Windows Live Spaces is Dead, Long Live Wordpress!

, posted: 30-Sep-2010 22:10

It has been announced last week the Windows Live Spaces will be no more (formerly called MSN Spaces when it was launched six years ago). Instead all future users will be sent to Wordpress.com (and current users will migrate to there as well). Here is the announcement at Wordpress, and at Microsoft.

Migration to Wordpress.com

In essence this is Microsoft giving up on the blogging/social space. This is being spun as a good thing of course by the MS PR people, as them focusing on their core competencies while still giving their users the best experiences possible.

Which is well and true, with the massive empire that MS has they have many many areas they can put their resources in to instead. And Wordpress certainly will give their users the best possible experience, and this success for them with this announcement is just further evidence of this (seriously, if you're not using Wordpress already as your CMS platform I suggest checking it out. It is constantly improving in many ways, their latest major release of 3.0 certainly leapt ahead by leaps and bounds compared to the competition).

But we have to put this into perspective of Microsoft's historical behaviour, which has been a very strong case of "not invented here" (a version of "Not In My Backyard"). For instance they will have their own: server software, phones, development tools, console, mp3 player, etc....  you name it, it seems Microsoft will reinvent it for their own. Even to the extent of multiple ways to do something within the Microsoft world of technology, as different teams independently reinvent the wheel.

Think about it, how often (or ever?) does Microsoft hand off their customers to a third party company?

Now stack on top of this factor Microsoft's heavy opposition to anything open source and you end up with how truly remarkable decision this is. Wordpress is arguably the KING of non-desktop opensource projects out there (I said non-desktop to leave out Linux, which obviously is the overall King).

Even worse for Microsoft it runs as one of the most famous examples of an implementation of the LAMP stack: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and then the cherry on top....  Wordpress (a PHP program). And what is this? Open source all the way from top to bottom! You can see the far reaching consequences of this, it can even impact the reputation of core markets for Microsoft such as their server division. Because they've just effectively given the stamp of approval to Linux and Apache for their users to be on, Microsoft is sending them there themselves!

How many users you say? Well in the announcement it was claimed they have 30 Million active users, in reality this has been found to be PR spin and Wordpress.com will actually be getting a few million instead (or even much less). Even so, this is users they didn't have before! And as I've made the point of in this post, it isn't so much the number of users that is significant as it is the implications of what this means...

a) admitting somebody else can do it better than them
b) switching users over... to the competitor
c) choosing an open source stack! (LAMP)

It also raises broader questions for the user, if Microsoft is so willing to give up users who have put in the effort to customise their personal online space, will Microsoft start to abandon more "non-core" areas such as hotmail or online storage? Users mean traffic and the web is all about monetizing traffic, perhaps Microsoft is giving up on this...  and their web ambitions in general?! Surely not, I would've expected to see tie ins between Live Spaces and Windows Phone 7. Like Andriod does with Google products, that would've greatly pushed Microsoft's online presence with users.

While they'll spin this announcement as a positive (and it is, for Wordpress as just the positive press is going to be great) it in reality must haven't been some kind of disaster happening behind the scenes for this turn of events to occur. Life must not be good in Redmond with the recent disasters they've had, for instance Vista and Kin. I really hope Windows Phone 7 does not get added to this list!



Maemo + Moblin = MeeGo

, posted: 16-Feb-2010 06:33

The King is dead, long live the King!


So, Maemo is on the way out... to be replaced by MeeGo as announced today by Nokia and Intel. Exciting times ahead!

I think this is a good move as you now have two massive companies dedicating resources to pushing forward a linux based OS for mobile phones. The big drawback of course is it seems like Nokia is throwing away all their brand awareness they've done for Maemo which is really sad.

A little puzzle for you: me + ego = ??

I've got a blog (The MeeGo Fan) which I'll dedicate to writing about MeeGo (as opposed to this one here which is more random tech subjects), where I've already discussed such enlightening topics as a possible mascot for MeeGo (a little hint: Mi-go).



SEO & Web Analytics/Marketing

, posted: 28-Aug-2009 04:47

Have decided to throw myself in to SEO & Web Analytics/Marketing for the next couple of months, so I'll spend at least a few hours each day during the week on the theory and practical of this. Along the way I'll use this blog to track my progress.

