Posts Tagged ‘News’

android logo 300x225 Android ransomware pretending to be FBI warningThere’s a spate of cases where Android users are finding that ransomware has been posing as a warning from the FBI, to frighten you off from looking at dirty stuff online. These come via spam emails, and there’s been 15,000 cases thus far, which are very convincing.

If you end up activating one of them, the ransomware demands $500 from you to restore access, which is a kick in the gusset. Of course, UK Android users should be wary of anything that comes from the FBI, because why would they be bothering with Steve from Cleethorpes or whatever.

It gets worse – if you try to independently unlock your devices, the amount goes up to $1,500.

This particular malware pretends to be an update from Adobe Flash Player and when you press ‘OK’ to continue, you see an FBI warning which you can’t navigate away from. It tells you that you’ve been breaking the law by visiting pornographic websites and, in a clever (but nasty) move, the scammers include screenshots of what they claim to be your browsing history. Then, it claims to have screenshots of your face and says that they know your location.

Basically, the malware doesn’t actually encrypt the contents of your phone, but instead, makes your device’s home screen button and back buttons completely inoperable. Turning your phone on and off won’t help either. It really is a nasty piece of work, but you can attempt a reboot in safe mode.

How to start your Android device in Safe Mode

- Ensure that your device’s screen is on and then press and hold the power button.
- In the dialogue box that opens, touch and hold ‘power off’.
- Touch ‘OK’ when you see ‘Reboot to safe mode’ box.
- Your device will start up in safe mode.

Also, to be safe, it is worth having your antivirus software on the go. If you don’t have antivirus software installed on your Android device, here are the best apps to download.

Periscope – now on Android

May 27th, 2015 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

periscope Periscope   now on AndroidApple users have been able to enjoy live-streaming app, Periscope, for a couple of months and now, Android-havers can get in on the action too. Not that anyone is really using the apps and knows what they can share with the world through it… but there you go.

Anyway, the Android version is pretty much identical to the iOS counterpart, but with a few minor tweaks. Either way, Periscope is now out and about and has caught up with its rival, Meerkat. The main difference is the method in which you broadcast. iOS uses a central tab, while the Android users have a floating button at the bottom right, which is in-line with the Google’s Material Design mantra.

The Android version also gives more control over the app, as you can control push notifications. That means, when someone follows you back, shares a broadcast or whatever, you can get in the settings and control how you’re notified of these things. The best bit of this version is that you can return to a broadcast via a banner in the notifications if you want to go and use some other apps.

The Periscope team say: “As a small startup, our initial launch was limited to just iOS, but we’ve been working really hard to craft an experience that feels special on Android, yet still unmistakably Periscope.”

So there you go. Now you can broadcast yourself making a round of toast or talking endlessly about your problems, to literally tens of people. Tally ho! Up Periscope!

porn Are you going to need an online porn passport?Remember us telling you that you might have to whip out your ID to watch dirty videos online? Well, there’s more talk about this, with a new system for UK residents being proposed by the adult entertainment industry.

Soon enough, bongo sites could be required to verify the identity of visitors, which they’d do by checking who you are via ‘trusted’ organisations like banks, credit rating agencies and your mobile operator. Even the NHS might have to get involved.

This sounds exactly like the kind of thing that will never, ever, ever happen in a billion years, but, we report on it anyway because the Tories are gagging to find out who is watching smut on the internet. There’s clearly a lot of money to be made from such a thing, or they wouldn’t be bothered by it.

Of course, this isn’t aimed at adults (honest), but rather, protecting children from looking at a host of genitalia and poor acting skills. It is thought that, by introducing some online hurdles, it’ll stop innocent eyes from looking at people knocking their uglies together. Everyone who has used the internet for 10 minutes will know that, where there’s online hurdles, clever children who are internet-savvy will easily be able to bypass them.

The Digital Policy Alliance, which is made up of people in the industry, policy makers, charities and academics, is trying to pre-empt the law and any measures could be used for more than just porno-sites – we’re talking about anything selling tobacco, booze and other age-restricted things.

The alliance suggests “information already on file across central and local government (including DWP and the NHS) and/or the private sector to enable service providers to reliably check the age of almost any online user, including those who wish to remain anonymous”.

Any rules brought into place, you’d assume, would only apply to British companies, and getting businesses from overseas to agree to any measures is going to be nigh-on impossible, so all this seems like a lot of talk and expense for something that will never come to fruition. No change there then.

Legal highs blanket ban to be announced?

May 27th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers
The Pet High Chair Legal highs blanket ban to be announced?

An example of someone hammered on legal highs

The Queen’s Speech is about to drop like a mixtape no-one asked for and, one of the interesting things that could be included is a complete ban on all ‘legal highs’.

