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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 #248

This Week I Learned -

* Computer security experts have discovered two major security flaws in the microprocessors inside nearly all of the world’s computers. The two problems, called Meltdown and Spectre, could allow hackers to steal the entire memory contents of computers, including mobile devices, personal computers, servers running in so-called cloud computer networks. By exploiting the Meltdown flaw, a hacker can just load some software onto a cloud service and then grab data from anyone else who has loaded software onto the same server. Phones and PCs are more difficult targets. Before they can exploit the chip flaws, hackers must find a way of getting their software onto your device. They could fool you into downloading an app from a smartphone app store. Or they could trick you into visiting a website that moves code onto your machine. The onus is now on consumers and businesses to install the fix on their machines. A popular ad blocker among security researchers is uBlock Origin.

* Azure provides fully managed services for running MySQL and PostgreSQL databases on the cloud. And you can use the Azure CLI 2.0 to configure and manage these as well.

* Android & iOS versions of Azure mobile app can be used to run commands to manage your Azure resources

Azure Cost Management service (by Cloudyn) is a free service which updates daily with reports detailing the breakdown of your assets and costs in Azure.

Cloud Shell also securely authenticates automatically for instant access to your resources through the Azure CLI 2.0 or Azure PowerShell cmdlets. Persist your files across sessions in attached Azure Files. Cloud Shell is assigned one machine per user account. It runs on a temporary host provided on a per-session, per-user basis. Since Cloud Shell is built for interactive sessions, shells automatically terminate after 20 minutes of shell inactivity.

Cost of Azure Archive Storage is 90% less than Hot Blob Storage

As per the official Google Blog - GCP has already been updated to prevent all known vulnerabilities related to microprocessors. Google Cloud is architected in a manner that enables us to update the environment while providing operational continuity for our customers. We used our VM Live Migration technology to perform the updates with no user impact, no forced maintenance windows and no required restarts.

Adding a site to the compatibility sites list in Internet Explorer disables HTML5 on that site. This can be a way to block html5 videos system wide

* When you visit a website, online trackers and the site itself may be able to identify you. Panopticlick from Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) can detect such browser fingerprinting and analyze how well your browser and add-ons protect you against online tracking techniques.

* The objectives of Google exam certifications are different from Microsoft exam certifications. As per the Google exam certification FAQ - "Our exams are designed to determine only whether or not an individual meets a minimum passing standard. They are not designed to be diagnostic or spread people out on a scale of ability. For this reason numerical scores are not meaningful for the examinee and can be misinterpreted. We recognize that some other exam providers provide section feedback on their exams. We do not because it is not meaningful and could be misleading. Our exams are not designed to diagnose strengths and weaknesses. Our exam sections are very broad topic categories, and the range of specific questions you may receive for each section in a single exam sitting is extremely narrow by comparison. Based on such a small amount of data, there is no meaningful feedback at the section level that we can responsibly provide."

* Misery loves company - Yahoo reporting about an Aadhaar breach
 An epic and historic data breach at Yahoo in August 2013 affected every single customer account that existed at the time, Yahoo parent company Verizon said on Tuesday. That's three billion accounts -- including email, Tumblr, Fantasy and Flickr

* The 'Aadhaar Authentication History' option on the UIDAI website allows you to check where your Aadhaar number was used for authentication. You can also register a complaint with the authority if you find some suspicious activity involving your details - Business Today

How did The Hulk end up in India? A large part of Bruce Banner's self control is based on distracting himself and thus mentally distancing himself from being The Hulk. He thus lands up in Calcutta(India) where he is just another foreigner, far far away from the United States and is practically unrecognizable. In the end of The Incredible Hulk we see Banner meditating and gaining some control over his transformation. Whether it is true or not but the stereotype is that India is a good place if one wants to engage in spiritual studies, meditation or yoga type activities.

*  In the first decade of independence, the main political parties aimed to attract voters across all divides—Congress, the Socialist Parties, the Communist parties, and the Swatantra Party. But these could not paper over the immense number of social divisions, which gradually created parties based on caste (RJD, SP, the two anti-Brahmin DMKs), region (TDP, BJD, TRS, Trinamool Congress, AGP, INLD, PDP et al), and religion (Akali Dal, Shiv Sena). Many parties span more than one divide - Swaminomics

Ola Auto is currently functional across 73 cities with over 1.2 lakh autos.

*  It is widely believed that there are 79 organs; however, there is no universally standard definition of what constitutes an organ, and some tissue groups' status as one is debated.

* New movies are released on Friday in India & US. In France, movies open on Wednesday & in Germany, it's Thursday

* Checking your smartphone while you're working is normal -  a scene from Men, Women & Children

* War is an economy

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