Lync Custom Status (LCS) is a ‘power user’ add-on to Microsoft Lync, built on the back of the need of expanding Lync’s already powerful tool set. LCS uses built-in Microsoft API’s to make judgement calls on Lync event as and when they happen.

Unlike other applications, which simply provide an easy to use interface to modify your client status, LCS uses powerful logic to redirect calls or to allow calls and IM’s from your chosen contacts. Using LCS you can take complete control over your DND settings, allowing calls from project managers or families through – whilst preventing general call traffic.

LCS also gives you the ability to send ‘canned responses’ to IM’s you receive whilst in your custom states.

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Seemingly as is always the way when I buy into something that google punts out Wave, Buzz, Latitude and now authorship – they have now decided to no longer display Authorship information in the search results..

Earlier today John Mueller posted on Google+ that they don’t feel the authorship information contributes to the usefulness of search results.

I can understand the logic behind the decision, however I for one will be sad to see it go. It took me a while to craft my author details on the search results.. An was the flood gate opening for all of my rich snippets work! I also like to see who’s responsible for the posts at a glance, an feel if they’ve gone to the effort of sorting out the snippets then the sites worth visiting.

I hope John is right when he says

removing authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites.

Authorship was born around the same time as the Google+ network, and believed to be a way of promoting the Google+ network. Webmaster required G+ profiles in order to have their details along side there sites in the search results. Ultimately meaning the network gained more users overnight as people flocked to fulfil the rich snippets requirement.

I can cope with loosing Authorship, and all the other products i grew to know and love… However I seriously hope they leave Waze alone…

RIP Authorship

Lync Custom Status requires administrative privileges as it needs to use parts of the system registry that are normally not accessible unless you have admin permissions. This is a restriction of user account control, and not something that can be bypassed.

The only registry keys that are accessed are as follows:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionAppCompatFlagsLayers

The application changes the Lync related values to allow for custom status’ and to enable ‘hidden settings’

So whilst chatting over coffee today Carly Bond she happened to mention to me that Outlook reminder windows never pop up to the front anymore, and instead just sit in the start bar and flash… Which is ok, unless you miss the first set of flashes – this then means you will potentially miss all future reminders, which is far from ideal.

At first I started messing with HWND’s and SetWindowPosition etc, which seemed to go ok – but then I realised, I am complicating it a bit! So A bit of hunting around on the net and a few hours of messing with code later gave me this solution

To implement this solution, launch outlook, press Alt+F11 on your keyboard, insert the code as per the screenshot below

New RelicThe web is home to a plethora of webpage uptime and performance monitoring, all bringing something special to the table. The majority of which also offer a completely free of charge option, so as a webmaster there’s really no excuse to not monitor your website offering. As there are so many services out there, it can be difficult to choose which one to use.

Hopefully on the back of this post, you’ll understand why I decided to go with New Relic for monitoring my servers and sites. New relic is a software analytics company that started out life as an Application Monitoring service back in 2008, founded by Lew Cirne. Headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices in Portland, OR, Seattle, WA and Dublin, Ireland.

Rather then detail all about the New Relic organisation check out this infographic

Worlds Apart

New Relic is not just your average site monitoring solution, it actually gives you access to full application statistics in real-time. Which can prove invaluable when trying to track down your site/application/servers bottleneck. Not only do you have easy access to site dashboards, allowing a ‘at a glance’ view of your application and servers performance – you also get in depth transaction and cross application tracing facilities. Whats more, as most web developers are busy people, New Relic offers email alerting, meaning you don’t have to (unless you want to) sit and watch the dashboards and reports until there’s an issue. A true ‘setup and forget’ solution for those on the go.

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