Sunday, 31 May 2009

BBC NEWS | UK | Rare bumblebee coming back to UK

BBC NEWS | UK | Rare bumblebee coming back to UK
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TechNet Plus Blog : Update :Win 7 RC release on TechNet Plus

We are experiencing very high demand for the Windows 7 Release Candidate and have taken steps to improve the download experience. As capacity increases, subscribers should now be able to more easily download the software from the subscription portal. Thank you for your patience and we apologize for any inconvenience Thank YouTechNet Plus Subscriptions team
TechNet Plus Blog : Update :Win 7 RC release on TechNet Plus
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BBC NEWS | Technology | Microsoft promises 'search 2.0'

BBC NEWS | Technology | Microsoft promises 'search 2.0'

Microsoft is re-launching its search engine, promising to make search simpler, and aiming to overhaul Yahoo.

Re-named and re-branded, the search engine will go live first in the US and launch in beta elsewhere.

Google has more than 64% of the search market in the US, followed by Yahoo at 20% and Microsoft at 8.2%.

Bing offers to make search more relevant by understanding the intention of searches, and grouping more related information to the original query.

For example, searches for a product will also bring links to reviews, accessories, and online shops, as well as information about the item.

Searches for flight information will pull schedules and times from websites, as well as linking to hotels and weather.

Microsoft wants to reduce the amount of clicking a user has to do to find specific and related information.

Paul Stoddart, Microsoft UK search lead, "Forty percent of search queries go unanswered. There is something missing here and a big consumer need."

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Saturday, 30 May 2009

Friday, 29 May 2009

Did you know

Everyone seems to know that DB roles should not be virtual in SharePoint, but did you know the Index role should also be consider for hardware?  True.

SQL Server has no problems going virtual, and in fact Microsoft has told me 2008 can push 90% performance with Hyper-V.  The issues is that SQL makes a lot of IO transactions in SharePoint.  Its these IO transactions which virtualisation supports poorly and causes reduced performance in a virtual farm.  But 2010 is the target date, I have heard we will have a full virtual farm at all levels in 2010 release.

Lets only hope.
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The future of place

A synth of a place

View this aerial image on
Get directions on

And a multi-Map

Both technologies show that Google is not the only player in this field, and Google has nothign like a Synth yet.
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Thursday, 28 May 2009

Unless Bartz is a poker queen, there's no imminent MSFT-Yahoo deal | All about Microsoft |

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz kept the D7 tweeting crowd entertained, but made it seem there is no imminent search deal/sale/partnership with Microsoft in the wings.
Unless Bartz is a poker queen, there's no imminent MSFT-Yahoo deal | All about Microsoft |

My personal opinion: Yahoo can't make its web offerings in to a long term business because it lacks business complexity, Microsoft has struggled to make its business complexity in to an online offering.  Its a marriage made in heaven and Yahoo will come to regret it.  Google is the winner here.
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Hot news and a Synth

Above is a synth made from Istanbul

And the news concerns some talk, pretty strong talk, that SharePoint 2010 (no longer MOSS) will finally support full virtualisation!!!!! Virtualisation of MOSS has generally been done with the DB in hardware. You as recommended to also virtualise the Index Role but because it goes on in the background smaller implementation won't feel it if you do not.

This is not because of SQL or VMWare, it is because of SharePoint (after years of asking I got this answer finally). SharePoint farms don't work particularly well with virtual DB and Index.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Windows Live SkyDrive team blog - Windows Live

14 April
SkyDrive adds new features!
We’re releasing a few updates to SkyDrive today! Here’s what’s new:
 Arrange your photos

Now you can arrange the photos in your albums in the order you want them to appear by clicking Sort by, and selecting Arrange photos.
Windows Live SkyDrive team blog - Windows Live
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Friday, 22 May 2009

View Larger Map

Oppps on SP 2

CRITICAL: Before installing SP2 for MOSS 2007 read this:

SP2, at the time of writing, will place a 180 trail usage limit on any installation of SharePoint it uses. Microsoft is working on a hotfix right now. Of course be sure they will test and/or distribute this hotfix in such a way as to not let people turn 180 trials in to working software.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

BBC NEWS | UK | Pornographic videos flood YouTube

BBC NEWS | UK | Pornographic videos flood YouTube

Video-sharing website YouTube has removed hundreds of pornographic videos which were uploaded in what is believed to be a planned attack.

The material was uploaded under names of famous teenage celebrities such as Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers.

Many started with footage of children's videos before groups of adults performing graphic sex acts appeared on screen.

YouTube owner Google said it was aware and addressing the problem.

