It’s fairly safe to say that PC gamers are getting SUPER MEGA PUMPED over the release of the upcoming Battlefield 3. Battlefield’s one of those games that was born on the PC and thrives on the PC; both AMD and Nvidia have released drivers in the past few days to let PC gamers get in on shooting fun. To get folks even more excited, EA and Virgin Gaming have teamed up to unleash a massive BF3 contest with over $1.6 million in cash and prizes. Better start warming up that mouse! …Oh, wait. It’s console only.
A few months ago Virgin Mobile attempted to shake up the wireless industry with an all new truly “Unlimited” MiFi data plan. Today however we regret to inform you that the cake is a lie. Subscribers to the $40 per month Unlimited Broadband2Go plan who exceed the industry standard 5GB cap will receive notice that their bandwidth will be significantly diminished for the remainder of the billing period.
We find the move somewhat disingenuous since they made such a big deal about being the only truly “unlimited” game in town, and then discontinued the program without even grandfathering it out for existing subscribers. If we had to take a guess as to why it played out this way, one could only assume they attracted one too many bandwidth hogs, and the network simply couldn’t take the load.
It would appear all you can eat only applies until Homer Simpson shows up. Hit the jump if you care to read Virgins side of the story.
Word to the wise, make sure you know exactly what your mobile apps are doing and how they operate, lest you discover when it's too late, like after being hit with phone bill saying you owe $7,763.70. Such is the predicament Canadian resident and iPhone owner Jason Boutang finds himself in.
Our first thought was, 'How many 900 numbers did this guy call?,' but it wasn't a sexy voice on the other end of the line that drove up his phone bill, it was a translator application he used during his European trip. Not thinking anything of it, Boutang fired up the app to help him communicate with the French and streamed a Calgary rock radio station for five hours over three days. Sounds innocent enough, but because both required Internet signals, Boutang's Virgin Mobile bill quickly shot up.
"They pulled the plug on me after the third day," Boutang said, who initially thought it was related to roaming charges. "I opened my e-bill and fell over. I had to get three other people to look at the screen to make sure I read it right. I kind of figured it was from the trip 'cause my average bill is about $200 a month."
According to Boutang, he called up Virgin Mobile to see he could get the charges dropped or reduced, but so far hasn't had any luck.
"They said, 'pay up every penny ... you went outside your neighborhood, you pay the price,'" Boutang said.
According to Canada's CNews outlet, Virgin Mobile is looking into the situation to see if they can lessen the charges. In the meantime, Boutang is pleading ignorance, saying the customer service rep who sold him his iPhone never warned him about the costs of using the device abroad, nor was he informed of any roaming data plans.
Is Boutang a victim of the system, or simply guilty of not doing his homework? Hit the jump and sound off.
Through a partnership with Universal, Virgin Media said it plans to launch an unlimited music download subscription service. The well timed announcement comes just one day before a British report hits the public eye detailing how the creative and telecom industries should go about bumping up digital sales to cope with lost revenue due to online piracy.
"We listened to our customers, our fans, and our artists and we think that this is an opportunity to bring music to a wider audience," said Lucian Grainge, Universal Music chairman and CEO.
According to Reuters, people familiar with the service said it would cost around $16 to $24 per month. Both sides are describing the service as a world first, which would allow Virgin Media broadband customers to both listen to streaming tracks and download however many tracks and albums they want.
Unlike other unlimited subscription services, the downloadable MP3s won't come with any DRM shackles, which means the tracks can be transferred to and played from any MP3-capable device.
"This is really high stakes, if this can't work then what will," commented Mark Mulligan, an analyst with Jupiter.
While AirTran claimed that they would be the first to implement Wi-Fi on all of their flights, Virgin America just beat them to the punch.
Yesterday Virgin officially announced that they would feature Wi-Fi on all 100 of their daily flights. Costs clock in at $12.95 for three hours and over, $9.95 for less than three hours, $5.95 for red-eye flights, and $7.95 if you just want to use a handheld device (such as a cell phone or a DSi).
Sure, the prices might seem a little beefy, but when I’m given the mental option between watching the inevitably bad movie that’s playing on the screen in front of me, or surfing the net on my own accord, I’ll opt towards the latter every time.
If you thought internet metering was taking things too far, try being a Virgin ISP customer. In a joint venture with the British recording industry group BPI, roughly 800 letters have been sent out to file sharers subscribed to Virgin, with thousands more on the way. These aren't 'Thank you for being a customer' notices, and instead the envelopes read "Important: If you don't read this, your broadband could be disconnected."
Despite the ominous warning and pressure from the BPI to implement a three strikes policy - where users of file sharing networks would be given two warnings and then disconnected on a third offense - Virgin claims the wording was a "mistake," saying:
"It is important to let our customers know that their accounts have been used in a certain way but we are happy to accept it may not be the account holder that's involved. It could be someone else in the family or someone living in a shared house. it could even be someone stealing Wi-Fi. We are not making any form of accusation." - Asam Ahmad from Virgin
Virgin went on to claim that there was "absolutely no possiblity" it would take legal action against its customers under the current campaign, and that it wouldn't hand over user information "under any circumstances." Normally such strong statements would be comforting, but if that's the case, why send out the letters in the first place?
Find out how recipients of the letters have reacted after the jump.