It’s not often you get something for free but it seems some Virgin Media customers are getting exactly that. As spotted by a reader of internet-obsessed blog ISPreview, it appears that Virgin is trailing a new service that offers broadband without users paying a penny for the privilege.
Explaining more in a post, the reader explained: “So I was surprised to come across an advert this week offering a Free Broadband service from Virgin Media. “Once I’d worked out it wasn’t fraudulent I placed the order, pretty straight forward, Name, Address and nothing else.
“Since had confirmation emails and account details and confirmation of delivery for the Hub.”
The service appears to offer fairly low speeds of just 10Mbps but considering it’s totally free some might not be too concerned by those sluggish downloads. The offering, called “Be Connected Broadband”, was only available to 200 people as a trial but it could be a taste of things to come from the broadband firm.
As the terms explain, the reason that it’s free is Virgin wants those signing up to accept that they will then be targeted by adverts.
“Customer must consent to marketing to receive free service. 30 day rolling contract, £0 a month,” the telecoms company said on its website.
If the trial is a success then it’s possible more people could get this very basic broadband if they are happy to watch sponsored messages.
In a statement sent to ISPreview, a Virgin spokesperson said: “We are always working to improve our products so regularly trial new services and offers. We have some really exciting projects underway and our customers have a lot to look forward to.”
Hopefully Virgin will roll this free ad-based service to more users in the future and it’s possible that other Internet Service Providers could then follow with similar incentives.
The new company, simply called Virgin Media O2, is promising some serious investment across its combined infrastructure and it seems broadband customers could be first to see the changes.
Until now, Virgin has only offered its blisteringly quick 1Gbps speeds to a limited number of users but that’s all about change.
According to an update to celebrate the two companies joining forces, Virgin says that it will deliver these ultra-fast speeds to more people soon.
“Virgin Media O2 is already the nation’s largest gigabit broadband operator and will deliver these speeds across our entire network by the end of the year,” the company said in a post on its website.
Speaking at the launch of the new company, Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2, added: “With the fastest broadband and most reliable mobile network in the UK today, Virgin Media O2 is the complete package.
“We are ready to shake up the market and be the competitor the country needs at a time when choice has never been more important. Through investment and innovation in cutting-edge infrastructure and future technology, we will connect more people to the things they love, support communities across the country, help businesses to grow, and power the UK economy.
“With no limit to our ambition, we’re here to upgrade the UK – and our mission starts today.”
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While the Zelda series is one of the most popular video game franchises of all time, there are two instalments in the lineage that have been largely passed over by even the most hardcore of fans: the non-canonWand of Gamelon and The Faces of Evil, two titles produced by for the ill-fated Philips CD-i as a result of the failed deal between Nintendo and Philips to create a CD-ROM add-on for the SNES.
Created not by Nintendo but by the late Dale DeSharone’s Animation Magic studio, these titles – along with the third CD-i Zelda, Zelda’s Adventure, created by Viridis – are generally reviled by fans today due to their ropey production, terrible voice acting and poor design – but that hasn’t stopped programmer and CD-i enthusiast Dopply from dusting off The Wand of Gamelon and The Faces of Evil for a little more fun in 2021.
You might recall that Dopply worked on “reimagined remakes” of the two games using Game Maker, and his latest venture goes one step further by randomising elements of each game. His new application reconfigures the locations of items, bosses, NPCs, and even world unlocks to create a totally fresh experience.
You’ll need Dopply’s CD-i remasters to use this application, and those are currently only available via the Merlin’s Palace Discord server after Dopply’s decision to withdraw them from wider public access. If you’d do manage to get your hands on the games, you can then download the randomizer application from Dopply’s page on archive.org. Enjoy!
Last month tech giant Samsung voiced its concern over semiconductor shortages affecting the production of electronics.
With this in mind, Nintendo’s president Shuntaro Furukawa has now provided an update to Nikkei about the Japanese company’s Switch hardware production – stating how it’s been “able to secure the necessary materials” in order to continue producing semiconductors in the immediate future.
However, in Japan and around the globe, there’s still the possibility of system shortages at retailers in the future due to ongoing demand. Here’s the full translation (thanks, VGC):
“We have been able to secure the necessary materials for the immediate production of semiconductors for Switches. However, in Japan and other countries, demand has been very strong since the beginning of the year, and there is a possibility of shortages at some retailers in the future. It is difficult to say how we will deal with this, but in some cases we may not be able to prepare enough for orders.”
Furukawa’s latest interview lines up Bloomberg’s sources last month suggesting Nintendo would face the same challenges as its rivals this year – a shortage of tech and components:
“Beyond securing silicon from the likes of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the Switch maker also faces scarcity of more generic parts like display driver integrated circuits and Bluetooth modules, people familiar with its operations said.”
Even before the pandemic, Nintendo was struggling to keep the system in stock. As of December last year, the unit has shifted 79.87 million units worldwide. In addition to this are scalpers, which are taking advantage of the limited supplies.
To top it off, there have been rumours in recent times about Nvidia stopping production of the Tegra X1 Mariko (the SoC powering both Switch) and Nintendo releasing a system with a Samsung display.
Have you had any issues getting hold of a new Nintendo Switch in recent times? Tell us down below.
MINNEAPOLIS — The police officer had seen hundreds of crime scenes, interviewed scores of witnesses and made his share of arrests over more than 35 years working cases in Minneapolis.
But when Lt. Richard Zimmerman watched a video of one of his colleagues kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, he saw what he described in a courtroom on Friday as a “totally unnecessary” violation of department policy.
“Pulling him down to the ground facedown and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of time, it’s just uncalled-for,” testified Lieutenant Zimmerman, who is the longest-serving officer on the Minneapolis police force. His comments came at the end of the first week in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with murdering Mr. Floyd along a Minneapolis street last May.
