Archive for September, 2006
The University of Kent which is the university I go to at the Medway Campus is one of five universities shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) ‘Institution of the Year’ 2006.The others are the universities of Leicester, Nottingham, Aberdeen and Leeds Metropolitan.
The THES awards, now in their second year, are open to all higher education institutions in the UK. Their principal aim is â€˜to raise awareness of and reward the huge contribution British universities make to the economic and cultural health of the country’ and â€˜to shine a light on a few of the many achievements that have made UK universities among the best in the world’.
In what has been a milestone year for the University of Kent these include its innovative campus development in Medway, its unique collaboration with France and its great strides in widening participation while improving its research performance all underpinned by its dynamic approach to partnership in Europe and the UK. Kent’s success is further demonstrated by step changes in league tables and performance indicators.
For more information check out this page at the University of Kent.
After the US release of Windows Live Expo a while back, Windows Live Expo has finally been launched in the UK as an invite only exclusive beta at http://expo.live.co.uk/.
What is Expo?
This new product is a unique offering from Microsoft to answer the need of the social networking marketplaces phenomenon. We are taking the traditional classifieds service to the next level with our new ‘ultimate social marketplace’ Windows Live Expo.
Expo is not just about selling stuff, it’s so much more. Expo is a dynamic social listing service that allows members to find and sell items, discover information, and meet other parties in their area – all for free! Expo enhances your ability to:
- Connect with those you trust – your messenger buddies and your coworkers,
- Locate items in your neighbourhood or across the country through integration with MapPoint and Windows LiveT Local maps,
- List easily, instantly, and most importantly for free!
Expo integrates with Windows Live Messenger, Spaces, Live Local to make it easy for you to list and find more opportunities to advertise.
If you haven’t already been sent an invite, you can sign up for one here.
Just got word from Scott Lovegrove that as a result of all the feedback the Windows Live Writer Team receieved after their initial Windows Live Writer release, the Team have created an update to the Windows Live Writer 1.0 (Beta) that includes changes that address issues that were reported frequently or severely impacted your ability to use Writer.
The following is a summary of the changes in the Writer 1.0 (Beta) Update:
- Tagging support
- Support for Blogger Beta
- Categories are sorted by name and support scrolling, plus improved support for reading categories from your blog
- Improved startup performance
- Paste is enabled for Title region and TAB/SHIFT+TAB navigation between title and body supported
- Insert hyperlink added to context menu when text is selected
- Title attribute in Insert Link dialog
- Custom date support for Community Server
- Improved keyboard shortcuts for switching views
- Change spell-check shortcut key to F7
- Add â€˜png’ to insert image dialog file type filter
- More robust image posting to Live Spaces
- Improved style detection for blogs
- Fixed issues with pasting URLs and links
- Remember last window size and position when opening a new post
- Open post dialog retrieves more than 25 old posts
With the Sixth anniversary celebrations of MSN India under way, MSN India has announced the launch of five new portals, MSN Hindi, MSN Tamil, MSN Telugu, MSN Kannada and MSN Malayalam. And along with these five new portals, MSN India also unveiled that they have now given a face lift to its MSN India home page which now contains four new channels — lifestyle, entertainment, news and sports.
MSN India also unveiled the new special effects advertising packages it had specially created for this new portal. The new online advertising packages feature special effects that help brands ensure their message reaches out a larger audience online. With higher quality and enhanced graphics complimented with innovative newer online advertising tools, the new MSN India portal offers advertisers a host of newer ways to promote their products, just take a look at the new MSN India portal video ads to see for yourself!
Along with the launching of the new MSN India homepage and it’s new portals and channels, MSN India also unveiled Windows Live Custom Domains for India and Windows Live Messenger in Hindi and other regional languages (Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam). This new introduction will now enable MSN India users to chat in their regional language with their friends and family on MSN Messenger.
Microsoft have now released for download Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5 Beta 2.
Changes in ActiveSync 4.5 Beta 2 help resolve issues related to setup, partnerships, and connectivity with the PC and Microsoft Exchange. In addition, it includes a troubleshooter utility that scans your computer and device to identify problems and offers information and corrective actions to solve them.
