If you're in Redmond, WA tomorrow night, come on up to the Sammamish Blogger Meetup. Everyone's invited.
Some quick hits:
This blind teenager is inspiring with his video game skills.
Microsoft's developer division has a bit of fun: Escape from Yesterworld.
Chris Johnson sent me this "Virtual Earth and Google Maps, side-by-side comparison tool."
Along with releasing beta 1 of Windows Vista today, we also released the WinFX runtime components download. For developers to play with XAML and all that other cool stuff that's coming.
Cool Google Maps Hack: Cell Phone Tower Search. Find out where cell towers are in your neighborhood.
I talked about RSS apps for SmartPhones the other day and Andrew Clinick told me that SmartRSS was recently upgraded too.
There's a new MSDN site to help developers upgrade from ASP.NET 1.1 to ASP.NET 2.0.
Wanna turn your name into a Google-style logo? Try Logogle.com.
For developers and IT pros again, did you know that Microsoft posts a bunch of casestudies on what companies are doing? Someone just sent me this wine.com whitepaper (they are already using Visual Studio 2005). What, you all know I like Merlot or something?
Zoom Album goes after the cell phone camera market. Lets you print out cool books of photos from your cell phone. Not my style, I like to keep everything digital, but I know there's still a lot of people out there who appreciate that dead trees stuff.
The Free Money Finance blog is having a "Carnival of Personal Finance" where they link to the top financial blogs.
Yahoo recently upgraded its blog service (named 360) to have better RSS support and Flickr integration.
Mark Cuban, CEO of Dallas Mavericks, writes about blog search on his blog (he's an investor in IceRocket).
Dima Kuchin wanted to better keep track of applications he wrote. So he wrote MyProgs. This is very cool. It shares with Del.icio.us and produces an RSS feed. This kind of thing will be very useful to share cool programs with others. He's a Russian developer so his english is a little choppy.
The Visual Studio Team System folks bring you Team System Rocks. Tons of tutorials and video on, you guessed right, Microsoft's Visual Studio Team System.
Has anyone tried the new AOL Browser? Brandon wrote me and said "I find this IE frontend to actually be pretty nice."
Chandu Thota has been doing some cool things with Virtual Earth. Here's his latest: Virtual Earth Layer Hacks. Hey, Chandu, when you get a minute can you blog about this one?
This big beer ad is making the rounds. Last week it was quietly released to 25 people who work at Carlton. SMH is reporting has already been viewed by more than half a million people. All by nothing more than word-of-mouth.
Hey, Google has a cool new aggregator. I'm getting a bit of traffic from it. Have you checked it out yet?
Of course, we have figured out Google. Instead of throwing hundreds of people to try to compete with those smart folks over at Google we have our trusty team of three people who work over on Start.com (four if you include Scott Issacs, who did a lot of the AJAX architecture on Start.com). Scott Issacs was just bragging to me that he wrote and shipped a new feature today.
What's the new feature? Well, visit www.start.com/3 and open the sidebar. Click on "Start" if it's not yet open. If it's open, open up the "Popular Feeds" menu. Then open the "Staff Picks" menu. Love that AJAX!
You there yet? OK, now click the "MSN Blog Map." And there you go, blogs on top of Virtual Earth.
Cool, thanks Scott!
Cool photo tour inside Adobe over on Photoshop News. That tower is one of the coolest headquarter buildings I've been in.
Sony Playstation owners, Russell Beattie reports there's a cool update.
Oh, wait a second, reading further down on Russell's blog I see, no, can it be, something nice about a Microsoft product?
Well, he got as close as he could. Those who know Russell know it pains him greatly to say anything nice about Microsoft. But, he's a great guy despite that bluster.
Anyway, the post I'm talking about of his is where he says "Thin is In" and talks about the new MotoQ cell phone. I want one of these in the worst way.
Senior Vice President Steven Sinofsky (he runs the Office team) was at another party on campus for college hires and interns and shares that experience. In another post on his blog he writes about what to expect for the first few years of working at Microsoft.
Steven Johnson, in an LA Times opinion piece takes on Hillary Clinton over her stance on video games with an interesting question.
Jay Rosen does a nice writeup of the pre-BlogHer conference happenings (that conference is this weekend and should generate lots of interesting opinions).
Ian Forrester, on cubicgarden, reports on the Open Tech 2005 conference and says that Jeremy Zawodny, of Yahoo, confirmed that Yahoo is working on a Technorati killer.
Yes, blog search is about to heat up.
Just got back from the Windows Vista beta 1 ship party over in building 26. Free BBQ and beer. I didn't get too many overall pics (there was a band and all that, but makes for boring Flickr photos).
