Windows Vista Gadget Now Available

I’ve just written my first Windows Sidebar Gadget, which displays the Recipe of the Day, and lets you search the BigOven recipe archive easily from your desktop.

The Recipe of the Day is a seasonally-appropriate, highly-rated recipe from our archive.  The Gadget also gives you a quick way to search for a recipe, right from your desktop!   It’s easy to install.  If you’re running Windows Vista, simply click on the link below, choose "Open", then "Install". 

Tips on searching:  You can enter any string of ingredients, cuisines or tags, separated by a space, for instance "chicken spinach" will find all chicken and spinach dishes.   Or, "chinese spicy chicken" will find all the spicy chinese chicken recipes in the archive.

Bad Review Multiplier

So I’m driving by Huskies Stadium this morning on the way back from dropping our dog off at the groomer, and I notice that it’s "Windermere Cup" day in Seattle, the opening day of boating season.

I see a guy in a cowboy hat protesting Windermere, with a lone sign that says "I trusted Windermere and you shouldn’t.  www.renovationtrap.com".  Here he is, a lone protester of Windermere, standing around on a gorgeous Saturday morning, holding a sign and looking very angry. 

Here’s his story:  www.renovationtrap.com.  Check out the amount of time that guy is investing in telling his story.

Treat someone wrong, and they don’t just tell 10 people.  They can tell 10,000 or 100,000 or more. 

Mix07 – Silverlight could change the game

Just watched the keynote presentation today by Microsoft at MIX07, an annual conference Microsoft holds for web developers and designers.

They key announcements centered around Silverlight

Silverlight is a complete set of offerings that take on Flash on the desktop, and also further entrenches Microsoft’s .NET CLR (Common Language Runtime) on the web. 

In one sense, Silverlight is a renamed Windows Presentation Foundation / .NET.   But it’s much more than that.  It’s pretty clear that MSFT is not just going after Flash; they are also very much going after YouTube and Google with Silverlight, combined with their ample data services announcements. 

Silverlight is not just a Flash competitor; it’s also a way to install the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) across all browsers.  It’s also a cheap media hosting solution that allows you to stream media from Microsoft-hosted servers.  I was particularly impressed with Ray Ozzie’s ability to summarize the tradeoffs that current web developers make every day, as well as Scott Guthrie’s very competent an accessible overview of the technologies involved.  (Watch the keynote here.)

What does this mean?

  • Adobe is in a lot of competitive trouble with this
  • Much, much richer browser applications are on the near-term horizon
  • The principle barrier to writing in .NET (whether it’s C#, VB, Python, or now even Ruby), which was honking-big download size, is now gone.  More than 90% of all users have Flash installed today; I’d predict that more than 90% of all users will have Silverlight (and therefore the .NET framework) installed within 12-18 months.
  • JavaScript will likely be more and more sidelined in the future — more of a boundary condition language to fix up things that .NET didn’t catch

Having just propped quite a few ASP.NET AJAX features for BigOven.com, I can see its potential, but also see that JavaScript is definitely far from an ideal language to try to do various rich features.

There’s a lot here with Silverlight, and I think MSFT is going to have some pretty considerable success with it.

I’m also very impressed with Ray Ozzie, and happen to agree with his perspective 100% — check out the Q&A with Michael Arrington at the end. 

Michael Arrington’s post on Silverlight is here

RSA Homes is a Miserable Failure.

There is an interesting story today about a home builder, RSA Homes, that got a bad writeup in the online watchdog site "Rip Off Report".  Turns out that when people searched Google for RSA Homes, the complaint filed with the "Rip Off Report" was showing right under the company’s own site.  Unhappy with this exposure, the firm took the unwise step of suing Google and the "Rip Off Report" in what is probably a baseless suit.

The irony is that by suing, they were covered by the media, and blogs much more widely read than this one.  This in turn is creating more and more news around the topic, thereby increasing the PageRank of this story, keeping their brand name in hot water for a long time to come.  Sort of an unintended "suicide" Google Bomb, if I may make a very crass analogy.  (Check out a Google search for "RSA Homes"  as it appears right now.)

For every web action, there is sometimes an unequal and quite opposite effect.  Perhaps RSA Homes should just change their name to Nigritude Ultramarine, or Miserable Failure.