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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

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



HOW TO get a transcript of YouTube captions

Sunday, June 26, 2022

The YouTube video transcript is a great feature to use if you have to take notes while watching or if you're interested in just the content. 

This feature works on the YouTube website on a desktop browser while viewing videos for which captions are available. 

Click the horizontal three dot menu beneath the YouTube video. In the menu that opens up, click "Show Transcript". 

The transcript will appear next to the video.

I like that I was also able to search for a keyword using the browser's Find (Ctrl+F) functionality and jump to that specific point in the video.

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This Week I Learned - Week #24 2022

Saturday, June 25, 2022

This Week I Learned - 

Azure SQL migration extension for Azure Data Studio enables you to assess, get Azure recommendations and migrate your SQL Server databases to Azure.

* The Microsoft Offensive Research & Security Engineering (MORSE) team’s charter is to ensure that Microsoft ships the world’s most secure operating systems, cloud platforms, and edge devices. It is responsible for secure design reviews, code reviews, penetration testing, developing frameworks and rules for automated static analysis and fuzzing, and creating platform-wide vulnerability-class mitigations.

* Face recognition systems use computer algorithms to pick out specific, distinctive details about a person’s face. These details, such as distance between the eyes or shape of the chin, are then converted into a mathematical representation and compared to data on other faces collected in a face recognition database. The data about a particular face is often called a face template and is distinct from a photograph because it’s designed to only include certain details that can be used to distinguish one face from another. Some face recognition systems, instead of positively identifying an unknown person, are designed to calculate a probability match score between the unknown person and specific face templates stored in the database. These systems will offer up several potential matches, ranked in order of likelihood of correct identification, instead of just returning a single result. - EFF

* The SmartClick age detection API documentation reveals that their API is based on a regression model algorithm using deep learning techniques. A deep learning model is trained on a large database with the faces of humans and the age they are at the time when the picture was taken. Using a regression technique, the model learns to predict age.

Python is executable pseudocode - Randall Munroe, xkcd

* Blood transfusion is required only if the platelet count drops below 10,000 or is less than 20,000 accompanied by bleeding manifestation. In dengue, platelet count itself doesn’t have much of a role. Patients need to be concerned only in serious cases of dengue, wherein there is multi-organ failure, fall in blood pressure and the capillaries start leaking water. This happens in 0.5 to one per cent of dengue cases.

* World Vitiligo Day takes place on June 25. Vitiligo (vit-ih-LIE-go) is a disease that causes loss of skin color in patches. The discolored areas usually get bigger with time. The condition can affect the skin on any part of the body. It can also affect hair and the inside of the mouth. Normally, the color of hair and skin is determined by melanin. Vitiligo occurs when cells that produce melanin die or stop functioning. Vitiligo affects people of all skin types, but it may be more noticeable in people with brown or Black skin. The condition is not life-threatening or contagious. It can be stressful or make you feel bad about yourself. Vitiligo can start at any age, but usually appears before age 30. It's difficult to predict how this disease will progress. Sometimes the patches stop forming without treatment. In most cases, pigment loss spreads and eventually involves most of the skin. Occasionally, the skin gets its color back. Vitiligo has no cure. It may be related to: 

  • A disorder of the immune system (autoimmune condition) 
  • Family history (heredity)
  • A trigger event, such as stress, severe sunburn or skin trauma, such as contact with a chemical

* Happiness is not absence of suffering. It comes with acceptance and gratitude for the conditions of life.

* A weeb is a derisive term for a non-Japanese person who is so obsessed with Japanese culture that they wish they were actually Japanese.

* Most planets rotate on their axes in an anti-clockwise direction, but Venus rotates clockwise in retrograde rotation once every 243 Earth days—the slowest rotation of any planet. 

Live Transit Updates is a feature within Google Maps that provides users with realtime transit information. GTFS Realtime is a feed specification that allows public transportation agencies to provide realtime updates about their fleet to application developers. It is an extension to GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification), an open data format for public transportation schedules and associated geographic information. 