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PerformancePoint now free with SharePoint Enterprise CAL

As part of this vision, and feedback from a wide variety of customers, PerformancePoint scorecarding and dashboarding capabilities will now become part of SharePoint Enterprise CAL and available to customers who are on SharePoint SA. This means that customers who want to deploy PerformancePoint can do so today at no additional cost.

In mid 2009, we will release PerformancePoint Server 2007 “service pack 3” which will include updates to the current product’s planning module. Thereafter, customers should not expect further investment in standalone versions of PerformancePoint Server. However, we will continue to invest in a performance management platform and increased functionality through Excel, SharePoint and SQL Server to support broad-based performance management models and simulations. These changes enable customers to deploy a complete BI solution with existing investments in SharePoint Server, SQL Server, and Excel.

PerformancePoint merging with SharePoint

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Hold the presses, forget PerformancePoint, forget MOSS, its all SharePoint now.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Green Electricity Grids? Add the Internet

Global electricity networks could become smart grids that can help us monitor and control our energy usage, if plans from net firm Cisco take off.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

A DR story from the BBC

Flight simulator site Avsim has been "destroyed" by malicious hackers

The site, which launched in 1996, covered all aspects of flight simulation, although its main focus was on Microsoft's Flight Simulator.

The attack took down the site's two servers and the owners had not established an external backup system.

The site's founder, Tom Allensworth, said that the site would be down for the foreseeable future and was unsure if would ever go back up.

"The method of the hack makes recovery difficult, if not impossible, to recover from," Mr Allensworth said in a statement.

"AVSIM is totally offline at this time and we expect to be so for some time to come. We are not able to predict when we will be back online, if we can come back at all. "

Friday, 15 May 2009

Futuresonic in Manchester Raps Up

When a bunch of educated well informed people get together and start talking about the future the subject of global warming can not help but come up.

And suddenly the future is a very scary place. This is not like nuclear fear. During the Cold War we could dream about the things that could be if we did not destroy ourselves. We just had to not use the bombs. We could imagine a wonderful future full of Star Trek and other wonders.

But today the visions of cyberpunk look like impossible Utopias. A conference on the future is going to by its nature be somber.

The frank reality is our only hope seems to be that the science is a bit too pessimistic, that something we don't understand about climate will come and save us. That 2 degree C global increase won't cause too many problems, and that we will get lucky and it will stop.

But social networks, the Cloud, RFD, and Sparkle all seem kind of pointless. I even have to admit that at a former job I was asked to get a car. In America the period of growing public awareness about global warming saw and explosion in SUVs. Our culture of waste can't stop, and there are no institutions right now in place ready to start stopping what it going on.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Futuresonic in Manchester

Futures@nic 2008

I am away for two days a the amazing Futuresonic conference in Manchester. I hope to get some blogging done from the event but I have fairly limited web access. I should have brought that tiny Chinese laptop that is not locked down.

I am stuck using a iMac with OS X installed and though I know my Macs I can't say I am happy with this one. Well it did not die in 3 years like my mini and almost all my iPods.

But Futuresonic looks amazing, just take a look at some of these presentations.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog : Announcing SharePoint Server 2010 Preliminary System Requirements

We’ve heard loud and clear that you want system requirements information as early as possible to assist in your budgeting and planning, so today we’re happy to announce (and confirm) some preliminary system requirements for SharePoint Server 2010
Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog : Announcing SharePoint Server 2010 Preliminary System Requirements

  1. SharePoint Server 2010 will be 64-bit only.
  2. SharePoint Server 2010 will require 64-bit Windows Server 2008 or 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2.
  3. SharePoint Server 2010 will require 64-bit SQL Server 2008 or 64-bit SQL Server 2005.

In addition to the requirements listed above we also wanted to share with you some preliminary detail about SharePoint Server 2010 browser compatibility. 


SharePoint Server 2010 (Where did "Office" go?) will only support a fully 64 bit stack.  This I assume includes the application layer which often requires filters, filters are produced by 3rd parties whom have been slow often to go 64 bit because market remains 32.  This also means that firms will fully upgrade to 64 bit fully or take a pass.  Also firms will need to make the move fully to IE 6.  Nothing about office 2003 being supported or not. So the question comes down to what feature sets 2010 will offer that make this massive investment over a year worth it.

Well actually since most firms will build buy or build 5 dedicated servers to make a SharePoint farm the question is if they have VMWare rights to built one.  The filters is a serious question by most standard installations I have seen are for managing word documents.  SharePoint at its heart is an extension of Office. But if the features on 2010 are not way better than I personally would have a hard time advicing a firm to spend money on these upgrades.

