Sky Email – Observing The Sky http://www.observingthesky.org/ Sun, 26 Sep 2021 17:31:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://www.observingthesky.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/observing-the-sky-icon-150x150.png Sky Email – Observing The Sky http://www.observingthesky.org/ 32 32 Sky added £ 3,000 to retiree’s bill but sent statements to late wife | Domestic invoices https://www.observingthesky.org/sky-added-3000-to-retirees-bill-but-sent-statements-to-late-wife-domestic-invoices/ Sun, 26 Sep 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://www.observingthesky.org/sky-added-3000-to-retirees-bill-but-sent-statements-to-late-wife-domestic-invoices/

When Kate Harrison’s dad was in the hospital, she began reviewing her bills and bank statements to make sure everything was in order. She was shocked to find out that he had paid Sky £ 179 per month – a fifth of his retirement income.

The huge bill consisted of £ 109 for her TV package and £ 70 for ‘CLI fees’, a charge she knew nothing about. And, upon investigation, she found out he had paid those charges for four years – amounting to over £ 3,000. It was a huge sum for Mike, 81, which drove him into debt with his credit card company.

The charges began when Mike was caring for his wife Barbara, who suffered from dementia. Since she took care of much of the household expenses and received bills online, he knew little about what to pay for services such as television. Even after her death in 2018, statements continued to be sent to her email address.

“He had no idea that £ 179 was outrageous and thought that was exactly what you had to pay. He wasn’t getting any kind of statement and he wasn’t going to challenge it, ”Kate explains.

She also says her father was too preoccupied at the time, taking care of his wife, to focus on the bills.

When she first challenged Sky, she said the call manager told her he would only reimburse £ 220 and suggested it was her responsibility to monitor her father’s bills.

After checking social media, Sky apologized and returned the money. But the case illustrates the pitfalls of online invoicing, especially when it comes to vulnerable customers.

When Sky customers have several of its boxes at home, each is separately subscribed to the customer’s complete package, called Sky Multiscreen. But you don’t have to pay the full subscription for each box – a discount is applied.

However, to make sure that each box is used in the right place, Sky insists that it is connected to the internet or to a phone line to monitor usage. Otherwise, Calling Line Identification (CLI) fees apply. This is a way for the business to collect the discounts if it cannot see that all of the boxes are in use by a household.

The measures are intended to prevent people from selling the extra box, using it in another location, or taking it to another property when they are away from home.

In that case, four years of charges were imposed while Mike’s two boxes remained in his Liverpool home. The second box he had got disconnected at some point in 2017.

Charging notifications were sent in 2017 and 2018 to Barbara at a time when she was unable to process them. The accusations went unnoticed for four years, with Sky’s only itemized invoices sent to its inbox.

“Sky’s system should tell her that a person hasn’t replied, or even read, any e-mail in years, and a letter should be triggered reminding her why she’s being charged so much,” says Kate.

“My parents had been clients for 14 years with an outdated box that couldn’t even connect to the internet wirelessly.”

She admits that her father could have disputed the bills, but he was unsure what the appropriate amount was and, by the time the charges started, he was caring for his dying wife.

The company has agreed to reimburse £ 3,104.50 to cover them, but believes compensation should be paid for ‘negligent communication’.

Sky then agreed to cut its monthly bills.

In a statement to Observer, Sky said the CLI fee is “a legitimate security measure so that we can verify that Sky boxes are being used in the correct home by the customers they are intended for.”

He added: “These charges end when the box is connected to the Internet or to the phone line and the location is verified. When a box is not connected, customers are informed three times before the start of the charges, and we continue to regularly remind customers that the charges are applied until the box is connected.

“Unfortunately, in this case, we were unable to verify the location of the box from 2017. Due to circumstances beyond the customer’s control, it was never reconnected. We apologized and refunded the charges in full.

The company has also sharply reduced its 18-month TV package, which now costs £ 4 per month, and is sending out paper bills.

Sky refuses to say how many customers receive CLI fees, or how much it collects from them each year.

Ofcom, the communications regulator, says all vendors must have policies in place to ensure vulnerable customers are treated fairly.

“People’s circumstances can change at any time, and we expect suppliers to understand and identify the characteristics and needs of vulnerable customers, and make sure they get support,” he adds. “Any customer who thinks they have not been treated fairly should first complain to their supplier. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can take the complaint to an independent ombudsman who will review the case and render a judgment on it.

In Sky’s case, the independent ombudsperson is the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution (Cisas), which did not respond to a request for comment.

For Kate, the importance of discussing finances with older family members, especially after bereavement, was emphasized. “Money is a touchy subject, but I wish we had talked about it sooner,” she says. “The elderly or vulnerable do not always know which charges are fair. Often times, they’re worse off if they’re not online or trying to negotiate better deals, as younger customers routinely do.

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Michael K Williams: Wire and Boardwalk Empire Actor Dies of Accidental Drug Overdose, Autopsy Says | Ents & Arts News https://www.observingthesky.org/michael-k-williams-wire-and-boardwalk-empire-actor-dies-of-accidental-drug-overdose-autopsy-says-ents-arts-news/ Sat, 25 Sep 2021 07:39:51 +0000 https://www.observingthesky.org/michael-k-williams-wire-and-boardwalk-empire-actor-dies-of-accidental-drug-overdose-autopsy-says-ents-arts-news/

Wire actor Michael K Williams has died of an accidental drug overdose, a post-mortem exam has revealed.

