• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Kinect hack London is coming!

    • 2 Comments

    Get hands-on with the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor

    The lovely folk at Microsoft have given us access to a whole bunch of hardware, room to play and promise to keep you fed and watered while you have fun learning, hacking, voice commanding and gesticulating with the incredible Kinect for Windows v2 sensor and latest SDK.

    What to expect

    The event will take place at Microsoft HQ in London, Cardinal Place (Victoria, London) 5 mins walk from Victoria Train Station

    We'll provide the food and drink (and some really cool giveaways) so you can have unadulterated hacking focus to build your Kinect based apps, games or anything else in whatever ways you dream up.

    Event Start: Saturday 21st March 10:00am
    Event End: Sunday 22nd March 18:00pm

    What do I need?

    To use the official Microsoft Kinect for Windows v2 SDK you'll need a Windows PC with the following minimum requirements.

    It is advised you download and install the SDK prior to the event available here

    Everyone is welcome with the hardware/platform of your choice but the main expertise available will be on the official Windows SDK.

    Space is limited to grab your ticket now!

    Register Now http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kinecthack-london-tickets-15373679088

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Cloud Gaming Day 19 Jan 2015

    • 0 Comments

    There’s a new trend in gaming called cloud gaming. What’s cloud gaming all about? Think of the cloud. Now, think of gaming. The UK is a hotbed for great games innovation, and Microsoft is committed to helping startups and independent games developers accelerate their route to market.

    Watch the videos from the event available at http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/The-Game-Blog

    • Welcome. With Lee Stott, Technical Evangelist at Microsoft

    "In this talk, Lee provides a introduction to the day and give an overview of where Microsoft see the Cloud Gaming opportunity”

    Introduction to Cloud Gaming Day London

    • CRM in Gaming: Leveraging customer insight to improve their experience - and your bottom line. With James Nieswand from Illyriad Games.

    "In this talk, James will share Illyriad Games' experiences and insight into how to attract the players, retain them and improve their gameplay experience by using metrics, analysis and modeling. The talk will explain how even a tiny indie can use CRM techniques such as cluster segmentation, deep dive analysis, predictive analytics and realtime decisioning to improve the experience of not only an individual player, but all your players."

    CRM in Gaming: Leveraging customer insight to improve their experience - and your bottom line.

     

    • Know and engage your player. With Karl Piteira.

    "Karl helps apps engage and retain hundreds of millions of users as a Product Owner and Customer Success manager at Capptain which was acquired in 2014 by Microsoft. Prior to that he managed strategic partnerships at Myriad Group which is part of the billion mobile software club."

    Know and engage your player. With Capptain

    • The Indie View on Profitable Cloud Gaming. With Chris Sterling.

    "Chris has 25 years of professional software development experience in games and tools, and has founded several technology start-ups. In 1997 he designed the real-time strategy PC game "Beasts and Bumpkins", published by EA. He later built the commercial 3D engine and editor toolkit "DX Studio", used by both indie studios and industrial simulators. More recently he worked with Ian Livingstone to reboot the retro Fighting Fantasy game books on modern devices. He now builds social games, the latest of which being the popular word game "WordBog", and offers consultancy for cloud gaming development."

    The Indie View on Profitable Cloud Gaming

    • Machine Learning within Games. With Richard Conway from ElastaCloud.

    "Richard Conway has been programming since his ZX81. Since the inception of Azure he's been smitten by the cloud and learning to use all of the resources it can offer. He works for Elastacloud (yes you can probably guess what we do!) and loves using technologies which scale (Big Data and Big Compute). He's one of the founders of the UK Azure Users Group which now has registered members in the thousands and sets up monthly meetings, conferences and hackathons showcasing really cool cloudy tech. His most recent fascination is with machine learning and although his aging and addled brain struggles to keep up with the maths it's way cool! 
    In this talk Richard will cover some of the ways that gaming companies can build in analytics capabilities in an infinitely scalable way and using the power of the cloud (or as much as your wallet and Azure will scale to!). He’ll be covering some patterns he’s used in gaming in the past using both Microsoft’s analytics platform services and Elastacloud’s own Azure-based analytics service Brisk."

    Machine Learning within Games

    • The new Cloud Experience of Aysnc Games. With Louis Deane from Gateway Interactive.

    "Gateway Interactive are Microsoft Venture Accelerator graduates and have developed cloud based services for their new title on mobile and console."

