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MSN custom colors for your font! MSN Emoticons list overview! Find a Date for online chats! Quality Hosting specials for Messers! free msn games

 Quick News: Xbox keypad, Plus! contest prizes, f*ckoffimbusy.com
Quick News: Xbox keypad, Plus! contest prizes, f*ckoffimbusy.com

dwergs says ( 19 May 2007 ):

 

TeamXbox shares its first impressions of the Xbox 360 QWERTY Keypad that was designed to facilitate chatting with your Xbox and Windows Live contacts. There's also a Q&A with Xbox Live’s Group Program Manager, Jerry Johnson. Head over here for the article.

Man, did you see the list of prizes in the Play and Win - Messenger Plus! 6th Anniversary Contest? The treasure hunt will officially start next weekend and will last for three weeks. Start exercising your index finger!

f*ck off i'm busySomebody spamming you over Messenger you while your status is set to Busy? Instead of ignoring such an IM protocol violation and bottling up your anger, you can now simply reply "fuckoffimbusy.com". Messer Sam decided to build this one-page website after being harassed one too many times while trying to concentrate on his school work. Now whenever somebody disrespects his status, he can swiftly and "politely" link to the website. He has also added a couple of f*ckoffimbusy.com display pictures to our collection for those who can't even be bothered to reply. Oh, and you can use this URL in any context not limited to Internet. Try it on pollsters, telemarketers and cheap jacks. Just don't try it on Chuck Norris.

UPDATE [21-May-07]: Is this domain name too explicit for you? Use http://www.goawayimbusy.com. Or just don't want to offend everyone one your contact list? Use http://tinyurl.com/yqlpmt.



 Digital Effects: free webcam silliness for Messenger
Digital Effects: free webcam silliness for Messenger

dwergs says ( 18 May 2007 ):

 

After first making a demo available a while ago, Microsoft Research Asia has now released a fully working version of Digital Effects for MSN Messenger, a plug-in for MSN/Windows Live Messenger that adds special effects to your webcam sessions.

After you've installed the software, you'll need to shutdown Messenger entirely and launch Digital Effects for MSN Messenger instead. Then log into Messenger and start a video call or select "Show my webcam" from under your display picture. When the plug-in's control panel appears next to your conversation window, look straight into your webcam and hit the "Locate Frontal Face" button. Now you're all set to add image and/or 3D costume effects. The image effects include "Background Blur" to protect your and other bystanders' privacy, distortion with the "Magic Lens", and "Fly Text" to make any custom word or sentence fly out of your mouth. With costume effects you can virtually add facial hair or masks to your head (don't forget to click the "Down" button for more accessories). Below's a video showing our Timothy having some fun with the plug-in. Just note that I didn't notice the black overlay bug during my own testing.

This plug-in is hardly groundbreaking and borrows heavily from the Video Effects software bundled with certain Logitech webcams, as well as similar third-party shareware addons out there. But Digital Effects is freely available to everyone and comes with a fair amount of standard effects. Let's hope Microsoft puts more free extras up for download, or even better, will allow us to make our own afro-wigs, Dracula teeth and Spock ears.

>> Download Digital Effects for MSN Messenger v1.0.3561

[Reported by: Jonathan Kay]



 You really don't want to see Bush dance
You really don't want to see Bush dance

dwergs says ( 17 May 2007 ):

 

Taking advantage of recent events, a Spanish instant message promising an animation of George W. Bush is doing rounds on MSN/Windows Live Messenger. Unfortunately for those expecting to see the President of the U.S.A. shaking his groove thang, it links to an annoying worm identified by Trend Micro as WORM_KELVIR.EL. The message currently looks like this:

mira esta animacion de bush
http://{BLOCKED}deosgratis.gratishost.com/bush.exe
Ignore at all costs, but if you want to have a laugh with Dubya's dancefloor incident without putting your system to a risk then check out this video, or add the animated emoticon below to Windows Live Messenger.

bush dance emoticon

[Via: TrendLabs Malware Blog]



 Updated: Messenger Plus! Live 4.21
Updated: Messenger Plus! Live 4.21

dwergs says ( 17 May 2007 ):

 

As announced yesterday, Messenger Plus! Live has been updated.

Patchou about the new Plus! version:

"This new version is largely composed of minor fixes with a touch of improvements such as support for the recently added I’m emoticon (use it!), a better environment for script developers, new notification options for opened conversations, better chat logs for some users, a new Turkish translation, etc..."

