Windows live writer – initial thoughts


Ok, so here’s a post using Windows Live Writer. When I first started the program up, it crashed my computer. It took me a second time of starting and crashing to realize what the problem was. Windows Live Writer does not seem to like ZoneAlarm. So the next time I started it up, I turned off ZoneAlarm first and turned on Windows Firewall, which oddly enough it has no conflicts with. Imagine that.

As soon as it starts up, Windows Live Writer asks you a few questions about your blog, downloads a few things, presumably it’s stylesheet and layout and then presents you with a window in which you write your blog.

There are menu options to add images


and maps.

Well, that’s as far as I’ve gotten so far. Let’s see if I can publish it. Cross your fingers! If you’re reading this then it has in fact been published.

UPDATE: I’m now editing this in my regular WordPress online editor. I noticed that while it got most of it right, WLR didn’t get my font size correct. I wonder if it will fix things, when I republish, with this new content.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Apparently not, and in fact this new content seems to be too small as well. It might have something to do with the changes I made to the original WP template, but if so, then obviously WLR is not working properly.  Also, it’s supposed to look exactly the same in the editor and on the page and it does not.  The pictures are a little bit off.

Published in: on August 14, 2006 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Google Videos to change interface

TechCrunch blogged about this

Looks like they want to make their interface look more like Youtube‘s. They probably have a way to readily monetize the system, perhaps with more than just Google ads, and want to get the jump on Youtube. If I were Youtube, I’d be listening and start rolling out anything new now. If Google Videos gives me the ability to, say, buy all my videos and any other I like , on DVD with a nice image etched (of my own design) on the front for $7.99, then maybe I’ll just move them over there to get the DVD and forget to move back.

Why hasn’t Youtube done anything like that yet, anyway? Just like Flickr for pictures, they should and can easily offer some sort of added-value features that people will pay for. Maybe it’s a matter of finding a provider who can supply the anticipated demand from all those millions (zillions?) of users. In any case, Youtube has got to get movin’ on this.

Published in: on August 13, 2006 at 2:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Protopage version 3 update

One of my favourite Web 2.0 (Ugh!) start pages is Protopage. I like the full control you have over placing widgets or gadgets or whatever it is they call them. I found a while ago that they really needed an upgrade from version 2 and have since stopped using it. In fact, I have stopped using all start pages.

I found I was using Protopage mainly for web feeds and that I didn’t often use its other features. I also hated the numbered pages they have, where many other start pages now use tabs. In the end I switched to Bloglines, which I find is the best online feed reader out there, although I think it leaves a lot to be desired. But that’s for another post.

The protopage people now say :

With version 3 we’re going beyond expectations to create some powerful ways for you to organize and categorize your page content. We’re also creating the means for you to extend Protopage and add your own functionality – so you’ll be able to customize your Protopage even more than ever before. The look and feel has also had a spring clean.

They have said version 3 will be available sometime this quarter, which, if I’m not mistaken, ends at the end of September…. so still another month and a half away, although they could roll it out anytime now. I’m excited and I hope they give me enough reason to switch back.

I wonder now whether anyone is actually still even using these start pages, or were they a fad that is now becoming so … last Friday. Is it just me who’s stopped? I’d love to see some stats.

Published in: on August 12, 2006 at 2:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Google moves groups, adds video


Have you noticed? Google has added Video to it’s top links and has removed Groups from the prime position it’s had all these years. Instead, Books, Froogle and Groups and “even more >>” are grouped into a drop-down list.

In its blog Google says:

Search has always been a fundamental paradigm here, so we’re constantly working to integrate more services into the main search experience. So while you can go to specific search services directly through the More>> dropdown, you’ll also find great results from Books, Groups, and Froogle by just searching Google. As our product line evolves, we’re also finding that we have a few destinations that people need to get to directly — sometimes because the user experience relies heavily on browsing (News, Video) or because there’s a different way of searching (Maps).

Google also says it plans to introduce more changes over the next few months. I guess this shows the importance Google is placing on its video search as it tries to compete with

At the time of this posting, the changes have not been Google Canada (

UPDATE: Here’s what happened to Froogle, which was also moved off the main links section, and Google Videos after the switchover.

Published in: on August 12, 2006 at 2:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Reuters faked photos

Here’s the original photo


Here is a doctored version put out by Reuters (which was quickly withdrawn)


How could anyone let this slip by. Whoever did it, clearly just used photoshop’s cloning or stamping tool and didn’t even clean it up with a blur. And why would anyone think they needed to “enhance” the original photo. The original clearly shows thick black smoke rising up from the city; what more could you want. I wonder whether the photographer was just fooling around with the photo and accidentally sent the doctored one in to Reuters, instead of the original. This is such a bad photoshopping job, it hardly seems likely someone was actually trying to get away with it.

Actually I just found this quote from someone who spoke to the photographer (hence the strikeout above):

According to Reuters spokeswoman Moira Whittle, Hajj denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image. He said he was trying to remove dust marks and made mistakes because of bad lighting conditions, she said Sunday.

Well, looks like 1) the photographer was just incompetent or b) was trying to lie his way out of the situation he got himself into. My money is on option 1b. He’s incompetent and he’s a liar.

Published in: on August 8, 2006 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jackie Mason defends Mel Gibson (video)

Jackie Mason is a Montreal favourite and he’s been here many times. I was lucky enough to meet him once, when he came into the CJAD studios. Here he is defending Mel Gibson, for Gibson’s drunken rant against jews.

(Thanks to Dvorak Uncensored, where I first saw this video)

Published in: on August 7, 2006 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment