Brian Johnson's Startup Developer Blog

December, 2003


    Tablet PC and Painter

    So the other day I found that Wacom released some new Tablet PC digitizer drivers. If you have a Tablet PC that uses the Wacom digitizer, these drivers let you use the pressure sensitivity feature of the tablet from apps like Photoshop and Painter. The new drivers are great and so I immediately upgraded to Painter 8. I spent most of yesterday drawing and painting. If you are an artist this combo is a must have.

    I've used Wacom Tablets with Painter for years, but there's really nothing like using these same features on a Tablet PC. There were times yesterday when I was thinking that I had gotten the paper too wet or that I needed to wait a few minutes to add another layer of acrylic, and then realizing that I was working on a computer. It's very immersive.


    OK, for my first truly stupid vacation post, I'll point you to a new Web site that I found that let's you link your picture to your Xbox Live Gamertag. This thing is actually pretty cool in that it let's you see pictures of some of the people that you play with on Xbox Live. It even breaks the pictures down by games played by the individual.


    And yes, I even added my own picture here.


    Rainbow Six 3 Movies

    Somebody put together some pretty funny RS3 movies.
    [Listening to: rainbow2 - - (05:26)]

    WS Security Paper

    We'll be headlining this on the Security Developer Center later this week.It's a pretty important step for Web Services as Matt notes in his blog.

    Discover how two parties using Web services can interoperate in a Kerberos environment. Covers securing SOAP messages, including the security tokens, how signatures look on the wire, and how to obtain tokens in this environment. [MSDN Just Published]

    Update: I'll try to get that headlined this week. Most of the staff was on vacation last week.


    PDC Sessions

    Some (Most? All?) of the full PDC Sessions are now up online. Be sure to check out the C++ talks in the Tools and Language section.

    These are done with Microsoft Producer and you can download the PowerPoint slides separately if you wish.

    Debian Hack

    Paul Thurrott has a must-read commentary about the recent Debian hack. Here's the quote that I like the best....

    And astonishingly, an IDC analyst actually called the break-in a "compliment," a platitude I'm pretty sure no one used during the Microsoft attack. "Someone felt that [breaking into Debian's servers] was hard enough to do to be worth doing," he said, apparently with no sense of irony or hypocrisy. "This is one more line of evidence that Linux is coming into the mainstream. The fact that it was caught and dealt with showed the strength of the [OSS] community." Does this double standard confuse and infuriate anyone else?

    Here are some other links:

    Debian: Attack Didn't Harm Source Code
    Hackers Attack Debian Linux
    Debian Project servers hacked

    Redesigned Visual C# Developer Center

    Duncan is the trail blazer on MSDN. He's redesigned the Visual C# Developer Center home page to include blog entries and fewer persistent headlines. The idea is that we eventually move all of the tools sites to this design if we find that it's well liked. Let me know if you think that this is something that you would like to see in the Visual C++ Developer Center.

    BTW, I took this picture on my cell phone. :)

    Is security too hard?

    Kent asks for my take in this post. Here is my answer... My only comment is that security is difficult, but it need not be overwhelming. As you know, at Microsoft we use Active Directory. That means one password for use on our corporate network. We augment that with physical security in the form of smartcards when we access our network from the outside. This solution has been extremely efficient and I don't find that our users experience much difficulty with it. As far a home security goes, install a firewall. Use Windows Update to update machines. Make sure that Wep is enabled on your wireless network and change your Wep key occasionally. Use antivirus software. These things should be as commonly recognized as what you need to do to stay secure as putting on a seatbelt when getting into a car or putting on a hardhat at a construction site. If the security measures that users need to take are so difficult that they are trying to circumvent these measures to do their work, then something needs to be done to either simplify the system or to retrain the users so that they understand their responsibility in ensuring the security of corporate assets. Security as an issue isn't going to just go away. It gets better over time, but in the end, you have to manage risk in the most cost effective way that you can.

    New Security Newsletters

    Two new Security newsletters from Microsoft coming soon. You can sign up for the IT/Dev or Consumer versions at the Microsoft Subscription Center:

    Microsoft Security Newsletter
    This monthly newsletter is the authoritative information source for understanding the Microsoft security strategy and priorities. Written for IT professionals, developers, and business managers, it provides links to the latest security bulletins, FAQs, prescriptive guidance, community resources, events, and more.

    Microsoft Security Newsletter for Home Users
    This bimonthly newsletter offers easy-to-follow security tips, FAQs, expert advise, and other resources that help you enjoy a private and secure computing experience.

    If you subscribe to the TechNet or the MSDN newsletters currently, you'll probably recieve one copy of the technical newsletter as a special edition. This newsletter has some great content for anybody who's interested in security, so I would encourage anyone interested in that topic to sign up.

    TechNet Security Week


    This week, TechNet is featuring a number of Security Webcasts. From the page....

    TechNet Security Webcast Week

    The TechNet Security Webcast Week, the first week of December 2003, spotlights TechNet’s continuing webcast coverage of one of the hottest topics for IT professionals today. The webcasts listed are live webcasts. After each webcast occurs, this page will be updated with a link to the on-demand version of the webcast, which will be available for viewing for at least one year.

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