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 Post subject: Re: Xbox One: Microsoft’s “Next Xbox” LIVE
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:59 am 
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Speaking of confusing, here's something MS are sure will influence people into paying them even more money - resurrecting the old sci-fi TV series Blake 7. :blink:

I'm not sure how old you'd have to be to even remember Blake 7, it ran from 1978-1981 so I barely remember it as I was only very young myself. So will this impress the youth? Well, maybe as much as the antique Rolling Stones song that they used for their Win95 launch did. :snigger:

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Microsoft to fund Blake's 7 return as Xbox Live exclusive

Report says Redmond raring to resuscitate classic Brit SciFi


By Simon Sharwood - The Register



Microsoft is reportedly backing a reboot of Blake's 7, the seminal British science fiction show.

The Finanacial Times' reports Microsoft feels Blake's 7 is just the kind of content it needs to encourage Xbox owners to deploy the device as an entertainment hub that deposits rivers of subscription revenue into Redmond's coffers, instead of just using it to play games.

The FT's report says Microsoft has replaced cable outfit Syfy as the series' backer. Syfy's involvement was revealed just last April, when Fremantle Media announced 13-part series penned by Joe Pokaski and directed by Casino Royale helmsman Martin Campbell .

Fremantle's announcement offered the following scenario for the show:

“The year is 2136, Blake wakes up on one side of the bed. He reaches for the other side. There’s nobody there. As reality sets in, this handsome ex-soldier sits up, and looks at a photo of his wife Rachel. Beautiful. Deceased.”

There's no word on when the reboot might emerge and no details of cast or creative team. Whether the series will be the reboot Syfy planned or a direct sequelisn't known.

Vulture South hopes it is the latter: we've been dying to know whether Avon escapes the ring of Federation goons for years.

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 Post subject: Re: Xbox One: Microsoft’s “Next Xbox” LIVE
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:07 am 
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Xbox One users will have to pay extra for Skype and gamer-gratifying DVR

Unboxing video shows you at least get a free headset


By Iain Thomson - The Register




Video Microsoft has released the first unboxing video of its forthcoming Xbox One console, along with details on its pricing policy. The bad news is that gamers will have to pay extra for some features, but on the plus side they get a free mono headset.

When the Xbox One was shown off for the first time, Microsoft's Don Matrick, then president of Redmond's interactive entertainment business and now CEO at Zynga, extolled the new features of the console. These include Skype, a gaming DVR system that lets you record gaming triumphs, NFL game streaming, and a system called Smartmatch that will find suitable opponents for players.

What he neglected to mention, and what Microsoft has now confirmed, is that all of these will require owners to pony up $60 a year for an Xbox Live Gold subscription on top of the console's hefty $499 purchase price.

On the plus side, Microsoft is adding more hardware to the Xbox, as it showed in its unboxing video released on Thursday. Xbox One buyers will get a mono headset with microphone included for free – an item that would have set them back a whole $20 otherwise – as well as a free Xbox sticker.



During the unboxing video, Microsoft's director of Xbox programming Larry Hryb, aka Major Nelson as his gamer tag reads, extolled the virtues of the new hardware. The controller now has "impulse triggers," which will "change the way you game." A 4k-compliant HDMI cable is also included, which given the $1,888.75 price Best Buy can charge these days could be a major saving.

The extras don't seem to have impressed many and Xbox message boards are already starting to build up a head of steam from outraged gamers whining about yet another way that Redmond is shaking money from their pockets.

Sony was quick to put the boot in, as it did the day after the Xbox One launch by promising a cheaper, DRM-free console in the PS4. Shortly after Microsoft confirmed the subscription-locked features, Sony's president of worldwide studios took to Twitter to point out that Sony would be giving features like in-game recording for free.

That's slightly disingenuous, since Sony will now be charging $50 a year to play multiplayer games online, and the PS4's $399 purchase price doesn't include a motion sensor like the heartbeat-sensing Kinect from Microsoft.

But it's still a cheaper bet than the Xbox One as a package. Microsoft must just be hoping that the Xbox One has the quality to win over buyers who are prepared to pay more.

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 Post subject: Re: Xbox One: Microsoft’s “Next Xbox” LIVE
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Xbox One site BELLY-UP in GLOBAL Microsoft cloud catastrophe

DNS problems render cloud services AND status page inaccessible


By Jack Clark - The Register


Updated Last time Microsoft's Azure cloud went down, it was a sub-component that flaked out globally, and the time before that it was a certificate problem – now the service is inaccessible again, along with its status page.

