Friday, September 30, 2016

Microsoft AI and Research Group

Microsoft merges Bing, Cortana, and Research to make 5,000-strong AI division | Ars Technica

"Microsoft wants to "democratize artificial intelligence" and bring AI to systems that everyone uses. So to reflect that desire, the company is shaking up its organization. The company is creating a new group, the AI and Research Group, by combining the existing Microsoft Research group with the Bing and Cortana product groups, along with the teams working on ambient computing (a world in which everything around us is computerized and connected and responsive to our presence), robotics, and the Information Platform Group (which covered both Bing advertising and natural user interfaces).

Together, the new AI and Research Group will have some 5,000 engineers and computer scientists. It will be lead by 20-year Microsoft veteran Harry Shum, who was previously the Executive Vice President of Technology and Research. It makes AI into a fourth engineering group, alongside Windows, Office, and Azure"

"Cortana should be dancing in the streets. With this reorg, Nadella puts considerable muscle and money behind his commitment to "the democratization" of artificial intelligence. (Sounds a whole lot better than "mobile first, cloud first," eh?) At least, Microsoft will give Google and Apple a good run for the money."

Microsoft moves Cortana and Bing into Microsoft Research to accelerate new features - Good Gear Guide Australia

Microsoft Bot Framework

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

$5 IoT computer

Onion Creates a $5 Linux Computer with Wi-Fi, Designed for IoT Applications

"Onion has produced a $5 tiny Linux computer that supports JavaScript, Python, PHP and more. In its KickStarter campaign, Onion calls the Omega2 the "World's smallest Linux server, with Wi-Fi built-in.
A base Omega2 model comes with 64MB of RAM and 16MB of flash storage; a $9 "Plus" model has 128MB RAM and 32MB storage, along with a MicroSD slot for additional storage capacity. Both computers use a 580MHz CPU."

Omega2: $5 Linux Computer with Wi-Fi, Made for IoT | Indiegogo

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mars Spaceship

Elon Musk Unveils Interplanetary Spaceship to Colonize Mars FULL SPEECH - YouTube
"SpaceX, will launch its first manned mission in 2024"
SpaceX's Elon Musk Unveils Interplanetary Spaceship to Colonize Mars @

Java on Azure

Microsoft not only likes Linux, it also likes Java, since many cloud apps use Java & Linux.
Based on this podcast interview, apparently there is a license fee paid to Oracle for using Java.
Microsoft is apparently the largest distributor of Java licensing for Oracle,
and at the same time offering alternative free versions of Java are also usable on Azure.

Episode 145 - Java on Azure

Azul Systems, Inc.Zulu - Azul Systems, Inc. Azul Systems, Inc.
"Zulu: certified builds of OpenJDK that can be deployed across various operating systems, containers, hypervisors and Cloud platforms. Choose Zulu Enterprise for cost-effective Java support."

Free Java implementations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Create a Java web app in Azure App Service | Microsoft Azure

Java developer center | Microsoft Azure

Monday, September 26, 2016

Microsoft Ignite: Security + Intelligence + Cloud

Last year it was "Intelligent Cloud". Now there is also security. And many enterprise customers.

Microsoft pushes its three pillars at Ignite—security, intelligence, and cloud | Ars Technica

"Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) ... will perform "URL detonation," wherein a Microsoft system will attempt to visit any suspicious looking URL from within a cloud-based sandbox and then monitor to see if the URL performs any malicious redirections or tries to run any malware. "

Microsoft to Businesses: Azure Is the Best Cloud For You

Microsoft to connect Renault-Nissan self-driving cars through Azure cloud | Computerworld

"Microsoft has penned an agreement to help the Renault-Nissan Alliance develop next-generation connected services for self-driving cars that will be enabled through Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure."

electric car: Audi e-tron quattro

Audi's electric SUV taking on Tesla - Business Insider
"Tesla's Model S and Model X are soon going to have some serious competition.
Last September, Audi revealed its all-electric e-tron quattro concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The SUV, which is slated to go into production by 2018, will have three electric motors, a range of 310 miles on a single charge, and quick charging capabilities."

Audi E-tron quattro

Sunday, September 25, 2016

books by Michael Hyatt

Excellent free ebook, how to optimize your time. A must read (or listen text to speech :) Michael writes (and podcasts) about "how to win at work and succeed at life"

Productivity Archives - Michael Hyatt
Shave 10 Hours Off Your Workweek:
4 Proven Strategies for Creating More Margin for the Things That Matter Most

  1. BOOST YOUR ENERGY ("Sleep, Move, Eat")

The book describes very practical techniques, 

Friday, September 23, 2016

video: Domino Chain Reaction

A chain reaction that is applicable to business also: small wins can help create bigger wins when a chain reaction is in motion. This was mentioned in one of Brian Johnson’s classes.

Domino Chain Reaction - YouTube
"A domino can knock over another domino about 1.5x larger than itself. A chain of dominos of increasing size makes a kind of mechanical chain reaction that starts with a tiny push and knocks down an impressively large domino."

The real Domino effect – Medium
"...scientific weightage/validation/life to the famous words by Goethe
“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”

or the memorable ones by Lao Tzu:
“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small.
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

infographic: Learning how to learn

Creating a Sticky MOOC | Oakley | Online Learning

"Learning How to Learn, a MOOC from UC San Diego, is one of Coursera’s most successful offerings; in its first year, nearly one million learners enrolled in the course. As a result of its high student satisfaction levels (4.55 on a 5-point Likert scale) and the persistence of strong student interest in the course, it is worth examining the course’s dynamics more closely in an effort to tease out its sources of satisfaction and popularity."
Learning how to learn | An infographic | Immersivities

Learning how to learn mooc

based on book: A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) (9780399165245): Barbara Oakley: Books

new book, coming in 2017:
Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential: Barbara Oakley: 9781101982853: Books

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Microsoft Data Science resources

local event:

"As you have probably heard, ‘intelligent apps’ is the new black, today is easier than ever to enhance an application with features related to cognitive computing, neural networks or Data Science."

Right questions for Data Science

An interesting and useful story about asking right questions.
I herd this in context of asking good questions for Data Science.

How A Story From World War II Shapes Facebook Today | Co.Design | business + design

"In WWII, Allied bombers were key to strategic attacks, yet these lumbering giants were constantly shot down over enemy territory. The planes needed more armor, but armor is heavy. So extra plating could only go where the planes were being shot the most.

...Wald flipped conventional logic on its head. He said the military didn’t need to reinforce the spots that had bullet holes. They needed to reinforce the spots that didn’t have bullet holes.
Because the planes that had been shot in these bullet-free zones never made it home to be accounted for."

mentioned on:
Data Science and R - Philly.NET (Malvern, PA) | Meetup

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

tool: Azure DASH (Data At Scale Hub)

This is not Amazon Dash button, it is a simple proxy/hub tool to allow using multiple Azure storage accounts to allow saving even more data. It currently works with blobs only.
The same concept is used to increase performance of attached drives on Azure, and in that case it is already part of the Windows and Azure platform.

GitHub - MicrosoftDX/Dash: Data At Scale Hub (DASH). Virtual storage account aggregating scale limitations of individual accounts.

"DASH is a solution from Microsoft that allows you to bypass space and I/O limits on Azure Storage. In order to use DASH, you will need to download the source, build the package, and deploy it to Azure."

link from Azure Podcast Episode 144 - DASH

Monday, September 19, 2016

AI for CRM: Salesforce Einstein

Salesforce thinks AI will help it beat Microsoft and Oracle
At next month's Dreamforce, Salesforce's mammoth annual customer conference that takes over downtown San Francisco, the company will introduce technology called Einstein, which it's describing as the "world's first comprehensive AI for CRM.
Salesforce's Einstein press release has all the buzz phra
ses, such as deep learning, predictive analytics and natural language processing."

Introducing Salesforce Einstein–AI for Everyone
Introducing Salesforce Einstein–AI for Everyone - Salesforce Blog

At the same time, Oracle is making a big push for "cloud", with classic "all integrated" solutions, just hosted in the cloud.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


LattePanda | A Palm-sized Computer Running Win10 With Build-in Arduino

DFRobot - Quality Arduino Robot IOT DIY Electronic Kit

LattePanda | A Windows 10 Development Board with Build-in Arduino - DFRobot
$79.00, including Intel Atom quad core CPU, RJ45, USB 2 & 3, HDMI, Bluetooth
LattePanda (2G/32GB) - The Most Powerful Win10 Dev Board
"LattePanda is a complete Windows 10 computer on a single board! It includes everything a regular PC has and can do anything that a regular PC does. It is compatible with almost every gadget you know: printers, joysticks, cameras and more. Any peripherals that work on your PC will work on LattePanda. LattePanda comes pre-installed with a full edition of Windows 10, including power.."


