News aggregator

Snow Day?

Jeff Sandquist - Microsoft Evangelist - November 27, 2006 - 7:03pm

I live in Sammamish, we refer to it as the "Plateau" here at work.  Something tells me that a lot of us who work at Microsoft who live on the Plateau will be working from home tomorrow. :-)  I just snapped this photos about 20 minutes ago. 

  

Rounding out the coverage, I'll see what I can track for links from other MS Bloggers.

Mike Hall is at work, but he'll work and install Vista. :-)

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Time, Collaboration and Perspectives

Full Circle Associates (Nancy White) - November 27, 2006 - 6:07pm
Over and over again when looking at barriers to collaboration, learning, even DOING, a lack of time rises to the surface. Sometimes, I'm not sure how to talk about time. Is time an excuse? A resource? A mindset?

Here is a short video to put it in a different perspective.

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Enterprise:Blogging::Sharepoint:Blogtronix?

Blog Business Summit - November 27, 2006 - 5:27pm

Jeremiah Owyang has an interesting post about the possibility of an enterprise workflow software like Sharepoint melding with an enterprise-level blogging program.

I’ve recently been made aware of some of the remarkable features of one enterprise blogging program: Blogtronix. Granted, my experience with other enterprise-level systems is limited, but I was very impressed with what Blogtronix had to offer, particularly in terms of content analysis tools. If Microsoft wanted to integrate Sharepoint with the best of enterprise blogging, it would do well to consider what Blogtronix has to offer.

Just in case you’re totally confused by the title of this post, it’s an analogy, like the ones on the SAT. Remember those?

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Categories: Other Conferences

Xerox is working to reduce, reuse, and recycle

MasterMaq - November 27, 2006 - 4:58pm

I suspect that for most people, the term "xerox" conjures up images of paper thanks to the American document management company of the same name. Xerox (the company) is more than just photocopiers and printers though - the company has a long history of research and development. And they are at it again, this time trying to apply the Three R's to paper:

[Brinda Dalal's] research is part of a three-year-old technology development effort to design an add-on system for an office copier to produce "transient documents" that can be easily reused. The researchers now have a prototype system that will produce documents on a specially coated paper with a light yellow tint. Currently, the process works without toner and produces a low-resolution document that appears to be printed with purple ink.

The printed information on the document "disappears" within 16 hours. The documents can be reused more quickly by simply placing them in the copier paper tray. The researchers said that individual pieces of paper had been printed on up to 50 times, and the only current limit in the process appears to be paper life.

The idea makes sense to me. Companies have already reduced the amount of paper they need to use, so Xerox sees an opportunity to help them reuse and recycle it too. The end goal is to try to reduce the amount of paper that companies actually use.

Those of you who know me fairly well are probably confused because normally I am championing the death of paper, not reading about ways to extend its lifetime. As much as I would like to have everything stored and presented digitally, I realize we're not there yet. And, as the article points out, a complete change to bits and bytes isn't likely to happen anytime soon:

"People really like paper," said Eric Shrader, a computer scientist who is area manager for printing systems at the Hardware Systems Laboratory of the research center, which is known as PARC. "They like the way it feels."

Until e-paper is perfected, this paper erasing technology Xerox is working on might work quite well indeed.

CNET News.com  
Categories: Attendees, Speaker

Another Group's Technology Configuration

Full Circle Associates (Nancy White) - November 27, 2006 - 1:52pm
I love these kinds of articles as they give context to tool selections and configurations. Communities (and teams, groups, whatever-word-you-want) don't pick and use technology in a vacume. Who is playing, what activities need to be supported and the individual and group preferences matter. So thanks Ryan, for sharing your Office 2.0 Experiment. And thanks to all the commentors who added additional richness and ideas.

What is your group's technology configuration?

