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Microsoft launches open-source blogging platform

Microsoft launched Oxite, an open-source blogging platform.

However, the software maker was quick to underline that the product is aimed at developers and not intended to directly compete with popular blogging software such as WordPress or Movable Type.

Microsoft posted the Oxite code on its CodePlex Web site  and made an official announcement. The software, described as an alpha release, is available under the Microsoft Public License, one of Microsoft’s OSI-certified open-source licenses.

Oxite is a standards-compliant, extensible content-management system designed to support either blogs or larger Web sites, Microsoft said. The platform includes support for features such as pingbacks, trackbacks, anonymous or authenticated commenting, gravatars (globally recognized avatars), and RSS feeds at any page level, the company said.

Users can create and edit a set of pages on a site, add customized HTML into pages, and support multiple blogs on a single site.

Oxite is also able to integrate with Microsoft developer software such as ASP.Net MVC, Visual Studio Team Suite, and Background Services Architecture. The project began as a way of demonstrating the capabilities of ASP.Net MVC to developers, Microsoft said.

The Web site for Mix Online was built using Oxite, and Microsoft is providing the Mix Online Web site code for developers to learn from. Mix Online is the online community centered on Microsoft’s Mix Web developer conference.

Oxite is not a direct competitor to existing, established blogging systems, nor is it intended to challenge Microsoft’s own SharePoint, which includes content-management-system capabilities, according to Oxite project coordinator Erik Porter.

The software is intended for developers but could eventually be made suitable for the general public, Porter wrote in an Oxite discussion forum.

“We have no plans to make this anything but a really good developer sample that should be able to run any site you want,” he wrote. “That said, this is a community project now and, if the community decides to take it a different direction, we won’t stop it.”

December 13, 2008 Posted by | General, IT, Science, Software, Technical Writing, Technology, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama establishes double digit lead over McCain

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle embrace during a rally in Miami. (AP)
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle embrace during a rally in Miami. (AP)

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has established a double digit lead over his Republican rival John McCain just two weeks ahead of crucial elections, a just released poll says.
The ‘Wall Street Journal-NBC News’ poll found that 52 per cent voters favour Obama against 42 per cent who support McCain, showing a four per cent increase since the poll two weeks ago. The poll has a margin of error plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

The poll says that a growing number of voters said that they were comfortable with the Democrat’s values, background and ability to serve as commander-in-chief.

It’s the largest lead in the Journal/NBC poll so far, and represents a steady climb for Senator Obama since early September, when the political conventions concluded with the candidates in a statistical tie.

“Voters have reached a comfort level with Barack Obama,” said Peter D Hart, a Democratic pollster who conducts the poll with Republican Neil Newhouse.Though most voters polled said that McCain is better prepared for the White House than the first-term Obama, there are increasing concerns about the readiness of McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the poll showed.

The race, the Journal said, has rested largely on the question of whether voters could get comfortable with Obama, the first African-American to run on a major party ticket, and one who has been on the national political scene for just a few years.

McCain has worked to stoke concerns about Obama’s past and his qualifications, raising questions about his rival’s character and his association with 1960s-era radical William Ayers. The new poll suggests that these attacks haven’t worked. The poll found that Obama now holds a 12-percentage-point advantage with independents, a group both sides have fiercely sought. Two weeks ago, Obama led this group by just four percentage points. In mid-September, independents favoured McCain by 13 points.

Obama leads suburban voters by 12 percentage points, up from two points two weeks ago. He leads among older voters, those over 65-years-old, by nine points, erasing a one-point McCain advantage from the last poll. And in the Midwest, home

to a swath of battleground states, he is now favoured by 25 points, up from a one-point advantage.

Some daily tracking polls, the journal said, have found a tighter race between McCain and Obama in recent days.

Real Clear Politics, a Web site that averages major polls, shows Obama up by 7.2 percentage points.

Others have found a larger spread, such as one released Tuesday by the Pew Research Centre for the People and the Press, a nonpartisan research group. That poll found a 14-point advantage for Obama among registered voters.

Many polls also show McCain lagging in key battleground states, which hold the electoral votes that could decide the race.

Obama, the paper said, has also eaten into traditional Republican advantages, notably on taxes, despite McCain’s attempts to make the issue a central economic theme of the campaign’s closing days.

In the mid-September Journal poll, McCain was favoured 41 per cent to 37 per cent when voters were asked which candidate would be “better on taxes.” This week’s poll found Obama leading on the issue by 48 per cent to 34 per cent.

That, the Journal says, may be partly due to Obama’s argument that McCain would raise taxes on health-insurance benefits. While McCain’s health plan does raise some taxes, the plan overall represents a net tax cut, the paper said, citing independent estimates.

October 22, 2008 Posted by | Elections, General, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Americans don’t want another debate between Obama, McCain:Poll

With 67 per cent Americans not wishing to see another debate between Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain, both the White House hopefuls have hit the stretch in the battleground and critical states hoping to put behind “Joe The Plumber” and “Joe The Six Pack”.

The polls of the last few days may have shown Senator Obama in the lead of at least eight points; but the latest CNN Gallup showed the race was really tightening and even close to about a two-point spread between the candidates in favour of the Illinois Democrat.

At the heart of the candidates’ struggle is the political mid-west like Ohio and Pennsylvania that the candidates have started hitting very intently; but some of the focus is also on states like New Hampshire that Senator Obama slipped in the primaries to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Three debates, and over 20 months, John McCain still has not explained a single thing he would do differently from George W Bush when it comes to the most important economic issues we face today. Not one. Here’s the truth, New Hampshire, John McCain voted with George Bush 90 per cent of the time. That has not change. It is more of the same,” Obama said in New Hampshire.

“He wants to keep giving tax cuts to corporations that ship our jobs overseas. I want to give tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the US. He wants to give more tax cuts to Fortune 500 CEOs. I want to give 95 per cent of working families the tax relief that they deserve. He wants to double down on health care policies that will only work for the healthy and the wealthy. I want to cut costs and expand coverage for all Americans,” Obama said in a rhetoric that is all too well known on the political trail.

October 18, 2008 Posted by | Elections, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment