Archive for the 'Microsoft' Category
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The shorts for Tuesday 3rd October 2006 are:
- PSM3 Magazine get their hands on the PS3 – Fast, quiet, heavy and a dust magnet (above) [link] [video]
- Zune Wireless basically worthless – You can’t connect to the internet via it’s WiFi or sync to your computer via its WiFi [link]
- Microsoft Unbox Zune for CBS’ camera with blatant marketing speak – “brown is the new black is the new white” [link]
- DVD Jon has reverse engineered Apple’s FairPlay technology and is licensing it to companies [link]
In an effort to try and whip Sony in the HD war, Microsoft forgot to mention the fact that 1080p on the 360, won’t be so simple. Depending on the method you’re using to connect your 360 to your set, you will get different outcomes of games and movies. A Microsoft insider, on the AVS Forum, cleared it up for us all; for 1080p in all categories, you’ll have to buy a VGA cable, and not a HDMI cable.
Using your 360 with component cables:
- Xbox 360 games will be upscaled to 1080p, and games which are 1080p native (none yet) will run without a hitch.
- HD-DVDs will run at a maximum of 1080i, which is due to the AACS DRM implemented into HD-DVDs.
- DVDs will only play at 480p (ouch!), due to the CSS inside DVDs, which prevents upscaling any higher.
Using your 360 with a VGA cable:
- You’re all set, as DVDs, games, as well as HD-DVDs will display in full 1080p.
That is really underhanded for Microsoft to not tell us about this, as many people use the component HD cable that comes with the 360 to play games in high-def. I too use the component cable, and it all looks so good. Our Sony TV, actually doesn’t have a VGA input, but has 1 HDMI, which we use for Sky HD.
This really irittates me, as not only would it be good to finally have a good up-scaling DVD player, but we would have to buy a cable, for which not many TV’s support. Granted, there are TV’s which will have VGA inputs, but most don’t. Most have DVI, which is pure digital (while VGA converts analogue to digital), though you can get an adapter for that. Our TV doesn’t have DVI (hey it’s a good TV!), but we do have a DVI – HDMI converter. You may say that I could use the HDMI slot, as I wouldn’t be watching Sky the same time as playing on my 360, but then I would have 3 cables, the 360 VGA cable, a VGA to DVI cable, and our DVI to HDMI cable. I don’t know about you but all that converting doesn’t seem like a good idea, and I don’t know whether it would work anyway, because of the HDMI at the end.
Leave it to Microsoft to make such a stupid move.
Shorts for 24 September 2006.
Microsoft has apparently confirmed to IDG News Service, that all six versions on Vista will ship on one DVD. This means Microsoft only have to make one DVD and then apply stickers for relevant versions. This gives consumers an easy way to upgrade, if they like Vista and want more benefits from the more expensive versions, it saves them from having the buy another disk. They could get a serial key by email, and then pop in the old disc to upgrade.
This does, however, also mean that hackers will probably be able to rip the disc to shreds and find a way to get Vista Ultimate while only paying for Home Basic. After all, there are people who have less morals and just want the software, not me *cough*. It’s not like Microsoft is a multi-billion dollar company, with the world’s richest man as the head?
Today’s shorts for 21 September 2006.
- USBCell provides a rechargeable NiMH battery in the shape of an AA battery to use in normal devices (above) [link]
- Office 2007 details revealed for Mac, including new UI, with the ‘ribbon’ from Office 2007 for Window [link]
- Microsoft steals Zune P2P idea from WeedShare? [link]
- Apple sells 125,000 movies on the iTunes store within the first week of its launch [link]
- iTV has Hard-Drive, well according to Disney’s Iger, the answer is yes! [link]
When Microsoft announced that they are releasing Windows Vista RC1 I immediately went to download it. I didn’t in the previous BETA because I didn’t want to destroy my dad’s Windows PC. But now he wants to try it out so we downloaded it. However I realised that I needed to become a part of the Customer Preview Program to do this, which I didn’t sign up to back in June. However I found a good trick to get a key (this is legit and actually works!). The original site crashed but I managed to get the form (below). There is also another link you can follow, but I’m not sure whether that works for all countries, or just the US. Either way you can try them both So select your country and press go.
Note: You will need a Windows Live account (Passport.net account) to sign in.
Ah, another IE 7 beta version for the public to test and scrutinise.
Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) Beta 3 has been designed to make everyday tasks easier, provide dynamic security protection and improve the development platform and manageability. End user improvements include a streamlined interface, tabbed browsing, printing advances, improved search functionality, instant feeds (RSS), dynamic security protection, and more.
The specs are limiting users to the following spec: Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1 and XP Professional x64. And of course you will have to have that hated, Windows Genuine Advantage running. I tested out the beta before it reached the public and I just didn’t like it, and being a Mac user, there is no need for it. But it is better than IE 6, I think.
Microsoft has announced that Windows Vista Beta 2 is available for the public to download and test. The traffic was so overwhelming that Microsoft closed the download. It was only available for a number of hours. Hans Verbeeck managed to download his copy and he went to install it onto a MacBook Pro.
So how did he do? Well he succeded. At first he downloaded the x64 version of Vista, but then later realised this at an error screen. So he downloaded the right copy and things started to go smoothly. He installed Vista but an error screen came up saying that Vista had not installed correctly. However he said that this was not a problem and you just need to return to the install screen and us the ‘Repair’ link on the bottom left hand corner. That was the end, and he started to mess with the settings to get Vista looking good. Note: To get the Vista DVD working he had to go through a number of steps, which can be found on his blog.
I hope you don’t think I’m bashing Vista, because I haven’t tried it out. It seems quite cool, honestly, but I think it’s coming a bit too late. Windows Vista is what XP should have been. Anyhoo, I saw this article over at ComputerWorld where they list their 20 most annoying things that you probably wouldn’t like in Windows Vista. Granted this is from the Beta previews, so it can (and let’s hope it does) change. It’s a really long, 12-page, article so I won’t bother to really go into it. But they cover various areas such as Microsoft copying from other companies, and that it’s not the copying that annoys them, but the fact that they make it worse and not better. Other topics like graphics for Areo, Price, all the SKU’s (honestly it’s like 6+ versions!) and faulty assumptions on the start menu. It’s a really good and detailed article and I’d recommend it, no matter what your opinion is on the subject.
I know that Windows Vista is still in Beta — more than half a year till it arrives — but it is worth while mentioning how stupidly hard it is to delete a shortcut icon! No this isn’t an application, DLL or something important, but a bloody shorcut icon that merely points to a file. If you think the dialog box above is the only one, well you’re mistaken. Nicolai had to go through five dialog boxes before she could finally delete the icon from her desktop. You can see the steps she had to take at a Flickr posting.
Though this may only be a ‘bug’, if you could class it as that, Microsoft needs to understand the limits. It is good that Vista is asking us for permission for these sorts of things, but it is here when it goes overboard. They tried to over-do the idea from OS X, where to access a system file, or to delete a system file – not an alias though (like shortcuts), OS X asked you for verification once and after that it left you alone. I’ll say again that I know that Vista is still in Beta, but you can see from Microsoft’s ideas, that they are overstepping the boundaries of security. They tried to fix the flaws in XP by asking you for permission, but soon it will be ‘Are you sure you would like to open Firefox.exe, Firefox.exe is an application that has not been trusted by Microsoft and it may contain malware. OK are you really sure?‘ Listen to the community Microsoft, and get this fixed!