Getting a Sense of Paris

ParisI have finally reached Paris. After 2 planes 15 hours, 3 naps, and a chicken dinner, we landed in Paris in the oui hours of the morning (6am to be exact).  We area staying in the 6th district near Notre Dame and on the way to our apartment, one of the funny things I noticed was how small the cars were, not an SUV in sight. This made a lot more sense once I saw the size of the street were were saying on ;)

When we finally reached our destination, we started getting settled in and when I popped open my laptop, I discovered that the Sensor and Location platform, or more specifically my IP location provider was able to determine I was in Paris and automatically changed my weather gadget to show me the local weather.   The sensor and location platform is one of the cool new things developers can use as part of Windows 7. Although it is very useful for gadgets, it can be used for any type of application that wants to be aware of its surroundings.  Go check it out, you will like it.

Windows 7 Launch Events in Southern California

Windows 7 Launch – a few seats left



Did you miss the chance to register for the Windows 7 Launch and receive a FREE Copy of Window 7?  Well don’t miss out on this opportunity. There are only a few seats left .

You have to use these SPECIAL REGISTRATION LINKS  below to register. Don’t hesitate because we only have a few seats left. The main registration is closed, but with these special links you can still get in.
YOU MUST USE CODE "DPE" when registering


San Diego October 26th
Orange County(Orange) October 26th 
Los Angeles (Burbank) October 28th
Agenda :
Taking Your Application to the Next Level with Windows 7
Windows 7 has several user interface and performance enhancements from the Windows 7 Taskbar, Jump Lists, and more. While your application will run on Windows 7 without leveraging these new features, your users will be far more productive if they are able to quickly open recent documents and records, find information and navigate your application in a natural way that is consistent with the rest of their Windows 7 experience. In this session, we will show you how to make your application shine, optimizing the user experience and performance on Windows 7
Beyond Human Interaction with Windows 7 Sensor and Location Platform
Your Windows 7 application can be aware of it surroundings through the use of the Windows 7 Sensor and Location Platform. Being aware is the first step to having a truly contextual application that adapts to its surroundings and helps your users be more productive with less effort. The platform allows you to add this location based service and sensor technology with a few lines of code allowing you to focus on what makes sense in the context for the user. Should you change your color scheme if it’s dark out? What’s different in your application if your user is at work verses at home?

In this session, we will explore the ease of leveraging this platform and some of the scenarios that make sense. In addition, we’ll learn how the new DirectWrite and Direct2D APIs will allow you to add fast, scalable, high-quality, 2D and 3D graphics, text, and images to your applications.

Building Next Generation User-Interface with Multitouch and Ribbon on Windows 7

Learn how Multitouch and the Ribbon provide you with powerful capabilities to differentiate your application. Multitouch is how we interact with objects all day every day in the physical world. Windows 7 supports multitouch out of the box so you can extend this same paradigm into the software world.

With very little code, you are able to recognize and respond to multiple gestures at once and give your users a very natural method of interacting with your application. The Ribbon allows you to replace the outdated battleship gray chrome in your application with a rich, animated UI. In this session, we will explore both the multi-touch APIs, as well as the Ribbon’s markup-based UI


MSDN – Client Experience Talk

This week I traveled through the Southland (LA, Orange County, San Diego) talking about some cool new things coming out from Microsoft. (Windows 7 Multi-touch, Silverlight RIA Services, SketchFlow). Below you will find the slides and demos for the talk.  Enjoy.   ~Daniel


You can find the files for the demos HERE. For the RIA Services Demo,  you will find the step by step snipits in the Presentation folder. 

Let me know if you have any questions.


MSDN Event Win7 Multi-Touch, SketchFlow

A multitouch screen

Image via Wikipedia

Join me for one of the coolest things to come out of the dev community in quite a while. I will be doing a seminar on Windows 7 Multi-Touch, and SketchFlow.   You can see the Agenda below, but you will really want to see the MultiTouch and SketchFlow stuff.  See you there.