And about the upcoming Plus! contest:

"In this new version, you’ll probably notice something else that’s new and if you read the previous news post, chances are that you already guessed what it is: a special “gold” Messenger Plus! icon has been added in the contact list and it’s the icon you’ll soon have to click on to access the very special 6th anniversary contest! I know some of you were expecting the contest to open on the same day of the release but you’ll have to wait a little more. The contest is in its final test phase, it’s big, very big, and because people will be required to have the new 4.21 version to participate, it has been decided that everything will start about a week from now."

More information on the the 6th anniversary contest on Saturday!

>> Download Messenger Plus! Live v4.21.

>> Check out the changelog.

[Reported by: Ryan Trunten, Sypherknife & warmth]



 Messenger Plus! Live Update/Contest very soon!
Messenger Plus! Live Update/Contest very soon!

dwergs says ( 16 May 2007 ):

 

"Tomorrow: release!!!! finally! at last! I'm tired night night"

These were Patchou's last words after a long and hefty period of coding the anniversary release of Messenger Plus! Live. That means you can expect a new version and the previously announced super contest within, say, the next 24 hours.

[Reported by: warmth]



 Some Xbox 360 x Messenger FAQs
Some Xbox 360 x Messenger FAQs

dwergs says ( 15 May 2007 ):

 

For those struggling with the Windows Live Messenger integration on Xbox since last week's update, your age might have to do with it: "The Xbox Live Messenger team places high value on child safety and is working on a solution to allow users thirteen-years-old and older the ability to safely use Messenger on Xbox 360." Even crazier, the service doesn't recognise those who have turned 18 since they signed up for Xbox Live, so they're currently deprived from access as well! For those affected, let's hope they fix this soon.

For those with access, here are the keyboard shortcuts to interact with the Chat Box:

Sign in to Messenger. When you are not signed in to Messenger, press Windows + M to take you to the Messenger tab where you can sign in.

Start a conversation. If you are signed in but don't have any open conversations, press Windows + M to take you to the Messenger tab where you can start a new conversation. NOTE: If you have an open conversation in Messenger and want to go to the conversation area, open the Xbox Guide and select Chat and IM or press the Windows key on your keyboard.

Open the Chat Box. If you have any open conversations, press Windows + M to open the Chat Box right over your game or movie. You can see the last few lines of any active conversations and enter a message. This is a good way to exchange quick messages.

Close the Chat Box. You can close the Chat Box the same way you brought it up, by pressing Windows + M.

Switch between conversations in Chat Box mode. You may have more than one open conversation. Cycle between conversations by pressing CTRL + -> (right arrow key).

Open the Guide while in Chat Box mode. Press the Xbox Guide button on your controller or press the Windows key to close the Chat Box and open the Guide.

NOTE: If you're using a Mac keyboard, substitute the Apple key for the Windows key.

[Source: Xbox 360 May '07 Update FAQs]



 Live @ Vacature Virtual Talentum (at Evere/on Messenger)
Live @ Vacature Virtual Talentum (at Evere/on Messenger)

dwergs says ( 14 May 2007 ):

 

4:40 PM - After being greeted by Miel Van Opstal, I enter the nerve center at the Belgacom Surf Lounge in Evere (near Brussels) for the Vacature Virtual Talentum, the world's first online job recruiting event (see my first post below for more details). The vacature virtual talentumfoyer is a Windows Live Messenger mekka: the product name and instructions on how to use it are projected on three huge projection screens, and a large number of laptop screens show an equal amount of virgin white contact lists.

4:55 PM - About a hundred HR managers are signing into their freshly installed Windows Live Messenger, adding up to maximum 12 pre-registered sollicitants. Even though I estimate their average age is pretty young, for many of them it's their first experience with the software.

5:01 PM - The first batch of sollicitants is welcomed by those who have finished setting up their Messenger. Basic text chat clearly dominates over the occasional video and audio conversations.

using animated playboy emoticons in a job interview?5:09 PM - I spot the first sollicitant using an animated emoticon showing the Playboy bunny logo morphing into "Oui" (French for "Yes"). Asked for her appreciation of such a "flashy' affirmative answer, the recruiter in question claims it's a sign of the times and not a reason to turn down a sollicitant immediately.

5:15 PM - Don't worry, resumes sent through a file transfer will not go to the provided laptop's waste bin, but can be stored on a supplied USB stick and taken back to the office tomorrow.

