Haruka's Tech Blog
Injuration: April 2009

Yahoo! starts shuting down GeoCities

Yahoo! has quietly stop all new registrations today for new customers on the free web hosting service, GeoCities. The service which opened in 1994, lasting almost 15 years, the company as decided to shut down all new registrations, where current accounts will be deactivated later in the year.

Current accounts maybe pushed to purchase a hosting plan later in the future to continue to keep their account. Yahoo! posted this on their web site about why they are not accepting new customers:
"We have decided to discontinue the process of allowing new customers to sign up for GeoCities accounts as we focus on helping our customers explore and build new relationships online in other ways. We will be closing GeoCities later this year."

Written by Haruka Takahashi on Friday, April 24, 2009

Xbox 360 warranty for E74 errors extended

Microsoft today has announced an extension of the Xbox 360 for owners who receive the E74 error. The console receives the E74 error for a number of reasons including problems with the scaler chip (ANA or HANA) or a problem with the AV cable. However the most likely reason is the GPU which overheats and causes the motherboard to bend. Cold soldering joints have also been blamed for the error occurring.

"While the majority of Xbox 360 owners continue to have a great experience with their console, we are aware that a very small percentage of our customers have reported receiving an error that displays ‘E74′ on their screen.

After investigating the issue, we have determined that the E74 error message can indicate the general hardware failure that is associated with three flashing red lights error on the console. As a result, we have decided to cover repairs related to the E74 error message under our three-year warranty program for certain general hardware failures that was announced in July 2007."

As with the red ring of death (RRoD), Microsoft will also refund customers who have previously experienced the E74 error and paid for repairs, in the next 4 to 12 weeks.

Microsoft's latest revision of the Xbox 360, nicknamed Jasper, uses a lower powered 65nm GPU, which many believe have finally solved the E74 errors in new consoles. Before now every 360 included a 90nm GPU.

Reportedly there is only one revision left for the Xbox 360, nicknamed Valhalla, expected later this year. It is believed the CPU and GPU will both be 45nm to further reduce production costs, but that they will also share the same piece of board. This will further benefit the cooling inside, but also reduces the space needed by around 30%. This information leads many to believe we could see a Xbox 360 "Slim" and will be Microsoft's last revision of the 360 before the next generation.

Written by Haruka Takahashi on Tuesday, April 14, 2009