Stop the creation of News Feed folders in Outlook 2010

If you are using Outlook 2010 beta and the Office Outlook Connector, you’ll no doubt notice that you have multiple folders called “News Feed”, News Feed 1”, etc. You’ll also notice that even after you delete them, the folders keep coming back.


To prevent this from happening, disable the Outlook Social Connector add-in.


1. Open Outlook

2. Click File –> Options

3. Click Add-Ins


4. At the bottom where it says Manage: COM Add-ins, click Go


5. Uncheck the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector box, and click OK.

Close out of the options dialog, and then restart Outlook.

Hopefully this bug will be fixed in a later version of the software.

Microsoft Surface – What is it and how does it work?

While in Seattle for Student Insider training, myself along with Jeremy Bray and Ryan Bucinell were fortunate to be able to meet with a couple members of the Surface team.

Below are the two segments of the interview. Apologies in advance, the first few seconds did not record, but the rest of the interview did.

Total interview length: 30 minutes

Interview with: Mark Hopkins, Programming Writer and Luis Cabrera, Software Design Engineer

Part one:

Part two:

Sitting in the Terminal

Wow, what a busy last couple of days. It has truly been a fast paced whirlwind trip to Seattle for Student Insider training at Microsoft. I’m sitting here in the terminal waiting for my flight back to Phoenix, and looking out the gray skies and watching the rain fall.

I flew up here to Seattle on Wednesday in the early afternoon, and spent the last two days at Microsoft’s main campus meeting with people in Microsoft Research, Xbox, XNA, Office, Windows Azure, and meeting some more famous names like Scott Hanselman and Frank Arrigo (Happy belated Australia Day, Frank!).

I have been chosen to be Microsoft’s IT Student Insider. I personally think that the term IT Student Insider is somewhat ambiguous. I see myself as providing more of a broad perspective on Microsoft and their offerings, and also trying to focus in on how Microsoft products can help consumers and business users achieve their goals.

There are a grand total of 6 insiders in this first wave of the program. As the program develops and matures, I think that the number will grow and that there will be insiders across many areas at Microsoft. Below, I’ve listed my fellow Insiders, and their disciplines.



Blog URL

Twitter username

Ryan Bucinell



Patrick Godwin



Joe Osborne

Expression / Design


Jeremy Bray



Ashley Myers

Imagine Cup


Tom Ziegmann



I encourage all my readers to read my fellow Insiders blogs and follow us on Twitter. Who knows, we just might have some cool stuff to give away at times. 😉

I want to take a moment to highlight a fellow Insider, and his name is Patrick Godwin. When I had been told about the program, I was under the impression that it was for college students only. However, when I met Patrick, I found out that he was only 16. Yes, sixteen! Patrick’s focus is development, and it was very evident during our talk with Scott Hanselman that Patrick knows his stuff. I was blown away by how much he knows, and he has a real passion for Microsoft, and Microsoft’s development technologies. It’s great to have you with us Patrick!

Over the next couple of days, I’ll be posting more about training and some of the people that I met with. Until then, I want to say Thank You to Microsoft for hosting us, and I’ll be back soon.

Microsoft Student Insider Training – Day 0 – Welcome to Seattle

Well, after about 4 hours of travelling today, I’ve made it to Seattle.

Over the next two days, I will be at Microsoft’s global headquarters, located in Redmond, Washington. I’ll be meeting with people from all across the company, and will have the opportunity to join the Xbox team for a live taping of 1 vs. 100.

Upon arriving at my hotel this afternoon, I was greeted with an envelope containing a welcome letter from Microsoft, and a backpack filled with tons of swag.

In the backpack were the following things:

– ASUS eeePC 1005HA Netbook

– Flip UltraHD Camcorder

– Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

– The Twitter Book by Tim O’Reilly and Sarah Milstein

– MSDN Cup

– Some pens

– Microsoft Dynamics Pen / Flash Drive / Laser Pointer

– New Microsoft logo’ed backpack

After getting settled into my room, myself, along with two other Insiders who had arrived at the same time (Jeremy Bray of Global Geek News, and Ryan Bucinell of DreamInCode) decided to check out the Redmond Town Center area. After we walked around for a bit, we came back upstairs and chilaxed for a bit until Jeremy had to leave to meet some family for dinner.

Ryan, who had never been to Seattle until today, and myself decided that we’d go to dinner as well, and we made reservations at Anthony’s in Seattle. We had a great evening, great food, and great conversation!

Right now I’m working on getting my laptop all ready to go for tomorrow, and I think I’m going to get some sleep. We’re all heading to Microsoft at 8am.

To stay informed about what’s going on with me and the other Student Insiders, follow along on Twitter using hashtag #MicrosoftSI, and be sure to follow me directly, I’m @tziegmann, and to follow the blog feed, follow @tomontech.

I’ll be taking tons of pictures over the next few days, and you check them out by clicking here.


Welcome Back!

After an extended period of downtime due to my web server being hacked, Tom on Tech is back!

It is my hope that over the next couple weeks to get caught up with posts about Tom on Tech’s coverage of CES, as well as other tech news.

However, I’d like to take to this time to make an announcement. I have been asked by Microsoft to join a new program called the Microsoft Student Insiders.

Here’s the description of the program as provided to me by Microsoft.

