year 2 starting from next September. Junior children can fend for themselves.
At an average cost of around £2 per day, that equates to a fairly impressive £390 a year saving for parents. Of course, parents will be free to choose whether their child takes free dinners or whether they would rather send sandwiches, at least for now- the report the Government are acting on actually advised that sandwiches were so evil, they should be banned from schools altogether. Presumably along with all children with food allergies and other dietary requirements that would mean they can’t eat State-approved food…
The High Street
Even the Government has noticed that the High Street is suffering somewhat, and has announced a raft of business rates measures aimed at rejuvenating the shops near you. Discounts, £1,000 reduction in bills and reoccupation relief might mean that you see some new shops offering keen prices to compete with the not-cold-and-windy option of shopping online.
But watch out, you might be more likely to be served by a spotty teenager. A new concession for workers under 21 will save employers national insurance for these workers- up to £1,000 per worker earning £16,000- making them much cheaper to employ than those ancient 21 year olds.
There were lots of other figures in the Autumn Statement- some changes to capital gains tax rules on residential properties, and lots and lots of new figures showing how the last figures were all wrong. The new figures clearly show what A Grand Job George has been doing. We’ll all just have to wait until the next Statement to hear how wrong these figures were and how much even better George is doing just before the 2015 election…