Links for the Week

GENERAL

7 Steps to Zap Your Creativity – Dumb Little Man shares tips for giving your creativity a quick pick me up. Some of it might be common sense, but it’s always good to get a refresher on what you can be doing to be more creative. Regardless of profession, creativity is a vital part of doing a great job.

Microsoft BizSpark Program – BizSpark is a program intended to help startups get off the ground using a Microsoft platform for their business needs. It includes support from Microsoft, development licenses, and increased public exposure. The price? $100 when you exit the program. (No, boss, I’m not looking to leave the company.)

Semantic Hacker – Semantic Hacker is intended to help with the semantic discovery of information – “I’ll know it when I see it” discovery. In addition, it is capable of generating a ‘semantic score’ for a given block of text. Supposedly, this has some advantages over some of the current techniques for scoring search results. I’m interested to see where this one goes.

Microsoft Store – Really cool. Microsoft have realized that I, a geek, might want to just download my copy of Office rather than order it online or find a copy at Best Buy. Convenient, moderately attractive site.

DEVELOPMENT

PDC Sessions broken out by topic – I think this is a sub-section of the PDC sessions, but it has been broken out by relevant topic. Very useful if you’re trying to track something down but aren’t sure which day it occurred on.

SQL SERVER

Unique indexes with GROUP BY – Rob Farley explains the importance of unique indexes. I’ll be using this one when I teach an introduction to SQL to the new hires at my employer. This also includes a little bit of help on how to read execution plans (a subject I don’t know enough about).

Join Simplification in SQL Server – Rob gets another mention this week for his great introduction to JOINs. These topics are old hat to many people, but they’re still good to keep around as references to those out there who aren’t as familiar with JOINs or who need a refresher (a lot of developers can use joins but don’t fully understand them).

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