Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Download CNET a Malware Host, do not trust.

Sorry I know this blog shouldn't be used as a soapbox for me to have a rant, but tough that's what a blog is ideally suited for I've decided to believe. This particular moan is about a large Software Download company that damaged(f****d) my computer up with Malware.

The offender download.cnet.com or as it is more accurately called Download Malware. I just wanted a simple application to streamline a task I had to do*. A Google search showed me a program that sounded reasonable, it turned out a CNET staff member had given it a good review with 5 stars. I unfortunately believe computers are suppose to make life easier and quicker so common sense ideas like, check real users feedback tend to be skipped in these situation. Kind of like how no-one ever reads terms and conditions.

Anyway I began the installation and alarm bells started going off, I'm asked if I want to install the super awesome(ie nasty spyware) Delta Search Toolbar. Knowing I'm only moments away from my computer living up to my exceptions of being useful I leave good judgement aside and decide I can out smart this scam. I de-select the Toolbar and continue. There's no warnings from my web browsers about any changes, I've won I have the application running. It's predictably too flashy and doesn't do the simply task it claims to be designed to do. No problem back to Google, right?

Needless to say my Browser nay all the Web Browsers on my computer had been molested. After following instruction from other CNET victims I found in forums I remove Delta Search. But Google Chrome is still going to Delta Search when I open a new tab. Long story short Anti-Virus finds all kinds of Malware and Trojans, some of which can't be deleted. I could give you detailed step by step instructions to remove this mess if you find yourself here because some website you trusted did this to you too, but it's pointless. It would be outdated in a weeks time, the fastest solution anyway is to re-install Windows, sorry but it is.


Things I learned.

  1. Windows UAC is pointless (Nagging screen that appears when you try to install untrusted programs, virus makers know how to appear trusted)
  2. Anti-Virus only protects you from old viruses.
  3. ICANN won't do anything about a domain hosting Malware, they suggest bothering some fantasy law enforcement agency that deal with this sort of thing.
  4. CNET are scum, I'm not unreasonable my opinion would be improved if the App wasn't still there with their pretty 5 stars.


UPDATE: I'll post a time-frame for how long it takes to get taken down if it ever does.

* I'm not giving any clue to the App as I want to see how long it takes to get removed, remember many people have already commented on this App and presumably like me reported it.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Poll Results: What is your favourite eCig flavour?

My first Poll attracted a massive 10 votes. Despite reaching the heady highs of double digits I'm a little concerned about the margin of error. According to this BBC article Electronic cigarettes - miracle or menace? the number of people using e-cigarettes in the UK is expected to reach a million this year. So lets shove all these numbers into a simple equation E=Sqrt[(N - n)x/n(N-1)] and we get a margin of error of 30.99%. Good nothing wrong with that.

Tobacco
  1 (10%)
 
Menthol
  3 (30%)
 
Peach
  1 (10%)
 
Vanilla
  3 (30%)
 
Apple
  0 (0%)
Cherry
  1 (10%)
 
Cappuccino
  1 (10%)

So we can absolutely safely say Menthol or Vanilla are the most popular flavours of eCigs, or may be Tobacco, or Peach and I suppose Cherry. Who said statistics lie! Anyway for my next rock solid and informative Poll I think I'll set it to run longer, after all if we can get 20 votes we may be able to start throwing the word "fact" around.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Latest eCigs Coupons for July.

Smoke Relief - free P&P on starter kits: STARTER
Smoke Relief - free P&P on orders over £10: FREESHIP10

Electric Zebra - 20% off refills: ZEWJNA

Friday, 28 June 2013

Can Flubit get me cheaper eCigs - Flubit claim good discounts on any online UK purchase.

The tried and tested methods of getting discounts on any online purchase are Coupons and Cashback for which I recommend the following.

Coupons: VoucherCodes.co.uk
Cashback: TopCashBack*

Some people may have heard of Flubit, they have been mentioned in the UK national press and are gaining some traction on HotUKDeals. They work as such, find something you want to buy, copy and paste a link into their website and they will try to beat the price. So far I've tried two eCig vendors and they have been disappointing. By all accounts however they're good for electricals and video games etc.


First I tried a starter kit from Smoke Relief.

The first nonsensical response from Flubit claimed Smoke Relief was a foreign website and couldn't help. So I tried again and a couple days latter I got an offer.

Flubit: £10.46
Vapey Joe: £8.59 with coupon and cashback as detailed here: SmokeRelief.co.uk Review


So far utter failure but I tried another kit from Electric Zebra.

Flubit: £11.38
Vapey Joe: £11.32 with cashback as reviewed here: ElectricZebra.com Review

Okay Flubit are not looking good so far but there is potential, I'll be keeping an eye on them and keep you updated. Please if you give them a try leave a comment and let us know how you get on Flubit.


