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Update: US stores now accepting in-store pickup of Apple Watch

Buyers must reserve online, will get customized bags with purchase

As reported earlier today, US Apple retail stores have now joined with Australian and UK stores to allow in-store pickup of reserved Apple Watch models. The US website now offers the option of reserving a pickup time alongside normal mail delivery when buyers choose an Apple Watch model from the site,...


Facebook offers free Bluetooth beacons to US businesses

Beacons will trigger Facebook Place Tips on customer smartphones

Facebook is giving businesses another way to interact with customers, by offering stores Bluetooth beacons. The free devices are able to trigger Facebook's Place Tips on a customer's smartphone if they have the Facebook app installed, providing them with more information about the business, a welcome...


Citing slight risk of fire, Apple recalls Beats Pill XL speakers

System set up for full refund of purchase price for customers

Apple today announced a voluntary recall of Beats Pill XL speakers, including a refund for customers. Apple has determined that, in rare cases, the battery in the Beats Pill XL may overheat and pose a fire safety risk. The recall does not affect any other Beats or Apple products.


Briefly: Apple intervenes in Shack sale; SF churches take Apple Pay

Apple files brief to protect customer data from sale in RadioShack bankruptcy deal

Apple has filed a brief with a Delaware bankruptcy court in an effort to prevent the sale of some customer data as part of RadioShack's assets. The limited objection brief does not seek to block the overall sale of RadioShack, but simply wants to protect Apple customer data from being sold, since it...


MetroPCS will complete CDMA network closure on June 21

Majority of MetroPCS customers have already migrated away from CDMA

MetroPCS is finally pulling the plug on its CDMA network, as it shuts down the service in its last remaining markets. The carrier is still trying to get customers who have yet to upgrade to devices capable of connecting to T-Mobile's GSM, HSPA+, and LTE network, with the last of the shrinking group needing...


BT becomes a carrier again, offers discounted SIM-only contracts

Existing BT Broadband customers get discount on new mobile plans

British telecommunications giant BT has started its return to the mobile phone market earlier than expected, by offering its customers cellular connections. Becoming a carrier once again, after spinning off what would become O2 in 2001, BT is providing modest SIM-only contracts to consumers, with existing...


Apple service walk-in queue changing, uses phones as pagers

Customers can walk in, provide phone number, and be summoned to the store

According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, the latest changes to Apple retail by Angela Ahrendts is coming to stores soon. Most Apple retail stores will shift walk-in Genius Bar appointment notifications to one using customers' mobile phones as de facto pagers, not only giving time estimates...


TracFone settles with FTC over 'unlimited' plan throttling complaints

Carrier must pay $40M in refunds to customers for restricting unlimited data plans

A carrier has settled with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints it offered mobile phone contracts that claim to have "unlimited" data, but turn out do not. TracFone was accused by the FTC of capping and throttling customers on the "unlimited" plans, with the carrier agreeing to pay out...


Sky reportedly in talks with O2 over strategic partnership in UK

Early-stage talks could see Sky selling O2 lines to customers in quad play package

British carrier O2 has received some considerable interest in recent months, with broadcaster Sky allegedly in discussions with the mobile phone network. Reports claim Sky and O2-owner Telefonica are in early-stage talks, which could lead to a potential "strategic partnership" offering lines to customers...


OnePlus One getting Lollipop-based CyanogenMod 12 next month

OnePlus still developing its own custom Lollipop-based ROM

Late last month, smartphone maker OnePlus asked their users for feedback on naming the custom ROM for the OnePlus One. An alpha release of the ROM, based on Android v5.0 "Lollipop," has been available at the OnePlus forums since just before the New Year. Today, an interview with Cyanogen founder Steve...


Uber trials courier van hailing service UberCargo in Hong Kong

Uber customers can request van for local deliveries

Uber may soon offer deliveries to customers alongside its existing transportation services, if an experiment is found to be successful. UberCargo is being tested by the company in Hong Kong, which allows customers in some cities to hail a van to transport goods or furniture to another location, without...


Wacom announces cloud-based storage and device-setting services

Dropzone and Control Room intended to add value for existing, new customers

Wacom, makers of digital input tablets and other devices for artists, have announced two new free cloud-based services for their customers. These two services, which allow content and device settings to be stored and shared across platforms, are the first in a series of services planned for release over...


Hands On: Ink Cards (iOS)

Ink Cards makes customizing cards easy

Taking a trip to the greeting card store can be pretty hit-or-miss, and home-printing cards takes quite a bit of time and effort. What if there was an easier way to create customized cards without spending an arm and a leg, or hours of free time? That's where Ink Cards, by Sincerely Inc., comes to the...


