Saturday, June 30, 2012

Free e-books from Microsoft Press

Free ebooks: Great content from Microsoft Press that won’t cost you a penny - Microsoft Press - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

666795cvr.indd    clip_image004   clip_image002   clip_image003   clip_image005
clip_image007   clip_image008   clip_image009   clip_image010
672611 eBook.indd    Moving to Visual Studio 2010  Programming Windows Phone 7

Mac users pay hotels $20-$30 more a night than PC users

Mac users just love to pay more, says Orbitz | ZDNet:

"Mac users will pay $20 to $30 a night more on hotels than PC users, says Orbitz, a travel site"

Orbitz doesn’t charge extra for Mac users, but has found that they will spend more on higher end hotels.

Example of using statistics...

Udacity aims to teach 160,000+ students statistics

Udacity aims to teach 160,000+ students statistics - Web Exclusive Article - Significance Magazine

Statistics Paradox - Gender Bias Revisited @ Udacity

Udacity - Intro to Statistics - (Answer) Gender Bias Revisited h
Major A90045050%1008080%
Major B1001010%90018020%

While admission rate for both majors is higher for Female students,
admission rate for both majors together is much higher for Male students!

This is why politicians (and many others) love to (miss)use statistics!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Google Glasses Live Skydiving Demo

How Google Pulled Off Their Live Video Skydiving With Glasses Demo | TechCrunch

Simple Made Easy (vs Complex, Twisted)

Simple Made Easy @ InfoQ, from Strange Loop conference

An excellent presentation about importance and nature of simplicity,
by author of Clojure programming language.

Simple: sim-plex = one fold/braid, vs complex

Easy: ease < aise < adjacens = lie near (be nearby), vs hard

Simple is objective, specific; Easy is relative to current position.

Simple: one of something, one role, one task, one objective, one dimension
Most important: lack of interleaving not cardinality

Complex: twisted, braided together.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Microsoft WorldWide Telescope vs Google Sky

Want a best telescope money can buy: use virtual one, for free.
Google came first, and Microsoft Research provided even better tools.

WorldWide Telescope

Explore the sky with Google Earth

Google Sky

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Linus Torvalds vs. GitHub, Nvidia => "Switch"

Linus Torvalds Invented Git, But He Pulls No Patches With GitHub | Wired Enterprise |

Linus has also recently expressed his view of Nvidia
Linus Torvalds Gives Nvidia the Finger. Literally

Linus is an opinionated, and very straight-talking person... And very qualified.
Just like most of people who make the difference are. Think Steve Jobs...

This style of communication is very effective, based on scientific research.
As described in (very good) book "Switch", step one is to get attention.
Being very polite does not do it.
Suggested 3-step process to "influence people":

  • Direct the Rider. What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity. So provide crystal-clear direction. (Think 1% milk.)
  • Motivate the Elephant. What looks like laziness is often exhaustion. The Rider can't get his way by force for very long. So it's critical that you engage people's emotional side—get their Elephants on the path and cooperative. (Think of the cookies and radishes study and the boardroom conference table full of gloves.)
  • Shape the Path. What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem. We call the situation (including the surrounding environment) the "Path." When you shape the Path, you make change more likely, no matter what's happening with the Rider and Elephant. (Think of the effect of shrinking movie popcorn buckets.)

Linus did exactly what is needed with GitHub: he provided very specific opinion, made it public so it can not be ignored, and suggested how to improve solution.

Tesla Model S Launches Today

Tesla Model S Launches Today | Hybrid Cars



many modern cars look very similar...

vs. Ford Fusion 2013 Hybrid

vs. Huyndai Sonata 2011 Hybrid

Nissan Altima 2013 (38 mpg non-hybrid)
The difference of Tesla Motors is sophistication: pure electric, 21" wheels, 7 seats, large touchscreen monitors instead of classic control panel, much smaller number of parts (less things to go wrong), service that comes to your house (since they don't have dealers network) ...

