Posts Tagged ‘Windows Live’

Live Mesh Updates

I have been playing with the Live Mesh Tech Preview for a week or so now, all I have really used it for is to play with uploading files, which, last time I tried you still did one at a time, and the remote desktop connections. The remote desktop is the killer part of it as it is free and requires only the Live Mesh software, at least, as far as I have noticed. I have only tried it on a couple desktops, one behind a corporate firewall and one behind my wireless router and they both have worked great. Today the Live Mesh blog announced that it has been updated and that it will be available to more people.

Version numbers
Live Mesh software: 0.9.3103.9
Live Desktop: 0.9.3103.9

Fixes

  • Raised the limit on the total number of customers we’ll allow to access the Live Mesh Tech Preview.
  • Expanded availability: you can sign up directly, with no waiting list, if your country/region is the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, or New Zealand.
  • Removed the limit on the number of Live Mesh invitations you have. Invite friends and family members to the Live Mesh Tech Preview.
  • For our customers in countries/regions other than those above, we’ve greatly simplified the waiting list process. You no longer need to sign up through Microsoft Connect. You can sign in with you Windows Live ID on http://www.mesh.com/, click Sign Up, and you’ll automatically be notified once Live Mesh is available in your country/region.
  • Improved the performance of peer-to-peer synchronization.
  • General performance improvements.

Source: Live Mesh: Next Update Announced

So, I now have unlimited invites, if anyone wants to try it, email me at webmaster at this site and I will send you an invite, you will need a Windows Live ID to signup though.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - July 30, 2008 at 5:53 pm

Categories: Live, Microsoft News   Tags: , ,

Todays Tech News

Again, too much stuff to really comment on, so here are the highlights.

Aero and battery life First off, the Aero theme drives the GPU harder and therefore uses more power. But in the big picture, it’s really not that much more, the display on most laptops will consume somewhere between 15-25% of your power when you are running on battery. Nevertheless, in our testing we’ve seen that turning on Aero consumes only about 1-4% more of battery life. In terms of making your battery last longer, turning off Aero will not go very far while at the same time costing you some of the cool features that make Windows Vista fun to use, such as Flip 3D, taskbar previews, window transparency and so on.

Microsoft Details Patent Breaches Microsoft has given the most detailed description to date of the number of open-source computer programs it says infringe on its patents, but the company says it still prefers licensing deals with open-source developers, software distributors and users instead of taking legal action against them.

Facing the full horror of Windows Vista So far, Transit has been using Vista Business full-time for a fortnight. And so far, we’ve found nothing that works better than in Windows XP, dozens of things that are annoyingly different without being a functional improvement, and several things that work at best intermittently and at worst not at all. On the whole, we wish we’d never moved. Sounds like a bunch of whiners to me, I mean, come on, after one day they are ready to go back? Sounds like someone wanted some website traffic.

Microsoft delves further into manufacturing with Zune plant Microsoft is making a new push in hardware manufacturing by building a factory in China to produce its Zune media player. The factory will produce a second iteration of the Zune, which has so far failed to impress.

Microsoft building a Zune factory The fact that you all voted the Zune Worst Gadget of the Year in the recent Engadget Awards doesn’t seem to be causing any hand-wringing in Redmond, as Microsoft confirmed today that they’re building a dedicated Zune factory in China with an unnamed partner to crank out the oft-rumored next-gen Zune. Probably because there are so many Apple guys on Engadget?

WinHEC 2007 has begun Uncle Bill went on stage 30 minutes ago to begin this year?s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference. For those who aren?t familiar, this is the place to see the some of the coolest new hardware coming to the Windows ecosystem. If you must see the news as it happens, then go and grab the hot and tasty WinHEC Keynote stream.

Twitter Cloning: Tiny Blogs Bloom Everywhere Over the past few months, a flood of clones has appeared, imitating and repurposing the micro-blogging concept popularized by the San Francisco-based social networking start-up. People generally use Twitter to post short status updates telling their friends via SMS what they’re doing right this minute.

