Saturday, October 31, 2009

Steve Ballmer on the Engadget show

  • Steve lays it out on how he sees the future of Microsoft as a world player. Some interesting insights into Windows Mobile, and the likely merger of the Zune as a hardware platform – time will tell, although more like on a Windows 7/2010 Mobile from a hardware partner
  • The segment with Steve lasts 37 minutes, the rest being Engadget talking about Windows 7 and new products from Apple, the new Mac Book and touch based mouse

Friday, October 30, 2009

The ice is melting fast!

  • A couple of recent videos from TedTalks on the speed that the poles and glaciers are melting.. The first one shows the sophisticated use of remote controlled time-lapse photography to show the rapid ice flow into the sea from North and South poles and Greenland's glaciers. The second one is of Lewis Pugh, who decided to swim for 20 minutes in the Arctic! sea (sic)
  • For a detailed and mostly scientific conversation on said see
  • So the new Toyota Prius get’s my vote. Just think all those unsold cars sat on the dealers forecourts, that will rapidly depreciate as vehicle manufacturers rush to market with hybrids and pure combustion-based cars fall by the wayside

Lewis Pugh’s thread

Thursday, October 29, 2009

toolkit - Extend Boot Partition in VHD

  • As I had just created a dual boot Windows 7 system that loads a .VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) of Windows Ultimate as a bootable .VHD for demos I ran into a problem of running out of space in the .VHD. The workaround is to resize the .VHD which is no easy task with the limited Microsoft tools. Don’t believe you can use dispart.exe, nope that doesn’t work, because the mounted (mount point) .VHD does not form part of a partition.. it is a .VHD in a folder on an active partition.. So here’s the tool that will actually resize the .VHD – cool
  • Just open the file and set the type and set the size

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VHD resize tool

Download details: Microsoft Application Screen Decoder 1 (MSA1)

  • This just popped up courtesy of Microsoft - a CODEC for Live Meeting 2007 OCS (HFP) High Fidelity Presentation format. Previously the desktop sharing part of the recording was blacked out and not visible due to the CODEC not being installed on Windows 7 RC1. It is bundled in Win7 RTM and can also be downloaded separately
  • An even better find was a HFP converter to video :-) So you can now watch your recordings through a media player – cool
  • The only caveat being..

    The following meeting metadata or contents are not supported:

    • Flash as multimedia content
    • Shared Notes
    • Question and Answer

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Recording Converter for Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007
Microsoft Application Screen Decoder 1 (MSA1)

Monday, October 26, 2009

SharePoint 2010 - The Collaboration Platform for the Enterprise and the Web and the virtual road from here

  • I’m gearing up for Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 now that we’re into Beta phase
  • Office 2010, especially Outlook 2007 and Excel 2007 look like great products and the web based versions look like they will parry nicely with the main fat clients.. more here
  • I blogged back in 2005 that Microsoft would probably move into a semi client/web based environment sooner or later and that licensing would just become a click-once exercise via the web via an online shopping mall. And now that hosted versions of both the server and client applications are here or nearing completion, Microsoft will have one of the largest and most mature online suite of server/apps available compared to any other vendor. So you can either use fat clients, or slim clients via Terminal Services pointed at either the web or the companies intranet, hosted by way of Server 2008R2 hyper-v. If you take a peak behind Virtual PC 2007 RC1 you see that the active window is in fact a Terminal Services window into a Terminal Server 2003 hosting XP as an Operating System.. just change the Start menu to Classic:

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  • This is a neat trick, although I noticed that Communicator 2007 R2 (trial) would not install because it detects the RDP session into the Virtual PC Terminal Server. So unlike Virtual PC 2005, or Virtual Server 2005, where you are actually in a proper Virtual PC (client/host) environment, VPC 2007 RC1 is really a remote RDP session in a single-user license Terminal Server (TS). This is so that you can launch any of the installed applications in the VPC2007RC1 environment, either in the TS session or as a standalone application on the Windows7 desktop, called App-v, or Application Virtualisation
  • This same technology can be leveraged via Server 2008 R2/Hyper-V utilising MEDV, instead the server behaves as the TS host that streams the application over the wire to an RDP client interface on the PC, so App-V over the wire rather than Windows7 (localised MEDV). Clever use of existing technology when parried with client or server, you just choose if you want local access or remote access to the application and data. This is what I call a split virtualisation architecture, allowing you to either have local access or remote access. In the future you won’t care where the applications or data reside, it will just work, and when we have total network coverage via technologies like WiMax and the like over mobile networks
  • Cisco have just bought a data streaming specialist Navini Networks as a precursor to the explosion of mobile applications of which no doubt virtualised apps will form a large part. As both Google and Microsoft have invested heavily in data centres and the fabric underpinnings are largely in place, it only remains to be seen who will win out in the world of virtualised network providers and their respective service offerings. It stands to reason that IBM may also play a part in this, as they have invested heavily in services over the wire and have some pretty impressive hardware which can be farmed out. I see some interesting partnerships forming over the next few months and each of the big guns lines up to carve up this lucrative market
  • Just think, you buy four laptops and go online to buy your software, you ask for a small business server with 25 licences, server based apps and a server based workspace environment. The local OS ends up being a shell which then launches applications in the cloud that just appear on the desktop in seconds via TS like windows spawned locally, but served remotely. Data can be local or remote, your choice, security can be locally handled or encrypted via BitLocker locally or in the cloud.. Will this happen? For sure it will, because one big concern corps have is privacy concerns (government snooping) and of course loss of valuable data. I mean there’s no way I would put my data into the cloud knowing that someone can break the encryption when ordered to do so my some remote government.. Not that shouldn’t be able to do so, but it would have to be by mutual agreement.. not by proxy
  • Here’s an interesting video from the guy responsible for BitLocker’s deployment


