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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 #181

Friday, September 23, 2016
This Week I Learned -

Azure SQL Database DTU Calculator can help answer the question - "which service tier and performance level should I use and how many database throughput units (DTUs) am I using now?"

* Once you have your Twitter archive, you can view your Tweets by month, or search your archive to find Tweets with certain words, phrases, hashtags or @usernames...but not favorited tweets or Likes

* Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 is only supported in Azure with Premium Storage

Zero Distance was one of the first initiatives started by CEO Vishal Sikka when he joined Infosys in August 2014. The idea was to develop new ideas and improvements on every project Infosys works on to create a culture of innovation and to prove to clients the company was truly their partner, not just a vendor. Now that the framework has been effected on practically all of the company's 9,500 projects. Zero Distance monetisation will also help the company earn revenue from those sitting on the bench, through its Zero Bench initiative. Employees who are not on active projects typically build the proof of concept for ideas generated by the Zero Distance initiative...if the Zero Bench initiative delivers results...it is estimated that Infosys will reach $78,500/billed employee in FY19 but revenue per employee will only reach $55,900/year - ET

* Cognizant has over 160,000 employees or more than a third of its workforce in India across 11 cities. Cognizant is one of the largest recruiters in the IT-BPM industry - ET

* Coca plant is grown as a cash crop in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.  Coca is known throughout the world for its psychoactive alkaloid, cocaine. The alkaloid content of coca leaves is low, between 0.25% and 0.77%.This means that chewing the leaves or drinking coca tea does not produce the high (euphoria, megalomania, depression) people experience with cocaine. Coca tea, an infusion of coca leaves, is also a traditional method of consumption. The tea has often been recommended for travelers in the Andes to prevent altitude sickness. Coca leaf extract had been used in Coca-Cola products since 1885, with cocaine being completely eliminated from the products in or around 1929 - Wikipedia

..a bacterium called Wolbachia can be used to control dengue. Wolbachia occurs naturally in 70 percent of all insects, and it is harmless to humans. But it can block the transmission of dengue by mosquitoes. Unfortunately, the type of mosquito that carries dengue, Aedes aegypti, doesn’t naturally get Wolbachia, but one group of scientists discovered a way to infect them with it.

When the Spanish arrived in South America, most at first ignored aboriginal claims that the Coca leaf gave them strength and energy, and declared the practice of chewing it the work of the Devil.But after discovering that these claims were true, they legalized and taxed the leaf, taking 10% off the value of each crop.

Tourism is the largest foreign exchange earner for Iceland. The country, which has a population of over 300,000 receives 1.5 million tourists a year, and the industry is growing 16-18 per cent annually - The Hindu

* Under the Indus Water Treaty, signed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan president Ayub Khan in September 1960, the waters of six rivers -Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum --were to be shared between the two countries. It allows India the use of less than 20% of the waters of the six-river Indus water system.

* For every year after until 2014, Afghanistan was the world’s biggest source of refugees. Most of those who fled crossed the border into Pakistan. By the end of last year 1.5m Afghans were living in Pakistan. Only Turkey hosts more refugees. On December 31st refugees’ “Proof of Registration” cards will cease to be valid, meaning that any of the 1.5m-odd previously documented refugees who remain in the country will be left in legal limbo - Economist

* L&T is India's largest engineering and construction company. It was founded by Danish engineers, Henning Holck-Larsen and Søren Kristian Toubro, taking refuge in India, as well as an Indian financing partner. The idea of L&T was conceived during a holiday in Matheran, a hill station near Bombay (now Mumbai). Holck-Larsen was a risk-taker while Toubro was more conservative. Larsen won the Padma Bhushan in 2002 for his contribution to Indian industry.

* "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth" - Mike Tyson

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Chrome will call out mixed content more agressively

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Anything in red usually catches your eye. I noticed the error notification "This page is trying to load scripts from unauthenticated sources" with the shield & a red cross at its corner, in Chrome's address bar on accessing a site over https. This appears to be introduced in version 53.

Microsoft Edge locks mixed content too, but the icon doesn't really stand out.
Based on the wording ("unauthenticated source") of the warning, I initially thought Chrome had a problem with the sites where the scripts were originating from. But after a little digging, I found that the issue was with active mixed content

Passive mixed content refers to content that doesn’t interact with the rest of the page, and thus a man-in-the-middle attack is restricted to what they can do if they intercept or change that content. Passive mixed content includes images, video, and audio content, along with other resources that cannot interact with the rest of the page.

Active mixed content interacts with the page as a whole and will allow an attacker to do almost anything with the page. Active mixed content includes scripts, stylesheets, iframes, flash resources, and other code that can be downloaded and executed by the browser.

Is having HTTPS for a site really such a big deal? Should Chrome alarm readers of even a casual web site that its pages are NOT SECURE?

It's not about the NSA or about protecting you, it's about protecting the people who visit your site.

Although HTTPS prevents MITM traffic snooping, it's more than that. If all websites were HTTPS, it would provide a way for people to know that the websites they were viewing (such as yours) were the actual websites they were supposed to be and also that intermediaries aren't intercepting and modifying/injecting the pages that the end user is requesting. I don't think most users would notice if the hotel, airport or McDonalds Wi-Fi they think they're connected to was modifying the pages they were viewing. Without HTTPS the website owner and the end user would be completely oblivious to it. In addition, with the way the web is at the moment, it's left to users to remember to check for a padlock, which is just plain idiocy.

