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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 #272

Friday, June 22, 2018
This Week I Learned -

If you use less than the given size, then Azure Unmanaged Disks will cost less than Azure Managed Disks. If you use more, then Managed Disks cost will be less than unmanaged disks.

GCPing.com can be used to measure your latency to GCP regions

* Through ad personalization, Google makes your ads more useful on Google services (ex: Search, YouTube), and on websites & apps that partner with Google to show ads.

Machines are constantly monitoring everything we do online and how we use hardware. There is no opt-out there.

NtechLab's facial recognition algorithms can recognize a person’s ethnicity

Phrenology is the study of skulls. Phrenology is outdated today, but it was a popular area of study in the nineteenth century. It was considered a "pseudoscience," or false science, even at the time, yet phrenology was taken seriously by some psychiatrists and neurologists, who would feel a patient's head for bumps they believed revealed aspects of personality, character, and health - Vocabulary.com

Embrace the fact that you are the pilot of your career. No one else has direct access to your ambitions, interests, and values, and no one is going to take you by the hand and help you create a fulfilling career. The more you practice career crafting, the better you get at it.

* In the United States, the Federal Government is described as an alphabet soup on account of the multitude of agencies that it has spawned, including the NSA, CIA, FBI, USSS, ATF, DEA, EPA, NCIS, IRS and INS.

Uber Movement uses anonymized, collated data of rides on its platform since 2016 to show travel duration between locations over time

* Only 25% of India's workforce is female and 97 per cent of all female worker activity is in the informal sector, according to a McKinsey report

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018
A comparison of Google Kubernetes Engine, Azure Kubernetes Service & AWS Elastic Container Service by Tirumarai Selvan of Hasura

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Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers

Sunday, June 17, 2018
Gartner's Magic Quadrant graphic plots the vendors based on completeness of their vision and ability to execute. “a public cloud infrastructure managed service provider (MSP), in the context of this Magic Quadrant, is an MSP that offers managed services and professional services related to infrastructure and platform operations for one or more hyperscale integrated infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)+platform-as-a-service (PaaS) providers”. Gartner's categorization of Managed Service Providers (MSP) for public clouds for 2018:

Leaders section contains the vendors that Gartner believes have a track record of successful delivery of high-quality managed services that utilize the capabilities of the cloud platform.

Challengers section consists of vendors that have a strong track record but might not be able to evolve quickly enough to expand beyond their primary geography or use-case focus.

Gartner sees Visionaries as vendors who are well positioned for the future. However, they don’t currently have a strong track record of success over a multiyear period.

Gartner defines Niche Players as vendors who are not well-positioned to achieve broad success in the near future.

IT Pro Today has its own assessment of  Top 10 Public Cloud Migration Services Providers. It reports despite employing more than 47,000 cloud professionals around the world, Accenture relies heavily on tools that automate the cloud migration process - apparently 75 percent of migrations are completed through automated tool sets. Accenture has been on a cloud migration journey of its own, already having moved about 85 percent of its infrastructure to the cloud as of March.

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This Week I Learned - Week #271

Friday, June 15, 2018
This Week I Learned -

* GPv1 or Blob storage accounts can easily be upgraded to GPv2 in the portal, or using PowerShell or CLI. Downgrades from GPv2 are not supported. General-purpose v1 (GPv1) accounts provide access to all Azure Storage services, but may not have the latest features or the lowest per gigabyte pricing. For example, cool storage and archive storage are not supported in GPv1. Pricing is lower for GPv1 transactions, so workloads with high churn or high read rates may benefit from this account type.

* Outbound data transfer (bandwidth) between Azure services located in two regions is charged whereas inbound data transfer is free. However, note that following Availability Zone data transfer is charged:
- Data transfer, ingress and egress, from a VNet resource deployed in an Availability Zone to another resource in different Availability Zone in the same VNET. Availability Zone data transfer pricing is only applicable to VNet resources which are deployed in an Availability Zone

Following Availability Zone data transfer is NOT charged:
- Data transfer between VNet resources located in same Availability Zone
- Data transfer between a VNet resource and a Public IP address in the same Azure Region
- Data transfer between VNet resources located in peered VNets across Availability Zones. This data transfer will be charges as per VNet peering rates.

* Preemptible GPUs are ideal for customers with short-lived, fault-tolerant and batch workloads such as machine learning (ML) and high-performance computing (HPC).

* Swedish caller identification app, Truecaller which boasts about 60% of its user base from India has acquired payments startup Chillr to help it roll out credit and financial services to its Indian users. Chillr which was launched in 2014 as multi-bank payment application, got a major boost after HDFC Bank chose to allow customers to integrate their accounts with it to facilitate bank-to-bank transfers.  Truecaller made its entry into payments last year by integrating transfers based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) through a partnership with ICICI Bank - Times of India

* The Central Board of Secondary Education in India now prescribes Python for grades 11 and 12. The textbooks are offered in ebook format on its website. Up from Slavery, considered to be one of the most popular African American autobiographies is also part of grade 11 curriculum.

* Oslo Airport officially opened for business in Fornebu peninsula in 1939

* Brent crude is up 19% in 2018 so far after moving up 12% in 2017.

* Uber India figures show that over 70 per cent of the Android users in India are on older devices. Uber Lite is a 5 MB version of the rider app that works on any Android phone and with low connectivity. Maps in Uber Lite are optional. The more you use Uber Lite, the smarter the app gets, learning where you go most often and surfacing those options for you to tap first, so you don’t have to type your destination every time.

* Dr M R Rajagopal, called the father of palliative care in India was awarded the Padma Shri for his untiring efforts in making the lives of the terminally ill peaceful and comfortable. It was because of his relentless efforts that Parliament passed an amendment to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
Substances Act in 2014. Palliative care is most developed in some European countries like Germany, France and also the UK.

About 98% of the DNA in your genes is exactly the same as in chimpanzees. Humans and gorillas share 98.4 percent of their DNA. Cows (Bos taurus) are 80% genetically similar to humans

In March 2018, PSBs held bad loans of Rs 9 lakh crore—close to what was collected as taxes on income from companies and individuals in 2017-18.

* "Power corrupts, but the prospect of losing power corrupts absolutely" - Ram Jethmalani

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Estimate Azure Costs - Azure Managed Disks

Thursday, June 14, 2018
Info here is paraphrased from official documentation on Managed Disks - Pricing

* The total cost of Premium SSD Managed Disks depends on the size and number of the disks and will be affected by the number of outbound data transfers. There are no transaction costs for Premium Disks.

The total cost of Standard SSD Managed Disk storage depends on the size and number of disks, the number of transactions and the number of outbound data transfers.

The total cost of Standard HDD Managed Disk storage depends on the size and number of disks, the number of transactions and the number of outbound data transfers.

Microsoft currently charges $0.001 (preview price) per 10,000 transactions for Standard SSD Managed Disks & $0.0005 per 10,000 transactions for Standard HDD Managed Disks. Any type of operation against the storage is counted as a transaction, including reads, writes and deletes.

If you use Managed Disks for less than a month, the charges will be pro-rated on an hourly basis using the monthly price.

Managed disks are only available for Locally Redundant Storage (LRS).

Standard SSD Managed Disks can be easily upgraded to Premium SSD Managed Disks for more demanding and latency-sensitive enterprise workloads.

You will be charged the same rate for your provisioned disk, regardless of how much of the disk space of a Managed Disk is being used.