Getting More Fiber in the Diet

Lately I've noticed all new telephone poles were laid nearby, and a lot of the underground wiring in my development has been getting worked on. Perhaps this is scheduled and not related at all to Verizon FIOS, but I noticed there's a lot of fiber being laid down. I also see a lot of markings supporting that on the pavement, but I have no idea what all the markings mean: All the fiber may remain dark for the next decade, but I'm hoping this means Verizon FIOS (fiber to the home, with a nice 15/2 connect... [More]

PDC '05

I just got my VP approval to attend PDC in Los Angeles from Sept. 13-16. Anyone else plan on going? Drop me a note or a comment. I'm considering driving, though most people think I'm nuts... Looking over the sessions, it looks like a great opportunity to get immersed with some of the newer .NET and SQL Server technologies.

Microsoft Picnic

It's that time of year again -- time for company picnics. Ah, summer. A number of years back at Scholastic we started a tradition (well, I think we started it -- it could be that I just joined the pre-existing tradition). We went for the first half of the picnic, then headed over to Candlewood Lake where my former manager had her house and boat (good times, right Jules?). Despite whatever stories came out of that day, I never threw any interns in the water; it was completely voluntary. This year's Micr... [More]

Cool Campaign

This SQL Server and Visual Studio (2005) campaign has been getting some attention -- and with good reason. It's a really enjoyable experience -- not just a boring flash animation or ad. If you haven't seen it yet, head over and check it out: http://www.escapeyesterworld.com/ I hate to call attention to it, but I really disliked the recent Office campaign -- the whole "dinosaur head" motif just didn't work. So, it's quite refreshing to come across this ... even if you're not a developer, you're likely t... [More]

The Speed of Light

This is just too funny. So I'm at work when my buddy Tom (who cheerily posed in front of the WinHEC x64 sign here) brings to my attention a bit of irony in an MSN ad. The truth is I've seen this kind of thing before (Google or MSN -- neither is immune to these contextual faux pas) but for some reason this one just stood out as particularly amusing -- perhaps because it involves echinacea and just smells of late night infomercials. The ad is for echinacea, but the story is explaining that echinacea has n... [More]

Comcast Just Doesn't Get It

Perhaps some of my old colleagues will remember the infamous "slow network" problem we experienced that created such bottlenecks in our applications that it just drove us insane. We'd lose replication packages, have timeouts, file transfers seemed like they were on a 56k connection. I'm reminded of these good times thanks to Comcast, who, for the past 2 months, just can't seem to see the forest for the trees. I have a whopping 8mbps download (with a tolerable 768k upload -- a bit low with today's Optimum... [More]

I'll throw, you catch {}

Every few months I see this topic re-emerge in some fashion, and lately it has done the same internally here at Microsoft. So, I thought I’d share some various pearls of wisdom on some exception handling characteristics and best practices. Many of this below summarizes the opinions of others internally, including thoughts of various individuals on the CLR and VC# teams. So the specific question is: what is different in the following code blocks? (Look at the throw statements.) try {    ... [More]

Google Countersues Microsoft

By now most people have heard about Microsoft suing Google and Kai Fu-Lee because Lee, a former exec at Microsoft, went to work at Google at a new research and development office in China. The lawsuit cites that Lee signed a noncompete agreement in 2000, preventing him from working for a competitor within a set period of time of leaving Microsoft (1 year, I believe). Apparently, Google has filed a countersuit (in California) stating that the non-compete contract violates California laws giving workers the... [More]

The Illusion of Choice

Remember when the Merovingian (The Matrix 2) said something like, "Choice is an illusion, created between those with power, and those without." Ah, the good ol' college days of arguing "consumer" philosophy. So being a reality TV junkie, I'm hip to all the new shows and will usually watch at least the premiere and finale of any show. This new show just started called "Rock Star: INXS." It's by Mark Burnett (Survivor, Apprentice, et. al.) so you figure it's got at least decent production quality and, b... [More]

Etch A Sketch - Not the same on a cell phone

I’ve always been one to enjoy it when someone puts out some piece of my childhood in a newer and more computerized way. However when I saw this article a couple of weeks ago, about moving Etch A Sketch to a cell phone something inside me just said “why bother”. The ability to think far enough ahead in a creative way, that one line would end where the other would begin, and the ability to retrace your lines was the challenge. Then the ability to draw those particular shapes by turning the knobs just t... [More]

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