I am glued to MSNBC watching Hurricane Charley updates. Last night I figured it would be a relatively mild storm - category 2, or maybe category 3 they were saying. Well now it's a category 4 and it's coming straight for where my Mom and brother live. They don't seem to be too worried, but given that I live in Seattle and I can only see the scary pictures coming across the news I'm getting pretty worried.
On a lighter note, my friend's Web design and development company changed their home page for today to reflect the hurricane.www.352inc.com.
Recently I was talking to my friend about Googling for people's names. She's dating a few people right now and trying to get the low-down on them before she gets any more involved. So I started wondering: What would people find if they were digging for dirt on me?
Luckily for me the #1 hit for my name is still this blog. But go down a few Google hits and you start to blur the line between me and my same-name-counterparts. For instance:
Of course, I'm really not smart or married - so these are other Brian Keller's out there. But I am from Florida, so if I was an unscrupulous person I could pass myself off as a Marine Biology expert. Did you know that a whale is actually not a fish? (See - I play the part well)
Another interesting experiment is Googlism (www.googlism.com). They have an engine which looks for nouns and tries to come up with descriptions of them. For example, you might type in "whale" to learn that a whale is "not actually a fish". Type in "Brian Keller" and you get some weird results. Given that I live just outside of Seattle, somebody could easily think that I was "accused of stealing weapons from the base at seatac." Ouch.
On Google Images, 2 of the first 5 hits for "Brian Keller" are pictures of cemetaries. Hmm...
I think this is a good excercise for anybody to run, because c'mon let's face it - like it or not, we live in an age where people are going to Google you before entering into a trust relationship (employers, dating, etc.) or just for fun, so you should be ready to defend potential bad press (or change your name!). Of course, you may also need to take more aggressive and proactive measures to protecting your reputation. That's why I made this shirt... (click the image to buy yours today!)
To quote my friend Alim, “I have been using it for a couple of days and it has revolutionized the way I work.”
I don't think I'm not your typical Outlook user. To put my usage into context, I have every email I've ever sent or received at Microsoft. That's about 3GB of .PST files - compressed. To open some of the larger .PST files it takes over a minute. But with Lookout installed, I can type in any search term and it will find mails in seconds. Really amazing.
It's time I threw my two cents into the air conditioning discussion from Dan's blog (see http://blogs.msdn.com/danielfe/archive/2004/07/30/201459.aspx)
So I think what this discussion thread is really missing is a mention of cost/benefit analysis. I think for the type of house Dan and Angie are getting it costs about $5000 for good A/C. In my 3 summers in Seattle I feel like I would have turned the A/C on for maybe 15 days. That works out to over $300 per night. I can get a hotel for less than that and that doesn't even take into account the cost of electricity, noise, maintenance, etc. Of course, there's the value you add to your property and I am from Florida so my tolerance is probably higher than most... but it simply isn't worth it in my opinion. Besides - with Dan and Angie moving into my neighborhood in a few months I can just mooch off of them any time it gets warm. <g>
For a geek solution to the problem, check this out: If I string together a series of powered USB hubs I figure I can create a comfortable array of fans for well under $5000 - and they should all be API addressable which means I can write an application which optimizes the heat flow pattern in my house. That's a lot more fun that just installing A/C, isn't it? :-)
I got my first 5 "buddies" today as part of the ISV Buddy Program! This is a really cool way for developers to interact with Microsoft employees on a 1:1 basis and just another step that we're taking to get closer to the community and be more transparent about what we work on every day. It's a simple way to establish a partnership. I'm really looking forward to learning about my “buddies“, what they work on, the types of challenges they face, their ideas for product improvements, etc.
If you're interested you can sign up here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/isv/isvbuddy/default.aspx
Who knows, maybe you'll be my next buddy? I read that BillG is participating, too. If you get paired up with him tell him I said hello. <g>
**Updated 8/31 with new links to the official releases, replacing the links to the technology preview
.NET Framework 1.0 SP3 and 1.1 SP1 Tech Preview Available for Public Download
Today, Microsoft made technology preview versions of the .NET Framework 1.0 SP3 and .NET Framework 1.1 SP1 available for developers to download so they can test their .NET Framework-based applications with these service packs applied. Though these are unsupported technology previews, we would like to ask your help in ensuring the quality of the service packs by downloading them, testing your existing applications on them, and giving us feedback.
These two service packs address issues with the .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1 including:
· All customer issues addressed with hotfixes
· Improved importing of WSDL
· Data Execution prevention
· Buffer overrun protection
***Updated 8/31. The links below are no longer the technology previews but are the final releases. Note the separate download for Windows Server 2003.
Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 [for Windows 2000/XP] <http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=A8F5654F-088E-40B2-BBDB-A83353618B38&displaylang=en>
Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003 <http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=AE7EDEF7-2CB7-4864-8623-A1038563DF23&displaylang=en>
Microsoft .NET Framework 1.0 Service Pack 3 [for Windows 2000/XP] <http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=6978D761-4A92-4106-A9BC-83E78D4ABC5B&displaylang=en>
J# Browser Controls v1.1b is now available for download
What are J# Browser Controls?
J# Browser Controls provide developers with the ability to migrate Java applet source code to run on the .NET Framework. This was developed primarily for MSJVM migrations, but can be used for migrating other applets as well.
Once migrated, J# Browser Controls have full access to the .NET Framework. We’ve already seen J# Browser Controls play a critical role for customers who want to migrate away from the MSJVM. One such customer is the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. A major benefit of using J# Browser Controls to perform this type of migration is that very little (if any) source code changes are required to compile and run the applet as a J# Browser Control.
What’s new in this release?
This is a sample best practices application that shows off working with lots of technologies.
I like the way they have turned this into a Windows Forms, ASP.NET, Web services, and .NET Compact Framework sample. I haven't had time to dig into this much but it looks fun.
PS: Don't tell them they spelled “Photo” wrong. <g>
We've finally got the “Resources for Java Developers” dev center live on MSDN thanks to a lot of hard work from Dan, Kent, and others.
Check it out here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/java/
Please let me know what other content you'd like to see. This is for Java developers who are interesting in learning about Microsoft .NET technologies for purposes of development, code migration, interoperability, etc.