Blog Wars

The political night'll be short, I promise :)  Just got done watching Blog Wars on the Sundance Channel.  While the title would lead one to think that it would be about the back and forth between blogs in the political world, what it turned out to be is far different.  In the end it seemed more about the rise and endorsement of the left-wing bloggers then a balanced look at both sides.  But still, the behind the scenes look was somewhat interesting.  It could have been subtitled "How We Think The Daily Kos Is Changing Politics".

Microsoft and Ford

It looks like Ford is partnering with Microsoft to release a new autocomputing platform next year.  Since I bleed Ford Blue, and will be needing a new car soon, this is exciting news.  I hope my Escort lasts one more year so I'm not limited to the Focus or the Five-Hundred.  Oh, and please hold the "Fix Or Reboot Daily" jokes.

The Mythical Internet Savvy Conservative. (or why it's time for a changing of the guard)

As Teresa points out on her blog, the same old men (and women, of both parties) have been in charge of the country for a long time. According to the Congressional Research Service the 109th Congress was the oldest in history (average age 56 years (Senators averaged over 60 years! (Representatives averaged 55))). When you consider that the minimum ages for Representatives and Senators are 25 and 30 respectively, then you get some idea how long these people have been running the country. In fact the longest serving congressman is John Dingell, Democrat Representative from Michigan. Mr. Dingell first took office in 1955. That's over 50 years! The founding fathers never imagined congressional terms this long. They believed in the citizen congress. Congressmen were meant to serve few terms and then return to their professions, politics where not meant to be their profession.

Obviously it's time for some young blood, from both sides of the aisle. John Edwards has shown that the time of the young, internet savvy politician is, if not here, at least close at hand. Given that Al Gore invented it, it's not surprising that Democrats/Liberals are often viewed as more internet savvy then their peers. Though being young and Democrat doesn't automatically mean you're an internet expert.

But at least the Democrat's have somebody. Where is the internet savvy Republican/Conservative? Contrary to the popular wisdom; there are plenty of small-government-wanting, personal-responsibility-believing, technically savvy people out there. Why aren't any in politics? Are they too intelligent? Is John Edwards simply the smartest idiot? I would be very interested to see how a internet wise conservative candidate (Republican or third party) would play out, I think the results would surprise a few people. If anyone knows of such a person, please let me know.

My Other Side...

I haven't actually seen this one around too much, looks like I'm Big and Bad and I like it!

Michael.NET's results are:
Michael.NET is Apocalypse
Dr. Doom
The Joker
Lex Luthor
Green Goblin
Dark Phoenix
Mr. Freeze
Poison Ivy
You believe in survival of the
fittest and you believe that
you are the fittest.
Click here to take the "Which Super Villain are you?" quiz...

The SuperHero Quiz

Looks like I'm a Super Ironman...(coincidently two of my favourite superheroes growing up), this seems to be the popular thing to post lately, which one are you?


Michael.NET's results are:
Michael.NET is Superman
Iron Man
Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Sharing Non-Feed Items Through Google Reader

With the recent talk about Google perhaps replacing Digg as a social news/link site, a lot of people made the point that you can't share non-feed items through Reader. While it's true that you can't click on a URL and add it to Reader, there is a work around. Admittedly it's technically a feed...but it's your own personal feed of links.

The first thing to do is to setup an account on (note: Originally I wanted an all Google solution, if there was a way to embed HTML in Spreadsheets (or if notebook had RSS feeds) then wouldn't be necessary, and if Google Bookmarks ever becomes shareable with an RSS feed then watch out), this will be where all the non-feed items you want to share will be put. After you've registered browse to your bookmarks ( at the bottom of the page they'll be an RSS icon, right click this icon and select copy link. Since Google Reader doesn't like feeds for some reason, we have to burn it. Go to FeedBurner and follow the directions on burning your feed. Add the FeedBurner feed to Google Reader.

Now, here's where the trick comes in, once it comes up in Google Reader, Click the Add to folder button and select new folder. Let's give it a good name like...Shared-Links. You should now have a folder that contains the feed of your bookmarked items. Now in order to share it just go to your Settings, click the Tags tab and you'll see a list of all your folders, including the newly created shared-links. There'll be a grayed out RSS icon and the word private in the third column. Simply click the icon and the folder will become public.

Click on the "view public page" link and you'll be given the URL for those items, in my case it's . As you add items to your account they'll appear on that page. You can then spread both your Link Blog and your Bookmark Blog. Enjoy!

Google vs Digg?

