Thursday, December 31, 2015

Internet of things & Koomey's law

Kevin Ashton  "is a British technology pioneer who cofounded the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which created a global standard system for RFID and other sensors.[1] He is known for inventing the term "the Internet of Things" to describe a system where the Internet is connected to the physical world via ubiquitous sensors.[2][3]"

The Internet and Internet of things | Future Decoded 2015 UK | Channel 9
Kevin Ashton talks about what the Internet of Things is, what it isn’t,
and why it is both the future and present of computing.

"Predicting the future is easy. Believing is hard" says @Kevin_Ashton at #FutureDecoded

Koomey's law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Koomey’s law describes a long-term trend in the history of computing hardware. The number of computations per joule of energy dissipated has been doubling approximately every 1.57 years. This trend has been remarkably stable since the 1950s (R2 of over 98%) and has actually been somewhat faster than Moore’s law. Jonathan Koomey articulated the trend as follows: "at a fixed computing load, the amount of battery you need will fall by a factor of two every year and a half."[1]

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Azure pricing

Penny Pinching in the Cloud: When do Azure Websites make sense? - Scott Hanselman
"Here's the thing about clouds generally and Azure specifically.
If you're not packing things densely you're not going to save money.

You can put up to 500 websites into a single instance using Azure Websites. That's not a typo.
The more you put in the more value you get from your VM/standard instance."

Pricing Overview - How Azure pricing works | Microsoft Azure

Azure Pricing Calculator

Pricing - Virtual Machines (VMs) | Microsoft Azure
Windows Standard
A1 1 1.75 GB 70 GB $0.09/hr  (~$67/mo)

Linux Standard
A1 1 1.75 GB 70 GB $0.06/hr (~$45/mo)

Pricing - Cloud Services | Microsoft Azure
A1 1 1.75 GB 224 GB $0.08/hr (~$60/mo)

Pricing - App Service | Microsoft Azure
S1 Standard 1 1.75 GB 50 GB $0.10/hr (~$74/mo)

This comparison is mostly apples-to-apples, (almost) same hardware resource, different packaging.
VM: you do the updates, scaling, etc.
Windows = 1.5 Linux price (Windows is not free)
Cloud Service:  a "wrapper" on VM, management included, auto-scaling etc.
App Service: a wrapper on wrapper, simple, just deploy web app; replication (SLA) included with single instance. With Cloud Service or VM you need 2 instances to get SLA.

Microsoft Volume Licensing - Microsoft Open Programs

Choosing the best server OS: Linux vs. Windows comparisons

SQL Database performance & options: Service tiers | Microsoft Azure
Intro to SQL Database: Single database DTUs by tier and level.

Azure Background Jobs Communication Patterns

Background jobs guidance | Microsoft Azure

Asynchronous Messaging Primer

Figure 3 - Request/response messaging with dedicated response queues for each sender

Cloud Design Patterns: Prescriptive Architecture Guidance for Cloud Applications

free ebook: Master-PowerShell

Master-PowerShell | With Dr. Tobias Weltner - – PowerShell Scripts, Tips, Forums, and Resources

Windows PowerShell Scripting

Monday, December 28, 2015

visual: Leaflet.js Maps + Python Data = "Folium"

The Leaflet DVF is an extension to the Leaflet JavaScript mapping library. The primary goal of the framework is to simplify data visualization and thematic mapping using Leaflet - making it easier to turn raw data into compelling maps.

"Python Data. Leaflet.js Maps.
Folium builds on the data wrangling strengths of the Python ecosystem and the mapping strengths of the Leaflet.js library. Manipulate your data in Python, then visualize it in on a Leaflet map via Folium."


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Kudu tools: for Azure Web Apps, and Haddop

KUDU is an open source web application for managing WebApps (WebSites) on Azure.
projectkudu/kudu @ GitHub (Apache 2.0 license)
"Kudu is the engine behind git deployments in Azure Web Sites. It can also run outside of Azure."

Using KUDU with Microsoft Azure Web Apps - benjamin perkins - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
"There is a nice set of troubleshooting and analysis tools for use with Microsoft Azure Web Apps (formerlly Web Sites) called KUDU. Information about that tool set can be found here
To access your KUDU console, using your DEPLOYMENT credentials, navigate tohttps://***** where ***** is the name of your Web App."

Windows Azure Websites online tools you should know about | Microsoft Azure Blog

There is another completely different tool also called "Kudu":

Kudu: New Apache Hadoop Storage for Fast Analytics on Fast Data - Cloudera Engineering Blog
"This new open source complement to HDFS and Apache HBase is designed to fill gaps in Hadoop’s storage layer that have given rise to stitched-together, hybrid architectures."

Kudu is actually a name of an African animal:
Kudu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ideas: "solar farms"

The world’s largest solar panel farm is completed and live in Arizona | Gigaom
"The farm - called the Agua Caliente Solar Photovoltaic Facility — can produce 290 MW of solar electricity, which is enough to power 230,000 homes at peak capacity... The farm was built with a $967 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, as well as equity from owners NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar, which is the energy-focused fund owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. MidAmerican bought 49 percent of the $1.8 billion farm in early 2012."

First Solar - Agua Caliente - Arizona

"More solar has been installed in the U.S. in the last 18 months than in the last 30 years,
and almost a third of new electricity came from solar last year."

efficiency chart: Burlington County Engineering Building => select "year view"

Solar | Burlington County, NJ - Official Website
"The large 200-foot by 400-foot field of solar panels next to the county’s engineering complex was completed last year and is generating serious energy savings.
... This array generates 70% of the electrical power required not only by the engineer’s office, but also the nearby traffic maintenance building and radio tower
.... The entire $1.8 million construction cost was funded through a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy."

Price Tracking Tools

Five Best Price Tracking Tools

Amazon price tracker, Amazon price history charts, price watches, and price drop alerts. |

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM) (B00OAJ412U) | Amazon price tracker / tracking, Amazon price history charts, Amazon price watches, Amazon price drop alerts |
Amazon price history chart for Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM) (B00OAJ412U)

Samsung MZ-75E250B/AM 2.5' 250GB SATA III 3-D Vertical Internal Solid State Drive -

Friday, December 25, 2015

free ebook: ‘Future Visions’

The book is free, but it is protected by book stores and apps.
Web site would be much more convenient and popular...

‘Future Visions’ anthology brings together science fiction – and science fact | News Center
Future Visions
"Original Science Fiction Stories Inspired by Microsoft
is an anthology of short stories written by some of today’s greatest science fiction authors.
These visionary stories explore prediction science, quantum computing, real-time translation, machine learning, and much more. The contributing authors were inspired by inside access to leading-edge work, including in-person visits to Microsoft’s research labs, to craft new works that predict the near-future of technology and examine its complex relationship to our core humanity." Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft eBook: Elizabeth Bear, Greg Bear, David Brin, Nancy Kress: Kindle Store

PowerShell Web Access

HTTP(S) is new TCP;
Firewalls and routers block protocols, and then they get around by using web server proxy apps.

Basic installation guide for Windows PowerShell Web Access - Windows PowerShell Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
"Windows PowerShell Web Access is a new feature in Windows Server 2012. It is an IIS application that provides a Windows PowerShell console in a web browser. The IIS application acts as a gateway between the web browser and the machines that you can connect to in your environment. These machines should have Windows PowerShell remoting enabled."

Windows PowerShell Web Access diagram

Angular Material (Web Design Controls)

Angular Material 1.0 Is Here

"Angular Material is a set of 32 UI components representing the reference implementation of the Google Material Design specification and usable in AngularJS single-page applications. This version targets AngularJS 1.x and requires at least AngularJS 1.3.x to run.

