I have 10 invitations for the MSN Soapbox beta program. If you want to join the fun, leave a comment here. Make sure to use a valid Live ID (Passport account) as your e-mail when posting the comment. No need to post the e-mail, just use it in the appropriate field in the comment section below.
I can say that the majority of bad moments came courtesy of developers, who are not working to have their software updated to run under the new Windows Vista model.
Before I continue, I will go straight to self-proclaimed "pundits" and "zealots": yes, there are changes in the way the software is supposed to work under Windows Vista. No, don't blame Microsoft. Remember, Apple does it all the time. Mac OS 9 versus Mac OS X. Even Mac OS 10.2 versus Mac OS 10.4. Or PowerPC versus Intel.
Now that we have this clear, let's go back to the topic. Windows Vista Beta has been around for a while now. It's almost being launched. Some say it will be announced in Canada no later than 23 November. Still some companies rather cry than fix their products.
One company I contact via e-mail replied with "We haven't installed Windows Vista to test our product yet". Another company told me when asked about their software conflicting with UAC "It should be something we can work out when Microsoft signs off on the OS and ships it to the public in a non-beta format".
As for Windows Vista faults, I have been doing my part as a beta tester, and reported whatever I find. And I do get feedback on my posts. And I've seen fixes and changes due to user input and requests.
The OS is almost here. Are you ready?
Today I plugged in my Nikon D50 digital SLR camera to my desktop running Windows Vista, and it showed the dialog to select what action to take. As usual the options to see images, open folder were there, but the last "General option" was a surprise:
Yes, Windows Vista recognised the (also high speed) SD card in use with this camera and offered to use it as a ReadyBoost device. Neat.
This is a set of stickers to dress up your vodem. Check it out. I will apply to my vodem soon.
During the last year I've seen people moving here from other places in the country (Chris Auld, Tim Haines, Nic Wise) or from overseas (Nick Randolph), create new companies and sell it to big corporations (Rod Drury's AfterMail, Sam Morgan's Trademe), run startups in stealth mode (Peter Smith) or write about web technologies.
Write about web technologies? Richard MacManus, the guy behind ReadWriteWeb.com, is based here in the region. And he' posted an interesting short article about Silicon Welly, a nickname for Wellington in this age of high tech development.
Check it out. He even commented about Geekzone 2006.
The Vodafone Voice Panel is a group of Vodafone customers. Panel members have the opportunity to share their opinions about, or their experiences with, Vodafone.
For each survey that you complete, you will be entered into the draw for that specific surveys prize. Prizes include mobile handsets, mobile accessories, cash, or air minutes.
You may be invited to attend focus groups or other special events.
You can propose topics for future surveys that are of interest to you.
I don't know how long this has been running, but it's an interesting initiative.
If you visit Geekzone a lot you probably read about our Geekzone RSS feeds before. If not, go on, read the article. I also recommend you read How to explain RSS the Oprah way, a very easy-to-read article explaining RSS feeds.
Back to Internet Explorer 7, then... One of the new features on this browser is the built-in RSS feed client. It's very easy to use, and you can start using RSS feeds without a specific program (the so called feed readers). Internet Explorer 7 will do everything for you. Here's is how...
Most websites these days have a feature called feed discovery. It means that a web browser will automatically identify what RSS feeds are associated with that specific website. On Internet Explorer this is done through an orange icon in the toolbar. When a RSS feed is identified you will see a start on the top right corner of the icon, like this one:
Click the arrow next to this icon and you will see a list of feeds on that website:
Things to mention here:
- enter a text in the box on the top right side and a filter will apply to that RSS feed, showing only the feeds with that word or text;
- change the order the feed entries are shown, by selecting Date or Title;
- filter the RSS feed entries by category, by clicking on any of the categories present on the list.
If you like the content of the feed, you can Subscribe to it by clicking Subscribe to this feed. This will give you a dialog to add this RSS feed to a list that will be quickly accessible through Internet Explorer 7:
Once you have added one or more feeds to your watching list, you can keep an eye on new and update stories by looking at the Favorites Center, in the Feeds list. You access the Favorites Center by clicking the big yellow star on the left of the tabs on Internet Explorer 7:
Because some feeds are not frequently updated you can right-click each one and change their properties, fine-tuning the system, saving your bandwidth and getting the right mix of information:
Easy? Now that you have a collection of RSS feeds, you just need to keep an eye on their content, and when you see something interesting just click on the headline and your browser will open the page corresponding to that content.
What's more interesting here though is that Internet Explorer 7 uses the same RSS repository used by new programs coming out soon, such as Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Windows Live Mail Desktop. This means that RSS feeds you subscribe through Internet Explorer 7 are automatically available through those other programs. Neat, right?
Now go on, subscribe to some RSS feeds and be more efficient when collecting your daily dosis of information. Just that you know, I currently have about 300 feeds in my collection.
Quite a number, isn't it? Currently I am on my all time low number of subscribed feeds, at 309. This number was up to 600 a few months back, but I have been trimming the subscriptions, removing stuff that is no longer interesting, or feeds that have not been updated in the last few months.
What about you? Do you subscribe to RSS feeds, or rather to visit each of your favourite sites, every day?
I just got a press release from Palm annoucing the launch of its Palm Treo 700wx Windows Mobile device in Canada, through Bell Canada. This is just a few hours before our local announcement.
The Treo 700wx provides the same great world-class Treo experience and ease of use that customers expect, as well as the following key features:
Additional Treo 700wx Features and Benefits
Let's see when this device is available here in New Zealand. I didn't get any other information from Palm, Telecom or Microsoft about this device, so I am still waiting for some data to work with.
Next, visit the Spyware Sucks blog and read the post IE7 Gold has gone live. You will find a very good list of things to do before, during and after the install of this update.
Remember, you don't have to install it now, but it will be pushed to all Windows PCs through Windows Update sometime soon. Companies will be able to disable the automatic update, check with your IT departments.