5:36 PM - Coming back to my previous comment on the dominance of text conversation, it appears that several recruiters are in fact a little webcam-shy and prefer the most basic form of IM over the added benefits of body language. Hey, at least they don't discriminate based on looks!

6:00 PM - Here and there I jump in to change the name of the brave person who installed all Messenger clients on the 90 laptops in the foyer, and replace it with the name of the actual recruiter behind the screen. Messenger customization for newbies ;)

miel live-blogging @ virtual talentum7:16 PM - To the left we have Miel live-blogging, or rather, XXL-blogging on the aforementioned projection screens directly from the event's control room. And in the picture below this post, there's yours truly's website blown up in threefold.

7:54 PM - A lot of default display pictures on the screens around here. Unsurprisingly, because all Messenger clients were a clean install. But I can't help feeling it's a missed opportunity to not have company logos for avatars. Granted, it would've required a lot of work to furnish all participating employers with a branded display picture but if each individual recruiter was just told to Google -or, I'm at a Microsoft event here: Live Search- their company name, they could easily drag 'n drop one of the image results onto their default display picture and thus personalise their interview environment.

FINAL UPDATE: I'm back at home, but here are some final thoughts. I'm very impressed with the event and with an estimated 1500 virtual job interviews, it was obviously a big success. Really, it's the world turned upside down when you see dozens of HR managers gather together while sollicitants stay safely at home. Adding Messenger to the mix clearly gave the job interviews a more informal touch, and dozens of recruiters even adapted to the new setting by sporadically using emoticons, and by juggling between a pair of conversation windows.

If job interviews over Messenger ever become mainstream, it will be interesting to see an etiquette for this kind of communication take shape. Concluding this live blog I'd like to add some do's and don'ts such an etiquette would probably include:

- Do not use an immature e-mail address, but rather firstname.lastname@hotmail.com. Create a new one just for this purpose if necessary.
- Do not put a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model or last weekend's party pictures as your avatar. Use a decent display picture or don't use anything at all.
- Emoticons are inextricably bound up with IM, but don't exaggerate.
- Don't show the music you're listening to in your PSM (unless you're confident that all band names and song titles in your playlist are inoffensive). Instead, use the space to display the URL to your online resume, portfolio or LinkedIn profile.
- Never *EVER* (NOT EVEN BY ACCIDENT, SO WATCH YOUR CAT) hit the Wink button!

>> Would you rather apply for a job via Messenger than face-to-face? Did you participate in the Virtual Talentum fair? Leave your thoughts here.

mess.be xxl @ virtual talentum



 Looking for a job? Apply now via Windows Live Messenger
Looking for a job? Apply now via Windows Live Messenger

dwergs says ( 14 May 2007 ):

 

In a couple of hours the first Vacature Virtual Talentum fair will open its cyberdoors for all Belgians looking for a job. In a very unique manner, job applicants won't even have to leave their homes because Vacature.com, Belgium's biggest recruiting network, together with Microsoft will be equipping more than hundred HR managers with a webcam and headset in order to screen candidates through Windows Live Messenger!

Between 5 and 9 PM this evening, applicants will be able to share their resumes and have 15-minute conversations with up to 12 employers of their choice, provided an advance registration at this website. Participants also get a chance to win one of two Vista-powered Packard Bell notebooks loaded with Office 2007 and OneCare plus additional Microsoft LiveCam. I will be present at the location where all employers are gathered, so expect my personal report later.

At the start of this year, Vacature.com already launched a Messenger bot that queries its database of jobs based on your prefered location and job title.

>> Check out participating companies and/or register here (Dutch) or here (French).

>> Add the CarrièreCoach Messenger bot (requires registration).



 Microsoft SharedView ("Tahiti") goes Beta
Microsoft SharedView (

dwergs says ( 14 May 2007 ):

 

microsoft sharedviewMicrosoft's desktop sharing software previously codenamed Tahiti has gone into public beta under its new SharedView name. Thanks to the free but ad-supported application, up to 15 people can collaborate simultaneously in real time and only the session starter needs a valid Windows Live ID. Invitations can be sent through instant messaging, e-mail or verbal instructions over the phone. The odd thing is that if you want to invite someone over Windows Live Messenger, it does not display the contacts linked to the entered Windows Live ID but instead the contact list currently active in Messenger. Also remember to appear online if you want to send an invitation.

Audio support and chat is expected in a future release, but may I also suggest Windows Live Call integration for phone invitations?

>> Download Microsoft SharedView Beta.



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