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Notes for 11/26/2006

MasterMaq - November 26, 2006 - 10:23pm

Long time no post! I just haven't been on the computer much. Here are my weekly notes:

  • Just got back from dinner at 4th and Vine downtown. Every Sunday they show movies during the dinner, and tonight they showed Who killed the electric car? Dinner was quite good, but the movie could have been better. It felt like an extended commercial, and the people involved seemed like fanatical environmentalists. Oh, and when they realized they couldn't answer the question properly, they just blamed everyone.
  • I also went to the Edmonton Oilers Super Skills competition today. Rexall Place was nearly sold out, it was amazing. There was easily double the amount of people that attended last year.
  • All the wonderful technology we have at our fingertips is usually a good thing, unless you're a bad teacher.
  • Wow, it's been a long time since I've done trig. All I remember is SOHCAHTOA.
  • I was very disappointed this week to learn that the Xbox Live Video Marketplace is only available in the United States. Then with news of all the problems, I realized that it should have all the bugs worked out by the time it comes to Canada!
  • An article I read yesterday claims that tweens are the new teens. I would be surprised if this is the first time such an argument has been made.
  • Megan invited me to a performance of Macbeth at my old high school on Friday. It was pretty well done, and incorporated professional and student actors. It all came back to me with the line "my dearest chuck" which I incorrectly read as "my dearest chunk" in front of the entire class in high school. Good times!
Categories: Attendees, Speaker

Taillights in the Snow

Full Circle Associates (Nancy White) - November 26, 2006 - 7:55pm

After a nice, slow holiday weekend (with not too much work nor blogging) we took our son back to University up in Bellingham. I'm glad we went early before the snow fell deeper and road conditions deteriorated. Later today it took a friend of our son's three hours to go 5 miles on this very same stretch of road, between all the traffic of students returning and road conditions. They have 14 inches up there and school has been cancelled for tomorrow.

Monday is PLAY DAY in Bellingham tomorrow!
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everything with allard is about velocity

Jeff Sandquist - Microsoft Evangelist - November 26, 2006 - 6:09pm


businessweek posted a fun bio article on j allard last week and its pretty much made its round through the blogs and techmeme.  there was a section that really stood out to me that I had to post to my blog for future reference.

"everything with allard is about velocity. he drives a ferrari 360 and a porsche 911. He bombs down ski runs during the summer on a mountain bike at speeds topping 30 miles an hour. he qualified for the u.s. nationals race this summer but had to drop out after he was hit by a car while biking around seattle. "i love that gravity is unforgiving," he says. he even blazes through e-mail, jotting down notes all in lower case: "shift key slows you down," he writes."

i'm a speed junkie too and can totally relate, i love to go fast, very, very fast.  i did give up motocross a couple of years back as it was an sport that pulled me away from my family more than it allowed us to spend time together.  also the idea of making a connecting flight in a body cast didn't exactly appeal to me either, it seems as we get older the bumps and bruises hurt a lot more.

so that leaves me with my car which is fine with me. :-)

this post brought to you in all lowercase in tribute to j. allard

technorati tags: j+allard

Categories: Attendees

Channels 9 and 10 Sponsor TechMeme

Jeff Sandquist - Microsoft Evangelist - November 26, 2006 - 5:51pm


TechMeme.com has become a critical part of the blogging plumbing and is a site I visit many times throughout the day to keep up with what is happening in the tech industry.  My wife is also a fan of their WeSmirch site for Celebrity Gossip and Memeorandum for politic discourse.  Where else can you find out what's happening in the world and what blogs are saying about it Tech, Politics and Celebrity Gossip? :-)

So it is exciting for me to announce that after midnight tonight Channels 9 and 10 will be sponsors of TechMeme.   As part of that sponsorship the main feeds from Channel 9 and 10 will be shown in "Sponsor Post" section of TechMeme.com.  About every 15 minutes TechMeme will grab the latest post from Channel 9 and 10.  It will then alternate between Channel 9 and 10, so sometimes when you visit TechMeme you'll see the most recent Channel 9 post and the other times you'll see a post from 10.   It will look something like this:

 

Anyhow, just thought I'd make a post about what we're doing with TechMeme and thank Gabe for all he's doing for the blogging world with his sites.  Thanks Gabe!

