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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 #120

Sunday, July 26, 2015
This Week I Learned -

* Google currently supports more than 80 APIs that developers can use to integrate Google services and data into their applications.

X-Ray for Movies & TV is a feature available on Kindle and Wii U devices that enables Amazon Instant Video viewers to easily and seamlessly learn more about the video they’re watching. It is designed to enrich the experience of watching movies and TV shows by embedding IMDb’s content into the Amazon Instant Video viewing experience. On books, X-Ray lets you trace characters, places, and ideas as you journey through chapters, using information from Shelfari, YouTube, and Wikipedia.

* The eight Harry Potter movies earned over 7 billion worldwide.

HDFC Bank Ltd is the leader in mobile banking with 38.2% market share in FY15, followed by ICICI Bank

* The main business of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation as its name implies should have been catering but it makes more money from online ticketing mainly as it is a monopoly.

Indian Railways is cash strapped and reported a loss of ₹30,000 crores (₹300bn) in the passenger segment for the year ending March 2014.

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This Week I Learned - Week #119

Saturday, July 18, 2015
This Week I Learned -

* Each Azure subscription supports up to 50 storage accounts (so 500 TB (for each Azure storage account * 50 = 25 Petabytes)  and therefore 25 Petabytes

* Affinity groups are no longer recommended, or required for virtual networksNo longer do you need to explicitly group resources in close proximity to each other to minimize latency between items like VNETs, VMs, and storageImprovements to the Azure virtual network infrastructure have made communication between different parts of the Azure DC very quick.

Azure API Management service lets you take existing backends and project a mobile-friendly, modern RESTful URL structure, transform XML to JSON on the fly, without costly modification work involving engineering teams and months of waiting.

Twitter, GitHub, StackOverflow, Instagram, Snapchat, Flickr use Redis in some form or the other. Redis is an open-source advanced key-value cache and store. Redis is a managed service on Azure. What this means is, Azure will give you ready-to-use features and services of Redis and you can plug-and-play them into your application. You get access to a secure, dedicated Redis cache and this is accessible from any application within Azure.

* SAP, the worldwide ERP Software Giant, sees cloud revenues surpassing on-premise revenues by 2018.

Don't ever check any sort of server credentials (API keys, database passwords, etc.) into source control

* The value of outsourcing deals worldwide in 2014 is $120.4 billion, down from $206.8 billion in 2010.

Outsourcing accounts for around 20% of all of India’s exports of goods and services.

Nasscom estimates that only 200,000-220,000 outsourcing jobs will be added in India in 2015 compared with 273,000 new jobs in 2011.

* The Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol is a network file sharing protocol. Samba is a free software re-implementation of the SMB/CIFS networking protocol

Just 200M systems left on Windows XP. Microsoft stopped delivering Security Essentials signatures for XP this week.

* As per CIBIL data, 79% of loans sanctioned are to individuals with a score of 750 and higher.

* "sandhi" is a word of Sanskrit origin that's used in English as well.

* "the power of trignometry is that it acts like a dictionary translating geometry into numbers & back"

* The Argumentum ad hominem, or simply ad hominem argument, applies to any argument that centers on emotional (specifically irrelevant emotions) rather than rational or logical appeal. An ad hominem argument occurs when one attacks the person making an argument rather than the argument itself.

* Indoor Lightning Safety tips - Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity, avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets. Get out of and away from open waterHair standing on end and tingling skin may be signs that a lightning strike may be imminent

* When a third-party application uses Facebook as an OAuth provider & when a user is redirected to Facebook to approve that third-party application to use their personal details, there is an option to edit the info that can be provided (like email address and more specific personal details than just the name). This is nice and I wonder if it was there earlier

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HOW TO extract sets of pages from a PDF document or web page to a new PDF

Monday, July 13, 2015
There are free tools like PDFRider that let you manipulate PDF files and do things like extracting only some pages from a PDF document & packaging them into a new PDF. But why bother installing tools when Google Chrome browser can do that for you.

Chrome can open not just web pages but also local PDFs. You don't need a PDF reader anymore if all you generally do is scroll through them.

With the Print option of Chrome, you can save any web page as a PDF. What's more, you can extract sets of pages from a PDF document or specific pages of a web page to a new PDF by specifying page ranges separated by a comma.
This is not a common use case but remember when you face such a scenario, you don't need any other utilities.


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This Week I Learned - Week #118

Saturday, July 11, 2015
This Week I Learned -

* The new version of the Azure Pricing Calculator is a lot more useful

Azure Data Catalog is a fully managed service that stores, describes, indexes and provides information on how to access any registered data source. It closes the gap between those seeking information and those producing it. Azure Data Catalog uses a crowdsourced approach.

Power BI service is a cloud-hosted, business intelligence and analytics service (“SaaS”)

Think of machine learning simply as a branch of statistics, designed for a world of big data.

* “Everything in the company is really driven by machine learning.” - ex-Google employee

Apple..makes ~80%ish of their revenue from iOS-based products while Google makes ~90%ish of its revenue from advertising

Google collected about $11.8 billion on mobile search ads in 2014, with about 75 percent coming from ads on iPhones and iPads.

* It is estimated that Google lost out on $6.6 billion in global revenue to ad blockers last year...that's 10% of the total revenue Google reported in 2014.

Google (as well as Microsoft, Amazon, and Taboola) are made to pay Adblock Plus huge fees - up to 30% of the additional ad revenues they would have made were the ads unblocked

E-commerce makes up for only 6.6% of all retail sales in the US

* As of April 2015, 554.7 million debit cards were issued in India. The number for credit cards stood at 21.3 million.

* ..western companies are being offered packages costing as little as $1 per 1,000 clicks to increase internet traffic or purchase 1,000 to 10,000 Facebook “likes” or Twitter followers. One such  Indian "click farm" company is calling its service “social media optimisation”

Raj Rajaratnam: “Americans are born salesmen and born negotiators.” When he was a kid, if he wanted to go to a movie and his father said no, that was it. With his American-born son, however, “if I say no, he starts negotiating.”

Xiaomi is pronounced Shaow-me

* 17% of the world's population is in India but it has just 4% of the world's water & 2% of land

* Parents, grateful for ways to calm disruptive children and keep them from interrupting their own screen activities, seem to be unaware of the potential harm from so much time spent in the virtual world....Television, long a popular “babysitter,” remains the dominant medium, but computers, tablets and cellphones are gradually taking over....Many (children) come to view the real world as fake - NY Times

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Facebook Security Threats

Friday, July 10, 2015
Hit F12 (keyboard shortcut for the browser's Developer Tools) while you're signed into Facebook and click on the Console tab. You'll see this -
That's the JavaScript console used by web developers which is usually blank but Facebook inserts a warning  there to alert unsuspecting users who can become victims of a social engineering attack.

As there are multiple ways (self-XSS, clickjacking, sharebaiting, phishing, bad apps, access token theft) that a non-technical Facebook users can be exploited by web scamsters, Facebook documents the ways in which victims can fall prey possibly hoping that they will bother to read it. Instead the explanations can actually teach aspiring hackers how to trap gullible users.

Also see: Facebook embarrassment

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