xbox_web.jpgNetZero debuts free wireless service
NetZero’s back: United Online Inc. will offer free wireless Internet service under its NetZero brand, which started the free dial-up phenomenon in 1998. Users won't have to look at advertising. The free plan is a lure for customers with the hope of upselling them to paying plans.

But consumers will need to buy a $50 antenna stick that plugs into a laptop, or a $100 mobile hotspot that connects a Wi-Fi equipped device to the Internet. The free accounts are limited to 200 megabytes of data per month — enough for email and Web surfing, but little else.

Groupon launching scheduling tool
Groupon is launching a tool letting users book appointments for massages, haircuts, guided tours and other services they purchase. Businesses can also use it to book appointments that are not sold through Groupon Inc. Groupon’s incentive: It is trying to offer more services and tools that encourage small businesses to run more deals through the company. The catch: Restaurants and hotels aren't eligible. Groupon also may charge businesses that haven't offered any Groupon deals, though it's giving the service free to businesses that sign up in the next three months.

No new Xbox anytime soon
Microsoft says it's not coming out with a new Xbox gaming console anytime soon. Some video game players had hoped that Microsoft Corp. would unveil an upgrade in June at the E3 Expo, the big, annual video game conference in Los Angeles where game makers show off new wares and titles. But the company says it won't discuss new Xbox hardware at the event. Rather, it plans to focus on games, music and other entertainment for the Xbox 360, which came out in 2005. Nintendo Co. will be showcasing the Wii U, the successor to the Wii.

Unlike the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3, the current Wii doesn't offer high-definition graphics, so it's in greater need of an upgrade.

Photo: COURTESY OF rdemgmt.com

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