webDotWiz talks Windows Live

A daily list of links to interesting sites

Category Archives: Entertainment

webDotWiz is 82% blog addicted…

…well, that’s what the results of the questionnaire point to – and there’s a certificate to prove it

82%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2Blog addiction test

Oops, Live Writer doesn’t quite properly handle the HTML code to post in from doing the blog addiction test – may get time to have a look at later – or, give up some blogging and get back to being normal .

Have a look at Steve Clayton’s page (where webDotWiz got the idea from in the first place) to see how it should appear.

Now that webDotWiz has wasted some of your precious time looking at this drivel, you can get back to doing something useful such as exploring the world on Live Maps.

Technorati tags: ,

Soapbox on MSN Video now open to everybody

The Soapbox team have just announced that Soapbox on MSN Video (soapbox.msn.com) is now open to the world, i.e., a Windows Live ID is no longer required to sign in to view videos – just go to the site and view to your heart’s content.

However, if you’re going to upload your own videos, or tag and comment on videos, you’ll need to sign in with your Live ID.

It’s worth noting that content on Soapbox is now filtered for copyright on a proactive basis so copyright holders can be confident their material is protected.

Technorati tags:

Soapbox on MSN Video – new version now available

The Soapbox team announced a few hours ago the next generation of Soapbox on MSN Video (soapbox.msn.com).

There are some good screenshots on the Soapbox team Space and they show up better than here since their Space is using a wide layout for their blog so go and have a look.

webDotWiz hasn’t gone through all the new things yet but here are a couple of new features:

  • Scalable Page: Change the size of your browser and the thumbnails and page will scale dynamically.
  • New Player with integrated Playlists and Progessive Download Indicators.
  • Playlist functionality. Each time you watch a video it is automatically added to the playlist. The Playlist can also be shared.
  • Improved fullscreen experience
  • Video Gallery Sorts. Sort by Hour, Day etc.
  • Updated Embedded Player with clean design and Playlist features.
  • Upload videos of unlimit lengths
  • High quality video encoding
  • Watch video with your Live Messenger friends (using the Messenger activity window).

As well, there’s a new MSN Video site at http://next.video.msn.com drawing on the many Premiere-Level video content partners, such as NBC News, MSNBC, and scores of other networks.

Talking How Much Better Is High Definition Video?

Has links to a couple of demos where you can see the same movie rendered as DVD alongside rendered as HD DVD.




Steve Rowe’s Blog : How Much Better Is High Definition Video?

New Soapbox video player

Via The Soapbox Team Space.

The latest Soapbox video player gadget for Live Spaces and Live.com is the most comprehensive one available and it’s worth the bit of pain to remove others on your Space or Live.com page and replace it with this latest one.

To install it on your own Space, click the blue + sign at the top right of the player module over there at the top right of the page. Choose Add to your Space from the drop down list of options and do the usual once your Space loads (move it to the right-hand side of your page, click the Install this gadget button, and Save the changes to your Space by clicking the the Save button on the yellow warning strip at the top).

The new player appears on your Space (or Live.com page) as:

Because you’ll be signed in to your Space, you’ll see a Settings button at the top right of the player module. Click this and you can choose what videos you want to show when visitors come to your Space.

Just note that, if you choose to list your own videos or favorites from Soapbox, you’ll have to go to your Profile in My Soapbox (at Soapbox) to get your personal ID – it’s a big jumble of letters and numbers after …user=. Copy and paste this into the input box in the player.

For example, if you want the playlist to consist of your videos on Soapbox, you’ll see:

This new player is not only useful to visitors to your Space but it’s a convenient, alternative way instead of going into the Soapbox site itself.

Once you’ve chosen a video to play by clicking on its thumbnail,  the module fills with the video display area. To return to your playlist, click the X at the top right of the playing display.

MSN Soapbox now available to everybody

The days of waiting and hoping your invite would come through so you could view, upload, share, and use the other features on MSN Soapbox Video, are over – MSN Soapbox is now open to everybody as a public trial.