We’re not talking about people drinking red wine or sniffing bags of Airfix glue, but rather, the stuff they sell in hippie shops that mimic proper drugs. So, basically, synthetic weed and stuff that is meant to be like a legal version of whizz or coke.

There could be a blanket ban on ‘new psychoactive substances.’

Don’t worry if you’re a recreational drug user – your dealer won’t be going out of business as they’re operating under the radar anyway. However, ‘head shops’ will be most displeased, but they’ll still be able to sell bongs and weed-grinders… this only hits the sales of the sachets of things like Go Gaine and whatnot.

There’s said to be around 250 head shops in the UK, which have been selling all manner of legal highs. They’ve been coming under increasing scrutiny after the potions sold at these outlets have been linked to 97 deaths in 2012, as kids look for other avenues of getting out of their trees.

*UPDATE*

Sez The Queen: “New legislation will modernise the law on communications data, improve the law on policing and criminal justice, and ban the new generation of psychoactive drugs.”

Screen Shot 2015 05 27 at 10.04.50 202x300 PARENTS. Got a Kiddu Lane 123 car seat? There could be a huge safety concern. Read on...If you’ve got a Kiddu Lane 123 car seat you might want to get it out of the car and perform a little test on it. There is a video doing the rounds on Facebook (link below) demonstrating that a sharp yank can put the straps straight from the buckle without need for the release to be pressed.

Whilst a young child might not be capable of mustering the strength to pull this out on their own, performing an emergency break will certainly test its capability of staying in place. Alarmingly, that is supposedly what happened to the young child in the seat. The post reads:

Three weeks ago this car seat was returned to Tescos after the Car seat buckle failed on its first use. The store manager and her staff all demonstrated the same fault as we did in this video.
When an Emergency stop was performed my 22 month old child was thrown out of his seat in the back and he landed on the gear stick in the front. He was bruised and is still traumatised by it as he screams when we now put him in a car seat.

The post goes on to say the efforts made by the parents to take this up with Kiddu…

Today we chased up Kiddu who initially said they would send us their report. They have since said they wont be sending it to us and will be doing nothing. Meanwhile this seat is still on sale and we are going Viral to prevent any further injuries or worse- a fatality. Please return this seat and insist on a refund.

So, if you’ve got one of these seats you might want to go and give it a test right now.

Video right here…

ek20080520wha Japan throws balls at shoplifters... and we want in!In the UK, there’s only really one way of dealing with shoplifters, and that is having some boring bleeping machines and a man with a clip-on tie to take chase, but ultimately, not catch the tea leaf.

Well, that should change. Sure, you can still have detectors and people who wear slacks and walkie-talkies… but things need to be livened up by some Japanese balls.

That’s right! Our pals in Japan have a great solution of shoplifters in the shape of luminous baseballs that are thrown at people on the rob. Over there, they’re known as bohan yu kara boru and what you do is, when someone is stealing, you chase after them and throw one of these balls at them.

When they hit, the thief is covered in orange dye and everyone knows that they’ve been pinching stuff. This is a system that only works if you think people can feel the pressure of public shame. Obviously, it means these scallies can be found very easily if they make a getaway.

Mainly, the good thing about this, is that security guards and shopkeepers can have some fun and make a fine spectacle for everyone watching a chase through a mall – watching a criminal get pelted with balls filled with luminous dye? What’s not to like?

If you want to see what they look like, hit the video below. C’mon British shops! Get some in!

Porsche 918 Spyder product recall

May 26th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Porsche Porsche 918 Spyder product recallIf you’re lucky enough to own a Porsche, then here’s some rare bad news for you – the German car maker has issued a global product recall of 918 Spyder mobiles, which will need to be taken in for a service shop inspection.

Some of these have already been flogged in the UK, so if you have one, ring your dealer.

This particular recall is to do with the electric wiring harness for the radiator fan (in vehicles manufactured until the end of April 2015) which could be damaged by a carbon-fibre component. It is rather boring, but not something you want to leave.

If you have a faulty car, the wiring harness will be examined and re-mounted in the workshop.

Owners of the affected vehicles will be contacted directly by their Porsche contact partner and the workshop visit will be arranged as soon as possible and, of course, will be free of charge. Your car will be taken in for around half a working day.

This follows a spate of recalls on cars, with millions of Toyota and Nissan motors being recalled thanks to a faulty airbag system, which sees the airbag inflating too quickly and firing out metal shards into the car.

For all the latest product recalls, of all kinds, click here and check what is being pulled from the shelves.

DVLA ban all manner of smutty number plates

May 26th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

used car DVLA ban all manner of smutty number platesIf you have ever dreamed about having a funny number plate for your car? Maybe something dirty, or something a bit risque? We all need an outlet for our creative and humorous urges, so why not have it sat in a traffic jam or parked outside the office while people spit at your windscreen?

