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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 #238

This Week I Learned -

Azure Notebooks is a free service that provides Jupyter notebooks along with supporting packages for R, Python and F# as a service. Jupyter (formerly IPython), is a multi-lingual REPL on steroids. This means you can just login and get going since no installation/setup is necessary. Azure Notebooks provides execution environments for Python 2, Python 3, F#, and R.

* ...cloud storage options like Amazon’s S3 allow users to open their storage to the internet at large. It should be stressed here that S3 buckets are private by default. This means that every cloud leak involving an S3 storage instance has had those permissions altered at some point by an admin handling the data. When these anonymous public permissions are allowed, the boundary between “the cloud” and the internet dissolves. This data then becomes accessible to anyone. Unlike an Attack, Breach or Hack, a Leak does not require an external actor, but is caused by some action or inaction of the party who owns the data. Big brands have fallen prey to leaks due to inadequate monitoring.

Accenture’s clients include 94 of the Fortune Global 100 and more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500.

Wirecutter rates Amazon Echo as the best digital assistant & Google Home best at answering questions

* The whole email notification industry is able to trace an email by including in it a tiny, invisible image in the middle of the written message. Images displayed in your messages are served through Google’s own secure proxy servers rather than directly from their original external host servers. As a result of this Gmail image policy, everyone using Gmail would be designated as reading their messages from the United States, no matter what part of the world they actually did it from. Thus Google removed the capability of email tracking systems to identify multiple openings of a single email by the same user & the ability to detect the geographical location where the message was opened by the recipient - Mailbox.io Blog

Jeff Bezos, according to his biographer, “abhors…what he calls ‘social cohesion,’ the natural impulse to seek consensus,” epitomising a leadership style that celebrates conflict, disruption and domination as virtues and signs of limitless creativity and advancement.

* According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) sources, the city has approximately 4.7 million internet users at present - closely behind cities like Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata where the `internet population' has touched five million.

* This FSSAI requirement for  prepackaged food is not rigorously followed or enforced - "Contents on the label shall be clear, prominent, indelible and readily legible by the consumer under normal conditions of purchase and use;" [PDF]

* Earlier this year, the Congress High command accommodated leaders of just about every prominent caste group in party positions in Karnataka. It was its way of ensuring no one felt aggrieved and turned a spoilsport. So while Siddaramaiah from the Kuruba community was announced as the CM face, G Parameshwara, a Dalit became the PCC chief, assisted by two working presidents, Dinesh Gundu Rao (Brahmin) and SR Patil (Lingayat). DK Shivakumar (Vokkaliga) was made the Campaign Committee Chairman. The Karnataka template is all set to be replicated in Telangana, where the Congress is trying to cobble up a front that can take on the formidable Telangana Rashtra Samiti - The News Minute

* Unlike mobile wallets such as Paytm and Mobikwik, Google's Tez doesn't require you to add money to a secondary account. In fact, it works more or less similar to the BHIM app. Since Tez works with all major banks in India that are on UPI, such as Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and State Bank, you can keep your money safe with your bank until you need it. If you are concerned about every vendor or retailer having your sensitive information such as bank account number or phone number, Tez provides a Cash Mode. Cash Mode enables you to pay another Tez user nearby without having to share personal details like your bank account or phone number. To use the cash mode, all you need is to bring the two phones closer to each other and hit the 'pay' or 'request' button and enter your UPI PIN and the payment happens instantly. The Tez app is also come with Google's proprietary Audio QR technology, which is similar to QR codes but more convenient and more secure and works on almost any smartphone. The regular QR codes are vulnerable to scams and a user could be tricked into paying a fake QR code instead of a real merchant. However, with the Audio QR, the app uses ultrasonic sound to pair unknown devices - PCMag

* The Nobel economics prize is something of an outlier, Alfred Nobel’s will didn’t call for its establishment and it honours a science that many doubt is a science at all. The Sveriges Riksbank (Swedish National Bank) Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was first awarded in 1969, nearly seven decades after the series of prestigious prizes that Nobel called for. Despite its provenance and carefully laborious name, it is broadly considered an equal to the other Nobel and the winner attends the famed presentation banquet. Indian economist Amartya Sen won the Nobel in 1998 for his contributions to welfare economics - The Hindu Businessline

* January 1st is the default date in Aadhar cards  for residents unclear about date of birth or who lack documents.

* The 100 Years Show (available on Netflix) is a inspirational story that shows – success may take time but it will come - sometimes after several decades. The work of Austrian scientist, Gregor Johann Mendel, who is known as the "father of modern genetics", wasn't recognized for several decades after his death. Mendel struggled financially to pay for his studies, and so his younger sister gave him her dowry. Later he helped support her three sons, two of whom became doctors. As per Wikipedia, he faced several hurdles in his education & failed at multiple exams in his career. Between 1856 and 1863 Mendel cultivated and tested some 28,000 plants in the garden in his monastery, the majority of which were pea plants (Pisum sativum). His experiments led him to make two generalizations, the Law of Segregation and the Law of Independent Assortment, which later came to be known as Mendel's Laws of Inheritance. Mendel began his studies on heredity using mice. He was at St. Thomas's Abbey but his bishop did not like one of his friars studying animal sex, so Mendel switched to plants. Mendel also bred bees in a bee house that was built for him, using bee hives that he designed. All that is known definitely is that he used Cyprian and Carniolan bees, which were particularly aggressive to the annoyance of other monks and visitors of the monastery such that he was asked to get rid of them. Mendel, on the other hand, was fond of his bees, and referred to them as "my dearest little animals". One explanation to Mendelian Paradox (Mendel's reported data are, statistically speaking, too good to be true; on the other, "everything we know about Mendel suggests that he was unlikely to engage in either deliberate fraud or in unconscious adjustment of his observations.") - like so many other obscure innovators of science, Mendel, a little known innovator of working class background, had to “break through the cognitive paradigms and social prejudices of his audience. If such a breakthrough “could be best achieved by deliberately omitting some observations from his report and adjusting others to make them more palatable to his audience, such actions could be justified on moral grounds.”

* Takeaways from the talk “What to do When Machines do everything” by Malcolm Frank, EVP, CognizantIn 1830, the first lawn mower was invented by an Englishman, Edwin Beard Budding; he was not sure of its utility and reception from society, so he tested them only in the nights. But in the following century due to the availability of flat grass, Sports which was then simply a pastime grew to become a multi-billion dollar industry across the world. This kind of unintended effect of an invention is called Budding effect, we will see similar examples with Artificial Intelligence in the future.

* Internet Trends 2017

Social proof is also one of Robert Cialdini's six principles of persuasion, (along with reciprocity, commitment/consistency, authority, liking, and scarcity) which maintains that people are especially likely to perform certain actions if they can relate to the people who performed the same actions before them. One experiment which exemplifies this claim was conducted by researchers who joined a door-to-door charity campaign, who found that if a list of prior donators was longer, the next person solicited was more likely to donate as well. This trend was even more pronounced when the names on the donor list were people that the prospective donor knew, such as friends and neighbors. Cialdini's principle also asserts that peer power is effective because people are more likely respond to influence tactics applied horizontally rather than vertically, so people are more likely to be persuaded by a colleague than a superior.....a person who has been unemployed for a long time may have a hard time finding a new job—even if they are highly skilled and qualified. Potential employers attribute wrongly the person's lack of employment to the person rather than the situation. This causes the potential employers to search more intensively for flaws or other negative characteristics that are "congruent" with or explain the person's failure and to discount the applicant's virtues.

* The life & times of J.Mathrubootham

* Like Amazon KDP, Google also offers a self-publishing platform 

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