First step is I've bought a few domain names for sites I'm interested in creating (seductionhistory.com pickupstyle.com & onlinepickupguide.com).

Next steps:
Decide on a webhosting service.
Create some content for my websites (the toughest step? Ah well, will be about topics I enjoy writing about so should be easy Cool).
Now for the even 'funner' step... looking at and playing around with the data! (I'm serious, I'm actually looking forward to this as I have a degree in mathematics so I'd like to see what figures are coming out of this) So far I've already signed up to Google Analytics & I'll be applying that soon to the sites I already have up and running (I've had aucklandlair.com & newzealandlair.com for a couple of years already. Hmm... I wonder if I can use Google Analytics on my political blog on blogspot? Probably, will have to check that on monday).

Today I've been reading http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/ (a blog by the Analytics Evangelist for Google). If anybody else knows of good resources to learn from I'd be keen to hear about them. Smile


Also I've just came across the concept of pre-sold pages like at http://www.presellpageman.com/presell-page-prices ($100/month & UP!) and http://www.publishyourkeyword.com/ ($20/yr). This to me sounds CRAZY, as you could buy some random relevant domain names yourself and link from there to your main site, so why on earth use this?! (yes I do understand that some of these sites would have a much much better alexa rank than a site you have only just started up, but I'm looking here at the CHEAPEST rates on each of these two websites. And who knows how bad the cheapest ones on offer might be? Perhaps more or less the same quality as a random domain and website you just started up yourself yesterday) Then again this sure sounds like a good way to make a buck for the guys selling the services....

I think for now I shall focus on getting my head around these tools:
http://services.google.com/websiteoptimizer , http://www.google.com/analytics/ , http://www.clicktracks.com/products/pro/index.php & http://www.statcounter.com/
Because they are all free & come recommended.



Just got naked dsl with Orcon, my experience

, posted: 26-Aug-2009 01:04

Last week I signed up for Orcon Purple (naked dsl), and just this evening I've started using it which is exactly the day they predicted it would be up and running on. So full kudos to them for that

The telecom technician came by this morning and got the connect set up, I picked up the orcon homehub from the courier depot early evening and set it all up after my late dinner. No troubles at all, just plugged everything in and it just works. Smile

The one thing I perhaps had a slight worry about is youtube, but I've been happily watching plenty of youtube videos from past Ironman races I've been in without experiencing any pausing whatsoever of the videos Laughing

Other relevant details: I live in Auckland City only a block and a half away from the SkyTower (which means I'm using Orcon's Auckland Central Exchange), the only other internet provider I've used from this apartment is wireless Woosh which I stopped using early this year.

If my experiences change I'll update this, but I thought I'd post up a positive experience as opposed to all the negative ones (as people tend to only write when things go wrong rather than when they go right too)



Slingshot & New Connection Question

, posted: 19-Jul-2009 17:23

After deciding on getting the next big thing through slingshot in my previous post, I've since had much fun with my contact with them:

Firstly, I checkout their website to see if I can get the next big thing where I am located (I live in dead central Auckland). Very handily they have a page for you to fill in your details to tell you if you can get it, but it keeps on spitting errors back at me as the form won't accept the phone number not being filled in (address is not enough?!). Arrgghh...

So I try messaging them directly, explaining my situation that I'm not a current customer and don't have a phone line but would like to get all my phone and internet services through slingshot as part of the next big thing. They very helpfully reply back  asking for my "Slingshot user ID or account number" . I'm just shocked, I write back explaining how I want to become a slingshot customer and thus I don't already have an account number.

My most recent reply from them says the next big thing is only available to existing slingshot customers, this only serves to confuse me further. Does this mean I have to be on one of their other plans for a month first before I can be on the next big thing?!?! I'd presume/hope not.  

Anyway, rang up their 0800 number this afternoon in the hope of getting this sorted quickly (I'm feeling naked without any internet access at home!!). Turns out I can get this where I'm living, but I can't get this as we don't currently have a phoneline and they do not make new connections! Sigh, looks like I'm in for a whole lot more trouble before I get internet access at home. Are they trying to avoid getting new customers perhaps?!

