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today over at the , michael klucher announced the release of the xna game studio express.  this is a free tool to aid in the development of pc and xbox360 game development.

yes, xbox360.  .net + xbox360.

how you say?  well, although the xna game studio express tools are free, the ability to deploy them to the xbo360 will require membership in the xna creator's club.  oh sure, wha'ts that a million dollar fee? actually no.  it's $99 US a year.  pretty reasonable i would say.  this helps you get it on the xbox and in the creator's club list on xbox live.  i think it is a pretty cool concept and may even try a few myself.

to purchase the xna creators club membership, you go through xbox live marketplace -- read michael's post for details.

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i recently hit a weird snag when i went to change a sample application from using version 3 to version 4.

with doing nothing at all but changing the "v3" text in the virtual earth control reference to "v4" i suddenly got this error message:

"Sys.InvalidOperationException: Object Microsoft already exists and is not a namespace.”

my VE control reference was in my <head> tag, and as soon as I moved it within the body tag, the error went away and all is well.  so there you have it -- if you are getting this error of course :-)

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while in a local walmart the other day i walked by the very visible ipod display (yes, the zune one was there around the corner and equally as impressive).  i noticed something not right in the "completely remastered" display case:

Non ipod in ipod display

see on the white disc, that is not an ipod.  i chuckled and then felt bad (only for a nano second -- pun intended).  a consumer who might not be as educated (and yes i actually did witness some people talking about 'the cube ipod nano' after looking at this display) misinterpreting this display.

ipod and apple are strong brands.  this detracts from them.  i'm pretty sure that spot is reserved for the black nano, but the mobiBLU is taking it's space right now -- in a case that is clearly ipodified.

so it seems zune isn't the only one who suffers from retail end-channel misrepresentations...

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okay, not entirely true.  i recently got a comment on how sharepoint might not make it in a company because one of the features, a rich editor for html that is used in rich edit areas, wiki, blog, etc., does not support firefox as a browser.  basically you can still edit, but you don't get the WYSIWYG environment.

well, there are a couple of options.  first, the hack (i haven't even tried this to be honest so i shouldn't even be announcing it :-)).  in web.config (since sharepoint 2007 is an asp.net app) you can add <browserCaps> elements to the configuration section to "help" asp.net realize you have a modern browser.  slingfive.com provides a suggested file you can download and add in your web.config (please back up any web.config before you modify and test in a non-production environment).

or...the better option.  our friends at telerik are providing and editor alternative for licensed sharepoint users.  you can read their press release to learn about the deal and you can sign up for the current beta.  they are providing an installation experience that is one-click so you don't have to mess with settings, etc.  the support for this would come from telerik.  this is great of them to do and they've done it in the past with commerce server (as pointed out in their press release).

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building upon the model of , i decided to take a look at doing some simple add-ins for Outlook and Office to look at and the extensibility vsto se has offered the developers.  i started documenting some of my findings in part 1 of office dev.  i'll continue that in a later post and ask some questions there as well.

for now, i wanted to let you know that the two add-ins i created are ready for your consumption, source included.

- enabling inserting of images from your Flickr account into a new mail message.

- you guessed it, same thing, but for Word.

while the naming of these projects is quite lame, hopefully they will show some value (of course if you are a Flickr user).  they've only been tested to work with office 2007 versions of Outlook and Word.  the code demonstrates basically the customization of the ribbonui as well as interacting with some of the different contexts of the office application you are working with at the time.

part 2 on their creation and some gotchas i found coming soon.