If you’re a Blackberry owner, there’s a good chance you’re a little disgruntled right now. The service outage that swept across the globe last week left scads of emails unread and text messages unreceived until RIM was able to clear the massive backlog of data that was sent to its severs during the downtime. RIM wants to make up for it, though. Founder Mike Lazaridis has already issued an apology on YouTube; now, the company’s putting its money where Lazaridis’ mouth was by offering more than $100 of premium apps for free to Blackberry users.
Spotify’s US launch caused such a big splash in the streaming music pond that ripples are still being felt. Many of the pricing barriers placed between users and the streaming services’ vast music libraries are tumbling down in Spotify’s wake: Pandora ditched its listening limit, the previously “Paying customers only” MOG rolled out a free version, and today, Rdio unveiled a new plan to let users get their listening on cash-free.
While we were still bumming about the PC snub EA delivered with its Battlefield 3 tournament, we ran across an interview with Adam Badowski, the development director at CD Projeckt – i.e., the makers of The Witcher 2. All the DLC for The Witcher 2 is supplied absolutely free, no strings attached. CDP would like to make DLC free for owners of the upcoming Xbox 360 version of the game as well, but Microsoft just won’t let them.
More and more streaming music services are launching bigger, more badass and – more importantly – free ad-supported versions these days, whether you’re talking about the gas can-like offering of MOG, Pandora’s ditching of a 40 hour listening limit, or Spotify’s awesome new 6 months free offer (although requiring new users to have a Facebook account flat-out sucks). But are customers really clamoring for free radio? Myxer – itself a popular (and free) mobile music provider – recently polled its listeners, and the results are overwhelming; few people actually pay to listen to tunes online.
Spotify has been pulling in new users by the boatload since it appeared in America a few months ago. The announcement last week that the music streaming service was being integrated with Facebook will likely serve to swell its ranks even more. But users that decided to jump on the bandwagon now that Spotify is open to all have suddenly found that they must sign in with a Facebook account to get access.
In order to make Spotify happen on US shores, the company needed to make a few compromises; namely, listeners could only tune in to the ad-supported free version for 10 hours a month, half as long as the 20 hours a month European listeners got. If you wanted to keep listening after that, you needed to pony up the cash for a $5 or $10 subscription plan. That’s about to change; starting today, new Spotify users can listen to unlimited amounts of ad-supported music for their first six months.
The Internet radio market is getting more cluttered and cut-throat seemingly by the minute these days, with new services popping up left and right and trying to lure PC users with their siren songs. MOG has evolved into a top choice of many listeners, but until now, only paid subscribers could tune in. That changed this morning, when MOG introduced a free version of its service that features, um, a refillable gas tank.
Let’s face it, summer is no friend to your brain. When you’re not busy killing it with beer, late night campfire parties or Michael Bay movies (seriously, he needs to be stopped), your poor grey matter gets boiled inside your noggin from taking on too much direct sunlight during weekend trips to the beach. To make up for the annual beating visited upon your poor noodle, we recommend treating it to some of the best free education on offer anywhere in the world. Do your brain a solid and direct your browsers to Massachusetts Institute of Technology's OpenCourseWare Program, our Cool Site of the Week.
World of Warcraft is something of a modest success, we'd say. Unlike a number of other MMOs, it's not exactly about to sink amidst a sea of same-y competitors. We doubt, then, that we'll be seeing “World of Warcraft Spits in Face of Death, Goes Free-to-Play” any time soon. However, if you're a penny pincher hoping to step into the shoes of a giant cow person without the aid of some, er, rather questionable costume-based life choices, there's still hope. WoW may not be F2P, but this is definitely the next, next, next, next best thing.
Sony has had more than its share of issues lately, but just days after switching all its PlayStation services back on, they’re ready to woo jilted customers. That’s right, the Sony Welcome Back program is online. The free games and other perks will be available for your consideration until July 3. If you haven’t taken advantage by then, the deals go bye-bye.