Angular Material contains the usual UI elements - Button, Checkbox, Icon, List, Menu, and others -, but also more complex ones, such as Card, Datepicker, Speed Dial, FAB Toolbar, Grid List orVirtual Repeat, the latest reusing the visible rows in a list for performance reasons to deal with a large amount of data. The library includes a set of AngularJS directives for creating responsive layouts based on Flexbox."

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Azure, AWS in Plain English

Azure in Plain English
Azure logo

AWS in Plain English

AWS S3 in Plain English

AWS Lambda in Plain English

Azure Code Samples

Azure Code Samples | Microsoft Azure (
"Learn to interact with Azure services through code"

Azure Samples · GitHub (
"Microsoft Azure code samples and examples in .NET, Java, Python, Node.js, PHP and Ruby"

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Deep Learning Robot ($999)

Deep Learning Robot
"Built on the 192-Core Nvidia Tegra K1, Deep Learning Robot features the same high-performance, power-efficient technologies that drives the world’s most powerful supercomputers."
  • 192 NVIDIA CUDA Cores
  • Quad-Core Cortex A15
  • 2.3 Ghz
  • 2GB Memory
  • 16GB eMMC

What are PowerApps? PowerPoint + LogicApps (Pover BI, SharePoint...)

Microsoft keeps trying to help making "forms over data" apps easy.
This time it is for mobile apps by web with using PhoneGap wrapper, to connect to APIs and services...
Access => InfoPath (XForms) => LightSwitch...

Episode 195: PowerApps with Stephen Siciliano | Microsoft Azure Cloud Cover Show | Channel 9

Microsoft PowerApps: power your business with apps

Introducing Microsoft PowerApps

Microsoft PowerApps – Tutorials

Create an app from a template Take a quick tour by automatically creating a default app, customizing what data it shows and how it appears, and then publishing it for use by others.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

NASA: Project Apollo Photo Archive (14,221 photos)

Project Apollo Archive’s albums | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

link from: .NET Rocks! vNext

Azure Container Service Preview

Microsoft Makes Azure Container Service Preview Available @ InfoQ
"Microsoft has recently announced the Azure Container Service has reached preview status. The service was first discussed at the AzureCon event earlier this fall and is now available to customers through a self-nomination process.
Microsoft and Mesosphere selected open source components from Mesos and Mesosphere DCOS including:
  • Apache Mesos – a distributed systems kernel
  • Mesosphere Marathon – a framework that manages the life cycle of a container that includes the starting, stopping and scaling of applications.
  • Mesos-DNS – a stateless DNS server for Mesos
  • Chronos – a distributed, fault-tolerant scheduler
  • Docker Containerization – support for launching tasks that contain Docker images
...Mesos’ underlying technology is also responsible for running both Twitter and Apple Siri.
Currently, only Linux containers are supported in the service."

HiPPO vs. A/B testing

podcast: Episode 669: A or B : Planet Money : NPR : transcript

"SIROKER: These decisions, typically in organizations, get made using a method known as the 
HiPPO syndrome - the highest-paid person's opinion.
HENN: Dan Siroker says there is a problem with the highest-paid person theory, this HiPPO method.
SIROKER: Very rarely is the HiPPO opinion the most effective.

HENN: But, you know, this is the way most businesses work. It's the way the world works. "

"A/B tests are everywhere these days. Major websites, in stores, in classrooms
- everyone's trying to figure out what you like better version A or version B. "

What is A/B testing

"...the most deaths by wild animals in Africa are caused by hippos..."

Linux security: keyboard

a back-door, that work(ed) from physical keyboard.

