Monday, January 3, 2011

Rumor: Microsoft TV

There are rumors that Microsoft will introduce a video streamer box at CES this year:

http://twitter.com/#!/slashgear/status/22224742257790977

I think that this could be a pretty good product that I would like. I think that this could be something that would help simplify my setup.

Announcement hopes:


Here is what I hope the announcement will be:

  • The box will be about the size of a Roku or Apple TV

  • It would run a version of Windows that has been stripped to only allow Windows Media Center to run.

    • Windows Media Center already supports Netflix streaming

    • Windows Media Center plugins would still be allowed to run

    • This would help prevent software conflicts

    • The box would automatically update itself from Microsoft's servers



  • These devices would also be Media Center Extenders

    • This would allow you to buy a few of them for a house, and be able to watch the same content in all rooms.



  • There would be two SKUs.  One with a hard drive for content, and one that would only stream content from other sources.

    • The SKU with the hard drive would allow the user to store content, and playback from the local hard drive.



  • These would also support Zune Marketplace to get access to video and audio content (as the Xbox 360 does).

  • These devices would also be UPnP AV client.

  • These would support USB or UPnP TV tuners, to allow viewing or recording (for the SKU that has the hard drive) of TV content.


Since Microsoft already has the Xbox, this device would need to be cheaper than the existing versions of the Xbox.  I would think that the version without the hard drive would be $100, and the version with the hard drive would be $200.

Pie-in-the-sky hopes:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jumpscan

Jumpscan is a service that lets you share your contact information with others.  With Jumpscan, you enter your contact information, and some of the usernames for various social networks, and they create an online profile for you.  Then they will generate a QR code for this profile page.

I don't understand the usefulness of this service. If my purpose was to create a QR code to share my contact information, I would just create QR code that has my information in vcard format.  This would allow the QR code to be useful, even when there is no data connection. Or, if I wanted to include a url, I would just encode that in the QR code.  If I wanted to share my social network information, I could include a link to my about.me page.

Here is the QR code generated by Jumpscan, which only links to my profile page on Jumpscan.



Here is a QR code with the same information encoded within it:



[via Lifehacker]

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Memolane

Over the past few years, I have used several online services.  I use flickr and Picasa to store photos.  I also use Twitter and TripIt. With all of these sites, it is hard to get a consolidated view of these disparate sets of data.

Memolane is an interesting site that lets you view your online "lifestream" chronologically, in a single unified view.  I like that you can go back in time and see what you were doing on certain dates.







It looks like Memolane is having a problem importing my Twitter feed, but once that problem is fixed, I could see using this as a visualization tool.