Steve Mermelstein of /usr/bin/geek asks what would happen if Google started using some of the stats in their Google Reader app to pull up the most popular stories of the blogosphere (ie techmeme, technorati, et. al.). A couple of others have also picked up on it now. Google Reader's shared items and starred items certainly seem ripe for the picking, I'm surprised there's not already a "Most Starred" and/or "Most Shared" story page. Could Google Reader really be a stealth entry into the user-generated news business? With Blogger recently adding an easy way to put AdSense on their user's sites, you can definitely see Google wanting an easy way to draw people to their user's blogs. Remember, Google's primary business is Advertising, a site ala Digg, using blogs from their Blogger Service has the potential to draw a lot of revenue. Of course not everyone uses Blogger, but how many people use AdSense? It's really in Google's best interest to be driving as many people to as many blogs as possible, and putting a user-generated news aggregation service on their front page would sure do that, and nobody would even have to work that hard! No more "digging" just hit "s" or "shift-s" as you're going through your feeds. And there'd be no overhead for Google, everyone is responsible for their own blog! It's a win-win.

Post-Christmas Report

Christmas was very enjoyable. Since Marissa doesn't have to be on the apnea monitor 24/7 any more we got to take her out an about. The resulting activity caused her to sleep very well over the night! I also got my first chance to play the Nintendo Wii first hand, it really is a different experince. Wii Sports shows off the console and control schemes very well I think. It's also quite a work out in the end! Twillight Princess is enjoyable, but not quite as revolutionary as Wii Sports I think. The channels show real promise, but there's not alot there, browsing with the Opera browser (trial edition) is suprisingly enjoyable and functional (Youtube on the TV is a sight to behold).

In the Technology arena we have the whole Wikiasari news hitting, seems the founder of Wikipedia is setting out to revolutionize searching. TechCrunch posted a screenshot that purported to be an early beta of the service, but Jimmy Wales denied it's related to Wikiasari. Has one of TechCrunch's readers pointed out to them, the screenshot seems to be from this site. As Michael Arrignton asks, if WikiSearch isn't Wikiasari...what is it? And will Wikiasari contribute to the end of the Google Era? 2007 looks to be the year alot of sites go mainstream. Youtube get's sponsored by Chevy, and Myspace get's used by the Colts. The next week or two should be interesting...

RSS Patent Controversy: Microsoft Responds, Sorta.

Sean Lyndersay, Program Manager Lead for RSS at Microsoft, has responded to the RSS Patent Flap. Microsoft is essentially saying: "We only patented what we feel is some cool additions we invented, we promise not to try and take over RSS." Niall Kennedy has a good in-depth analysis of the patent application which essentially says "Most of this stuff is all obvious prior art, there's a few new ideas, but not many." He also asks the scary question of "What other "inventions" are yet to be unveiled as the patent system's 18-month privacy rolls forward?".

Oh Rudolph Won't You Guide My X-Wing Tonight

Stephen Griffen over at MSDN as discovered an easter egg in LEGO Star Wars II. The Santa Clause code was already known, but he discovered a Rudolph Code (using strings no less)! He's asking for your help getting a screenshot, so leave him a comment with a link to one if you can.

Amazing What Editing Can Do

Just a spoonful of sugar....

Happy Geekolidays!

Marcel Ortiz and Satish Mathew of the Windows PowerShell team posted this powershell script on the powershell blog yesterday. Save the script as a ps1 file, open up PowerShell and run. You'll be quickly in the spirt! If you don't have PowerShell, download it here. Then we have "Software Wonderland" from The Braidy Tester. WillItBlend asks if you want to drink your Christmas dinner. And last but not least, Happy Holidays To You! What geeky ways are you celebrating the season?

Is 2007 the end of the Google Era?

There's been a lot of buzz in development circles lately about Google deprecating it's SOAP Search API and replaced it with an AJAX widget. Dave Megginson laments the End of Open Web Data APIs, I'm not so sure about that. I think it's a bad move for Google, in that it 1) Makes it less easy for windows developers (as Scoble points out), and 2) It'll make developers less trusting of Google in the future. Obviously Google doesn't want to loose ad revenue, but that might be easily fixed by requiring AdSense on a hosting web page. Or via some other method. Good news though, some people are fighting back. I'm sure EvilAPI will be getting a C&D letter soon, but it's a valiant effort. Google is really shooting themselves in the foot here, Microsoft also still has their SOAP search API. I've recently started really drinking the Google Kool Aid (tm and all that) from an end user stand point, but now I'm really questioning taking the leap as a developer. My instincts say to stay with the 800lb gorilla that can't afford to drop things on a whim. In addition to that news, there's also word that Google is starting to deceptively advertise it's own products (specifically the one that this blog is hosted on) with the ads disguised as "tips" while you search. Maybe they forgot the "Do No Evil" part? It's looking like the honeymoon may be coming to an end. If developers jump ship, and people start writing more apps that utilize Windows Live services....Google may just fade into the background like As the man said, "Developers, Developers, Developers!". Microsoft loves them, Google can obviously care less. Regardless of what actually happens to Google in 2007 (I doubt they're going anywhere anytime soon), I get the distinct impression a line as been drawn, and perhaps an era has come to an end.