Williams, 54, was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment on September 6.

Police sources said at the time that drug paraphernalia was discovered at the scene.

Julie Bolcer, spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for New York City, said in an email that the cause of death was “acute poisoning from the combined effects of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin and cocaine “.

Ms Bolcer declined to comment further on the investigation.

Picture:
Michael K Williams with Dominic West in The Wire. Photo: Moviestore / Shutterstock

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2016: Michael K Williams talks about his anger

Williams’ colleagues were remembered for his particular talent for humanizing the characters he portrayed, bringing to his roles his own experience as a black man growing up in New York City.

Among the actual struggles he faced were episodes of drug addiction, which he brought to his best-known role for The Wire.

The TV series was set in Baltimore and told the story of drug trafficking from the perspective of criminals, police and those caught between them.

Critics praised Williams for his portrayal of Omar Little, a gay drug dealer at war with his rivals.

Michael K Williams in his role as Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire.  Photo: HBO / Kobal / Shutterstock
Picture:
Williams as Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire. Photo: HBO / Kobal / Shutterstock

Other television roles that have won praise for Williams include the characters he played in Boardwalk Empire, Bessie, and Lovecraft Country.

Williams played the mighty African-American gangster Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire, an HBO series set in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition era of the 1920s.

During her career, Williams won Emmy nominations for performances in HBO’s Bessie, The Night Of, and Lovecraft Country.

He also received praise for his role in the 2019 Netflix series When They See Us, the true story of five teenage boys falsely accused of a brutal attack on a jogger in Central Park in New York City, who were ultimately cleared after having spent years in prison.

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Piercing The Sky: where will we see black gold by Christmas? https://www.observingthesky.org/piercing-the-sky-where-will-we-see-black-gold-by-christmas/ Fri, 24 Sep 2021 14:29:29 +0000 https://www.observingthesky.org/piercing-the-sky-where-will-we-see-black-gold-by-christmas/

Knock Knock? Is it already the sky, or just a ceiling? Either way, oil has risen dramatically – how far can it go?

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Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger as a PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email it to your colleagues.

Letters, conferences and more on hedge funds in the second quarter of 2021

Why there is no Bitcoin ETF in the United States yet

Digital payment systemShould you invest in cryptocurrencies? As with any investment, it depends on many factors. At the Morningstar Investment Conference Thursday, Matthew Hougan of Bitwise, Tyrone Ross, Jr. of Onramp Invest and Annemarie Tierney of Liquid Advisors joined Morningstar’s Ben Johnson to discuss portfolio allocations to cryptocurrencies. Letters, conferences and conferences on hedge funds in the second quarter of 2021

Fundamental updates

Crude closed high on Thursday on optimism about demand as well as still tight supply. Indeed, this increase is driven by a general market sentiment relatively favorable to the macroeconomic situation and the conviction that supply should remain tight until the end of 2021.

WTI crude oil futures were up 1.5%, more than $ 1 from Wednesday’s close. Like Wall Street, the oil market has also been sensitive to the increasingly reassuring tone of messages from China about the plight of property developer Evergrande, which is on the brink of default. In addition, the acceleration of air travel caused by the lifting of restrictions on entry into the United States by Washington could also stimulate demand for kerosene. And finally, while natural gas prices are suspended from the ceiling, we could see a shift in demand from gas to oil, which would obviously stimulate the rally from barrel to Q4!

Geopolitical scene

On Thursday evening, Lebanese Hezbollah announced the arrival of a new shipment of oil from Iran to the Syrian port of Banians – the Al Mana party TV channel reported this morning on its Telegram account. Hezbollah maintains that the shipments are intended to help the Lebanese people, who are suffering from severe fuel shortages due to the financial crisis the country has been experiencing for two years.

In contrast, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mimait, expected Friday at the Elysee Palace (Paris), said the shipments from Iran violated the sovereignty of Lebanon, with Syria and Iran both subject to US sanctions. .

WTI crude oil

Figure 1 – WTI Crude Oil Futures (CLX21) (November contract, daily chart)

Natural gas

Figure 2 – Henry Hub Natural Gas (GNV21) futures contracts (October contract, daily chart, logarithmic scale)

As black gold now attempts to break through all-time highs, it will be interesting to see how oil demand progresses at these levels, as well as whether OPEC + faces further pressure to intervene on the supply side. in the coming weeks. .

And what do you think? We would love to hear from you! What do you think of the level that WTI crude could reach before the end of the year? Please let us know!

Have a nice week end!

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Sebastien bischeri

Oil and gas trading strategist


The above information represents only analyzes and opinions of Sebastien Bischeri and the associates of Sunshine Profits. As such, it may prove to be incorrect and be subject to change without notice. At the time of writing, we base our opinions and analysis on facts and data from respective trials and their authors. Although trained on the basis of careful research and sources deemed accurate, Sébastien Bischeri and his associates cannot guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the data reported. The opinions published above do not recommend or offer any securities transaction. Mr. Bischeri is not a registered securities advisor. By reading Sébastien Bischeri’s reports, you fully agree that he will not be held responsible for any decisions you make regarding the information provided in these reports. Investing, trading and speculating in any financial market can involve a high risk of loss. Sébastien Bischeri, employees, affiliates of Sunshine Profits as well as their family members may have a short or long position in any security, including those mentioned in any of the reports or trials, and may make purchases and / or additional sales of these titles without notice.