* There are over 200 cities in the world that have a metro system. London’s Metro is the oldest, operating since 1863. Shanghai Metro’s network with nearly 750km is the world’s largest today. Kolkata has a metro system since 1984. India’s first modern metro opened in Delhi in 2002. Delhi metro has expanded very fast and is currently the largest metro system in India.  Hong Kong and Tokyo easily make profits without even relying on any estate development since their ridership is very high. Their ridership is very high for one or more of these reasons: difficult city terrain, high cost of fuel, high cost of vehicle ownership, long commuting distances, lack of big city motorways, costly tolls etc that are natural barriers for use of private transport. 

* The President of India is elected by an electoral college comprising 776 Members of Parliament and 4896 Members of State Legislatures. 

* There is no party whip on voting for a Presidential candidate. Mrs Indira Gandhi set the precedent of conscience vote when she opposed the Congress official candidate Sanjiva Reddy to help the election of V.V. Giri. He was an independent candidate.

* Raymond Group is a 97-year-old family business. Vijaypat Singhania told Money Control in December 2020 that he did not choose to retire, but was kicked out of the business, adding that giving his son control of it was a mistake. The Economic Times reported that Gautam laughed off the comments, saying you “can’t mistakenly” gift a business to someone. Father and son have been locked in other long-standing legal battles too, including over JK House, their mansion on the same street as the Ambani family’s famous skyscraper home, Antilia. Gautam Singhania is the founder of the first Super Car Club in India. He  developed vitiligo when he was 31 years old.

Project Anuvaad has been conceptualised to provide translation capabilities for Indic languages.

Bhashini aims to enable Indians to access all content and services in their own language by building a National Public Digital Platform by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

* “One must have command over the grammar of classical music to experiment. I use this grammar in my cross-cultural collaborations” - Mahesh Vinayakram, son of legendary Ghatam exponent Vikku Vinayakram

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Highlights from a podcast with Dilbert creator Scott Adams

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Highlights from a podcast in which Dilbert creator Scott Adams talks about his book "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big"& startup CalendarTree [30:54]

On keeping the voice authentic - So the first, I guess, eight years of my (cartooning) career, I actually had a day job. So I've been pulling from those memories. Plus a lot of people email me and say, could you please embarrass my boss? He desperately needs it and I'm always happy to help.

I honestly think that to be a really great manager, you've got to have at least some minimum level of evil in you because the whole point of managing right and leadership in general is getting people to do something that they didn't want to do on their own. So if it was simply a matter of informing them, then you wouldn't need a manager. So you need somebody to actually manipulate people to act against what they believe would have been their own best interest. Good management is excellent manipulation. 

Manipulation is one of those words that makes you think it's automatically bad, but in fact, we're all manipulating our environment for good or bad. That's what we do as humans. But certainly if you're a manager, you're trying to get people to do things differently than they were going to do on their own.

I'm not big on free time.

..in order to be a good cartoonist or a good writer, you have to have another part of your life, which is filling you with ideas. It's giving you the, the complexity and the diversity of thought that you're not going to get sitting in a room staring at your computer. So I need to get out and mix it up with the real world. 

I'm actually a kind of a business model nerd.

My favorite thing to think about and talk about it would be, how could I turn something into a business that had never been a business before? My background is not art. I think most people know that when they look at my comic, my background is economics. I have a degree in economics. I have an MBA from Berkeley.

I'm pretty good at simplifying things. That comes from probably a little bit of upbringing, but a lot of practice being a cartoonist and taking complicated things and putting it into three sentences every day.

When I was 20, I really didn't have a mentor. I didn't have anybody who could give me the basic model of success. You know, what's the basic idea. I know I'm going to tailor it myself. So my book, doesn't try to tell people do it this way. What I say instead is there are a lot of people doing a lot of different things. Some of them are working. They're not all going to be the thing that works for you, but here's what I did.

I always try to have three or four little ideas that are going to create passive income that are going to be, you know, if one of them falls apart, it's not going to be a huge deal.

...you have to acknowledge that luck is a giant factor in all of this stuff...if you do 10 things, you've created a situation where lucky can find you a little more readily than if you did one thing and out. You want diversity in all things. I look for the, you throw it out there and you see anybody get excited. 

...there's something about a creative distraction that somehow helps the generation of new ideas. 

