European Union Guarantees Goods for Two Years, Regardless of Retailers’ Personal Warranty

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EU Laws

When you buy something from a retailer, such as Tesco, there will be a one year warranty included as standard, something we take for granted in the UK. For most people one year is sufficient and it seems quite reasonable, but what if you just spent £2,000 on a new plasma TV and it stopped working after 13 months? Surely that isn’t fair. Of course, some people choose to pay a fortune for an extended warranty lasting several years, which might be prudent for such an expensive product. However, there is also another useful tool one can use and it’s entirely free.

This tool is something that has been around for a long time but nobody seems to know about it. The tool in question is an EU Directive that states:

A two-year guarantee applies for the sale of all consumer goods everywhere in the EU. In some countries, this may be more, and some manufacturers also choose to offer a longer warranty period.

This little law is simple enough, purchase something and it’s guaranteed for a refund or replacement for up to two years. Therefore the one year warranty UK retailers give people isn’t really worth much. It is useful only if the item breaks within 12 months, but outwith that time the EU directive is the consumers only weapon. Despite the fact that most retailers aren’t even aware of the directive, as soon as county court proceedings begin their head office will soon admit defeat, so it’s recommended that people pursue this whenever they can.

European Union

Although the EU law hasn’t made its way into UK law, there is no court in the country that can defy EU legislation, so the consumer will win any court battle. For the few people who do know about this law (mostly thanks to the internet), they have all succeeded in obtaining a refund or replacement with minimal fuss. Normally an EU law makes its way into UK law quite promptly, but for some reason this one has been forgotten about. That might be due to the fact that if every retailer in the UK offered two years warranty as standard they would be losing a significant amount of money, which would ultimately hurt our economy.

The UK government seems content that only a handful of people are aware of, or use this directive, for now. But as more people are looking for cheaper alternatives and turning to the internet for consumer advice, it’s only a matter of time before this EU directive becomes a household resource.

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How to Easily Find Free Images for your Blog

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One thing that lots of bloggers and other website builders often have is finding quality images that are safe to use. Although some people just think that doing a Google search for an image gives them the right to post it onto their blog, without repercussions. That isn’t really the case and it can end up with you being sued for copyright infringement. For most images there will be an owner and it’s fair to say nobody likes creating something and giving it away for free. Some might allow you to use the image with their permission as long as you source it. However, that involves finding the image’s owner and contacting them, which is very time consuming.

There is a quick workaround that will save you time and effort. In the video it’s easy to see how to access royalty free images in seconds; however, Google does NOT guarantee the images will be royalty free. Even though they aren’t 100% guaranteed, they are still a lot safer than just selecting any image at random. Typically I have found that this method will direct you to images on Wikipedia (or similar) and photo sharing sites, such as Flickr.

It really is an incredible tool from Google and it just shows how awesome they are, even though they are spamming my searches with too many ads these days!

Do Ghosts Exist?

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Old Picture of Ghostly Image

Everyone has a ghost story to tell or they will know someone who has had experienced a ghostly encounter. There are countless television shows dedicated to hunting ghosts and trying to prove definitively that there are supernatural entities living among us. I am a skeptic but I also like to keep an open mind, so I won’t discount the concept of ghosts completely, even if logic dictates they can’t exist. What I mean by that is simple; if ghosts did exist then surely there would be billions of them aimlessly wandering all over the world. People might argue that there are so few because they decided not to passover into the afterlife, although that would imply the existence of heaven or hell, something there is no proof of at all.

Recently I watched the show Ghost Mine and I was truly fascinated with the findings; unlike other ghost shows there was actually a huge amount of video, camera and sound evidence. The sheer quantity of evidence was hard to comprehend. For those who aren’t aware of the show I thoroughly recommend watching it, they even allow people to view online for free. The mine is full of gold but it has been closed for 85 years due to paranormal activity apparently, until one man decides to invest his life savings and reopen it.

He hires a crew and even though they are finding $30,000 a day in gold they all quit. The reason they give is they are tired of hearing and seeing things. So the guy who bought the mine hires another crew but this time he also hires two paranormal investigators and thus the show was born. What is truly amazing about this show is that the further they investigate the local area, the deeper the mystery becomes. Without giving too much away, they find paranormal activity all over the town not just the mine.

Unlike with regular ghost hunting shows where they ask a question and sometimes get a faint reply using an EVP, sometimes they get a response in a strange language, later realizing it to be Chinese or Cantonese. They then find out that 100 years ago there were plenty of Chinese workers, who were later slaughtered by racists and buried near the mine. Spooky eh?