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Hail-like “mushroom balls” could fall on all of our giant planets – Sky & Telescope https://www.observingthesky.org/hail-like-mushroom-balls-could-fall-on-all-of-our-giant-planets-sky-telescope/ Thu, 23 Sep 2021 20:24:47 +0000 https://www.observingthesky.org/hail-like-mushroom-balls-could-fall-on-all-of-our-giant-planets-sky-telescope/

Icy, ammonia-rich “snowballs” can plunge deep beneath the cloud bank in Jupiter’s atmosphere. Now, a planetary scientist suggests that this scenario could also explain the surprisingly low levels of ammonia detected on Uranus and Neptune.

Uranus (left) and Neptune (right), both imaged by Voyager 2.
NASA / JPL / Caltech

Tristan Guillot (Université Côte d’Azur, France), who shared the results at the Europlanet Science virtual congress, says it can also help us understand the deep hydrogen-rich atmospheres of giant exoplanets.

Hailstorms on Jupiter

While astronomers have long observed an uneven distribution of ammonia on Jupiter, the main evidence for the existence of the dumplings came from the dramatic close-ups of the Juno spacecraft on the severe thunderstorms on Jupiter. Juno has revealed weak lightning in areas where temperatures drop below -66 ° C. Since lightning requires the presence of a liquid, and water is a solid at such low temperatures, the result initially baffled astronomers.

But what if the water is mixed with antifreeze? Last year, Guillot and his colleagues proposed that ammonia and water combined could remain muddy enough to allow lightning to occur.

Ammonia is “the best antifreeze you can get,” says Guillot. Mixing one part ammonia with two parts water can keep the liquid solution at -100 ° C. Jupiter’s atmosphere contains enough ammonia to form such a mixture, producing hailstones as large as the largest hailstones on Earth.

To make a mushball (diagram)
Water ice crystallizes high in the atmosphere, but it becomes frozen slush because it incorporates ammonia on its way down.
NASA / JPLCaltech / SwRI / CNRS

As shown in the diagram above, dough ball formation begins when water ice crystallizes high in the atmosphere and begins to drift downward. At lower levels, ammonia begins to mix with the water ice. Its anti-freeze effect melts the water as more ice crystallizes, forming a strong outer shell that thickens as the mushball falls deeper.

“During strong storms, large amounts of ammoniacal water… Mushroom balls can form and fall into the deeper atmosphere,” reaching masses of one kilogram or more before evaporating, explains Guillot. Thunderstorms thus carry ammonia from the upper atmosphere to the depths, while in the calm equatorial region of Jupiter, where there are fewer thunderstorms, ammonia is more abundant.

Mushballs and ice giants

Recent infrared and radio observations have shown that ammonia is relatively rare on Uranus and Neptune compared to other small molecules that would have been present in the early solar system when these planets were formed. At this week’s Europlanet Science congress, Guillot noted that dough balls could explain this phenomenon, pulling ammonia deeper than expected onto ice giants and making it appear rarer.

The colder temperatures of the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune promote the antifreeze effect of ammonia. Guillot showed that mushroom balls could exist under a wider range of conditions on ice giants and Saturn than on Jupiter.

“What may differ between Uranus and Neptune is the frequency and strength of storms,” he says. More abundant storms would draw more ammonia deeper. He notes that the abundance of ammonia on Saturn, as on Jupiter, varies with latitude.

Dave Stevenson (Caltech), who coined the term “mushballs” and worked with Guillot on research on Jupiter but not Uranus and Neptune, is cautious. He says they haven’t found any alternative to mushroom balls to explain the distribution of ammonia on Jupiter. However, without doing a detailed analysis, he says, “In the case of Uranus and Neptune, the data admits of alternatives.

“You really have to go,” said Guillot. Only a dedicated mission can probe deep into these giant icy atmospheres. “Neptune and Uranus are an essential link between giant planets, like Jupiter and Saturn, and the giant ice exoplanets that we are discovering in the galaxy. “

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Afghanistan: Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace “rather angry” over data breaches by the Ministry of Defense | Politics News https://www.observingthesky.org/afghanistan-secretary-of-defense-ben-wallace-rather-angry-over-data-breaches-by-the-ministry-of-defense-politics-news/ Thu, 23 Sep 2021 18:31:08 +0000 https://www.observingthesky.org/afghanistan-secretary-of-defense-ben-wallace-rather-angry-over-data-breaches-by-the-ministry-of-defense-politics-news/

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace called the processing of data in his department “not good enough” and revealed he was “quite angry” about violations related to the resettlement of Afghans in the UK.

Two email data breaches were recently discovered at the Defense Ministry in the team responsible for managing the Afghan Resettlement and Assistance Policy (PFRA).

The program allows all Afghans who have assisted British efforts in Afghanistan, such as interpreters, to apply to come to the UK due to the risk of persecution at the hands of the Taliban.

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How popular are the Taliban in Afghanistan?

There are fears that they may be further threatened by government data breaches if the information falls into the wrong hands.

In both cases, the PARA candidates’ email addresses were visible to all email recipients, rather than candidates who have been blindly copied into emails to protect their identity.

During a visit to Rosyth, Scotland on Thursday, Mr Wallace said the second violation actually predates the first one that had come to light and for which he apologized in the House of Commons this week.

