Thursday, November 30, 2006

Xbox 360 Update Available

Microsoft has a released an update to the Xbox 360 to this's Xbox Live service today to fix some problems it has been having with 1080p resolutions, VGA connections, and wired headsets on wireless controllers.

From Engadget

Yet Another Video Downloading Service

Walmart will be joining the likes of other online retailers (Apple, Amazon, Google, etc.) in offering a video downloading service beginning with the release of the Superman Returns DVD. We will continue to see an increase of video downloading services with different restrictions and business models emerging through the next few years until we can't see how it was any other way. Many people only buy the music digitally from iTunes or some other online store. As more people have high speed internet access and home theater systems, people will be more likely to stay at home and watch high-definition movies and TV shows which they will be able to download on demand. Think about how much money you'll save on popcorn!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Microsoft Zune Review: iPod Killer or iPod Wannabe

Ars Technica has published a review of the new portable digital media player designed to compete with the Apple iPod called the Zune. The Zune has the same abilities to play music, photos, movies, and tv shows (minus podcasts) as the iPod, so one might wonder what makes the Zune so special. The Zune does have wireless capabilities for sharing your digital media with your other Zune friends and comes in black, white, or brown (and pink). Since the November 14th launch of the Zune the sales have not demonstrated a huge demand for the hip new device. Read the review to learn more about the features and faults of Microsoft's venture into the digital media arena.

My recommendation is to determine what it is you want to do with your digital media (or what you want to do if you had any). If you just want to listen to music the iPod shuffle or Nano should work great for you. If you really want video content then you now have a new choice with the Zune. Keep in mind that any of the digital media you purchase will only work with that company's player. So if you 've already invested money into your iTunes media library you should ask for an iPod to be wrapped up in your stocking this Christmas.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Apple Sends out Software Security Update 2006-07

Apple released their seventh security update for 2006 to squash some bugs that could cause problems if the wrong person was interested in hacking your shiny Macbook. Be sure to run Software Update and download the 23 MB system patch.

Read more

Get Your YouTube Fix on Your Phone

Verizon is cutting a deal with YouTube ("GooTube") to provide some of the quality, home grown video content you crave right to the main stage of your cell phone screen.

Adware: Coming to a Mac Near You

F-Secure has discovered what may be the first adware for the Mac which will cause additional advertisement pop-ups in the Safari web browser. Currently the software inspected was provided as a proof-of-concept which means that Mac users are still safe from adware...for now.


Ars Technica Wii-view: A review of the Nintendo Wii

If you are shopping for a gaming console for you or a loved one this season you may want to read Ars Technica's review of the Nintendo Wii. The price is right, and the features are revolutionary.

Other reviews:
Sony Playstation 3
Microsoft Xbox 360

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bugs in Every Computer

One thing you should know by now is that computers have problems every now and then. Windows users know that one must have antivirus, antispyware, firewalls, a good browser, and some common sense just to keep your computer from being hijacked from some spyware/adware/malware. A new trend in computing is to use an alternative choice for your computer like buying a Mac or running Linux. However these alternatives also come with security vulnerabilities. One anonymous hacker reported a vulnerability in Mac OS that can be exploited through a DMG (disk image) file through Safari. No security updates have been issued by Apple yet, but the recommended course of action is to not use Safari (i.e. use Firefox) to download DMG files or to turn off the offending feature. See the article from Betanews to find out more.

Updates, updates, updates: Be sure to keep your OS and software applications up to date.

How Many Megapixels is Enough?

This holiday shopping season don't be fooled by those greedy, commission-driven salespeople trying to sell you that 10+ megapixel camera for hundreds of dollars if all you're wanting to do is take pictures of the family. According to David Pogue, you won't be able to tell the difference between a 5, an 8, or a 13 megapixel camera even when blown up to a 16x24 picture. In addition, buying a higher megapixel camera will require a larger storage card costing you more money for the camera and the card. Stick with a camera in your budget that will take the pictures you need to take. If you're looking for cameras that will take some great pictures, head over to Flickr's most-used cameras page compiled from their online photo sharing website.

Make Your Next Visa a Cell Phone

BBC is reporting on a technology called near field communications (NFC) that could enable cell phone owners to make purchases using their phone as the transaction device. NFC is currently used in inventory management processes, but manufacturers are looking to expand the technology into a very ripe market of mobile phones.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Weekend for Gamers

This weekend marked a milestone for gamers in North America as Sony and Nintendo launched their next generation game consoles.

A Bit of History
Nintendo once dominated the gaming industry with its NES and Super NES systems. While there was some competition from the Sega consoles, Nintendo held their domination until the Sony Playstation came out. Utilizing optical discs (CD's) instead of gaming cartridges allowed the Playstation to move into a whole new era of gaming. Nintendo decided to stick with the cartridges for the N64 console, but by that time the Playstation 2 entered the market which brought DVD-based games for better graphics. Since then Sony had their corner on the market until Microsoft decided to enter the console business. No one could have predicted that a gaming console based on Microsoft technologies called the Xbox could have been so successful being so late in the game (pun intended).

Next-generation Consoles
Microsoft decided to be the first to launch the next generation console which would eventually feature more online features and most importantly high definition gaming when they released the Xbox 360 just in time for the holidays in 2005. People stood in lines for days to get their own Xbox 360. Now a year later Nintendo and Sony have been gearing up to release the Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3 just before Christmas 2006. Again desperate gamers and profiteers stood side by side for days, some in inclement weather, to purchase their own Playstation 3 for $500 and their Nintendo Wii for $250. Both consoles were sold out on the first day of availability, and both manufacturers promise another shipment in about two weeks.

See the consoles side-by-side.

The Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 are gearing towards high-definition gaming while the Wii is focusing on whole new way of interactivity with video games using motion sensing controllers. All three companies are looking to be the device that provides you with the content you want right at your TV including video games, online content, and digital downloads.

Microsoft Xbox 360
Sony Playstation 3
Nintendo Wii

Monday, November 06, 2006

BetaNews | Office 2007 Goes Gold

BetaNews | Office 2007 Goes Gold

Microsoft has released to manufacturing the final version of Office 2007. It is expected to be available for purchase on November 30, 2006 to corporate customers and in January for consumers.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It’s official: Vista and Office 2007 to launch November 30

It’s official: Vista and Office 2007 to launch November 30

As promised by Microsoft, Windows Vista will be delivered in 2006 beginning on November 30 to corporate customers. The almost official date for consumer availability will be January 30, 2007. Microsoft's big announcement will also include the immediate availability for Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Exchange 2007 on November 30th as well marking the first time Microsoft has released a new operating system and a new office suite (and email server) on the same day.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dell and AMD get together for new Inspiron 1501 laptop - Engadget

Dell and AMD get together for new Inspiron 1501 laptop - Engadget

The rumors of a sub $500 notebook computer from Dell featuring their first AMD processor has almost come true today. The new Dell Inspiron 1501 sports an AMD 1.6 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 60 GB hard drive, and an integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 256 MB graphics. While Dell didn't break the $500 barrier, they are starting the Inspiron 1501 at $549. If you're shopping for a great laptop for the upcoming holiday season for yourself or someone else be sure to check out Dell's new Inspiron 1501.