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 Wednesday, 11 March 2009

If you haven’t already jumped on the Silverlight train, here’s a fun way to get you started.

Tess has up on her blog a full tutorial on creating a game in silverlight.

Her game project is divided in 5 parts:

Part 1 - Creating the main layout

Part 2 - Creating a Car user control

Part 3 - Using Linq to XML to read and generate the levels

Part 4 - Adding drag and drop functionality to move the cars around

Part 5 - Storing high scores in Isolated Storage with Linq to XML

And by the way, she maintains the best debugging blog i’ve seen. Called “If broken it is, fix it you should”, she write very high quality content and covers lots of advanced stuff  debugging application hangs, application crashes and memory leaks.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009 09:54:18 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Silverlight | Games

What is Native Client?

Native Client is an open-source research technology for running x86 native code in web applications, with the goal of maintaining the browser neutrality, OS portability, and safety that people expect from web apps.

About the contest

Do you think it is impossible to safely run untrusted x86 code on the web? Do you want a chance to impress a panel of some of the top security experts in the world? Then submit an exploit to the Native Client Security Contest and you could also win cash prizes, not to mention bragging rights.

What is the contest

This is a contest with the goal to test the security of Native Client.

To participate, you will need to:

  • Register yourself (or your team)
  • Download our latest build
  • Join the NaCl discussion group
  • Report the exploits you find to our team

When

You can register for the contest on Wednesday, February 25th 2009. The contest will end on Tuesday, May 5th 2009 at 11:59:59 Pacific time. Sign up early to start reporting exploits as soon as possible.

What’s in it for you

Participating in the contest means that you will engage with early stage research technology. In addition, your work will be reviewed by a panel of security experts from some of the world’s most renowned universities, chaired by Edward Felten of Princeton University. Finally, by submitting high impact bug(s), you will also have the chance to compete to win one of our five cash prizes, as well as the recognition of your peers.

Eligible participants that are ranked in the top 5 positions of the competition by Judges will receive the following awards in U.S. Dollars based on their rank:

1st prize: $8,192.00
2nd prize: $4,096.00
3rd prize: $2,048.00
4th prize: $1,024.00
5th prize: $1,024.00

Winning Entries will be announced on or about December 7th.

Details at:

http://code.google.com/contests/nativeclient-security/

Wednesday, 11 March 2009 08:57:37 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
News | Security
 Friday, 20 February 2009

MicrosoftolsbofferThe words “free” and “Microsoft” don’t often appear in the same sentence, so imagine my surprise at discovering this deal: a free custom domain name, free Web hosting, free e-mail accounts, and more.

As you might expect from the name, Microsoft Office Live Small Business has a decidedly business focus–but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for a personal site.

The freebie account includes not only the domain (any available .com, .net, .org, or .info address), but also site-building tools, reporting tools, project and document managers, 100 e-mail addresses, and collaboration-minded online workspaces. You get 500MB of storage, too.

So what’s the catch? There really isn’t one, though the free domain hosting expires after one year. After that, it’ll run you $14.95 annually.

Photo by Microsoft.

Friday, 20 February 2009 15:41:02 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
News

Following my post on Chuck Norris programming facts, here is more facts for your viewing pleasure:

  • MVC actually stands for Model-View-ChuckNorris. Controller is just one of his nicknames.
  • Chuck Norris was written in C# which itself was written in Chuck Norris
  • You don't follow Chuck Norris on Twitter. He follows you, finds you, and kills you
  • The design of Silverlight DeepZoom was directly inspired by Chuck Norris’ powers of bionic vision.
  • Chuck Norris doesn't write code...oh no, he thinks about the finished product and the code appears.
  • Chuck Norris has no need for virtual methods. Nothing can override Chuck Norris.
  • A synchronize operation doesn't protect against Chuck Norris, if he wants the object, he takes it.
  • Chuck Norris invented recursion to see what would happen if he roundhouse kicked himself.
  • Chuck Norris can multi-thread on a single processor by breaking it into pieces.
  • Chuck Norris wrote a program that calculated the last digit of pi.
  • Chuck Norris' compiler is afraid of displaying warnings to him. It just fixes the code automatically.
  • Chuck Norris uses Vista with UAC turned on. He has received no warnings. Ever.
  • Chuck Norris monitor has no glare…no-one glares at Chuck Norris.

 

And as a last one for today, try to type "How to Find Chuck Norris" in Google and click "I'm Feeling Lucky"…

Friday, 20 February 2009 13:34:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Humor
 Friday, 13 February 2009
“Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.”
(Donald Knuth, 1977)

“It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students that have had prior exposure to Basic; as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.”

(Edsger W. Dijkstra, 1982)

“The question of whether computers can think is like the question of whether submarines can swim.”

(Edsger W. Dijkstra)

“The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should therefore be regarded as a criminal offense.”

(E.W. Dijkstra)

“Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.”

(Bill Gates)

“Software suppliers are trying to make their software packages more ‘user-friendly’…  Their best approach so far has been to take all the old brochures and stamp the words ‘user-friendly’ on the cover.”

(Bill Gates)

“Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window.”

(Steve Wozniak)

“Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My compromise of 0.5 was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration.”

(Stan Kelly-Bootle)

“Computers are like bikinis. They save people a lot of guesswork.”

(Sam Ewing)

“No matter how slick the demo is in rehearsal, when you do it in front of a live audience, the probability of a flawless presentation is inversely proportional to the number of people watching, raised to the power of the amount of money involved.”

(Mark Gibbs)

“Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.”

(Martin Golding)

Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen.

