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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 #72

Saturday, August 23, 2014

This Week I Learned:
  • 3 ways to use implement ASP.NET Session State with Azure Websites - through external session state providers: Table Storage, SQL AzureAzure Redis Cache Service
  • The Visual Studio 2013 Express edition for Web doesn't have a menu option to enable word wrap. The shortcut Ctrl+E+W can be used.
  • Mono is a free and open source project led by Xamarin (formerly by Novell and originally by Ximian) to create an Ecma standard-compliant, .NET Framework-compatible set of tools including, among others, a C# compiler and a Common Language Runtime. Mono can be run on many software systems including Android, most Linux distributions, BSD, OS X, Windows, Solaris, and even some game consoles such as PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360. Mono is Spanish for monkey. Mono's current version is 3.2.8 (as of February 2014). This version provides the core API of the .NET Framework and support for Visual Basic.NET and C# versions 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0.  - Wikipedia
  • Google Now uses your smartphone’s accelerometer to get a read on when you’ve been driving, when you’ve stopped driving, and when you’ve started walking, and from that, it determines your approximate parking spot.
  • 20.9% of Android devices run on KitKat/Android 4.4 while 54.2% run Jelly Bean.
  • Ebola is 90 percent fatal once caught, making it the second most lethal human infection after rabies. The disease is hard to spot in its early stages, when it presents symptoms such as fatigue, fever, muscle aches and vomiting that are also caused by common illnesses like influenza and malaria. Infected patients can carry the virus for up to three weeks before they show even these symptoms. Their natural hosts are thought to be fruit bats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Ebola as a Category A bioterrorism agent. - Forbes
  • India's 30 richest business family heads: Mukesh Ambani (Reliance Industries Ltd); Azim Premji (Wipro); Sunil Mittal (Bharti Airtel); Dilip Shanghvi(Sun Pharma); Anil Aggarwal (Sterlite); Shiv Nadar (HCL); Anil Ambani (Reliance Power and Communications); Kumar Birla (Grasim); Uday Kotak (Kotak Bank); Choksi-Dani-Vakil (Asian Paints); Gautam Adani (Adani Enterprises); KP Singh (DLF); VC Burman (Dabur); Keshub Mahindra (Mahindra & Mahindra): Adi Godrej (Godrej Industries); DB Gupta (Lupin); Rahul Bajaj (Bajaj Auto); Brijmohan Munjal (Hero): Subhash Chandra (ZEE): Naveen Jindal (Jindal Steel and Power); Vijay Mallya (United Spirits); Sajjan Jindal (JSW Steel); YK Hamied (Cipla); Pankaj Patel (Cadila); Kalanithi Maran (SUN TV); VC Sehgal (Motherson Sumi); Reddy family (Dr Reddy's Labs); BK Parekh (Pidilite): BM Bangur (Shree Cement); and Sudhir Mehta (Torrent).
  • Adani is India's biggest port operator (Mundra, Dahej, Kandla, Vizag, Goa,Dhamra); biggest power producer (plants in Gujarat, Odisha, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh); and biggest seller of branded edible oil. His biggest project is a mammoth $ 16.5 billion coal project in Australia which experts fear will sink him. - Times of India
  • Ashish Hemrajani is the founder and CEO of Bigtree/BookMyShow.com which he started in 1999. Network18 has a stake in BookMyShow.com. Reliance has taken over Network18. Reliance Fresh (convenience store chain) often runs promotional activities that have customer benefits like free movie tickets (from BookMyShow.com only on week-days) processed by Bigtree. This is a clever way for Bigtree to manage unused ticket inventory.
  • Vittal Mallya was elected to the board of United Breweries Ltd (UBL) in 1947 at the age of 22. Before passing away at the age of 39, he handed over control of the group’s beer and spirit businesses to his 28-year old son Vijay Mallya, who had returned from the US and the UK after working with companies there. Vijay Mallya got a Ferrari from his father when he was just four. Kingfisher Airlines was launched in May 2005 as a gift to Vijay Mallya's son Siddharth on his 18th birthday has never made any profit since its inception. Vijay Mallya's ill-fated entry into aviation has led to his downfall. - Mint
  • Bharat Ratna is "a political recognition for politicians". Nearly half of the 43 Bharat Ratnas awarded so far have gone to political figures. This category includes a host of former presidents and prime ministers including Jawaharlal Nehru and political intellectuals such as B.R. Ambedkar.