Student Insiders is a new program that engages exceptional technical community leaders who voluntarily share their expertise. Insiders are a highly select group and represent the best and brightest technical students with excellent communication skills.  They are committed to community and to helping others. 

As early adopters of new technology, Microsoft Student Insiders actively communicate their experiences to countless of other enthusiasts. Through their extensive involvement and experience, Student Insiders solve problems and discover new capabilities, helping people get the maximum value from their technology.  Student Insiders engages passionate and inspirational students for a specific technology area and provides training for students to gain skills, network, and to grow their impact.

Myself along with 6 other students from across the United States will have the opportunity to work with Microsoft on ways to help you our readers in getting the most from your computing, gaming, and media experiences. While you might be thinking that this means that we are selling ourselves out to be mouthpieces for Microsoft, this is simply not the case. We, as individual blog owners, retain all editorial control over our blogs, and we can post content that is either favorable or unfavorable towards Microsoft. What we gain from the program is the networking and opportunity to become “insiders” in different areas at Microsoft, and we will use these opportunities to produce content that we hope that will provide benefit to our readers and the community as a whole.

I’d also like to take this time to disclose that as a part of the Student Insider program, Microsoft is providing me with an ASUS eeePC 1008HA netbook, and Flip UltraHD Video Camera. Microsoft is also flying me along with the other students to Redmond next week for training and to meet with people from different product groups. Microsoft will also from time to time invite us to different Microsoft-sponsored conferences, and if we attend, Microsoft will cover all expenses relating to conference attendance.

It is my promise to you, my readers, that I will remain as objective as possible, and will try to avoid bias (unless I’m writing a post where opinion is appropriate).

Look for more next week live from Seattle where I’ll be posting and tweeting as often as I can about the new Student Insider program!


ZOMM – “World’s first Bluetooth Wireless Leash for your mobile phone”

The winner of the 2010 International CES “Best of Innovations” award, ZOMM is making waves.

ZOMMs creators describe the device as a “…wireless leash for your mobile phone.” However, after seeing the device in action at CES Unveiled, I think the device is much more than just a leash.

The ZOMM features the unique ability to alert you if you walk too far away from your phone, reminding you that you left your phone somewhere and reducing the risk that your phone will be lost. There is a panic alarm and the ability to call emergency services anywhere in the world with the press of a button. Because the ZOMM also can act as a speakerphone, you can call emergency services while on the move and not have to fumble in your purse, jacket, or pockets to find your phone and make the phone call. ZOMM also will light up and make noises when your phone rings so if your phone is out of reach, you can press a button on the ZOMM and answer the phone call.

With all these features, it’s no surprise why the ZOMM has taken home the Best of Innovations award. I’m looking forward to the launch of ZOMM.

Company: Zomm (

Pricing: Pricing has not yet been announced.

Availability: Summer 2010

Tom’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Dual Electronics introduces XGPS300

This week at CES 2010, Dual Electronics has introduced the XGPS300 GPS Navigation and Battery Cradle for the iPod Touch.

The XGPS300 features a built-in GPS unit and recharageable battery. Because the XGPS300 has its own battery that means that the unit does not leech power from the iPod, and when the GPS unit is not being used, there is a switch on the back of the unit which will allow the unit’s battery to be used to charge the iPod touch.

The unit, according to Dual, will work with most apps that have location based services and features.

Unlike competing devices where the GPS unit has to be purchased for one price and the iPod app has to be purchased for another price, Dual provides the navigation app for free. There are no subscription fees or other fees to buy or use the app.

Mapping data will be provided for the US and Canada at launch. No word on when or if other locations will be made available.

Company: Dual Electronics (

Pricing: Pricing has not yet been announced, however, according to representatives from Dual, they are saying “look for the device to be somewhere in the $200 range.”

Availability: February 2010

Tom’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars – I think no matter how the XGPS300 is priced, Dual has a strong contender in the mobile navigation market. Dual has a great feature set, good design, and their navigation app is easy to use. My only real concern, which I’m sure will be addressed in the coming months is that the unit only provides maps for the US and Canada.

Tom on Tech is at CES 2010!

I’ve made to Las Vegas for the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show.  Over the next few days I’ll be meeting with different companies, trying out new products, and reporting live from each of the major keynote speeches.

Tonight was CES Unveiled, the preshow press only event, and several companies participated including Lenovo, OnStar, MSI, and others. I’ll be talking about this more in my next post.

Tomorrow is Press Day, so be on the lookout for updates from companies like LG, Sony, Toshiba, Pioneer, Netgear, and others.

Thursday is the official start of the show, and I’ll be running around the show floor for the duration of the show finding all the cool new stuff to bring back to Tom on Tech.

First Impression: T-Mobile G1

Yesterday, I recieved a G1 from T-Mobile to try out and play with. The G1 is the first phone to offer Google’s Android Operating System.

The design and purpose of the Android operating system is to encourage openness and innovation.

The G1 is a 3G phone which means that data connections will be significantly faster than traditional EDGE connections.

So far after 24 hours of use, I’m impressed with Android and with the G1 itself.  The G1 weighs in at about 4.1 ounces and has a solid feel.

The G1 uses an HVGA (480×320) touch screen, and for someone like me whose has big fingers, the screen is very responsive, and I’ve had very few errors with using the on-screen keyboard.

This coming week I’ll be in Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show, and I’ll be making the G1 my phone of choice for the week.

Photo gallery will be posted soon and look for full review series over the new few weeks!