18 September 2013

New iPhones, Royal Mail Privatisation, Freshers’ week, GTA V Release…

Freshers’ (or is it Pre-Fresher’s?) Week Begins

freshers weekIt can only be Freshers’ Week!

Across the country first year students have started to move into student halls, strike up awkward first conversations with their flatmates for the year and socialising without the pressure of going home to judgmental parents.

Our Take: While Freshers’ week starts in earnest this/next week, there are some early birds who just can’t wait to get away and have started early! While drinking is great, there’s a lot more to Freshers’ week than just that. You’ll probably make a fair few friends that you’ll never speak to again after a few weeks, once you’ve found your proper group. And there’s Fresher’s fairs, signing up for societies, and most importantly, registering for your course.

Bank Switchers Could Save £600

Banklogos49 million bank customers in the UK are being told that they could save up to £600 by switching provider. A new system is being rolled out from Monday that will streamline the process of changing banks.

Previously it could take up to 30 days to swap, but that’s being brought down to just seven.

Our Take: We’re well behind this! You’ve probably already picked your bank account for this year, but you don’t have to stay with them forever if there’s a better deal elsewhere. And if there’s a new system that’s friendlier to the customer than it is the bank, you won’t hear us complaining.

Apple reveals two new iPhones the 5c and 5s

Apple for studentsApple is once again in uncharted territory as it launches two new iPhones at the same time. The 5s will replace the 5 as the companies main phone product complete with a fingerprint scanner and a bigger pixel camera.

The 5c is being released as a budget minded option, with a colourful plastic case.

Plus, the iOS 7 release date is today for all those current iPhone owners.

Our Take: A slightly disappointing launch from Apple this year, but maybe that’s because they’ve consistently set the bar so high for themselves. Many were expecting a chip and pin device to be built into the phone or something equally futuristic and exciting, so a fingerprint scanner and some different colours just seems a bit weak. Although the cheaper version may benefit those money saving students who want to own an Apple product.

Plans to Privatise Royal Mail

royal mail

The Government has announced its plan to privatise the Royal Mail within a few weeks, with the sale expected to take place in November.

Various Unions have spoken out against the move, with industrial action looking likely to take place.

Our Take: Because privatisation has always worked so well before! Admittedly the need to modernise the Post Office, or at least give it a footing in the 21st century is obvious. But selling it off? Not the way to go. Currently using the Post Office is a Kafkaesque maze of missed deliveries, ticketed waiting systems and other pointless bureaucracy. If they could cut down on that, Great British nostalgia would save the postal industry.

State of the Machin: On GTA V

By the way if you are still after a copy we’ve found the cheapest price (£33).

gtaVApart from writing this article, I haven’t really done anything else in the ‘real world’ since buying the new Grand Theft Auto game at the midnight launch. I even used a holiday day to maximise my playing time. I don’t regret any of these things.

The game is, predictably, fantastic. It has all the biting satire, fun gameplay, and seemingly endless map that’s expected of a Rockstar game. However there has, also predictably, been some controversy. Unfortunately someone was mugged for the game walking back from a midnight launch, which is just cruel.

And there’s also the game itself, which is more than a little sexist and misogynistic. In a game that scorns everything that’s to be expected, but the game seems to have gone out of its way to hate women at any possible opportunity, which makes it harder to enjoy at times.

Proper game journalists have also brought this point up, and have given the game less than perfect reviews, to anger of a vocal minority of the gaming community who, of course, went on sexist rants and hurled abuse.

All in all a big mess, over what should have been a simple issue, you can still enjoy a game that has issues. Just be aware of those problems, how they affect others and your interaction with others.

If after all of this you still want to play, make sure you don’t overspend by using our deal.

And that’s the State of the Machin.

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