# Tuesday, 02 February 2010

.NET Ninja in training, Peter Bahaa, once again returns to show us how to build a WCF .NET Data Service (aka Astoria) using Telerik OpenAccess entities and the Data Services Wizard beta 1.

Telerik Data Service Wizard Beta1-Astoria from Stephen Forte on Vimeo.

 

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posted on Tuesday, 02 February 2010 01:55:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 01 February 2010

The content middle men (Hollywood studios, record labels, book publishers, etc) are suspicious of digital content. I predicted last month that they will fight back this year against digital distribution, most notably against Netflix and Amazon. Last month Warner Brothers held Netflix hostage and threatened to withhold its content unless Netflix held back new releases for 30 days. Netflix had no choice but to capitulate.

Inspired by their motion picture brothers’ success with Netflix, book publisher Macmillan recently held Amazon hostage. They threatened to withhold their entire collection of books, print and digital, unless Amazon raised their prices for the Kindle. Amazon challenged, but lost and yesterday had to capitulate as well. New books from Macmillan will now cost between $12.99 and $14.99 for the kindle. (FYI, Steve Jobs of Apple said that the iPad’s pricing model will be identical to Amazon as well.) I am now embarrassed that my first book was a Macmillan imprint.

You can’t blame Netflix and Amazon, they had a gun to their head. They are pioneering a new way to legally consume digital content, so we always knew that the middle men would fight back. While the studios hold all the power today, that will not be the case tomorrow.  People who use Netflix never go back to the old model, same with the Kindle. (I say, if it is not on the Kindle, it doesn’t exist.) As Kindles, iPods, iPads, Sony eReaders, etc, all grow in numbers, the studios and publishers will no longer be in a superior position, and the market will remember the barriers they are putting up today. This day is almost here, my 68 year old uncle now streams movies with Netflix.  My parents get the Kindle. My mom has an iPod. An entire generation is now growing up with iTunes and Kindles-my 13 year old niece will not leave the house without her iPod and Kindle.

Today consumers and innovation lost a battle. But the war is far from over.

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posted on Monday, 01 February 2010 06:04:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 31 January 2010

Apple and Google are the current darlings of Silicon Valley. Anything they do is golden and for the longest time they formed a tag team with Apple building great consumer electronics and Google leading in search and other search related applications like Maps and GMail. Google Search, Google Maps, and GMail power the iPhone and helped it be such the huge success it was. The sweet relationship between the two tech giants was only growing.

Now it is war.

First Google made Android. That pissed off Apple somewhat, even causing the Google CEO to quit Apple’s board. Google use to get the location data from each search on the iPhone and Apple started to withhold it last year. Apple feared that Google would use this valuable data to do market research and to build behavior metrics into the Android. If Google knew every search performed on an iPhone and the location where the user was standing when making that search, that is very valuable market research information if you are thinking of entering the mobile market.

Then last summer Google Voice was rejected by the Apple App Store. As I wrote on this blog several times about Google Voice, it is disruptive technology that AT&T is threatened by, so Apple rejected it, showing us once again that Steve Jobs controls the iPhone very tightly. While this spat was ugly, it was just a lovers quarrel. The FCC got involved and some high profile tech luminaries ditched their iPhones over this, but it was a not a declaration of war.

Then came the Nexus One. Pearl Harbor. Now Google is right on Apple’s turf. Apple decided to buy a mobile advertising company to retaliate. The war is on.

Even the iPad is a front in this war. ChromeOS started to ruffle Apple’s feathers. While ChromeOS is a threat to Microsoft in the NetBook space (but Windows 7 for Netbooks is something like $7), ChromeOS is on a collision course with the iPad. In the battle for lower end light weight web device laptop/netbook/slate market, it will be ChromeOS vs the iPad.

Steve Jobs decided to get into the rally the troops mode now that war is on. As reported by Wired, Jobs went ballistic at an Apple company town hall meeting when the topic of Google was brought up.  He claimed that Google wants to kill the iPhone, but “we won’t let them!” He said that Google’s mantra of “don’t be evil” is “bullshit.”

