A lot of Xbox Live sales right now

The Xbox tip of the Week is usually reserved for something you can use over and over again, but it’s not every day you’re in the midst of one sale and very close to another. The 2013 Spring Sale is going on for another 24 hours or less, and the April 1st, 2013 sale is about to launch. See if there are any deals that you can’t live without!

Ouya's officially on the way

I should have an Ouya console in the mail, and as soon as I have it on hand, I’ll have more information for you!

In an email sent out to Kickstarter backups last night, the retail launch in June is still their goal. But it’s exciting to be part of the Kickstarter preview. This is the first time we’ve started to feel like this is a preview release. Kickstarter supporters always knew they’d get a console, and some kind of service, but it sounds like we might be expecting a bit of a bumpy road, but we may also see so impressive overhauls in the months leading up to the retail release of Ouya. They’re talking about small system updates that are already available on first boot, and reminding gamers of four controller support. They made sure to mention that Final Fantasy III would be among their launch titles, which no doubt thrills those few gamers who’ve shelled out $99 or more on eBay just to own a copy of the SNES title!

“As of 7:59 p.m. PT, there are already 104 published games on OUYA (all still free to try), like Final Fantasy III and some new surprises we think you’ll love: Beast Boxing Turbo, Stalagflight, Knightmare Tower, and even one called Save the Puppies. There are already a few entertainment apps, too. You can watch the TV shows and movies you already own with XBMC and Flixster, or watch games streamed through TwitchTV.

I have no doubt that support for things like Netflix and Vudu will be coming down the pike, and I’m genuinely getting anxious to check my mail and find a console waiting for me. I’ll be giving it a great deal of coverage when it arrives, because it’s not every day something so important arrives in the hands of thousands, before it could potentially sell to millions. I wonder if the NPD is ready to start tracking Ouya sales?

Ping for Windows Phone

UPDATE: Ping appears to have gone missing from the Windows Phone Store as we get closer to Windows 10 Mobile’s launch. I’m unsure where it has gone or why, but in the mean time, I recommend checking out another app with even more features, Network Tools.


Despite the logo, it’s not a Ping-Pong game, just a straight forward ping tool to carry in your pocket. This week, it’s a very simple app, but an app I couldn’t believe I didn’t have on my phone! Suddenly, I needed a simple Ping utility, just like the old command-line tool for Windows, but I didn’t have one on my phone! I forgot all about it! But when I needed the this invaluable tool in my pocket, one app came through in a hurry. Ping on Windows Phone. Easy enough to remember, it shows up at the top of the marketplace when you search. The interface has a place for you type the server address you want to test, and another field to specify a port. 99% of the time, you just want to use port 80, since it does not specify a port for you by default. Then away you go!

Just use the Ping app to ensure you’re getting a response from a server or network device. Quick, simple, convenient. That’s my kind of app. All for the low, low price of free. Everyone’s kind of app. So go download Ping on Windows Phone, you never know when it’ll come in handy!

Chromebook: stop calling it a laptop

Google is so pleased with themselves. They’re seeing success with the recent Chromebook releases. Which made sense, in some form, when it was a few hundred dollars and had an impressive screen and physical design. But the Chromebook Pixel, which starts at $1,299 and goes upwards of $1,599, looks to many people browsing store shelves like a full blown “laptop.”

I will be the first to admit that over 80% of what I do on my computer is within my browser, these days. We live our lives on the World Wide Web, even if we don’t call it that anymore. Email is in the browser, Netflix is in the browser, Facebook, all of our news websites, even the tool I’m using to write this blog (and obviously how you’ll read it!) is all in a browser. Kudos to Google for identifying this. But for those other things? We need computers. Real ones. Not just browsers, or environments that look like Windows but are little more than a browser, like Google’s ChromeOS.

Google can pat themselves on the back all they want, but Google isn’t getting phone calls every day asking them “how do I install Quickbooks on this thing?” They would, except Google has gotten into the market of selling things without support. This was fine when everything was free. So what if GMail is down? It’s free! Or, it’s in beta! These were Google’s favorite defenses. But now they’ve achieved widespread use. They need to offer support. They need to hear the complaints their customers have, because right now, they’re marching onward so damn proud of their Chromebook sales. Meanwhile, every person I’ve met with a Chromebook so far? I’ve successfully talked them in to returning it to the store.

What do you mean I can’t install Word?. Well, Google offers Google Docs! It’s free! And it looks kind of like Word! But no, you can’t install the program you’re used to. And if your internet ever goes out, your productivity literally, not figuratively, just dropped to zero.

Google still lives in a Google world. Where everyone is a geek, who loves the idea of Google Buzz. Google forgets that there are still non-technical users out there. The people drawn to the iPhone? Are the same people who ask me why Word didn’t come with their new Windows computer. They don’t understand that Word 2007 and Windows 7 are different products. They don’t understand why they have to pay for Office 2011 on their new Mac if they want Outlook installed. They don’t understand that a Chromebook isn’t a computer, it’s a browser. And the people who pay over a thousand dollars? Are expecting a hell of a lot more than a browser.

Maybe I haven’t seen the right use case or product review, but I think the Chromebook, especially the Chromebook Pixel, is a waste of money.