Sebastian Thrun: What's Next for Silicon Valley? -

The Weekend Interview With Sebastian Thrun: What's Next for Silicon Valley? -

Peter Norvig: The 100,000-student classroom | Video on

Peter Norvig: The 100,000-student classroom | Video on

Windows PowerShell Crash Course

Windows PowerShell Crash Course | TechEd North America 2012 | Channel 9

Thursday, June 21, 2012

GitHub for Windows

podcast: Herding Code 144 – GitHub for Windows with Tim Clem, Paul Betts and Phil Haack:

Will Microsoft’s tablet cost more than an iPad? Will Microsoft’s tablet cost more than an iPad? - Therese Poletti's Tech Tales - MarketWatch:

That didn't work for HP, and many Android based tablets...
No point in trying to be "cooler" than Apple,
nobody expects this from Microsoft,
but a reasonable price is expected.

There should be a 8 GB model tightly integrated with Azure
and with no keyboard cover and other "extras", with price of $300.
Plastic is OK. That would really sell, I think.
Microsoft could call such tablet "AzureView".
What does "Surface" means anyway?

Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8 unveiled: Microsoft modernizes its mobile system -

* based on WinRT, same as Windows 8 (tablets, desktops)
* will be able to run Windows Phone 7 apps,
* will not be able to run Windows 8 apps (?!)
* will require new hardware, can't run on current Win 7 phones

Oracle CEO to buy a Hawaiian Island

Oracle CEO Ellison to Buy Most of Hawaiian Island Lanai - Bloomberg

Lanai, Hawaii’s sixth-largest island with an area of 141 square miles (365 square kilometers), is currently owned by billionaire David Murdock’s Castle & Cooke Inc. Ellison’s software industry rival Bill Gates married his wife Melinda on the island in 1994.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Microsoft Surface Tablet

Microsoft Surface Tablet: Initial Impressions | PCWorld

Microsoft Surface Windows 8/RT tablets unveiled: specs, features, release date and pricing
 The ARM model is said “to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet” and it will be available in store at the same time Windows 8 launches. The Intel model will be a bit more expensive with a price comparable to Ultrabook-class PCs, which are generally more expensive than traditional laptops. The Intel model will also be available only later down the road, around 90 days after the ARM-based Surface hits stores.

Surface for Windows RT
  • OS: Windows RT
  • Light: 676 g
  • Thin: 9.3 mm
  • Clear: 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display with 16:9 aspect ratio. Corning Gorilla Glass 2 technology also included.
  • Processor: ARM-based by NVIDIA
  • Energized: 31.5 W-h battery
  • Connected: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Productive: Office ‘15’ Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover
  • Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand, edges angled at 22 degrees
  • Configurable: 32 GB, 64 GB

Surface for Windows 8 Pro

  • OS: Windows 8 Pro
  • Light: 903 g
  • Thin: 13.5 mm
  • Clear: 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display with 16:9 aspect ratio. Corning Gorilla Glass 2 technology also included.
  • Processor: Intel Core Ivy Bridge
  • Energized: 42 W-h battery
  • Connected: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Productive: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
  • Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand, edges angled at 22 degrees
  • Configurable: 64 GB, 128 GB
@ Microsoft


a report from The Next Web indicates the Windows RT model will start at $599, and the Windows 8 Pro model will start at $999.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Brian Kelley - Google+ - Map of the Planet’s Most Visited Websites by Country

(1) Brian Kelley - Google+ - Map of the Planet’s Most Visited Websites by Country

I didn't quite "figured out" Google+ yet...
Why it is trying to make a "parallel" web, like Facebook is?
"Ugly" URLs. There is no connection between Google blogs (Blogger/Blogspot) and Google+.

Udacity - Introduction to Statistics (ST101)

Udacity - Introduction to Statistics (ST101)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Windows 8 HTML5 Platform Hands On

A GREAT online/interactive CSS3 editing/learning tool!