Trampoline Systems – skills mapping/mining software.. a hot topic for smart corporate’s
SharePoint 2010 - The Collaboration Platform for the Enterprise and the Web

Friday, October 23, 2009

Llewtube - Ade Edmondson

  • Another great episode on the road with Robert Llewellyn on this weeks Carpool

Web site

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Media Frenzy

  • Well it seems like every man and his dog is getting on the media sharing bandwagon with none other than BSkyB now sharing music online. High quality preamble tracks are available. Still Spotify is better IMHO, allowing full track reviews

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  • More notably there now appears to be a price war starting between these new rivals. The Editors new album is £6.49 (320kbps) from BSkyB and £7.99 through Spotify/7Digital and £8.99 from iTunes. Look’s like BSkyB means business and loyalty to music provider brands will become strained given that price is king these days..
  • And.. once you’ve subscribed say just for the month for the cost of the album you have downloaded from BSkyB, you then get a months worth of free streaming of entire tracks in 320kbps! Cool, and yes addictive.. the long tail mentality alright

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BSkyB Songs

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Channel4 4oD – new media age

itcrowd

  • One of the funniest comedy series I have seen in a long time, all available by courtesy of Channel4 4oD (4 on demand)
  • Channel4 will soon be hosting 4oD content directly from YouTube carrying their own branding and commercials adding up to 3000 hours of content, available up to 30 days after initial broadcast to the UK only at first. Hopefully this will then go global once they can figure out a sustainable licensing model – more
  • PRS have also signed a deal to allow music content to be put back on to YouTube, originally having had to pull all the music video content off due to licensing issues surrounding global access rights and payments to PRS and it’s associated artists – more
  • Channel4 will now benefit from switching hosting traffic to YouTube, gaining from Google’s massive data-centre network combined with data reporting facilities, so that viewing metrics can be passed back to the Channel hosts and licensees like PRS alike

Microsoft tablet

  • Microsoft are currently in the process of building a touch based tablet PC with some interesting features, including touch technologies used in Microsoft Surface and soon to be released Windows 7
  • It looks like it will combine technologies originally developed by their research labs such as InkSeine and OneNote Canvas

Friday, October 16, 2009

Spotify – burning to a CD

  • Just pinged Spotify today that I wouldn’t sign up to Premium unless I could burn tracks to a CD or have them available on my Windows Mobile
  • Then I just read a new blog entry that shows you can indeed now burn to CD :-)
  • Still the price is the same as iTunes, but the quality may be better at 320kbps, so I’ll test out a few tracks. The best thing is that the tracks are .mp3, so that makes it easier for access rather than iTunes AAC format..
  • There’s also a video on said here

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Urban Networked Electric Cars - Tokyo Show

Nissan Land Glider

  • I’ve long had an idea for a hybrid motorbike and couldn’t help noticing this concept car from Japan. This is an early working prototype and looks set to be a real winner. The only problem I see is that as a hardened biker of many years won’t opt for one of these because you can’t inter-take between traffic on a busy road.. One thing I love to do down the busy M50 in Dublin is ;-)
  • Still, a lean-over car looks a interesting concept for those people looking for a cheap city-flicker and as someone pointed out in the original article, you could slot these on to drive-through trains for for the long hauls

Urban electric cars – original article

Ford Fusion Hybrid - Review | Hybrid Cars

  • Next month whilst I have my Audi A4 Avant 1.8T S-line put through it’s annual MOT test, I thought I would take the opportunity to test drive a hybrid vehicle, namely the Toyota Prius
  • Whilst I was researching the Prius I came across the Ford Fusion Hybrid

FordHybrid2 

  • It look’s a tad ugly and it certainly isn’t anywhere near as well tailored as the Prius, but it has to said that Ford are fast on the heels of Toyota, probably 2-3 years behind in terms of build quality and reliability
  • The dashboard is a bit too busy, but I expect a simpler OLED display to replace the aging power hungry LCD displays

