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April 3, 2009  |  

Friday Links #45

Live Smooth Streaming – Design Thoughts - Sam Zhang's Blog - In summary, the pull model we designed for IIS Live Smooth Streaming is very different than how the traditional live streaming push model works. With this model, the server becomes a very lean stateless server with better performance, scalability, and manageability. The client has more control over different aspects of streaming/playback and is better equipped to handle all the challenges to offer a great user experience.

XWindows Dock is a better Leopard dock clone for Windows - The developer states "no other Windows application of this class has so many graphical subtleties such as reflections, transparencies, shadow and blur in a single package," and I'm inclined to agree. If you're using RocketDock, try XWindows Dock and let us know how you think it stacks up [insert groans].

CodeProject: Publish Your Database as Silverlight in 15 Minutes – Z-Software works by you submitting the database schema to the Z-Software server and after few minutes you download a completed project which include SOAP service, WCF service and several clients. The download will also include the compiled binaries for the two services needed to connect the Silverlight application to the database server. Interesting idea.

Wallpapers: Grab Every Region's Windows 7 Wallpapers in One Download - One file brings a lot of new looks to any desktop, Windows 7 or otherwise.

win7_wallpapers

MicroInvention - Crossplatform Raster & Vector Graphics Software – The demo applications work very well on Windows. Seems very small and lightweight. The clock demo is particularly good.

My Silverlight Testing Rig – My colleague Brian details how we do unit testing in Silverlight (yes, it can be done).

Parallel Programming with .NET : What’s new in Beta 1 for the Task Parallel Library? (Part 1/3) – The Task Parallel Library (TPL) has come a long way since its inception. Over the course of several CTPs, it has evolved to be an important and central new component in the .NET Framework. Most recently, TPL was released as part of mscorlib.dll in the Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 CTP around the October 2008 timeframe.

Breaking: Internet Explorer 8.1 Eagle Eyes Leaked | How-To | Smashing Magazine - In this article, we take a closer look at the new features of Internet Explorer 8.1, compare it with other browsers and share with you our first-hand experience with the browser. Overall the browser is faster, more flexible, more stable and also more secure and performs already much better than a recently released IE 8. One word sums up our experience with IE 8.1: Eagle Eyes is the browser that Internet Explorer should have brought on the market a long time ago - and now it’s finally here.

Microsoft exits the encyclopedia biz, kills Encarta – I wasn’t aware it was still around.

downloadU.S. unveils Orion spacecraft to take crew to Mars | Science | Reuters - NASA gave visitors to the National Mall in Washington a peek at a full-size mock-up of the spacecraft designed to carry U.S. astronauts back to the moon and then on to Mars one day.

Firefox slow? Limit history size for speed improvement – This is one improvement that really does work.

Richard Griffin's Blog : Behaviors, Actions and View Models in Silverlight - Behaviors are new to Silverlight 3 and WPF. Triggers in WPF are incredibly useful as they provide the ability to change the look and feel  of UI Elements dynamically based on the state of the application directly in the Xaml. In fact they are so useful we have 2 types Data Triggers and UI Triggers. Data Triggers can be used to respond to changes in the data that the UI Elements are bound to. UI Triggers can be used to respond to UI level events.

Spam Back to 94% of All E-Mail - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com - Spam, that annoying but ignorable scourge of the Web, has finally recovered from the jolt it received last November, when Internet backbone providers cut off McColo Corp., a California Web-hosting service that spammers were using to coordinate e-mail attacks.

Presentations -> Null References: The Billion Dollar Mistake - My goal was to ensure that all use of references should be absolutely safe, with checking performed automatically by the compiler. But I couldn't resist the temptation to put in a null reference, simply because it was so easy to implement. This has led to innumerable errors, vulnerabilities, and system crashes, which have probably caused a billion dollars of pain and damage in the last forty years.

plasticlogicDetroit Newspapers to test Plastic Logic Readers this year – MobileRead - The Plastic Logic Reader isn't scheduled for general availability until next year, so it isn't clear how many devices will be in the "test". Still, a subscription to these newspapers may be a way for Detroit residents to get early access to a Plastic Logic Reader.

Visual Studio will not ship the WiX toolset – This is a real disappointment. WiX is just way better than the lame setup projects Visual Studio currently ships with.

Twitter Blog: The Discovery Engine Is Coming - A few weeks ago we started testing Twitter Search in the web interface for a subset of folks. We had the search box way up near the top of the page and the results on a separate page. It turns out that's not the awesome way to do it. The best way to experience Twitter Search is when it's a natural part of your normal Twitter experience.

Pick of the Week

Power Toys for Visual Studio - Resource Refactoring  - Takes the hassle out of moving string constants to the resource section of your Visual Studio Project.

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