June, 2008

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    The Elephant in the Room


    I've been hearing the statement Elephant in the Room a fair bit.

    I must admit, it makes me giggle every time I hear it. smile_nerd

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    NYT: Who Altered British TV? 'Who' Indeed


    Excerpt from New York Times Article:

    Who Altered British TV? ‘Who’ Indeed

    CARDIFF, Wales
    RUSSELL T DAVIES, perhaps the most admired writer and producer working in British television drama, was once confronted at a wedding by a fellow guest bristling with indignation about a scene in Mr. Davies’s hugely successful, family-friendly science fiction series, “Doctor Who.”In the scene Capt. Jack Harkness, a swaggering intergalactic hero who exuberantly lusts after both men and women, plants quick kisses on the mouth sof both the title character and the title character’s female sidekick as they face imminent death. (Everyone survives.)


    Gotta love “Doctor Who” !


    To download the Times Reader, click here.

    Published with BlogMailr

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    How Did You Get That Digg This Button On Your Blog?


    I was chatting with Rohan Thomas (a Developer Evangelist based in Malaysia) this evening.

    He asked me how I got the DiggThis button my blog. I told him I would do a post about it.


    So, how did I get that Digg This button onto my blog?

    Easy really.

    It was Windows Live Writer with the help of a cool little plugin which was in the recent SDK Technical Preview release

    In the SDK Technical Preview you’ll find the following:

    • New SDK Features.doc – Detailed descriptions of the new plugin types. (Start here!)
    • SDK Reference.chm – Reference documentation for the entire Windows Live Writer API.
    • Samples – Source and binaries for two sample plugins:
      • Twitter Notify – Prompts you to make a Twitter status update after publishing a post
      • DiggThis – Automatically adds a DiggThis button or badge to each post

    So Rohan – now you know my secret.

    BTW -- I’m really looking forward to see what other cool plugins will appear.

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    NYT: Chocolate, ‘Part of a Balanced Diet’?


    Excerpt from New York Times

    Article: Chocolate, ‘Part of a Balanced Diet’?


    In a British newspaper today, a 37-year-old man claimed to have settled into an extraordinary lust for Mars chocolate bars. A 12-bar-a-day habit, which began 17 years ago, is fortified with orange juice and vitamins, Keith Sorrell claimed. Far from some dire plea, Anne Sidnell of the British Nutrition Foundation offered a surprisingly evenhanded assessment. "He seems to get enough vitamin C and the bars could provide enough calcium and protein," she told The Sun. "But he's missing out on fiber, which will have an effect as he ages." The company offered another surprise, warning against such extreme loyalty to their product while also making clear that some was clearly warranted. "We encourage people to enjoy chocolate as part of a balanced diet," a spokesperson said. Chocolate? Part of a balanced diet? The assertion is vague enough to be true, of course. And Mars Inc. happens to be the chocolate company that is crusading to find ways to prove its product is healthier than widely assumed. Two years ago, the company unveiled CocoaVia, a chocolate bar rich in flavanols, a natural chemical that has antioxidant properties. The product line was expanded a year later, not that there was any doubt that Mars officials were very serious about the idea of healthy chocolate. From a New York Times article in 2005: "Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the world, and chocolate is the No. 1 favorite ingredient in the world," said Jim Cass, Mars's vice president of marketing. "When you put those two giant macro trends together, we know this is a big idea." While boldly recommending two servings of CocoaVia a day, Mars officials were also aware that they had a steep hill to climb in winning over consumers. Here are two revealing quotes from a 2004 piece in The New York Times magazine titled Eat Chocolate, Live Longer?: As Carl Keen, at U.C. Davis, put it: "If Mars were some sort of juice company, they would find this far easier to market, but they're in a difficult position because they're a confectionary company. The marketing here is much, much more difficult than if they were selling a fruit or a vegetable." [Harold Schmitz, chief science officer of Mars], too, has no illusions about what's ahead. "Nutrition is already controversial," he said, "and you can imagine that chocolate nutrition is about 1,000 times more controversial." Nevertheless, the company is aggressively pushing forward by funding independent studies on the health properties of chocolate. "Mars has become the world leader in cocoa science," one official recently told The Pioneer Press. Last week, people lined up in London to join a Mars-sponsored study that asked them to "eat a bar of chocolate daily for a year, guilt-free and all in the name of science," as one paper put it. Indeed, Mr. Schmitz said in a recent interview that more than 100 peer-reviewed papers had been published on chocolate with financial help from Mars. Last week, one of the studies sparked promising headlines for diabetics who love chocolate. Flavanols may increase circulation, scientists said, though more research was needed before any final conclusions. Mars may have smiled at the result, but it came with a note of caution from the study's author to diabetics to stay away from the chocolate for now. "This research focuses on what's at the true heart of the discussion on "healthy chocolate," Malte Kelm said in a news release. "It's about cocoa flavanols, the naturally occurring compounds in cocoa." Aside from the scientific questions that remain, there's a supply problem as well. The product in stores -- and in the pockets and cabinets of Britain's chief chocoholic, Mr. Sorrell -- contains far less flavanols than in the stuff in the labs at the moment.

