Seriously, how many spare Xbox 360s does Benjamin Heckendorn have laying around? By our count, this is the third instance where the modder extraordinaire has shoved Microsoft’s latest console into something that’s theoretically playable on one’s lap, and obviously, this one is the best one evar. Dubbed the Xbox 360 Portable, the unit is said to weigh almost as much as his sister’s cat, and it differs from most other on-the-go 360s by featuring a removable standard Xbox 360 hard drive, two accessible memory card slots, no keyboard (use the chatpad!), an internal WiFi module and beveled edges for extra safety. We’d ask what crazy mod he’s planning with all the free time coming up over the holiday break, but honestly, we’d prefer to be surprised.
It might make for good business practice, but damn if Microsoft’s plan to “invest” in South Korea’s software industry “as part of the US giant’s drive to strengthen its presence in the country” doesn’t sound a bit desperate. After all, shouldn’t your software be so compelling that governments and companies fall all over themselves for the rights to use it (eh, hem: Android)? In a $60 million deal announced after Steve Ballmer lobbied
met with South Korea’s president, Lee Myung-Bak, Microsoft will train software designers, support venture firms, and establish a tech center in South Korea over the next three years. The Korean government will invest about $8.4 million. In separate but related deals also announced today, Microsoft entered into a vague agreement with LG — having something to do with convergence using LG’s mobile gear and Microsoft’s WinMo OS — and opened a research center with Hyundai to develop new IT products and services for automotive applications. Thumbs up, indeed.
Read — $60,000,000 investment
Read — Hyundai deal
Read — LG and Microsoft
With HP’s touchscreen laptop looming on the horizon, out come the leaks of an ASUS touchscreen lappie scheduled for launch in the first half of 2009. Touchscreen Eee PCs too (finally, right?) if DigiTimes‘ sources at panel makers are correct (which they tend to be with regard to ASUS). According to the Taiwanese industry rag, ASUS will likely use either a 12.1-inch or 11.6-inch touchscreen panel developed by AU Optronics (AUO) or Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO). What’s odd here is the claim by sources that the touch-panel notebooks “are expected to take advantage of Windows 7″ and presumably the new Microsoft OS’s multi-touch capabilities. Strange, since Windows 7 isn’t officially expected until sometime in early 2010 — a date looking more and more like a publicly padded goal to avoid the bashing Microsoft received for its Vista delays. The whispers certainly add a bit more credence to rumors of a 2009 release as expressed by Bill Gates himself, or more specifically June 3rd, 2009 as allegedly marked in the internal Microsoft calendar.
Microsoft Zune 1.8″ Green 4GB MP3 / MP4 Player
Green 4GB Zune, with originals art
Wahoo! I feel so cool, I just got a Zune! Funny thing is, a lot of people asked me before-hand “why didn’t you get an Ipod… I’ve never heard of a Zune before” now many of those same people are saying things like “Jeez, I wish I would of known about the Zune when I got my Ipod.” Learn to do some product research people! Besides I hate copycat products so there was no way I was getting an Ipod! I mean seriously, just look at them they’re designed almost exactly alike, especially as far as looks go. (And yes, the Zune was first, there are several beta product photos out that pre-date the Ipod by a long shot, before the Zune even had a rightful name).
Anyways, at a decent quality setting ripping my CD’s to my computer I’ve only been able to fit around 1,000 songs, both Charlie the Unicorn videos, and a few photos on my Zune, but that’s not so bad. It’s only a 4gig one so I can’t say too much. I was just kinda looking for something that I could listen to in the car when driving home from taking Rose to her house (no radio in car), and have a decent song collection when I am away from the computer (God forbid I should ever leave the computer!) the Zune has filled those tasks quite nicely!
As you’re undoubtably aware, Bill Gates is set to retire on June 27th at the ripe old age of 52. Bill’s Harvard bud, Mr. Dancin’ Steve Ballmer, also 52 and a notable fan of the developers, has been itching to take over since his appointment as CEO back in 2000. Speaking at an event on Tuesday, we now know that he intends to remain in command, “for another nine or 10 years… until my last kid goes away to college.” Still, as easy-going as the relationship appeared at D, the transition was forged in fire. In fact, the power conflict was reportedly so severe, according to the Wall Street Journal, that it “paralyzed business strategy decision that the company still wrestles with today.” The tension at least once unravelled into a public shouting match (no really, from Ballmer?) between the two. The struggle was apparently resolved in 2001 when Bill finally accepted that he was number 2, “I had to change,” says Gates. Keep in mind that Bill will continue “working” for Microsoft one day a week and serve as the chairman of the board after his so-called retirement. And with Ballmer packing up Gates with a parting quote like, “I’m not going to need him for anything. That’s the principle. Use him, yes, need him, no,” well, let’s just say things don’t seem 100% resolved.
