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Preview: Greg's Cool [Insert Clever Name] of the Day

Greg's Cool [Insert Clever Name] of the Day



My technical, professional and sometimes personal blog.



Updated: 2016-12-05T06:57:06.460-08:00

 



Microsoft MVP 2016!

2016-10-01T10:23:14.124-07:00

Woke to this great email this morning…

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Becoming, or keeping, the Microsoft MVP Award is a community effort. I’d like to thank my friends, family, co-workers, RadioTFS guests and hosts, the Coding4Fun readers and This Week on Channel 9 (TWC9) watchers. Without you, earning this award would not have been possible. Thank you!

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"Unable to activate Windows Store app [GUID]. The [EXE Name] process started, but the activation request failed with error 'The app didn't start'." - Make sure your project is on C!

2016-04-15T19:18:39.285-07:00

I spent the day fighting this issue... Had a Xamarin.Forms app, based on the Cross Platform - Blank App (Shared & also Portable), that worked in the Android emulator, but all the Windows targets would fail. The apps would crash right after start... --------------------------- Warning --------------------------- A debugger is attached to App4.UWP.exe but not configured to debug this unhandled exception. To debug this exception, detach the current debugger. --------------------------- OK   --------------------------- Then --------------------------- Microsoft Visual Studio --------------------------- Unable to activate Windows Store app 'f736c883-f105-4d30-a719-4bf328872f5e_nh7s0b45jarrj!App'. The App4.UWP.exe process started, but the activation request failed with error 'The app didn't start'.   See help for advice on troubleshooting the issue. --------------------------- OK   Help   --------------------------- I did a bunch of repairs, re-installs, etc., thinking it was a Xamarin.Forms issue. Then I did what all dev's should do when troubleshooting, started eliminating variables. "What happens with a standard, non-Xamarin UWP app?" Same error! Well now we know it isn't Xamarin! Finally I came across this thread; [UWP] Unable to activate Windows Store app, the app didn't start - Windows 10 Universal Apps What can be the problem here? This only happens on universal apps. Classic Desktop projects opens without problems. Things I already did, some of which are based on solutions I came across while trying to solve this: Install Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 Check for App.config (supposedly, I should delete this; there no such file so I can't really delete it) Build > Clean Solution, Build > Rebuild Solution Uninstall the output app on the start menu Delete `bin` and `obj` folders Change the `Package name` in the Package.appxmanifest file Change the output from `x86` to `x64` and vice versa Change the `Debugger type` in Properties to `Native Only` Tried running as `Release` failed, then reverted it back to `Debug`, still failed Tried renewing my developer license. It doesn't work for Windows 10 Universal Apps and is only for Windows 8 Apps. Tried uninstalling Visual Studio 2015 completely and re-installing. Still nothing. NEW: Tried doing a full fresh reformat of Windows 10 still didn't work. So yeah, I've pretty much exhausted every solution I can find on the internet to try and fix this. If anyone can offer more solutions, I'd be glad to test it out. ... All of that is what I did too (Except for the VS/Win uninstall/Re-install) Scrolling down... no the "answer" can't be it! It can't be THAT simple! "...I even went as far as to do a fresh install of Windows 10 but when the problem still persists, I was about to give up. But I found out another solution that I haven't tried: move the project folder to the C: drive. Apparently, when I have the project folder on my D: drive, it wouldn't work and will show me the said error... OMG, all my projects were on my D drive too! It CAN'T be that, can it? Move the original Xamarin project from D to C and guess what? Worked like a charm!   There are days when I hate technology... [...]



“Fixing” Windows Live Writer’s NotFound - Open Live Writer…

2015-12-17T16:55:38.644-08:00

TLDR; Windows Live Writer Blogger user? Go get Open Live Writer Are you a Windows Live Writer user with a Blogger blog?Tried to post recently?Then you’ve seen this;---------------------------Windows Live Writer---------------------------Blogger returned the following error:NotFound: Not Found---------------------------OK  ---------------------------Windows Live Writer (WLW) used an old authentication API AND old Blogger API. Google has been wanting to deactivate both for a while now, but kept them available for Windows Live Writer users.With last week’s release of Open Live Writer (OLW), the open source fork of Windows Live Writer, Google killed both.The problem is is that OLW wasn’t/isn’t done. On day one, it was v0.5.0.0, i.e. a preview or early release. And that version wasn’t yet ready with Blogger support. So in short, we were kind of between a rock and a hard case… :/Then… Showing the power of open source, dev’s stepped up and added initial Blogger support to OLW. If you download the latest version (which is SO nice and fast to install now), v0.5.1.2, you get Blogger support. Woot!Matter of fact, I’m using it now to write this post That said, there’s still work to be done, like adding full label support, etc. What’s awesome is you can watch and contribute to the project now! It’s all open and on GitHub (for the record, I’m actually the latest code, compiled and run from within Visual Studio ;)Summary:If you’re a Blogger blogger and used to love Windows Live. Writer, there’s hope for you! Check out Open Live Writer… now… [...]






