• DaveDev

    Imagine Cup People’s Choice Awards–Vote now for your local East Region United States teams!


    The People’s Choice Awards Voting is now open for US Imagine Cup. Vote for your local teams today let’s show them our support!

    Here are the three teams based out of the East Region United States:


    Vote for Geek League (NYU)


    Vote for Drexel Dragons (Drexel)



    Vote for TTHV (Harvard, UPenn, Central Connecticut State)

  • DaveDev

    ET Silverlight Site - Behind the Scenes!


    As previously mentioned here, Entertainment Tonight has an Emmy Site written using Silverlight!

    Check out the video here to get a behind the scenes look at how the site was made from the designers IdentityMine and REZN8.

  • DaveDev

    Obama Inauguration will be streamed live using Silverlight – get the details



    You may have already heard the announcement that the presidential inauguration committee has chosen to use Silverlight to stream the historical event today. 

    But you may not have heard everything and I wanted to clarify a few things.  I have been seeing posts on the internet of people saying that HD is available only on windows or that only windows machines can view the event.  This is entirely false.  All Silverlight 2 compatible machines can view this event and that includes Windows and intel based Macs.  Secondly the team worked very hard last night to get up a version running on Silverlight 1.0 that would allow both Linux and PPC based macs to view the event as well!  Miguel de Icaza has all the details on his blog here.  Awesome work guys this is great to see! 

    It’s always neat to find out how the streaming stuff works behind the scenes.  Events like the NBC Olympics and even the open source Podcasting Kit for SharePoint have shared details of their streaming.  There is also an Expression Encoder SDK you can utilize to do your own via .NET. 

    The team behind today’s streaming event is sharing some of those juicy technical details.  Check it out…

    “Tech Specs

    And as I promised earlier, I got the tech details on how the streams are encoded. Note there is manual stream selection in the lower right corner;


    There are quite a few encoders to handle the different streams, data rates, and to provide failover backups. All systems are quad-core, and use hardware preprocessing.

    • Onsite configuration: Dell Precision workstations with Osprey 230 capture cards
    • Offsite configuration: Dell 2950 with Digital Rapids capture cards.


    The encoders are running Windows XP and use Windows Media Encoder, with my recommended tweaks and registry key settings applied.


    • Video: Window Media Video 9 Advanced Profile (aka VC-1 Advanced Profile)
    • Audio: Windows Media Audio 9.2

    The audio was originally going to be WMA 10 Pro for improved efficiency, but we fell back to WMA 9.2 in order to have Silverlight 1.0 compatibility. Fortunately the audio feeds are either mono or might as well be, so we can win some efficiency back by encoding in mono.

    300 Kbps streams

    • Video: 480x360, 29.97 fps, 259 Kbps
    • Audio: 44.1 KHz mono, 32 Kbps

    500 Kbps streams

    • Video: 480x360, 29.97 fps, 442 Kbps
    • Audio: 44.1 KHz mono, 48 Kbps “

    You can view the live HD stream here and the Linux-compatible stream van be viewed here.  Enjoy!

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  • DaveDev

    Xbox Live Service over the Holiday


    I got hit with Xbox Live flakiness over the weekend myself.  I had two friends pick up an Xbox for Christmas so this was their first time using XBL.  They both had problems signing up and wound up doing it over the phone.  Then we had problems trying to get a Rockband session going.  After reading the forums I found the work around.  If you loaded up a game and then signed into XBL you could get in.   If you tried to do it from the dashboard you would time out usually. 

    This was the first time I have ever run into any hiccups with XBL and that is going back to the original Xbox days.  Needless to say I definitely felt like I had pie in my face this weekend.  But judging from the numbers I am hearing about for new signups I can see why.  Very glad to hear that we are giving something back to the community for the problems that occurred.  Wonder what game it will be...

    Here is the blurb from Marc Whitten, GM of Xbox Live:

    An Open Letter from Marc Whitten about Xbox LIVE this Holiday

    Published January 3, 2008

    Dear Xbox LIVE Members:

    During this past holiday season you helped us break a number of Xbox LIVE records.  This included our largest sign-up of new members to Xbox LIVE in our 5 year history and just yesterday you broke the record for the single biggest day of concurrent members ever on the service.

    As a result of this massive increase in usage we know that some of you experienced intermittent Xbox LIVE issues over the holiday break.  While the service was not completely offline at any given time, we are disappointed in our performance.  I would like to take this moment to thank you each and every one of you for your patience and understanding as our team has worked around the clock to return the service to a stable state.

    At the same time we would like to offer a token of our appreciation to all of you in celebration of record success for the service.  And as a thank you for your loyalty during this holiday period, we will be offering all of our Xbox LIVE members around the world access to a full Xbox LIVE Arcade game that will be available to download free of charge.  In the coming weeks we will be sharing the specific details of this offer with you.

    Thank you again for helping make Xbox LIVE everything that it is today!


    Marc Whitten

    General Manager, Xbox LIVE

    Gamertag: Notwen

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