    mmmmm chocolate

    To download the Times Reader, click here.

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Top 20 Search Keywords


    Last time I listed out the top search keywords, I listed the Top 200 Search Keywords. This prompted a rather strong comment

    The only people that care about search keywords for a particular site are the site owners. A top 10 list of search keywords is uninteresting and a little bit self-indulgent. A top 200 takes the cake.

    So, to avoid being self indulgent, I’m only going to list the top 20

    1. star wars day
    2. frank arrigo
    3. carbon grove
    4. powerpuff girls
    5. wpf rss reader
    6. silverlight tetris
    7. frankarr
    8. twitter earth
    9. power puff girls
    10. frank arrigo blog
    11. lol
    12. best vista gadgets
    13. baudboys
    14. lifecam vx-3000
    15. frank
    16. best vista gadget
    17. tanjay
    18. wpf apps
    19. lol cat
    20. asli bilgin

    The new #1 entry makes me smile

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    What’s the Buzz? : BuzzNumbers Can Tell You


    BuzzNumbers - Online Media Monitoring - Online Influence Analytics

    I got an unsolicited email last week from BuzzNumbers.

    The email had the following intro

    Welcome to your buzz numbers email notification service deliverying you reports about your online social media mentions.

    And it provided a list of articles and blog postings where my name had been mentioned.

    I didn't think much of this. It looked like spam.

    Later in the day, I got an email from someone I did know (Nick Holmes à Court) who put this BuzzNumbers thing into context for me.

    Turns out BuzzNumbers is an analytics and online reputation monitoring service that he has been developing and I was a test subject.


    More about the service from the site

    Online Media Monitoring

    BuzzNumbers scans and monitor all known online media channels real time for your brand or business name. BuzzNumbers is available as a Web Based platform and supports Email Notifications and RSS integration.

    Online Influence Analytics

    BuzzNumbers Analytics enables you to measure and track which online sources have the greatest influence. Look through News, Search Engines, Blogs, Podcasts, Video, Social Media, Forums and more and understand where you have the most online influence. BuzzNumbers Analytics offers reports across Domains, Countries, Sources, Keywords and more.

    BuzzNumbers Conversation Explorer

    Use BuzzNumbers Dashboard to view filter, sort and explore all online conversations about you, your brand and your company. You might be suprised who, where and what people are saying about your brand online.

    Way cool. And there’s a blog too. How Web 2.0!

    Always nice to see startup activity from Downunder!

    Good Luck with the venture Nick


    Nick sent me a note this morning.

    He is offering a free 3 month account until September 2008  to gather feedback. Email him at nick @ buzznumbershq.com and tell him Frank sent you

    He also tells me that BuzzNumbers.Com has been built using the MS Stack : ASP.NET 2.0, SQL Server 2005, SSIS, Analysis Services 2005

    Yay for .NET :)

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    At Home With Rigo


    The house is pretty quiet at the moment.

    Moira and 3 of the kids have been in Australia on holidays for 2 weeks so far, leave me at home with Rigo, my 16 year old.

    Sure, we’ve been getting up to the usual shenanigans, eating out every night, staying up late, watching bad TV, drinking root beer, downloading stuff and general living the high life as only 2 geeks can.

    Rigo is full of stories and he has been inspired again to blog. His latest thoughts can be found at http://antonyarrigo.blogspot.com.

    Now that he has finished school for the summer, I expect he will have lots more stories to share. I’m not expecting he will follow in the footsteps of blogging phenom Long Zheng, but a dad can only dream.

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