XBox adds Voice, Gestures with TV Update

Xbox 360

Xbox 360

A new interface for XBox 360 game console users allows you to use your voice to navigate through the games, TV shows, movies and music.

Steve Ballmer showed off this technology back in September, but starting this Tuesday, this becomes reality. It adds not only remote gesture control, but also remote voice commands. Therefore, if you don’t have a Kinect motion controller, you still can control without a remote.

The Associated Press got a special demonstration of the new features. When the Microsoft employee said “XBox Bing ‘Iron Man’,” a search for Iron Man came up. When the employee said “XBox, show movies,” a list of movies from various sources appeared.

With over 57 million XBox units sold, Microsoft is expecting to make a real impact in the cord cutters market. Adding pay channel partners like Verizon FIOS means that XBox will get into the Over the top TV market with a vengeance. You will have to use over-the-air or alternate cable methods to get network TV like NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox.

The real question is how this will affect your household. Will you cut your cord over this update? Will you start to use the XBox as more than a gaming system?

Happy 15th Anniversary, Download.com

download.com

download.com

Today we have application stores up the ying-yang. But 15 years ago, trying to find applications for your computer was a lot harder. We did have two decent sources: Tucows.com and download.com (a CNet company, now owned by CBS). Since then, these two sources have grown to better catalog Freeware, shareware, and paid applications. This week, we say Happy anniversary to Download.com.

While the domain was registered on February 24, 1996, Download.com will officially launch on October 23rd, 1996 (Reference via CNet article). Since then, the website sees almost 10 million downloads of software a week. The top downloads being AVG and Avast antivirus software. A long cry from Hey, Macaroni (the dancing macaroni meme), WinZip 32 and Duke Nukem 3D – which was the most downloaded in 1996. WinZip is still one of the top 5 download pieces of software on the site.

For 15 years, download.com has kept a great archive of software, weeding out the obsolete, malware producing items. They have been sued for some software downloads, most notably the free music download program LimeWire. While download.com did not promote the download of mp3 music or movies, the peer-to-peer software is another way to download legally shared items. Of course, this has always been the conundrum of file sharing.

In retrospect, TuCows has been in operation since 1994, offering the same services. Other services have come and gone, but download.com has stayed strong. So happy 15 years to a source that I’ve personally used many a time from my IT career.

TV Networks Stick Collective Finger in Dike

Over the past twenty-four hours you have probably heard the news that some of the major networks, such as ABC, NBC, and CBS have blocked access from Google TV.  I don’t know if I should be surprised or not.

I’ve grown accustomed to them doing this sort of thing – Hulu (NBC and Fox) blocked Boxee, and didn’t even want your PC hooked to your TV.  But in recent months it seemed to be changing – Hulu is going on set-top boxes, TV Networks are making apps for things like the iPad.

Now in the past day they have tried to suddenly turn back the clock, by blocking the Google TV set-top box.  It seems to go against the tide they had been riding recently to a more open, freely available content future.  They saw this coming years ago as they watched the music industry struggle.  While they have not yet given up their DRM, as music had to, they were finding ways to (mostly) satisfy viewers by rolling out Hulu and placing content on their own web sites, and, as I said previously, even releasing apps and putting Hulu on real TV’s.

They saw bit torrent as their own personal Napster, and they were right to.  It was, and if they don’t figure this thing out soon then it still could be.  There’s no shortage of apps and directories available to even the most casual users to get all of their TV shows while cutting the providers out completely.  And this kind of move is the type that pushes people in that direction.  The music industry has shown that low prices and wide availability can work as a business model.  The TV industry seems bent on showing that low availability can’t work.

Maybe it’s the wide-open, PC-style approach that Google TV takes that is scaring them.  After all, they were never really afraid of a few geeks hooking PC’s to TV’s.  But, when the process gets vastly simplified by a device, then the game really begins to change.  And those high-profile, big-profit hostage negotiations like the one going on in New York between Fox and Cablevision lose their value.

The one thing they don’t seem do get, or maybe they get, but haven’t sensed the urgency of, is that they are running out of room quickly.  As the old saying goes, they are putting their finger in the hole in the dike, but they can’t hold back the flood much longer.  They need to figure out the revenue model for this new technology yesterday.  Blocking access to Google TV is already a flawed plan.  Anybody can go in and change the ID of the Chrome browser and get their access back.  It takes 30 seconds.  And early adopters are the kind of people who know how to do that.  These days knowledge is digital and once it’s out it’s not coming back.  The content producers and networks are running out of time and, even in that race, they are running in the wrong direction right now.

