A quick update on articles in the reading pile as I upgrade the machines in my office to the latest build of Windows 7 (running one machine on the public beta 7000). I've been bad about blogging as this is a busy time of year… especially with Windows 7. As several folks have commented, I've been busy on Twitter (discovering the joys of microblogging) more for the benefit of updating my social connection sites like FaceBook, LinkedIn and Windows Live.
So first is this post from the Windows team over in WEX on a few more changes from Beta to RC…
"Hey folks, just wanted to provide another update (building on the recent post on some changes since Beta) on some of the changes you will see in the Release Candidate. Again, there are many and this is not an exhaustive list. Of course we continue to gather telemetry from the large number of people running the Beta full time. Just a reminder, the Beta is the only official build from Microsoft. Chaitanya compiled this list from a broad set of feature teams focused on visible changes based on feedback that go beyond “bug fixes”, though we included some of the more widely reported bugs on this list as well. –Steven"
"No doubt the Madoff scandal is complicated, especially for children. To make it easier to understand Jimmy Kimmel commissioned Ernie and Cookie Monster from Sesame Street to reenact the scheme. Ernie becomes a victim of Madoff, and, unfortunately, Madoff becomes a victim of Ernie."
I've also received a number of comments on the Engineering Windows 7 blog post about Application Compatibility Testing – International…
"In the previous blog post "Application Compatibility Testing for Windows 7" we talked about the importance of Application Compatibility and work we are doing to engineer this in Windows 7. In this post we will examine the challenge that emerges as we consider the world wide audience that Windows serves. For Windows 7 we have made significant investment in application compatibility, ensuring applications that worked on Vista, continue to work on Windows 7 and we’ve also rescued some applications that were broken in Vista to work on Windows 7 (more on that later). As we’ve talked about, there are some applications that are OS version specific by design (utilities, firewalls, security, etc.) and those are not included in this discussion."
Ina Fried referred to this as Microsoft wants to 'rescue' apps for Windows 7…
"The rule of thumb is that if a program runs in Vista, it will run in Windows 7. Conversely, in general, programs that won't run in Vista also won't work with Windows 7.
"At least in a few cases, though, even applications that didn't run in Vista will run in Windows 7. That's because of some work that Microsoft has done to "rescue" certain types of programs that were rendered incompatible by the move to Vista.
"Along with the core tenet of ensuring that any application that worked on Windows Vista also works on Windows 7, we have a stretch goal to 'raise the bar' and make applications work on Windows 7 that never worked on Windows Vista," Microsoft said in a blog posting this week."
Microsoft Future Pro Photographer Contest – Take Your Best Shot at a $20,000 Grand Prize and an amazing digital prize package! The Microsoft Future Pro Photographers Photography Contest is the most lucrative contest of its kind and provides a unique opportunity for college and university student photographers from around the world to showcase their artistic talent and photographic style. For student photographers, this is an opportunity to Kick Start Your Career as a future professional photographer. The exciting prize packages include a Grand Prize of US$20,000 cash and a digital workflow prize package. There will also be three First Place winners in the following categories: Nature & Landscape; People & Portraits; and Sports & Photojournalism who will each win US$3000 cash and a digital workflow prize package as well. The submission period is March 1st through April 30th, 2009.
Boot from VHD using Windows 7 Automated Installation Kit – Strategic Developer Martin Heller writes about booting from VHD using Windows 7 Automated Installation Kit March 09, 2009-- "In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, you can native boot from a virtual hard disk without a hypervisor. In response to my posts about managing multiboot with Windows 7 and Linux, Microsoft IT Pro Evangelist Keith Combs sent me this e-mail: "I just read your article and wanted to give you a heads up on an interesting new feature called "Boot from VHD" in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. See a demo here. "I stopped trying to run the various OSes in different partitions long ago when virtualization became viable. With boot from VHD, the performance gets even better."
Separable Security In U.S. - STBs Now Mainstream By Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor, CedMagazine.com - March 01, 2009 -- "While the vast majority of set-top boxes (STBs) in the U.S. are now in compliance with the FCC's separable security mandate implemented in 2007, the international STB market is expected to carry on deploying the more traditional embedded security boxes. "There is concern among non-U.S. operators, however, that set-top makers will eventually decide they can no longer justify making embedded security boxes when the highest volume, by far, is with separable security units. "The two dominant U.S. STB manufacturers, Cisco and Motorola, with approximately 90 percent of their boxes now being produced with separable security for the U.S. market, will continue producing embedded security STBs – but with a realistic view of the changing global STB market."
Cracking The Content Security Conundrum By Mike Robuck, Senior Editor, CedMagazine.com -- "The proliferation of content and devices moves content security beyond traditional set-top boxes, but the playing field is cluttered."
comScore Releases February 2009 U.S. Search Engine Rankings March 13, 2009 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly comScore qSearch analysis of the U.S. search marketplace. Americans conducted 13.1 billion core searches in February 2009, down 3 percent versus January – a decline that is primarily the result of the shortened month."
