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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 #149

This Week I Learned -

Azure's new CDN experience is built on the Azure Resource Manager. It allows you to preload individual assets to your CDN endpoint and purge individual cached assets or entire directories from your CDN endpoints.

* Netflix started migrating their systems to AWS in August of 2008 and "..in early January, 2016, after seven years of diligent effort, we have finally completed our cloud migration and shut down the last remaining data center bits used by our streaming service!". Notes from Netflix Tech Blog articles:
- "By incorporating the principles of redundancy and graceful degradation in our architecture, and being disciplined about regular production drills using Simian Army, it is possible to survive failures in the cloud infrastructure and within our own systems without impacting the member experience."
- To deal with fault-tolerance & be proactive, Netflix has built a Simian Army suite of tools to induce various kinds of failures, or detect abnormal conditions, and test Netflix's ability to survive them.
- Cost reduction was not the main reason Netflix decided to move to the cloud though it ended up being a fraction of those in the data center -- a welcome side benefit.
- "..the easiest way to move to the cloud is to forklift all of the systems, unchanged, out of the data center and drop them in AWS. But in doing so, you end up moving all the problems and limitations of the data center along with it. Instead, we chose the cloud-native approach, rebuilding virtually all of our technology and fundamentally changing the way we operate the company."
- "Architecturally, we migrated from a monolithic app to hundreds of micro-services, and denormalized and our data model, using NoSQL databases. Budget approvals, centralized release coordination and multi-week hardware provisioning cycles made way to continuous delivery, engineering teams making independent decisions using self service tools in a loosely coupled DevOps environment, helping accelerate innovation."

JSON.NET is the recommended library to serialize and deserialize JSON in .NET

* HTML, CSS & JavaScript consist of more than 300 W3C specifications from over 400 member organizations. No browser implements every standard, and in fact more than a third of web standards aren’t implemented by any of the most popular browsers - Windows Blog

* Personal assistant programs like Cortana and Apple’s Siri need access to your location, your contacts, voice input, information from email and text messages, browser history, search history, calendar details “and other information.”. Companies often claim this is to provide more relevant results, but the data may also be used to help send more targeted advertisements your way - NY Times

Steve Kangas coined the term bookmarklet as a portmanteau (a word created from two other words) of bookmark and applet.

Befunky is an online app that can turns your photographs into interesting cartoons without requiring any software.

Tableizer is an online web app that  can convert Spreadsheets into HTML Table format

Six out of the eight startups valued at over $1 billion have domiciled outside India, either in Singapore or US. In 2014, 54% of all new-age startups raising money chose to domicile outside India.

Uber claims it has a little over 250,000 driver partners on its platform in India. Ola says it has over 350,000.

* The online grocery market in India valued at $200 million annually. Amazon has set the cat among the pigeons by deciding to get into the already crowded hyperlocal grocery delivery market. Currently cornered by BigBasket, Grofers and Peppertap - Business Standard

* Amit Singhal, the senior vice president for search, and one of the earliest builders of Google’s global system, announced that he would retire on Feb. 26. Singhal, 48, joined Google in 2000 as employee No. 176. One of his earliest jobs at Google was rewriting the initial breakthrough algorithms. "When a regular person hits a wall and gets discouraged, that’s when Amit is just getting started." - Matt Cutts

StatCrunch is a statistical data analysis package that takes data from a web page through a user-initiated bookmarklet click.

* The United States Air Force facility commonly known as Area 51 is a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, within the Nevada Test and Training Range. The base's current primary purpose is publicly unknown. Its secretive nature and undoubted connection to classified aircraft research, together with reports of unusual phenomena, have led Area 51 to become a focus of modern UFO and conspiracy theories - Wikipedia

* If you consume fewer calories than your body requires for daily operations, it turns to internal sources of fuel. Those sources consist of body fat and lean tissue, meaning muscle. The problem with losing muscle is that, unlike fat tissue, muscle burns calories. Having less muscle means a lower resting metabolic rate, so you burn fewer calories throughout the day. Losing muscle may also discourage physical activity, which is important for maintaining weight loss. Extra protein is advisable during weight loss to avoid stripping yourself of muscle. Exercise is also key, particularly weight training, since it is known to build muscle. - NY Times

* Blame it on Lead: Exposure to lead has been linked to reduced reading scores, oppositional behavior and increased rates of teen pregnancy.

* Cockroaches choose from one of several preferred trajectories when running from a predator, and that variability is enough to confound their attackers most of the time. Although there was some variability, the researchers discovered that over repeated tests this angle of escape ranged from about 90 degrees (at a right angle to the direction of the threat) to 180 degrees (the opposite direction), with peaks, or preferred trajectories, of about 90, 120, 150 and 180 degrees - NY Times

* Kaushik Jayaram and Robert J. Full, who work on technology inspired by biology, were drawn to roaches as a model for soft robots. Cockroaches can tolerate pressure equivalent to 900 times their body weight. When pressed flat enough that their legs splayed, they could still move about 20 body lengths a second. They can tolerate flattening not because the roach exoskeleton is soft, but because it is composed of rigid plates connected by more flexible tissue.

* Some consolation  - A court in Saudi Arabia revised the punishment given to a stateless Palestinian poet convicted of apostasy, reducing it from death to eight years in prison, 800 lashes and public repentance

* Artur Fischer, a German inventor who registered more than 1,100 patents is ahead of Thomas Edison, who had 1,093 patents to his name. He was nearsighted, short and lacked a high school diploma. What Bill Gates was to the personal computer, Artur Fischer is to do-it-yourself home repair. At 27 years of age, he founded his own company, the Fischer Group, which today has 42 international subsidiaries, employs 4,000 people worldwide and sells its 14,000 products in more than 100 countries. One of Mr. Fischer’s most recent inventions is a gadget that makes it possible to hold and cut the top off an egg of any size. He got started on the problem when a hotel owner complained to him that his guests, on opening their boiled eggs for breakfast, always made a mess — the year was 1946.

* Iraq depends on oil for 90% of its revenue

* India is the world’s largest meat exporter.

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