Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

New! A Practical Use For Your Xbox

Great News For Couch Potatos!

The feature article in this week’s Windows Secrets caught my eye, and I’m very glad it did, as what seemed frivolous at first pointed to a glimpse of our (soon to be) future. And it seems everything in our future assumes we’re sitting in front of a big screen on our couch..

The article is: Pizza and tech: An app creates the perfect combo

See? Frivolous, right? But what it means is you can now order a pizza from your Xbox (no need to interrupt that game).

But wait! There’s more (scarier) stuff thanks to the coming Xbox One (and the second generation of Kinect). The (article’s) ‘blurb’ reads…

“There’s an app for that! We’re now well into an era of mini-apps — created for smartphones, adopted by Windows 8, and now rapidly making their way onto entertainment systems and other digital devices. In a preview of things to come, a Pizza Hut app lets you order your favorite pie right from your Xbox 360 gaming/entertainment system.

.. and frankly, I almost didn’t read the article (I mean, I have a life). But I read all the way through, and that’s where it got interesting.

Xbox One will include a dramatically improved Kinect built in. It can track heartbeats, muscular movement, and even your facial expressions — which is already generating discussions about personal privacy, as reported in a June 13 Rolling Stone article. It’ll even know when you’re bored, frustrated, or scared while playing a game.

What? A box will be watching my face? And monitoring my emotions???

The new Xbox includes a built-in, 1080p camera that can “see” you more accurately — whether good or bad, your Xbox persona might actually look like you. The system’s facial recognition automatically signs you in to a specific controller. It’s said that the Xbox One/Kinect combination can even track your movements in a completely dark room (for what purpose remains to be seen).

Holy jumpin’ Jehoshaphat. Does that sound good to you? If not, this should sell you on the new Xbox One..

Xbox One’s enhanced Kinect has new voice commands, enabling such real-world tasks as calling others on Skype and ordering movie tickets. You can also open multiple screens, letting you play a game or watch a movie and chat with friends or family at the same time.

Wow. Yes. That’s what we want. No need to interrupt the Amusements.. for any one or any thing. Insane. Scratch that. Let me just leave you with this idea: hal.jpg

To read the entire article yourself, click here.; and for the “privacy concerns” article, click here. (Both are Reco’d)

Today’s quote:Open the pod bay doors, Hal.


(I am reminded of the “Chucky” movies. I mean, all you do is bring a toy (a doll, in this case) into your house… and the nightmare begins.)

* Facial recognition (and analysis).
* Listens for patterns.
* Voice recognition.
* Sees in the dark.
* Always on.
* Reporting back to the mothership (Microsoft).

No potential for problems there.
No sir.

So here’s yet another Microsoft product I wouldn’t touch with a 10′ pole. (Did I mention? I’ve been a Microsoft user since Windows 3.11?) Things are indeed changing..
Read the articles. Find out about the Xbox One.

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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June 20, 2013 - Posted by | computers, consumer electronics, Gaming, hardware, Microsoft, News, privacy, security, tech, Xbox 360 | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Hi Paul,

    All I can say is…”Hello, Dave.”


    Comment by delenn13 | June 20, 2013 | Reply

    • delenn13,
      I am beginning to think no one has read Orwell, or watched any Sci Fi except Star Trek (where the tech is always wonderful).

      But I grew up watching those old B&W “B movies” (Tarantula, It Came From Outer Space, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Godzilla, etc.) that showed the wonders of radiation… and have seen 2001: A Space Odyssey two dozen times, easy.

      And I think I understand the Law Of Unintended Consequences.

      Hmm.. where am I going? Uh.. yes. “Hello Dave” means you got my reference. But, I understand pre-order sales of the Xbox One are brisk. Which means there’s no hope for Dave..

      (PS – It was another Kubrick movie that allowed me to sleep during the Cold War years.. How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [aka “Dr. Strangelove”].)


      Comment by techpaul | June 20, 2013 | Reply

      • Hey Paul,

        I grew on “Twilight Zone”, “Outer Limits” and read lots of H.G Wells, Jules Verne, Edgar Allen Poe, Ray Bradbury(Fahrenheit 451) and such. As far as Kubrick, I still have the image in my mind when I hear the song “Singing in the Rain”.