Log into most any Linux system by hitting backspace 28 times

Microsoft Apps @ Android

  Microsoft Apps- screenshot thumbnail
Microsoft Apps - Android Apps on Google Play
Clever: an app that has links to other Microsoft apps, no need to search.
It is nothing new: Windows Start menu does the same :)

Most used, recently added, and all apps list on the Start menu

Microsoft Builds Android App Store For Its Own Android Apps Inside Of The Android App Store | TechCrunch

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Azure Storage Encryption

Azure File Storage, now generally available | Microsoft Azure Blog

"Azure File Storage exposes file shares using the Server Message Block 3.0 (SMB) protocol, the predominantly used file share protocol for existing on-premises applications... Azure File Storage also implements REST API protocol, which enables you to develop modern applications that integrate with existing applications... New features:
  • SMB 3.0 support, includes encryption and persistent handles
  • A new browser-based file explorer in the Azure Preview portal
  • Azure Storage Metrics for Azure File storage
  • The ability to mount Azure File Storage file shares from outside of Azure datacenters

Install a version of Windows which supports SMB 3.0. Windows will leverage SMB 3.0 encryption to securely transfer data between your on-premises client and the Azure file share in the cloud.

(this implies the data are not stored encrypted)

"The Azure Storage Client Library for .NET supports encrypting data within client applications before uploading to Azure Storage, and decrypting data while downloading to the client. The library also supports integration with Azure Key Vault for storage account key management."

Microsoft Chakra JS open-source

Microsoft Edge’s JavaScript engine to go open-source | Microsoft Edge Dev Blog

"Today, outside of the Microsoft Edge browser, Chakra powers Universal Windows applications across all form factors where Windows 10 is supported—whether it’s on an Xbox, a phone, or a traditional PC. It powers services such Azure DocumentDB, Cortana and It is used by (and optimized for) TypeScript. And with Windows 10, we enabled Node.js to run with Chakra, to help advance the reach of Node.js ecosystem and make Node.js available on a new IoT platform: Windows 10 IoT Core."
Graph showing performance of Chakra in Microsoft Edge relative to competing browsers on Octane and Jet Stream.

Microservices vs Service Oriented Architecture

Microservices vs Service Oriented Architecture - NGINX

"For anyone who has been developing web applications for 10 years or more, the recent rise of microservices sounds a lot like a development approach we already knew – service oriented architecture (SOA). Both architectures are focused on breaking up large monolithic applications into collections of smaller independent services, and both come with the promise of simplifying development.

So, what sets them apart? Are microservices really just “SOA done right”? How do the two approaches differ? More importantly, are microservices really better than SOA, or are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes of the past?"

HTPC 2016


2005 ~$1000 512MB RAM, 1 CPU 80w
2008 ~$520 2GB RAM, 2 CPU 45w
2011 ~$420 4GB RAM, 2/4 CPU + GPU 22w
2013 ~$300 8GB RAM, 2/4 CPU + GPU×2 15w
2016 ~$320 8GB RAM, 2/4 CPU + GPU×4 10w

Friday, December 18, 2015

Building a Computer the Google Way

Building a Computer the Google Way  @ CODING HORROR
Google's original servers from 1999:

Computer History Museum

Google Server at the Computer History Museum, rack from afar    Google Server at the Computer History Museum, closeup of rack
Google Server at the Computer History Museum, placard: With limited funds, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin initially deployed this system of inexpensive, interconnected PCs to process many thousands of search requests per second from Google users. This hardware system reflected the Google search algorithm itself, which is based on tolerating multiple computer failures and optimizing around them. This production server was one of about thirty such racks in the first Google data center. Even though many of the installed PCs never worked and were difficult to repair, these racks provided Google with its first large-scale computing system and allowed the company to grow quickly and at minimal cost.


Code Katas

Kata (programming) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Code Katas -

"Code Kata is a term coined by Dave Thomas, co-author of the book The Pragmatic Programmer, in a bow to the Japanese concept of kata in the martial arts. A code kata is an exercise in programming which helps a programmer hone their skills through practice and repetition. As of October 2011, Dave Thomas has published 21 different katas.

