What exactly is being broadcast live for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver?
It depends on where you live and the relationship to your cable or satellite provider.
First, these tips only apply to U.S. digital Internet broadcast, which NBC has the rights to. Other countries, your mileage may vary since they are negotiated separately with the governing body, the IOC.
A list of all the live events for the US can be found here: NBC Live Full Replays
I can save you some trouble: only hockey and curling are live. That’s about half the competition in terms of hours, but it’s a lot. You will need to navigate the through the “entitlement” process in order to see it. For Comcast, you need your firstname.lastname@example.org and password to authenticate. It's a one-time deal, per browser. I know it's a pain, but the live content is worth it.
NBC announced the planned, live digital coverage in a press release on Feb. 8. http://bit.ly/NBCOlyLive. Essentially, 400 hours live, with more than 1000 hours of full-event replays, all in Silverlight.
If you live in the US and you don’t pass the crazy satellite/cable checks, you can still enjoy Olympic content, just not full-replay and live. You can watch all the highlights you want, shortly after the live event.
My favorite highlight so far is the red mitten shortage. Seriously though, this goal shot by US Women's hockey is amazing: http://bit.ly/lamoureuxs.
I hear that Canadian IP addresses will enjoy all the events live, courtesy of CTV at http://www.ctvolympics.ca/. They are using a simliar version of the player Vertigo built for NBC. I think the same goes for Norway: http://www.nrkol.no/index.html.
The Microsoft Professional Developer's Conference (PDC) starts tomorrow. We're down here, along with a few thousand of our closest Microsoft friends, in Los Angeles, preparing for a long and interesting week.
Vertigo has a few things going on, related to the PDC:
Live from the PDC
You can enjoy the Microsoft PDC live, even if you're not here. Simply tune into www.microsoftpdc.com
and watch the Tuesday and Wednesday keynotes, immediately followed by hours of live broadcast from the Channel 9 team. Vertigo built the DVR-style player that you'll be interacting with.
Broadcast Live with Silverlight
To learn how we built the PDC live player (and the Sunday Night Football Extra and 2010 Olympic Winter Games players), you can find me presenting in Vishal Sood's session, Tuesday at 1:30pm in 515A.
DeepZoom in the Olympics
I'm with Bill Crow (from Seadragon / Live Labs) doing a special Deep Zoom demo during his Tuesday lunchtime session. We'll be in 408B from 12:30 to 1:30. Bill's spending the majority of the session talking about how he works with his smart team of developers.
The Underground at PDC 09
Unless I hear otherwise, I'm doing a short demo of SNF and Olympics at the PDC Underground, Wednesday evening.
On the Floor
Surface: We're showing the Surface project we did for Hard Rock in the Surface team's booth. http://bit.ly/Cj46h
Windows 7: We're in the Touch booth, showing off work we're doing for one of our fantastic clients, Take Comics.
We have a project going live on Codeplex, but I can't talk about it until later this week.
It’s been a busy past 24 hours.
Yesterday, I delivered part of the VS Live keynote at the Hyatt in San Francisco. I covered three of Vertigo’s big video projects, the Democratic National Convention, the CBS Inauguration and the Mojave Experiment.
I also showed live streaming with Expression Encoder 2, mostly based on what I learned from Jit Ghosh’s excellent blog entry on live streaming.
Today, 2/26/2009, in my Silverlight 101 session, my goal was to teach people how to learn Silverlight. Note: that’s not teach them Silverlight, but how to get started.
Following the journalistic check list of “who, what, where, when, why and how”, I have a categorized set of links on my delicious account at http://delicious.com/scottstanfield/silverlight101. I cover why you might use Silverlight (games, line-of-business apps, video, data visualization). How to install. Who’s talking about it, etc.
For the first time, I’ve actually managed to blog a presentation before it starts. I hope this helps!
We’re taking one of our Microsoft Surface units to the Silicon Valley Code Camp tomorrow. As a Platinum Sponsor, we have our own room to do some show-and-tell. Since we’re expecting a big crowd (over 1200 people have registered!), we wanted to create a space that allows a lot of people to join in.
