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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
A seasoned developer's little discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

This Week I Learned - Week #103

Sunday, March 29, 2015
This Week I Learned -

4.9M organizations are using Azure AD to manage > 430M identities

In mono/master 1,251 classes have been replaced with Microsoft's open sourced ones. With over 144 patches to MS reference source.

NetWorxBitMeter OS are free tools that offer bandwidth monitoring and usage reporting

* Amazon's Cloud Drive 5 GB plan which was free earlier is no longer available and has been replaced with a free 3-month trial of one of the Unlimited plans. Access to existing files has not changed. This could impact the Send to Kindle by E-mail feature

* 10% of Amazon's total revenues come from AWS' revenues

On October 24, 2012 Corning announced that over one billion mobile devices used Gorilla Glass. Gorilla Glass 3 is up to three times more scratch-resistant than the previous version

* A 64-GB iPhone 5s costs $218 to manufacture and retails at $849.

* Section 66A of the Information Technology Act 2000 which curbs the freedom of speech of Indians has been struck down by the Supreme Court of India after a 24-year old law student Shreya Singhal filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2012.

* India is currently ranked 142nd among 189 countries in the ease-of-doing business index

* The website of National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), a joint initiative of IITs and IISc funded by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India, has 860+ courses as of Feb 2015

* Elevated metro costs 200 crore/km to construct, Underground Metro costs Rs 450 crore/km, Light rail (surface) costs Rs 60 crore/km while Bus Rapid Transit takes 15-20 crores/km

* Dr B.R.Ambedkar, the Father Of Indian Constitution, was defeated by an obscure milkman named Kajrolkar in the first General elections of India, held in 1952.

* Freak floods have swamped Chile's Atacama desert. The heavy rains came after several days of high temperatures and a drought that stoked raging wildfires in Chile’s south-central regions.

* Earthquake-prone Chile is no stranger to the forces of nature - The Guardian

* The governments of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the two largest emirates, have provided about $39 billion in subsidies to the airlines -- Qatar, the flag carrier of Qatar; and Etihad and Emirates, flag carriers of the UAE - The Street

* The trouble with socialist policies is you eventually run out of other people's money to distribute - Margaret Thatcher

* "I don't need you to remind me of my age, I have my bladder to do it for me" - Stephen Fry


Important links on Azure to be reviewed frequently

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
To design and develop effective Cloud solutions, Azure developers have to keep track of evolving changes and key facts & numbers. The official information on the following needs to be reviewed frequently:


This Week I Learned - Week #102

Saturday, March 21, 2015
This Week I Learned:

Currently, there are over 70 PaaS vendors

OpenID Connect 1.0 is a simple identity layer on top of the OAuth 2.0 protocol. OpenID Connect performs many of the same tasks as OpenID 2.0, but does so in a way that is API-friendly, and usable by native and mobile applications.

There is a setting in the Azure Preview (Ibiza) Portal  that allows you to disable all animations to make the page run faster.

* MapmyIndia, a India-specific GPS navigation and location-based services provider, now offers REST-based APIs for a range of services

* Twitter now provides analytics for each tweet viewable only by the subscriber i.e I can see analytics for my own tweets.

* 93% of Fortune 1000 use Active Directory

Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, the beloved American comic strip, was the very definition of a cartoonist who hated provocation....In the late 1960s and 70s Schulz had a squeaky clean image. He didn't drink. He taught Sunday school. His bestseller was “Happiness Is a Warm Puppy.” In the 1950s he tithed his salary to the Church of God. In the 1940s his mother told Sparky (that was his nickname) that his cartoons weren't “smutty” enough - The Atlantic

Celebrities have often sought confidentiality about their residences. But now, say those signing the N.D.A.s, the secrecy is sometimes sought by people who don’t necessarily have their own renown, but who work for well-known tech companies — Facebook, Google, Twitter. Some people requiring nondisclosure are the very ones who have built an industry on its opposite, the disclosure of personal information - NY Times