link from: .NET Rocks! vNext

Wikipedia for Data

"the free knowledge base with 20,092,751 data items that anyone can edit"

We need a Wikipedia for data - Bret Taylor's blog (2008)

A Semantic view of the Wikipedia for Data idea | ZDNet (2008)

Where to Find Open Data on the Web - ReadWrite (2008)

Quandl: A Wikipedia for Time Series Data (2013)
" as sort of "search engine" for numerical data. The idea with Quandl is that you can find data fast. And more importantly, once you find it, it is ready to use. This is because Quandl's bot returns data in a totally standard format. Which means we can then translate to any format a user wants."

Data Dumps | Freebase API (Deprecated) | Google Developers (purchased by Google)
"This dataset contains every fact currently in Freebase.
Total triples: 1.9 billion
Data Format: N-Triples RDF
License: CC-BY 

22 GB gzip
250 GB uncompressed"

"Metaweb was acquired by Google in a private sale announced 16 July 2010.[3] Google's Knowledge Graph was powered in part by Freebase.[4]

Freebase data was available for commercial and non-commercial use under a Creative Commons Attribution License, and an open API, RDF endpoint, and a database dump was provided for programmers.
On 16 December 2014, Knowledge Graph announced that it would shut down Freebase over the succeeding six months and help with the move of the data from Freebase to Wikidata.[5]
On 16 December 2015, Google officially announced the Knowledge Graph API, which is meant to be a replacement to the Freebase API. was officially shut down on 2 May 2016.[6]"

DBpedia logo
"DBpedia (from "DB" for "database") is a project aiming to extract structured content from the information created as part of the Wikipedia project. "

(4) What is the difference between Wikidata and DBpedia? - Quora
  • "Direction of information flow - DBpedia extracts information from Wikipedia,
    Wikidata provides it to Wikipedia.
  • Structure - DBpedia does it's best to apply structure to textual information from Wikipedia, while Wikidata information is structured natively to start
  • Maturity - DBpedia is older, Wikidata is just getting started
  • Notability - DBpedia inherits Wikipedia's white, western, male sense of "notablity" while Wikidata has no notability rules (yet — and Wikipedias can choose not to include Wikidata information that they don't think qualifies as "notable")"
Linked data - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"In computing, linked data (often capitalized as Linked Data) is a method of publishing structured data so that it can be interlinked and become more useful throughsemantic queries. It builds upon standard Web technologies such as HTTP, RDF and URIs, but rather than using them to serve web pages for human readers, it extends them to share information in a way that can be read automatically by computers. This enables data from different sources to be connected and queried.[1]
Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), coined the term in a 2006 design note about the Semantic Web project.[2]"

Tim Berners-Lee: The year open data went worldwide | TED Talk |

Friday, September 16, 2016

books: So Good They Can't Ignore You; Deep Work

So Good They Can't Ignore You
So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love - Cal Newport

Cal Newport - Author of Deep Work, Study Hacks Blog

Cal Newport has Ph.D from MIT (in Computer Science)
He observed what works and what does not,
and that it is opposite of conventional belief.

Cal Newport: "So Good They Can't Ignore You" | Talks at Google - YouTube

Cal suggests that Steve Job's advice and common "wisdom":
"follow your passion" taken literally is wrong.
Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address - YouTube

Most people have hard time selecting one ultimate goal that is consistent with conditions.
Steve Jobs was right in his view that "you can not connect dot's looking forward it all makes sense when looking back". It is like "waterfall planning" vs "agile" development: you have minimum information at be begging, so start and do steps the best you can and keep adjusting.

In his next book, "Deep Work" Cal does acknowledge huge value of selecting #1 goal and focusing solely on that, passionately. A good advice supported by research:
"passionately do the work that you are doing"

Specifics of the work you do for living does not matter too much, it is general lifestyle traits like "autonomy", "impact", "power and respect", "being creative" that are represented in tasks and career.

