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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

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


This Week I Learned - Week #233

Friday, September 22, 2017
This Week I Learned -

* Azure Availability Zone & Azure confidential computing are among the newest features to be introduced.

* Azure Container Service and Azure Service Fabric run on Virtual Machine Scale Sets.

* ..the growing availability of high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods is generating a new type of malnutrition, one in which a growing number of people are both overweight and undernourished.obesity has been an unexpected side effect of making inexpensive processed food more widely available. Part of the problem, he added, is a natural tendency for people to overeat as they can afford more food. As multinational companies push deeper into the developing world, they are transforming local agriculture, spurring farmers to abandon subsistence crops in favor of cash commodities like sugar cane, corn and soybeans — the building blocks for many industrial food products.For a growing number of nutritionists, the obesity epidemic is inextricably linked to the sales of packaged foods, which grew 25 percent worldwide from 2011 to 2016 - NY Times

..credit bureaus have shown themselves time and again to be terribly unreliable stewards of sensitive consumer data: This time, the intruders were able to get in because Equifax apparently fell behind in patching its Internet-facing Web applications.

Various ways that miscreants can monetize hacked PCs

Krebs’s 3 Basic Rules for Online Safety
- “If you didn’t go looking for it, don’t install it!”
- “If you installed it, update it.”
- “If you no longer need it, remove it.”

* Commercial aircraft fly on autopilot for much of the time. For most pilots, automation usually ensures that operations stay well within safe, predictable limits. Pilots spend much of their time managing and monitoring, rather than actively flying, their aircraft. Transient icing of the speed sensors on the Airbus A330 flight AF447 caused inconsistent airspeed readings, which in turn led the flight computer to disconnect the autopilot and withdraw flight envelope protection, as it was programmed to do when faced with unreliable data...the crew of AF447 could not deal with the “automation surprises,” such as technology behaving in ways that they did not understand or expect...and AF447 crashed into the ocean...More automation reduces the risk of human errors, most of the time, as shown by aviation’s excellent and improving safety record. But automation also leads to the subtle erosion of cognitive abilities that may only manifest themselves in extreme and unusual situations...organizations need to be aware of the vulnerabilities that automation can create and think more creatively about ways to patch them.- HBR

Australia's "magnetic" termites align their homes with the poles of the Earth

* The average life expectancy in the United States is 79.1.

* How to embrace old age 
- Diversify your friends - try to have a friend “from every decade of life.”
- Get ready - The quality of your later life is partly under your control
- Embrace the positives - Find something to commit to improving, whether it’s tennis or cabinetry or helping others, especially younger people.
- Reject ageist attitudes - Too often, the myths create barriers or limits

* CallHealth is promoted by Sandhya Raju, the daughter-in-law of B Ramalinga Raju, founder of the scam-hit Satyam Computers - Rediff

* The latest circular by the railway board says that the passengers in the reserved coaches can only sleep between 10 pm and 6 am to allow others to sit on the seats for the rest of the time. The earlier permissible sleep time was between 9 pm and 6 am - NDTV

* The gains from investing in direct plans can be higher than the difference in expense ratios - Rediff

* The top mutual funds in the large-cap category, Birla SunLife Frontline Equity Fund, HDFC Top 200 and SBI Bluechip -- all with assets of over Rs 15,000 crore have four stocks in common in their top 10 picks. These include HDFC Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Infosys. And the combined percentage holdings of these four stocks is over 15 per cent in all the three schemes' portfolios - Rediff

India's insurance density is one-tenth of China's

Educated youth in Hyderabad are taking to cyber crime to earn money.

* A private equity executive, Mr. Schwarzman donated $100 million to the New York Public Library in 2008, effectively buying the right to have his name on the main branch - Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

* Bill Aitken, 83, gave up his British passport and became an Indian citizen in 1972. The procedure included placing an advertisement in Hindi in the local newspaper Almora Shakti. The route of his journey from England to India which he travelled at 25 years of age with 50 pounds (around Rs 1,000 in today's time) - England-Belgium-Luxemburg-Germany-Austria-Croatia-Serbia-Macedonia-Greece-Turkey-Syria --Lebanon-Jordon-Israel-sail back to Turkey-Iran-Pakistan-India.Wagah was a quiet crossing at that time without the masculine theatre that is played out between Indian and Pakistan every evening. He caught a train to Amritsar to visit the Golden Temple and then onward to Delhi where he stayed at the Birla Mandir, which was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi with the condition that it should be open to people of all castes. For twelve years, every winter, he set out of Delhi on his motorbike to the Deccan and says the most beautiful mandir he has ever seen is the 13th century Ramappa temple in Telangana. He has written over a dozen books travelling through the country on his motorbike and trains including Seven Sacred Rivers

* "We are not born with religion, we are born to find our religion" - Bill Aitken

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This Week I Learned - Week #232

Saturday, September 16, 2017
This Week I Learned -

B-Series is a new Azure VM family that provides the lowest cost of any existing size with flexible CPU usage.

Map of Azure & AWS data centers

AWS Quick Start reference deployments, part of the AWS Architecture Center help you rapidly deploy fully functional software on the AWS Cloud, following AWS best practices for security and availability. An AWS CloudFormation template automates the deployment, and a deployment guide describes the architecture and implementation in detail. Quick Starts are modular and customizable; you can layer additional functionality on top or modify them for your own implementations.

JSON2Table can show JSON content as a HTML table and in treeview format.

json2html is an open source javascript library that uses JSON templates to convert JSON objects to HTML.

