How to Check MAK Product Key Remaining Activation Count

/* Posted June 20th, 2011 at 2:55pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Gadgets    */

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MAK (Multiple Activation Key) product key, as its name implied, is a product key that provided by Microsoft to its customers on volume licensing agreements to activate many computers running Windows operating system or Office productivity suite. Corporate clients of Microsoft has a choice of activating the systems running in their organizations through KMS host or MAK product key. MAK product key allows companies to activate against Microsoft’s server instead of having installed and maintained a server running KMS service.

One MAK product keys can potentially activate hundreds or even thousands of computers running Windows Vista or Windows 7, or Office 2010 (separate type of product keys for two different products required). The number of activations can be done by each product key is determined by the software licensing agreements (and the money paid to Microsoft, of course).

Once a MAK product key is been used to activate many machines, most administrators will probably lose count of actual times of remaining activations that can be done with the serial codes. In addition, some MAK product keys may have been “leaked” to Internet, or “shared” with outsiders, causing the numbers of remaning activation count available dwindling faster than expected.

Microsoft provides a Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) which can be used to check how many activations remain unused for a MAK product key.

If you have a MAK product key, you can check how many activations remain using Volume Activation Management (VAMT) Tool:

  1. Download and install Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT).
  2. Go to Product Keys in the left pane.
  3. Enter the Product Key and a Remark (as description) under the “Add Product Key” section.
  4. Click on Verify button, and click on Add Product Key button.

    Add Product Key in VAMT

  5. Highlight the product key in the list below, and click on Refresh Product Key Data Online on the right Actions pane.

    Check MAK Product Key Remaining Activation Count

  6. Check the product keys listing frame for remaining activation count, which means the number of times that product key can still be used to activate a Microsoft Windows or Office system.

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Hands-On: My Friend Is My Enemy in Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One

/* Posted June 20th, 2011 at 2:55pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Video Games    */

Ratchet Clank: All 4 One is the first game in the series built for cooperative play.
Image courtesy Sony

LOS ANGELES — The latest Ratchet Clank is all about cooperation. And competition. At the same time.

I played the PlayStation 3 title alongside a member of the Insomniac Games development team at E3 Expo earlier this month. The two of us had a hell of a time jumping and shooting our way through Ratchet Clank: All 4 One’s well-designed platforming levels. While we chased the monstrous Z’Grute beast through the city, we engaged in (somewhat) friendly competition to see who could collect the most Bolts, the game’s form of currency.

Ratchet Clank: All 4 One, which Sony will publish Oct. 18, can support up to four players at once. After Ratchet and Clank themselves, your third and fourth players will be series co-stars Captain Qwark and Doctor Nefarious. The health meters of the enemies you encounter will be raised or lowered based on the number of players.

Players can team up and compete with one another both locally and online, and you can expect to frequently shift between screaming and hugging, depending how much you secretly hate your friends.

Though the idea is to get together and take on levels as a team, it’s more fun to think of All 4 One as a race to see who can get the most points. In order to collect those precious Bolts, you’ll have to break crates and kill enemies before your partners beat you to them. (This push-and-pull between cooperation and competition is similar to The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, a GameCube title that Nintendo will release for DSiWare in September.)

You’ll have access to a variety of weapons along with a grappling hook, which can be used to latch onto your friends and environmental objects. This allows you to leap gaps and swing across chasms in satisfying fashion.

Though you might be screaming at your friends to stay away from your Bolts, certain parts of the game require cooperation. For example, after hitting a certain checkpoint and buying a certain Combuster gun, you and your team will start encountering bigger, badder enemies and obstacles that require simultaneous shots to destroy. In order to proceed, you’ll have to rhythmically tap the Fire button in harmony with your friends.

You’ll also have to work closely with your partners while steering the game’s vehicles, some of which will require you to shift your weight by moving back and forth in tandem as you fly across pits of spikes or electrical fields.

We dove and leaped through a series of platforms and levels, all finally culminating in a battle against the Z’Grute beast that required nothing but good old-fashioned teamwork. Once we used our Combuster guns to knock out the Z’Grute, the demo ended.

BI Practice Accelerator

/* Posted June 20th, 2011 at 2:55pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under SharePoint    */

There is a new training offering for partners on Business Intelligence. The Practice Accelerator is a technical learning offering, delivered in a series of webinars over 4 days, giving 16 hours of online training in total. As well as this, the offering includes documentation, guides, hands on lab and other materials that can be used after the training session to deliver strong BI projects.

Delivery dates for this new offering are 25th July – 28th July and 19th September – 22nd September. 

This is delivered by the PTS team and comes out of a partners Technical Advisory Services hours. These hours of technical support come as part of the partner benefits for Silver and Gold Partners. The Practice Accelerator costs 10 hours and allows up to four consultants to take part.

Link to register is here:

https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/registrationex/LMS_Registration.aspx?UserMode=0Mode=0ActivityID=746096

Boot Camp: Setting Boot Priority to Windows Partition Automatically

/* Posted June 20th, 2011 at 2:55pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under General    */

A while ago I needed to resize both my Windows and Snow Leopard partitions on my Macbook since one side had more space that the other needed. After going through a harrowing partition resizing with GParted and rEFIt, I was able to restore normal function to both operating systems with resized partitions. One thing thing that did get screwed up was the boot priority. When I had first installed Boot Camp on my Macbook, I ended up booting up whatever OS I had last used. This was fine to me and I thought nothing of it.

But after the resize, it seems that feature disappeared and I was left with an automatic booting of my Snow Leopard partition regardless of the last OS used. To set the boot priority for Windows 7, which I was using, I had to boot into Windows 7 first and adjust a Boot Camp setting there. While I initially tried to do this by going to the Boot Disk settings in Snow Leopard, I was unable to find the Boot Camp partition. If this is the case for you, then you can alternatively make the same change from your Windows partition.

When you installed Windows, a Boot Camp icon should have been left on your taskbar. It’s a plain gray diamond, as seen below.

taskbar boot camp icon

When you click on it, you can launch the control panel by selecting “Boot Camp Control Panel…” from the popup menu. From there you will see the Mac partition and the Boot Camp partition.

boot camp control panel

Select the one you want to have automatic boot priority and then hit OK. The next time you restart your machine it will automatically load the OS partition you have selected here. You can also change this at any time by repeating the steps.

New Slim Liteon Drive Version – DG-16D4S 1071

/* Posted June 20th, 2011 at 8:55am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Xbox    */


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Krap PSP v1.18 *RELEASED*

/* Posted June 20th, 2011 at 2:54am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under PSP    */

 

v1.18 is released. is a plugin came up from nowhere, indeed it is just an idea before, but because of someone’s help(freddy), i manage to implement a feature which is permit/forbid the battery from charging(that’s why its Krap).. and then suddenly some more features we’re implemented because of users suggestions. You want to easily manipulate your psp? check your battery status? how about listening to music and yours always aware with the battery life percent, is it good to may just hear a warning sound than picking onto it all the time? How about the uptime? Now, do you want to make your psp more krapy? then try this one and if you find it useful, then that’s great

Changelog:

v1.18 6/11/2011
[!]Fix the screenshot bug ( that auto creates a Krap folder!)
[!]Fix some errors in krap menu
[!]Fix a bug that when the “Stop charging is Disabled” the psp will not charge at 0% battery lvl.
[+]Added Wlan Saver Option in Settings menu(Now you can turn it on/off while in game mode )
[+]Added the ability to disable/enable screenshot,music mode,reboot,sleep,shutdown
[+]Added the ability to change the Powersaver CPU/Brightness
[+]Added the Farenheit value of the Battery temperature in the krap menu
[!]Improved music mode feature
[!]Changed some of the default buttons such as
- Force shutdown from (NOTE+START » NOTE+SELECT)
- Force Sleep from (NOTE+SELECT » NOTE+START)
- Screenshot from (NOTE+LTRIG » NOTE+RTRIG)

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Bitcoin Reviewed: Clever, Controversial Financial/Social Experiment

/* Posted June 19th, 2011 at 8:54pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under News    */

John Lennon wanted us to imagine a world with no countries; when the European Union started happening in earnest, one of the first things they did was create the Euro. Having a common currency is a great way to bring down geographical barriers and create a shared economy. And with audacity that feels like it’s drawn straight out of one of William Gibson’s cyberpunk novels, that’s what Bitcoin (free) sets out to do.

Bitcoin Reviewed: Clever, Controversial Financial/Social ExperimentDon’t let Bitcoin’s utilitarian appearance deceive you: This is a bold attempt at changing how we think about money.Bitcoin works like a peer-to-peer file-sharing application, only instead of transferring files, the nodes on the network transfer data about financial transactions. Each node on the Bitcoin network has its own unique identifier. To send someone money, simple use the client to specify an amount, paste in their ID, and the money is sent on its way.

