Archive | August 10, 2010

Microsoft Mediaroom client for Windows Phone 7 in the works?

A word document containing a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) surfaced on one of Microsoft websites and might indicate that a Windows Phone 7 client for Microsoft Mediaroom might be in the works. For those that don’t know, Microsoft Mediaroom is a IPTV platform that Microsoft created to enable TV providers to sell IPTV services. the services can be integrated on a variety of streaming hardware devices, from set top boxes to smart phones, so Windows Phone 7 might be uniquely suited as a client and it could provide Microsoft with an edge in TV streaming over the competition. Let’s not forget that the main Mediaroom user is AT&T with their U-Verse. I saved a copy of the Microsoft document here in case Microsoft decides to pull it.

This is not the first Microsoft version of a Mediaroom client for mobile devices. A Mediaroom client was previously released for the Windows Mobile platform and a client is also in works for XBOX 360 consoles, scheduled to be released this year and using U-Verse.

Deal of the Day – Logitech Harmony 880 at Amazon for $79 (Refurbished)

Amazon currently has the famous and excellently rated Logitech Harmony 880 for $79.99 with free shipping and no taxes in most states. The remote is refurbished but I bought one from them before and it looked new. The lowest price on Google for a new item is $127. The Logitech Harmony 880 remote can control up to 15 Components and is fully programmable via the included USB connection. Logitech’s code library is continually updated and includes codes for newly released devices as Western Digital TV Live Plus or Viewsonic VMP75 media streamers.

Motorola Droid 2 officially announced by Verizon Wireless, in stores August 12th

Verizon Wireless officially announced today the upcoming release of their newest smartphone, Motorola Droid 2.

Powered by an impressive 1GHz TI OMAP CPU, Droid 2 also features 512MB RAM (same as iPhone 4), a 3.7″ WVGA (480×854) capacitive touch screen LCD  display and Android 2.2 OS, the phone is the latest Verizon alternative to the undisputed champ of the smartphones, iPhone 4. Other cool features include support for Flash Player 10.1, physical keyboard (raised keys this time), 5 MP camera and 8GB onboard memory upgradeable through a microSD card (already populated by Verizon with a 8GB card). The overall dimensions are 4.58″ length, 2.38″ wide and 0.54″ thick. As the price goes, Droid 2 should set you back $199 after $100 mail rebate (I hate rebates) and with a 2 year contract. Droid 2 will be available in stores around August 12th.

Note: interesting for a smartphone, DLNA support is also present, so if you have a DLNA server in the house, you’ll be able to stream your media (photos, movies, music) on the phone. Cool!

Droid 2 also features the 3G Mobile HotSpot technology (an additional $20/month) and can feed Internet for up to 5 WiFi devices.

Netflix expands streaming deals with Lionsgate, Paramount and MGM

In a contract that could cost the company a round billion dollars over the next 5 years, Netflix expanded their streaming library to include movies produced by Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate through a deal with EPIX, a paid TV channel. This is certainly good news for the avid NETFLIX consumers (as myself) and the new movies (new for NETFLIX, that is) should be available by September 1st. The movies will be available for instant streaming from Netflix 90 days after their premium pay TV and subscription on demand debuts.

While new content will still not be available on Netflix, the deal will certainly improve the company’s streaming library and add more values to our little streaming boxes. Netflix streaming support is currently available on the three gaming systems (XBOX 360, PS# and Wii) as well as a plethora of dedicated boxes as Roku, Viewsonic VMP75 and Western Digital TV Live Plus, available around $100. Check after the break for the full press release text.

Read More…

How to add Adsense after the first post in WordPress with Atahualpa theme

I recently needed a solution to insert an Adsense add after the first post in WordPress. As you might have figured it out, Review Horizon is built around WordPress plus Atahualpa theme (currently at version 3.5.3). Inserting an Adsense add between posts is easier than you might think, considering WordPress design. On the first page, all the posts are displaying in a loop, and in this loop, you can add your own code as well. First, you will need to go to your Adsense account and create the Ad that fits your layout. For me, this was 728×90. Then, you navigate to Appearance->Editor and open the main index template (index.php). In this file you will need to make two changes:

1. Find the following text:

Read More…

Microsoft launches Kinect Beta program for XBOX 360 console

Some lucky enough gamers started to receive invitations to a  Kinect Beta program, according with the gaming blog Joystiq. There is not a lot of information yet, and not a word if the beta program will include the Kinect hardware, but one can always hope. The invitation states only that it is “a unique opportunity to see pre-release software.”

Kinect is a “controller-free gaming and entertainment experience” by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 console” and it is scheduled to be released in time for the holidays, however you can pre-order it already at major stores including Amazon.