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100 GB 360 Hard Drive? Microsoft Chips? HD-DVD Player For Pre-order

Three Xbox 360-related tidbits:

There’s word going around that Microsoft will be releasing a 100 gigabyte hard drive for the Xbox 360. No real legitimate confirmation, and a very questionable photo, but it sounds interesting. Will it be for new consoles? A cheap upgrade? A very pricey and ridiculous upgrade? More news should be coming soon.
(via Digg)

The New York Times says that Microsoft is putting a lot of work into chip design, hoping to create powerful new semiconductors that power their next generation of operating systems, software and games. The research will benefit the third Xbox, as well as voice-recognition, and will better help Microsoft take advantage of multi-core processors. Could Microsoft actually manufacture chips in the next generation of consoles? Who knows.
(via Digg)

Also, if you really want that HD-DVD add-on drive, it is available at Gamestop for a $199 pre-order, shipping on November 7.
(via Geek Coffee > Digg)

October 19th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Xbox, Xbox 360 | no comments

Xbox Live Population Reaches 4 Million

Microsoft announced today that Xbox Live has reached its four millioth user, with six million users expected by June 2007. 70 million items have been downloaded in the first 11 months, thanks to over 70% of Xbox 360 consoles being connected to the service. Xbox Live Arcade has seen 12 million games downloaded. That is a serious chunk of market share not being properly accounted for, if you think about it. The most popular game on Live is Halo 2, with Call of Duty 2 catching up. Nine million voice and text messages are sent every week. Since November 2002, 2 billion hours have been logged on the service.
(via Major Nelson and Digital Battle)

October 19th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | one comment

Bloglines Releases IE7 Plug-in

Just a day after the browser hits, Bloglines did the smart thing and released a plug-in for Internet Explorer 7. The plug-in lets you subscribe to RSS feeds in Bloglines when you click IE7’s RSS button on the Command Bar, removing the need for a seperate button. Hopefully all the big RSS readers get smart and do the same. IE7 should have shipped with an easy way for users to add RSS readers to the feed view, but at least the plugin method works.

And yes, it works fine in Vista.

October 19th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Applications, Blogs, Internet Explorer | no comments

Microsoft Responds To Apple iPod Worm Sniping

From Reuters, in a story about the iPod worm infection:

Microsoft fired back in a statement, saying the virus does not appear to take advantage of a Windows vulnerability.

“We encourage all third party vendors to follow best practices and help protect their users regardless of platform through careful scanning of the software they ship, so that they do not expose their customers to unnecessary risk from malicious software,” the company said.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog, a very popular Apple blog, says, “It isn’t often that I side with Microsoft against Apple, but this is one of those times”. Good for them.

This is probably it for this story (what more can there really be?), so I just have to wonder: Why couldn’t Apple convince their manufacturer, whom they pay millions of dollars, to use Macs? Is it possible that the Mac just isn’t a very useful computer in the manufacturing sector? Could it be that the Mac just doesn’t provide enough benefits to those sort of companies, enough to offset its high cost and difficult to upgrade form factors? Nah, I shouldn’t talk about that; I’m not the type to snipe at others.
(via Digg)

October 19th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Apple | no comments

Orange Messenger To Add Windows Live Support

Orange Messenger, the IM application used by Orange’s mobile phones and internet service, will become Orange Messenger with Windows Live in December, bringing Windows Live to 135 million Orange customers in the UK and Spain. The link-up will allow video conferencing between Orange and Windows Live users on PCs, and text messaging between Orange phones and the Windows Live IM network.
(via Digg)

October 19th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Windows, Messenger, Live | no comments

bLaugh Does The iPod Worm

Chris Pirillo showed up in the comments to let us know that his Web 2.0 comic, bLaugh, had done a comic about the iPods-infected-with-worms story.


God, they’re fast. This comic came out the same day the story did! Brad and Chris are turning the comic strip industry on its ear.

October 19th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Security, Humor, Apple | no comments

Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 7

Windows Internet Explorer 7 has gone gold, released in its final public version today by Microsoft.

IE7 features:

  • Better security, including no integration with Windows Explorer, blocking many ActiveX controls
  • Tabbed browsing, allowing viewing of multiple web pages in the same browser windows, and can be re-arranged by drag-and-drop on the tab bar
  • Quick Tabs, which allows viewing large thumbnails of all current tabs in a single view
  • Spoofing protection for International Domain Names in a foreign language
  • A search box, which can support a very large number of search providers
  • Per-pixel alpha channel (transparency) in PNG images
  • RSS feed reading, with the browser able to auto-discover RSS feeds, subscribe to feeds, and automatically download updates and enclosure files
  • CSS, DOM and HTML compatibility improvements
  • Improved printing, including resizing to fit the page and prevent portions from being cut off
  • Zooming in and out of web pages
  • ClearType is enabled, regardless of Windows preferences, and can be disabled seperately from the rest of the OS
  • Phishing Filter, which warns users if they are visiting a website that claims to be something it is not
  • Popups display address bar and status bar, no matter what
  • No more custom formatting of the status bar or preventing showing links that are hovered over
  • One-click history, cookies, saved form data and password deletion
  • Combined Refresh/Go button
  • Combined Back/Forward history drop-down
  • Fix My Settings warns users at startup if settings have been changed in an unsafe way, and fixes them with one click
  • Support removed for: Gopher, Telnet, Scriptlets, DirectAnimation, XBM, Channels (Active Desktop), as well as the DHTML editing control, Offline Favorites
  • No Add-ons mode to launch the browser without anything extra, especially toolbars
  • File menu is hidden by default
  • Text selection is improved

Microsoft will continue to provide consumers in North America running Internet Explorer 7 with unlimited phone support for installation and download issues at no charge until November 1, 2007. Free phone support is available in English Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. PDT, and on Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. PDT by calling (866) 234-6020.

Ironically, the first version of IE7 to hit the internet today was the Yahoo-customized version, which makes Yahoo the default homepage and search engine, among other things.

You can download IE7 right now for Windows XP SP2, Server 2003, 64-bit versions of XP SP2 and Server 2003, and Server 2003 ia64

Internet Explorer at Wikipedia
Paul Thurrott’s review of IE7
IE7 Release Notes

October 19th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Applications, Internet Explorer | 4 comments