Items tagged with Fee

Call it an early Christmas gift. As of this weekend, Best Buy has eliminated most restocking fees for returns. That's right folks, now you'll be able to return things to Best Buy without having to pay a pesky fee. The exception to this new policy is special order items, which will have a 25 percent restocking fee. In addition to removing the restocking fee, Best Buy is offering a refund on restocking fees to anyone who returned an item between November 17 and this past Friday. Best Buy's previous policies charged customers a 15 percent restocking fee on most electronic items in the store. For iPhones, the restocking fee was 10 percent. Best Buy made the announcement via a statement, which read:... Read more...
"It's in the game." That's the slogan that EA Sports has harped on for years. But now, it's only in the game if you buy a game new, or if you cough up even more dough as a used game buyer. We don't necessarily cover too much of the video gaming space here at Hot Hardware, but this particular shift in business practice was simply too glaring (and frankly, important to the entire industry) to pass over. EA Sports has done to sporting franchise companies in the game space what Walmart has done to mom and pop groceries stores: made 'em hurt, bad. EA Sports is basically the only company still out there making AAA sports games, and consumers rarely think to look beyond the "Madden" football franchise... Read more...
We've always heard that the best things in life are free. We've also heard that nothing great lasts forever. Mix those two mantras together, and you get this. Down in Louisiana, a $0.15 surcharge is being tossed around as an idea to stop online criminal activity (and raise state income, no doubt), which would be levied on Internet access across the state. Sadly, the House has already voted in favor with an 81-9 vote, though Governor Bobby Jindal strongly opposes.The idea here is to raise money to finance a division that investigates Internet crimes, particularly online sex crimes against children. According to those who got the ball rolling, the measure would raise some $2.4 million per year... Read more...
Jack Thompson, best known for his crusade against video games, which he considers to be overly violent and to contain too much sexual content, has been disbarred.  His most famous crusade was against Rockstar Games and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, after the famous "Hot Coffee" content was exposed (no pun intended).The Florida Supreme Court has ordered his permanent disbarment (.PDF), though it has given him 30 days to "close out his practice."The Court approves the corrected referee's report and John Bruce Thompson is permanently disbarred, effective thirty days from the date of this order so that respondent can close out his practice and protect the interests of existing clients.  OK,... Read more...
Force feedback has become commonplace in today's game controllers. To many, the simulated forces create a more realistic game-play environment. A group of scientists at the University of Tokyo in Japan are on working on a new technology that can potentially allow force feedback-type sensations and controller input without the need of a joystick or other physical input device at all--all feedback sensations and input could be done simply in "mid air." The scientists, Takayuki Iwamoto, Mari Tatezono, Takayuki Hoshi, and Hiroyuki Shinoda, have developed what they call an "Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display." Tactile feedback in "3D free space" is not necessarily a new concept: in the abstract for... Read more...
We're sure you know about the issues with some NVIDIA mobile GPUs, as earlier in July NVIDIA admitted it was taking a $150 - $200 million charge to cover (emphasis ours):... anticipated customer warranty, repair, return, replacement and other consequential costs and expenses arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of our previous generation MCP and GPU products used in notebook systems. All newly manufactured products and all products currently shipping in volume have a different and more robust material set. Since then both HP and Dell have admitted the issue affects their notebooks, but Apple has not. And the Apple discussion forums are starting to light up, with... Read more...
You gotta love Steve Ballmer. He's like the crazy uncle at the family reunion that wants to sing karaoke with a lampshade on his head. I imagine that when the Washington Post asked for a wide-ranging interview with the Microsoft CEO, they figured they'd get all sorts of inside spin in Ballmer's tussle with Yahoo! chief Jerry Yang, or maybe a sneak peek into Ballmer's future vision for Microsoft. Ballmer was pretty tight-lipped about his opinion of Yang, and Microsoft's future, for a change. But he was more than willing to tell the Post that there would be no such thing as print media in a decade or so. Awkward. In the next 10 years, the whole world of media, communications and advertising are... Read more...
