Eric Richards' place of techno (as in technology) happiness, rants, and corporate love.

Will Duff has released his Facebook plug-in for Windows Live Photo Gallery that lets you not only upload your pictures to your Facebook account but also works with People Tagging in the latest version of Windows Live Photo Gallery (currently in Beta):

LiveUpload to Facebook is a plug-in for Windows Live Photo Gallery Beta that makes it easy for anyone to upload their photos to Facebook. The plug-in takes advantage of the new people tagging feature in Windows Live Photo Gallery Beta to persist your people tags onto Facebook.

  • Organize and tag your photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery Beta.
  • Quickly and easily upload your photos to Facebook, including any people tags added in Windows Live Photo Gallery Beta.
  • Upload your pictures to an existing album or create a new one.

Download link: LiveUpload to Facebook – Home

Will also has an upload to YouTube plug-in: LiveUpload to YouTube – Home

Good job, Will! It’s great to see these plug-ins released.

John Thornton has a new blog entry up about people tagging in the current Windows Live Photo Gallery beta, including some pretty nifty UI animation to show how it works when you’re noting just who is in a photo: Windows Live Photo & Video Blog : Why “people tags”?.

Rodger Benson has the newest WLPG post up: Windows Live Photo & Video Blog : Photo Gallery beta cheat sheet where he goes through at a high level most of the new features in the current beta.

Two of the areas mentioned that we’ve invested heavily in:

  1. People tagging: rich meta data for the photo indicating who is in the photo and, optionally, where they are in the photo. We have face detection running to help. Also, for those who like to quickly go through their photos noting themselves, we have a “That’s Me!” button.
  2. Publishing plug-ins: did flickr just add some new feature that we don’t support? Do you wish we did something a little different publishing to flickr? You don’t have to wait on us, you can write your own plug-in to add that feature to flickr, or write a plug-in to publish to a whole new different destination.

For editing, the straighten feature is something I use heavily. For some reason, I take crooked pictures. Too busy enjoying the shot to frame it right, I guess. With straighten, the gallery will first attempt to automatically correct the photo, and usually that’s pretty good. But you can go in and fix it up before applying the change.

I also enjoy the new Info Pane with all the extra info about the photo (date taken, size, exposure, aperture, etc). I miss it when I use the previous version.

Going back to people tagging: note that on sign-in we download your contacts and show them in People tags. For your contacts that have Live IDs and that have set a public profile picture for themselves, we download that picture as you start tagging them in various photos. Then, as you tag them, you’ll see their public profile picture in the tagging UI. And in the header if you click on them in your People tags tree.

Ready for the latest Windows Live Beta?

And, the Windows Live Photo Gallery download page:

…has a high-level overview of some of the new features.

Today is the day. Windows Live Beta is released later today. Everyone (well, every brave soul willing to install Beta software) can have a chance to try out what we’ve been working on for the past year.

Chris Jones: Windows Live Wire : Building Windows Live.

The Official Photo Gallery blog: Windows Live Photo & Video Blog Next version of Windows Live. That’s also a good place to leave your constructive feedback for the whole team to consider.

Be sure to subscribe to the Photo Gallery (aka, Digital Memories Experience) team blog for frequent updates about the new features. I’ll post some high-level run-throughs, too, of what’s new in the Gallery and do my best to track interesting feedback that shows up in my blog searches.

More later.

Oh, wait, more now: LiveSide has their initial take here: Wave 3 Windows Live Photo Gallery – New Features – LiveSide (and shows the end-to-end frustration we all share when way-off-the-mark speculation over unreleased / undiscussed features happens, so don’t be sad about something that was never there).

This past week, Microsoft held the Pro Photography Summit, with many attendees being people who make a living through their photographic skills. In “Photo Business News & Forum Microsoft Pro Photo Summit 2008 – Recap” John Harrington not only supplies some follow-up links from the presentation but also digs into friction around defining who is a “Pro” and who is not.

Interesting reading.

I’m not tracking it because I’m a pro. I’m not even really a Prosumer Photographer (the enthusiast who spends lots and lots and lots of money on professional level gear). Okay, I’ve got some nice glass but I’m shooting on a Canon 400D, not even a 40D, let alone a 5D.

And that’s fine for me.

But I am amazed going around and paying attention to the kinds of cameras people have nowadays. When I was at Cougar Mountain Zoo taking a few shots, a couple showed up and they each had super impressive camera gear. While my lovely Rebel let out an enthusiastic ka-snap with each shot, their’s whispered along quickly with barely discernable clicks.

And hiking around Twin Falls State Park revealed lots of folks toting about heavy duty gear.

Hope sells. It sells gold mining tools and it sells great camera gear. The hope to publish your stuff and have it syndicated as news or syndicated through flickr / Getty Images, well, that inspires people to get better results and to enjoy chasing the dream. Let alone the joy of taking great photos to share. And anything that helps photographers in that pursuit – and that makes them feel as good as a Pro – they are going to love.

Kettle, you’re black.

Adobe 9 [dive into mark] goes into the initial sins discovered trying to install Acrobat 9 and all the crap and inconvenience that comes with it. Additionals:

Back when I was on Microsoft InfoPath, I saw the genesis of Acrobat into more than a convenient reader of PDF files but rather a whole new platform that Adobe wanted to scale up into, leveraging the wide distribution they got with Acrobat being a useful PDF reader (providing high-fidelity rendering in a low-fidelity HTML world). Form editing and more. Who knew Acrobat would be a competitor for an Office product?

And then they started glomming and glomming and glomming technology. And they have made Acrobat a performance pig.

Acrobat has become a clumsy vector for delivery of Adobe strategy. That seems like a violation of trust. One that reaps a black, bitter harvest.

Like, you know, my new HP desktop having a one-off PDF reader for the traditional use of plain ole PDF. Reading.

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Jim Louderback has a very nice write-up of a Denial of Service his company suffered during the holiday weekend: Revision3′s Denial of Service. Snippet:

Although I can only guess, here’s what I think really happened. Media Defender was abusing one of Revision3’s servers for their own purposes – quite without our approval. When we closed off their backdoor access, MediaDefender’s servers freaked out, and went into attack mode – much like how a petulant toddler will throw an epic tantrum if you take away an ill-gotten Oreo.

(I love the toddler theme running through the story.)

Don’t go buying a Blu-ray player anytime soon:

Ironically, although Blu-ray has been declared the winner, it is right now about the worst time to invest in a standalone Blu-ray player, because of the high prices and looming obsolescence.

Source: TG Daily – Blu-ray player prices hit 2008 highs as competition dwindles .

I’ll probably end-up with a Blu-ray player of somesort by years end during the far more competitive holiday season, unless I can download via NetFlix and watch movies via my Xbox by then (or Xbox introduces a similar n-downloads per month plan like NetFlix has, with a comparable catalog).

I guess Java skills will continue for sometime to be useful, even if in a niche area like Blu-ray feature programming…

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Congratulations to everyone who has ever worked on the Photo Gallery for achieving this remark about Windows Live Photo Gallery:

All in all, this free download is one of the best programs Microsoft has developed in ages.

Source: My 10 favorite Windows programs of all time | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report |