January 29, 2006
An inmate on Maryland’s deathrow is spending his last days responding to people who post on his blog.
M&C News reports that Vernon Lee Evans Jr. does not have Internet access in his cell. The blog is maintained by anti-death penalty activist Ginny Simmons, who forwards questions to him and posts his responses.
The blog, meetvernon.blogspot.com is part of a new front in the campaign against capital punishment.
Ahhhhh! another yucky word: Vodcasting. Me, I’m waiting on richcasting so I can retire :-)
Duncan Riley> Not surprisingly, the announcement that Google is going into China with a censored version of its services (and no Blogger, which is odd really given MSN Spaces is the biggest blogging service in the country) has resulted in the usual backlash and boycott calls throughout the blogosphere, in the same way that boycott calls occurred when news of the censored version of MSN Spaces was announced.
I was going to write a long comment piece supporting their move, and in part Jason Calacanis beat me to it, so I’ll do some direct quoting from Jason, who fortunately totally gets it.
From Jeremy at the b5media blog:
As many people have noted, weâ€™re having server issues. To be honest, itâ€™s no longer load issues. In fact, the several experts weâ€™ve brought in to have a look are stumped. And the server center says there is â€œnothing wrongâ€? with the box, even though itâ€™s throwing scads of errors, MySQL keeps dying, one server refuses to talk to another, etc, etc, etc.
So, we are looking for another server company to go with. Weâ€™d likely be looking at 3 servers initially. We donâ€™t need a lot of support, but we DO need the servers properly configured initially, and we DO need them to stay up. Ideally all 3 would also be on the same switch, or close to it, since theyâ€™ll be talking to each other pretty heavily.
If you know of anyone, or are a server provider who would like to talk, please email me or even call me (506 466 3855), as this is incredibly urgent.
And to think the company we are currently using is suppose to be considered one of the best in the business and we are spending decent money for the service….and they wont even check the hardware for us when we ask. I’ve got so many emails back and forward from them yesterday its one of the reasons I’m avoiding the computer today…..grrrr :-)
January 28, 2006
I don’t often post ads here, but this one was soooooo bad I couldn’t help it, click for the full screen stuff:
As rumored earlier, MSN Spaces now offers users the ability to add advertising, but a whole lot more as well. This from Mike Torrens:
* Spaces Search. This is an incredibly cool feature that lets you find interesting spaces based on keyword, a user’s profile information, or by clicking on most popular interests across all of spaces. You can also run a search from any space just by clicking “Search Spaces” in the header above. One thing to mention about the search feature is that it will be ramping up for a few days – but you can help make it better! Learn more about this on The Space Craft.
* Mobile Search from Mobile Spaces! Search for spaces from your mobile device. Mike Smuga will be talking about this more over on his space soon.
* Your own advertising on your space (as an option) to make money from clicks – powered by Kanoodle! (This feature is only available in the United States and Canada at this time.)
* Book lists with Amazon integration. Automatically insert information from Amazon.com directly into your book list – and again, make money through Amazon Associates when people end up buying the book! It’s very cool (by the way, our book is called Share Your Story if you want to add it to your book list :)
* Better blog navigation. This feature is one of those things we needed to do. You can now “view more entries” at the bottom of the page, and navigate through Previous and Next pages while looking through blog entries.
* Customized blog entry display. Choose how you want your blog entries to appear, by date or entry title. This is a great feature for people who write essays or incredibly insightful posts once a month. Date isn’t really important in this case, whereas sorting by entry title may make more sense.
* Integrated Help. Confused? Click the Learn link in the header above to figure out what to do next!
* Enhanced Profile including General, Social, and Contact Info sections. Each section will have it’s own permissions so any part you would like to limit access to (say your personal contact information), you can do it. There’s also an updated profile module for the homepage with an actionable photo; anytime you see someone’s picture anywhere you can right-click (or click on the down arrow) to view their contact card, space, profile, and more.
* Live Contacts Beta! Brand new feature which you’ll see popping up throughout Windows Live in time. What is it? It’s the ability to subscribe to automatic contact updates. When your friend changes his or her address or phone number (in their Profile mentioned above), your address book will be automatically updated if you are subscribed to updates. This is crazy cool. Learn more here.
* Which reminds me: Spaces now has contact cards like MSN/Windows Live Messenger! Just right-click on someone’s profile photo (or click on the down arrow) and select “View contact card” to see a preview of their space.
* Better commenting for blogs and now photos as well! This feature also has an (optional) clickable profile photo that you can leave behind when leaving a comment. And there’s a mini text editor so you can format your comments (something I’m really glad we did!) kinda like blog entries. Note that if you would like to turn off photo comments, you can do this in Settings.
* Photos are no longer limited to 30MB; you can now upload 500 photos per month without worrying about running out of storage space.
* MetaWeblog API (OK, this one is from December â€“ but it’s still cool). Read more here.
* Better URLs! Sometimes the little things matter the most. This is one of those things. Say goodbye to /members/. You can now be reached at http://spaces.msn.com/[username]. For example, http://spaces.msn.com/mike now works! We also have cleaner paths to pages, so if you want to give someone a link to your blog or to your photos, you can send them to http://spaces.msn.com/[username]/blog or /photos.
* Xbox Live integration. Themes, recent games module, and gamer card integration! This feature has been the single biggest reason my gamer score is now clocking in at 500 instead of 0. If you’re into Xbox Live, these features rock! Check out my theme and gamer card and you can see why.
* New themes and categorized theme picker. We now have well over 100 themes!
* Do you like email or mobile publishing? You can now publish from 3 email addresses instead of just one.
* For those of you with private spaces (you know who you are!) people can now request access to spaces via anonymous email. I like to think about this as “knocking on the door of someone’s house”.
* Privacy controls (communication preferences) for who can request access to your space and to your contact information and how. Check it out in Settings.
* We doubled the size limit on the HTML PowerToy.
January 27, 2006
AJ needs your help to win Â£1000. It’s original I guess.
I did an interview last week with Ging Cardinoza from Prepys.com, apparently one of the first VOIP interviews done from the Philippines, and its made the local press:INQ7.
The call quality wasn’t brilliant but it was still fun to do. The report notes that some parts of the interview were inaudible, but I’m sure that she who must be obeyed would say this is probably more to do with me talking at 1 million miles and hour than the technology :-)
eWeek reports that Microsoft is about to launch an upgrade to its MSN Spaces blogging platform that will allow users to offer advertising on their blogs in partnership with Kanoodle and Amazon.
They also say there is 28.3 million blogs in existence, which is odd really because MSN Spaces alone has over 30 million blogs, so file this in the rumor column only :-)