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 MSN Spaces: Seven Dirty Blogs
MSN Spaces: Seven Dirty Blogs

dwergs says ( 04 Dec 2004 ):


Boing Boing reported on Thursday that Microsoft's new blogging tool, MSN Spaces, censors certain words you might try to include in your blog title or URL. Remember this list? Most of those words previously blocked from being used in your MSN Messenger display name are now banned from account names and blog descriptions on MSN Spaces. Like Xeni Jardin puts it: "If you can't speak freely on a blog, what's the point of having one?"

This demanded a full investigation. The conclusion? A mixed bag of results that manages to do what most attempts to automate censorship do -- make fools of the censors. Just like we did with MSN Messenger's forbidden words back in the old days.

[Reported by: Messer XeroCool]

 MSN Spaces Invaders: Microsoft may take over your blog!
MSN Spaces Invaders: Microsoft may take over your blog!

dwergs says ( 03 Dec 2004 ):


space attack msn display picture by apothixYesterday I called everyone to link to from their MSN Space to have a chance to win "Space Invaders" (or another Firebox gadget). Today, as you can see in the subject of this post, I can recycle the same pun.

Messer C2J pointed me to section six of the Terms of Use you have to agree with before your MSN Spaces blog goes live. Of course everybody skips right through, agreeing with the fact that...

"...for materials you post or otherwise provide to Microsoft related to the MSN Web Sites (a "Submission"), you grant Microsoft permission to

(1) use, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, modify, translate and reformat your Submission, each in connection with the MSN Web Sites,

and (2) sublicense these rights, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law. Microsoft will not pay you for your Submission. Microsoft may remove your Submission at any time.

In short this means just about everything you post on your blog becomes property of Microsoft and whoever they sublicense to. What bothers me too is that these terms, used for all of MSN's websites in general, make no distinction between private, MSN Messenger contact list limited, or entirely public Spaces.

We'll have to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt on this matter, because gathering a buckload of user submitted content and then republishing it is probably not a part of their plan to dominate (or: keep dominating) the world. But if I were you, I'd think twice before posting those professional photographs you made last weekend, or newly finished chapters of your future novel...

 Updated: Messenger Plus! 3.40.112 Public Beta
Updated: Messenger Plus! 3.40.112 Public Beta

dwergs says ( 03 Dec 2004 ):


Patchou wasn't exactly planning on releasing another BETA before the final release of Messenger Plus! 3.40 in 2005, but the previous BETA was causing the Hebrew version of the now public MSN Messenger 7 BETA to crash. Reason enough for releasing a build increase, he must've thought.

Most of the new stuff that has been talked about is still disabled in this version, so don't expect much compared to 3.40.110. However, Messenger Plus! now uses less memory and less system resources than any other version released in the past year.

A special auto-update will be performed this week to auto-update every current Plus! beta user to this latest version. If you can't wait, get your fix here.

[Reported by: XeroCool & deansweb2004]

 Released: Windows Messenger 5.1
Released: Windows Messenger 5.1

dwergs says ( 03 Dec 2004 ):


Windows Messenger allows real-time communication with other contacts who are using instant messaging services including those provided by the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) as offered by Microsoft Office Live Communications Server. Windows Messenger also provides connectivity to the .NET Messenger Service and is the IM client of choice for businesses in managed environments.

Windows Messenger 5.1 (build 0639) has been updated with changes in the following areas:

- Improvements in file transfer functionality for users with multiple network connections (such as configurations involving both wired and wireless network connections or users of VPN connections).

- Improvements in Tablet PC and laptop support. Specifically, this includes improved support for ink as well as improved performance when using power saving features in portable computers such as standby or hibernation.

- Improvements to presence integration with applications, including better presence integration when applications are in full-screen mode (to avoid unwelcome IM interruptions) and also quicker refresh of presence information in applications such as Microsoft Outlook or Windows SharePoint services.

- Improvements to the sign-in process, enabling a quicker sign in.

>> Download Windows Messenger 5.1.0639

>> FAQ: MSN Messenger versus Windows Messenger.

[Reported by: AgentX, XeroCool, soccer5sg, )(Rockerboy and mattnotley]

 Link to from your MSN Spaces blog & WIN!
Link to from your MSN Spaces blog & WIN!

dwergs says ( 02 Dec 2004 ):


link to and win space invaders on your televisionHave you created your personal MSN Spaces blog already but are you clueless on what to add to that still very empty page? Or are you looking for inspiration for a new blog entry?

Then why not link to and win one of the following Firebox gadgets just for linking to us:

- Sega Mega Drive 6-in-1 Plug 'n' Play
- Space Invaders 5-in-1 Plug 'n' Play
- Atari-10-in-1-Ready-To-Go-Game-Console
- Namco 5-in-1 Arcade Classics
- Namco Classics II - Ms Pacman
- Tetris Two-Player Plug 'n' Play
or the GBA Movie Player [New Version] (for Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Advance SP) (available at Lik Sang).