RadioTFS #102, Mass Hysteria, Git and TFVC living together

2015-12-04T21:34:47.863-08:00

Mass Hysteria Git and TFVC living together

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Martin and I had a great RadioTFS show this week, chatting about VS 2015 Update 1, TFS 2015 Update 1 and most importantly how to carve a turkey... :/

Seriously, we had a great talk about a number of cool features in VS 2015.1 and a YouTube webcast neither one of us had heard of before, but now that we KNOW of it... :)

See the show notes and listen in; 102, Mass Hysteria, Git and TFVC living together

 

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Windows 10, Intel HD Graphics Driver & "Display driver stopped responding and has recovered"? Try turning off 3D Settings...

2015-11-24T16:19:29.819-08:00

TLDR; If you are seeing Display driver stopped responding issues and have an Intel card, try turning off your 3D settings, reboot and see if that helps. Since upgrading to Windows 10 I've been getting "Display driver stopped responding and has recovered" every so often. SnagIt would trigger it, but other apps too. r Yet sometimes it would go away, and stop happening.... grrr. I thought it was my Intel 4600 HD driver versions, that updating would fix it and that the issue would come back in later versions. NOPE! It was the 3D Settings! A problem I've run into before, sigh, Windows 10 Start Menu Text changing color and to dark to read? Try turning off your Intel 3D settings... Problem: Intel Video Driver, Windows 10 "Display driver stopped responding and has recovered" when using SnagIt and other apps. Environment: GS60 (Gold), Windows 10 Pro (x64) [upgraded from Windows 8.1), Intel HD 4600 (Driver version 15.40.10.64.4300)] Fix: Change the Intel 3D settings in the Intel Graphics Control Panel to: Application Optimal Mode: Disable Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing: Turn Off Conservative Morphological Anti-Aliasing: Turn Off General Settings: Balanced Mode   Related Past Post XRef: Windows 10 Start Menu Text changing color and to dark to read? Try turning off your Intel 3D settings... Follow @gduncan411 [...]



Woot! Nominated for THE BEST SOFTWARE BLOG in the Bytes that Rock Awards 2015

2015-11-21T13:54:24.546-08:00

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How cool is that? My blog has been nominated in the Best Software Blog category for the 2015 Bytes that Rock Awards. It's just an honor to be included in this list, I mean check out the other nominees... yeah, wow. :)

Please Vote: http://www.rockybytes.com/bytes-that-rock/cool-thing-of-the-day

See the entire Software Blog nominee list: http://www.rockybytes.com/bytes-that-rock/blog-awards/software-blogs

last, but not least, check out Bytes that Rock!

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What I'm on Channel 9... again? Yep! This Week on Channel 9 @ MVP Summit

2015-11-07T10:00:30.451-08:00

For the second time this week I was in the Channel 9 Studio recording a show, this time hosting This Week on Channel 9. The best part was that I suckered (um... errr... um... invited... yeah that) co-VS ALM MVP Brian Randell to be my co-host.

TWC9: MVP Global Summit 2015

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This was only my third time on TWC9 (well 5th if you count the Skype ones), my second on campus (first was last year at the Summit, TWC9: Two Geeks and a Cube) and first recording ever in the Channel 9 Studio. Yeah, I've been doing Channel 9 stuff for nearly 5 years and this is the first time I've done anything in the Studio. That has to be a record... LOL

Thanks again to Brian, Golnaz, Kaitlin and @ch9

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RadioTFS #100 (with video!)

2015-11-05T15:14:20.404-08:00

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While the whole RadioTFS crew was on the Microsoft Campus for the MVP Summit 2015, we took over the Channel 9 Studio to record our 100th episode. How cool is that! Yes, now you can see what we all (currently) look like and put the voices to faces...

Channel 9: RadioTFS Channel 9 Studio Takeover (aka RadioTFS #100 @CH9!)

RadioTFS: 100 // The Channel 9 Studio Takeover

 

Yeah, my hair is a mess... lol

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Surface Book 1TB and Surface Pro 4 1TB Versions now available (for preorder)...

2015-10-16T20:24:32.541-07:00

My son gets the credit for pointing this out to me... Looks like the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 1TB versions are now available for preorder (at least in the US) http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Surface-Pro-4/productID.325711500/config.true (Make sure you select i7m 16GB Memory, then you select 1TB storage...)   http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/productID.325716000?icid=en_US_SurfaceBk_cat_modG_100615 $2,699 for the SP4 and $3,199 for the SB with with TB... [...]



You are listening to RadioTFS, right?

2015-09-25T12:27:29.101-07:00

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You all are listening to the RadioTFS podcast right? You know, the one that I host with Martin Woodward and Paul Hacker? The one where every two weeks we talk all things TFS, VSO and ALM? And we interview many of the TFS/ALM influencers, MVP's and Microsoft team members?

And guess what? Episode #98, "Pocket Dialing Paul" is just out! Woot!

Well, if you're not... it's not to late!

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Never Forget

2015-09-11T08:46:00.364-07:00

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Don't forget, but don't let the past overshadow the future...

We will never forget, but we will live for today...

Today is a day to remember, to celebrate our hero's...

Those that serve, served and will serve...

Don't forget, yet live for today...

Make today the best day of your life, and tomorrow better...