September 9, 2009

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Click here  to register

Event ID: 1032423014


Los Angeles
September 10, 2009

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Click here  to register

Event ID: 1032423015


San Diego
September 10, 2009

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Click here  to register

Event ID: 1032423016




MSDN Presents: The Next Generation Client Experience



Windows 7 for Developers (MULTI- Touch) = Cool ;)

Windows 7 is almost here! With it are numerous improvements and new features to take advantage of in your applications. Watch and learn as we demonstrate how to utilize the new taskbar, multi-touch support and more.


IE8 for Developers ( Showing how to create an accelerator)

IE8 makes your web better… faster, safer and easier.  This is true for developers too.  In this session, we will illustrate how developers can take advantage of some new technologies in IE8 such as accelerators to enhance a user’s web experience.  We will also illustrate the built-in developer tools in IE8 and how to take advantage of them.  These tools include a powerful CSS tool, script debugging and a script profiler.


Building Business Applications with Silverlight 3 and RIA Services

Silverlight 3 has launched.  In this session, we will illustrate how you can build powerful line of business (LOB) applications with Silverlight 3 and Expression Blend 3.  We will begin with illustrating how you can build powerful prototypes with SketchFlow in Blend 3.

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Running a Social Network ( wink wink )

I am training for the Disneyland 1/2 marathon in September and have been running 4-5 times a week. This will be my longest run in training for this race as I will be dialing it back the next few weeks in preparation for the big day. I found this real cool Social Network site (Which is why I am posting it on here) called You can see the path that I will be running below. It gives me exact mileage and elevation and lets me note where hazards and places to get water are located. I am going to contact the owners of the site to see if I can get a mini interview with them about how they started and what technology they are using. Anyway, I have to get on the road now…. long run ahead.


See you socially (or running) — Daniel

Dial Me Up Some Twitter

image If I am not mistaken, I believe that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (@villaraigosa) declared this DigitalLA month.  With events on the 5th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 18th and 27th, founder Kevin Winston (@kevinwinston) has been a very busy promoter of all things social.  
Last night I was able to attend the DigitalLA Entertainment Goes Social panel held at the Writers Guild of America @ Third and Fairfax (Yes, I used an “@” without a twitter handle behind it).

Before the event I met up with K.W. Low (@KW) and Jacob Nahin (@JacobNahin) for coffee at the Farmers Market.  I think Jacob was happy to see me, but it was only because I was carrying the XBox 360 Elite he won from the Microsoft booth at the TwiistUP event a few weeks back.  It was nice to relax and wind down after sitting in the traffic on the 110 freeway.


The Entertainment News Goes Social Panel consisted of some of Hollywood’s most prolific social media go-to’s (aside from Ashton Kutcher of course). They included :

– Andrew Wallenstein, Hollywood Reporter, Editor, Digital Media @THR
– Abe Burns,, Director, Online Marketing @variety
– Andrew D. Nystrom, LA, Sr. Producer, Social + Emerging Media @latimesnystrom
– Alexia Tsotsis, LA Weekly, tech/business lifestyle reporter @alexiatsotsis 
– Moderator: Kevin Winston, Digital LA, founder @kevinwinston


It was a great discussion of how some of LA’s best known entertainment outlets are utilizing social media to further reach their user base and hopefully attract new users.  There were the normal questions about the types of analytics used to track ROI, and how Social Media is, and can be used in an unprofessional way, but what really intrigued me about this panel was the amazing interaction with the LIVE audience via Twitter.  It all started with Alexia commenting on the following twitter post.




She gave a quick shout-out to @johnayers to thank him, and it had a real dynamic effect on the event. As soon as she said this, it seemed to give the other panelist the “OK” to check the #DigitalLA twitter feed as well. As a society, we are programmed to believe that it is unprofessional to check your phone, especially when you are sitting on a panel for crying out loud. 

The crowd, no longer able to hide themselves behind their Twitter feed, and for some maybe not the type to raise their hand in a panel discussion, were now completely intertwined in the discussion whether they wanted to be or not.  There were many quotable moments throughout the night, as you can see if you follow the #DigitalLA twitter feed, but the best was near the end of the night.

