Owen Year One: His first year in pictures

Owen turned a year old today. Here is a Deep Zoom photo montage capturing his life from the moment he entered the world through his birthday party on Saturday. I used his full body shot from the Owen at 52 weeks post for the source image.

Use your mouse wheel or click the images in the navigation pane to explore the mosaic of 1,403 unique photos.

Click the picture below to install Microsoft Silverlight.
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Obama-McCain Electoral Map and Exit Poll Results

It is hard to believe the election was less than 3 weeks ago yet it is already feeling like a distant memory with the euphoria fading rapidly. One aspect of the election that intrigued me the most was the on-again, off-again nature of the exit polling leading up to November 4th. I always wondered how accurate the various polls would turn out to be, and, more importantly, and how truthful those polled were.

As a follow-up to my "Deep Zoom: Obama" post back in July, here is a Deep Zoom-powered finale I created which shows just how our new President-elect redefined the electoral map. As you navigate down you can also see just how the electorate voted based on age, race, income, education and other pivot points collected by the CNN pollsters. I circled the following three data points I found most amazing or enlightening:

  1. Voters age 18-29
  2. Blacks age 65 and older (as compared to other Black age groups—remember this is the voting bloc that suffered the most under Jim Crow and the most egregious racial inequities of the 20th century)
  3. First-time voters (admittedly there is significant overlap with bullet #1)

I am curious whether you think groups 1 and 3 will stomach an Obama administration with Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. Further, what factors do you believe weighed in the decision of that 6% of group 2—twice the percentage of any other group of Black voters—that voted for McCain over Obama?

Some HD video for your computer

This just came across my inbox at work. Microsoft and Akamai recently launched a new site, SmoothHD, to showcase the video capabilities of Silverlight combined with the smooth streaming features of Windows Server over Akamai’s content delivery network.

Admittedly, I am biased but the video quality blows me away. We’re talking about streaming high-def video over the Internet to your browser instantly. Even better, I just learned how to throw a basic curve ball on the eHow "channel." 😎

Silverlight Smooth HD

We made the New York Times

Remember that new job I started two months back? Well, we have been hard at work preparing for our first public release. I’m happy to report we went live this past Tuesday as the new & shiny Silverlight Toolkit, which will have surpassed 10,000 downloads by the time you read this.

What’s really cool is we were briefly mentioned in the New York Times on Wednesday as part of the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference in LA this week.

Silverlight Toolkit in the New York Times

That is a pretty big deal for a new team like ours. We are already working on the next release since part of our charter is shipping new controls with full source code early and often.

So you’re probably thinking, "Why should I care? I’m not creating a Silverlight application anytime soon." First, stop hating. 🙂 Second, the answer is that Silverlight is growing rapidly and gaining ubiquity so you will likely experience many of your favorite sites through Silverlight in the future. For example, Netflix announced this week it will begin using Silverlight to bring its on-demand, instant streaming feature to both PCs and Macs by end of year. See, Silverlight is for movie lovers too.

Happy Halloween!

Site updated for Silverlight 2 release

Silverlight 2 officially released today and included several breaking changes that required me to update my blog. Unfortunately, that also means you will need to update your installation which should just be a matter of clicking on the “Install Silverlight” badge like the one below. Future releases should auto-magically update without requiring you to do so manually.

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I’ve scoured my site and updated all the Silverlight 2 content so things should just work. Of course, I would really like to know if you encounter any problems. If you can watch this video you should be all set.