Postscript: My friend Jeremy gives me a hard time about calling TechMeme.com a key part of the blogging plumbing due to its echo chamber nature.  I was referring to the group of sites Gabe creates that cover the tech biz, baseball, celebrity gossip and politics.  I am sure he'll create more and other services from other vendors will surface too.  I stand by what I said, with the growing amount of feed fatigue (who besides Scoble can track 1200+ feeds) vertical services like TechMeme.com will be the only way to find feeds and see what folks are saying about a particular area of passion.

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Categories: Attendees

Ceramic Village Homes from Department 56

Jeff Sandquist - Microsoft Evangelist - November 26, 2006 - 5:20pm


Last Christmas my wife started a collection for me of ceramic village homes.  If you've read my blog for any period of time or know me personally, you'll learn pretty quickly that I am a small town boy at heart and a total Corvette nut.  These little ceramic villages do a remarkable job of bringing a bit of that small town back into our home and are something I truly treasure.  Our plan is to by one or two each year. 

Today, while we were out shopping I purchased another for our collection and it will probably go down as my all time favorite.  The McKenzie's Automotive Chevrolet Dealership really brings back a piece of home for me.  It is a ceramic replica of GM Dealership with a '63 Corvette inside.  It reminds me a lot of the Chevrolet dealership that we had in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Trout Chevrolet Oldsmobile.   The owner also had a spectacular Blue '63 Corvette that he regularly drove to and from the dealership and parked it to the left of the show room.  I'd often make a detour by Trout Chevrolet when cruising downtown just to see that '63 Corvette. 

The dealership has long been replaced with a cookie cutter GM Dealership and has been replaced with a parking lot.  Good memories of fun times will live on though.  I don't imagine a day when I'll move back to Estevan, as life has been incredible to me State side, but at least that's the good things about memories you never move away from them.  :-)

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The Homely Scientist made the top five in the Canadian Blog Awards!

Larix Consulting - November 24, 2006 - 6:48pm

Wow ... I even beat myself by a healthy margin ;-)!  That's what I get for submitting two of my blogs in the same category.  The results are here, you have to scroll down to the bottom to see the SciTech results.  This means that Homely Scientist is in round two!  Yahoo!  Okay, the next round of voting starts tomorrow (Saturday) ... so please visit the Canadian Blog Awards and vote (for me)!

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The Death of MySpace

Blog Business Summit - November 24, 2006 - 1:13pm

I’ve never been a big fan of MySpace. The interface is counterintuitive, the flashing ads are an eyesore and the code is a mess. The news that the site is over the proverbial hill doesn’t come as any shock.

Social networks are very helpful for people that want to reach hip, tech-savvy young folks. But eventually, the walled-garden model will fall by the wayside entirely. In its place will be a set of easy-to-install widgets that attach to a server like add-ons attach to Firefox. These widgets will allow folks to blog, share and tag photos, respond to messages, generate feeds, network personally and professionally, or whatever else they want to do. Social networks as we know them will meld seamlessly with the other functions of the Web.

So where does that leave musicians, record labels, clubs and other organizations that want to use MySpace, Facebook and other social networks to promote themselves? Back at square one: hosting their own blog.

I couldn’t agree more with Flick of Puddlegum when he writes, “I’d rather focus my energies developing my own traffic than nursing off of a corporate monster.” Organizations should build out their own websites, host their own blogs and make social networks an offshoot. Building your own hub of information about yourself is always a better solution than scattering your information to the winds and hoping that your fan base will continue to frequent whichever site you’ve spent the most time and energy building a presence on.

Via Digg.

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CNET's Top Ten Girl Geeks Is A Disgrace

Jeff Sandquist - Microsoft Evangelist - November 23, 2006 - 8:04pm

Looks like I am not the only one who found this "Top Ten Girl Geeks" on CNET offensive.  Well, they at least they included Ada Byron and Grace Hopper, but blew it when they put them alongside Lisa Simpson and Ashley Simpon.  As CrunchNotes mentions someone actually took the time to write this and another person edited it. 