McAfee has released its annual "Mapping the Mal Web" report, which reports on "the riskiest and safest places on the Web," after analyzing "9.9 million heavily trafficked Web sites" using its own McAfee Site Advisor technology. Topping the list of most dangerous domains is the .hk domain (Hong Kong); the safest domain is .fi (Finland). Ranked in order, the top five most dangerous country domains are: .hk (Hong Kong).cn (China).ph (Philippines).ro (Romania).ru (Russia)In order, the top safest are: .fi (Finland).jp (Japan).no (Norway).si (Slovenia).co (Columbia)In addition to country domains, McAfee found the .info domain to be the most dangerous generic domain--claiming that as much as 11.8 percent... Read more...
The frequent flyers over at Flight are reporting that iPod connectivity to airlines' in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems are starting to take off: "Singapore Airlines last week started supplying iPod and iPhone connectivity on the first of five newly reconfigured all-business Airbus A340-500s. United Airlines is expected to soon offer this feature in the premium cabins of its international widebody fleet, and Air New Zealand has opted for iPod integration as part of a retrofit of Airbus A320s and Boeing 767s with Panasonic's new X Series platform.Panasonic appears well-positioned to capture even more business. It claims to have the only IFE solution that can natively support Apple's authentication... Read more...
Hacker Safe?  We're guessing that applies only to web sites, not securities fraud.One of the researchers behind ScanAlert, the "Hacker Safe" certification company McAfee recently acquired, is facing fraud charges in Indiana.Brett Oliphant, whose title had been vice president of security services before the Napa, California, company was acquired by McAfee in January, is facing 11 counts of securities fraud in transactions that allegedly brought in more than US$1.215 million.Oliphant and his brother Bryan were charged in December. Their trial is set for Nov. 18 at the Elkhart County Superior Court in Indiana.ScanAlert built technology for auditing and then certifying Web sites as "Hacker Safe."... Read more...
If you're like us here at HotHardware, you use the Internet for everything. But according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the one thing we're not doing much is letting the Internet make up our minds about what we want to buy. Those decisions seem to be more heavily and directly influenced by offline channels like "friends and sales personnel." Only about 10 percent of real estate and cell phone buyers and 7 percent of music purchasers credit the Internet with having a major impact on their decision. And only a small portion — 22 percent of the music buyers and 12 percent of cell phone purchasers — ultimately bought their product over the Internet."People do cast their information... Read more...
Yahoo wants your Web searching to be safe. Yahoo has partnered with McAfee to utilize McAfee's SiteAdvisor technology in Yahoo searches to keep Web surfers from visiting would-be harmful sites. In a press release from earlier today, Yahoo stated:"Yahoo!, Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) and McAfee, Inc. (NYSE:MFE) today announced a partnership to deliver a safer Web search experience through Yahoo! Search. Launching in beta today, the new SearchScan feature by Yahoo! Search, powered by the award-winning McAfee(R) SiteAdvisor(R) technology, provides always-on alerts to users for "risky" sites with security concerns such as spyware, adware and other malicious software that can infect and damage a user's PC.... Read more...
This experiment resembles nothing so much as the Super Size Me experiment, where a man attempted to live on McDonald's food for an entire month.  McAfee has started a 30-day study to see just how much junk people can get via spam.The Santa Clara company solicited participants through an ad on Craigslist and chose five people from each of the 10 countries in which it does business. The spam-hunters will be given new Dell laptops with minimal anti-virus protection - which they'll be allowed to keep - disposable e-mail addresses and, in some cases, small amounts of money so they can buy products offered through spam or respond to various money-making schemes.In return, they'll be required to... Read more...
People were up in arms when Sony announced its "Fresh Start" no bloatware option - because Sony wanted to charge $50 for it.Starting on Saturday, Sony's Fresh Start software optimization feature will be free, the company announced.Fresh Start is a Sony feature that lets customers buy certain laptops without so-called "bloatware," trial software that laptop makers often load onto new machines. Sony was asking buyers of the Vaio TZ2000 and Vaio TZ2500 notebooks with the Windows Vista Business OS to pay $49.99 for the removal of the extra software. Those customers already pay an additional $100 to upgrade to Windows Vista Business OS from Windows Vista Home Premium.Ah, there's the rub, that no mainstream... Read more...
So you might want to file this one under "huh?" right from the get-go but allows us to expand your horizons a bit anyway.  Imagine it's 6:43AM, you're just sitting down at the breakfast table to a couple of english muffins, a bowl of grapenuts, or the lumberjack breakfast.  Whatever gets you going in the morning; you get the idea.  But something just isn't right.  Ahhh, right.  Like a double Espresso, grande caramel macchiato or tall cold Rockstar, you need your morning shot of HH!  The day just wouldn't start off right without it.  Have no fear, the Yuno PC is here... ya know?"The Yuno PC is a new personal computer concept designed to help you get the most... Read more...
