Main/News >> News Archives > The week of May 11 (2008) (you
New Microsoft IM hardware swaps bulky for bendy
dwergs says ( 16 May 2008 ):
Microsoft this week launched three more Internet communications devices to their hardware range:
- The LifeCam VX-5000 with bendable attachment base which molds to any surface (notebook/desktop), comes in three colors (Cool Blue, Lucky Green and Fire Red) and enables MSN Photo Swap which allows users to share photos during a Messenger conversation. Available in June 2008 for US$49.95. The folks at CNET already reviewed this fella and gave it 8 out of 10.
- The LifeCam VX-500 also fits notebooks and desktop PCs, but is more affordable at just US$16.95. At that price, it's obviously inferior to the VX-5000 but the exact specs for this webcam are nowhere to be found. To become available later in May.
- The LifeChat LX-2000 is a portable, full-size headset with a collapsible design for easy portability in its carrying case. It can be yours later this month for US$29.95.
[Source: Microsoft Press Pass]
Rainbow emoticons express positive look ahead despite Chinese earthquake
dwergs says ( 15 May 2008 ):
Inspired by last month's (L) China protest that found 2.3 million followers, MSN China itself has launched the Signature Rainbow campaign to pray for the ten thousands of victims of the Sichuan/Wenchuan earthquake in China that occured on Monday, May 12th 2008.
Through the campaign, MSN China is calling all Messenger users to put the default rainbow emoticon in front of their nicknames in order to express collective belief in post-disaster reconstruction. The rainbow of course symbolizes the positive message that "there's always a rainbow after the rain". MSN China also suggests entering your prayers/wishes as your personal status message, eg. "Overcoming the Earthquake" or "There will always be a rainbow after the storm".
>> Find out more here (Chinese).
>> You can also drag-n-drop the image to the right onto your current DP to put a rainbow in your display picture.
PS: Chinese users have to turn English input on in order to type the keyboard shortcut (r). If this isn't working, they are told to type a pair of brackets first () and then put the letter r between them.
[You can totally Digg this]
Digsby fixes Messenger bugs, Facebook chat
dwergs says ( 14 May 2008 ):
Digsby, our pet third party IM aggregator, pushed a few updates today and yesterday, the latest build addressing the change in the Facebook protocol. But more importantly for us is the major overhaul for WL/MSN Messenger conversations in order to make completely sure every message gets delivered, which wasn't always the case in the past. Another bug that caused CPU usage to increase up to 100 per cent in case an Messenger file transfer failed, has also been fixed.
While Digsby's general memory usage is still on the high side, the team has promised RAM and performance optimizations that should be ready within a few weeks. Also forthcoming is HTTP login for WL/MSN Messenger.
>> Download Digsby here (Windows only, Mac OS X and Linux coming... thanks for the heads up Stig).
Rumored Xbox 360 Messenger changes in Spring 2008 Update
dwergs says ( 14 May 2008 ):
Supposedly from an internal source, Kotaku received an "alleged and wholly unconfirmed list of changes" included in the upcoming Xbox 360 Spring 2008 update. There are about 80 new features, tweaks and updates of which -as a Messenger site- we will only republish the following:
- Windows Live Mail integration - includes support for Xbox LIVE Vision.Again, this list (which you can find in its entirety here) hasn't yet been confirmed to be true let alone accurate.
- Option to display gamer picture or standard picture as display picture in Windows Live Messenger.
- Support for headset, Xbox LIVE Vision in Windows Live Messenger.
- Support for limited 'winks' that display on dashboard interface. Option to disable 'winks' and 'nudges' added.
- Notifications separate from Windows Live Messenger to Xbox 360 notifications.
Windows Live Messenger, Hotmail coming to BlackBerry
dwergs says ( 13 May 2008 ):
In addition to "a computer in every home" Microsoft seems to strive for "Windows Live on every mobile device". After its own mobile client and a deal last year with Nokia, the company has teamed up with Research in Motion to make Windows Live Hotmail and Messenger available on BlackBerry devices later this summer.
Access to Hotmail will include push e-mail, read HTML emails, reply via voice recording and separate or merged inboxes. The Messenger client will offer group conversations, conversation history, contact cards, display pictures, over 60 emoticons, personal status messages, voice recordings and the ability to send camphone pictures.
The new BlackBerry Bold and phones in the BlackBerry 7000 and 8000 lines will come pre-loaded with the Windows Live services, and users will also be able to download them onto existing phones. However, ultimately access still depends on the approval of the specific mobile carrier.
[Source: Press Pass]
Official apology and explanation for YouTube-ban
dwergs says ( 12 May 2008 ):
Dharmesh Mehta, Windows Live Messenger PM lead, has posted an official explanation and apology regarding the temporary YouTube-block:
"We sincerely apologize for any difficulties this caused our users [...] As you can imagine, we are very serious about our efforts to block virus, malware and other harmful URLs from being passed on to our users. And we're continually working to improve this process so that we can keep our users safe without having a negative impact on your Messenger service."Interestingly, Dharmesh goes on describing the process of blocking unsafe URLs and what happened this weekend:
"- There are a number of factors that can be used to determine whether a URL is potentially harmful: number of times a URL is sent, the frequency of the URL being sent, the number of accounts the URL is sent from, manually checking the URL, comparing with other "block lists", etc. Considering Microsoft is passing the buck, we now have an anonymous third party to blame for the set-up of foolish filters, and less reason to allude commercial battles. Good for YouTube, but it remains baffling to me why they still haven't OK'd other, slightly less famous but perfectly safe domains like googlepages.com, ebuddy.com, mediafire.com.
- When a URL is deemed harmful, a block can be instated for a specific URL (i.e. www.domain.com/page) or an entire domain (i.e. *.domain.com)
- This entire process for Messenger is managed by a 3rd party that is a Microsoft partner
- On Friday, Microsoft did not request to block any of the URLs that were accidentally blocked
- The blocks were made by our partner as a result of their process to block harmful URLs
- We are still investigating the specific reason our partner made these incorrect blocks and we will work with them to improve their process for detecting harmful URLs while not blocking safe ones."
Either way, if you are aware of other wrongfully blocked URLs, or domains that actually should be, let us know and we'll pass it on to the Messenger team.
YouTube ban undone within 24 hours
dwergs says ( 11 May 2008 ):
Hurray! The filter on YouTube links has been removed in less than 24 hours after it was first noticed. The speed of Microsoft's response to the situation makes it seem unlikely that the ban was an intentional "attack".
Messer Yun brought to our attention though that another Google-owned domain, googlepages.com, is (still) being blocked. And so are many other generally trustworthy websites.
[Reported by: aarghapanda, SonicSam, Nitemare, g t & dragontje124]
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