My Xbox 360 Annoyances

After years of upgrading my computer and getting fed up with poor development, I have decided that I truly want an Xbox 360.

So I bought one.

For a total of $160 cash I was able to fetch myself an Xbox 360 Arcade with GTA IV included from Craigs List. So I total the savings here to be approx $110 so far from retail.

The console ended up being in flawless condition as it had only been played for 2 months. I was able to register my system and saw that I still have 10 months of the OEM warranty left, but also the option to secure my warranty for another 2 years for only $60. This I am sure to want, because of the infamous system failures (red ring of death, overheating, etc) surrounding the 360.

I do not yet have a hard drive but am realizing every hour that it is a necessity for Xbox titles (can you say Counter-Strike?), multiplayer map packs, additional content, and even themes. But at this time I have ended up lucky, as Microsoft is directly offering the 20 GB drive upgrade and 3 months of Xbox Live Gold for only $30  😛  Of course, I may buy the 20 GB, use the 3 months of Gold, buy a 120 GB, and sell the 20 GB to some poor soul that may need it.

Once turning on the console, I am greeted to a snazzy GUI, with links to systems functionality, media components, and of course game stats.

Now for the downfalls….

Once logging in to Xbox Live, I feel that my system has downloaded a bunch of spam trying to convince me to buy tons of other shit…. So much that I have a hard time finding the menu where I select to actually play a game. Some of the spam includes videos (advertisements mostly but there are some reviews), marketplace (to purchse Xbox originals, Xbox Live Arcade titles, and additional game content), and even themes and avatar specials (yes you must buy the nice themes and clothing).

It seems that the first thing any game I have tried yet (GTA IV, GRID, GRAW, Two Worlds) always wants to update before ever playing. I am not sure what these updates offer, possibly fixes.

Trying to communicate to friends with with a USB keyboard in text mode is utterly impossible thanks to the interface. My guess is that this is trying to promote the Xbox headset, as oppose to our already existant USB based keyboards. This does piss me off, as I feel I shouldn’t be forced to buy more options when I have already spent so much money on what I do have.

Windows 7 Surfaces

Apparently you won’t even have to wait until January to get your hands on the Windows 7 Beta, as there’s already been an ISO file leaked to several torrent trackers.

The ISO appears to contain the Windows 7 M1 build (7000) highlighted by Paul Thurrott on SuperSite. So far the new build seems to perform slightly better than 6801, and
memory usage has been improved. A number of previously hidden features like the iconized task bar are also now active.

Reported from Download Squad

GTA IV: the Lost and the Damned

Yep… There is an expansion coming to the 360. From M&C
Rockstar Games today announced that the first episode of downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV will be available worldwide on February 17, 2009, exclusively on Xbox 360. The first episode is titled “Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned,” and is the first of two episodes announced.

“Making these episodes has enabled us to expand the narrative and the experience of interacting with a game world in really innovative ways,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. “We hope fans of the game enjoy the new way of experiencing life in Liberty City contained in this first episode.”

Developed by series creator Rockstar North and set in Liberty City, The Lost and Damned features a new main character and plot that intersects with the storyline of Grand Theft Auto IV; new missions that offer an entirely fresh way to explore Liberty City with new
multiplayer modes, weapons and vehicles; and a diverse soundtrack with additional music.

Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned requires players to have the full version of  rand Theft Auto IV for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live membership to download. Further  details, including pricing, will be announced soon.

Watch the video at http://www.gametrailers.com/player/43632.html

Koopface Virally Infects Facebook

Million’s of Facebook users are in danger zone.

Koopface is a new computer virus spread through Facebook message system. It will send the message from the infected person’s profile to his friends, the subject line is like “you look just awesome in this new movie” it will open into another website to watch the movie after clicking the website it shows a message to need an updated Adobe Flash Player. But the virus will download while updating Flash Player.

Infected systems have the possibilities of stolen Credit card numbers. “Only a very small
percentage of Facebook users have been affected, and we’re working quickly to update our security systems to minimize any further impact,” – Barry Schnitt, the Facebook spokesman in Palo Alto.

My thoughts: it is inevitable that a social network will be used to launch a new viral epidemic

Vista Service Pack 2 Now Public

It’s December 5, 2008 and – as promised – Microsoft has made the Vista SP2 beta publicly available. Early adopters can install it now and take advantage of improvements like 10% better power saving, reduced resource consumption in sidebar gadgets, Windows Search 4, and a long list of security and bug fixes.

According to Wired’s post, you should be aware that you’ll have to uninstall the beta in order to install SP2 final once it’s released. Currently Microsoft is anticipating doing that some time in April 2009.

If you’re looking for more details before grabbing the file, check out PC World’s article Vista SP2: Six Things You Need to Know. Downloads for both 32 and 64-bit users are available at the Microsoft Download Center. Instructions are also available here for users wanting to install SP2 through Windows Update.

Vista Ultimate RED to Support AIDS Charity

from Download Squad

Microsoft is set to release the (PRODUCT) RED version of Windows Vista Ultimate on December 15th. Dell has been selling computers preloaded with this special version of the OS for a few months now, but starting next week you’ll be able to to buy a standalone copy.

So what makes Windows Vista Ultimate (PRODUCT) RED different from plain old Windows Vista Ultimate Edition? First, it comes in a red box and includes a few extra wallpapers, screensavers, sidebar gadgets, and a Dreamscene moving background. Second, a portion
of the proceeds from sales will help buy and distribute AIDS medications to patients in Africa.

Amazon appears to be selling it for about $70 more than the price of the vanilla edition of Windows Vista Ultimate, which means either that those wallpapers (which you can probably find online for free) are really awesome, or Microsoft or Amazon are jacking up the price a bit in order to support the charity.

Rockstar Games: FUCK YOU

Today brought the long awaited release of Grand Theft Auto IV for the PC….

Along with it: a new version of SecuROM DRM.

I have made my verdict: I am NOT buying in to this…. but no doubt, I will be playing GTA IV, while I am $50 richer.