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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 #4 2020

Friday, January 24, 2020
This Week I Learned -

RBAC is an authorization system built on Azure Resource Manager that provides fine-grained access management of resources in Azure.

A hub-spoke topology can also be used without a gateway, if you don't need connectivity with your on-premises network.

As a first step toward migrating a datacenter to the cloud, the first services that need to be shared are identity and security services such as DNS, IDS, NTP, or AD DS. Shared services are placed in the hub VNet, while each environment is deployed to a spoke to maintain isolation.

* Azure Data Factory Data (ADF) leverages a Self-Hosted Integration Runtime (SHIR) service to connect on-premises and Azure data sources. SHIR can run copy activities between a cloud data store and a data store in a private network, and it can dispatch transform activities against compute resources in an on-premises network or an Azure virtual network.

Microbrowsers are simple-brained browsers, a class of User-Agents that also visit website links, parse HTML and generate a user experience. But unlike those traditional browsers, the HTML parsing is limited and the rendering engine is singularly focused. It is the little thumbnail preview of a website mentioned in a tweet, the expanded description in a Slack channel, or in WhatsApp group chat. The experience is not intended to be interactive. Rather the experience is intended to be representational - to give the user a hint of what exists on the other side of the URL. Page requests from Microbrowsers don’t run JavaScript and they don’t accept cookies. Some of these Microbrowsers impersonate real browsers and others impersonate Facebook or Twitter.

* To remove empty cells in a row with in an Excel sheet, follow these steps - on the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Find & Select. Click Go To Special. Select Blanks and click OK. Excel selects the blank cells. On the Home tab, in the Cells group, click Delete. Click Delete Sheet Rows

Design System Checklist

* Stack.hu has some interesting fun web apps

Your Phone app from Microsoft can link an Android 7.0 phone to your Windows 10 PC. 

* A very small percentage of people may experience a seizure when exposed to certain visual images, including flashing lights or patterns that may appear in video games. Even people who have no history of seizures or epilepsy may have an undiagnosed condition that can cause these “photosensitive epileptic seizures” while playing video games. You may reduce risk of photosensitive epileptic seizures by taking the following precautions:
- Play in a well-lit room.
- Do not play if you are drowsy or fatigued.

According to a study, even though 76% of working professionals believe that a mentor is important to growth, more than 54% do not have such a relationship.

* Tharangambadi, formerly Tranquebar, is a town in the Nagapattinam district of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on the Coromandel Coast. Tranquebar was established in 1620 as the first Danish trading post in India. King Christian IV had sent his envoy Ove Gjedde who established contact with Raghunatha Nayak of Tanjore. An annual tribute was paid by the Danes to the Rajah of Tanjore until the colony of Tranquebar was sold to the British East India Company in 1845.

Denmark is about the same size as Haryana. The top five popular last names in Denmark are Nielsen, Jensen, Hansen, Pedersen, Andersen and most others end with "sen" which means "son of".

* There are officially 6852 islands in Japan and has a coastline bigger than Australia

* Indigo remained a rare commodity in Europe throughout the Middle Ages. In the mid-1660s, when Newton bought a pair of prisms at a fair near Cambridge, the East India Company had begun importing indigo dye into England. Isaac Newton introduced indigo as one of the seven base colors of his work.  Being a cash crop which needed high amounts of water and which left the soil infertile, local farmers usually opposed its cultivation, instead preferring to grow daily need crops such as rice and pulses. The British colonialists forced farmers to grow indigo, often by making this the condition for providing loans, and through collusion with local kings, nawabs and landlords. When Gandhiji returned to India from South Africa in 1915, and saw peasants in Northern India oppressed by indigo planters, he tried to use the same methods that he had used in South Africa to organize mass uprisings by people to protest against injustice. The farmer's uprising that took place in Champaran district of Bihar led to the Champaran Satyagraha of 1917, a major revolt in the Indian Independence Movement.

* The Martand Sun Temple built in the 8th century in Anantnag was completely destroyed on the orders of Muslim ruler Sikandar Butshikan in the early 15th century.

* Bollywood director Vishal Bhardwaj is known for his admiration of William Shakespeare's works. "Haider" is the Indian adaptation of Hamlet while Maqbool is based on Macbeth and Omkara on Othello.

