October 2006 - Posts
OK so the buzz about Google Co-op is spreading fast. Now if you want to know more from the perspective of someone who created a personalized search page, check this deep article on the matter by Vik Singh
Cool list of useful tools for your PocketPC and most of them free. My fav is eReader, because I use mostly my PDA as a developers reference where I can store all my best .Net books.
Paul Thurrott report on a last nasty bug Microsoft has found just before going to production on the latest Vista build.
The previous Friday, Microsoft pushed Windows Vista build 5824 into escrow, hoping that this build could qualify as the final shipping version. But a catastrophic problem with the build destroyed any systems that upgraded from Windows XP, requiring complete reinstalls. After a frantic several days of trying to find the bug, Microsoft finally fixed the problem last Friday and reset escrow. Microsoft on Friday internally released build 5840, which did not include the problem. Testing over the weekend produced positive feedback.
Windows Vista build 5840 includes a surprising number of brand new and final icons, and a new set of final wallpapers, including a new default wallpaper that is a variation of the Aurora "swoosh" that Microsoft has been using as a Vista identifier since it announced the branding in July 2005. There are no major functional changes.
MCE Tunes, is a new plug-in that lets you play your iTunes music library, for free, through Media Center, as well as sync your library with Media Center’s. If you pay for the $29.99 full version, you can even play purchased DRM iTunes music.
Wow, this is the proof that Microsoft Research are working on cool and serious stuff.
Roundtable is part hardware part software and it's coming straight from Microsoft Labs. Seems to be expensive, but this is really pro stuff for online conferences.
From the press release:
RoundTable is a table-top device, not much bigger than a traditional speaker phone at the base. It can be connected to a standard PC to offer synchronized voice and video conferencing. The device creates a 360-degree, panoramic video of side-by-side images of everyone who is taking part in the conference. It tracks the flow of the conversation, so the image and voice of the person who is speaking are spotlighted. People across many locations can attend meetings together virtually.
RoundTable works with Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Live Meeting, allowing companies to integrate virtual presentations, shared whiteboards and file sharing into their audio/video conferences. If someone misses a conference call, the RoundTable sessions can be recorded and viewed later.
RoundTable is plug-and-play. You need almost no training to set it up or use it. All you do is connect the RoundTable device to a computer that’s running Office Communications Server 2007 or Live Meeting via a USB connection. We expect RoundTable devices will be available for less than $3,000. That’s about the cost of a high-end speaker phone and a fraction of the cost of most video-conferencing systems. Some of these video-conferencing systems cost $50,000 or more. How many of these set-ups can even the largest, most lucrative business afford to install?
With ASP.NET AJAX, developers can quickly create pages with rich, responsive UI and more efficient client-server communication by simply adding a few server controls to their pages. This new Web development technology from Microsoft integrates cross-browser client script libraries with the ASP.NET 2.0 development framework. ASP.NET AJAX provides developers building client-based Web experiences with a familiar development process and programming model that they already know from using server-side ASP.NET development. Because ASP.NET AJAX is integrated with ASP.NET, developers have full access to the built-in ASP.NET 2.0 application services and the entire .NET Framework.
Download the ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 Beta
Download the ASP.NET AJAX CTP
If you don't like critics on Microsoft don't read further!
Well it has been a long time I ranted against Microsoft products but this time it's about IE7. So I downloaded the so call final version of the new Explorer and how disappointing it is!
First (as many reported on this official Internet Explorer blog) the install doesn't goes smoothly. Two reboots one crash (I tried on three different PCs) and finally one install working. Well when I say working, it's more crawling than speeding.
Regarding the compatibility with different websites, so far so good (almost!). I noticed some problems with the scrolling, very choppy in some cases. I still don't like some choices for the icons like the Stop button look to much like a close window icon, and its position is akward.
Now I ask a panel of users to give me their feedback. Most of them are lost and can't understand the new user interface (most of them miss the old icon bar). They don't get the new tabs system unless I explain what this is about.
I won't recommend IE 7 anyway until they release a way to run it concurrently with IE 6 for a while.
I know that Microsoft want to push the new IE 7 through the monthly update but regarding the disastrous installation I got yesterday, I wish good luck to the lambda user trying to keep it cool.
Yes IE 6 is not dead and I think IE 7 is not yet totally ready for a mass consumption. Today I join the ranks of the resistance and will stop IE 7 landing on my laptop until IE 6 is used by less than 60% of the users.
OK cool delighted to see IE 7 finally out of the woods. But for a while I have still to work with IE 6 (a lot of my customers (schools, teachers, etc...) are not at all techies and I need to make sure the code I do still works fine with IE 6 for at least the next year.
So does anyone have an idea on how to keep IE 7 and IE 6 running together on my laptop?
As a beta tester for Office 2007 I am up to date with the latest betas so I can say I really enjoy working with the new versions of Word and Excel.
However Outlook 2007 is surely cool with some new interesting features but still has some annoying things I would like to see fixed before the official launch.
I was quite excited when Microsoft finally included a RSS reader in Outlook. Until now I was unsing Newsgator, the only way I know to integrate RSS in Outlook 2003. One thing I missed from Newsgator now is the lack of clean information from Outlook when you read feeds. Outlook 2007 don't separate the RSS reader from the other tasks.
So it means that you have to use the only Send/Receive button and you have absolutly no feedback about the number of new posts by channel or any status at all on the channels.
The reader doesn't seems also to get the latest posts from the feeds. It looks like you have a gap of two to three posts between each time you refresh your aggregate list. So because you have no real status you can't really know if the post you read is really the last one to check.
One thing I noticed (and this is maybe because of the Beta status) is Outlook slowing down dramatically (almopst stop to work in some rare case) if you try to install or use an heavy application in the background.
Thankfully Newsgator seems to work with Outlook 2007 so I suppose I will stick to it until Microsoft really improve their RSS reader ...or just buy Newsgator!
News Interceptor 3 Pocket allows you to subscribe to your favorite news feeds on your Pocket PC device. If you use your Pocket PC with an Internet connection, you can grab all your news and read them directly with your device. Enjoy the functionalities of the PC version of News Interceptor on your handheld!
Here are some of the features you can find in News Interceptor 3 Pocket:
- Easy to use interface;
- Read news summary within NI3P and read complete news in Pocket Internet Explorer;
- Support all known syndication formats (RSS, Atom, RDF);
- Support podcasting (download any file attachments);
- Add new feeds manually or select those that interest you from a list of feeds added by other NI users;
- Bandwidth usage is very low, thanks to the most recent technology powered by RSScache.com services;
- Support multi-languages Web sites;
- New versions of the software are detected, allowing you to be up-to-date;
- Save yourself the tens of hours of surfing on your favorite Web sites you used to do every weeks and let News Interceptor do all the work;
- No spyware.
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