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.

source: sodahead.com

(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.
None.

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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All we really have, in the end, are our stories. Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

June 20, 2013 Posted by | computers, consumer electronics, Gaming, hardware, Microsoft, News, privacy, security, tech, Xbox 360 | , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Tuesday – Tech Tossed Salad

Mix and match for your Tuesday. (And Software Giveaway.)

• Some time back I mentioned “virtual tours”, and how the Internet can allow us to see things and places we might not be able to get to in person.. like Rome, Italy, for instance (see, Visit The Sistine Chapel – Right Now – Free!). I came across a 360° view of the space shuttle’s cockpit, and I think it is pretty neat-o. By default, it pans around the 360, but there are ‘control buttons’ (including “zoom”). Even if you are not an “airplane nut” like me, I think you’ll find it interesting. Check it out here.
(And I notice that’s not a Macbook there…)

A Craigslist Scam Hits Home

Recently a friend of mine posted a high valued item on Craigslist and within hours he received the response reflected below. Ultimately his common sense kicked in and he had me take a look at it. I immediately knew it was a scamRead more..

10 survival tips for non-morning people

Some people jump out of bed in the morning, hit the ground running, and leave a trail of creative thinking and focused accomplishment in their wake. And then there’s the rest of us.Read more..

Stay safe online: 5 secrets every PC (and Mac) owner should know

My #1 help question of 2011? It’s no contest: “How do I protect myself online?” In this post, I share the five steps I teach to friends, family members, and clients who want to avoid malware, scareware, phishing sites, and other online scams.Read more..

The 20 best back-to-school laptops

Schools starts in just a few weeks so you can’t put off buying that laptop much longer. Here are 20 of the best available right now. Read more..

Brilliant But Doomed: Technology’s Most Magnificent Failures

The short lives and sad fates of twenty genuinely bright ideas.Read more..

Geek technologies that still thrive at 25 (and beyond)

Join us in a celebratory tour of high tech’s still-kicking senior citizens: the technologies that geeks know and love, and that tend to make a lot of everyday technology work.Read More..

Five tips for controlling procrastination

Some people say procrastination works for them, keeping them sharp and efficient. But for others, it’s self-defeating, guilt-inducing, and demoralizing.” Read more..

Don’t miss out on the chance to enter my latest software license giveaway drawing.


*** A Chance To Win A Valuable Prize! ***


The folks at Softland have generously donated ten licenses for novaPDF Professional to me, to award to my readers.

“novaPDF is a PDF creator for Windows that allows you to easily create PDF files. With novaPDF, everyone from novice users to professionals can create high-quality documents in industry-standard PDF format, by simply selecting the “Print” command from virtually any application.“

To enter the drawing, please see: Software Giveaway – novaPDF Professional

Old-school phishing emails make a return. I have noticed a resurgence of the old “Dearly Beloved” and “for our mutual benefit” scam email spam messages this week. Is this due to the recent stock market plunge? Are they hoping there are more desperate Americans? (You’d have to be desperate to fall for Jurassic Period [circa 1995] scams.. right?)

Anonymous Hackers Expose Sensitive Law Enforcement Data

“Anonymous and LulzSec hackers published the private data of more than 70 rural law enforcement agencies across the country, exposing sensitive information such as passwords, security training and tip information.” Read more..

[Have you ever left an ‘anonymous tip’, or work as a a undercover ‘snitch’? Might wanna read this one..]

Today’s quote:When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Have a good day, everybody. I hope you are enjoying your summer.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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August 9, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments