« November 2004 | Main | January 2005 »

December 31, 2004

Microsoft Passport (1999-2004)

Microsoft regrets to announce that Microsoft Passport has slipped into a coma and is not expected to recover.

"Adam Sohn said that the company has withdrawn the service from the market and instead intends to focus on developing tools that would help other companies build their own Internet programmes."
http://www.newratings.com/new2/beta/article_605544.html

Posted on December 31, 2004 at 02:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Collective Conscious (a.k.a Hey! Give me back my "A")

Now you and 49 strangers can fight over the magnetic letters on a virtual fridge.

Fridge

Try to get people who you can't really communicate with, and who have their own agendas, to participate in your idea (instead of just stealing your letters), as happened here.

Posted on December 31, 2004 at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

A tale of two companies, and getting fired (or not) for blogging

Stuart Celarier points to a story about Ellen Simonett who was fired from Delta Airlines for blogging. Apparently for showing some pictures of herself and co-workers while wearing Delta uniforms.

Contrast that with Microsoft. Here, Robert Scoble goes off and slams Windows Media Player (a product manufactured by the company that employes him), and it appears Scoble is in no danger of getting canned.

When I first read the Scoble post, I immediately thought "It's a good thing you work for Microsoft. That's the only company on Earth that would let you get away with that." Hmm. +1 to Microsoft.

Posted on December 31, 2004 at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 30, 2004

Whidbey/Yukon News

Wally B. McClure has been working with the scripter object in SMO. SMO (Server Management Objects, the replacement for DMO) lets you perform just about any administrative function on the database programmatically. In fact, supposodly, all of the Microsoft admin tools are being built on top of it, so you should have an API that lets you do anything the admin tools can do. One such feature is scripting changes made to the database. In what must have been some really dark days of development, Microsoft created a scripter object that does this. You create an instance of the scripter object, and then programmatically make all the changes you want to make, and then have the scripter object spit out the script that would perform those changes. The neat thing is, you don't actually have to commit those changes to the database to generate the script.

Jan Tielens points to an article on The Server Side about C# Anonymous Methods. Anonymous methods are really just syntax candy. You could do the same thing with traditional delegates and methods, but there's something that's just cool about the appearance of passing code to a method or constructor:

Thread thread = new Thread(delegate(){
Console.WriteLine("ThreadHashCode:{0} Hello",Thread.CurrentThread.GetHashCode());
});


Posted on December 30, 2004 at 05:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 29, 2004

Tsunami Animation

NOAA has provided an animation of the tsunami travelling across the ocean. This is really astonishing.

Small version:
2004_indonesia_tsunami_complete

Large version.

Another great link for information is the Wikipedia article for the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.

Posted on December 29, 2004 at 10:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

None of your e-mail accounts could send to this recipient.

Joy. I'm blogging this just in case anyone else runs into this.

SYMPTOMS
When you send an e-mail message in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, the From field in the e-mail message that is in your Sent Items folder may not contain any e-mail addresses. Also, you may receive a non-delivery report (NDR) message in your Inbox folder that is similar to the following:

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

CAUSE
This issue occurs if all the following are true:
* You are using Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1).
* You are using either a Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3) account or an Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) account.
* The e-mail message was sent to one or more people who are not in your domain.
* Outlook 2003 is configured to receive an NDR message for all recipients.

This is documented in Microsoft KB 872896, which states "Currently, there is no resolution for this issue." I was actually so desperate that I called PSS. They said it's slated to be fixed in Service Pack 2. There's no date yet for SP2. Joy.

UPDATE: I was able to get it working again by uninstalling office, reinstalling office, and not installing any office updates (there doesn't appear to be a way to just uninstall Office SP1).

Posted on December 29, 2004 at 10:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (65)

December 28, 2004

What Microsoft will release in 2005

Islam Ahmed Slmy has speculation about the products that Microsoft will (may) release in 2005. Nice aggregation.

Posted on December 28, 2004 at 08:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Google AdSense Revenue for Earthquake Relief

Let's ALL take our passive Google Adsense Revenue for the year and donate it directly to earthquake relief.

(via Scott Hanselman)

Posted on December 28, 2004 at 08:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 22, 2004

Baseline Security Analyzer

The Baseline Security Analyzer is a tool that everyone should know about.  It scans your machine for all sorts of vulnerabilities, including patches not installed for the OS, Office, SQL, etc, weak passwords on accounts, folder permissions, and a bunch of other stuff.  It can also scan remote machines.

When it finds a vulnerability, it does a pretty good job of telling you how to fix it.

Bsa

You can download v1.2.1 of the MBSA here.

Posted on December 22, 2004 at 03:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Walmart sells laptop for $550.

Unbelievable. For $550, you can get a Windows XP laptop. If you're willing to run linux, you can get one for $495.

Posted on December 22, 2004 at 09:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)