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DVD Streaming Coming To Media Center

Soon, Media Center users will be able to stream DVDs from their PC to a Media Center Extender. This means that you can pick up an Extender that doesn’t have a DVD drive, hook it up to any TV in the house, and not have to hook up anything else to get TV, DVD, music, and other Media Center applications. Previously, only Sony’s super-expensive XL1B 200-disk DVD changer could do it, but now anyone should be able to just pop a DVD in the PC, and watch it anywhere in the house. Huzzah!

January 10th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Vista, Media Center, Windows | no comments

Gates Demo Featured “Pivot” Interface?

WMExperts is saying that in Bill Gates CES keynote, you could see a pivot interface running on one of the demo phones, not unlike the pivots used in the leaked Windows Mobile 7. Now, we know Windows Mobile 6.1 might be using pivots as well, so don’t be surprised if that was it, but it’s still interesting to see Windows Mobile UI that hasn’t been announced yet, no matter what version it’s from.

January 10th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Mobile, Windows Mobile | no comments

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Flash Version Of Geometry Wars

Someone has translated the hit Xbox Live Arcade game Geometry Wars into a free Flash game. It isn’t as fun or exciting as the full version, but it does have the same basic gameplay and similar graphics. If you haven’t tried out Geometry Wars, check it out, or find a site to download the free Geometry Wars clone Grid Wars for PCs.
(via Digg)

January 10th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Xbox Live, Xbox 360, Xbox | no comments

Live Video Now

Check out the Ustream page or watch it here, I’m broadcasting now. We’ll be looking at some pictures I took last night, then we can talk about any topic anyone brings up. After that, I’ll try to get in a product review, maybe look at the Centro (finally!).

Here’s the video. If you want to say something to me, the chat box is there for you (or you can do it even easier on the Ustream page). There are already 27 viewers, so it should be fun.

January 10th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General | no comments

Xbox Live Diamond Switching Administration, Adding Subscription Fee

Microsoft is turning over Xbox Live Diamond, the card program that gives you discounts at certain retailers and eateries, giving control of the program to Passport Unlimited. Passport will begin charging a yearly subscription fee of $6.95 a year starting March 1, and will not be accepting new registrations until then. While the fee isn’t much, so long as you actually use the card, one wonders how many Xbox Live users have actually taken advantage of the offer.

January 10th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Xbox Live, Xbox | no comments

Video: Bill Gates Mobile Navigator

ZDNet extracted this video from the keynote Bill Gates gave at CES Sunday night, showing the mobile navigator Gates demoed. Take a look:

Getting a better look at it now, you can see what they did. The device in Gates’ hand was most likely a camera connected by cable to a computer, or it was the full system in a box just outputting video of its final result. Gates really did shoot the video live, and the navigator software did process it in real-time, then Microsoft placed the video inside an image of a cell phone, which is why when the video is shaky in Gates hand, the background doesn’t shake behind it.

The main thing is that, in all appearances, Microsoft did have a technology that worked successfully in real-time. Now they just have to reduce the size of the device and expand the number of objects it can recognize, and it’ll be an amazing addition to Windows Mobile devices and maybe even regular PCs.
(via the Virtual Earth blog)

January 10th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Mobile, Windows Mobile | no comments

Sidebar Update For Vista Improves Security

Microsoft has released an update for Windows Vista’s Sidebar that improves the security of the platform. The update generates unique identifiers for every single Sidebar Gadget and allows the Sidebar to block the installation of known malicious Gadgets. Additionally, it will now warn you if a Gadget you already have installed or in your Gadget Gallery is marked as malicious. Once Microsoft marks a Gadget as a bad boy, it will be cleaned off all systems running the update, making it easy to prevent Gadgets from hurting your system.

Download the update here, read more about it here.

January 10th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Sidebar, Vista, Windows | no comments

DirecTV Coming To Media Center

Word has been leaking out about DirecTV’s upcoming tuner box for Windows Media Center, which will let you watch and record satellite TV on your computer. While we don’t know what sort of restrictions it will have, appearances are that it won’t be as locked down and crippled as CableCARD, good enough for the satellite company to make the cable industry look stupid. The dual tuner will allow watching live TV and DVR recording, and can stream to Media Center Extenders.

