Friday, October 31, 2014

ideas: Tangle: a JavaScript library for reactive documents

Tangle: a JavaScript library for reactive documents:
"Your readers can interactively explore possibilities, play with parameters, and see the document update immediately. Tangle is super-simple and easy to learn."

When you eat 3 cookies, you consume 150 calories.
When you eat 7 cookies, you consume 350 calories.

Ten Brighter Ideas? An Explorable Explanation

"Conservation is key and simply achieved.
Suppose 100% of US households replaced 1 bulb at random with a compact fluorescent.
This is the output of 1.5 nuclear reactors.
or 1.5% of the 104 US nuclear reactors.

This is the output of 9.5 coal plants.
or 0.66% of the 1445 US coal plants."

This is similar to AngularJS data binding, but simpler and more visual.
Are data about lightbulbs correct?

Azure Grande Virtual Machines

Azure’s getting bigger, faster and more open | Microsoft Azure Blog:
largest: 448 GB RAM and 6.5 TB of local SSD storage.

VM Size
RAM (in GB)
Local SSD Storage (in GB)

ScottGu's Blog - Azure: Announcing New Real-time Data Streaming and Data Factory Services

Office 365: OneDrive for Business vs. SharePoint Online

What is OneDrive for Business? - SharePoint Online for enterprises:
"OneDrive for Business is a personal library intended for storing and organizing your work documents. As an integral part of Office 365 or SharePoint Server 2013, OneDrive for Business lets you work within the context of your organization, with features such as direct access to your organization’s address book.

NOTE OneDrive for Business is different from OneDrive, which is intended for personal storage separate from your workplace. OneDrive for Business is also different from your team site, which is intended for storing team or project-related documents."

CSS Font-Size: em, px, pt, %, rem

CSS Font-Size: em vs. px vs. pt vs. percent / Kyle Schaeffer:

Font-sizes as they increase from 100% to 120%.

Font-size as the client changes the text size in their browser.

Font Size Idea: px at the Root, rem for Components, em for Text Elements | CSS-Tricks

CSS Units @ W3schools

Font sizing with rem -

Android Founder Departs Google

Android Founder Departs Google, Continuing Executive Shakeup | WIRED:

"Andy Rubin, Google’s head of robotics and former head of Android, has confirmed that he is stepping down from the company to launch a new incubator for hardware startups."

Just recently another important person also left Google:

Google X Founder Sebastian Thrun Has Left His Role As Google VP And Fellow | TechCrunch

IoT: Bigger Than Anyone Realizes?

The Internet of Things Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes — Part 1 | LinkedIn

by Daniel Burrus (known to reliably predict the future)"Of all the technology trends that are taking place right now, perhaps the biggest one is the Internet of Things; it’s the one that’s going to give us the most disruption as well as the most opportunity over the next five years"

Article cover image

Thursday, October 30, 2014

architecture: Passive House 101

The Principles : Passive House Institute - United States:

"Passive building comprises a set of design principles used to attain a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency within a specific quantifiable comfort level. “Maximize your gains, minimize your losses” summarize the approach."

Passive House Institute U.S.

Passive house - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

IoT: another infographic

Everything You Need To Know About The Internet Of Things - Forbes

The Internet of Things Infographic 06

security: Gmail Drafts for Malware

Hackers Are Using Gmail Drafts to Update Their Malware and Steal Data | WIRED:

"Researchers at the security startup Shape Security say they’ve found a strain of malware on a client’s network that uses that new, furtive form of “command and control”—the communications channel that connects hackers to their malicious software—allowing them to send the programs updates and instructions and retrieve stolen data. Because the commands are hidden in unassuming Gmail drafts that are never even sent, the hidden communications channel is particularly difficult to detect."


ScottGu's Blog - Azure News

ScottGu's Blog - Azure: New Marketplace, Network Improvements, New Batch Service, Automation Service, more:


AngularJS 2.0, AtScript

ng-europe - The first AngularJS European conference in Paris, France.:

by Shawn Wildermuth

"Last week at the ng-europe conference in Paris, the Angular team gave attendees details about the upcoming AngularJS 2.0 release. It's a significant departure from version 1.X with no migration path and made with a new language, AtScript, in mind.

AtScript is a superset of TypeScript, the language created by Microsoft. TypeScript adds types to JavaScript code and AtScript extends this idea further by adding annotations and introspection.
AtScript is optional. There is no rule to develop Angular 2.0 apps in AtScript. Mi┼íko said that, because of the existing community and libraries already written in JavaScript, it was "a very important goal that you don’t have to use it". Since AtScript compiles to EcmaScript 5 (ES5), developers can write Angular 2.0 directly.

Even though this is still called "Angular", this new version has barely any resemblance with the previous one, it's really a totally new framework...
there is no migration path from Angular 1.X to 2.0, though they left the door open for this possibility. There is no release date set, but the consensus is that version 2.0 will be finalized late 2015."

Google Nexus 9 Tablet : Google Nexus 9 Tablet (8.9-Inch, 16 GB, Black) : Computers & Accessories:
3x4 screen ratio, $399, 8Mpx camera...  Android 5.0
Essentially iPad-like hardware with comparable price... not a "deal" anymore

Hands on: The first things you notice about the Nexus 9 and Android 5.0 | Computerworld

Nexus 9 @ Google

Devices on Google Play

gadget, cloud: Microsoft Band + Health

The Microsoft Band Is a $200 Heart-Monitoring Wristable Supreme:
The Microsoft Band Is a $200 Heart-Monitoring Wristable Supreme
"In addition to the obvious optical heart-rate monitor you can see in the picture above, it will include a UV sensor to keep track of your sun exposure, a galvanic skin response sensor to measure stress, and built-in GPS. The 18.5-millimeter band's made of a "thermal plastic elastomer," which means it's probably nice, soft, and stretchy. It's got a fairly tiny 1.4-inch touchscreen at just 320 x 106 resolution, and is powered by two 100mAh lithium-ion batteries."

Azure + Machine Learning

Microsoft Band, the smart band powered by Microsoft Health
By the way, this "band" is also a watch, since it has a screen

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

C3.js: D3-based reusable chart library (!)

C3.js | D3-based reusable chart library

"C3 enables deeper integration of charts into your application."
  • ComfortableC3 makes it easy to generate D3-based charts by wrapping the code required to construct the entire chart. We don't need to write D3 code any more.
  • CustomizableC3 gives some classes to each element when generating, so you can define a custom style by the class and it's possible to extend the structure directly by D3.
  • ControllableC3 provides a variety of APIs and callbacks to access the state of the chart. By using them, you can update the chart even if after it's rendered. JavaScript Libraries Database - The Database of JavaScript Libraries:

The definitive source of the best 
JavaScript libraries, frameworks, and plugins.


Moment.js | Home:
"Parse, validate, manipulate, and display dates in javascript."

Moment Timezone | Home
"Parse and display dates in any timezone."

ML: Machine Learning on Azure (!)

Machine Learning on Azure | AzureConf 2014 | Channel 9:

by Seth Juarez

sethjuarez/numl · GitHub

What is Machine Learning? | Seth Juarez

Machine Learning in the Cloud with Seth Juarez @ .NET Rocks!

Episode 022 – Ramping Up on Machine-Learning with Seth Juarez

Machine Learning @ Azure

Practical Machine Learning @ InfoQ

IoT: Azure Device Gateway/Reykjavik (!)

Service Assisted Device Communications on Microsoft Azure | AzureConf 2014 | Channel 9 by Rick G. Garibay

Announced "Reykjavik" gateway tool, soon to be open sourced

MQTT and Azure Device Gateway | M2Mqtt & GnatMQ

Visual Studio Live Chicago Recap: From the Internet of Things to Intelligent Systems - A Developer's Primer


Smart Products and Microsoft Services (Internet of Things) | Subscribe! | Channel 9 By: ClemensV

HP 3D printers, scanners

With Sprout, HP bets on remaking the PC as a 3D maker tool | ZDNet:

With Sprout HP bets on remaking the PC as a 3D maker tool

HP to enter 3D printing market in 2016: Will customers wait? | ZDNet

3D Printing: Building the Future

MakerBot | 3D Printers | 3D Printing

Market leader, already has 3D scanner for a while, in combination with various 3D printers...

Why didn't HP just acquire them?