Especially for the launch of MSN Spaces, we have added TWO GADGETS (for example Space Invaders, another gadget listed above or gift certificates of the same value) to our prize bag. These two extra ones will be rewarded ONLY to people linking from their MSN Spaces blog. So it's fair to say that you make a good shot at winning one of them if you link to NOW! On top of that, EVERY site linking to us will randomly appear on this page (under "Recommended Clicks"). You have nothing to lose, only extra visitors or even a cool gadget to gain!

How to enter:

Make sure you use one (or more) of our suggested linking codes and -only if you haven't done it yet- fill out the form to tell us what URL you linked us from (do not resubmit if you've already filled out the form).


- Add a link to in one of your first blogs. For instance, you could tell your readers where they can find the latest news on MSN Messenger 7, thousands of display pictures and emoticons, the completely freeCustoMess for MSN Messenger, etc. Be imaginative! Chances are high I'll be reading it and maybe even leave a comment! :)

- Add a permanent link to your blog's Custom list, using one of the suggested linking codes.

Good luck!

 Julia Roberts casts's Harry Potter MSN Names Spell
Julia Roberts casts's Harry Potter MSN Names Spell

dwergs says ( 02 Dec 2004 ):


julia roberts msn display picturesWith all do respect, but I have a small suspicion that Julia Roberts, who gave birth to twins last Sunday, used our funny nickname generators to pick the names of her babies.

Don't you think the boy's name, Phinnaeus Walter, looks as if it comes straight out of our "riddickulus" male Harry Potter names generator? The same goes for daughter Hazel Patricia... that must be a suggestion from the female Harry Potter names generator.

I'm flattered, of course, but I'm also glad she didn't go for the hacker names generator ;)

 One for the money, two for the show: MSN Spaces BETA
One for the money, two for the show: MSN Spaces BETA

dwergs says ( 02 Dec 2004 ):


Yes, Microsoft is spoiling us! We promised you MSN Spaces this week, but I guess you didn't expect it to arrive so soon in 14 different languages (and together with a public MSN Messenger 7 BETA).

Now go ahead and grab your cool sounding personal blog name here! We'll be adding a quick overview and stuff on Microsoft's blogging service later...

UPDATE: msn spaces contact list iconMSN Spaces is nicely integrated into MSN Messenger 7 and especially its contact cards, which now show the most recently added photo's and blogs of a Spaces-enabled contact. They will also adapt the chosen style and colors of a person's Spaces page. The icon in the MSN Messenger contact list will show a little star (as pictured to the right) inviting you to check out new blog content. We found out that this tiny alert will not appear if the actively blogging contact has signed into Web Messenger or MSN Messenger 6.2. Also, as a Spaces account owner you have the option to reserve access to your blog pages just for people on your contact list.

For now, the service seems to be suffering birth pains judging from the occasional Page not Found error. Let's hope Microsoft's servers are ready for a blog explosion!

[Reported by: Andy, PoTaToX, MisterG & Evolution-]

 Going public: an MSN Messenger 7 BETA for all of us!
Going public: an MSN Messenger 7 BETA for all of us!

dwergs says ( 02 Dec 2004 ):


Today the much anticipated public beta release of MSN Messenger 7 is a fact! From now on everybody is invited to download the MSN Messenger 7 BETA , which carries the same build number as the most recent private beta build (0425), so there are no changes other than those previously reported. In this step of the beta-process, Microsoft is deploying the beta build more widely to perform more server scale testing. This version has been tested and found safe for release, but note that it remains a pre-release with possible minor undiscovered issues that may affect things like performance and features.

>> Download MSN Messenger 7 BETA.

Recommended MSN Messenger 7 Public Beta (7.0.0425) downloads:

>> Download CustoMess for MSN Messenger v1.0 RC 1.

>> Download Mess Patch for MSN Messenger 7.0.0425.

>> Download Custom Games Patch v1.0.5.

>> Download IEDP2 and turn every image into an MSN Display Picture.

>> Download Patch! for cosmetic changes.

[Reported by: Xero_Cool, thebuggerguy, R-Style, Speedy_Kevin & XA04]

 To blog or not to blog, that's not a question anymore: MSN Spaces arriving!
To blog or not to blog, that's not a question anymore: MSN Spaces arriving!

dwergs says ( 01 Dec 2004 ):


Like we mentioned in the news on Hotmail Wave 10, "Spaces is a free MSN service available later this month that will allow a customer to set up a personal Web Log, (better known as a blog), photo album, music play list and more."

Yesterday Mary Jo Foley reported that according to sources close to Microsoft, MSN is expected to finally take the wraps off MSN Spaces. MSN already launched a beta version of its blogging tool for the Japanese market back in August, but if we may believe these sources the blogging service will become available in other languages than Nihongo later this week!

msn messenger contact cards link to msn spacesThe first of October we already mentioned the probability of MSN Spaces being integrated into MSN Messenger 7. Whether this integration will be effective in the current MSN Messenger 7 BETA (7.0.0425) upon the launch of the service in the Western world, remains to be seen. All we can tell you now is that fellow newsposter Pure_BY spotted a (broken) link to MSN Spaces on his own contact card, suggesting blog integration will definitely be going on in that (little) space.

