Microsoft officially pulled the plug on its Zune streaming music service on Sunday, shoveling dirt on the final remnants of its digital media venture that began to unravel in 2011 when the company discontinued the media player. Users will no longer be able to stream or download content from Zune, but those who subscribed to Zune Music Pass will automatically be moved to Microsoft’s Groove service, which is compatible with Xbox One, Windows 10, Android and iOS. The Zune was Microsoft’s failed attempt at taking on the Apple iPod in 2006, and immediately received negative feedback. [PCWorld]
Fifty years ago, Fred DeLuca was an entrepreneurial Connecticut teenager who wanted to earn money for college, and didn’t actually know anything about restaurants or about sandwiches. He asked a family friend, Peter Buck to loan him $1,000, and opened up a sandwich shop called Pete’s Super Submarines. (Co-founder Buck came up with the concept.) Nine years later, the first franchise opened, and 50 years later there are more than 44,000 restaurants worldwide. [More]
The flagship L.L. Bean store in Freeport, Maine doesn’t close. It literally does not have locks on its doors. Yet it’s going to close next weekend during the funeral of the company’s former longtime president and the grandson of founder L.L. Bean himself, Leon Gorman, who died yesterday at age 80.
Your lawn might look a bit sadder today: The man who created those unmistakable bright pink flamingo garden adornments has died at 79. Donald Featherstone was a trained sculptor who came up with the flashy bird design in 1957 for plastics company Union Products, based on a bird he saw in National Geographic. Millions of the lawn ornaments have been sold since then. [via Associated Press]
You’ll have to excuse us if we’re not in the greatest spirits today, as we’re in mourning for the loss of Walmart.horse, the nonsense website that Walmart spent actual time and money to shut down and acquire. [More]
Amazon Shuts Down Service That Let Users Test Apps Before Buying Them Because No One Was Really Using It
If you haven’t used — much less heard of — Amazon’s TestDrive service, designed to let customers check out how an app works before buying it, you’re not alone. The company says it’s shutting the program down due to “a significant decline” in usage, among other factors.
While Twitter has allowed users to upload photos directly to their feeds for quite some time, some users still prefer Twitpic for hosting and sharing their images. But Twitter apparently has an issue with the “Twit” part of Twitpic’s name, so the service will soon cease operations instead of getting caught up in a drawn-out legal fight over a name. [More]
Reigning two-time Worst Company In America Electronic Arts recently announced that its future game releases would not include the much-hated Online Pass program, which charges a fee to owners of used games to access online content, but there were still questions about whether it would keep the program alive for existing games. Now we have an answer. [More]
Last month, Consumerist voters chose video game publisher Electronic Arts as the Worst Company In America for the second year in a row. Whether the company listened or not, we have no idea, but it is doing something that will make some gamers happier. [More]
Many of my earliest memories are sitting three or four abreast in the front seat of the family’s powder blue Chevy Nova. Years later, I remember packing friends onto the bench seats of my ’71 Malibu (a lovely hand-painted pickle green) for hours of terrorizing the streets of suburban Philadelphia. So it’s with a tear in my eye that I hear today about the disappearance of this American icon.
If, like me, you’re not a stranger to scanning through the meager offerings on late-night TV, you will more than likely recognize TV pitchman Don Lapre, whose numerous get-rich-quick ads became so infamous he was spoofed on Saturday Night Live. They also landed Lapre in an Arizona jail on charges of, among other things, mail fraud and promotional money laundering. And this is where the 47-year-old was found yesterday morning, dead of an apparent suicide.
After half a decade of fruitless attempts to compete with the iPod, Microsoft is said to be phasing out the Zune, apparently no longer planning to release updated versions due to low demand.
Yesterday the Internet seemed to be stepping over itself to break the news that the Sony Walkman — the handheld icon of the mix-tape era — had finally died a quiet death. Only problem is… that’s not exactly true.
The British millionaire and philanthropist who purchased battery-powered scooter-type thing company Segway less than a year ago died yesterday while tooling around his property on one of his own devices.
In a sad bit of news, Morrie Yohai, the man behind longtime snack fave Cheez Doodles — responsible for millions of orange-stained fingers each year — passed away last week at the age of 90.
If you always wanted to roll like Michael Scott on The Office but hadn’t yet gotten around to purchasing a PT Cruiser, you might want to hurry. The last of the once-popular vehicles was slated to leave the factory yesterday.