Archive for: Zune

Zune Twitter app goes the China/Apple-net-nanny route. Censorship now standard! [Update]

  • December 17, 2009 8:27 am


**Update: Microsoft pushed out an update for the Zune Twitter app. It’s f****** fucking great. Get it while it’s hot!

Oh joy. Don’t you love it when some company, software developer, or hardware manufacturer decides what is and isn’t suitable for your senses to consume? I know I sure do. Mmmmm censorship and net nannies how I love thee.

Blatant sarcasm aside, having the Zune team tackle the whole net nanny is rather disappointing. Kids may see vulgar content in live, user generated content. That’s life. Get over it. Censoring the world won’t stop such things from reaching children. They just become annoyances to the rest of civilization and reasons not to buy a particular product. The obvious option would have been to install a password (read: parent controlled) on/off feature that would block/censor vulgar content. An all out *** buffet is stupid. Oh well, maybe ver. 2.0….

Besides the hand holding, the app actually looks pretty good visually speaking though users in various Zune forums are offering up their own two cents. According to them, the app is just “ok” as bugs currently persist. But as is usual with all 1st gen/ver. 1.0 products, bugs are expected. By the time the next version is pushed out I’m sure Microsoft will have gotten around to fixing them.

Any Zune users currently having their socks rocked? Or are your socks more like knee highs reaching towards those sky-thigh-high running shorts? We’ve just gotta know.


Sidekick outage a result of inside sabotage & “Dogfooding”? [Update]

  • October 14, 2009 6:17 am

**Update: Microsoft’s pet unicorn works wonders as they announce that “most, if not all” customer data lost during the great Sidekick slaying of ’09 is restored or soon to be. Whew! So, conspiracy or simply mechanical failure mixed with a pinch of human error?

**Update 2: A word from a TechCrunch via Microsoft:

We have determined that the outage was caused by a system failure that created data loss in the core database and the back-up. We rebuilt the system component by component, recovering data along the way. This careful process has taken a significant amount of time, but was necessary to preserve the integrity of the data.

So there you have it. No crazy sabotage plans (though they were highly believable) or world ending tales. Simple hardware failure. Remember however that this hardware failure was one of the worst to date for a major company such as Microsoft and will no doubt stay in the general publics’ minds for months possibly years to come. Move along folks…the excitement here is over.

Now before you go and discount the ‘ol “inside job” claim, stick with me for a minutes. There’s some real meat to this story. First, we’ll start off with be simply highlighting that over a week after Sidekick services went down, no one, not Microsoft nor T-Mobile have come forward giving us any explanation. Don’t you find that a bit strange? Usually they’ll say the simple “hardware failure”, “software glitch”, etc. Also, with the sheer number of users these companies support, you know they have back up servers and back up servers for the back up servers and then some. Everything has multiple copies. So why hasn’t at least one back server been launched or at least some functionality been brought back up? Could it really be sabotage and “dogfooding”.

Zune HD OLED display issues starting to appear

  • October 5, 2009 1:30 pm


If you recently rushed out to be one of the first with the latest generation in Zune goodness you may want to sit up and pay attention. Reports of OLED funkiness have been cropping up on those shiny new Zune HD’s. While it isn’t a widespread problem…yet…as more people pick up Microsoft’s latest the issue could grow troublesome. The video clearly shows that while the touchscreen controls are in fact still functioning, something goes horribly awry once the white mask kicks in. As can be seen above, one the white mask of doom kicks in roughly 28 seconds into the clip, the display bites it and becomes a nasty, blinding display of awfulness. Currently, Microsoft is mum on the issue (though we have contacted them) meaning any insight as to whether this is hardware or software related is pure speculation for now. Regardless, if this happens to you, take it back and get a new one. Anyone else experiencing these issues?


Longer, bigger ads abound on newly released Zune apps

  • September 18, 2009 8:21 am

Ads are a bittersweet tool. For most end users they’re a pain, taking up valuable seconds and pixels in your life. For advertisers they are a bet that they can reach just one more person than they did yesterday. It’s all about getting your name and product out there right? However, for some of the Zune free Zune games that were just released, the ads are full screen videos that can last as long as 30 seconds when launching certain games. Should we be surprised? No. In an age were ad revenue is going through some drastic changes, the ad market and how they’re delivered is sure to get shaken up.

