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 Quick News: New Insider Club levels, Chameleon webcam, etc.
Quick News: New Insider Club levels, Chameleon webcam, etc.

dwergs says ( 03 Jun 2006 ):


The Insider Club, the British promo site for Windows Live, has unlocked its third and fourth levels. When it was launched, the site offered 50.000 sets of free Windows Live contact cards to Britons, but they were sent out worldwide (recent reports include Matt from Croatia and DigitalScan from Pennsylvania, USA). They saved the best prizes for last though, as you can now win one of the 3000 USB memory sticks (200 available per week), tickets to a World Cup Football screening in London (including dinner & disco afterwards) and VIP tickets for the Wimbledon finals (including champagne & strawberries). I guess they won't be sending these prizes outside the UK but he who never tries, never wins (and I would sure love to sit next to Sean Connery or Ricky Gervais at the Wimbledon finals). [Thanks for reporting this: Webspot, Zephyrus, Disjunto, Chris, McTedo, Andy Smith, MattChan, Jamie, Stigmata, Barry_x, Ectox, Arun and lozzd]

Look! It's the Philips Messenger Phone product page (found by witbyt).

Thanks to Zico and hkalanshiu, our Chinese speaking Messers, for letting us know that the Kanji letters on the The Way News Spreads site mean... (*drum roll*): "hello". Ahh, marketing people are so witty these days... :S

I received an hilarious chainmail this morning, forwarded by one of my old school friends. The original message came from a certain Andy and John, the supposed "directors" of MSN. It goes: "Sorry for the interruption but msn is closing down (...) because too many inconsiderate people are taking up all the names (eg. making up lots of different accounts for just one person)." The best part: "We only have 578 names left." World population, stop propagating because Microsoft has run out of accounts... I mean, who believes this tripe?!

the chameleon - the first intelligent and emotionally responsive webcamFound this on the forum the other day: a visual prototype for the first intelligent webcam for instant messaging software. The Rio Chameleon was thought up by Ben, a second year Product Design student at the University of London, and can be used as an ambient USB device that changes its colour whenever something happens, like when an e-mail comes in. Like a real chameleon it'll also adapt to the colour of your Windows Live Messenger environment. The fun begins as soon a video chat is initiated, because then it becomes an emotionally responsive webcam that will "intelligently work out from the conversation what is going on and adapt to the mood it feels is appropriate". It can also be set to remote mode, in which your contact takes control over the (up to eight million) colours and can even make the camera shake when a nudge is sent. Maybe if enough of you leave feedback, the company Ben is working with decides to manufacture the Chameleon!

rock avatarninja avatarFinally, we have some absolutely wonderful Messenger avatars in store for you! I haven't had the time to add them yet to CustoMess or our gallery, but here's a quick teaser already.

 Da Vinci Code Game & Videogame Cats
Da Vinci Code Game & Videogame Cats

dwergs says ( 02 Jun 2006 ):


the da vinci code msn messenger gameThere's a new activity available promoting the The Da Vinci Code blockbuster starring Tom Hanks and the adorable Audrey Tautou (as if the movie needs any more promotion!). In the first round of the game you have to crack a code together with a buddy. Thereafter you play a question round against each other. The winner gets a free MSN or Windows Live Messenger Wink (*cough*). This game is not available for everyone, but you can easily launch it from our MSN Games page (it'll fire up a window in which you have to select your opponent).

Talking about games, I've added over 300 Videogame Cats Display Pictures courtesy of, the game parody cartoons starring adorable... ehmm... CATS.

[Thanks to Huuf]

 Robot Invasion Part 1: Santa & Dubya
Robot Invasion Part 1: Santa & Dubya

dwergs says ( 01 Jun 2006 ):


Today the first two bots were approved in the Invasion of the Robots contest. Both of them were submitted by Microsoft employees, so they're not eligible for anything out of the $40k prize bag.

dubya messenger botThe first one is called "W" (dubya) and returns so-called Bushisms. Add this bot if you don't know what they are.

The second one is the yet unfinished Santa Robot. When the bot is completed, it'll "help you find gifts and get into the holiday spirit". But that doesn't mean you can chit chat yet. Add Santa's digital helper via this link.

Find out all about the bot contest here.

 Quick News: MessengerDiscovery Live Beta, no more USB keys, etc.
Quick News: MessengerDiscovery Live Beta, no more USB keys, etc.

dwergs says ( 31 May 2006 ):


Time for another quick news roundup!

AJR and Khyshen both reported the Beta release of MessengerDiscovery Live, the Windows Live Messenger version of the well known addon. If you like what you see on these screenshots of the settings screen and the contacts dialog, you might want to give it a try here. More news on MD Live when we hear it.

Don't hold your breath waiting for Microsoft to send you the free USB thumb drive they promised. Messers Zephyrus and Angrymonkey told me about an e-mail the multi-billion company is sending out, explaining that they ran out of USB keys. More on this subject over at BNC.

So, one of our Messers, endresz, decided to learn braille in order to translate one of the "secret messages" on the Windows Live Messenger promo site. Unsurprisingly, it says nothing but "hello". I suggest nobody even bothers translating the Chinese characters...

Finally, credit where credit is due: I still need to thank Tobiaz, Simple me, Zahid and qgroessl for reporting the "Messenger Plus! Live within 30 days" news.

Got an MSN or Windows Live Messenger-related news tip? Send it this way.

 Quick News: that trippy campaign, phpListGrab, byoms, etc.
Quick News: that trippy campaign, phpListGrab, byoms, etc.

dwergs says ( 30 May 2006 ):


If you were intrigued by the Where's Waldo kind of promotional website for Windows Live Messenger that we told you about, here are some answers. The animated GIF was created by UK artist Will Sweeney (beware of the killer hot dog!) and its central theme is the value proposition of instant messaging: interconnectedness. "It's completely old school. There's some magic in that," told AKQA Executive Creative Director PJ Pereira to Clickz about the trippy campaign that seeks to give the Microsoft application some youth appeal and personality. There are also hidden messages in Braille (the green dots on the bat's wings) and Chinese (on the stove) but I'm simply not capable of translating them.

Microsoft is interested in integrating MSN Messenger into the the portal site in order to increase the company's 14 per cent share in mainland China's instant messaging market, currently dominated by Tencent Holdings' QQ service. A first meeting will take place this week.

Wannabe developers, be inspired by Daniel's updated phpListGrab code over at the rechristined FanaticLive.

On June 5th, Kozoru will launch byoms, which stands for "build your own mobile search". It will be the first customizable, instant messaging search technology, querying only the sites you choose. Users will be able to create twenty unique byoms for searching across multiple topics, as well as share their search feeds with friends and site visitors. For now, the public beta will only work with AIM, but a MSN Messenger version is on the to do list. Keep your eyes on byoms.

windows live contact cardsFinally, and although I live in Belgium, I have received my pack of free Windows Live Contact Cards yesterday morning. It were only 9 cards, half of them were smudged with small yellow stains and the background of my WeeMee was cut off... but my mother told me never to look a gift horse in the mouth ;) If you want your own Windows Live Contact Cards, some are still available in Germany, France (on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays) and The Netherlands. UPDATE: Messer Chris also entered his details on the now expired UK promo site and got his cards delivered all the way to his home in Canada! UPDATE #2: Same goes for Zephyrus from Signapore.

>> My personalized Windows Live Contact Cards: Picture #1 and Picture #2.

Click Here!

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