June 5 (Reuters) – Prominent Silicon Valley investor Paul
Graham is warning the startups he fosters to ratchet down their
fundraising expectations and conserve cash – and he blames
Ministers are urged to look into claims that unemployed people hired as unpaid stewards during the Jubilee ended up having to sleep under London Bridge.
Earlier this month, Microsoft decided to try something a little different when it came to selling the Xbox 360. Their plan: to kick off a pilot program under which customers could shell out a mere $99 for a shiny new 4GB Xbox 360 and a Kinect, provided they inked a two-year subscription deal to Xbox Live Gold.
Now, it seems the time has come for that pilot program to spread its wings. Microsoft recently announced that later this month, all Best Buy stores and certain GameStop locations would be selling those subscription-friendly Xbox 360s.
Well, for a little while anyway.
Since this is far from a hard launch, Microsoft’s Larry Hryb notes on his Major Nelson blog that “this next phase of the pilot program will be limited in terms of both timing and the number of units available.”
To add to the difficulty of nabbing a subscription-friendly Xbox, Microsoft Interactive Entertainment President Don Mattick has said that fans have (perhaps unsurprisingly) reacted enthusiastically to the new pricing model. There’s a very real chance that your local gaming retailer will blow through their allotment of sub Xboxs in a jiffy, so Hryb recommends that interested consumers give stores a call to lock down availability details.
A report from the Wall Street Journal helps shed some light on why Microsoft is so dedicated to the slow and steady approach. Part of the process involves making sure that purchasers of this subsidized hardware pass a credit check, and are training employees to position the console correctly to potential customers.
It’s been noted plenty of times now that the subscription model isn’t exactly the best deal for consumers — they ultimately end up spending nearly $40 more than if they had just bought the hardware and a 2-year Xbox Live Gold card all at once — but it could prove to be a huge ally in Microsoft’s war to control your living room.
By lowering up-front costs in a way that no other console manufacturer has done before, Microsoft is fighting to lower the barrier to Xbox adoption in an attempt to further expand their reach. Cheap(er) hardware is only part of the equation though, as Microsoft proved the other day with their slew of Xbox-related media announcements that their gaming platform is maturing into something much broader — a full-blown entertainment platform.
What’s better than one GoPro camera? Two, naturally. But what about 50?
Well, control over 50 GoPro Hero cameras is exactly what you’ll get with the freshly announced WiFi BacPac + WiFi Remote Combo Kit.
The combo will allow you to WiFi-enable both your HD Hero and HD Hero2 cameras, a la BacPac, which is an attachable casing. Then, the WiFi Remote will go with you wherever your creative and sport-tastic desires may lead, including underwater, to control up to 50 GoPro cameras at a time from up to 600 feet.
The BacPac will also allow you to control just as many cameras from your smartphone or tablet, as soon as the GoPro App is available. The company promises it’s “coming soon.” The app will then allow you to not only control the cameras, but live preview and play back videos and photos taken with your GoPro. You can also transfer content from the GoPro to your smartphone or tablet via WiFi, as well as livestream GoPro content direct to your phone.
To celebrate the launch, GoPro paired up with skater Ryan Sheckler who skated through Manhattan with 50 GoPros set up along his path. The result is this:
The Wi-Fi BacPac + Wi-Fi Remote Combo Kit is now available for $99.99 on GoPro.com and other various retailers in the U.S. and Europe.
Cricket won’t be the only US carrier in 2012 to offer the iPhone with a prepaid plan. According to sources speaking to MarketWatch, Sprint plans to begin offering prepaid versions of the iPhone through Virgin Mobile in the US—a carrier that contracts with Sprint to make use of its network. The announcement is expected to come sometime this week, and the phones will reportedly be available as soon as July 1.
As MarketWatch notes, Virgin Mobile USA’s prepaid plans currently start at $35 per month with unlimited data (the carrier begins throttling data speeds once the account crosses the 2.5GB mark in a month). That, however, doesn’t necessarily mean the plans offered with the iPhone will cost that little; it seems plausible that Virgin Mobile will charge more for the iPhone because of the heavy data usage that tends to come with it.
By comparison, Cricket’s iPhone plans will cost $55 per month with unlimited calls, texts, and data, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see Virgin Mobile’s plans end up being somewhat similar to what Cricket offers. And since Sprint’s network is much more widely available than Cricket’s (contracted through Leap Wireless), more US customers will be able to take advantage of the Virgin Mobile offering once it goes public.
WASHINGTON — In the wake of an alarmingly weak jobs report last week, President Barack Obama and lawmakers in both parties find themselves posse…