    The new Cloud Experience of Async Games

    • Building a new world with Docker. With James Mintram from Lemon Moose Games.

    "Lemon Moose Games Ltd has developed a number of successful titles which have been distributed across a total of 8 platforms and numerous marketplaces, this session will focus on the new opportunity of containerization of application with Docker."

    Building a new world with Docker

    • The Cloud. With Sam Barton-Nicol froom Mediatonic.

    " As Director of Product Management, Sam provides a link between Mediatonic's games, their audience and the wider marketplace. Commercially responsible for the success of their titles, Sam works closely alongside internal teams and external publishers (in 2014 this includes Microsoft, Square Enix and Bandai Namco) to guide projects toward business opportunities while ensuring players remain engaged and delighted within compelling virtual worlds.
    Mediatonic work with the world's finest entertainment companies to create original games-as-a-service that connect millions of players across the globe. In this talk, Sam will share how game development can be de-risked by employing the cloud to uncouple art, design and engineering co-dependencies, to understand the needs of audiences and to release seamless, instant updates across multiple platforms."

    Ahead In The Cloud a overview from Mediatonic

    • Player ranking and matchmaking on Xbox Live. With Thore Graepel from Microsoft Research.

    "Thore Graepel is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and Professor of Machine Learning at University College London. His research interests revolve around large-scale applications of machine learning including skill estimation, user modelling, recommender systems and game AI. Thore is one of the co-inventors of the TrueSkill algorithm for ranking and matchmaking used in Xbox Live, and has also contributed to various aspects of user modelling and recommendation in Microsoft’s services. More recently, his work on estimating personality and other user attributes from social networking data has received a lot of attention. 
    In multiplayer online gaming one of the key questions is how we can match players together that are a good fit and hence will have a great gaming experience together. Different aspects such as existing social connections, personality, quality of connection, and skill can play a role. In this session I will focus on the skill dimension and explain how the TrueSkill system works out the individual skills of players from the observed game outcomes. I will discuss the impact on the quality of matchmaking and give some good practice advice for competitive matchmaking. Time permitting, I will discuss some future ideas for matchmaking including personality based matches."

    Player ranking and matchmaking on Xbox Live from Microsoft Research.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    28 days to accelerate your tech skills. Join the Know It. Prove It. challenge! http://www.knowitproveit.com

    • 0 Comments

    For the next four weeks. Make a potentially life-changing commitment to yourself, to us, and to your friends, family, and colleagues, sit down every day, and learn.

    Know it.

    We want you to know your stuff, so the challenge is chock full of great courses spread across eight different learning challenges. Pick an area that interests you, regardless of your job title. Dive right in on Day One with the introductory stuff and, by the end of February, you'll possess some serious eye-opening knowledge.

    Prove it.

    We want you to show off your training. You can easily share your involvement through social channels, like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Each learning challenge comes with a badge you can use, and we have a full set of forums you can join. Oh, and I should mention both regional and technology leaderboards! Plus, Know it. Prove it. learning challenges are full of MVA courses, and you get the digital certificate of completion for each course you finish. Get involved, show your success, get help if you’re stuck, and rock it.

    Well, what are you waiting for? Grab this opportunity to launch your year off right. Join the challenge to better your technology skills. Don’t lose yourself to the day-to-day forever! Be a rock star in the KiPi Band!

    See you on launch day, February 1! Register now so you’re ready. See you there!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Adding a Cloud Backend to your game for telemetry management

    • 0 Comments

    An Introduction to Red Dog Racing from Alan Smith http://geekswithblogs.net/asmith/Default.aspx

    image

    You can watch this video introduction to Red Dog Racing is a 3D driving game that makes use of back-end services hosted in Microsoft Azure. Sector and lap time data and telemetry data is send from the game to the Azure Service Bus.

    A Microsoft Azure worker role worker role is used to de-queue and process the data and store it as entities in Windows Azure Table Storage. Telemetry data is also sent to Windows Azure Blob Storage to provide the game with a replay function that displays ghost cars for the fastest laps driven by other players. The best lap times, overall standings, and driver telemetry data can be viewed on a website.

    I have used the game as one of the scenarios in my recently published PluralSight course Windows Azure Storage In-Depth, to show how I use Queues, Table Storage and Blobs to process and store  lap time, telemetry data and replay data from the game.