Wow, this venom is usually reserved for Microsoft. Speaking of which, Apple is rumored to replace Google as the default search application on the iPhone with Microsoft's Bing. Warfare makes strange allies.

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posted on Sunday, 31 January 2010 22:07:10 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Wednesday, 27 January 2010

After you read Gizmodo or Tech Crunch, read this blog next.

With more hype and fanfare than the President’s State of the Union Address, Apple launched the much anticipated iPad today. Despite the surprisingly many show stopper (for me at least) complaints like: no camera for web calls, no USB ports, no widescreen form factor, AT&T 3G, no HDMI output, and no Flash and Silverlight support, the iPad will probably sell well at first. Then sales will drop off. Even though version 2.0 will have a USB port and an HDMI output, I don’t see the iPad being a massive break out hit like the iMac, iPod, and iPhones before it.

The reason why is because we just don’t want a tablet. The industry has been trying for years. Apple tried as far back as 1983 and failed. Microsoft has been trying for almost a decade and failed (Tablet PCs are only 2% of PC sales.) If you have a smart phone and a laptop, where does the slate/tablet fit in? Apple says you will use the iPad to surf the web, however, the web will be pretty crippled without any Flash or Silverlight support. Nor can you make video Skype calls. Apple says you will read books, but the battery life and eye strain will drive the eReader crowd back to the Kindle. Apple says you will watch TV and movies, however, with a 4:3 (non widescreen) form factor and without HDMI output you will watch less and less media.

Since I am not going to ditch my smartphone and I am not going to ditch my laptop, I don’t need another device to carry around. The iPad can’t replace a laptop without multitasking. It is too big to replace my phone. Apple was figuring that maybe it would replace my Kindle, however, the Kindle’s power is that it does just one thing and one thing great: it is an awesome platform to read books without any eyestrain. Nothing else.

The iPad is not a category killer. I guess Steve Jobs is human after all.

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posted on Wednesday, 27 January 2010 23:07:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Do you know Excel? Answer a few quick questions at the Excelerators Quiz site, and find out how you rate. Let me know your results and you could even win a brand new HD monitor from Microsoft! The prize you can win will include a Dell ST2310 23 inch flat panel monitor, keyboard, and mouse. (Over $250 value.)

Here is how you can win the goods:

Go take the quiz and report here your results in the comments, or ping me on Facebook. Take the quiz between today and February 4th. I will decide the winner and send the results to Microsoft. (Tiebreaker will be a PowerPivot challenge I will dream up.)

This is one of only 5 or so “official” blogs where you can win; you can only enter once. :) You also have to be a US citizen to win (sorry to my buddies in Hong Kong!).

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

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posted on Tuesday, 26 January 2010 10:10:08 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [13] Trackback
# Monday, 25 January 2010

I’ll be speaking at the Great Indian Developer Summit from April 20-23 at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India. This will be my second time to the GIDS and it will be hard to top last year’s adventure of Video Drivers, Prison Riots, and Silverlight, but I will try.

developersummit (1)

I will be speaking on .NET day on:

  • Business Intelligence Design Patterns: BI Made Easy!
  • Sharing Code between .NET and Silverlight (This is mostly on SL 3.0, but will I show how you can do it with SL 4.0 too, which is *much* easier!)

On web day I will be speaking about:

  • Building Line of Business Applications with Silverlight 4.0

Sessions are only 50 minutes, so almost no slides and almost all demo.

For the Friday Seminar, I will be doing a 3 hour workshop on Agile and Scrum. I am going to try to make this completely interactive. If you are going for a Certified Scrum Master or Certified Scrum Developer, this is a great head start.

Telerik will be a Silver Sponsor and should have a booth and (if the customs agents like us) lots of Telerik Tee shirts to give away.

