The Rio Hotel in Las Vegas has added a new Surface computer with Microsoft applications to its lounges. The Flirt allows barflies to chat with each other via text messages and web cams. Mixologist lets patrons design their own drinks and send them to other tables. Shaped like a table, it features a 30-inch display that uses infrared cams and a projector that creates a 360º touchscreen. Harrah’s also has plans to test the technology this year and add to it with a “Virtual Vegas” guest guide and computer games. At a $10,000 price tag, that means a whole lot of creative mixology and gaming for any bar thinking of investing.
Read More | crave
So, word on the street is that part of the first day of the All Things D conference tonight will be the unveiling of the first time of the Windows 7 operating system by Microsoft. To be clear, we shouldn’t expect Windows 7 any sooner than 2010. That said, what is shown is very much a work in progress. If you can’t wait for the video footage, which we are sure is soon to come, we also have a bunch of Windows 7 screenshots in our gallery.
We see a lot of concepts in these images. An expanded bar at the bottom of the screen, an OS X-like dock, some sort of disc-based nav system that reminds of the OLPC OS, etc. Still, nice to see that things are progressing.
Gallery: Early Windows 7 screenshots
Microsoft has announced that it plans to install Windows XP to the inexpensive XOs that now run a customized version of Linux. To do this, OLPC spokesperson Kyle Austin says that they must redesign them and add $7.00 worth of hardware to build a stripped down version for an additional $3.00. While this might be a good thing for Microsoft, we note that the laptop, which started out as a $100.00 device, is now creeping up towards the $200.00 mark. As per usual, the OLPC people still claim that when the OX’s usage becomes more widespread, the price will come down.
Read More | Forbes
Amidst all the Zune news of the past day, we were curious to get the pulse out there. How excited are you about the whole Zune Social thing? We’ve gotta admit, when we saw some of the ideas that the peeps over at Microsoft came up with as it pertains to music discovery within Zune, powered by your social network, we were kinda digging it. So, what say you? Have you gone and customized a Zune Card for yourself, maybe even syncing a few to your Zune device? Do you keep WiFi powered on when you take your device out and about in anticipation of swapping tracks? Or are you one of those who just stay as far away from the Social as possible? Sound off and let us know.
Random, I know…but it just had to be said. One of the absolute banes of my history with the Zune software is how freaking long it took to install it. Even when updates were released, those typically took a little while from start to finish as well. So imagine my delight earlier this morning when I fired up the Zune client to download the latest Zune 2.5 Spring Update, and having the entire process last less than two minutes. Fit and finish, indeed.
As of this moment, Microsoft’s Zune team is deploying the new Zune 2.5 software out to the Internets, with the hopes that it will result in many more people getting down with the Social. We got a sneak peak at some of the new features that the crew is rolling out, and we must say, it’s very apparent that they’ve put a lot of thought and a lot of work into tightening up some of the loose ends.
So, first things first, a huge part of this update is about connecting with friends, and discovering new music. This is being done by way of the overhauled Zune Card, which is a quick snapshot of anyones Zune profile. It auto-updates to reflect the latest music played by a user, their favorite songs, and top songs from most played artists. Even cooler, you can take these Zune Cards with you by syncing them up with your Zune device. This will give you a glimpse into what your friends are listening to, and if you are a Zune Pass subscriber, you automatically get the last 6 songs from each category of the Zune Pass, for each person you add. That’s a new 18 tracks per Zune Card that you choose to sync to your device.
Read More | Zune 2.5 gallery
A few days ago we told you that Windows XP SP3 would be released April 29. Well, that just happens to be today, so we felt it was our duty to remind you. This long-awaited update to Windows XP is the last, but seriously, we are expecting this to pretty much be the best currently-available version of Windows out there, so get to downloading. If you aren’t seeing it in Windows Update yet, then just go here to grab it manually.
Man, April is just shaping up to bring us all sorts of goodness - Mario Kart Wii, Grand Theft Auto IV, and now Windows XP SP3. Don’t get me wrong, I sure as hell am not saying that XP SP3 will be anywhere near as enjoyable as two of the biggest console game releases of the year, but seriously, if those rumors about a 10 percent speed increase hold true, that is just one more reason to stick with XP over Vista. Look for WIndows XP SP3 in the Microsoft Download Center, as well as Microsoft Update, on April 29th.
Read More | Microsoft TechNet
Hey, if the Amazon Kindle news from earlier didn’t suit your fancy because you just aren’t into e-books, then maybe you prefer your books in audio form. If you do, you’re in luck if you are a Zune owner. Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite got word from Zune support that Audible compatibility is coming by the end of the year:
While we do not have an exact date as to when the device will be officially AudibleReady, we expect to make the Zune compatible before years end. Our Device Center on our website will be updated upon the Zune becoming compatible, so please be sure to check there periodically.
Not too bad. With this, plus games coming soon as well, the Zune is shaping up quite nicely when compared to the iPod, wouldn’t you say?
Read More | WinSuperSite
We got rather spooked after reading PayPal and Unsafe in the same headline. Having used the service for several years, we always wonder if it is really secure. The company says that those who use Internet Explorer 3 and 4 are the ones at risk because they don’t have enough security features to prevent phishing. If you use one of these you will be warned on the site and expect to be possibly blocked if you try to get in anyway.
The newest version supports EV SSL certificates. The comments were made in a paper written by the site’s Security Officer Michael Barrett and Risk Management Director Dan Levy. Our best advice? Head on over to IE and update to 7.0 or switch to Firefox.
Read More | BBC