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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 #85

This Week I Learned:

- Difference between Visual Studio Express Editions & Visual Studio Community Edition:
  ~ VSE does not allow users to use extensions (aka. plugins).  There are over 5000 great plugins for Visual Studio in Visual Studio Gallery. With Visual Studio Community (similar to Professional) Edition, you can access all of them
  ~ There are 3 different Visual Studio Express Editions targeting specific platforms. Visual Studio Community Edition lets you develop projects targeting cross-platforms.

- Google Spreadsheet has a feature to scrape a specific portion of web pages using the ImportXML() formula. Firefox and Chrome Developer Tools can easily generate the XPath for a selected element which is a required parameter for ImportXML.

Some of the video tutorials on Microsoft Virtual Academy are also available on Channel 9. Channel9 shows the file size of videos in different formats. If you're looking for the lowest sized file, you have more choice on Channel 9.

Design for Failure - Traditional approaches often equate reliability with preventing failure, but cloud-based systems are inherently different, so the design approach has to be different too – expect failures, contain and recover from them quickly.

- There’s no option to sign out of the Gmail app for Android without removing your entire account from your phone or tablet.

- When you are watching any video on the YouTube website, the storyboard for that video is automatically downloaded in the background. The Print YouTube bookmarklet stitches all these storyboard image frames as one large poster.

Joblint is an online tool that tests tech job specs for issues with sexism, culture, expectations, and recruiter fails.

Developer Economics - a research series that tracks developer mindshare, revenue and tools — says that they are “tracking at least *fifty” BaaS (Backend as a Service) offerings, and it seems more options appear nearly every month.”

- The faster the browser, the faster a hybrid app runs. As of Android 4.4, the web view used by hybrid Android applications is Chromium-based, and is not subject to the performance penalties of earlier Android versions.

- The gold standard for high availability is five 9's, that is 99.999% of uptime for an application, meaning just 5 and half minutes of downtime over a year.

For voice calling on Skype, the minimum download / upload speed has to be 30kbps, 128kbps for video calling/screen sharing

While popular Internet services are using encryption to shield user data from outsiders, they are generally retaining the ability for themselves to scan the contents of emails, text messages, search queries and other information for use in targeted marketing. Apple and Google have gone a step further recently with their encryption, saying new versions of smartphones that use the iOS and Android software will automatically encrypt data and make it impossible for the companies themselves to decipher photos, contact lists and other files.

- iOS 8 introduced a new language & 4,000 new APIs

Many of the great development successes of the last decade have been built on top of a vibrant plugin community. Node has npm; Ruby has gems; and jQuery has 574 ways to build a carousel. Unfortunately, that same plugin proliferation has not happened in the Cordova world. At the time of this writing, the official Cordova plugins registry lists a mere 262 plugins, 225 of which have less than 1,000 downloads. 

- I never thought Google Chrome can crash before it is launched. I saw this dialog box for the first time:

- OLX is the largest marketplace in India, Poland, and, as of last year, Brazil - these 3 countries make up 50% of its user base. OLX started with the biggest available market: India. The company didn’t launch anything in its home country , Argentina (its founder Alec Oxenford is based there), until four and a half years later - Fortune

- Star Trek was written in 1966. It is about events that take place in the year 2151

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