Xbox Live Security Proofs ensure your Xbox Live Account is secure

UPDATE: 12/15/2012: Microsoft has taken down the video explaining how to set up proofs, so follow our guide to configuring Xbox Live security proofs.

Microsoft has recently been promoting their security proofs for your Live ID as the best method to prevent account theft or hacking. I must say, I have found it to be a great way to ensure your information is secure and that nobody is just going to ‘guess’ your password by knowing something about you. Click the link above, or watch the embedded video, and then visit to update your settings!

Here is the URL for showing off your Xbox Live Avatar

Did you know you can show off your Xbox Live Avatar or Gamerpic in forum pictures, signatures, websites, and even emails you send out? And the best part is, you don’t have to download it and update it whenever you change something on your avatar, like a hat or a hoodie or something. No, it’s very simple. You can modify any of the following URLs, put in your own gamertag, and show off your avatar. Just replace my Gamertag, NuAngel, with your own. If you have a space in your gamertag, the easiest thing to do is to replace the space with %20. In other words, Major Nelson would become Major%20Nelson.


Some of you may remember when the “New Xbox Experience” introduced Avatars in 2008. Back then I built a list of fairly popular Gamertags and their avatars, the gallary still stands, for the most part – although a few of the users have changed their gamertags since that time.

How to change Xbox 360 screen resolution in the 2012 dashboard

Previously, I posted how to change your Xbox 360 display settings from the Guide Menu, but some people have been asking how to do it in Metro. Microsoft is always sure to give you multiple ways to accomplish a given task. Here’s method two to change your TV resolution:

  1. Use the right bumper to navigate all the way to the right, to System
  2. Press the A button 3x (selecting Settings, Console Settings, then Display.
  3. Now you’ll have several different options for display settings – select HDTV settings by pressing “A” a 4th time.
  4. Select your resolution – you can use the optimal resolution setting if you’re unsure what to use.
  5. You will see a message asking you to confirm that you can see the new resolution.

When you select a new resolution, DO NOT press any buttons on the controller until the image returns to the screen. This will help you prevent choosing an invalid resolution. For example, if your TV only supports a maximum resolution of 1080i, and you select 1080p, your screen will go black and show nothing at all. However if you wait ten seconds, your TV will fall back to whatever the resolution had been previously. If you get stuck with a completely dark screen, you can refer to our article on resetting your display settings back to default.

Should I upgrade to an Xbox 360 Slim?

Preorder the Limited Edition Halo 4 Bundle

People ask me all the time if they should “upgrade” to a newer Xbox. The answer is simple: if your console is working, then I say no. Sure it might be nice to have some newer features, but the Xbox 360 console is just the hardware of a platform. The platform is what delivers you the games, the movies, the music, everything you’re already enjoying. First generation Xbox 360 owners might not have an HDMI port, but if you haven’t had a Red Ring of Death and you’ve got a first gen 360 then you might just about have a collectable!

The changes made inside the Xbox 360 might have came with a few speed improvements, but the overall changes have been designed to increase stability, fix issues, and with the most modern revisions, to conserve power. But as far as your experience goes? It’s not going to change. I got sucked in to the hype after having a couple of minor disc read errors, I decided it would be a wise decision to plunk down the cash for a new slim console. Other than the occasional minor hiccup, my old console was working just fine. I still wonder why I wasted the money! People like the sleek new look of the slim console, but be honest: after the first day when you can’t take your eyes off of it, it will just be another one of those boxes under your TV that has a green light on it when you’re using it. It’s not the center piece of your living room!

Unless you have the scratch to afford one of the “limited edition” consoles, like the Star Wars Xbox 360, or the upcoming Halo 4 console as pictured above, I don’t think buying a new console is worth it. Even then, it’s only “worth it” if you want the collectable factor. Once it’s safely tucked away in your entertainment center, your experience won’t change at all.

Unless you’re experiencing frequent disc errors, lock ups, a red ring of death, an E74 error, or another serious failure of your Xbox 360 console… I would suggest holding on to it until you absolutely have to upgrade. You don’t get a better picture or sound, faster downloads, or any other benefits when you upgrade to a slim console. You get more storage. Other than that, your interaction with the console will be the same as it is now – so why spend $300 or more? It’s just not worth it, if you don’t need to.