Thursday, 13 December 2007

Microsoft Buys Multimap

Microsoft have bought out Multimap, with the deal looking to land the founder of Multimap Sean Phelan £12m.

This will help Virtual Earth compete with Google Maps, especially as Multimap is one of the top 10 most visited site in the UK.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Imagine Cup: Software Design Round 1 Extended

The deadline for the first round of the Software Design invitation has been pushed back, from 14th December to 9th January.

This may come as good news for some groups who were scraping together their final bits for the entry. Luckily my team was ready to hand in our entry this Friday, the extra time will allow us to polish up on our entry and add some extra content.

Also meaning that people who have only just found out about the Imagine Cup, have a month now to get their idea typed up and submitted!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

MIX@MMU Review

MIX @ MMU was a great event, with great presentations from our gueset speakers Phil Winstanley and Mike Taulty.

I started the event out with a present about the Imagine Cup, going through what is involved in the Imagine Cup and the various prizes that are up for grabs, from a trip to Redmond working with the Popfly team to the pile of Xbox 360s that Microsoft are giving away.

To register your interest in the Imagine Cup go to:

Remember just registering your intrest will enter you into a prize draw to win an Xbox 360 Elite every month (Not bad for 2 minutes of your time).
The slides that I used in the presentation can be found on my Skydive account, feel free to download them:

Phil Winistanley then went on to talk about developing websites using ASP.NET. Some of the topics that Phil covered were:

  • A comparison of C# to Java
  • Overview of the .NET framework and the languages supported
  • Master pages and CSS to build up a consistent theme throughout the project
  • Controls with back end functionality (Imagebutton that fired an event)
  • Implementing AJAX into your ASP.NET pages
  • Login and user creation components that are supplied with ASP.NET
  • Rich video, using the forthcoming ASP.NET 3.5 Framework

During his talk Phil mentioned Visual Studio Express Edition which can be downloaded from the following link:

This comes with the .NET Developer Server, which is used instead of such things as the TomCat server which you may be more familar.

Phils talk ended with rich content in a website which was an ideal starting point for Mikes Silverlight demo. Mike covered a wide range of topics:

  • Silverlight & XAML Introduction
  • Silverlight V1.0 (current build)
  • Silverlight V2.0 (future release)
  • Rich Interactive Media, showing the Silverlight Airways and the Fox Film site
  • cross platform capabilities
  • developing Silverlight with JavaScript and the .NET Framework
  • Expression Studio, for creating XAML

There are various ways of creating XAML but by far the best is by using Microsofts Expression Suite which is a family of programs (Design, Blend, Web and Media) which come togther to allow designers and developers to create rich web content. Trials of the Expression Suite can be found at:

All in all the event was a great success, even with my it being my first public presentation. I would like to once again thank all those of you who turned up and a special thanks to Mike and Phil for giving some great presentations.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Check out this awesome song and video by The Richter Scales , found this video whilst reading through Scott Hanselman's blog. Very funny definatly worth watching!

Monday, 3 December 2007

ANN Backpropagation Solved

As I had previously posted I was having trouble with my bipoloar neural network. A bipolor neural network deals with input and output between 1 and -1 this allows for faster training as negative values can be passed through the network.
During backpropogation the weights will be changed in the network till the output is the desired output, however in changing the output sometimes the output will become 0. In this case when we use the output to calculate other values such as the error, this will also become 0 as we are multiplying by the output of 0. Hence everything will eventually be set to 0 and no more learning will occur.

This problem has been solved using an imput bias which can be seen in the above diagram. Each of the layers in the network have a bias representing them and the bias input is added to the sum of the rest of the inputs this makes sure that the output will never become 0.
So after "jigging" (yes, that is a technical term) about with the code I got it to work with bipolar input and the result is a faster training network.
Now all i need to now is turn all the aspects of the code into proper objects so that i can easier make multilayered network with "n" neurons

Sunday, 2 December 2007

MIX@MMU Wednesday 5th December

MIX @ MMU is fast approaching, with only a couple of short days to wait we have another speaker confirmed!

Mike Taulty a Microsoft Development Evangelist and Silverlight guru will be attending, giving an insight into development using Silverlight, Microsofts latest web technology which gives developers the ability to create rich interactive user experiences.

MIX promises to be a great event, especially with Phil and Mike offering a wealth of knowledge and experience.