Hands On: Windows 8 HTML5 Platform

MSDN Magazine: Building HTML5 Applications CSS3 Effects, Transitions and Animations

Mac Clone? Vizio "Best Windows PC"

unibody aluminum design Mac Clone? Try 'World's Best Windows PC,' Vizio CTO Says | News & Opinion |

Vizio Debuts All-in-One Desktops, Ultrabooks

Vizio Thin and Light CT15-A2 15.6-Inch Laptop @ ultrabook, i7, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 1920 x 1080, 3.96lb, $1250

Vizio CN15-A2 15.6-Inch Laptop i7, 8GB RAM, 1TB + 32GB SSD, $1200

Vizio Thin and Light CT14-A0 14-Inch Laptop, i3, 128 GB SSD, 3.39 lb, 1600 x 900, $900 @

Microsoft Windows Tablet?

Microsoft Said to Debut Its Own Windows Tablet Next Week - Bloomberg:

"The addition of a tablet would radically alter profitability in the Windows business, which now sells just software with operating margins of more than 60 percent. By comparison, computer maker Dell Inc. (DELL)’s operating margin for the most recent fiscal year was about 7 percent."

With Nokia's big trouble with market price, and Google likely announcement of its tablet, Apple's iPad taking over every market, a "simple" solution for Microsoft is to just purchase Nokia, and instead of phones starts making Windows 8 tablets in high volume... That is, if it can sell in large numbers...

Friday, June 15, 2012

InfoQ: Don Box Discusses SOAP, XML, REST and M

InfoQ: Don Box Discusses SOAP, XML, REST and M:
"The web is axiomatic. You deny the existence of the web and how the web works at your peril. 
When we did SOAP originally, many of us - myself (Don Box) especially 
- were newbies to the web technology..."

This is already 2 year old interview, but it indicates that sometimes it is not enough
to have huge backing of large institution (i.e. Microsoft), when technology has real issues.
In case of SOAP, complexity and consequently slow performance,
could not be compensated by tools and marketing...
Anyway, there are places where SOAP is still useful,
I just don't understand why more optimal (binary) serialization never appearated...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MsgPack size = JSON / 2

MsgPack vs. JSON: Cut your client-server exchange traffic by 50% with one line of code | indiegamr:

you can save up to 40% (and some cases even 60%)
of your traffic caused by client-server communication
with not more than one line of code?

The magic word is “MsgPack” –
it is a ‘binary-based efficient object serialization library‘.

Runtime Error

It is time for Microsoft MSDN to "dogfood" Azure services.

Here is current MSDN home page:
It lasted a few minutes only...
Runtime Error:

Server Error in '/' Application.

Runtime Error

Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed remotely (for security reasons). It could, however, be viewed by browsers running on the local server machine.
Details: To enable the details of this specific error message to be viewable on remote machines, please create a <customErrors> tag within a "web.config" configuration file located in the root directory of the current web application. This <customErrors> tag should then have its "mode" attribute set to "Off".

<!-- Web.Config Configuration File -->
        <customErrors mode="Off"/>

Notes: The current error page you are seeing can be replaced by a custom error page by modifying the "defaultRedirect" attribute of the application's <customErrors> configuration tag to point to a custom error page URL.

<!-- Web.Config Configuration File -->
        <customErrors mode="RemoteOnly" defaultRedirect="mycustompage.htm"/>

Visual Basic 6, Forewer

VB6 is officially supported by Windows 8. That means at least another 10 years of support. There is only a few programming languages like this... i.e. "C". Visual Basic 6, Ruby and Getting Off My Lawn - Scott Hanselman

"Visual Basic 6 first shipped in 1998, so its apps will have at least 24 years of supported lifetime. Contrast that with the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.0 (2002), which is incompatible with Windows 7 (2009).
 - David Platt"

Git market share: 27.6%

james mckay dot net » You can no longer afford not to take Git seriously:
"Git’s market share, industry-wide, is now 27.6%."

People changing the world are never satisfied with one great thing.

Linus Torvals has not only crated Linux, but also created Git.
Both are taking the world by storm....

What is next?

Getting Started with Responsive Web Design

Getting Started with Responsive Web Design - A Dummies Guide

AMD: x84 + ARM

AMD Adds ARM Processor as It Looks Beyond X86 | PCWorld:

Advanced Micro Devices... will integrate an ARM processor with upcoming x86 chips, marrying two rival architectures...

Starting next year, AMD chips will integrate ARM's Cortex-A5 processor with TrustZone security technology. ARM processors are used in most of the smartphones and tablets that ship today, and TrustZone is found in all its Cortex-A processors.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Microsoft Xbox SmartGlass

SmartGlass at E3 2012 | E3 2012 | Channel 9

A tool that connects Xbox, Windows 8 (Metro) and/or Windows Phone 7, to provide remote control, as well as related content. For example, it can display info about actor on the scene while watching a movie, and navigate to other related info...

It is basically Web, just connected between devices...

Visual Studio LightSwitch HTML5 Client

Early Look at the Visual Studio LightSwitch HTML Client | Visual Studio Team Interviews | Channel 9:

So much about Silverlight...
Even open-source clone of Silverlight (Moonlight) is "abandoned" by Mono developers...
Only remaining place where Silverlight is the only choice is Windows Phone 7... not for long, I guess, that will move to WinRT platform (Windows 8) also, it is just not clear when...

Apache CXF -- JavaScript Clients

Apache CXF -- JavaScript Clients:
"CXF provides a capability to generate JavaScript code that can communicate with a web service via the common XMLHttpRequest object. This object is present in modern browsers."

Free ebook: Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Free ebook: Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (First Preview) - Microsoft Press - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Programmer Time Translation Table @ Passion for Coding

Programmer Time Translation Table | Passion for Coding:

30 secondsThere’s just a small change to the code to be done. I know exactly what to type and where. It takes 30 seconds to type.Time for starting the computer, the development environment and getting the right source. The time to build, test, check in and document the fix1 hour
5 minutesIt’s a minor thing, I just have to look up the exact syntax on google and fix it.It’s quite rare to find exactly the right information on the first try. Even if it is found, it probably needs some adjustments before it works. Add time for building, testing etc.2 hours
1 hourI know how to do it, but it’s some code to write so it will take some time.1 hour is too tight to have any margin for unforeseen problems. Something always fails.2 hours
4 hoursIt’s some code to write, but I roughly know the step. I know the Wizzabanga module of our standard framework can do it, but I have to check the documentation on exactly how to call it.This is probably the only realistic estimation. It is large enough to have some margin for unexpected problems, while the task is still small enough to grasp.4 hours
8 hoursI first have to refactor the Balunga class into two, then I’ll add a call to the Wizzabanga code and finally add the new fields to the GUIThere’s a lot of dependencies on the Balunga class from different parts of the system. About 40 different files have to be adjusted. The newly added field in the GUI has to be added in the database as well. 8 hours is too large to grasp completely. There will be more steps than the programmer thought of when estimating.12-16 hours
2 daysIt’s really quite a lot to code. I have to add some new tables to the database, a GUI for those and then the logic to read and write data to the tables.2 days of work is too large to overview for most developers. There will surely be things that are missed. Not just small things, but entire major pieces of functionality required will be forgotten during the estimation.5 days
1 weekOuch… that’s a HUGE task. I don’t have a clue on how to do it, but I can’t say I don’t know. One week should be enough, I hope, I really hope, but I can’t ask for more or they’ll think I’m not competent enough.The task is way too large to get an understanding of for most programmers. It has to be sent back to an architect that can help splitting it in smaller parts and provide some direction how it should be solved. The architect might find a simple way to do it – or find that there’s a lot more work than expected.2-20 days

Apple - MacBook Pro with Retina display - Features

Apple - MacBook Pro with Retina display - Features

A Retina display with 5.1 million pixels. An all-flash architecture. Quad-core Intel Core i7 processors. In a design that’s just 0.71 inch thin and 4.46 pounds.

From $2199 MacBook Pro

compare mac computers

Secret Wars by Computers

podcast: America’s Secret Wars | On Point with Tom Ashbrook:
Computer security is becoming battlefield...
The world is getting even more complicated...

Friday, June 08, 2012

Sun (Star) Venus Transit @ YouTube

NASA | SDO's Ultra-high Definition View of 2012 Venus Transit - YouTube: ""

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory collected images of the 2012 Transit of Venus in many different wavelengths, which have been stitched together to produce these incredible movies.

