Windows Live services coming to Nokia phones

Nokia has announced that it has partnered with Microsoft to provide a suite of Windows Live services “specifically designed for Nokia devices.” Users of compatible S60 devices in selected countries can now download Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Contacts and Windows Live Spaces.

Users of Nokia Series 40 devices will be able to download the services only next year. Current users of Nokia N73, N76, N80 Internet Edition, N93i, and N95 can get the suite via the Download! application in their phones. Nokia asked users to check http://www.nokia.com/windowslive whether the application is available to their country. I opened the site and got an error instead. But Nokia said in the press statement that the application is available in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, UK, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The applications, according to a Nokia press statement, will allow users to “seamlessly move between contacts, mail, messenger, phone calls, text messaging, camera, gallery and browsing all in an integrated way.”

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Enhancing blog comments with avatars

I’ve just re-enabled Gravatar support for this blog. Gravatar, for globally-recognized avatar, is a service that publishes avatars or graphic representations of people who comment in your blog. Check out my previous posts to see gravatar in action.

I used the service some time last year but stopped it after a few months when I encountered problems.

To get your own Gravatar, just sign up for an account at the Gravatar website. Prepare a square image and then upload it to the site. Associate the image with your e-mail address and you’re done.

gravatars1
SIGN-UP for a gravatar account to have images show up next to your comments.

With the service, the image you picked will show up whenever you leave comments in blogs and websites that support Gravatar. Make sure you use the e-mail address associated with your account when you post comments.

If you are a website or blog owner, check these guidelines at the Gravatar website on how to implement the service. The service has its own WordPress plugin but I’m using the plugin written by Skippy and now maintained by ZenPax. The plugin allows local caching to deal with problems on server congestion in the main gravatar site.

You want someone to represent the Philippine blogosphere? Get Sybil

Blogger Jayvee Fernandez caused quite a ruckus in several Philippine blogs recently when he accused Janette Toral of “misrepresenting the Philippine blogosphere” for her own merit.

Clueless that I was, the first person I asked, via IM, about Jayvee’s “Bloggers, MISrepresent” post was Janette. She then told me that she suspected that she was the subject of the post. The two, it seems, have now settled the issue. Disclaimer: Janette writes a weekly column for the newspaper I work for but I do not deal with her.

I will not deal with Jayvee’s criticisms of Janette’s presentation. But I don’t think his criticisms are enough to support his allegation that Janette misrepresented “the Philippine blogosphere.”

But a core issue in the whole exchange is something that I feel strongly against. Some people have this unfortunate tendency to box blogging–and the people who practice the craft–in.

Bloggers, including Filipinos, are a varied lot. We’re not a clone army.

Some make a living off their blogs, others don’t. Some are journalists who blog, others are bloggers who are now also journalists. Some blog to get laid, others get laid off because of blogging. Some are atheists, others are devoutly religious. Some use WordPress, others Blogger, Multiply, Serendipity, etc. Some are link whores, others are plain whores (and I love them for it). Some are good cooks, others are kitchen disasters waiting to happen.

To represent such a diverse group of people, you need to have an extreme case of schizophrenia.

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Sony Ericsson unveils K770

Sony Ericsson has released its latest model in the Cyber-shot line: the K770. The phone, which will be marketed as the K770i in the Philippines and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, will be available by the fourth quarter of this year.

The K770 belongs to a phone line renowned for it’s photo quality: Cyber-shot models have photo qualities good enough to be able to carry Sony Ericsson’s brand for stand-alone digital cameras.

K770 SONY ERICSSON K770. The latest model in the Cyber-shot line will be available by the end of this year. Click on photo to enlarge.

I still use my trusty K750i but my wife–having converted to Sony Ericsson purely on the fact that she lives with a company fan boy–already upgraded to the K800i.

To be honest, the K750i more than serves my needs. I use it to take photos, including images I use in this blog. I once dunked it into the sea in Camotes Islands while taking a water-level shot of my kids swimming. I shook it a bit to remove water that had gotten into openings, let it dry in the sun, and proceeded to take more photos after a few minutes.

