webDotWiz talks Windows Live

A daily list of links to interesting sites

Monthly Archives: November 2006

A video plugin for Windows Live Writer

Scott has written a video plugin for WLW.

Now, as you know, presently WLW nor the current version of Live Spaces enable us to directly insert and play a video from a post/entry. So what Scott’s plugin does is convert a link to a video on Soapbox into a graphic of a player with a screenshot of the particular video.

You can download Scott’s player from here (this link begins the download of the zip file containing the Insert Video DLL file). Note you’ll need to unzip the player DLL and manually copy it into the Plugins sub-folder under Live Writer’s main folder.

To see how things will look in WLW, take a look at this post on the Soapbox team’s space. Sadly it seems webDotWiz’s ISDN connection doesn’t give enough bandwidth for the Insert Video plugin to work successfully .


Australia’s broadband disgrace – summary of links

The print media via their associated web sites, have run a number of articles and commentary on the sad state of Australia’s broadband services.

Sites such as News.com.au, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, have articles – here’s a list that Frank Arrigo has put together:

Ziggy slams slow broadband
Courier Mail, Australia – 25 Nov 2006
FORMER Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski has added his voice to complaints that broadband in Australia is too slow. Echoing the concerns

Coonan hits out on net speeds
The Australian, Australia – 24 Nov 2006
MEDIA moguls complaining that Australia’s broadband download speeds are a "disgrace" are just trying to maximise profits, Communications Minister Helen Coonan

Coonan dismisses broadband complaints
NEWS.com.au, Australia – 23 Nov 2006
AUSTRALIA’S media moguls are pursuing their own commercial interests by complaining that the country’s broadband speeds are among the slowest in the developed

Moguls pushing own barrow – Coonan
NEWS.com.au, Australia – 23 Nov 2006
AUSTRALIA’S media moguls are pursuing their own interests by complaining that broadband speeds are among the slowest in the developed world, Communications

Australia’s broadband ‘disgrace’
The Age, Australia – 14 Nov 2006
Media rival and Publishing and Broadcasting Limited executive chairman James Packer was equally critical of Australia’s broadband speeds when he made a speech

Coonan cranky on Murdoch broadband blast
NEWS.com.au, Australia – 15 Nov 2006
COMMUNICATIONS Minister Helen Coonan has rejected Rupert Murdoch’s criticism of Australia’s broadband services, saying the media baron is misinformed.

Broadband a disgrace: Murdoch
NEWS.com.au, Australia – 14 Nov 2006
rival and Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (pbl.ASX:Quote,News) executive chairman James Packer was equally critical of Australia’s broadband speeds when he

Broadband expert backs Murdoch’s claims
The Age, Australia – 15 Nov 2006
Rupert Murdoch’s description of Australia’s broadband network as a disgrace would shake the government into doing something about high speed internet access, a

and the latest from Frank’s blog:

Broadband is a disgrace but don’t blame us: Telstra

Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo said today he agrees with media mogul Rupert Murdoch that Australia’s access to high-speed broadband is a disgrace.

Having seen this list a couple of days ago, written about webDotWiz’s last ten years on the ‘Net and now having had to help users through the past 24-36 hours when internet connectivity has been, to be polite, not good at all, webDotWiz is letting off a bit of steam .


Windows Live Mail desktop – latest update is worth installing

Even though WLMd is still in trial mode, the latest build (no. 1172) is worth downloading and installing. For one thing, it’s much, much faster than the previous versions.

WLMd is the replacement for the ol’ Outlook Express but has many more features, including being able to handle an unlimited number of email accounts, news reader, and RSS reader.

The RSS Reader section uses IE 7’s RSS storage facility so they work together. As well, friends on your Mess contact list who have Spaces will automatically have their feeds come to you without having to do anything.

To install, all you need is a Windows Live Mail (formerly Hotmail) account as your primary email account then you can add your mail account from your ISP and other Live Mail accounts. In most case, all you need to do to add an account is to give WLMd the email address and password – it’ll do the rest and takes away all that messy stuff with POP3 and SMTP server settings.

To get WLMd, go to ideas.live.com, sign up for the beta and you’re away .

Video Player for Soapbox installed

Another player, Video Player for Soapbox, shows off your Soapbox videos and is available from the Soapbox Team’s space (or from here). To install on your own Space, click the + at the top right of the module.

You can choose whether you want to play:

  • your favourites
  • your videos
  • a single video (one of your own or another person’s), or,
  • a search term to find a particular video

from the Soapbox library.

The different embed codes are on this post at the Soapbox space.

You get the embed code from below the video you choose to play on the right-hand side of the screen by right-clicking and copying into the Video Player for Soapbox textbox (in edit mode on your Space, naturally).

Remember you only want the stuff between and </embed> so delete the extra stuff that gets copied over that’s after the </embed>.

webDotWiz is a D-List blogger – humph!