A decade ago, browsers were simple. Now they have a lot of work to do

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Agile Courses & Certifications

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A list of Agile Courses & Certifications:
  1. Foundation Certificate in Agile
  2. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner
  3. SAFe SPC
  4. SAFe Practitioner
  5. SAFe Agilist
  6. Software Processes and Agile Practices
  7. ICAgile Certified Professional Certification (ICP) course
  8. Agile PgM Foundation Certification
  9. Certified SCRUM Master
  10. ASF EXIN Agile Scrum Foundation
  11. Certified Scrum Developer
  12. Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
  13. Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
  14. Professional Scrum Developer
  15. Scrum.org - Professional Scrum Master I
  16. Scrum.org - Professional Scrum Master II
  17. Agile Product Lifecycle Management 9.3 Essentials (1Z0-538)
  18. ISTQB Agile Tester
  19. QAI Agile Certified Tester


This Week I Learned - Week #180

Friday, September 16, 2016
This Week I Learned -

ARM or Azure Resource Manager templates can be integrated with existing provisioning and configuration management tools such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible, and PowerShell DSC. This feature makes ARM play well with existing DevOps tools

* The open source tool Azure Resource Manager Explorer shows you all your resources in a tree view.

* 2 MVPs maintain the Azure Pack & Azure Stack Wikis

AWS CloudFormationAzure Resource Manager  make it possible to manage infrastructure as code.

Azure Portal Service availability chart shows which of the Azure services and applications are supported on either of the 2 portals (Current & Classic). Unfortunately like most articles in the Azure documentation the page doesn't show the date on which it was created or last edited thereby making it unclear if it reflects the latest info.

Interactive Azure Platform Big Picture brings all of the Microsoft Azure services into a single webpage.

When deploying resources, you typically need to specify a region for the resources. Resource Manager is supported in all regions, but the resources you deploy might not be supported in all regions. It is possible to determine the regions for a particular resource type that your subscription supports through Azure Powershell

* The mobile web site "LinkedIn Lite" is built for India to boost LinkedIn's growth beyond its present 37 million users. The company claims the new version will load four times faster than its previous mobile website.

* The website of Bessemer Venture Partners, America's oldest venture capital firm, lists their anti-portfolio or where they screwed up.

If you use OpenDNS, you can filter web traffic right at the router, blacklist certain sites

* Some facts about the US in the 6-part BBC series Stephen Fry in America covering the 50 states -
- California has the 7th largest economy in the world
- The world's largest natural bridge in San Juan County, Navajo Reservation, Page, Arizona is nearly as high as the Statue of Liberty, spans 275 feet across the water.
- America bought Alaska from Russia for 7.2 million dollars
- Alaskan in Barrow - "(in the winter when its all dark) we find our way with the help of the stars ...or GPS"

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that effective September 2017, it would prohibit the sale of non-medical soap containing triclosan or 18 other ingredients marketed as antimicrobials, as it did not find these products to be any more effective than ordinary soaps. Triclosan was initially used for hospital environments, but its use spread as a miracle guard against infection. Triclosan is being used in toothpaste, handwash, talcum powder, etc. - The Hindu

A U.S. government safety agency on Friday urged all consumers to stop using Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones, which are prone to catch fire, and top airlines globally banned their use during flights. For Samsung, which prides itself on manufacturing prowess, the scale of the recall is expected to be unprecedented. Some 2.5 million of the premium devices have been sold worldwide. Some analysts say the recall could cost Samsung nearly $5 billion in revenue - The Hindu

Roughly one-third of adult Americans are now obese; two-thirds are overweight; and diabetes afflicts some 29 million. Another 86 million Americans have a condition called pre-diabetes. Bariatric surgery, until now seen as a last resort, is becoming a standard option for diabetes treatment. The procedure involves stapling, binding or removing part of the stomach to help people shed weight. It costs $11,500 to $26,000 - NY Times

* When someone has diabetes, he can no longer produce sufficient insulin to process glucose (sugar) in the blood. To lower glucose levels, diabetics need to increase insulin, either by taking medication that increases their own endogenous production or by injecting insulin directly.

* A diet low in carbohydrates is more effective than one low in fat for reducing both blood sugar and most cardiovascular risk factors.

There’s actually a long list of things that made an appearance on Star Trek before being invented for real—tablet computers, video calling, portable memory, flip phones—all prime examples of life imitating art.

Usain Bolt, a Jamaican sprinter, had to beat 84 other runners in order to win his third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 100-metre dash title in Rio de Janeiro.

* The term fibre optics was coined by Narinder Singh Kapany in 1956. Narinder Singh Kapany is also known as "Father of Fiber Optics"

* IEEE named Jagdish Chandra Bose one of the fathers of radio science. He is also considered the father of Bengali science fiction.

The 98-sq km Serilingampally constituency, home to IT giants, pays the highest property tax among all Assembly constituencies in Telangana — Rs 400 crore as property tax and another Rs 200 crore towards trade licence and registration fees. But not even 50 per cent of that money is being used to upgrade civic conditions in the constituency. The 10 divisions of the GHMC in Serilingampally have no drainage system; the old pipelines were installed by the gram panchayat decades ago and about 40 per cent of the area has no roads. Traffic officials say Serilingampally has 60 km of damaged roads and for over 40 km there are no roads at all. Cyberabad traffic police is understaffed, with a total of just 600 personnel - Deccan Chronicle

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Comparison of options for migrating Azure VMs from ASM (v1) to ARM (v2)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
@christosmatskas has written a great article comparing 4 ways to migrate Azure VMs from ASM (v1) to ARM (v2):

  1. ASM2ARM, a 3rd party PowerShell library - fully scripted, but slow and requires downtime
  2. Azure PowerShell - no downtime, very fast but supported scenarios are limited 
  3. Azure Site Recovery (ASR) - can be managed through UI, Azure Powershell but setup is complicated and takes time
  4. MigAz tool - powerful, open-source. Process is not a fully automated
It comes with a nice comparison chart too -

Also see: Azure Management Models: ASM vs ARM

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