This morning, Microsoft hooked us up with an early preview of the next Xbox 360 Dashboard Update. We were able to get a look at the new Netflix features (which no longer require a PC,) the Avatar Marketplace, Game Ratings, Games on Demand, and more. While more coveted features like Twitter, Facebook, Last.fm, and Zune Marketplace won’t be landing until the fall, the update is still a solid one. Here are our thoughts on the next update, which lands on your Xbox 360 on August 11 (or sooner if you apply for early access!)
It has just been announced that Amazon has purchased the vastly popular Internet shoe retailer Zappos for $850 million. The sale, confirmed in a letter sent from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh to his employees, was for $807 million in Amazon stock, plus $40 million in cash and restricted stock.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has also given some feedback on the acquisition as part of a video that he put out today, embedded above.
You can check out the full press release, after the break.
Lucky us, we are getting early access to the Xbox 360 Fall 2009 Dashboard Update this coming Monday. We will bring you all our thoughts on everything we are able to try out. We have a list of stuff we will have access to on Monday, which you can see after the jump, but we were also able to put together a gallery of some of the things we will be playing with as well. You can find all those images over in our Xbox 360 Fall 2009 NXE Dashboard Update Preview Gallery.
Gallery: Xbox 360 Fall 2009 Update Preview
Oh yes, my friends, the iPhone can run Windows 95. Sure, it’s not as easy as downloading it from the App Store or anything, but still, you’ve gotta give mad props to a dev who can work this kind of magic on a jailbroken iPhone. Check out the video above for a glimpse of both the past and the future. Hold us.
Google just announced Chrome OS, their entry into the operating system world. According to the Google Developer Blog, Chrome OS will be a lightweight, open source OS platform meant to “power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-zize desktop systems,” with the goal being a practically instant-on system that takes you right into the web. Chrome OS will be able to run on x86 and ARM chips, which means 32-bit computers, including Intel Atom machines, can play nice, along with mobile platforms. All-in-all, Google aims to make the Internet the bulk of the operating system, with Chrome OS just providing some supporting architecture. Offline mode will undoubtedly be supported, since it’s built in to the Google Apps suite of products. Google says they are already working with OEMs, and we should see devices that are running Chrome OS hit the market in the second half of 2010.
The competition in the OS space is heating up, and the biggest winner, from where we sit, is going to be the consumers. Game on.
Read More | Chrome OS
It’s no secret, we are big fans of Microsoft’s Zune - both the service, and the device. I’ve had a Zune Pass since the service launched, and use it daily (my Zune Pass profile.) If you aren’t sure what that is, it’s an unlimited music streaming and download service. You can listen to as much as you want for just $15 a month. In addition, you get to keep any 10 tracks of your choosing each month as well. Yours to keep, forever. Did you know, though, that you can stream any of your downloaded Zune tracks to your iPhone? Yeah, that’s one of the best parts. When you start connecting the dots, you soon realize that you have the potential of having an entire catalogue of music available to you, on your iPhone, regardless of the amount of storage you’ve got.
But, wait…how do you stream Windows Media Audio files to the iPhone, which doesn’t support that format? Furthermore, Zune tracks that aren’t downloaded as part of your 10 free keepers per month are riddled with DRM. Yeah, we hear you. There is no Zune app available for the iPhone itself. What you need is to install a piece of software on your PC, along with downloading an app on your iPhone. Join us, as we open up the musical floodgates.
The iPhone 3GS can finally be unlocked and jailbroken. This past Friday, George Hotz released his Purplera1n iPhone 3GS jailbreak tool. Of course, once the iPhone 3GS was jailbroken, it was only a matter of time before unlocking was possible.
According to George:
“Normally I don’t make tools for the general public, and rather wait for the dev team to do it. But guys, whats up with waiting until 3.1? That isn’t how the game is played. We release, Apple fixes, we find new holes. It isn’t worth waiting because you might have the “last” hole in the iPhone. What last hole…this isn’t golf. I’ll find a new one next week.”
Read More | On The iPhone
Michael Jackson died today, and since I grew up with the man who many would argue is one of the greatest entertainers of all time, I thought we’d do a tribute to one of the cooler pieces of tech that played into his dance moves. If you remember the Smooth Criminal Michael Jackson video, he did an amazing lean. We know the video used special effects to make that look as good as it did, but he also incorporated that lean into his live show.
In the video above, you see that Michael and his dancers have special shoes that seem to hook into the stage, allowing them to lean. Notice how one of his backup dancers gets his foot stuck and has to shake it loose afterwards.
We’ll miss you, Michael.
We got our hands on the Hauppauge HD PVR 1212 personal video recorder, and we bring you a review of this unit in this episode. The Hauppage HD PVR 1212 connects to your HDTV peripherals using component cable, and then goes out to your display over component as well. It captures the video output live, and records it to a computer, which will then let you edit that video. It is fantastic at recording video game sessions in full HD resolution, as we demonstrate in the video. Take a look, and if you want one, you can pick up the Hauppauge HD PVR 1212 on Amazon.
Make no mistake, we are huge fans of TripIt, and have been using the trip managing site for two years now. I’d always wondered when I would be able to pay for the excellent service, and that answer came with today’s launch of TripIt Pro. TripIt Pro, first and foremost, stays on top of your flight plans and sends you text messages about flight delays, cancellations, and even gate changes (which is awesome.) In the event that a delay will mean you missing a connecting flight, TripIt will even let you know of alternate flights that will get you to your destination, including flight status and what seats are available. As you can see, TripIt is definitely trying to bring it with TripIt Pro.
According to the company, another much-requested feature has been added, that being a point tracker that keeps track of frequent flyer miles and hotel points that you rack up during travel. It’s nice to have that in your travel dashboard. Lastly, there is the Inner Circle, which basically let’s you set other specific TripIt members as contacts who can always view any of your itineraries, helpful for those of us with spouses or office assistants, where it would be helpful for them to just get those details without any action needed to be taken on your own.
TripIt Pro will cost $99 per year, and at that price, is well worth it if you travel often. Even better, though, is that from now through July 31, you can sign up and pay just $49 per year. If you sign up now, you will stay on a $49 per year price for every renewal period, until you cancel the service.
Read More | TripIt Pro