# Friday, 30 January 2004

The Prime Ministers Official Spokesman Echoed Lord Falconers Views Saying A Dispassionate Judge Has Looked A

The prime minister's official spokesman echoed Lord Falconer's views, saying: "A dispassionate judge has looked at the facts and has made his judgment on the facts. That's where the matter should rest.  [via BBC NEWS | Politics | Dyke warning over Hutton report]

 Awwww, come on - can't we go to appeal? It's not as if the 'dispassionate' judgement of either Judge or jury has never been overturned by another judgement on the facts.


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Anbsplist Of NETrelated Blogs Written By UK Authorsnbspvia A Hrefhttpblogsmsdncomtimsarticle

A list of .NET-related blogs written by UK authors [via UK .NET Bloggers]

 Blimey, didn't expect to see my name there - I make very occasional .NET comments, I'd hardly go so far as to say I was a UK .NET Blogger.

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MS Mixed Messaging

If you're wondering whether you should be paying attention to the information on Longhorn that has appeared on the web and in the news lately, then you shouldn't be. Longhorn RTM is years away. This is the most lead time we've given on any Windows operating system ever. The reason we did it was so that we could get super early adopters to give us meaningful feedback while we still had enough of the development cycle left to make meaningful changes. If you're not a super early adopter, than Longhorn is just going to be noise that you should ignore 'til the beta hits.

 [via The Sells Spout]

 Which is not really the story that Scoble has been putting out is it; "Longhorn is noise".

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Let Me Start By Defining Marketing I Think That Will Helpnbspnbsp

Let me start by defining marketing - I think that will help. ...  The role of marketing is to build in the mind of the customer the complementary “mental product“: the clear picture of what the thing is that you want them to buy and how they would use it.  You have to build the mental product before you can get somebody to buy the physical product.  If your customers don't have a clear, effortless picture in their heads of exactly how they'll use what you're providing, they're not going to buy it.

 [via Microsoft WebBlogs]


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In An Analyst Briefing Broadcast On Wednesday Intel President Paul Otellini Was Asked About The Likelihood O

In an analyst briefing broadcast on Wednesday, Intel president Paul Otellini was asked about the likelihood of Intel designing 64-bit chips for the desktop. Otellini's answer seemed to indicate such a development would be some time in the future.

"You can be fairly confident that when there is software from an application and operating system standpoint that we'll be there," Otellini said.

 [via Intel Preps Launch of Prescott Processor]

 Well, there we go, 64bit is not an important consideration for those developing software expected to be used on the desktop.

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# Thursday, 29 January 2004

The clock - the clock is serious app development!

James Clarke asks a provocative question about Longhorn: "Can we expect to see applications such as the Shell, Outlook Express etc fully utilizing this "pillar" [Avalon] in the B1 timeframe (complete with native Avalon toolbars, native Avalon listviews etc)? This will be my measure of Avalon's readiness for serious app development."

Hmmm, old apps getting rewritten? You might see pieces done for Avalon, but I wouldn't expect to see wholesale rewriting of existing stuff.

He also asks about Office. I'd rather the Office team talk about their plans than me.

That said, you will see some really great uses of Avalon in Longhorn. The clock that we shipped at the PDC is built in Avalon, for instance. There will be plenty of examples to prove to you that it's ready for serious app development.

 [via The Scobleizer -- Geek Aggregator]

 Sorry, couldn't resist, the clock is built with Avalon, oooooh wow, let me stop all development on old naff technologies and start using Avalon now. What I want to see is a serious application from MS (not a sample or example, but a 'commercial' application) done in .NET so we can decompile it and see how it works.

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Health Secretary John Reid Told BBC Radio 4s Today Programme That He Wanted To See A Shift From The Culture

Health Secretary John Reid told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he wanted to see a shift from the culture of a general allegation that "all politicians are self-serving and prepared to lie even about the greatest and gravest matters like going to war".

 [via BBC NEWS | Politics | BBC governors hold crisis talks]

Well, perhaps politicians should actually stop being quite so self serving and being prepared to lie about anything (as the old joke goes, Q. How can you tell a politician is lying? A. You can see their lips move.). While we're at it, perhaps he can explain why there was no necessity to correct those journalists who had foolishly misinterpreted the dossier on WMD and point out to them that it was only tactical weapons, not strategic.


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# Monday, 26 January 2004

Arsenal Land Che

Arsenal land Chelsea in FA Cup.  Holders Arsenal draw London rivals Chelsea in the pick of the FA Cup fifth-round ties. [via BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]

 Not a'flippin'gain - at Arsenal... mutter, mutter, mutter.

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Pointless MS interviews no: 357

Paul Thurrott got an interview with Microsoft's top design gurus (Hillel Cooperman and Tjeerd Hoek. These folks are the ones who head the team that's designing the next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn.

Paul: Yeah. Every version of Office has to have some unique UI that doesn't exist anywhere else in any other Microsoft product.


Tjeerd: Aww, it's not too bad. I wasn't responsible for writing the code ...

Paul: It's even worse if you're responsible for the vision of it ...

It would have been nice to see a justification, a promise they won't do it again, something, anything other than laugh. Its always struck me as odd that the people behind MS's premier Office product should be saying that the stuff behind the OS, from the same company, is useless. Mind you, their attitude has created a large 3rd party market in "Office compatible" (by which they mean looks like) toolbars etc.

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# Thursday, 22 January 2004

Generating Thumbnail

 Very nice, reliant on full Acrobat (v5) but very useful for CMS people.

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# Wednesday, 21 January 2004

Kelly Said Iraq Immediat

Kelly said Iraq 'immediate threat'.  Dr David Kelly said in an unbroadcast interview Iraq was a threat and could use weapons of mass destruction "within days or weeks". [via BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]

 What is very odd is why this is coming out now - why wasn't this presented to the Hutton Inquiry; perhaps it was?

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IE Print Preview gone AWOL in a security update?

Print preview performance in IE seems to have gone through the floor; it can now take up to a minute for the preview to appear. I'm sure it used to be fairly snappy. Hmmm.
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# Thursday, 15 January 2004

Why Windows Crashes.

What can go wrong when you mismatch the calling convention?.  

... "Aw, come on, who would be so stupid as to insert a cast to make an error go away without actually fixing the error?"

Apparently everyone. [via Microsoft WebBlogs]

 Ahem, terrible admission but I'm not sure whether I'm included in everyone - I don't think I am but can I absolutely swear, nope we do some dumb things when in a hurry. Its a great article and required reading for anyone who writes unmanaged Windows code.

There's a fair bit of junk in the Microsoft WebBlogs stream, but there is some great stuff as well - at least its not all .NET/Longhorn.

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# Monday, 12 January 2004

Fast Web Browser To Be Commercialised Nbsp

Fast Web browser to be commercialised.  It's Mega 

.... said that in about seven months' time, patents for the Xwebs mega browser should be filed and the software will be primed for commercialisation ....

[via The Register]

Since its mostly (as I understand it) a wrapper on the IE web browser control and there are a gazillion wrappers out there doing things like aggregated search and stuff, its going to be interesting to see these patents (and where they are filed).


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# Friday, 09 January 2004

IE Http Headers Tool Nbsp L

IE Http Headers Tool.  

... let folks know about a really cool free IE add-in called ieHTTPHeaders written by Jonas Blunck.  It makes it so much easier to see the HTTP headers for different pages, and is way easier than using a sniffer.  ... [via DonXML Demsak's Grok This]

 Jolly useful.

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# Thursday, 08 January 2004

With Its Online Services Offering NewsGator Is Hoping To Expand Interest In Content Aggregation To A Lesste

With its Online Services offering, NewsGator is hoping to expand interest in content aggregation to a less-technical crowd, Reinacker said. The service will include exclusive content for subscribers, such as technology news, comics and special interest columns. "RSS and content aggregation has had a stigma for a while of being a techie kind of thing, but we're trying to add more mainstream content to make it more exciting for the average user," Reinacker said.

Pricing for a NewsGator Online Services subscription will start at $5.95 a month per user. NewsGator 2.0 for Outlook works with Microsoft Outlook 2000 or later and will cost $29 a copy.

 [via NewsGator Extends Reach With Subscription Service]

Hmm - 'exclusive' content generation and the software to read said content - given the number of tech news, comics and special interest feeds there are anyway, one wonders how they are going to be 'exclusive' or more importantly original/worthwhile.


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# Wednesday, 07 January 2004

Lets look at those star ratings

But three days later on 15 July, a civil servant in Mr Milburn's private office warned via e-mail that the then health secretary wanted to look at the star ratings again.

Mr Yeo said Mr Milburn had apparently been unhappy about the rating given to the Northumbria Health Care Trust and asked if it could be urgently revisited as an issue.

This is a politically motivated personal attack with political intent, again to harm the NHS as well as this party
John Reid
The e-mail continued: "The secretary of state would also identify South Durham as a high profile trust, given that it serves the prime minister's constituency.

"Why has it fallen from three stars last year to two stars?"

Mr Yeo said: "The very next day on 16 July, a new paper arrived from Mr Wilmore confirming that the star ratings had been recalculated."


"This paper stated and I quote: 'Alterations to the methodology have been made resulting in the changes to individual trusts that were requested'.

 [via BBC NEWS | Politics | Tories call for Milburn NHS probe]

Of course its a politically motivated attack - it took place in the House of Commons (sheeesh!).

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25m Freed For Schools Te

£25m 'freed' for schools technology.  The government is freeing schools to spend up to £25m on new technology. [via BBC News | Education | UK Edition]

Oh gawd, here we go again, holes in the roof in preference to fewer computers. With the (relatively) massive amount injected into Schools IT since 1997, and a lot of it (all?) ring fenced standards fund money, why is this £25m necessary - or has that lot been wasted or been spent on something else due to budget problems in (ahem) mending the roof.

Mr Clarke said information and communication technology (ICT) in schools, could help improve GCSE results, by "half a grade" if used properly.

Yeah, right, a very dubious and arguable Becta report is the problably the source of this; haven't seen it trotted out for a few years. Perhaps it's new to Mr Clarke.

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Really useful shortcut

From ChuckOp's Blog

One of my favorite keyboard shortcuts in Windows is CTRL+NUMPAD+Plus.

You can get Windows to automatically resize the columns (in details view) to fit the widest item for the column, so no data is lost and only the space needed is taken. 

Geez... for how many years has this functionality just been sitting there unused? How the heck are people supposed to "discover" this kind of functionality? There's no menu item for this... no button... no help file I've ever seen that states this behavior... [via Andy Smith's Blog]

 Absolutely, jolly nice one this one, jolly useful, why not on the view menu?

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# Monday, 05 January 2004

SystemWebMail Explained Part 3nbs

System.Web.Mail Explained - Part 3.  ..., and felt it needed its own website, in the form of a FAQ. So I built one. You can see it here: System.Web.Mail, OH MY! at http://www.SystemWebMail.com  [via Wanta .NET ?]


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