01 Dec 2011

There will probably be less coffee sipping and snoozing in your chair when it comes to waiting on Windows 8 setup to complete.  Windows 7 typically installs in a somewhat speedy 20 minutes, with Windows 8 and the Developer preview, the same process takes only 8 minutes.  In a Microsoft upgrade test, they also performed an upgrade from Windows 7 (to Windows 8) with 1.44 million files and 120 apps in 52 minutes, compared to 513 minutes in an upgrade to Windows 7 for the same amount of files and applications.

Microsoft will cater to two types of users in Windows 8.  The "get it done fast" type and also the power user variety.  There will also be an online install option in addition to the DVD box variety. 

In the Microsoft Blog they write "In Windows 8, customers do not have to install a separate download manager, mount the ISO to begin the installation, check the hash of the file for verification post-download, manually clean up unneeded files, or restart a download from the beginning should connectivity be interrupted" and "Setup takes care of all of these steps automatically, providing a fast, resilient, and easy setup experience. And again, this is true whether you just want to run a quick upgrade on an existing installation, or to create boot media for an advanced setup experience – either with GUI or unattended."

There will be an advanced setup, similar to what is used today in Windows 7 and then an unattended setup.

Even more, they claim that Windows 8 setup can be completed in as little as eleven clicks.

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01 Dec 2011

Take a look at our previous article for the full some extra details on this one.  Microsoft has announced December 6th as the target date for the Dashboard update.  Microsoft announced this via their Xbox blog

They listed the new features that we are expecting:

  • New personal and social features including Cloud Storage for Game Saves and LIVE Profile
  • Beacons and Facebook Sharing
  • Enhanced Family Settings
  • Integrated voice and gesture controls across the dashboard and in apps
  • Bing voice search (Available this year in the US, UK and CA)

They also went on to mention that some new content will appear over time, like customized apps for TV, movies, internet videos and sports and music from major providers.

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01 Dec 2011

Microsoft has announced the purchase of a video discovery tech company called VideoSurf.  Its ultimate goal is to enhance Xbox Live.  It will have the ability to see frames from video and tie that into search results.

There is an iOS app on the app store that has good reviews located here.

Xbox Live is about to release the newest Dashboard update on December 6th featuring voice activated search.  Its possible to imagine a future update that allows someone to say.. "kinect, xbox bing search, lol cats that play the piano'" and instantly video search results with this particular topic pop up.

Source:  joystiq
Image:  videosurf.com

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30 Nov 2011

You can download release candidate 0 (RC0) from MSDN or Microsoft.  The download link is here.

There are many new features with SQL Server 2012 as we previously covered such as AlwaysOn, better performance management, more reporting and visualization tools, Columnstore index, and FileTables. The product will come in 3 main editions: Standard, Business Intelligence and Enterprise.

With this release, Microsoft considers it "production" ready and provides several migration tools: Upgrade Advisor, Distributed Replay and SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA). This release includes features and fixes requested by some of the many users who have tested previous builds.

Some of the major enhancements Microsoft is showcasing with SQL Server 2012 include these:

  • Greater availability. Deliver the required 9s and data protection with AlwaysOn, delivering added functionality over CTP3 that allows customers to experience multiple, readable secondaries for distributed scale of reporting and backup workloads and support for FileTable and FILESTREAM which brings first-class HA to complex data types.
  • Blazing-fast performance. More effectively govern performance in multitenancy environments like private cloud. Resource Governor enhancements include support for 64 resource pools, greater CPU usage control, and resource pool affinity for partitioning of physical resources and predictable resource allocation.
  • Rapid data exploration. Empower end users with new insights through rapid data exploration and visualization. Discover new insights at the speed of thought with more feature/functionality in Power View, the highly interactive, familiar browser-based data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience for end users.
  • Credible, consistent data. In addition to CTP3 functionality delivered for Data Quality Services and Master Data Services, customers can better support heterogeneous data within Data Warehouses through new Change Data Capture (CDC) support for Oracle.
  • Optimized productivity. Optimize IT and developer productivity across server and cloud with the new SQL Server Data Tools, a unified development experience for database and business intelligence projects, and cloud-ready capabilities within SQL Server Management Studio for snapshot backups to the Windows Azure Platform. Additionally, SQL Server 2012 offers a new version of Express – LocalDB. SQL Express LocalDB is a lightweight version of Express with all its programmability features, yet runs in user mode with a fast, zero-configuration installation and short list of prerequisites.

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30 Nov 2011

Now you could simply print out or download the fully detailed map of Skyrim.  But why do this, because coming soon will be Dragon Shout.  Its an interactive map for iOS allowing for annotated markers and journal entries.  For instance, if you are at a location where there are riches to be gathered up and you can’t do it then, you could use the app to mark down the location and come and take things later. 

The company plans on adding future updates that will make it more social, allow marker sharing or party wide chats with pictures and more.  For instance, you could encourage a friend to check out a certain dungeon.

The app will be the pricey cost of free.  Watch their website here for details to come.



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30 Nov 2011

To make your wandering in realm of Skyrim more enjoyable, Gamebanshee.com has released a highly detailed printable version of Skyrim's many locations.

If you want to take the quest in printing this map, there is a zip file containing the map for printing on their site.

Happy wandering!

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30 Nov 2011

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30 Nov 2011

Columbia University researchers Ang Cui and Salvatore Stolfo have discovered a vulnerability in HP LaserJet printers that could result in hackers remotely controlling it.

Hackers could then launch cyber attacks and steal information being printed.  In particular they could program the internal components to overload until a fire occurs.

However, more recently HP has released a statement, saying the information in this study is not accurate.  They argue that there is a thermal switch in all of its LaserJet printers and it cannot be remotely disabled.  They also have said that printers made since 2009 require digital signatures on updates.  HP insists that the researchers must have had an older printer, though Stolfo and Cui say it was purchased in September from a major retailer.

Despite, this, HP has conceded there is a security issue on some LaserJet printers where a firmware could be applied remotely, but only from a PC on the same network.  They also state that a bogus update forced via a print job would only work on a Linux based OS or a Mac.  HP will fix the issue, with.. irony here.. a Firmware Update.

Source:  MSNBC

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