(Edward V Berard)

Java is to JavaScript what Car is to Carpet

(Anonymous)

"If you want to set off and go develop some grand new thing, you don't need millions of dollars of capitalization. You need enough pizza and Diet Coke to stick in your refrigerator, a cheap PC to work on and the dedication to go through with it."

(John Carmack)

Software and cathedrals are much the same - first we build them, then we pray.

(Anonymous)

Friday, 13 February 2009 16:45:37 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Humor
 Thursday, 05 February 2009

Seth Godin’s blog is one of those that I religiously follow. He is a great marketing guru, wrote numerous books and speaks at various conferences. He always finds the right way of saying things and he’s simply a great writer.

If you haven’t already done so, add his feed to your feed reader.  You won’t be disapointed.

For example, here is Seth’s post for today.  Very insightful.

The telephone destroyed the telegraph.

Here's why people liked the telegraph: It was universal, inexpensive, asynchronous and it left a paper trail.

The telephone offered not one of these four attributes. It was far from universal, and if someone didn't have a phone, you couldn't call them. It was expensive, even before someone called you. It was synchronous--if you weren't home, no call got made. And of course, there was no paper trail.

If the telephone guys had set out to make something that did what the telegraph does, but better, they probably would have failed. Instead, they solved a different problem, in such an overwhelmingly useful way that they eliminated the feature set of the competition.

The list of examples is long (YouTube vs. television, web vs. newspapers, Nike vs. sneakers). Your turn.

Thursday, 05 February 2009 12:15:45 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Business
 Tuesday, 03 February 2009
This is a problem, which can be easily solved by children before entering elementary school. If you want to give it a try, please forget everything you have ever studied. Here it comes:

8809 = 6
7111 = 0
2172 = 0
6666 = 4
1111 = 0
3213 = 0
7662 = 2
9312 = 1
0000 = 4
2222 = 0
3333 = 0
5555 = 0
8193 = 3
8096 = 5
7777 = 0
9999 = 4
7756 = 1
6855 = 3
9881 = 5
5531 = 0

2581 = ?

Can you solve it ?
 
 
Others posts:
 
 
 
 
Tuesday, 03 February 2009 13:56:12 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Challenge | General
 Monday, 02 February 2009

According to Silverlight Development Team Leader, Scott Guthrie, the next Silverlight release is planned for 2009. The new Silverlight 3 will bring in a lot of new features and cool stuff. Here is a small list of the most important new features :

  • New media enhancements (including H.264 video support)
  • Major graphics improvements (including 3D support and GPU hardware acceleration)
  • Application development improvements (including richer data-binding support and additional controls)
  • The possibility for a Silverlight 3 application to run outside the browser
Monday, 02 February 2009 15:02:34 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
News

On the Financial Times’s blogs Tony Barber wrote this article about his recent experience of machine translation. After hearing a recommendation that bloggers should “try to use computer-generated translations” to provide foreign language versions of their own blogs he decided to see for himself and he put Google Translate to the test.

One section that was especially funny was taken from a Polish Newspaper and translated into English using Google Translate it says,

“A sign of the collapse of the French culture of the restaurant is visible on the streets of Paris rash of quick-service bar, offering generally pogardzane a few years ago and cheeseburgery hamburgers.”

Cheeseburgery Hamburgers — brilliant!

Monday, 02 February 2009 14:19:02 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Humor
 Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Within a few moments of President Obama being sworn in, a new whitehouse.gov was revealed.  The new site looks great, and promises greater transparency about the actions the american government.

Speaking about transparency, check out its robots.txt file, in entirety:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /includes/

Compare this to the robot.txt from Bush's era…  I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009 15:43:19 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -

 Monday, 19 January 2009

Hold-a-meeting

 

 Want to call a meeting today?

Then first, stop and consider the hourly cost of the people that will be attending your meeting. You'll realize quickly that calling a meeting is very expensive since no productive work is done during that time. 

It's important to ensure that every person present and every minute of your meeting adds value. It’s equally important that your motivation for calling this meeting is justified and need a consensus of everyone attending. Don't invite people who won't participate but will simply report back to their boss or team (sending a copy of the meeting minutes by email will be a lot more effective). Also, don't call a meeting to tell people things that could be communicated by email or memo.

In fact, you should only call a meeting when actual decisions needs to be taken or something really needs to be discussed live with the attendees.

Then when you finally decide that you need to hold your meeting, make sure that:

  • You are prepared. People don’t like seeing the main speaker confused or ill-prepared.
  • You assign someone to the note-taking task. Everyone else can then actively participate, knowing that the full meeting notes will be emailed to them later that day.
  • You verify that everyone present has a good reason to be present.
  • You keep it short and sweet. A long, boring meeting is useless and energy-draining. The most effective meetings I've seen are the daily stand-up meetings in the Agile Methodology. They typically last from 5 to 15 minutes and still manage to get a lot done in that period of time.
Monday, 19 January 2009 17:08:27 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Business | General

1072482_calendar

I wanted to write this down for some time now…

The Convert function in SQL Server provides a means to translate SQL Server’s default date format to just about any format. However, the convertion format isn’t intuitive at all. I wanted to have a quick reference for the future and help those who had trouble finding a list of all the possible convert options in T-SQL.

The syntax for the Convert function is as follows:

CONVERT ( data_type [ ( length ) ] , expression [ , style ] )
Available Date Formats:
  

Other Posts:

The T-SQL LoginProperty function in SQL Server 2005

How to restart a Windows service using C#

How to insert a file in an image column in SQL Server 2005

Monday, 19 January 2009 15:07:23 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SQL

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