Just when we think they are doing some good in the tech world, they go and mess it up, as always. Best Buy customer Mike Bolesta simply wanted to purchase a car stereo. After being assured that a particular model would fit, he realized the Best Buy sales rep was incorrect (this sounds familiar). After being told the installation fee would be waived due to the error, he was able to get the correct stereo. When he got home, he received a call from Best Buy saying he needed to pay the fee. Upset about the horrible service he received, Mike decided to pay the $144 charge using only $2 bills. Now, there is no law against this. $2 bills are still legal tender here in the United States. He handed over 57 bills, and should have been able to be on his way. Instead, he was asked accusingly if they were real. Then they called the cops. I feel for ya Mike, it’s just unfortunate that I have heard stories like this in the past - and yours probably won’t be the last. Anyone else have a story of horrible customer service at an electronics retailer?
Read More | WorldNetDaily
The Voice over IP market just got a little bit bigger. AOL has launched its VoIP service at a promotional rate of $29.99 a month for non-AOL users and $13.99 a month for AOL users. The service includes standard features found in most calling plans such as voicemail, 3-way calling, caller ID, call waiting and call forwarding. AOL’s new VoIP service also includes “advanced AOL features” such as AOL voicemail, AOL call alert and AOLbyPhone. The company is trying to offer competitive prices by bundling some its services with their VoIP package. What stands out in AOL’s package is that they provide enhanced 911 service, which delivers the caller’s address to dispatchers when in case of emergency. This is something other companies have not been able to implement or offer as an included service. AOL is promising to make VoIP easy to install and use just like the rest of its services so that mass-market consumers may take advantage of this technology.
I was perusing the aisles of my local Best Buy as I sometimes like to do, and noticed that they had the Mac mini available for purchase. I know, what a major retail chain chooses to stock isn’t the most exciting topic in the world - but the significance here is that this is the only Mac available for purchase in a nationwide chain. The Mac mini has gone mainstream, and this is a nice coup for Apple. Now the Mac mini will be seen by the casual shopper looking for the best deal, and the price tag on the mini is very attractive.
In celebration of one year of service, Google plans to raise the capacity of its popular email service to 2GB. If 1GB was big enough then this is almost ridiculous, but it doesn’t stop there. After the company finishes upgrading all the users to 2GB it will be slowly adding more space. Google has stated that a few users have actually been close to reaching the 1GB cap and the company wants to stick to their motto of not deleting a single email. Google also took the opportunity to state that their email service will remain in the beta phase for now and that plans for new features could hold back an official release. If Yahoo!, MSN, and the rest had a hard enough time trying to keep up with free 1GB email offering, looks like they are they really have their work cut out for them now. Anybody want a Gmail invite? Click here.
On a side note, check out the Google Gulp! gag page.
(Thanks Bayyar & DrSeth!)
Read More | CNet
Sony is currently planning an iTunes-style store for movies. The store would feature Sony Pictures’ top 500 films, available in different formats. Sony wants be sure people are able to take their films where ever they want to take them – be it on their cell phones or their Playstation Portable. Currently, Sony is doing their homework – researching prices, technology, and security. However, they plan on launching the store some time next year. It will definitely be great to have a greater selection of films readily available for the PSP without having to jump through hoops converting the movies.
Read More | CNet
The Hilton family of hotels will be introducing a new alarm clock this Spring. The clocks will have an MP3 jack, which will allow you to plug in your digital music player to listen to your tracks on the radio. The clock also features four preset music buttons, if you are feeling a bit more random. In conjunction with the launch of the new alarm clocks, the Hilton is also having a nice sized giveaway as well. You can enter at their site, or download their Virtual Alarm Clock, which will tell you when to check back to enter in all four contest phases. They are pushing this one with the iPod twist, and as such, they are giving away a total of 251 iPod mini’s along with a bunch of iTunes music.
Read More | Hilton Family
So this program called PearPC allows you to run Mac OS X on your Windows-based computer (or Microsoft Xbox). People complained of the agonizing slowness of the platform, and CherryOS announced that they planned on doing it the right way. Well, CherryOS came out, and it was also slow. Upon further inspection, it turns out that CherryOS basically stole a bunch of code straight out of PearPC to build their own software. We should have known something was up when they also named their product after a fruit. Nonetheless, PearPC is now asking for monetary help in suing the CherryOS people. If you care, go ahead and show a little support.
Read More | Starport
Okay, so a year or so ago Microsoft was ordered to remove Windows Media Player from all Windows XP operating systems they intended on selling in the European Union by way of an order in an antitrust suit. Originally, Microsoft wanted to call the unbundled version"Windows XP Reduced Media Edition”. The EU didn’t like that, because they thought it would mislead consumers and slow sales. Well, that meant it was time for Microsoft to put the old thinking cap back on, and they came up with a doozy. The final name of the stripped down OS will be “Windows XP Home Edition N” and “Windows XP Professional Edition N”. The “N” stands for “not with media player.” Awesome.
Read More | Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Sony has been ordered by the US court to pay up $90 million in damages and halt Playstation and Playstation 2 sales in the US due to patent infringement.
SCE said it will continue US sales of the products ordered to be halted, which include PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles, two game controllers and 47 software titles, as the court order will not go into effect before until Sony’s appeal. Sony will also be paying compulsory license fees to Immersion, the company who filed suit, an SCE spokeswoman said.
Immersion, a California-based developer of tactile feedback technology, claimed Sony Computer Entertainment infringed on its technologies that make a game controller vibrate in sync with actions in games.
Read More | CNN International
Back in July we told you about Duke University giving iPods to all freshmen coming in. Well, the school has reported back with a few interesting paces on a page dedicated to their iPod program. The page has information on why the program was started, as well as the different projects that have come about through the program. While this is all nice, I think it is fair to say that most student just use their Duke-supplied iPod as an MP3 player - and not much more.
Read More | Duke iPod Experience
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