May 2010

VP8 Support in Internet Explorer 9

by Joey deVilla on May 19, 2010

ie h.264 vp8You’ve probably read the news already, so I’ll cut right to the chase: earlier today, Internet Explorer’s big kahuna Dean Hachamovitch made an announcement about Internet Explorer 9 support for HTML5 video in Blogging Windows:

In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec on Windows.

(And in case you were wondering, the WebM formatalso announced earlier today — uses the VP8 codec.)

If you want to take an early version of IE9 for a spin, visit the Internet Explorer 9 Test Drive site and download the latest preview (as of this writing, it’s Platform Preview 2).

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Shape the Future at Canada GovCamp

by Joey deVilla on May 18, 2010

Photo of the Peace Tower in Ottawa: "GovCamp: Ottawa, May 31 - June 1, 2010" Creative Commons Photo by the Poissant Family.

Canada GovCamp is happening May 31 and June 1, 2010 at Ottawa U. and you’re invited!

What is GovCamp?

It’s a gathering of local citizens, public sector employees, service delivery leaders and policy people with an interest in having a conversation on engaging citizens, empowering business and increasing internal efficiencies through transformational government activities across all levels of government (municipal, regional, provincial and federal). It’s neither a trade show nor a product-oriented discussion, but rather a workshop style unconference where participants establish the agenda and explore the themes that are of most interest to them.

Why GovCamp?

We’ve seen a number of great communities spring up across Canada to think about, discuss and build a new relationship with their local governments, often through the use of technology. These activities are accelerated by bringing the community together at workshop-style unconferences such as ChangeCamp and BarCamp. Having participated in these local activities and experiencing the creative energy first-hand, we began to think about how the ideas and enthusiasm we saw at these local events could be shared in a broader context. We thought that it would be interesting to bring together communities across camps, a sort of Jamboree, to explore opportunities to work together on open government activities across multiple levels of government.

To Talk about What?

  • Wouldn’t it be great to call one number and be able to get an answer to government services regardless of which level provided it?
  • Reserve your campsite from one website without having to think about which department managed the site?
  • How about being able to give your input and be heard on government initiatives that start from the speech from the throne and are delivered through provincial programs by you municipality?

These are the types of conversations we are looking to have.

Who Else Will be There?

Confirmed guests include:

  • Welcome keynote speaker Jerry Mechling, from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard
  • The opening panel discussion members:
    • Guy Michaud, CIO, City of Ottawa
    • David Eaves, a major proponent of Vancouver’s OpenGov, who’ll also do the end-of-unconference wrap-up
    • Eric Sauve, Newsgator and former CEO of Tomoye
  • Mark Kuznicki, Toronto’s civic unconference organizer extraordinaire, who’ll lead the development of the ideas matrix from which the unconference sessions will be formed

In putting GovCamp together, we’re reaching out to a number organizations and communities including:

Who is GovCamp For?

This event is for:

  • IT People –Technology is one way that governments are transforming how they deliver services externally and internally. Technology people are needed to explore the art of the possible for these new services. Mash-ups, Open Data, social media are but a few of the possible areas for discussion.
  • Policy People – We need you in the conversation so that you can share your expertise on the realm of the possible from a policy perspective. Privacy, Security, Access to Information, Information Management are all key considerations for successful government transformation.  Come share your knowledge on how to make these policies enable new services.
  • Government Services leaders – Ultimately, government delivers value through the many services that are provided. GovCamp is about exploring the realm of the possible for service to individuals, services to businesses and services to other departments. Your voice is essential to inform the community and to guide those ideas that the community may have for you!
  • Community – We are fortunate that there’s a passionate and creative community with vibrant ideas about how they can help create a closer connection between governments, individuals, businesses and even among government itself. Your participation at the Canada Gov Camp will provide you with a venue to share your great ideas and, if all goes well, interact with some of the people that can take your idea further.

How Much, and Where do I Register?

Registration for GovCamp is free! To register, visit the registration page. For more information, see John Weigelt’s blog.

Who’s Behind this Event?

Canada GovCamp is being hosted by the Canadian Association for Information Technology Professionals, sponsored by Microsoft Canada on behalf of the community.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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The “Social Media Revolution 2” Video

by Joey deVilla on May 17, 2010

It’s Mesh week here in Toronto! Today, the developer-and-creative-focused MeshU conference takes place, followed tomorrow and Wednesday by the social-media-and-marketing focused Mesh conference. I’ll be in the audience at MeshU, and tending the Microsoft lounge (and the cocktail parties) at Mesh. If you’re attending, please say “hi!”

In the spirit of Mesh, I present Social Media Revolution 2, the follow-up to last year’s Social Media Revolution video, produced by the people behind the book Socialnomics (written by Erik Qualman, who blogs here). Whether you’re looking for little facts and statistics for a presentation, need some infotainment to get the week started or both, this video is for you!

(Want to feel old? The music track for the video is Fatboy Slim’s Right Here Right Now, which is from the album You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, which is 12 years old. Yowch.)

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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The Geek Alphabet

by Joey deVilla on May 14, 2010

The blog Geeks are Sexy put together a wonderful alphabet rhyme using Creative Commons “share-alike”-licensed photos on Flickr, which I thought I’d share with you:

geek alphabet

Here’s the text of the rhyme, along with a credit for each corresponding photo:

A is for Away Team, where you should never wear red (mild mannered photographer)
B is for Binary, 1s and 0s in your head (jpstanley)
C is for Cosplay, making cons an awesome place
D is for Doctor, who keeps changing face (great beyond)
E is for Emoticons, that tell you what we’re feeling (neal gillis)
F is for Flickr, whose photos we are “stealing” (tricky)
G is for Gadgets, the way to our heart (slipstreamjc)
H is for Hardware, I took it apart! (jurvetson)
I is for iEverything, love it or hate it (dan dickinson)
J is for Japan, we’re glad Nintendo invaded (oscar mota)
K is for Keyboard, we love every letter (andrew*)
L is for Leias, the more the better! (koadmunkee)
M is for MMORPGs, it’s a magical place (i eated a cookie)
N is for NASA, and the beauty of space (nasa1fan)
O is for Occipital Lobe, we love using our brains (illuminaut)
P is for Programming, ((though lisp is a pain)) (phil_jackson)
Q is for Quilting, and other geeky crafts (athenamat)
R is for Reading, no matter what the path (timonoko)
S is for Science, though the cake is a lie (don solo)
T is for Tabletop, and a 20-sided die (nengard)
U is for Uncertainty, you just never know (neil crosby)
V is for Voltage, oh the places we’ll go! (oskay)
W is for the World Wide Web, it’s more than just porn (shimown)
X is for Xerox, where so much geekiness was born (marc smith)
Y is for Youth, since kids are geeks too (benmcleod)
Z is for Zork, watch out for the grue! (the_tml)

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Toronto Developer Lunch, Friday May 14th

by Joey deVilla on May 13, 2010

developer lunch

Once again, Kristan “Krispy” Uccello has declared another Toronto developer dim sum lunch! It’s at the usual place – Sky Dragon, located on the top floor of Dragon City mall (corner of Spadina and Dundas) tomorrow (Friday, May 14th, that is) at noon.

I’m trying to boost the .NET geek quotient at these lunches – it can’t just be me, Mark Cidade, Reg “Raganwald” Braithwaite (he’s developed with just about everything under the sun) and David Crow! If you’re in the area, come on down and have some cheap, delicious dim sum. We split the bill at the end, and it typically runs about $11 – 12 a person.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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I Don’t Think They Wanted to Use That Photo

by Joey deVilla on May 13, 2010

Take a look at the photo accompanying the SFGate article below, which is about the all-hands meeting being called at Facebook over complaints about their approach to privacy:

sfgate facebook privacy article

Click the image to see the original article.

While the photo is probably not the one they wanted to use for the article, it’s a pretty good metaphor for the scene at a company when they call emergency all-hands meetings of this sort.

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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via nerd car

A quick reminder: if you’re looking for cheap transport to Montreal for MonDev, Montreal’s Open Source Week (which concludes with the Make Web Not War conference), we’ve booked an entire VIA Rail car from Montreal to Toronto! The train car (pictured above) has wifi, power outlets and will be equipped with video monitors, an Xbox or two, a big-ass HP TouchSmart computer and other technological goodies to make the time pass by.

Best of all, if you want to book a trip on this car, we’re subsidizing it. Round-trip tickets are a mere $50 and cover the cost of the ride, a sandwich lunch and drink voucher! The train departs for Montreal on the morning of Tuesday, May 25th and departs back for Toronto on the morning of Friday, May 28th.

For more details, email cdnsol@microsoft.com.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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