*The honesty bit. Posts are written without any financial incentive, when possible affiliate links will be used to help fund this blog. Any link that potentially earns this site money will always be mentioned below.

TopCashBack is the only link that may earn this post money.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

SmokeRelief.co.uk Review - Honest and Unbiased

As mentioned in a previous post Are eCigs cheaper than Rolling Tobacco in the UK. I've been using Smoke Relief's products for over 6 months. In fact it was the first eCig I tried, so it's time to offer a full review.

The design is a standard simulation of a cigarette, yellow cartridge, white battery and red LED. Every time I use this vendor deliveries have been made in 1 or 2 days. They have loads of Flavours to choose from (all good) and a decently high nicotine strength of 22mg. It's the cheapest starter kit I've found at £9.95 plus cashback and it's one of the best priced for cartridges.
Starter Kit includes:
1 e-Cigarette carry box.
1 USB Charger
1 Battery
7 Cartridges

Starter Kit is £9.95 plus 17.17% cashback using TopCashBack*- COUPON CODE: STARTER.
Tested, I effectively paid £8.59.

10 cartridges for £11.90 + 17.17% cashback - COUPON CODE: FREESHIP10.
I effectively paid £10.20.

For maximum cost saving use a cashback site then copy and paste relevant coupon. For people new to cashback this may be daunting and confusing so follow theses easy steps.
  1. Sign up for a TopCashBack* account.
  2. Once logged in search for Smoke Relief.
  3. Open Smoke Relief website using link on TopCashBack.
  4. Make your purchase as usual, remember to use Coupon code before finishing.
I'm going to rate this 9 out of 10 for being of outstanding value and quality. Ideal for first time vapers and long termers alike.

Battery and Cartridges are interchangeable with Freedom, iCig, Nicolites and Skycig.

*The honesty bit. Posts are written without any financial incentive, when possible affiliate links will be used to help fund this blog. Any link that potentially earns this site money will always be mentioned below.

TopCashBack is the only link that may earn this post money.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

ElectricZebra.com Review - Honest and Unbiased

I've been using the Starter Kit and refill cartridges from Electric Zebra for quite a while now and feel I can offer a full review.

Starter Kit includes the usual:
1 USB Charger

1 Battery
2 Cartridges

I like the Zebra print battery, the black cartridges and green LED light, in fact my review is mostly positive. The only possible negative I'll mention is orders are not delivered as quick as some other vendors. So I'd suggest ordering a week in advance just to be absolutely sure you don't find yourself in the shops buying some analogues (nickname for cigarettes) .

It's not the cheapest starter kit I've found but at £12.95 plus cashback it's still one of the best priced and their cartridges are the cheapest I can find.

14 cartridges for £10 plus cashback of 12.62% using TopCashBack*. Tested, I effectively paid £8.74.

Starter Kit £12.95 plus 12.62% cashback, I effectively paid £11.32.

I'm going to rate this 9 out of 10 for being of outstanding value and quality.


Battery and Cartridges are not interchangeable with any other brand I know of.


*The honesty bit. Posts are written without any financial incentive, when possible affiliate links will be used to help fund this blog. Any link that potentially earns this site money will always be mentioned below.

TopCashBack is the only link that may earn this post money.

KX7ZS5QT72EB

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

ApolloeCigs.co.uk Review - Honest and Unbiased

I recently got a Starter Kit on special offer for £2.95, Link to offer at Apollo eCigs. Easily the best value I've seen such a kit.
It includes the usual:

1 USB Charger
1 Battery
2 Cartridges

I quite liked the Blue LED, but everything else was a disappointment. I'd ordered Menthol but was invoiced for Tobacco and that's what got delivered, not a big deal I usually like Tobacco Flavoured eCigs. This one however tastes disgusting, I assume this is because it's trying to simulate the taste of North American cigarettes. Anyone who's hopped across the pond will know the US & Canada have very different tasting smokes compared to Europe, even when comparing the same brand.

Further more the battery I received has an annoying habit of not staying on unless you suck really hard, which in fairness is necessary as the nicotine hit is weak. I can see these eCigs suiting some people but I was left unimpressed. Had these been my introduction to electronic cigarettes I may have given up on the whole idea and stuck with Tobacco. As a final nail in the coffin the price of refills is £9.95 for 5.

On this admittedly limited experience I'd rate this 5 out of 10 for try once. £2.95 is a bargain.

Battery and Cartridges are not interchangeable with any other brand I know of.

*The honesty bit. Posts are written without any financial incentive, when possible affiliate links will be used to help fund this blog. Any link that potentially earns this site money will always be mentioned below.

No links earn this post money.


