Tuesday, 20 September 2005

Nope, we're not in the air. That would be nice, but no such luck. Instead we're stuck on the ground in San Francisco with the typical SFO airport weather delays. They loaded the aircraft and then all the ground crews were ordered off the ramps due to tons of lightning, so we're just hangin' out.

Luckilly, I can stay productive anyhow thanks to the TMobile hot spot that must be right inside the terminal.

Ive been traveling a bit lately, and have been to 11 states in the past few weeks. This time I'm to San Diego for a few days, for conferences and all that sort of stuff. If anyone's in the area, let me know and maybe we can meet up if schedules allow. My cell phone number and email are over in the right menu bar.

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Tuesday, 20 September 2005 13:39:46 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 19 September 2005

BbelectronResearch in Motion, makers of the BlackBerry devices and servers, are getting ready to kick another new model out the door - the BlackBerry Electron. It looks a lot like the 7290 in size and basic shape, but also appears to have features you typically see on the 7100 series.

The higher-resolution screen will be a welcome addition, and the idea of programmable keys is also something I'd definitely take advantage of.

And perhaps the best part: EDGE network capability. About time! Plus a speakerphone.

Only one thing more to hope for: Will it play MP3s and have a SD card slot? Well, we can always hope.

(via BlackberryCool)

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Mobile | Tech
Monday, 19 September 2005 19:22:12 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Main_docked_330NASA's latest plans to return to the moon, and from there to go on to Mars, are now out, with more detail available. The spacecraft look a bit like the old Apollo ships, but looks can be deceiving:

"Coupled with the new lunar lander, the system sends twice as many astronauts to the surface as Apollo, and they can stay longer, with the initial missions lasting four to seven days. And while Apollo was limited to landings along the moon's equator, the new ship carries enough propellant to land anywhere on the moon's surface.

"Once a lunar outpost is established, crews could remain on the lunar surface for up to six months. The spacecraft can also operate without a crew in lunar orbit, eliminating the need for one astronaut to stay behind while others explore the surface."

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Random Stuff
Monday, 19 September 2005 19:06:01 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 17 September 2005

Fly softly, and carry a big stick...

I just found a great story linked from a new b5media blog (oops ) called Flightnest.com, where a student pilot was out with his instructor in a Cessna 172 and the landing gear would not lock down. Talk about baptism by fire!

Anyhow, even better is the way they solved the problem. While the student ad his instructor flew around the airport for about an hour and fire crews stood by, a couple guys in a jeep raced down the runway with the aircraft flying a few feet away. they eyeballed the gear, grabbed a big stick, and - well - go watch the video. Nice.

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Random Stuff
Saturday, 17 September 2005 09:21:29 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Scoble's posted an interview with Rob Leferts, a program manager at Microsoft, who talks about the new workflow services that will be built into SharePoint in the next version, which is tentatively set to release in the last half of 2006.

There's all sorts of new features that take advantage of the two-way connection between SharePoint 12 and other Office tools, including the Office suite of applications like Word, Excel, Outlook and others.

What does baking workflow into SharePoint in the Office 12 release mean for business people? In a nutshell, it means a set workflow features that just shows up and notifies you that you've got something that needs to be checked on or completed. It also means users can create workflow and leverage it to suit their business needs.

Example: I open Outlook and I get a notification in Outlook that says I have a task pending to complete an employee's performance review, which points me to a SharePoint site where that document lives and is waiting for me to add my two cents. When I am done, I click a button in Word or whatever program I'm in that says I am done, and the workflow takes over and pushes the document on to the next step in the business process and notifies the next person. You can buy that kind of functionality and build it in to existing SharePoint sites if you really want to, but it's a lot of work and it takes lots of time (and therefore money). So, out of the box is a terrific thing. Some of us need that. Badly. 

Automating the processes that business follow in writing documents, managing tasks, and a variety of other things can be well-served by workflow automation, and the fact that they're building it into the entire Office system is not only nice to see happening, it's important to making SharePoint and the Office system in general better accepted and more usable - and therefore a more worthwhile investment.

  • What you have today in SharePoint: Share and save documents, control security, publish and get notified of changes, etc.
  • What you get tomorrow: Build workflow to share the document template, drive it through a process of step by step edits and reviews, get sign-off and then publish (or whatever). Note: Approvals are processed online, it's not an off-line process. You can take a doc off-line and work on it, then connect back to the server to sync it back up to its "home," then push the button to indicate you've completed your workflow task.

Expiration and document lifecycle policies can be created and automated, to ensure content is properly disposed of, flagged, reviewed or whatever. This is a pretty big deal in today's business world, where a document lifecycle process and program is - in some cases - legally mandated.

Lots of great stuff coming from these talented people, and lots of business uses and enhancements to look forward to for those of us that need to help workers better organize information and collaborate.

Again, it's going to be a very, very interesting year.

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Saturday, 17 September 2005 08:28:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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If you're like me and you disappeared for random business trips at the last minute this past week, and if your business trip didn't take to PDC in Los Angeles (neither did mine), you may have also missed out (like me) on the real-time updates related to the next version of the Office System products - currently known generically as Office 12 and the Office 12 servers.

Simply put, the Office user experience is changing significantly - and at first glance, the changes are pretty amazing and definitely fall on the "hey that's cool" side of the fence. Watch this Channel 9 video interview with Julie Larson-Green of Microsoft to get a sneak peek of what's coming.

Check Jensen Harris' blog here for Office 12 experience updates, too. Good stuff showing up there already.

Channel 9 tags for categorized videos and articles related to the topics:

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Saturday, 17 September 2005 07:54:52 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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