FordHybrid

Ford Fusion Hybrid - Review | Hybrid Cars – original article

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The boy who harnessed the wind

  • As we have just got broadband down in the foothills of Kilkenny, Ireland, I was listening to some Spotify music whilst watching last nights Don Johnson daily program on Channel4’s 4oD
  • Don’s a funny guy alright, though a tad close to the line sometimes – buy hey that’s entertainment USA right. The best part of the show was when he interviewed William Kamkwamba, who co-wrote a book with Bryan Mealer on how he spent a few not so idle months off school fabricating a windmill out of scrap parts. An idea inspired from a few pictures he had gotten from a book in his local library. William needs just $80 (a year) to attend local school. Due to civil unrest in Malawi , he was unable to attend school, so instead decided to invent his own home-grown wind turbine for electricity and a second one for lifting water from a well
  • Way-to-go William, you brought a tear to my eye to see such courage and sheer imagination in your endeavours

Volkswagen Jetta TDI - Review | Hybrid Cars

  • Boy do the American’s have a different idea about what constitutes  real-world economy. I’m looking at 40-60mpg as standard, but the yanks are looking at 29/40mpg city/motorway!
  • An half average diesel these days can easily get 50mpg if driven sensibly with higher fuel savings on longer routes and some free-wheeling down hills ;-)

volkswagen-jetta-tdi-sportw

Volkswagen Jetta TDI - Review | Hybrid Cars

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Mitsubishi IMIEV - Llewtube

Dale Vince – Lotus electric car anyone?


  • I watch Robert Llewellyn's weekly video podcast, where he interviews various luminaries and key figureheads in all things tech. Here he’s been driven by Dale Vince, of Ecotricity UK. Dale setup one of the first wind turbines in the UK, near Stroud (where I used to fly my model planes near). Dale is an avid eco-warrior and is working with Lotus to provide the wind turbines local to their factory and work site. I’m speculating, but given the relationship with Lotus, I’d say the early prototype Dale is seen here driving, stems from a Lotus chassis. Makes a lot of noise, but apparently goes like a rocket
  • If it ever reaches production, I’d be surprised, but then again, Dale looks like a man on a mission..

GTD & Kanban: Series Overview | Personal Kanban

GTD

  • GTD is going to become big news for corporations looking to ‘right-size’ and gain high performance from staff. It’s all about prioritisation and knowing what is the right approach to get to the desired outcome in the most efficient manner, whilst keeping your sanity and health intact :-)
  • I’m a great GTD advocate and will be looking into GTD methodologies over the next few weeks, to see if they can alter the way I work and more importantly, the people I train in how best to get things done with Microsoft products

GTD & Kanban: Series Overview | Personal Kanban

Fly-by – now that’s low

  • This guy was risking the biscuit somewhat! The camera man flinched, for sure. The noise of a jet low-level can just about shake your brains out, having seen a Phantom do a low pass over 14 squadron, RAF Br├╝ggen myself, I can vouch for that experience! Then again standing under a Vulcan with four Olympus engines roaring at max dry-heat (no after-burner) is louder, so loud in fact your fillings will probably fall out. I lost partial hearing in one ear due to that experience, even with a headset on

 

  • Look carefully and you’ll see the aircraft has it’s airbrake extended (under the belly)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

CleverWorkarounds – SharePoint and all that jazz

  • Here’s a quick links list of some recent cool finds on SharePoint

CleverWorkarounds - Paul Culmsee of Seven Sigma Business Solutions
Joel Oleson's Blog - SharePoint Land – the history of SharePoint
Paul Galvin's SharePoint space [SharePoint MVP]
Google Sites – for those interested in Google’s answer to SharePoint.. maybe
Home – Office 2010 and Office Web Apps Beta

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Carbon nanotubes may power ultracapacitor car - Ars Technica

  • I follow Robert Llewellyn (leu-wellin) of Red Dwarf (Kryton) fame on his weekly Carpool podcasts. He drives a Toyota Pious to work and picks up actors and luminaries for a chinwag on the road so to speak

Hybrid tech

  • As I’m in the market for a new car, I keep seeing the total distance per tank (TDPT) going upwards. Now car’s such as the VW blue motion and the like are touting figures of 70mpg (miles per gallon) and if ultracapacitors  come in to play, we will start seeing >100mpg or sub 4ltr/100km
  • So maybe I’ll hold off from replacing my aging Audi A4 1.8T (190PS) with a Seat Exeo ST (143PS).. That Seat will do nigh-on 800 TDPT. If fact Top-Gear did a dry run (full to empty) run on the VW Polo blue motion and more interestingly the new Jaguar XJ can do 50mpg (5.6) extra-urban, 40(7.0) combined. For a 3.0ltr V6 donkey, that’s some figure. Now if Jaguar were to combine a KERS like recuperation system with that package they’d have a green looking car alright ;-)

Carbon nanotubes may power ultracapacitor car - Ars Technica