By comparison to other shows, Ghost Mine is by far the most compelling and even diehard skeptics would be baffled by the evidence from the show. I have seen other ghost shows before and they are all pretty lame, at best capturing a tiny speck of light on occasion and going nuts every time an insect moves. But surely with all our modern technology we should be capturing ghosts on camera all the time, after all there must be lots of them. Of course, one downside of our technology is the amount of fake evidence being produced. The universe is just one big ball of energy, constantly changing and interacting. The energy is never wasted but just converted into other forms of energy. So it’s plausible that ghosts are just residual energy sources, although how they can last for hundreds of years is a mystery.

Ghost in Car

When I was younger I remember moving to a new home. I was moving stuff around my new bedroom and then a book turned the page on the other side of the room. Even though I was only ten I knew something moved it so the first thing I did was look for a draft from the window, but it was firmly closed. Then I ran down stairs a bit freaked out, to this day I have no idea how the page turned. Later in the same house I was wakened one morning with my bed violently shaking, so bad that I thought there was an earthquake. When I got to school I asked my friends if there had been an earthquake and they said no, weird. Anyway, I can’t explain those occasions and I’m not saying it’s a ghost, but it was something. Maybe it was residual energy or a strange fluctuation in air pressure (although I don’t see how).

The reason ‘m a skeptic is because I have still never seen or heard a ghost, but there must be some truth to it otherwise why would so many people believe in them. Some people have been so freaked out with a house that they had to move; nobody would go through the stress and expense of moving home without a very good reason. I’m not sure what I would do if I saw a ghost face-to-face but at the end of the day if it harmed me I would kick its ass when I was dead!

Bedroom Tax is an Utter Disgrace and the Government needs to Abolish it NOW

MP Ruthless Tax Laws

The bedroom tax is one of the hottest topics on the news just now, partly because it is blatant robbery and a complete disgrace. For those who aren’t aware of how it works; if someone has four bedrooms in their council home but only uses three of them, they then pay a tax on that spare room. Considering that people with council homes are some of the less affluent in society it’s unbelievable that the government even created this policy in the first place. The economy is horrid just now and many are living in poverty, especially single mums who are constantly struggling to survive.

Prime Minister enforces bedroom tax despite opposition

Now that winter is approaching they will struggle even more, although Miliband has pledged to abolish it in 2015 if he’s elected. The fact that bedroom tax should NEVER have been introduced would be sufficient reason to scrap it immediately and it’s truly amazing it has been around this long. Most people don’t have the luxury of choosing where they live and this is even more true of council tenants; they either take what they’re given or they become homeless. That means they MUST take the home the council offers them and if it has an extra bedroom they will have to pay a moronic bedroom tax on it.

The government are trying to figure out how they can fill this gap if they get rid of the bedroom tax, perhaps the £7 billion bailout of Royal Mail would have been a good place to start, or maybe the RBS bailout. These companies were once reporting hundreds of millions profit each and every year which they then gave to fat cat executives. Once they do badly the taxpayer foots the bill; the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. This blog mentions the Royal Mail price hikes that are crippling small businesses, but don’t worry big businesses get a massive discount on their postage so it’s just the poorest in society that suffer, can you see a pattern developing here?

My sister has three kids and she was the one who told me about the outrageous bedroom tax and since she recently moved to a new town her new council home has four rooms, meaning she will have to pay this moronic tax. It used to be a child of age five needed a room of their own, but now they have increased the age significantly (to 8 or 9 I think). This is bureaucracy aimed at crippling families who are already living in poverty. Someone with three children should not have to pay a large portion of their income to the government just because they have an extra room. How about councils just give people a home that is suitable for their circumstances, perhaps if they didn’t sell most of them they could do that.

Amount of tax to pay

It’s just greed, greed and more greed by local and national governments and people are just sick of it. The economy is a disgrace because the governments continue to ignore the majority of the population and help the rich get richer. One person working for a bank in London earns £4 million a year simply because they help the bank make more money. A heart surgeon by comparison will earn 10% of that and they have a far worthier occupation. It’s okay though because single mums don’t need to feed their children they just need to pay this shambles of a bedroom tax, that will help our economy flourish!

GoDaddy Website Builder v 7 Sucks – can’t put alt tags on images, but this should help

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Old Useless Computer as good as GoDaddy

Preview: This blog tells you how to add alt tags to images in GoDaddy Web Builder v 7, plus it tells you how to add the Google Analytics code. However, I realise most people don’t have time to read an entire blog so I added a short video showing how to use Picasa for alt tags, plus I will add a note regarding the analytics next to the video. Edit: 26th March 2014 I deleted the video because people didn’t seem to like it.