Rare ‘eclipse’ by Venus won’t be seen again until 2117


The Sun is very, very hot. That is obvious from videos. The Venus is also very hot (for a planet), and that is due to green-house effect and CO2.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Apple Experience by Carmine Gallo

podcast: Carmine Gallo | The Apple Experience @ IT Conversations

Book presentation @ slideshare

"Just make it Great"

"In today's global market, have to be above average (as good as you can make it) to be successful"

Google Chrome "Native Client": Beyond HTML/JavaScript

Google is re-inventing Java/.NET/ActiveX/Flash...

Technical Overview - Native Client — Google Developers

Native Client product names follow a salt & pepper theme. Native Client, abbreviated to NaCl, started the salt & pepper naming theme.

The Pepper Plug-in API (PPAPI), called Pepper for convenience, is an open-source, cross-platform API for plug-in for web browsers. From the point of view of Native Client, Pepper is a set of APIs that allow a C or C++ Native Client module to communicate with the hosting browser and get access to system-level functions in a safe and portable way. One of the security constraints in Native Client is that modules cannot make any OS-level calls. Pepper provides analogous APIs that modules can target instead. You can use the Pepper APIs to:

  • talk to the JavaScript code in your application from the C++ code in your NaCl module
  • do FileIO
  • play audio
  • render 3D graphics
    The HTML file contains the <embed> tag that loads the Native Client module. For example:
        <embed name="nacl_module"
               width=0 height=0
               type="application/x-nacl" />
    Native Client modules are operating system independent, but they are not (yet) processor independent. Therefore, you must compile separate versions of a Native Client module for x86-32-bit, x86-64-bit, and other instruction sets. The manifest file, specified in the src attribute of the embed tag, specifies which version of the Native Client module to load, depending on the end-user's processor.
  • Windows Server 2012, IIS 8

    Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate is now available! : Won Yoo's Blog : The Official Microsoft IIS Site:

    Along with Windows 8 "RP", Windows Server 2012 "RC" is released.
    There is no "Metro", but there is "Metro-like" GUI.
    IIS is version 8 now.
    Most of improvements are in scale-ability, based on Azure experience...

    What's New in IIS 8.0 for Windows 8?

    Wednesday, June 06, 2012

    LinkedIn: 6.5m Hashed Passwords Reportedly Leaked

    Bad Day For LinkedIn: 6.5m Hashed Passwords Reportedly Leaked:

    Change your password NOW.

    Tizen = Linux + HTML5, by Samsung

    Tizen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "Tizen is a free and open source mobile operating system. Tizen is based on the Linux operating system backed by the Linux Foundation and represented in the industry by Tizen Association. Tizen was born out of Samsung Linux Platform OS (SLP). The operating system incorporates a number of modules such as network management from the MeeGo project, a combination of the mobile operating systems Moblin, created by Intel, and Maemo, created by Nokia. Development is led by companies gathered around Tizen Association, currently Samsung and Intel. Some former MeeGo developers also joined the effort.[3][4]

    Tizen's software framework for third-party developers is based on web standards such as HTML5 and web technologies WAC and other [5] and will be designed for use in tablets, netbooks, smartphones, smart TV, and in-vehicle infotainment systems.[3] Tizen's software development kit is published by Samsung under a restrictive proprietary license[2] and includes a web integrated development environment, emulator, compilation toolchain, sample code and documentation.[6]"

    Samsung invests $500 K to Linux Foundation

    Monday, June 04, 2012

    Nokia Lumina 900 vs iPhone 4S

    Nokia's Lumia 900 Can't Stack Up Against the iPhone - DailyFinance:
    Nokia phone is a good deal! Good phone and a good deal.
    Nokia Lumia 900
    Apple iPhone 4S
    Display and touchscreen$58$37
    Wireless chips$38$24
    Power management$9$7
    Mechanical and electro-mechanical$18$33
    Total component cost$209$190
    Unsubsidized retail price$450$649
    Gross margin ($)$241$459
    Gross margin (%)53.5%70.7%
    Source: iSuppli.