“This is an older violation than the one I originally came to report to parliament,” the cabinet minister told the PA news agency.

“Subsequently, I launched an investigation, I was not aware of this breach earlier, smaller is not good enough, I said that not only was I angry enough at the time, but also we must have an investigation and fix it.

“At the same time, I have committed even more resources and people to make sure this does not happen again and to deal with those people in Afghanistan that we have brought back – over 8,000 people as part of the ARAP program.

“That’s a significant number of people, including their families, scattered across the UK, but there are still 260 people who have to do our best to get out.

“These are the people, some of them, who are rightly affected by the leak, we will do all we can to make sure they are protected and then work with neighboring states to get them out.”

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace in the Venturer building after a frigate steel cutting ceremony for the first Type 31 frigate, at Babcock Rosyth, Fife.  Photo date: Thursday, September 23, 2021.
Picture:
Mr Wallace revealed his anger during a visit to Rosyth in Scotland

On Tuesday, Wallace told MPs he “immediately ordered investigations” after a data breach involving more than 250 people.

Admiral Sir Ben Key, the Joint Operations Commander who led the planning and evacuation of Kabul, is leading the investigation and one person has been suspended.

The BBC reported later in the week that a second breach involved the details of 55 people.

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Game Inbox: Will Zelda be in Nintendo Direct today? https://www.observingthesky.org/game-inbox-will-zelda-be-in-nintendo-direct-today/ Thu, 23 Sep 2021 00:01:00 +0000 https://www.observingthesky.org/game-inbox-will-zelda-be-in-nintendo-direct-today/
Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 – will we have a release date today? (photo: Nintendo)

Thursday’s Inbox discusses the best video game sound effects, as a reader plays Resident Evil: Revelations for the first time.

To participate in the discussions yourself, send an email to gamecentral@metro.co.uk

Are they going or not?
So there’s a big Nintendo Direct tonight, eh? Probably the last of the year? The question is, what will be in it? There aren’t any top releases this Christmas, but there are quite a few in total, so it will take some time to go through them all, and yet I don’t see Nintendo spending the 40 minutes on things that we already know.

This N64 controller case seems as certain as the Switch Pro (if not more!) And surely, finally, we’ll have some sort of proper update for Animal Crossing? This game has been completely ignored all year round and it is just astonishing to me that Nintendo is completely ignoring one of their biggest hits. Madness. The typical Nintendo madness.

So what else? Or, to get right to the point, will Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 be there? I will guess so. It was due out this year and that may mean it’s early 2022 rather than later, so I think they could show more of it and maybe an Easter release date. I realize it’s optimistic but I don’t think it’s impossible.

For the rest, who can say? Platinum seems pretty keen on unveiling Bayonetta 3, so that probably has a good chance as well. I feel good with this one, I think it could be a classic.
Onibee

Phoenix of the Flame
I bought No Man’s Sky when it was released and was completely disappointed. The game went to the coin toss to collect dust, until recently when I read the latest updates and praise for the turnaround of the game. I decided to give it another try and am so happy with it. ‘having done, now is the game I hoped it could be. There is so much to do and try, from running your own city, submarine bases, owning your own capital ship and a fleet of frigates, or learning more about each of the races.

I have not gone so far in the missions of history; I keep finding something else to try and just completed the last expedition. It’s a game you can play at your own pace and do whatever you want and I would recommend it and praise Hello Games for making the game I originally hoped for, rather than throwing it away and moving on. something else. Which, for a fairly small studio, was for the most part a difficult decision.
bob1972 (PSN ID)

Good idea
Just a random thought, which probably won’t go anywhere, but I thought about something the other day with my mate. Iconic video game sounds / jingles. I thought this might make an interesting hot topic as to what readers think are their most iconic.

Whether it’s the iconic PS One startup or a Sonic Ring, the Yoshi Outbreak, the Mario play, the original Resident Evil title announcement, the “Seeegaaa” or even the ” Toastieee “from Mortal Kombat, etc. question but hope you will understand my drift. Stay well as the team and thank you for a good job.
D Dubya

CG: It might be worth going there, we’ll see how the box art plays out first.

Email your comments to: gamecentral@metro.co.uk

Tried before you buy
Are you going to see Toem again? This is a nice little exploration puzzle photography game. I wasn’t sure at first, but I played the demo during Steam Next Fest and was immediately sold. The gameplay is completely puzzle-based, where you explore and take photos using your camera to complete missions and get stamps that take you to the next area. The atmosphere, the humor and the artwork are fantastic. It has just been released on PC. Not sure for consoles though.

Another demo I was sold on was Sable. It shows how a good demo can be a really useful marketing tool. No matter what the research says, I’d do a good demo on any CGI “gameplay” trailer anytime.
Ali K

CG: We’re not sure about Toem but here’s our review of Sable.

CONNECT!

Classic compilation
Sega has countless old arcade titles that should be remade for all consoles and PCs. I have so many by emulation. There are so many Sega fans out there just waiting for them to wake up. The only good games that have come out recently are Sonic Mania and, of course, Streets Of Rage 4, which got me hooked.

And Sega isn’t the only company. Nintendo, Capcom, Irem… indefinitely. I would spend my hard earned money on compilation discs full of retro classic games. Who else is with me?
Anon

Eexotic artwork
In the 16-bit era I tended to prefer the Japanese box art that I saw in gaming magazines and stores that sold gray imports, it always seemed more exotic than what we have here. I’m mainly thinking of Final Fight and Street Fighter 2 but there were plenty of others.

