Visual Studio 2008 "ORCAS" Beta 2 is out, Microsoft's Somasegar announced on his WebLog. He also announced the availability of .NET Framework 3.5 Beta 2 and Silverlight 1.0 RC.

To add to this, Microsoft is releasing a Go-Live license for Visual Studio 2008, the .NET Framework 3.5, and Silverlight 1.0 to make it easier for you to start developing.

Download location for beta is here.

There is an alternative, faster way to get the beta, by using the Microsoft Secure Content Downloader from Microsoft Research. With this tool you can simply choose a specific version from a combo, and start downloading it.

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I've just seen yesterday, The Rolling Stones live in concert in Bucharest. It was a great night, a night to remember. A Bigger Bang...

I'm just happy that this beautiful rock band is still live and kicking. Mick Jagger looks so old, but moves so young. I had to hold my back in pain by the mid' of the show, but he danced all night, and he didn't stop. He even run to the middle of the field (the concert was at a stadium) and back on a walkway, a few times.

Great show summing over 40 years of showbiz experience, and I wouldn't have missed it for anything in the world. I don't know if there is another band with such longevity, truly living legends.

The Rolling Stones

Photo credits: Florin Grozea

UPDATE: I have a life... you know :-)

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I've just watched Jonathan Harris' presentation at TED about his new projects that not only gather from the Web the emotions posted by people (We feel fine), but even present with astonishing visuals search terms that float around the screen like clouds of constellations (Universe).

Universe presents an interactive night sky, composed of thousands of twinkling stars, which then connect to form constellations. Each of these constellations has a specific counterpart in the physical world — a story, a person, a quote, an image, a company, a nation, a mythic theme. Any constellation can be clicked, making it the center of the universe, and causing all other stars to enter its orbit. Universe is infinitely large, and each person’s path through it will be different.

Both projects are amazing, showing a truly innovative mind. Jonathan Harris is an artist and storyteller working primarily on the Internet. One part computer science, one part anthropology, and one part visual art, his work seeks to explore and understand the human world through the artifacts people leave behind on the Web.

"As humans, we have a long history of projecting our great stories into the night sky. This leads us to wonder: if we were to make new constellations today, what would they be? If we were to paint new pictures in the sky, what would they depict? These questions form the inspiration for Universe, which explores the notions of modern mythology and contemporary constellations."

You can watch the presentation here: Jonathan Harris: The Web's secret stories.

Check out Jonathan Harris' site for more projects, and even a short bio.

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Microsoft recently announced that Visual Studio 2008 (Orcas), along with Windows Server 2008 (previously known as Longhorn) and Microsoft SQL Server 2008, will be officially launched on February 27, 2008. This is a setback from previously announced date targeting the end of this year rather than the beginning of the next one.

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Microsoft has released a new community technology preview of the ADO.NET Entity Framework. This CTP contains updates to the ADO.NET Entity Framework since the Visual Studio Codename "Orcas" Beta 1 release, including changes in Object Services, Query, Entity Client, and the Entity Data Model Wizard in Visual Studio.

Microsoft is still far from finishing this software, however. This is suggested by the fact that the preview targets one single version of Visual Studio, this being Visual Web Developer Express. You cannot use the CTP with other version of Visual Studio for now. Is nice though, to be able play with future versions of pre-released software, and know in advance how the database programming will change using Microsoft development tools.

The Entity Framework has had a bumpy existence from the start. Microsoft first intended to release is as part of Visual Studio 2008 "Orcas", which is set for release later this year. But in late April the Redmond giant sacked it out from VS2008, saying it will be offered later next as an extension to VS2008.

You can download the CTP here.

Update: You can find installation instructions on the ADO.NET team blog

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