However you have to remember that it costs money to develop apps, if you can recoup a small portion of that development by selling some ad space more power to ya. It’s when ads get out of control and inhibit enjoyment of the task at hand. Moving back to the Zune, the apps aren’t all 30 seconds in length or full screen. Some are your traditional smaller ads placed strategically throughout the app during live game play while some are the full screen ads that display while a game is loading. It’s also worth mentioning that not all the free apps have ads. The weather app for instance is ad free.

So the question comes up of which is better and for who? Would you rather have a small ad(s) placed throughout your screen during game play or have one large, longer add during game loading? Heck, those seconds lost during loading are useless anyway aren’t they? My vote is during loading time. I’d much rather have my gaming sessions make use of as many pixels as possible. Feel the same?

Source: Slashdot, Ars Technica

So exactly what is Microsoft’s strategy with the Zune?

  • September 14, 2009 7:05 am


Love it or hate it, mock it or praise it, the Microsoft Zune is here for at least a little longer with the upcoming release of the Zune HD. While the older 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 80GB, and 120GB models will be getting a digital dirt nap, Microsoft is pushing onward with their little player that still hasn’t bringing to market a more formidable challenger to the PMP market. But, is it too little too late? While I am actually quite impressed with the Zune HD and wouldn’t mind purchasing one, save for the Nvidia Tegra graphics inside, it is basically the same technology that was on iPod Touches two years ago. I’ll forget the fact that Microsoft took so long to bring a legitimate touchscreen, jack of all trades device to market, but why did they stop there? Why didn’t they bring some new technology or feature that would truly push those fence sitters over the edge or even better, win back a few iPod users in the process? What exactly is Microsoft’s strategy with the Zune?

Zune browser finally gets some screentime

  • August 11, 2009 6:39 am


The Microsoft Zune may be the ugly, finally getting prettier step child that many love to hate and few actually love. But I can say that it has finally started turning into a device I would actually want to own. With the latest updates to the physical design as well as internal features, Microsoft’s Zune is becoming quite the little media player/mobile web browser…even if it is a year or two late to the game. CNet whom gave the new Zune glowing initial reviews and opinions has finally posted some pics of the much sought after browser based on IE and designed by the IE team. Pics of said browser can be found right after the click.

Microsoft announces upcoming games, 1080p “Instant On” movies for Live Marketplace, Last.FM support + more

  • June 1, 2009 3:01 pm


Microsoft’s E3 keynote kicked off today with many new and exciting announcements. Obviously since E3 is a gaming trade show, the Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Live Marketplace, and even the Zune were the talk of the town - a sort of “Macworld” for Microsoft junkies where gaming geeks from all walks of life convene to take in, look at, touch, and prod the latest and greatest on the gaming frontier. So what did Microsoft bring to E3 to wow customers? The full list is inside (sans pictures and straight to the point).

Zune HD comes to life

  • May 27, 2009 5:11 am


Zune fans and Microsoft junkies, today is your day to brag and boast. The Zune HD which has been “leaked” and talked about constantly across the web is a rumor no more. The latest offering in the Zune line brings “HD” tag to the name - it probably has something to do with that amazing OLED 480×272 capacitive touchscreen display that is begging to get all oily with your finger prints. Further sweetening the deal is the inclusion of an “IE-based” web browser to get all geeky while on the go. Let’s hope to god it’s better than their desktop offerings. Gamers will also find this latest PMP a worthy upgrade as Xbox live integration is about to get a swift kick into “hellz yeah” as Big M has announced plans to integrate services and products across the Zune and Xbox lines meaning a tighter, more uniform experience. The truly geeky yet important information such as storage capacity, CPU speed, as well as a boat load of other specs are currently MIA meaning you’ll have to check back later for the latest. I am definitely intrigued by Microsoft’s latest attempt in this PMP market. While feature wise it is a bit late to the game, I’m just glad they finally made it. Excited? Word lovers contain yourselves - press release inside.

Microsoft to offer Zune upgrade plan? [Rumor]

  • May 26, 2009 8:21 am


If you’re a Zune owner who isn’t looking forward to the now imminent and highly suspected update to come to the Zune line of players as it means you now get to pay to “upgrade” to the latest and greatest, rumors coming from Zune Scene paint a picture of update happiness. As the picture above shows, the discounts are by no means petty change and are actually a pretty sweet deal. I for one hope that Microsoft can in fact make something like these rumored price discounts materialize as it would be a much needed assurance to current users that Microsoft does in fact care. But is it enough?