ActiveSync 4.5 Beta 2 also supports PC sync via USB cable, Bluetooth, or infrared connection.
Here’s a run through of some of the new features in ActiveSync 4.5 Beta 2 along with their benefits:
Feature: Improved USB support
Benefit: ActiveSync 4.5 provides the fastest USB transport between your desktop PC and your mobile device to date.
Feature: View Exchange Server Synchronization status on your PC
Benefit: You can now view server synchronization status while synchronizing with a Microsoft Exchange server through your desktop PC’s internet connection.
Feature: Synchronization of pictures in Contacts on your mobile device with Outlook
Benefit: If an Outlook contact is associated with a picture, ActiveSync now synchronizes the associated picture from Outlook on your desktop PC to your mobile device.
Note: Microsoft Outlook XP or Microsoft Outlook 2003 is required to use this feature.
Feature: Easier to identify friendly device names
Benefit: ActiveSync now supports friendly names for devices, making it easier to identify the device that you want to sync with over a Bluetooth or an infrared (IR) connection.
Note: ActiveSync uses your Windows login name to generate an unique device partnership ID. This login name may be broadcast to other users such as with Bluetooth discovery broadcasts.
Feature: Synchronization over a Bluetooth connection with your PC
Benefit: ActiveSync 4.5 now enables you to synchronize data with your PC over a Bluetooth connection.
Feature: Integration with Windows Media Player 10
Benefit: Easier to discover, configure, and access Windows Media Player 10 music, video and photo from ActiveSync. Also facilitates automatic synchronization of media even when Windows Media Player 10 is not currently running on a desktop PC.
Feature: Enhanced user interface and enhanced new partnership wizard
Benefit: Easier to locate key features, access the most important configuration settings, and configure the device upon first synchronization.
Feature: Synchronize Internet Explorer Mobile favorites to a Windows Mobile-based Smartphone
Benefit: Already available on Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC devices, this feature syncs Internet Explorer Mobile favorites on a desktop PC with a Windows Mobile-based Smartphone.
Feature: More robust synchronization with Outlook
Benefit: Synchronization with Outlook is now more reliable and robust than before.
Feature: Configure synchronization settings prior to first synchronization, including custom synchronization settings
Benefit: Configure all the ActiveSync options you need in a single step.
Wow my last three weeks of pre-term university (CO542 Fundamentals of Information Technology and Computing) are finally over and wow was it chaotic or what!
I’ve had to do two java assignments, one xml assignment and one java/xml in-class closed book assessment (exam) which I took today and was 2 hours long, and as rules like you can’t leave in the first half hour or the last half hour and if you want to go to the toilets you must be accompanied, fair enough I guess, but what’s weird is you can’t take drinking water with you in the exam because apparently someone put something in their water once to give them the ideas to the answers to the exam, wow!
Anyway at least pre-term is finished well except for the fact that we still have one more week left to hand in our last Java assignment as some extra time was given so we could study for the exam as well as concentrate on all these lab and lecture sessions we had, which reminds me I better check some answers to the questions that came up in the exam.
And hey if you like a bit of Java why not test yourself on some of these sample questions which are similar to the ones I had, these of course being easier ones as the harder ones took up a whole sheet and involved writing code, all of this on paper of course!
1. (a) Which one of these class headers identifies that Member is a superclass of
i) public class Member super Coach
ii) public class Coach is Member
iii) public class Coach extends Member
iv) public class Member sub Coach
v) public class Coach inherits Member
(b) Which one of these class headers identifies that FootballTeam is a subclass of
i) public class FootballTeam is Team
ii) public class FootballTeam inherits Team
iii) public class FootballTeam extends Team
iv) public class FootballTeam super Team
v) public class FootballTeam sub Team
2. (a) MailItem is an abstract superclass of the concrete classes Letter and
Parcel. Constructors of these three classes take no parameter. The following
variables are defined:
Which one or more of the following assignments will be rejected at compile
time? The mark will only be awarded for a completely correct answer.
i) m = new Parcel();
ii) el = new Letter();
iii) m = new MailItem();
iv) p = new Parcel();
v) m = new Letter();
And here’s some XML Sample ones:
1. Briefly describe three ways of associating CSS with an HTML document
2. Explain, with an example of each, the following terms in relation to an XML document: (a) XML Declaration, (b) element and (c) attribute.
