The Xbox 360 Elite is here.

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The Elite SKU for the Xbox 360 family has officially been announced as of 12am EST today.  The New SKU, takes the same great Xbox 360 experience, but adds the black matte finish, an HDMI port for your audio/video needs, as well as bring the black matte finish to console accessories (like the controllers, wired headset, and play/charge kit).

While this new SKU, priced at $479, is new and has some new features, especially the standard 120GB HDD, the experience a user receives from the system will be NO different from that the other 2 SKUs.  A Premium user will notice no performance issues as compared to the Elite, as the Core will not notice anything as well.  The only difference is the black color, the larger standard HDD, the black accessories (that will also be sold at retail along with the 120GB HDD), and an HDMI port for slightly improved video.

You can read/see more about it at these various links:

The Elite is going to be a great addition to the Xbox 360 family, this coming April 29th, in the US and Canada (only initially!)!!

I have returned to using the Vista Sidebar

I took a little bit of time off from the Vista sidebar as I thought it was causing some issues.  I don’t think it was, it may be the Zune software, a codec I have running or…a gadget itself.  But, alas, I have decided to return to one of THE coolest features in Vista.

The gadgets I have running right now:

  • Contact – Made by Microsoft.  Included with Vista.
  • Weather – Made by Microsoft.  Included with Vista.
  • CPU/Memory )Speedo)meter – Made by Microsoft.  Included with Vista
  • 24 Clock – Made by Rick Martinez (digx).  It utlizes the easily recognizable 24 font.  It is the same font/look that the popular TV show, 24, has when it is coming out of a commercial.
  • Network Utlization – Made by Jonathon Abbot.  Displays your network traffic in a bar or line graph.

Sidebar

  • Vista Hot Corners – This little gadget gives you the ability to have the same “Expose” feature that Mac OSX computers have.  Works great!  You can see the expose, oriented at the top right corner of the picture above.  The blurring in the image below, is my doing, as to protect my info as well as my contacts info.

Expose on Vista

Xbox Live is NOT Hacked!

Xbox Live, contrary to recent news stories, is not hacked.  As for the reason that people are seeing mysterious charges for MS points to their cards, is not do to ANY “hacking” of the Xbox Live Serivce.

MajorNelson.com has a statement:

Despite some recent reports and speculation, I want to reassure all of our 6 million Xbox Live members that we have looked into the situation and found no evidence of any compromise of the security of the Xbox Live Network or Bungie.net.  There have been a few isolated incidents where malicious users have been attempting to draw personal information from unsuspecting users and use it to gain access to their LIVE account.  This is a good time to remind our members that they should never give out any of their personal information. Additionally it may be a good idea to download this free PDF file from Microsoft.com ‘ Help Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft’ that gives you some excellent information and tips on how to protect yourself.

Aaron Greenberg, at the Gamerscoreblog, has a similar statement.

Back Home…and back at school.

Well, I was able to get the flight home on Saturday morning from Seatac…in first class!  Man, first class is the BOMB!  Constantly asking if you want anything, giving you water, food, snacks…the works.  Then free movies!  I felt rich.

Anyways, I did get home, only to fly back up to Syracuse the next day.  Yea…delayed another 2 hours, but all is well now.  On to thinking about the EXTREMELY cool things we saw at the summit, that I am sure many many people will be happy to hear once they are announced.

Stranded in Seattle

Well…many of you may be aware of the bad weather in the Northeast.  Yea well, it has affected me.  I was supposed to leave Seattle, via Delta, on an 11:35pm flight, that landed in NYC (JFK) at 8am EST.  Well, it is not 4pm EST, and I am still in Seattle.  I’ve been delayed until a 7:40am flight out of Seattle.  Yea, it stinks.  To make it worse, Delta’s support is HORRIBLE.

To try to get an any flight out, which is pretty much impossible, I went to Seatac at about 8:30am this morning.  I went, and was told to go over to use the “Delta Direct” phones, to discuss rescheduling and such with Delta.  The phones, turned out to be everything BUT direct.  I sat there on the phone, on hold, for about 90 minutes.  Got NO WHERE.  I was able to go to the Kiosk, to “check in”, to see if any info was there.  That is where I found my flight info.  Thank god for computers.

-Sitting in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt