Main/News >> News Archives > The week of August 03 (2008) (you
Beijing Olympics 2008: Sporty winks featuring... you!
dwergs says ( 08 Aug 2008 ):
Windows Live Facebook App gets an update
Inky says ( 08 Aug 2008 ):
The Windows Live Facebook App, which we told you about back in April, has received an update a few days ago adding a few cool things to the application which by now has well over 1 million installs!
Among the updates are some fixes for the new Facebook layout (allowing users to add a Messenger box on their Wall tab), less lag in presence updates, as well as removal of the annoying HIP (or CAPTCHA as the rest of the internet calls them) for conversations. But the most significant and coolest part of the update is the ability to update your Facebook status by setting your personal message in Messenger. To enable this new feature, go to the Messenger application page, select "Settings" and check the box that says "Let Messenger update my Facebook status message". Voila! Now your Facebook status will be updated whenever you change your personal message.
>> Add or view the Messenger application for Facebook (requires sign in).
>> How they built the Windows Live Facebook app.
If you ain't no Einstein, just ask Newton
dwergs says ( 07 Aug 2008 ):
Classes during which you're allowed you to use a computer are still too rare. Teachers that encourage you to chat during class are even rarer. But they exist!
With the help of Microsoft Singapore, two science teachers at the Ngee Ann Secondary School have created a Windows Live Agent (more commonly known as "bot") called Newton that helps students with their questions about the science of matter, forces of motion, space and time. Unlike a teacher, the bot is available for a chat about physics 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By reviewing the conversations between the students and Newton, teachers can also better gauge a student's level of understanding of a subject.
For those of you who now feel the unstoppable urge to discuss electromagnetism or quantum mechanics with a Messenger bot, I'm sorry to say its address is kept private. Newton is still a prototype, piloted with 80 secondary school pupils last June, and could still use improvement. But students are enthused: "You might feel embarrassed to ask a question in front of the whole class because you donít want to feel stupid and slow the class down. But you can ask Newton something over and over again until you fully understand it."
In the meantime, a version for English literature is already in the works. To be or not to be called Shakespeare?
[Reported by: voodoo3dfx] [Source: Channel NewsAsia]
Ping.fm updates all your social networks at once
dwergs says ( 06 Aug 2008 ):
Being a web 2.0 aficionado it's only natural you're on Bebo, Blogger, Brightkite, Facebook, FriendFeed, hi5, Identi.ca, Jaiku, kwippy, LinkedIn, LiveJournal, Mashable, MySpace, Plaxo Pulse, Plurk, Pownce, Tumblr, Twitter, WordPress.com and Xanga. Or at least some of them. Or maybe all of them, but you really use only one or two because you're not going to log into them one by one to update your status or post the same blog, are you? Enter Ping.fm, a free web service enabling you to update your status or post a (micro)blog from one location.
That entry point to all your social networks could be Windows Live Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk (GTalk) or Yahoo! Messenger, a special Facebook app, an iGoogle gadget, an iPhone/Mobile WAP application or plain e-mail. For example, to use Windows Live Messenger you just add the Ping.fm bot to your contact list (its address can be found in the dashboard after registration) and send a given verification code.
Ping.fm works with the following triggers:
@s message - Posts a status update
@b title^body - Posts a blog
@m message - Posts a micro-blog
If you don't use a command, your message will be delivered as your default method (status update by standard). If you are posting a blog, be sure to include the ^ seperator in your message or it won't be delivered to your blogging services. You can also add custom triggers for instance to just update Twitter instead of all your accounts. Links longer than 20 characters will be shortened automatically, unless you put a * before the link.
Ping.fm is still in private beta, but if you enter the invitation code pingitlikeitshot while registering you'll be pinging in no time!
Windows Live Messenger proves it's a small world after all
dwergs says ( 05 Aug 2008 ):
If you're familiar with the Six Degrees of Seperation theory, you know that we're all linked somehow to Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama or any random celebrity. From Wikipedia: Six Degrees of Separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is an average of six "steps" away from each person on Earth. Maybe you know the concept through the Six degrees of Kevin Bacon game often cited in pop culture. The automated Oracle of Bacon helped me discover that I can be linked to actor Kevin Bacon in just four degrees!
Microsoft's instant messaging network which connects hundreds of millions around the world allowed researchers for the first time to validate the Six Degrees notion on a planetary-scale. Researchers Eric Horvitz and Jure Leskovec gathered anonymized data during 30 days of June 2006 in which 242 million users logged into Windows Live Messenger and 180 million of them engaged in a total of 30 billion IM conversations.
To give an idea, on the first day of the observation period there were almost 1 billion conversations, with more than 7 billion instant messages sent. Approximately 93 million users logged in that day with 64 million different users becoming engaged in a chat. Approximately 1.5 million new users that were not registered within Windows Live Messenger were invited to join on June 1st (more than 17 million new accounts were activated during the entire month). Each day yielded about 150 gigabytes of compressed text logs (4.5 terabytes in total) and copying the data to a dedicated eight-processor server with 32 gigabytes of memory took 12 hours.
To evaluate the Six Degrees of Separation theory in an online environment, two people were considered to be acquaintances if they had sent one another an instant message.
"The minimum chain lengths required to connect everyone in the database were then examined and the average was found to be 6.6, with 78% of the pairs able to be connected in seven links or fewer. Which is as near as could possibly be expected to validating the Six Degrees of Separation theory.Other findings show that people tend to communicate more with each other when they have similar age, language, and location, and that cross-gender conversations are both more frequent and of longer duration than conversations with the same gender.
Earlier research employed a sample of 64 people and found that the average number of hops for a letter to travel from Nebraska to Boston was 6.2. This research used a population sample that is more than two million times larger than the group studied earlier and confirmed the classic notion."
>> Download Worldwide Buzz: Planetary-Scale Views on an Instant-Messaging Network (PDF).
>> Read Planetary-Scale Views on a Large Instant-Messaging Network.
>> Homepages of Eric Horvitz and Jure Leskovec.
Free Wall-E goodies for Windows Live Messenger
dwergs says ( 04 Aug 2008 ):
The latest Disney/Pixar movie, Wall-E, is now showing in most cinemas around the world and MSN has launched a "goodies hub" dedicated to the blockbuster. I'll limit myself to a summary of the goodies for Windows Live Messenger :
There's a free theme pack which includes 7 static display pictures, 1 animated display picture with 5 moods, 4 static conversation backgrounds and 4 winks. It can be auto-installed straight from the download page by clicking the thumbnail under the WINDOWS LIVE MESSENGER PACK header. The installation requires Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, and being signed into your Messenger account. If you scroll down the page, you'll see that you can also download the static display pics and backgrounds individually and then add them to Messenger.
The Wall-E Image Maker located here allows you to compose custom Wall-E icons, profile pictures, mobile and desktop wallpapers. There's also a Messenger display pic preset, which was mistakenly set to 100 by 100 pixels instead of a 96-pixel square. But don't be bothered, this Image Maker is not up to much.
Finally, there's a game called WALL-E Scrap Shoot which you can play against a Messenger buddy. You can start the game through our Messenger games launcher.
>> Download the Wall-E Theme Pack and individual icons here.
>> Launch the Wall-E Image Maker.
>> Play Wall-E Scrap Shoot via our Messenger games launcher.
>> BONUS: Browse our animated Wall-E emoticons.
More Pics for MSN Friends domains to avoid
dwergs says ( 04 Aug 2008 ):
Just another warning for more domains hosting the Pics for MSN Friends form hoax.
*.datsyou.com *.is-thatt-you.com *.is-dat-u.com *.thatzyou.comAvoid these links or change your password immediately if you've submitted your Messenger login and password to one of these or similar sites.
UPDATE: *.myfriendsz.com *.i-l0ve-u.com
[Reported by: Cookie]
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