Thursday, 27 May 2010

Over 40 AR companies & Qualcomm, Microsoft, Google, Intel, Nvidia, and Nokia coming to Augmented Reality Event: Are Nokia back in AR? | UgoTrade

Over 40 AR companies & Qualcomm, Microsoft, Google, Intel, Nvidia, and Nokia coming to Augmented Reality Event: Are Nokia back in AR? UgoTrade: "Augmented Reality Event will be an unique opportunity to see how the complete vision of AR is emerging, one that will include visual recognition of real life objects, sensors to enable interaction with physical objects, and the long anticipated, comfortable, sexy, AR eyewear. Six companies with be presenting and exhibiting AR glasses and HMDs at Augmented Reality Event."

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

BBC News - First human 'infected with computer virus'

BBC News - First human 'infected with computer virus': "A British scientist says he is the first man in the world to become infected with a computer virus.
Dr Mark Gasson from the University of Reading contaminated a computer chip which was then inserted into his hand.
The device, which enables him to pass through security doors and activate his mobile phone, is a sophisticated version of ID chips used to tag pets.
In trials, Dr Gasson showed that the chip was able to pass on the computer virus to external control systems.
If other implanted chips had then connected to the system they too would have been corrupted, he said."

Relational lists in SharePoint 2010

An great post on creating relationship lists in SharePoint.

I have been working on a 2010 project to deliver a tracking system inherited from a spreadsheet. Very standard SharePoint stuff here. In 2007 we would have had to implement either a one way link from child to parent or parent to child; or two links both ways but totally independent.

With relational links in SharePoint 2010 we get a much richer tool for creating links between list items. In this way you now can create proper parent child relationships between lists in SharePoint 2010.

When you create a lookup link column in a list, you now can impose relationship including cascading deletes. It also allows lists to inherit information from other lists via a parent child relations.

How we are using it is linking a task list item to its review parent. The review parent contains key information needed for doing the task, and now we only need to link a new task to its parent. Planners using SharePoint create tasks and assign them reviews that identified the issues in the task. It is a vast improvement over the first version with did in 2007.

What I have not gotten a chance to test yet is if this also can work across web applications.

Reason to go Microsoft SharePoint for the Cloud, a defense of what is kind of a weak product

If cost was no obstacle you would probably never use SharePoint. But given that cost is an issue maybe we should all go to Cloud vendors like Google? My answer is that such a move would have serious liability to any organisation which tries it. No matter how cool a Google Cloud office sounds, you are far better off with a Microsoft Stack with all its problems. Sorry to sound nerdy but it is true.

Google vs. Microsoft comes down to this: I would rather live in a country where 1 company made all the TV, rather than a country where 1 company owned all the TV channels.

Italy is not freer or more democratic because it has a wide range of new cheaper TVs. All the terrible things said about Microsoft actually applied to Google.

And Apple has recently proven it is no sooner back on its feet from almost utter failure 13 years ago before it is gunning for one of the most beloved products of the web: Flash.

SharePoint for all its problems, provides you the ability to define YOUR OWN security in house, YOUR OWN PRIVACY in house, and it allows you to customise to the extent you see fit, including integration with systems from Oracle, BEA, Red Hat, SAP, and just about anyone else.

Has Google now gone postal as well?

Not entirely sure why the Web 2.0 staples are going nuts, but frankly Microsoft is looking more and more principled, professional, and excellent.

For example, I received the lovely helpful email:

"Hello, Your blog at has been reviewed and confirmed as in violation of our Terms of Service for: SPAM. In accordance to these terms, we've removed the blog and the URL is no longer accessible. For more information, please review the following resources: Blogger Terms of Service: Content Policy: -The Blogger Team"

I would be will to swear in a court of law that what ever the definition of spam is my blog not only did not Spam, it only was receiving a few hundred hard core SL fans contacts a month anyways. You would imagine a automated system looking for SPAM would take in to account if a site was actually driving false clicks to other sites, given you had, oh lets say 4 years of log records on the site.

Well Google itself says there is a chance of false positives, which is why they disabled my Google account and forced me in to a situation where I had to give them my mobile phone numbers to get access to my email.

I think we all need to have second thoughts about the Web 2.0 Cloud. And I think Microsoft is posed to clean the board against these clearly lame new firms that really lacks the professional class enable productive use of IT.

I wounder if this was simple revenge for me saying that Wave and Buzz were a flop?

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Massive growth in Internet opens new possibility to SharePoint

BBC reports that "British web users are spending 65% more time online than three years ago".

SharePoint benefits from growth in web usage since it develops skills that SharePoint can expose as business functions.

Listed bellow are the top activities of UK users on line, with the tools that can be provided by SharePoint:

Time spent on web:

Social networks/blogs - 22.7% Blogs are in SharePoint 2007 and 2010, social networks are expand in 2010.
E-mail - 7.2% Email is provided by Exchange, but SharePoint integrates with email server or can be part of SharePoint via a web browser
Games - 6.9% Forget it
Instant Messaging - 4.9% With OCS SharePoint can provide IM capacity, and a lot more
Classified/Auctions - 4.7% Many companies can implement corporate classified in SharePoint, and many companies use it to manage supply and demand of staff and resources.
Portals - 4% Full SharePoint 2003, 2007 and 2010 provide Portals
Search - 4% SharePoint provides both standard search and now Fast search
Software info/products - 3.4% SharePoint has many tools that cab be used to provide software information including document libraries, list, wikis, blogs and WCM.
News - 2.8% SharePoint provides WCM news, blogs, and RSS web parts for news
Adult - 2.7% Though there is no reason SharePoint could not deliver this content, lets assume no one will use it.

Source: UKOM with my own comments on SharePoint.

To put this in content. Right now these activities account for 63.3% or online usage, 85% of which can be provided by SharePoint.

This makes SharePoint a pretty obvious tool for web publishers but also for companies hoping to exploit skills users develop on the web to work. And the workforce is learning these skills now at a ever expanding rate, whereas use of traditional system, spreadsheets, or other methods of content creation and communication are not being learned to such an extent.

It simply makes sense to go SharePoint.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Why I can't live without Facebook

May 31 2010 will be delete your facebook account day. I fully support this democratic protest against a company run by a tiny little monster who had just happened to find himself using the most popular resource on the web and is seeking to exploit it in a truly evil way.

Let me be clear about this. The users of Facebook have created it, not the engineers. Facebook is a very simple tool. As such it is the users of the tool who create the wealth. Who created the hammer, the ladder, I eye glasses? We don't build statues to these men and women nor do we pay their decendents obsene sums of money. And we certainly don't surrender personal informaiton to be provided to marketers.

Facebook is a lot like Microsoft, it just happened to be there when it was needed. In 2007 Web 2.0 work done by millions of users had created the need for a central social network storage place. Emails had been overloaded. The situation was like someone millions of people going to a store and saying they needed a shelf. In an odd piece of luck MySpace sold to the one man who fully and utterly has no understanding of the web, and people used Facebook.

The reason Facebook got a monopoly so quickly was because people needed a hub to hold all their social contacts. It was not rocket science here. It didn't make sense to have 20 hubs in the way you can have many email servers, so users collectively agreed to use the best and easiest to use product at the time to meet THEIR need.

In this way Facebook was very much like Wikipedia, driven by crowd sourcing and the strategic ability of crowds to make rational decisions through millions of small decisions. This is the principle that gives hope to all democrats the world around.

Facebook's management was the beneficially of this, not the provider.

Since 2007 it is clear the Facebook's management has misunderstood the relationship to its users and is trying to produce a full survaliance system, in short Facebook is trying to make the largest secret police in the world for sale to just about anyone who can pay. Presently Facebook would provide the people who are most supportive of Tibet's culture to the government of China and happily place ads for China or misinformation from China on its page. The only thing stopping Facebook is international laws.

And perhaps the most telling sign of the evil of Facebook's creators is their refusal to follow the advice of law enforcement and child protection agencies and put a panic button on their site. There was nothing but economic issues involved and it was a truely disgusting act.

I will not go in to details of all the problems with Facebook, for they are massive and being discussed publically at present. I will only say that the community that created Facebook has every reason to pull out and that I hope to see most of my contacts vanish on May 31.

Though I am still struggling my decision to delete or not I probably won't because at this point I still need Facebook.

I have lived in various places in my life and moved among different groups. At this point in my life Facebook is the only consistent contact I have with a number of key people in my life. I use facebook for family contact, for contact with dear friends still living in Chicago, and for exchanging information with experts around the world.

It pains me to admit I am still addicted. But the people at Facebook should know, I have been put on Twitter treatment and given the actions of my friends it is possible that I could be recovered enough to go cold turkey before the end of the month.

