How to Customize your Windows 8 Lock Screen

Windows 8, just like what was introduced in Windows Phone 7. You can press escape or drag the large image “upward” to unlock the screen. But did you know the icons at the bottom of your screen are customizable? It allows you to have much more information, at a glance, than you do with the default settings. Here’s how you can tweak your own:

From the Windows 8 Start Screen, you can simply type the phrase Lock Screen and, once you click settings on the right, one of your options will be to “Customize your Lock Screen and Notifications.” You can also find this by starting again from the Start Menu, but by placing the mouse in the lower right corner of the screen and waiting for the Charms Bar to come out from the right side of the screen, then clicking Settings at the bottom, then Personalize Settings. The first thing you should see is the Personalize menu. If not, it is the top option on the left, as pictured in the screen shot above.

At this time, only a few apps support Lock Screen notifications, but you can bet that more will come down the road. Right now the included Weather app, and the excellent eBay app allow you to add notifications. You can choose one app, if it supports the option, to provide additional details. You could have the subject lines of a few emails, upcoming calendar appointments, or even a weather forecast! It will be great to see what more apps, like an official Twitter or Facebook application, will end up doing.

Don’t forget to check out our ongoing informational series on Windows 8.

"An error occurred cancelling automatic renewal" on Xbox Live: easiest way around it

image credit: user imagerymajestic

You may have recently followed the steps in our article about how to cancel or disable automatic renewal on Xbox Live. But you run in to an error. An error which specifically states “an error occurred cancelling automatic renewal.” This has been going on so long that I believe it is intentionally done by Microsoft, and it is just a ploy to get you on the phone with their retention department, so they can try to sweet talk you in to staying.

The unfortunate truth is, because it is set up this way, your only choice is to call support. The phone number for the United states and the URL for finding contact information in other countries can be found in another article on our site.

Indie Game The Movie – go watch it! Now!

I watched the full film of Indie Game The Movie last night. It has recently been added to Netflix On Demand – only days after I was the film’s twitter account about buying it. Although my intention was to buy it and enjoy it this weekend, since it had cropped up on Netflix, I decided to watch it there. I’m still going to give the documentary film maker my money.

I’m a huge fan of documentary films in general. But the best ones really take you on a journey, through a story, or even a series of parallel stories. You get to really begin to like (or at least understand) the “characters” involved in the film, and you become invested in the outcome. Many of them have happy endings, and even the ones that aren’t concluded in the film, we, the target audience, know the final outcomes of titles like Fez, a critical darling.

I encourage you, watch the trailer above, then go buy Indie Game The Movie – as they responded to me on Twitter, in whatever format works best for you. As I expected, a direct payment with PayPal and downloading the movie DRM free gives them the most money – but if you’re already invested in a movie platform such as Vudu or Amazon Instant Video, then by all means get it that way!