Additional customer information obtained in December attack
Target's massive data breach in mid-December was frustrating enough as it is without tossing additional personal identifying information into the mix, but personal emails sent out yesterday to Target shoppers confirm that the names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and even email addresses of customers were obtained in the attack.
Redmond is offering a minimum of $200 for “gently used” iPads
Microsoft is currently running a limited-time iPad trade-in offer, allowing people to bring in their “gently used” iPad 2,3,or 4 into select Microsoft retail outlets across the U.S. and Canada and walk out with a Microsoft store gift card worth a minimum of $200. While the offer has been live for well over a week now, the good news is that there’s still plenty of time left.
Purchase qualifying Nvidia graphics card, receive Batman: Arkham Origins
If you're looking to pick up a new video card and are interested in playing Batman: Arkham Origins, now's the best time to jump on a preorder. Nvidia has joined forces with Warner Bros. to provide digital copies of Batman: Arkham Origins with any qualifying purchases of GeForce graphics cards through participating retailers.
Have you ever taken a little pill to enhance your performance? Hey, not like that! Get your mind out of the gutter! We're talking about graphics card performance. AMD recently shipped a prescription bottle full of blue pills and hilarious dosing directions to reviewers in anticipation of the launch of a 1GHz video card -- presumably the Radeon HD 7700, which has had 1GHz clock speed rumors swirling around it for a while now. Are you ready for some "natural performance enhancement" for your PC?
For those of you who watched the World Cup, you got to see some of the worst officiating in the history of sports with lots of blown calls and questionable judgment. So is it really any surprise that Toshiba's World Cup promotion would be equally controversial?
Here's the deal. Toshiba, riding the wave of the World Cup frenzy, ran a promotion that essentially encouraged consumers to buy a Core i5 laptop or Toshiba TV, and if your country wins the World Cup Final, Toshiba promised to refund your money. The promotion was run in Germany, England, Portugal, Italy, and Spain, and as everyone knows by now, Spain went on to actually win the thing.
Ready for the gotcha? A bit of small print on the ad instructed consumers to see Toshiba's site for more details, and it's there that Toshiba listed a requirement that all claimants must register their product by June 17th. As you might expect, a whole bunch of Spaniards are pretty pissed off over Toshiba's red card move.
The questions is, should Toshiba honor the rebates even if buyers didn't register their product? Spanish consumer advocate site Facua.org argues that such a major requirement shouldn't have been tucked away online, but included with the ads.
Do you agree, or this is a case where consumers simply failed to perform their due diligence?
Panasonic’s campaign will start in 300 Best Buy stores in major U.S. cities (with 1,000 stores by the end of the year), where special 3D video sections will be constructed to show off Panasonic’s wares. Panasonic will also sweeten its deal with consumers by undercutting Japanese MSRP by 30% or so. A 50-inch 3D TV is expected to go for about $2,500. Unfortunately, these Panasonic models will lack the web access functions commonplace on their Japanese versions.
Panasonic reports a goal of selling one million 3D TVs globally during this fiscal year, with half of those being sold in the United States. Panasonic figures this will give it a 50% share of the global market for this new product niche.
Basically, Amazon has linked its sale of DVDs/Blu-rays with its Video On Demand service. In it you can buy for viewing, either streaming or using the PC-only Unbox Video Player, loads of movies and TV shows. (Like you can on iTunes or Netflix or iReel or Hulu or Blockbuster or...) When you purchase a select movie on DVD or Blu-ray, a standard definition version of the movie is added to your Video On Demand library. (A quick search of Amazon shows 313 titles fall under the term “select”, including The National Parks: America’s Best Idea on Blu-ray--so what are you waiting for?)
Amazon’s motivation for the promotion, which is being offered for a limited time, is unclear. Janko Roettgers, of NewTeeVee, speculates it’s an attempt to boost sagging sales of physical media. The preference for digital or streaming versions of movies appears to be cutting into profit margins. Adding a digital version could just be the incentive needed to get physical media sales back on track.
And it might also be that having a digital copy simplifies matters for people viewing ‘on the go,’ which is increasing in popularity. Engadget, for example, reports that about 10% to 12% of movies bought with a digital copy have that digital copy activated. (The figure was 20% for purchasers of The Dark Knight.) In this vein let’s not forget the increasing popularity of home streaming media networks. Could be that people are tiring of being tied down to a TV and a DVD player. Amazon might just be testing these waters.
Both Gamestop and Amazon are making a bid for your used games with tantalizing promotions. For Gamestop's part, the used-game reseller has been running a tiered trade-in offer. Trade in at least 2 games and get 10 percent extra credit. That number doubles to 20 percent if trading in at least 4 games, and doubles once more to 40 percent if trading in at least 6 games. Naturally, the trade-ins must be in full working order and the offer is good towards games only.
Amazon, on the other hand, has begun a tiered offer of its own. Send the company two used titles and receive an additional $10 off select new releases, or send the company four games to receive $20 off. These credits are in addition to the Amazon.com Gift Card sellers receive when trading in used games. See here for a list of eligible new releases, which include titles like Halo Wars Limited, Resident Evil 5, MLB 09, Street Fighter IV, and a whole bunch more.
Amazon launched its trade-in store earlier this month with 1,500 eligible titles. The company foots the shipping bill when you send in your used games, then issues Amazon credit in the form of a Gift Card, which can be used anywhere on Amazon.com. A quick glance of eligible titles reveals slightly better trade-in pricing than Gamestop in many cases.
If you happen to live in California, Connecticut, Washington DC, New York, New Jersey, or Washington, we hope you’re aware of a recently enacted law making it illegal to make cell phone calls while driving unless you’re using a hands-free headset. Fines in California start at $20 and rise with repeat violations. But if you happen to be a daring super commuter who’s already been caught using a cell phone while driving, you may be in luck. Bluetooth headset maker Jawbone just announced a new promotion to give ticket holders $20 off their new headset (which we really liked in our Bluetooth headset roundup) when you place an order from the official Jawbone website. The offer ends on August 31st, and will require you to give Jawbone your ticket number. You’re not really saving any money (since the minimum ticket fine is $20), so we don’t recommend breaking the law and getting caught just to make yourself eligible for the discount.
It's hard not to feel violated at the gas pump every time you fill you up your tank, and relief doesn't appear to be in sight. That is, unless you're a small business owner. As part of Microsoft's Bump the Slump sweepstakes, the multi-billion dollar corporation plans to give away 5,000 gallons of gas in order to promote its various software applications. Huh?
According to Eric Ligman, Microsoft US Senior Manager of Small Business Community Engagement (don't waste any space on that business card), the sweepstakes is about "saving money," and while that's hard, nay, impossible to do at the pump, Microsoft's Bump the Slump website claims that its bevy of software can add up to big savings. For example, "Windows Vista can save you as much as $70.77 in energy costs per PC per year compared to a typical PC not running Vista. It saves you money and lets you give Earth a little hug."
The promotion will cost Microsoft about $20,000, with the winner expected to be drawn on July 21, 2008. To be eligible, entrants must be 18+ years old and a legal resident of the 50 United States, own a small business in the U.S., and have between two and 100 employees. And when it's over, you can add Microsoft to a list which includes Mexican food, Celine Dion, baked beans, and other things known to give gas.