* Most criminal defendants, in Japan or elsewhere, don’t have the option to simply exit their proceedings if they believe they can’t win. Carlos Ghosn—with ample financial resources and passports from Lebanon, France, and Brazil—did. An elite extraction team led by Michael Taylor, ex-Green Beret turned security contractor, spirited the former CEO of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA, out of Japan by studying hotel layouts and airport security. Ghosn’s passports had been taken as a condition of his bail—with one exception. He had two French passports, a privilege granted to citizens with particularly demanding travel schedules. He’d received permission to keep the second one; Japanese law requires foreigners to carry their identity documents at all times. As part of their reconnaissance, Taylor’s people had surveyed airports all over the country, looking for terminals where security was lax. The team observed that the X-ray machines in Kansai’s private terminal were much too small to scan a large box—and oversize items were simply waved through. The routine was the same on the night of Dec. 29. Airport officials didn’t examine the large black cases that Taylor and Zayek had with them, and they were loaded onto the Bombardier without incident. It landed at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport about 12 hours later from where Ghosn took a second plane to Lebanon - Bloomberg

* The Rani of Jhansi Regiment was the Women's Regiment of the Indian National Army, the armed force formed by Indian nationalists in 1942 in Southeast Asia with the aim of overthrowing the British Raj in colonial India, with Japanese assistance. It was led by Dr. Lakshmi Swaminathan who came to be known as Captain Lakshmi & Lakshmi Sahgal. Sahgal was an atheist. Her body was donated to Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College for medical research after she passed away at the age of 97.

* It has taken Bengaluru Metro 13 years to complete 42.3km
click on image for enlarged view

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This Week I Learned - Week #3 2020

Friday, January 17, 2020
This Week I Learned -

Application security groups enable you to configure network security as a natural extension of an application's structure, allowing you to group virtual machines and define network security policies based on those groups. You can reuse your security policy at scale without manual maintenance of explicit IP addresses.

The icons we see on apps & websites are called by different names. The vertical stack burger icon signifying navigation drawers provide access to destinations and app functionality, such as switching accounts. The 3 dots ellipsis icon is called kebab menu by some and overflow menu by Google which uses it to represent App & placed on the right side of an app.
* Now, not every project needs a framework and not every page of a single-page-application needs to load a framework. In Netflix’s case, "removing React, several libraries and the corresponding app code from the client-side reduced the total amount of JavaScript by over 200KB, causing an over-50% reduction in Netflix’s Time-to-Interactivity for the logged-out homepage." The team then utilized the time spent by users on the landing page to prefetch React for subsequent pages that users were likely to land on - Front-End Performance Checklist 2020

* Humans can't see anything beyond red (infrared) or violet (ultraviolet) on the electromagnetic spectrum of light. While our naked eyes can't pick up on infrared light, the sensors in your phones and digital cameras can — essentially making the invisible visible. Bees can see ultraviolet light, snakes can see infrared light.

* Many Left Hand Traffic (LHT) countries were formerly part of the British Empire. In LHT vehicles keep left, and cars are RHD (right hand drive) with the steering wheel on the right-hand side. LHT Thailand has 3 RHT neighbours: Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar

* Every train station in Tokyo has its own catchy jingle.

* Japan eats two-thirds of the world's octopus catch.

* Animals like octopuses and squids have up to three hearts. Several species of octopus have blue, rather than red, fluid running through their veins. The blue comes from a copper-rich protein called hemocyanin. The giant Pacific octopus has three hearts, nine brains and blue blood. A central brain controls the nervous system. In addition, there is a small brain in each of their eight arms. Octopuses can change colors, squirt out poison, and exert a force greater than their own body weight.

* Spherocytosis is a genetic condition that causes red blood cells to be spherical instead of looking like flattened disks. It can lead to anemia, jaundice, splenomegaly (the enlargement of a person’s spleen). Spherocytosis is often remedied by a splenectomy, the surgical removal of an individual’s spleen. Unfortunately, those who've had their spleen removed also have a life-long risk of developing infections, as the spleen plays a key role in helping the body fight off bacterial infection - Go Ask Alice!

* One of the longest-running gag strips in Mad magazine, Spy vs. Spy was created by a Cuban expatriate, Antonio Prohías, who was once accused of being a spy himself. Unable to continue finding work after getting fired repeatedly for his satirical attacks on Castro, and fearing for the safety of his fellow El Mundo workers, Prohías, unable to speak a word of English, headed for New York. Based on the simple, but strong foundation of two spies who can never truly win, Prohías went on to create the wordless cartoons for decades, both as published in MAD, and in separate books where he could experiment with longer narratives. Prohías passed away in 1998. He was living comfortably in Florida, and still spoke next to no English.

* “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?” - Gandhi

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This Week I Learned - Week #2 2020

Saturday, January 11, 2020
This Week I Learned -

* A proximity placement group is a logical grouping used to make sure that Azure compute resources are physically located close to each other. Proximity placement groups are useful for workloads where low latency is a requirement. A proximity placement group is a new resource type in Azure. You need to create one before using it with other resources. Once created, it could be used with virtual machines, availability sets, or virtual machine scale sets.

CPUs usually have between 2 and 8 cores. GPUs usually have at least a few hundred cores, and often more than 1,000 cores. GPUs are built for extreme parallelism.
discovered via @addyosmani 's tweet

LinkedIn Sales Navigator, is meant for sales professionals to discover leads, understand key insights, and engage with personalized outreach.

Dux-Soup is a lead generation tool for LinkedIn. It is a Google Chrome browser plug-in which works as a virtual assistant on LinkedIn

* Google announced in May 2019 that Kotlin is now its preferred language for Android app developers.

* A vial of snake antivenom costs about $2,000, and treatment of one bite can require 25 vials or more. Producing the medicine is difficult. First, venom has to be milked from the snake’s fangs, and it has to be done repeatedly to produce sufficient quantities. Then it must be injected into a large animal, usually a horse, to generate antibodies. The blood drawn from an infected horse has to go through a multiple-step process of purification to isolate its active ingredients. The resulting antivenom contains many nonhuman antibodies irrelevant to venom, some of which can create harmful immune responses. Some scientists think genomic technologies could be used to synthesize antivenom, and eventually treat victims more cheaply and effectively. Researchers studying the map of the genome of Naja naja, the Indian cobra found 12,346 genes expressed in the venom glands. Of these, they found 139 toxin genes, the ones that perform the biological reactions specific to toxins. As more snake genomes are completed, scientists may be able to combine species-specific toxins and create broad-spectrum antivenoms that could work against bites from multiple species  - NY Times

* "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less" - Marie Curie

* "Drawing for me is a way of processing thoughts" -  Hugh MacLeod

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Article Summary: The Art of the Elevator Pitch

Monday, January 06, 2020
Summary of the HBR article The Art of the Elevator Pitch

Hollywood screenwriters typically get three to five minutes to propose an idea, but it takes only around 45 seconds for producers to know if they want to invest.

A winning pitch starts with a winning logline

Keep it short - “Google organizes the world’s information and makes it universally accessible.”

Identify one thing you want your audience to remember - Apple executives repeat a one-sentence description when presenting new products - "iPod allows you to carry 1,000 songs in your pocket.”, "MacBook Air is the world’s thinnest notebook.”

Use logline consistently - SanDisk, the flash memory company, had the following product pitch: “In the coming decade, flash will be bigger than you think.”

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IMDb Metrics

Sunday, January 05, 2020
IMDb is the ultimate fix for movie & data buffs.

IMDb was started in 1990 by Colin Needham while he was working as an engineer at Hewlett-Packard (HP). By the summer of 1996, thanks to IMDb's first film-related advertising campaign (for Independence Day), Needham had quit HP to work on IMDb full-time as a paid employee. It was acquired by Amazon in 1998.

While I've been using IMDb since a long time to check movie ratings and info since a very long time, I've been discovering the insights it offers after signing-in & rating movies that I've watched.

IMDb allows your own ratings to be downloaded along with the movie details. The Export as CSV feature is hidden within the three vertical dotted "kebab" menu. Subsets of IMDb data are also available for access to customers for personal and non-commercial use.

IMDb's FAQ section explains other site features providing founder Col Needham's activity page as an example

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