Archive for August, 2007
Brad Abrams, Group Program Manager, .NET Framework and developer technology enthusiast will be on the Second Life Microsoft Island Theater on Thursday, August 30th, 3 PM SLT.
He has grown up with the .NET Framework from the early days of just getting Fibonacci to work on the first CLR before Console. WriteLine() was written. Nowadays, Brad’s work is about ASP.NET, AJAX, and Silverlight. He has some great demos showing Silverlight in action! So if you can come then please do – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!
Guest Speaker: Brad Abrams, Group Program Manager, .NET Framework
When: Thursday, August 30th, 3 4 PM PST
Where: Visual Studio Island Auditorium in Second Life
How to join the event:
If you’re already a member of Second Life, you can teleport directly to the Visual Studio Island via this link; http://slurl.com/secondlife/Microsoft/101/123/30/
If you’re new to Second Life, you’ll be guided through the Second Life registration process and will need to set up an Avatar; visit http://www.secondlife.com/ then go to http://slurl.com/secondlife/Microsoft/101/123/30/
A Big Congratulations goes to my fellow friend Laurent Van Winckel from Brussels in Belgium and his colleague Prameya Bhandari from Syracuse, New York. As they as founders of CJReport.com have finally launched CJReport.com live (previously yunar.com)
CJReport.com is a citizen journalism website which is purely democratic. The CJReport.com Founders hope that with this new democratic news system, they can stop governments and authorities around the world checking what information comes to us, and stop traditional media delivering news that profits them.
Everyone can create or even edit existing news stories; CJReport is a collaborative effort. It is up to the users to decide what is news worthy enough to be featured on the frontpage; the site uses a voting system.
One of the goals at CJReport is to give people as much information as possible, so they won’t have to search all over the internet for other articles about the same story. Every article contains news sources to other news websites, related blog posts, tags to categorize the news stories, photos and video coverage.
Readers can also comment on news items, allowing for discussions about certain news stories. As well as this CJReport also gives people the ability to report news with their mobile phones. Photos and text can be sent directly to the site and is published within minutes.
My best of wishes goes to them I’m glad they took my advice about not creating another dig clone. By the way thanks for the link back guys!
If you haven’t done so already check out CJReport at http://www.cjreport.com
Hey all – did you miss me?
I’m now back from Festival Republics Carling Weekend Reading and Leeds Music Festival 2007 and what a great time it was, though I must say I didn’t enjoy the Sunday night riots in the camp sites too much, there were quite a lot of gas canisters exploding on fires and groups of people trying to sway the security towers, some of this was quite near to where we were camped in green, though luckily not to near, the majority of it was in the brown campsite, it apparently happens every year on the last night. Though Reading Veterans say it’s getting worse which is why quite a few of them are not bothering coming again.
However though I admit I didn’t like these riots, I’m not going to let it stop me from coming next year, which is why I have already bought my pre-sale Reading Festival 2008 Tickets for next year!
This time I’ll make sure I bring some sun tan lotion though as I got quite burnt! Also I might bring one of them foldable/collapsible trolleys for carrying bags, as it was quite a walk from Green Car Parking to our tent in Green Camp on the Wednesday Night when the ferry boats stopped running 3 hours or so before they were supposed to stop.
Anyhow now that I’m back I better start catching up on my emails, blog comments and latest tech news as well as a ton of other stuff…
Roll on Carling Weekend Reading and Leeds Music Festival 2008!!!
Bebo becomes first social network to integrate with Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Contacts
Bebo, the global social networking site, and Microsoft today announced an alliance to bring the Windows Live Messenger service, the world’s largest consumer instant messaging (IM) network, to Bebo users. Additionally, Bebo and Windows Live will allow users to seamlessly exchange their contact information to invite and connect through their respective services.
This deal marks the first time Microsoft has partnered with a social network for instant messaging and contacts.
The groundbreaking interface will enable all 36 million Bebo users worldwide who use Windows Live Messenger to display their Messenger presence and IM with their Bebo friends directly on the Bebo service.
