Microsoft Silverlight 3 is live, and you can go ahead and update your browsers now over at Microsoft’s Silverlight page. Silverlight 3.0.40624.0 weighs in at 4.7MB, and works with Internet Explorer, Firefox 2 and 3, and Safari 3 and 4. Here’s a look at some of the major new features:
- Media: GPU hardware acceleration, new codec support (H.264, AAC, MPEG-4), raw bitstream Audio/Video API, and improved logging for media analytics
- Graphics: GPU Acceleration and hardware compositing, perspective 3D, bitmap and pixel API, pixel shader effects, and Deep Zoom improvements
- Application development: Deep linking, navigation and SEO, improved text quality, multi-touch support, 60+ controls available, and library caching support
- Data-binding improvements, validation error templates, server data push improvements, binary XML networking support, and multi-tier REST data support
Also, remember that Xbox 360 Instant-on 1080p stuff? That’s all powered by Silverlight 3 as well (yes, Silverlight is coming to your Xbox 360 dashboard.) It’s a solid upgrade, and the installation is pretty much immediate if you are on any sort of respectable broadband connection. Definitely worth a look, and you can bet that Microsoft will be pushing hard for a few big Silverlight exclusives, like they did with the Beijing Olympics.
Apple has released another updated developer build of Snow Leopard. This time we are looking at Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard build 10A402. If you are running either of the two latest Snow Leopard builds, you can access this update through Software Update. Apple says this build includes “general operating system fixes for stability, compatibility, and security.” The update weighs in at 1.31GB, so go grab a snack. Good luck!
Look like the reasoning behind Google announcing their new Chrome OS yesterday was to take some of the steam away from a Microsoft announcement due this Monday. Word on the street is that Microsoft is set to announce a web-based Microsoft Office product at this Monday’s Worldwide Partner Conference, taking place in New Orleans.
So, what are the clues that a new Office in the cloud is on its way? Well, for starters, my pal Robert Scoble has been giving hints about a Microsoft product that he has seen, but can’t talk about, hinting at what Microsoft will be dropping on Monday. He did specifically state that is isn’t the new Microsoft non-IE browser, and that the product does run in a browser, including non-IE browsers.
Also, check out Office.com. Looks like the current owners of that domain are getting ready to move off of it, so that someone new can step in. Yup.
Remember, Google also removed the beta tag from their suite of products just the other day as well, to appease business users and maybe lure them into using Google’s online office suite. It seems that all signs point to Microsoft announcing a web-based Microsoft Office suite, which would run completely in the browser. Think about it - Microsoft Office is huge, some consider it a resource hog, and that is the allure of Google Docs and the rest of the Google offering. If Microsoft put it online, without all the bloat, that makes it a lot tougher for Google to defeat.
Read More | Robert Scoble's FriendFeed
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
Apple has just released a new developer build of Snow Leopard, the first since WWDC 2009. This one is Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard build 10A394, and is the first Snow Leopard dev update that is available simple by firing up Software Update. Just a word to the wise, after running the update, you’ll need to download and install Xcod 3.2 for Snow Leopard 10A394, and if you do iPhone development on your Snow Leopard system, you’ll need to download and re-install the iPhone SDK 3.0 for Snow Leopard. Have fun!
Update: For those asking, yes, Dock Expose is live in this new build!
T-Mobile is already working on its next Google phone. So far a million of their G1s have sold since October. The myTouch 3G is set to debut in August. The new phone has a touchscreen but no keyboard like the G1 and will be priced at $199.00 with a 2 year contract. The software is free as Google would love to have Android for all phones. Both Verizon and Motorola seem to agree as they each have products in the works.
Read More | ABC
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
By now, you’ve likely seen the hubbub that surrounded the unveiling of The Beatles: Rock Band at the Microsoft presser. Hell, the two remaining Beatles even took time out of their busy schedule of rolling around in huge piles of money and prestige to come onstage for approximately 2 seconds and say how awesome it was. Where does it stand in the growing pantheon of music games, though? Does it innovate? Can it woo new fans? Is it safe? Will it blend?
Well, Harmonix, if nothing else, is dedicated to the music. That being said, they did a fantastic job of doing the Beatles justice, even going so far as to disguise their E3 booth as giant replica of Abbey Road. Yeah. They roll like that.
Hit the jump to check out our opinions on The Beatles: Rock Band.
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