Steve Lombardi’s VE Session has just finished and contained some cool announcements.
Now available for commercial use.
First and foremost, VE is now available for commercial use. The nitty-gritty details are available from the virtual earth developer site (www.viavirtualearth.com) but, in essence, if you leave the What and Where fields visible, you can use the control provided for a commercial site for free. In Jan 2006, there will be an option to pay for use and remove those controls.
Steve’s working on a demo site for this technology called www.MyFavouritePlaceOnEarth.com – catchy huh? It’s not live yet, but when it is, it’ll allow you to mark a spot anywhere on the earth (or, more accurately at the moment, anywhere in the continental US) as a “significant site” and decorate it with the metadata to say why.
More info on current features
Steve explained how the Locate Me feature works. It finds all of the WiFi hot spots it can (whether or not it can connect to them) and their signal strength. It looks up their MAC address on a database they have server-side and does a triangulation to work out your location to within “50 to 100 feet”.
There was another feature of the current release that I hadn’t twigged to – the ability to email or blog from your scratch pad. Check it out. It’s pretty neat.
Beta 2 – Coming Soon
I mentioned above that the data are only available for the US. This one of the things that will be remedied in the next release (called beta 2 and due out “this fall”). The new features of VE in this release that Steve disclosed today are:
VE and MapPoint Web Services – better together
Today, VE and MWS are a great team (geolocate and address with the MWS API and chuck it up on VE, for example). In January, it will be even easier to combine their strengths as they will pretty much be merging around the time of MWS 4.0.
www.viavirtualearth.com – check out the gallery of VE applications
http://www.viavirtualearth.com/MyVirtualEarth/MapControlTest.html – this is a testbed where you can play with the whole VE API. Well worth a look.
I was chatting with Rob Farley at TechEd and he casually mentioned that he’d signed up for a couple of the Free MCP exams we had on offer. He went on to say that he’d finished the first one in such quick time on day 1 (and passed), that he asked the proctor whether he could sit the second in the same time slot. He did, and passed it too. He changed his booking for the next day to another 2 exams (in the one timeslot) and passed both those too!
Great work Rob! There’s a special edition Microsoft eLearning cap on its way. I’ve got another cap waiting for the next best TechEd certification story I get (entries close 18 Sep).
Updated – added some more hyperlinks
At TechEd in Auckland I delivered DSK312 – Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Office System: Building Office Solutions Using Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office. As promised in that session, I’ve posted my slides here. For those of you looking for the source code for the complex AI prediction engine I demoed, please contact me separately.
I’m sitting in the overflow room at PDC with Chuck watching the keynote (well, most of it at least). We’ve just seen some very nice (if not very developer-focused) demos of Windows Vista and Office 12. Highlights so far for me are the pervasive search (across both Vista and Office 12) and the ability to drop slides into a PPT presentation from a Sharepoint slide gallery and have the presentation kept up to date when the slide changes in the gallery. The other really neat thing is the tight integration of RSS throughout both Vista and Office 12.
Jim Alchin’s just showed Window 1.0 on an old IBM XT! It booted very quickly, and the graphics are pretty much as I remember.
Jim’s “very confident” of Vista broad availability by end of 2006
Vista Superfetch is pretty cool – remembering what the machine has opened in the past to anticipate what you’re going to open in the future and speed things up. The other really neat thing Jim showed was plugging in a USB key and adding 512 MB “Ram” to the box. I’ll be interested to see how that USB key’s memory access performs as compared to, say, DDR2.
AJAX implementation called “Atlas”.
Nice Windows Presentation Foundation demo of an app (NetFlix) running on desktop, tablet, MCE and SmartPhone.
More to follow …
I’ve got a bunch of great sessions lined up for today and I’ll report on those as I go.
Last night we caught up with a lot of the MS RDs at a great middle-eastern restaurant.
Tonight I’ll be at the Aussie get together at PDC underground.
Just got this note from John Pawlowski (of Canberra .NET User Group fame). Happy to help John!
eXtreme .NET event
MSDN Connection and dotNET solutions are bringing Dr. Neil Roodyn, leading .NET and XP mentor and author of eXtreme .NET, to a training venue near you. We are touring throughout Australia and New Zealand during October and November with an updated one day and a new advanced two day training session on eXtreme .NET. The cost for the one day session is AU$450 (inc GST) while the two day event is AU$850 (inc GST). As it is sponsored by MSDN Connection, members get a $50 discount if they quote their MSDN Connection membership number.
Introductory eXtreme Programming Techniques for .NET Developers
This one day course is designed to show developers and team leaders how to incorporate eXtreme Programming (XP) practices with .NET-connected technologies to create high-quality, low-cost code to build better software. This practical, realistic course systematically covers key elements of XP methodology in the specific context of the Microsoft .NET Framework, Visual Studio .NET, Visual C#, and related Microsoft .NET-enabled applications.
Advanced eXtreme Programming Techniques for .NET Developers
This two day course is designed to teach developers and team leaders how to take further advantage of eXtreme Programming (XP) practices with .NET-connected technologies. This practical, realistic course will help you to turbo-charge your development process. Over the two days Dr. Neil Roodyn will take a deep look at planning, team-play, advanced test-driven development, software architecture, code design, and much more. The introductory one day course is a prerequisite to this course.
Further details can be found at http://www.dotnetsolutions.com.au/xp.aspx. Dr Neil’s presentations were sold out earlier this year so ensure you book early to avoid disappointment.