Equally, the partnership offers Bebo the opportunity to grow its network through the Windows Live Messenger user base. Windows Live Messenger is free to download, is available in 26 languages and is used in more than 60 countries by more than 280 million active users each month. Additionally, this partnership includes the use of the Windows Live Contacts API. This API allows users the ability to freely import and export their contacts and relationships between the services, ultimately giving users the choice where and how they wish to use their social network.
Bebo users with Windows Live Messenger will add an “IM Me” icon which will appear on their profile page. In displaying their presence, all Bebo users regardless of whether they have a Windows Live ID or not will be able to, with one click, begin an IM conversation with each other.
Bebo is confident the new feature will lead to an even greater user engagement with the site, which is already the leading social networking site in the UK with 10.7 million unique users in July.
Welcoming the partnership, Joanna Shields, President, International at Bebo said:
Social networking is emerging as the new form of self-expression, allowing people to communicate their passions and express their identity to one another. Our agreement with Microsoft Windows Live delivers a powerful, new way to instantly update and keep in touch with friends and serves to make the Bebo user experience even more compelling and interactive.
Brian Hall, General Manager, Windows Live said:
We’re excited to be working with Bebo to provide an innovative communication feature to one of the world’s leading social networking services.Within the suite of Windows Live communications services IM Me allows individuals to richly communicate and keep in touch with the people who are important in their lives.. The global nature of both the Windows Live Messenger service and Bebo makes this relationship a perfect fit.
An international initiative of bloggers known as “Blog Action Day” launched today, with the aim of uniting thousands of blogging voices, talking about one issue for one day. This year on Blog Action Day, which is slated for Oct. 15, 2007, bloggers will be discussing the environment.â€¨â€¨Major blogs have signed up to participate, including Lifehacker, Dumb Little Man, Lifehack.org, Get Rich Slowly, Web Worker Daily, GigaOm, The Simple Dollar, Zen Habits, Freelance Switch, LifeClever, Unclutterer, Pronet Advertising, Wise Bread and many more.
“For just one day, we’d like to unite as many of the millions of bloggers around the world and speak about one issue – the environment,” said Collis Ta’eed, an Australian blogger from FreelanceSwitch.com, and a cofounder of Blog Action Day. “We want to display the potential and the power of the blogging community, which is a disparate community but one with an amazing size, breadth and diversity. By bringing everyone together for one day, we can see just how much can be achieved, and how much we can be heard.”
Just a little random fact – I’ve just noticed that my domain name http://www.darrenstraight.com is 2 Years, 2 Months and 2 Days old!
Roll on 3 Years, 3 Months and 3 Days…
It’s been reported by efestivals that The Mean Fiddler Music Group has sold most of its venues, and rebranded itself as ‘Festival Republic’.
The venues – the Borderline (300 capacity), Jazz CafÃ© (300 capacity), The Garage (500 capacity), the Old Fiddler, Harlesden (600 capacity), G-A-Y Bar (310 capacity) and G-A-Y Late Club (300 capacity) – have been sold to Mama Group. Mama owns seven Barfly music venues around Britain, and as part of the deal to buy these venues also acquires the right to trade under the Mean Fiddler name.
What was the Mean Fiddler Music Group now becomes known as Festival Republic, which will re-focus resources on its existing festivals – the Carling Weekend Reading & Leeds, Latitude, Rise (with the Greater London Authority), St Patrick’s Day, Fleadh, and its involvement with Glastonbury Festival – and the expansion of festivals as well as the two venues it retains (the Astoria and the Astoria2).
Mean Fiddler was started by Vince Power in the eighties, but was sold two years ago jointly to the world’s largest live music group US firm Live Nation (formally part of Clear Channel), and Irish veteran promoter Denis Desmond who has UK festival interests including V Festival through his company MCD.
Reading and Leeds Festival 2007 is less than 10 days away and I’m so excited I can’t wait. I’ve got most of the stuff I am taking now. Just got to wait for my tent to be deliverd as well as the tickets as I won the tickets in the Windows Live Sessions Fan Competition last year so once Microsoft/MSN have recieved them they will have to pass them on to me.
Hopefuly they will arrive in time for the wednesday as I plan on entering the festival grounds early – that is with my early entry pass I bought!
