Quick post on a compendium of Microsoft blogs and what else I’ve read recently

A quick post over lunch as I cover some of what has been on my reading list, including a List of Official Microsoft Team and Microsoft Blogs: “The directory below contains a listing of the official Microsoft Team Blogs and essential web feeds organised by category. There are currently 148 blogs listed in the directory below. On BlogMS a summary will be published weekly (each Monday) and monthly providing you a single article with a listing of all the latest announcements. You can then browse through this article saving you valuable time and effort. When you identify articles of interest you will be able to click on the article link, and it will take you directly to the blog.”

For my seven year old Guitar Hero rocker, this post on how a Guitar Hero DS hack lets you shred on a full-size guitar – Engadget — Like many others, Eric Ruckman found that the DS controller add-on for Guitar Hero: On Tour left a bit to be desired but, unlike most folks, he didn’t just go back to playing on his console of choice — he actually went all out and pieced together a full-size rig out of a PS2 Guitar Hero controller. As you can see above, that includes a special housing for the DS itself (it’s still used for strumming), and even a built-in FM transmitter with its own screen, which lets him pump the audio through his home sound system. Still not impressed? Head on past the break to see it in action.

Are “instant on” notebooks the future? | Hardware 2.0 | — Dell has previewed a new instant on technology that allows users to carry out basic tasks on their notebooks without having to boot up into Windows. Is this the future for notebooks?

MediaPost Publications – Kodak Goes Live At Olympics – 08/18/2008 — See and WOMMA reports that “In an online effort to bring the Beijing games closer to fans, this Olympic sponsor is looking for the humanized “Kodak moments” at the games, instead of just focusing on medals and wins. Kodak’s on-site blogger and photographer Jenny Cisney is doing her blogger duties with the help of only a digital camera (Kodak, of course) and a PC laptop, offering an in-the-trenches look at how easy it is to blog these classic moments. Kodak has no plans to use the images Jenny posts in their advertising and marketing, but does drive traffic to its online store via the blog, and is selecting one “Kodak Image of the Day” to be broadcast via a variety of media.”

HealthBlog : Microsoft Research: How we watch the computer, how it watches us — “At least once each year I trek on over to visit my colleagues at Microsoft Research. It’s actually not much of a trek. The group’s headquarters are really just a few blocks from my own office on the Microsoft campus. I was especially looking forward to this year’s visit since I hadn’t yet had an opportunity to see MSR’s new building. The group moved into sparkling new facilities back in November. The building hosts a four-story atrium with dazzling open spaces, state of the art conference rooms, and a soothing Northwest decor. It’s the perfect place to think and collaborate.”

Google Privacy Practices Worse Than ISP Snooping, AT&T Charges (Georgeo Pulikkathara’s Blog) — Georgeo writes “Still think security and privacy are no big deal for developers to worry about? Well then take a look at what AT&T testified to in front of the United States Congress early last week. AT&T write below… “And if Google does combine its third-party cookie information, with user’s search histories, with Gmail summaries, and with Google Analytics data, among other data sources, they would be a proper domestic intelligence agency.”

One Louder : I know where they hide the good stuff — Good stuff #1: Smoked Sea Salt: Heather “bought this at the PCC (for you locals), though the company has a website. I have a little bit of a salt fixation. I keep a tray of assorted salts on the counter and this is the one I reach for the most. It is exactly what you think it is, only it’s better. Last night, I made beer butt chicken with it. My favorite use is on whole wheat past with pesto, chicken and roasted tomatoes.The granules are small but they add a little crunch to whatever you put them on. The best part is that aside from salt, they taste of smoked-ness; not that nasty fake smoke flavor.”

VolkerW’s WebLog : Favorite Posts of Week 33 — Volker’s collection of favorite blog posts from last week in no particular order. 1. Technical Books for Multi-Core Software Developers on the Intel (r) Software Network. A great collection of books on multithreaded application development and parallel programming. 2. Nuts and Bolts of Multithreaded Programming. 3. Top 10 Usability Highs Of Mac OS on Smashing Magazine. Juul Coolen 4. What is Cloud Computing, Anyway? by Irving Wladawsky-Berger on his personal blog. 5. How to Survive the Multicore Software Revolution (or at Least Survive the Hype). A free eBook from Cilk Arts.

Martin Woodward: Creating a TFS 2008 with SP1 Slipstreamed ISO image — By Martin Woodward on August 12, 2008 2:06 PM — Now that TFS 2008 SP1 is here, time to create a version of the TFS installer media that just contains the bits with SP1 applied. This is essential for installations targeting SQL Server 2008, but also makes the installation process onto Windows Server 2008 much easier and any installation faster (otherwise you have to install TFS 2008, then apply the service pack). Note that this is only required for new TFS installations – if you already have TFS installed then you are best of simply running the excellent service pack installer and it will do the business. Hopefully in a few weeks Microsoft will make a TFS 2008 with SP1 ISO image available, but in the meantime I thought I would write up the process of creating your own as I did mine.