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Windows 10 Start Menu Text changing color and to dark to read? Try turning off your Intel 3D settings...

2015-08-01T13:57:03.187-07:00

Problem: Windows 10 Start Menu Text changing color and too dark to read. Edge Favorites Bar background color is dark. Action Center Text to dark to read. Environment: GS60 (Gold), Windows 10 Pro (x64) [upgraded from Windows 8.1), Intel HD 4600 (Driver version 10.18.15.4256) Fix: Change the Intel 3D settings in the Intel Graphics Control Panel: Application Optimal Mode: Disable Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing: Turn Off Conservative Morphological Anti-Aliasing:: Turn Off General Settings: Balanced Mode Before: After:   Full Story... Like tens of millions of others, I upgraded my main machine last week from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Sure, I've been an Insider for forever and running Win10 on a number of machines, but for my main, I wanted to wait for Day One and experience what everyone else did. Wednesday night I upgrade. The Get Windows 10 process didn't work for me, so grabbed the ISO, mounted and installed it from there, which worked great. Thursday everything seems to be okay (once I upgraded a couple drivers...lol) but the text on my Start Menu looked funky. Same with the Action Center. Same with Edge. Funny as in changing colors and becoming so dark I couldn't read it. Check out these screenshots... See what I mean? Funky. I updated the video driver, tried contrast settings, color, accent, etc. etc., and nothing worked. A few others had the problem too (so it wasn't just me going crazy) Windows 10 Start Menu Text too dark to read Last night RASTX posted how he had the issue and how he fixed it. Which also worked for me too! Woot! The problem? Intel 3D settings! WWWHHHHaaaattttt? Yeah, 3D settings. With my Intel HD 4600 3D settings set like this (and a reboot, don't forget that)... ... my Start Menu/Action Center and Edge were back and now normal!   I am now a very happy Windows 10 Camper! [...]



Visual Studio 2015 "The request was aborted. Could not create SSL/TLS secure channel" when Signing In or NuGet? Check your IE Settings...

2015-07-22T14:19:53.959-07:00

As you all know VS 2015 was released on Monday, 7/20. [Missed the event? No you didn't! Catch it all here On Demand on Channel 9, Visual Studio 2015 Final Release Event] Being me, I of course downloaded the RTM bits as soon as they were released and installed it on my main work machine. Install was smooth, no errors, just installed. I fire it up, try to sign in and...   ... sigh. Okay, maybe it's just a hiccup? Let's fire up a project and, hey check NuGet for updates... ...Doh! Fall back to VS 2013, NuGet and all still works like a charm. Access the https://api.nuget.org in IE, works like a charm. Fiddler was installed with it's awesome HTTPS support, maybe that's it? Turn off Fiddler HTTPS, remove cert, uninstall, reboot. VS 2015 Sign-in/NuGet for work now? Nope. Repair VS 2015. Reboot. Work? Nope. Devenv.exe /resetsettings help? Nope. Look at the /Log, ActivityLog.xml and see anything that stands out (except the big red errors when I try to use the NuGet Package Manager. Nope. Add Nuget.org to IE's trusted sites? Nope. Anyone else here on the same network have VS 2015 yet (so I can see if it's just me)? Nope. I was about to throw in the towel and ping the ALM MVP's when I tried one more thing. Was I using a proxy? OH, I am! My "Use automatic configuration script" was checked. Hum... Let's uncheck that and see if THAT helps. YES! That was it. The proxy, setup up by my company, seemed to make VS 2015 an unhappy camper. Unchecked, everything in VS 2015 worked like a charm! I was able to easily repro this, checking, broke VS 2015, unchecking, VS 2015 was happy (of course restarted VS 2015 between all these checks/unchecks). Morale of the Story: If you install VS 2015 and get some weird behavior when access web resources, like "The request was aborted. Could not create SSL/TLS secure channel," check your IE Settings. [...]



[Today only] It's DRM Freedom Day! Packt Celebrates Day Against DRM - 24 hours, $10 sale on no DRM eBooks!

2015-05-06T07:31:15.401-07:00

Packt celebrates International Day Against DRM, May 6th 2015 Packt Publishing firmly believes that you should be able to read and interact with your content when you want, where you want, and how you want – to that end they have been advocates of DRM-free content since their very first eBook was published back in 2004. This year, to demonstrate their continuing support for Day Against DRM, Packt is offering all its DRM-free content at $10 for 24 hours only on May 6th – with more than 3000 eBooks and 100 Videos available across the publisher’s website www.packtpub.com, there’s plenty to discover, whatever you’re interested in. “Our top priority at Packt has always been to meet the evolving needs of developers in the most practical way possible, while at the same time protecting the hard work of our authors. DRM-free content continues to be instrumental in making that happen, providing the flexibility and freedom that is essential for an efficient and enhanced learning experience. That’s why we’ve been DRM-free from the beginning – we’ll never put limits on the innovation of our users.” – Dave Maclean, CEO Advocates of Day Against DRM are invited to spread the word and celebrate on May 6th by exploring the full range of DRM-free content at www.packtpub.com - all eBooks and Videos will be $10 for 24 hours, including the latest hot titles. The team at Packt is doing it again this year, 24 hour, $10 DRM Free eBook and video sale. Check it out here, http://bit.ly/1KgMzkl This is today only, so load up your cart and library now!   Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. [...]



