Friday, October 29, 2010

Microsoft To Shut Down Windows Live Spaces

Windows Live Spaces, the Microsoft’s Blogging platform will be shutdown early next year (16th March to be precise) and is offering to migrate your current blog to Wordpress.com.

The email I received announcing this is quite confusing. The email subject says ‘Changes coming to your Windows Live Space’. I expected that it may have been upgraded with more features.  But they are simply shutting it down, and they appear to have trouble saying it.

We are very excited to announce our collaboration with a premier and innovative blogging service,WordPress.com, to offer you an upgraded blogging experience. We'll help you migrate your current Windows Live Spaces blog to WordPress.com or you can download it to save for later. On March 16th, 2011 your current space will close.

With the new release of Windows Live services, we've made a series of changes and improvements across our products. We chose to partner to provide our users with a fantastic blogging solution. However, we realize the changes will have an impact on you - this email aims to address any concerns you may have.

The team should have just said it in bold that the service will be shutdown. How can it be an afterthought that they somehow realized by chance that there is an impact of my blog on Live Spaces?

Anyways, I haven’t been using Live Spaces for years, as I moved to self hosted Wordpress.

If you try to sign up for a Live space, you will see this ‘So long Spaces!’ message. Little less round about jargon at least.

So long Spaces!

If you are looking for Spaces, this is where it used to live. If you came here looking to start a blog, you should go to our blogging partner WordPress.com to get started. You can even connect your blog back to Windows Live Messenger to share your posts with your Messenger friends.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Plight of Volleyball Courts in Russell Creek Park, Plano

I read great stories and reports about Plano that Plano is one of the best and arguably one of the most affluent cities. I wonder why City maintains these volleyball courts in Russelcreek park in such a horrible and unsafe conditions for so long.

One of our friends complained back in August 2009 about the plight of these courts. It appears nothing has been done and conditions have only gone worse since then.

Looking at these grounds, I am quite sure that no city official paid a visit to these grounds since that complaint made or made sure otherwise these grounds are maintained well and safer. Hope at least they can take a look at these pictures and do something.

Please do send an email to Plano city officials with these pictures or pass the URL to them. Hope, we will have better and safer grounds soon.

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The East Court : Hope this pole stay strong for few more days…! ( Pole on the east side)

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The East Court : West side pole. You can also see the condition of the net.

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West side court and the condition of Net.

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Condition of the Sand in both grounds; look how coarse it is.

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See how deep you have to dig in the sand before you hit this hard surface; just  about an inch or inch and a half.

Please pass these pictures and send an email or make a call to City officials. Mean time, try look for a ground that has soft sand and safer.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Designs Apart : Groupon's Unsubscribe Screen

Groupon's Unsubscribe screen asks you to ‘Punish’ a team member that recommended Email Subscriptions whenever you unsubscribe to those Email notifications.

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Nice, personal, playful and bring you back to interacting with their site, even after you decided to go away. Loved it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The World (of Geography) As Seen In 1800s

A book published in 1825 about the Geography of the world, places, people, cultures and so on. I was quite curious to read how and what the people at that time imagined or came to know about the world and more about how they perceived it.

Put the context that it was in 1800s and you will be rather surprised and shocked to read it. I loved it. Thanks to Hemanth for sharing the link.

Link : Google Picasa Album : Geography Book

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Whole Bunch Of FREE E-Books On Programming

There is a good list of FREE books on Programming at Stack overflow here.

Since they are available for FREE, you may be tempted to download all of them at once thinking you could read any time later. You may probably never even look at them again.

So download one book at a time and read it like it matters. And Keep going. Good luck !

And one more link, just received in MSDN Flash, a collection of “7 Freely available E-Books essential for .NET Programmers and Architects” by Anoop Madhusudhan.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Oath of Non-Allegiance

I promise not to exclude from consideration any idea based on its source, but to consider ideas across schools and heritages in order to find the ones that best suit the current situation.”

-- The Oath of Non-Allegiance, Alistair Cockburn

Sold. And Signed.

Poem: Every Story Has Two Sides, Except This One

Alistair Cockburn reading the poem, “Every story has two sides..

Quote : Martin Fowler on iPad

After a few hours with the iPad, I realized that I was feeling a sensation I'd only remembered once before: back in 1995 when someone showed me the World Wide Web. There's no dramatic new technology, we've seen tablets before just as we'd seen hypertext before. But the overall package was game-changer. I don't know if the iPad will be The Device, but I do think that this kind of device will make huge difference to how we read and watch things in the future

Source : http://martinfowler.com/bliki/iPad.html

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Why India, china and brazil are recovering faster than US?

Why did China, India and Brazil all emerge so much more rapidly from the global financial crisis than advanced economies did? In a presentation in Denver to the National Association for Business Economics, Nobel Prize-winning economist Michael Spence, now of New York University, offered several reasons:

  • These economies learned bitter lessons in the 1997-98 crisis that afflicted them more than advanced economies.
  • They were in “a good initial position” with relatively low leverage, and thus didn’t get hit with the severe “balance sheet recession” that hit the U.S.
  • They hadn’t any complex securitized financial instruments.
  • They had built up large foreign-exchange reserves.
  • Their central banks responded, much as advanced countries’ central banks did, with speed and agility to the credit tightening.
  • Their economic managers displayed “a high degree of competence.”

Source: WSJ

Kindle vs. iPad : The Wealthier, Educated vs. The Younger ?

As per Nielsen report, Kindle owners are more wealthier, older and educated compared to younger and majorly male  iPad owners.

Source : Nielsen

Windows Live Writer Goes Office Style

Just noticed that with Windows Live Essentials 2011 upgrade, Windows Live Writer also gets Ribbon style interface that became so famous and productive with MS Office applications.

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If you have been using WLW for a while but haven’t used any MS Office applications that feature ribbon style interface, you are in for a big surprise and little bit of confusion. 

If you are looking for all your Picture effects, they are split into two different sections: borders and effects. Click on Image to make these Picture tools/Format section visible.

Amazon Buy-Back Offer Pricing

If you haven't noticed this "Do The Math" widget already, Amazon appears to be offering a Textbook Buyback store where you can sell your books back to Amazon. Amazon is including the price at which a particular book can be bought back and showing the effective price you may have to pay if you just want to read it once and return to the store.

Amazon Buy back offer

Quite a saver for many books that we normally read just once and ready to return.

MyFoxDFW May be Unsafe

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Microsoft Office 2010 : After 20 Years, Still The Best

I have installed MS Office 2010 recently on top of Windows 7. Thought I would share a few first impressions and reflections here. Simply put, Office apps are lot more visually pleasing in Office 2010 and greatly productive as they have always been.

If there is one functionality I would request in MS Office, it would be the ability to publish documents in to ePub format as well. PDF support is already built in, starting from 2007.

I do not know exactly when the first office was officially released, but based on Wikipedia entry, it was some time in the fall of 1990. That would mean, it’s 20 years since the first release.  Lots of things have changed since I first looked at Office applications in 1995.

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Source:  Page 50, Info World, 19th November 1990 via Google Books

Of all software applications I worked on, MS Excel is still the application I love the most for its power, functionality and brutal simplicity while note taking application OneNote comes second. Outlook is still the most used application and its new feature Social connectors looks awesome.

There are subtle changes in the interfaces that I find quite intuitive. When I first accessed 2007 applications, I had little difficulty initially in getting things done. But if you have accessed 2007, 2010 will not surprise  you at all.

For the value and productivity MS Office brings to individuals and organizations alike, I find the cost of the software is next to free. 

While many people talk down on MS Office, I haven’t come across any alternative in all these years, even any closer to what MS office does the way it does. 

I love Google Apps, but use only for very very basic things. If somebody think Google Apps can replace MS Office applications, I am sure, they may probably haven’t scratched the surface of Office functionality yet.  I prefer to use MS office applications with SkyDrive rather. For some time, I have even used Open Office, but it’s definitely not for me. I don’t hate Microsoft that badly that I have to settle myself for anything.

I recently got my first Mac with iWork apps but haven’t used for any serious stuff yet, so it would be too early to say anything.

NDTV.com : Fact or Allegation ? Just another twisted title for sensationalism

This is yet another example of NDTV.com’s sensationalism twisted titles. The title says, as if this was a fact, woman made to urinate in pub...