Of course, before you can do that, you need to get some Bitcoins to send. This isn’t monopoly money: There are only so many Bitcoins in existence, and they have value that can be measured in more common currency (US Dollars, for example). The Bitcoin economy is still forming, so Bitcoins are being slowly created, or “mined” in Bitcoin parlance. Since one of Bitcoin’s key tenets is that there should be no central issuing authority, the clients are doing the mining, effectively creating new money out of thin air.

At first glance, that seems very much off–kind of like printing your own Dollar bills at home. But mining new Bitcoins is a temporary affair–the rate of mining is hard-coded into the application, and will slowly taper off until at last, no more coins will be mined and the system will stabilize at 21 million Bitcoins.

Mining your own coins is an extremely slow process. It’s not supposed to be fast. To actually start using Bitcoin as a form of online currency, you should first find out if there are any businesses that you’d like to work with which accept Bitcoin payments. Bitcoin’s community wiki lists dozens of businesses that accept this new form of currency, with more being added constantly.

Once you’ve found someone you’d like to pay, you should purchase some Bitcoins to pay them with. This is done using an online currency exchange. There are a number of Bitcoin currency exchanges, again, all listed on Bitcoin’s Wiki. At first, paying with “real” money for a virtual form of currency may leave you with an uneasy feeling. But once you’ve used your Bitcoins to pay for a valuable service, you would see that Bitcoin is just like any other form of currency, only it’s not centrally controlled in any way.

One last caveat: Bitcoins are stored in a “wallet,” which is nothing but an encrypted file on your computer. There is no central bank, and losing this file means you’ve lost all of your Bitcoins. So if you do use Bitcoin for anything serious, be sure to constantly back up this file to protect. Encryption might not go amiss either, as the Allinvain heist suggests. Digital wallets are vulnerable to hacks, and Symantec recently reported a Bitcoin-stealing Trojan.

Bitcoin may not be ready for prime time yet, and the system can seem too appealing for certain types of underhanded dealings (untraceable, anonymous money, anyone?). In fact, some US senators are even trying to shut it down, for just that reason. But even if Bitcoin itself gets shut down–unlikely as that may seem–I believe it is a sign of things to come. If you have any interest in foreign exchange or monetary systems, you would do well to give Bitcoin a quick spin.

Kinect SDK and Driver for Windows 7 Official Download

/* Posted June 19th, 2011 at 2:54pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Gadgets    */

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Want to use your Kinect motion sensor with Windows PC? Microsoft has officially released Kinect for Windows SDK, initially as beta version, which comes complete with APIs, sample code, and drivers. Kinect is a very popular gaming peripheral for XBox 360, which has been sold more than 10 millions units. Previously, many programmers have developed unofficial drivers for Kinect for various devices to allow Kinect device to interact with the host system.

The Kinect was originally released for Xbox 360 game console system, to allow controller-less motion control and voice control game playing. Microsoft called the Kinect as natural user interface. With the official release of Kinect driver for Windows 7, now the keyboard and mouse for the computer can be do away, replacing natural UI input via Kinnect connected to PC which has sensor to detect voice command and on-air finger gestures, swipe, tap and other body motion control.

Kinect SDK and Drivers for Windows

This Kinect for Windows SDK includes the following features:

  • Raw sensor streams – Access to raw data streams from the depth sensor, color camera sensor, and four-element microphone array enables developers to build upon the low-level streams that are generated by the Kinect sensor.
  • Skeletal tracking – The capability to track the skeleton image of one or two people moving within the Kinect field of view make it easy to create gesture-driven applications.
  • Advanced audio capabilities – Audio processing capabilities include sophisticated acoustic noise suppression and echo cancellation, beam formation to identify the current sound source, and integration with the Windows speech recognition API.
  • Sample code and documentation – The SDK includes more than 100 pages of technical documentation. In addition to built-in help files, the documentation includes detailed walkthroughs for most samples provided with the SDK.
  • Easy installation – The SDK installs quickly, requires no complex configuration, and the complete installer size is less than 100 MB. Developers can get up and running in just a few minutes with a standard standalone Kinect sensor unit (widely available at retail outlets).

