webDotWiz talks Windows Live

A daily list of links to interesting sites

Monthly Archives: October 2005

MSN Messenger world’s best app contest

Beginning Sep 12, the MSN Messenger team has been looking for the World’s Best App for MSN Messenger using the recently released programming guide and code for developers to hook into Messenger.
There are already some contest winners and you can view their creative apps at the World’s Best App site.
There are five new apps at present including:
  • t4im, a communication tool which integrates translator and dictionary on MSN Messenger in the non-games section
  • tankwars, and
  • hangman

Talking about MSN Search Announces MSN Book Search

Project Gutenberg has been a resource for a number of years that enables visitors to its site to download from a selection of over 16,000 books. But from the press release below, you can see that MSN Search, in collaboration with the Open Content Allianace, is considering a more far-reaching project to enable us all to access more reference material on the web.


MSN Search Announces MSN Book Search

From the press release MSN Search Announces MSN Book Search we learn

SAN FRANCISCO — Oct. 25, 2005 — MSN Search today announced its intention to launch MSN® Book Search, which will support MSN Search’s efforts to help people find exactly what they’re looking for on the Web, including the content from books, academic materials, periodicals and other print resources. MSN Search intends to launch an initial beta of this offering next year. MSN also intends to join the Open Content Alliance (OCA) and work with the organization to scan and digitize publicly available print materials, as well as work with copyright owners to legally scan protected materials.

"With MSN Book Search, we are excited to be working with libraries worldwide to digitize and index information from the world’s printed materials, taking another step in our efforts to better answer people’s questions with trusted content from the best sources," said Christopher Payne, corporate vice president of MSN Search at Microsoft Corp. "We believe people will benefit from the ability to not just view a page, but to easily act on that data in contextually relevant ways, both online in the search experience and in the applications they are using."

MSN will first make available books that are in the public domain and is working with the Internet Archive to digitize the material. MSN will then work to extend its offering to other types of offline content. The digitized content will primarily be print material that has not been copyrighted, and Microsoft will clearly respect all copyrights and work with each partner providing the information to work out mutually agreeable protections for copyrights.

If you’re keeping track that means all three major search engines (Yahoo!, Google and MSN) have announced book search engines. So far only Google is facing lawsuits from publishers because it plans to digitize copyrighted works unless the copyright holders explicitly opt-out. Expecting that publishers and authors will have to go to each search engine vendor that plans to offer a book search service to explicitly tell them not to redistribute their works seems to be putting an unnecessary burden on copyright holders and runs counter to the spirit of copyrights. 

The lawsuits around Google Print may turn out to be an interesting turning point in how copyright is viewed in the digital era.

Haunted house on Virtual Earth map

The Poly9 team have put up a map (U.S.) of all the haunted houses they could find. Just the thing if you’re into Halloween.
The map is at http://www.hauntedmap.com/ and you can get details of each haunted house by hovering your mouse over the little ghost icon.
A visit to the Poly9 team’s site is worthwhile and you can then try out some of their other apps built around Virtual Earth.

Talking about Nikon Small World – Photo Gallery

 Nikon, the camera people, have announced the winner in their Small World photography contest. Entrants must photograph through a light microscope and the winning entry was of a Muscoid fly (house fly).


You can view all the entries, with details of how the photograph was taken, from the link below.


Nikon Small World – Gallery

webDotWiz column for 20-Oct-05

webDotWiz is a bit late posting this news, isn’t he?
The Oct 20 column gives some tips on using the Blog It link that appears at the bottom of all posts in Spaces so you can add comments and content from other Spaces.
As well, you can make use of the Comment link at the bottom of other peoples’ Spaces entries. You’ll see how an automatic link is added back to your Space. This is how you can make a circle of people interested in the same topics, hobbies, entertainment, and so on.
One Spaces feature not mentioned in webDotWiz Online of Oct 20 is being able to go do a non-Spaces blog. To add this blog’s content as a source of info to your Space, simply click on the Spaces button on the MSN Toolbar – a new blog entry will be created on your Space (assuming you’re logged in with your Hotmail/Passport account) and a link automatically created back to the page containing the content you want to comment on.