Police officers have often been accused of sticking together on questions of misconduct — avoiding breaking a so-called blue wall of silence — so the sworn testimony against Mr. Chauvin by a high-ranking officer was all the more extraordinary.
Only a day earlier, another police official, who had directly supervised Mr. Chauvin, testified that Mr. Chauvin and two other officers should have stopped restraining Mr. Floyd sooner. And in the coming week the city’s police chief, Medaria Arradondo, who has called Mr. Floyd’s death a “murder,” is also expected to condemn Mr. Chauvin’s actions from the witness stand.
All of it seemed to undermine an assertion that Mr. Chauvin’s lawyers have made a central point in the former officer’s defense — that Mr. Chauvin’s behavior as he arrested Mr. Floyd was within the bounds of his police training.
Lieutenant Zimmerman, 62, who peppered his testimony with references to his long career in law enforcement and concurred with a lawyer’s suggestion that he had joined the department as an “old-school cop” in 1985, was unwavering in his assessment of Mr. Chauvin’s actions. He often turned to speak directly to the 12 jurors who are expected to decide the verdict.
“If you’re kneeling on a person’s neck, that can kill him,” said Lieutenant Zimmerman, who has led the Minneapolis department’s homicide unit since 2008. Officers are supposed to turn people onto their sides or sit them up once they are restrained, he said, because leaving them in prone positions can make it hard to breathe.
Mr. Chauvin and two other police officers had continued to pin Mr. Floyd, who was handcuffed, against the ground after he was no longer responsive. That decision, Lieutenant Zimmerman suggested, meant the officers had violated their duty to take care of someone in their custody.
“His safety is your responsibility,” he told the court. “His well-being is your responsibility.”
Lieutenant Zimmerman testified on the fifth day of the high-profile trial, which began 10 months after Mr. Floyd’s death set off global protests over racism and police abuse. Jurors have heard from more than a dozen witnesses, including the teenager who filmed the widely viewed video of Mr. Chauvin kneeling on Mr. Floyd for more than nine minutes, the convenience store clerk who told his manager that Mr. Floyd had paid for cigarettes using a fake $ 20 bill, and Mr. Floyd’s girlfriend, who described their shared struggle with opioid addiction.
The testimony from police officials, though, marked a shift to a different phase of the case: Prosecutors have said they will show that Mr. Chauvin’s actions were unusually brutal — and amounted to a crime.
In cross-examining Lieutenant Zimmerman, Eric J. Nelson, the lawyer for Mr. Chauvin, suggested that the lieutenant’s experience on the streets might be dated. Lieutenant Zimmerman had not regularly patrolled the streets as a uniformed officer since 1993, Mr. Nelson noted, offering that he might no longer be familiar with the force needed. At one point, Mr. Nelson asked Lieutenant Zimmerman when he had last gotten into a fight with someone while on duty; 2018, the lieutenant answered.
Under questioning, Lieutenant Zimmerman acknowledged that people sometimes become more combative when revived after a period of unconsciousness and said that police officers had been trained to kneel on people’s shoulders, in some circumstances, while handcuffing them.
He said that once people are handcuffed, they usually present only a minor threat, though they can still be combative and try to hurt officers, such as by kicking them.
“Once a person is cuffed, the threat level goes down all the way,” Lieutenant Zimmerman said. “They’re cuffed; how can they really hurt you?”
In body camera footage shown to jurors, Mr. Floyd can be seen in handcuffs when Mr. Chauvin first kneels on his neck. Paramedics testified this week that his heart had stopped by the time they arrived.
All of the witnesses so far have been called by prosecutors, who are expected to call more witnesses next week, after which Mr. Chauvin’s defense team can begin laying out its arguments in earnest.
In opening statements, the defense has suggested that Mr. Floyd’s death, which the county medical examiner ruled a homicide, may actually have been caused by the fentanyl and methamphetamine found in his system. Mr. Chauvin’s defense team has also indicated that he was following procedures that he had learned in his training.
Yet Sgt. David Pleoger, who was Mr. Chauvin’s supervisor and who testified for the prosecution on Thursday, said that officers should have stopped holding Mr. Floyd down once he became unresponsive.
He also said that Mr. Chauvin had at first not divulged that he knelt on Mr. Floyd. In an initial phone call with Sergeant Pleoger, minutes after Mr. Floyd was taken to a hospital, Mr. Chauvin said that he and other officers “had to hold the guy down” because Mr. Floyd would not stay in the back of a police car and was “going crazy.” About 30 minutes later, when officials learned that Mr. Floyd’s condition was grave, Sergeant Pleoger said, Mr. Chauvin acknowledged that he had pressed on Mr. Floyd’s neck.
Lieutenant Zimmerman’s courtroom testimony was not the first time he had rebuked Mr. Chauvin’s conduct, nor the first time he had testified against a fellow officer. In a 2019 murder case against Mohamed Noor, a Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed woman, Lieutenant Zimmerman testified that the scene of the shooting was well-lit, contradicting claims by Mr. Noor’s lawyers that it had been difficult to see. Mr. Noor was convicted of third-degree murder, the less serious of two murder charges that Mr. Chauvin faces.
After Mr. Floyd’s death and the unrest that followed, Lieutenant Zimmerman was among 14 veteran police officers who published a public letter condemning Mr. Chauvin. He had “failed as a human and stripped George Floyd of his dignity and life,” the officers wrote, adding that a “vast majority” of police officers felt the same. The officers said in the letter, which was addressed to the citizens of Minneapolis, that they hoped to regain the public’s trust.
“This is not who we are,” they wrote.
Tim Arango reported from Minneapolis, and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs from New York. Neil MacFarquhar contributed reporting from New York.