Companies probably already know most Microsft Certified Consultants will just parrot Microsft's position without really providing any reason and without looking at the issues the firms face.  So companies are stuck in a difficult position of their Microsoft face telling them that they need to go to the latest and most costly and real business needs.

I would strongly suggest firms wait to see what features 2010 will offer over 2007.  My suspicion right now is that for most firms it wont be worth the cost of training staff, upgrading servers, SQL and going fully 64.

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Microsoft to raise $3.75B in first debt offering - Yahoo! Finance

SEATTLE (AP) -- Microsoft Corp. priced a $3.75 billion debt offering on Monday, a first for the world's largest software maker.
Microsoft to raise $3.75B in first debt offering - Yahoo! Finance

Microsoft said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it is offering five, 10 and 30-year senior unsecured notes. In a press release, the company said it will sell $2 billion of 2.95 percent notes due June 1, 2014; $1 billion of 4.20 percent notes due June 1, 2019 and $750 million of 5.20 percent notes due June 1, 2039.

The software maker said it will use proceeds from the sale for general corporate purposes, including possible acquisitions and stock buybacks.

Last September, Microsoft's board authorized it to take on up to $6 billion in debt. Standard & Poor's Rating Services gave Microsoft an "AAA" corporate credit rating.

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Sunday, 10 May 2009

Eco clean housing

Google or Microsoft, who is the true Monopoly

BERLIN — Microsoft will argue against a European Commission proposal that it promote competing browsers in its Windows operating system on the ground that such a move would strengthen its rival Google’s dominance in the global search-advertising market, according to a person with direct knowledge of Microsoft’s legal defense.

They way I look at it is this, I am more concerned about one company owning all the TV stations and deciding what gets on TV or not, rather than one company making all theTV themselves. Anti-trust law seems to be only concerned with economic issues and promoting the market position of their own companies. The EU is very positive on Open Source since the EU is a source of Open Source production. Issues of impact on democracy seem to go second and all over Europe people are exposed to information ecosystems controlled by a single company.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Star Trek

It is amazing. End review.

WMC on all MOSS pages

A simple point. Many MOSS pages come out without WCM features. For example even on a MOSS site a new Team Site has only the features of WSS.

So can you apply WCM descipline and desgin features to a team site? Yes. Just go to site settings and bring up the site features. Web Content Management and Publish will be disabled so just activate it and even a team site will now have full WCM features.

If SharePoint WCM features are what you need for a task is another issue. If you have used almost any other WCM product be warned, MOSS WCM will not have the same features. Still its a major step up from SPS 2003.

Movies and software

Since learning that that this movie would come out this May almost half a year ago I have been pushing it out of my head. If it was terrible I didn't want to be crushed. If it was great I didn't want to drive myself crazy waiting for it. Thing about movies is that they are just like software and not cars: you can't tell anything about them until the reviews come in and you see it for yourself.

Strange that for an industrial product like software the final outcome is just like movies. In 2006 Microsoft produce SharePoint 2007, Office 2007 and Vista.

The thing about movies is you like them or not right away, that is not always the case with software. Vista was an instant flop. Office 2007, which I think is a good product, seemed like it might get traction but, well there is just no reason to change office. SharePoint has been a major hit and only now the problems with 2007 are becoming obvious.

Hollywood is infamous for being a weird business. Stars are random things that rise and fall without any reason. Directors, writers, and other supporting staff are strange gurus holding unique skills. The business of Hollywood does not understand the production staff and the production staff does not respect the business. The end process is generally cheap high risk offering which are afraid to take chances.

The more I think of it IT and movies are essentially the same industry.
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Thursday, 7 May 2009

About - Register for Azure Services | Azure Services Platform

Trying out the Azure services is free, however a token is required to gain access to some of the services. Click the “Register for Azure Services” link below to begin the process.
About - Register for Azure Services | Azure Services Platform

Microsoft carries out second round of cuts, is the day of reckonning finally here?

The latest round of layoffs at Microsoft has taken a toll on Redmond’s security unit.
Layoffs hit Microsoft security unit | Zero Day |

Steve Riley a senior security strategist who served as one of the public faces of Microsoft’s security efforts, had his position eliminated during the second round of cuts that happened this week.

Riley is best known for his presentations at security conferences and his work on the Protecting Your Windows Network book.

As Mary Jo Foley reported, the brunt of the latest cuts hit Microsoft’s sales, marketing and support units.

Bill Hill, eBook champion, leaves Microsoft | All about Microsoft |

The timing couldn’t be more ironic. The day before Amazon announced its latest eReader, one of Microsoft’s foremost champions of screen-based reading revealed he’d be leaving the company.
Bill Hill, eBook champion, leaves Microsoft | All about Microsoft |

Bill Hill, the kilt-wearing Scotsman known as the driving force behind Microsoft ClearType, seemingly is another casualty of Microsoft’s latest round of layoffs.

