There’s an API for that!

Just spent a not so amusing couple of hours trying to get a set of photos back onto my computer that I had inadvertently wiped from my camera’s memory card. Of course I had also accidentally erased it from my computer as well. When I make a mistake, I don’t do it in halves!  I searched my online SkyDrive in vain. IF I had uploaded it to my SkyDrive on Windows Live I would then have been able to easily download it from there and back to its origins on my hard drive. But for some reason, I had only uploaded this particular set of photographs to flickr. To my annoyance there seemed to be no way to download them again in case of accidents/eraser/stupidity at the users end.

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Windows Live Wave 4. The Home Page.

Our Home page has had lot’s of fantastic new features added in the new Wave 4 updates, and I know that they will all be popular with everyone who uses the Windows Live site. Here are some of my favourite new features in the Home page.

Hotmail Highlights.

Hotmail highlights lets you see as soon as you enter your home page whether you have any emails, any private messages, all your flagged messages, etc. It also has a very useful birthday reminder for you which shows any up and coming birthdays of any of your friends on Windows Live, Facebook or any other service that you have enabled. Not only that, you can send that person a message straight away by clicking on the ‘send a message’ at the side. How handy is that? Now you have no more excuses for forgetting anyone’s birthday!

Private messages kept seperate.


Over on the right hand side of your Home page is a list of your messenger friends and this will show three of your contacts who are online by default,  but you can click on show all and the rest will then appear. Just click on a name, and the Messenger chat window will then open so that you can chat to your friends right there on your home page. Now that’s handy I’m sure you’ll agree! You can move the Messenger chat window around the Home page and place it anywhere you prefer. The Messenger chat window can be made larger by clicking on the ‘pop out’ icon at the top right hand corner of the window.

Using the chat window on the Home page

Messenger Social.

Underneath the Hotmail highlights lies Messenger social, the new name for all of your updates formally known in Wave 3 as What’s new with your Network. However in my opinion, the best new feature in Wave 4 is there is no longer any need to read about what your friends are up to on other sites or on Windows Live and not being able to interact with any of those updates , or have to click on the update and then leave Windows Live. Now you can comment on any of your friends updates made in  other social networking sites such as Facebook that you are connected to without leaving your home page!  The Highlights tab which is the default choice for your updates in Messenger social shows any updates from friends who are favourites for example. The other choices of updates that you can view are as follows, Recent, Me (your own updates) then under the More tab, you have the following updates, Photos, Status Messages, Links, Videos and Blogs.  If you choose the to see all your video updates, you can then watch them  right there in the Messenger Social feed, or you can comment on others blog posts and status updates without moving from your Home page. Not only that, all updates go up to at least 100, so you easily catch up what’s been happening whilst you’ve been offline or asleep.

Watching a video from inside my updates

So in the new Windows Live Wave 4 it’s so much easier to keep tabs on everything your friends are up to wherever they hang out and keep in touch with them but still remain in Windows Live, and you can chat away with any of them right there on your Home page.

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Who will win the Freeview HD PVR race?

The fight is on! Who will win the battle in the race to be the de facto Freeview HD PVR that everyone rushes out and purchases just in time for the World Cup? So far we have that young upstart Digital Stream who were first off the blocks with their offering the Digital Stream DHR – 8203/5U closely followed by one from those old AV stalwarts Pace/Philips with their offering the Philips HDT8520.

It’s been a tight call as to who would be first out of the starting gate, and that young upstart Digital Stream just managed to pip the old stalwarts into first place.

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Has Facebook become too big for it’s boots?

Facebook icon

The recent controversy surrounding Facebook and its use of users data set me thinking. Of course there are many who consider that if you are willing to access the Internet and place any of your personal data on any website for whatever reason,  then you can more or less kiss your privacy goodbye and that none of us should expect anything different.  But is it really inevitable? An impossibility to be able to use social networking sites and still keep most of your details private? Or allow some users to view some data but not others? And should we expect social networking sites to have the right to use our data in whatever way they like?

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Decisions decisions, which one do I choose?

I am going to have to make some fairly tough decisions soon regarding which blogging platform I am going to reside on permanently. At the moment I seem to be all over the place, and have practically as many blogs on the go as I have social networking sites! Each one has to have a separate username and password, and being of the ‘muddle headed, lousy memory’ type, I am constantly having to move from one persona to the other, causing me to have to keep a very large writing pad handy just so that I can check on which username is for which blog. I have even got one or two blogs on the go which are simply used for testing themes etc out!

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Blogging. The missing piece of the Internet OS.

Yesterday after following a link from a tweet made by a friend on Twitter, I took the time to read this very interesting post from Tim O’Reilly about the internet and how he sees its changing role where he states that in his view it is turning into an operating system. You can read his ideas about it  HERE.

I have to confess that for me, being a mere user and one long in the tooth at that, it was heavy going but as I came to the end of the post,  I was left wondering why there seemed to be a missing element to it all. Wasn’t there a vital ingredient missing? The very element that had allowed Tim to say all he had to say and this Granny to be able to read his thoughts and opinions? Yes you’ve guessed it. Blogging.

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This has been a really difficult post to do and I have been unable to arrive at any final conclusion about both of these excellent free blogging sites. Both have their respective strengths. Both are easy to set up for beginner bloggers, and you can soon be blogging away to your hearts content with the minimum of fuss.

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