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GoDaddy Website Builder version 7 is quite simply atrocious and full of bugs. For those who aren’t familiar with web design it seems like an easy option, simply buy a cheap domain and get the builder that comes with free hosting. The reality however is that you will end up wasting more time getting things to work.

Before I bought a domain three months ago I had no web design experience, not a shred of HTML or CSS code knowledge, but since being unable to put image alt tags on the website builder, I had to quickly learn some HTML code. The image feature on GoDaddy builder 7 is simple enough; you drag the image icon to wherever you want it on your website then select an image, easy, but what about the alt tags?

For those who aren’t aware, image alt tags have a small impact on your websites SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so not having any will affect your SERP on Google. They only play a small part on your SERP, but every little helps in the online world. Google’s robots can’t see images like we can so they need alt text to know what the image is about (and to see if it’s relevant). It’s a great opportunity to put in a few more keywords too so the fact that the GoDaddy builder doesn’t have this feature is a farce.

Fortunately, I found a way around this: I upload my images to Google Picasa and get the HTML code for it, then paste the HTML code into website builder. The only thing I need to change in the code is adding the alt text (easy enough just type alt=”blah blah”) and I can change the width and height accordingly. This is currently the ONLY way to add an image alt tag on the worthless website builder v 7. Previously I tried a few other things but it left my site with a horrid text/HTML ratio, so the Picasa method is by far the quickest and easiest solution.

Worthless GoDaddy

Then comes the problem with the “HTML option” in the website builder; if you try to drag the button to the bottom of your site and open up the HTML box, it just won’t display. You need to drag the box to the top of the website to get the thing to open properly, which can be a real pain in the ass when you have to edit the bottom of your website. Anyway, they released website builder 7 way before it was ready, but if this is what they class as “ready” they are sorely mistaken.

Almost always when you have your webpage finished it will look great, but I suggest checking it in another window and manually browsing your site after it’s published because it usually won’t look the same. There will be overlapped text and images, almost 75% of the time. Meaning you have to spread the contents out more. It’s truly unbelievable at the level of incompetence from such a big company.

Yesterday I spent all day trying to put Google Analytics code into my head section, something GoDaddy has in the site settings option. I would paste the code Google gave me, close the builder and go back in, the code would keep vanishing. I phoned GoDaddy and they told me the code was there, I checked with Analytics and the code was NOT there. Eventually I got fed up and just pasted the code into both the head and body sections, which worked. But something is clearly wrong here, either Google are wrong or GoDaddy are wrong….. hmmm I wonder.

I strongly advise against ever purchasing GoDaddy Website Builder version 7 because it is useless. Even if you have no knowledge of code you will find it 100 times easier to use WordPress, the only good thing I have achieved since buying it is learning a hell of a lot about HTML code. I recommend buying the domain name at GoDaddy and then using a hosting service from the ones mentioned at the top, since they make it easy to install WordPress, then you have total control of your website. If you too are having problems with the alt tags in this builder the short video below shows you how to use Picasa to add alt tags.

  • Google Analytics tells you to place the code in the <head> section, but that won’t work with GoDaddy (it used to but it’s just one of many bugs associated with their worthless product). However, one solution that worked for me on all of my sites is to simply place the code in both the head and body sections, although I think just the body is needed. Simple and it works.
  • If you are looking for better web builders then I suggest going with one of the hosting companies above since they automatically install a WordPress.org and that’s much easier and better than GoDaddy

 

Diablo 3 Auction House Shutting Down

Shut Down Sign

Blizzard announced that the Diablo 3 Auction House will be shutting down on March 18, 2014. This will be a major blow for players who “make a living” from the AH, with many bragging they make a fortune from flipping. The main reason for the closure is to encourage players to find their own loot, which is supposed to be a lot better with the new D3 expansion (a smart marketing move, maybe). Blizzard make $1 for every item sold on the real money AH and if you go by their official player numbers of 1 million a day, that can quickly amount to lots of cash. However, the new expansion is definitely something they’re expecting more cash from and Blizzard is keen to talk about the “new” looting system, supposedly a lot better. Forgive me when I think to myself, why the hell would I buy an expansion when the original d3 still has loads of bugs (too many to name). Some of these bugs are so basic that it defies belief that Blizzard can’t fix them (rubberbanding).

