Nike files patent for auto-lacing sneakers, Marty McFly doth protest

27 08 2010

We’ve seen some extremely DIY auto-lacing sneakers, but it looks like the big boys — Nike — have thought about getting in on the game as well. Patent filings which occurred in early through late 2009 show off an automatic lacing system that is pretty reminiscent of Marty McFly’s invention in Back to the Future, and we can tell you that from the looks of it, it’s a future we’d definitely like to inhabit. The shoes appear to boast a charging system and lights in addition to the lacing component, and while so few patent apps ever lead to a real retail product, we’re really rooting for this one. One more image below.

sourceWorld Intellectual Property Organization


Best Buy and Target announce video game trade-in programs, clearly don’t read webcomics

27 08 2010

For some reason the used-video-games-as-controversy stars have aligned, and Best Buy and Target picked now of all times to announce new used game trade-in programs. Target is going to offer in store credit for all sorts of electronics trade-ins, including games and DVDs, with just a few stores for now, but expanding to 850 stores by the end of the year. Target isn’t making any mention of reselling that stuff just yet, but Best Buy plans to start selling used games “soon,” on top of the 600 stores it’s launching it own trade-in program in this week. What’s so special about all this? Well, THQ CEO Cory Ledesma just made headlines for a bit of a rant about the topic (“We hope people understand that when the game’s bought used we get cheated”), and then Penny Arcade weighed in with a comic, as is their wont, which kicked off a bit of a gamer vs. publisher vs. retailer internet battle of the words. Which is our favorite kind. With online distribution, one time unlock codes, and DLC all warring to make used games obsolete, this debate might be moot in a few years time, but for now there’s no shortage of opinions on the subject, and we’d love to hear yours in the comments!

Show full PR text
Best Buy® Now Ready to Take Your Old Video Games

Trade-In Program Now Live in Stores Nationwide

Receive an Additional $20 Best Buy Gift Card on Select Titles

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gaming enthusiasts nationwide now have more reasons to shop Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) as their gaming destination. Launching in close to 600 Best Buy stores this week, with additional stores to soon follow, the new Best Buy Trade-In program offers customers an opportunity to sell pre-owned video games. To celebrate the new offering, customers who trade in their games beginning this Sunday, August 29, will receive an additional $20 Best Buy Gift Card on top of the trade-in value on more than 100 popular titles.

“The expansion of our trade-in program reaffirms our commitment to consistently pursue new ways to bring a better gaming experience to consumers,” said Chris Homeister, senior vice president and general manager for the home entertainment group at Best Buy. “Fall marks the launch of several highly-anticipated gaming titles and new technology, and we’re thrilled to provide gamers with innovative ways to connect with the games they love.”

Consumers can now bring their previously played video games into Best Buy and trade them for an instant Best Buy gift card to use for purchasing anything in the store, including any game or gaming accessory. Soon, they will be able to purchase a pre-owned game as well.

Those who take advantage of the new Trade-In program in store can visit the Customer Service desk, or in select locations a dedicated Trade-In desk within the gaming department, to turn in their games. Best Buy will continue to offer a similar program online at that enables customers to get estimates for their games, mail them in for free and receive a Best Buy gift card 7-14 days later. Trade-In prices in-store will match the prices shown online.

For more information on Trade-In at Best Buy and to locate a store currently participating in the program, visit Stay connected to Best Buy Gaming via Twitter and Facebook at and

About Best Buy Co., Inc.

With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, Mexico and Turkey, Best Buy is a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services with a commitment to growth and innovation. The Best Buy family of brands and partnerships collectively generates more than $49 billion in annual revenue and includes brands such as Best Buy; Best Buy Mobile; Audiovisions; The Carphone Warehouse; Future Shop; Geek Squad, Jiangsu Five Star; Magnolia Audio Video; Napster; Pacific Sales; and The Phone House. Approximately 180,000 employees apply their talents to help bring the benefits of these brands to life for customers through retail locations, multiple call centers and Web sites, in-home solutions, product delivery and activities in our communities. Community partnership is central to the way we do business at Best Buy. In fiscal 2010, we donated a combined $25.2 million to improve the vitality of the communities where our employees and customers live and work.