My Build 2015 Schedule (One time slot, lots'O sessions)

2015-04-28T07:55:11.621-07:00

Here's my first pass for my session selection for this week's Build (which I'm obviously going to). Some take-aways: You will NOT be able to go to every session you'd like too (which is common with past Builds). The Channel 9 2015 Build page is your friend. Since all the sessions will be available for free on-demand viewing, create a schedule on Ch9, queue your sessions and come back and see them later The event is for networking, connecting with vendors and Microsoft at the booths. The sessions are great, but again you simply will not be able to go to them all. So don't sweat it! If you get stuck behind "stinky guy" or it's standing room only, don't stay. Go network! You'll be able to see the session later. The ONLY time I suggest you stay is if you want to connect directly with the speakers WPF isn't mentioned once. LOB dev doesn't seem to get much love. I also didn't see any .NET 4.6 sessions. This is common with past Builds, but still, as a LOB WPF dev, it bugs me Check out the "After Keynote" sessions. Looks like the Keynote is going to have some cool news, as you'd expect! Whine's aside, I think this is going to be a great event and I am very excited to attend!   Here's my current Build Schedule (very subject to change ;) Wednesday, April 29, 2015 8:30AM to 11:00AM Sessions Keynote Presentation 11:30AM to 12:30PM Sessions Adding Smart to Your Applications (see online catalog after keynote for updated title) Introducing the Windows 10 App Model Windows 10 dramatically expands the ways in which developers can build apps and games by adding several new programming models, and also expanding the app model to support a broader set of developer scenarios. Andrew will explore these in depth and give you the information you need to get started… Microsoft Band: Developing for Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health Learn more about the Microsoft Health Developer Platform and the great opportunities available for developers. This presentation includes: · What is Microsoft Health Platform and how you can use the platform to create innovative experiences in the health and wearable space · How to use… AllJoyn: Building Universal Windows Apps that Discover, Connect, and Interact with Other Devices and Cloud Services Using AllJoyn Microsoft joined the AllSeen Alliance in mid-2014 and is deploying AllJoyn technology into Windows 10 as the device connectivity platform for Internet of Things (IoT), consumer, and enterprise devices. AllJoyn is an open source framework that enables companies and individuals to create… Building Network Aware Applications Using Azure Rapid Prototyping (RP) Networks are key to applications, yet traditional application architecture views networks as static infrastructure. Industry trends of DevOps and Infrastructure-as-Code call for a re-evaluation of traditional approaches. In this session we will look at building network management into your… Maximize Your Coding Productivity for Apps, Devices, and Services with Visual Studio 2015 Visual Studio 2015 is a great productivity tool and modern coding environment that helps you find and eliminate common coding issues as you code. It works with your favorite devices, roams your settings, and simplifies interactions with developer services. With so many new features that enhance the… [...]



Blog Dead? Nope! Just taking a break (and if you need a Cool Thing fix, check these out...)

2015-03-27T11:47:39.850-07:00

As if you haven't noticed, I'm on something of a blogging sabbatical. I'm still scanning my 2.5K+ feeds daily and sourcing stories for other areas (see below), but I've kind of run out of blogging want too. No, it's not dead and yes, I'll be back, but for now am just taking a little break...

Still need a Greg/Cool Thing fix? Then you should check out these blogs and casts that I'm  sourcing stories for or helping produce... :)

So yeah, all that and a full time day job (and a science fiction reading addiction), I think you can see why my blogging has been lacking recently. :)

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IoT? Sensors? Devices? What's in what? "Understanding Internet of Things (IoT) Device Choices" Whitepaper

2015-02-25T15:50:03.171-08:00

Understanding Internet of Things (IoT) Device Choices File Name: Understanding Internet of Things_IOT_ Device Choices.docx Date Published: 2/24/2015 File Size: 13.2 MB This paper provides an introduction to the landscape of the Internet of Things (IoT) for devices, including accompanying high-level patterns for communications and enabling technologies, and serves as a primer for IoT. It is based on a variety of experiences with large-scale customers and deployments. This paper does not provide detailed guidance, such as how to choose a device for a specific purpose or decide on a communication pattern for devices. ... Executive summary As stated in the press, at conferences, and in publications[1], the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a huge opportunity across industries and customer segments. The paper “Building the Internet of Things”, which is available at http://aka.ms/iotwhitepaper discussed a broad set of topics associated with building IoT solutions. This paper is a follow on to that earlier paper and focuses on the "things" within IoT solutions. First, it explains the concept of smart objects that contain devices, sensors and actuators, the combination of which will gather, process, send and receive data. Smart objects may or may not interact with a local gateway, which is sometimes used to provide external communication capabilities or provide local processing. This paper also explains the set of considerations for device capabilities, and how they affect an overall solution. These considerations include cost, communications requirements, power availability, security requirements, and compute capacity. Next, it explains the options for device connectivity and the implications of choosing between common options. Security in the IoT is critical, and a failure to consider security early in IoT design can lead to unfortunate and even catastrophic hacks that often end up in the news, potentially impacting human lives. Because overall system security starts at the device itself, the paper offers a set of device security principles and provides guidance on how to address those principles. Interoperability in the IoT is also important today, and will continue to grow in mindshare and be seen as a critical requirement for emerging devices. This paper discusses standardization efforts, including the AllSeen Alliance, Open Interconnect Consortium, and several others. All of these efforts have strong industry supporters, but with the exception of AllSeen they are in their early stages. Although AllSeen and OIC are currently dominant, it’s too soon to call out a clear leader. The final section of the paper discusses some example prototyping devices, their capabilities and some of the considerations when going from prototype to production. This paper will give the reader a broad understanding of many of the aspects of device design for IoT solutions. For decision makers planning projects, this paper helps with scoping and knowing where more research is required to lay the groundwork for a successful IoT project. [1] How IoT will disrupt the world, http://betanews.com/2014/11/17/gartner-how-internet-of-things-will-disrupt-the-world/. ... ..." If you're trying to grok IoT and what it means (not like it's going to be, if not already is, the overused and misunderstood terminology of the year....um... yeah) this 37 page whitepaper does a pretty bang up job of making the devices used in IoT a little clearer. For example, "What's a Sensor versus a device?" Answered... [...]