    Corning flexible Willow Glass

    Corning launches ultra-thin and flexible Willow Glass - TechSpot News

    Corning has unveiled a flexible material called Willow Glass that measures just 0.1 millimeters thin, or about the same thickness as a strand of fine human hair.

    Windows 8 Metro style apps

    Learn to build Metro style apps

     @ MSDN

    SDK and samples

    @ pluralsight

    Sunday, June 03, 2012

    Solution for Information Overload

    InfoQ: Dealing with Information Overload and Improving Effectiveness:
    by Scott Hanselman

    Windows 8 IE Metro Renders Flash

    InfoQ: Microsoft Has Changed Its Mind: Windows 8 IE Metro Renders Flash:

    "In a surprising twist, Microsoft has made available Windows 8 Release Preview with support for Flash in IE 10 Metro and Desktop, both on x86 and ARM platforms.
    Microsoft has included a power-optimized and touch-friendly Flash in IE10/Metro that will load web pages included in the Compatibility View (CV) list. If a website is not on the CV list, the rendering will be transferred to IE/Desktop. Microsoft wants to be able to let users see popular Flash websites without having to leave IE/Metro

    Silverlight is not mentioned, and it is likely to be treated the same. In fact, having "desktop" and "metro" web browser behave differently is a bit strange.

    Even more, it appears that limited desktop mode will be available in Windows RT, that is ARM based Windows 8, for tablets.

    It is likely that Microsoft marketing has realized that main competitor is Android, and that limiting features may not be best after all...

    .gov API

    Barack Obama Directs All Federal Agencies to Have an API @ API Evangelist:

    That is "Web API", "REST" based.

    The thinking may be: if can move to web services by a decree of the CEO,
    why not the whole government?

    The direction is good in general, but "devil is in the details", as usual.
    For one Amazon that is successful, there are many businesses that are not as much.

    Saturday, June 02, 2012

    Dan Roam's "Napkin Academy"

    The author of popular "The back of the Napkin" book,
    inspired by "Khan Academy",
    has created a series of educational videos called "Napkin Academy"
    teaching us all to become great visual thinkers
    Napkin Academy | Learn to solve any problem with a simple picture

    One difference: it is not free. a few lessons are free

    podcast: Interview with Dan Roam by Dr. Moira Gunn @ Tech Nation @ IT Conversations

    New book: When Words Don't Work

    Friday, June 01, 2012

    Using SQLite in Windows 8 Metro style apps

    Using SQLite in a Metro style app:
    "Dr. Richard Hipp, the founder of SQLite, was on hand to announce the availability of the experimental branch they’ve been working on as well as that when the Release Preview of Windows 8 is made public that he will merge this code to the main trunk for SQLite, making it supported by them."

    The key issue is avoiding using any Win32 calls.

    Since Windows 8 Metro apps didn't support any database tool (i.e. SQL CE was not supported), SQLite will be a natural choice.
    Since SQLite is already included in iPhone and Android,
    this will be by far the most used database tool ever.
    That is about 70000 lines of plain C code in a single file. No C++.

    Windows 8 Metro style with C++ videos

    Developing Windows 8 Metro style apps with C++ sessions now online | Channel 9

    Windows 8 Developer Camp videos

    Windows 8 Developer Camp – On Demand | Channel 9

    .NET 4.5 Supports Zip

    .NET 4.5 to Support Zip File Manipulation Out of the Box

    Too bad 7z is not supported, since it has much better compression.
    Or maybe there is an option to use same method as 7z?
    There is a free 7z SDK anyway...

    CSS Media Queries

    Getting Started with CSS Media Queries - Dan Wahlin's WebLog

    Node.js on Windows Azure

    Beginner’s Guide to Node.js on Windows Azure - Shiju Varghese's Blog

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate

    Downloads | Microsoft Visual Studio 2012:

    Visual Studio "11" is almost ready, now renamed to "2012".

    Review of VS2012 features by Scott Hanselman