T-Mobile settles FTC 'cramming' lawsuit, agrees to pay $90M

Refunds to T-Mobile customers affected by cramming charges incoming

T-Mobile has settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints the carrier allowed third-party companies to place unauthorized charges to customer bills. As part of the "cramming" settlement, T-Mobile has agreed to pay out at least $90 million in fines and refunds, as well as...


Amazon Prime Now offers one-hour deliveries in Manhattan

Prime customers can pay for one-hour delivery, get two-hour deliveries free

After experimenting with same-day deliveries in a number of cities, Amazon is now increasing the speed of delivery for some customers with the launch of Prime Now. The new service, launching in Manhattan today, will let Prime subscribers place orders for thousands of essential items, and receive the...


T-Mobile adding 'Data Stash' roll-over data to Simple Choice plan

Simple Choice plan customers have up to one year to use leftover data

T-Mobile will allow its customers to bank unused data allowances for future use, it has revealed. The Uncarrier 8.0 announcement of "Data Stash" allows data to rollover from month to month, with leftover data stored on the account for up to a year, allowing the customer to go over their normal monthly...


Uber hires former IBM Chief Privacy Officer to review privacy policies

Privacy team formation follows reports of executives tracking Uber customers

Uber is forming a privacy team by bringing onboard a number of experts, as it attempts to secure its customer's data. The hiring of a team, including former IBM Chief Privacy Officer Harriet Pearson, comes shortly after reports claimed one of the app-based cab company's executives had tracked a ride...


Verizon increases cost of early termination fee for new contracts

Customers now need to pay up to $70 more to leave Verizon contracts

Verizon has changed its customer agreement, making it more expensive to leave a mobile contract early. The early termination fee (ETF) associated with ending a contract before the two-year period is up has been adjusted, forcing new customers to pay between $60 and $70 more than existing customers would...


Briefly: Adidas Photo Print app in US, GiffGaff gains 4G in UK

Adidas Photo Print app allows for customization of sneakers using photographs

Adidas is letting US sneaker enthusiasts customize a pair of shoes with a mobile app, something it has offered in Europe for a few months already. Pocket-Lint reports the Photo Print app for Android and iOS can take an image from the user's smartphone and apply it to a pair of ZX Flux sneakers. The custom...


Facebook unleashes Rooms, brings communities back to chat rooms

App allows users to create customized chat rooms, log in with any user name

Facebook's Creative Labs team is bringing a new, yet old way to socialize over the Internet to users through its application Rooms. The free iOS app lets users create custom chat rooms on a topic, without requiring any special log in or connection to a Facebook account. Instead, users can select whatever...


AT&T reveals third quarter earnings, falls short of estimates

Carrier pulls $33 billion in revenue, added over 2 million mobile, broadband customers

AT&T's quarterly results fell short of industry projections when the company announced $32.9 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2014. The resulting earnings per share (EPS) was $0.63, missing the projected $0.64 EPS on $33.25 billion in revenue. While the company may have missed projections,...


Dairy Queen chain latest victim of Backoff POS malware

August infection subjects customers of 395 stores to data theft

Restaurant chain Dairy Queen has confirmed that 395 of its 4,500 US locations have been affected by the "Backoff" malware, which has in turn, compromised customer's credit card information. Restaurants in 46 states were affected, with customers in Hawaii, Louisiana, Rhode Island and Vermont escaping...


AT&T fined $105M by FTC over cramming, $80M offered as refunds

FTC settlement involves providing refunds to customers affected by premium SMS subscriptions

AT&T has been hit with a $105 million fine for allowing "premium" SMS subscriptions and other charges to be applied to customer accounts, a practice known as "cramming." The carrier has settled with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the charges, with the majority of the settlement devoted to...


New York regulators seek concessions for Time Warner/Comcast merger

Improvement in customer service, expansion of low-cost broadband demanded

Several states are having regulatory discussions in governmental circles about the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger. Two New York state agencies, the Division of Consumer Protection Utility Intervention Unit (UIU) and the Department of Public Service, are taking serious issue with the merger and...


Maingear, Origin PC, Syber now offering computers with Maxwell GPUs

Custom machine builders jump into new technology with GTX 970, 980 configurations

With the release of the new Nvidia Maxwell-based GTX 970 and GTX980, a number of custom computer builders have started offering the cards in their configurations. Leveraging the new Maxwell architecture benefits like dynamic super resolution and voxel global illumination, builders including Maingear,...


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