Posts Tagged ‘Instant Messaging’

Instant Messaging Comes to the Xbox

Microsoft is adding Instant Messaging to the Xbox platform on Live, allowing the 6 million Xbox Live users to instant message the 260 million users on the Live Messenger service. You will be able to chat with up to six users and you will be able to plug in a USB keyboard to use.

Microsoft announced this evening that they will be integrating Live Messenger into the Xbox platform on May 7, linking 260 million Live Messenger users with 6 million Xbox Live users. Xbox Live users will be able to chat with up to six contacts simultaneously by plugging a USB keyboard into the Xbox. Gamers will love this. The video below shows some of the new features (taken from Kotaku). Source: Microsoft Adds Instant Messaging To Xbox

From the press release from Microsoft,

?Bringing the largest IM community in the world, Windows Live Messenger, to Xbox 360 makes sense, as Xbox LIVE has really become the largest social network on television,? said Jerry Johnson, product unit manager of Xbox LIVE at Microsoft. ?For our growing community of 6 million on Xbox LIVE, using Xbox 360 is a very social, connected experience. They are using Xbox 360 to play games, music and movies while simultaneously communicating with one another through video, voice and text chat. With this announcement we are simultaneously expanding the access of Xbox LIVE users to existing friends and family while introducing Windows Live Messenger users to the benefits of Xbox 360.? Source: Instant Messaging Comes to Xbox 360, Expanding the Largest Social Network on Television

Other features that will be added include:
A richer Achievement notification pop-up will showcase the name of the unlocked Achievement and the gamerscore value without needing to leave the game to check the Achievements list.

Enhanced family settings features for Xbox LIVE communications enable different defaults for video chat and voice chat.

A new Xbox LIVE Marketplace blade lets Xbox LIVE members access the content they seek ? whether it is game content or TV shows and movies (available in the United States) ? from one place on Xbox LIVE.

Updates to Xbox LIVE Arcade allow owners to quickly see which Xbox LIVE Arcade games their friends are playing and join in the fun. Xbox LIVE members can also compare progress of leaderboard scores and Achievements directly with all friends on their friends list. Expanded Tell a Friend capabilities make it easier than ever to boast about Achievements and high scores.

A new option in Auto Downloads provides faster access to the entire collection of free, trial-version Xbox LIVE Arcade games.

New progressive download controls provide easy access to optimal viewing options by letting people fast-forward, rewind, pause and resume as their video is downloaded from Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

Extension of the background download functionality will allow owners to set their Xbox 360 console to turn off automatically after downloads are complete.

Here is a demo video that Techcruch linked to.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 9, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Categories: Xbox   Tags: , , , , , ,

MS Messenger Block on Pif Files is Case Sensitive

Recently, Microsoft blocked the spreading of Trojans on the Messenger network by blocking .pif files, two out of the three viruses at the time were using .pif files to spread themselves. How did that work?

Not too Good!

Apparently, all the hackers had to do was change the extension to .PIF, or .Pif or .pIf, and the filters let the messages flow on through.

Each of the links lead to a different Trojan-downloader. The downloaders download a variety of adware and adware-related Trojans.

Moreover, IM-Worm.Win32.Licat.c is also downloaded, which in turn launches a new mass mailing of the original message. Nothing unusual, right?

Wrong! Both worms spread using links to .PIF files. But some of you might remember that Microsoft blocked messages containing “.pif”?

Yes they have, but… the MS block is case sensitive!

So the criminals used capital letters, “.PIF” and the network filters let the message flow right through. Other variations like .Pif, .pIf, and so on also work.

We have notified Microsoft of this and hope they take the necessary actions. In the meantime, users and admins should beware. Source: Analyst’s Diary via Security Fix

One of the best solutions for all instant messaging users is to only allow people on your buddy list to send you messages, while this wont block the viruses that your friends contract, it will at least block the ones from EVERYONE else. Then you still have to decide whether you really want to click on these links at all, it would probably be safest to message them back real quick and ask what it is, if they don’t know what link you are talking about, then they probably have a virus. As always, update your anti-virus, scan for spyware frequently and lets be careful out there.

Update: According to their weblog, here, MSN has fixed the problem with the different pid extensions working.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 25, 2006 at 11:59 am

Categories: Adware, Security, Virus Info   Tags: , ,

Do Your Kids Spend Too Much Time Online?

Read this article on about kids and their online time, Parents fret that dialing up interferes with growing up, it mostly talked about how much more time kids are spending online, chatting, playing games, etc.

A report on teenagers and technology released this summer by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that teenagers’ use of computers has increased significantly. More than half of teenage Internet users go online daily, up from 42 percent in 2000, the report said; 81 percent of those users play video games, up from 52 percent.

Instant messaging has become “the digital communication backbone of teens’ daily lives,” used by 75 percent of online teenagers, according to the Pew report. “Parents are really struggling with this,” said David Walsh, the president of the National Institute on Media and the Family, a nonprofit educational organization in Minneapolis that began a program this year to help families reduce screen time and increase physical activity. “As the gadgets keep evolving, they keep consuming more and more of our kids’ time. Our kids need a balanced diet of activity, and the problem is that it’s getting out of balance. I don’t think as a society we’re dealing with it yet.”

Parents are mostly worried about their kids spending too much time in front of the computer and not getting enough activity and contact with the real world.

A survey of 8- to 18-year-olds by the Kaiser Family Foundation this year found that the total amount of media content young people are exposed to each day has gone up by more than one hour over the past five years, to eight and a half hours.

But because they are multitasking, young people are packing that content into an average of six and a half hours a day, including three hours watching television, nearly two hours listening to music, more than an hour on the computer outside of homework (more than double the average of 27 minutes in 1999) and just under an hour playing video games.

I have the best solution in the world to help parents regulate their kids online time. Little League sports. Baseball, football, basketball, softball, soccer, flag football, there are any number of little league sports and every area has some local little leagues you can join with things to do for both boys and girls. Little League will make sure your kids are getting exercise, they will help your kids develop character, they will help your kids realize things like not everyone can be quarterback, not everyone can be CEO of an organization. It will help teach your kids about life, about teamwork, about sharing and giving, and it will reward them with experiences they will cherish forever. Sure, there are up and downs, in every game there is one loser and one winner, but these experiences will prepare them for the real world, and it will help them get the exercise every child needs, as well as shorten the amount of time they have to sit around and chat with their friends online.

Plus, you have the added benefit of strengthening the local little leagues who are losing kids every year, there are so many different things kids can be doing nowadays, like playing games on their Xbox or PS2, watching movies, chatting on the computer, browsing sites online, etc. I’m President of our local baseball little league and it’s a lot of work, it’s not for everyone, but I can tell you, I would love to have lots more kids show up this baseball season, to help make our league stronger, help our kids get stronger and healthier, plus, they get exposed to lots more kids when they start playing the other teams from other leagues, kids they will end up in high school or college with one day.

Many parents say they are limiting screen time, checking their children’s Web-surfing histories and using filters to block objectionable material. Another strategy is to keep only one computer in the house and to place it in a common area, like the family room, better to monitor children’s online habits.

Another strategy is to take your kids to little league, stregthen their bodies and minds at the same time. I didn’t play any sports when I was little, my dad was a gear head, but you don’t have to coach if you don’t want to, their is always someone willing to take that task on, plus, it will enable your kids to be able to coach their kids or their grand kids. I can’t wait to see what my boys and girl can do with their kids when they grow up, and I can’t wait to be sitting in the stands watching my grand kids play baseball and football just like my kids. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Here is a link where you can search for your local little league baseball teams, Click here.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 24, 2005 at 9:57 am

Categories: Ramblings   Tags: ,