Archive for June, 2008

MySpace opens up data, helllooooo spammers

MySpace made good on a promise today to let users take their data with them to other websites and even competing social networks. The social network will offer a rich set tools for third-party developers and enforce strict standards to protect users’ data and privacy.

Last month, MySpace surprised the industry by announcing its Data Availability Initiative, a plan that MySpace’s CEO Chris DeWolfe summed up as “the walls around the garden are coming down.” Until recently, most social networking sites, including Facebook and MySpace, haven’t offered easy methods for users to move or share their data with other sites, let alone competing networks. Aside from some kind of hacked backdoor method or a third-party scraping utility, you couldn’t easily port the photos or all the personal information you’ve added to MySpace over to Facebook or Google’s Orkut. You would have to sign up at those other sites and reupload those photos all over again manually. (link)

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Microsoft finally fixes 360 DRM bug

There are a few different reasons you might not be playing on the same Xbox 360 system that you originally bought. You might have upgraded to an Elite system for the bigger hard drive and black HDMI. More likely, your original system died and you were forced to have it replaced. Gamers who received new systems were in for an unpleasant surprise when they redownloaded their Arcade games or hooked up their old hard drive: the games they paid for would only work when connected to the Internet. No network connection, and they all reverted to demo versions. Microsoft has just released a tool that allows you to move those licenses over to a new console, but the question remains: what took so long? (link)

Rogers 3G iPhone: no unlimited data plan

Here we have it, iPhone 3G pricing for our better mannered, gun-toting friends up north. All the plans from Rogers Wireless require that lovely, three-year contract and include visual voicemail, free evenings and weekends, and unlimited WiFi at all Rogers and Fido hotspots. The plans start at $60/month for 150 minutes of voice and just 400MB of data before topping out at $115/month for 800 minutes voice and up to 2GB of data. None of these plans offer unlimited data as previously rumored. See the details after the break. (link)

Legit game purchases:1 Pirated: 20

The other critique outside Crytek was the fact that the PC industry is really, at the moment, I would say the most intensely pirated market ever. It’s crazy how the ratio between sales to piracy is probably 1 to 15 to 1 to 20 right now. For one sale there are 15 to 20 pirates and pirate versions, and that’s a big shame for the PC industry. I hope with Warhead I hope we improve the situation, but at the same time it may have an impact on [our] PC exclusivity in the future.

But at the end of the day, I think our message is if you’re a PC gamer, and you really want to respect the platform, then you should stop pirating. We will see less and less games appearing on the PC, or less and less games pushing the boundaries of PC gaming. Or, in other words, speaking in terms of PC exclusivity, we would only consider full PC exclusives–if the situation continues like this or gets worse–I think we would only consider PC exclusive titles that are either online or multiplayer and no more single-player. (link)

Seagate offers up new Maxtor 1 TB NAS

To address the growing consumer need for storage in the home, Seagate today announced the Maxtor Central Axis network drive, a network storage drive that can be used by the whole family. This latest drive from Seagate provides a terabyte of storage that every computer in the home can back up to. In addition to media streaming capabilities for video, photos and music, the new Maxtor Central Axis network drive also includes an easy-to-use remote access service that allows people to easily and securely retrieve content stored on their network drive through any Internet browser.

A concept once only reserved for the small business and enterprise space, networked storage is increasingly becoming a viable option for multiple-computer homes. According to Yankee Group’s 2008 Device Survey, of those who purchased network routers for the home, 75.9% did so with the intent of providing multiple computers with access to the Internet. The challenge of these multi-computer households is the ability to share and back up files from each computer. Maxtor Central Axis network drive allows for each computer in the home to be automatically backed up, so important files and precious memories are sheltered from virus infections or disc drive failures. Sharing files from computer to computer is easy when there is one repository for any file that you would like to share. Additionally, since the storage device is connected to the router and not formatted for an individual computer, files can be accessed and stored from both Mac OS X and Windows operated PCs. (link)

Numbers show Bell’s throttling making congestion worse

In the accompanying letter, Bell buckles up and takes a tortuous metaphor involving roads for a lengthy drive in order to illustrate its point that even low congestion numbers can cause big problems. Visualize a traffic accident at a busy intersection: even though the “network” is congested at only one point, it can still have repercussions for users in the entire area. Just to make sure no one gets the idea that these low percentages are actually no big deal, Bell spells out its message in small words so that we can all understand.

“While these numbers may seem low to the average layperson,” says the letter, “they are significant and network traffic engineers such that it is important to consider the number of congested links in the proper context.” (link)

Dell Studio: my next laptop

Dell today introduced “Studio,” a new consumer product line designed for self-expression and creative living. Studio products are highly expressive and personalized – inside and out – combining aesthetics and technology into a fresh approach to hi-def mobile lifestyles.

“People seeking stunning design, brilliant colors, and innovative new technology find inspiration in Dell’s new Studio brand,” said Michael Tatelman, vice president of Dell consumer sales and marketing worldwide. “These products are built for today’s digital nomad based on the millions of conversations we have every year on dell.com, Ideastorm and community forums. With Dell Studio we’re answering the call for personalization, connectivity and simplicity.”

The first Dell Studio products are two distinctively styled laptops, the Dell Studio 15 and Dell Studio 17. These laptops combine sleek designs, striking visual color elements and personalization options with features such as standard built-in webcam, capacitive touch media control buttons, slot load drives, and optional mercury-free LED displays and built-in mobile broadband. They are available today on http://www.dell.com/studio starting at $799 (Studio 15) and $999 (Studio 17) and will be available at Best Buy and Staples stores in the next few days. (link)


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