The Rules Apply To Everyone by Michael Arrington on March 13, 2009 -- "The Elliot Spitzer phenomenon is part of being human. For whatever reason, people who obtain power can convince themselves that the very rules they create and enforce don’t apply to them. Elliot Spitzer and his prostitutes. Al Gore flying carbon-spewing private jets. Countless others. Whether the transgressions are large or small, something clicks inside the brain of some people or entities who’ve obtained power and they convince themselves they are above the rules. "I’ve seen this in our world, too. When I questioned a New York Times reporter on why they felt they didn’t need to make disclosures in (very occasional) stories where they were conflicted (here and here, for example), he said the newspaper was above suspicion and, therefore, disclosures weren’t necessary (yes, he actually said this)."
Federal CIO on leave following FBI sting at DC offices -- ZDNet.com Posted by Sam Diaz @ 11:16 am, March 13, 2009 -- "The U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, appointed by President Obama last week, has been placed on leave, following an FBI raid yesterday at the District of Columbia’s IT offices. (Techmeme) Kundra, who was previously the District’s Chief Technology Officer and worked in the offices, has not been linked to the raid, which stemmed from a bribery investigation involving employees and technology vendors."
Microsoft's R&D chief: the people problem with innovation • The Register – "iPhone's secret father speaks By Gavin Clarke • Get more from this author Posted in Software, 13th March 2009 00:17 GMT Whitepaper download - Eight CRM essentials Rick Rashid, leader of Microsoft's vast, multi-billion dollar R&D operation, said he could foresee cloud computing some years back. The challenge as a technologist, though, has been in anticipating the finer details of how the cloud and its related technologies - the data center, replication, and synchronization - will be adopted by people and organizations. Sure, Microsoft was heading in that direction in the labs, but Amazon, eBay, and Google got there first in their businesses, and Microsoft is now fast trying to catch up."
Huske & Associates: More Twitter Tools – Twitter Grader: Learn your Twitter grade, your local Twitter Elite, and find new people to follow through Twitter Grader. Twitterholic: Check out the top Twitter users and find out your Twitter stats on Twitterholic. TweetStats: TweetStats offers a graphical analysis of your Twitter stats. Twitter Friends: Carefully measure your Twitter conversations using Twitter Friends. Twinfluence: Twinfluence will measure your Twitter influence based on reach, velocity, and social capital. Tweetwasters: Find out how much time you and other users waste on Twitter. Retweetrank: Find out how many retweets you and other Twitter users have through this service. Information Gathering
Also see this on Selective Twitter: "If you don't want EVERY tweet to show up on your faceBook account, try Selective twitter. Selective Twitter Status lets you update your Facebook status from Twitter - BUT you can choose which tweets you want - just end a tweet with #fb when you want to post it as your Facebook status - simple!"
EU extends Microsoft's antitrust deadline over IE March 11, 2009 (Computerworld) – "Europe's antitrust regulators have extended Microsoft Corp.'s deadline to reply to accusations that the company "shields" Internet Explorer (IE) from competition by bundling the browser with Windows. Microsoft will now have an additional six weeks to deliver its response, said Linda Cain, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, the European Union's antitrust agency. The new deadline is April 21. The company's original deadline was tomorrow, eight weeks after the commission served Microsoft's with a list of charges, called a Statement of Objections, over its practice of including IE with Windows. According to the commission, bundling IE "shields" the browser from head-to-head competition with other browsers and "distorts competition" by giving it an unfair distribution advantage."
Y&R's hammer-happy campaign just smashing | National Business Review (NBR) New Zealand - Business, News, Arts, Media, Share Market and More by Hazel Phillips, March 11 2009 – "Some time ago, I was warned by NBR reception that what looked like a concrete block had arrived with my name on it. Now, I've had some interesting PR gimmicks in my time – houses of jellybeans, boxes empty save for a question mark, and last week, even a solitary fork. But a concrete block? Turns out it was all in a bid to let me in on Y&R's new direct campaign for Microsoft. "Life's better without walls," the concrete block exhorted me. "So grab a hammer and smash this one to pieces."
Microsoft, Intel to back Cisco's "Unified Computing" launch By Jim Duffy, Network World, March 11, 2009 -- "Contrary to previous reports, Cisco's datacenter vision does not seem to be a largely solo effort. Microsoft, Intel, BMC, EMC Smarts, and VMware are expected to endorse Cisco's "Unified Computing" datacenter strategy at next Monday's launch in New York. "Sources say these companies will be on the roster of partners Cisco is lining up for its strategy, which is also expected to include the introduction of the company's 'California' blade servers. Blade server stalwarts IBM and HP are -- or were -- longtime partners of Cisco's in datacenter applications, but California is expected to strain those relationships and keep those companies off Cisco's partner list this time around. "IBM is uniting with Juniper for Project Stratus; and HP is expected to tightly link its blade server and ProCurve networking operations for next-generation datacenter opportunities."
