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Feature
Plus Maxed out?


By MediEvil14
(May 23, 1999)

About 3 years ago, when I first signed on to the WebTV Network, the Plus unit wasn't out yet. The current classic, sported a few of the light plugins we use daily. It did not contain a hard drive, and it only had two megabytes of memory

But, with the introduction of the Plus unit in Late 1997, there was hope for a better terminal. It had 8 Megs of ram, 2 megs of ROM and a 1.08 gigabyte hard drive, which was the most exciting technical aspect of all.

A few months ago, a handfull of Plus users decided to go the extra mile, and found a special way to get into the WebTV Plus's hard drive. Eat_meimacookie, in January, found a hole, in the browser, that allowed users to enter a certain string of text into the find box, and manipulate the service to view a specific file on the hard drive. At first, what the explorers saw was just a bunch of gibberish, and made no sense at all. But, after awhile, they learned how to decode the gibberish. It had been done. People could now see, view, and take vidcaps of, their hard drives contents.

Surfing on the hard drive uncovered many facts. One, is that, WebTV Networks tracks our personal information. They collect the TV shows we watch, the websites we visit, and the Phone numbers our terminal uses to dial in.

But, there were a few directories on the hard drive that were very strange. These directories, containing files with the .mxw extension, showed shocking phrases like "Netshow Player", "Realplayer", and the best phrase of all, "Javasoft".

Nobody believed these Plus users, nor did anyone believe WebTV could view its own hard drive. However, when Mattman69, showed the usenet dwellers the video games "Doom", and "You Don't know Jack", it became obvious that WebTV was holding out on its users. When WebTV unveiled its newest model, the Echostar 7100, the very same games, which could be played on the WebTV Plus, were given to the Echostar. WebTV users then knew, that the Plus was not being used to its fullest capabilities, and that WebTV, was trying to nudge its users on to a product that costs an outlandish four hundred, ninety-nine dollars and ninety five cents.

WebTV Networks, did not want users to access the games anymore. So, in the Spellchecker upgrade, WebTV Networks plugged the hole. And, for those of you who did not recieve the upgrade yet, don't try to get to the games, either. The games were taken off of the servers of WebTV after security noticed the high levels of people that were still accessing them.

Are these features going to be given to Plus users in the "near future"? What about the unfinished plugins on the Plus hard drive? Will WebTV deliever its promise of seamleass intergration of the internet on the television? Only time will tell, and WebTV Networks does not have that much time before the competition arrives.




Thanks to JVT007, Eat_meimacookie, and uLTRAX, on the completion of this article.


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