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sitting in a room with people from technorati, apache, open source lab, etc. — this is a great experience.  and guess what — it’s on the microsoft campus!

we just got done listening to bill hilf, who leads open source initiatives/learnings at microsoft — what a great exchange of questions comments.  seriously, the questions asked were raw, and the answers given were equally raw.  i loved bill’s style of not evading any question — he genuinely didn’t know some answers, but also didn’t hide some reasons around why we do things we do.

next up — microsoft research head, rick rashid

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today is the start of the first day of the second microsoft technology summit (mts06).

what is mts?  well it’s an opportunity we (msft) take to invite the more broader audiences outside of microsoft (read: generally the ‘anything but microsoft’ crowd) to redmond to have a 2–day conversation with key technologists within microsoft.

is the goal to convert the attendees?  no.  although admittedly that would be a great byproduct for us…but NOT the goal at all.  the goal is to help change perception of what we are doing, and to mainly listen.  we are listening to the feedback from this crowd.  will it immediately impact change in the short term for products that are in the path of completion?  probably not to be honest…but it *will* influence.

the hosts for this event are the technologist elite: don box, chris anderson, anders hejlsberg, rick rashid, jim gray, scott guthrie, bill hilf, etc, etc. — these are the people that are at the right levels in the right areas to hear the feedback.

i’ll try to report as much as i can from the event — it should be interesting.  to protect the privacy of the attendees, i won’t iterate through them, but know that the java, linux, php elite are here.  the influencers in apache are here.  community leaders in open source movements are here.  if they aren’t…they were likely invited and had some conflicts.  a very small crowd (52 from around the world).

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i’m in bellevue, wa and while walking down the street i noticed little weird boxes on the streets near the trees:

Little weird boxes

as i looked closer i noticed they were electrical boxes:

Little weird boxes close

this is a city prepared for (presumably) holiday lights — each tree planter had it’s own box…interesting.

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while waiting for my plane today, miguel ferrer was waiting too (for a different flight right next to us).  i saw a few people look at him with curiousity as i was, trying to place the face.  i didn’t know his name, but only knew him as the guy who was snorting cocaine on some woman’s bosom in robocop…but i knew he was on some nbc show i don’t watch.

Miguel Ferrer

it was funny to watch people try to figure out where they know someone.

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i use gmail as a shell for a free spam filter basically.  (why don't you use hotmail tim?)  well, if passport wasn't in the way and i didn't feel like i was logging in to 3 different sites because i got bounced around to 4 different pages, then i might use it more (the new hotmail UI is nice).

i digress...

gmail spam filter is pretty good.  it catches most everything.  the weird thing is i'm curious why it catches everything but RUSSIAN email.  seriously...it figures out when some is trying to send me some funky ad for male enlargements with mis-spelled words so it can 'trick' the system, but when i get mail with russian all over it, it keeps it in my inbox.

gmail -- take a lesson from outlook -- let me define junk mail by language/locale...