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  1. Microsoft revealed some new details today about the Internet Explorer app on Xbox One, including the extent to which your voice and hands can be used to control the experience on your television. While the Kinect is turned on, you’ll be able to use the phrase “Xbox, select” to review which verbal commands are available within Internet Explorer. A screenshot posted by Microsoft reveals eight core phrases that can be used. These are: Scroll up, scroll down, add favorite, refresh, show address bar, click on , and browse to . If you use the phrase “click on”, you can then activate any link currently shown on the page. Microsoft says that you’ll only need to utter a few words to make it work – even if the link you’re asking for is incredibly long. Meanwhile, the command “browse to” will let you request any of your favorite sites or those most-visited in your current location. It seems that the core phrases shown along the top of the screen will change depending on the content that is being shown on the webpage. Microsoft says you’ll also be able to use your voice to play back embedded media and watch videos in full-screen mode; neither of these are listed in the company’s screenshot, however. If you don’t fancy stretching your vocal cords, Kinect will also enable a number of hand gestures in the Internet Explorer app. Once you reach out and grab the current webpage, you’ll be able to move your hand up and down to scroll vertically, or forwards and backwards to zoom in and out. When you move your hand over a link (emulating a cursor), you can also imitate pressing the screen to activate it. Unlike the original Kinect for the Xbox 360, where you would hold your hand out and have to wait for the peripheral to evaluate your choice, this should be a much faster control scheme. Microsoft says that if a number of links are bunched close together, the Internet Explorer app will also zoom-in automatically. Source
  2. Microsoft and BesTV today confirmed that the Xbox One console will launch in China on September 23rd. The companies also announced that Xbox One will be priced starting at ¥3,699 RMB ($600). The Xbox One will be the first gaming console to be launched in China in last 12 years. The local authority recently lifted a ban on gaming consoles, which they earlier thought had an adverse effect on mental health. Yusuf Mehdi, head of marketing and strategy for Microsoft’s Xbox group, announced the official pricing of the console. The Xbox One without the Kinect will cost 3,699 RMB ($600) whereas the bundle including the motion detection system (Kinect) will be made available for 4,299 RMB ($700). The Xbox launch has been approved by China’s government, said senior vice president at Shanghai Media Group, Zhang Dazhong. Microsoft is expected to launch the device despite the ongoing anti-monopoly investigations. Microsoft also announced the exclusive day one launch titles for the Xbox One. The company will launch Forza Motorsport 5 Racing Game of the Year – the highest-rated racing franchise of this console generation, Kinect Sports Rivals, Powerstar Golf, Zoo Tycoon, and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, among others. Furthermore, game developers Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and 2K are working to bring several titles to China. In addition, thirteen of China’s best game developers will also bring some titles, including Neverwinter Online. Several more games are under development right now. That’s not all. BesTV has promised to bring hundreds of thousands of hours of HD movies, sports, and documentaries to the console. Gamers in China will get access to the said content on top of their two free movies per month quota. BesTV has also said that it will bring English Premiere League (EPL) for free for the first year. In addition, all gamers will get Xbox Live Gold subscription for free through March 2015. Both the companies have committed on providing two-year warranty on the console. There will also be localized apps and ways to complete the transactions. Source
  3. Three men have been arrested by the FBI for identifying vulnerabilities and network weak points to illegally access computer systems at Microsoft, as well as video game developers Valve Corporation, Activision Blizzard, Zombie Studios, and Epic Games. The hackers were able to illegally obtain copies of various games that were still in development - games like Gears of War 3 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. The incidents began around January of 2011 and continued for two years, but the 54-page federal indictment was only revealed by The Smoking Gun today. The men are Nathan Leroux (19 years old); Sanadodeh Nesheiwat (28 years old); and David Pokora, a Canadian resident. These hackers were able to steal "login credentials, trade secrets, and intellectual property relating to the Xbox gaming system." The hackers were able to access the valid credentials of Microsoft software development partners, during the time the next-gen Xbox One was in development. In fact, using these credentials, these hackers were able to copy over and arm themselves with "internal design and technical specifications and pre-release operating system software code" and were able to build a "fake next-generation" Xbox console. They sold it on eBay for nearly $5000. A second fake Xbox console, built with hardware purchased from the popular retailer Newegg, was destined for a purchaser in the Republic of Seychelles (African island). The FBI was able to intercept the second console before it reached its destination. According to the indictment, one of the hackers spoke of compromising a "fuckton of Paypals" from compromised databases, adding that "we could have already sold them for Bitcoins which would have been untraceable if we did it right. It could have already been easily an easy 50 grand." "If we do this right, we will make a million dollars each," one of the hackers stated. These men were arrested last week, except for Pokora - whose status is unknown at this time. They are facing fifteen felony counts, including conspiracy, fraud, and computer hacking. Source
  4. When Microsoft rolled out the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview, it included build 2.5.1330 of the Xbox Music app. Starting next week, Microsoft is set to roll out a huge new update to the app, followed by new updates every two weeks. "And for those Xbox Music users running the WP8.1 Developer Preview, starting next week you will start to see the first update in the Windows Phone Store for the 8.1 Xbox Music application, followed by ongoing updates every two weeks. We want to hear your feedback on the new Xbox Music app so we can continue to incorporate it into the product," Microsoft stated in an official support forum post. Here is what's expected in next week's huge update to Xbox Music: Numerous stability fixes, including many of the reported black screens Cortana integration is complete and now supports playing playlists by name UI polish to improve animations and transitions between UI views Improved messaging for encountered errors, such as unplayable content in collections Background initial sync of local and cloud content Based on feedback received via the Developer Preview forums, Microsoft is working on new features such as Live Tile integration, continued focus on stability and performance, quickplay improvements, Kids Corner support, and various other user interface improvements. Stay tuned for this huge update, which rolls out next week. Source
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