They should be ashamed. 

Including Grace Hopper along the sides of Lisa Simpson is a disgrace and I won't even start about Paris Hilton.  One of the things I am proud of on Channel 9 is our WM_IN (short for Women in Technology series) that highlights talented women at Microsoft.  You really need to check out this piece.  Charles Torre and Jennifer Ritzinger are the folks who make these interviews happen and today that is definitely something I am truly thankful for. :-) 

To truly build software that is global and diverse you need people from all walks of lifes.  As a person in the industry and a Dad of two daughters, CNET, you could have done a lot better.

Categories: Attendees

C|Net were you trying to be funny or insulting? Girl Geeks list backlash

Larix Consulting - November 23, 2006 - 12:37pm

When I saw the C|Net article this morning about the Top 10 Girl Geeks, I thought, cool this could be really good.  Come on you have the first female astronaut (technically cosmonaut) as the lead image, this has to be serious.  Now while there are some extremely worthy people on the list (Marie Curie, Ada Byron, Grace Hopper for example), including Lisa Simpson and (WTF) Paris Hilton on the list is just insulting.  I know so many women in tech who are f-ing brilliant.  Far too many to list.  Rob Hyndman has some great suggestions (Caterina Fake and Mena Trott are on his list and were the first two to come to my mind).  Mark Evans, Maryam Scoble (a girl geek herself). and Jessica Guynn are joining the chorus about this plainly ill-advised (or ill-edited) article.

So ... I'm betting C|Net is going to be doing a little damage control soon ... like maybe in their own offices?  Wonder how many women working at C|Net are going to start showing their geek pride come Monday?

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Interface breakthrough ... Minority Report interface demoed, how we should be interacting with computers

Larix Consulting - November 23, 2006 - 12:19pm

My buddy Alex sent me this link to a YouTube video (the title refers to an unfortunate drawing bit at the end).

I don't think there is any sage commentary that can come close to what you are just going to see.  I'll leave discussions for the comments.


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A little holiday fun ... what makes Tris tick?

Larix Consulting - November 23, 2006 - 10:43am

Maryam did a word association test and being a slow day here (even though it isn't Thanksgiving in Canada) I thought I'd do a couple too.  Okay being left-handed (and I'd say rather left-handed in that the dexterity in my right hand is pretty darn low) I figured the right-brain/left-brain test would be interesting (lefties are supposed to be strongly right-brained) ... the results surprised me a bit:

Brain Lateralization Test Results Right Brain (50%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (48%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?
personality tests by similarminds.com

So it seems that I have some kind of balance going on behind the two halves of my brain.  Hmm.  Okay one of the tests I've taken a few times is the Myers-Briggs test.  Similarminds offers a version of this, well I think this was pretty bang on (at least given my mood at the moment).

INTP - "Architect". Greatest precision in thought and language. Can readily discern contradictions and inconsistencies. The world exists primarily to be understood. 3.3% of total population. Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

When I took M-B in grad school I was an INTJ (J=judging).  It seems that I might be mellowing out over time.  Frankly, I know this to be true.  I was very judging as a lad.  Now, not so much.  Okay those of you who know me, I'd be interested in what you think about these results.  What I'm really interested in are people who haven't ever met me in person and those who have.  I have a feeling that my IM-enabled online personality is different than my real-word personality, but I'm not sure.

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Happy Thanksgiving - Some Joy

Full Circle Associates (Nancy White) - November 23, 2006 - 6:52am
Via Liz comes a perfect video for a family holiday. From my house, in the USA, I send you warm greetings for our US Holiday, Thanksgiving. I'm thankful that we can connect via words and images, for the insights you offer directly and indirectly that help me think better and deeper, for the glimpses of human compassion in a digital age and, like in this video, joy.

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope for at least a moment today you have a moment of unfettered joy.



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