DemoCamp. Vancouver. September 14th. Details Soon.

Demo Ignite Camp logo

Actually, you can get some details now – go check out the Upcoming page for this event.


One Possible Upside to the Disney-Marvel Team-Up

"Kingdom Hearts" featuring Marvel characters

Anthony Suarez suggested a possible upside to Disney’s purchase of Marvel: there’s potential for a really interesting sequel to the game Kingdom Hearts.


Disney Buys Marvel

Spider-Man, Wolverine and the cast of "High School Musical"

My spider-sense is tingling, and not in a good way: Disney is buying Marvel Entertainment (yup, that Marvel, as in Spider-Man, the X-Men and so on) for $4 billion in stock, acquiring the rights to all their characters. Soon we’ll see the cast of High School Musical as the newest young mutants to join Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters and a Marvel Team-Up featuring Spider-Man and the Jonas Brothers.

I feel like this:

Peter Parker in an alley, walking away from the Spider-Man costume he just dumped in the trash

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


Dear Lyons: You Got Pwned Even Harder

John Gruber: Slick. Dan Lyons: Dick.

In his latest Daring Fireball blog entry, So Dan Lyons Called, John Gruber does a great job giving Dan “Fake Steve Jobs” Lyons a much-deserved pimp-slapping. It’s a fun-to-read response to Lyon’s article on the Fake Steve Jobs blog titled Dear Gruber: You’ve Been Pwned, in which Lyons, writing as a fictionalized Steve Jobs, takes great glee in the fact that Gruber got the story wrong – he wrote that AT&T killed the Google Voice app for the iPhone, after which it was revealed that it was Apple all along.

While Gruber got the story wrong, he did something very admirable and honourable: he very clearly and plainly admitted it, without weasel-words, and even went to the trouble of analyzing where we went wrong – openly, on his blog. It’s going to happen to all of us who blog about technology news, and especially when it’s news about an organization that’s as notoriously tight-lipped as Apple: sooner or later, you’re going to report something that’s not true, and the best policy, as mom always said, is honesty.

Even when Gruber makes seat-of-the-pants predictions, as he often does before big “Stevenotes” when it seems that Apple is about to announce something new, he tends to be more right than wrong, and that’s one of the reasons I read Daring Fireball.

In the article, Gruber does a good job of reminding us of where Dan Lyons is coming from – remember, he writes for Newsweek, which is a pretty sad substitute for Time, where the preferred style of reportage was described to me by a friend of mine who wrote for them as “sustained obviousness”. Yes, it’s all ad hominem-y. but it’s entertaining and filled with lots of truth. Besides, I’ve made my feelings clear about Mr. “Fake Steve Jobs” in my article titled Fake Steve Jobs is a Dick.

I come away from reading Daring Fireball articles knowing more than before, even when Gruber is operating in Smug Apple Fanboy mode. He’s great at “reading the tea leaves” where Apple is concerned, and there’s plenty of food for thought. The ideas, analysis and pointers in Daring Fireball make it a worthwhile read for me, even though I work for The Empire and he cheers for the Rebel Scum. On the other hand, the Fake Steve Jobs blog is just Dan Lyons doing a Steve Jobs impression with the dials turned up to eleven. There’s the occasional tidbit that’s amusing, but for the most part, there isn’t much meat there. If Daring Fireball is The Daily Show, Fake Steve Jobs bounces between being Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” segment and the Royal Canadian Air Farce.

(For those of you who haven’t seen the Royal Canadian Air Farce, consider yourself very, very lucky.)


Your Last Day for TechDays Vancouver or Toronto at $299!

Microsoft TechDays Canada 2009: $299 - Last day!

Today is your last chance to register for TechDays Canada 2009’s Vancouver (September 14 – 15) and Toronto (September 29 – 30) conferences at the early bird price of CDN$299. Tomorrow, the price doubles to CDN$599 – that’s the price for procrastination!

I’ve written a lot about TechDays Canada 2009 lately, so I think I’ll close with this video shot by the folks at TechVibes on the last leg of the TechDays Canada 2008 tour: Vancouver. It features my coworkers Rick Claus (IT Pro Evangelist) and Qixing Zheng (User Experience Evangelist) as well as Yours Truly (Developer Evangelist) talking about TechDays:

Techvibes at Microsoft Tech Days 2008 from on Vimeo.

With the work we’re putting into TechDays, we think it’ll be the conference that offers you the most conference for your hard-earned dollars. It features big-league sessions delivered by local people plus great resources for you to take home (and to work) and supercharge the way you work with technology. You really should register today, while the early bird price is still in effect.

Microsoft TechDays Canada 2009: 2 days - 7 cities - 5 tracks - 40 sessions - plus more!


TechDays Toronto and Vancouver: 2 Days Left for the Early Bird Rate


The early bird registration price for TechDays Vancouver (September 14th – 15th) and TechDays Toronto (September 29th – 30th) will disappear after Monday, August 31st. If you want to catch TechDays at the ultra-cheap rate, you should register now!

Here’s a quick graphic recap of what TechDays Canada 2009 is all about:

Rather than asking Canadian developers and IT pros to fly far away to a conference and take a hit on the currency exchange, TechDays Canada 2009 takes the conference to them. We’re taking the sessions and information from conferences like TechEd, updating them with the latest information and bringing them to the following cities:

  • Vancouver (September 14 – 15…two weeks away!)
  • Toronto (September 29 – 30…a month from now)
  • Halifax (November 2 – 3)
  • Calgary (November 17 – 18)
  • Montreal (December 2 – 3)
  • Ottawa (December 9 –10)
  • Winnipeg (December 15 – 16)

TechDays Canada 2009 features the following tracks:

  • Developing for the Microsoft-Based Platform (which happens to be the track I’m in charge of)
  • Developer Fundamentals and Best Practices
  • Windows Client
  • Servers, Security and Management
  • Communications and Collaboration

And, as a bonus, we’ve got an extra track for Vancouver and Toronto: Developer Foundations, which contains sessions of a non-platform-specific nature covering best coding practices and good software engineering.

Attendees also get $700 worth of goodies, including a TechNet Plus Direct Subscription (which gets you Windows 7 for free, among other things), access to content from the TechEd conference, the TechDays 2009 Resource DVD, discounts on books and more.

TechDays presentations are given mostly by local people and attended by local people. If you want to get to know and network with developers, IT pros and techies in your area – and believe me, this sort of thing pays off in spades – TechDays Canada 2009 is a great place for it.

If you’re a developer or IT pro and work with the .NET platform – or are even just curious about it – you should be at TechDays Canada 2009. And if you like saving money, you’ll register before the end of Monday, August 31st.


Reminder: 3 Days Left for TechDays Vancouver and Toronto at $299

TechDays Canada 2009: $299 for 3 more days

If you want to attend TechDays Vancouver (September 14 – 15) or TechDays Toronto (September 29 – 30) at the early bird rate, you’ve got 3 days left! After Monday, August 31st, you’ll have to pay the full $599. Register now and save!