Microsoft Solver Foundation Express /w Gurobi

Microsoft has released v1.1 of its Solver Foundation which introduces a plug-in model to support running against any number of solvers.  The express edition is shipping with a throttle Gurobi solver which has proven to be a strong completitor to industry heavy weights such as the recently aquired CPLEX from ILog (IBM).  

As part of this release, samples are included for swapping in different solvers including the open source lp_solve mixed integer linear programming (MILP) library.  It’s worth nothing that the samples are installed into your ‘My Documents’ directory if you find yourself scratching your head!

The Excel add-in makes it easy to experiment with models using a Optimization Modeling Language (OML) editor data-bound to cells, and for the developers the C# object model supports LINQ data-binding.

Bringing music to the cloud

After a well deserved break, I am back in Sydney enjoying good coffee, food and summer weather!

On my travels through Germany I saw an advertisement for SoundCloud in a music magazine.  It’s basically Flickr for Musos done really well.  And although Web 2.0 is dead, or at least ‘so per se’ these days, I see is a shiny example of how to build a great web app.  

Sound cloud allows you to upload your own tracks or mixes to your profile, or post to your friends drop boxes.  It has a great visualisation of your track, and allows people to comment at various points through out your track – at the breakdown for example.  You can also follow other artists in a similar fashion to flickr.  

Not only is it a killer web 2.0 web application it has a complete API able to support mashups likeRadioClouds and the pure web app CloudPlayer.

I see this as big year for musicians; another highlight being Ableton upcoming release of Live 8 with its hotly awaited Max/Msp integration – bringing sound design to the masses, bring it on!