Hill joined Microsoft in 1994. In 1998, he joined a new electronic books project in Microsoft Research, run by then-vice-president Dick Brass. Hill ended up running the Microsoft team that developed ClearType, a font-display technology for computer screen

Microsoft Live Framework SDK

The Live Framework SDK currently released as a community technology preview (CTP) gives you the tools and resources to program against the Live Framework, the uniform way for programming Live Services from a variety of platforms, programming languages, applications, and devices.
Live Framework SDK

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

This is the book

0735622825.jpg (JPEG Image, 202x254 pixels)

If you are checking your team for signs of sanity or not I would start to see that they all have the Microsoft Administrators book.  Probably more because it was the first SharePoint 2007 book to come out and indicates they were paying attention.   The book has a funny introduction by Bill English dedicating the book to Jesus (I am not kidding), and also establishes a vocabulary for a piece of software that has to a large extent been bolted together.
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UK Continues to drive growth

Logica and Capgemini reported interim 1Q09 results with UK revenue growth of 7% and 4% respectively. Atos Origin's 1Q09 results (announced on 16 April) showed the UK growing at 8%. For all three companies the UK is now the strongest-performing region worldwide. This is strong evidence that the UK is proving more resilient to the downturn than other markets. Picking the sweet spots and avoiding costly dead ends is going to be crucial for IT services providers in 2009. In the more mature UK market, this equates to a relentless focus on outsourcing to help customers reduce costs, as well as a clear emphasis on the public sector, which continues to spend for now. Standalone consulting has all but dried up, but consulting as a complimentary component to an outsourcing sell is paying dividends.
Telecoms and Software News

UK's potential for further growth

Logica's UK orders shot up 24% in 1Q09, largely thanks to its £76-million seven-year win with the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) to develop the Police National Database. This is going to be a phased contract and has the potential to grow following the early development work. We suspect Capgemini's UK orders aren't as impressive, but revenue growth nonetheless was healthy (7%) due to its ability to leverage its public sector assets such as with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) where it is a key partner in consulting, advisory and outsourcing. Group strategy director Martin Cook says that Capgemini is still benefiting from lots of smaller project deals for early design-phase work - a strength that Capgemini can leverage on some of these embedded customer relationships.

IT outsourcing remains the primary driver

IT outsourcing (ITO) is driving opportunities in the UK. Group-wide, Logica's outsourcing revenues were up 9% in the quarter, and orders are steaming ahead, up 44% thanks to significant wins such as the NPIA and the UK's Law Society (£12 million), as well as with TeliaSonera in Sweden. Logica expects to see outsourcing revenues growing throughout 2009, so the signs are certainly good - not least in the UK, where outsourcing makes up the highest percentage (45%) of Logica's revenue mix.Capgemini too is seeing a surge in outsourcing bookings - up nearly 40% group-wide in 1Q09. Its notable UK ITO deal is a £14-million five-year contract with Atkins to provide IT infrastructure and applications services. Cook stressed that a large number of first-generation ITO are deals coming through, and it should benefit from these over the coming quarters both in the UK and in other territories.

UK public sector keeps on spending

Despite longer-term concerns, the UK public sector is currently acting as a safe haven. Logica saw UK public sector revenues grow 10% in 1Q09, thanks largely to the NPIA deal. Looking ahead, Logica's pipeline is mostly weighted to public sector and telecoms. Capgemini is seeing significant growth too. Group-wide, public sector now accounts for 28% of revenues, up from 24% in 1Q08. Despite a fall last year, Capgemini benefitted from increased project spending at HMRC on business intelligence and information management systems to improve revenue accrual. We expect Capgemini to benefit further as new opportunities emerge to assist HMRC in reducing tax avoidance. The UK government is currently responding to its financial challenges through a proactive investment in systems and technology to plug revenue leakage. Capgemini and other suppliers would do well to seek out related government 'revenue-leakage' opportunities.

Environment Agency big ticket

Both Capgemini and Atos Origin are bidding on the potential £700-million first-generation IT outsourcing contract at the Environment Agency. This contract is one of the UK's largest in 2009, and is attracting a lot of interest. We would expect IBM to be there too since it provides consultancy to the Environment Agency, and is the lead ITO provider to its department DEFRA.The Environment Agency deal has the potential to deliver a £100 million per annum boost for the winner, and all suppliers are competing on an ambitious sustainability-led procurement. Capgemini has a strong message around the desktop (thanks to its experience at HMRC) and is deploying its consultants to test sustainable ideas, while Atos Origin is exploring green data centres and reducing energy consumption. The eventual winner will need to prove its vision for sustainability through a strong track record elsewhere in government and a willingness to be flexible on terms, pricing and delivery.
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BBC NEWS | Technology | US needs 'digital warfare force'

BBC NEWS | Technology | US needs 'digital warfare force'

The head of America's National Security Agency says that America needs to build a digital warfare force for the future, according to reports.