Do you not do contracts because legalize isn't your thing? Then you should contract( ) ('Do Contract')!

2015-02-25T15:40:25.108-08:00

gamasutra - announcing contract( ), a free builder for plain English agreements Legalese is for attorneys. contract( ) is for game developers. contract( ) (pronounced ‘do contract’) generates free, plain English agreements for and between game developers. It’s based on the idea that developers do not need legalese to come to an agreement or to resolve a disagreement. After many iterations on contract( ), using feedback from experienced game developers and attorneys, I’m super excited to announce that contract( ) is now ready for public use. What started as a homemade tool to quickly make agreements between me and my collaborators, quickly developed into a full-fledged agreement builder that anyone can use. The builder currently includes templates for defining the work per project or per milestones, templates for giving out IP rights, and templates for compensation through a fixed fee, fixed rate, per milestone, or through revenue share. ... docontract.com ... What you need to know about contract( ) contract( ) offers a free agreement, using common language, covering most things you want to agree on before working together with someone in the games industry. contract( ) is based on the idea that two people or two companies do not need legal talk to come to an agreement or to resolve a disagreement. For the sake of simplicity and clarification, contract( ) tries not to use the specific terminology of the laws of your country or state. Several attorneys have reviewed contract( ) to make sure it doesn't conflict with most country- or state-specific laws. A legal document without legal talk? The law is very advanced in handling situations between people or companies. When an attorney writes a legal document, he tries to match the terminology of those laws so that they connect one-to-one and make sure that the agreement is enforceable. However, this does not mean that a document with a different terminology is automatically invalid. Every written agreement you make can be considered a legal document, even if your agreement is two sentences on a napkin. In case you and the contractor get into a disagreement and decide to take it to court (which is uncommon), much of the conversation in court will be about what is what, and only sections of the agreement that are very unclear or in direct conflict with country- or state-specific laws may be held unenforceable. Country-specific laws? ... In short: while contract( ) is designed to cover most cases, it is also designed to be short and straight forward. Be aware that contract( ) therefore still relies on local laws for a number of things like those listed above. A personal note contract( ) is my attempt to transfer my experience, but also the experiences of dozens of other developers and attorneys, to other game developers. I (Adriaan de Jongh) use the agreements from contract( ) myself, and feel that this is the only way to make it as unbiased, practical, honest, but also as legit as possible. I'm not responsible for your agreements with others, but I do not want to push anyone into an agreement I would not want to be in myself. In the end, contract( ) isn't legal advice because that's exactly what it tries to avoid. If you wish to cover any of the legalese mentioned earlier, or want to know what the law provides if cases are not included in contract( ) agreements, hire a qualified attorney-at-law from your country or state to go over the agreement from contract( ) before signing it. Attorneys recommended by other developers In[...]



.NET in 2015... Is it .NET 4.6, .NET Core 5, both? Beth knows and shares... (Hint: Both)

