THIS Is What That Extra Shoelace Hole Is For!

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After all these years of tying a shoe, it’s funny how we never knew about the extra holes…

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Hacker given in-game death sentence

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A character controlled by a hacker who used exploits to dominate online game Guild Wars 2 has been put to death in the virtual world.

The character, called DarkSide, was stripped then forced to leap to their death from a high bridge.

The death sentence was carried out after players gathered evidence about the trouble the hacker had caused.

This helped the game’s security staff find the player, take over their account and kill them off.

Death leap

Over the past three weeks many players of the popular multi-player game Guild Wars 2 have been complaining about the activities of a character called DarkSide. About four million copies of the game have been sold.

Via a series of exploits the character was able to teleport, deal massive damage, survive co-ordinated attacks by other players and dominate player-versus-player combat.

To spur Guild Wars’ creator ArenaNet to react, players gathered videos of DarkSide’s antics and posted them on YouTube.

The videos helped ArenaNet’s security head Chris Cleary identify the player behind DarkSide, he said in a forum post explaining what action it had taken. Mr Cleary took over the account to carry out the punishment.

The video shows DarkSide being stripped to his underwear then made to leap from a high bridge in one of the game’s cities. It also shows the character being deleted by Mr Cleary.

“Oh yah, he’s also banned,” he wrote. Several other accounts belonging to the same player have also been shut down.

ArenaNet did not reveal any information about how the player behind DarkSide had managed to exploit the game or whether the vulnerabilities used had been patched.

The punishment has sparked comment among Guild Wars players with some welcoming the action saying it felt like “justice”.

Others wondered what effect it would have and if it would deter anyone else from seeking out and using exploits in the same way.

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Dashcam footage accepted by insurers in disputed claims

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Most UK insurance companies will now accept dashboard camera footage in disputed claims – but few will offer a discount on premiums for using one.

These “dashcams” are small, forward-facing cameras that film a driver’s view of the road.

When asked by provider Nextbase, 29 insurers said they would consider using dashcam evidence in the claims process.

This would be put alongside any accounts from independent witnesses if the parties involved disagreed.

Experts also stress that drivers with dashcams should still collect as much evidence as possible in a claim when there is disagreement between the parties involved, such as the details of other motorists who may have seen the collision.

Discounts

Insurance premiums have been falling in recent months, according to various measures.

The AA said that the cheapest annual comprehensive car insurance on the market was £200 lower in the early months of 2015 than at its peak in 2011.

But the motoring group said it expected this average of the cheapest deals – £540 a year – to increase in the coming months.

Some drivers are able to secure a discount on their premium by installing a “black box” in their vehicle.

This records evidence, such as whether a driver is travelling within speed limits, and is aimed at encouraging safer use of the roads.

Malcolm Tarling, of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said that it was far more likely for motorists to get a discount from their insurer when using a black box than when using a dashcam.

He added that insurers would generally have to write a clause into the terms and conditions of any discount to be able to demand dashcam footage be released by the owner, even if this implicated the driver as the cause of a collision.

Meanwhile, a price comparison website is warning drivers to ensure that any pets travelling in vehicles are secure.

“The law is clear – you must secure your animal while in a car,” said Matt Oliver, car insurance spokesman at Gocompare.com.

“Therefore if you don’t do this and an animal roaming freely around the vehicle is said to have contributed to causing an accident, then an insurance company could be well within their rights not to pay out on a claim.”

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