Lt Gen Keith Alexander, who also heads the Pentagon's new Cyber Command, outlined his views in a report for the House Armed Services subcommittee.

In it, he stated that the US needed to reorganise its offensive and defensive cyber operations.

The general also said more resources and training were needed.

The report, part of which was outlined in an Associated Press news agency story, is due to be presented to the subcommittee on Tuesday.

During the past six months, the Pentagon spent more than £67m ($100m) responding to and repairing damage from cyber attacks and other network problems.

Gen Keith Alexander's new department, to be based in Fort Meade in Maryland, will be part of the US Strategic Command - currently responsible for securing the US military's networks - and will work alongside the US Department of Homeland Security.

It is thought the new department would open in October and be at full strength in 2010.

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Monday, 4 May 2009

Windows 7 RC users get new IE 8 'tab responsiveness' feature | All about Microsoft |

Lack of tab responsiveness is when a browser tab just spins when a page fails to open. It crashes my Flock browser on Linux Open Suse if I have too many pages open, the screen freezes trying to click on unresponsive tab

The new tab-responsiveness feature in the IE 8 in the Windows 7 RC is designed to provide Microsoft — and users — with more feedback when a tab fails to open. Instead of whirring endlessly, leaving users wondering whether a Web site is down; not working with IE 8’s default standards mode; or what, a new tab dialog box is designed to pop up, allowing users to shut down proactively an unresponsive tab.
Windows 7 RC users get new IE 8 'tab responsiveness' feature | All about Microsoft |
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BBC NEWS | Technology | Can Twitter survive the hype cycle?

More news on Twitter:

Another growing Twitter community consists of brands and companies. Everyone from Starbucks to Verizon and from the Red Cross to United Airlines now has a Twitter account.
BBC NEWS | Technology | Can Twitter survive the hype cycle?

"Twitter has changed the way businesses market and communicate with customers," said Marketing Profs' Ann Handley.

"I am a Comcast customer and if I tweet about a problem, I will now get a response via Twitter. This is unprecedented in terms of the way companies have operated in the past. But there are still a lot of companies out there that are not sure how to leverage Twitter."

Twitter itself seems to be in a similar boat when it comes to making money out of the service.

"We are not feeling as dogged as people think about this issue," said Mr Stone.

"We are looking at this this year and want to start showing progress on the revenue front. Right now we have plenty of time and plenty of money in the bank and patient investors. We are here to build a lasting company."

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Microsoft moves ahead with plan for app virtualization for servers | All about Microsoft |

Microsoft execs have been talking up the concept of application virtualization for years. It now seems they’re ready to put their roadmaps where their mouths have been.Microsoft’s App-V team is working on
Microsoft moves ahead with plan for app virtualization for servers | All about Microsoft |

Microsoft’s App-V team is working on an app-virtualization product that will be optimized to run on servers, according to a recent job posting unearthed on the “Codename Windows” blog.
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BBC NEWS | Education | Computers enter learning 'core'

BBC NEWS | Education | Computers enter learning 'core'

Computer technology is to move centre stage alongside English, maths and personal skills in an overhaul of England's primary school curriculum.

These are the "essentials for learning and life" recommended by former school inspections director Sir Jim Rose.

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BBC NEWS | Technology | Web tool 'as important as Google'

Stephen Wolfram says his new search engine will be 'a paradigm for the web'
BBC NEWS | Technology | Web tool 'as important as Google'

A web tool that "could be as important as Google", according to some experts, has been shown off to the public.

Wolfram Alpha is the brainchild of British-born physicist Stephen Wolfram.

The free program aims to answer questions directly, rather than display web pages in response to a query like a search engine.

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Sunday, 3 May 2009

BBC NEWS | Technology | MS Windows 7 goes on public test

BBC NEWS | Technology | MS Windows 7 goes on public test

A release candidate of Windows 7, the next major release of the world's most popular operating system, goes public in trial form in the next week.

Microsoft is hoping it can avoid the negative press that surrounded the launch of Vista, the last major Windows release, almost three years ago.

Windows 7 has been designed to be compatible with Vista so users do not have to invest in new hardware.

A commercial release of Windows 7 is expected in the next nine months.

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