The Apple Watch Just Got the Perfect Rival: Microsoft’s Band (from WIRED)

If Microsoft wanted to grab a slice of the impending Apple Watch audience, it couldn’t have crafted a better plan than with its just-released Microsoft Band. The company’s first wearable piggybacks off of the style and functions we’re already familiar with in today’s activity trackers. But with nifty features, a more affordable price tag, and a broader potential audience, Microsoft is taking a different approach than Apple and other wearable makers.

via The Apple Watch Just Got the Perfect Rival: Microsoft’s Band | WIRED.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft Join Forces to Prevent Another Heartbleed

More than a dozen tech companies, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM, have joined forces to try to prevent another Heartbleed-like security breach.

Heartbleed is one of the biggest and widespread vulnerabilities in the history of the modern web. The problem stemmed from an errant line of code in the open-source project OpenSSL. About 66% of web servers rely on OpenSSL to encrypt data and keep things secure.

The bug in OpenSSL meant that the secret-encryption keys — which are what ensures that your passwords and other data are securely transmitted — could be stolen from a web server without anyone knowing. The bug existed in OpenSSL for more than two years before being publicly patched and announced.

The program, dubbed the Core Infrastructure Initiative, is an an offshoot of Linux Foundation and designed to “fund open source projects that are in the critical path for core computing functions,” according to a description on its website. The group will work with “an advisory board of esteemed open source developers to identify and fund open source projects in need.”

via Facebook, Google, Microsoft Join Forces to Prevent Another Heartbleed.

New Games Debuting at VGAs

Spike (TV channel)Image via Wikipedia

Blockbuster Global Premieres of Medal of Honor, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten:

“The biggest night of the year for the video game industry just got bigger! Today Spike TV confirmed that three highly-anticipated new games – Electronic Arts Medal of Honor, Ubisoft‘s Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, and Microsoft‘s Crackdown 2will premiere LIVE at Spike TV’s ‘Video Game Awards 2009,’ Saturday, December 12 at 8:00 PM ET.”

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reBlog from What our Microsoft deal means to you

Image representing Yahoo! as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

I found this fascinating quote today:

It’s inhumanly early in California, but it’s already a great day at Yahoo!. We’ve just signed a major search deal with Microsoft. Under the terms, Microsoft will become the search engine behind Yahoo! and we will become the worldwide exclusive relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search, What our Microsoft deal means to you, Jul 2009

You should read the whole article.

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‘Halo Legends’ Anime Project Announced

w:Master Chief (Halo) at w:Dragon Con 2005Image via Wikipedia

Halo Universe Breaks New Ground With Unveiling of Halo Legends Anime Project

“REDMOND, Wash., July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — A renowned set of storytellers from some of the world’s leading anime studios in Japan are about to take one of the most iconic franchises in science fiction and video games to a new level. Microsoft Corp., in collaboration with some of the most acclaimed anime creators, today unveiled a new project called Halo Legends, which will bring the Halo franchise and its sweeping sci-fi saga to an entirely new medium, in the form of several original anime short films.

“Halo Legends, which will officially debut at a panel presentation today at Comic-Con International in San Diego, is being produced by Microsoft’s 343 Industries and features creative direction from anime pioneer Shinji Aramaki, director of the critically acclaimed Appleseed and Appleseed EX Machina anime features, and Mamoru Oshii, director of the landmark Ghost in the Shell movies, with additional production from Joseph Chou of J-Spec Pictures. The compilation will include a series of short stories that explore different times, themes and characters from the “Halo” universe and will be distributed globally by Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. company. Influential studios that are part of the project include the creators behind some of the most popular and celebrated anime to come from Japan, such as The Animatrix, Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ghost in the Shell, Dragon Ball and more.

“A preview of select Halo Legends episodes will first debut on Xbox LIVE, the largest gaming and entertainment network in the world, starting this fall through a new experience called Halo Waypoint. Launching in fall, Halo Waypoint will be a new destination for Halo fans on Xbox LIVE around the world. It will inform fans of the latest Halo news and activities, and grant access to content ranging from podcasts, trailers and screenshots, to exclusive video footage you won’t find anywhere else. It also will provide a new challenge for Halo gamers with a career system and player rankings tied to both in-game and out-of-game accomplishments related to Halo. In addition to the limited, early episode premieres, Halo Waypoint will debut several behind-the-scenes videos that chronicle the making of Halo Legends.”

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Rock Band Network Announced Today

Rock BandImage via Wikipedia

MTV Games and Harmonix Empower Artists and Labels to Get Their Music in the Game with the Rock Band Network:

“CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and NEW YORK, July 17 /PRNewswire/ — Harmonix Music Systems and MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), today announced the Rock Band Network, a ground-breaking initiative that gives musicians and record labels the ability to author their own original recordings into gameplay files and sell their music as playable Rock Band tracks through the newly-created Rock Band Network Music Store. The introduction of the Rock Band Network marks a fundamental shift in the exposure music games can give emerging and established artists through innovative technologies that will open new revenue streams and promotional avenues.

“The Rock Band Network will launch as an open beta in late August 2009 in the U.S. and provide a sophisticated toolset, with detailed documentation on how bands can begin the process of authoring songs into Rock Band gameplay files. Authors will be able to submit tracks for playtesting and peer review via a specialized Web site, Potential publishers will need a membership to Microsoft‘s XNA Creators Club Online in order to test and publish game content. The service will only be available to those who purchase a premium membership to Microsoft’s XNA Creators Club Online, which can be purchased for four months at $49.99 or for a year at $99.99.”

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Office 2010 Goes to Tech Preview

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase

Microsoft Office 2010 Hits Major Milestone and Enters Technical Preview:

“NEW ORLEANS, July 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Today, at its Worldwide Partner Conference 2009, Microsoft Corp. announced that Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Visio 2010 and Microsoft Project 2010 have reached the technical preview engineering milestone. Starting today, tens of thousands of people will be invited to test Office and Visio as part of the Technical Preview program.”

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ReadWriteWeb Weekly Wrapup 03-21-09

I found this fascinating quote today:

In this edition of the Weekly Wrapup, our newsletter summarizing the top stories of the week, we cover the iPhone OS 3.0 announcement, review the highlights from Microsoft‘s MIX event, look at Facebook‘s new privacy controls, check out some cutting edge web-based books, analyze the latest social media and Twitter stats, and more. Also we look at a featured story from Jobwire, ReadWriteWeb’s new product which tracks hires in tech and new media.readwriteweb, ReadWriteWeb, Mar 2009

You should read the whole article.

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[Flickr] Ron Bailey wants you to see something

Controller Red Xbox 360 Resident Evil Limited Edition Console

A selection of things from the set

Controller Red Xbox 360 Resident Evil Limited Edition Console Box Red Xbox 360 Resident Evil Limited Edition Console Box Red Xbox 360 Resident Evil Limited Edition Console Box Red Xbox 360 Resident Evil Limited Edition Console Box

(By the way, if the set link doesn’t work, try copying and pasting it from this email into your browser’s address bar.)

Flickr is almost certainly the best photo management and sharing application in the world. If you’d like to see what I use it for you can check out my profile page or browse my photostream.

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