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.
In light of the news that Parallels has sold over 1 million copies of their Parallels Desktop for Mac software, we figured we’d gauge the pulse of the Gear Live community to see what you guys think. The other day, Apple reported some amazing sales figures as far as the Mac goes. Desktops and portable sales are up. We are thinking there is a connection between those numbers and the fact that Parallels - which lets you run Windows inside of OS X - has been selling to well.
So we want to know, how does the fact that you can run Windows right on your Mac, and inside of OS X, affect your PC purchasing decisions?
If you were one of the Apple fanboy nay-sayers who swore that no one would ever want to run Windows on their Mac, it looks like Parallels just proved you wrong. The company just announced that they’ve surpassed one million units sold across the globe. If you stop and think about that for a second, you’ll realize that software like Parallels must be having a very significant effect to the Mac and computer market. We are guessing that, thanks to software like Parallels and VMWare Fusion, more and more people are willing to stray away from the WIndows PC to venture into Mac territory.
“Parallels Desktop not only broke down the barrier between the Mac and PC worlds, it also broke down the barrier that kept desktop virtualization from becoming a mainstream technology for consumers and professional users” said Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels. “We will continue innovating to extend our position as the desktop virtualization leader and provide our users with the fastest, easiest and most seamless solution available.”
Now, don’t get us wrong - we know that Parallels can also run Linux and other operating systems as well - but seriously, the success if all about the fact that you can run Windows apps right alongside your Mac apps. Congrats are in order. If you haven’t yet tried it yet, here’s a Parallels discount coupon.
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
According to Ethan Katz-Bassett, a University of Washington grad student, there are black holes on the Internet. Funded by the National Science Foundations, he and his advisor Arvind Krishnamurthy designed a program to find them. They make sure that the problem is not just a temporary glitch on a site and mark them on a global map. The pair is hoping that service providers will use Hubble, named after the Space telescope that charts black holes, to track down their own issues. The findings will be presented at the Usenix Symposium being held next week in San Francisco.
Read More | MSNBC
Nokia has finally decided its mobile gaming service N-Gage is ready to meet the world. The website, unveiled this week, has the necessary software for you to download to connect with your cell phone. The company is planning to have about 30 games available by midyear with another 30 by the end of 2008. They also are offering free trials. Companies such as EA, Gameloft, and Glu Mobile will be designing games for them. Check with Nokia to see if you have the right model and if you must pay data charges to download the games.
Read More | BBC
If you own an iPhone and use Twitter, you are gonna wanna keep an eye on Twinkle. The app was just released this morning, and it is already my favorite iPhone Twitter client. Better than the mobile version of Twitter, better than Hahlo, and better than MobileTwitter. It supports photos with your Tweets, taken right from the iPhone camera, as well as geolocation. There is even a “Near Me” section that will show you other Twitter users in your area.
In order to install Twinkle, you’ll need to jailbreak your iPhone, and then add “http://www.polarbearfarm.com/repo/” to your Installer.app sources list. We’ve compiled a few screenshots of Twinkle, which you can find in our Twinkle gallery.
Gallery: Twinkle, the iPhone Twitter client
Hey, we’re all about gadgets that help relieve stress. With the USB Punch Head, your stress-relief actually becomes an interactive experience, thanks to the included software. Land a solid blow to the fake head, and you’ll actually hear sounds of pain emanate from your computer. Plus, the harder the punch, the louder the agonizing sound. You can even choose a photo to be shown onscreen, and special effects that reflect your actions. Not exactly Fight Club, but if it prevents your aggression from landing you in jail, we’re all about it. Visit the website to watch a rather interesting demo. Available soon.