When I started Dilbert, I was doing my day job where I'd have to leave from the office at like six 30 in the morning. So from four to four 30 in the morning, until then I had to do my work and I had to do one every day or else there would be a blank spot in the newspaper. So what I discovered was this was the great freeing discovery of my life and probably the most, probably the single most useful thing that I ever learned, which is that sometimes I'd have this great idea and I'd have the whole hour and a half to develop it. And sometimes I'd have only 10 minutes left and nothing, but I'd say, okay, just do something bad. Just do you know, you don't have the option of nothing. So if all you can think of is the bad idea, do that bad idea....what happened was, and the great realization is that the readers would judge the bad version as highly as the good version sometimes better. In fact, there was no correlation between what I thought was a home run and what the audience loved was a good comic that I just couldn't judge

Related - 

Book Review: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams

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Skribbl.io Tips

Monday, June 20, 2022
Skribbl.io is a multi-player competitive doodling & word guessing game with elements of Dumb Charades & Pictionary

Each game consists of about 3 rounds. In every round someone has to draw their chosen word and others have to guess it to gain points. 
When its your turn to draw, you will have to choose a word (which can be a noun, verb or adjective) from three options and visualize that word in 80 seconds. Alternatively when somebody else is drawing you have to type your guess into the chat to gain points. The earlier you guess a word the more points you get. The person with the most points at the end of game will then be crowned as the winner.

As a long time doodler, I like how the game is designed.  As the game requires you to visualize a word and draw on the spot, it is a great fun test of creativity. It has helped me to imagine better and also appreciate how other competitors think and draw.

As a web developer, I admire how the minimalistic game is designed and built by seemingly a solo developer who identifies as "mel" and just provides a Twitter handle @ticedev by way of intro. The HTML source reveals that the site uses Bootstrap, jQuery, WebSockets

There is no sign-up or login & explicit tracking of history. As the Public Rooms are free-for-all with no moderation, some ill-behaving players may sometimes write or draw obscenities so this game is not for children (unless Private Room is used) or the easily offended.

Following are my learnings after playing this amazing online game on-and-off for two years and generally being in the top 3 among anonymous global players -

1. Try, Fail, Practice - While words like tie or a cloud may be easy to draw and guess, how would you draw Shrek, Jackie Chan & Leonardo Di Caprio in a few minutes so that your co-players can guess what you're drawing? Everything is in the moment. The pace and unpredictability is what makes it thrilling for me. You will get words to draw like these that will throw you off balance. IMO, this is what makes the game challenging. Rather than get intimidated, it is a chance to get creative & think up the closest visualization on the fly.  I was impressed with one player who said he liked to draw the most difficult word among the 3 to test his skills. Draw whatever is the closest thing you can think of rather than just giving up. Even if you fail (without any consequence) in one instance, you'll know what you don't know. If you're serious about drawing, you can try drawing a better version later on your own and at your own pace. This will also prepare you for  future sessions in case the word comes up again.

If you need words that appeared on Skribbl.io for practice, here are two lists.

For practicing drawing skills, I like these resources -
  • Quick, Draw! is an online game developed by Google that challenges players to draw a picture of an object or idea and then uses a neural network artificial intelligence to guess what the drawings represent. The AI learns from each drawing, increasing its ability to guess correctly in the future.
  • AutoDraw pairs machine learning with drawings from talented artists to help you draw stuff fast.
  • Emojis & Pictograms
  • Picture Dictionary in Immersive Reader which Microsoft offers through Edge browser & its other personal computing products. 
2. Speed draw - When it is your turn to draw, the goal is to make the majority of the players (possibly from different parts of the globe) guess the word quickly. Draw the main parts first or get the basic shape, may be of a small size as you may not have time to fill all details. Use color (with a thin or thick tipped pen or bucket) to highlight a dominant aspect of the object or action represented by word. For instance, if you have to draw Superman, the blue dress & red cape are distinctive parts you can focus on. Use arrows to highlight  specific parts. 

3. Use your guessing skills - When it is your turn to guess a word, pay attention to the character count and occasional hints the game drops by filling one or two of the missing letters and you'll be able to crack it before a co-player finishes drawing or if the drawing is not decipherable. 

4. Learn from others - Gain a new perspective from someone who could be very different from you - in age, ethnicity, proficiency. I'm often amazed at how some players make use of stick figures, color & brushes to draw something meaningful in seconds.

