Microsoft Releases the ASP.NET MVC 1.0 Release Candidate

First off, congratulations to the Microsoft ASP.NET team for their hard work on the MVC out-of-band releases over the past few months. It’s nice to see these OOB releases on Codeplex. Earlier, Scott Guthrie announced that the team has released the ASP.NET MVC 1.0 RC1. A release candidate is very similar to an RTM release except for the fact that a few minor bugs still may be fixed between the current release and RTM. Scott has a list of the new features in the RC on his blog. Be sure to check it out!

Vulnerability in Windows Server service Fixed with Update

Last week, Microsoft released a version of the Malicious Software Removal tool (MSRT) that can help remove variants of Win32/Conficker and other resources.

Win32/Conficker.B exploits a vulnerability in the Windows Server service (SVCHOST.EXE) for Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2008. While Microsoft addressed this issue in October with Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-067, and Forefront antivirus and OneCare (as well as other vendor’s anit-virus products) helped protect against infections, many systems that have not been patched manually through Server Update Services and Microsoft/Windows Update or through Automatic Updates have recently come under attack by this worm.  Attacked systems may lock out users, disable our update services and block access to security-related Web sites:

In response to this threat, Microsoft has:

  • Updated the January version of the MSFT to detect and remove variants of Win32/Conficker.B.  You can download this version from the MSRT from either the Microsoft Update site  or through its associated Knowledge Base article.
  • Created the KB article 962007 “Virus alert about the Win32/Conficker.B worm” to provide public details on the symptoms and removal methods available to address this issue.
  • Announced the release of the items and the virus threat itself on the Microsoft Malware Protection Center blog.

It is our hope that these resources can assist you in resolving issues with unpatched, infected systems and that you can apply MS08-067 to any other unpatched systems as soon as possible to avoid this threat.

Team Foundation and 64 bit Machines

Just to be clear from the start, Team Foundation Server is not supported on x64 machines.

Recently, I setup a Windows Server 2008 box and was looking to install a fresh TFS database to use from this point forward. To my surprise, I received an error message when installing TFS that said that it is not supported on Windows Server 2003 x64. The error message details, although wrong about the version, were right. TFS is not supported on x64. My only option now is to setup Hyper-V if I’d like to run it on the box.

Brian Harry seems to hint that x64 support will be available in the VS2010 release. Mike Warriner also posted a workaround to getting it up and running. However, I’d strongly advise that you wait for 2010 if you need it to be on an x64 machine.

Getting Started with Web Slices for Internet Explorer 8

What is a Web Slice?

One of the most interesting features in Internet Explorer 8 is the ability to subscribe to information you frequently check on a website. This is called a web slice (). I find myself frequently checking sports scores and news on ESPN, weather on the Weather Channel, stocks at various online sites (and searches), and auctions at eBay. Now these sites could easily serve content without me having to visit the site. If you have Internet Explorer 8 installed, you can visit a website such as msn.com to see what a Web Slice looks like to the end user. I’ve attached two screenshots below to show how one would subscribe to a webslice:

screen01

Screen02

Notice in the top image, there’s a green box around the center news item. This is web slice content that will be displayed. You can subscribe by clicking the green icon or by clicking the feed with the green icon under the Feeds menu item shown in the second image.

screen03

After we subscribe, we can then see the content from any instance of Internet Explorer by clicking on the web slice:

Building Our Own Web Slices

So, now that you understand what a web slice is, you’re probably thinking it’s really difficult to create one, right? Not exactly. In fact, web slices are quite easy to build and they are independent on the language you are using for your web site or web application.

I wanted to see how difficult it was for myself, so I created a basic HTML page with the two necessary attributes: a parent element with “hslice” specified as the value of the class attribute and a sub-element with “entry-title” specified as the value of the class attribute. I also added a third element and attribute to my source, which ended up like this:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" >
<head>
    <title>My First Web Slice</title>
</head>
<body>
    <div class="hslice" id="firstSlice">
        <h3 class="entry-title">My First Web Slice</h3>
        <div class="entry-content">
            The content of my first Web Slice would go here. For now,
            because I'm boring, nothing will be placed here. Too bad.
        </div>
    </div>
</body>
</html>



In the browser, it looks like this:



screen05



As a Web Slice, it looks like this:



screen06



That’s It?



Of course not! There’s tons of options when building Web Slices such as specifying alternative update sources, the ttl (time to live) value for the content, and more! For a more in depth look, be sure to check out the Internet Explorer 8 Web Slice overview and tutorials found on the MSDN website.



