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Microsoft Store in Danbury Fair Mall Is No Apple Store

July 9, 2012

The new Microsoft Store had its grand opening in Danbury Fair Mall recently and I wanted to check it out. I happened to be in the Danbury Fair Mall to (ironically) visit the Apple Store to have my busted iPhone replaced. [Side note - none of the Apple Store employees had ever seen my shaking screen problem and they were all oohing and ahhing over the oddity.]

Anyway, after getting my iPhone replaced I headed over to the Microsoft store, which had just opened a couple weeks earlier. I fully expected the Microsoft Store to be a cheap knockoff or clone of the Apple Store and to smirk at the audacity of Microsoft copying Apple's retail idea.

Buy a PC get a Free Xbox 360 - Hot Microsoft Promo!

June 19, 2012

Microsoft is offering a free Xbox 360 to students simply by buying a Windows 7 PC. You'll receive a a promo code good for an Xbox 360 4GB ($199 retail value) when you purchase a qualifying Windows 7 PC (priced $699 or more) from the Microsoft Store. But get the only requirement - a valid .edu email address! "Only available for students with a valid and verifiable .edu email address.

Microsoft XBOX Surface To Feature PixelSense?

June 18, 2012

Today is the big Microsoft "reveal", with everything pointing towards a Microsoft designed tablet. One rumored spec sheet via Shift2U is very fascinating detailing a new device called Xbox Surface:

At first glance I saw the 250GB 2.5" SCSI 10K RPM disk drive, which is way too thick and heavy for a tablet device. But then I read the rumored announcement is actually two devices. The other intriguing spec I saw was the maximum resolution of 1280x720, which seemed to be pretty small for a 7" tablet device.

Amazon gTLD Registration Reveals VoIP Interest?

June 14, 2012

Does Amazon want to get into the VoIP game? It appears that may be the case according to some revealing generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) that Amazon has registered through ICANN. ICANN allowed new Top-Level Domain to be registered with the apparent goal of increasing competition and choice.

Netflix Temporarily Offline? On Movie Night? Ahhhh!

May 11, 2012

Oh joy - was checking my Netflix DVD queue to see if any interesting movies to stream as well as which ones arrived in the mail and I got this lovely error message:
Watch as many TV episodes and movies as you want for one low price! One month FREE Trial.
  We’re sorry, the Netflix website is temporarily unavailable. Our shipping centers are continuing to send and receive DVDs, so your movies will be processed as usual. And you can still instantly watch movies via your Netflix ready device.

Our engineers are working hard to bring the site back up as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and, again, we apologize for the inconvenience.

Skype@Home Telephone Products Coming?

April 20, 2012

Today, Rich Tehrani wrote about Microsoft "working on Skype Everywhere Initiative" based on another job listing. Just a few days ago I wrote about a Microsoft job listing was pointing toward Microsoft and Skype building a HTML5 Web version of Skype.

Rich believes there are some good synergies with Microsoft and Skype that can result in a whole like of Skype at home phone products (Skype@Home?) including DECT 6.0 phones. The problem with DECT wireless phones over WiFi phones is you need a base unit, which adds to the cost. Wi-Fi phones can just connect to the Wi-Fi access point with no additional hardware necessary.

However, what if the next XBox 360 has a built-in DECT transceiver?

AT&T U-verse Closing in on Verizon FiOS

March 13, 2012

AT&T U-verse is closing in on Verizon FiOS in the Battle of the Telco TV Titans. According to IHS iSuppli Research, "AT&T in the fourth quarter of 2011 added more video subscribers to its U-verse service than cellular/wireless arch-rival Verizon did for its FiOS offering, marking the 10th straight quarter that AT&T has exceeded Verizon, according to the IHS Screen Digest U.S. Media Intelligence Service."

Swann Unveils MP3 DJ Doorbell

March 13, 2012

With the Swann MP3 DJ Doorbell - nostalgia aside - you can say goodbye to the days of the boring "ding-dong" doorbell. The Swann MP3 Doorbells lets you customize your doorbell and play your favorite music in MP3 or polyphonic formats as your visitors arrive. Scare your trick-or-treaters with some scary music or play some Christmas music when your Christmas guests arrive. Certainly putting custom holiday-themed music on your doorbell with make you the envy of your neighbors.

The MP3 DJ Doorbell sports a doorbell unit, backed with double sided tape for mounting in your doorway and a wireless speaker unit for mounting inside in your living area, kitchen, hallway etc with screws in the pack.

Text-to-Speech (TTS) on Kindle Fire!

February 22, 2012

Text-to-speech (TTS) for the Kindle Fire is a long sought after feature. Having TTS on your Kindle Fire enables you to listen to your e-books using text-to-speech without having to buy expensive audiobooks. Some people may be vision impaired and want TTS to supplement or replace their manual reading of the text. Sure TTS isn't perfect, but it works pretty well.

Now if only the Kindle Fire supported TTS like other versions of the Kindle, then life would be grand.

Journey Releases New Video Featuring Michaele Salahi

February 14, 2012

I was scrolling through my Facebook Newsfeed when I came across a post by Journey saying they had a new music video. It read:

Sweet vibrations! Our new video for "Resonate" from our latest album Eclipse, is here as a special Valentine's Day gift to you.

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