Jack and Paul S. are “painting” on the Surface unit. Overhead, a Canon HF-10 HD camera captures the action, sending the output over HDMI to the Sony 42” LCD TV. Alan can see the hands over the Surface as well as what’s shown on the Surface.
Paul O. is at the helm, driving the code demos on the attached keyboard and LCD. He can toggle the TV between the HD camera and the code shown on his screen. This way the audience gathered around can see how we’re building our demos.
The Fishman SoloAmp PA on the far left ensures we don’t have to yell! We’re doing these demos all day Saturday and don’t want to lose our voices.
I’m also bringing my Segway.
I noticed there’s not much coverage of WPF at Code Camp, so I'm swapping out my Silverlight 2 Deep Zoom session to focus on the big set of new features just released for Windows clients developers in WPF. Here's my session:
7 Best Features of WPF 3.5 SP1
The August 2008 release of the .NET Framework (version 3.5 SP1) includes exciting new improvements for WPF developers like GPU-accelerated bitmap effects, the “diet” .NET framework, and a totally custom setup experience.
Then, just last week at the PDC2008 in Los Angeles, Microsoft surprised us with even more WPF goodness by releasing the WPF DataGrid, Office-style Ribbon controls, and VSM (Visual State Manager) support in Blend.
I’ll demo all of these in a fast-paced, slide-free (well maybe just a couple) session. There’s a lot to cover, so get here early. And if I can get it to work, I’ll show the all-new Visual Studio 10, built from the ground-up in WPF!
11:15am Saturday, Room 3525
Also, the Vertigo team is packing up one of their Surface PCs to bring for everyone to play with! You can find it in the Platinum sponsor area in room 4223. Stop by for some true hands-on demos.
Just testing this new feature:
We fit every new feature of C# 3.0 in one printed, compliable page of text.
- Auto-Implemented Properties
- Extension Methods (EM)
- Object Initializers
- Collection Initializer and List Generic
- Implicitly Typed Local Variable (var)
- Lambda Expression (LE)
- LINQ (uses LE, and EM)
- Anonymous Type (AT)
This morning was Steve Job’s MacWorld keynote here in San Francisco. Here’s a summary of what took place.
Summary of MacWorld Keynote
- $500 wireless hub with 1TB drive for Time Machine backups of untethered laptops. Ships Feb.
- 5M copies sold in first 3 months.
- 20% of all Mac users have upgraded
- 20,000 sold each day. 4M sold in 200 days.
- New software: maps with triangulated location, SMS multiple people, custom home screen
- Software available today
- SDK in Feb.
- 19.5% of US SmartPhone market (2nd behind RIM)
- Lyrics for songs!
- 4B songs sold.
- 125M TV shows. 7M movies.
- 20M songs sold on Christmas day.
- Movie rentals. Every major studio.
Apple TV Take 2
- HD rentals for $5
- Previews, Flickr and .Mac Photos
- Free update to existing Apple TV ($229 price)
- Digital copies on all Fox DVDs!
MacBook Air - "World's Thinnest Notebook"
- 0.16" to 0.76".
- Fits in an envelope
- Multi-touch pad; Surface PC ships
- 80GB HD, 64GB SSD "they're pricy but fast"
- 1.8 GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo; 802.11N, 2GB, 5 hr battery
- 60% smaller, thick as a nickle, wide as a dime
- $1800 base price
- Fully recyclable aluminum case, first fully mercury and lead free display,
circuit boards are BFR free, retail packaging are 56% less volume than MacBook.
Summary of Apple in the first 2 weeks of 2008:
- New 8-core Mac Pro, new MacBook Air laptop, Time Capsule 802.11N + 1TB, iPhone and Apple TV software updates, iTune movie rentals
Guests on stage: CEO of Intel, CEO of Fox, Randy Newman (groan)
"Perspective, do you have any of that tonight?" – Antono Ego, Ratatouille.
Sure the MacBook Pro runs Vista faster than any other laptop (watch Misprint or read the PC World article). But after spending about 20 hours using it this weekend to work on a Visual Studio 2008 demo, allow me to share some perspective. For those of you barely containing your contempt for Apple, the gripes should satisfy your rage for another month.