According to Are you an A-List Bloglebrity? over at Kineda, the best webDotWiz can do is get to the D-List status of bloglebrity. Oh, well, blog on is the only solution .

webDotWiz has some comfort from knowing that Frank Arrigo, the Microsoft Aussie blogger, is only a B-Lister.

Here’s my Badge of Bloglebrity:

D-List Blogger

Technorati tags: , ,

Soapbox invites – they’re coming through so request an invitation

Soapbox on MSN Video is currently being trialled and to get access through your Windows Live ID (the new name for the old-fashioned Hotmail and Passport accounts) you need to ask for an invite.

Go ahead and try because it seems that in the past week or so any webDotWizard who has applied has been granted an invite. Go to Soapbox on MSN Video and request an invitation and wait for a reply in your inbox .

While you’re waiting, get out Photo Story or Movie Maker and begin putting together a movie of your photos  or some of your home movies.

Ten years on

This week’s webDotWiz column (23-Nov-2006) looks back at what’s happened since webDotWiz went online way back in November 1996. How much better is the online experience today compared to Nov 1996? Here’s the concluding paragraph to his rave:

So after ten years webDotWiz’s line speed is about four times faster. The broadband standard in technologically advanced countries is regarded as 30 Megabits/second (minimum). At the present rate of telecommunications infrastructure replacement, webDotWiz will need to outlive Methuselah to enjoy online TV (the only alternvative once the free-to-air TV stations give up because of costs), watch movies, buy his videos and music and listen to digital radio.

Anyway, there’s the usual huge collection of various sites for you to browse, including:

Have fun

XBox gets High-definition movies (but not yet in Australia)

(Above screenshot from the Xbox 360 Video Marketplace)

From the press release at XBox.com:

With a robust library of 160 high-definition games expected by holiday, Xbox 360™, the video game and entertainment system from Microsoft Corp., will get even better today (Nov 22, 2006, U.S. time)…

Xbox Live Marketplace will now provide gamers with easy access to hundreds of full-length TV shows for download to own and movies for download to rent from CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment with more content rolled out through Xbox Live Marketplace every week. Xbox 360 is the first gaming console to offer standard and high-definition TV shows and movies via digital distribution.

and from Major Nelson’s blog:

A couple of weeks ago we announced that you would be able to download complete HD and SD versions of your favorite movies and TV shows from the Xbox Live Markeplace. That day is now here…moments ago we flipped the switch and the service is now available for all U.S. Xbox Live members…

Edit: To everyone complaining posting about why this is not available in their country, please listen to show #201, specifically the interview with Ross. He explains it quite nicely. If we had our way, we’d make it available to as many people as possible.

Those in Australia with real high-speed broadband might be feeling sad and frustrated but take a moment to think of those of us who are still using 1920’s phone lines to get, at best, what is now considered barely broadband (those living within 3-4 km of a phone exchange) and those of us further away from an exchange (up to 10 km) who have to survive with 1990’s ISDN.

For a look back at webDotWiz last ten years on the ‘Net, see his column for this week (23-Nov-2006).

Embedded video gadget – update

webDotWiz is doing something wrong when he’s copying and pasting the code to play a Soapbox on MSN video because he’s still getting Dare’s default Google video in there .

webDotWiz noticed on the Soapbox team space that he has to be careful in copying and pasting the embed video code for a particular Soapbox video:

If you are cutting and pasting the embed code directly from Soapbox, make sure you remove any of the link code that is added to the bottom of the html.

This is what you get when you right-click, copy then paste the embed player code:

<embed src="http://soapbox.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf" quality="high" width="412" height="362" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" flashvars="c=v&v=1d2d76a5-57fe-4d26-94bf-3ab43fb56900" ></embed><br /><a href="http://soapbox.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=1d2d76a5-57fe-4d26-94bf-3ab43fb56900" target="_new" title="Windows Movie Maker Video Tutorial">Video: Windows Movie Maker Video Tutorial</a>

That bit in bold above (after the </embed>) is the extra stuff that the Soapbox team say has to be removed. So the only stuff to be pasted into the text box in the Embedded Video Gadget is:

<embed src="http://soapbox.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf" quality="high" width="412" height="362" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" flashvars="c=v&v=1d2d76a5-57fe-4d26-94bf-3ab43fb56900" ></embed>

Oh well, back to the drawing board to give it another try.

Soapbox on MSN video gadget – add to your Space

From the Soapbox team Space – there’s now the Soapbox on MSN video gadget that you can add to your Live Space (and/or your Live.com page) that ToddOs has created to

Watch Recent, Most Commented, or Tag search videos

Yep, it’s the one at the top right of this page. Scroll along to choose a video to watch, click the image, and the module opens to make room for the Soapbox player to appear with your chosen video. The other two options, Most Commented and Tag Search, can be accessed from the other two tabs.

You can download and install the Soapbox on MSN video gadget from this page at the Live Gallery.

This is quite a snazzy gadget because it gives you access to the Soapbox on MSN videos without a whole lot of humbug on your part.