Hope to see you there!

posted on Monday, 25 January 2010 21:25:19 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 23 January 2010

Last week Telerik released the Data Service Wizard Beta 1. It will automatically create for you the end points for an Astoria, WCF, or RESTful service. New in the beta of the Data Service Wizard is the ability of the wizard to automatically generate the DataServiceKey attribute required to make relationships in Astoria work.

When you use "Astoria" (ADO.NET||WCF) Data Services, by default Astoria tries to map the primary keys in your entities using a convention. This is important for your service to work. The mapping works out of the box for the Entity Framework, however, if you are using LINQ to SQL or Telerik Open Access, it does not since some of your tables may have a primary key that will not map to the CLR primitive types that follow the Astoria convention for key mapping. (Order Details in Northwind bombs for example since both of its composite key are entities and not primitive CLR types.)

There is a very simple fix for this. You have to make your entity a partial class and then decorate the entity using the DataServiceKey attribute, in the constructor. Recently we added support for this in the Data Service Wizard: by default we do this for you by adding a “DalDataServiceKeys.cs“ (or VB) file to your data access layer project automatically.

image

The code is show below for our DalDataServiceKeys.cs file shown in the Telerik.OA.DAL project above. You will notice on Line 36 we will even convert the complex type to a primitive CLR type so Astoria can handle it.

   1:  namespace Telerik.OA.DAL
   2:  {
   3:      using System.Data.Services.Common;
   4:   
   5:      /// <summary>
   6:      /// Category Class Data Service Key Fix
   7:      /// </summary>
   8:      [DataServiceKey("CategoryID")]
   9:      public partial class Category
  10:      {
  11:      }
  12:      /// <summary>
  13:      /// Customer Class Data Service Key Fix
  14:      /// </summary>
  15:      [DataServiceKey("CustomerID")]
  16:      public partial class Customer
  17:      {
  18:      }
  19:      /// <summary>
  20:      /// Employee Class Data Service Key Fix
  21:      /// </summary>
  22:      [DataServiceKey("EmployeeID")]
  23:      public partial class Employee
  24:      {
  25:      }
  26:      /// <summary>
  27:      /// Order Class Data Service Key Fix
  28:      /// </summary>
  29:      [DataServiceKey("OrderID")]
  30:      public partial class Order
  31:      {
  32:      }
  33:      /// <summary>
  34:      /// OrderDetail Class Data Service Key Fix
  35:      /// </summary>
  36:      [DataServiceKey(new string[]{"OrderID","ProductID"})]
  37:      public partial class OrderDetail
  38:      {
  39:      }
  40:      /// <summary>
  41:      /// Product Class Data Service Key Fix
  42:      /// </summary>
  43:      [DataServiceKey("ProductID")]
  44:      public partial class Product
  45:      {
  46:      }
  47:      /// <summary>
  48:      /// Region Class Data Service Key Fix
  49:      /// </summary>
  50:      [DataServiceKey("RegionID")]
  51:      public partial class Region
  52:      {
  53:      }
  54:      /// <summary>
  55:      /// Shipper Class Data Service Key Fix
  56:      /// </summary>
  57:      [DataServiceKey("ShipperID")]
  58:      public partial class Shipper
  59:      {
  60:      }
  61:      /// <summary>
  62:      /// Supplier Class Data Service Key Fix
  63:      /// </summary>
  64:      [DataServiceKey("SupplierID")]
  65:      public partial class Supplier
  66:      {
  67:      }
  68:      /// <summary>
  69:      /// Territory Class Data Service Key Fix
  70:      /// </summary>
  71:      [DataServiceKey("TerritoryID")]
  72:      public partial class Territory
  73:      {
  74:      }
  75:  }

This will enable you to use Astoria with OpenAccess for all of the tables in your database. I converted my Tech*Ed “Data Access Hacks and Shortcuts” session demo to use OpenAccess and Astoria from the Entity Framework in less than 5 minutes. (I will show it and give away the code on my blog in a week or two.)

image

Enjoy!

