Are iPhone 3Gs developing cracks?

via Engadget by Thomas Ricker on 7/30/08

In what appears to be an increasingly common problem, hairline cracks are beginning to form on Apple’s new iPhone 3G. While most of the cracks are reportedly affecting the white model, this is likely due to the increased visibility of the dark fracture on the white case as opposed to any differences in materials between the white and black units. At the moment, the issue seems largely cosmetic and doesn’t appear to interfere with the operation of the phone. Now bust out the magnifying glass and let us know if you’re seeing the same.

Update: Reader Darius shows off a whisker crack on his kid-glove handled black iPhone 3G with the help of some blue lighting — meow. See it after the break.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Convince Your Site Visitors to Upgrade their Web Browsers

via Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 7/29/08

web browsers

Old web browsers are not just insecure, they also pose a problem for web designers as they have to design sites while keeping the older versions in mind.

updateIf you like to help people upgrade their outdated browsers, Pushup has created a script that can be easily integrated in any blog or website.

This JavaScript checks the version of your site visitor’s browser and will show him an upgrade link if a new version is available – see screenshot.

Your site visitor can either click the link to install the new release of his browser, or choose to be reminded after a time you specify. Thanks Dion.

Samsung launches BlackJack III — in South Korea

via Engadget Mobile by Chris Ziegler on 7/21/08

Sorry if we got your hopes up for a second there, AT&Ters; we’re still not sure if this one’s ever coming to the US, and today is most definitely not the day. Instead, the SCH-M480, which appears to be alternately known as the BlackJack III and Ultra Messaging 2, has been launched on Korea’s own SK Telecom for something in the range of 600,000 won (about $592). The Windows Mobile 6 Professional handset is a dead ringer for the i780 that’s been launched for a few months now, featuring a lovely 320 x 320 touchscreen, HSDPA, WiFi, and a 2 megapixel camera; not really a direct successor to the BlackJack II since the latter runs Standard, but we could still see a whole host of folks going for the upgrade — if it ever comes to AT&T, that is.

Separately, Boy Genius Report is claiming that AT&T will be getting its very own BlackJack III come October of this year, albeit with a 3 megapixel camera, up from the 2 megapixel sensor seen here. With these fancy new pink and blue versions of the BlackJack II, though, who the heck needs it? We kid, we kid.

[Via Pocket PC Thoughts]

Read – Ultra Messaging II
Read – US BlackJack III in October?

Number port stats suggest curious trends in iPhone 3G launch

via Engadget Mobile by Chris Ziegler on 7/22/08

Sure, Apple alleges to have flipped over a million iPhone 3Gs at this point, but what does that mean? The devil’s in the details, as always; yes, true, the first one took 74 days to reach that same milestone, but it was available in less than one-twentieth the number of countries and an even smaller fraction of carriers. Hell, the very definition of “sale” is under scrutiny here, with some suggesting that Apple’s making reference to the number of phones it’s sold to its carrier partners, not end users — a metric that would make sense from Cupertino’s perspective since Apple’s payday technically ends there.

Here’s where it gets interesting — Engadget has obtained a handful of stats regarding number ports in and out of T-Mobile USA handled by a national wholesaler. Specifically, we have data surrounding the launch of the first-gen iPhone and the iPhone 3G, and get this: of more than 1,000 ports in total, ports to AT&T represented under 40 percent of the firm’s total outflow in the days surrounding the 3G’s launch, versus nearly 70 percent the last time around. Furthermore, they took roughly the same number of inbound ports from AT&T during the same period, meaning that T-Mobile effectively lost no net ground due to the 3G’s launch. Granted, the porting stats from a single wholesaler represent just a microcosm of the big picture, but even accounting for some loss of precision when you extrapolate that data, you’re looking at a pretty significant downturn in interest from T-Mobile subscribers. We still think Apple’s probably laughing all the way to the bank either way — and iPhone 3Gs are sold out virtually everywhere right now — but you’ve got to wonder if AT&T’s not freaking out a little bit at the number of new subscribers it managed to entice, and whether its competitors are all breathing cautious sighs of relief at some surprisingly reasonably churn rates.

Windows Live Messenger Finally Arrives For BlackBerry

via Gizmodo by Matt Hickey on 7/22/08

Many companies use Windows Live Messenger for corporate IM because it’s free and comes with pretty much any Windows computer they purchase. Windows Mobile users have had mobile IM love for awhile, but BlackBerry users have been left out, at least as far as official messengers go. They had already been promised an official client, and today Microsoft published it. Also included is live Hotmail support, for those who still use it. Go and download it, BlackBerry addicts, if you haven’t already.