5. Respect your anonymous co-players & "kick" those who misbehave - I've got some good feedback on my doodles from kind people across the globe. Due to the anonymity provided by the platform, there are some bad apples who will use foul words & draw obscene pictures (genitals & such, not relevant to the game). They deserve to be kicked as they spoil the experience for everyone. Use the red thumbs-down and green thumbs-up icons that flash on the screen to provide feedback.

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This Week I Learned - Week #23 2022

Sunday, June 19, 2022

This Week I Learned -

Cloud native applications take advantage of containers, serverless technology, microservice based architectures, and API based solutions that enable developers to build and iterate solutions faster.  They are delivered using a highly automated, DevOps-based approach, enabling developers to continually deploy new updates and capabilities to their customers.

* Azure Container Apps is a serverless container-based hosting service that supports event-driven scale. 

* A rolling upgrade is an upgrade of a software version, performed without a noticeable down-time or other disruption of service.

* The Adobe Document Cloud includes Adobe Acrobat, Document APIs, and Acrobat Sign – a leading cloud-based e-signature service used across regulated businesses, governments, and institutions around the world. They adopted a microservices architecture that utilizes Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Cache for Redis, and Azure Kubernetes Service to scale their Adobe Document Cloud for their customers. 

* Azure Arc makes it possible to use these managed cloud services anywhere – in Azure, multi-cloud or hybrid environments, and at the edge.

* Azure Spring Cloud is a fully managed service for Spring Boot applications that solves the challenges of running Spring at scale. The capabilities of the service have been expanded since then, and Azure Spring Apps Enterprise is now generally available. This new tier adds fully managed VMware Tanzu components running on Azure and advanced VMware Spring Runtime support. FedEx is using Azure Spring Apps to run their Java apps at a massive scale. FedEx’s Global Delivery Prediction Platform, or GDPP, is a Java-based solution running on Azure that dynamically predicts estimated time of arrival for millions of shipments. 

* For dependency visualization Azure Migrate: Server Assessment leverages the power and technology from Log Analytics. The dependency visualization is free for the first 180 days from the day of associating a Log Analytics workspace with the Server Assessment tool. After 180 days, standard Log Analytics charges will apply.  And if you use any other solution within that Log Analytics workspace it is not free, and you’ll incur standard Log Analytics charges. Microsoft's recommendation is to leave the tool gathering the dependency visualization data for at least 30 days as that should capture a good picture of what happens within your environment and show any specific workload spikes.  

* When you start to replicate machines from your own environment up in to Azure you will start to incur charges for Azure Storage, storage transactions and data transfer during replication.  However, the license charges for Azure Migrate: Server Migration tool are waived for the first 180 days. 

Azure Skills Navigator  - Solution Architect [PDF]

Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report [PDF]

Microsoft Office Lens is a great way to capture information from documents, whiteboards, homework assignments, receipts, menus, museum signs, or anything else containing text that you want to import so that it can be read using Immersive Reader.

Hostile architecture also known as defensive architecture, hostile design, unpleasant design, exclusionary design, and defensive urban design, is an urban-design strategy that uses elements of the built environment to purposefully guide or restrict behaviour. It often targets people who use or rely on public space more than others, such as youth, poor people, and homeless people, by restricting the physical behaviours they can engage in.

The Mosquito or Mosquito alarm is a machine used to deter loitering by emitting sound at high frequency. In some versions, it is intentionally tuned to be heard primarily by younger people. The maximum potential output sound pressure level is stated by the manufacturer to be 108 decibels (dB), and the manufacturer's product specification furthermore states that the sound can typically be heard by people below 25 years of age. The ability to hear high frequencies deteriorates in most humans with age (a condition known as presbycusis), typically observable by the age of 18. The Mosquito won the Ig Nobel for Peace in 2006. The Ig Nobels celebrate the quirkier side of serious scientific endeavour, honouring "achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think".

* Over 80% of Internet traffic is videos

* Mark Zuckerberg's personal security budget in 2021 was nearly 16 times what Amazon Inc. spent to keep Jeff Bezos safe. - BloombergQuint

* Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone, was strongly involved with the deaf community having a wife and a mother that were both deaf.

* A quant trader is a specialized trader who applies mathematical and quantitative methods to evaluate financial products or markets. This way, they can find trading opportunities and calculate risks.

