Tag Archives: Microsoft

Cortana as a home-automation assistant

Microsoft’s brand new personal assistant, Cortana, is getting a lot of people excited at the moment. Even though it is in beta, I’ve found it surprisingly good, and already use it for practical reasons daily.

So why not take it a bit further? What about letting her control my lights – because, yes, giving an AI access to deadly electricity is a great idea (no, really, it is).

This uses a Netduino, Bluetooth module, and a normal 240v desk-lamp.

Microsoft YouthSpark

The Microsoft YouthSpark day was held at the Durban University of technology today in Durban, South Africa.

In the keynote I got to demonstrate a bunch of cool things that Windows Phones can do.
One of the things I showed was just how easy/quick it was to take a picture, “Tap to Share” it to a different phone, and then share it on Twitter. And yes, I did that by taking a selfie on stage Smile

 

(Side note: see the flash on the left? Pivendren took a photo at exactly the same time!)

 

I also demonstrated my app, TapShoot. It allows you to pair two phones together and remotely take a photo. The scenario I presented was taking a photo with my “wife” (yes, that is a woman in the backdrop image).

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Next, fellow Microsoft MVP, Taylor Gibb, and I presented the app development track. We made a simple app that calculates taxi fares to introduce the students to the Windows Phone platform.

One of the prizes was a Windows Phone. At the end of the session we decided to shuffle the eval-forms and pick a random one to decide the winner.
To make things more interesting I had told the students that the draw was for a Nokia bag. Watch the winners face as he realizes he is actually getting a phone Open-mouthed smile.

Nyaladzi Mpofu from Microsoft was there making sure the whole event went smoothly.

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For any Durban students (or non-students), I run a weekly Windows Phone training session called “Phone Fridays” at the Durban University of Technology (who are kind enough to lend us their PC labs!). Taylor Gibb will also be at these to do talks and assist people. If you’re interested please email piven@errornaik.com with the subject line of “PhoneFridays”. (And yes, it is free)

Update: Here is an article in The Witness newspaper today about the event.

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Microsoft MVP for Windows Phone Development

I’m excited to announce that Microsoft has made me a Windows Phone Development MVP for 2014! I am honored to receive it, and it is the first time that I have.

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The other MVP’s (comprised of people I’ve looked up to for years) have been extremely welcoming, and seem like a great bunch. I can’t wait for the next MVP Summit to meet everyone Smile

For those interested in numbers, I am told that there are about 30 Windows Phone MVP’s in the world, and in MEA there are only 2 (one in Turkey, and me in Africa).

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