Sneak peek at Windows Live Folders Microsoft’s new Windows Live Folders feature still isn’t ready for public release, but the system showed up online briefly, giving folks a chance to see what the Redmond-based software company has planned for the future in online storage.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 15, 2007 at 6:17 pm

Categories: Tech News, Windows Vista   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Microsoft Security Roundup

Major Nelson says we weren’t hacked, in reference to accusations that some accounts were hacked into and taken by other users, and says there is no evidence that there was any compromise at all of their security on Xbox Live.

Despite some recent reports and speculation, I want to reassure all of our 6 million Xbox Live members that we have looked into the situation and found no evidence of any compromise of the security of the Xbox Live Network or Bungie.net. There have been a few isolated incidents where malicious users have been attempting to draw personal information from unsuspecting users and use it to gain access to their LIVE account. This is a good time to remind our members that they should never give out any of their personal information. Additionally it may be a good idea to download this free PDF file from Microsoft.com ‘ Help Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft? that gives you some excellent information and tips on how to protect yourself. Source: Xbox Live Security

But this website, Security Focus, lists how you do it, and it is a simple social engineering technique, you call them up and say hey, my Xbox crashed or my friend changed my password, of course, they won’t do it for you right off the bat, you need to keep calling and picking out bits and pieces of the info that you need.

“We here at Infamous steal at least 10 accounts a day depending on there (sic) levels,” claimed a site belonging to Clan Infamous, which bills itself as “the best account stealing + boosting clan” in Halo 2. “If you talk s**t we will mod on your account until it is banned. If the levels on it are good, we will use the Credit Card on your account to then change the gamer tag.”

The clan’s Web site, however, does detail the method its members use to steal accounts. Rather than hacking computer servers, the clan’s account stealers claim to rely on social engineering to convince support personnel at Microsoft—and its subsidiary Bungie Studios, the creator of the Halo game series–to help the attackers take control of the accounts. To do so, the players spin a story about something going wrong with their account–from a crashed box to a sibling changing the password–and ask for help “recovering” the data.

“You call 1-800-4my-xbox, pretend to be that person, make up a story about how your little brother put in the information on the account and it was all fake,” stated the Clan Infamous Web site. “You might get one little piece of information per call, but then you keep calling and keep calling, every time getting a little bit more information … once you have enough information you can get the password (and) the Windows Live ID reset.” Source: Account pretexters plague Xbox Live

So, no, they weren’t hacked, technically, but they are being socially engineered out of the info and helping them take the accounts. One would think that Microsoft would keep record of the calls made about each account, then it would be easy to tell if this is really happening.

And other news I’m sure Microsoft is just loving, they were declared Most Secure OS by Symantec, a company who isn’t to happy with Microsoft right now because of the Patch Guard stuff. The report is Internet Security Threat Report, and it is summed up nicely on the Internet News site.

The report found that Microsoft (Quote) Windows had the fewest number of patches and the shortest average patch development time of the five operating systems it monitored in the last six months of 2006.

During this period, 39 vulnerabilities, 12 of which were ranked high priority or severe, were found in Microsoft Windows and the company took an average of 21 days to fix them. It’s an increase of the 22 vulnerabilities and 13-day turnaround time for the first half of 2006 but still bested the competition handily.

Red Hat was next requiring an average of 58 days to address a total of 208 vulnerabilities, Mac OS X had 43 vulnerabilities in Mac OS X and a 66 day turnaround on fixes and HP-UX from Hewlett Packard and Solaris from Sun, HP-UX had 98 vulnerabilities in the second half of 06 and took 101 days to fix them, while Sun took on average 122 days to fix 63 vulnerabilities. Sun said they don’t know where Symantec got their numbers because they were way off.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 22, 2007 at 8:31 pm

Categories: Microsoft News, Security   Tags: , , , ,

Windows – Live Combines Xbox and PC Gaming

Microsoft is getting ready to unleash Xbox Live for us PC Gamers, dubbed Windows – LIVE, they have only mentioned Halo 2, Shadowrun, and UNO, but the Xbox Live accounts, gamerscores and gamertags will all transfer over from existing users. There will be a free Silver account, that will allow multiplayer gaming, but not matchmaking or cross platform multiplayer, you will need a Gold account for that, and that will set you back $49.99 for a year.

