Since its inception, the Xbox and Xbox 360 have seen flocks of hardcore gamers flooding the Xbox LIVE network to play the latest Triple A FPS title. A couple of years ago at
E3 '09, after millions of frags were logged and countless hours of hailing Master Chief, Microsoft took the stage to say that while the gamers are the core of its existence, they wanted the Xbox 360 to be the center of your family entertainment and they wanted a console in every living room. With that came the announcement of Project Natal and good things to come in the future.
E3 '10, we saw the unveiling of the Kinect, Project Natal's permanent name, which proved to be the thing that accelerated Microsoft and the Xbox 360 beyond anyone's expectations, outselling the Move and even the iPad. We also saw an updated Xbox 360 Dashboard that contained several media-centric features. With the existing add-ons of Facebook, Twitter, last.fm and Netflix, everyone was excited to see what was next.
What came next happened in November, with
another Dashboard refresh that included ESPN3, Netflix and Zune enhancements. Then last month we saw the addition of the long-awaited Hulu Plus tile on Xbox LIVE.
All of these things are important because it is proof of Microsoft standing by the ideas and goals they want to set for themselves. After all of the updates and improvements, the Xbox 360 really has made itself the center for all of your family's entertainment.
Where does this bring us to? Frank Shaw, the VP of Corporate Communications for Microsoft, posted a blog entry this week that indicated Microsoft's mission to further push the entertainment part of the console.
We have what he said and what we expect to be the next phase of this plan after the break.
Spotify has shacked up with Facebook in a move that could launch a Facebook integrated music-streaming service on the social network in as little as two weeks. Word has it that the service is currently undergoing heavy testing, but once it goes live, Facebook's users in Finland, France, Norway, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK will see the green Spotify logo along the left of their newsfeed, with the familiar photos and events pages as well.
Why just those countries? Well, as we know, Spotify has yet to launch in the US, despite the
deal signings with Sony and EMI. Warner has still not come to their senses and Universal hasn't been talking to the European-based streaming service very much. However, negotiations are continuing and Spotify is trying to surround the US by getting in with its popular websites in hopes that the attention will give them some deals. For now, the service on Facebook will only be available in areas where Spotify exists, and there's still no word on whether it will be called Facebook Music or Spotify on Facebook.
However, there's still more to discuss on the Facebook front. Click the break to see how this partnership will play out.
Apple fanboys are willing to trade all kinds of crazy things for an iPad - tons of money, their integrity, but one Chinese boy was willing to trade even more - one of his kidneys. The boy, 17-year-old "Zheng," was searching for a way to raise enough money to purchase an iPad 2 but could not find a viable source. That is, until he met a broker online who offered to pay 22,000 yuan, or about $3,000, for one of his kidneys.
The operation took place totally without his parents' knowledge or, obviously, consent. The only way they knew what had happened was when his mother realized her son had both an iPad and an iPhone and knew there was no way he could have afforded them. She questioned him and he folded and told her the whole story. She reported it and the cops are investigating.
This really goes to prove the theory that
Jon presented that Apple users are delusional, but this is a definite exaggeration of the theory. I hope this is an isolated incident and more people don't start doing this.
You know that annoying guy at work who is always posting on Facebook about what a jerk his boss is? Well, we know a lot of companies have strict policies against it and some are known for firing those employees. However, most companies do not have such policies against their customers speaking ill of them. I will emphasize most because this week brings us an example of a company who apparently does have a policy against customer badmouthing.
The company is Vodafone and the story goes like this - customer gets mad at Vodafone's handling of a legitimate complaint and does what all people do when they have no other options, he posts online.
Finally got Vodafone to admit that across Mumbai they have only 50% cell sites on 3G. Spoke to CEO (chief executive officer) and CMO (chief marketing officer). Told them that this is blatant cheating.
CMO in typical babu style told me if you aren't happy with service, you have choice to move to another operator. I told I choose to stay with Vodafone and give them grief if I don't get promised SLAs. Grudgingly he made 2 months 3G plan free worth 2500.
What was their response? Hit the break to find out.
2011 is going to be a really great year for sony. First,
the PlayStation Network was hacked, then they released financials showing a huge decline and now this: Sony Pictures was hacked. This week's Sony hacking comes to us from a group called Lulz Security. The group is known for hacking into large companies' networks that should know better to demonstrate their believed superiority and to gain information.
In this case, Lulz got out with a list of about 1,000,000 users personal information, including email/password combinations. They claim that their crime was carried out with a simple SQL injection. I am hoping that Sony is smarter than to use security-free platforms for web development, but based on past evidence, I am guessing this is correct. To prove their crime, Lulz released 50,000 email/password combinations in a RAR file, as well as around 20,000 Sony music coupons, plus the admin database for Sony BMG's Belgium offices.
If this does not convince Sony that they are either an antique company that is ready to retire or that they need to start all of their endeavors over from scratch, then I don't know what will. At the very least, this should get them to reevaluate their position in the world. I can't wait to see what they say this week at E3.
As we have proven over the
past few weeks with Sony, hacking is bad. The question is, is hacking always bad? It turns out that the answer is no; hacking is not always bad.
MI6, with help from James Bond, hacked into the computer system for the English-speaking terrorist magazine,
Inspire last year with some pretty amusing results. They took files containing instructions for bomb-making and swapped them with content from the best possible source to infuriate Al Queda - the Ellen DeGeneres show.
What did they publish instead of bombs? Hit the break to find out.