The room erupted when Andy Wallenstein commented on @MikeSlebodnik‘s tweet:




I don’t think Andy was very amused at the comment ;)  ( But yes Andy, you do sound like him)

It was a great panel and a very lively discussion.  During the mixer part of the event (and after at Dupar’s) I was able to meet and talk with some very interesting entrepreneurs. Among them was Babette Pepaj the founder and CEO of BakeSpace.


BakeSpace: Come for the food.  Stay for the conversation.

BakeSpace – is a social networking site that centers on the sharing of recipes. It has a very vibrant and thriving 50,000 member base and it is interesting how they weave this into the media world with tie-ins to both Television and Movies. As we sat at Dupar’s having coffee and pie, I was fascinated at the story of how it got its start ( a little elbow grease and a little luck) and the bumps they had to steer around along the way.  It is a great site developed and run by very passionate founders. – I talked to Jan Zands from about their online phone messaging system written with Microsoft Technologies. They had just released their BlackBerry version, so we took some time to talk about creating a windows mobile version as well as dive a little deeper into the technical aspects of creating sync applications.



SperryMedia – – While I as at the mixer, I was able to speak with Scott Perry, President of Sperry Media about the current state of cloud computing and using rich internet applications like Silverlight. He has a project coming up and is evaluating different solutions. We spent some time discussing RIA Services and all the new features of the Silverlight 3 Release.


I also had some great discussions with the following attendees:

Peter Chen -  Writer-Director

Chris Tolles – Vice President/Marketing topix

John Marchesini – Consultant

Patrick - and

Larry W. Johnson  Producer/Manager Crescendo Entertainment, Inc

Steven R. Gilson – Consultant


See you Socially  -  Daniel


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Angels are the new black

Last night I attended the DealMakerLA Panel on Angel Investing for Startups held at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in Los Angeles.  The panel consisted of 4 current Angel Investors working and looking for Southern California based startups. 




Jarl Mohn, Investor (former CEO, Liberty Digital. Created E! Entertainment Television)
Dan Gould, VP Technology Fox Interactive Media
Rob Hayes, Partner, First Round Capital  *Silicon Valley Seed-Stage Investor
Thomas McInerney, Angel Investor, TGM
Scott Sangster, President, OrganicStartup (Tech Coast Angles).


It was a round table discussion led by Deal Maker Media with plenty of questions and discussion points coming from the attendees.  It was a lively group and it was interesting to see the different levels of Angel investment ranges (from $25K to $4m), as well as the different types of investors’ strategies, from personal investor Tom McInerney to pooled money at Tech Coast Angels (Scott Sangster).  If you are a start-up in the LA area, these events should be on your calendar as MUST ATTEND.

Since we were a sponsor at the event, I was able to talk for a few minutes about Microsoft’s BizSpark program which helps startups with the software they need to get up and running in this competitive environment without incurring the costs associated with it. (Read More about BizSpark).  After the meeting, I was able to talk to many entrepreneurs that were interested in finding out more about BizSpark, and along the way, I learned about a few real cool companies.


applelogo  Apple Tree – – Apple Tree is a website that creates a family tree for EVERYONE. The single global family tree.  It allows you to search the famous (or not so famous) to see their tree. It is currently using Microsoft’s SeaDragon for its functionality, but Scott Mueller (The founder of Apple Tree) is interested in porting it over to Slivlerlight 3 in the near future. We talked about how that could enhance the experience of his site and then segued into how adding multi-touch support would be really cool.



Players Club Golf – – This was one of the more interesting groups that I talked to. Mostly because I want to use their facilities. Players Club Golf, located in Santa Monica, is a INDOOR Golf club using state-of-the-art hi-def full swing golf simulators to allow people to play with friends in the area or around the world. In addition, they are planning a full gym and restaurant/bar to make it a one stop shop for weary LA workers that want to get in some golf but don’t have the time to drive to a public course. Can’t wait to try it.




text a day – – I then talked to Greg Lambrecht from about his work with church groups that allows pastors (through to keep in touch with their parishioners easily by sending personalized text messages throughout the week. It was a simple concept but quite powerful since it is an opt-in type of service. As opposed to a “verse a day” or “quote a day” which are generic, these allow the pastors to create specialize messages just for their parishioners.




kidthing – – is a real exciting service and I had the opportunity to talk to the CEO, Lawrence Hitchcock, after the meeting.  kidthing is a downloadable player written with Microsoft technologies that allow kids to to download books like the “Cat in the Hat” and view them on their PC’s.  It is loaded with parent and teacher controls to keep them safe from the internet. They are targeting the K-3 demographic and have already been used by many school districts. He was very interested in finding out how he could make it compatible with the ZUNE for future releases.


In addition to the above, I had a great time talking to many different companies at the event :

  • Albert deQuay – ExportDesk
  • Kevin Mendelson – Murano Software
  • Rik D. Middleton – Sage Cadre
  • Dave Waldman – twistbox
  • William Marks – Comcast Entertainment Group
  • Brad Parker – Muzlink
  • Jonny Sabbath – William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

Make sure you don’t miss the next Dealmaker Event.  Great People, Great Technology, Great Food, Great Drinks.


See you Socially  – Daniel

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Multi-Touch Magic

Windows 7 Multi-touch Demo

As many of you know, Windows 7 will be released soon to the general public.  One of the feature that you may not be aware of that is built into the Windows 7 OS is Multi-touch.  It gives you the ability to use multiple hands/fingers to manipulate the applications running on your system. In upcoming blog posts (here or on I will show you how you create applications using this technology. This video goes through a few sample applications to show you some of the functionality that you can take advantage of in your applications. (And it is pretty cool too).  Make sure you check back for more in this series.


See you on the social scene…. Daniel

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I attended DrupalCampLA last weekend (8/8/2009) and had a blast talking to people. We were there to show how easy it is to install Drupal on and windows web server (IIS) using the Web Platform installer.  Since we were a sponsor of the event as well, I decided to bring a Windows 7 Multi-touch machine to show everyone.  It was quite a hit.  Most of the attendees had never seen or heard about the multi-touch features of Windows 7.  A number of them were impressed with how it really made their websites come to life for demo purposes.  While I was there I was able to share information on Rob Bagby’s talk about how to integrate both Silverlight and Windows Azure into a Drupal Installation.

While I was in the sponsors room. I also took the time to quickly demo how easy it was to install Drupal on my Windows 7 Machine.

  • Install MySQL
  • Run the Web Platform Installer.
  • And you are ready to go.

Since most of the attendees were consultants that implemented Drupal for their clients, they were excited to find out that they could install it on IIS. This gives them a greater chance of landing clients and greater flexibly in the operation systems that their clients use.

All-in-all, it was a great event and a great time.


See you Socially ….. Daniel

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In a surprise announcement today, Facebook acquires FriendFeed; the social network aggregator. 

The official press release goes something like this.

PALO ALTO, Calif. — August 10, 2009 — Facebook today announced that it has agreed to acquire FriendFeed, the innovative service for sharing online. As part of the agreement, all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed’s four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.

“Facebook and FriendFeed share a common vision of giving people tools to share and connect with their friends,” said Bret Taylor, a FriendFeed co-founder and, previously, the group product manager who launched Google Maps. “We can’t wait to join the team and bring many of the innovations we’ve developed at FriendFeed to Facebook’s 250 million users around the world.”

To me, this is a very strange acquisition. I understand the value of both Facebook and FriendFeed separately but together they make a very unusual match. How does FaceBook plan to use this service?  Does it want to integrate other social media outlets into facebook so that people never leave their pages?  If so, could they not have just built this themselves? It can’t be for the userbase, I assume a large percentage of users of friendfeed already use facebook.  I will have to keep an eye on this to see where it is going.


I also understand the points Robert Scoble makes in his post about the merger ( but I still think it was a much better deal for FriendFeed (Couldn’t Facebook figure out RealTime Search?).


Let me know what you think. Why did FaceBook make this purchase?


You can hear a little more about the acquisition from the Robert Scoble interview of Paul Buchheit, founder of FriendFeed.