Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Microsoft unveils enhanced Xbox 360 Elite

Well this is a very interesting article, it could really give Sony some Trouble with market share, and I really like this idea Internet Protocol-based TV (IPTV), as it could open the doors for a lot of media gaining access to people.

One Thing I know for sure it will be fun to watch what happens, it looks like Microsoft and Sony are heading towards a good fight, and the consumer I think is going to be the winner.

Let me know what you think, will it be Sony or Microsoft that wins the console battle?

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday took the wraps off of the Xbox 360 Elite, confirming weeks of intense speculation that it would release a new version of its flagship video game console.

The upgraded machine is to launch April 29 in the United States, sporting features not found on the two existing versions of the console, including a 120 gigabyte hard drive, high-definition media interface (HDMI) port and cable, and a black finish instead of the white one on current versions, Microsoft said. It will not include a high-definition HD-DVD hard drive.

The package will also come with a black wireless controller and headset, and sell for about $480 US.

Canada will be included in the initial launch period according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News, but specific dates and pricing were not immediately available.

"Today's games and entertainment enthusiast has an insatiable appetite for digital high-definition content," Peter Moore, corporate vice president for Microsoft's interactive entertainment division said in a written statement. "Xbox 360 Elite's larger hard drive and premium accessories will allow our community to enjoy all that the next generation of entertainment has to offer."

Speculation rampant for weeks
Rumours and photos of the new model have been spurring heavy speculation on internet video game and gadget discussion forums for weeks but Microsoft would not offer direct comment.

"It is our standard policy to not comment on speculation," Jeremy Bartram, a spokesman with Microsoft's public relations agency in Seattle, told CBC News Online when asked for official comment on the rumours. "Microsoft has not announced anything regarding a new Xbox 360."

Microsoft's Canadian spokespeople made a similar statement in response to CBC's inquiries.

Photos of the console and advertising for its 120 GB hard drive had surfaced on the internet in recent days. One set of images on a Chinese-language website depicted units of the new console coming off an assembly line in a Chinese factory. An image published on the Xbox 360 Fanboy website on Monday is apparently a shot of a poster promoting the new hard drive.

Microsoft targeting Sony: experts
The refreshed console is a significant improvement on the existing versions, and surpasses rival Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s PlayStation 3 console on some features, according to observers who spoke to CBC News Online.

The current Xbox 360, moulded in white plastic, comes in two versions. The Premium version includes a 20 GB hard drive but no HDMI connector and retails in Canada for about $500. A lower-priced Core version sells without the hard drive and several accessories for about $400.

Sony sells two versions of its PlayStation 3 console, both of which include a high-definition Blu-Ray DVD drive built-in. The premium version of the console, which has a 60 GB hard drive, sells for about $660 in Canada, while a version with a 20 GB hard drive is priced at about $550. Neither includes an HDMI connector cable.

"A 120 [GB] hard drive versus 60 [GB] on the PS3 sounds like penis envy on the part of Microsoft," Michael Pachter, director of research at Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles, Calif., said ahead of Wednesday's announcement.

Analysts divided
Ruminations about whether the new Xbox unit would come with a HDMI connector cable were clarified by the announcement.

"One thing I'm pretty confident is wrong [about the reports] is that it includes a HDMI cable," he said, explaining he had recently bought one for $300 US. "It's frickin' expensive, which is why the PS3 doesn't come with one, and Microsoft doesn't have the buying power to make it cheap."

Eddie Chan, an analyst with market research firm IDC Canada, disagreed.

"The HDMI cable is a non-issue in my books," he said, explaining that bridging the gap between an analog signal and a superior digital signal is a logical step.

The price is just a function of how "clean" a signal you want, and most people are not going to shell out for a top-quality cable that has low electrical resistance (and therefore a better signal) for what they may see as a marginal improvement on picture quality, he explained.

"Sure, you can pay $300 for a Monster [brand cable] and lower-priced cables have more resistance, but you can get one for cheap — $10 or $20," Chan said.

Device sets stage for IPTV
"It would not surprise me to see a new console come to fruition," he added, noting that Microsoft has been talking about Internet Protocol-based TV (IPTV), which would use internet technology to stream a video signal across a data network such as Microsoft's Xbox Live. "It's probably a good segue in preparation for those rollouts."

In a keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Robbie Bach, president of the entertainment and devices division, made remarks that some say hinted at the new console.

"I can play the best next-generation games, download movies and TV shows, connect to my Windows PC, and access my music and my photos, watch HD-DVDs, and now experience next-generation TV programs with IPTV," or Internet Protocol TV, Bach said. "This is everything I want, it's all in one box, it's all on Xbox 360."

"It's pretty self-evident what the strategy is," Sam Punnett, president of Toronto-based FAD Research Inc., said about Microsoft's approach. "It's reminiscent of the walled garden idea — they have a sufficient claim to a captive audience that they can create an environment to sell content."

Punnett, who has been a consultant to federal and provincial governments on developing strategies that would foster new media and video game industries in Canada, noted that Microsoft has a unique advantage over competitors.

"They have that channel into the living room that no one else has," he said. "They can take that captive audience and branch it off … and expand into music services, streaming video. It's one of those [Holy] Grail dreams of the games industry."

Area 419 Sorry the Number You Have Dialed is Not In Service Please Try Again (An Old Scam)

Well this is funny, it's a new twist on the old 419 scams, this one though was traced to Venezuela.

