DHL, a popular shipping alternative to FedEX, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service announced today in a press release that it will end all domestic shipping services effective January 30, 2009. According to the release, DHL’s U.S. Express business will focus entirely on its international offerings and will discontinue its domestic-only air and ground services, eliminating its U.S. ground hubs, and reducing the number of stations from 412 to 103. This will result in a reduction of 9,500 U.S. jobs at DHL Express on top of the approximately 5,400 positions already reduced since January; retaining 3,000 to 4,000 U.S. Express employees, tailored to the needs of international express customers. This reduction is expected to allow DHL’s U.S. Express business to reduce its operating costs from $5.4 billion to under $1 billion, a decrease of over 80%.
We’re hoping that this loss in competition doesn’t drive up the cost of shipping, seeing as the majority of our gadgets are doorstep-delivered by one of these shipping giants. Cross your fingers.
An analyst has confirmed that Apple has made it to number 2 where smartphone vendors are concerned. The iPhone has become a holder of 17.3 percent of the market share with RIM trailing at 15.2 percent. Apple also came in with the highest marks in customer satisfaction, operation, physical design, operating system, battery aspects, and features. RIM could bounce back to the 2nd place mark with the Bold and Storm, but with the growing sales of iPhone and the “coolness” of the Apple brand, it will certainly be a challenge for RIM. The results are due to the 6.9 million iPhones shipped during the summer months with no signs of slowdown even though the economy has moved in the other direction.
Read More | J.D. Power
With Gears of War 2 getting ready to drop tomorrow, bringing Submergence Day to all fans of the franchise, Microsoft is also releasing a Gears of War 2 Limited Edition Zune. You might remember that they did something similar with the original Zune to coincide with the release of Halo 3. With the GOW2 Zune, Microsoft has pre-loaded a bunch of Gears content on the device itself. A bunch of images of art, the entire Gears of War soundtrack, along with quite a few pieces of video content related to both Gears of War and Gears of War 2.
We were able to get our hands on the Gears of War 2 Zune before its release, and have snapped a bunch of photos showing off the fantastic box art, the Zune device itself, and all the bonus content included on the device. Be sure and check it all out in our Gears of War 2 Zune unboxing gallery.
Read More | Gears of War 2 Zune gallery
Now that’s what we’re talking about! AT&T Movility President Ralph De La Vega just dropped the official word that the iPhone will be gaining the ability to be wirelessly tethered to notebooks, giving you 3G internet access on your laptop wherever your iPhone has a 3G signal. Just about every other smartphone that is the caliber of the iPhone has this ability, so it’s been a long time coming. No definite date given or anything, but at least now we know that iPhone tethering is on the horizon.
Read More | Technologizer
We know a lot of you Xbox 360 owners are counting down the days to November 19th, which is the day that everyone will be able to download the New Xbox Experience dashboard update. Until then, we figured we’d give you a nice, full walkthrough of the update and its interface. Our friends up in Redmond were able to send the update to one of our two Xbox 360 consoles, which in turn, allows us to bring you this exclusive first-look walkthrough.
We show you everything, from the boot-up video, the new HDTV display output options, Xbox avatars, Netflix, and a whole lot more. Our early thoughts? We love it. In fact, we love it so much, that we now hate our second Xbox 360, which still has the old, busted blade interface. We want NXE on that one as well.
One thing we mentioned in the video that we need to clarify, though. As it turns out, Netflix HD streaming should be available on other Netflix-enabled hardware devices on November 19th as well, as opposed to HD streaming being exclusive to the Xbox 360 at first.
Oh, and be sure to check our New Xbox Experience gallery if you wanna see some screenshots in addition to the video - and if you have any NXE questions about anything we didn’t cover, or didn’t delve into enough, let us know on the forum.
Update: Within two hours, I got a call from a Comcast representative who stated that, since the payments were made by credit card automatically, there is no reason they can’t credit it back to that credit card. She went on to tell me that they’d process the refund tomorrow. Very cool. However, I wonder what the response would have been if we hadn’t been paying by credit card, and instead used ACH transfer from a bank account. In any event, the Comcast folks on Twitter really are listening, and really are aiming to put out fires. Good stuff.
This morning I opened mail from Comcast, which, to my surprise, showed that I was two months late on paying up. I thought that was odd, since I kicked Comcast to the curb for Verizon FiOS two months ago. I called and got it taken care of, to find that I was owed $72 and that it would arrive in 6-8 weeks. Kind of annoying, but no big deal. Then they called me back, to tell me that I had another active account that has been auto-debiting from one of my accounts. That one was to have been cancelled back in May. Once that was straightened out, the damage was that Comcast owes me a cool $772. I asked when I’d receive it, and they said 6-8 weeks. I thought that was fairly crappy, being that when I cancelled the services, I also revoked Comcast’s right to take any money from my private accounts. I threw up a gripe on Twitter, and a few minutes later, Comcast’s Twitter customer service went into full effect. Gotta give them props for that. They asked me to email them the details, so they could look into it. You can read the email I sent them, after the break. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts. We will update with any progress made on this, let’s see how customer service on these Web 2.0 Internets works. [Photo Credit]
The Dark Knight will be released Dec. 9 in both a standard and Limited Edition box. Both versions are in widescreen 2.4:1 1080p video with 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio. The deluxe set includes 2 discs, a Bat-Pod display case, art galleries and movie extras such as behind the scenes. You can pre-order at Amazon now for $47.95, temporarily marked down from $64.99.
Read More | Amazon
So, you know that nifty New Xbox Experience you’ve been hearing about all over the place? Well, our pals up in Redmond gave us the opportunity to grab the dashboard a few weeks before it becomes publicly available on November 19th. We have a bunch of info coming your way in the coming days (and, please, feel free to leave any questions on the forum and we will answer them all - seriously, ask away!). In the meantime, though, we thought we would take you through the setup process. After downloading the update (which takes a good, I dunno, 10 seconds), your Xbox 360 will reboot, load the new firmware, and hit you with a high impact video before dumping you into the new dashboard. It really is all sorts of fancy. We’ve created a New Xbox Experience setup gallery with a bunch of pictures showing you the process of installing, setting up, creating your avatar, and browsing around the new interface. Go ahead and take a look, and don’t forget, leave your questions here.
Read More | New Xbox Experience Gallery
So this morning we gave you the scoop on the new Sonos 2.7 features, along with the news of the new (and free) Sonos Controller for iPhone and iPod touch, but we figured you’d be interested in seeing how all this worked. Luckily, Sonos CEO John MacFarlane was able to stop by to give us a first look at all the announcements. In this episode, John walks us through all the new hotness that Sonos announced this morning. That includes a walkthrough of the new iPhone app, which incorporates and supports all those slick new Sonos 2.7 features that we’ve been raving about so early in the morning over here. If you are a music fan, you owe it to yourself to look into Sonos, if you haven’t already.
Oh, and be sure to check our Sonos for iPhone gallery if you wanna see some screenshots of the app in high resolution.
Sure, we’ve already put up a MacBook Pro 2008 unboxing gallery, but we figured there might be a few of you out there who’d want to see the unboxing action in video form - so here it is. We bring you a look at the newly redesigned MacBook Pro, which launched just a few days ago. In case you missed it, the MacBook Pro now has an aluminum unibody enclosure, a glass display (which means, glossy - not matte,) and even a glass single-button trackpad.
If you’re wondering how these stack up to the older models, be sure to check out our MacBook and MacBook Pro redesign comparison video.
Read More | MacBook Pro Product Page