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want to know how to use some of the windows live services?  announced at the partner conference this week, some beta have been released.  these provide out-of-box implementations for certain scenarios and take advantage of live services like expo, spaces, , virtual earth, etc. 

and all source code is provided!  there are two of them available now, but more to come according to the site.  i downloaded the bike one, unzipped it and ran it right away...it was simple to set up.


check them out here and download them at codeplex (with the source).

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man i wish microsoft would buy tivo.  when tivo came out, i was skeptical.  it took some friends to really convince me that i was missing out, that i'd actually watch less tv, yada, yada.  after years of being a tivo user, i still love it.  i have two of them, they share recordings, i use the tivo desktop app...it is just a great experience (other than their customer service).

they've nailed the simplicity in the user interface, the 'season pass' concept rocks, online scheduling...it all is just bliss for tv viewing.  high def?  well, okay, every company screws up -- i wish they hadn't.  and when they finally woke up they entered late and overpriced...no, i do not have a series 3...argh.

and they came out with the amazon link to unbox...what a great story.  i could browse movies online and select them for rent/purchase and then they'd be sent to my tivo unit of my choice.  very nice.  what was lacking was the ability to do this on the unit...until now.

tivo and amazon announced that on your series2/3 unit now you can browse amazon unbox directly and order from there...awesome.  this really is how it should be.  netflix should jump on this tivo opp, blockbuster too...i want options. 

i've not done the media center thing yet because i don't want a computer in my home theater...i want components that look like they are meant to be there.  and i don't want to spend $8K for one either.  when i look at the xbox 360, i wish it *was* a media center and not just an extender...then i'd be all over it.  i look at the video marketplace on xbox and think that is great too (and i've rented a few).   what i don't like about it?  the purchase experience...based on points.  this is where i LOVE amazon's idea.  when i find something, they bill me...i don't have to go to some area, load some points, then go back and purchase...amazon has figured out that impulse buying needs to be captured.  love it.

this is a good thing for tivo customers.  it really is what apple needs in appleTV (why isn't it iTV?).  apple tv is locked to a computer and you can only buy via itunes...why not via the unit?  wake up apple on this one, even you should have figured that out.

anyhow, i love the amazon/tivo partnership and hope tivo grows their media delivery partners (hint blockbuster).

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the date for the next desert code camp is announced...September 15, 2007.  the site is open for submissions and registration.  this is a FREE event for anyone.  this is not a microsoft event -- open to the technical community...everyone!  submit a session about your favorite technology, give everyone an hour of your knowledge.

visit http://desertcodecamp.com for details, current session submissions and to submit your own session!  get your travel plans set, block the date...come join us in the desert!  september in phoenix...very nice.

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as seen on the silverlight.net forums (you should visit sometime)...

over at theconverted.ca there is a new SWF to XAML converter in the market...according to the site:

This program converts Flash animations to the Xaml format. It accepts files up to Flash version 8. It handles animation, sound and fonts. You drag files in, it generates the results. You can use the command line for automation.

theconverted.ca SWF to XAML converter check out some of the demonstration conversions -- pretty impressive!

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the sessions at sessions.visitmix.com for have been updated a bit.  some have included the slide decks for download, but a lot have also been updated so that you can choose the play option and get the video of the presenter side-by-side with the powerpoint.  it is an updated player, which also has chapter indexes (rollover the video) to fast-forward to points.

anyhow, if you haven't seen any of them yet, or want to review, the player now really makes you feel like you are there!