Brian Johnson's Startup Developer Blog

May, 2004


    Kate Gregory: What Do the Language Changes Mean...

    I had the pleasure of meeting Kate Gregory in person down in San Diego. She's written an interesting blog posting today commenting on upcoming language changes to Visual C++:
    What do the language changes really mean for C++ people?
    Friday morning at Tech Ed I was talking to some folks on the C++ team about the language changes that are coming for C++ and what they really mean. I don't mean that “ref class” means a class whose memory is managed by the runtime. I mean “what is the importance to a language of its syntax, and of changes to that syntax?“ How does changing a language affect the community of people who are using that language?
    I'm looking forward to the upcoming CodeGuru colum that she mentions. The complete list of her columns at CodeGuru can be found here.

    Windows XP SP2 Platform SDK RC1

    Last week we posted the Windows XP SP2 Platform SDK RC1 image on the download center. You can use the image to get the header files you need to build projects specific to this service pack. Here's the link and a blurb:
    Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 Platform SDK RC1
    The Platform SDK – Windows XP Service Pack 2 Release Candidate contains the information you need to develop applications for Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 Release Candidate 1. Use this SDK to ensure that you have the latest documentation, samples, and SDK build environment (header files, libraries, and tools) for the RC1 release of Windows XP Service Pack 2.
    We'll headline more XPSP2 stuff this week, so keep an eye out.

    MSN Messenger Xbox Live Alerts

    This was a great surprise to find when I got back from TechEd. You can now sign up for Xbox live alerts that get sent to your MSN Messenger account as a popup, or to your cell phone if you so choose, when you're not logged in. This is absolutely awesome because my buddies spend a lot of time on PC's and relatively little time on Xbox Live. Using alerts, I can try to track them down to whatever Counter-Strike game they're in and have a little fun.
    MSN Messenger and Xbox Live Alerts
    Imagine being able to get a game invite on your cell phone, as well as news about new games and downloads. How about being able to get the latest Xbox news and see which of your friends are signed into Xbox Live right in your MSN Messenger? It’s not a dream, it’s real, and it’s happening right now.
    Of course, you might need to be a little careful with these capabilities. If your boss is one of your buddies, it's easy for them to keep track of your Xbox Live usage. We have an internal Xbox discussion where somebody mentioned that a couple of his friends were logging in between 3:00 and 3:30 in the afternoon. I pointed out that I have a couple of boys who hit the Xbox first thing after school.

    MLB Online in Wired

    I caught this article in Wired: Baseball Hits a Homer Online. I've been using this service through my MSN Premium account and it's really great. Combined with the baseball on the SPOT watch and the MSN Alerts that get sent to the cell phone I can really keep track of what's going on with the Mariners. (Hey, good news, bad news, what are you going to do?)

    VS 2005 Team System Overview Article


    If you're interested in finding out more about the Visual Studio 2005 Team System, there's an overview article by Prashant Sridharan that's a must read. It's very clear and has some nice graphics describing the system. I'm starting to get very excited about the next version of Visual Studio. From the article:

    Visual Studio 2005 Team System: Overview

    Complex applications require multi-disciplined teams to deliver them. As with any major undertaking attempted by a team, communication is a fundamental component of success. The new Visual Studio Team System expands on Microsoft's demonstrated ability to deliver highly productive tools by offering businesses tightly integrated and extensible life-cycle tools that increase the likelihood of success. This success relies on how well teams can communicate with one another to reduce the complexity of delivering solutions.


    Visual C++ Team in the Cabana


    Members of the Visual C++ team are in Cabana 5/6 answering questions about Visual C++. Stop by if you're here at TechEd in San Diego and say hi.


    Threat Modeling Tool Posted

    Yesterday, we posted Frank Swiderski's excellent Threat Modeling Tool. We've been using this internally to do threat models for several months and now the tool is out of beta and ready for the world. Frank's new book, Threat Modeling should be out soon.
    Threat Modeling Tool
    The Threat Modeling Tool allows users to create threat model documents for applications. It organizes relevant data points, such as entry points, assets, trust levels, data flow diagrams, threats, threat trees, and vulnerabilities into an easy-to-use tree-based view. The tool saves the document as XML, and will export to HTML and MHT using the included XSLTs, or a custom transform supplied by the user.

    If you're new to threat modeling, check out the Threat Modeling Chapter from Improving Web Application Security: Threats and Countermeasures. You'll also want to check out Chatper 4 of Writing Secure Code, Second Edition. Mike has a post on this as well.

    MSN Messenger IM Status


    Datagrid Girl says that MSN Messenger should have more IM status icons. I agree.  

    [Datagrid Girl]

    • Stewing (ask me why I am mad)
    • Thinking (go away unless you agree with my ideas)
    • Be nice to me (sad)
    • Playing (it's only Tetris, feel free to bug me)


    I would add…


    • Coding (If you’re going to bug me, this better be good.)
    • Starbucks (If you want me, call the cell.)
    • Hiding (I’m not answering your e-mail, so why do you think I want to talk to you?)

    Antivirus Defense-in-Depth

    Yesterday, Microsoft Solutions for Security published a guide dealing with viruses and malware. This is good stuff. Check it out here:
    The Antivirus Defense-in-Depth Guide
    Microsoft Solutions for Security: The Antivirus Defense-in-Depth Guide provides an easy to understand overview of the assorted types of malware, their risks, characteristics, means of replication and payloads. The solution also details the considerations for implementing a comprehensive antivirus defense for your network, servers and clients which goes beyond simply installing antivirus software into the related tools which will help reduce your risk of infection.
    Just what I was looking for, some good weekend reading for the flight to TechEd in San Diego. :)

    Windows XP Service Pack 2 Weblog

    Tony Goodhew has been publishing a Weblog about Windows XP Service Pack 2 that I wasn't aware of. Tony knows more about the changes that XPSP2 brings for developers than anybody else on the planet. So this is a must subscribe for developers who are tracking and keeping ahead of the changes that this service pack is going to bring:

    Tony Goodhew: Windows XP Service Pack 2
    My name is Tony Goodhew and I'm the Developer Division Product Manager for Windows XP Service Pack 2.

    What is Windows XP Service Pack 2?

    With Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Microsoft is introducing a set of security technologies that will help improve Windows XP-based computers' ability to withstand malicious attacks from viruses and worms. These technologies include:

    Network protection
    Memory protection
    Improved email security
    Safer browsing

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