A Theory: Why Hydro Thunder is missing from Windows Phone 8

Update: Was I half right? I predicted Hydro Thunder Hurricane (the Windows 8/RT app) would be made available on the phone. That didn’t quite happen, but for those who have updated to Windows Phone 8.1, Hydro Thunder Go is once-again available, just as it was for Windows Phone 7 users.

Update 2: I have been asked for more evidence that Hydro Thunder Go has appeared on Windows Phone 8.1. The best method I could come up with was by opening my “About” screen, then the game, then loading the multitasking manager and take a screenshot. So here ya go!

UPDATE 3: Holy crap! So, it would seem that the release of Hydro Thunder Go on Windows Phone 8.1 was a mistake, and it has since been pulled from the App Store as the developer doesn’t wish to support it. I am frustrated and saddened by this, because the game plays flawlessly on my phone. What could the possible reason be for not wanting it out there!? I am lucky that the game still resides on my phone as long as I don’t delete it, but if I do, I will no longer be able to re-download this title.

Continue to read the original article below.

Windows Phone 7 was a sun rising on a horizon of Xbox gaming junkies. The first mobile phone to be Xbox Live enabled, and feature games that you know and love, as well as online leaderboards, multiplayer connectivity, and even Achievements. Gamerscore on the go. Hydro Thunder Go was an early release on Windows Phone 7 to help build the hype. Microsoft continued the trend by releasing Hydro Thunder Hurricane on the Windows 8 store, after it had appeared on Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360. When I picked up my Windows Phone 8, I was expecting to download Hydro Thunder Go from the Marketplace and play it on my beautiful new Samsung screen. No such luck. The app has not been available for Windows Phone 8.

At first, I proposed that it may be due to too much fragmentation in the Microsoft ecosystem. It is not one single platform. At least, not yet. That’s where things get interesting. Continue reading “A Theory: Why Hydro Thunder is missing from Windows Phone 8”

Is Remote Desktop Encrypted?

Travel can be scary, and with my first long-distance trip in many years coming up this weekend, I want to be sure I’m playing it safe. All the time I hear about fake wireless hotspots and all kinds of other hacks happening in airports and coffee shops. I’m pretty well versed in these tricks, and consider myself aware of most of the tricks and can protect myself. But I want to go the extra mile. I have a computer set up, in my house, which I can use Microsoft Remote Desktop to connect to. I have also created a VPN connection via that same home computer, if I want to use it. But setting this up created a series of questions for me. Foremost: is RDP encrypted? Continue reading “Is Remote Desktop Encrypted?”

What would you pay for a Microsoft Subscription?

Yesterday, Microsoft officially announced Office for iPad. The app will allow anyone who downloads it to view read-only versions of their documents stored in OneDrive. However, to modify your documents, you must be a paying Office 365 subscriber. Also, I have recently been considering signing up for an Xbox Music Pass. Not only that, but I have an ongoing Xbox Live Gold Member subscription.

This got me thinking. Imagine some sort of “Microsoft Subscription” that enabled access to the works? Xbox Live, Office 365, let’s say 50 or 100GB of bonus OneDrive storage, Xbox Music Pass… everything! What would you pay? If the MSRP of Office 365’s base package is $60 for one year. A year of Xbox Live Gold is $59.99, and Xbox Music, if paid up front, is $99.99. You’re looking at $220 worth of products, if you pay in advance. Paying month by month brings both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Music to $120/year, each. So, what would you pay for a “Microsoft Subscription” to unlock it all? $150? $200? What other products would you want out of your subscription fee? If it were $250 and included a downloadable desktop version of Office to install your PC? A Windows license that always allowed you to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of Windows?

More importantly, do you believe something like this will happen in the future? Feel free to comment below.

Is Facebook buying Oculus Rift the death knell?

A friend of mine asked me what I thought of the Facebook $2 billion dollar buyout of Oculus Rift. This is what I wrote.

I thought Facebook was a 4-6 billion dollar company. Right before they went public, they gave a billion to Instagram. Then another 16+ billion to WhatsApp. Now two billion to Oculus. If you had $50, and you gave $40 away, you would be in a pretty weak position. Literally, based on raw numbers, it seems like Oculus could turn around and buy Facebook right now. It doesn’t make ANY sense at all.

  1. This MUST be shaking the confidence in Facebook stockholders. Zuck is still spending money however he sees fit, he has no vague idea how to monetize Facebook effectively and shareholders are only going to see their company having less and less value.
  2. Kickstarter backers should be furious. Even though Kickstarter doesn’t make you part owner of a company, I think that may be about to change. Sites like Kiva.org for Micro lending are going to take the place of sites like Kickstarter – where you either give someone a loan that will be paid back, or you become a shareholder in the company or product. It is insulting to give you money to get you this far, and then you don’t just go out and find a new investor, you let someone else BUY OUT your company. Why did I bother giving you money in the first place?
  3. Facebook COULD “leave it alone” in the beginning. Much like Microsoft has let Skype be their own thing for several years, and only recently started implementing it as their primary messenger platform. Skype still has most of its autonomy, now it just integrates with Microsoft’s platform better than before. Facebook could potentially allow Oculus to continue what they are doing, and then tackle his own ideas later.
  4. I, for one, haven’t been all that excited about Oculus Rift. Don’t care for it. It’s still this large clunky thing you have to strap to your head. It’s cool, but not cool ENOUGH, yet. So I’m not broken hearted over this deal. But given the growing dislike of Facebook among people in the tech community (reluctantly still members because “you have to be”), I can see many more developers than Mojang walking away. Perhaps flocking to Razer’s unofficially-unannounced VR platform.