"I may drive to work every day, but I'm far from a professional driver. Similarly, programming every day may not be enough to make you a professional programmer. So what can turn someone into a professional driver or programmer? What do you do to practice?"
- Jeff Atwood

Code Kata Cast

A Code Kata Cast is a recording of a developer showing off his or her skills performing a kata."


newrelic/newrelic-dot-net-kata · GitHub scales with Azure, F#, and more with Rachel Reese on the Hanselminutes Technology Podcast: Fresh Air for Developers Technology

Top 10 Apps of 2015

Tops of 2015: Digital

Azure Storage Explorer(s)

Interesting tools for accessing Azure Storage
Azure storage has REST API and SDKs for for many platforms,
so there are many tools that are using those APIs.

azure-storage/deco · GitHub
"Project Deco: A file explorer for your Azure Blob Storage accounts, enabling you to easily work with your assets and containers from Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. Create and delete containers, upload, download, and delete whole folders and files, preview media assets - with the free Azure Storage Explorer, you're in full control of your assets. Check out for more infos and downloads. This project is MIT Licensed. It is built upon GitHub's Electron, which incorporates Chromium."Screenshot
JavaScript based tool, wrapped in portable web browser shell (Electron).
Apparently moving from open source to free (but not open)


C# based desktop tool:
Azure Storage Explorer - Home

C# based web tool:
sebagomez/azurestorageexplorer · GitHub

Windows Azure Storage Explorers (2015) - Microsoft Azure Storage Team Blog - Site Home - 
MSDN Blogs

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Design & Company Cultures (Apple vs. Google)

Bob Baxley on Apple and Pinterest, company cultures, and the designer shortage - O'Reilly Radar

"...although Apple really dominates the product culture of technology, certainly in Silicon Valley potentially globally, it’s really the Google culture that dominates how companies work.

By that I mean, a culture of engineering-centric, ship fast, let’s fix stuff, intense incrementalism based on metrics and experimentation, which is very different from how Apple works, at least in the time I was there, where it was much more deterministic. I think the difference maybe has to do with the business models, where Apple is creating a product that they’re going to sell and somebody has to pay money for."

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Scalable, Resilient Cloud Services

9+ hours of cloud architecture guidance

FailSafe: Building Scalable, Resilient Cloud Services | Channel 9
"The mission of the FailSafe Initiative is to articulate recommendations and approaches for delivering resilient and scalable cloud architectures. FailSafe delivers general guidance on building resilient and scalable cloud architectures, guidance for implementing those architectures on Microsoft technologies generally, and scenario specific architectures that implement those architectures in context. Developed by Microsoft Services and the Azure Customer Advisory Team, this series provides both platform agnostic concepts and patterns as well as Windows Azure specific implementation guidance."


iFixit: The Free Repair Manual

Gadget Teardowns - iFixit

Store - iFixit

link from:
The importance of fixing your own consumer electronics with IFixit's Kyle Wiens on the Hanselminutes Technology Podcast: Fresh Air for Developers

Visual Studio keyboard shortcuts

Visual Studio 2015 keyboard shortcuts - complete list
Visual Studio 2013 keyboard shortcuts - complete list
by Mads Kristensen

link from: .NET Rocks! vNext

Default Keyboard Shortcuts in Visual Studio @ MSDN

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Default IT Platform: SaaS, Cloud, Mobile, Machine Learning

The New Default Platform | Future Decoded 2015 UK | Channel 9
Speaker: David Chappell

He identified a few recent IT historical events: 
  • SalesForce
  • AWS
  • iPhone
They lead to "Cloud & Mobile First."  What is next?
Some major service based on ML, maybe?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Microsoft certification:Linux on Azure

Microsoft offers new certification for Linux on Azure | News Center

"The Linux on Azure certification will be awarded to individuals who pass both
  • the Microsoft Exam 70-533 (Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions) and 
  • the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) exam. 
The certification will be issued by Microsoft and will be available starting Dec. 9, 2015."

Cloud libraries and frameworks

Apache Libcloud is a standard Python library that abstracts away differences among multiple cloud provider APIs | Apache Libcloud
"Python library for interacting with many of the popular cloud service providers using a unified API."

"OpenStack software controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, managed through a dashboard or via theOpenStack API. OpenStack works with popular enterprise and open source technologies making it ideal for heterogeneous infrastructure."