I like this article on the worst box art, that of Cheggers almost makes me want to look for the game.
John atkinson

Two you see?
Just a warning to say that Digitiser is going to have a Kickstarter for Digitiser Series 2 on YouTube. The Kickstarter starts on Tuesday, September 28. I was going to support him like I supported Series 1. Here is the video for the Kickstarter.
André J.
PS The Escapists is free on the Epic Games Store starting at 4 p.m. Thursday, September 23. It was once offered by Epic, but you can get it now if you missed it before. Hopefully they won’t change the game or games by the time this letter goes to print, as they have done so several times!

Disclosure of backlog
I worked on my backlog recently, so I have a few games to write (but I’ll try to keep them separate).

The first set I want to mention is Resident Evil – I got a collection of Humble Bundles years ago, so I played Resident Evil Revelations.

It’s an interesting game. I played it on the 3DS but gave up after Chris fell a short distance, twisted his ankle and was mutilated by dogs.

This time I played it to the end on the PC. I find this particularly interesting because it is such a reversal of what Resident Evil normally is.
As in, rather than a cheesy, cheesy story with intentionally bad controls, it was a genuinely engaging and surprisingly grounded story, with unintentionally unfathomable controls.

There was a special moment towards the end when I read the diary of a deceased researcher, who felt like he was looking for deadly viruses in order to predict and prevent dangerous outbreaks. A friend of mine was a virologist, and that’s pretty much what they do. It was a very welcome breath of fresh air from every employee in the villainous group, either mean for no reason or just plain stupid (or maybe both).

I then tried to play Revelations 2, which looks good, but was disappointed that I only had the first episode, and I’m not willing to spend more just yet.
Joseph dowland
Now Playing: Resident Evil 6 (PC) and Ys: The Oath In Felghana

CG: Revelations 2 is probably the best cooperative Resident Evil, if you can play it that way.

Inbox also works
I really enjoyed Jon Hare’s interview. There’s an interview with him on the QuicklyKevin podcast, which is great listening, very funny, and insightful into the early days of game development.
Paul

I read today that there are strong rumors that Dying Light 2 could be the first day of Game Pass, like Back 4 Blood… do you think there is a lot to this rumor?
TWO MACKS

gVS : There is no good source for this to our knowledge. It just looks like someone is making an educated guess.

I don’t really have an interest in the Advance Wars remake, but can we all take a minute to appreciate how great the name “re-boot camp” is? The only other title I can think of with this level of pun is an old South American PSP game called Chilli Con Carnage.
ANON

CG: Not interested in Advance Wars? We understand the words, but not the meaning.

This week’s hot topic
The subject of this weekend’s inbox was suggested by the notoriouschucky reader, who asks which video game do you feel is worth a full 10/10 rating?

Accepting that 10/10 doesn’t mean something is literally perfect, which game would you give that rating to and why? How well was he rated upon his release and do you think he got the recognition he deserved – and if not, why not?

What makes this particular game better than any sequel or similar game and how much do you expect it to age over time? If it’s already an old game, how has its reputation changed over time and how many lives are there still?

Email your comments to: gamecentral@metro.co.uk

The fine print
New inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic inboxes on weekends. Letters from the Readers are used on merit and are subject to change in terms of length and content.

You can also submit your own 500-600 word reading feature at any time, which, if used, will be posted in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to Follow us on twitter.

MORE: Games Inbox: Dark Souls 10th Anniversary Memorabilia, Rainbow Six Vegas 3 and NBA 2K22 microtransactions

MORE: Games Inbox: Best Video Game Box Art Ever, Deathloop Reviews, and Game Pass Ultimate For Cheap

MORE: Games Inbox: Video Game Reviews Corruption, COD Jump: Vanguard, and Sir Clive Sinclair Tribute

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Sky-high Velocity Global Wallet Fees Surprise Cardholders https://www.observingthesky.org/sky-high-velocity-global-wallet-fees-surprise-cardholders/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 00:00:31 +0000 https://www.observingthesky.org/sky-high-velocity-global-wallet-fees-surprise-cardholders/

Must know

  • Velocity Global Wallet program was discontinued and severed from Velocity Frequent Flyer in February 2021
  • In the original scheme, the inactivity fee was 0.5% of the account balance billed monthly after one year of card non-use
  • In April 2021, the fees for the renamed Global Wallet (less the “Velocity”) increased to 1.5% billed each week after 30 days without a transaction.

Customers of Virgin Airlines who still have money in their Velocity Global Wallet account recently suffered a brutal shock.

The Velocity Global Wallet program was discontinued in February 2021 following the downfall of Virgin in April 2020. The card was renamed the Global Wallet card at that time and no longer relates to the Velocity Frequent Flyer program.

Since then, card users no longer earn Velocity points and are charged ATM and transaction fees.

A Supplemental Product Disclosure Statement (SPDS) from Virgin dated November 2020 states that “we allow you to continue to spend your available balance until July 31, 2021 and redeem your funds beyond that date.”

(The airline reappeared in November 2020 and is now owned by investment firm Bain Capital.)

Inactivity fees are skyrocketing

It’s unclear how many cardholders actually heard about these changes, but the real shock has been the change in inactivity fees. In the November 2020 SPDS, they are listed at 0.5% of the account balance, billed monthly after one month of card non-use. Prior to the November change, cardholders only had to pay an inactivity fee after one year without a transaction.