    Here an overview of the various Azure Storage Solution http://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Developing-Microsoft-Azure-Solutions/05

    If you want to learn more about telemetry processing or implementing game services in Windows Azure, or would be interested in a Windows Azure training course please feel free to contact me though this blog.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Visual Studio Team moves source to GitHub and offers Visual Studio as part of the Github student developer pack

    • 0 Comments

    As your aware Microsoft open-sourced .NET Core which is now hosted on GitHub as its home.

    The GitHub Student Developer Pack is a great free offer for those students, with terrific tools and services from GitHub partners Microsoft has now included Visual Studio Community 2013 into the GitHub Student Developer Pack,

    In addition to Visual Studio Community, students will also find additional tools and services including:

    • Visual Studio:  The tools, designers and debuggers you need for your next project – with support for web, mobile, desktop and cloud apps using C#, Node.js, Python, F#, VB and more. 
    • Visual Studio Online: Tools for planning, backlogs, tracking bugs and running builds and continuous integration – all in one place.  Visual Studio Online accounts are free for up to 5 users.
    • Microsoft Azure:  Host apps in the cloud on a platform that supports any OS, any language and any framework.  Microsoft Azure subscriptions include 10 free web sites and 10 free mobile services.

    At the same time, we’re inviting GitHub-loving students to try out Microsoft DreamSpark great free tools, including SQL Server and Windows Store developer accounts, as well as great free training courses on Microsoft Virtual Academy.

    Microsoft Virtual Academy has hundreds of courses from game development using 3rd party tools and middleware and to how to get started with GitHub in Visual Studio.

    So give it a try and ensure you use the very best IDE with the best Open Source, source control repository and tools!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Tech Days online 5th of February 2015 3 days of online training

    • 0 Comments

    On the 5th of February Microsoft UK  are broadcasting Techdays Online Developer day (you can register here)

    Techdays Online

    Here the full Agenda of the days

    TechDays Online 2015 Day 1 – Tuesday 3rd of February

    TechDays Online 2015 Day 1

    Day_1_keynote 

    Keynote speaker bio

    Mary jo foley has covered the tech industry for more than 30 years for a variety of publications and web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, tv and podcasts, speaking about all things microsoft-related. on zdnet, she blogs at allaboutmicrosoft.com. she is the author of microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). Foley also is the co-host of the Windows Weekly podcast on the TWiT network.

    Theme: Client, Devices & Mobility 

    Day One: Devices and Managing a Mobile-First World
    Time
    Session
    Speaker
    09:30-09:40
    Overview of the Day
    Ed Baker, Microsoft Technical Evangelist
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    09:40-10:15
    Delighting your business with EMS - The ABCs of what you need to know
    Stuart Leddy, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    10:30-11:05
    Devices, Devices Everywhere
    Andrew Bettany, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    11:20-11:55
    Windows 10 Client Innovations
    Chris Rhodes, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    12:10-12:45
    KEYNOTE: What IT Pros and Devs Need to Know About the New Microsoft
    Mary Jo Foley
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    13:30-14:05
    Building IoT solutions today
    Paul Foster, Microsoft UK & Robert Hogg, Black Marble
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    14:20-14:55
    Microsoft Azure Remote App
    Richard Astbury, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    15:10-15:45
    Microsoft Azure RMS
    Mark Parris, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    16:00-16:35
    Azure Active Directory: Much more than a user store
    Rick Hepworth, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    16:50-17:25
    Microsoft Intune/SCCM
    Steve Beaumont, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    17:25-17:30
    Wrap up of day 1 - Part 1
    Ed Baker, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios

    Day one evening: An evening with Office 365
    Time
    Session
    Speaker
    18:30-19:05
    Migration of your mailboxes to Office 365
    Victor Merians, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    19:15-19:50
    Keeping in touch with the online world
    Coming Soon!
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    20:00-20:35
    Building online collaboration inside Office 365
    Kamil Jurik, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    20:35-20:45
    Final thoughts for the day
    Ed Baker, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios

    NOTE: All sessions are approx. 35-minutes. There is a 15-minute changeover between sessions and a 45-minute lunch break.

    TechDays Online 2015 Day 2 – Wednesday 4th of February

    TechDays Online 2015 Day 2

    Jeffrey Snover

    Jeffrey Snover

    Distinguished Engineer

    Jeffrey Snover is a Distinguished Engineer and the Lead Architect for the Windows Server Division. Snover is the inventor of Windows PowerShell, an object-based distributed automation engine, scripting language, and command line shell. Snover joined Microsoft in 1999 as divisional architect for the Management and Services Division, providing technical direction across Microsoft’s management technologies and products. Snover has over 32 years of industry experience with a focus on management technologies and solutions. He was an architect in the office of the CTO at Tivoli and a development manager at NetView. He has worked also as a consulting engineer and development manager at DEC, where he led various network and systems management projects. Snover held 8 patents prior to joining Microsoft, and has registered 30 patents since. He is a frequent speaker at industry and research conferences on a variety of management and language topics.

    Theme: Server & Cloud 

    Day two: The Journey to the Cloud-first World
    Time
    Session
    Speaker
    09:30-09:40
    Overview of the Day
    Andrew Fryer, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    09:40-10:15
    What's new Windows Server /Hyper –V - a technical preview
    Gordon McKenna, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    10:30-11:05
    How to find out what’s happening in your datacentre with Azure Insights
    Sam Erskine, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    11:20-11:55
    Host your own cloud with the Windows Azure Pack
    Damien Flynn, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    12:10-12:45
    Taking scripting to the next level with Service Management / Azure Automation
    Jonathan Noble, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    13:30-14:05
    A new home for your old applications
    Susan Smith, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    14:20-14:55
    20% + of Azure runs on Linux - why is this important and how to do it well?
    Boris Devouge, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    15:10-15:45
    Cloud Environments
    Tarun Arora, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    16:00-16:35
    Make Azure your DMZ
    Simon Skinner, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    16:50-17:25
    Microsoft Corporate Keynote
    Jeffrey Snover, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    17:25-17:35
    Wrap up of Day 2
    Andrew Fryer, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios

    NOTE: All sessions are approx. 35-minutes. There is a 15-minute changeover between sessions and a 45-minute lunch break.

    TechDays Online 2015 Day 3 – Thursday February 5

    TechDays Online 2015 Day 3

    Scott Hanselman

    Scott Hanselman

    Scott is a web developer who has been blogging at http://hanselman.com for over a decade. He works in Open Source on ASP.NET and the Azure Cloud for Microsoft out of his home office in Portland, Oregon. Scott has three podcasts, http://hanselminutes.com for tech talk, http://thisdeveloperslife.com on developers' lives and loves, and http://ratchetandthegeek.com for pop culture and tech media. He's written a number of books and spoken in person to almost a half million developers worldwide.

    Theme: Developer 

    Day three: Multi-device, Cross-platform Development
    Time
    Session
    Speaker
    09:30-09:40
    Overview of the Day
    Martin Beeby, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    09:40-10:25
    Creating x-platform apps with Visual Studio
    Mike Taulty & Martin Beeby, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    10:40-11:25
    Visual Studio ALM
    Richard Fennell, Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP)
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    11:40-12:25
    Azure Machine Learning
    Andrew Fryer, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    13:00-13:45
    Debugging web apps
    Bianca Furtuna & Martin Kearn, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    14:00-14:45
    ’Roslyn’ .NET compiler update
    Tomáš Herceg, Microsoft Most Valued Professional
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    15:00-15:45
    Building cross-platform apps with .NET and ASP.NET
    Pedro Dias, Microsoft Norway
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    16:00-16:45
    Creating cross-platform cloud apps for mobile devices
    Steve Plank, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    17:00-17:45
    Microsoft Corporate Keynote
    Scott Hanselman
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios
    17:45-17:55
    Wrap-up of Tech.Days Online Day 3
    Martin Beeby, Microsoft UK
    see agenda with session abstracts and speaker bios

    NOTE: All sessions are approx. 45-minutes. There is a 10-minute changeover between sessions and a 45-minute lunch break.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Infer.NET is a framework for running Bayesian inference in graphical models.

    • 2 Comments

    A challenge for most of us is simply wanting to work out the odds of something happening in a game or an app..

    Well here a nice technical solution from Microsoft Research to help with answering that challenge..

    Welcome to Infer.NET

    Infer.NET is a framework for running Bayesian inference in graphical models. It can also be used for probabilistic programming as shown in this video.

    You can use Infer.NET to solve many different kinds of machine learning problems, from standard problems like classification, recommendation or clustering through to customised solutions to domain-specific problems.

