10/1/2009

Bing ads to warn of online scams

Filed under: — Aviran

Microsoft on Tuesday began serving up scam warnings with Bing search results for topics such as fixing credit scores or rescue from home foreclosure that are prime material for online cons.

Microsoft worked with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Postal Inspection Service, and Western Union to provide public service announcements (PSAs) in the form of advertising posted on relevant Bing results pages.

“We believe this program can help fight back against scams by reminding consumers to exercise their street smarts online right at the time they need it most,” said Microsoft deputy general counsel Nancy Anderson.

“Unfortunately, many scammers who would exploit a homeowner in danger of foreclosure or a person struggling with credit card debt will try to misuse the Internet to connect with their victims.”

Targeted in the campaign are key words related to searches for information about foreclosure rescue offers; promises to fix credit problems, and “lottery scams” in which people are told they’ve won prizes but must pay to collect.

Links displayed along with search results will connect to trade commission or Microsoft Web pages with advice about avoiding scams and how to report cyber cons.

Windows 7 OEM Prices Revealed

Filed under: — Aviran

Popular online retailer Newegg divulged details today on the OEM pricing of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 7.

For those of you looking to grab an OEM license of the admirable new operating system, you will be happy to know that Windows 7 comes in at a slightly cheaper price than its predecessor Vista. Newegg is offering the OEM Home Premium version of Windows 7 for only $99.99, whereas the full version is currently retailing for $199.99. OEM versions of Windows 7 Professional are available for just $134.99, which is a massive $165 cheaper than the $299.99 retail version, and $5 cheaper than what Vista’s Professional OEM version would have set you back. Finally, Windows 7 Ultimate is priced at $174.99, making for a $145 saving over the retail version.

TiVo unveils BlackBerry app for show recording

Filed under: — Aviran

TiVo Inc., the maker of digital video recorders that can pause and rewind live programming, unveiled a free application Wednesday for the BlackBerry that lets subscribers set up recording of TV shows from the phones. Subscribers also can search for details about their favorite shows.

Live streaming of shows is not available.

The application works with TiVo DVR Series2 or the Series3 standalone DVR, not with a cable box that has a TiVo interface. The BlackBerry phone must have browsing capabilities and operating system version 4.2.0 or later.

TiVo unveiled its app for the iPhone last November.

Sirius XM passing $2 royalty fees to subscribers

Filed under: — Aviran

Listeners of Sirius XM Radio Inc. are getting $2 fees added to their monthly satellite radio bills, in what’s effectively a price increase for consumers.

Sirius XM, whose talk show celebrities include Howard Stern, is passing along performance royalty fees paid to singers, musicians and recording companies.

In approving the deal, the Federal Communications Commission barred the combined company from raising prices for three years. That means Sirius could only collect the royalty fees through a separate surcharge, which the FCC allowed the company to start charging after a year, or July 29, 2009.

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