Trigger finger or Stenosing Tenosynovitis (stuh-NO-sing ten-o-sin-o-VIE-tis) is a repetitive stress injury. If trigger finger is severe, your finger may become locked in a bent position.

Bangalore Blue grape, also simply called Bangalore Blue, is a variety of fox grape (Vitis labrusca) grown in districts around Bangalore in India. It is one of the three major varieties of grape in the state of Karnataka (the other two being Thomson seedless and Anab-E-Shahi Dilkush). It received a geographical indication tag from the Government of India in 2013.

* Table sugar (sucrose) has 50% fructose (and 50% glucose) and so is very similar to High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). It is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with glucose and galactose, that are absorbed directly into blood during digestion. When sucrose is metabolized by your body, your liver takes care of the fructose while the glucose is taken to your bloodstream with the help of insulin.  Fructose is very sweet monosaccharide or simple sugar molecule, roughly one-and-a-half times sweeter than sucrose (white sugar). 

* Two bonded monosaccharides create a disaccharide. There are also three types of disaccharides: sucrose, lactose, and maltose.

Fructose is handled by the body in a different way to glucose as it is metabolised in the liver  and converted into energy. As a result, blood sugar (glucose) levels do not rise as rapidly after fructose consumption compared to other simple sugars as your body doesn’t need insulin to process fructose. When you eat too much fructose the liver cannot process it fast enough and instead, starts to make fats that are carried in the blood and stored as triglycerides - the body's main form of fat. 

* The glycemic index is a ranking of how quickly foods make your blood sugar levels rise after eating them. High GI foods are very easily broken down into glucose. Glucose is the defining standard and has a GI value of 100. As glucose stimulates insulin release from the pancreas, it also results in the release of two other hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is known as the appetite suppressor and ghrelin the appetite increaser. It is thought that lower GI foods (such as wholegrains, proteins and those lower in glucose) suppress ghrelin, therefore regulating satiety.

* The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body. It extends from the pelvis to the gluteal tuberosity of femur, the largest, strongest bone of the human body.

* Thyroid disease is often hereditary

* The 1st Brahmans was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. It was raised at Oudh by Captain T Naylor in 1776 for service in the army of Nawab Wazir of Oudh, and was known as the Nawab Wazir's Regiment. It was transferred to the East India Company in 1777. In 1922, it was designated as the 4th Battalion 1st Punjab Regiment. The regiment was disbanded in 1931 due to retrenchment in the Indian Army.

Rising Flame is a National Award winning nonprofit organisation based in India, working for recognition, protection, and promotion of human rights of people with disabilities, particularly women and youth with disabilities. 

Corporate hospitals in Hyderabad pay only ₹25,000 to ₹40,000 monthly salary to those with just an MBBS degree, which takes 5.5 years to achieve. Payment for doctors with post-graduation or super-specialty degree is broadly covered under two or three categories — fee for service (a certain percentage in charges per case goes to the doctors); a monthly salary; and then there is another form of payment in which a team of doctors is paid a fixed package. Senior doctors and hospital CEOs said the ‘fee for service’ is usually opted for by experienced medical professionals since they can get patients based on their prominence — an advantage not available to newbies. The salary structure is determined by the specialisation and it varies from ₹75,000 to 3 lakh. Government hospitals have a hierarchy of doctors, who are placed at different levels as per their experience and responsibilities. An assistant professor at a Telangana government hospital starts out with a gross salary of around ₹94,000 to ₹1.07 lakh, an associate professor makes ₹1.08 lakh to ₹1. 22 lakh, and professors draw a salary of ₹1.98 lakh to ₹2.23 lakh. The salary for specialists and super-specialists is the same. All faculty members receive an annual increment of 3%. The pay structure is similar to the University Grants Commission scale. Doctors and health staff get 35% of the money earned through Aarogyasri scheme. - The Hindu

* ICICI Bank iMobile Pay app enables withdrawal for self or by any beneficiary from ATM without the need for any card or PIN.

* Poet and politician Dr. Kumar Vishwas served as the script and dialogue consultant for Dasvi, the 2022 social comedy movie. The standout dialogue in Dasvi,  is about how government officers receive bribe for working and salary for not working.

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