    Infer.NET SDK Download:

    http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/710cd61f-3587-44f4-b12d-a2c75722c4f6/

    NuGet (Compiler and Runtime binaries only):

    http://www.nuget.org/packages/Microsoft.Research.InferNET/

    Website (everything you need to know about Infer.NET):

    http://research.microsoft.com/infernet

    Infer.NET is a framework for probabilistic programming and running Bayesian inference in graphical models.

    Getting Started

    Introduction: http://research.microsoft.com/infernet/docs/InferNet_Intro.pdf

    Blog : http://blogs.msdn.com/b/infernet_team_blog/

    101: http://research.microsoft.com/infernet/docs/InferNet101.pdf

    User Guide: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/cambridge/projects/infernet/docs/default.aspx

    Forum: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/infer.net/

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Azure Cloud Gaming Conference 19th Jan London 2015 FREE Register Now

    • 1 Comments

    char

    Join us for a full day conference on the Cloud

    There’s a new trend in gaming called cloud gaming. What’s cloud gaming all about? Think of the cloud. Now, thing of gaming.
    During the day we will discuss the true opportunity of Cloud Gaming : Simplicity for the world of multi-platform, multi-game, multi-player, multi-device development.


    The goal if cloud games is to provide gamers with the ultimate gaming experience and we will outline some of the best practice from across UK indies, Studios and research.

    The UK is a hotbed for great games innovation, and Microsoft is committed to helping start-ups and independent games developers accelerate their route to market.

    During the day we will share with you guidance on cloud services, developer tools, and support and prove that we are making it easier than ever for game developers to quickly grow their businesses. Building games with the cloud can help them quickly scale their reach across platforms, tap into the massive computing power of the cloud on demand, and immediately gain global reach without having to invest in building their own costly infrastructure.

    Microsoft will share details of the $1.2 M innovation fund which enables iOS, Android, Windows, Xbox game developers to benefit from cloud computing, so would you be interested in getting 3 month Microsoft Azure Cloud for up to 20 cores free for up to $100 usage per month. Independent game developers across the UK can apply to receive substantial benefits from the fund including free cloud services from Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio development tools, other software, plus access to Microsoft's Technology Advisory team to support indie game studio development.

    Register for this FREE event here https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032609327&Culture=en-GB&community=0

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Get $300 of Azure for 3 Months for FREE to build your cloud backend

    • 0 Comments

    cloudgaming

    The UK is a hotbed for great games innovation, and Microsoft is committed to helping start-ups and independent games developers accelerate their route to market.  By offering free cloud services, developer tools, and support from our team, we are making it easier than ever for game developers to quickly grow their businesses.  Building games with the cloud can help them quickly scale their reach across platforms, tap into the massive computing power of the cloud on demand, and immediately gain global reach without having to invest in building their own costly infrastructure.

    So would you..

    Be interested in getting 3 month Microsoft Azure Cloud for up to 20 cores free for up to $100 usage per month.

    Free game data storage and $1.2 M innovation fund enables iOS, Android, Windows, Xbox game developers to benefit from cloud computing

    Independent game developers across the UK can apply to receive substantial benefits from the fund including free cloud services from Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio development tools, other software, plus access to Microsoft's Technology Advisory team to support indie game studio development.

    If Yes?

    Register here http://aka.ms/gamedevoffer

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Take the Cloud Hero Challenge & win a Surface pro 3

    • 0 Comments


    Take the Cloud Hero Challenge today!

    Want to save time and money by offloading developer and IT administration tasks to the cloud? Take part in the Cloud Hero Challenge, submit your entry by Friday 19 December 2014 and win an exclusive t-shirt. Just complete ONE of the challenges listed below and submit your Azure Subscription ID & web URL in the entry form by Friday 19 December 2014, then you will get a free t-shirt sent to you.

    1. Set up a virtual machine in less than 10 min

    2. Provision a develop & test workstation with Visual Studio in less than 10 min

    3. Provision a highly available, scalable website in less than 1 hour

    Your free t-shirt will be sent to you when you’ve submitted your entry and it is as simple as that.

    If you are keen and fancy a chance Surface Pro 3, a weekend holiday getaway or an XBOX ONE console, then take a step further and share your experience in participating in the challenge. Share in no more than 500 words your experience and you will get the chance to win either a Surface Pro 3, a weekend holiday getaway or an XBOX ONE console.

    Tell us about your experience by 24th December for a chance to win* a great prize and to be featured as “Cloud Hero” of the month.

    Ready to go? Click here to get started & good luck!

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