Scoble On Some Magazine's Announcement

One of Scoble's recent posts briefly mentions some announcement by Time magazine. I think I'm going to follow his lead...the blog world is just overrun with this news (Technorati lists 700 blog links), I can understand why, but it seems a tad narcissistic. So I'm just not going to link it myself.

McDonald Night Football

My little bro sent me this video, I think McDonald's should figure out a way to run this!

A Day Late, A Dollar Short

Just as I decide to really start a blog, this news from the BBC hits. It seems that blogging is going to "peak" next year because "most people who would ever start a web blog had already done so". Here's hoping I'm just a late bloomer :)

CodeMash Conference

I guess I should explain the picture in the upper right hand part of the page. CodeMash a development conference that's actually taking place in the midwest! These things never happen close to where I live and this is right down the highway in Sandusky, Ohio! CodeMash is a way for developers of different backgrounds a chance to mingle, I look forward to learning something new. And at $99 you can NOT beat the price. If you still need to convince your employer that you need to go I HIGHLY recommend this blog post from Jim Holmes one of the founders, he lays the case out pretty well. And if you still need's at the Kalahari Resort!

CodeMash – I'll be there!

Kalahari Resort
Why Conferences Matter, and How To Pitch To Your Boss - Jim Holmes

Happiness your baby daughter sleeping on your chest. :)

21st Century Santa

Microsoft announced today that the one and only Santa Claus was going to be available for live chatting exclusively on their Windows Live Messenger service. It's amazing to see the changes that occur to things within one's own lifetime. When I was a good the thought of a "modernized" Santa wasn't really widely thought of. Now he's using IM to chat with the kiddies...AND he has a blog (though Manga Santa is scary)! Simply amazing.

Good Eats, Good Beer.

Today was the holiday lunch meeting for my department at work. It's a very nice time, usually we go some place nice, last year it was Dave&Buster's, this year we went to Claddagh Irish Pub. Very nice atmosphere, it has a nice brick and stained glass motif that really lends something to the experience. They also have a nice selection of Irish beer, I enjoyed a good Smithwick's with a Corned Beef and Slaw sandwich. The manager took time to go through everyone in the department and relay what their accomplishments were, so it was a good feeling to hear your name and be recognized. The two beers didn't hurt either. Twas a good day :)

Cool 3D Tech in Vista

The Windows WPF Team announced today the ability to use interactive 2D windows elements on WPF3D spaces, I think Tim Sneath's blog lays it out a little clearer though, could this be the start of true 3D applications? The mind boggles. I can't wait until I can start using this stuff at work!

Sad News

Frank Barone (Peter Boyle (who was also Young Frankenstein)) has died. :( "Everybody Loves Raymond" is a staple in our house in the evenings. Our thoughts go out to his family.

Back to the Future Timeline

Wow, the people on wikipedia have waaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on their hands, it is uber cool though:

via digg

Command Line Fu.

Now this is kind of funny. I'm sure there's times my wife has felt like that, poor woman, I love her so.

The Joys of Fatherhood...

Marissa was fussy last night, I think she must have had some gas pains because she was hiking her legs up to her tummy now and again. Kept me and mom up all night though *drinks his Starbucks*, it's going to be a loooong day.

My Current Obsession...

Trying to figure out a way to change IE7's user-agent string on a per connection the moment I think the trick is finding out what the current connections HINTERNET handle is...but how to get that out of IE? If anyone has any ideas feel free to drop in a comment...

Greetings Fellow Earthlings. first blog post ever. Uh...Hi, nice to meet you all. I'll be posting probably mostly development stuff. I'm a C#/.NET/SQL developer so that'll probably be mostly what's posted here. I'm also a new father, my baby girl was born at the end of October, so if there's some rambling it's due to lack of sleep :)