Photo by cassidydr under CC license

January 10th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Vista, Media Center, Windows | no comments

Office Live Adds Spaces Blogs, Custom HTML Editing, Outlook Sync

The Office Live Small Business blog announces a ton of new features for users running their website, free or paid, under Office Live. All accounts, even the free ones, get the ability to integrate a Windows Live Spaces blog into their website, as well as the ability to more deeply customize and personalize their website with custom headers and the ability to use your own custom HTML, import or edit XSLT code, and customize headers and footers on every page.

Other new features include full synchronization with Outlook, not just of email, but also contacts, calendars and tasks. Mailboxes are bumped up to 5 gigabytes of space, plus AdManager is no integrated, and the reporting and analytics system is significantly improved. There are some other improvements, some of which are only for Essentials and Premium users.

The full list of changes:

Changes at a glance …

Office Live Basics

Here’s how we’re improving your service:

Web site design and management

  • Site Designer tool is now easier to use
  • Customize the look of your site even more by replacing template header with your own custom header
  • Easily add a blog to your Web site with the new integration with Windows Live Spaces Blogs
  • Slideshow creation is now easier than ever and you can now add captions to your images
  • For our advanced users and professional Web designers, a new advanced mode adds more flexibility in design and layout, You’ll now have the ability to:
    • Customize header, footer, and navigation on a page-by-page basis
    • Import or edit custom XSLT code
    • Use custom HTML and third-party design tools

E-mail accounts

  • All customers can now take advantage of full synchronization with Outlook 2007 for e-mail, personal contacts, calendar, and tasks
  • Mail storage capacity expanded to 5GB per user e-mail account


  • The reporting system is completely redesigned and enhanced
  • With new adManager integration, you can monitor search advertising efforts with and, along with your Web site traffic
  • Analyze performance of all your sales and marketing campaigns in a single place
  • Track Web site conversion points, click-through, and page views for each marketing campaign

 Note   The reporting system will experience a service interruption when the application is upgraded

Office Live Essentials

You’ll get all the Office Live Basics improvements, plus these:

Contact Manager

  • Contact Manager is completely redesigned and easier to use
  • Quick search lets you find contacts fast
  • Preview individual contact information before you select the contact for more details
  • When a prospect or customer fills out a form on your Web site, they can be automatically added to Contact Manager with notification sent to any e-mail address you want

Team Workspaces

  • Workspaces are now easier to set up and manage
  • Granting and managing permissions to workspaces is easier than ever
  • Improved ability to take workspace contents offline with Outlook 2007 and data export features
  • Easily display information stored in workspaces on your public Web site

Office Live Premium

You’ll get all the Office Live Basics and Office Live Essentials improvements, plus these:

Business Applications

  • Business applications are redesigned and are simpler to use
  • Re-order tabs with a simple drag-and-drop
  • You can rename tabs and data with a single click

It’s amazing how powerful Microsoft has made Office Live, considering that you get most of these features with a free account, including a free domain name. You can create such a powerful website using Office Live’s free tools, good enough for most small businesses.
(via LiveSide)

January 10th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Office Live, Live, Office, Windows, Applications | one comment

Video Demo: PointUI

I did some live streaming video this afternoon, and even recorded a short demo of PointUI, a really cool program manager/shell replacement for Windows Mobile devices. PointUI is a touch-optimized application, with flicking, swipes and kinetic scrolling, and a much bolder way to access all your regular Windows Mobile programs and functions.

I’m loving playing with PointUI in the last week, and I’ve even run into non-technical users who already have it installed, so there’s no doubt it’s a hit. There are a few bugs (which I apologize for overstating in the demo; they’re not that bad), and the program desperately needs more customization options, but otherwise it is a must-have program for any Windows Mobile device.

PointUI is a free download, so get it here.

I’ll be doing more live video stuff, especially now that I’ve got a nice tripod, so head to the UStream channel page and check it out. Even when there’s nothing going on, I’ll try to keep the video on, and when I can’t, I will try to stay in the chat room, which is also embedded in this post.

January 10th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Windows Mobile | one comment