Cardholders can now be billed more than ten times as much in inactivity fees

But the terms of the inactivity fee were updated in another SPDS dated March 2021: As of April 24, 2021, any account with no transaction in the previous 30 days was charged a whopping 1.5% of the balance. available on a weekly basis.

In a move intended to cause confusion, this March SPDS was to be read in conjunction with the November 2020 SPDS and the full Velocity Global Wallet product disclosure statement dated April 2020. The major increase in inactivity fees has been buried at the bottom of March. document.

CHOICE analyzed the numbers and found that a Velocity Global Wallet account with a balance of $ 1,000 and no activity more than six months before the April 2021 change would have been charged $ 30, bringing the account down to $ 970.

After the April change, a $ 1,000 Global Wallet account with no six month activity would be charged $ 325, bringing the balance down to $ 675. In short, cardholders can now be billed more than ten times the inactivity fee. Regardless of the account balance, the new inactivity fees are outrageous.

We have heard from a number of cardholders who have had hundreds of dollars taken from their accounts without their knowledge or consent.

This major change in terms and conditions in favor of the card issuer came as a big surprise to the Velocity Global Wallet customers we’ve heard of, who report large withdrawals from their accounts without their knowledge or consent. .

While Velocity Global Wallet communicated the change, many customers did not get the message. And that’s not surprising, given the confusing array of communications that may or may not have landed in cardholder inboxes.

A spokesperson for the financial services firm that issued the global Velocity wallet and now issues the global wallet, Cuscal, told CHOICE the change was communicated through an “extended multi-channel engagement plan” that has started in November 2020.

Unfortunately, many cardholders took no action and continued to have large balances, resulting in increased costs for processing manual redemptions.

Global Portfolio Spokesperson

“Details of the changes to the inactivity fee were communicated to cardholders in March 2021 as a notice of change,” the spokesperson said.

“All communications from November 2020 informed cardholders of the need to reduce their balances prior to product closure and were offered options to do so. Unfortunately, many cardholders took no action and continued to have large balances, which resulted in increased processing fees for manual redemptions. ”

In any case, Cuscal’s communications campaign left many cardholders in the dark.

$ 500 has disappeared

CHOICE staffer Narelle recently sounded the alarm on her husband’s behalf, saying “he has not received any alerts regarding the transaction on his account and no transaction records from Velocity. He has been hit. with $ 63 per week withdrawn from the account. “

“Being in a pandemic, we hadn’t really paid close attention to emails from Velocity and hadn’t noticed any emails regarding the changes,” Narelle added.

Narelle says she never received the updated SPDS from March 2021.

My husband took a look at the account and saw that they had withdrawn 1.5% of the balance every week since April, which is over $ 500

Elizabeth, Global Wallet client

Another Velocity client, Elizabeth, contacted in late August with a similar story about herself and her husband’s accounts.

“We both received an email on November 30 of last year saying the global portfolio program was on hold,” Elizabeth said.

“He didn’t mention any fees other than ATM transactions and withdrawals, and seemed laid back enough to withdraw your money. So we transferred our currencies to Australian dollars and put them on the back shelf, that’s ie to transfer the money. from the account soon. We forgot about it until the day before yesterday when my husband looked at the account and saw that they had withdrawn 1.5% of the balance every week since. April, over $ 500. I looked at mine to see the same thing happened to me, for a total of over $ 300. ”

No statements, no warnings

The heavy indents came out of the blue, Elizabeth says.

“With the exception of an email from December 1, 2020 indicating that our statements were available online, we had no communication from them after the November email. No account statement, no warning to withdraw our money, no warning that we were being charged an inactivity fee, nothing. If we hadn’t pulled our finger and checked, the money would have just been eaten. ”

Elizabeth called Velocity and a member of customer service told her that the program charged a high fee to encourage people to withdraw their money because it cost the company a lot to maintain the accounts.

Fortunately, Narelle and Elizabeth got their fees reimbursed when they complained.

We are concerned that the fees have increased significantly and that consumers are telling us they have never seen a clear disclosure of this change.

Senior Policy and Campaigns Advisor CHOICE Patrick Veyret

“In the rare event that we have received a complaint about charges, we have worked with Rev Australia [the product distributor] to examine the complaint and sometimes to reimburse the costs, ”the spokesperson for Cuscal told us.

No clear disclosure

Patrick Veyret, senior policy and campaign adviser for CHOICE, said Cuscal could be on the brink of a regulatory violation.

“Under financial services laws, companies must notify you of increases in fees or charges 30 days before the change takes effect,” said Veyret.

And while Cuscal said he did this, “the notice must give the account holder information reasonably necessary to understand the nature and effect of the change,” Veyret said.

“We are concerned that the fees have increased significantly and that consumers are telling us that they have never seen clear disclosure about this change. CHOICE will raise this issue with the financial regulator, ASIC, to ensure that the card issuing company has complied with the law. ”

How to avoid inactivity fees

Cuscal offers three options:

  1. Use the Global Wallet card to make purchases in Australia at least once every 30 days.
  2. Remove any funds remaining on the card.
  3. Transfer the balance to an Australian bank account.

“These options offer viable alternatives to cardholders in the current climate and under current restrictions,” the spokesperson said.

