Beta 2 Feedback

It's beta 2 madness with both Vista and Office betas just launched.  It's been a busy month.I see and hear a lot of feedback around the web on what people think of Vista beta 2.  When installing, you may have noticed a fairly clean desktop ... a recycle bin, and a feedback icon.  If you have any opinions on it at all -- what you like, what you don't like, please leave feedback.  Let me say that again:  please leave feedback.  Double click the icon, and jot down some words.If yo... [More]

Small Steps to More Robust Code

Most of us have seen code that takes a value from a user-entered field and uses it internally, and hopefully, it does some checking on this data first.  For web apps, this is especially true of Querystring and Post data. By not doing some simple checks, we open up the application to a large number of security vulnerabilities, as well as just simple points of failure.A certain number of security concerns arise out of malicious data, such as SQL injection or cross site scripting. I'm not going to go into... [More]

20/20 ... It Has Begun

I don't think anyone else has done this yet, so I thought I would start a series of entries as I go through the 20/20 LifeStyles program.  Microsofties are familiar with this program (and usually know of someone who's been through it), so I thought I'd start a series on entries to go along with my journey through the program.So what is 20/20?  It's a Wellness program, essentially (the official site is here).  But beyond anything else I've seen, 20/20 is about discovering yourself, and underst... [More]

XP-N ...

*Disclaimer* I work for Microsoft, and this article (click here), though written by the AP, is on MSNBC.  This is all just my own opinion and not that of Microsoft, etc.This comment isn't about whether or not Windows abused its monopoly or any other claims ... specifically, I'm reading and commenting about the colossal failure that is Windows XP-N.  We haven't had the joy of seeing XP-N here in the States, but it's a version of Windows XP that ships without Windows Media Player (WMP).  The Eu... [More]

Thanks Apple, But Still Pricey

It looks like Apple is winning its battle against the labels to keep music at $0.99/song through the iPod music service.  I think having a flat rate is the way to go, and kudos to Jobs for not caving under the pressure to raise prices.But, am I the only one who thinks that $0.99/song is still too expensive?  Unless you're paying a mall-based retail shop a bloated $20 or so for a new CD, the fact is, it's still cheaper to purchase the CD than it is to download the tracks.  (And, I realize some... [More]

Star Trek 11 in 2008

I saw an article this morning mentioning that Star Trek 11 is under way, with a tentative release date scheduled for 2008.  Cool!  I'm a fan, but not an insane one.  In an interview with one fan, the reporter asked how big of a Star Trek fan she was on scale from 1 to 10.  She replied:"I'm probably more toward the extreme side, but I don't speak Klingon. And unless it is a convention or Halloween, I would be embarrassed to wear my uniforms in public, but I do have them. I would say 8.5."... [More]

More Copyright Issues

I'm a big fan of Google's special holiday logos.  As most people are aware, every so often, Google replaces its logo with a jazzed up version celebrating an event or holiday.  (Clicking the logo, of course, does a search on the internet for the given event.)  Yesterday, I briefly noticed some work of Joan Miro making up the logo -- but, I admit, I didn't know who Miro was until I looked into his work a bit.   The family of Miro, however, got a bit upset about this usage (violating c... [More]

Looking at the Data

A short while ago I posted about being slammed by googlebot (in this post).  In looking at the Search Engine report for March, it's real interesting to see how search engine's respond to subtle site layout changes.  All three major engines had a huge increase in the amount of traffic over the month, but Yahoo "reacted" with the least increase in traffic.  Interestingly, Google and MSN were neck and neck for the month, but Google did edge out MSN slightly -- and that's not easy to do (nor is i... [More]

It's Not That Interesting, Folks

With 1 year of service behind me at Microsoft, I've been trying to figure out how to sum up some thoughts.  I've been psyched for my 1 year anniversary to pass, though for different reasons than my former northern-Idaho colleagues understand. :)  (Sorry, that's an insider joke.)So what's with the title?  Microsoft not interesting?  Well, let me drop a bombshell, folks:  it's not Area 51, it's a company.  In many ways, a great company ... cool campus, good benefits, lots of smar... [More]

Increasing Website Performance

As developers, we often spend most of our time planning a database strategy, optimizing algorithms, etc., when it comes to tweaking performance of an application.  It makes sense, because that's where the true architectural decisions are made.  HTML and Javacript (not counting AJAX) seldom fall on the developer's plate for performance tuning (usually, that's fine by them).  Let's face it:  there's nothing glorified about tweaking HTML tags and finding that perfect balance of image qualit... [More]

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