You can’t have anything you want though, no-siree-bob.

The DVLA have unleashed their newest list of censored car number plates, stating clearly the kinds of things they don’t want to see tootling through the streets of Britain. They meet a couple of times a year to decide what to ban, and they’ve now censored VA61ANA, PI5 OFF, BL03 JOB, SH15 TTY, and the more religiously aligned JE55US, and AL14LAH.

You also can’t have GU11 LTY or  AL60 POP, but you are allowed to have PEN 15 and ORG 45M. The DVLA, clearly, think a woman’s undercarriage is to be censored, but a man’s, not.

This is all a nice little earner for the DVLA, as last year, they raked-in over £105 million by selling personalised plates. They have said that they only ban certain plates if they are “likely to cause general offence or embarrassment” on the grounds of racial, political, or religious sensitivities or if the authority finds them in “poor taste.”

Over the years, they’ve also banned BO11 OOX, P15 OFF, UP15 BUM, 15 LAM, and all combinations of anything including the word JEW. Check out the full list here.

Anger at O2 and Tesco mobile fails

May 26th, 2015 10 Comments By Mof Gimmers

mobile Anger at O2 and Tesco mobile failsAre you a customer with O2 or Tesco Mobile? Have you found yourself spitting feathers and furious because your signal dropped out? How on Earth are you supposed to text people to tell them that you’re just havin a glass of wine more like a bottle lol or that you’re stayin in 2nite lol?

Well, customers across the country have been livid with O2 and Tesco Mobile, as they were without signal for most of bank holiday Monday, and as such, both companies have said sorry and that they’re trying to fix it all up.

Of course, people aren’t having any of it and over on Twitter, one Tesco mobile user spat: “Please cancel my contract. I’ve had enough of the bad signal problem. Three hours with no signal is a joke!” while another was not at all impressed when O2 told them that, to fix them problem, they should ’turn it off and on again’, which was referred to as a “shambolic” reply.

It seems that this problem is something to do with technical faults with phone masts.

An O2 spokesperson tweeted: “We’re aware of isolated instances where some customers have intermittent access to our service. We’re investigating and will update ASAP.”

Tesco Mobile added: “We understand some customers are experiencing difficulties; we’re really sorry & are working hard to get this fixed.”

So where is the problem at now? Well, neither company has said when things will be fixed, but you can expect that, at some point, everything will just be back to the usual service without any fanfare.

Is your sex data vulnerable?

May 22nd, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

sex with glass Is your sex data vulnerable?You invariably indulge in safe sex, but is your sex data equally safe?

Well, if you’re a user of Adult FriendFinder, you should know about a hack that has taken place, with millions of accounts potentially breached.

Adult FriendFinder has over 63million users, and had been hit by ne’er-do-wells who have made off with a load of personal information. With that, comes people’s sexual preferences and whether or not you intend to cheat on your partner.

Email addresses, dates of birth and post codes were also taken, even if you deleted your account. This all smells like potential blackmail material, so get your excuses ready now.

For newer couples, just pretend you had the account before you met your current beau. If you’ve been with your partner for 30-odd years, then you might not need to worry too much as they might be on there as well, through being thoroughly disillusioned with your relationship. Hey! It might be just the thing to put some pep into your relationship, eh?

FriendFinder Networks Inc said: “We have already begun working closely with law enforcement and have launched a comprehensive investigation with the help of leading third-party forensics expert. We pledge to take the appropriate steps needed to protect our customers if they are affected.”

Are energy companies ripping us off?

May 22nd, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

energy Are energy companies ripping us off?It goes without saying that energy companies in the UK have been charging everyone a lot of money in their bills, and there’s a good chance they’ve been overcharging too. Legally, we leave the latter statement ambiguous, but you get where we’re coming from.

Ofgem, who are looking into all this, has referred the entire energy market to the Competition and Markets Authority, because there needs to be a formal investigation over the prices that everyone is paying. Are they artificially high?

Someone thinks so.

All eyes are on how much money is being made, and concerning SSE, they’ve seen profits shooting up by 40%, leaving everyone to wonder how they managed it. Of course, they’re not alone and data from Ofgem shows that (click here to see Ofgem’s lengthy report, complete with some graphs).

The Indy decided to crunch some of the numbers and statistics and came up with their own graph, which is more digestible.

energy graph Are energy companies ripping us off?

Basically, the energy companies get £120 from your combined gas and electricity charges every year, which is up from 2009′s figure of £10. That’s a big ol’ jump. The problem is that The Big Six have lowered their prices, but no nearly as much as the drop in wholesale prices. If you look at gas, bills have fallen by a couple of percent, while the cost of the companies buying it has dropped by 20% – the savings are not being passed on.