House politicians cast about for DHS 'cybersecurity' fix | Politics and Law - CNET News by Declan McCullagh - It's easy to criticize government failures. But as the U.S. Congress is learning in the case of the executive branch's cybersecurity efforts, fixing problems and crafting improvements is a little more difficult. "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity arm has been under fire practically since its inception, flunking tests by outside auditors and receiving letter grades of "F" from congressional overseers. That invited speculation last year about whether the National Security Agency or the White House should take over responsibility for cybersecurity tasks. "Both ideas met with a lukewarm reception during a congressional hearing on Tuesday. "The mission should not reside in NSA," said Microsoft Vice President Scott Charney, a onetime Justice Department computer crime chief. Charney said if you want the public to trust its government, "it's really important to empower DHS to take the necessary operational role."
Are Blogs Losing Their Authority To The Statusphere? - washingtonpost.com – Brian Solis, March 10, 2009; "Depending on which numbers you source or believe, all reports agree that the blogosphere continues to expand globally. "As the leading blog directory and search engine, Technorati maintains a coveted Authority Index which is considered amongst bloggers as the benchmark for measuring their rank and selling their position within the blogosphere. (At least until recently). Authority in the index is defined as the number of blogs linking to a website within the last six months. The higher the number, the greater the level of Authority a blog earns. "However, a disruptive trend is already at play. While blogs are increasing in quantity, their authority¿as currently measured by Technorati¿is collectively losing influence. For instance, just last November, Technorati counted 32,493 links towards gadget blog Engadget's "authority." Today, it counts half that amount (16,326)."
Try a Little Tenderness - NY Times OpEd By STEVEN KLEINMAN and MATTHEW ALEXANDER Published: March 10, 2009 – "On Jan. 22, President Obama signed an executive order banning torture and establishing a panel to examine America’s interrogation methods. The ban on torture is a major step toward reclaiming our heritage as a nation of laws and a people of character. And it will enhance the country’s security by undermining Al Qaeda’s most effective recruiting theme — its portrayal of the United States as a dishonorable superpower that sanctions the type of abuses so graphically captured in the images from Abu Ghraib."
Method to the Mayhem: Free Business Forms – When starting out in your business, it's very important having your logo, business cards or stationery looking professional. It's equally important having forms that help in organizing and running of your business, like a contract or creative brief, which I have talked about in previous posts. A few resources of free forms to use for your business…
Caravaggio used 'photography' to create dramatic masterpieces – Telegraph – looking up from my work, I found today that Renaissance Caravaggio used 'photography' to create masterpieces, or more accurately "an early form of photography to project images of his subjects onto a canvas using a noxious concoction of crushed fireflies and white lead." By Nick Squires in Rome, 10 Mar 2009, http://bit.ly/U6GHd
Get your head in the cloud – Telegraph – "Get your to-do list in order: rememberthemilk.com Claudine Beaumont picks the 10 best web apps to help you stay connected, wherever you are. October 2008 "In London this week, the great and the good from the world of technology gathered to discuss the future of the internet. The focus of these discussions was the next generation of web services, and how online tools can be used to help improve our digital lives. "Thanks to the ready availability of fast, reliable internet connections, we've become used to living in an always-on, hyperconnected world. Wherever we are, we expect to be able to check the news, pick up our emails and stay in touch with friends, as well as sharing photos, videos and random thoughts with the wider world through blogs and websites."
Oh, this is nice: a Periodic Table of Typefaces.
Ari Herzog: Why 83% of U.S. Government Managers Agree Their Agencies are Ineffective – "If the term "Government 2.0" is new to you, think about: the next generation of government that leverages technology to enable two-way communication with the public, improve management practices, and prepare the leaders of the future. "Such is the lead-in to a Reuters-carried press release in September 2008 about Primavera Systems' second annual government management study. Other than assorted wire services, a summary in Federal Computer Week, and a blurb by the Federal Managers Association, few have covered this survey. "Surveying 3,868 American citizens last July and 382 federal web managers in August, "Government 2.0: The Performance Opportunity" found a mere 17% of managers graded their agencies with an "A" for effectiveness."
Flickr Photos Become Stock Photography at Getty Images March 11th, 2009 | by Jennifer Van Grove – "Many of us use online stock photography when we’re looking for images to spice up a presentation or blog post. A lot of us also love to scour Flickr for the same purpose, since with a little digging we can typically find truly beautiful and captivating photos to express what our words can’t."
Conversation Agent: How to Create an Action Plan this TED talk [18:08"], Ed Ulbrich, the digital-effects guru from Digital Domain, explains the Oscar-winning technology that allowed his team to digitally create the older versions of Brad Pitt's face for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Incidentally, I loved Brad Pitt's performance, especially the hour or so in the movie when it was embedded in the animated head. Once you view the talk and see how it was created, you will want to go see the movie. Promise. This video is an amazing example of tenacity, innovation, and problem solving. The type of execution that led to the final product made me think about the difference between traditional marketing communications and where marketing communications needs to be next.
Enjoy your weekend – now on to installing Windows 7 on my notebook…
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