December, 2006

  • Steve Clayton

    Wikipedia Explorer beta

    • 4 Comments



    I was over in Windsor recently chatting with the guys at DotNet Solutions who have done some pretty cool work to date on WPF, Vista and Office. Whilst chatting with their CTO, Tim Scarfe, I suggested it would be cool to do some kind of 3D explorer view of Wikipedia that used Windows Presentation Foundation. Tim kinda went "umm, yeah that'd be cool" and said he may have a play with it. Needless to say he has and what he's come up with is fantastic. He explains it way better than I can

    "Using the latest WPF technologies, Dot Net Solutions has crafted an application to browse Wikipedia which we have dubbed Wikipedia Explorer. Compared to the standard text only view of articles, Wikipedia Explorer deals with and displays the relationships between the articles.
    With the display of the data, the application allows 3 forms of view. An initial Document layout displays the article's content as it would be displayed in Wikipedia itself. The real value of the application however, is in the extra 3DExplorer and Network view modes.

    Within the 3DExplorer mode, the main article is displayed in the centre of the screen with all linked articles shown around in a helix structure for quick navigation. Scrolling through the articles is as easy as scrolling with your mouse wheel."

    What you get is a VERY powerful visualization of the flat by hypertexted Wikpedia. The 3D explorer is funky but the Network mode is just awesome. Put in a search term, switch to Network mode and watch the app build out the web of links before your very eyes. I think Tim has done a stunning job here but you can check for yourself as Wikipedia Explorer can be run as a ClickOnce application (note that you do need to install the .NET 3.0 redistributable package)

    thanks Tim - a great pre-Xmas present....and I also just realized you helped build Oxfam Unwrapped. tres cool.

    Link to Dot Net Solutions - Wikipedia Explorer

  • Steve Clayton

    Brits on Channel 9

    • 3 Comments




    The recent DDD day saw the Channel 9 cameras in town to capture some of the action. Barry has linked to some footage on Soapbox where he and Sarah "borrowed" the camera. He also made an appearance with Sarah Girl Geek Dinner Blow on the C9 footage.

    Well worth a watch :)

    Link to Appearing again on Channel9

     

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  • Steve Clayton

    Santa uses Live.com

    • 6 Comments


    It's true and I was chatting with him on Live Messenger only a few moments ago. He assured me that Liverpool will get 3 points at Blackburn on Boxing Day. Off to the bookies!

    He also confirmed the names of his reindeer and mentioned it was a tad cold at the North Pole so he had his winter coat on. I asked him what colour his coat was and he replied

    I used to leave a big lump of coal in the stockings of naughty girls and boys, but I don't anymore, because it's bad for the environment

    Ha ha ha....the dude is totally wired this year with his own Live Space and starting on Christmas Eve morning, you can follow Santa's Journey around the world and ask him when he will arrive at your house. To learn more about talking to Santa, go to http://santaonmessenger.com

    Full details at http://santaonmessenger.com/messenger/santa/default.aspx or just add northpole@live.com to your contact list and begin chatting with the man himself. Or his he a woman?

  • Steve Clayton

    The XBOX long tail

    • 0 Comments

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    I love this story - it shows the Long Tail that is out there for gaming. Even though we have monster titles like the Halo franchise and the latest hit, Gears of War, there is still a big market for home brew classic games. This article proves the point as four 20 year old guys from Capitol Hill have created one of the hits for XBOX 360.

    Small Arms was released on November 20th and is a shoot 'em up that debuted at the number 4 spot on XBOX Live (above the pretty popular Madden franchise!). I'm delighted for the guys who created it but also for the business model that it proves out that user generated content isn't constrained to blogs and that the Long Tail that Chris Anderson talks about is alive and well in the gaming world, despite the massive marketing campaigns behind consoles like XBOX, PS3 and Wii. I honestly don't know if the same capability is available for Wii and PS3 but helping to build new businesses is one of the great things about the Live community. It'll be interesting to see how Zune takes advantages of this same community. With the games it will be interesting to watch the Web 2.0 fast release affect impact games like Halo which is going in to public beta for Halo 3 soon.

    Link to Software Notebook: Small firm gets big results with 'Small Arms'

  • Steve Clayton

    Partner TV has girls!

    • 2 Comments



    Christian has been busy lately revamping what started our as PTS-TV in to Partner-TV. What we're moving towards is the original vision of a TV station with a few channels you can tune in to based on your needs - be that technical, sales or marketing. There are also some great partner interviews in the pipeline with folks from iMate and Content and Code for example. You'll also find more girls being interviews. No, not those kind of girls...

    Anyway, we hope you like where we're going with PTV but as always we're open to your feedback and suggestions. We're bringing back Ms Ledger for a few more interviews soon and more outtakes coming back. Feedback your comments to the Partner-TV team on what you want to watch at PTV@microsoft.com.

    You can subscribe to an RSS feed for Partner TV to keep informed of new recordings as they're posted and download the audio to listen on your favourite MP3 player as requested by several people at the UK Partner Conference.

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