Read — Retirement
Read — Conflict
We didn’t think it’d take too terribly long to make it happen, but Albatron is taking Microsoft’s heed and is already demonstrating a prototype 22-inch monitor with multi-touch, intended for use with whatever Windows 7 will eventually come to be called. The early verdict on the 1680 x 1050 display? TG Daily says it “works much better than we expected,” but we said the same thing about Surface when it debuted last year — so maybe it simply works as well as it should.
That 80GB Zune above looks mighty familiar, now doesn’t it? At least it does if you checked out our totally wild guess mockup that we created upon hearing of this gem. The limited edition Joy Division-themed Zune has finally been pictured (officially) and priced, with just 500 of ‘em to be offered up through the Zune Originals website. Of course, we have no idea how quickly these will (or won’t) go, but if you’re looking to grab one, we’d have that trigger finger ready to roll on June 17th.
CORSAIR Flash Voyager 4GB Flash Drive (USB2.0 Portable) Model CMFUSB2.0-4GB
Corsair Flash Voyager 4GB Flash Drive
It’s really nice having a flash drive with 4 gigs of storage space, but that’s not why I bought this drive. Well it is, but only partially. I bought a larger flash drive primarily for ReadyBoost Windows new technology to help speed up your computer! Instead of using swap space on your hard drive, or taking up valuable RAM windows will now use a flash drive (if you’ve designated it) to work as a cache, it’s also supposed to help speed up your system.
I looked into a lot of different drives, some cheeper, some more expensive, some claiming to be faster… but what really got me was I found a few different lists of people who show you how to find what speed your drive is running at for ReadyBoost and record it. The Corsair Flash Voyager series seemed to hold the crown for every list I looked at. How accurate those lists are I don’t know, they’re not really scientific, and no one really verifies results, you just plop your results into a database and vuala so in actuality people could say whatever they way.
We’ll see here in a few weeks how things actually work out. And if Windows Vista really does have a nice trick up their sleeve.
Customers will be able to download SP1 tomorrow; retail versions will be in stores on Wednesday.
Microsoft’s long-awaited service pack for Windows Vista is reported to be heading to consumers tomorrow. The RTM version of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) was first released to testers in early February after a lengthy gestation period.
Customers will have two ways to obtain SP1: a stand-alone installer can be downloaded directly from Microsoft’s Download Center or users can get the update through Windows Update where it will be labeled as an optional update. Systems that have drivers which are currently known to be incompatible with SP1 will not be permitted to install the update.
“Customers who visit Windows Update can choose to install Service Pack 1. Any system that Windows Update determines has a driver known to not upgrade successfully will not be offered SP1,” said a Microsoft spokeswoman.
SP1 already caused problems for some testers who installed the RTM version, so Microsoft is likely trying to minimize a problematic launch for a larger consumer-based rollout — the last thing that Vista needs is more fuel added to the fire that surrounds the operating system.
Customers will be able to purchase retail-packaged versions of Windows Vista with SP1 already incorporated starting on Wednesday. Those who pick up the retail versions will also take advantage of new, lower pricing that Microsoft introduced late last month.
Microsoft dropped the prices for Windows Vista Ultimate (Full), Windows Vista Ultimate (Upgrade), and Windows Vista Home Premium (Upgrade) to $319, $219, and $129 respectively. Interestingly enough, Amazon.com offers even lower prices for the software on its site at $299.99, $194.99, and $94.99 respectively.
Don’t want to wait until March for Windows Vista SP1, but not feeling the whole torrent thing? Microsoft has posted a disc image to its OEM partner site with a full copy of SP1 on it, and the download is free — if a bit slow at the moment, thanks to all y’all grabbing a copy. The 1.2GB disc image requires you run it as a clean installation, so you’ve gotta ask yourself it’s just worth waiting a few more weeks for an easy peasy update courtesy of Windows Update. Decisions, decisions.
[Via Download Squad; read link is the disk image]