For more information about Best Buy, visit

Show full PR text
Target Launches New Electronics Services That Offer Exceptional Tech and Mobile Experience
1-877-myTGTtech, Target Mobile and Target Electronics Trade-In Provide Guests Additional Value

MINNEAPOLIS (August 25, 2010) – Today Target® announced three new consumer electronics services that will provide guests with an enhanced shopping experience both in-store and at home – 1-877-myTGTtech, Target Mobile and Target Electronics Trade-In. 1-877- myTGTtech is a free product support hotline for all Target electronics purchases. Target Mobile offers a convenient in-store and online cellular shopping experience. Target Electronics Trade-In will allow guests to receive credit towards any Target purchase by turning in their new or used video games, mobile phones and iPods.

“Our goal is to create the best and easiest shopping experience for our guests. As we continue to grow and enhance our consumer electronics business, we designed 1-877-myTGTtech to assist guests with any questions and technical support on their electronics purchases,” said Mark Schindele, senior vice president, Target. “Target Electronics Trade-In offers our guests an opportunity to upgrade their consumer electronics items for less and Target Mobile ensures a convenient cell phone shopping experience.”

These new services complement and add to Target’s nationwide TV delivery and installation service introduced in January and the recently completed electronics and video game department reinvention. By providing guests with additional value at the time of purchase as well as after their purchases are taken home, demonstrates Target’s commitment to offering a best-in-class electronics shopping experience. 1-877-myTGTtech is available to guests nationwide and Target Mobile and Target Electronics Trade-In will roll out in select markets this month. By December 2010 Target Mobile and Target Electronics Trade-in will be available in approximately 850 stores and will become available nationwide through 2011.

To offer guests a superior consumer electronics shopping experience and peace of mind, Target has rolled out 1-877-myTGTtech, a no-charge technical support hotline for all Target store consumer electronic purchases as well as pre-purchase questions. The service will assist consumers with questions they have about their consumer electronics purchases from televisions and video game consoles to cameras, camcorders, iPods and MP3 players. Target guests can speak to a LIVE customer service representative for troubleshooting and technical support at 1-877-myTGTtech (1-877-698-4883). Guests can also use 1-877-myTGTtech for assistance in obtaining manufactures warranty information, product compatibility specifications and other technical functionality questions for current or past Target electronics purchases.

Target Mobile
Target Mobile helps guests make the most of their dollars and time, with a convenient and simplified cell phone shopping experience both in-store and online. This summer Target is expanding the number of stores offering full-service mobile phone centers as an added convenience to guests. The Target Mobile centers, a partnership with RadioShack, are in-store wireless shopping stations that enable Target guests to purchase mobile phones and activate contracts from the nation’s top carriers. The centers will be available in approximately 850 stores by the end of the year and in the majority of Target stores nationwide by mid-2011.

Drawing on the combined expertise of Target and RadioShack, the centers will offer a selection of the best mobile handsets and accessories including headsets, cases, and chargers, as well as service plans from the nation’s top carriers – all at competitive prices. In-store activation will ensure that guests walk away with everything they need from their new mobile devices.

Guests nationwide can also take advantage of Target Mobile via the online site, (, from the comfort of their home. The online cell phone shopping solution provides a convenient and affordable cell-phone purchasing option at competitive prices. With just a few mouse clicks, guests can shop for the latest devices including popular Android-powered smartphones from top manufacturers such as Motorola, Samsung, Nokia, LG and choose wireless plans from every major U.S. service provider. Guests will even have access to special online-only wireless promotions. has enlisted Simplexity, the leader in online cell phone activations, to build and manage the Target-branded site. Utilizing Simplexity’s fully integrated ecommerce platform, Target’s online mobile store offers a greater selection of cell phones, free FedEx shipping on every wireless purchase, easy at home activations and great values on wireless accessories.

Target Electronics Trade-In
Target Electronics Trade-In encourages guests to be eco-friendly by trading in old electronics devices and in return guests will receive credit towards any Target purchase. Guests can bring their new or used iPhones, iPods, cell phones and video games into stores that feature Target Mobile centers and receive credit good for any purchase at Target. Guests can simply bring their item to the Target Mobile counter for appraisal, decide if they want to trade in the item and receive credit that can be used instantly at Target. Guests can receive amounts from a few dollars up to more than $200 per item depending on the product and its condition. The in-store program will launch in Northern California on August 24, will rollout to additional stores in September and will be available in approximately 850 stores by the end of the year.

In addition to the new in-store Target Electronics Trade-In program, guests can also trade in used electronics and DVDs at in exchange for a Target GiftCard. has partnered with NextWorth to offer guests a simple way to recycle their electronics from the comfort of their own home.

