Weekly Wrap-Up for December 6, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these (in fact, the last time I did one was back when I was still updating Tinkering with Windows on a regular basis), but I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and briefly cover the Silverlight Firestarter event earlier this week and throw in a few other topics that occurred this week as well. So, without further-ado, here’s this week’s Weekly Wrap-Up.

Microsoft Tries to Ease Silverlight Developers by Throwing Its Silverlight Firestarter Party

Back when Microsoft did PDC10, there was almost no talk of Silverlight or its future development. Mainly, the talk was centered around HTML5, which in many instances is a direct competitor towards Silverlight. As such, this brought about a bit of uneasiness in the development community as to whether Microsoft would actually continue development with Silverlight and if that development would be serious. (Recall, there have been several instances where Microsoft has decided to end development of a particular product in favor of another.) Thus, Microsoft moved quickly and threw its Silverlight Firestarter convention this past Thursday to promote the software and further development with Silverlight in the development community.

It’s apparently clear that Microsoft does believe in a future with Silverlight and even announced a beta of Silverlight 5 in the first half of 2011. SAP, the leader in ERP solutions, also provided a brief presentation in how their Business Solutions software is powered via the web by Silverlight and how Silverlight has improved their software performance and functionality. My favorite announced feature in the upcoming Silverlight 5 Beta is the ability for the Play/Pause button to turn on/off the screen saver on the computer.

Silverlight is also, of course, one of the key development platforms for the Windows Phone, which proves that it will have a long life ahead, as Microsoft is in Windows Phone for the long run. However,

The Leader of China Googled Himself, and Didn’t Like the Results

Apparently, some Google searches just should never be searched, as the leader of China recently found out. This information, of course, was related to the recent WikiLeaks documents. The results showed Hu Jintau results that were rather displeasing about the himself. He further Googled his family and found similar results that displayed a dislike for himself and his family from around the world. Of course, this only furthers the tensions between Google and China and may bring about some type of recourse by one or the other. In any event, Google will probably have to completely move out of China one of these days, or they will be forced to. I wonder what would happen if he searched himself on Bing?

Google Changes Algorithm to Prevent Bad Retailers From Making the Top Results

Speaking of Google search results and what appears, the New York Times recently wrote an article regarding how a company named DecorMyEyes used negative feedback to promote itself higher up on Google’s search results. It’s a long read coming in around eight pages and about 5,600 words in length, but in a nutshell, the owner of the site realized that the more negative feedback being spread around the web, the higher his site came up on Google’s search results and leading to stellar sales volumes. Thus, his plan was to create as much negative feedback about his company as possible. The plan succeeded and he’s been making boatloads of money ever since. Brilliance of the plan aside, Google realized this was a serious issue and decided to change its algorithm. It didn’t say how it changed it, just that it would be modifying the algorithm to prevent future retailers from using this strategy to get higher on Google’s search results. Whether or not this plan worked with Bing results is unclear, as the story only focused on Google’s side of things.

Facebook Updates Profile Pages

Frankly, I’m not seeing it, but with all the hubbub that people have been making, apparently there has been an update to the profile pages on Facebook. I’m not entirely sure whether the updates are actually going through right now and I can’t prove it with the exception of a couple people on Facebook saying they’ve gotten the update. However, Facebook did say that everyone would be updated by earlier next year. I would take that to mean that they are slowly moving people onto the new platform starting perhaps today. If past history presents itself again, I won’t be seeing these changes until the last minute of updates. Really, I couldn’t care less though.

The updates provide a more ‘visual’ aspect of Facebook though, presenting pictures of users at the top of their profile page. Users can, of course, delete the pictures that appear up there and Facebook also mentions that no privacy settings will be affected during this rollout.

Otherwise, there’s not much else to see here that I can tell. And, as far as a LinkedIn killer, I think not. Perhaps a Flickr killer, but not LinkedIn. Microsoft remains a significant holder of Facebook (see I was able to throw Microsoft in there somewhere).

Dexpot – A Free Desktop Vitualization Utility

If you would like to have a second, third, fourth or twentieth desktop available on Windows, you can give Dexpot a try. I recently downloaded this tool and found it to be sort of useful, even though I’m not a big fan of having multiple desktops. It’s pretty cool and free, so feel free to check it out.

That’s It For This Week

Until next week, that’s all I’ve got. Feel free to follow me on Twitter for more on-the-scene news updates in the tech world. I also try to update the WinQuire site on a regular basis, check back for Windows 7 Tips & Tricks, and Up-Close articles.

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