While the editors of Games for Windows’ official magazine may not be ready to drink the Vista-flavored Kool-Aid just yet, Microsoft is ready to give Vista early adopters a handful of reasons to pick up the latest OS upgrade … err, at least they’re ready to announce a date when you may want to plan on doing the picking up: May 8th. Yup, in eight weeks, Microsoft’s Games for Windows Live service (doesn’t roll of the tongue as easily as Xbox Live, eh?) and its inaugural title, Halo 2, will be available for Vista users.

Don’t care much for Halo 2? In “June” Shadowrun — the first Live Anywhere title enabling cross-platform multiplayer — hits the Xbox 360 and Vista with full Live integration. The final title they’re eager to talk about is UNO, which will be released on Vista “later in 2007.” We’re not sure why a seemingly simple title like UNO isn’t making the launch of the service (or even getting a date) but Microsoft assures us there will be more news around this decision later and that it will be apparent why we’re not getting a release date now. They also said cross-platform licensing decisions for titles like UNO have not been worked out yet; we’re betting this is going to get tricky. Source: Games for Windows Live and Halo 2 hit Vista May 8th

From the Microsoft site,

Microsoft Corp. today announced the extension of the Xbox LIVE games and entertainment network to the Windows platform, bringing together the most popular online console game service with the most popular games platform in the world. Debuting on May 8, 2007, with the launch of the Windows Vista version of the Xbox blockbuster Halo 2, Games for Windows LIVE will connect Windows gamers to over six million gamers already in the Xbox LIVE community. Then, launching in June, Shadowrun? will for the first time connect Windows gamers with Xbox 360 players in cross-platform matches using a single service. UNO, releasing later in 2007, will also support cross-platform play between Windows and Xbox 360.

The launch of Games for Windows ? LIVE marks a major expansion of the Xbox LIVE service across multiple platforms, uniting gamers with a single identity, a single gamertag, a single friends list and a single list of achievements attainable on the Xbox 360 and a Windows-based PC. Games for Windows ? LIVE gamers will be able to easily find and play supported titles online with their friends across a Windows computer or an Xbox 360. As a unified service with Xbox LIVE, Games for Windows ? LIVE will be available in every country and region supported today by Xbox LIVE. Source: Microsoft Unites Xbox and PC Gamers With Debut of Games for Windows ? LIVE

Here are the membership level features:
Silver Membership Features
? Single gamertag
? Common gamer profile
? Common gamerscore
? Single player achievements
? Private chat via text and voice
? Common friends list and online presence
? PC only multiplayer including browsing a list of active PC games

Gold Membership Features
? All Silver membership features
? Multiplayer matchmaking with friends
? TrueSkill matchmaking
? Multiplayer achievements
? Cross-platform game play

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 14, 2007 at 8:33 pm

Categories: Video Games, Windows Vista   Tags: , , , ,

Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server
In his keynote speech at CES, one of the products Bill Gates introduced was the Windows Home Server, a small form, headless, meaning with no monitor, computer that you can set anywhere on your network. The Home Server will backup every computer that connects to it every night, and make it available online using your Windows Live ID. They have a website up at www.stopdigitalamnesia.com, it’s trying to be funny and informative at the same time, be sure to check it out for more information. One of the developers notes below that he has been working on it for three years.

I am writing this from the Windows Home Server blogger’s lounge in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Bill Gates just finished up his CES 2007 keynote where the product I have been slaving over for the last 3 years was finally formally announced to the world!

The photo you see in this post was taken today in the blogger’s lounge (with my Windows Mobile phone; hence the picture quality). This is a Windows Home Server Prototype that we built to explore innovative hardware design. I put my hand in the shot so you could get an idea of just how big (small) this particular device is. This prototype uses 2.5″ hard disks and thus has less storage expansion capability than the HP MediaSmart product will, but it was built to show another perspective of what a Windows Home Server could be. Source: cek.log

From the Microsoft Press Release,

Delivered on hardware from leading partners, Windows Home Server will help families with multiple PCs connect their home computers, digital devices and printers, in order to easily store, protect and share their treasured photos, music, videos and documents. By automatically backing up home PCs, centralizing a family’s digital “stuff” and allowing access to it away from home, Windows Home Server will help simplify and enhance family life.