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,743 stores in 49 states nationwide and at Target is committed to providing a fun and convenient shopping experience with access to unique and highly differentiated products at affordable prices. Since 1946, the corporation has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs like Take Charge of Education. Today, that giving equals more than $3 million a week. For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit

Note: Target welcomes the media to its stores. To contact your local store about shooting b-roll or photos, please visit “Find a Store” at and contact the Leader on Duty directly to request a visit or interview. You also may visit our online pressroom at to access product information, photos and more.


Fully-functional Android port for N900 threatens to beat N9 to market

27 08 2010

The NITDroid project has been slogging along this year in an effort to get Android fully ported to Nokia’s N900, and the progress has been promising so far — but wouldn’t it be nice if you could, you know, make calls? Looks like these guys are making some solid progress there with a new video showing both incoming and outgoing calls doing… well, something or another on the N900 side. Cellular data’s coming along nicely, too, as you can see on the video after the break — so here’s the million-dollar question: when this is rock-solid and ready for prime time, are you jumping ship or sticking with Maemo?


Microsoft set to up bit rate on Xbox Live voice comms, pwners everywhere rejoice

27 08 2010

This might not be as sexy as its recent physical redesign, but the Xbox 360 is about to take what might be a major leap forward for many gamers. The console’s voice chat codec is going to be tweaked in an upcoming system update to allow a higher bit rate, and consequently better audio, through. Originally put together to run on 64k internet connections with the original Xbox, the codec’s finally catching up with our broadband times and should see itself renewed some time this fall, potentially alongside the retail launch of Kinect. Great, now when 12-year old kids destroy us in Halo, we’ll be able to hear their high-pitched gloating with crystal clarity.


San Francisco rolls out new smart parking meters with ‘demand-responsive pricing’

25 08 2010

San Francisco has been working on making parking “smarter” for quite a while now, and it’s just recently taken another big step in that direction by starting to replace over 5,000 older parking meters with the snazzy new model pictured above. Those will not only let you pay with a credit or debit card (and soon a special SFMTA card), but automatically adjust parking rates based on supply and demand, which means you could pay anywhere from $0.25 to $6.00 an hour depending on how many free spaces there are. Those rates are determined with the aid of some sensors that keep a constant watch on parking spaces, which also means you’ll be able to check for free spaces in an area on your phone or your computer before you even leave the house. Hit up the link below for the complete details, and to check if the neighborhoods you frequent are included in the initial rollout.


Flash ported to iPhone 4, available for download

25 08 2010

Cydia is a great place to hang out, and we’re sure unlocking is pretty swell, but it’s quite possible you and your freshly-rooted iPhone 4 have already run out of fun things to do. In that case, might we suggest giving Frash a try? That’s right, Comex’s Strong Bad-inspired port of Adobe Flash 10.1 has been compiled once again, and though it’s still an alpha build there’s nothing keeping you from experiencing the joys of animated advertising on your iOS 4 device. Instructions are exactly the same as in our Flash how-to for iPad — jailbreak, download the .deb, upload it to a folder deep inside your phone via SSH, restart and you’re done — but if that sounds like too much work or you’re worried about your phone asploding prematurely, you can watch from a safe distance as Homestar Runner struts his stuff. You’ll find that and more in a video after the break, and a pre-compiled alpha build is available at our source link.

Google Envelopes turns Gmail into snail mail, wraps it in precisely routed Maps printout

25 08 2010

It’s a fantasy come true for the avid nerd / traveler, but unfortunately for us, it’s but a concept in its current form. Syracuse’s own Rahul Mahtani and Yofred Moik have dreamed up Google Envelopes, and if brought to production, this might just make the USPS as relevant as it was during the heyday known as 1985. Put simply, the solution would involve a new ‘Send Envelope’ method of passing along a note penned in Gmail; when pressed, you’d get a printout of the message along with a specially crafted envelope, the latter of which really makes this idea shine. The envelope itself would be a Google Maps representation of the quickest route to transfer said message from you to the recipient if roadways and kayaks were used in place of fiber and coax, giving the receiver a crucially awesome keepsake each time you dropped him or her a line. Oh, and having an ‘Avoid Tolls’ option would just totally put it over the top — even if were relegated to beta.

Google Envelopes, Beta Of Course

Designers Rahul Mahtani & Yofred Moik from the Industrial Design program at Syracuse University came up with this concept called Google Envelopes. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to map the course of mail and how it can tell a story? They came up with Google Envelopes, which can be sent through G-Mail itself. It’s only a concept, but totally viable and something people can immediately understand.

Designers: Rahul Mahtani & Yofred Moik