How to get your money back

  • Call Global Wallet on 13 18 75 (or +61 2 8667 5924 if you are outside Australia) and request reimbursement of your inactivity fees.
  • If the card issuer refuses to reimburse you, first file a complaint with Cuscal and then with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority on the grounds that you were not properly informed about the change in inactivity fees. .
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Prince Andrew Officially Served With Legal Documents Informing Him Of Sexual Abuse Trial, Says Sky News | UK News https://www.observingthesky.org/prince-andrew-officially-served-with-legal-documents-informing-him-of-sexual-abuse-trial-says-sky-news-uk-news/ Tue, 21 Sep 2021 21:41:15 +0000 https://www.observingthesky.org/prince-andrew-officially-served-with-legal-documents-informing-him-of-sexual-abuse-trial-says-sky-news-uk-news/

Legal documents have now been officially served on Prince Andrew’s lawyers in the United States, informing him of a civil sexual assault case against him, according to Sky News.

The summons and complaint documents were emailed and FedEx sent by legal representatives for her accuser Virginia Giuffre, who is seeking damages after alleging André sexually assaulted her.

The ninth row to the throne and his lawyers strongly denied Ms Giuffre’s claims.

Picture:
The prince suggested that a photo showing him with Ms Giuffre may have been tampered with. Photo: Shutterstock

FedEx notification shows the documents were handed over to Andrew B Brettler, at Lavely & Singer, in Los Angeles on Monday.

Under federal rules, the Duke of York has 21 days to respond or could face a default judgment.

The 61-year-old had been accused by Ms. Giuffre’s lawyers of “actively evading” formal efforts to serve the papers on him.

District Judge Lewis Kaplan likened the situation to a “game of hide and seek behind the walls of the palace”.

In response, the High Court of the United Kingdom has accepted an application by Ms. Giuffre’s legal team to formally contact the prince regarding the case against him in the United States.

However, following Tuesday’s development, it is understood that the High Court challenge filed by the Duke’s team is now null and void.

Ms Giuffre, 38, has accused the royal of bodily harm and intentional infliction of emotional distress for alleged misconduct 20 years ago.

The abuse, she claims, happened around the same time billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was sexually assaulting her.

Ms Giuffre claims she was sexually assaulted by the Duke when she was underage at the home of Epstein’s ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell in London and when he visited Epstein’s homes in New York and on a private Caribbean island.

Court documents say Ms Giuffre believes Prince Andrew knew she was 17 and a victim of sex trafficking.

The Duke denied all the allegations and insisted he couldn’t even remember meeting her, despite a photo showing the couple together.

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Marcos Alonso: Chelsea defender will stop kneeling after claiming anti-racist gesture “is losing strength” | Football news https://www.observingthesky.org/marcos-alonso-chelsea-defender-will-stop-kneeling-after-claiming-anti-racist-gesture-is-losing-strength-football-news/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 22:43:57 +0000 https://www.observingthesky.org/marcos-alonso-chelsea-defender-will-stop-kneeling-after-claiming-anti-racist-gesture-is-losing-strength-football-news/

Marcos Alonso says he will no longer put one knee to the ground before matches as the Chelsea defender believes the anti-racist move “loses strength”.

The Spain left-back has said he will instead show off the Premier League’s ‘No room for racism’ badge on his sleeve, while other players will kneel before kick-off.

Since the Premier League resumed in the summer of 2020 after a break imposed by the coronavirus, players, officials and staff at matches have knelt before kick-off to show their support for the equality movement racial.

“I’m totally against racism and I’m against any kind of discrimination, and I’d rather just put my finger on the badge where it says no to racism, like they do in other sports and football in other countries. “said Alonso. .

Picture:
Alonso says he will point to the Premier League’s ‘No Room for Racism’ campaign badge on his sleeve instead

“I would rather do it this way and of course make it very clear that I am against racism and that I respect everyone.”

When asked if his decision to stop taking the knee had anything to do with politics, Alonso replied, “I don’t know, I just prefer to do it this way. do it, I think that’s another way.

“And maybe I think it loses a bit of force the other way around, so I’d rather just do it that way and show that I fully support the fight against racism.”

Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha became the first top player to step aside earlier this year after saying he believed taking a knee was “degrading”.

Alonso, who was speaking to the media following Chelsea’s victory over Tottenham on Sunday, said he had not discussed his decision with any of his Chelsea team-mates, several of whom were racially abused.

Romelu Lukaku and Marcos Alonso (AP)
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Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku (left) is one of many Alonso teammates who have been racially abused

Reece James, Antonio Rudiger, N’Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku have all been abused in recent years, with England defender James temporarily deleting his Instagram account earlier this year due to the scale of online abuse.

“No, we haven’t talked about it,” Alonso said.

“We’re in the locker room and we’re like family. I have a really good relationship with everyone, I love everyone and so far we haven’t talked about it. I don’t think so. it is necessary, but, of course, if I have to talk to someone, I will say the same thing that I just told you and I don’t think there will be any problems. “

Alonso confirmed that he intends to hold his position for the rest of the season, adding: “Yes, for now I prefer to show the round and that’s what I will do.”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Chelsea’s Premier League win over Tottenham

The 30-year-old, who fell out of favor at Chelsea under Frank Lampard before the arrival of Thomas Tuchel last season, has got off to a good start to the 2021/22 campaign, starting all five Premier League games ahead of the England defender Ben Chilwell.

