The blogs of Black Marble staff

Students Get bitten by Bugs

Feedback on the AI for Games module at the University of Bradford has been excellent, with some students reporting it their favourite part of the curriculum. The favourite part has been producing bugs for the Academic Version of Terrarium.


End of Conference

Last night we had the end of conference meal, followed by a group (Peter Drayton & Ian Palmer) of us playing TransAmerica into the wee hours.  The presentation was well received despite Peter overrunning :)


Poor Lunch , Great company

The food for Wednesdays evening meal was not the best, however the company was very interesting. I talked with Paul Rhodes and Peter Cowling from the University of Bradford and Peter Drayton who is on the Rotor team.


Machine Learning

I have just attended a very interesting talk by Christopher Bishop (MSR Cambridge ) about Machine Learning. He covered “Super-resolution enhancement of pictures” which is adding information to an image using an offset image or human determined perspective. Intelligent Edit and Removal of information from pictures and face tracking. I highly recommend attending a presentation by him. The features discussed will be present in a soon to be released Microsoft product.


Black Marble at Microsoft Research Academic Days in Dublin

We are currently in sunny ( it's raining ) Dublin for Microsoft Research Academic days. I have met up with Peter Cowling, Paul Rhodes from the University of Bradford and our Talk for Friday on AI for Games has been finished so we can relax and enjoy the conference.



Microsoft Research Conference, Dublin

Black Marble was invited to present alongside the University of Bradford at a Microsoft Research Conference in Dublin. Robert Hogg of Black Marble presented with Peter Cowling of the University of Bradford, on the Use of Viruses and Bugs to Teach Artificial Intelligence (AI) Programming using C# .NET.


Microsoft CRM Overview

Black Marble spent half a day explaining Microsoft CRM to local businesses, and many were impressed by its features.

Further to broadband and authentication post.....

Further to my broadband and authentication post I have found a problem using Crystal Enterprise via HTTPS.

If I connect a Microsoft CRM website via HTTP and then use the links in the product to a Crystal report all is fine. However if I use HTTPS then I get the rarther common 'Microsoft CRM Crystal Reports Logon Error. Please Verify That You Have Enough Crystal Licenses' error. Just check out the newsgroups to see how many people are getting the same problem.

I think this issue is in the WCS confiiguration for Crystal, I tried playing with setting but to no effect this far. Now for me knowing this is an issue is enough, I can work round it and have a bit more of a look later and keep the world informed


A broadband and IIS authentication got-ya

I came accross a good got-ya when using HTTP over broadband to a Microsoft IIS with active directory authentication, you keep being forced to re-authenticate. However, if you use a dial-up connection or LAN all is fine. We noticed it using Outlook Web Access and Microsoft CRM but it would be the same with any products that require more than anonymous access.

Now it seems that broadband uses a different form of caching to dial-up ISP services, DSL providers use transparent caching servers . The effect of this to convince the IIS server that each client to server request is from a different client, hence all the login dialogs.

The answer is to switch over to a HTTPS connection, the SSL connection allows the IIS server to group the client requests correctly. Just use a self signed certificate microsoft Knowledgebase Article Q228991