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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 #105

Sunday, April 12, 2015
This Week I Learned -

SLA for a single instance VM on Basic / Standard tier of Azure Website is 99.95%

* Microsoft's Office Lens native mobile app trims, enhances and makes pictures of whiteboards and documents readable. Office Lens can convert images to editable Word and PowerPoint files too.

* Microsoft’s own IT department, is taking measured steps in deploying the more than 1,300 line-of-business applications to the Cloud


* Google Store uses 32 digit order numbers.

* I read about PopChartLab twice in a single day from different sources. Their visualization work reminds me of GapMinder & Gramener

* Google Maps can help you find all petrol filling outlets in a city

* Private banks in India like ICICI & HDFC do a better job than public sector banks. The competition between the private banks is helping customers avail more features online. HDFC now makes it possible to file form 15G/H online to avail TDS waiver.

* Some banks in India offer their native mobile apps directly through their site instead of hosting it the app stores of mobile platforms where there is some security vetting. I feel the encouragement of native apps by  influential companies to lay users who cannot distinguish the official apps from phishing apps is a bad precedent. The Reserve Bank of India had to issue a public notice that a fraudulent bank account mobile app impersonating their branding was not actually built by RBI.

* Guruvayur temple in Kerala has 90 elephants

* The size of Africa = United States + China + Europe + India + Mexico + Japan

* The Hagia Sophia monument in Istanbul was constructed in the sixth century as a church, It was converted into a mosque and then into a museum.

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This Week I Learned - Week #104

Sunday, April 05, 2015
This Week I Learned -

Azure Resource Explorer is a new web site where you can discover the Azure Resource Management APIs

* The majority of all functionality of the SQL Server is now available within Azure SQL Database v12. The list of unsupported functions and functionality are almost all directly related to stuff that is primarily about server and OS management, not things you worry about with PaaS (Platform as a Service).

The Heartbleed SSL vulnerability was a turning point for Linus's Law (Eric Raymond, in The Cathedral and the Bazaar, famously wrote "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.". The idea is that open source software, by virtue of allowing anyone and everyone to view the source code, is inherently less buggy than closed source software. He dubbed this "Linus's Law"), a catastrophic exploit based on a severe bug in open source software affected about 18% of all the HTTPS websites in the world, and allowed attackers to view all traffic to these websites, unencrypted... for two years - Coding Horror

* Google made their bug-bounty contest Pwnium, their Chrome specific variant of Pwn2Own, no longer a yearly event but all day, every day and increased the prize money to "infinite".

Amazon product reviews can be funny too & have comic strips about them

* The so-called 'Paypal Mafia' consisting of distinguished alumni of Paypal (Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Scott Banister, Max Levchin, Jeremy Stoppelman, Keith Rabois, Roelof Botha) backs start-ups like Uber, Airbnb, Palantir, SpaceX, Square, Pinterest, Stripe.

Digital Attack Map  displays DDoS attacks happening around the globe in real time. Google Ideas worked in partnership with Google's Big Picture Team to design and develop the Digital Attack Map. Google Ideas is a think/do tank at Google that explores how technology can enable people to confront threats in the face of conflict, instability or repression. The "Big Picture" team, a part of Google research, creates interactive visualizations by blending algorithmic, data-driven approaches with fluid design to make complex data more accessible.

McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc sold paper cups and milkshake mixers till he was 52 & John Pemberton invented Coca Cola at 55

* It takes Jeffrey Archer about 40 to 45 days to write the first draft of a book which is about 300 hours and 14 drafts or 1000 hours to complete a book - The Hindu

* At 1.8 million words, the Mahabharatha is one of the largest epics – roughly 10 times the size of the Iliad and Odyssey combined.  Using text analytics and text visualisation, Gramener's Mahabharatha browser provides a simple interface to browse the full text of the Mahabharatha and find where the characters appear - Gramener blog

* "It is believed that only 3 Lok Sabha MPs opposed 66A, the remaining 540 did not". Section 66A of the Information Technology Act 2000 which curbs the freedom of speech of Indians has been struck down by the Supreme Court of India after a 24-year old law student Shreya Singhal filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2012.

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Google Search now shows word popularity chart along with its definition

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
I was amused to expand the panel for a word meaning provided by Google's define feature ...
and was impressed with the graph showing the popularity/usage of the word over the last 200 years sourced through Google's Ngram Viewer
Funny things happen though when information is mashed-up from separate sources. For the word "nerd", there is a note that the word originated in the 1950s (originally US) but the chart shows it has been around since the 1800s. It probably meant something else earlier.

This Week I Learned - Week #103

Sunday, March 29, 2015
This Week I Learned -

4.9M organizations are using Azure AD to manage > 430M identities

In mono/master 1,251 classes have been replaced with Microsoft's open sourced ones. With over 144 patches to MS reference source.

NetWorxBitMeter OS are free tools that offer bandwidth monitoring and usage reporting

* Amazon's Cloud Drive 5 GB plan which was free earlier is no longer available and has been replaced with a free 3-month trial of one of the Unlimited plans. Access to existing files has not changed. This could impact the Send to Kindle by E-mail feature

* 10% of Amazon's total revenues come from AWS' revenues

On October 24, 2012 Corning announced that over one billion mobile devices used Gorilla Glass. Gorilla Glass 3 is up to three times more scratch-resistant than the previous version

* A 64-GB iPhone 5s costs $218 to manufacture and retails at $849.

* Section 66A of the Information Technology Act 2000 which curbs the freedom of speech of Indians has been struck down by the Supreme Court of India after a 24-year old law student Shreya Singhal filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2012.

* India is currently ranked 142nd among 189 countries in the ease-of-doing business index

* The website of National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), a joint initiative of IITs and IISc funded by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India, has 860+ courses as of Feb 2015

* Elevated metro costs 200 crore/km to construct, Underground Metro costs Rs 450 crore/km, Light rail (surface) costs Rs 60 crore/km while Bus Rapid Transit takes 15-20 crores/km

* Dr B.R.Ambedkar, the Father Of Indian Constitution, was defeated by an obscure milkman named Kajrolkar in the first General elections of India, held in 1952.

* Freak floods have swamped Chile's Atacama desert. The heavy rains came after several days of high temperatures and a drought that stoked raging wildfires in Chile’s south-central regions.

* Earthquake-prone Chile is no stranger to the forces of nature - The Guardian

* The governments of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the two largest emirates, have provided about $39 billion in subsidies to the airlines -- Qatar, the flag carrier of Qatar; and Etihad and Emirates, flag carriers of the UAE - The Street

* The trouble with socialist policies is you eventually run out of other people's money to distribute - Margaret Thatcher

* "I don't need you to remind me of my age, I have my bladder to do it for me" - Stephen Fry

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Important links on Azure to be reviewed frequently

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
To design and develop effective Cloud solutions, Azure developers have to keep track of evolving changes and key facts & numbers. The official information on the following needs to be reviewed frequently:

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