[Download, via Ars]

Are Unlimited Ride MetroCards A Good Deal? Not For A Lot Of People Who Use Them

via Consumerist by Meg Marco on 7/16/08

The New York Times had an article today about the 10 year anniversary of the unlimited MetroCard and how it has transformed way people use the subway. They even included a graph that showed how many times people are using their cards in a month. What they didn’t mention is that a lot of people are buying the card and not hitting the “break even” point of 46 rides per month. Hmm.

For those of you not familiar with NYC’s MetroCard system, it works like this: If you buy individual rides, after $7 you get a 15% bonus, making your ride cost $1.74 instead of $2.00. The unlimited card costs $81. So to “break even” you’d need to take about 46 trips within 30 days, or 1.5 trips every day — even on weekends. Obviously, there are a lot of people using unlimited MetroCards when they would be better off buying trips in bulk. Why are they doing this? Who knows. Maybe they don’t have to pay for the cards themselves. Still, it’s a lesson that can be applied to “unlimited” deals of all types. Make sure to do a little math before you buy an unlimited pass.

Subway and Bus Fares [MTA]
In Decade of Unlimited Rides, MetroCard Has Transformed How the City Travels [NYT]
It’s the distribution, stupid [frumination via BuzzFeed]

What Does A Bank Run Look Like In 2008? A Lot Like 1912

via Consumerist by Meg Marco on 7/17/08

The FDIC was created in 1933 by the Glass-Steagall Act, and provides $100,000 of deposit insurance to checking and savings deposits. “Bank panics” used to be fairly common, and the FDIC was intended to instill confidence in the banking system after the Great Depression. The most recent big failure, that of California bank IndyMac, will cost the FDIC between $4 and $8 billion, and they estimate that about $1 billion of IndyMac’s deposits are “potentially uninsured,” meaning that the depositors had more than $100,000 on deposit. So what does a bank run look like these days?

Well, we took a peak at the Library of Congress’ photo collection and we realized that a bank run in 1912 looks a lot like a bank run in 2008, even though a much higher percentage of the modern day depositors will be leaving with smiles on their faces and their money in their pockets. Some things never change.

Photos: (Library of Congress, Run on East Side Bank, N.Y. 2/16/12)
(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

Help! How Can I Make Sure My Money Is Covered By The FDIC!?

via Consumerist by Meg Marco on 7/17/08

The FDIC says there were over a billion dollars in assets at IndyMac that were not covered by the FDIC. Why not?

The FDIC says:

At the time of closing, IndyMac Bank, F.S.B. had about $1 billion of potentially uninsured deposits held by approximately 10,000 depositors. The FDIC will begin contacting customers with uninsured deposits to arrange an appointment with an FDIC claims agent on Monday. Customers can contact the FDIC for an appointment using the toll-free number above. The FDIC will pay uninsured depositors an advance dividend equal to 50 percent of the uninsured amount.

Does this sound like fun? No, it doesn’t. In order to prevent this from happening to you, we suggest you check out the FDIC’s Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE).

The FDIC says:

If you or your family has more than $100,000 at one insured institution, you can still be fully insured if your accounts meet certain requirements. You can use EDIE to determine your insurance coverage beyond the basic $100,000 amount.

Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE) [FDIC]

FDA: Go Ahead And Eat Tomatoes, We Give Up [Salmonella]

via Consumerist by Meg Marco on 7/17/08

Well, the FDA isn’t sure what caused that salmonella outbreak, but they’re lifting the tomato warning anyway, according to the Associated Press. They’d still appreciate it if you tried not to eat raw jalapeno and serrano peppers, because, well, they have to tell you not to eat something, I guess.

From NPR:

…among later illnesses, there seems to be more evidence against peppers. The FDA is sending inspectors to Mexico to investigate a packing house that receives peppers from a number of farms.

Since April, 1065 people infected with Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. We suspect that this is about good as it gets when you have the same agency responsible for hearing aids, heating pads, and fresh produce.

FDA Lifts Salmonella Warning On Tomatoes [NPR]

Register .me Web Domain Names with GoDaddy

via Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 7/16/08

Mark you calendars. Registrations for .me personalized web domains will go live in the next few hours and the domain names will be issued on a first-come first-served basis.

If you are looking to create a personal website or blog, consider getting a .me domain instead of .com or .name because .me not just sounds better, the chances of getting a domain name of your choice are also relatively high.

GoDaddy will open registrations on Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 8:00:00 AM PDT – the registration fee for .me domains is around $20 per year with a minimum two year period.

This embed has a complete list of premium domains that are already reserved and may be available later as an auction but won’t be available tomorrow for regular registration (use F3 to search).

Related: Buying Web Domain Names (tips & precautions).

Domain names can be up to 63 characters, with a minimum of three characters, can contain only Latin alphabet letters (a to z), digits (0 to 9), and single hyphens. Domain names cannot begin or end with hyphens.