BillCan's Place

Life at Microsoft

November, 2004

  • Back from vacation

    Well, I'm back from a nice trip to visit family in beatiful Scottsdale, Arizona. I lived in Scottsdale for about 5 years prior to moving to the Seattle area. The Valley of the Sun is about the nicest place on earth this time of year, with high temperatures...
  • Are Fingerprints a Good Authentication Factor?

    My previous post refered to a new keyboard that Microsoft is now selling that has a fingerprint reader. The software and hardware in this package combine to allow fingerprint-based authentication to replace passwords for various systems. Apparently, the...
  • Bill Gates and Strong Authentication

    Bill Gates is talking about strong authentication, and people are (grudgingly) agreeing with him . If Microsoft really starts to push biometrics (several new Microsoft hardware products have been announced employing fingerprint technology ) and/or smart...
  • "National Treasure" and Bowling

    I saw "National Treasure" with one of my kids this weekend. I love movies that have conspiracies, secret societies, etc. such as this. If the conspiracies involve the Knights Templar or the Freemasons (and don't most of them?!), even better. I strongly...
  • 2 Week Recap

    Today is the end of my second week at Microsoft. I thought I'd take a moment to recap some of my impressions. Interesting things I've done so far: Experienced Microsoft NEO (New Employee Orientation), which they say is like "drinking from a firehose"...
  • True Information Security?

    I was chatting with my boss the other day, and he mentioned how experts were saying that security has moved to the host. He was referring to the fact that in the past, most security was provided at the network perimeter, using firewalls originally, then...
  • Technical Snafu! Please Repost Comments!!!

    I was wondering if anyone was reading my posts, because I hadn't received any comments in well over a week. I was actually thinking of writing a post entitled "Blogging To Myself", since no one seemed to be reading or responding to what I was posting...
  • Maintaining your security skills

    I spent a year and a half leading a large web-based identity management and single sign-on project for a Seattle-based bank. It was a really fun project, and the project was very successful, but it was only marginally a security project. Obviously there...
  • My new Microsoft TV cable box

    Well, yesterday was the first day that Comcast was making the new Microsoft TV-based DVR available to customers, so of course I rushed over there to pick one up. So, how do I like it, you ask? I'd say my initial impression is very favorable. Pros: You...
  • How to get started in online social networking

    I've had some people get in touch with me about wanting to get started with social networking sites, and wanting to link to me. Some people will link to anyone that asks, and taht is certainly one way to work things. I would rather link only to people...
  • LinkedIn Changes

    Roberdan has a post about changes going on at LinkedIn. I've not personally witnessed success with LinkedIn, but I do have social networking to thank for my current position. I think that anything that can help you extend and work with your network has...
  • My Group - Microsoft Solutions for Security

    You may be wondering about the subtitle for this blog: "Life and Security at Microsoft". So far, I've covered a lot of life, but what about security? I have joined a team called "Microsoft Solutions for Security". We are a relatively small but growing...
  • Unchained Melodies

    It is so nice being able to listen to music (or whatever) without headphones! At my previous employer we were I lived in a cubicle and could only listen to music with headphones. It was like a leash that chained you to your PC. What a pain in the neck...
  • Lunchtime Conversation: Tivo vs. Microsoft TV Foundation Edition

    Just to give you some idea of what goes on here, I had lunch with a five people in my team today and we spent the entire time discussing (and arguing about) the relative merits of Tivo vis-a-vis Microsoft TV. Apparently, Tivo has Linux at the core (is...
  • My NEO Experience

    Settle in, folks, it's going to be a long post... For those of you who don't know, NEO is the TLA (Three Letter Acronym) for New Employee Orientation. Mine was held in Building 43 on 11/08/04 beginning at 8:30. The first thing I noticed was that it was...
  • Who is BillCan?

    I guess I haven't actually introduced myself. My name is Bill Canning, and I have recently take a position as a program manager in the Microsoft Solutions for Security group (at Microsoft, of course!) For context, here is a bit of information about me...
  • A Nice Surprise

    A few days after I accepted the position at MS, I received a package in the mail from my new boss. It was a nice shirt with my new team's name and MS logo embroidered on it and a note welcoming me to the team. I thought that was a nice touch.
  • A little clarification...

    I think it is important to provide a little clarification about the time frame for my postings. I migrated the posts prior to this one from a private blog that I had been keeping for the past 6 months or so. I chose the most interesting posts that fit...
  • Welcome to BillCan's Place

    Originally Posted: 04/23/2004 02:28:52 AM Welcome to BillCan's Place (working title only). This blog will chronicle my life here in the Pacific Northwest, primarily focusing on work and professional issues. I am starting this blog now because I am in...
  • Offer Accepted!

    Originally Posted 10/23/2004 07:38:50 PM After a certain amount of back and forth with Cody, and a lot of soul searching, I have decided that I am going to go for it and accept Microsoft's offer. All I have left to do is call Cody with my answer and give...
  • An offer is coming...

    Originally Posted 10/23/2004 07:13:53 PM On Friday after my interview (which was on Monday), I heard from the recruiter that they wanted to make an offer. I must admit, I was pretty excited, but I've been through this before, so I will hold off. Cody...
  • My Microsoft Interview

    My second interview process at Microsoft started off with the typical scare (I'm not going to go into my first interview experience, but I will say I was offered a position at Microsoft but did not accept it). I need to realize that traffic going to Redmond...
  • Myths about working at Microsoft

    Originally Posted 04/28/2004 07:45:56 PM Ken Circeo posts an interesting entry entitled Myths about Working at Microsoft . An interesting and quick read...
  • The Power of Networking (Social Networking, that is!)

    Originally Posted 04/23/2004 03:46:58 PM If I ever do get hired by Microsoft, it will owe a great deal to the power of networking. I'm talking about personal networking here for all you tech people out there. Here's how things started in my full court...