MakerBot Digitizer

Monday, October 27, 2014

Amazon's Fire TV Stick

How Amazon's Fire TV Stick Compares to Other Streaming Dongles | WIRED:


Cars of the Future

Where We’re Going, We’ll Probably Still Need Cars | On Point with Tom Ashbrook:

This undated image provided by Google, shows an early version of Google's prototype self-driving car. For the first time, California's Department of Motor Vehicles knows how many self-driving cars are traveling on the state's public roads. The agency is issuing permits, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 that let three companies test 29 vehicles on highways and in neighborhoods. (AP)


Toyota vs. VW: Who Will Emerge as the Sales King? – Feature – Car and Driver | Car and Driver Blog

RSync - Remote Synchronization Protocol

RSync - Remote Synchronization Protocol:

"RSync is a remote file (or data) synchronization protocol. It allows you to synchronize files between two computers. By synchronize, I mean make sure that both copies of the file is the same. If there are any differences, RSync detects these differences, and sends across the differences, so the client or server can update their copy of the file, to make the copies the same.

RSync is capable of synchronizing files without sending the whole file across the network."

The rsync algorithm (original article)

This would be very useful for "cloud" servers, backups etc.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

define: yak shaving

yak shaving - Wiktionary:

"Any apparently useless activity which, by allowing you to overcome intermediate difficulties, allows you to solve a larger problem."

"Main task of Data Scientist is 'yak shaving'" :)

Machine Learning on Azure | AzureConf 2014 | Channel 9

by Seth Juarez

Free ebooks from Microsoft Press (Azure etc.)

Free ebooks from Microsoft Press

There are many books there... for example:

Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure
Scott Guthrie, Mark Simms, Tom Dykstra, Rick Anderson, and Mike Wasson
July 2014
Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure

For some reason PDF files are much smaller size than ePub and Mobi (Kindle) here.

May be related to compression of embedded images, since all formats are compressed; PDF published for web is usually reducing resolution of images.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

design: Golden ratio

Golden ratio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
1 : 1.6180340

\varphi = \frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2} = 1.6180339887\ldots.

IoT security: (not so) smart wifi light bulb

LIFX - the smart wifi light bulb

Hacking into Internet Connected Light Bulbs
IofT 1

Hackers find security weaknesses with the Lifx smart LED - CNET

The Security of IoT with Troy Hunt @ .NET Rocks!
As it turned out, wifi light bulb could be hacked to get hold of WiFi access key,
and that way compromise network with PC's and other sensitive devices.
A solution is to put "things" on a separate "guest" subnet, isolated from main home or office network.

Keeping updates on a few PCs is hard enough, who is gonna keep patching firmware of all those "things"... something better is needed...



"A general-purpose, web standards-based platform for parsing and rendering PDFs."
From Mozilla, Apache license

Google "Polymer" web controls

Welcome - Polymer
A new set of native web controls in Chrome browsers,
or simulated by "polyfills" library.

"Topeka" sample Quiz App

<!-- Polyfill Web Components support for older browsers -->
<script src="components/platform/platform.js"></script>
<!-- Import element -->
<link rel="import" href="google-map.html">
<!-- Use element -->
<google-map lat="37.790" long="-122.390"></google-map>

Google: "Material Design" (icons, Android 5.0, Polymer)

Introduction - Material Design - Google design guidelines:
"We challenged ourselves to create a visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science. This is material design."

  • Material is the metaphor
  • Bold, graphic, intentional
  • Motion provides meaning
(Formerly titled “Cross-platform design”)

Release Material Design Icons · google/material-design-icons · GitHub

"Material design (codenamed quantum paper)[1] is a design language developed by Google and announced at the Google I/O conference on June 25, 2014. Expanding upon the "card" motifs first seen in Google Now, it is a cleaner design with increased use of grid-based layouts, responsive animations and transitions, padding, and depth effects such as lighting and shadows."
Material design is used in Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Material design is also used in Google Drive andGoogle Docs, Sheets and Slides, and will be gradually extended throughout the Google's array of web and mobile products (including Google Search, Gmail and Google Calendar), providing a consistent experience across all platforms and applications. Google has also released application programming interfaces (APIs) for third-party developers to incorporate the design language into their applications.

Polymer project
"Web Components usher in a new era of web development based on encapsulated and interoperable custom elements that extend HTML itself. Built atop these new standards, Polymer makes it easier and faster to create anything from a button to a complete application across desktop, mobile, and beyond."

When Microsoft created "Metro" design language (renamed later to "Modern"), while interesting and good in some aspects, that didn't work out too well for Windows 8. Neither Microsoft or Google are like Apple... But Metro "digital first" did influence others, including recent iOS design.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Google USB security key

Google releases USB security key for two-factor authentication | Technology |

"Google has announced a physical USB Security Key that should ensure users keep their accounts safe from hackers, although it is not without its limitations.