But for others, like my friend John Alexander who are seriously contemplating a new laptop, there are serious choices to make (mostly between Apple, Dell and Lenovo). Of course, he's concerned about giving in to the dark side (dark, as in Job's black mock turtleneck) while still properly representin'. If you grew up programming in Windows and are agonizing over the same decision, here's some perspective from me.
First, let's start with a little quiz. Are you:
- Curious about how the other (better dressed) half lives?
- Using an iPod and couldn't care less about the Zune?
- Living within 30 minutes of an Apple Store?
- Spending a lot of leisure time lounging at the local Starbucks?
If you answered yes to these questions, the scales tip in favor of a MacBook.
Quiz 2, do you:
- Spend most 80% of your time in Visual Studio?
- Plan on blowing away the Leopard partition to maximize space for Vista?
- PWNWTFBBQ in video games?
Then yes, go with a Dell or Thinkpad T60 with a decent (i.e., non-integrated Intel) video card.
For me, my personal life (pictures, movies, music and casual browsing) centers on the MacBook running Lepoard OS X. Professional (CEO and general development) stuff is done on a Dell Precision desktop (quad-core) and the MacBook Pro in Vista. I also have a Thinkpad X60 for the Tablet functions and when I need a really tiny footprint.
But what good is a laptop if it's powered off?
The Mac wins on boot time alone. Given a choice between grabbing my Thinkpad X60 or the MacBook, Apple wins simply for the fact that the damn thing boots, sleeps and shuts down obediently and quickly.
Vista power-up to desktop takes 50 seconds to the login screen, then another 30 seconds to a usable desktop after logging in. That's 1:20 seconds versus just 50 seconds to the desktop in Leopard. Granted, I don't actually log in, but the ability to press the power button then come back less than a minute later and start working is sweet.
Power down is a different story. Just 12 seconds for Leopard versus 35 seconds for Vista.
But here's the thing: I rarely power-up or power-down OS X. I just shut the lid and sleep works. Always. Maybe Vista SP1 will fix this, but it doesn't work enough now for me to fully trust it. Then there's the scenario where you shut down Vista, close the screen, it goes to sleep instead. So when you reopen the lid, it faithfully resumes the shut down process. ARGH!
Now, I have purchased over a hundred IBM (Lenovo) Thinkpads for my company over the past 5 years. Our current de facto box is the Thinkpad T60, a very fine machine. I still pine for my Thinkpad T60, which I passed on to one of our developers.
Here's a short list of pros and cons for Windows developers contemplating running Vista through Boot Camp:
- The MacBook Pro can get quite hot in Vista. I should've measured it, but couldn't find my gauge. Only matters when employed in literal laptop-mode and easily remedied by a pillow or heat-shield. If you need to type for long periods of time, it will be uncomfortable. The power management works much much better in OS X; barely warmer than a kitten.
- The keyboard layout is just enough different from Windows to constantly irritate you. For instance, the lower-left keys on the keyboard are fn, ctrl, alt/option, apple/clover. Windows is typically ctrl, windows, alt. Now the apple/clover key doubles as your windows key (what the heck is that clover thing?), so that's cool. But notice the difference in order. And the extra fn hanging on like an appendix doesn't help. The "extra" features totally work (volume, screen brightness, keyboard backlighting, eject). But the lack of a dedicated page up/down, insert, delete will drive you nuts while programming.
- Touch pad is, well, touchy. You even glance at it while typing and your mouse cursor will scurry away. I'm constantly, accidently hitting it. Again, works great in OS X.
- The leading edge is barely beveled which irritates my wrists.
- Also, right-click is two fingers on pad plus a button click. Compare this to simply tapping the pad with two fingers in OS X.
Note: all of the above is remedied by an external (Windows) keyboard, mouse (Logitech G9) and monitor.
- It runs OS X.
- Fit and finish is unsurpassed.
- Possibly the only laptop with Firewire 800, handy for this 10GB 1080p videos you're trying to edit in Sony Vegas.
- Incredibly bright LED-backlit screen. Eye-searing.
- Parallels allows you to run your Boot Camp native Vista partition from within Mac OS X. Great for the blow-your-mind Silverlight demos (dev in Vista, then apple-tab back to OS X to test in Safari).
Front-loading DVD drives give me a slight thrill.
- I'll never get tired of attaching the magnetic charger.