An Ofgem spokesperson says: “Falls in wholesale energy prices have resulted in significantly better deals for consumers on fixed tariffs but the majority of consumers who are on standard variable tariffs do not appear to have benefited to the same extent. We look forward to seeing the CMA’s draft findings and recommendations in the coming weeks.”

tanned Leading sun creams failing to protect from UVWhen you slather yourself in sun cream, you hope that it is protecting you from that flaming great orb in the sky. However, it looks like some of them don’t.

Feel free to add your own ‘don’t get burned by sun creams’ joke at any point during this article.

According to the folks at Which!!!, two leading sun creams don’t provide the UV protection that they say they do. If you’ve been smearing yourself in Boots Soltan Protect & Moisturise Lotion SPF30 and Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion SPF30, then you might want to consider another product.

The watchdog says that both of these offered only about two-thirds of their claimed SPF and are now referring to these products as “don’t buys”, adding that the Silk Hydration Lotion was “worryingly” the second Hawaiian Tropic product to fail their tests in the past two years.

Not only that, it is “more than four times as expensive as some of our Best Buys”.

Last year, Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch failed the tests undertaken by Which!!! and apparently, the old formula is still available to buy now, where the others that didn’t pass the UV tests last year, have since been reformulated.

Which!!! executive director Richard Lloyd said: “We’re very concerned that a further two popular sunscreens have now failed our tests. Consumers must be able to trust and rely on the information provided by manufacturers so it’s disappointing to see well-known brands falling short.”

“We want them to take action to ensure their products deliver the promised protection.”

Hawaiian Tropic defended itself, saying that all their products are rigorously tested, meeting all SPF, UVA and EU requirements and regulations. A spokesperson said: “Hawaiian Tropic invests considerable resources and research in product development and testing to ensure consumer safety, and guarantees the SPF and UVA claim on all products.”

“Consumers can fully rely on Hawaiian Tropic products, safe in the knowledge they are protected against the sun to the level they want, need and expect.”

A Boots UK spokesperson, also said: “Customer safety is paramount and we rigorously and independently test our products to ensure the appropriate level of safety and efficacy in compliance with EU Regulations. We are confident that all of our sun care products, including Boots Soltan Protect & Moisturise Lotion SPF30, meet the SPF labelling claim and customers can rely on them to provide the level of protection expected.”

“We believe that it’s better to use sunscreen that will offer some protection rather than none at all,” said Lisa Bickerstaffe of the British Skin Foundation, adding that customers could also “look for a four- or ideally five-star UVA rating on the bottle which will help protect from UVA radiation, associated with skin ageing.”

So there you go.

banks Overdrafts stop people from switching accountsHave you wanted to switch bank accounts, but felt you couldn’t because you have an overdraft? Well, it seems that this is quite a common feeling in the UK, according to research.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have found that people aren’t looking around for better deals or looking to switch, even though a number of banks to accept customers who are overdrawn.

There aren’t any regulations that prevent you from switching accounts if you have an overdraft, according to a spokesperson from the Payments Council. Of course, there are some banks that might turn you down or ask that you pay off your overdraft first, but some are actually willing to take on the debt.

A lot of banks will be happy to take your overdraft because, instead of having to pay you interest, they can charge you for being overdrawn. It really is that simple.

This is all part of the CMA’s research into the competitiveness of UK banks, as consumers are really not keen on changing who they bank with, despite the change in rules which got rid of a 30 day switching period to a 7-day one. The figures show that only 3% of customers surveyed had actually bothered to change banks, with over half staying with the same bank for 10-or-more years.

The CMA said it hasn’t reached any conclusions and will carry on looking at customer perceptions of switching, and whether having multiple products from the same bank makes it harder to move.

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 Retro Freak 500x332 Amazing machine that is 11 games consoles in one!

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.

Bank Holiday rail strike is officially off!

May 21st, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

train1 297x300 Bank Holiday rail strike is officially off!After all that fuss about the strike that was happening on the railways this Bank Holiday weekend, with people thinking they wouldn’t be able to ride the rails to fun and sunshine (or, seeing parent and being rained on), worry no more!

The strike by various unions has been called off and suspended after Network Rail put a new pay offer on the table. Whether you think they deserve a pay-rise or not, is beside the point – you can catch trains this weekend and worry about it another time.

Meanwhile, the Tube drivers on London Underground are still to be balloted for strikes in a squabble over pay for new all-night services, but that won’t have any impact in the immediate future.

So, will all the trains be running as normal this weekend? Well, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be, but keep an eye out for announcements.

The RMT’s general secretary, Mick Cash, said: “Following the Acas talks, RMT has received a revised offer that enables us to suspend the planned industrial action while we consult in full with our Network Rail representatives.”