Easier enough no? well these ones are but trust me the more complicated ones are well more complicated!
Anyway on another story, two weeks ago I was invited by MSN UK to beta test the new MSN portal for mobile which brings together the best of MSN’s content with Windows Live Services (Mail, Spaces & Search) as well as brining along some cool new features to your mobile.
And guess what, I was one of the first 100 people to complete the MSN Portal for Mobile survey so I was sent (thanks msn) a cool Creative MuVo Mp3 player, which will surely come in handy, actually I’m using it now while writing this blog post and checking out the new MSN Portal for Mobile for any more suggestions I can think of!
Ok I better not bore you anymore with my ramblings and I’ll end it here with a list of modules I’ll be taking this Autumn at University just in case you are wondering!
- CO526 Distributed Systems and Networks
- CO534 IT Consultancy Methods
- CO600 Computing Project (Runs in Autumn and Spring)
Have a nice day everyone!
MSN today announced the U.S. beta release of Soapbox on MSN Video, a user-uploaded video service that makes it easy for people to express themselves by uploading, discovering and sharing personal videos with the Soapbox community and others around the world. Soapbox will be available on MSN Video and will be deeply integrated throughout Microsofts portfolio of online services, including Windows Live Spaces and Windows Live Messenger.
“Soapbox delivers on a critical component of the MSN growth strategy of deepening audience engagement by enabling people to participate in the content experience,” said Rob Bennett, general manager of Entertainment and Video Services for MSN. “By adding a user-uploaded video service, we are rounding out our existing investments in commercially produced and original content on MSN Video.”
Soapbox on MSN Video utilizes powerful Web 2.0 technologies to provide a dynamic, fun and entertaining experience and offers these benefits:
- Easy uploading and sharing of video creations. By providing single-step uploading, background server-side video processing and acceptance of all major digital video formats, Soapbox makes uploading videos a snap.
- Finding and discovering the most entertaining videos. Viewers can search, browse through 15 categories, find related videos, subscribe to RSS feeds, and share their favorites with their friends all without interrupting whatever video they are watching.
- Participation in the Soapbox community. Soapbox users can rate, comment on and tag the videos they view, share links with their friends via e-mail, and include the embeddable Soapbox player directly on their Web site or blog.
But is Microsoft to late, have they missed the Boat? or has the boat not even left yet and they will become the next big YouTube competitor?
Well one things for sure is that it’s going to be interesting to see what becomes of MSN Soapbox, especially for us beta testers like me and other beta testers because we will see it change over time to hopefuly include suggestions we have made.
However the beta of Soapbox on MSN Video is available on an invitation-only basis in the U.S. so tose of you interested in participating in the beta can sign up for the waiting list now at http://soapbox.msn.com. And later access to the beta will expand over time by enabling existing beta testers to invite a limited number of friends. The beta of Soapbox on MSN Video is available to users of Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or later running on Windows XP and Firefox 1.0.5 or later running on Windows XP or Macintosh OS X.
Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta Build 8.0.1034 is now available for download, but as always make sure you have signed up for the Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta on ideas.live.com or have asked me for an invite to it or you wont be able to access it.
Here is just a small list of the latest and greatest updates to this version of Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta:
- TONS of Bug Fixes – Since the last Beta refresh build, the team has fixed
over 1000 issues – including many which were reported by our customers
- Performance Improvements – Customers will again see improved performance
with the latest build, including a faster sign-in!
- Virus scanning – We’ve made some improvements to our Virus scanning of
message attachments so we can remove any potential viruses before the user
- Photo E-Mail Updates – You’ve been asking for it, and now you have it -
sending photo e-mail through POP accounts has been added in the latest
- Change the color of your folders – With the latest build, you can now
customize the color of your mail folders per account. All you have to do is
right click on a folder or the account name, and choose “Set Color”!
- Improvements to Contact Importing – If there is a suspected duplicate
contact while importing, we will provide customers with the option of
merging the data into one contact.
- Better Update Notifications – Customers will now be able to opt-in to use
Automatic Updates to receive notice of any updates to the product.
Download WLMDB (15.5MB)