Fuzzy Grid

For a small break, I attended the Microsoft Developer Conference in Dallas today. One of the big draws of the conference was Windows Azure, Microsoft’s new cloud computing initiative. More than just a hosting environment, it provides various services too. The Microsoft vision is that users will maintain their information in the cloud and also make use of application in the cloud. I had gotten into the Azure beta, but have not deployed a service, so I was interest to learn more.

The keynote was mostly a pep talk around Azure. But rather than leaving me excited about it, I’m more apt to run away screaming.  My main grief is a total erosion of privacy. The showcase application they demo’d was a Blockbuster video cloud application written in Silverlight. You install the application into your “world”, Live Mesh. At install, the application pops up a security warning saying to install, you allow the application access to your online information, your contacts and your social network. It seems the way Microsoft is trying to draw businesses into using Azure is by enticing them with intimate access to their customer’s data.

I’m just not keen to the idea of me keeping all my personal information up in a cloud when I know that the host’s principal interest is in making that data available to its partners. Yes, I know I’m just trying to maintain an illusion of privacy. The data already available out there on me is probably staggering, but at least a business has to work to find it rather than me laying it down at their feets.

The other sessions were OK, except for the JQuery and ASP.NET presentation. The presenter was very nice, and I’m sure he’d be fun to have a beer with, but he was a JQuery and JavaScript noob, and I expected better content from a Microsoft-sponsored event.

As an example, here’s a little JavaScript trivia. The presenter wasn’t sure about this, and I’ll leave it to anyone interested to fire up Firebug and give it a try themselves.

Which alerts (if any) are shown when this snippet runs:

if("1" == 1) {
alert("First evaluation was true");
}
if("1" === 1) {
alert("Second evaluation was true");
}

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