Anyway, I caught a couple of key people.
Brian Valentine, senior vice president, sharing a beer with a few team members.
Tony Chor, group program manager for Internet Explorer, shows off the "IE 7 salute."
Dean Hachamovitch, head of IE team, parties with a crowd of IE fans. Yeah, I'm in there, and sorry Asa, I wasn't wearing my Firefox hat. :-)See the 16-year-old in the picture? He's the guy with the black IE shirt on. I'll tell his story in a second (since Brian Valentine pointed him out to the crowd of hundreds of Windows Vista team members).
The old school hugs the new school. Iain McDonald hugs Sven Hallauer. Iain used to run the Windows XP war room, and talks briefly about that experience in this Channel 9 video, and Sven is running that now.
So, anyway, back to the story. Jim Allchin was thanking the team for getting Beta 1 out the door. Brian Valentine was running the ceremonies. At the end Brian said that usually at the end of ceremonies he normally introduces new employee hires but that he wasn't going to do that this time. He then told the audience of hundreds of celebrating Windows Vista team members "I have one story to tell..."
The story that Brian then tells the BBQ-munching geek audience is one of a 16-year-old kid who hacked IE and revealed that to the world. The security team at Microsoft, Brian said, tracked him down and called his house in Florida. The Microsoft guy (I think Brian said his name was Andrew) asked the lady who answered the phone "is Paul there?" Turns out that was Paul's mom. His mom asked "who is this?" The Microsoft guy said "this is Microsoft and we want to talk to Paul about some security issues." Paul's mom was heard yelling "Paul, you're in trouble now."
Well, the rest of the story is that Microsoft hired Paul Nickerson for the summer to help out with IE's security. Turns out hacking does pay off although it is best if you wanna follow Paul's career path to send anything you find into firstname.lastname@example.org.
I interviewed Paul afterward (not sure I'll be able to use the video cause it was so noisy) and he is quite confident that IE 7.0's security is great now. Thanks Paul for helping keep us all safe and helping the team out. If you haven't guessed it yet, Paul is an extaordinarily gifted 16-year-old. Tony Chor, of the IE team, called him "a rock star" in the interview I did with him. Paul afterward said he was a bit starstruck (he got to meet Brian Valentine, Jim Allchin, and Chris Jones while on his high-school internship).
Speaking of "Paul's." Paul Thurrott has his review of Windows Vista Beta 1 up. Remember, Thurrott is the guy who called Longhorn "a train wreck."
Some other press reports. Remember, this is for a "zero buzz" release.
eWeek's David Coursey: At First Glance, Vista Looks Like a Winner.
262 other articles are over on Google News. Hey, didn't you all get the "zero buzz" memo?
Mary Jo asks "what is Microsoft remaining vague on hardware requirements?" Cause we're still doing a ton of feature work and performance work. Beta 1 seems to need a nice video card (128MB or larger) to be able to turn on all of the features.
Loren Heiny points out that Beta 1 isn't for tech enthusiasts (he got that advice from a News.com interview of Jim Allchin). Agreed. Which is probably why it's only available through MSDN subscriptions.
The interview with Chris Jones, vice president working on Windows Vista team, is now up. Includes a demo.
Chris Jones, VP who runs the build team for Windows Vista, among others, was great yesterday (we interviewed him for Channel 9). Anyway, we're trying to get that video up this afternoon sometime. On campus there's a big party thanks to shipping Beta 1. He said they would sign off on the beta at a meeting this morning and that it would be on MSDN Universal soon.
I'll let you know when the interview is up.
On the other hand, Windows Vista has its naysayers. John Dvorak says "The new OS is getting zero buzz. Zero."
Personally? That's a good thing! This won't ship for more than a year. Now, if he's saying the same thing next July then I'll worry!
Seriously, why would anyone give us buzz over increased security, a new networking stack, a new API set, new integrated search, or a cooler/easier to use user interface? (They all shipped today as part of Beta 1, Chris gave us a demo).
Oh, and Chris showed us his Tablet PC running Windows Vista. I guess that answers the question about whether there's a future for the Tablet PC. Might explain why InStat is predicting large growth for the Tablet PC market between now and 2009. He wouldn't demo it for the camera, though. Didn't want to increase the buzz. ;-)
Remember Kryptonite, the lock company that got bashed in blogs and forums cause you could pick their locks with a $.19 pen and then went on to have to take back locks after an international media crisis?
Well, Shel Israel has been talking with their PR team and gotten their side of the story. Turns out the blogs got several things wrong. On the other hand, they didn't engage with bloggers to try to correct the information back then. Anyway, since I pointed to it back then I wanted to point to this new info here so that my readers had the full story.