These are a few things that I’ve picked up from Twitter and blogs this week. I may already have retweeted some of them if you’re following me on Twitter, but there are a few other things too. Some of it is new news, some of it is just new to me. I’ve never done a round-up post like this before – I might start to make it a regular thing, or I may never do it again – we’ll see (I appreciate feedback!)…
When I heard the details of the forthcoming update to Hotmail a little while ago, I was surprised that they’d done enough that I actually felt genuinely excited about it. I intended to write a full post on it, but Microsoft have beaten me to that with this post on the Inside Windows Live blog, and the Hotmail preview site. I really like what they’re doing with integrating SkyDrive and Office Web Apps, as well as the social network integration. I currently use Gmail as the interface to my Hotmail account, but I think I’ll start to do the opposite when this Wave 4 update is released.
The 2010 Scripting Games are over, expert solutions being posted
I’ve recommended the Scripting Games before as a great thing to get involved in if you’re interested in building up your PowerShell skills. Unfortunately other things have stopped me taking part in this year’s games, although I do intend to still have a go at the challenges when time allows because I’m sure I’ll learn something from giving them a go. The reason that I’m posting about it now is that the expert solutions to the events are being posted. If you’ve taken part, go and see how the experts’ scripts matched up to your own. If you didn’t take part, have a go before you check out what the experts say.
Office Live Workspaces to use SkyDrive and Office Web Apps
Everyone who ever heard about Office Live Workspaces would’ve seen this coming a mile off, but it is now official.
Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio 2010 released
There’s been a preview release of these tools available, but the final release is now released to the web and Scott Guthrie has blogged the deets. You don’t need the full version of Visual Studio 2010 to make use of these free tools – you can install them alongside the (also free) Visual Web Developer 2010 Express Edition.
Spotify offers new account options, opens floodgates
Spotify is about the best thing on the internet that wasn’t available in the States first! It’s a massive catalogue of streaming music, with recently added Facebook integration. Until now you’ve had the option of a free, invitation-only, ad-supported service, or Premium (for a tenner a month), which offered higher quality streaming and the ability to take your playlists offline, either on the desktop client or the iPhone/Android apps. Now you can pay half the Premium cost to get rid of the ads when streaming on the desktop, and Open accounts, which are like a limited trial, but open to anyone without an invite. The details are on the Spotify blog.
Really Good Space Shuttle Photos
I’ve seen these posted in a couple of places (Steve Clayton was first) and they’re too good to not share. There’s over 40 shots on Boston.com’s Big Picture site, showing the preparation and launch of the Atlantis on it’s last mission.
Square card readers have started shipping
If you’re in the USA and have a desire to be able to accept card payments, you can now do it with Square. The free card reader connects to the headphone socket on your iPhone/iPad or Android device and the Square app lets you take payments, with Square taking their cut of the transaction. That’s the only charge and you don’t need a merchant account, so it’s all good. Wouldn’t be good for the UK since you have to use chip’n’pin these days. Don’t know whether that’s likely to be in Square’s future.