US ISV Developer Evangelism Team : Big Picture of the Cloud Platform Described – Consultant David Chappell has released a Microsoft-sponsored paper that provides a glimpse into the view for enterprises in the cloud platforms. The paper describes what the cloud platform is saying, “this kind of platform lets developers write applications that run in the cloud, or use services provided from the cloud, or both.” It provides the context for Microsoft Software Plus Sevices (S+S) by explaining the rationale for what an operating system provides: a foundation, infrastructure services, and application services. And how a cloud platform applications compare with on-premises applications. He explains how the two application types work in concert with each other.

Ali Mazaheri : SharePoint 2007 Customer Evidence Update – Here is a great video on how TVGuide is leveraging MOSS 2007 enterprise features for its Online Video Guide (One of the MOSS projects that truly yours was involved along with a team of great folks here in U.S and India!): Media Company’s Fast, Relevant Internet Video Search Drives Business TV Guide took advantage of the growing interest in online video content by creating a new service for end-users to search primarily professionally produced video content through a video guide at It chose Enterprise Search, an integrated part of Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 that delivers fast, accurate results and a pleasant browsing experience to drive customer loyalty…

Featured Windows Download: Anti-Malware Toolkit Builds a Quick Computer Cleaning Toolbox (12 people tagged this as interesting) — Windows only: Free application Anti-Malware Tookit automatically downloads popular anti-malware applications to your computer. In essence the application is a specialized downloader that retrieves the latest and greatest releases of popular anti-malware apps like CCleaner, Spybot S&D, and Hijack This. You can selectively choose which apps you want downloaded and which you don’t, so you can stick to the tried-and-true options and avoid the ones you’re not sure of—perfect for when you’ve left your PC rescue kit at home and are working tech support for the family.

Torvalds: Fed up with the ‘security circus’ – Network World — Creator of the Linux kernel explains why he finds security people to be so anathema, By Ellen Messmer , Network World , 08/14/2008 “Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel, says he’s fed up with what he sees as a “security circus” surrounding software vulnerabilities and how they’re hyped by security people. “Torvalds explained his position in an e-mail exchange with Network World this week. He also expanded on critical comments he made last month that caused a stir in the IT industry.”

Music File-Sharing Decision To Have Broad Impact – – If New Trial Is Granted, Copyright Violations May Be Harder to Prove, By SARAH MCBRIDE, August 15, 2008; Page B4 “A coming federal-court decision holds consequences for the Recording Industry Association of America and the thousands of people it is suing over shared music files. “Last year, a jury in federal district court in Duluth, Minn., found Jammie Thomas liable for copyright infringement based on songs the RIAA said it found in her computer. Ms. Thomas was told to pay up, to the tune of $222,000. “But the judge in the case, Michael Davis, says his instructions to the jury might have been wrong.”

Switched On: Rethinking the living room PC – Engadget — Even as Microsoft continues to support broadcasting standards around the world to bolster Media Center’s support for broadcast television, the future of noisy, black 17-inch-wide boxes sharing a cramped cabinet with your stereo receiver remains in jeopardy. Indeed, the future of the living room PC may be sitting in your lap. When Microsoft announced the Media Center edition of Windows XP, it was in some ways the desktop counterpart to the Tablet PC mutation. Whereas the Tablet PC was envisioned as a new form factor for notebooks, Media Center held the promise of transforming the desktop into its own new form factor. Indeed, in one of Bil Gates’s final CES keynotes promoting innovative PC designs, he didn’t mention desktops…

Mike Swanson’s Blog : Windows Presentation Foundation Tools and Controls (182 people have tagged this one) – “Instead of writing individual blog posts for each WPF tool or control that I become aware of, I thought I’d create a single page that I can keep up-to-date. Over time, I hope that this becomes a useful reference for WPF developers and designers. This page is not intended to link to all WPF applications; I will only include software that can be used to help build applications for the Windows Presentation Foundation. These lists are in no particular order. If you’re aware of a tool or control that I don’t have listed here, please contact me via e-mail and send a one- or two-sentence description along with a link.”