To be honest I would be very proud of myself if I can. I just doubt it.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Office Web Apps Come With a Price for IT Orgs -- Redmond Channel Partner

Office Web Apps Come With a Price for IT Orgs -- Redmond Channel Partner:

"Office Web Apps are Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications designed to run in a Web browser. Browsers supporting Office Web Apps include Internet Explorer 7 and 8, Firefox 3.5 (Windows, Mac and Linux) and Safari 4 (Mac), according to a Microsoft support page. It's not clear if Microsoft plans to expand this support to other browsers, such as Opera or Google Chrome."

Friday, 14 May 2010

BBC News - Google admits wi-fi data collection blunder

BBC News - Google admits wi-fi data collection blunder: "Google has admitted that for the past three years it has wrongly collected information people have sent over unencrypted wi-fi networks.

The issue came to light after German authorities asked to audit the data the company's Street View cars gathered as they took photos viewed on Google maps.

Google said during a review it found it had 'been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open networks'.

The admission will increase concerns about potential privacy breaches."

With recent privacy problems with Facebook, Apple trying to drive Flash off the web, and now this, what did any person every have against Microsoft?

BBC News - Facebook downplays privacy crisis meeting

BBC News - Facebook downplays privacy crisis meeting: "Facebook has downplayed the significance of a company-wide meeting to discuss privacy issues.

The blogosphere described the meeting as a panic measure following weeks of criticism over the way it handles members' data.

Several US senators have made public calls for Facebook to rethink its privacy safeguards.

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, launched a petition directed at Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

It called on him to regain the trust of users by giving them control over all the information shared via Facebook.

Earlier this week European data protection officials weighed in on the controversy and called privacy changes 'unacceptable'.

A number of high-profile users have also deleted their Facebook accounts after the site introduced a new feature that lets non-Facebook websites, or third parties, post the personal views of Facebook users without their consent"

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Office moves to the Cloud

Microsoft is playing to the strength of its global reach. "Microsoft Office Web Apps" will be available to more than 500 million people using free Windows Live services such as Hotmail, online storage Skydrive and Live Messenger.
BBC News - Microsoft's two-pronged strategy for Office 2010

This move by Microsoft could radically change everything. I am a long time users of both Microsoft Office Live and Google Docs and neither is really anything to write home about. But organizations and users are desperate to cut costs.

For example, after forking out the money for a New Windows 7 machines and a new iPhone I was not about to also pay for Office for my own personal use. I use a combination of Open Office and Google Docs. I recently finished a MA with all my work done in a combination of Open Office and Google Docs. It worked much better than when I had a server in the house running WSS. But is was still not really Enterprise ready.

The Cloud is certainly the way of the future. But presently the Cloud has been pushing people away from the document towards the email, tweet, blog post, friend link, photo and movie.

Docs remain either locked on the client, distributed in an uncontrolled fashion in emails, or siloed in SharePoint work spaces or file shares.

Microsoft has it right that if the Document is going to survive it needs to be transformed in to a more fluid web object. It needs to keep the clear boundaries that make a document unique from a blog or wiki. Taking Office in to the Cloud and making it free will reduce communication costs while giving the users of Facebook what they have come to expect: free software.

I think this is a brilliant move by Microsoft in principle, lets see how it works out. In the past Web Document objects have suffered from limitations of browser technology. IE6 is still deeply embedded on a lot of machines and desktop roll outs could take 4 years to upgrade.

Most seriously in the face of cuts many CIO might decide that the current client system is working well enough to not risk an upgrade which only PROMISES to reduce costs. Massive Luddites caused by budget conscious IT departments more worried about keeping their jobs than innovation are a massive risk right now.

Today is the day SharePoint 2010 release

Today in SharePoint 2010 release day

BBC News - Wikimedia pornography row deepens as Wales cedes rights

BBC News - Wikimedia pornography row deepens as Wales cedes rights:

"A row over sexually explicit content on the web encyclopaedia Wikipedia and related sites has escalated.

Co-founder Jimmy Wales has given up some of his site privileges following protests by contributors angered that he deleted images without consultation.

Mr Wales had previously urged the removal of 'pornographic' content from the user-generated site.

This followed a complaint about 'child pornography' to the FBI from another Wikipedia co-founder.

