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MIX11 is just 10 days away and you may already be all jazzed up about the conference sessions and networking opportunities.  Just the weekend before MIX11, the Rockstars in Orange County Kickstart (ROCK!) event will take place here in sunny Southern California at the Microsoft Retail Store in Mission Viejo, CA. The event is organized by Microsoft Retail, in Coordination with the SoCal Dev Event Team. If you are in the area, you should definitely attend ROCK!

 

 

The Rock! event presentation topics include UX, Natural User Interfaces, Silverlight, IIS Smooth Streaming, Sketchflow, Windows Phone 7, WCF RIA Services, PRISM, XNA, Kinect and so much more. What’s even better; you get a chance to meet excellent speakers, among them Microsoft MVP’s, Regional Directors and  senior program managers and managing directors from Microsoft. Just to name a few: Tim HuckabyJesse Liberty, , Dave DrachDave Campbell, Emil StoychevJeff Paries, Ryan PlemonsOmar Del RioGerardo Gonzales UscangaAndras VelvartZoltan ArvaiDavid SilverlightColin Blair etc.

 

You can find detailed information about the speakers, presentations and location on the accompanying http://stateoftheartwebdev.com site.

 

You need to RSVP to the ROCK! sessions; just visit the following links  for registration:

April 9th, Saturday morning session

April 9th, Saturday evening session

April 10th, Sunday morning session

 

But wait; that’s not all! If you can’t make it to MIX11, you may attend the ROCK!ON evening events taking place in the same week with the conference. Reza Madani, OC .NET User Group Lead, will lead the events. MIX11 highlights and videos of the day will be shared. In addition, Microsoft speakers will present on topics like Silverlight, HTML5, .NET Coding Standards, MVC3 and Entity Framework. The current speaker list includes: Craig Shoemaker, David McCarter, Paul Sheriff and Michael T. Roth.

 

You can RSVP to the Rock!On events following these links:

April 11th, Monday evening session

April 12th, Tuesday evening session

April 13th, Wednesday evening session

April 14th, Thursday evening session

 

If you can’t make it to MIX11, the Rock!On events are definitely the place to be not to miss out on all the latest and greatest news during the conference. If you are buried in work and can’t make it to any of the events; Rock! and Rock!On presentation links will be published on the website after the events.

 

MIX11 around the corner + all these refreshing tech events; without exception – April will be an exciting month for all geeks!

 

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Last February, I was the uber-happy community winner of the SilverlightShow Eco Contest. I got a chance to learn about Silverlight 4 and Windows Phone 7 first hand at MIX10, attend cool activities and parties, build new geeky connections and even become a SilverlightShow representative to support them promote everything Silverlight! A few weeks ago, SilverlightShow announced the Eco Contest for 2011. United Nations has declared 2011 as the “International Year of Forests” to raise awareness and strengthen sustainable forest management. To join the worldwide efforts for a greener future on our planet, SilverlightShow chose “forests” as the contest theme.


 

The Eco Contest ends on March 6th, 2011 – 11:59PM PST. So there are 18 days left for participation. To speed up your action plan, here is a a quick collection of links:

  • Navigate to the contest page
  • Get excited about the prizes: MIX11 pass, accomodation in Mandalay Bay/Las Vegas, Telerik RAD Controls
  • Check out the official rules : contest objective, categories, participation dates, prizes, judges, winner selection criteria
  • Take a look at current contest entries: why is your app still not among them?!?
  • If you have any questions, drop SilverlightShow a line
  • Don’t wait any longer; join!

As a sidenote: I designed this year’s contest site and I will also be one of the judges.

 

Are you excited about the Eco Contest, just need a kick-start to form an original idea or come up with a mind-blowing concept for your app? If that is the case, you should definitely check out the resources page shared on the contest site. You can also get inspired by the contest entries from last year.

While doing my design research for the contest website as well as my project research last year, I have collected a few resource links too. Not all information is directly related to forests; some provide ideas about green living, calculating our eco footprint, eco-statistics for countries, nature conservation etc. Yet, I hope that there are some useful pointers, that fuel your imagination plus act as a guide in the vast sea of resources that is out there.

Gapminder Worldhttp://www.gapminder.org/

Gapminder provides statistical tools with up-to-date  content on global trends. The data is presented as time series and is freely available in Gapminder World and Gapminder Countries. For example, in the data tab, you can check out forest coverage changes in countries over time.

Footprint Networkhttp://www.footprintnetwork.org

The Footprint Network’s goal can be simply stated as measuring human impact on the Earth so we can make more informed choices. This site provides the Ecological Footoprint tool – a resource accounting tool that measures how much nature we have, how much we use, and who uses what. The interactive features of the “Footprint Calculator” are pretty interesting.

Carbon Neutralhttp://www.carbonneutral.com.au/

Carbon Neutral provides many services aiming to reduce and offset greenhouse emissions, provide environmental awareness and support revegetation. You can read about biodiversity, climate change, but much better check out their carbon calculator tool, which enables you to do carbon emission calculations based on energy, food, waste, air travel etc.

Conservation International: http://www.conservation.org

Conservation International aims to empower societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, global biodiversity and for the well-being of humanity.  You will find details about climate change, safeguarding water, food security, protecting our oceans and much more. Especially the information on “Saving Forests” may be of most interest to you.

Mother Nature Network: http://www.mnn.com

MNN is an environmental news site with broad coverage on up-to-date news on the environment and our social responsibility.  You can read about eco-terms, learn more about environmental issues and check out the idea lab, which is basically a stream of ec0-resolutions. You can also find the latest news about “forests“.

 

Stop procrastinating! This is an excellent chance to share your Silverlight development/design work with the world, support a noble cause and eventually end up among the #MIX11 crowd! Three brilliant motivational factors at once; what else could you ask for?

 

Good luck to all #EcoContest participants!

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