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The Blog of Viral Tarpara A Smart 27 year old's thoughts on Windows, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, and Productivity

An Inside Look At Microsoft Research's New Building

An Inside Look At Microsoft Research's New Building

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Scoble has a pretty interesting writing up about Microsoft Research and some of the projects they are working on!  Also there are a lot of pretty pictures of the new building!

Interesting Comments About:

  • Stuff covered in the tour:
  • Microsoft Surface
  • Collaboration Spaces
  • Garage Car Counters
  • Anechoic Chamber for Sound Research
  • Hidden Secret XBox Research *its obfuscated*

On a separate note, if any of you are interested some cutting edge lab work, check out Microsoft's other lab, Live Labs.  The people at Live Labs are the geniuses behind SeaDragon and Photosynth btw :)

Live Labs Projects

Volta

Volta is a developer toolset which enables you to build multi-tier web applications using existing tools, languages and patterns. Build applications using C#, VB or any other .NET language, then via declarative tier-splitting assign the portions of the application that run on the server tier and client tier. The compiler manages creating cross-browser JavaScript for web applications, web services for any server side code, and all of the communication, serialization, synchronization, security and other boilerplate code to tie the tiers together. Volta offers a best effort experience for web or rich clients without any changes to the application. Learn More >

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Listas

Listas is a tool for the creation, management and sharing of lists, notes, favorites, and more. It allows you to quickly and easily edit lists, share them with others for reading or wiki-style editing, and discover the public lists of other users. Try using it for meeting notes, bookmarks, shopping lists, to plan a night out, or whatever other creative ways you can think of. In the Community section, you will find highlights of the most popular and random items within the public lists such as the most used tags, the hottest lists, and prolific contributors. Try Listas...

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Deepfish

Deepfish is a new type of mobile browser, which provides a full 'as designed' view of web pages on mobile devices.  The unique user interface loads an overview image of the entire page layout and allows a user to zoom in and out on the parts of the page they are interested in.  Deepfish loads the overview image first and then the more detailed sections are loaded as requested or in the background as the overview is browsed, resulting in a much faster page load experience as well.  All together, it provides a more intuitive, desktop-like experience than traditional mobile browsers.  More information and a technology preview are available on the Deepfish site.

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Photosynth

Photosynth takes a large collection of photos of a place or object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed 3-Dimensional space. With Photosynth you can:

  • walk or fly through a scene to see photos from any angle;
  • seamlessly zoom in or out of a photograph even if it's gigapixels in size;
  • see where pictures were taken in relation to one another;
  • find similar photos to the one you’re currently viewing;
  • explore a custom tour or see where you’ve been; or
  • send a collection to a friend.

For futher information and to view a demonstration video visit the Photosynth web site.

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Seadragon

Seadragon is an incubation project resulting from the acquisition of Seadragon Software in February. Its aim is nothing less than to change the way we use screens, from wall-sized displays to mobile devices, so that visual information can be smoothly browsed regardless of the amount of data involved or the bandwidth of the network.

If this sounds a little vague, consider the following four "promises" of Seadragon:

  1. Speed of navigation is independent of the size or number of objects.
  2. Performance depends only on the ratio of bandwidth to pixels on the screen.
  3. Transitions are smooth as butter.
  4. Scaling is near perfect and rapid for screens of any resolution.

The Seadragon team is currently tuning its DirectX implementation, making the most of the new Windows Media Photo format, and cranking on the Photosynth Technology Preview.

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Entity Extraction

Restaurant reviews... Corporate addresses... Names. Phone numbers... Product descriptions...

The web is overflowing with descriptive information. The web is also rich with new applications that aspire to use this data. Right now most content is not linked with the applications. Entity extraction is the glue which will connect document authors with application functionality. Imagine a “smart menu”, which when you highlight a restaurant address on a web page, automatically provides a popup map. Or when you highlight a book title, it automatically offers a review or to deliver it to you for the lowest available price. Imagine “smart cut and paste” which allows you to push any address directly into your contact manager. Imagine a button which appears at the top of an email from UPS which allows you to track that package.

This week, the latest version of the Windows Live Toolbar will include a new entity extraction engine. The first uses will focus on addresses maps, and later uses will include shopping and finance.

Related Links:
Paul Viola, Principal Scientist
Mukund Narasimhan, Scientist
Smart Menus: introduced and explained with videos

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