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posted on Saturday, 23 January 2010 06:24:52 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 22 January 2010

When Windows Mobile 6.0 shipped, Apple’s iPhone was just a rumor and Android was nowhere in sight. How times have changed, now Microsoft has been left for dead in the smartphone/mobile space.

We have been waiting, and waiting, for any news on Windows Mobile 7 from Microsoft. Two rumors leaked this week that lead us to believe that the long, long wait will be over soon.

The first, reported by WMExperts, claims that there will be news on WinMo 7 in the next two months, possibly at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in mid Feb or CTIA in Las Vegas in late March. WMExperts also say that there will be two versions of Windows Mobile 7:

  • Windows Phone 7 Business Edition
  • Windows Phone 7 Media Edition

Also on naming, WMExperts says:

First, it's not Windows Mobile 7 but just "Seven," so that's how we're going to refer to the OS from now on. Also the phrase "Microsoft Zune Phone Experience" may be tossed around.

There is a lot of information out on the site including HD, live TV, XBox integration, Exchange integration, Silverlight, etc. Sync abilities are to multiple devices, the cloud (Live Mesh?) and PCs. I am starting to believe this web site, this all sounds like Microsoft: confused launch, multiple SKUs, names, and bad marketing.

The WSJ’s “All Thins Digital” site has rumor #2: Microsoft is making their own phone. Microsoft, in conjunction with HTC (the maker of the Nexus One, can you spell conflict of interest over in Taiwan?), will release the Microsoft branded “Zune Phone”. Details are sketchy, but the Zune Phone will have HD video and music subscriptions, so it is obviously targeted at the consumer space.

I predict that Microsoft will announce Win Mobile 7 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in mid-Feb. The MVP summit is the same week in Redmond, so they can also inform the MVPs at the same time. (Steve Ballmer promised us last year we would be one of the “first to know”.) I am also going to speculate that the big developer announcements (Silverlight, etc) and the “Zune Phone” will be at Mix in Las Vegas in March. (Since I will not be at Mix, I suspect that they will give one away to each person attending, just like the PDC Tablet.) They can follow up with more details at CTIA the next week. (Also this is possibly why they moved the Visual Studio Launch to April, not to conflict with CTIA.)

Since Microsoft has waited for so long to release WinMo 7 and has done it with the Apple like secrecy, they have raised the stakes. With the hype around Android and Nexus One, and the sex-appeal of Apple, in order for Microsoft to stay in the game they have to really launch something special.

Indications are that WinMo 7 will build on top of everything Microsoft has done well in the consumer space: XBox and ZuneHD. The ZuneHD platform has gotten rave reviews, so building a phone on top of it makes sense. It would also explain why Microsoft was silent for so long on the phone, they had to first build the ZuneHD. Apparently there is good Twitter and Facebook support and via Live Mesh, you can edit documents on your PC remotely and sync them up. With awesome Office and Exchange support, that is huge for business users.

That all said, is this enough to stay relevant?

I think that Microsoft suffers from the fact that they are not named Apple or Google. Unfair, yes, but that is the game they are in. Media will immediately cover the blogs of the Apple or Google faithful and take away from any PR splash. Also since someone as lowly as I can figure out what is coming and when from Microsoft, expect Google and Apple to trump the day before the announcement. (Apple releases iPhone with SD card will dominate the news!!!)

In order to really shake things up, Microsoft has to take a gamble. They need to complete the revolution that Apple started and Google took to the next level.

As I have said before, the way Americans (and Canadians) buy mobile phones is broken. We buy crippled, subsidized  phones from carriers that lock us into an expensive contract. Apple changed that by making a phone that the carriers had no control over for the first time, however, they still got us locked into one carrier. Google changed the game by giving us an unlocked phone, but in reality you still have to deal with TMobile since the AT&T support is lacking and there is no CDMA version for Verizon yet.

