tech

As part of Microsoft's recent restructuring, chief Xbox officer Robbie Bach has now been named chief of the new Entertainment and Devices Division.

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Microsoft's "simultaneous" worldwide release has morphed into a more logistically manageable sequence of three staggered launches: November 22 in North America, December 2 in Europe, and December 10 in Japan. The New York Times has the story. (Use the username/password rampancy/rampant if you don't have an account--Ed.)

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The BBC has a story up on how Microsoft is trying to protect their next console platform against would-be modders and hackers. (Insert Microsoft security joke here--Ed.)

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Having recently returned to the Rampancy cave after a short stretch on the steppe, I've collected a few news nibblets of note:

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[image:9676 align=left hspace=5 vspace=5 border=0] Despite not even using an Intel CPU in its newest iteration, the latest Xbox console was spotted by Trusted Reviews at the Intel Developer Forum, streaming HD video from a Media Center PC to a Samsung DLP rear projection TV.

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The following is excerpts from the transcript of the online chat with Microsoft's J Allard that Major Nelson posted on his blog. Some of the answers I thought bore a little extra scrutiny, so I've added some comments below.

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Major Nelson is hosting on his blog a transcript of the recent online chat with Microsoft's J Allard. A lot of emphasis was placed on the recent announcement of two versions of the Xbox; a premium one with all the bells and whistles, and a "core" system $100 cheaper with no headset and no hard drive.

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Podtacular! is a Halo 2 Podcast, available at www.podtacular.com or on iTunes. A podcast is like Tivo for radio: it's an internet radio show where your computer automatically downloads new shows and you listen when you want to. You can find out more at apple.

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Major Nelson has posted a link in his blog to an eight-page article at Design Interact about the process used to develop the Xbox 360's color-coded user interface.

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Yahoo is reporting that Microsoft has stated at its Tokyo, Japan Xbox Summit today that the Xbox 360 will launch in the US, Europe and Japan in time for the 2005 holiday season. The Reuters report says that previously a six week delay was expected for those territories, and other news outlets, including SPOnG, are still saying this delay will occur.

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The BBC has the story that a 22-year-old UK resident and Cambridge graduate was sentenced to 140 hours community service and ordered to pay £750 in court costs after being caught selling modified Xbox consoles, fitted with a 200GB hard drive and 80 pre-installed games.

The UK's enactment of the EU Copyright Directive in 2003 makes the modification of consoles illegal; Sony won a case prohibiting the sale of modchips in the UK in 2004.

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Major Nelson pointed out in his blog a five-page interview at Team Xbox with Todd Holmdahl that covers nearly every aspect of the Xbox 360's hardware, from audio to graphics to memory, hard drives and peripherals, with many pointed questions comparing the system's specs to Sony's.

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