Microsoft dashboard for LIVE services

Microsoft have started to test a new dashboard interface for their Live services (link is home.live.com) where a Windows Live user can get an overview of their personal Live account, i.e. emails – MSN contacts – blog postings and try out other online Microsoft services.

I have just logged in and given this a spin, and well, like any dashboard it was actually good to be able to see a top level view of my services but I was disapointed at the experiences in that when you click to view a service there is no way “back” to the dashboard, other than pressing the browser back button.  Well, that works so whats the problem ??? and isn’t that just a niggle rather than a complaint ???… well to me it does not project an intergrated all-in-one experience which is kind of what I would expect.  Plus if you try and edit your settings then pressing the back button does not return you to the dashboard…. I actually had to go through the history and select the “sign in” page (interestingly I never had to sign in again but at least I got to the dashboard).

What I did like was the fact Windows Live services are linked on the back end by a common contacts database.  So I can post a picture on Windows Live Spaces, its blog – and picture sharing site, and send a notice to anyone on my instant messaging contact list.  Plus it is actually very neat to have a portal view … not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination but as Windows Live has about 300 million users who frequently log in to IM or EMail then this can only be a very good move.

If only it tied into non-Microsoft services like GMail, Facebook, Twitter, etc etc etc  😀

Spock.com

A new web search service has launched, but this one doesn’t provide results for the entire web—it only provides results about people. Spock.com went into public beta today after several months of private testingand prides itself in providing the “richest people search experience on the web.”

This may sound creepy at first, but users are able to manage thier own profile pages and also import details from a number of other places, such as LinkedIn and MySpace as well as tags, pictures and contact lists.  So why is this different from say MySpace or Facebook?  Well, it seems that the general public can also tag your pictures and put information in about you, and as Wikipedia has learned this sort of Openness some members may choose to vandalise profiles with damaging or false information.  Spock say that information will be checked, but it is unclear how.

They claim to have already indexed 100 million people, with a new million each day and it is fair to say that a high percentage of these people will not be managing their own profiles.

Live ID and Microsoft Passport rant

Ok, so I don’t use Messenger that much, but I just tried to log on and it refused my details.  I noticed that the new messenger password box only allows a limit of 16 characters and my details were longer.  I use Technet quite a bit so tried logging in there with the details and same thing, limited to 16 characters !!!!!   I had to go through the process of changing my password to get in.  16 characters may seem a lot but for those of us who are now in the habit of using pass phrases rather than passwords it really limits what you can use.

Ok, so this isn’t really a rant but it annoys me that some WEB sites limit the range and/or length of characters you can use for logging in and I never expected this from Microsoft.

 

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Whats under the hood at youtube.com

We have all heard, seen and probably uploaded to Youtube.com but have you ever wondered what is under the hood, just what makes this site work and how it was able to scale so quickly to handle delivery of over 100 million videos a day … well, if you have then this will make for interesting reading.  If you haven’t, well enjoy their services anyway.

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Firefox tip

Just found that if you are using Firefox you can use the address bar to search google, just by prefxing your text with “google” …. so typing   google daily news  into the address bar for exmaple would auto search google with the text daily news.

tumblr

Its been a long day and just as I was heading off to bed I picked up on a free tool for creating tumblelogs. Tumblr lets you quickly build a blog and post thoughts, photos, videos, quotes, links and conversations to it in a no messing, easy manner.

Yip its free and yes I’m there 

twitter me .. twitter you .. twitter anyone

twitter is a fast paced mini blog which enables you to update your friends, family and practically anyone else on the planet on your where’abouts, your thoughts, random ramblings and just about anything else you want to share.  You can use IM, SMS or WEB to post and its quick, easy and very popular !!!

my twitter