The Kinect for Windows SDK beta works only on Windows 7, and includes drivers, APIs, installation documents, and resource materials. With the SDK, developers can build applications that utilized Kinect capabilities with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

The Kinect SDK for Windows is available as free download for experimental and non-commercial purposes, targeting at academic and hobbyist application developers. A commercial version of Kinect SDK will be released later for companies who want to develop Kinect apps for sales.

Microsoft first announced Kinect support few months ago, after the Kinect device was hacked to perform various out-of-imagination tasks. It demoed several applications of Kinect on computer during MIX conference in April, including navigating 3-D maps of the universe from the Worldwide Telescope with hand movements, using a walking navigation service that helps people with impaired sight, and steering a motorized recliner on wheels with gestures. When officially announced Kinect SDK, a Code Camp was held, which resulted in an application to fly a drone helicopter and voice motion, a video conferencing application that automatically zoom the camera in on the speaker during a meeting, and Kinductor, a program to teach someone how to conduct a virtual orchestra. The demo applications just show how wide and the possibilities of Kinect applications.

Download Kinect for Windows SDK from http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/kinectsdk/download.aspx.

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How to Jailbreak Your iPod Touch 4G Using RedSn0w (Windows) [5.0b1]

/* Posted June 19th, 2011 at 8:54am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under iPhone    */

These are instructions on how to jailbreak your iPod touch 4G on the 5.0b1 firmware using RedSn0w for Windows. Since iOS 5.0 has not yet been released these are instructions for developers only. This procedure will not hacktivate so you must have your UDID registered with a developer, and as of now the jailbreak is tethered.

If you want to jailbreak a lower firmware version you can find the appropriate tutorial here.

Step One
Create a folder on your desktop called Pwnage

Download RedSn0w from here and place it in the Pwnage folder. Likewise, download the latest 5.0 firmware from the iOS Dev Center and place it in the same folder.

5.0b1 (iPad 1): iPad1,1_5.0_9A5220p_Restore

Extract the RedSn0w zip file into the same folder.

Step Two
Connect your iPod touch to the computer and launch iTunes.

Select your iPod touch from the list of devices on the left. Now hold down Shift and click the Restore button. Restore is preferred as it won’t create any wasted space on your iPod touch.

Navigate to the Pwnage folder on your desktop and select the 5.0 firmware ipsw. Click the Choose button to continue.

Step Three
Once iTunes has finished updating your iPod touch to the desired firmware open the Pwnage folder on your desktop and launch the redsn0w application from the redsn0w folder we extracted earlier.

**Windows 7 users may need to run RedSn0w in Vista Compatibility mode. You can do this by right clicking the executable and selecting Properties from the contextual menu.

Step Four
Once RedSn0w opens click the Browse button

Step Five
Select the 5.0 firmware ipsw we placed in the Pwnage folder on our desktop then click Open.

Step Six
Once the firmware has been verified click the Next button to continue.

Step Seven
RedSn0w will now prepare the jailbreak data

Step Eight
From this window you can select the jailbreak options you would like.

Make sure Cydia is selected and click the Next button to continue.

Step Nine
Please plug your iPod touch into the computer and make sure its OFF then click the Next button

Step Ten
RedSn0w will now guide you through the steps to get into DFU mode. You can find more help with DFU mode here

Hold down both the Home button and the Power button for 10 seconds.

Release the Power button and continue holding the Home button until RedSn0w detects the device.

Step Eleven
Your iPod touch will now reboot

Step Twelve
RedSn0w will then begin uploading the new RAM Disk and Kernel.

Step Thirteen
Once this is complete you will be notified that RedSn0w is done. Click the Finish button. When your iPod touch finishes rebooting (5 minutes or so) it will be jailbroken with Cydia on the SpringBoard.

BOOT TETHERED:
Since this is a tethered jailbreak you must use Redsn0w to help you boot back into your jailbroken device if its powered off for any reason. Simply connect your iPod touch to the computer, launch RedSn0w, select Just boot tethered right now from the options window and click Next to have RedSn0w boot your device.

*As usual a big thanks to the iPhone Dev-Team and Geohot for their hard work and contribution to the iPhone community.
**Windows 7 users can try running RedSn0w as an administrator in Windows Vista or XP compatibility mode if you experience any difficulties.

Xecuter DG-16D4S – Unlocked Replacement PCB

/* Posted June 19th, 2011 at 2:54am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Xbox    */


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