I can understand the removal of the real money AH, but the gold AH seems like an integral aspect of d3, particularly since the chances of finding decent items in-game are close to impossible. I have played d3 a lot in my spare time and have NEVER found one decent item, EVER. I have no choice but to get items from the AH because their game loot mechanics are atrocious. They say the expansion will fix this, yes but what about the millions of people who paid GOOD money for the original d3, many of which are asking Blizzard to make it offline (like the ps3 version). It seems as though Blizzard don’t give a shit about their core gamers (PC) and are more interested in making money, giving zero thought to the gamers themselves.

I think the AH has a lot of haters and a lot of lovers, but remove it and people will return to third party forums and undoubtedly meet a few scammers, overall items will still be sold for gold and real cash, but it will become “illegal”. It’s unfortunate that Blizzard have gone down this path but I’m sure lots of people will be happy, that is until they spend six months trying to find one item without success…..

Money and Greed

I will not be paying more money just to experience a better loot system, what a farce and an absolute insult to loyal d3 gamers everywhere.

Alternative phone numbers for 0845 and 0870 – usually local or freephones

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save money with cheap telephone alternative numbers

I made an order with Tesco Direct recently and there was confusion over the delivery address, their mistake not mine. Anyway, their website only had an 0845 number to contact them with and they can be expensive, so I went to saynoto0870 and got a freephone number for them, it worked perfectly. Just want to spread the word about this because it’s simply amazing. Just type in the company and search, easy as that.

For Sky customers it can be difficult to obtain a number that isn’t 0845 or 0870, meaning they will cost money. Sky say that calls to their customer services are free as long as you use the free number, which is 020 7126 7020. Please note that it’s only free if you phone from your Sky home phone. This number is almost impossible to obtain because they don’t advertise anywhere, which is against the law.

Telephone

Other useful phone numbers are:

Google 0845 358 0038

Microsoft 0118 909 7800 (switchboard)  020 3027 6039 and 0800 7318457 (online support)

eBay 020 8605 3000 (switchboard) 020 8080 2105 (invitation only customer service number) 0800 3586551 (resolution centre)

PayPal 020 8605 3000 (select option 1) 0845 401 1050, 0870 730 7191 and +35314369004

Yahoo 020 7131 1000 and 0870 352 2000

Facebook 020 3014 2750

Barclays UK Freephone for current accounts 0800 400100

I can provide more on request, just leave a comment. Enjoy!

Royal Mail is a RIP OFF and a JOKE

Royal Mail ExtortionIt’s an utter disgrace that the queen’s head is on the postal service int he UK. I just tried to mail a parcel that weighed 1.6kg, I also checked the dimensions with a measuring tape before I left, Length: 40cm, width 30cm , height 7cm. Well within their website specs of 45 x 35 x 8. So that means a postage fee of £5.60 for second class. Straightforward enough right? Well the woman in the PO decided to instantly charge me £8 for second class, I told her I used a measuring tape and it was only 1.6kg, she said it’s too big, so I used their slot and it fit easily through it. She then conceded that I was right and I paid £5.60, however, most people wouldn’t bother checking their parcel before going to the PO, which is why I decided to write this blog.

The Post Office blatantly tried to rip me off and had I not argued they would have succeeded. I still can’t believe the queen’s head is on top of this organization, they should not be allowed to charge so much in postage as it is, but to try and rip people off in a horrid economy is beyond belief. I for one will be using Hermes from now on because it’s only £4.20 for up to 2kg parcel, plus they come to your door and pick up the parcel. The only downside is that you need a printer to print the barcode for the parcel, something I will happily be investing in because I now loathe Royal Mail and everything associated with it.

If Royal Mail don’t drastically change their pricing policies I can see them going bust, people aren’t stupid and in this economy they are looking for cheaper options for everything.Currently only MyHermes is cheaper for up to 2kg but anything heavier and their are plenty of alternatives to Royal Mail, most of which are vastly cheaper. I came across this Facebook page about Royal Mail Rip Off, feel free to visit it if you have nay complaints (I’m sure there will be a few).

Oh, one final thing to note I sold the item for £8 on eBay and once PayPal and eBay fees are taken off I made about 80p after postage….An utter disgrace.

Make Money Online Scams

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SCAM Sign

If you are ever bored one day and want a good laugh, just go to YouTube and type in make money online. It’s hilarious that every single video follows the same basic principle and I always wonder what kind of moron would actually believe any of the shit. First, all they do is spend 15 minutes mentioning large cash amounts, while rarely ever mentioning what is needed to obtain such cash. Hell I could make a video and just sit there quoting cash amounts, maybe I should try it and see who is dumb enough to “buy” from me lmao.

