WMV HD – Interesting video format

WMV HD is a special name for high-def videos encoded in WMV 9 codecs. It’s also known as VC-1 (I think).I’m not going to go into any more details than that, because I’m so lost reading about the format. But the picture quality is awesome. Check out this YouTube video, of one of the many downloadable WMV HD video demos on the showcase site. This one is called Stormchasers (IMAX).   

Wonderful, isn’t it? Really perfect quality. At least to my naked eyes. This format is already used in some DVD’s, like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Total Recall, and a lot of others.

It’s also built into Windows Movie Maker, Xbox 360, and works on most computer configurations.

Recommended configuration

To play 1080/24p video with 5.1 surround sound

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Media Player 9
  • DirectX 9.0
  • 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 processor or equivalent
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 128 MB video card
  • 1440 x 1080 screen resolution (4:3 content) or 1920 x 1080 (16:9 content)
  • 24-bit 96 kHz multichannel sound card
  • 5.1 surround sound speaker systems

Just judging on that video alone, I’m wondering why Microsoft doesn’t talk more about WMV HD. It seems like a great bit of technology. Their site is really bare on the details. From what I gather, Xbox Live Video Marketplace (what a mouthful!) uses it for HD videos. Though Zune Marketplace doesn’t (not to mention it’s small video library). Nor does Zune really support the format.

I’m also not clear about the difference between WMV HD and VC-1, though I guess searching a bit could help. Nor how it stands against DivX HD, H.264, and all those other high-res formats. But it looks good to me.

For more info., check out Wikipedia’s article, and this fan site (that’s legit, and updated often enough as of 7/29/2008).

Just thought you might want to check this out, if you didn’t know about it before.

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Fixes/Features Wishlist for Windows Mobile 7

In some ways, Windows Mobile (or simply WinMo) is a great mobile OS, and other ways, it’s not. So I’m really hoping that WinMo 7 will fix the problems plagued by the other versions of WinMo, and will be quite a top-notch mobile OS. One thing I’ve noticed is that WinMo is more targeted towards business users, rather than average consumers. If Microsoft wants to expand towards everybody, they have to make it that way.