The same view is also presented in this classic bestseller book by a career expert:
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014: Richard Nelson Bolles

Cal's suggestion is: "we should look Steve Jobs and do what he did, not what he said"
Result is a "snowball effect": early success => interest, motivation = deliberate practice, skill acquisition => separation from other people with less skills => identity, intrinsic motivation = more deliberate practice => separate more, stronger passion

deliberate: start from vision based on somebody already successful, and work backwards how to get there; use "career capital" to evolve to the next level

So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport | PhilosophersNotes - OPTIMIZE with Brian 
sub-title: “Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.

CPU performance: iPhone 7 ARM A10 core == Intel Xeon core

Innovators dilemma & solution in action:
iPhone 7 ARM CPUs disrupting x86 based Intel CPUs.

The iPhone's new chip should worry Intel - The Verge

Daring Fireball: Geekbench: Android Benchmarks vs. the A10 Fusion

Matt Mariska on Twitter: "@gruber Grain of salt and all, but Geekbench has the iPhone 7 beating the $6500 12-core Mac Pro in single-thread."

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cloud Lock-In & Portability

InfoQ eMag: Cloud Portability @ InfoQ

Virtual Panel on (Cloud) Lock-In @ InfoQ

Everything Is “Lock-In”: Focus on Switching Costs @ InfoQ

"Coding in Java, buying SAP, deploying OpenStack, and using Amazon Web Services: each one introduces a type of lock-in. Lock-in–described by Wikipedia as something that “makes a customer dependent on a vendor for products and services”–is always a hot topic of discussion in the technology community.
it makes no difference how hard you try- some form of lock-in is unavoidable. What matters most is understanding the layers of lock-in, and how to assess and reduce your switching costs."

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Uber: self-driving cars & market economy

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh: REVIEW, PHOTOS - Business Insider
"Thanks to Uber, it's finally possible to experience riding in a self-driving car. Starting Wednesday, the ride-hailing service is allowing select users to hail its self-driving cars in Pittsburgh."

How does Uber's driverless car work: GRAPHIC - Business Insider

How Uber's self-driving car works

Why Uber Is an Economist’s Dream - Freakonomics Freakonomics

"LEVITT: Uber is, in many ways, the embodiment of what the economists would like the economy to look like, because Uber is a market in some sense that the prices you pay respond to supply and demand. When there are lots of people looking for rides and not enough drivers, they raise the price, and when there are too many drivers and not enough people, they keep the price low. So that is how economists like markets to work. 2015, if you extrapolate to the whole U.S., we found that the overall consumer surplus added up to almost $7 billion. So people spent about $4 billion on Ubers, but they actually would have been willing to spend about $11 billion. So for every dollar people spent on Uber, they got about $1.50 worth of extra joy that they would have been willing to pay on average above and beyond what they did pay.
Uber lost more than $1.2 billion over the first half of this year. Most of that came from subsidies the company pays its drivers. How long can something like that go on? Well, as we said earlier, with a valuation north of $60 billion, probably quite a while – but not forever."

The Uncomfortable Truth About Autonomous Cars | Daniel Burrus | Pulse | LinkedIn

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

WebAssembly (wasm, asm.js next gen)

JavaScript is Web Assembly Language and that's OK. - Scott Hanselman

What is WebAssembly? The Dawn of a New Era – JavaScript Scene – Medium
"The web platform is getting a new low-level binary compile format that will do a better job at being a compiler target than JavaScript."
"WebAssembly is:

  • An improvement to JavaScript: Implement your performance critical stuff in wasm and import it like a standard JavaScript module.
  • A new language: WebAssembly code defines an AST (Abstract Syntax Tree) represented in a binary format. You can author and debug in a text format so it’s readable.
  • A browser improvement: Browsers will understand the binary format, which means we’ll be able to compile binary bundles that compress smaller than the text JavaScript we use today. Smaller payloads mean faster delivery. Depending on compile-time optimization opportunities, WebAssembly bundles may run faster than JavaScript, too!
  • A Compile Target: A way for other languages to get first-class binary support across the entire web platform stack."
WebAssembly - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

WebAssembly: A New Compilation Target for the Web @ InfoQ

WebAssembly Preview Functionality Arrives in Browsers @ InfoQ

WebAssembly @ GitHub

Supercharging JavaScript performance with asm.js | Microsoft Edge Dev Blog


"What is SmartBook? SmartBook is a digital version of your course textbook. It contains the same content within the textbook, but unlike a typical eBook, SmartBook actively tailors that content to your individual needs as a student.  SmartBook can be accessed online through your laptop. And, many SmartBooks are available on tablet, too!"

