Xbox and what are those detachable hard drives for, anyway?

“A-HA! moment” is right! – I read this blog entry on the RatcliffeBlog, and couldn’t keep myself from posting it here.  Although I do work for MSFT, I have absolutely zero knowledge about anything internal with Xbox (except for the fact that quite a few of my other softie friends have also already signed up to get a 360 on Day One) but this strategy seems to me to make a lot of sense.  I’ve been scratching my head about why Xbox deosn’t already have a PSP-space device.  Mitch doesn’t say what his source is – it could be his own crazy talk – but I like it!

Chappell – Services as an Abstraction

David Chappell has posted an article titled, “Services as an Explicit Abstraction”  In this article, David states that the 3-tier application arch. model of Data — Logic — Presentation layers has evolved with the adoption of services into a 4-tier model… Data — Logic — Access — Clients.   Due to the increase of types of presantation layers, and the evolution of services that are also clients (services that might combine the outputs from other services), this (new?) layer of abstraction is being implemented today and is a better way to represent the app dev model.  Good article.  BizTalk and Indigo related…

TechEd 2005 Sessions and Slides

Even while sitting at Gnomedex, (on a Saturday), I have to keep up with my day job.  This looks like a great way to view the slides and watch the sessions from Tech-Ed 2005 a month ago.  

Tech-Ed Sweetness…  (Find the BizTalk Stuff in the “Connected Systems” track)…

Update: This site now requires a password – so it is now for attendees only.  (Which I wasn’t this year…  Shucks).

Blogs – Public vs. Private


Wow.  Julie Leung ( just finished a presentation at Gnomedex about Blogs as a Social Tool.  She made all of us think about where the limits are between one’s public and private personas.  Where is the line between our private and public face on the web?  What kind of persona do we choose to expose ourselves as? 


She spoke about how reading blogs gives you the chance to look through someone else’s eyes.  As a blogger, I’ve been taking advantage of this by following more blogs than I have time for.  It’s been very valuable.  What a coincidence that I posted something about this just this morning – this is obviously something that is top of mind right now. 


Julie continued discussing how blogging can open entry points into relationships, but it can be scary and risky, as well. 


What a great job.  Thank you, Julie, for sharing your thoughts and feelings about this today at Gnomedex.  I wonder what my blog will look like in a couple years (or months?) as it evolves. 

Gnomedex 5.0 – Post 2

Day 2 is about to start at Gnomedex.  The broadband was terrible yesterday, and I couldn’t get a connection for more than a few minutes.  I haven’t posted about the remainder of Day One yet, but I’ll get to that in a second.  


One of the lessons that I tried to learn yesterday was that it is the personal part of a blog that leads to the audience being able to make a connection with the writer.  This part of the game has come up before, but it’s always scared me, so I’ve avoided it.  I’ll be the first to admit that I enjoy the blogs that allow me to get to know the writer, more than those that provide the same information but no personal connection, but still…  that’s a hurdle to cross.  Scoble was asked a question about his blog reading practices and he answered about the differences that he observes between blogs.  He got me thinking…  (he seems to do that for a lot of people, eh?)  So, even though it’s a scary thing for me (Hey – I’m still growing up – who knows what I want to do when I grow up?), I’m going to start to throw down a couple of more personal items periodically.  (I’m still going to avoid my utra-liberal/ultra-conservative politics, though).  


Friday night was spent with the kids.  One of my sons, Brock, is 13, and we watched “A Few Good Men” for the first time last night.  (Well, first time for him – for me, it’s a keeper).  We’ve got a product called the TV Guardian (I think) that bleeps out the bad language in a movie and it worked like a charm last night.  I guess I learned that TCM doesn’t do the same editing that network channels do.  


Her are some notes that I took about the post-Winer portion of Gnomedex 5, Day One…


The MSFT presentation was pretty significant, I thought.  It was pretty well understood that RSS would be a part of IE, but the IE group has taken it to a new level.  One of the features that I liked the best is the notion of the common feed store, where subscriptions can be stored within the OS, and made available to other applications.  It will be interesting to see the details of this as it is made available, but this will allow aggregators and RSS-enabled applications to hand off that portion of their code to the OS.  This is the heavy lifting part that each application has to reinvent the wheel to do, and incompatibilities in how that happens today are keeping RSS apps from complete interoperability.  It will be interesting and fun to see what type of applications are ginned up to take advantage of this.


One key of the MSFT IE concept is that subscriptions aren’t just about news items, but can be of any type of content.  As content providers add RSS structures around their content, Windows will be able to manage subscriptions to it.  


Features were also discussed to include a synchronization engine and a set of extensions to RSS to enable better list management of RSS items.  This is another way that an intelligent content provider could add value to his/her content.  


It was kind of cool to check the blogosphere last night and this morning and see the incredible quantity of comments that have been generated about this announcement.  What a ride it’s going to be.

Blogs in Education

Kathy Gill, of the University of Washington, spoke about how she is utilizing Blog technology with her classes at UW.  She sees an incredible tool in blogs due to the ease of publishing, instant gratification for her students, and the simplicity of setup and training (when using a common Blog tech across the course!).  Kathy also suggested that the off-line and out-of-the-classroom nature of blog-based communication provides a way for shy students, or those students that are reluctant to participate in the class, or ESL students, etc., to participate more comfortably.  Kathy mentioned bulletin-board technologies for education, which have been around for a while, but the blog tech features are improving more rapidly. 


The question which she ended with…  “What does eLearning 2.0 look like?”  


Blogs in Government

Paul Vogelzang from the US Treasury Department spoke about how government is using blogs and RSS technology.  They’ve got lots of uses for sharing data and communicating updates in a scalable manner to lots of citizens… (and other types of data consumers).



Dan Gillmor – Dan commented that one of his most significant milestones re: the Internet was the first time that someone pointed him to a web site that had a “Click to Edit This Page” button, and it changed modes into an editable page.  Then, when he saved his changes, to see them immediately published on that page, that was a time when the internet became as writable as it is readable.  


This is something that we do today with web content management systems, but it is not as widespread as it needs to be.  Wiki’s are a great next step, but what will the next generation of writable web applications look like?  (That’s a topic for later)



There was another great session idea that was targeted to Citizen Media.  I was hoping for a discussion about how to energize or enable a community to collaborate using technology, but this session morphed into something about tools and users experiences with blog tools… 


Day 2 – here we come.

Gnomedex 5.0 – Post 1

What a great morning.  I’m attending Gnomedex 5.0 today in Seattle.  It was a conference that I couldn’t pass up, being local to the Northwest, and being about blogging and web communication.  I was looking forward to meeting some of the people that I’ve read about.  First of all, Chris Pirillo is a great guy, and is working hard on the conference – nice job, Chris! 

Dave Winer gave the opening keynote, and there were some spirited discussions – he also demo’d a new OPML editor.  (The UI sucks – somebody needs to turn this into an app)  Some of the discussion was around whether or not OPML was an edge technology, only for wrapping conversations, or whether it should be a document format. 

The MSFT presentation is starting now…  I’ll be back.