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Halo Wars Trailer

Here’s a little extra from X06 today, the trailer for the upcoming real time strategy game Halo Wars:

Wow. Looks amazing. Makes Halo 2 look like crap, and makes me real excited about Halo 3.

September 27th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Halo, Xbox 360, Xbox, General | 2 comments

New Version Of Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer has been updated with a smattering of new features, usability improvements and bug fixes. The rundown:

  • Support for tagging
  • Support for the new Blogger Beta
  • Categories list fixed. It is now sorted by name, scrollable (before it was completely broken if you had too many categories and ran off the screen)
  • Faster startup
  • Can paste into the Title field
  • Can tab and shift-tab back and forth from the Title field
  • Right-click on selected text to insert link
  • Insert Link dialog has Title tag
  • Custom date support for Community Server
  • Improved keyboard shortcuts for switching between views
  • Spell check shortcut key is now F7
  • PNG included in Insert Image dialog
  • Better image uploading to Live Spaces
  • Improved blog style detection
  • Fixed issues with pasting URLs and links
  • Remembers last windows size and position
  • Retrieve more than 25 recent posts

There’s also a new section on the Windows Live Gallery for Writer plugins. Currently there are only seven listed, but they’ll get all of the many Writer plugins in there, and then all the other sites listing the plugins will watch their readership disappear.

To download the new version, just click here.

Read more at the Writer Zone blog, Mike Torres

September 27th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Writer, Live, Windows, General | one comment

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Elmo Tops iPod

I find this funny: Searches for the new Elmo TMX tickling doll overtook interest in the iPod almost as soon as the product was released, according to the always-interesting Hitwise blog. While iPods may seem ubiquitous, nothing beats the big E. Apple needs to get that baby market by releasing an iPod wearing Elmo, and a version of the Shuffle with child safety features (you could choke on that thing!).

September 27th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, General | no comments

X06 Keynote Report: HD-DVD Drive, Doom Arcade

Microsoft’s got a lot to announce at the X06 conference today. Here’s what we’ve heard:

You should be able to download the secret Xbox Live Arcade game right now. What is it? Doom. The original Doom, available at 800 Microsoft Points, gives you the original four-episode single player game, four player split screen for both co-operative play and head-to-head deathmatch, and four-player co-op and deathmatch over Xbox Live.

A full first-person shooter with online play for ten bucks, even one with the sprite based graphics and two-dimensional gameplay of Doom, should be a monster hit. The demo is now online, and I just tried it out. The graphics are fluid, and some textures have been improved, but for the most part it is the same game you’ve played a hundred thousand times.

The Xbox 360 HD-DVD Player will drop for a mere $199.99 in North America, and €199.99/£129.99 in the UK, France and Germany. It will ship with a copy of King Kong on HD-DVD, and the 360 Universal Remote. Sounds wonderful.

Xbox Live is getting exclusive episodes of GTA IV. They will be released months after the game hits in October 2007, continuing the story of the game with hours of new content and gameplay, and will be entirely exclusive to the Xbox 360. Huge bonus for Microsoft, as anyone buying their console for that game, or anyone who owns both consoles, will choose the 360.

Microsoft has sold 5 million consoles as of June, and is projecting ten million by the holiday season.

The Splinter Cell game after Double Agent (called Splinter Cell Conviction) will be an Xbox 360 exclusive. That is HUGE.

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will be making a new game set in the Halo universe, but not a Halo game. Presumably, this is the Forerunner title we’ve been hearing about. Again, huge.

Microsoft will also release Halo Wars, a real-time strategy game.

Joystiq is live blogging. I’ll update if there are any more announcements.

September 27th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Xbox Live, Xbox 360, Xbox, General | no comments

Interview With Clippy

Associated Content has an “interview” with Clippy, the paperclip from older versions of Microsoft Office. It is too much fun to skip.
(via Digg)

September 27th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Office, Humor, Applications, General | no comments

List Of Vista-Incompatible Apps

There’s a wiki collecting a list of applications incompatible with Windows Vista, as well as those known to work and those known to have some problems. Included in the incompatible lists are software like some versions of Nero (if you install it under XP and then upgrade to Vista, as I did, you’ll be fine), some older versions of AVG Antivirus, Roxio Easy Media Creator, Microsoft Expression Web, Azureus (bit torrent), ZoneAlarm Pro, Rhapsody, Microsoft Money 2006.

On the other hand, many security products do seem to work fine, despite popular belief. In the “working” list are Ad-aware SE Personal, Spybot - Search & Destroy, McAfee AntiSpyware Enterprise, McAfee VirusScan Enterprise, Norton 360 Beta, Symantec Antivirus, as well as Adobe Premiere Pro (can confirm that one myself), DVD Decrypter, WinRAR, Half-Life 2, Photoshop CS2, DivX, QuickTime, Winamp, AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk, Skype, Microsoft Office XP, Microsoft Office 2003, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Earth, Google Picasa, RocketDock, and tons of other applications.

Lucky for all of us, even at this early date, almost everything works with Vista. I’ve yet to encounter a serious problem. Microsoft should be compiling this public list, but at least someone is.

My only real problem is with applications disabling Aero Glass. In fact, if anyone at Microsoft wants to explain how I can turn off the preference that shuts off Aero every single time Quicktime loads, I’d be a very happy boy.
(via Mary Jo Foley)

September 27th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Vista, Windows, Applications, General | 9 comments

Two Quick Links Re: IM and Xbox 360 Price Drop

Two quick stories I didn’t want to devote whole posts to:

There’s a rumor Microsoft will cut the cost of the Xbox 360 to introduce a new version bundled with the HD-DVD drive. The new bundle would cost the old $400 price, while the regular premium 360 will drop to $300. Too early to know if it’s legitimate, but the price cut could kill Sony and make Nintendo look bad in one fell swoop.

At some point today, all Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger users will be able to communicate. Huzzah! You’ll only need the latest stable version, not a special beta, so enjoy!

September 27th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Xbox 360, Live, Messenger, Xbox, Windows, General | no comments

Poor Grammar Suggest Grand Theft Auto IV an Xbox 360 Exclusive

Read this quote from Microsoft’s own Gamerscore blog, written by Xbox and Microsoft Games employees:

And, let’s not forget that Xbox 360 will be the only console that gamers will be able to experience the next generation version “Grand Theft Auto IV” (Rockstar) and “Halo 3” (Microsoft Game Studios) in 2007.

So, what would you think if you read this? Most people would go, “Wow, I had no idea GTA IV was exclusive to the Xbox 360!” And, of course, you would be mistaken. GTA IV is very famously launching on both the 360 and the Playstation 3 on October 16, 2007. What Gamerscore meant was that the 360 is the only console to have both GTA IV and Halo 3. Both. Which is the same as saying it is the only console to have the ability to play video games and Halo 3, a completely useless and misleading statement.

Please word your blog posts better in the future. We don’t need those Sony fanboys calling us liars.

September 27th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Xbox 360, Xbox, General | no comments