Another buzzword take by a corporate trademark... Maybe it is really smart.

No "demo" or "trial" version, no "social"... looks like Encarta vs Wikipedia

Monday, September 12, 2016

HP Inc += Samsung Printers Business - $1B

HP News - HP Inc. Accelerates Disruption of $55B Copier Segment with Acquisition of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.’s Printer Business

Samsung’s stock plunges to biggest ever price decline, but analysts see a bottom - MarketWatch

HP Inc. to Buy Samsung's Printing Business for $1.05 Billion

HP Inc. Acquiring Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. Printing Business for $1.05 Billion |


HP’s Samsung Printer Deal; RBC Sees Less Reliance on Canon - Tech Trader Daily -
"HP CEO Dion Weisler has set a goal of expanding HP’s printer business into the so-called “A3” market, which is the market for office copiers, which the company refers to as a $55 billion market. HP believes it can go from just about nothing to meaningful market share by replacing what it deems as overly complicated and costly office copying machines with machines that are basically multifunction printers."

Sunday, September 11, 2016

book: Black Hole Focus

One of many interesting statements from excellent book "Black Hole Focus"

Black Hole Focus: How Intelligent People Can Create a Powerful Purpose for Their Lives: Isaiah Hankel: 9780857085610: Books

"Goodbuy, information age - we are now in idea age".
"...An age, or era, dies once something better comes along that turns the valuable resource of previous era into a commodity."
"...Ideas add quality to information" 

But even ideas are now commodity, so
what adds value to an idea?
  1. "The ability to communicate it effectively
  2. The ability to take action and turn it into reality
  3. The ability to choose the right idea in the first place "
Takeaways from Black Hole Focus: How Intelligent People Can Create A Powerful Purpose For Their Lives – Corey Breier

Solve your innovation challenges at

Digital Experiences - Smart Apps | Mockups | Product Development : Ideafarms

Beyond the Information Age | WIRED
"...information will become necessary but not sufficient for firms to be successful"
Image: infocux Technologies/Flickr

The Information Age is over; welcome to the Experience Age | TechCrunch
"Twenty-five years after the introduction of the World Wide Web, the Information Age is coming to an end. Thanks to mobile screens and Internet everywhere, we’re now entering what I call the “Experience Age.”"

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Python + music = Sonic Pi

Sonic Pi - The Live Coding Music Synth for Everyone

free PDF book by creator of the tool:
Sonic Pi Essentials - The MagPi MagazineThe MagPi Magazine
"Learn to code musical masterpieces with the creator of Sonic Pi in our best Essentials e-book yet!"

Sam Aaron - TEDxNewcastle

Programming as Performance | Sam Aaron | TEDxNewcastle - YouTube

AI Bots vs Agents

O'Reilly Bots Podcast - O'Reilly Media
"The O'Reilly Bots Podcast covers advances in conversational user interfaces, artificial intelligence, and messaging that are revolutionizing the way we interact with software".

Why 2016 is shaping up to be the Year of the Bot - O'Reilly Media

Artificial Intelligence - O'Reilly Media

"intelligent agent is software engineering model.
you can use it or them to develop bot or robot or in any software requiring interaction."

"In computer science, a software agent is a computer program that acts for a user or other program in a relationship of agency, which derives from the Latin agere(to do): an agreement to act on one’s behalf. Such “action on behalf of” implies the authority to decide which, if any, action is appropriate.[1][2] Agents are colloquially known as bots, from robot.

So in its most basic form, a “bot” is a bit of software that makes something happen. The most recent surge of use of the term mostly has to do with something Wikipedia calls a “chatterbot” which is now colloquially referred to as a “chatbot.” There’s basically just a computer program that can converse, presumably like a human.

A chatterbot (also known as a talkbot, chatbot, Bot, chatterbox, Artificial Conversational Entity) is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods."

"Artificial intelligence isn't just about replacing humans with computers; the best managers will find ways to use AI to augment their workers."

IoT: Amazon Dash Replenishment Service

Amazon Dash Replenishment Service

"Amazon Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) enables connected devices to order physical goods from Amazon when supplies are running low...

DRS can be integrated with devices in two ways. Device makers can either build a physical button into their hardware to reorder consumables or they can measure consumable usage so that reordering happens automatically."