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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 #176

This Week I Learned -

* Azure Virtual Machines Scale Sets make it easy to build highly scalable applications by deploying identical virtual machines (VMs) as a set. Built on the Azure Resource Manager model, Scale Sets works with Windows and Linux images, custom images, and extensions. There is no additional cost to use Scale Sets.

* Default replication scheme for an Azure storage account is Geo-redundant, which replicates data 6 times, thrice in a remote Azure region.

* Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS) is only available to store block blobs and not page blobs. VHDs use page blobs only

* All storage accounts have a container named $logs that contains the log files stored as block blobs. The $logs container cannot be deleted.

Uber processes data for millions of trips in over 400 cities in 60 different countries on a daily basis.  In the beginning, Uber managed their trip data via JSON blobs, with each trip requiring about 20 kilobytes (KB) of data. Assuming Uber processed raw JSON data for exactly 1 million trips a day, 32 terabytes (TB) of data would only last them 10 days (provided ~40% of storage is reserved for system components). Clearly, such a model was unsustainable. Uber selected 10 different encoding protocols (Thrift, Protocol Buffers, Avro, JSON, UJSON, CBOR, BSON, MessagePack, Marshal, Pickle) and paired them with 3 different lossless compression algorithms (Snappy, zlib, Bzip2) - resulting in a total of 40 viable solutions. They settled on Meassagepack - ProgrammableWeb

* Paypal takes a billion hits a day while running on 8 VMs & stays responsive even at 90% CPU. PayPal uses an Actor model based on Akka. WhatsApp, uses Erlang, an Akka competitor, to achieve its incredible throughput - High Scalability

Google is providing extensive support for .NET in the Google Cloud, including Visual Studio add-ins to make your implementation even easier

Free VPN providers will often log all your Internet activity and then sell it to advertisers and others. Some free VPN providers also use your bandwidth and sell it to others.

* After becoming a computer science graduate from Stanford University, Brain Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp, tested products at the Apple Inc. and Adobe Systems, before joining Yahoo as its 44th employee in 1996 where he worked for the next decade. In 2009, Brain was rejected by both Twitter and Facebook. On 24th Feb, 2009, Brian along his Yahoo colleague Jan Koum incorporated WhatsApp Inc. in California. In 2014, Brian and Jan sold WhatsApp to Facebook for approximately $19 billion in cash and stock.

Marissa Mayer was Google employee #20 and female employee #1

Reliance Jio will take on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular which control around 65% of the market with its fourth generation (4G), long-term evolution (LTE) and voice over LTE (VoLTE) services soon. 

Banks are mandated to give a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) if they find over Rs. 10 lakh has been deposited in any account in one go and also if they notice regular flow of large amounts into it from the same source

There are 24 seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly kept vacant in acknowledgement of the fact that these areas have been illegally occupied by Pakistan.

While most rivers on the Indian subcontinent have female names, Brahmaputra river has a rare male name, as it means "son of Brahma" in Sanskrit (putra means "son").

* ..while India secured political independence in 1947, it got economic independence only with the 1991 reforms.

* It’s been 119 years since Ardeshir, the low-profile Parsi gentleman, implanted the Godrej flag in the land that adopted his Guderz tribe (from which the family name derives) that fled from Iran. Godrej Group’s founder Ardeshir Godrej invented locks, which didn’t have springs, patented the door frame, double-plate doors, and lock-case, and sold his safes at half the price of foreign brands and began manufacturing soap with vegetable oil, out of consideration for Hindu sentiments that disfavoured the use of animal fat. His soaps soon secured celebrity endorsements from Rabindranath Tagore, Dr Annie Besant and C Rajagopalachari. The Godrej Rhyme:
No form of praise could have been higher 
His safes survived ordeal by fire. 
Soap at that time was made from fat. 
But Hindus couldn’t live with that. 
After much experiment and toil 
He made a soap from vegetable oil. 

In 1958, the first Indian fridge manufactured by Godrej came with a ₹1,885 tag.

* As per the Income Tax Return Statistics for Assessment Year 2012-13, 14 lakh people or just 4.6 per cent of the 2.89 crore taxpayers in India paid taxes in the highest 30 per cent tax bracket.

A new type of mosquito trap running on solar electricity and using human odor as bait has cut mosquito populations by 70 percent in a test on a malaria-ridden island in Kenya. The traps — which resemble lampshades and hang just outside the house — lured in Anopheles funestus mosquitoes, but they did not attract Anopheles gambiae or Anopheles arabiensis, which are much more important malaria vectors in most of Africa, where more than 400,000 children die of the disease each year... the traps needed regular rebaiting with a blend of five chemical constituents of human odor along with a chemical that mimicked the carbon dioxide plume created by human breath - NY Times

The top customer of US Oil exports is Canada

* No US city finds a place in the top 10 ranking of world’s most “liveable” cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The index, measured out of 100, considers 30 factors spread across five areas: safety, health care, educational resources, infrastructure and the environment to calculate scores for 140 cities - Economist

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) authorizes Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish minimum standards to protect tap water and requires all owners or operators of public water systems to comply with these primary (health-related) standards in the US. You can request a copy of your water utility’s annual water quality report – called a right-to-know or consumer confidence report — to find out which contaminants in your local water are of concern. US citizens can request a copy of your water utility’s annual water quality report – called a right-to-know or consumer confidence report — to find out which contaminants in your local water are of concern.  After 70 years of India's independence, clean drinking water (one of the basic necessities of life) remains a scarce commodity. I wonder if there will ever be a similar government regulation in India mandating public water systems to not just provide water but clean drinking water.

* A “moment” actually refers to a specific amount of time! Back in Medieval times, when someone needed a “moment” it meant 1/40th of an hour (1.5 minutes) - Go Ask Alice!

* "Having ambitious goals worked against me...I was struck by an idea that was simple and, for a former athlete, radical: I decided to stop striving....It felt silly and embarrassing — even blasphemous — to set mediocrity as a goal...And so to all of you struggling to find your fitness groove, I have a message for you: Do less, and do it regularly. ..As it turns out, my approach is sanctioned by science. It’s been a revelation."

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