Anyone who buys a compatible USB from a third-party supplier and adds the Security Key functionality will be able to use it when logging in to Google’s sites, which include Gmail and Google Drive, as it will hold the code required when two-factor authentication has been switched o

Google's new "Inbox" (from Gmail team)

Official Gmail Blog: An inbox that works for you:

Google launches new email service dubbed Inbox | Reuters
"Google launched an email service called "Inbox" on Wednesday that will better organize emails and display information such as appointments, flight bookings and package deliveries in a more user-friendly way.

Google said it was sending out invitations to selected Gmail users to try out the new service. Users can also email the company at to get an invitation."

Inbox by Gmail - the inbox that works for you

Progress Software to Acquire Telerik

Progress Software to Acquire Telerik for $263 Million - WSJ - WSJ:

Progress Software Corp. (PRGS) agreed to acquire privately held Telerik AD for $263 million, a deal the company says will allow it to form a comprehensive cloud platform for developers to create applications for any device.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

PDF Standards

Understanding PDF Standards Compliance @ Foxit
  • PDF/X
    Known as PDF for Exchange, these seven standards dictate graphics exchange to standardize the use of PDF for transferring graphic arts content files between sites, publishers, and printers.
  • PDF/A
    For most documents, PDF is usually all you need to enable everyday readability and sharing. If you need to ensure those documents are readable over the long-term, however, PDF/A should be your choice in your PDF software.
  • PDF/E
    This compliance standard is designed for documents used in geospatial, construction, and manufacturing workflows to provide an easy, and consistent, exchange of engineering and technical documents. The goal of this compliance standard was to reduce the costs associated with storage and exchange of paper documentation.
HTML vs PDF... 
Open vs protected, fluid vs structured... 

Monday, October 20, 2014

data: 100 best-performing CEO

The Best-Performing CEOs in the World - Harvard Business Review:

#1: Amazon : Bezos

IoT: The Real Internet of Things @ HBR

HBR Insight Center: The Real Internet of Things - Sponsored by Symantec - Harvard Business Review:

"discussion on the impact of the Internet of Things, examining the opportunities as well as the threats this new wave of technology creates."


IoT: Value of Connected Devices?

Can We Quantify the Value of Connected Devices? - Sunand Menon - Harvard Business Review
"The Internet of Things may already feel like an overused buzzword, but the value is real. A seminal article in this month’s issue of HBR by Michael Porter and James Heppelmann starts off with a definition of what the “Internet of Things” (or “IoT”) really is – a collection of smart, connected devices or products that, when pieced together well, can yield new functionality, reliability, utilization, and capabilities that were previously not deemed possible.

A key challenge in quantifying the value of IoT is in valuing the data assets it creates. In many companies, these types of data assets...

valuation of their data assets begins with a commercial business case. In this case the typical questions are: what’s the data, how do customers use that data, and therefore how can it be sold?...

ideas: book: The Solution Revolution

The Solution Revolution Book by William D. Eggers and Paul Macmillan

#44. A Summary of ‘The Solution Revolution: How Business, Government and Social Enterprises Are Teaming Up to Solve Society’s Toughest Problems’ by William D. Eggers and Paul Macmillan | New Books in Brief:
"Business involvement with public goods and social goals goes well beyond just brand-building, though. Indeed, it turns out that big profits are also at stake. 
To begin with, many companies have come to realize that there is 
a fortune to be made by entering non-traditional markets 
and catering to the unmet needs of the world’s poorest people
- and in helping them bootstrap themselves out of poverty"

The Solution Revolution: How Business, Government, and Social Enterprises Are Teaming Up to Solve Society's Toughest Problems: William D. Eggers, Paul Macmillan: 9781422192191: Books

Book Review: 'The Solution Revolution' by William Eggers and Paul Macmillan - WSJ

Microsoft Azure: Linux, appliance

Microsoft (hearts) Linux, for Azure's sake | PCWorld:
"This was the message from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, standing in front of an image that read “Microsoft [heart symbol] Linux,” during a Monday webcast to announce a number of services it had added to its Azure cloud, including the Cloudera Hadoop package and the CoreOS Linux distribution.

In addition, the company launched a marketplace portal, now in preview mode, designed to make it easier for customers to procure and manage their cloud operations.

Microsoft is also planning to release an Azure appliance, in conjunction with Dell, that will allow organizations to run hybrid clouds where they can easily move operations between Microsoft’s Azure cloud and their own in-house version."

