Archive for the ‘News’ Category
For those of you still running Windows 2000, which is probably very few, Microsoft has given a new reason to upgrade to at the very least Windows XP. Windows 2000 has had a questionable TCP/IP stack, and Microsoft has said that it would take a considerable amount of changes to the core of the OS, that it would hurt compatibility for the aging OS (which still is under MS support until 2010). It’s a good reason to finally upgrade, if you’ve been putting it off. If you are, you might want to also upgrade that 5.25″ floppy to the 3.5″.
“The architecture to properly support TCP/IP protection does not exist on Microsoft Windows 2000 systems, making it infeasible to build the fix. To do so would require re-architecting a very significant amount of the Windows 2000 SP4 operating system, not just the affected component. The product of such a re-architecture effort would be sufficiently incompatible … that there would be no assurance that applications designed to run on Windows 2000 SP4 would continue to operate on the updated system.”
It was a pretty eventful year for Microsoft, from Windows Phone 7 to Azure to Bing and the pre-beta developers preview of Windows 8. There were a lot of other events that didn’t really get a lot of the spotlight. Seattle Times has a nice A-Z writeup of the events that helped shape Microsoft’s very busy 2011. I’m hoping for more positive news in 2012!
Of course, the ‘Z’ has to be an obituary. And what ‘Z’ product does Microsoft have? Yes, the Zune. Rest in peace, you were a worthy competitor to the mighty iPod.
Z= Zune. RIP, Zune Player. There were a few days in October when we didn’t know your fate: First, Microsoft seemed to say you were dead, then not dead, then, finally, definitely dead. Your spirit lives on in the Zune music and video service in PCs, Xbox, Windows Phone and existing Zune players.
Aerofoil has a new version out. If you run a laptop or netbook and want to extend your battery life, you can use this software to disable things when you are on battery power. Very useful for many people on the go!
Aerofoil extends Vista and Windows 7 notebook battery life by:
- Allowing you to manually disable Aero Glass.
- Optionally managing Aero Glass user interface.
- Optionally managing sound muting.
- Optionally managing your chosen power plans.
- Optionally managing Windows Sidebar.
- Optionally showing a quick hibernate button.
Changing icon colour to show whether on battery or AC.
While I know this is obviously an excuse for mishandling some luggage, it’s not a very good one. At all. If you fly and take your game system with you, you might want to make sure it’s carry on. Even better, ship it UPS to your destination. I can’t wait to see how this pans out!
He is understandably pissed off, and US Airways has essentially told him to piss off because it was done for security reasons. Of course! We all know that if an Xbox 360 is checked, it could be used by the pilots, which would be distracting and dangerous. Only by rendering it inoperable was US Airways able to keep our skies safe. Thanks, you wonderful, sensible airline
Microsoft is really pushing the Kinect in to computing. They are working with vendors to include Kinect sensors within the hardware of laptops. As long as the applications are there, I see no reason why this wouldn’t succeed. There is a lot going for the Kinect, from gestures to security to gaming. The only thing missing: applications. Without them, the need for the Kinect is dead.
A source at Microsoft has confirmed that the devices are indeed official prototypes of laptops featuring a Kinect sensor. In terms of functionality, there are hundreds of different ways that motion control could be leveraged in a portable. Gaming has the most obvious applications, but a Kinect-enabled laptop could also toggle between programs with the wave of a hand, or media controls could be tweaked with the wag of a finger. What’s more, motion-controlled portables could offer a new way for disabled individuals to interact with their devices.
Now that the drivers are hacked, there are people out there that are experimenting with the Kinect. I think this machine can do a lot more, and this is just the tip of the iceberg so to say. This guy has made his room a 3D environment using his Kinect. It has a lot of possibilities, and I hope to see some more. I’d love to see multiple Kinects linked together to fill the whole room, with no dead spots. This also opens a new way for robots to visualize their world. A lot of amateur robotic tinkerers are going to jump on this as part of their project, I’m sure! Seeing things like this make me want to pick up a couple just to play with!
By combining the color and the depth image captured by the Microsoft Kinect, one can project the color image back out into space and create a “holographic” representation of the persons or objects that were captured.
No project page yet, but it will go up on my regular web site, http://idav.ucdavis.edu/~okreylos/ResDev
Based on the reverse engineering efforts of user marcan42.
For those out there with AMD powered video cards, they have updated their drivers to the newest 11.3. Grab them if you need them. Here are the links to Windows 7 / Vista 32-bit, Windows 7 / Vista 64-bit, WinXP 32-bit, and WinXP 64-bit.
This release of ATI Catalyst™ delivers support for the latest ATI CrossFireX™ profiles in a separate executable file ensuring users have access to the absolute latest set of profiles installed on their PC.
New profiles added to this release:
- Crysis 2 – Improves CrossFire performance
- Dungeons – Improves CrossFire performance with forced on Anti-Aliasing
- Crasher – Forced on Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center has been disabled
- Shogun 2 (DX9 version) – Improves CrossFire performance
- America’s Army 3 – Improves CrossFire performance
- Flatout: Ultimate Carnage – Improves CrossFire performance
For those running the new Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a machine with a AMD/ATI video card, AMD has released an updated Catalyst driver for their line of video cards.
Full WDDM 1.2
- Highlights include:
- Native Stereo 3D support: Windows 8 will natively support Stereo 3D for full-screen and windowed gaming, and video applications
- Unified Video API – Video playback is now integrated within the DirectX® 11 API; enabling simultaneous high quality Video and 3D content, and the potential for enhanced video transcoding performance
- Optimized screen rotation
- improved sleep / resume performance
- Optimized Power Consumption
- AMD Eyefinity
- AMD Dual Graphics / AMD CrossFire™ Technology
- AMD Overdrive™
- AMD Catalyst Control Center / Vision Engine Control Center
Please note: A future AMD Catalyst Windows 8 driver release will add support for the AMD Radeon™ HD 7900 Series, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series in the coming weeks.
For those that want to work for Microsoft, the interview process is described over at Carson Critique. I’ve heard that some of the questions are pretty wacky, and try to get you to really think (although there are no right or wrong answers).
They stated to dress casually, as that’s how most Microsoft employees dressed. So instead of suiting up in my jacket and tie, I went with a more casual button up and jeans. As I walked up to my interview location, I noticed a good amount of people were in suits (interviewing with other companies), but my recruiter greeted me sporting a casual attire as well, so all was good.