I'm amazed that these still work, though I can only assume they do as they keep making the rounds so there must be a payoff of some sort. Below you will find the trace results along with the scam mail. Please feel free to leave any comments or feedback.

1 319 ms 6 ms 6 ms 2 * * *
Request timed out. 3 7 ms 6 ms 5 ms

[] 4 6 ms 7 ms 8 ms

[] 5 7 ms 7 ms 7 ms 6 138 ms 7 ms 7 ms 7 22 ms 33 ms 23 ms

[] 8 185 ms 60 ms 26 ms
[] 9 25 ms 27 ms 56 ms []
10 55 ms 86 ms 85 ms []
11 601 ms 547 ms 701 ms []
12 709 ms 192 ms 378 ms
13 * * 93 ms []

14 101 ms * * []
15 92 ms 104 ms 108 ms []

Trace complete.

X-Originating-IP: []
Authentication-Results:; domainkeys=neutral (no sig)
Received: from (EHLO ( by with SMTP; Wed, 28 Mar 2007 04:50:40 -0700
Received: from ( []) by (iPlanet Messaging Server 5.1 Patch 1 (built Jun 6 2002)) with ESMTP id <>; Wed, 28 Mar 2007 03:43:24 -0400 (VET)
Received: from [] by (mshttpd); Tue, 27 Mar 2007 23:43:20 -0800
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 23:43:20 -0800
From: Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
Subject: ENQUIRY
Message-id: <>
MIME-version: 1.0
X-Mailer: iPlanet Messenger Express 5.1 Patch 1 (built Jun 6 2002)
Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-language: en
Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT
Content-disposition: inline
X-Accept-Language: en
Content-Length: 5207

Good day,

I am John Judge, a staff of ADAM & COMPANY I am contacting you
independently of my investigation and no one is informed of
this communication. I would like to intimate you with certain
facts that I believed would be of interest to you.I Would
respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail
confidential and respect the integrity of the information you
come by as a result of this mail.

I am contacting you in respect of $10.5 Million USD deposited
with our private bank whose original depositor died in mid
2002,According to practice, The bank will by the end of its
financial year broadcast a request for statements of
claims,failing to receive viable claims they will probably
revert the deposit back to ADAM & COMPANY.This will result in
the money entering the ADAM & COMPANY accounting system,This
will not happen if I have my way, the world of private banking
especially is fraught with huge rewards for those who occupy
certain offices and oversee certain portfolios.As a matter of
fact,In line with our internal processes for account holders
who have passed away,we instituted our own investigations in
good fate to determine who should have right to claim the
estate. This investigation has for the past years been
unfruitful. We have scanned every continent and used our
private investigation affiliate companies to get to the root
of the problem. It is this investigation that resulted in my
being furnished with your details as a possible relative of
the deceased.

My present official capacity as the Head of private banking
sector dictates that I am the only party to supervise the
investigation and the only party to receive the results of the
investigation,leaves me as the only person with the full
picture of what the prevailing situation is in relation to the
deposit and the beneficiary of the deposit.

My proposal:I am prepared to place you in a position to
initiate the release of the deposit to you as the closest
surviving relation,Upon successful delivery of the deposit to
you,I am prepared to share the money with you. That is: I will
simply norminate you as the next of kin and have them release
the deposit to you. We share the proceeds 50/50 %.The
alternative would be for us to have The bank ADAM & COMPANY
direct the funds to another bank with you as account holder.
This way there will be no need for you to think of receiving
the money from The bank. We can fine-tune this based on our
interactions am aware of the consequences of this proposal. I
ask that if you find no interest in this project that you
should discard this mail. I ask that you do not be vindictive
and destructive. If my offer is of no appeal to you, delete
this message and forget I ever contacted you.

My present official capacity as the Head of private banking
sector I assure you that I could have the deposit released to
you within few days. I shall validate the claim, make a
customary writing report that you are the Beneficiary.This
report will validate the bonafide of your claim and confirm
you as the beneficiary and therefore entitled to an allocation
of Control Approval code for the release of the deposit by the
bank .once i validate the claim, the bank is bound to approve
same, this is why i have an unflinching confidence in the
safety of our arrangement.The transaction will be 100% legal.
From the foregoing, you are therefore able to appreciate why i
have hammered on the absolute necessity of our maintenance of
confidentiality of the project and the transfer even after we
have disbursed the money after arrival in your position.

I am not a criminal and what I do, I do not find against good
conscience,this may be hard for you to understand, but the
dynamics of my industry dictates that I make this move. Such
opportunities only come ones' way once in a lifetime. I cannot
let this chance pass me by,I am a family man and this is an
opportunity to provide them with new opportunities.There is a
reward for this project and it is a task well worth
undertaking. I have evaluated the risk and the only risk I
have here is from you refusing to work with me and alerting my
bank. I am the only one who knows of this situation,If you
find yourself able to work with me, contact me through this
email account. If you give me positive signals, I will
initiate this process towards a conclusion. I wish to inform
you that should you contact me via official channels; I will
deny knowing you and about this project.

I repeat, I do not want you contacting me through my official
phone lines nor do I want you contacting me through my
official email account. Contact me only through the numbers I
will provide for you and also through this email address. I do
not want any direct link between you and myself. My official
lines are not secured lines as they are periodically monitored
to access our level of customer care in line with our Total
Quality Management Policy.Please observe this instruction

Awaiting your immediate response.

Thanks for your co-operation.

Please to my private email address

yours faithfully,
John Judge