Brian Johnson's Startup Developer Blog

December, 2004



    My mom sent an e-card for my birthday the other day. I love this line from her note:
    "If you hadn't given me this computer, I would have sent a card in the mail. It would say the same thing..."
    While I'm all for saving paper, I miss that Jackson falling out of the card when you open it. :)

    New IT Pro Security Community on TechNet

    TechNet has a new community page up for security experts. Lots of RSS links to add to your aggregator. Check it out here:
    IT Pro Security Community
    Welcome to the IT Pro Security Community. If you are new to Community, visit the Getting Started page. Or, you can:
    • Participate in a newsgroup
    • View a webcast
    • Join a chat
    • Attend an event or briefing
    • Find a user group
    • Read a column

    Early Christmas Present

    My platinum box from Valve showed up today with a new Half-Life cap, the soundtrack CD, a bumper sticker, three posters, and a (sorely needed) strategy guide. Good stuff. My daughter has dibs on the Alyx poster.
    [Listening to: Dark Piano Short - Valve - Half-Life (01:15)]

    New .NET Show Episode: ADFS

    There's a new .NET Show posted just in time for the holidays. Check it out here:

    Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS, formerly known as "TrustBridge"), is an identity and access management solution which provides a secure environment for managing user identities, authentication methods, and access rights across an organization's various departments, offices, and regions.

    In this episode we talk with David McPherson and Don Schmidt about not only how ADFS will support these capabilities in the future, but also how using Authorization Manager in your solutions today will enable you to be ready for ADFS when it is available.

    Visual C++ 2005 Page Updated

    Today we propped an updated Visual C++ 2005 page. I'm going to try to aggregate as much VC 2005 information as I can there until we launch the product, so you might want to bookmark this as a reference for Visual Studio 2005, C++/CLI, and Visual C++ 2005 Express. Check it out here:
    Visual C++ 2005
    Want to get the scoop on Visual C++ 2005? Below you'll find links to Visual C++ 2005 information. We'll add more information as we get closer to release
    In reviewing the articles for the page, I rediscovered some really great content. For example, be sure to check out Brandon Bray's webcast series, The New C++. If you have time off this holiday season, take some time to get familiar with the changes to Visual C++ 2005 and maybe download a copy of the Visual C++ 2005 Express Beta to play a bit. Finally, be sure to check out Kenny Kerr's article, C++: The Most Powerful Language for .NET Framework Programming. (Which I now see that I need to add to the new page.)

    John Montgomery on Writing Secure Code

    Developer Marketing Director John Montgomery has posted a blog entry asking developers the question, "What should we be doing to make it easier to write secure code?"
    Writing Secure Code
    One of the things that my team is responsible for is helping developers understand the importance of writing secure code and how to do it. Rick Samona has joined my team and is working with security experts like Jeff Cooperstein and Michael Howard to begin the process of helping developers think more about security. We did some research and we found that about 50% of developers think it is important to write secure code (what about the rest?) and that they even feel security is more their responsibility than the responsibility of system administrators. And about two-thirds of them they feel like we (that's we, the industry, not just we, Microsoft) don't provide them with enough information, tools, guidance, and so on to write secure code.
    Be sure to leave some feedback with your thoughts on this at John's post. This is a great chance to get your concerns voiced in this area.

    Free Visual Studio Partner Product DVD

    I saw this on a couple of the blog sites and since I didn't even know about it, I thought I should share it with Visual C++ Developer Center visitors:
    Order Your Free Partner Product DVD
    Get the most of your investment in Visual Studio .NET with the best of breed third party tools, languages, and components.

    Order this free DVD and receive over 65 tools, components and languages from Visual Studio Industry Partners. These full version and evaluation products can help save you time and money building applications for Microsoft Windows, mobile devices, the Web, and Web services.

    Microsoft Acquires Anti-Spyware Leader GIANT Company

    Spyware is one of the bigger concerns I get questions about through the MSDN Security Developer Center. Get the details here:
    Microsoft Acquires Anti-Spyware Leader GIANT Company
    REDMOND, Wash. -- Dec. 16, 2004 -- Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has acquired GIANT Company Software Inc., a provider of top-rated anti-spyware and Internet security products. Microsoft will use intellectual property and technology assets from the acquisition to provide Microsoft® Windows® customers with new tools to help protect them from the threat of spyware and other deceptive software. In addition, key personnel from GIANT Company will be joining Microsoft's security efforts.

    Amazing Xbox Stats from Major Nelson

    Check this out ...

    Some cool Xbox stats....

    • For the 13th consecutive month, Xbox grew its share of year-over-year monthly console sales -- climbing an additional 19 percent compared to last year -- and hitting a 41 percent share in November.
    • Market share on a year-to-date basis for Xbox increased from 24 percent in 2003 to 37 percent in 2004. During the same time, PS2 share dropped from 51 percent to 45 percent.
    • Xbox year-over-year console sales for November increased a staggering 61 percent, while PS2 decreased 17 percent.
    I'm thinking Live support is making all the difference. :)

    Earnhardt Movie

    We watched the Dale Earnardt movie on Saturday night. It was pretty good. I told my wife that I thought everybody in my home town was probably watching it. Going by the ratings, I think that's probably not far off.
    ESPN's 3 Drives Ratings
    The film was the second highest-rated film on ad-supported cable in 2004 and was the top film in ESPN's history among men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.
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