Is CNN Calling For Curbs On Free Speech?

On July 23, 2010, CNN anchors Kyra Phillips and John Roberts discussed on air the idea that bloggers should be somehow “held accountable” or perhaps regulated in some way. Here’s the video of that exchange.

It’s no secret that CNN and other so-called mainstream media outlets, both broadcast and print, have had for some time now an ongoing loss of viewers and readers. A number of traditional journalists from time to time have had and expressed an almost open hostility towards bloggers and the Internet. They perceive the Internet as a threat to their business models, and their vaunted self-appointed job as information “gatekeepers.”

If you look back over the past few years, almost every major story, particularly scandal stories, originated first on blogs. In many cases the mainstream media were dragged kicking and screaming into reporting stories. The clearly forged National Guard documents that ultimately ended up forcing CBS to fire evening news anchor Dan Rather comes to mind from a few years ago. Bloggers quickly picked up on the fact that the supposed National Guard documents had been typed up in the default template for Microsoft Word and then ran through a fax and/or copy machine a number of times to make the documents look dirty and/or old. The trouble was, Microsoft Word didn’t exist in 1973. If it weren’t for bloggers, this story would have likely never come to public light, and what is clearly a forgery and a made-up story would have passed into the public mind as the truth.

Should free speech be curbed? Should bloggers somehow be licensed or officially regulated in what is purportedly a free country? Should we be forced to get our news from “professional” or even “licensed” journalists?

The Onion’s fake news is too close to real news

O.K. – Check out this Onion article – Man’s Facebook Status Given Book Deal

Now check out this article on WSJ – S—mydadsays Lands TV Deal

Can someone say “Irony?” Little did the Onion know, they were reporting a “Close to news” story. And it happened in the same week.

I heard about this Twitter account a few weeks ago. An old codger saying things that just make you laugh. Here are a couple Twitters:

“You look just like Stephen Hawking…Relax, I meant like a non-paralyzed version of him. Feel better?… Fine. Forget I said it.”

“Son, no one gives a s— about all the things your cell phone does. You didn’t invent it, you just bought it. Anybody can do that.”

“The baby will talk when he talks, relax. It ain’t like he knows the cure for cancer and he just ain’t spitting it out.”

“Just pay the parking ticket. Don’t be so outraged. You’re not a freedom fighter in the civil rights movement. You double parked.”

Of course, the Twitter profile is run by Justin, a 29 year old who lives with his 79 year old dad. The Twitter profile is full of profanities, so you might want to not show the kids. But you can get a chuckle out of it.Then check out the CBS schedule, because that is who gave Justin the sitcom.

Oh yeah, there is also talk of the Twitter having a book deal, too.

GNC-2009-11-03 #524 Where we are going from here!

I talk about the plan I am laying out for the show, while the Audio format will not change I am moving aggressively to improve the video quality in an effort to be in a position for what I feel is forthcoming in the new media space. The exercise while expensive is one that I think is one that I need to take to see if the content will bridge over time into as big a hit with video hit as the audio format is.

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Listener Links:
National Listener Survey
Thanks Andrew: Google Voice Blocking
eBook Readers and Services
Thanks Trucker Tom: TV Exec Love DVR’s
NASA to test on Squirrel Monkeys
Thanks Sal: Real reason people stood in Line for Microsoft Store Openings

Show Notes:
Congress to lockup NAB and Musician Rep to battle out bill terms!
Black Friday and Monday is coming be prepared to shop and get great deals.
Bing gets Real Time NFL Scores and Flight Updates.
Pirate Bay Closure increases P2P sites by 300%!
Google and Asian Telecommunications companies lay new Fiber Cable.
Pepsi looses battle it did not know it had to fight ordered to pay 1.26 Billion?
Sarbanes Oxley may be waived to small public companies?
Google playing Logo games with Firefox in Google Search?
Adobe plays hardball with iPhone and iTouch users who do not have a clue.
Apple to bring TV to iTunes for $30.00 a month Sign me Up!
Sprint turns on Wimax in some cities is your area next?
iPhone + Intel P55 Chip + Windows 7 equals a broken iPhone Sync.
Idiot ejects himself from Airplane Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
Microsoft Data Center in Chicago pretty amazing pictorial.
Dell Customer Support replaces mans Laptop with a Hard Drive!
Do you have a Femtocell in your home if so listen in.
Hulu subscription realities are charge for service imminent?
Scobles Tech News Feed is Money.
Cisco knows where the world of Media is headed buys Chinese set-top box company! Follow the money folks.
DIY USB Charger simply simple.
Review of Video editing suites all under a $100.00.
Does CBS 60 Minutes have any street credibility left?
Google Voice Search goes Mandarin.
How are you getting your mobile Apps built DIY or hired Firm?
Support Nick through purchases of FeedDemon>
I think Google just killed the Mapping and GPS industry. The wolf in sheep’s clothing strikes again.
Hacker earns 1 million in providing free Internet Service and now faces 6 Felony counts. DIY Prison terms.
Japanese HTV full of trash and ready for De orbit Incineration.
WordPress Template Cheat Sheet.

Send in your stories to geeknews@gmail.com and be sure to provide a link to your websites!

GNC-2009-02-27 #455 On my way to Japan

On my way to Japan tomorrow morning, but dealing with a very sore back after a major fall here at home. Slightly worried about my connectivity in Japan but will keep you all advised if it looks like I will have to delay a show. Congratulations to Dale on winning PogoPlug.

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Show Notes:
Windows 7 will play .Mov Files
Old School NASA Saturn Picture
Twitter Alternatives
Digg to Battle Stumbleupon
1.5 Million Footprint Found
Google Apps Status Page
CC Zero
Quebecor Sells Out on Three Strikes
Border Search of Encrypted media must give up Data
Earth Eclipse as Seen from Moon
Windows 7 Are they Listening
MIT Invention Powers Bicycles
Do you have a Broken Mac Air Hinge
I Love this Monitor Setup!
17 inch Macbook Pro Review
Pirate Bay Day 9
Lenses Informational
Why the Labels are Crying Wolf
Panther and CDN Networks Merge
Powerbook Battery Explodes
RIP Rocky Mountain News
Say Hello to Google Twitter
Facebook Photos a iPhone Contact List
iPhone Japan poor sales
MRO trouble
Discovery March 12th Launch
Blubrry Sponsors Wordcamp Denver
Fairness Doctrine first Nail in Coffin
How to Sync two Windows Home Servers
FAA hack
36 Changes to Windows 7
CBS gets Pass by Apple to Stream TV via 3G – Podcasting Denied
Asus Eee PC 1000HE

GNC-2006-11-28 #220

Get your chance to win a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking version 9.0 see bottom of show notes. Lots of content tonight and some great feedback and suggestions from listeners.

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Show Notes (Non Exclusive)
Break.com
Chinese Fakes
256GB
Podcast Production
Mels Universe (Appreciation Link)
WiFi Leach
Zune Cables
Videos Live, TV Dead
Dumb Criminal
scrapetorrent.com
One Spin
Wow
Xbox 360 Deal
101 Things
Digg Scam?
Linutop
DIY Gifts
Keyboard Gaming Xbox 360
CBS President
Business and Podcasting
Media Tools of the Week
TechCrunch Workflow
No More Censorship
FeedCycle
Open Source MP3 Player
ISS Golf Shot
AT&T – BellSouth
New Democracy Player
Altair 8800
StreetIQ.com

Advertising on Eggs and the Front Page of Newspapers!

So you get up on a Sunday morning go grab a newspaper and what do you see on the front page, a big huge advertisement disgusted you throw it in the trash. Having your tranquil morning interrupted you decide to cook some eggs. As you open the egg carton you notice the eggs have a mark on them. Pulling one out of the container you stare at a CBS logo on the egg with their domain name emblazed below it. You think to yourself I just paid someone good money to put ads on my food and the single most sacred page of a news paper now has a advertisement on it.

I’m a commercial type of guy and realize we live in a commercial world, but this is getting ridiculous. If I buy any of those eggs with CBS imprints on them. I am going to go down to the local CBS affiliate, demand a refund of the cost of the eggs after all if I am going to be forced to be exposed to a commercial on my food then they can pay for the eggs themselves.

I might as well get something out of my attention correct! If the newspaper that I barely scan as it is puts ads on the front page, I am going to unsubscribe. It’s time that the media figure out that in your face crap is not going to work anymore. [Eggs] [Techme]