Tag Archive | "XBox"

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Xbox Live Gold: Get a Free Year with a New Office 365 Subscription

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Xbox nerds, you may be able to get a free year of Xbox Live Gold when you buy a new Office 365 Home Premium subscription (1 year) or Office 365 University subscription (4 years).

Pretty cool, because these days, an Office 365 subscription also give you access to the new Microsoft Office Mobile for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and iPad Mini.

Office 365 and Office 2013. . .What’s the Difference?

This deal is available from July 18, 2013 to September 28, 2013 and full details are on this Microsoft student site. The biggest barrier to qualifying for this deal may be where you live. For example, the United States is unfortunately not a market included in this deal, as shown by the terms and conditions link you will find on the site.

Musings on Microsoft’s New Xbox One with Kinect

Source: About.com

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Two-factor Authentication Twitter

Turn on Two-Factor Authentication on Twitter and All the Sites You Use

Two-factor Authentication TwitterFinally! Twitter has added two-factor authentication, which requires a second check (a verification code sent to your phone) when you sign into the service from an unknown device. This is a much-needed feature for online accounts to prevent hackers from taking over your account (and we’ve seen that happen a lot, on Twitter especially). Here’s how to get this set up and the other places you need to turn on two-factor authentication.

For Twitter, log into your account, click on the gear icon in the navigation bar, and choose Settings (or go to https://twitter.com/settings/account). Next to the Account security setting, check “Require a verification code when I sign in.” If that’s grayed out, you’ll first need to add a phone to your account and then go back to the Settings to turn on two-factor authentication. Learn more from Twitter’s announcement.

Where else should you turn on this extra security feature? In a word, everywhere. Most importantly:

  • Your email account(s). See instructions for Gmail.
  • All financial service accounts (bank, investments, etc.)
  • Password-management sites, such as LastPass
  • Online storage service providers, including Dropbox
  • Microsoft(used for your SkyDrive, Office Web, Xbox, Windows 8 PC login, and more)
  • Other social media sites, such as Facebook
  • WordPress, if you have a WP blog (see my post on ITworld), other webhosting service, and domain name service providers

Learn more about two-factor authentication here.

Stay on top of the latest in mobile computing, telecommuting, and working on the road: Free weekly newsletter | Blog posts subscription | Follow me on Twitter: @melaniepinola or Google+

Source: About.com

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Musings on Microsoft’s New Xbox One with Kinect

Microsoft Kinect DemoOffice.About.com Newsday Office Software & Productivity Updates Every Tuesday About.Software.com Pinterest ButtonOffice.About.com Twitter ButtonOffice.About.com Facebook ButtonOffice.About.com Google Plus ButtonOffice.About.com RSS Button

Today, Microsoft unveiled Xbox One, the latest version of its popular gaming system. I am not a gamer, but From a productivity standpoint, I am interested in the fact that Kinect, the gaming sensor users have the option of adding to their Xbox system, now recognizes players’ voice commands as well as detecting movements. Here’s why.

Kinect has already been developed for educational and business applications as well as entertainment. How soon before we start seeing this technology in Microsoft Office and other productivity tools?

  • Cool Kinect Hacks for Home, Office
  • The Microsoft Digits Project and Gesture Recognition
  • Technology-Driven Education Initiatives

Right away, this latest version of Kinect has spooked some people out. Does it mean Microsoft is always listening to you, since the Kinect turns on when you say, “Xbox On”? (Microsoft response to T.C.Sottek of the Verge).

I just want using Microsoft Office to become a little more like Tony Stark looking for crime scene data in Iron Man 3.  Will we all get up out of chairs and walk around giving commands, or move laser images with our hands? Will we finally be free from being hunched over our desks? One can hope!

Getting Serious About Ergonomics at Your Desk and On the Go

Source: About.com

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tweet to buy

Hashtag Commerce @ Twitter Mall

Twitter is partnering with American Express Co. to let Twitter users with AmEx cards buy goods by sending a tweet containing a special hashtag.

Media observers promptly dubbed the program announced yesterday “tweet to buy,” but it sounds like tweet shopping or hashtag commerce to me.

tweet to buy
AmEx tweet to buy rolled out on Twitter this week

To participate, you need an AmEx card and must tie it to Twitter via the “Amex Sync” service which the credit card company started nearly a year ago for various social media services. Cardholders basically link their AmEx card number to their Twitter handle or other eligible social media service.

Until now, that “Amex Sync” program just let card holders obtain special discounts via social media. Now, it includes direct purchases.

Follow the @AmericanExpress Twitter account to find the special hashtags tied to specific items eligible for purchase by tweeting. AmEx said initial discounted products will include the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Xbox 360, and Sony Action Cam with waterproof headband.

To make a purchase, send a tweet containing the special hashtag for the item you want. You’ll have to finalize it with another step–replying to a confirmation tweet that Amex will send you within 15 minutes.

AmEx kicked it off yesterday by offering discounted gift cards that quickly sold out on Twitter. More product offers will roll out in the tweet-to-buy program at noon today.

Taylor Schreiner, who co-directs ad research at Twitter, blogged about the importance of mobile usage on Twitter this week and noted that the average user follows five brands on Twitter.

Learn more from the AmExSync video on YouTube.

Related Stories

  • Guide to Hashtags on Twitter
  • Twitter Followers Super Guide
  • Twitter Language Explained
  • Twitter Client Guide
Source: About.com

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Microsoft Kinect Demo

Cool Kinect Hacks for Home and Office

Microsoft Kinect Demo

Office.About.com Nerdsday: Skill challenges. Fun tech sites. Word puzzles. Polls. Your inner nerd validated, every Thursday.

Microsoft’s Kinect has always been of interest for productivity and convenience innovation as well as gaming.

If you are looking to be a step ahead of whatever is released mainstream along these lines, consider checking out some of these cool Kinect hacks for home and office.3Gear SDK Precise Finger Mouse Alternative

Control Conference Room Lighting with Microsoft Kinect

You Can Give the Kinect the Power of Image Recognition

Top 15 Kinect Hacks (So Far) – PC World

Kinect Hacks featured on Engadget

7 Mind-Blowing Xbox Kinect Hacks [VIDEOS] – Mashable

Kinect hacking at a whole new level – Venture Beat

Play Fruit Ninja with Gestures

For more on Microsoft’s own Kinect development: The Microsoft Digits Project and Gesture Recognition

I admit, I am a Kinect nerd who is obsessed with playing at least one dance or fitness game a day. It looks like a may also become a Kinect hack. Heard of any others? Please leave a comment with a link.

(c) Image Courtesy of Microsoft

Source: About.com

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Black Friday News: Walmart Opening Earlier Than Ever Before

Walmart has announced an aggressive plan to capture the attention of Black Friday shoppers earlier than ever before during three events starting on Thanksgiving evening, November 22 at 8 p.m.

Three Big Events

The stores will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving with deals on brand name toys, apparel, items for the home and gaming products.

Then at 10 p.m., the electronics sales prices begin and Walmart has made a promise that customers in the store and in the queue line between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving evening can purchase the following electronics at special low prices:

  • Apple iPad2 16GB with Wi-Fi – $399 plus get a $75 Walmart Gift Card
  • Emerson 32″ 720p LCD TV – $148
  • LG Blu-ray Player – $38

If any of these items happen to sell out before 11 p.m. customers can get a Guarantee Card for the item which must be paid for by midnight and registered online. The product will then be shipped to the store where it was purchased for the customer to pick up before Christmas.

On Friday, November 23, starting at 5 a.m. the traditional Black Friday doorbusters and weekend deals will begin.

“We know it’s frustrating for customers to shop on Black Friday and not get the items they want,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer, Walmart U.S. “This year, for the first time ever, customers that shop during Walmart’s one-hour event will be guaranteed to have three of the most popular items under their tree at a great low price.”

A few of the top items available in store, while supplies last, include:

8 p.m. on November 22:
Gifts for the Entire Family – Toys, Gaming, Home and Apparel

  • Xbox 360 4GB + SkyLanders™ Bundle – $149
  • Wii Console- $89
  • More than 100 video games priced at $10, $15 or $25 each
  • Top Toys of the Season: Leappad 1.0 Learning Tablet ($65) and Furby ($45)
  • Razor Accelerator 12-Volt Electric Scooter – $79
  • Fisher Price Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler 6-Volt Ride Ons (Hot Wheels and Barbie) – $89 each
  • Licensed Boys’ and Girls’ 2-Piece Sleep Set – $4.50 each
  • Mens and Ladies Denim – $9.50 each
  • Home appliances such as a Crock Pot 6-Quart Slow Cooker and Mr. Coffee Programmable 12-Cup Coffee Maker – $9.44 each
  • Shark Steam Pocket Mop and Ninja Pulse Blender – $39 each
  • Fashion Dolls such as Barbie, Bratz and Disney Princess – $5 each
  • Hundreds of DVD and Blu-ray movies such as Brave, The Amazing Spiderman, Hunger Game ranging from $1.96 to $9.96 each
  • Better Homes and Gardens 700-Thread Count Sheet Set – $19.96
  • 48″ Air-Powered Hockey Table – $29.86
  • 14′ Trampoline with Enclosure and Bonus Flash Light Zone – $159

10 p.m. on November 22:
The BIG Event – Brand Name Electronics

  • Vizio 60″ 720p LED Smart TV with built in Wi-Fi – $688
  • Samsung 43″ 720p 600Hz Class Plasma HDTV – $378
  • HP 15.6″ Laptop with 4GB and 320GB hard drive – $279
  • Nikon D3000 Digital Camera with Lens Kit – $449
  • Samsung Smart ST195 Digital Camera – $99
  • Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones – $179.95
  • Nook Color 8GB Tablet – $99
  • Virgin Mobile 3G/4G Hotspot – $39.88

5 a.m. on Nov. 23:
Savings on Gifts from Jewelry to Tires

  • Sharp 70″ 1080p 120Hz HDTV – $1,798
  • Acer 13.3″ Ultrabook with 4GB and 320GB solid state drive – $499
  • $100 Walmart gift card with the purchase of select smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S III, Droid RAZR M by Motorola and HTC One X
  • Goodyear Tires ranging from $59 – $99 each
  • Forever Bride 1/3 -Carat T.W. Diamond Ring in 10K Gold – $198
  • Stanley 6-Drawer Rolling Tool Cabinet with 85-Piece Mechanic Tool Set – $99
  • Singer Sew Mate 5400 60-Stitch Sewing Machine – $99.97
  • 5″ Pre-Lit Harrison Christmas Tree – $20
  • Better Homes and Gardens Deluxe Recliner – $199

Their Price Is Our Price

Walmart’s ad match guarantee will also be in effect on Black Friday. This allows customers to match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical product right at the cash register.

Map Your Black Friday Savings

Starting November 19, a Black Friday local store map will be available to view and print on Walmart.com and local Walmart Facebook pages. Also, for the first time, customers can view an interactive local store map on their mobile phone via the Walmart Mobile App, enabling customers to click on items to see the price, product description and location in the store.

Black Friday Specials & More Online

Don’t feel like getting into all the Black Friday shopping madness? There will be a two-day online-only event on Walmart.com starting early on Thanksgiving Day and extending through Black Friday, which will include free shipping to home on eligible $45 orders or free store pickup.

Deals will include:

  • Samsung 50″ Class LED 1080p 60Hz HDTV – $698
  • Ematic 7″ Tablet Android 4.0 1GHz, 4GB – $49
  • Dsi XL Ultimate Bundle – $129
  • Razor A Kick Scooter, Multiple Colors – $25

Newly-introduced this holiday, customers who sign up for email at Walmart.com, like its Facebook wall or download the Walmart Mobile App, will be among the first to get early access to special deals and information. In fact, these customers will receive exclusive, early access to purchase select Black Friday “store” items directly online at Walmart.com and via the Walmart Mobile App hours before they are available in stores.

Note: Opening hours may vary due to local laws. Customers can check with their local stores to confirm event start times. Prices and items may vary in Alaska, Hawaii, Oklahoma and Puerto Rico.

More information:

  • The Entire Black Friday Circular
  • Walmart Coupon Policy
  • How to Get the Best Bargains on Black Friday
Source: About.com

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Microsoft Working on a Mini Xbox Surface Tablet: Report

Source: Eweek.com

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Doom 3: BFG Edition Review (X360)

Doom 3 has been a polarizing game ever since it was first released in 2004. You either loved it for the great graphics and horror elements, or you hated it for its simplistic level designs and moronic monster closets. We fell squarely on the “loved it” side of the fence back then. Time has not been particularly kind to Doom 3 in the eight years since then, however, and replaying it on the Xbox 360 with the Doom 3: BFG Edition doesn’t paint nearly as rosy of a picture as we remembered. The gameplay is old and dated, the visuals won’t impress anyone anymore, and we just can’t overlook those dumb monster closets anymore. It is to be expected that an older game like Doom 3, particularly in a genre as crowded as first-person-shooters, wouldn’t age especially gracefully, but we really didn’t expect it to fall quite this far. Read our full review for more.

Doom 3: BFG Edition Review (X360)

Image © Bethesda

Source: About.com

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KontrolFreek Mini-Review (X360, PS3)

By now you’ve more than likely heard about KontrolFreek accessories or seen them at GameStop. These little analog stick nubs claim that they can make you a better FPS player just by snapping a little extra bit on top of your Xbox 360 controller sticks. KontrolFreek sent us some samples, so we’ve spent the last couple of weeks testing things out.

KontrolFreek products are tiny little tops for your analog sticks that add a mere 1/2 inch to the height of the stick. The idea is that by making the sticks slightly taller it increases the total distance that you have to move the stick to see the same result as you would with a normal stick. That extra movement area gives you more space to make fine adjustments to your aim so you can be more precise and more successful while playing shooters.

The science behind it all is actually pretty sound, but does it work? Yeah, it does. The additional fine movements the KontrolFreek allows you to make can mean the difference between a dramatic headshot or an embarrassing miss. You can more easily target exactly where you want than is possible with a standard controller setup. It works. You can use them on both the left (movement) and right (aiming) sticks at the same time, but we preferred using them just on the right stick, but you may have a different preference depending on your play style. It does take a little while to get used to them, since they do make your controller feel a bit different, but they can definitely make a positive impact on your gaming.

KontrolFreek nubs easily snap on to the top of the analog sticks for both Xbox 360 and PS3 (one size fits all here) and are very tight so you don’t have to worry about them coming loose during gameplay. They also are removed very easily by just pulling them off. They are priced at $10-14 and come in a variety of colors and designs to match your favorite games – the newest models are special Halo 4 and COD Black Ops 2 designs, for example – but they all work the same. Different models have concave or convex tops, however, so you may want to consider that if you have a preference before you buy a set.

Check out the official KontrolFreek website for more details.

Image © KontrolFreek

Disclosure: Review item provided by manufacturer.

Source: About.com

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Microsoft Surface Side View

Microsoft’s Marketing Deluge

Microsoft Surface Side View

Office.About.com Nerdsday: Skill challenges. Fun tech sites. Word puzzles. Polls. Your inner nerd validated, every Thursday.

Marketing efforts for Microsoft Surface, Office 2013, Windows 8, XBox Music are unfurling for Autumn 2012, and the deluge increased through a variety of channels this week.

Whether its flash-mob-like ads or Steven Sinofsky of Windows riding on the new Surface like a skateboard, this is just the beginning.

You could very likely already know that, if you saw the ultra-cheesy debut ad on Monday Night Football this week, or follow the official Surface Twitter account.

Check out this more chill, informative Surface ad that just came out. Here’s the Windows 8 ad, since it will also be released along with Surface tablets in a mere eight days (October 26th).

Also new this week was the new Xbox Music service.

Expect to see a lot more of these, particularly more ads for Office 2013, which does not yet have a final release date.

(c) Image courtesy of Microsoft

Source: About.com

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