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    Kinect For Windows SDK BETA Now Available

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    I know you’ve been playing with your XBox in between class, or dare I say, instead of studying for mid-terms/exams. Here’s something cool that will distract you for sure!

    Crack open your Visual Studio ! You can now start developing Windows applications that make use of Kinect! The Kinect for Windows SDK Beta launched yesterday in a special Channel 9 Live presentation. You can catch all the action at the Channel 9 Live Events Area.

    To jump right in and start playing with the SDK, here’s what you need:

    Last but not least, here are some cool examples of using Kinect for Windows:

    So? What do you think? Cool or what? Is your head spinning with app ideas where you can leverage Kinect?

    Happy studying! (the SDK docs of course!)

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    Become a Microsoft Student Partner! Become a Rock Star!

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    Passionate about technology? Love learning about new tools? Want to build a relationship with Microsoft and take the first step into the IT industry? Sounds like you need to consider becoming a Microsoft Student Partner!

    Microsoft Student Partners, or MSPs, are students who are enthusiastic about the latest and greatest tools and technologies and are passionate about sharing their excitement with their peers. If you’re familiar with the MVP program, then think of MSPs as MVPs of academia. If you’re not familiar with the MVP program, then simply think of them as campus rock stars!

    MSPs must posses a range of abilities ranging from excellent time management to superb organizational skills. Communication skills are considered especially important to ensure that MSPs can host successful campus events and spread their knowledge and excitement to their peers. They should have a good relationship with their faculty and must have the backing of at least one faculty member who would be willing to support their initiatives. Additionally, students who are selected for the position of an MSP must sociable, friendly and approachable individuals who like to meet new people.

    The MSP program is rewarding not only through engagement and support but also through perks and benefits. These include:

    • Exposure and recognition on campus with faculty and students.
    • An MSDN Subscription granting access to tens of thousands of dollars worth of Microsoft software.
    • Access to numerous benefits including reference materials, training, and privileged information about future job opportunities.
    • Direct interaction with Microsoft professionals and their partners.
    • A letter of recognition for the participation in the program.
    • Additional swag and opportunities exclusive to MSPs only.

    Microsoft Canada is continuously looking for students to participate in the MSP program. If you think you have what it takes to take the privileged status of an MSP on your campus, grab and fill out the MSP application. Be sure to email it to me as soon as possible! Summer may be in full gear, but don’t delay, as we select only one top-notch student from each university/college to represent their campus.

    If you have any questions, be sure to ask me, a former MSP. Smile

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    AzureFest Toronto

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    Drum roll please. AzureFest is finally coming to Toronto!

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, as students we should care for a simple reason: we don’t like to sit through long and boring lectures (com’n, admit it). AzureFest is all about getting down and dirty with the tools. Instead of walking away with just the knowledge of how to deploy a cloud app, you’ll walk away having actually done that. Be sure to bring your own laptop and a credit card (event and tools are free; it is only required for account activation, you will not be charged for anything) and get ready to actually do stuff.

    AzureFest Toronto will take place in the heart of Toronto downtown at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone.

    When: Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
    Where: 10 Dundas Street East, Room: AMC-502, Toronto, ON, M5B 2G9
    Register: Click here

    And as always, there will be prizes!

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    Microsoft’s FUSE Labs

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    If you haven’t yet done so, be sure to check out Microsoft’s FUSE Labs (http://fuse.microsoft.com/). FUSE (Future Social Experiences) produces some pretty neat projects that deal with social, real-time and media-rich experiences.

    Among their notable projects is Docs for Facebook, a tool that allows you to share Microsoft Office documents with your friends on Facebook. Think of it as SkyDrive with full Facebook integration. you can upload, create, view, edit and then share documents with your friends or even the world. As with SkyDrive, document editing is collaborative, which means that you and your friends can edit at the same time. If you have Microsoft Office installed, you can edit directly from your desktop instead of the browser.

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    Bing Twitter Maps is another cool project that allows you to see tweets directly from Bing maps. That is, the tweets that you see and post are in the context of a map and carry a story along with the place. If you are, for example, searching for a specific place or object on the map, you will be able to see real-time tweets in that specific area. All the standard options that you would expect including searching, filtering and embedding are all there. Be sure to check this project out and if you have a comment or a suggestion be sure to voice it.

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    FUSE even attacked the problem of solving classic crosswords. Team Crossword allows you to solve crossword puzzles with your friends. Simply start a session and invite your friends, or wait for random strangers to join you as well. Smile You can even jump into an existing session and play with others around the world. Whatever you do, you now don’t need to ask anyone what the nine-letter movie title that start with “i” is.

    Lili Cheng, General Manager of FUSE Labs, gives an insight into some of the other projects and how and why they are cool and unique.

    Be sure to head over to http://fuse.microsoft.com/ and check out all of their projects.

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