Work-Life Balance: How to Get a Life and Do Your Job – BusinessWeek readers make it seem possible. Here’s how some have succeeded in a balancing act Edited by Michelle Conlin, August 14, 2008, 5:00PM EST “There is a species of knowledge worker that seems transcendentally competent when it comes to finessing work-life balance. These are the people of the tidy desks and tidy homes. The work-life super class. They don’t skulk in late like the rest of us. They don’t wear rumpled clothes, miss deadlines, or weaken before the vending machine. Are these people for real? Is work-life balance achievable? We asked our readers. Some responders groaned that, owing to a hypercompetitive workplace and the race for status, the answer was no. But more disagreed, having found ways to make their lives less chaotic when it comes to juggling what often feels like two full-time jobs. Sanity actually exists, they say. Hallelujah!”

Digital TV: Rough on Rabbit Ears – What to expect when the analog signal goes dead on Feb. 17—and how to get ready by Stephen H. Wildstrom, August 13, 2008, 5:45PM EST “You’ve probably heard that over-the-air television as the U.S. has known it for the last 60 years is going to die next Feb. 17. The industry has been running portentous ads to let everyone know that the complete transition to digital is at hand. But it still hasn’t informed people of just what it means and what they must do to prepare. The great majority of American households get their signals via cable or satellite. New or old, their televisions will work fine after Feb. 17. I suspect, however, that many houses are like mine. Though cable is my primary source of TV service, I have a couple of old sets—one to fend off boredom while using an elliptical training machine, the other a tiny black-and-white set in the kitchen…”

3M’s Seven Pillars of Innovation — MAY 10, 2006 By Michael Arndt — It may be 104 years old, but the company churns out cutting-edge products like a brash new startup. Here are the secrets of its success. “So how does an old company stay so inventive? Larry Wendling, vice-president of 3M’s corporate research labs at its St. Paul (Minn.) campus, thinks he knows. In fact, Wendling, an engineer who joined 3M right out of graduate school in 1977, has boiled it down to a seven-point list. You might call it “The Seven Habits of Highly Innovative Corporations.”

Where Customers Go to Praise (or Bash) You – There are a dozen or so Web sites that review local businesses across the country. Take a look, and read what people say behind your back by Ricky McRoskey August 15, 2008, 11:38AM EST “In a 2007 study of over 2,000 Internet users by online analytical firm comScore (SCOR), 24% of respondents said they looked at an online review before making an offline service purchase in the three months prior to being surveyed. The study showed that local review sites are attracting new visitors at a rate four times as high as the rate at which overall Internet use is growing. It also found that more than three-quarters of respondents call online reviews “influential” in their purchase decision process.”

Are You Being a Jerk? Again? (BusinessWeek) – If you are, it may be because you’re following a bad leader By Robert I. Sutton, Aug 14, 2008 A salient theme of my book, The No Asshole Rule, is that although some people act badly wherever they go, all of us are capable of turning into demeaning creeps under the wrong conditions. That is why I urge people (and try to remind myself) to avoid situations that turn them into jerks.

India: R&D Stronghold (BusinessWeek) – With giants like Cisco and GE driving demand and staffed more by skilled expats, India’s offshore R&D centers are booming, despite spiraling wages by Pete Engardio

BetaNews | Latest AOL acquisition could pair SocialThing with AIM — By Scott M. Fulton, III, BetaNews August 15, 2008, 12:36 PM In a move which could end up meaning either everything or nothing, the developers of a “lifestreaming” application have agreed to be acquired by a company whose track record with acquisitions hasn’t always been pretty.

BetaNews | Internet firms admit to tracking users’ behavior for advertising — By Ed Oswald, BetaNews August 12, 2008, 5:41 PM Responses to a congressional inquiry into targeted online advertising indicate that some companies were indeed tracking their users without first asking their consent. In letters to the House Energy and Commerce Committee released Monday, several companies admitted to the practice. Altogether, some 33 companies were queried last August 1 about their position and actions surrounding targeted advertising.

BetaNews | Google ‘feels your pain’ after the latest Gmail outage — By Tim Conneally, BetaNews August 12, 2008, 11:50 AM Yesterday, many Gmail users found themselves unable to access their mailboxes, as Gmail returned a “Temporary Error (502).” Google later posted an apology in the official Gmail Blog that gave a clue as to how big the outage was. “We don’t usually post about problems like this in our blog, but we wanted to make an exception in this case since so many people were impacted,” Gmail Product Manager Todd Jackson posted. About 20 million users visit Gmail daily, and there are more than 100 million accounts in total.

BetaNews | Cablevision DVR ruling bumps Internet Radio decision to September — By Scott M. Fulton, III, BetaNews August 11, 2008, 1:33 PM Last week, an appeals court determined that Cablevision wasn’t liable for copyright infringement if their customers chose they programs it recorded. Could that ruling present a new loophole for Internet streaming radio?

Tags: articles, what I read, Microsoft, blogs (082108)

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