The high esteem in which Tuchel holds Alonso was underscored by the former Bolton and Sunderland defender who received the captain’s armband as Chelsea beat Aston Villa earlier this month.

Sunday’s 3-0 win at Spurs kept the European champions’ undefeated start to the season, in which they earned four wins and one draw after a tough opening schedule.

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Jenson Button, Gary Lineker, Kelly Cates, Alan Shearer, Gary Neville, Micah Richards, Gabby Logan, Ebony-Rainford-Brent, Jamie Carragher, Jermaine Jenas, Jamie Redknapp and Nasser Hussain among BBC and Sky stars united against the hate online

Hate will not win

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For more information, please visit: www.skysports.com/againstonlinehate

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Kick It Out is the organization of football for equality and inclusion – working across the football, education and community sectors to fight discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change .

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COVID-19: US to relax travel rules for vaccinated passengers from UK and EU | US News https://www.observingthesky.org/covid-19-us-to-relax-travel-rules-for-vaccinated-passengers-from-uk-and-eu-us-news/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 19:14:24 +0000 https://www.observingthesky.org/covid-19-us-to-relax-travel-rules-for-vaccinated-passengers-from-uk-and-eu-us-news/

Vaccinated passengers will be able to enter the United States from the United Kingdom and the EU from November, ending nearly two years of travel restrictions linked to coronaviruses.

The new rules are part of broader policy changes for international travel and will apply to people who are fully bitten – that is, those who have received two doses of a COVID-19[female[feminine vaccine.

All foreign travelers to the United States will be required to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight, as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken in the three days prior to the flight.

Last trip: US lifts travel ban for UK and EU passengers from November

Picture:
UK lifted travel restrictions for US passengers entering UK in July

It ends an 18-month patchwork of travel restrictions imposed by former President Donald Trump at the start of the pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was delighted that President Joe Biden “is restoring transatlantic travel”.

He added: “It’s a tremendous boost for business and commerce, and it’s great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can come together again.”

Speaking in New York City, Boris Johnson was asked by Sky Political Editor Beth Rigby about her previous comments that we shouldn’t ‘hold our breath’ on lifting the travel ban to the United States – suggesting that he was not expecting the announcement.

When asked if he was surprised by the US president acting unilaterally, Mr Johnson insisted: “We did it faster than expected.”

And back in the UK speaking in the House of Commons, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “In 2020 the only weapon we have to tackle the spread of COVID was simply to keep people apart. “

But as “one of the most vaccinated countries in the world”, with more than eight in ten people now vaccinated, he said: “We must use this to our advantage to restore freedoms that have been by necessity lost in the world. in the past 18 months. “

He continued: “Vaccinated Britons will be able to travel to the United States from the beginning of November, in exchange for the policy we introduced this summer and this is a testament to the hard work and progress of the expert task force that has been put in place. at the G7 to restart the transatlantic. travel. “

Vaccines, he said, “mean that the focus can now be on an individual’s status instead.”

New Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted: “Great news for travelers from the UK to the US. Important to our economic recovery, our families and our commerce.”

British Ambassador to the United States Karen Pierce said: “We are grateful that the United States has recognized the progress the United Kingdom has made against COVID-19, including high vaccination rates and the decline cases.

“The move means more Britons can reunite with their loved ones in the United States, more British holidaymakers can spend their hard-earned pounds on the US tourism sector, and more business activity can boost both of our economies.”

In contrast, President Biden is tightening the rules for unvaccinated U.S. citizens, who must now be tested within one day of leaving the United States as well as upon their return.

People who are fully vaccinated will not need to self-quarantine.

Airlines will be required to collect contact tracing information – including phone numbers and email addresses – from international travelers.

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George Eustice has warned that lifting travel restrictions too quickly could result in England returning to full lockdown

And Mr. Biden has also extended restrictions along his land borders with Canada and Mexico that prevent non-essential travel by foreigners. The rules will continue for another month, although Canada has allowed fully vaccinated U.S. visitors since early August.

Following the announcements, internet searches for UK-US flights from November exploded, with British Airways Holidays claiming to see an almost 700% increase in searches to key destinations including New York, Orlando, Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles and Boston.

Companies that depend on international travel have seen their shares increase. Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce saw its shares climb 5%, while SSP, whose brands such as Upper Crust and Ritazza operate in transportation hubs, rose 6%.

In Europe, Air-France, KLM and Lufthansa also benefited from a rebound in the share price.

And easyJet, while not a transatlantic aviation player, nonetheless recorded significant gains, jumping 9%.

British Airways CEO Sean Doyle said it was a “historic moment”.

“Our customers must now feel that the world is opening up to them and they can book their trips with complete peace of mind,” he added.

The changes only affect air travel, with the ordinance restricting land travel from Canada and Mexico still in effect and revised monthly.

Announcing the new US travel policy, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said, “This is based on individuals rather than a country approach, so it’s a stronger system.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will decide which vaccines are acceptable in the U.S. system and whether those not approved in America could be used, he added.

Under the previous policy, only US citizens, their immediate family, or green card holders could enter the US from the UK or the EU.

However, the US government had the power to grant national interest exemptions to allow people to travel.

US President Joe Biden makes remarks to promote his infrastructure spending proposals during a visit to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado
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Joe Biden will also tighten testing rules for unvaccinated Americans

The United States has also banned travel for anyone who has been in China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa or India 14 days before arriving in the country.


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