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Review: TechSmith Camtasia Studio 6.01

Ok. So for years now I’ve been using TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio. I’ve always thought their software was great to dictate and record the screen. Now they’ve gone completely silly. Oh, and I mean in a good way. About two weeks ago I asked their Evangelist Activities Coordinator, Kristina, about their support for editing MP4 files. It was quite simple. I just picked up a new Flip MinoHD camcorder and wanted to edit the clips I recorded in Camtasia by inserting screencasts. At the time, she told me I couldn’t do it. So, I converted my video using Adobe Premiere Pro. I got this bloated piece of junk out and into Camtasia. It ended up working for what I needed, but I was very disappointed.

Earlier today, TechSmith announced Camtasia Studio 6.01 which provided this functionality. They’ve also cleared up 99% of the open issues in the product. I’ve never witnessed a video editing software that loads, captures, edits, and saves as fast as this. I’d give this 6 stars out of 5!

Here is what is included in the Camtasia Studio 6.01 maintenance update:

General:

  • Added the ability to include and edit .MP4 files on the timeline.
  • Added the ability to include and edit TechSmith video .SWF files on the timeline.
  • Added a short-cut key for a "Play from beginning" control in the Editor preview window.
  • Added a Help menu option in Editor to allow online registration of the product after it has been purchased.
  • Added the Audio Setup dialog into Camtasia Recorder.
  • Added an option to change the key frame interval for MP4 productions.
  • Added an option for changing from a bit rate encoding setting for MP4 to a quality encoding setting for MP4 productions.

Studio:

  • Fixed an issue where Zoom and Pan keyframes would not be carried across splits or extended frames when placed just before the split.
  • Fixed an issue with undo requiring multiple steps to undo a single step when using a hotkey for transitions or callouts.
  • Fixed an issue in Record Camera and Voice Narration where a blank frame would added.
  • Fixed an issue in iTunes production settings where some settings would get reset at the wrong time.
  • Fixed an crash that would be caused by producing to the .MP4 format with a 2 frame per second video setting.
  • Fixed an issue where a first frame file was being generated when it should not be.
  • Fixed an issue where the preview window in Editor would not correctly display the project dimensions when switching between projects.
  • Fixed an issue where the produce project location would update to be the same as a zipped project location after the project was exported.
  • Fixed an issue with auto-save not working when moving a project from Windows XP to Windows Vista or from Windows Vista to Windows XP.
  • Fixed an issue where audio production options would be available although there was no audio on the timeline.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause an inaccurate message to appear when cancelling production while producing to the .MP4 file format.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the playback in the preview window to stop or start playing when toggling the Shrink TO Fit setting.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the Screencast.com plug-in to not allow a different log in to be used during the production process.
  • Removed the verification field for e-mail address from the Screencast.com log in process.
  • Added the system tray icon to be displayed during the upload process to Screencast.com.
  • Fixed an issue when choosing a single video with TOC template would cause callouts not to be shown in the produced video.
  • Fixed some indexing issues in the AVI file format that could cause unexpected editing results, incomplete productions or corrupt projects.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when entering a very large duration for Title Clips.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause PiP clips to be placed at the start of the timeline instead of where it was supposed to be placed.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing the first frame to not be displayed correctly on Screencast.com.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the last folder used would not be recalled and used correctly when uploading to Screencast.com.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause cuts on the timeline to not behave as expected.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the preview window title to not update correctly after multiple undo steps.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the audio clips to stop responding to move commands on the timeline.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the Upload to FTP feature to not work as expected.
  • Fixed an issue when making certain selections on the timeline would not respond correctly when trying to zoom in on the timeline view.
  • Fixed an issue with the option to "Auto-extend last video frame" would not be properly enabled.
  • Fixed an issue with an incorrect video frame being displayed after adding a clip to the timeline.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause a crash when choosing to change the production dimensions when using the MP4/SWF format.
  • Fixed some program crashes that were related to some conflicting files from other software vendors.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause callouts to be placed in the improper locations in a produced file.

PPT Add-in:

  • Fixed an issue where you would receive an out of date .camproj file when recording from the PPT Add-in.

Recorder:

  • Fixed an issue with the Minimize to system tray setting did not react to the user setting.
  • Fixed an issue where the ALT+SPACE+N shortcut would not minimize the Recorder application.
  • Added the functionality of the Effects tool bar opening when using the ScreenDraw hotkeys.
  • Fixed an issue with some Recorder effects not being able to be turned on while recording.
  • Added an option to change whether a video is added to the timeline and clip bin when choosing to edit after recording.
  • Fixed an issue with the Capture, Tools and Help menus being truncated when the Recorder is placed above the selected area during recording.
  • Added some text for when the mouse is hovered over the Recorder system tray icon.
  • Fixed an issue where the Tools > Options menu in Recorder would not update correctly based on the system dpi setting.
  • Fixed an issue with the recorder UI repositioning unexpectedly when recording Microsoft Excel.
  • Fixed an issue where Recorder would not properly record applications when the preview window is undocked.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the record settings to not be retained between instances of Recorder.