Then they show you some statements, again with some pictures of cash in PayPal or some other affiliate site. Such statements are so hard to obtain so I am sure that is a strong selling point eh? Woah he is showing me $5,000 and he can make that a day, it must be soooo easy and everyone in the world could do this without ever doing any work, hahaha get real. I know most people wouldn’t fall for such moronic “marketing” tactics, but some people must or they wouldn’t be making the videos, or money for that matter.

Cartoon scam

I decided to write this quick blog because these scams are just annoying, but also highly hilarious and entertaining. I advise anyone who isn’t aware of such scams to just avoid ANYTHING that quotes cash amounts and says you won’t need to do much work. Life isn’t handed to anyone on a plate (well for the most part) and doing little for huge amounts of cash is never going to happen in the real world. However, if you want a laugh some time just check them out, believe me there are lots of videos about making money online and they are all hilarious. The plot is more or less the same regardless of what is on “offer” and the tactics are just retarded, it’s like a time-warp to the days of olde, when people were less informed and perhaps a bit vulnerable.

Maybe the most well known and risible companies I have viewed so far is Empower Network. They can talk for hours on end without ever mentioning a product or service, instead just talking about flash cars and dream holidays. If they spent as much time in real jobs as they do talking utter garbage they probably could afford such things!

I am morbidly curious as to how many spam comments I will get if people find this blog, about how their particular “product” is the real-deal and how everyone in the world can become millionaires after signing up. Oh and it will only cost $100 a month for administration costs, hahaha. Well I can only hope because these kinds of people need to be mocked, hopefully enough to make them get off their fat-asses and do some real work!

USB TV – How to Guide

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USB Smart TV

I know some people are having problems with the USB slot on their televisions, so I decided to write a quick guide to help them. First of all most TV’s with a USB slot will be running with the Linux operating system. Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with Linux because it isn’t important, however, it is important that your flash drive is formatted correctly before you begin. Typically you want it to be in FAT32 format because that is the most common with both TV’s and even PlayStation’s, if that’s your thing.

To check the format in Windows 7 simply right click on the flash drive and select format etc. easy peasy. With Windows XP should be the same, but if not there is plenty of information on the internet about it.

Once you have it in FAT32 format, it’s a case of getting files in the correct format so your TV can recognise them. For that you will need a video converter, I use Convertxtodvd and Wondershare, but unless you are familiar with torrents you will have to settle for some freeware software. Regardless of what software you use, you need to convert to a format your TV will recognize. Most of them will recognize AVI; however, there are many types of AVI. It can be tricky, but if you look for a converter that converts to DVD, it will work on your USB TV. If you use Wondershare I recommend converting to Xvid in AVI because it doesn’t produce large files and gives good quality.

One thing to note is that in the FAT32 system you can’t use a file larger than 4GB, which means that HD movies can be a problem, but don’t worry there is an easy workaround (Edit July 2014: Some of the newer TVs support NTFS, which allows files larger than 4GB). If you use Wondershare to convert, it will tell you the file size of the finished file before you begin, if it’s over 4GB don’t bother, instead use Convertxtodvd. With that it will automatically split the movie into separate parts, meaning no file will be bigger than 4GB. This is how I format my files but it will vary if you use different converters.

  • Wondershare is great because it can batch convert many files and supports using multiple cores on a computer, arguably the best converter around
  • Convertxtodvd is good if the file is too large, although Wondershare allow you to split videos, it’s more trouble than it’s worth, this program does it automatically

Okay, now you have your files converted. A common problem people have is not getting their files to display in the correct order. This happens for many reasons but there is a very simple solution – put your files into a folder on your computer first. This sounds obvious but you would be surprised how many people don’t do this. Now they are in a folder they might not be in the correct order, but all you need to do is rename the files. Just call them file 1 file 2 etc. Chances are you won’t have to rename them too often but if you do it’s easy enough. Okay now they are in the correct format and correct order, you’re all set to watch them on your TV!

THINGS TO NOTE:

1. Some TV’s will support other formats other than FAT32, such as NTFS, so they can handle files larger than 4GB. Although I think FAT32 is the most flexible and most likely to work.

2. The types of files your TV will display can vary greatly, but they will always display any files that are in DVD format, and should work with most forms of AVI, such as Xvid, Divx etc.

3. Although it’s your choice to use torrents, if you are familiar with them you can always download files already in viewable format, which saves time converting them

4. I think that’s everything, feel free to ask me questions if you want.

5. Enjoy.