The next time you turn on your Xbox 360 and connect to Xbox Live, you'll be asked to download the latest dashboard update from Microsoft. Like previous updates in the past, this spring '07 update is filled with dozens of tweaks and additions to make life a little easier and more enjoyable when navigating through the 360's operating system.
This time around, Microsoft has focused the update on communication, as support for Windows Live Messenger has been added to the system. Additionally, Microsoft has announced that sometime in the summer it will release a keyboard attachment for all … Read more
Some 280 million Hotmail users are getting a brand-new in-box today. If you're already using Hotmail, a green button will invite you to try the new service when you log in, while the beta tag disappears for testers (pictures here).
Microsoft is also building bridges between its desktop and browser-based e-mail services. The Windows Live Mail beta download should be available later this month, succeeding Outlook Express and Windows Mail. Also later in May, expect to see the free Microsoft Office Outlook Connector beta, which will synchronize contacts, e-mails, and folders with the new Hotmail. The current Outlook Web … Read more
This is why I love the Internet.
Director Rob Reiner has created a 15-minute sequel to his mockumentary classic This Is Spinal Tap, a portrait of rock's most famous semifictional heavy metal band. While Reiner's short film was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, it won't be released in theaters any time soon.
It is available, however, online.
The short is in part a promotion for Live Earth, environmental charity concerts scheduled for July 7 at locations across the globe. Proceeds from the concerts will help fund a worldwide environmental program led by Al Gore. … Read more
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After more than two years of overhauling its free Web e-mail service, Microsoft plans on Monday to drop the "beta" term from its Windows Live Hotmail service, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.
Microsoft has already dropped the beta tag in a few places, including the Netherlands where the service launched in final form back in November. The company also decided back in February not to completely drop the Hotmail name. Until then, Microsoft had been testing the product under the Windows Live Mail name.
Throughout the testing process, Microsoft has been adapting the product … Read more
New owner of an Xbox 360 Elite? Well, if you were planning on transferring your Xbox Live Arcade games along with the rest of the data from your old 360, think again. There seems to be a major problem with how the transfer kit imports the games, involving DRM--yes, even games now suffer from this poorly thought-out technology. After a successful hard drive transfer, all of your purchased Arcade games will magically downgrade to demos. In order to have full access to these games, you must sign into Xbox Live (thanks to Joe at The Pensive Gamer for pointing this … Read more
Baseball fans will want to keep an eye on this promise. Microsoft's Silverlight could be used to bring live Major League Baseball to your mobile phone. The MLB folks were on stage at MIX in Las Vegas, showing off the next generation of baseball video services. Their capper was a live game on a Windows-enabled cell phone. We've embedded MLB's presentation to the left.
Pikspot is a new social network for groups to upload and share media. Each group can create its own themed page and add various pieces of content such as audio, video clips, and images. It's not a P2P network per se, consider it a media-hosting site like SplashCast with extended group features. Will it be the next big thing in media distribution? I'm not so sure about that, but it is launching with a lineup of content from several TechTV notables who have formed a channel called UndoTV. For any Webware readers who have watched CNET TV's new call-in help show CNET Live, this might be right up your alley.
Adding media to Pikspot channels is fairly simple. There's a batch uploader for photos and plenty of options to tag and credit content. Channel owners can also opt to let subscribers (registered users who have added the channel to their subscription list) add their own content. To sort through it all, there's a simple search. You're also able to browse through tagged content in a cloud, which is pretty neat looking.
Any Pikspot channel or piece of content can be embedded off-site on blogs or social networks. Like some of the embeds we've seen recently with SplashCast and Kyte.tv (hands-on), Pikspot lets users browse through the channel's entire content catalog and interact with other community members via comments without leaving the embedded player.
To customize a Pikspot channel, owners can select from a large selection of templates, or make their own using a fairly full-featured editor that gives complete control over the color scheme and branding. Any site still retains a small banner at the top of the page to bring you back to Pikspot, like you get on Blogger, Ning, and other networks.
The Pikspot experience is fairly slick, but I do have my nits to pick, mainly the upload speed for adding media to the service, which I found to be really slow. I'd like to see the inclusion of a live chat for each channel, as I had a lot of fun with this feature using Kyte.tv recently. That being said, the commenting system is really simple and includes a Digg-like way to vote on which comments are (and aren't) worth reading.
I'm very interested to see which other content providers stick their work on Pikspot. Since anyone can upload content, we're bound to see some copyrighted items on there. If it's anything like Joost, with the right people in charge, we'll see more partnerships and content provider-sponsored channels fairly soon.
I've embedded a Pikspot player below.… Read more