        Comment by delenn13 | June 21, 2013 | Reply

        • delenn13,
          You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead – your next stop, the Twilight Zone!


          Comment by techpaul | June 21, 2013 | Reply

          • Don’t forget this one…”First lines of each episode: There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to — The Outer Limits.

            Last lines of each episode: We now return control of your television set to you. Until next week at the same time, when the control voice will take you to — The Outer Limits.


            Comment by delenn13 | June 21, 2013 | Reply

            • delenn13,
              Yes, I almost went that route.

              But it got me onto thinking about DRM (and the Xbox One) .. and it’s too early in my day for a rant. (And in our current reality, the “we” only observe and record, not “control”.. but I suspect that will change.)


              Comment by techpaul | June 21, 2013 | Reply

  2. Paul,

    Here’s some reading suggestions for new Geeks….7 Great Works That Inspired Geeks To Change The World – ReadWrite


    Comment by delenn13 | June 21, 2013 | Reply

  3. Paul,

    Here’s some stuff for the weekend..

    Free software at GlarySoft..
    Leawo PowerPoint to Video Pro 2.6 – Giveaway – Glarysoft

    Leawo PowerPoint to Video Pro is a powerful presentation tool to convert PowerPoint of various versions to 180+ most popular video formats in batch. It supports various PowerPoint files as input, like .ppt, .pps, .pot, .pptx, .ppsx, .potx, .potm, ect. from almost all 32-bit and 64-bit PowerPoint versions, (including the newest PowerPoint 2013) and diverse standard and HD video formats as output, such as MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, MOV, MKV, MPEG, etc.
    This PPT to video converter guarantees complete retention of original PowerPoint elements, like animations, transitions, music, narrations and movie clips. Moreover, the feature-rich PowerPoint to video converter gives your output video a brand-new look by adding background music as well as adding watermark and logo. This program perfectly combines expertise with creativity to give users better experience to make video from PowerPoint.

    And one from BDJ…

    Smart Photo Import (PC) 100% Discount Coupon Code

    Smart Photo Import helps to import photos from cameras and other sources while automatically copying and renaming them for maximum organization. With Smart Photo Import, there’s no need to engage in the tedium of manually creating and managing folders and subfolders to hold your photos – everything is done automatically for you, and your folders are updated automatically with each import.

    You can even use Smart Photo Import to help make sense of your existing collection of photos – just define your renaming and sorting options and drag and drop the files into the Smart Photo Import browser. You can use Smart Photo Import to convert files to different formats. And even better, Smart Photo Import allows you to add custom formats, allowing you to extend the import process to almost any type of file!

    A wealth of flexibility awaits you with Smart Photo Import. You can, for example, opt to make copies of your photos using your rules, leaving the originals, or move the files to save disk space. You can also use it to print out handy photo sheets. The intuitive user interface will have you up and running quickly, with easily identifiable regions for source and destination files. Effective thumbnail integration means you’ll be able to review hundreds of photos in Smart Photo Import easily. And with support for over 100 digital camera RAW formats, it’s a good bet that Smart Photo Import will fit into your workflow perfectly!

    And here’s my tribute to Jimmy. A very sad sudden end…‘The Sopranos’ Opening Credits – YouTube This is the version before 9/11 that still has the Twin Towers in it.

    I know you have heard of RickRoll’D but have you ever been REICHROLL’D!!. I REICHROLL’D a friend and they politely sent me a video of Miley Cyrus’ new video. She owes me 2 mins and 34 secs back. I had rather be REICHROLL’D and RickRoll’D than to watch that again.

    Here is some deals on games at

    I got the Might and Magic Megapack..10 games for $8.45

    Another Humble Bundle for Android, PC etc.. The Humble Bundle with Android 6 (pay what you want and help charity) 6 games for less than 5 bucks…And it’s not yet into it’s 2nd week and they always add least 4 or more, usually.


    Comment by delenn13 | June 21, 2013 | Reply

    • delenn13,
      No.. I had managed to miss the “Roll’D” thingies.. But I appreciate all the other shares here today. (Ha!)


      Comment by techpaul | June 21, 2013 | Reply

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