[Reported by: Pure_BY, XeroCool and Ben]

 Have you heard me today? World AIDS Day 2004
Have you heard me today? World AIDS Day 2004

dwergs says ( 01 Dec 2004 ):


world aids day msn display pictureThis year's World AIDS Campaign, which culminates today on World AIDS Day, explores how gender inequality fuels the AIDS epidemic, and is conceived to help accelerate the global response to HIV and AIDS by encouraging people to address female vulnerability to HIV.

Globally, young women and girls are more susceptible to HIV than men and boys, with studies showing they can be 2.5 times more likely to be HIV-infected as their male counterparts. Their vulnerability is primarily due to inadequate knowledge about AIDS, insufficient access to HIV prevention services, inability to negotiate safer sex, and a lack of female-controlled HIV prevention methods, such as microbicides.

At the same time, all over the world women do not enjoy the same rights and access to employment, property and education as men. Women and girls are also more likely to face sexual violence, which can accelerate the spread of HIV.

How can you support World AIDS Day?

>> By raising awareness of HIV and AIDS. Start with yourself and try the official World AIDS Day Quiz and the Women and AIDS Quiz.

>> By using one of our World AIDS Day MSN Display Pictures, and asking others to do the same.

>> Protect yourself - this is the first and best way to stop the spread of HIV. If you are worried - get tested.

>> By making a free donation to AIDS research.

>> By making a money donation to AVERT you are helping to educate people about HIV as well as supporting those already living with HIV/AIDS.

 Obey, you Subservient Stickman!
Obey, you Subservient Stickman!

dwergs says ( 30 Nov 2004 ):


subservient stickmanAfter the subservient chicken, subservient president, subservient bartender and subservient TV show host, please welcome the most advanced, innovative and serving Subservient Stickman!

We invite you to discover new commands and if you do, let us know by creating MSN Display Pictures from them -similar to the one next to this news post- using our Stickman template for Photoshop. Upload them here! That zipfile also includes a basic stickman which you can manipulate and send to for suggesting commands.

>> Enslave Subservient Stickman (TIP: Tell him to "mess with msn messenger").

>> Browse the Subservient Stickman commands we discovered already (might not be suited for minors, but hey, it's Stickman!).

 Time to get the facts on the Messenger Plus! sponsor program
Time to get the facts on the Messenger Plus! sponsor program

dwergs says ( 29 Nov 2004 ):


Due to the increasing volume of disinformation about Messenger Plus! propagated on the Internet and in the press, a special Get The Facts page has been added to the Messenger Plus! homepage.

devil apothix jellitons msn display picturesOn this page, Pat-"don't hate me!"-chou answers all the popular concerns surrounding Messenger Plus!. Each answer is very detailed and the reader is encouraged to doublecheck everything!

In a message to the Plus! community, Patchou writes "I'm a software developer distributing a simple add-on for MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger, I'm not a pirate who's trying to invade your computer. My first goal is to make the best software possible, not to make as much money as possible, and I think that this can be seen in many aspects of my program."

>> Get The Facts on Messenger Plus!.

>> FAQ: "Removing the sponsor bundled with Messenger Plus!".

[Reported by: GameGuy]

(Note: The MSN Display Picture next to this post was taken from the Jellitons Display Pictures pack by Apothix, which can be downloaded directly into MSN Messenger 7 using the entirely FREE CustoMess for MSN Messenger v1.0 RC 1).

 Updated: Penguin, Neowin and Urban skins for MSN Messenger 7
Updated: Penguin, Neowin and Urban skins for MSN Messenger 7

dwergs says ( 29 Nov 2004 ):


Hurray for Rolando, who made his most popular MSN Messenger skins compatible with all MSN Messenger 7 BETA versions:

- Urban MSN, the urban-looking MSN Messenger skin based on Urban PPL XP icons by FOOOD.

- Neowin MSN has just been redone from A to Z especially for its MSN Messenger 7 release. This update is basically a replica of Neowin v3.9 graphics plus a small portion of Windows X's Neowin VS.

- Penguin MSN, refreshed look of your favorite penguin by Overlord59 now available for all 7 beta builds.

Note: The installers don't have the option for downloading Mess Patch anymore, but most of the Mess Patch options are built into the installer itself.

msn messenger 7 skins>> Download Urban MSN skin for MSN Messenger 7 BETA.

>> Download Neowin MSN skin for MSN Messenger 7 BETA.

>> Download Penguin MSN skin for MSN Messenger 7 BETA.

>> Browse the very first MSN Messenger 7 skins.

[Reported by: GameGuy]

Click Here!

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