So, does this mean I'll have to be with Telecom for a month first (to get with them my "new" landline connection) and then once the first month is over I'll have to change over to Slingshot?

What is the best way to do this? Ideally I'd like to get this done faster, not pay for a whole month (or even worse be on a 12 month contract and have to pay an early termination fee!).



The pursuit of internets goodness

, posted: 6-Jul-2009 06:55

Been using my flatmate's woosh for the past few months, but as he is moving out now along with his woosh connection it is time to find a replacement (replacement internet that is, replacement flatmate has been found already!)


I highly doubt I'll go along with woosh again myself, as we have had many connection problems with it etc (to late now for me, but if you are using woosh I'd recommend checking this out to see where their sites our: http://wooshinfo.googlepages.com/locations.html)

We have no need for a landline as we both have several cellphones, hence naked DSL.

We are not heavy users, probably the biggest drain on it would be youtube from time to time. Although there are two of us, so I'm guessing we will need about 30 gigs in total for both of us.

Got recommended on the forums to check out nzconnections.net, which has been very handy as it lists all the options in NZ.

After taking a look at all of the naked dsl options it looks like naked dsl is not a good idea unless a person really wants full speed up load and full speed download? (FS\FS)

As otherwise naked dsl looks really expensive relatively speaking for how much data you get.

Thus I reach my next conclusion of Slingshot Fire 1 is the best option?
Gives 20 gigs at FS\128 for $50/month (plus unmetered data off peak).

But.... after looking at it further and the prices of a landline, well... I'm amazed a simple landline costs so much! I'm looking at around about $40/month just for that! Makes the naked dsl look a hell of a lot more reasonable as a basic broadband connection costs around about $40+ per month, which compares favourably then with naked dsl at around about $70 or $80 per month.

So, my current thinking is that Slingshot's Big Thing #2 is the best option. Although it is a little pricey at $90/month, this includes the phone line and gives a very generous package of: FS\FS & 25gig/month (plus unmetered off peak). The rationale being that it is the same price as Slingshot Fire 1 + landline, but I'll get an extra 5 gig.

Thoughts/suggestions/criticism?



Back in the Market for a New Cellphone With Good Night Photography

, posted: 16-Apr-2009 17:02

On New Year's Eve my old Sony Ericsson's K800i's battery EXPLODED! Having
no idea how this happened, other than what I found the next morning in
my pockets (this was NYE after all, not much of that night is crystal
clear...)

Thinking perhaps the reason for this was a faulty battery I bought a
new one of Trademe, before I even switched the phone on the battery
started to get VERY hot and I could smell a smokey smell. Oops, I
quickly took it out.

Well, turns out I later find out that my phone had water damage (how
did that happen?!) so basically it is wrecked to an extent it is not
worthwhile repairing. Sad, as it means I've lost all the data on my
phone.

Hasn't been good being without an 021 phone, means I've been going WAY
OVER my 500 txts I get on my 027. Recently I've been given a Vodafone
226, and since last weekend I've been using it. Is great to be back
using txt2000, but many is this phone getting to be very annoying
compared to ANY of my previous phones!


Some basic features it is lacking:
1) no camera AT ALL (flash or no flash)
2) not able to send a txt to more than one person at a time
3) no ability to copy and paste within a message

So I think I'll hurry up and once again start looking for another
phone, as before the photography abilities of the phone will be very
important to me. As this is the massive weakness my other phones has,
the Okta Touch.

I've just taken a quick skim over the offerings but it looks like the
K800i is still the best bang for the buck?! Even thought it hasn't gone
down in price at all, I would have thought after a whole year since
last time I looked there would have been a bigger shake up in the
market. Hmmm... time to take a deeper look. So the journey begins! :-D



Nutty Judge throws out Psystar's court case in favour of Apple

, posted: 27-Nov-2008 01:37


"If Mac OS simply had no reasonable substitute, Apple's vigorous advertising would be wasted money," Alsup continued, referring to such marketing as Apple's aggressive "Get a Mac" television ads. "The advertising campaigns suggest a need to enhance brand recognition and lure consumers from a competitor."
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9120840&intsrc=hm_list

Riiiight, so if I ever have a monopoly myself in the future I shall just spend a few million on advertising to save myself on the billions I'd lose if my monopoly got broken.

