What’s Up With Live?

Windows Live

So what’s going on with Windows Live nowadays? More than I care to enumerate but let’s try to call out the low hanging fruit:

Windows Live Hotmail
Today we learn that Windows Live Hotmail launched worldwide after an extensive beta test that included 20 million users and sees the product supporting 36 languages! You can connect to your mail through the desktop mail clients like Outlook or via the mobile interface. Here’s the press release.

Windows Live Mail
There is the Windows Live Mail client that is succeeding Outlook Express and Windows Mail. Here’s a link to the team’s blog, you can sign up for the beta and download/install it today on XP SP2 and Vista from here. According to their PM on the blog, the public can download a beta version in a couple of weeks.

Windows Live Messenger
Here’s the team blog for Messenger. Hmm, new emoticons or bored Program Manager? You make the call :grin: Oh, do check out ‘Wendy the Mighty’ a Test Developer on the team as she describes in great detail what goes on in the life of an SDET.

Windows Live Dev
Hey, it’s no secret that if you get the developers on board the community and revenue will follow. View the Mix 07 sessions, Ajax tools, Gadgets, Search Macros, Live Data SDK and more.

Windows Live for Mobile
Brings Search, Mail, Messenger, Local Maps, News and Instant Answers to your mobile. Search via SMS! Mobile Downloads, too. Surf with your mobile.


Lip Read Me Now, Hear Me Better Later

Have you ever thought that you could understand someone a little better if you could see their lips while they’re talking even if you couldn’t hear them clearly?

Research by a Univ of California psychology professor and his graduate students have proven just that.

Eurekalert.org is reporting on their study and their paper “Lip-Read Me Now, Hear Me Better Later: Crossmodal Transfer of Talker Familiarity Effects” along with a few of the scenarios they ran by their subjects.

In the study, students watched a silent videotape of a talker’s face, after an hour the students were broken up into two groups. One group heard the audio tape only that came from that video, the other group heard sentences from a different talker, in both cases the audio was difficult to discern due to a lot of background noise. Both groups were then asked to identify as many words as possible.

The undergraduates who lip-read and heard speech from the same talker were better at picking out coherent sentences from the noise. Which leads to this analysis:

These findings suggest that when we watch a person speak, we become familiar with characteristics of their speaking style which also are present in the sound of their speech. This allows talker familiarity to be transferred from lip reading to listening, thereby making a talker easier to hear. These results have implications for individuals with hearing impairments as well as for brain lesion patients, Rosenblum said.

Link to Eurekalert, the site has details to find the published paper or to obtain a copy.

Found via Omniglot


Ubuntu For Mobile And Embedded Devices

Sigh, how many times have we seen this happen where one distro gets all the attention for a year or two or three, drowning out the others? Then is displaced in favor of the ‘new hotness’?

But I digress before I can even start – LinuxDevices is reporting that Cononical is prepping a version of Ubuntu for mobile internet devices (MID) and will ship this October. Likely candidates for this will be UMPCs that have garnered so much attention in recent months thanks to Intel.

The LinuxDevices article has a lot of detail including the announcement on Ubuntu’s CTO’s blog post that:

It is clear that new types of device — small, handheld, graphical tablets which are Internet-enabled are going to change the way we communicate and collaborate. These devices place new demands on open source software and require innovative graphical interfaces, improved power management and better responsiveness.

Link to the article.

BTW, if LinuxDevices and WindowsForDevices aren’t in your feeds, they should be.

[edit: wow, I suck with typos, wish I had a proofreader :grin:]

Gadgets / Devices

Paralyzed Mice Walk Again

GrrlScientist at scienceblogs.com is reporting on test results in the field of regenerative medicine.  If it’s accurate then the future for victims of severed spines looks a tad more hopeful than before if treatment can start asap after the accident.


A group of lab mice were intentionally paralyzed by cutting their spinal cords. As a result, they ended up dragging their hind legs behind them instead of scurrying around as mice do. But a group of these mice have partially recovered movement in their hind legs without the aid of surgery or drugs, thanks to a new field of medical research known as regenerative medicine.

Link to the article.


The Razr Story: Now What?


For a business article, this one is an interesting and fast read from Chieftain.com. It’s behind the scenes of Motorola after the phenomenal rise in popularity of the Razr phone and how that popularity may have just set the company and the industry back for years. It also focuses on CEO Ed Zander.

Here’s a choice snippet:

Zander began to resent the notion that wireless carriers, rather than consumers, were his primary customers, according to former executives. This meant he had little control over pricing and distribution. He once burst into a meeting of the handset division and threw a pile of newspaper cellphone ads on the table, demanding to know why Motorola phones were selling so cheaply, according to someone who was present.

Executives told him carriers decide the price, and would go elsewhere if Motorola didn?t want to lower its prices.

“I love my job. I hate my customers”, Zander shouted, according to people present. The phrase became a favorite of Zander’s, these executives say, and he joked that when he eventually wrote his book, he would use it as the title.

Link to article

Gadgets / Devices