Your questions: “How do I get updates to DST and time zone updates and alerts?”

Related to the regular updates made to our pages on time, Steven asked this week…

“Is there something that customer can plug into, like subscribing to monthly security alerts, for DST [and, I’ll add, time zone] updates?”

No, not directly. You can enable tracking for specific pages on the web (such as the the DST and time zone web pages) via RSS feed using free, third party services like page2rss, feedity, feedyes and other services.

I find that for updates to the pages linked off of — such as the Hot Topics and impacted Microsoft product list — services such as Feedity work well.

This approach also works for tracking the changes made to Knowledge Base (KB) articles, such as the December 2007 cumulative time zone update for Microsoft Windows operating systems (KB 942763).  As we update the article — particularly when the KB is superseded by a new update — you’ll get pinged.

As Sean noted (and reminded… thanks!) you may also want to leverage the RSS feed for the Technet/MS DST Blog at

You can also apply this to external, public resource sites such as those on the site…

… the tzdatabase page, the list of time zones wiki and the overall time zone Wiki page.

Tags: Microsoft, Daylight Saving Time, Daylight Savings Time, RSS, DST. 3,530,000 (down a million items); 6,950,000; 649,000+


Turning up the volume… on blog comments

Last November, I noted that I turned down the spam comments on my blog, limiting the time to post comments.  Well, that strategy worked and I’ve decided to experiment by increasing the time to post comments, from seven days to 14.  We’ll see how that holds up over the next couple of weeks.


The Bill Gates keynote (with Robbie Bach) and other CES 2008 coverage

Microsoft at 2008 International CES

Bloggers and the press are out in force at CES in Las Vegas, tonite covering Bill Gates’ keynote at CES 2008.  You can find several entries listed here.  Check out video coverage at Microsoft’s CES site and on Microsoft PressPass.

[More on the keynote from On Monday, Jan. 7, the transcript from the keynote address will be posted on PressPass, along with an online media kit.  Click here to subscribe to PressPass via RSS.  If you are in Vegas, Microsoft’s booth is 7144 in the Central Hall of the LVCC.]

So far, it’s just like being in Vegas, but with out the 24-hour flashing neon, long cab and restaurant lines, sleepy booth jockeys and uncomfortable hotels… and all from the comfort of my own home with free broadband access. 

And much quieter, too.

Our very own MSN Tech & Gadgets has a dedicated CES page along with the their spaces blog with posts from staff in Vegas (with the first photos of Playboy Bunnies, Hulk Hogan and tasers…;).  Engadget has great coverage on a CES-optimized page for their readers.  Daisuke Wakabayashi at Reuters covered the keynote as did Joseph Menn from the LA Times, and many blogger reports from CES here

[Added 010708: Here’s a good summary of the keynote from first-time Gates keynote attendee  which also has CES product coverage.]

Todd Bishop of the Seattle PI newspaper has an active Microsoft blog and tonite provides an overview of one of the keynote items: partnerships with content providers “including one with NBC to put video of the upcoming Olympics [see below] in Beijing exclusively on Microsoft’s MSN site.” He also notes the deal with MGM Studios to offer movies on Xbox Live Video, as well as with ABC Television, the Disney Channel offering programming from their channels. 

Marc has a quick synopsis on his blog, and  | All about Microsoft | thumbnailMary Jo Foley has a few points on Gates’ last CES keynote, which she said was ‘Long on sales claims, short on futures…’  She also notes here that Microsoft has announced a new sales milestone for Windows Vista: 100 million retail copies sold

“The company made the announcement via an article, which includes answers to reader questions by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, published by the BBC on Sunday…”

Want to ask Bill a question?  You can pose your own questions to Mr. Gates, so to speak, as posted on tech-buzz: Billg invited readers (of the BBC News) “to send him questions about his life and career. This invitation has been extended to readers from all over the world, and the timing could not have been more apt. You can send him questions on his life and career here.” The beeb will select some of the best questions and post the answers courtesy of Billg on their website and via television.

Also cool is the announcement that our Internet Protocol Television technology (IPTV) ‘Mediaroom’ is on more than a million set-top boxes worldwide. (As Bishop notes, IPTV technology delivers TV signals over phone lines.)  No mention of any new Xbox 360 hardware yet. 

C’mon… VUDU is listing their new XL for nearly a grand US (which is what, C$99 these days?;) and will debut their new Vudu XL movie vault that will hold “up to 500 full-length SD standard movies.” (Thanks, betanews.)  Surely we’ll see some more great announcements on the Media Center front when it comes to content and home theaters, right?

Now, back to the keynote: Todd Bishop also sat down and interviewed Billg just before the keynote where…

“Gates talked about the future of technology and discussed his plans as he prepares to go part time at the company later this year. He also defended Microsoft’s year-old Windows Vista operating system from critics and credited Nintendo’s Wii game console for its approachability — saying he expects Microsoft to “match that and do better.”

