Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Microsoft's Steven Lindsay posted a video a couple months ago showing his top five things you didn't know you could do with your Media Center PC. Cool tidbits for people who want to get deeper into using a few more of the capabilities of Windows Media Center. Worth the viewing time.


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Tech | Windows Media Technology
Tuesday, 17 June 2008 21:29:37 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Apologies to web viewers for the temporary disruption here - I have changed the design template for this blog to a new one (thanks to Anthony Bouch at http://www.58bits.com/ for letting me borrow) and plan to leave it live for 24-48 hours to see how it impacts visits, clicks and retention times in the stats.

I want to make a change since my old template is, well, old. And because Scott harasses me for it a couple times a year. But the template I have been using for a few years now works very well and so I have not made the final decision to move away from it just yet. My plan is to play with this one some and work toward a design that is as effective performance-wise as the old template, but one that looks nicer.

Anyhow, just wanted to send out a quick "sorry" for regular readers of the blog via the web for the cliche "under construction" phase. Be sure to let me know what you think works and what doesn't for you.



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Blogging | Random Stuff
Tuesday, 17 June 2008 21:04:29 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Last month, Microsoft released the Microsoft Forefront Integration Kit for Network Access Protection, a solution accelerator that enables their Forefront Client Security products to interoperate with the Network Access Protection (NAP) capabilities included in Windows Server 2008. In a nutshell, it allows an integrated system of policy compliance and real-time checking of the status of a computer's Forefront security status, as well as remediation and access protection for machines that fall or are found to be out of compliance.

Using the technologies together, administrators can leverage the state of a client computer as part of the information and policy status that NAP leverages in controlling access to the network.
You can use the Kit to help protect your network infrastructure by configuring a Forefront Client Security compliance health policy across your network, monitoring the operational health of Forefront Client Security in real time, and remediating problems that arise.
More and better in-depth defense mechanisms, and ones that work well together on top of that, are good to see coming out of Microsoft and others. It's the kind of progress that's needed to stay on top of quickly evolving threats, and to proactively keep them from spreading.

(via Dan Griffin)



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IT Security | Tech
Tuesday, 10 June 2008 11:40:24 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 09 June 2008
I'm in warm and sunny Orlando for the IT week of Tech Ed. My cohort Richard and I will be interviewing, making the speaker contest happen, and generally staying busy through Friday. If you are at Tech Ed this week, be sure to drop by the Tech Ed fishbowl in the exhibition hall, or send and email and let me know. It would be great to meet new people and catch up with others.



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Random Stuff | Tech
Monday, 09 June 2008 07:53:57 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 06 June 2008
Most of my friends know that every now and then I operate public fireworks displays - as in the big ones with hundreds or thousands of shells, way up in the sky and loud as hell. It's a fun side gig, and I am licensed in Oregon and Washington to run the displays.

This year for the July 4 celebration, I am once again operating the Walla Walla, Washington show. I ran last year's show and am headed back. But I certainly can't do it alone, and so this is an invitation to anyone in the area (meaning in Walla Walla or in the Portland/Vancouver/etc. area) who might be interested in joining me as part of the pyro crew to speak up and join in!

And I'm quite serious. We'll load mortars and set up some thousands of shells and stuff, do a lot of fun and interesting training and safety stuff, learn about how fireworks work, and generally have a fun time. It's not lounging/leisure time - In fact there's quite a bit of manual work of a reasonable nature, and it can get hot. But pretty much without fail, people who join the crew have a great time and are glad they did it. Some get hooked, like Travis and Jenn, who keep coming back for more year after year. Suckers. Heheheh. Be sure to check out Travis' blog entry and Jenn's pictures from last year's show to give you a bit of an idea of what it's like.

So, who can participate? Anyone 18 years of age or older (you have to be 21 years old to fire a show, 18 to help set up and whatnot), who is not restricted from handling regulated explosives (in other words, you can't be a convicted felon or certifiably insane - sorry). You'll be doing some moderate labor (some lifting, carrying, etc). Obviously nobody on the crew can consume alcohol on that day (until the show is over, at least) and you can certainly think of other obvious things that would be safety no-no's.

If you're interested, great! Let me know as soon as you can. I need to firm up a crew list in the next week or two. All I ask is that once confirmed, please make sure you are actually planning to be there. We'll provide the lodging, food, drinks, training and lots of fun. You get to tell people (kids, grandkids, friends, and lame non-believers) about how you are so awesome becuase you helped blow up tons of cool explosives for the Walla Walla community. Just be warned: It can be addictive. Ask Travis and Jenn. :)

To entice you, here is a video with some highlights from last year's show. The video is only a few minutes long; the actual show was close to 20 minutes.




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Fireworks | Random Stuff
Friday, 06 June 2008 17:21:37 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 05 June 2008
A reporter from Forbes Magazine, Brian Caulfield, has been sneaking around a bit, asking questions, and taking pictures from various public-domain locations where he thinks Apple's next-gen iPhone (or APple Tablet, or next-gen iMac, or all of the above) are being dispatched from.

Tons of boxes overflowing a large warehouse, courier service trucks in drives coming and going, no-label boxes and warehouse workers being cagey but saying basically nothing. But when you start to stack up so much circumstantial evidence it's pretty convincing. If nothing else, it generates great hype and gets people like me to pay attention and write about it. Marketing madness.

What I really want to know: Where and when to line up as an existing AT&T customer who wants to upgrade, and how much cash to bring with me. I'm guessing/surmising the answer is sometime in the next week and a half, and $200 (plus a pen to sign a contract extension).



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Apple | Geek Out | Mobile | Tech
Thursday, 05 June 2008 13:35:30 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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