Brian Keller

Director of ALM Evangelism for Microsoft

  • Brian Keller

    A cell phone that grows into a flower - what will they think of next?


    This is nifty.

    Materials company Pvaxx Research & Development, at the request of U.S.-based mobile phone maker Motorola (MOT.N), has come up with a polymer that looks like any other plastic, but which degrades into soil when discarded.

    Researchers at the University of Warwick in Britain then helped to develop a phone cover that contains a sunflower seed, which will feed on the nitrates that are formed when the polyvinylalcohol polymer cover turns to waste.

    This is great timing, since I just got a new i-Mate SP3i SmartPhone today and I'm wondering what to do with my loyal, but outdated, Samsung "DumbPhone." If only I had one of the new phones discussed in the article... then I could throw it out the window on the way home and when the cop pulls me over for littering just explain that I was planting sunflowers.

  • Brian Keller

    TechEd 2005: Official Call for Papers


    TechEd 2005 may seem like a long time from now, but now is the time to start thinking about it. I'm on the planning team this year and it's already shaping up to be a really exciting event.

    This year's U.S. TechEd will be in Orlando, FL from June 5-10.

    Attention speakers: If you are interested in speaking at TechEd 2005 (and who wouldn't want a trip to Orlando?) then check out the Call for Papers site:

    Don't worry, this ain't English class... you don't actually have to write a paper, just slides and demos. :-) I'm on the team that gets to review your session submissions and make the hard choices about who gets to speak, so please make my job easy by writing a thorough submission with all of the great reasons you will make a top-notch TechEd presenter.

  • Brian Keller



    ABC affiliates pulling 'Private Ryan'

    <political commentary>
    It's a sad state of affairs that, with all of our great technology like V-Chips and remote controls (i.e., the power to choose), that we still have to take cues from the FCC about what we can and can't watch on television. I mean c'mon, people. The problem is not the content. If somebody wants to complain that their children are getting access to content that is innappropriate, then it takes less effort to change the channel than it does to lodge a complaint with the FCC! It just blows my mind... yes, of course, there are some public places where a certain level of censorship makes sense, like at the mall and on billboards. But in your own living room - where you, as a parent, should have complete and total control over what plays on the television, there's just no excuse to ruin it for the rest of us who want to pay homage to the great veterans of this country by way of watching Saving Private Ryan which, by the way, is an amazing film in my opinion.
    </political commentary>

    This weekend I will be excercising my freedoms by playing a little Halo 2. And if my local affiliate decides to pull Saving Private Ryan, then I'll just need to dig out the DVD.

  • Brian Keller

    Blogging in line waiting for Halo 2...


    ...just because I can. I'm waiting outside the Microsoft company store and I'm #15 in line. I can't WAIT to get in, get my copy, and start playing. Honestly I wasn't planning on even coming to get a copy today, because I didn't want to fight the lines, but when I woke up at 5:00am I considered it to be a sign. My neighbor, Elizabeth (aka KrustiGutz) is already ranked #5 in the world. :-)

    See ya online -
    Brian (aka Gr8fulDead)

  • Brian Keller

    I don't need a Rolex. Thanks.


    Dear Spammers (or, "high volume email deployers") -

    Thank you for your recent plethora of e-mails describing your fine Rolex wares. But I should tell you, before you waste another processing cycle on flooding my Junk Mail folder, that I don't wear watches. I have tried in the past, but I just can't adopt a watch into my lifestyle. Between my cell phone, PDA, laptop, and the in-brain computer tracking device they give us when we start at Microsoft <g>, I have plenty of ways to determine what time it is. And if all of those devices fail, I can just look at the sun. Scratch that... I live in Seattle... well, surely at least one of those devices will be working at any given time.

    Nevertheless, thank you for your time and the multitude of offers. But I am too busy making "$25,000 per week working from home" and "earning my college d1pl0ma."

    Yours truly -
    Brian Keller

  • Brian Keller

    Mutant League Football: Bring it back!


    Mutant League Football was, in my opinion, one of the best video games ever made. It was released in 1993 by Electronic Arts. It was a football game, except that your teams were made up of - well - mutant alien creatures. A "long bomb" equated to throwing an explosive-rigged ball to one of your receivers, ducking out of the way at the last minute, then letting the other team intercept it and getting blown to pieces! Certain fields were littered with land mines, pits, and other contraptions designed to take your players out of the game.

    Now wouldn't it be cool if EA was to release an updated version, taking advantage of all of the latest gaming technologies and platforms? My friend Ian thought so, too, so he started a petition to have EA bring the game into the 21st century.

    If you're a Mutant League fan also (there was a hockey game, too) then I encourage you to sign the petition so we can float the customer demand in front of EA.

  • Brian Keller

    idx3d engine ported to J#


    This is a really cool 3-D graphics engine that was originally authored in Java which has now been ported to J#. You can download the J# version here:

    Thanks to Peter Walser (original idx3d author) and George Birbilis (J# port author) for the link.

    Some other cool Java community projects that have been ported to the .NET Framework by way of J# include:
    - Naked Objects framework
    - TCL / JACL
    - And one of my personal favorites, TurtleTracks Logo. (I sure wish I still had my Logo projects from 5th grade...)

    If you know of other similar J# projects please let me know, I'm always interested in checking them out.

  • Brian Keller

    What's Google going to do with Keyhole?


    I'm wondering what Google intends to do with Keyhole? The press release simply says, "Keyhole users will benefit from the expanded resources and operational scale made possible by the integration into Google."

    Ok, so Google's cash pile brings some capital into the Keyhole operations. Well, lots of capital. But how does this leverage the synergies of the two companies? Google = Search. Yes, there is a search element to mapping. But in a mapping environment, the metadata is very limited (addresses, landmarks, roads, etc.). But on the Internet, there are a million ways of slicing a result set and Google does a very good job at quickly helping me find what I want. Rarely do I go to MapPoint and have any problem narrowing my search to the location I want. So funding aside, why would Google acquire Keyhole? How does 1 + 1 = 3 in this scenario? I don't get it yet.

    Granted... I've been a big fan of Keyhole every since David Weller introduced me to them, so if nothing else it's good to see the annual subscription price was slashed.

  • Brian Keller

    The grinch of Halloween


    No, I'm not the grinch of Halloween. I love Halloween. It's probably my second favorite holiday. My favorite is Thanksgiving (read: lots of great food, little commercialization).

    But Major Nelson - my friend over in XBox Live - just wrote a post about how he hates Halloween. How can you hate Halloween? I have some theories:

    - Somebody toilet papered Major Nelson's house last year
    - Major Nelson, as a young Cadet Nelson, had his candy stolen by a pack of neighorhood punks. Unfortunately in real life you can't send feedback and have their accounts banned. :-)
    - Major Nelson doesn't like trick-or-treaters interrupting his XBox Live sessions (I can understand this!)
    - Major Nelson is diabetic and therefore can't experience the sweet side of Halloween. Mmmm... candy...

    Of course, there is one aspect of Halloween that I hate as well. And that's candy corn. Check out Dan's blog from our discussion yesterday!

    Now if you'll excuse me I have to go get the finishing touches for my Borat costume. Jagshemash!

  • Brian Keller

    Voicemail SPAM and other election woes...


    Virtually every phone call I get at home nowadays is a 30-second political ad. I've lost track of how many I've received but I think it's approaching double digits. I for one can't wait until the election is over if for nothing else to stop the barrage of these SPAM-calls. Are there really people out there who are swayed to vote a particular way based on these calls? If so, it's a sad testament to our voting community... I'm even on the Do Not Call registry but I guess it doesn't apply if you have a political message. What's the number for the "Do Not Call Even If You Have a Political Message" registry?

    Oh, and in other news, I got a call from one of those polling organizations conducting a survey of voting preferences. Now since I'm in marketing and we rely on such information regularly, I feel it's good karma to participate so I gave up 10 minutes of my time. But after a few minutes I could tell how offensive it was to me - a registerted libertarian - since all of their choices relied on me responding either Republican or Democrat! A few of the answers gave Green Party as an option, but none of them listed any of the Libertarian candidates. Before this turns into a blog about how biased our two-party system is I should cut it short... but I think I'm going to stop answering my phone until November 3rd.</rant>

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