Tech thoughts: My first week with the Xbox, plus WebOS back from the dead?

Xbox 360It’s been about a week and a half since I’ve gotten my Xbox 360, and so far, I’ve been enjoying the experience.

The main games I’ve been playing have been “Marvel vs. Capcom 3″ and “Fable III,” though more the former in the last few days, particularly for its online game-playing options (via Xbox Live). Playing online, however, has proven to be extremely tough—either I’ve gotten rusty (from not playing the Marvel/Capcom games much since the 90s), my mediocre video game playing skills are to blame, or the online players have way more practice. That, or they’re using some turbo/cheat codes feature. I still haven’t downloaded Halo: Reach yet, but I’ll get around to it.

Speaking of downloads, I’ve also decided to give Netflix’s streaming feature a try. The Xbox 360 supports streaming Netflix, so thought it might be worth trying. I’m disappointed that Netflix’s website doesn’t seem to offer a way to see what films/TV shows are available via the streaming side without registering for it first. Maybe part of the reason why I’ve also considered just dropping Netflix altogether. Either way, there’s still RedBox/the public library for DVDs, for less than what I’m paying for Netflix’s two-DVDs-at-a-time plan now.

Microsoft has also released an update a few days ago for the Xbox, updating its dashboard with its tile-based Metro interface, per its current push at cross-platform UI unity. While I’m not a big fan of Microsoft’s GUIs, the update does have some advantages over the old one (which, only having used it for a week, I didn’t have time to get attached to unlike some disgruntled Xbox users online): Bing is now offered as a search engine, while the various items are categorized by “video,” “music,” etc. I still don’t have streaming video from my laptop set up, but I’m still doing research.

On an unrelated note to the above comes news that HP plans to open up WebOS as open-source, hoping others might take advantage of using the now-dead mobile OS. While HP should’ve considered this a lot sooner, I hope that WebOS being freely available means its best parts will be taken advantage of by other mobile OSes (Android particularly). Or even better, that WebOS itself gets a second shot at life, and at app developer support.

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