May 2011

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Dell Launches Super Slim XPS 15z Laptop

Super Slim XPS 15z

has announced the availability of the Dell XPS 15z, a range of laptops that look a lot like Apple’s Macbook Pro ones although the Austin-based manufacturer curiously refers to the range as a PC rather than a notebook.

The XPS 15z is 0.6mm thicker than the current MBP at 24.7mm and both share at least two features; the slot-load optical drive and the side-facing LED battery charge indicator.

As expected though, Dell’s a bit less frugal than Apple when it comes to connectors; you get an HDMI port, an eSATA/USB connector plus two other USB 3.0, one mini DisplayPort and a card reader.

The base unit XPS 15z – which costs £899 including VAT and delivery – has an Intel Core i5-2410M Sandy Bridge CPU clocked at 2.3GHz with 3MB cache, 4GB RAM, a 500GB hard disk drive, a 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT525M GPU with embedded Optimus power saving, 8-cell battery, a 15.6-inch WLED display with an 1.3-megapixel camera, 15 month security software and Windows 7 Home Premium.

Other additional options include Core i7 CPU, doubling the RAM, 50 per cent additional hardware (no SSD by default), 2GB video card and a full HD screen.
The cheapest Macbook Pro costs a whopping £1549 by comparison although to be honest, Apple’s entry level 15-inch Macbook Pro comes with a quad-core i7 which isn’t even present on the XPS 15z.

[LIVE] Theft knocks out O2 coverage in parts of South East (Updated!)

is racing to restore mobile coverage in parts of London, Kent and East Sussex, after theft and vandalism hit an East London operations site.

The mobile network operator put up a service message at 12:50am on Tuesday, reading: “We’ve got a problem that means you can’t make calls, use the internet, or send/get texts and emails in parts of East London, North London, east Sussex and Kent.” The message was still up around 12 hours later, at the time of writing.

We continue working hard to address the issue affecting services in parts of North and East London, Kent and East Sussex,” O2 said in a statement shortly after midday. “This was caused by theft and vandalism at one of our operations sites in East London. We sincerely apologise to affected customers and will update progress regularly.

The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Giffgaff, which uses O2’s network to provide its services, has maps on its forum detailing the extent of the 2G and 3G outages.

Keep an eye on, Iif you’ve been affected by this – o2 have added some frequently asked questions on our blog and hope to get this fixed as soon as possible. (blog post)

Update: Tuesday, 17 May 2011, 16:24:49 BST – There is reports that o2 is working again (as of texts & calls) in Sittingbourne Kent area. (ME10)

Update: Tuesday, 17 May 2011, 16:42:04 BST – Another report that you might have to restart your Phone/Device for it to start working again! (thanks to Steff Duchesne for this update!)

Update: Tuesday, 17 May 2011, 17:30:24 BST – o2: “We’ve been restoring service to the affected areas and from 16:30 onwards people have started to be able to use their phones again, although there are still some pockets of no coverage remaining. We are carefully monitoring this throughout the night.”

Rebecca Black Pregnant?

Rebecca Black, proud mother to be?

13 year old , best known for her song which became a viral hit online, is pregnant.

One of Rebecca’s closest friends revealed the news on their wall. The post was soon deleted but the revelation had already spread to websites such as CNN, Allvoices and Twitter. Apparently Rebecca did not want the news made public yet, she even disabled comments on the Friday video which has 140 million views on Youtube.

Rebecca’s boyfriend Nat Wolff is assumed to be the father. They have been seen together at functions and award ceremonies since meeting last year.

Black has already been criticized by some for allowing herself to become pregnant, many are concerned that she is setting a bad example for teens. Rebecca has previously acknowledged that she is a role model for young people. The community at was particularly critical with many calling for Rebecca to seriously consider an abortion. Black has previously spoken about her pro-live values.

Other websites such as and a new Facebook group dedicated to Rebecca’s pregnancy have been more supportive. Rebecca Black herself has not made a statement about her pregnancy at this time.

…I guess she chose the backseat after all.

‘Deal Or No Deal’ crowns third quarter-millionaire

Deal Or No Deal makes Suzanne Mulholland it’s third quarter-millionaire

gameshow crowned its third quarter-millionaire on the show. Suzanne Mulholland, originally from Ireland, took home the show’s top prize of £250,000.

It had been more than two years since Alice Mundy took home the same amount in March 2009. Friday 13th was lucky for one contestant, as after more than two years since the last winner, Suzanne Mulholland won the top prize. Today on Channel 4, in arguably the best game ever seen on Deal or No Deal, Suzanne became only the third contestant to walk away with a quarter of a million pounds.

Originally from Sligo, Ireland, now living in Bristol, Suzanne played an extremely brave game which left the Banker with his head in his hands as he set the printers to press with another wanted poster.

The incredible game saw The Banker offer Suzanne’s fiancé Simon the chance to put his skill to the test and by succeeding, he not only won Suzanne a holiday, but he prevented the banker from looking inside her box and won her the chance to play one box at a time with her remaining five boxes. And with four reds still in play – including £100,000 and £250,000 – Suzanne was in a great position to go all the way.

In an extraordinary game, Suzanne immediately eliminated the final blue in her game which guaranteed that she would leave with at least £35,000 and then managed the unthinkable feat of being left with the two highest boxes on the board.

A determined Suzanne then turned down a highest-ever-offer of £165,000 in an attempt to find the elusive quarter of a million, and she even made the risky move of swapping her final box, potentially losing thousands of pounds.

But just like the rest of her game, Suzanne’s gut instincts were spot on and when box 21 was opened, the confetti fell and a shocked Suzanne became only the third person ever to have won £250,000 on Deal or No Deal.

The Banker, who is celebrating his birthday this week with a Cowboy’s and Indian’s themed bash, undoubtedly failed to enjoy the party as he begrudgingly welcomed Suzanne to the quarter-millionaire club.

Suzanne said: “It was so surreal, I was dressed like a cowboy, Simon was a clown and Noel was an Indian Chief! The only way I can describe how I felt after I won was that it was like being in a washing machine on a 1600 spin. I just can’t describe all the feelings and emotions I was going through! I had an unbelievable time, and since being on the show I have bought a house and moved back to Ireland with Simon and am in the process of starting up a salon.

Channel 4 approached The Banker for a comment, who said: “Do not print this story! I want a super-injunction! AAAAAAAAGGH!”


Sony PlayStation Network Coming Back Online

Sony has announced that it has just restored some PlayStation Network services after hackers forced Sony to take it down.

The announcement was made by Sony Corporation Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai. “The services are being restored in phases, and I am pleased to say that the first phase has been launched in most regions around the world” Hirai said in a video statement.

Sony rebuilt the entire PlayStation Network following a breach of its security that resulted in the compromise of 24.6 million user accounts. The changes are being delivered in a new system update that is restoring online gaming and Qriocity services.

“We have greatly updated our data security systems,” Hirai noted in the video statement. “These changes were the result of an intensive investigation aided by some of the most respected forensic and security experts in the computer industry.” Those changes include more advanced security technology, advanced levels of encryption, additional firewalls and better early-warning systems.

While PlayStation Network services may finally be returning, that doesn’t mean users will simply flock back. It has a lot of work to do to regain user trust.

It’s only been a month or so.