In order for the Zune Phone to be disruptive, it has to be offered as both GSM and CDMA, unlocked, cost $150 (subsidized by Microsoft with Bing ads), and available at Wal Mart and Best Buy. If the phone is sexy enough where tons of people want it, they will go buy it at the local electronics store. Apple and Google will soon follow suit and we will be released from the tyranny of the carriers.

We’ll see what happens…

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posted on Friday, 22 January 2010 20:45:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Thursday, 21 January 2010

I will be presenting a half day seminar on Agile Development, Tools and Teams on Wednesday February 24th at the MCCIA in Pune. The event is brought to you free by e-Zest, MCCIA, and Telerik. Seats are limited, to sign up in advance, please email seminar@e-zest.net.

The Program Details

One of the most popular Agile project management and development methods, Scrum is starting to be adopted at major corporations and on very large projects. After an introduction to the basics of Scrum like: project planning and estimation, the Scrum Master, team, product owner and burn down, and of course the daily Scrum, Stephen (a certified Scrum Master) shows many real world applications of the methodology drawn from his own experience as a Scrum Master. Negotiating with the business, estimation and team dynamics are all discussed as well as how to use Scrum in small organizations, large enterprise environments and consulting environments. Stephen will also discuss using Scrum with virtual teams and an off-shoring environment. We’ll then take a look at the tools we will use for Agile development, including planning poker, unit testing, and much more. There will be plenty of time for Question and Answer. This seminar is a jump start for a certified scrum master exam. 

Who Should Attend 

Developers and development managers, especially those using the Microsoft .NET platform. 


Schedule and Agenda

Seminar Coverage

Time Slot

Event Registration

9:00-9:55

Speaker Introduction

9:55-10:00

Introduction to Agile Development and Scrum

10:00-11:00

Agile Estimation

11:00-11:30

High Tea Break

11:30-11:45

Implementing Scrum with remote and offshore teams

11:45-12:15

Agile Tools, Test Driven Development, and Continuous Integration

12:15-12:45

Summary, Question and Answer

12:45-1:00

Conclusion of Program

1:00

 

The Speaker

Stephen Forte is the Chief Strategy Officer of Telerik, a leading vendor in .NET components. He sits on the board of several start-ups including Triton Works and is also a certified scrum master. Prior he was the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and co-founder of Corzen, Inc, a New York based provider of online market research data for Wall Street Firms. Corzen was acquired by Wanted Technologies (TXV: WAN) in 2007. Stephen is also the Microsoft Regional Director for the NY Metro region and speaks regularly at industry conferences around the world. He has written several books on application and database development including Programming SQL Server 2008 (MS Press). Prior to Corzen, Stephen served as the CTO of Zagat Survey in New York City and also was co-founder of the New York based software consulting firm The Aurora Development Group. He currently is an MVP, INETA speaker and is the co-moderator and founder of the NYC .NET Developer User Group. Stephen has an MBA from the City University of New York. Stephen currently lives in Hong Kong and will be returning to Mt. Everest again in September 2010. 

Final Details

DATE

Wednesday February 24th, 2010

TIMING

9.00 am to 1.00 pm (registration from 9.00 a.m. to 9.45 a.m.)

VENUE

Shekhar Natu Hall, MCCIA, 403-A,Senapati Bapat Road, Pune 411 016

FEE

Free

 

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posted on Thursday, 21 January 2010 01:59:34 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Telerik is proud to announce that the Data Services Wizard beta was released today. If you have used the wizard while it was a Telerik Labs project, you will notice a ton of new features and improvements. If you are new to the wizard, now may be a good time to give it a try and give us your feedback.

The Data Service Wizard works with Telerik OpenAccess Q3 or higher and Visual Studio 2008. Our next beta, due in February, will support Visual Studio 2010 and WCF 4.0. The wizard will create a service layer for you using “Astoria” 1.0, the latest version of “Astoria”, WCF, or the WCF REST or AtomPub project templates. You can get a walk through here.