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This Week I Learned - Week #71

Saturday, August 16, 2014
This Week I Learned:

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Possessions from the year 2001

Monday, August 11, 2014
While searching for something else, I chanced upon these CDs of VS.NET Beta 1 distributed at a Microsoft seminar in Chennai and a Satyam I-way access card among the objects that I've hoarded.

The CDs were meant to be run on Windows NT.

I read about the Internet (mostly Sevanti Ninan's column in The Hindu) for a couple of years before actually using it for the first time in 1997. Having acquired a RocketMail account, it was a thrill to just send and receive emails. It was a challenge to keep the Hotmail mailbox size below 2MB as that was the storage limit that Hotmail offered back then.

This Week I Learned - Week #70

Sunday, August 10, 2014
This Week I Learned:
  • HTTPS is now a ranking signal for Google though currently a very lightweight signal
  • In November 2007, two years after Google acquired Android and five months after the launch of the iPhone, Android was announced. Lately, Android has even been running on a previously unheard of six-month development cycle, and that's slower than it used to be. For the first year of Android’s commercial existence, Google was putting out a new version every two-and-a-half months.  - arstechnica.com
  • ...almost 80 percent of the 1.3 million programs in the App Store are essentially unused, estimates Adjust, a market analyst...Humin is the first contacts app that processes all its data on a person’s smartphone instead of relying on servers, meaning that the company won’t ever have access to private data such as e-mail and that contacts are searchable even without a signal.  - Businessweek
  • PowerPoint can be used for a photo make-over
  • Of America's 48 million "food insecure"-the modern term for the hungry-more than half are white, and more than half live outside cities. In 2006 the U.S. government replaced “hunger” with the term “food insecure” to describe any household where, sometime during the previous year, people didn’t have enough food to eat. With junk food plentiful and often cheap, hunger and obesity are now parallel problems. For many of the hungry in America, the extra pounds that result from a poor diet are collateral damage—an unintended side effect of hunger itself. - National Geographic
  • In Canada, the US and most of Europe a medical insurance or a driving licence applicant is asked if he'd want to be a organ donor. In India, lakhs of potential donors never become active donors because no one ever asks them. India's effective donation rate, at 0.26 donations per million persons, is less than 1% of the corresponding rate in most developed countries.
  • The Chesscademy website has video lessons, exercises, and quizzes. It also teaches tactics, tracks your performance and recommends lessons tailored to you.
  • Srikakulam was earlier called Gulshanabad (Garden city) and Chicacole
  • Hussainsagar lake in Hyderabad is a top spot for suicide bids. According to police records, cops rescue 10 people on average each month and after a failed suicide bid, it is not reattempted there as the dirty water of the lake horrifies them. Among the people rescued, a majority of the people attempted it either before 7 am or after 6 pm.
  • A strong handshake is almost twice as effective as a weak one in transferring bacteria such as E. coli from one person to another, according to a study conducted in the UK and reported in The New York Times

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HOW TO get subtitles from a HTML5 video player

Saturday, August 09, 2014
If you prefer to learn about the content of a video by reading its transcript rather than watch a video, the way to get at the caption file (if it is available) when the video is available through a HTML5 video player is to look at the HTML source (right click on web page and choose View Page Source from the context menu) and grab the file name.

You may look at HTML code like this corresponding to the video player when you look at the source -

<video id="video1" controls autoplay>
<source src="
http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Videos/BehindIE9ModernWebStandards/Video.mp4"  >
<track id='track1' label='English captions' src="entrack.vtt" kind='subtitles' srclang='en' default >  

The file specified for the track element is the subtitles file.

Internet Explorer supports two formats for closed captioning, WebVTT and TTML. In IE11, support for Simple Delivery Profile (SDP) caption styling was added. SDP gives some pretty cool abilities to place the text within the video frame, change text color, and background, and control stroke color and width.

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