Networking companies are beginning to deliver the new Vista-friendly Media Center Extenders that Microsoft outlined earlier this month. D-Link's entry in the race is the DSM-750. Like competing models, the DSM-750 attaches to a TV (standard or high-def) and streams live and recorded TV, video, music, and photos from networked Media Center PCs located elsewhere in the home. An update of the older DSM-520, the 2007 model adds dual-band 802.11n wireless (which has the speed and bandwidth for optimal streaming of HD video) as well as compatibility with the popular DivX and XviD video file formats. Unlike similarly … Read more
Back on September 2, I wrote about why I think someone buying a Windows computer should opt for XP rather than Vista. More and more, Microsoft customers are opting to hold off on Vista.
In April, Dell reversed reversed it's Vista-only stand and started offering Windows XP again to consumers.
Gregg Keizer of ComputerWorld reported in July about two surveys by PatchLink (now known as Lumension) of their business customers. The first survey, in December 2006, found that 43 percent of businesses were planning to move to Vista. By July of this year, a similar survey showed that 87 … Read more
Toshiba has officially announced the Gigabeat T400, a $120, 4GB MP3 player that has the potential to give the iPod Nano and Creative Zen a run for their money. We'll have our full review up on CNET in the next few days, but our initial impression is that the audio and video quality are both excellent. We are pretty bummed, however, that it has a maximum capacity of just 4GB, with no room for expansion. Also, where's the Wi-Fi found in the Japanese version? Still, with a 2.4-inch QVGA screen, and support for WMV video, as well … Read more
Microsoft said Monday that it has finished a planned update to its Windows Home Server software, paving the way for Hewlett-Packard to finish its product based on the new operating system.
HP, which had expected to be one of the first to offer a home server based on Microsoft's software, earlier said that it would wait for this update before releasing its MediaSmart Server. The changes are designed to improve the products "usability and out-of box experience," Microsoft said.
The software update is also being made available to other Windows Home Server customers via Windows Update. More … Read more
Microsoft on Monday said it has released a beta version of the first service pack of Windows Vista to about 12,000 testers.
Microsoft had said back in August that it expected to start private testing of the service pack within a few weeks. The update is largely a collection of bug fixes and performance and compatibility improvements, but includes some minor new features such as support for the ability to encrypt multiple hard drive partitions using Vista's BitLocker feature.
FixMyMovie is a new service that takes your pixelated digital video clips and does its best to fix them. The technology stems from MotionDSP's processing technology, which is similar to what's used in government intelligence operations to improve those dark and grainy security films--like you see in movies.
The entire process is fairly straightforward: Just upload and tag a supported movie file, and the service will crunch it on its servers. You get a note by e-mail when it's done. Once it's finished you can preview the first 10 seconds of the enhanced version, as well as compare before and after results live, by pressing the "compare" button. What's even cooler is a stills mode that lets you compare the before and after with an easy-to-use slider that follows your mouse. Whatever's on the left of the slider is the old, with the new on the right.
To grab the improved film, there are download options for multiple formats, including iPod-formatted H.264, Adobe Flash, and Windows Media. You can also grab quick embed code to stick it in any blog, which I've done after the break.
I tried out the service on several video clips this morning and got improved results on every single one of them. The most dramatic improvement of all was with text, which managed to turn almost unreadable pixelated words into legible sentences. Just be wary, though: The service can only handle clips up to 352x288 in resolution, which means the VGA videos from your digital camera aren't going to cut it. Older cameras, on the other hand, are fine.
FixMyMovie is launching in beta at this morning's DEMOfall conference in San Diego with $25 worth of free processing for everyone while still in its beta period. Eventually, FixMyMovie plans to charge users for the option to enhance video and still images, which can also be captured manually by users within the Flash player. I can see this service being hugely popular, as everyone wants better looking video clips, and ways to improve older, lower resolution clips.
Update: It's worth noting you need the latest beta of Adobe Flash 9 to view videos on the service (which makes the neat, live before and after feature possible). You can pick it up here, or just get a feel for what it can do with the screenshot below.… Read more
Among the many criticisms of Windows Vista, one that even Microsoft's own engineers should agree upon, is that it's not easy to access essential system information. Stardock's TweakVista unifies all the bits and pieces that you might want to change under one circus tent, but TweakVista's interface is no chaotic circus.
SAN FRANCISCO--Microsoft next week plans to issue its first Windows Server 2008 release candidate, a near-final version of its operating system, a senior executive at the software company said Thursday.
"We expect the release candidate next week," said Mike Neil, Microsoft's general manager of virtualization, in an appearance during a speech at the Intel Developer Forum here.
The release candidate will include a test version of software code-named Viridian and formally called Windows Server virtualization. This "hypervisor" allows multiple operating systems to run simultaneously, a useful technology in improving server efficiency and eventually leading toward … Read more
Updated: Microsoft now says image uploads to non-Microsoft photo sites will be possible.
BURLINGAME, Calif.--Microsoft developed Windows Vista in part to make it easier for people to manage their digital photos. Now it has released beta software that's trying to refine that experience further.
Windows XP leaves much to be desired with photo management, Mike Nash, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Windows Product Management, said Wednesday in a talk here at the InfoTrends Digital Imaging conference. On the list of gripes: XP lacks abilities to edit, archive, search, tag and edit images; it can't support the … Read more
USB Flash drives are great. Securing them, however, is not so great. They are easily lost and the more you use one, the more likely it will contain files you consider sensitive. Corsair recently came out with a product that takes an entirely new approach to securing flash drives.
Seeing as this is a Defensive Computing blog, it goes without saying that my personal flash drives are secure. I use a free, open-source program called TrueCrypt. There are however, three problems with this approach:The hassle of installing TrueCrypt and learning how to use it. There is a portable version … Read more