2015-02-25T15:29:57.594-08:00

Beth Massi - Understanding .NET 2015 Last year after BUILD I posted Exciting Times for .NET and since then I have had the pleasure of working much closer with the .NET team, which includes the runtime, framework, languages & compilers. Although my focus has been a lot more on internal community in the last year, such as helping run internal conferences for our field employees, I’ve also spent time helping get the .NET Foundation off the ground and learning a lot about open source communities and all our .NET Foundation projects. Oh right, I also got married. :-) It’s been a transition period for me. Going from community “evangelist” to more of a “facilitator” or “connector”.  I really like Alex Hillman’s term: Tummler. Now that we’re approaching the next BUILD, I’m even more excited about the progress we’ve been making, particularly around the .NET platform itself, and the team’s approach to open source. There are multiple tracks of .NET innovations happening so I thought I’d write a high-level “sign-post” style blog post to help people understand the major pieces and how and where to get involved with the projects. In other words, a good place to start learning about .NET 2015. At least that’s my hope! .NET 2015 – 10,000 foot view At a very high level, here’s the rundown of the major components that fall under the “.NET 2015” umbrella. ... Major components of .NET 2015 Frameworks and Runtimes The .NET Framework is a managed execution environment that provides a variety of services to its running applications. It consists of two major components: the common language runtime (CLR), which is the execution engine that handles running applications; and the .NET Framework Class Library, which provides a library of tested, reusable code that developers can call from their own applications. .NET Framework 4.6 builds upon 4.5.2 and contains new APIs, improvements to event tracing, and many bug fixes. This is the next version of the full .NET Framework we know today. .NET Framework 4.6 will be included in Windows 10 and will also ship on Windows Update for previous OSes (Vista and above). See: .NET Framework 2015 Preview .NET Core 5 is a general purpose, modular framework that can be used across a wide variety of app models and platforms, is available as open source, can be deployed modularly & locally (side-by-side), and will be supported by Microsoft on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. It is a refactored set of base class libraries (corefx) and runtime (coreclr) which includes a new JIT compiler (“RyuJIT”), the .NET Garbage Collector, native interop and many other .NET runtime components. Today, .NET Core builds and runs on Windows. We are adding Linux and Mac implementations of platform-specific components over the next few months. ..." I know YOU all know and understand what .NET 4.6, .NET 5 (Core), etc. etc. are, but I bet some (many/most) of your co-workers don't. Beth does a great job in detailing both, what's in what and what's not, what's open source (now and in the future) and what's not... In short, read her article. AND keep if for reference, as it IS a little confusing right now (and for a few years into the future, I'll bet...) [...]



[I so want/need this] Kitchen Safe - Helping you from helping yourself...

2015-02-24T16:15:27.019-08:00

technabob - Time Locking Kitchen Container Keeps Cookie Monsters Away from Cookies ...Well, this time locking container will help. The Kitchen Safe is a plastic container that locks your goodies up. Just put the food in, set the timer from 1 minute to 10 days and lock it. It won’t open until the timer runs out. Unless you get a hammer out, you cannot get around it. You just have to wait it out. It will help you with your diet, since it keeps you from your mortal enemy. It’s also a fun way to present a gift, by locking it away inside with a the countdown timer set to secure the item until the appropriate occasion. ... You can also get one that has a white (i.e. non-see through) base... talking about making people crazy... LOL Kitchen Safe: Time Locking Container (Pink Lid + White Base) Featured on Shark Tank! Build good habits by locking temptations in the Kitchen Safe. USA Today and TIME Magazine call it "Brilliant!" Simply place an item in the Kitchen Safe, rotate the dial to set the time, and press the dial to activate the lock! Once locked, it cannot be opened until the timer reaches zero. No overrides! Now, you can enjoy the occasional snack, and keep it around the house, without worrying about blowing your entire diet. :) The product is built from thick, sturdy, high quality, BPA free materials. Container walls are very rigid and 3X thicker than typical containers. A large, high contrast display shows the amount of time remaining. The locking mechanism is driven by a high quality motor. The interface takes seconds to learn. Kitchen Safe can be locked for any amount of time between 1 minute to 10 days. Batteries last 6 to 12 months. Studies of highly successful people show that the best strategy for achieving goals is to avoid relying on willpower in all situations. These people are more likely to use something called precommitment, which significantly improves odds of achieving goals. Precommitment is the notion of committing to a smart choice early, when we know we will be tempted by a bad choice later. The Kitchen Safe is a tool that enables us to precommit to smart choices. Plus, it's really fun to use. Who doesn't like spinning and pressing a giant button? Learn more at www.TheKitchenSafe.com. ... Kitchen Safe   They had me until the "As handy as duct tape". Sorry, beyond a towel, there is nothing as handy as duct tape! It's a universal law. :P [...]



Qualcomm Releases the NoSQL DB Qizx [Java, Amazon EC2, EBS hosted]

