Episode 31 of the Digital City, where we discuss the Virgin Megastore liquidation sale (or lack thereof), Amazon's new big-screen Kindle, and how the video game DLC trend is jumping to handhelds. Later, NBA vet Kevin Willis drops by to talk about his love affair with the iPhone.Download today's podcast
The Virgin Megastore is following Circuit City into the abyss, with the chain's US retail stores in the process of closing down. Similar to Circuit City's infamous liquidation sales, Virgin is currently offering its wares at "up to 30-percent off," according to the copious signage spotting outside Virgin's Union Square location in New York.
Ironically, that Virgin Megastore sits on exactly the same block as the Circuit City store we visited in January, and the two liquidation sales are also very similar, judging from what we found this week.
The actual signs and policies are … Read more
Virgin Media plans to move all its home broadband customers onto the Google Mail platform, the company said on Wednesday.
Google's Web-based e-mail service is known as Google Mail in the UK and Germany, and Gmail in the rest of the world.
According to the Internet service provider, the Web-mail rollout will extend to all of its 4 million home broadband customers, but there will be a delay before it reaches everybody. While the customers will be moved off Virgin Media's existing e-mail platform, they will be able to retain their existing e-mail addresses.
The company said the rollout will be one of the largest deployments to date of Google Partner Edition Apps, which lets businesses and individual customers use Google's communication and collaboration applications under their own domain names.
"New customers signing up will get it now and we will start to roll it out to all our customers but it will take time for everyone to get it," a spokesperson for Virgin Media told ZDNet UK.
The service, which will provide each user with 7GB of e-mail storage, will be piloted by the first 20,000 new customers, Virgin Media said in a statement. The full launch to all new customers will follow "shortly," the company said, after which existing customers will be migrated across to the new service. They will be able to keep their existing @blueyonder.co.uk, @ntlworld.com, or @virgin.net e-mail addresses, or sign up for new @virginmedia.com e-mail addresses. … Read more
Virgin Mobile USA is offering laidoff consumers a little relief in this tough economy.
The "Pink Slip Protection" program that essentially picks up the tab for three months of service for customers who have lost their jobs. To qualify for the three free months of service, users must subscribe to one of the company's monthly service plans, which cost $29.99, $39.99, and $49.99. New subscribers will be automatically enrolled in the program and existing customers can also enroll for the program.operator is offering a
Virgin said it will pay bills up … Read more
AT&T had an outage yesterday morning in the bay area due to fiber-optical cables being cut. This didn't just affect landlines, but cell phones as well. Rafe describes the dangers hackers would face in trying to cut those cables. We also estimate the distance to New York as 12 worms, and give a plus-five Holy Avenger sword salute to Dave Arneson.Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 950
AT&T was vandalized in the Bay Area? http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=4800&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=26715
AT&T uses Twitter … Read more
Virgin Mobile announced a new $49.99 unlimited prepaid calling plan today, along with a special program to help customers who become unemployed. The program, called the "Pink Slip Protection plan," will waive up to three months of monthly charges if a customer becomes unemployed.
The Pink Slip Protection plan will only go into effect at least two months into a monthly plan, and once he or she becomes eligible for state unemployment benefits. There's currently an open enrollment period through June 30. You can enroll via Virgin Mobile's Web site starting April 15.
If you'… Read more
Helio's influence on Virgin Mobile continues to grow, as Virgin Mobile just announced the availability of the "Connect" social-networking dashboard and Opera Mini 4.2 to its prepaid customers. These features were previously available on post-paid devices only, like the Helio handsets. They will launch later this month on devices like the Shuttle, the Jax, and the X-tc. Do note that you'll have to sign up for a monthly or prepaid data pack plan. The price ranges from $5 for 5MB of data on prepaid plans, to $10 for 50MB on a monthly plan.
The "… Read more
Biofuels are on the way up, while carbon emissions are on the way down, a global airline industry spokesman said Tuesday at the annual Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva.
After a successful run of pilot programs from Continental, Virgin, Air New Zealand, and JAL, sustainable biofuels are on track to be approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for wide commercial use in planes by 2010 or 2011, Giovanni Bisignani, director general of the IATA, said in a speech given at the summit.
Kyocera introduced two new cell phones Wednesday, as CTIA opened. Both offer slider designs but will appeal to different user groups. Check out our Kyocera CTIA photo gallery to see them in all their glory.
In keeping with the rush of messaging phones we've seen thus far in Las Vegas, the Kyocera G2GO M2000 hides a full alphabetic keyboard behind the 2.4-inch display. The overall design is a bit angular, and we're worried that the combined keypad and keyboard will be cramped, but the phone offers a fair number of features to compensate.
Inside, you'll find … Read more
Virgin Mobile's CEO said Tuesday that the Mobile Virtual Network Operator plans to introduce touch-screen handsets. Speaking at the Dow Jones Wireless Innovations conference, CEO Dan Schulman didn't give any specifics, but he said that the handsets would be part of a move to "smarter" phones.
As an MVNO carrier with a core prepaid business, Virgin Mobile focuses on low-end and basic models for making calls and sending messages. Over the past 18 months, and particularly after its acquisition of Helio, the operator has offered more multimedia handsets and messaging-centric devices with full keyboards. Yet, like … Read more