Talking about the Windows Live Session Website, I got word last month that a new one is in the making, or better said the gadget which is used on your Windows Live Space, this time it will be more web2.0 style!
Great news Windows Live Hotmail Users and Fans, the Windows Live Hotmail Team have launched a new update to Windows Live Hotmail. This newly released update features many new features and improved performance which people will be really happy to see, some of my most looked forward features have been included like duplicate contact merging, vacation replies and an option to turn off the msn today screen so you can jump straight into your inbox, though it would be cool if we could personalise this that is so for example I could see my calendar first!
Performance: The Windows Live Hotmail Team have been hearing you loud and clear across the world: speed is one of the most important aspects of a web-based email service. So this time around they have spent more time in this release identifying what parts of the product are slowest and fixing those.
Quality of Service: The last release went quite smoothly, and yet again have the Hotmail Team been continuing to monitor the live site to make sure that their providing e-mail that is reliable.
More storage: Just when you were wondering how you’d ever fill up 2 or 4 GB of mail, you’ve now been given even more storage. Free users will get 5 GB and paid users will get 10 GB of Hotmail storage.
Mail retention changes: Over the next few months the team will be increasing the amount of time that they leave messages in your junk and deleted items folders.
Contacts de-duplication: Do you have five different entries for the same person in your Contacts? Well not anymore you wont. Windows Live Hotmail is the first webmail service to roll out contacts de-duplication. If you get a message from me for example Darren Straight and click add contact but there’s already a Darren Straight, Windows Live Hotmail will let you know and let you add my other e-mail address to your existing Darren Straight contact entry. As quoted from Ellie “We’re just trying to be smarter to make your life easier and faster.” There’s also a wizard you can run to clean up your existing duplicate contacts.
Show content more easily: Hotmail blocks images and links in messages from unknown senders for your protection from spammers and phishing scams. Now you can click directly on the gray square or link to decide if you want to show content in a message. (It’s still not a good idea to show content, especially images, in messages from spammers. Just loading the images in a spam lets them know that you’re reading their e-mails.)
Spam-fighting: The Team have made it possible to report phishing attacks like those fake bank notices or fraudsters who want your checking account number so they can supposedly make a deposit. Just click report phishing if you think you’ve found a dangerous scam. In the junk folder, click not junk to help train our filters. Every mail you report does help make their spam filter smarter, but fighting spam takes constant vigilance. Spammers always find a new trick whenever the team thwart their old tricks.
Right-to-left languages: Support for Hebrew and Arabic is now out of beta! If you speak these languages or want to see Hotmail in a totally new way, go to Options and change your language. Thea Team fixed a lot of bugs for users of Hebrew and Arabic, so they hope the whole UI works better for you now.
More space for your email, a.k.a. smaller header: The Team heard you asking for more space for your mail, so they shrunk the header in this update.
Forwarding messages: You can now forward mail from your Hotmail account to other accounts. For now, if you have a free account, you can only forward your mail to other Hotmail accounts. (Paid accounts get more choices.) This is great idea if you have a few different addresses and want to consolidate your mail.
Cobranding: This is what is referred to as showing the logo of an organization for whom Microsoft and the Windows Live Hotmail Team are hosting email. Hotmail is currently hosting e-mail for universities (and a few ISPs) around the world, so the team shows their logos in Hotmail.
Accepting meeting requests: If you receive a meeting request, such as one sent from Outlook, you can now click accept and have it added to your Calendar. This had existed for years in MSN Hotmail, but now the team have added it to Windows Live Hotmail now.
Vacation replies: Now Hotmail can automatically tell your friends why you haven’t written them back in a few weeks.
Classic version jump to page: In the classic version, the team have made it easier to jump to different pages of mail. This will be very handy as you grow into your new 5 GB or 10 GB account.
And finally… Drumroll pleaseâ€¦ this one is probably going to be a big hit with a lot of you out there in blog land (me for one! ).
You can now turn off the MSN Today page (if you want to). If you’d rather see your inbox immediately upon login, you have the option to turn off the page of MSN news (called the Today page). The choice is yours.
And there you have it, please give a big round of applause to the Windows Live Hotmail Team and all the nagging beta testers!