2015-02-24T16:03:24.649-08:00

I Programmer - Qualcomm Releases NoSQL Qizx Qualcomm has launched Qizx, a noSQL, native XML database for text-intensive projects where you need quick access and searching of documents. Qualcomm acquired Qizx when it bought Axyana Software back in 2013, and has been developing the database since then. The new version was launched at the start of the year and is now available on the AWS Marketplace. Qualcomm describes the new version as enterprise ready with high availability, improved performance, reliability, and efficient document indexing and search power. It works with well-formed XML documents, with no DTD or schema required. ... Qualcomm Qizx XML is an extremely versatile way of representing scientific data, technical documents, medical information, books, manuscripts, catalogs, regulatory filings, intellectual property, and business and accounting records. The Qualcomm® Qizx™ software is a NoSQL, document-oriented, native XML database that stores, retrieves, and manipulates XML files, documents, and semi-structured data.  Qizx is enterprise-ready and is well-suited for high volume, high throughput, workflow environments and text intensive projects where documents need to be quickly loaded and indexed for searching. Why Qizx? Automatic Indexing:  Qizx indexes XML content automatically, eliminates the classic burden of defining ad-hoc indexes for application queries, and provides query and transformation performance that saves time, money, and resources in the development process. Query Performance:  Thanks to automatic indexing, queries are fast.  Document Type Definition (DTD) and schema are optional.  Qizx takes advantage of the XML structure to optimize queries automatically. Standards Based:  Qizx supports XQuery (including Full-Text and Update extensions) and conforms to W3C specifications. Scalable:  Qizx is proven to manage data repositories of several terabytes in size that contain millions of documents. ACID Transactions:  Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability support enables concurrent transactions and updates; queries can be completed without interfering with concurrent updates; backups can be performed while the Qizx engine is running; and modifications are journaled, enabling crash recovery. Extensible:  It also comes integrated in a REST server that can be accessed by remote clients and applications ... Embeddable engine Qizx is written in Java and can be integrated into a standalone application. It can also be used in the J2EE environment and conforms to the Java J2EE Servlet API. Qizx offers a simple, ready-to-use server based on HTTP protocols, thereby making it usable by applications written in a variety of languages. C++ and Python bindings are included for database access. Enterprise ready Qizx offers high availability, improved performance, reliability, and clustering, which allows for database replication and scalability. Security Qizx offers per user, hierarchical, fine-grained Access Control Lists. System requirements Entirely written in Java and officially supported platforms: Windows 7, Vista, XP Linux 2.4+ Mac OS X 10.5+ Java runtime JRE 1.7 Qualcomm Qizx This is just one of those announcements that I thought different and cool. Sure it's so far outside my sphere that I doubt I'll ever use it, but the fact that Qualcomm released it, I[...]



"Top 10 Changes in ASP.NET 5 and MVC 6" [The post that has the WebForm/VB'ers in an uproar...]

2015-02-24T15:53:09.464-08:00

Stephen Walther - Top 10 Changes in ASP.NET 5 and MVC 6 I spent the last couple of weeks writing sample code for ASP.NET 5/MVC 6 and I was surprised by the depth of the changes in the current beta release of ASP.NET 5. ASP.NET 5 is the most significant new release of ASP.NET in the history of the ASP.NET framework — it has been rewritten from the ground up. In this blog post, I list what I consider to be the top 10 most significant changes in ASP.NET 5. This is a highly opinionated list. If other changes strike you as more significant, please describe the change in a comment. 1. ASP.NET on OSX and Linux 2. No More Web Forms [GD: Click through and read the comment & comment] 3. No More Visual Basic [GD: Lots of comments about this. Click through for support links, comment & comment) 4. Tag Helpers 5. View Components 6. GruntJS, NPM, and Bower Support 7. Unified MVC and Web API Controllers 8. AngularJS 9. ASP.NET Dependency Injection Framework 10. xUnit.net ..." WebForms is not going away, not any more than WPF is. It IS going to live in the 4.6 line though. What about Web Forms? You can continue developing Web Forms apps and have confidence that Web Forms is an essential part of the .NET web development platform. We remain focused on adding new features to Web Forms to improve the development experience and keep the technology up-to-date with web practices. Web Forms 4.6 includes the following new features for Web Forms: HTTP 2 Async model binding Roslyn CodeDOM compilers Your existing Web Forms apps will continue to run without modification on IIS with .NET 4.6. You can’t use Web Forms apps with the cloud-optimized runtime. For a video about the new features in Web Forms 4.6, see Web Forms 4.6. For information about the many recent changes for Web Forms in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2, see Improvements to ASP.NET Web Forms. VB? Again VB "IS NOT DEAD" but for ASP.NET v5 it won't be in the RTM. Visual Basic Support? #236 paullyvenne commented on Dec 14 2014 I was interested in trying out vNext with VB.NET? It seems to be promoted on most of the news but I don't see anything but C#. What's the latest news? matthewhancock commented on Dec 15 2014 Yeah, it's a little frustrating re-installing the latest versions of Visual Studio 2015 hoping VB will have vNext templates with no luck. coolcsh commented on Dec 15 2014 ASP.NET 5 is C# only at this point and that will not change before we RTM. We plan to have extensibility points so other languages like VB, F#, etc can be added via the form of a support package or such. Guys look, ASP.NET v5 is a complete, from the ground-up rewrite. It's a v1, but built by those that have decades of experience and have learned the many hard lessons that entails ad built for today's web, not the web of the late 99's... Don't take it from me, check out today's Scott Gu post; Introducing ASP.NET 5 The first preview release of ASP.NET 1.0 came out almost 15 years ago.  Since then millions of developers have used it to build and run great web applications, and over the years we have added and evolved many, many capabilities to it.  I'm excited today to post about a new release of ASP.NET that we are working on that we are calling ASP.NET 5.  This new release is one of the most significant architectural updates we've done to ASP.NET.  As part of this re[...]