Just go to http://soapbox.msn.com, sign in with your Live ID (if you haven’t already through Live Messenger) and enjoy all of Soapbox’s video features.


Remember to do a search for all the videos that the webDotWizards have uploaded – search for Rushworth and you’ll get them.

Via Soapbox team space.

Technorati tags:

Consumer Electronics Show 2007 opens

This afternoon at 1.30 pm (Australian Eastern Summer Time) Bill Gates made the keynote presentation.

webDotWiz watched the stream in Windows Media Player at a whole 100 kbits/sec on his ISDN connection – the audio was ok but, naturally, the video was awful at that speed (other streaming speeds were 500 and 200 kbits/sec).

This year TV, as last year, was mentioned – but this time it was how high definition TV will be available to PCs and the XBox 360 over the Internet (the tech name for TV delivery over the Internet is IPTV). A reminder that the reason for using the Internet for TV delivery to homes is cost – it’s much, much cheaper over the ‘Net than over the traditional airwaves, especially when it’s in high definition format. Of course, there’s also the reason that TV production houses now recognise that we want to watch our favourites shows and movies when we decide to watch, not when the TV stations want us to.

An interesting fact is that now 80% of PC sales in the U.S. run Windows Media Center so the PC and TV are connected. Sales of PCs in Australia with Media Center barely rate a mention because the TV stations won the battle against users being able to automatically schedule their Media Center PCs to record their favourite shows for viewing at the user’s pleasure. So Australia slowly but surely slides back into the Dark Ages…

To see some of the stuff that Bill Gates and others presented, go to Microsoft at CES or microsoft.com/ces.

If for no other reason, fast forward through until you see the demo of Vista Ultimate Extras (there’s the Windows Ultimate site to check out, too).

Soapbox nickname prob fixed

Apparently some Soapbox users had a problem with some sort of mixup with nicknames (one webDotWizard Webmaster had the prob). The good news is that the problem is fixed – see here for more info. By the way, one indicator of the nickname problem is you can’t access your contact card, i.e., when you hover the mouse over your Live ID profile picture, you won’t get the little down arrow that gives you access to your contact card, a link to your Space, and so on.

Technorati tags:

Soapbox site updated

Just when the webDotWizards on Friday morning were preparing to upload some of their videos to Soapbox, they were greeted with a message to say that the site was being updated. Well, it looks as though the changes will be beneficial so inconvenience can be put aside.

Anyway, that gave them some time to have a look at some great bird’s eye views of cities in Europe, particularly sights around Rome because of updates to imagery of European and US cities.

In brief, here are the updates to Soapbox (via the Soapbox team Space):

  • improved Flash uploader – it shows progress and, by the way, there’s no size limit on videos uploaded
  • in your profile the contact card is now available, just as we’re used to in Live Spaces (although as of time of writing, it hasn’t appeared for webDotWiz)
  • the details tab (in the Video Panel on the right-hand side of the page, opened when you choose a video to view) gives all the info about the video and a list of similar videos
  • the share tab now enables you to blog immediately to your Space. Note, for the time being, it’s just a link to a Soapbox video. Later on we’ll be able to directly embed the video and player into a Space entry
  • a couple of things webDotWiz can’t yet see:
    • set permission on a video to public or hidden
    • new codecs
    • embedded player now can have maximum of 100 videos in a playlist
    • there are two embedded players: the normal one and if you set the width to less than 300px, a compact version

Channel Ten to offer program downloads

Via Frank Arrigo, from an article on the Sydney Morning Herald site this evening (06-Dec-2006):

Network Ten will begin making entire television programs available for download immediately after they air from early in the new year.

Frank has a couple of questions:

    • What format
    • What platform
    • Which programs
    • Will it be free or is it paid
    • What download technology
    • Will there be any DRM involved
    • Support for Windows Media Center

webDotWiz has a further question:

  • How do people who aren’t on broadband get access to this (proposed) service? Or, to put it another way: How do people who probably in the near future won’t have a broadband service get the same benefits as their city cousins?