"The goal of CloudScale is to aid service providers in analysing, predicting and resolving scalability issues, i.e., support scalable service engineering. The project extends existing and develops new solutions that support the handling of scalability problems of software-based services."

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Swift language (and birds)

Swift is open source and why you should care - O'Reilly Media
"An initial look at Apple's open source Swift language."

"In Swift, values are not allowed to be null. (!)
Variables in Swift are only allowed to be nil, if they're not optional variables.
An optional variable is declared with a question mark after its type"

AI "Open Source" GPU HW by Facebook

More "open design" unless the software is also open sourced...
or just use Google's open source AI SW...

Facebook to open-source AI hardware design | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code | Facebook
"...most of the recent advances in these fields have been enabled by two trends: larger publicly available research data sets and the availability of more powerful computers — specifically ones powered by GPUs....truly tackling these problems at scale would require us to design our own systems. Today, we're unveiling our next-generation GPU-based systems for training neural networks..."
Open Rack V2 compatible 8-GPU server
Open Rack V2 compatible 8-GPU server

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Azure DSC: Desired State Configuration

Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Overview
"DSC is a new management platform in Windows PowerShell that enables deploying and managing configuration data for software services and managing the environment in which these services run.

DSC provides a set of Windows PowerShell language extensions, new Windows PowerShell cmdlets, and resources that you can use to declaratively specify how you want your software environment to be configured. It also provides a means to maintain and manage existing configurations."


Configuration MyDscConfiguration {
    Node "TEST-PC1" {
        WindowsFeature MyFeatureInstance {
            Ensure = "Present"
            Name =    "RSAT"
        WindowsFeature My2ndFeatureInstance {
            Ensure = "Present"
            Name = "Bitlocker"
After the DSC runs, a Managed Object Format (MOF) file is created, which is a standard endorsed by the Distributed Management Task Force (DTMF).
PowerShell Gallery | Home
"The PowerShell Gallery is the central repository for PowerShell content. You can find new PowerShell commands or Desired State Configuration (DSC) resources in the Gallery."

Azure Automation DSC Overview | Microsoft Azure

alt text

Azure WebJobs

Azure dev platform is changing quickly, but there is a solid effort from Microsoft Web tools team to provide usable documentation also. There is always a challenge with "magic goes here"
tools with too many layers hiding actual behavior.

What is the Azure WebJobs SDK

How to use Azure blob storage with the WebJobs SDK
"This guide provides C# code samples that show how to trigger a process when an Azure blob is created or updated. The code samples use WebJobs SDK version 1.x.For code samples that show how to create blobs, see How to use Azure queue storage with the WebJobs SDK."

BlobTrigger attribute: Note: The WebJobs SDK scans log files to watch for new or changed blobs. This process is inherently slow; a function might not get triggered until several minutes or longer after the blob is created. If your application needs to process blobs immediately, the recommended method is to create a queue message when you create the blob, and use the QueueTriggerattribute instead of the BlobTrigger attribute on the function that processes the blob.

Create a .NET WebJob in Azure App Service | Microsoft Azure
"This tutorial shows how to write code for a simple multi-tier ASP.NET MVC 5 application that uses the WebJobs SDK to work with Azure queues and Azure blobs. The tutorial shows how to deploy the application to Azure App Service and Azure SQL Database.

The sample application is an advertising bulletin board. Users can upload images for ads, and a backend process converts the images to thumbnails. The ad list page shows the thumbnails, and the ad details page shows the full size image."

Contoso Ads architecture

code for this tutorial
Simple Azure Website with WebJobs using the WebJobs SDK in C# for Visual Studio 2013

Deploy WebJobs using Visual Studio

Azure Websites and WebJobs | Pluralsight

Web Jobs · projectkudu/kudu Wiki · GitHub

Introducing Windows Azure WebJobs - Scott Hanselman

Azure WebJobs 101 - Basic WebJobs with Jamie Espinosa - YouTube

NuGet Gallery | Microsoft.Azure.WebJobs 1.1.0