Microsoft Health for Developers (no, not a MS Diet for Dev's) - Microsoft Band SDK for WinPhone/Android/iOS(coming soon)

2015-02-24T15:33:44.953-08:00

Microsoft Band SDK Create amazing app experiences for Microsoft Band. Extend the experience of your application to your users' wrists via a new dimension of interaction. Create an app that can send UI content to the band, keeping users engaged when they're in motion. Your app can also receive data directly from the band sensors, giving your users more reasons to interact with it. Create a personalized, data-rich, custom experience and enhanced scenarios that will engage users in ways only possible with Microsoft Band. The Microsoft Band SDK Preview gives developers access to the sensors available on the band, as well as the ability to create and send notifications to tiles. Enhance and extend the experience of your applications to your customers' wrists. Band SDK Preview for Windows Phone Download Sample code Band SDK Preview for Android Download Sample code Band SDK Preview for iOS (coming soon) Additional resources Documentation Experience design guidelines Release notes Access sensors Use a range of sensors including heart rate, UV, accelerometer, gyroscope, and skin temperature, as well as fitness data, to design cutting-edge user experiences. Create your tile Keep users engaged and extend your app experience to Microsoft Band. Create tiles for the band that send glanceable notifications from your app to your users. Personalize your app Monetize your app by offering users ways to customize the band. Change the color theme, or bring the Me Tile to life by changing the wallpaper. ..." I bet you can guess what the next Coding4Fun Hardware Friday post is going to be on... :P The above mentioned doc's are currently just a 19 page PDF, so if you're interested just grab it. From the PDF: Overview Introduction The Microsoft Band SDK Preview is designed to allow 3rd party application developers to harness the power of the Microsoft Band hardware. The SDK gives developers access to the sensors available on the Band, as well as the ability to create Tiles on the Band and sending notifications to these tiles for their applications. Through the SDK you as an application developer will be able to enhance and extend the experience of your application to your customers’ wrists. This opens up a whole new dimension of interaction and enables new, richer scenarios for your applications that make use of the capabilities of the Microsoft Band. Applications that work with Microsoft Band essentially make use of the Microsoft Band SDK Preview to communicate to and from the Microsoft Band. The application logic runs on the host OS (iPhone, Android, Windows Phone) and it remotely controls the UI of the Microsoft Band as well as receives contextual information and sensor data from the Band. Features The features offered by the SDK are as follows:  Multi-platform support  Subscribing to sensor data from the Band  Sending application notifications to the Band  Allowing and application to personalize the theme of the Band The following subsections describe these features in more detail. Multi-Platform Support Given the multi-platform support of Microsoft Band, the SDK is also supported on all of the same platforms the current Microsoft Health and Sync applications are released on. This includes:  Windows 7 or later  Windows Phone 8.1  Mac OS X 10.9 [...]



TouchDevelop [Browser Client] is now Open Source (MIT) and on GitHub

2015-02-11T15:45:29.493-08:00

Canadian Developer Connection - Microsoft Research makes Touch Develop open source Touch Develop is a tool developed by Microsoft Research that allows developers to build mobile apps, games and websites in a browser. As of this week it is now open source on Git! The TouchDevelop project was inspired by the programmability of 8-bit computers of the 80s that introduced many of us to the power of programming. TouchDevelop brings that magic to modern touch-based devices. The result is a tool that you can use to write basic code using a browser and can play on websites or mobile devices What is TouchDevelop? ... ... TouchDevelop has always been a very open tool, with developers having the ability to share their scripts with other Touch Develop users. But now they take the next step – they have released the TouchDevelop web app under the MIT license. The team at Microsoft Research remains dedicated to leading its further development, but you, our users, fellow researchers, and hackers of the world, are invited to contribute. TouchDevelop sits in a GitHub repository. You can fork it there, submit pull requests with bug-fixes or new features, submit and comment on issues in the bug-tracker, and check on latest activity. TouchDevelop consists of about 160,000 lines of TypeScript plus some CSS and a tiny bit of HTML. ... TouchDevelop - TouchDevelop goes open-source The TouchDevelop project was inspired by the programmability of 8-bit computers of the 80s. This is how many in our team learned about programming and we wanted to bring that magic to modern touch-based devices. In very beginning, with our first Windows Phone 7 app, it was about programming your own device, 80s style. Soon after, we have moved to the open web as the platform and added the capability to publish and share your programs (scripts) with other users in source form, so others can learn from and even improve upon them. We believe this openness has helped the platform quite a bit, with over 200,000 scripts published over the past 3 years. Today, we’re taking another step on this path – we’re releasing the TouchDevelop web app under the MIT license. The team at Microsoft Research remains dedicated to leading its further development, but you, our users, fellow researchers, and hackers of the world, are invited to contribute. Join the party! TouchDevelop sits in a GitHub repository. ... What’s not there You’ll notice we’re not releasing the source of our Windows Phone and Android apps, as they will become obsolete very soon, when we switch to Apache Cordova. Also, running a cloud back-end for a major service like TouchDevelop is costly and complicated. We’re thus not expecting you to do that (and we’re not releasing the back-end). Instead, you can run your forked version of the TouchDevelop client web app against our cloud services. This will work as long as you’re running the client on localhost. If you want to run it from a different domain, drop us an email and we can talk about it. ... Microsoft/TouchDevelop TouchDevelop is a touch-friendly app creation environment for iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux developed with <3 at Microsoft Research. Our mobile-friendly editor makes coding fun, even on your phone or tablet! This repo contains the source code of the TouchDevelop editor. If you are intending to write TouchDevelop [...]