[Note: IMHO, “match that and do better” for starters should equal an Xbox 360 with a much quieter fan and disc drive than I have today in my black Xbox 360 Elite.  Another note: smaller and durable is also a good thing, too: to our boy’s delight, we traveled over the winter break with a Wii in my laptop carry-on bag, which included a laptop as well, power supply in the checked bag.]

At this year’s keynote, Ian Dixon posted here that Billg and Robbie Bach from E&D covered Vista customers (over 100 million served), Window Live bits, Surface, Silverlight, Xbox Live and Mediaroom (IPTV), Samsung’s new Media Center Extender and how in the UK customers will find the “the Xbox 360 as a IPTV client.” Add to that the numbers game: 10 million members strong on Xbox Live; 17.7 million Xbox 360 consoles sold so far (as x3sphere posted here); and 420 million Windows Live users worldwide. 

And another number: Gizmodo covers the 3,600 hours of the 2008 Olympic Games on MSN in Silverlight

“Bill Gates (and Bob Costas) announced that NBC would broadcast 3,600 hours of games from the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics via MSN on the site. The video will be both live and on demand, with over 30 simultaneous live broadcasts. The cool thing is that finally, people who love ridiculous games like the hammer toss will get their fix, without upsetting the basketball fans who wouldn’t dare allow for a pre-emption.”

(Silverlight is a relatively small download: a whopping 2.6 MB which took less than a minute to install on my machine.)

Engadget thumbnailAs reported on Engadget, Zune will finally say ‘eh’ as it’s soon to be launched in Canada: perhaps I can then find some more Nash the Slash and Jane Siberry on Zune, too.  I hope that they do this before the next general election or no later than Canada Day: friends up north shouldn’t have to endure another Zuneless summer.

Todd Bishop also offers an edited transcript of the interview in his post — good reading — in addition to coverage of the keynote address here, as Gates came on stage with Slash, lately of of ‘Guitar Hero III’ fame…

“The night ended with Microsoft executive Robbie Bach challenging Gates to a “Guitar Hero” duel. After Bach brought out a “Guitar Hero” champion to stand in for him on the old Guns N’ Roses tune “Welcome to the Jungle,” Gates said he had a ringer, too: Slash, the former Guns N’ Roses guitarist…”

Mary Jo also posted that…

“the only truly futuristic technology that Gates showed during his hour-plus CES appearance was a piece of visual-recognition software under development by Microsoft Research that, some day, may be integrated into cell phones and other devices…

“I was hoping Gates would pull a Steve Jobs and say at the very end of his remarks, “We have one more thing…” and show off Windows Live “Horizon” or a sneak peek of Windows Mobile 7, or the “Pink and Purple” project’s Zune phone, or — heck, even just a glimpse of “Fiji.”

Hey, Mary Jo… it’s the early start to a long week.  Give it time. 😉

For our sons: Engadget provides a video look Guitar Wizard. Our kids are big on Guitar Hero on Xbox, and now the makers of the big hit at our house this Christmas —  I Can Play Guitar from Mattel — have this new teaching tool showing at CES.  Add to this Max is in his first year of real guitar lessons and Music Wizard’s Guitar Wizard looks like a great learning tool.  (More info here.)

More info:

Tags: Consumer Electronics Show, Bill Gates, Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft Corp., Gate, Microsoft Windows, CES 2008, Windows Live, Windows XP, Windows Mobile, Zune, Xbox, Xbox Live, Windows 7, Software, Consumer Electronics.


CES 2008: Getting around Las Vegas on the Media Center Express

For those of you going to CES, Nick reports on the Windows Vista blog today that there will be one more way (aside from ) to cruise around Viva Las Vegas… the new the Windows Vista Media Center Express:

“This year at CES we’re partnering with PodTech to provide ground transportation specifically for bloggers attending CES via the Windows Vista Media Center Express.  This is an executive-class coach with a distinctive, custom exterior design, so you’ll know it when you see it. 

“We dreamed up the Media Center Express as a way to help bloggers get between the CES BlogHaus at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino and CES 2008 at the Las Vegas Conference Center, while also providing them an entertaining, hands-on experience with cool technology — and of course refreshments — en route.  (If you’ve ever been to CES, then you know how difficult it can be to negotiate the Las Vegas streets while competing with the 150K other people in attendance.) 

“We’ve equipped the bus with PCs and hardware showcasing some of the best aspects of Windows Vista, namely, Windows Media Center and Certified for Windows Vista devices.” 

If you’re going to CES, register for the BlogHaus at the Bellagio so you can take advantage of the Media Center Express.  The Bellagio BlogHaus will be open on Sunday, January 6, from 4pm to 2am, and then each day of the show from 7am to 2am (Thursday from 7am to 12noon).

Tags: Microsoft, podtech, CES 2008, CES, BlogHaus.