In early April, the estranged co-founder, Larry Sanger, reported Wikimedia Commons to the FBI, alleging that the organisation was 'knowingly distributing child pornography'.

He later clarified that his concern was not about photographs of children, but 'obscene visual representations of the abuse of children', which can include drawings and sculpture.
Sexually explicit content

Last week, administrators of Wikimedia Commons, a media file store widely used for Wikipedia articles, deleted hundreds of images.
Some images deemed by the Wikipedia community to have educational merit have since been reinstated."

Office Web Apps goes after Google

Microsoft is preparing to launch its latest weapon in its ongoing battle with Google.

The software giant will launch its flagship product Office 2010 to businesses on 12 May.

The latest version of the software has a free online component - called Office Web Apps.

Analysts believe the web offering is a response to Google, which has been encroaching on Microsoft's core business with its free online tools.

Crucially, Microsoft will also offer its online office suite to all users of one of the world's most popular social networking sites, Facebook.

"There's no question - Microsoft is responding to Google's threat," said Whit Andrews, analyst at research firm Gartner.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Google just does not do collaboration

It seems that Buzz added insult to the injury of Wave. Wave was a tool that no one could figure out how to create content in. Buzz on the other hand is the nose making machine of content. A Buzz account is like taking in someone elses 2 year brat. You are soon flooded in a mass of content you can never read or review. Beyond that you are flooded with requests to follow from people who are clearly spamming. And anyways, do we really need another Twitter.

Its hard to decide which failure was greater: Buzz or Wave. Have to think on that one. The main point is Google does semantic analysis and search, Google does not do social.

Really Google and Microsoft don't do social as core principles of their company. But right now Microsoft is the only one with a core collaboration product that has a future: SharePoint. I am thinking more and more that the future of Cloud based computing will be won or lost by SharePoint.
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Wave Goodbye, The SharePoint "killer" that went no where

It was about half a year ago. I remember waiting for a Wave account. It was like the Studio 54 of collaboration.

And then we got it, finally after waiting.

Calling it the anti-SharePoint would probably not be as descriptive as calling it the anti-I-pad. The hype turned out to be all just hot air. Wave is a limited, confusing to use, tool that no one can figure out. Last winter, as you can see, me and a few friends actually made an intense effort to "Wave", but found chats in Facebook or Twitter were easier to follow and more open to other users.

So Wave was a wipe out. How Google is going to retire this I don't know. I feel kind of sorry for some of the people I read about in Linux magazines who wasted massive amounts of time to learn the technology around this stuff.
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Thursday, 6 May 2010

Content Deployment in SharePoint

Let me start by saying I hate staging and live environments. When I worked in a more traditional WCM industry these were the necessary evils of systems that created massive static sites on fixed schedules. SharePoint allows Web Content Management Publishing in real time. Real time changes are better. If anything the effort to fix a single page in real time simply by changing and approving a single page in SharePoint compared to the need to order a new publishing of an entire site should make any business see that real time WCM with strong approval is the way to go with SharePoint.

BUT, I have found that some Enterprises have evolved to a point they need the old staging and publishing environment to meet a set of requirements. This is entirely pointless in SharePoint since SharePoint publishing works with server side updates rather than publishing flat files.

But you can create a staging and live environment with CodePlex's Content Deployment Wizard.

Microsoft MVP Chris O'Brien gives a very good overview of how the tool works.

Now I can't repeat enough that on a very deep level Content Deployment in SharePoint just to have a staging and live environment separate from the authoring is wrong. All Content Deployment does is makes a copy of the SharePoint site in a other Web Server. You can get the same level of publicising control simply by using WCM features in SharePoint without having to build separate environments.

So if you find yourself in a situation where you need to use Content Deployment you should be very firm why you need it and the business should be aware of the risks, costs, and benefits of not using it. I can't stress enough that SharePoint has changed the entire Internet game. Designers who used to have small sites they could work and play with now need to think in industrial terms. Things need to be supportable, sustainable, they must reduce carbon, storage and cost.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Document Management in SharePoint 2010

A very good overview of new Document Management (DM) features in SharePoint 2010

Introducing Web Content Management in SharePoint 2010

Introducing Web Content Management in SharePoint 2010
A modern WCM system has to meet many needs across a business but the number one goal has always be to empower the people who own and create content to easily publish content.

What is SharePoint?

This blog post is intended for someone who knows very little about SharePoint and has to quickly learn what it is.