A Computer Science degree isn’t required for Google's software engineering or product manager roles.

Telugu ranks as the fifth-largest Indian language on Wikipedia with nearly 67,000 articles. It has been growing over the years since 2003, when the Telugu Wikipedia started.

* The majority of flu vaccines contain viruses which are already dead, so you can’t get the flu from them

Contrary to popular belief, stress does not influence a person’s chances of graying.

* According to Central Government statistics, one out of 89 children live with autism displaying symptoms that include poor eye contact, decreased social response, repetitive behaviours, lack of expected language and social development, and decreased non-verbal communication and gestures. While there is no cure for autism, known as a lifelong disorder, early intervention can improve the quality of life in these children, say medical experts - The Hindu

* In June, the RBI identified 12 major companies for insolvency proceedings, each owing over Rs 5,000 crores. Bhushan Steel, Electosteel Steel and Lanco Infratech headed the dirty dozen, owing a whopping Rs 1,75,000 crore (almost a quarter of all bad bank loans) - Swaminomics

* In the past three years, personal loans have grown at twice the rate of growth in personal disposable income, leading to a steady rise in household indebtedness. At the end of March this year, Indians owed Rs 25.2 lakh crore to banks and listed non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), up 65 per cent in the past three years - Rediff

* The Sardar Sarovar Dam has been inaugurated 56 years after its foundation was laid by then PM Jawaharlal Nehru.

* Backward Class (BC) communities are said to constitute about 50 per cent of the Telangana's population. According to sources, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao wants to set up a Most Backward Classes (MBC) finance corporation with a fund of  Rs 1000 crore - Times of India

* "Unlike the French aristocracy, which believed that the natural state of man is idleness, I think passionate work is essential to happiness. Instead of detaching oneself from work, Krishna advises us to act desirelessly, which means not to seek personal credit or reward from one’s work. When I am absorbed in passionate work, I find that my ego tends to disappear. Passionate, self-forgetting work is of high quality because you are not distracted by the ego. This is my recipe for making a life, and it is also the secret of happiness" - Gurcharan Das

‘Life isn’t about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself’ - George Bernard Shaw

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What drive letters should you use for your Azure VM Data Disks?

Saturday, September 09, 2017
On an Azure VM the SYSTEM disk is deployed on the C: drive.

The D: drive is temporary. This means that when you shut down a VM, anything you stored on that disk in your session would be lost. This D: drive could be used for things like page files.

By default the E: drive is used for the DVD drive by Azure.

The data disks on your VM start at drive letter F: and goes up from there (G:, H:, I:, etc.). This is where you would store data files.

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This Week I Learned - Week #231

Friday, September 08, 2017
This Week I Learned -

The Azure Portal may not tell you everything. RTFM - To convert an existing Azure Traffic Manager profile to geographic routing type, you first need to associate geographic regions to all its endpoints using the Azure Traffic Manager REST API before changing the routing type to geographic. If using portal, first delete the endpoints, change the routing method of the profile to geographic and then add the endpoints along with their geographic region mapping.

Traffic Manager is only eligible for use with App Services (formerly known as Azure Websites and Azure Mobile Services) at the 'Standard' level or above. If you downgrade your App Service to the Free or Basic tiers, it shows as 'stopped' in Traffic Manager

* Azure Traffic Manager can provide failovers under 10 seconds after an endpoint goes unhealthy

* You can view, add, edit and remove files to be hosted in Azure Web App using the Kudu service Dashboard & just the browser.

* PowerShell Module Browser can search all PowerShell modules and cmdlets from Microsoft

* Whether or not you take the Google Certified Mobile Web Specialist certification exam, the study guide [PDF] has a list of good mobile web app development topics to go through

* Sabeer Bhatia was twenty-six when he started Hotmail

* Bigbasket offers its search feature for 18,000 products in 7 Indian languages

* Under US federal law, foreign governments, companies and citizens are prohibited from spending money to influence American elections. Providing new evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Facebook disclosed on Wednesday that it had identified more than $100,000 worth of divisive ads on hot-button issues purchased by a shadowy Russian company linked to the Kremlin - NY Times

* ...owing to the nature of machine-learning, all facial-recognition systems inevitably deal in probabilities. Google has explicitly turned its back on matching faces to identities, for fear of its misuse by undemocratic regimes. Other tech firms seem less picky. Amazon and Microsoft are both using their cloud services to offer face recognition; it is central to Facebook’s plans.

Raw Pressery cold-pressed juices have a shelf life of 21 days. Raw Pressery draws inspiration from organic, non-GMO, cold-pressed Suja Juice which contain ingredients like superherb, ashwagandha and turmeric. Cold-Pressured refers to the process by which fresh food products, such as juice, are preserved using High Pressure Processing (HPP) as opposed to high heat. HPP is a method of preserving packaged food products using extremely high pressure. Hydraulic fluid (normally water) is placed in a chamber and pressurized with a pump. This pressure is transmitted through the package into the food itself. This process extends the shelf life & helps to maintain the essential vitamins, minerals & enzymes in our organic cold-pressed juices and functional beverages.

* The construction industry is the second largest employment generator in India after agriculture.

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Azure Site Recovery vs other DR strategies

Tuesday, September 05, 2017
A comparison of Azure Site Recovery and other DR strategies from the Microsoft Ignite session "Migrate and disaster recover Azure workloads"

click on image for enlarged view

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