Archive for category Home Hints

!!BEWARE!! Latest txt-phishing scheme!

If you receive a text message reading “customer issue, <bank name (sears, sun west, etc.)> service frozen, please call at 786 206 5901DO NOT CALL! It will be an automated message asking for your 16-digit account number and pin. This is obviously a scam and has been verified as such by Sears and Sun West Credit Union.

If you plan on buying an XBox 360 for Christmas this year…

…make sure you buy it from a reputable store and check over the box to make sure it hasn’t already been opened! Even ask a manager, if you have to, if the console had been sold previously and returned.  STAY AWAY FROM CRAIGSLIST AND DO NOT BUY ONE USED!!!

Yarrr, that's some tasty pwnage

Yarrr, that's some tasty pwnage

The reason?  Well, I’m sure you’ve seen in the news that MicroSoft has banned over a million XBox consoles that have violated their Terms of Use.  In simple terms, any users who have knowingly (either themselves or through another modder) modified their XBoxes in order to play burned games (whether “backup” copies or pirated games downloaded through the internet) are no longer able to use their XBox to connect to the online service known as XBox Live.

What this means is that suddenly, the world has been flooded by 1 million XBoxes that can no longer be played online, which is a HUGE part of owning an XBox 360.  What a lot of these folks are then doing is buying a new XBox 360 from Walmart or Toys’R’Us or Target (Usually the Arcade version, since it is the cheapest of the line), keeping the new console, replacing it in the box with their banned console and returning that to the store with a phony story like “I hooked it up and it doesn’t work” or “someone already bought me one” and getting their money back.  The problem then worsens when the store manager tests the system and sees that it powers on just fine, repackages it and sticks it on the shelf for some unfortunate, unaware gift-giver.

Even though all these pirates have brought it on themselves, I’m also not sure Microsoft has considered very well the consequences of their actions either.  I imagine they are going to be inundated with tech support calls this Christmas from confused and frustrated parents who purchased for their children these “retail swapped” consoles expecting a brand new XBox and are stuck instead with some angry pirate’s accursed plunder-box.

Yarrr…Merry Christmas ye scurvy dogs.