Simple to set up and use, Windows Home Server takes advantage of the familiarity of the Windows operating system to help families easily store and organize digital content. As consumers use Windows Vista to create, find and enjoy digital media, Windows Home Server will be an ideal solution to help manage, protect and access that content. Families using the product will be able to automatically back up every Windows Vista or Windows XP-based computer in the home and completely restore, or ?rewind,? a PC to a time when it was working well. They will also be able to use Windows Home Server to centrally monitor the health of their Windows Vista-based PCs, to proactively identify and resolve problems.

Windows Home Server customers can use a personalized Windows Live Internet address to connect to Windows Home Server from outside of the home. As a result, they can share photos with friends and family and enjoy their music and videos. Families can use the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system or other Windows Media Connect-supported devices to view or listen to digital media stored on Windows Home Server, as well. They can also connect a printer to Windows Home Server in order to print from any connected PC in the home. Source: Bill Gates Unveils Windows Home Server at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show

Windows Home Server will be available from many harder providers, AMD is announcing the AMD LIVE! Home Media Server, at CES this week. Inventec Corp. and Quanta Computer Inc. are also demonstrating hardware designs, complementing the HP MediaSmart Server product demonstrated in Bill Gates’ keynote address and in the Microsoft booth. The HP MediaSmart Server comes with four hard drive bays and four USB ports. It also comes equipped with HP Photo Webshare.

A post from Jesse Lewin has a video and some more info,

As a small, headless box that lives on your network and in your closet, a Windows Home Server can quickly grow the pool of storage from which all of your shared files for each of your users lives. The backup engine in Windows Home Server also silently backs up the entirety of each machine connected to it every night. And because the data is always online, using the built-in remote access abilities, you?ll also be able to access your data from any machine on the planet. Source: 10

A post from InsideMicrosoft, which is huge and contains loads of information, some of it I will quote here, says that it will store all of your files, data, MP3, photos and video, and it will stream to digital media extenders, like the Xbox 360. They plan on it pretty much being plug and play, although you will have to setup some things like the remote access, the hard drives can be of any size, and it will be accessed as one big drive. You can remove the drives and the Server will tell you how it affects the file system and will move the files to other drives. He also predicts that if Microsoft adds wifi to computer sharing, the Zune will be able to download music from it. You will be able to configure a free internet address, yoursite.homeserver.com, for example, and you can access it from a networked computer or a web browser to upload or download files. It says its three primary purposes are,

Automated Computer Backup – Home Server will sit in the middle of your house and completely backup the entire hard drives of every computer connected to it, automatically. Lose anything, even an entire computer, and you will be able to restore it. You will even be able to restore older versions of files, taking advantage of a valuable feature in Windows Vista.

Access Everything From Anywhere – With a Home Server, you will be able to access all of your files from any computer, inside or outside your home, as well as accessing your home computers from outside the home. You will centrally store your files to make them easier to access at all times.

Grows With You – Home Server will be designed to make it easier for users to expand its capabilities, especially making it easy to add more hard drives. Source: EXCLUSIVE: Windows Home Server In Detail

According to Microsoft’s projections, Beta 2 of Home Server will arrive in just two weeks, on January 22. Pre-Beta 1 was reached last July. They are also projecting Release Candidate status by May 15 and the final Release To Manufacturing on June 22. I haven’t seen any pricing information yet, I will add it when it is released.

Minimum System Requirements:

  • 1 GHz Pentium 3 (or equivalent)
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 80 GB internal hard drive as primary drive
  • Bootable DVD drive
  • Display (only for software installation)
  • 100 Mbps wired Ethernet
  • Keyboard and mouse (only for software installation)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 9, 2007 at 4:58 am

Categories: Microsoft News   Tags: , , , , , , ,