CES 2009 has officially kicked off and is in high gear. Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, gave the keynote last night. I was very disappointing that Media Center was not a topic; what a bummer. Microsoft, in general, disappointed me with their (lack of) announcements. Here are some items I found interesting from the first day:
- Microsoft is going to release Windows 7 Beta to the public tomorrow, Jan 9. It will be available for download on Microsoft.com. Now I just need a spare machine so I can get it loaded and start playing!
- There are 17 Million active Xbox Live members. That is pretty impressive. I actually signed up years ago with the original Xbox. I let my gamer tag/account expire. They won’t let me reclaim my old one so I have boycotted Xbox Live every since. Honestly, I don’t get a chance to play games much, so I’m not really missing anything. Netflix does stream to Xbox Live, but I have a Media Center plug-in that does as well….and it is free!
- A new SD standard was introduced. SDHC maxes out at 32GB. Well, move over sizzaleen, I have something meatier! The new standard is SDXC (SD eXtended Capacity) and can increase capacity up to 2 TB. That is a lot of Michael Jackson music on my BlackBerry!
- Slacker.com announced a BlackBerry application for their radio service. If you haven’t checked it out, I suggest you give it a whirl. It is free. I can’t get the application to work on my BlackBerry Bold. It is trying to access the radio service through the BES and the corporate security policy has it blocked. There doesn’t seem to be a way to configure the application to use BIS. I’m sure that will get fixed real soon.
- Unify4Life.com has introduced AV|Shadow. This product turns your BlackBerry (or smartphone..but the only smartphone in my opinion is the BlackBerry) into a universal remote. You can control lighting, the TV, and other devices. And even cooler, you can control your garage door. You can actually program the phone and the garage door to know about what time you typically get home. When the device gets within 40 feet during that time window, it will open the door automatically. That means I don’t have to push the button on the visor above my head. Think of the time savings!
Those were some of items that peaked my interest. Of course a lot more was shared at CES 2009. Good times.