To highlight some of the new features, I will give you some screen shots below.

First we made the navigation and project selection much easier. Now you can select your data access layer and your service project in one simple screen.

image

You asked for it, we delivered it: we are proud to announce Visual Basic .NET support!

image

We have also made the code preview page page optional.  As you can see we generate VB code. :)

image

Here is the completed Astoria service:

image

We’ll post some more how to and videos soon.

Enjoy!

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posted on Wednesday, 20 January 2010 04:03:36 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Telerik has been named to the Red Herring Global 100 Award list.  The Global 100 is Red Herring’s list of the top 100 privately held global tech companies. This is like the Fortune 500 list but for tech. This is a huge deal, past award winners include Google, Yahoo!, Skype, Netscape, Salesforce.com, and YouTube.

Telerik is an Eastern European company with headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria and the only company on the Red Herring Global 100 from the former “Soviet Block.” That the company's founders grew up under communism and last week were speaking at the Red Herring 100 award ceremony about capitalism, innovation, and technology is totally awesome. Shows you how technology can empower people and change the world.

It is quite an honor to work at a company in the Red Herring Global 100.

image

According to the Red Herring web site, the selection process is:

A group of Red Herring editorial judges will review each nomination. The editors will assess nominees on both quantitative and qualitative criteria such as financial performance, technology innovation, quality of management, execution of strategy, and integration into their ecosystem. Specific to the Red Herring 100 Global Award, the judges will look closely at the company's global strategy to evaluate how the company will be able to handle the challenges of internationalization and a global presence.

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posted on Tuesday, 19 January 2010 05:32:14 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 18 January 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010
Leveling the LINQ to XML Playing Field

You must register at https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=144593 in order to be admitted to the building and attend.

Subject: 

This talk covers a wide range of techniques for working with XML in .NET. We’ll start with streaming techniques and XmlDocument, run through a quick introduction of general LINQ mechanics, and then examine how LINQ to XML greatly enhances XML access in .NET 3.5. Learn how to combine streamed XmlReader access with LINQ to XML and see how these old and new technologies integrate with one another in a very elegant way by implementing a simple custom iterator. We’ll work through demos in both C# and VB .NET, and also examine XML literals (an extremely handy VB-only feature) along the way.
Contrary to popular belief, all LINQ providers are not created equal. In fact, LINQ to XML has in one way proven to be the “weakest LINQ” of all. Unlike other major LINQ providers which give you strongly-typed objects, LINQ to XML offers no typed schema definitions (and thus, no type safety) for your code. There isn’t much recourse to this beyond writing code gen tools, using 3rd party solutions, or gambling on the LINQ to XSD provider (an MS incubation project). Lenni will demonstrate how the LINQ to XSD provider fills the gaping schema hole left by LINQ to XML. Attend this session (no prior LINQ knowledge required) and get the full LINQ story for LINQ to XML.

Speaker: 
Leonard Lobel
Leonard Lobel is a principal consultant at twentysix New York, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. Programming since 1979, Lenni specializes in Microsoft-based solutions, with experience that spans a variety of business domains, including publishing, financial, wholesale/retail, health care, and e-commerce. Lenni has served as chief architect and lead developer for various organizations, ranging from small shops to high-profile clients. He is also a consultant, trainer, and frequent speaker at local usergroup meetings, VSLive, SQL PASS, and other industry conferences. Lenni is also lead author in the MS Press book "Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2008".

Date: 
Thursday, January 21, 2010

Time: 
Reception 6:00 PM , Program 6:15 PM

Location:  
Microsoft , 1290 Avenue of the Americas (the AXA building - bet. 51st/52nd Sts.) , 6th floor

Directions:
B/D/F/V to 47th-50th Sts./Rockefeller Ctr
1 to 50th St./Bway
N/R/W to 49th St./7th Ave.

posted on Monday, 18 January 2010 20:31:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback