October, 2008

Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

eScience & Technical Computing - Web Services and Scientific Research

October, 2008

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Virtual Earth in full view


    Now this is a way to view Virtual Earth – talk about an immersive experience.  I would like to see how WorldWide Telescope would look on this display…

    PDC2008 ShowOff Entry: Multi-channel Virtual Earth
    Multi-channel Virtual Earth
    This video shows a multi-channel version of the Virtual Earth control running on a custom curved screen that provides a 180 degree horizontal field of view. The screen is created using eight high-end full 1080p projectors with a professional warping and blending system.  The code is a modified version of a sample project with a custom camera class to properly adjust the FOV and camera offset for each projector and some code to synchronize the camera position across the network.  The system is being controlled with a wireless Xbox 360 controller.

    PDC2008 ShowOff Entry: Multi-channel Virtual Earth | briankel | Channel 9

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    .NetMap @ Harvard


    Marc Smith gave a (Excel) .NetMap online tutorial at Harvard this morning hosted by David Lazar of the Harvard Kennedy School - Program on Networked Governance.  The slides and recording will be available at http://www.hks.harvard.edu/netgov

    Online Event: Using (Excel) .NetMap for Social Network Analysis

    (Excel) .NetMap is an add-in for Office 2007 that provides social network diagram and analysis tools in the context of a spreadsheet. Adding the directed graph chart type to Excel opens up many possibilities for easily manipulating networks and controlling their display properties.

    In this tutorial the steps needed to install and operate (Excel) .NetMap are reviewed. The (Excel) .NetMap add-in provides directed graph charting features within Excel, allowing users to create node-link diagrams with control over each node and edge color, size, transparency and shape. Since .NetMap builds within Excel, all of the controls and programmatic features of Office are available. Additional features of (Excel) .NetMap generate social networks from data sources like personal e-mail (drawing data from the Windows Desktop Search engine). Arbitrary edge lists (anything that can be pasted into Excel) can be visualized and analyzed in .NetMap.

    This session will provide a walk through the basic operation of .NetMap. Attendees are encouraged to bring an edge list of interest. Sample data sets will be provided. Techniques for time slicing and filtering networks will be highlighted. You may download the Excel .NetMap Add-in and slides visit in advance of this tutorial.

    Government Innovators Network: A Portal for Democratic Governance and Innovation

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    PDC watch remotely – Great News


    This is really good to hear…being able to watch some of the PDC sessions remotely.  I’m looking forward to tuning in.

    PDC @ Home

    With the current global crisis some of us will not be able to attend PDC this year due to different reasons however the PDC organizers decided to make available portion of the content in order to have people like me virtually attending PDC this year. These are the resources that you can use to be part of PDC without be physically there… enjoy it!

    Watch the PDC Keynotes LIVE Online
    Bookmark www.microsoftpdc.com and watch live:

    · 8:30-10:30 AM Pacific Time (UTC -8) Monday, October 27 Keynote 1 – Ray Ozzie, Amitabh Srivastava, Bob Muglia and David Thompson

    · 8:30-10:30 AM Pacific Time (UTC -8) Tuesday, October 28
    Keynote 2- Ray Ozzie, Steven Sinofsky, Scott Guthrie and David Treadwell

    Community and Influencers Blog : PDC @ Home

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    DataDepot – Blogging, Visualize, and Engage with your Data


    Looking for a way to interact around data – take a look at the MSR DataDepot, a place to communicate around datasets – essentially bringing together the idea of blogging/wikis and scientific data.  I especially like the idea of mixing and matching datasets and creating new plots.

    DataDepot is a set of tools for collaboratively uploading, sharing, and analyzing data. You can use DataDepot to track personal data, to explore public data, and to engage with scientific data.

    Blog your data

    Want to 'datablog' your running miles or your commute times or your grocery spending? DataDepot provides a simple way to track any type of data over time. You can add data via the web or your phone, then annotate, view, analyze, and add related content to your data.

    Visualize your data

    Data are visualized over time in an interactive Silverlight graph object. You can zoom in on your data to see statistics for a particular time span and to compare to the overall dataset.