Thursday, 20 June 2013

eCigs Pros and Cons: Health, Money, Smell, Smoking Bans and Regulations

Health Benefits

The primary reason many people consider vaping is the potential health benefits.

eCigs typically have three or four ingredients: 

  • propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin and sometimes polyethylene glycol 400 (Theses have been widely used as food additives, toothpaste, and in medical devices such as asthma inhalers)
  • nicotine 
  • food-grade flavours. 
For newbies it's worth noting propylene glycol’s ability to absorb and trap water can cause feelings of dehydration, it’s a good idea to drink a little extra water or juice whilst vaping to counter act this. In addition, some e-smokers may be sensitive or allergic to propylene glycol, using e-juice made entirely from vegetable glycerin can help avoid this. However any tightness in the chest will usually stop once your body gets used to propylene glycol, the same thing happens to people using asthma inhalers for the first time.

There seems to be conflicting information regarding whether or not nicotine on its own is a carcinogen most studies tend to find nicotine beneficial to health when all the other cigarette nasties are taken away. However nicotine can have unwanted effects on the circulatory system and blood sugar levels. Nicotine appears to be dangerous during pregnancy and can interfere with breastfeeding. So it is important to consider all of these factors; consulting a doctor before using eCigs may be a good idea.

Cigarette smoke on the other hand contains substances such as carbon monoxide, tar, arsenic, ammonia, cyanide and acetone among many others. I doubt you need me to tell you why they're bad.

Money

If you aren’t considering switching to e-cigarettes for the health benefits, the cost of cigarettes is likely a motivation. I addressed this in my previous post Are eCigs cheaper than Rolling Tobacco in the UK.

Smell

E-cigarette vapour has a mild scent that lingers in the air for just a few seconds before fading away permanently, it smells nothing like smoke. In most cases, you can’t smell e-cigarette vapour at all unless you're next to the person vaping.

Some non-smokers hate being around cigarette smoke, sometimes due to legitimate allergies or group-think; the lingering odour of tobacco can offend. Since I started vaping my sense of smell has improved slightly but  awareness of cigarette smoke is in a league of it's own, even walking down the street I can detect if someone is smoking at great distances, although I don't find the smell offencive many do.


Smoking Bans and Regulation

There is no Government Regulation forbidding vaping, any business respecting their customers have no reason to forbid it. Furthermore there's no lingering smell so, for example, a car rental place would have no way of knowing or passing judgement once a car is returned.

One of the potentially greatest drawbacks on this list of e-cigarette pros and cons hasn’t occurred yet, but it may soon. Currently uou can buy e-cigarettes online or in shops and they aren’t subject to tobacco taxes. Further more the e-cigarette industry enjoys very little regulation.

All of this is likely to change, the MHRA announcement this week says eCigs should be regulated as medicine. TV and newspapers presented this as shocking news eCigs may be bad but other than catchy headlines there still isn't any evidence of that. The problem is this will, if it all comes to pass, make eCigs more expensive for no good reason, after all Tobacco and Alcohol aren't regulated as medicine!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

How to start Vaping - Are eCigs cheaper than Rolling Tobacco in the UK

The big selling point of electronic cigarettes is they're cheaper than analogues. Tesco are currently selling a pack of Marlboro for £7.95, vaping can easily beat that but what about Rolling Tobacco. Personally 50g of Amber Leaf will last me a fortnight, Tesco charge £15.26 so lets take that as our benchmark.

I started Vaping in January 2013 Google gave me a lot of companies selling eCigs and discussion forums but this is an excessive amount of info that didn't address the question of value. So I did a search on HotUKDeals, despite some Anti-Smoking rhetoric two offers stood out, Smoke Relief and Electric Zebra. The only cheaper starter kit I could find was from Dealextreme but faced with a long delivery time and mixed reviews I decided on a UK based company.

Smoke Relief was and still is the cheapest starter kit I can find from a UK website. Only £9.95 and I was able to exclusively use it for my nicotine fix a total of 3 weeks. Clearly eCigs are cheaper, no need to factor in cigarette paper, filters, lighters or illegally imported blackmarket tobacco; vaping is miles ahead.

Unfortunately Smoke Relief currently only offer free shipping on orders over £10, so add the Silicone Cigarette Holder at 10p, still a good deal. COUPON CODE: FREESHIP10. I've also recently started using TopCashBack* to earn 17.17% cashback, I haven't checked other cashback sites, TCB is usually the best and I can't be bothered with multiple accounts, leave a comment if you know of a better deal.

*The honesty bit. Posts are written without any financial incentive, when possible affiliate links will be used to help fund this blog. Any link that potentially earns this site money will always be mentioned below.

TopCashBack is the only link that may earn this post money.