Seattle has been a boomtown a half-a-dozen times over the years. Looks like it is again. The entrepreneurs of the digital age seemed to have settled on the Seattle area as the next big thing - the overcast version of Silicon Valley.   “The Seattle start-up ecosystem is vibrant, and growing rapidly,” said Oren Etzioni, an artificial-intelligence expert at the University of Washington and a serial technology entrepreneur.The University of Washington, in fact, is one of the big draws. It is fostering the entrepreneurial climate here the way Stanford University does in Silicon Valley. Another advantage is the tech-savvy talent at the Seattle-based Amazon and nearby Microsoft.Microsoft offshoots,... Read more...
Starting in May, sellers will no longer be able to give buyers negative, or even neutral feedback.EBay said problems were occurring, and slowing down trade, when buyers left negative comments about sellers who then retaliated with their own views.From May, those selling on eBay will not be able to leave unfavourable or neutral messages about buyers.The move, which will affect users worldwide, has angered many sellers.Sellers say it will leave them unprotected. We can certainly understand the fear of leaving negative feedback for a seller, and having it backfire when a seller retaliates for no good reason.  But doesn't this defeat the whole purpose of feedback?... Read more...
Swedish authorities have been threatening this since last month.  They kept their promise.The Swedish prosecutor Hakan Roswall has announced the charges against four individuals involved with The Pirate Bay. The four, aged 23 to 37, are being charged with “assisting copyright infringement” of 4 software applications, 9 films and 22 music tracks.“The operation of The Pirate Bay is financed through advertising revenues. In that way it commercially exploits copyright-protected work and performances,” said prosecutor Hakan Roswall in a statement. The prosecution claims the site generates annual ad revenue of more than $4 million.Four million dollars?  Is that all?  Since The Pirate... Read more...
The successor to Windows Vista, which is currently codenamed Windows 7, will apparently support multi-touch.  That's assuming that users have the proper hardware.  We're wondering if this will only be an option for some subsets of users as we know of numerous MMORPGers that have already reported a wave of destroyed monitors in the wake of failed guild raids.  Perhaps this technology won't find an application in that particular crowd, but one never knows.“The company has long been a proponent of tablet PCs and touch input in Windows Mobile but has typically only provided control through a single point of contact and has largely designed its interfaces around a stylus rather than... Read more...
A simple Internet word game has generated 1,072,025,720 grains of rice for the hungry since it first launched on October 7th, through November 9th. It's easy: each correct word is worth 10 grains of rice. What's the catch? There isn't a catch, for those of us playing, except perhaps some of your time --- and a few ads.An internet word game has generated enough rice to feed 50,000 people for one day, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) has said.The game, FreeRice, tests the vocabulary of participants. For each click on a correct answer, the website donates money to buy 10 grains of rice.Companies advertising on the website provide the money to the WFP to buy and distribute the rice. Words get... Read more...
Given a choice, pay or don't pay?  Which would you choose?  Or would you at least give a token amount?  That's the question asked by a study by comScore. Of those who downloaded Radiohead's digital album, In Rainbows last month, about 62 percent walked away with the music without paying a cent, reported ComScore, an Internet research company. About 17 percent plunked down between a penny and $4, far below the $12 and $15 retail price of a CD. The next largest group (12 percent) was willing to pay between $8 and $12--the cost of most albums at Apple's iTunes is $9.99. They were followed by the 6 percent who paid between $4.01 and $8 and 4 percent coughed up between $12 and $20.... Read more...
Despite competitors having talking points about how the iPhone battery isn't replaceable, that's not entirely the case.  It's true that the user isn't able to buy a battery and  swap it out on the road as they can with many existing phones, but Apple can do it for you, for a fee of $85.95 plus applicable taxes: "If your iPhone requires service only because the battery's ability to hold an electrical charge has diminished, Apple will repair your iPhone for a service fee of $79, plus $6.95 shipping. Be sure to follow these instructions for optimizing battery life and troubleshooting battery charging issues before submitting your iPhone for battery replacement." Other... Read more...
1 2 Next