So I dug around, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • New OS architecture – Out with the old, and in with the new. Many people think that the WinMo OS should just be redone. I’d have to agree. I’m looking for a more lightweight OS, that works smoothly, and can smartly address issues coming its way. One that syncs well with devices, one that can work just like a computer in a small device. Just revamp the whole architecture and make it new again. Forget supporting older software, and make the new OS shine.
  • Amp up the hardware requirements – What I’ve noticed with most WinMo problems that users face, is that their phone has really low specs. Low specs = Bad experience. So tell those phone manufacturers to amp up those specs, or forget it. Make features like Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, A-GPS, VGA or higher, and the right ports mandatory. Please don’t support QVGA anymore, and encourage these guys to make bigger screen phones. The more I can see, the better.
  • Touch friendly – Unless you have a good custom interface for WinMo, using your fingers can be kinda hard. There’s a stylus, but most people frown on that for some reason. Icons need to be bigger and sharper to work with, text needs to be smoother and easier to manipulate, as well as buttons. A nice virtual keyboard, multi-touch support, and all the works would make it keen.
  • New user interface – The UI definitely needs reworking. Consider killing extending menus, itsy-bitsy buttons and icons, and all the other mobile UI mistake of the past. Again, encourage manufactuers to do bigger screens, to make it easier to configure the UI better. 3 inches or higher. Make more prettier icons (making all circular icons is original and touch-friendly) that feel contemporary, better default system-wide font, smooth graphics and transitions, fluid interfacing, and all those things that a sleek UI has. Try to be original, and not copy the iPhone UI.
  • Better multimedia apps – WMP 10 (with the WMP 11 skin) isn’t that fun to use. I’m hoping for a better WMP where it’s nicer to browse music, videos, photos, podcasts, and even FM radio with a gorgeous look and smooth transitions (semi-Zune interface?). Make it easier to manipulate the data, and buy content (from Zune Marketplace?) on the go. There also needs to be more codec/format support, RSS reader, recording software, games, and all those goodies. You might also get the phone makers to include a good number of GB storage. No less than 4 GB.
  • Improved mobile IE – Forget PIE, and focus on a new IE browser for WinMo 7. Some of my ideas are typical : Better standards, tabbed browsing, dynamic zooming, better look, easier to access bookmarks, and all that of course. On the UI side, I’m thinking that it’s best to combine a search box and address box all into one. You can search by just typing the regular keywords, and you can still put URL’s to go to a specific site. Important buttons (Faves, RSS, Home, Options…) appear right underneath it, and there could be a tabbed IE windows collection on the side of the screen, that you just extend to access. Internet is VERY important on mobile phones these days, and PIE doesn’t cut it.
  • Better SDK – Of course, after a better UI, you need a better SDK that can really plug-in to the OS. If the WinMo UI is really great, than the way the buttons and the interface on applications should be great if not better. I notice that many applications for the iPhone really work smoothly, and have an interface that reflects how the iPhone works. Like they were made for each other. So if the SDK is really flexible and all, and makes it super easy to configure things the way we want it, that’d be awesome.
  • Apps Store – A central store where all WinMo users can easily find, discover, and download applications would be ideal for the OS. Most WinMo users currently have to hunt and find apps on many different sites, and then download it. Sometimes, they’re not really good. The closest thing Microsoft has is Windows Mobile Catalog. But the store is rather weak; you can’t publish applications, little "official" apps from major web 2.0 sites, and many come with a price. A good application store that offers the latest and the greatest apps from developers that is easy to use and find, with reviews/ratings/picture/demos and all the goods right on the device would be sweet.
  • GPS application – If you make GPS mandatory on all WinMo 7 devices, then a proper GPS application would be great. It could use Live Maps/VE and make it super simple to get quick directions, find local stuff, and pan around on the mobile device.
  • New home screen – The current home screen is ok, in WinMo 6.1, but it wouldn’t hurt to make a new one, right? I’m thinking the top portion of the screen could be reserved for displaying current system settings (battery icon, Bluetooth, WiFi, application title, all that…) and underneath that could be the Communication Bar. Displaying Phone, IM/Text, E-mail, Outlook (alerts!) icons, with any new/missed messages showing up as a number next to the icon, depending how many there are for each. Under that, there could be circular icons representing the applications you can access the most. Under that is another bar that could feature upcoming appointments, the weather, and settings. It’d be great if the weather could have a cool graphical display, like the HTC Diamond, where if it’s a rainy day, then a visual graphic appears and makes rain drops appear in the phone and splashing on the screen. Or if it’s sunny, there’s a graphical sun with shining rays. Little graphical touches like that make the user experience wonderful. I also hope it’s easy to customize the home screen with background pictures, themes, color, fonts, etc.
  • Voice recognition – Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could use just your voice to control your phone? I hope that WinMo 7 allows full speech recognition that could easily control your phone and access everything well. Include Voice Command for free. Voice input, touch input, and even tactile input (keyboard) could all be supported at the same time, or you could choose with types of input to run.
  • Better contacts system – It should be easier to get your Windows contacts (from Outlook, Windows Mail, etc.) onto your phone. As well, I hope it’s much easier to add a simple display picture for a non-Windows Live contact, and contacting them should be a snap. The profile information should be easier to read, and include their social networking profile links. And finding contacts based on any criteria (name, birthday, work, etc.) could also be better.
  • Better desktop software – WinMo should be able to sync well with the desktop. Windows Mobile Device Center is fine, and much better than ActiveSync, but it doesn’t do everything. I’m hoping that WinMo 7 could synchronize within WMP to sync music, video, podcasts, RSS feeds, Favorites, PIM info, favorites and all that stuff there. That of course means modifications for WMP, but I could see it working. You can easily add music, videos, ringtones, and all that straight from one of the online stores WMP supports. I would love it to work the same way the Zune syncs with the Zune software, and you can just drag and drop files to the device to sync. Also, it should integrate better with Windows, and get PIM information from not just Outlook, but Windows and Windows Live programs like Calendar, Mail, and Contacts. As well as pull up real-time stats from the phone like battery, phone calls, text messages, what’s on and what’s not, specs, and everything. Connecting with Bluetooth/WiFi/USB would be ideal. And of course, upload pictures or any other data from the device. All in a slick desktop application.
  • Live Mesh client – I also hope to see a great Live Mesh client that will easily and seamlessly synchronize your data wherever you go. Pretty, fast and well.
  • Windows Live integration – Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Messenger, and all should work seamlessly on the device, and not just in the web browser. And of course, Live Mesh will help with that.
  • Drop the screen buttons, and do a scroll wheel/touchpad – You know those buttons at the bottom of the screen, on a typical WinMo device? Those need to go. With a new UI, I hope not to see that ugly 2-pane menu system at the bottom of the screen. It shows only so little, and drop-down menus on a phone are dumb. So that old-style interface needs to die, as well as the assortment of buttons appearing right under the screen. Instead, I think a mini touchpad/scroll wheel combination would be ideal. If you want to move around the UI without a touchscreen, you can circle around the scroll wheel (or scroll on the touchpad) and every function/input on the screen that can be interacted with, will have a glow around the icon/box. Press the center button to launch. Simple, and easy. Hold down the center button to return to your home screen. Good idea, eh? Kind of like the Zune’s squircle, but with an optional backlit scroll wheel around the edges. Actually, a circle shape makes more sense than a squircle, since our fingers our more naturally adept at making circular motions, than rounded square motions. And another thing, I realize this is a hardware capability, so maybe Microsoft could suggest this to their partners. You know, instead of letting your partners do dumb things.