Ignoring the whole point that even a monopoly still has reasons to advertise. D'oh



The modern day power of being connected to each other

, posted: 16-Jan-2008 18:22

We all know already how quick and easy he have now compared to ages back in history (imagine a couple of hundreds years ago when it would take weeks/months for a single letter to be sent!).

The recent story of this 16yo ozzie is a good example (those crazy australians! lol). Basically he simply posted about it on Myspace and sent out a few txts to his mates, the apparent result (if the news articles are to believed, I'm slightly skeptical about the number. 500 seems a tad too high) is that 500 people turned up and caused havoc. Requiring 30 or so police to be called out, including choppers etc etc etc....

Just go ahead and google "Corey Worthington Delaney". Too much crazy awesomeness out there about him to decide on which to mention. But here is a couple of youtube clips to get started:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc0CB6URrV0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6JpLKhdRsQ

This gives a nice little summary:
http://www.crikey.com.au/Media-Arts-and-Sports/20080116-The-Corey-timeline.html

I'll end on this note: he is lucky he is under 18! He probably should avoid the worst of the consequences.




Cell Phone for Night Photos

, posted: 9-Jan-2008 12:13

Am thinking I might as well replace my current phone with a newer one, as it is getting really old and pretty damaged. Replace it with a phone that I will actually want to bother taking care off. Am considering the Sony Ericsson K800i, as I believe it is this phone that a friend of mine uses to take photos with when he is out at night. (I don't think optical zoom would be important for me, as most of my photos will be taken while out at bars/clubs/parties at night. So most of these will be taken at a distance of 10 meters at most, and more often much much less. So I'm correct on this point regarding optical zoom, not needed? Admittedly I haven't ever had a dedicated digital camera before but from what I know I believe optical zoom is unimportant, and digital zoom... well that isn't really zooming anyway)

The price for a Sony Ericsson K800i is not too bad: http://itd.co.nz/product/Sony-Ericsson-K800i/62/

Also might consider http://itd.co.nz/product/Nokia-N73-Silver-Black/460/ but it doesn't have a xeon flash, so likely to be bad for night shots when out and about. Besides, I feel the price of that one is getting a little pricey. Am already going to have the Okta Touch (once insurance/contract gets sorted out), and that is a $800 phone. So no point having two outrageously expensive phones.... Telecom is my "main phone", vodafone is really just my secondary/backup phone. And is for all those friends who have TXT2000 and prefer txting to a 021 number (which is the plan I have my current vodafone cell on, which is a Sony Ericsson K300i).

If there is any other phone with a really good flash for taking pictures at night that I should consider please let me know.

Oh, and it would be great if I can access my txt messages on the phone to copy across to my computer. That would be a really nifty feature too.

Basically that is my two key desires for the new phone to have: copying txts across & good night photos.


I've linked a couple of times to the itd.co.nz site, because it was the cheapest according to pricespy. But is buying parallel imported a good idea? What kind of trouble am I likely to run in to? And to what degree, is it worth it? I'll add I really don't care about VF Live! as it appears to generally all be "premium content" that I wouldn't want to be wasting money on anyway. Is the potential lack of VF Live! the biggest/only significant drawback from a parallel imported phone? If it is just V-live 'content' not working then I can live with that.  

I notice itd.co.nz says they are not parallel imported?!?!

http://itd.co.nz/controller/information/information_id/15

Does this mean their phones would be exactly the same? Is kinda implying that... but pressume not, just simply they are giving you stuff that is in english and will work with our powerpoints.

It is $337 plus $5.95 for shipping, as opposed to $399.95 from Vodafone. http://store.vodafone.co.nz/Mobile_Details_Summary.aspx?ptrecno=1891

Means a saving of $56.


The other alternative is save $40 and buy from either Bond & Bond or Noel Lemming, which are both selling it at roughly $359.

http://www.pricespy.co.nz/pno_8323.html

I pressume those retail stores (Bond & Bond and Noel Lemming) sell literally exactly the same phone as vodafone? (just like how they sell Telecom phones as well)


Hmmm..... eeny, meeny, miny, moe....



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