Microsoft Azure Gets New Market, “Loves Linux” | Ubergizmo
microsoft cloud 2014 10 19 640x360

Microsoft launches Azure cloud in a box | ZDNet
Microsoft to try again to deliver an Azure 'cloud in a box' appliance | ZDNetazurepackdatacenter

Sunday, October 19, 2014

ASP.NET vNext on Silverlight

podcast: Herding Code 198: Damian Edwards on ASP.NET vNext, Tag Helpers and SignalR:
Microsoft team is apparently doing a complete rewrite of ASP.NET,
to make it a first class platform on Windows and Mac also...
That requires a portable .NET core runtime, that comes from Silverlight.
Apparenly portable platforms (node.js, Ruby on Rails, Go etc) are serious enough competition to require compatibility breaking changes.
Even EF is getting a re-write... It is all open source.
And it will all take months before it is ready...

IoT: Internet of Things Journal

IOT (Internet of Things) Technology News & Features - IOT Journal:

IoT is not just for early adopters anymore when it has a magazine...

web tool: svg-edit: A complete vector graphics editor in the browser (!)

svg-edit - A complete vector graphics editor in the browser (in JavaScript) - Google Project Hosting:
"SVG-edit is a fast, web-based, JavaScript-driven SVG drawing editor that works in any modern browser."

"For usage questions on SVG-Edit, please ask at:"

MIT license

try online: SVG-edit

SVG Tutorial
useful examples

ScriptDraw 2.0
online SVG testing tool

Saturday, October 18, 2014

book: D3: Interactive Data Visualization for the Web

Interactive Data Visualization for the Web:

Index of /0636920026938

Azure real-time analytics, ML recommendations

Microsoft delivers real-time analytics in Azure HDInsight Hadoop service - IT News from

"By bringing real-time analytics capabilities to HDInsight, we are opening up new customer scenarios such as the ability to analyse operational data in real time for predictive maintenance,
Microsoft also said it has added new capabilities to its Azure Machine Learning service for testers to evaluate, including a recommendation engine for adding product recommendations onto a website, and an anomaly detection service for predictive maintenance or fraud detection."

Norway loves Tesla (and oil)

Freakonomics » How Can Tiny Norway Afford to Buy So Many Teslas? @ Freakonomics Radio Podcast

"Until recently, tiny Norway (population 5 million) has been the second largest market for Teslas (after the U.S.). Earlier this year, Tesla’s Model S became the best-selling car in the country ever for a one-month period. Not bad for a luxury electric vehicle whose base price in Norway is over $100,000."
(Photo: Tesla Motors)
"By most measures, Norway is among the greenest countries on Earth. It gets virtually all of its electricity from hydropower; it plans to cut its greenhouse emissions by 30% by 2020; and it has more electric vehicles per capita than any country in the world. But Norway is also the biggest oil producer in Western Europe and the world’s third-largest exporter of natural gas. All that petroleum money allows Norway to subsidize its green lifestyle; it has also helped create what is now the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, soon projected to top $1 trillion."

HP: Agile vs. Anticipate & "Invent"

Greater Agility Won’t Help Hewlett-Packard | LinkedIn by Daniel Burrus"In the announcement, HP said that splitting the company will allow it to be far more agile in the marketplace...

The leader’s job isn’t to react or respond, nor can leaders rely on agility in order to lead. True leaders anticipate disruptions before they happen. They anticipate problems before they occur. They anticipate customer shifts and changes before the competition.

In fact, the ability to anticipate the future provides you with the biggest advantage. Knowing this, just gaining an edge or advantage around agility is not going to help HP that much. Why? Because chances are that their competitors are also focusing on increasing their ability to be agile."

What: Introduction to the Anticipatory Organization™ Model | Daniel Burrus

Well, HP is trying to survive... it is a market leader only by size...

Flying Cars

The flying car that really could be coming to a road
"The AeroMobil can fly 430 miles on a tank of petrol – and when its wings fold down, it’ll fit into a normal parking space."

Elon Musk: Yes on Tunnels, Meh on Flying Cars | Re/code
“If the sky was full of cars flying all over the place, it would affect the skyline, and it would be noisier, and there would be a greater probability of something falling on your head,” said Musk, who is CEO of both electric car company Tesla and commercial space travel company SpaceX. “Those are not good things. I get that you could get from one place to another faster. But if you eliminate the choke points in cities …”

And how exactly would those choke points be eliminated, asked moderator Walter Isaacson.

Tunnels,” was Musk’s one-word answer."