Said simply SharePoint is Microsoft tool for creating Internet and Intranet sites. It accelerates the process of creating web pages by giving you a set of pre-created tools to make web sites.

Standard web sites include Portals, blogs, wikis, social networks and team sites.

SharePoints primary use is for document management. With sharepoint you can create a web page for sharing and creating word, excel, and power point documents. This gives you a more controlled and user friendly environment to make and share documents than a shared drive. SharePoint is very useful for project teams which need to work together, often over a wide area.

SharePoint also provides MySites, which can be thought of as a kind of Facebook for businesses. Be warned that only the 2010 MySites is really any good.

As for releases. SharePoint was first released in 2001. The first version that was fairly widely used was released in 2003. The product really took off with a 2007 relases (release 3) and we now have a 2010 release that promises further improvement.

SharePoint comes in a limited feature free download from Microsoft called WSS. WSS 2.0 (2003) and WSS 3.0 are free downloads you can search on Microsoft's site. WSS will be called SharePoint Foundations in 2010.

Microsoft also sells a licensed more feature rich version. SharePoint is almost always licensed on a per server basis, so for very large installation it can get very expensive.

Okay the quick and dirty. SharePoint is a very popular tool for groups and teams to share information. Its kind of a shared drive replacement in a browser. You can also use it to create web pages but be warned: it does not make very clean HTML and if you need a accessible site you might want to shy away.

SharePoint can be greatly extended by buying third party products or writing code in ASP.NET. Popular companies for extensions are Quest, AvePoint, K2, and Bamboo. I am sure I missed some but this is just an introduction.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Launch SharePoint 2010

Launch will be May 12 2010 for SharePoint 2010.

Save the Date Here

Though SharePoint 2010 is an evolutionary release, it promises to fix some of the real pains in the arse with 2007 and I am starting ot get very positive about it.

Key things I am looking forward to are:

  • Fast search over SharePoint weak search
  • Reuse of Content Types throughout the Enterprise without coding (this is a real headache to proper ECM)
  • End of the 100 GB database limit in SharePoint (which has cost me no end to grief, though in reality if you could back up a 1 TB SharePont 2003 or 2007 database its fine)
  • Cluster of search servers
  • THE END OF IE 6 FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 3 May 2010

As did Wave so does Buzz

Though I found Buzz to be a bit more useful than Wave I now have to declare it dead. While Wave died because it made to sense to anyone how to use it, Buzz died because it made no sense to anyone why they would need it. Going against Facebook and Twitter this late in the game with something that added no benefits and just cluttered you page was pretty stupid.

This is what I think is going on with Microsoft and Google.

As big companies they can cut costs but can't come up with the cool next thing. Small studio start ups are needed to produce the thousands of mostly doomed new ideas so one or two can become YouTube of Facebook.

After the first crop of Web 2.0 products like MySpace, Flickr, GeoCities, and Delicious sold out only to be crushed it is clear that new smart start ups are holding on to their independence longer.

With none of the newer Web 2.0 or any of the Web 3.0 major players interested in selling out Microsoft and Google are kind of stuffed, pushed to the back space as companies that did not even exist 10 years ago take over the web.

Another 8 Things That Make SharePoint 2010 a True ECM System - Digital Landfill

Another 8 Things That Make SharePoint 2010 a True ECM System - Digital Landfill: "Another 8 Things That Make SharePoint 2010 a True ECM System"

Share the Point: The war for the Slate Space

Share the Point: The war for the Slate Space

Keeping on the the "war for the slate", which I have been blogging about for some time. Microsoft dropped another bombshell saying it would not pursue development of its project Courier:

According to reports from Microsoft employees, the mysterious and
innovative Microsoft "Courier" tablet, which would have been a rival to the
iPad, is not to be

Its hard to underplay just how bad this is for Microsoft. In my opinion it is down right stupid and could only come from Microsoft inability to get the core technology working. With the triumph of the iPhone and iPad it is possible that Mac quality and coolness could be presented in gadgets most people still can afford. This is what happen with the iPod, the device was still cheap enough that one could afford Mac quality. The danger here for Microsoft is that it could just become a Office based solution. Certainly SharePoint and its new Cloud offering will insure that Microsoft position will last for some time, but without consumer usage there is a danger Microsoft core could drift and even fade out over time.

Microsoft Courier

Courier will not be