So that’s basically all I can think of generally. I’m more of an experience guy, than a technical guy so I’m not going to go into every detail of what I want in Windows Mobile 7. But generally, I want Windows Mobile 7 to start focusing more on the consumer side, than the business side. Which means WinMo really needs to work on the multimedia and internet offerings. Also to push the standard on devices, and not just mediocre ones anymore.

So I drew up some crazy sketches that I could imagine. They’re kinda blurry, since my 5MP camera can’t take high close-range shots. These are my sketches of my dream touch phone. With a little Windows flair. I tried to combine Zune 2.0 controls with the phone buttons at the bottom. And yes, it is a bit iPhonish, but if you really want a good touch device, that is the best candybar format (big buttons/icons, big screen, very finger-friendly) it’s was bound to look like this anyway. Hope you like them :

   

    

 

   

  

My love/hate relationship with Microsoft

Of course, as everyone who reads this blog, knows that I just love to talk about Microsoft a lot. Microsoft’s a really interesting tech company, because they’re really so big. It’d be hard to think how this world would be if Microsoft never existed. Would things be the same, better or worse? Microsoft has had a big impact in today’s digital technology, some really good, and some plain bad.

                                                                        

However, I think Microsoft has had done more good in the past few years, than bad, and that’s great. Of course, it depends on how you look at what’s good. I tend to be more on the glass if half full opinion about things, rather than trying to find flaws. But sometimes, the flaws really do show.

So here are the things that I just love about Microsoft:

  • Great software/hardware products and technology – I think Microsoft has made wonderful software, that I myself love to use. Not everybody agrees, but here’s some of Microsoft’s software that I find really useful, works well, and love : Windows Live Writer, Office 2007, WMP 11, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Media Center, Zune, Xbox, Keyboards, Mice, and numerous things. On the technology side, I’ve found Virtual Earth, Photosynth, WPF/Silverlight, JPEG XR, SeaDragon, XAML, Mediaroom, and a bunch of other things that I can’t go into. To me, these are great. Really. People who say Microsoft doesn’t make anything of quality, has no idea what they’re talking about.
  • Expressive employees – What other tech company has employees as open and communicative as Microsoft? I mean, not all employees, but a good number of them blog periodically, express their opinions on other things, and some even communicate directly to you. Other companies (like Apple), put this barrier between the company and the consumer, and I don’t like that. I mean really, do you know any other employees from the big tech companies that have a good number of employees that blog and communicate on the web to the people? I don’t think so.
  • Wide plethora of products/services – Microsoft has pretty much a foothold of some kind in almost every part of the technology world. From the office to your living room. From the desktop to your phone. It’s hard to walk out in this world and not see something of Microsoft’s. With a lot of products/services everywhere, there should be a lot of integration and compatibility amongst them. Well sometimes, I question the whole integration part, but when Microsoft works on it, it’ll truly be one powerful platform.
  • Partners support – To many companies, Microsoft is known as an enabler. Microsoft sells technology that other companies can use, to help make their products successful. Like Server 2008, Visual Studio, Office, etc. Heck, Microsoft even lets tons of hardware makers come out with computers, devices, and gizmos running on Microsoft technology, like Windows, Windows Mobile, or even Windows CE. It’s amazing how many companies out there depend on Microsoft to sell their products. Other companies, like Apple, can only think for themselves. I bet a lot of jobs are tied to Microsoft enabling companies to succeed.
  • Special Legalized Programs – Ever heard of DreamSpark? Or The Ultimate Steal? Both are some of the few ways that Microsoft makes some of their core products more affordable for college students, yet legal. Perfect solution. If only Microsoft could do that for everybody.
  • Giving money to causes – The I’m initiative is one example of this. By using Live Messenger, or Live Hotmail, you can help contribute to an important cause, by just sending messages! There’s nothing hard here. The causes benefit from the money that Microsoft gives them, Microsoft benefits by getting people to use their services, and regular people benefit by helping a good cause and sending messages at the same time. There’s a few others, and I think it’s really awesome how Microsoft gives money away to good causes. Though Microsoft is like the richest company out there, I think.
  • Innovating – That’s a tricky thing. A lot of people claim Microsoft doesn’t do innovation. They just copy. I would disagree, by saying that Apple, and other companies have been known to copy too, and I don’t see what’s wrong with including new good features, even if someone else got there first. So some of what I call great innovations are : Office 2007 UI, WMC interface, Xbox Live, Zune’s WiFi and Social, AJAX, OneNote, Photosynth, First console with a hard drive, Desktop search, ergonomic keyboards, etc. Just a few of the many.
  • All about the developers – You don’t need to hear Ballmer say it 3 times, to know that Microsoft can be a developers friend. Things like Visual Studio, .NET, XNA, Expression Studio, and all that other stuff. From what I can tell, MS is very developer friendly

Then there are things that I don’t like about Microsoft :

