Microsoft pushing Xbox 360 Dashboard update November 1

Microsoft late on Saturday sent a notice to Xbox 360 gamers that it would push a required Dashboard update to systems on November 1. While not made explicit, it's possible if not likely the update will represent the upgrade to Kinect and many of the other features promised earlier this year, such as a refined interface with support for Kinect navigation, better parental controls, Video Kinect chats and Zune Pass music support. A new layout, new fonts and new colors are part of the changes, Microsoft said...

5 Great PCs that are Light as Air

Ben Rudolph: Ever since Apple announced the new MacBook Air last week, I've been getting a lot of questions about ultraportable PCs. Mostly folks are intrigued by the trend toward small, sleek laptops - but don’t want to pay Apple prices or jump ship from Windows 7 to Mac OS X. Evidently the TechCrunch gang has been hearing the same thing, which is probably why they published today’s blog post titled "The Top 5 PC Alternatives to the MacBook Air". Matt Burns hits on 5 excellent PCs – the groundbreaking Dell Adamo XPS, the stupefyingly light Sony VAIO X, the battery-lasts-forever ASUS UL30 (the same one I named as one of my top 7 PCs from the last year), the crazy thin MSI x360 X-Slim, and the value-conscious Acer 3810 Timeline (another PC I reviewed).

Those are all great choices, but I wanted to offer up my recommendations as well. All of the PCs I list here run Windows 7 extremely well and will give you more power, more choice, and more personality than a MacBook Air. Take a look...

Install Windows 7 on MacBook Air from a USB drive

Dong Ngo: So you've gotten yourself the sleek new MacBook Air and your first thought is to install Windows 7 on it. OK, that's my first thought. The problem is the laptop has no optical drive, meaning you'll probably have to buy an accessory that costs around $80 to do the job.

Well, unless you're reading this. Yes, it's totally possible to install Windows 7 (or Vista) on the MacBook Air without a DVD drive. All you'll need is a computer running Windows 7 (that has a DVD drive), a 4GB or larger USB thumbdrive, a Windows 7 installation DVD, and about an hour of free time...

Cloud, meet Rainbow

The Rainbow add-on for Firefox is an early developer prototype that enables web developers to access local video and audio recording capabilities using just a few lines of JavaScript. The add-on generates files encoded in open formats: Theora (for video) and Vorbis (for audio) in an Ogg container. The resulting files are accessible in DOM using HTML5 File APIs, which may be used to upload them to a server. Check out the included example to see how simple it really is!

Microsoft: not seeing a shift to tablets despite iPad

Microsoft during the call discussing its latest fiscal results claimed that the iPad wasn't having an effect on computer sales. Investor relations GM Bill Koefoed dodged around mentioning Apple by name but said Microsoft had "not seen a shift" from notebooks towards tablets. He didn't say how Microsoft could prove this but saw overall PC sales up between nine and 11 percent in the summer, with work PCs up about 15 percent.

The company was "enthusiastic" about tablets and was confident that, in tablets, Microsoft could provide "choice and value" across devices...

Adobe shows off Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tool

Even though its Flash technology is used as a punching bag by Web standards fans, Adobe has been building tools that embrace HTML5. The company recently released its own HTML5 video player, and Adobe Illustrator and Dreamweaver CS5 now contain a number of new HTML5 export tools.

Now it seems Flash might be joining the party. At Adobe's MAX conference this week, Adobe engineer Rik Cabanier showed of a demo of tool that converts Flash animations to HTML5 (well, technically it looks like a combination of HTML5, CSS and images)...