I use the K750i as my main digital media player and, at times, file storage. I use it daily to send and receive e-mails. I even use it to capture data. But having played with my wife’s K800i stirred an urge in me to upgrade.

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Upgrading WordPress Lightbox plugin

I just upgraded the Lightbox 2.0 plugin I use for my WordPress installations. I use Lightbox 2.0 extensively for snazzy image loading effects in my blog and all the other sites I run. The script loads images in an overlay window and dims all the other parts of the page.

Lightbox plugin LIGHTBOX FOR WORDPRESS. The Lightbox plugin I use for my WordPress installations now works with the WordPress post editor. Click on photo to preview Lightbox effect in loading larger version of image.

You can try it out with the photo that comes with this post (it won’t work, though, if you read this on an RSS reader or in your e-mail, you have to go to my blog).

In the new version, WordPress Lightbox 2 0.6.3, the lightbox button now works with the WordPress post editor, albeit only in the code view. In previous versions, you had to save the post before the lightbox button appeared. The new version only supports WordPress 2.1 and higher and uses the Prototype and Scriptaculous library that come bundled with WordPress. The new version now allows you to easily enter group names for photo sets.

In upgrading from earlier versions, I suggest you disable the plugin and then delete the entire folder before uploading the new version. I tried just overwriting the plugin and encountered errors.

For more on how to use Lightbox to implement snazzy image loading in your blog, check my tutorial in this post.

Going to school—Drupal school

I’ve been studying Drupal these past months. Drupal is a highly-regarded open source content management system (CMS) that can run anything from a single-person website to a community portal. There’s even a Newspapers on Drupal group for people using the CMS for their news websites.

Drupal school NOW SHOWING. I’ve downloaded Elliott Rothman’s video tutorial series on Drupal. Rothman’s tutorials are really helpful for newbies who want to learn how to use Drupal as content management system. Click on photo to enlarge.

Drupal, unlike many other open source CMS, seems to be much more technically challenging to use, especially for non-geeks like me who can’t program.

It took me a couple of months of studying and experimenting with WordPress to be able to confidently make it work for a project the way I wanted it to work. WordPress can be used to run a news or magazine website and I’ve done this for several projects. I am also currently writing a new article on how to use WordPress to run a news website and will be releasing a new theme for it. It’s for a personal project that I was supposed to launch this weekend but got delayed by work deadlines.

While I love WordPress and have been using it for most of my personal projects, I want to learn how to use Drupal extensively because I see it as the better CMS for larger, more complex, and community-oriented web projects. Some of the sites running Drupal are The Onion, MTV UK, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Exposure, and The New York Observer.

The New York Observer’s use of Drupal is particularly noteworthy because its development team discussed how they did it in this article on the relaunch of the newspaper site using Drupal.

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When a blogger strips

I’ve been tagged by Sol. The meme involves sharing eight facts that your readers don’t know about you. Here are mine:

1. The other woman

Rhythmbox says I have 243 Nina Simone songs in 20 albums. That’s 15 hours of the High Priestess of Soul’s music. As of last night, my Last.FM profile page said I’ve played Nina Simone’s songs 531 times in my Linux laptop (the only unit I use with my Last.FM account.)

In my Sony Ericsson K750i, I have at least 50 Nina Simone songs. I have several Nina Simone CD compilations I repeatedly play at home. When our youngest son can’t sleep, I play her music.

My wife, just last night, asked me “how many times have you been playing these songs?”

I first heard Nina Simone sing in, of all programs, BBC’s HardTalk. During the interview, she told Tim Sebastian, the program’s host then, “I need a cigarette. You’re making me hot.” The diva that she is, she smoked during the interview.

If you ask me my favorite Nina Simone songs, it would be “The Other Woman,” “My Baby Just Cares For Me,” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” “Wild is the Wind,” “Sinnerman,” “I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl,” “Mr. Bojangles.”

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