    Engage with data
    Basic Statistical Overview
    For each individual data track we provide a basic stastical overview, including an average, min and max, and standard deviation. For example, in the morning commute time datablog above, we see this person's commute averages 73 minutes, maxed out at 99 minutes, and has a standard deviation of 11 minutes.
    Add related content
    For each data page, you can add comments and wiki content.
    Add an automated data source
    Using our API, data can be added programmatically to create a 'sensor' that captures values for a data source as they change over time. Here we see a 'sensor' for the price of gas in the U.S. The political polling data shown above are also collected automatically every day using our API.
    Combining data
    You can "mix and match" datasets by creating a combined track. To do so, click Create a Track at the top of any page, then select 'A track that combines existing tracks...'. Using the dialogue boxes, select as many tracks as you would like to include in your combined tracks, then complete the short wizard to finalize your combined track.
  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Blogging in Real Ink – electronic notebook?


    Adapx PenEarlier this year I stumbled upon Adapx’s Capturx™  for Microsoft® Office OneNote®image which is a digital pen that captures what you write and then you can upload to OneNote.  So you get all the benefits of Paper and Ink (quick boot time :-), long battery life, etc) but then can upload and get the electronic copy in OneNote – which can convert to text or file with other notes.  In the 9 months I’ve been using it I’ve found it indispensible – it’s my electronic notebook.  The Adapx system uses the Anoto pre-printed dot pattern to pick up the strokes, and since it uses “Rite in the Rain” all weather notebooks, you can really use it in harsh conditions.  So it would be great tool for environmentalists to utilize to capture data in the field.  I also saw their announcement of Capturx Forms for Microsoft Office Excel and can’t wait to test it out as well.





  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Asus Windows CE PND sports heads-up display


    I can’t wait to see one of these in action in person…I’m willing to beta test :-)

    Asus announced a "revolutionary" Windows CE PND (personal navigation device)  that projects directions, speed, and other information onto a car windshield. In addition to its HUD (heads up display), the "R710" includes a five-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, a microSD expansion slot, plus A/V playback, says Asus.

    Touting the R710 as the "world's first PND with PathFinder HUD technology," Asus says that the R710 makes an important contribution to safety, since drivers no longer need look away from the road to get navigational information. With traditional PNDs, it can take between one and two seconds for a driver's field of vision to adjust as their eyes move back and forth, the company claims.

    Windows CE PND sports heads-up display

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    HPC - MPI.NET 1.0 Is Now Released...!


    PhilPen has posted that the folks at Indiana University have released MPI.NET: High Performance C# library for Message Passing.  The runtime and source code are available for download as well as a Tutorial.  This should make it much easier for folks to use any .Net language to write MPI apps – I’m interested in seeing ones written with F# and even PowerShell.

    MPI.NET 1.0 Is Now Released...!

    MPI.NET is a high-performance, easy-to-use implementation of the Message Passing Interface (MPI) for Microsoft's .NET environment. MPI is the de facto standard for writing parallel programs running on a distributed memory system, such as a compute cluster, and is widely implemented. Most MPI implementations provide support for writing MPI programs in C, C++, and Fortran. MPI.NET provides support for all of the .NET languages (especially C#), and includes significant extensions (such as automatic serialization of objects) that make it far easier to build parallel programs that run on clusters.  

    MPI.NET has been developed by the research staff at Indiana University in collaboration with Microsoft.   Developers leverage the "Windows HPC Server 2008 SDK" in tandem with the MPI.NET SDK to build MPI.NET applications.   An MPI.NET runtime component must be installed onto Windows HPC Server 2008 based clusters to host MPI.NET applications.

    Regarding Windows Server : MPI.NET 1.0 Is Now Released...!

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft


    Touchless is a fun and very cool release available from Office Labs – all you need is a webcam and some objects to use as pointers/markers…
    check it out.


    Touchless enables touch without touching by using a webcam to track color based markers. Touchless includes two parts:

    • Touchless Demo is an open source application that anyone with a webcam can use to experience multi-touch, no geekiness required. There are 4 fun demos: Snake - where you control a snake with a marker, Defender - up to 4 player version of a pong-like game, Map - where you can rotate, zoom, and move a map using 2 markers, and Draw - the marker is used to guess what....  draw!
    • Touchless SDK is an open source SDK that enables developers to create multi-touch based applications using a webcam for input, geekiness recommended.


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