Monday, December 12, 2011

Guest lecture at KHBO Oostende about Windows Phone development

Another one in our series of guest lectures: this morning Sebastiaan, Alexander and I are doing a guest lecture at KHBO Oostende. I am posting this while Alexander is still giving his XNA demo, so far so good!

The content: The slides (or click here to download):

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guest lecture at KATHO about Windows Phone development

This morning I did a guest lecture / workshop about WP7 development with two fellow MSPs: Alexander Dooms and Sebastiaan Polfliet. It was well received and we would like to thank the audience for being so great.

The content: The slides (or click here to download):

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Facebook Timeline privacy

I have been testing the new profile page that Facebook will start rolling out next week for a couple of days now and I really like it. However, I have some privacy concerns. Of course there is the obvious concern: on the classic profile page it takes quite an effort to click the "show more button" half a million times to see what a certain person was doing back in 2006, while on the new profile page -called Timeline- the same takes, well... a single click. But technically, nothing is exposed that wasn't exposed before.

However, there is a more hidden privacy concern. Facebook has algorithms that determine how much you "like" someone, based on your interactions, both private and public. It uses this information to determine which posts to show in the news overview and who to give a prominent place in the sidebar. That is okay as long as they don't share this information with anyone.

(or is it?

Unfortunately, timeline seems to use some of this information out in the open:

Note that one picture is bigger than the others. Why? Well, lengthy private conversations seems to be the answer in this case.

Suppose I don't want anyone to know (this blog post kind'a defeats that point). I went on a quest to figure out how to hide this and it took me surprisingly long to figure it out.

On top of your "Timeline" profile page you'll find the following buttons:

On the next page you can go back in time to the year and month of your choice and hide (or give even more attention to) whatever you want, including new friends.

So, the key takeaway from this story: if you want to hide something and there is no hide button directly next to it, go looking for it in the activity log.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Viking! 2.0

Today, I have pushed a major update for my Mobile Vikings application for WP7 to the marketplace. Version two is a complete rewrite from the ground up and is supposed to be more robust, more secure and above all: more feature complete. It uses OAuth for authentication. New features: live tile (experimental, as this is quite challenging), multi sim support, usage history, top-up history, vikingpoints, sim details, ...

It may take a couple of days/weeks for this update to appear in the marketplace.
Update 14 sept: Viking! 2.0 has successfully passed the marketplace certification procedure and will appear soon.
Update 15 sept: Viking! 2.0 is available
Update 17 sept: Viking! 2.1 submitted to the marketplace. This update fixes a few minor bugs and one major bug that prevented users from logging in if their password contained any non-alphanumerical characters.
Update 21 sept: Viking! 2.1 is available

Monday, May 2, 2011

Guest lecture at KAHO Sint-Lieven

This morning I did a guest lecture about Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 at KAHO Sint-Lieven, a university college in Ghent.

Here are my slides:

The PDC10 samples (links to the other samples are on the slides):

The source code:

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Project Yelper

A lot of demos on conferences feature Twitter these days. Jeroen and I noticed that and decided to do better, what about showing the 700 hundred students attending the developers track on the Students to Business day how to build the entire Twitter ecosystem using Microsoft technology? We brought in Niels -all the way from Keiem- to take care of the WCF stuff.

The audience entering the room on the S2B day.

We named our Twitter clone "Yelper" and built it using C#, ASP.NET MVC 3, Razor, jQuery, WCF, OData, Silverlight (on the phone), ...

The website is available on and
The source code is available on
The WP7 is available on and in the marketplace.

The slides of our three sessions are available on Slideshare and below:

Session 1 The basic features of the website

Session 2 Adding some more features to the website and building the API

Session 3 The Windows Phone application

Yelper also got an inexplicable amount of media attention. It was featured in almost all Belgian online newspapers, in a few printed newspapers and on national radio. All of that for just a demo app. I will do a separate post about the media madness and its effect on the future of Yelper.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Interview with Scott Hanselman

At PDC 2010 Jeroen and I were planning to interview Scott Hanselman, but time didn't allow. But no worries! One of our new MSPs, Dirk, interviewed Scott this week while he was in Belgium for Web Camp 2011.

Here is the video:

The full list of all interviews (15 to date) is now available on, for your convenience.

Thanks to Scott for spending some time with students, to Katrien for helping and to of course to Dirk for doing this.