New Change in the Windows Store TOS: Any App with the Word “Metro” in the Title is Insta-Failed

I thought this was an interesting side-effect of Microsoft’s decision to surrender on the trademark dispute around “Metro,” so I figured I would reblog this from the official MarkedUp blog.

original link: The MarkedUp Blog - New Change in the Windows Store TOS: Any App with the Word “Metro” in the Title is Insta-Failed.

And here’s an excerpt for you:

So imagine our amusement today here at MarkedUp HQ when Erik reviewed the Windows Store “Before Your Sell Your App” guidelines and discovered this gem in the section regarding how to name your Win8 applications* (emphasis ours:)

Note  Make sure your app name doesn’t include the word metro. Apps with a name that includes the word metro will fail certification and won’t be listed in the Windows Store.

Looks like our friends at MetroTwit and other popular ported WP7 applications (many of which include the word...

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Today I am Leaving Microsoft and Starting my Own Company

I’ve spent my last two weeks at Microsoft wondering how I was going to write this blog post.

Microsoft recruited me off of Hacker News two years ago. In the Summer of 2010 I was still brushing off the ashes of my first failed startup when I wrote a blog post about some of the challenges the .NET community faces with respect to adoption among startups, which subsequently got a ton of attention on Hacker News and inside of Microsoft.

Ultimately, this was the start of an amazing two year journey at Microsoft as a Startup Developer Evangelist. I relocated from San Diego to Los Angeles and built a new life, met scores of wonderful people, worked with some of the absolute best startups on the planet, and honed my skills as a technologist and software entrepreneur exponentially further than they were when I attempted my last...

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Why Front-End Web Development Makes Me Sad, Issue #1092145

I have an internal reporting interface for one of my Windows Phone 7 applications that shows me more or less how much of the app is getting used every day, and I developed the reports using the eternally awesome jqPlot charting plugin for jQuery.

I generate three line plots on my main reporting page by dispatching three AJAX queries on-page, all of which are just a {Start:#date, End:#date} set of arguments. The ASP.NET MVC controller action method that receives the query then builds a time-series for me spanning that range and returns the result set over JSON, which is used to finally render the charts. Basic stuff.

My charts render beautifully in Chrome and Safari, whereas they never displayed at all in IE. I figured it was just an issue with the jqPlot plugin, despite the fact that it boasts great backwards compatibility with IE.

But then I used...

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Taking Risks Requires Practice

And patience. This is intended for people who recognize that a need to change themselves, their environment, or whatever and are having trouble getting started.

Until last month, all of the books in my Kindle collection were exclusively technical.

Whenever I travel for work and spend two hours uncomfortably seated between obese strangers and screaming children, I fire up the iPad and delve into a world of exciting subjects like Spatial Data Analysis in SQL Server 2008, the Ruby programming language, ASP.NET MVC3, iOS development, NoSQL Databases, and so on. Behold the “traveling with Aaron Stannard experience” in its full glory.

Before a business trip to Boulder I loaded up The Flinch in my Kindle collection because it was (1) free and (2) I had read someone somewhere say that this was a life-changing book. Whatever. I set about my business, had a good day of work in Boulder,...

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College: Four Years Later

This is intended for recent graduates who are finding themselves lost in the shuffle as they adjust to the real world, but has advice that is applicable to everyone. Your mileage may vary.

I graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.S. in Computer Science in May of 2008. I was a Cum Laude student and a member of Sigma Nu (a fraternity.) I rebuilt the student embodiment of IEEE & ACM back up from scratch into a meaningful, attractive organization inside Vanderbilt’s engineering school, and did it alongside some really wonderful and amazing people. I helped rebuild Sigma Nu, lived in the house for a time, and met fantastic people who will be some of my lifelong friends.

The four years I spent in school were life-changing for me and completely reshaped me into a much more confident, balanced person than I was going in. I have few regrets.


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Code Camp Talk: RavenDB vs MongoDB

This past weekend at SoCal Code Camp I presented a session along with my friend Nuri Halperin entitled “Battle of the NoSQL Databases: RavenDB vs. MongoDB.”

I represented the RavenDB team, having used it in production now for a couple of months (and ditched Mongo to do it.) I’ll blog more about the specifics of RavenDB and what it’s awesome at some point in the future, but nevertheless I wanted to post my slides here so you could see the bullet-by-bullet comparison between the databases.

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Managing Your Windows Azure Services from OS X, Linux, or Windows Using the Command Line Interface (CLI)

A lot of exciting things were announced at today’s Meet Windows Azure event, and one of the things I wanted to share with you is how you can now use our cross-platform Windows Azure Command Line Interface (CLI), part of our Node SDK, to administer your hosted services, VMs, and websites all from the comfort of your favorite terminal.

For the purposes of this blog post I’m going to use iTerm on OS X as my terminal of choice and I’ve also run all of these commands off of the DOS / PowerShell terminals in Windows 7.

Installing the CLI

The Windows Azure CLI is written in Node.JS, so it’s cross-platform by design. To install it you need to have Node.JS and NPM (node package manager) installed.

Once you have both of those, you can just install the CLI using Git and NPM:

$ git...

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How to Build a Real-Time Chat Service with Socket.IO, Express, and the Azure SDK–Part 2: Setting Up Express and Session-Handling

So if you read part 1 of this series, then you’ve had a chance to grok the requirements for our little chat service and see all of the NPM packages and front-end tools we’re going to use for building it. In this portion I’m going to explain how to set up Express and all of the session-handling requirements we have.

If you recall from the previous post, we need to ensure that all users participating in the chat room are signed in with a registered chat handle before they can participate. We’re going to accomplish that using the Express web framework and its rich user-session support.

Step 1: Install Express and its dependencies

The first thing we need to do is install Express itself, which is pretty straightforward – do the following:

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How to Build a Real-Time Chat Service with Socket.IO, Express, and the Azure SDK–Part 1: Setting Up

This past weekend I ran a Node Bootcamp on behalf of Microsoft and in partnership with the fine folks at Cloud9 IDE – the goal of these camps is to help teach newbies Node.JS and to get some Node.JS-on-Azure business from attendees who have a good experience.

So I decided to build a sample Socket.IO application that leverages our platform and would give our attendees a base to work from when it came time for them to participate in the Node Bootcamp Hackathon. I’ve done a lot of work with Express on Node but had never really done much with Socket.IO, so I was curious to see how hard it was to pick up.

Total time to build and deploy this application from end-to-end, including learning Socket.IO: about 5 hours.

The Requirements

All I wanted to build was a basic chatroom – a simple version of...

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Building a Node + MongoDB Powered Blog on Windows Azure

This is a simple blog engine that I wrote in about three days time. I wanted to show off the power of Node.JS on Windows Azure, and also take advantage of our recent support for MongoDB in Replica Sets on Windows Azure.

Here are some of the tools I used

  • Foundation - a bad ass rapid proto-typing CSS framework that even a terribad designer like me can use to make awesome stuff. The design for this site took less than two hours.
  • PageDown - a JavaScript markdown converter and editor produced by the great minds behindStackOverFlow.

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