In a post on Xbox Wire, head of Xbox Phil Spencer announced that Microsoft will no longer be manufacturing new Xbox 360s. This ends the console’s 10-and-a-half year production run, and marks a significant event in modern gaming.
Everyone has their own theory about when Microsoft is due to reveal their refresh of the Xbox One console. If we take the Xbox 360 as a guideline, around the two-year mark is when people could have expected a minor revision, and the console has been out for almost 29 months now. According to new filings with the FCC in the US, as well as recent statements made by Phil Spencer on the company’s thoughts for introducing newer, more powerful versions of the console, we might be in for the long-awaited revision soon, with a reveal possibly set for E3 2016, or a few weeks afterwards.
If you’ve ever run into a Windows 10 blue screen of death, you’re probably now intimately familiar with the world’s most confusing BSOD message ever. Initially this was a very fun little rollercoaster trying to figure out what really went wrong (and luckily BSOD messages are still collected in the old way), but it’s not always helpful. Microsoft’s changes later on helped by showing an error message which consisted of the stop code and a URL where you could look these up. With the upcoming Windows 10 Redstone update, it looks like they’re making more changes to the BSOD screen by including QR codes!
Microsoft is currently working on a large update to Windows 10, codenamed “Redstone”. It folds in a large number of new features and changes that the company has been making to the OS since the last full build, which was version 10586 (or version 1511, as it’s listed in the “winver” run dialog). Microsoft has since published a roadmap website for the introduction of certain features to Windows 10, and although it’s intended for business users to get a sense of where the OS is going, it has some hints about the availability of new features to consumers as well. Most of these, if not all, will be included in the Redstone update.
23 March 2016 will no doubt be recorded and remembered by Urban Dictionary, The Internet Archive, Wikipedia, 4Chan, and the like as the day Microsoft rather foolishly set a chatbot on to the internet via Twitter, and expected things to go well. After all, they must have known what was going to happen when they gave the internet a learning AI that had the name of “Tay”, which was given the persona of a teenage girl who is part of the millenial generation (the kids born just before, or just after the year 2000), and given no restrictions on what it could be made to say or do. The results of the first 24 hours of Tay’s life were either horrifying, if you’re paranoid about the future of artificial intelligence, or hilarious, if you’re the kind of person that thinks Hitler jokes are great fun.
But it wasn’t what Tay said or did that was surprising, it was how people reacted to her, and how they interacted with what they clearly knew to be a robot. It raises questions about how we’re going to foster AI in the future, as well as what kind of persona we’re going to give them in order to fit into society. Lets look into this a bit, and try figure out how things could have been done better.
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