Getting organized using OneNote note flags

Chris Pratley is one of Microsoft’s developers of OneNote and the article below shows us how to make best use of OneNote’s flags – a very powerful feature that can do so much to help organise everything in OneNote.


Chris Pratley’s OneNote Blog : Getting organized using OneNote note flags

Font blog opens up

 webDotWiz is certainly no expert on fonts but it’s a fascinating subject. Where do they come from? Why so many differnt face types? What are they all used for? And so on…

Anyway check out the fontblog and have a look at Robert Scoble’s comments too (link below).


Scobleizer – Microsoft Geek Blogger » Font blog opens up

Advice to parents whose children are beginning to blog

 By all means encourage your children to set up their own Space. it’s a great outlet for them to improve their writing skills and share their thoughts with one and all. However, a few words of advice are required so that the need to be heard and read doesn’t outstrip the requirement to remain private.


Advice To My Step-Son as He Begins His Blogging Adventure


Dear Patrick,


Let me begin by saying that I am so proud of you for being so brave to start blogging at such an early age. From your first three posts, I like the conversational tone you have picked and the topics that you discuss. As a society, we should be paying close attention to what matters to you and your generation, as you are our future. I hope that you continue to provide us with insights about the music, books, products, and movies that intrigue you and your friends. Research and marketing types should especially pay close attention to you and your friends. You are doing their work for them by simply blogging your ideas and ideals.


Given that I have been around the block (err blog) a bit longer than you, (well for about a monthJ) here are some pointers I hope you take into consideration as you embark on your blogging journey:


1- Remember that what you write is out there in the public for EVERYONE to see. Guard your privacy against your desire for public attention.


2- Everything you write could someday be used against you. Write so that you give your friends pleasure, but not your enemies.


3- You have entered a whole new playground and there are so many great friends to meet, so many new things to learn. Enjoy your new experiences and cherish your new friends.


4- Just like every playground there are some bullies in this one too. Don’t let the turkeys get you down! If someone leaves an inappropriate or mean comment, don’t take it personally and don’t dwell too much on it. They are not worth it.


5- Before you publish something, ask yourself what your Dad, your Mom or your friends would think about it? Would they approve? What about a future college recruiter? Or someone who is interviewing you for a job? If you are not sure, ask someone. Remember rule #1.


6- Don’t write about someone without their knowledge; portray others as you would like to be portrayed yourself. Remember rule #2.


7- I hope that you continue to ask questions and keep alive your curiosity and take us along in your journey.


Best of luck and keep on blogging!


MSN Messenger 7.5 update V7.5.0311

 Note you don’t have to download a whole new version. When you sign in, an alert box will pop up in the usual place (bottom right of your screen) to inform you there’s an update – click on it and you’ll have the upgrade in minutes.


311 Has Grassroots

Version 7.5.0311 of Messenger with its two adorable little bug fixes is now downloadable.


Bug 1: Dit-moi la verite.


In French markets, when opening a conversation window with a MSN Mobile Buddy we previously showed the french version of the text “Messages you type here are delivered to a mobile phone or pager. The recipient may be charged for each message by his or her wireless service provider.” But now it will say “Messages you type here are delivered to a mobile phone or pager.” Because it almost all cases, the recipients pay for the service in general and don’t have to pay for individual messages.


Bug 2: Connectivity Trouble Shooter Fires Stray Bullets


Sometimes after running the Connectivity Trouble Shooter, users found that some of their computer programs were no longer able to connect properly.  We fixed up the Connectivity Trouble Shooter so that should no longer happen.


thanks to: nick, katie, samir and tim for the info!

Talking about Grass Path

Here’s a great example of how you can add new content to your space without a lot of effort.

Do a little job around the house, take a photo or two, write up a few sentences and upload the photos – and everybody can enjoy your creation. All done in a few minutes – well, the writing and photo uploads!


Grass Path

These latest pics are the planting of the grass path with poa grass an indigenous specie, it is about halfway planted , I will be planting the other half this weekend. They will clump up and create a wall along the walkway of the path….. The feature Ironbark pergola will begin to be erected in the next week or so very exciting…….