After years upon years of frustrated purchasers cutting themselves on clamshell plastic cases, a company has stood up and proclaimed “No more!”. This morning, a letter from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos appeared on the main page of the site, informing visitors that the company will now be working with leading manufacturers to deliver products “inside smaller, easy-to-open, recyclable cardboard boxes with less packaging material (and no frustrating plastic clamshells or wire ties).” They are calling it “Frustration-free Packaging.” Really? Could a world really exist where you can simply buy a product, open a box, and easily remove said product from said box—without having to scour the immediate vicinity for a box cutter? We know, it sounds too good to be true. We applaud Amazon for standing up for both the environment, and our cut up fingers.
Read More | Amazon Wrap Rage video comparison
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]
We know a few of you out there are enjoying Fallout 3 so much, that you are looking for more ways to fully envelope yourself in the games post-nuclear world. If that’s you, keep reading. Up for auction at the Sam’s Club website is a 121 pound, 7-foot, 10-inch tall, Brotherhood of Steel statue. The current bid is $150 and ends on November 11th. If you are an avid collector of all things video game related, then don’t miss out on this statue—assuming you have room to store the massive piece of art.
Read More | Sam's Club
The T-Mobile G1 phone hit store shelves barely a week ago, and in the race to unlock it, the guys at Unlock-TMobileG1.com receive the first place trophy. Seriously, did you think they’d give it to you for free? If that was your plan, you’d better wait for a more charitable group to figure things out – or keep your T-Mobile account in good standing for 90-days, after which they’ll be happy to unlock it for you. If patience isn’t your virtue in this particular instance, fork over the $23 and enjoy your liberated G1 right now.
Check out the above video for a demonstration of the unlocking process.
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.
If you thought we were done with today’s Sonos news, think again - they’re on a roll, having just announced the availability of Sonos Controller for iPhone and iPod touch, for free. If you’re a Sonos fan, then you immediately understand what this means. If you own an iPhone or iPod touch, you get a touchscreen Sonos controller, at no extra cost. Seriously, that rocks. The new app gives you access to all the new Sonos 2.7 features we told you about earlier as well, like Rhapsody, Sirius, Last.fm, and tons of radio from across the globe. In fact, with the Sonos Controller for iPhone, you can access music from any computer on your network, a NAS drive, or even a Time Capsule. When you realize that one of the standard Sonos Controller remote costs $400, you begin to see how big a deal this is. Releasing this as a free download makes Sonos instantly easier to use, especially in a multi-zone, multi-iPhone household, like mine.
By now, you have probably seen the new BlackBerry Bold Commercial, the one that says almost nothing but “wow.” Wow again at the proposed price when it comes out. AT&T has announced that the RIM device will cost $299.99 with a 2 year contract, more than they charge for the iPhone. Sales should begin around November 4 to welcome in the upcoming holidays. The Bold will support international navigation services and Wi-fi for folks who do a lot of traveling. One analyst, Chris King of Stifel Nicolas, says the appeal will be mostly exec types. Those that can probably will.
Read More | Reuters
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
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