Carnival Cruise Lines launched a new interactive virtual ship tour it calls Funship Island. But it's not like the usual ship tour you find online, with still images and panoramic scrolling. It lets you ride the Twister Waterslide and "gamble" in the casino, among other activities. Click here to check it out.
Xbox 360 disc scratch lawsuit update: Heidi Schulz, who is a media relations representative for Microsoft, sent me the following statement from Microsoft officials: "We've only just learned of this lawsuit, so we haven't had time to evaluate it. However, out of the millions of Xbox consoles in use, Microsoft has not received any widespread reports of Xbox 360s scratching disks."
Just when you thought it couldn't get worse for Xbox, today an attorney in Fort Lauderdale has filed a suit claiming that Microsoft's Xbox 360 causes "destructive scratches" to the games, and is asking Microsoft to pay for all the games it ruins.
I spoke with the layer who filed the case and he said it's a problem with the laser that reads the game. And his case sites that more than 1,000 Dutch customers made these complaints in February of this year, and a Dutch television program called Kassa investigated the complaints and found that the lasers do damage disks. It damaged the disks when the console was moved during play, and sometimes when it was stationary. It also states that Microsoft Netherlands acknowledged there can be a problem.
You can read the complaint here: Download Complaint.pdf
Here is a video from Kassa's report.
The attorney says Microsoft does not warn users to not move the position of the console during play. You can read my story about it here. If the "Red Ring of Death" wasn't bad enough, now there's talk of the laser causing a damaging ring around the game.
Many other sites that talk about this damage, like llamma.com.
Disclaimer: Believe it or not, this post has nothing to do with the iPhone.
If you're a social network junkie like me, then you know all about getting Happy Birthday posts when the B-Day arrives. I don't know about you, but I get happy birthday wishes posted on my page from people I haven't spoken to in the past five years. Do you really care about my birthday? 'Cause I don't really care about yours, but uh, er yeah, thanks anyway for the happy birthday message and making me look popular on my message board.
It makes it easy to
pretend show you care when the homepage of MySpace or Facebook reminds you of friends with upcoming birthdays. And when it's easy to smack a post on a friend's page, who needs to worry about sending greeting cards?
Well a North Palm Beach online store is hoping to get my generation to stop clicking and start licking. GREETINGster.com lets you enter in all your friends and their birthdays, and then a week before the birthday it sends you a card in the mail for your friend. It comes with a pre-stamped and addressed envelope, so after you sign it you can just drop it in the mail. They also have generic winter holiday cards.
Sounds pretty easy. It costs $2.99 per recipient, but as of now they only have two birthday cards to choose from and three winter holiday cards.
So what's better... showing the world you sent me a birthday message, or paying money to send me a card that no one will see, but I'll know you put more effort into it? Cards are becoming more rare these days, I think it's that much more special to get something in the snail mail. Or if you're going to go the free route, throw in a text message for friend bonus points.
So what if your scheme to sell your second iPhone failed. With two iPhones, people will think you're twice as cool. ...or maybe it doesn't work like that.
iPHONE PURCHASERS WHO HAD HOPED TO RESELL THEM FARE POORLY
By KATIE HAFNER
New York Times News Service
SAN FRANCISCO -- David Flashner thought he had it wired: Buy two iPhones last Friday when they first went on sale, keep one and sell the other at a profit so big it would pay for most of the first one.
Flashner wasted no time. He began advertising the extra phone while still in line at an Apple store in Burlingame, Calif., south of San Francisco. During his 21-hour wait, he posted half a dozen different ads to Craigslist -- with prices ranging from $800 to $1,200 -- and waited for the calls to come in.
But no calls came because consumers expect that stores will soon have phones in stock. He continued to advertise the extra phone through the weekend, and ended up with just one call, which went nowhere. On Wednesday, he returned the phone.
Flashner, 25, who manages an audio-visual equipment rental company, is not the only would-be iPhone reseller whose plan failed to follow the script. "I haven't heard of a single person who sold one," he said.
Across the nation, people looking to make a quick and easy profit bought one, two or as many phones as they could by recruiting friends to stand in line with them. Many of them were the first to get in line, camping overnight outside the stores. But now they are finding that the iPhone is much more like a Harry Potter book than a hard-to-find Wii video game machine: a great thing to be one of the first to own, but not high in resale value because supply is not constrained.
Last Friday, just after the first iPhones were sold, thousands of listings showed up on eBay and Craigslist, with prices of $1,000 for the 8-gigabyte phone, a $400 markup. Some bold sellers were asking $2,000. But as it became clear that supply was meeting demand, they found themselves stuck. Few of the phones have sold for more than $700, which after sales tax, is not a remarkable profit margin.
Corey Spring, a columnist at newsvine.com who analyzed eBay auctions, estimated that a significant number of sellers "were only making their money back, even closing at a loss." Most Apple stores in the United States have no phones available, but the most-determined customers seem to have been able to buy phones. Few people seem willing to pay even $100 over the retail price.
Some frustrated resellers say they will keep trying, then return their extra phones within the 14-day return period.
Read the rest of the New York Times story here.
I know it's been awhile since I made an iPhone post, so to make it up to you...
iPhone: The Musical!