South Korea’s chaebol (massive family-controlled conglomerates) helped fueled an astounding 21-fold increase in per capita output. To put that growth in context, in 1965 the country was poorer than Bolivia and Mozambique—even North Korean per capita income was three times greater. Today, South Korea is richer than Saudi Arabia and generates nearly four times more output per person than China. During this miraculous economic ascent, chaebol policy was rarely questioned, and with good reason. South Korea’s top 10 family conglomerates have become some of the world’s most successful and admired brands—household names like Samsung, Hyundai, and LG—and account for roughly 80 percent of the country’s GDP. Without them, South Korea would look more like emerging Vietnam than developed Japan, the only other Asian country to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s club of “developed” economiesThe Atlantic

AC Nielsen ORG pegs Good Day as a Rs. 1,500-crore brand. It is estimated to have daily sales of 365 tonnes that go into 3.8 million packs. In sales terms, Good Day is the second largest biscuit brand in the country, next to Parle G (2012) - The Hindu Business Line

The Sun Temple in Konark took 12 years to build. Elephant labor & Iron were used.


This Week I Learned - Week #101

Sunday, March 15, 2015
This Week I Learned:

* With Office 365 and SharePoint Online, you don’t have the luxury to deploy your farm solutions, which is where your traditional timer jobs normally live. Azure WebJob can be used to schedule our tasks.

Microsoft Azure Mobile Engagement is a new service that provides real-time actionable analytics to increase app usage. It is a data-driven user engagement platform that combines real-time analytics with push notifications and in-app messaging.

OneDrive for Business and Sites APIs now support cross-origin resource sharing (CORS). Soon, Mail, Calendar and Contacts are next in line for CORS support. The release means that developers can call Office 365 APIs from both the server and client sides. Client-side calls result in developers writing single-page applications that interact with Office 365 APIs. Calls no longer need to proxy through a server-side service. Microsoft anticipates the offering will lead to a better user experience and better performance. CORS support enables Web clients to request back-end resources from other Web clients in an entirely different domainProgrammableWeb

* You can publish hybrid apps in any of the major app stores: Microsoft Windows Store, Google Play, Apple App Store, Amazon Appstore and even BlackBerry World.  Hybrids are essentially Web site wrappers. You can also build a Hybrid app using the Windows Phone HTML5 project template with C# or Visual Basic .NET. Finally, take any XAML-based app and add a WebView control for the same effect. The WebView control behaves as if it were a browser. This means you control it by calling methods like Navigate, Refresh or Stop, often mapping to an equivalent user-driven action - MSDN Mag

In Japan, mobile payments can be traced back more than a decade to 2004, when Japan’s mobile giant, NTT Docomo, debuted its Osaifu-Keitai system. It has become hugely popular and has morphed into Japan’s de facto standard, supporting a wide variety of e-money and e-ticketing functions, including ID and access cards, credit and store loyalty programs, and paying for public transit. The popular M-Pesa system (“M” for “mobile,” and “Pesa” means “money” in Swahili), which launched in Kenya and Tanzania in 2007, has become one of the world’s most popular mobile payments system, with an estimated 17 million users in Kenya, or 70 percent of the country’s adult population.

Opponents of genetically modified crops often complain that moving genes between species is unnatural. It has been known for a while that some genes move from one species to another given the chance, in a process called horizontal gene transfer. Genes for antibiotic resistance, for example, swap freely between species of bacteria. Human beings have at least 145 genes picked up from other species by their forebears. Admittedly, that is less than 1% of the 20,000 or so humans have in total - Economist

* The population of the world grew from 1 billion in 1800 to 2 billion by early 1900. It however crossed 5 billion before 2000 and now stands at over 7 billion. However, Stats superstar Hans Rosling sizes up the planet and says 'Don't Panic'.

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Notes: "Azure Search 101 - Getting started with Azure Search with Liam Cavanagh"

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Scott and Liam discuss Azure Search in the Azure Friday "shorts" series

* Azure Search is a search-as-a-service solution or a "poor man's search" equivalent of SQL Server FTS

* Features include search box auto-suggestions, handling of misspelled words

* No crawler involved, you have to push the content as JSON document. Instead of a pull by a crawler to index content, content to be searched is pushed
Content to index
* Pure REST-based API service which supports OData so it can be leveraged by any platform not just .NET. A query to filter search (all fields) records would have querystring key-value as follows:

* To show a highlighted search result, use querystring key-value highlight={fieldname}

* How does it compare with Lucene, Solr? Search is fully-managed by Azure & it is easier to maintain & tune

* There is a free plan that allows a sandbox environment to experiment with the feature