  • Slowness – Sometimes, I feel like waiting forever for Microsoft to release a new update, product, feature, fix, or anything. Other companies seem to have a faster rate of releasing things, though they don’t have as many products/services as MS does. But waiting can be so difficult. Sometimes other companies come up with a new concept that gets popular fast, and slowly, Microsoft responds with their own equal. Sometimes better, but many times just the same or not as good. I just want Microsoft to update things more faster, instead of making users feel as if time crawls by.
  • Buying and just buying – I don’t have a problem with buying companies. It makes sense to buy another company, sometimes. Like a company might have some type of technology that if paired with your technology, would make one great bang on the market. Or patents, special employees, and all that. But then again, I want Microsoft to create their own cool things, and not have to rely on buying other companies to obtain this. Specifically in the web area.
  • Too many products, redundancy – A lot of times, I think Microsoft should simplify what they have, instead of bits and pieces that are very similar, but have only littler variation. EX: my.live.com and My MSN, WMP 11 and Zune software, Windows Messenger and Windows Live Messenger, and so on. It’s kinda ridiculous. I think MS just needs to put the best features of each together, instead of maintaining separate products/services.
  • Cross platform support – They’ve gotten better at it, but Microsoft is still a little rusty. I wish Microsoft’s sites could work very well with all the top 4 browsers. Though Firefox support has greatly improved. I wish Microsoft Mac BU made some more software for Macs, and update Messenger. And of course, do something for little Linux.
  • Office and Windows prices – I still find the market retail prices of Windows and Office programs to be appalling. First, I would never pay more than $250 for an OS. I think Microsoft Office programs should go for $20-$40 a piece. Word’s "suggested retail price" is $229. Yet when you purchase it with PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote, it’s only $150. Weird, right? If Microsoft doesn’t want people to pirate their stuff, putting a more fair price might help a lot.
  • Being the follower – Not always the follower, but sometimes I feel that Microsoft waits for other companies to introduce their things first. Lately they’ve been better, but I want to see Microsoft thinking and going steps ahead of their competition, instead of waiting and trying to improve something that they already did. There’s lots of untapped markets out there that if Microsoft worked hard enough, they’ll be the trend setters for that market, such as : e-books, online polls, sound clips site, coupon site, and other stuff that hasn’t been pushed to it’s potential yet.
  • Windows Vista – I’m not one of those people that are Vista haters, that never used it, or make wisecracks at it. I just feel that Microsoft’s latest OS could have been more better, after 5 years of XP. there could have been more significant improvements. There are tons of things new to Windows of course, but there’s been a lot of issues with the UAC, multiple SKU’s, hardware requirements are too lean (1GB is fine, but 2GB is SO much better), old icons and some issues still there, etc. Again, I’m not saying Vista is an all-around bad OS. In fact, if you’re getting a new computer, go ahead and get Vista. XP support will end, and Vista on a good computer should run great. I just think the way Vista was released is more of an issue to me. Hopefully, Windows Seven will make our dreams come true, with what Windows needs.

That’s the best I could come up with. But overall, I still have some love for Microsoft. They do great at times, but other times – no so great. Maybe Microsoft will learn from its mistakes and listen to feedback on what people want, not bending down for the industry and business sakes.

MSN updates : New MSN Homepage?, MSN Health & Fitness team up with HealthVault, and MSN Lifestyle gets a facelift

So lately, there’s been a new MSN.com homepage showing up. Thanks Albert!

                                                                 

First thing of notice, is that MSN is getting yet another new homepage makeover. This time, it’s adding a "sidebar"-like feature, and a slightly different layout. So here’s the dish on the sidebar and minor changes :

                        

1. Communication tabs – Now it’s easier to see a preview of your inbox, start an IM, and make a Space, all from one tabbed box.

However, the ability to preview inbox messages already existed on current MSN.com (no new features like deleting right on the spot or preview of first few lines, AND missing Inbox and Calendar links), the Messenger tab doesn’t do a browser version of Messenger or show who’s online (just a link to launch Live Messenger), and the Space button doesn’t show latest updates on your friends’ Spaces (just a link to make a Space). So it’s just plain useless, if you ask me. Doesn’t show updates on your friends’ Spaces, Messenger doesn’t show who’s online or chat within a browser, and inbox preview is just the same, but smaller and no ability to delete right on the spot or preview a few lines. Useless! Is this anything other than product advertising on a site? Nothing special here.

                                                                       

2. Video Highlights – An MSN video player set for the day’s video, along with links to other special video highlights under it.

I guess if you’re interested in video junk on YouTube, then MSN Video highlights should be no different. I only liked the "Scare Tactics" video. It was actually funny and entertaining, than the usual junk people claim as ‘funny’. Too bad you can’t play the video headlines under the video player, right on the video player. It just switches to an MSN Entertainment video page.

         

3. Custom MSN Content – Another tabbed box that includes local news headlines, stock quotes, and daily horoscope

In this tabbed box, you can actually interact and customize a bit. For local news, you can type your city or zip code, and headlines from MSNBC or the closest NBC affiliate station. For stocks, you can type a company’s stock symbol, and get the latest stock value, and the change. Funny thing is, is that the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P quotes are in a pane at the left of the sidebar, so it’s kinda redundant to have two different areas for stock quotes. Though the other one doesn’t allow you to add stock quotes. For horoscopes, you just select what sign you are, and you get the day’s horoscope. That easy. Not much to complain about there.

                              NEW AND OLD

4. Weather at the very top-right of page – I guess weather must be so important these days, that it’s at the very top-right of the  MSN page. Nothing big, just the 3-day weather forecast for your city, or a few other cities you add. You can toggle the Celsius or Fahrenheit scale. What’s funny, is that this is another change where it’s worse than what it was before. On the current MSN page, you can see the weather of multiple cities all on pane, and get a 4-day forecast, not 3-day. Strange how this is an improvement over the old.

5. More MSN junk at the bottom – I mean content/"services", not junk. There’s a big section filled with all the other MSN junk, that aren’t main ones.

Overall, I’m NOT satisfied with the new MSN page. Instead of more junk, and more ads, how about less clutter? A new sleek look that’s 2008 and beyond? Important news I could actually care about at the very top, in a better preview box, than the outdated one that sits right under the pane listing tons of MSN content sites? Daily interactive stuff, like a poll? Who knows. But I’m no Yahoo! fan, but Yahoo.com is a lot of better looking model for a content portal, than MSN.com is. MSN has to do better than this.

===================================================================

I took a look at the MSN Health & Fitness Site, and noticed this thing called My Wellness Center (Beta). It’s a health fitness tracker.

                                       

If you look at the bottom of it, there’s a Microsoft HealthVault label. About time. I was wondering how long it would take for MSN Health to offer some online health tracker thing.

To use HealthVault, you have to unfortunately get a "stronger" password for your Live ID. Which means a password with a combination of alphabetic characters, numeral characters, and a symbol (like : & ) all in one password that has to be 7-16 characters. I don’t like this. My original password was 6 characters long, and very easy to remember. Nobody has ever hacked into my account, and won’t. I guess Microsoft really is pushing the bar on it’s security, in a way I’m not sure it’s better.

I also had an issue with my age. It seems you have to 18 and over to do this. Is there anything wrong with being a teenager’s age? It’s not like there’s explicit content on the site, right? And MSN should encourage youths to use an online health tracker. Not discourage. I made up a different age, just to take a look at it. I’m actually quite fit by the way. I even have some real abs. I might share my secret someday. So online health trackers are really useless to me. If you know what you’re doing.

So here’s my weight maintainer :

                                                                      

My current exercise plan :

                                                                          

And a bunch of other stuff. The main thing is that you can plan your daily food consumption, and  daily exercise results. I’m not sure what it lacks, since I’m not used to this stuff.

I wish there were more food options that could also take into account commercial food products (Oreos, Pringles, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Maruchan ramen noodles, etc.) as well as nutrition info. from fast food places (like McDonald’s or Wendy’s) and calculate all the percentages into on easy to read package. Like "If you eat only these foods today, you’ll get only 10% of your daily needs for potassium". That kind of stuff. Get a database of the nutrition information all the commercial food products, and fast food joints as possible, and make it easy to calculate the day’s need.

Or an option to restrict what you eat every day, based on a specific diet.

Or include how many calories you burn a day for normal run-of-the-mill things (walking, reading a book, all that stuff) that you can add.

The site is still rough in my opinion, and could use some more features.

====================================================

MSN Lifestyle gets a facelift. Check out the Lifestyle team’s post on what’s new. 

                                               

Now the site isn’t too gender and age specific. MSN Lifestyle used to be divided up for women, men, and boomers (seniors). Most coverage was done for women (no surprise). Now it’s just simply divided up into your Looks, Home, and Life. I looked over the site, and there isn’t much content for men anymore. It seems to be almost all feminized. And the articles still look like they’re geared towards young adults to middle aged folks. Not much content for teens or children.

It’s still basically a site that has pulled article content from providers (Good Housekeeping, Esquire, Pop Mech, etc.) all into one site. Whether that’s good or not, I don’t know. I never seen any original articles from an MSN editor. The site still has ugly parts :

                                                             

Whoever came up with the gray/indigo/blue/black theme ought to be laughed at. It’s really ugly. A "lifestyle" site, and these colors don’t seem to go together in my opinion. Tabbed boxes are for the better, but just headlines? Talk about bland.

Photo slideshows are still crud, since they’re more like page-reload slideshows. At least the ugly big gray box is gone. The site’s fonts are still very dull, the layout and everything. And there’s something called "Lifestyle Favorites" where you can add an article you like on the site, to a special favorites box on the site. However, you can have only 7.  I actually liked the old MSN Lifestyle better. I haven’t seen much good improvement, and this still fails to me. You can’t even search yet, for pete’s sakes.

Sorry for the mega long post, but I thought 3 MSN updates, all in one post was better.

Do you prefer tagging or categorizing? Or both?

There are two ways to organize your blog posts. Either by tagging them, or categorizing them.

When you tag posts, you give a post several keywords that you think you find fit to label it as.

When you categorize posts, you put a bunch of posts that are similar, and put them in one group, otherwise called, category.

So which one do you prefer?

I really like tagging more, because it’s very flexible, and it can give unique attributes to individual posts, instead of clumping them in clusters that can’t overlap. Tagging also lets you add more organization, by allowing you to claim more than one meaning for each post.

Categorizing is fine for me, when you might want to separate some of the posts, because some posts might have a special entry that need to be place in a special group/category. Or it’s just easier to sort through posts with enough similar characteristics.

Live Spaces, however, only supports categorizing. It’s said that tagging is a prominent web 2.0 technology. So, I’d really think that should be included in Live Spaces blog posts. But a mixture of both would be great.

I could split some of my post off into different groups, and then assign different tags to each. Now, if only the search feature in Live Spaces were actually useful, I could search through my whole blog for posts with my special tags, OR I could search for related tags in a particular group/category instead, to narrow down my results.

I’ve notice some peoples’ blog posts lately include something called Windows Live Tags.

                                     

                                     

Anyone have any idea what they are? Is it an upcoming tagging system for Live Spaces? And other blog sites? All the tags direct me to Windows Live Home for some reason. I’d like details please.

So what do you prefer : tagging, categorizing, or both?

SocialVibe – A way to advertise and support a cause

I just visited SocialVibe, a site where you can select a cause you find worth helping, and selecting a product/company badge you don’t mind advertising in your social network profile.

You just sign-up, pick a cause, a sponsor you don’t mind displaying, customize the module, and place it in your profile. It supports MySpace, Facebook, MyYearbook, Bebo, and you can apply the code on friendster, Blogger, Live Journal, TypePad, and WordPress. There doesn’t appear to be a Live Spaces app yet. There is Xbox and Zune as sponsors though.

It’s simple, easy, and quick. The site itself is pretty slick, and very nice looking. Everything really flow (Flash?) well. There’s many causes and sponsors to choose from. It’s really nice. Maybe Microsoft should consider making their "I’m making a difference" campaign site more slick-looking too. 

Anyway, SocialVibe seems to be an awesome way to easily contribute to a cause. Check out the screenshots.

                                          

                                            

                                           

Never thought it would happen – Safari crashed!

Yes, my Safari browser crashed. Anything Apple doesn’t crash right?! The world must be coming to an end!

                                            

NO. I’m just joking. Even Mac OS X crashes from time to time. I’ve been using Safari for awhile, and I didn’t recall any crashes until now. I was on MySpace (Yes, I use MySpace), and I was clicking on a friend and PING. The crash prompt came up.

To be fair, I get an IE7 crash practically EVERY day. Honestly. I don’t remember a day where IE doesn’t crash at least once. Sometimes more than once. I do something like close a tab, or a tab pops open, a site loads, or even pressing a link has caused IE to shut down. Luckily, I have IE7 Pro, and when I launch IE again, all the sites and tabs I was on show up on a list that I can easily press to go back to. Very handy. I’m just hoping IE8 isn’t this crash-prone like mine is.

                                                                     

Safari apparently doesn’t bring up the tabs or site you were on after you relaunch the browser again. Too bad. I guess Apple doesn’t anticipate their products to crash, but they do.