And the wobble has taken down the Xbox.com website on the Xbox One worldwide launch day.

Other services having trouble include Microsoft.com, which is intermittently accessible. We've had reports of trouble with Office 365 as well. A Microsoft PR has acknowledged our response for further information and, we imagine, is playing phone tag with some techies in Redmond.

Status pages are designed to give information to people about the state of cloud services, and are typically run on separate infrastructure. Not so with Microsoft – on Thursday, many large components of Azure blipped offline, and the status page as well.

Initial reports seem to indicate the problem stems from an internal DNS issue, as both the page and various Azure services are throwing DNS errors. Azure may be working, but reaching it is difficult.

It is also occurring during the global launch of Microsoft's new console, Xbox One, which aims to use Azure services to help it deliver better "experiences".

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Windows Azure Service Fail: Well, sh-t.

Numerous people on Twitter reported widespread problems with accessing Azure cloud services and instances. We've pinged Microsoft for further information and will update as it comes in.

Update at 01.47 GMT, 17.47 PT, November 22

Microsoft sent us a statement acknowledging the problems, claiming the fault didn't stem from Azure, although neglected to mention the DNS snafu:

Microsoft is aware of issues involving cloud and online services and we are investigating the cause. We can confirm that these issues were not caused by Windows Azure. We will keep our customers updated as information becomes available. The service interruption that affected Windows Azure Storage was a separate issue and has been resolved. All Windows Azure services are running as normal.

In an impressive demonstration of the difficulty of coordinating a large multinational, Azure big cheese Scott Guthrie tweeted earlier: "Azure is not having issues (customer apps continue to run fine). The problem is a DNS name server issue outside of Azure."

Update at 23.45 GMT, 15.45 PT, November 21

Microsoft seems to have rolled out a fix for its broken DNS, which has put a halt on the fault. Outlook.com is back, as is the Xbox website, and the Azure Status Page has arisen. People are reporting on Twitter that they are able to access services again. Some are still reporting problems, but we imagine a fix is propagating right now.

Update at 23.33 GMT, 15.33 PT

The Xbox.com website is now reporting the problem as a DNS failure.

"Service Unavailable - DNS failure. The server is temporarily unable to service your request. Please try again later. Reference #11.27ddf180.1385076682.341919," reads a message posted there. Outlook.com is having similar DNS issues as well, according to the What's My DNS service.

Update at 23.13 GMT, 15.13 PT

Earlier in the day, Azure had reported "an issue with Storage in North Central US," according to a status dashboard one of our vultures was able to reach.

"We are actively investigating this issue and assessing its impact to our customers. Further updates will be published to keep you apprised of the impact. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes our customers," Microsoft wrote at 9.15pm UTC.

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 Post subject: Re: Xbox One: Microsoft’s “Next Xbox” LIVE
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:17 pm 
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Oh the bullsh1t hype power of 'the cloud', eh? :rolleyes:

Never had these problems with my Megadrive...

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Xbox One
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:45 am 
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Microsoft: Don't listen to 4chan ... especially the bit about bricking Xbox Ones

'Advice' to play 360 games on new gear may bork your box, warns Redmond


By Iain Thomson, The Register




Microsoft is warning Xbox One owners to not fiddle with the operating system of their shiny new toy in an attempt to run games written for the previous 360 model.


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DON'T try this at home, or anywhere else

"To be clear there is no way to make your Xbox One backwards compatible & performing steps to attempt this could make your console inoperable,' said Microsoft's director of programming Larry Hryb, aka Major Nelson.

Last week an infographic popped up on the internet seemingly showing how to enable games for the 360 by inputting a variety of instructions. The end result for users was however a bricked Xbox, and it appears as though the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is 4chan's /b/ board has struck again.

It wouldn't be the first time for the /b/ crowd. In September members started an internet rumor that iPhone users who upgraded to iOS 7 would get an added benefit in that the code would make their Cupertinan communicators waterproof.

The latest scam has, like any good lie, a slight grounding in fact. The instructions are similar to steps that can turn the Xbox into a developer edition console, which is intended to allow programmers to test newly built games on the hardware. But this only works with a registered Redmond developer ID and the necessary steps are different from those put out in the infographic.

To add to its appeal, the scam also tapped into something many Xbox One owners desperately wanted but Microsoft failed to provide.

Those foolish enough to try out the backwards compatibility instructions will end up with a very expensive doorstop for their troubles. The 4chan thread that hosted the information has since been deleted.

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