Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

Archive for August 2008

Live Mesh wishlist: Media searchability

with 2 comments

I see there is a search box on Live Mesh’s Live Desktop right now that is currently greyed out but I guess its safe to assume that at some point Live Mesh will be indexing all of the stuff in our Mesh so that we can search it.

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As I said in my blog entry Evernote – Your memory downloaded I’m a big fan of Evernote because of its ability to find text within pictures and then index it for searchability. Imagine knowing that you had a photo of the Hollywood sign but you don’t know where the photo is – Evernote would be able to pick out the word "Hollywood" from inside the photo and any search on "hollywood" would return that photo.

Now imagine that that photo was somewhere in your Mesh and we had the same searchability within Mesh itself rather than going out to Evernote. That would be killer.

And why stop at text? Some day some boffin somewhere will work out a way for computers to listen to speech or watch videos and know what they are about – being able to search on the contents of all our media would be amazing.

Naturally we should be able to search the contents of our Mesh from Live Search as well as I already suggested in Mesh’s hidden agenda.

It would need some huge data centres to store all the indexes but hey – Microsoft are already building them.

-Jamie

In the clubhouse: clubhouse, mesh, story, wishlist, search

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Written by Jamiet

August 31, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Posted in Live Mesh

My first Photosynth – Canary Wharf in London

with 3 comments

I created my first Photosynth at the weekend, its of Canada Square (aka Canary Wharf) in London’s Docklands area. I took these photos a few months ago in anticipation of Photosynth’s release and I’m pretty pleased with the results even given that its only 42% synthy.
 
canary_wharf_photosynth_screenshot
 
 
What do you think?
 
-Jamie

Written by Jamiet

August 26, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Bad boy Chris!

with 5 comments

I just got home, flipped open my laptop to scan for my wireless network and saw the following:

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I don’t know who Chris is but my guess is he’s not flavour of the month if someone is advertising such facts on his wireless network SSID.

 

Well it made me laugh!

Written by Jamiet

August 18, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Attachments? Pah!

with 7 comments

"Am I the only person that is bothered by email attachments? I ask the question because I’m of the opinion that the proliferation of word documents, PDFs, installer binaries and other such detritus that litters my and many other people’s inbox is an unnecessary and unjustified cancer on the technical infrastructure of enterprises and of the web."

I just posted this slightly inflammatory comment on my work blog in an entry entitled Attachments must die! Click-through if you want to read my justification of it. Or if you just want to flame me.

-Jamie

Written by Jamiet

August 17, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

More on storing Messenger conversations on the Mesh

with 12 comments

3 weeks ago I wrote a blog entry Storing Messenger conversations on the Mesh where I said:

Currently I don’t save my Live Messenger conversations … Wouldn’t it be cool if all of our Messenger conversations were automatically saved to the Mesh? That way every conversation I have would be recorded and I would be able to search through them all as well.

I made the same suggestion on the Live Mesh forum along with some reasons why this would be a good idea and whilst there was general support for the idea it was suggested that instead I configure Messenger to automatically store all of my conversations and then sync the "C:UsersjamieDocumentsMy Received Files<ID>" folder using Mesh. This I did and its been working pretty well for me (I recommend trying it for yourself) and now, as you can see below, I have a history of all of my Messenger conversations synchronised across all of my machines:

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After using this for a few weeks now though I have realised that there are some fallacies to this approach that could be alleviated by having Messenger automatically store conversations to Mesh; those being:

  • All conversations with the same person are stored in the same file thus if you have a conversation with the same person on different machines then there will likely be a file conflict. When you resolve that conflict then at least one of the conversations gets lost.
  • The Mesh client is a pre-requisite.
  • Conversations done on the web using a Messenger web interface don’t get captured anywhere.
  • Files that are transferred don’t get stored.
  • Anything done in the Activity window is lost.
  • Audio conversations are lost.
  • Video conversations are lost.

All of these could be alleviated if Messenger was "Meshified". Let me just clarify what I mean by that; it does not mean that all your Messenger conversations need to be conducted on www.mesh.com, it means that the Messenger service in the cloud (the one through which orchestrates all Messenger conversations) becomes responsible for storing your conversations on the Mesh.

I’m going to be actively campaigning for the Messenger team to implement this. Is anyone with me?

-Jamie

In the clubhouse: clubhouse, Messenger, How-to, Mesh

Written by Jamiet

August 11, 2008 at 6:06 pm

Posted in Live Messenger

What does your desktop look like?

with 2 comments

That’s the question that technogran posed on her blog entry My Desktop. Well, here’s mine:

desktop

A photo doesn’t really it justice though given that there are moving parts here so I’ve done a video of it as well:

http://silverlight.services.live.com/invoke/57578/MyDesktop/iframe.html

 

Very bare I think you’ll agree. I’m not a fan of having much on my desktop although I do rather like my dreamscene wallpaper and my Rocketdock.

Anyone else?

-Jamie

In the clubhouse: Clubhouse, Story, Vista, Windows, My Desktop

Written by Jamiet

August 9, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

10 more secrets of Windows Live

with 11 comments

My last post 10 hidden secrets of Windows Live was quite well received so I thought I would write another one. Here are 10 more time-and-money-saving tips from Windows Live.

 

If you’re like me then you’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years having instant messenger conversations with people and that means a lot of typing. Why not give your fingers a rest and communicate as god intended – by talking. If you’re computer is equipped with a microphone and a speaker then simply hit the ‘Call a contact’ button in your conversation window and talk talk talk away. Its cheaper than a phone call.

In the clubhouse: Messenger
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At the top of this blog post I linked to my previous blog post 10 hidden secrets of Windows Live. Ordinarily that would involve going out to the internet to find the URL but with Windows Live Writer there’s no need to do that. All you need to do is simply select the text that you want turn into a link, hit the hyperlink button image  on the toolbar, and from the "Link To" box select ‘Previous Post…’ at which point you’ll see a list of all your previous posts. Just pick the one you want. Its ridiculously easy!

In the clubhouse: Writer
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Hotmail has got a very good and very simple search feature. Simply type your search term into the search box in the Windows Live header bar and hit enter [or click the green ‘Mail’ button]. Any emails containing the search term will be returned for you. Simple as that!

In the clubhouse: Hotmail
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Received an interesting email that you want to talk about on your Windows Live Space? Hit the ‘Blog’ button in Windows Live Mail and have the blog entry pre-prepared for you right inside your Space.

In the clubhouse: Spaces, Mail
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Even with the proliferation of photo sharing services such as Flickr, Smugmug, Photobucket and Windows Live Spaces still the most popular way of showing someone else your photos is to email them. This invariably makes emails rather hefty but Windows Live Mail is here to help. By sending a photo email the photos will be uploaded to your Live Space and the email will contain a thumbnail and a link to the photo on your Space. You can even put frames around your photos or make one of many other assorted amendments. Jazz them up a bit!

In the clubhouse: Mail, Spaces
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You can configure Windows Live Mail to automatically log you on to Windows Live Messenger when you open it up. Just go to Tools–>Options and you’ll find the option on the ‘General’ tab. No point in emailing someone when you can just send them an instant message instead, right?

In the clubhouse: Mail, Messenger
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Wouldn’t it be cool if people could send you instant messages even if they weren’t Live Messenger users? Well now they can using the Messenger IM control. Using the wizard you can generate a small piece of code that can be embedded into any web page that then allows any visitor to that website to IM you. All from a web browser. You can see in the picture on the right that I’ve embedded the IM control into my work blog.
This one is seriously cool. Go check it out.

In the clubhouse: Messenger
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Did you know that your Windows Live ID can log you in to many more web sites and services than just Microsoft ones. All of the sites shown on the right allow you to login using your Windows Live ID. Click on any of the logos to go to the site and login.

In the clubhouse: Windows Live ID
 
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If you don’t like switching windows to do different things then you’ll be glad to know that many Windows Live products can be controlled from within Windows Live Mail. Did you know for instance that you can set your Messenger status from within Windows Live Mail?

In the clubhouse: Mail, Messenger
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Do you ever wish you could have the same list of Favorites on any computer? Well now you can, just install Windows Live Toolbar and use the ‘Sync Favorites’ function to sync your list of favorites between all your devices and to http://favorites.live.com as well.

In the clubhouse: Toolbar, Favorites
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As before let me know in the comments how many of those you knew about. Or if you don’t want to tell me, leave a comment anyway – my blog can never have enough comments. And if you have 10 Windows Live secrets of your own, blog about them and tag it 10 secrets.

-Jamie

Update: I’ve since posted another 10 secrets called Another 10 secrets about Windows Live.

Written by Jamiet

August 7, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Posted in Windows Live