Sunday, April 30, 2017

cloud: Azure Software-Defined Networking

Networking innovations that drive the cloud disruption | Blog | Microsoft Azure

Enterprise Corporate Network

link from: Azure podcast Episode 176 - Networking Discussion

ebook: Monitoring Distributed Systems (Google)

Monitoring Distributed Systems

free excerpt from:
Monitoring Distributed Systems - O'Reilly Media
"Monitoring is an essential part of a modern production system. If you can’t monitor a service, you don’t know what’s happening, and if you’re blind to what’s happening, your service can’t be reliable.
Author Rob Ewaschuk explains basic principles and best practices that he and other members of Google’s Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) teams use for building successful monitoring and alerting systems."

China's Solar Industry

China's Day In The Sun And The Future Of The Solar Industry | On Point
"China wants to, in effect, own the sun. It is now absolutely dominant in solar panel manufacturing. Its driven prices down and down. Price-wise, solar energy can now outcompete fossil-fueled electricity in the Middle East."

In this Oct. 9, 2015, file photo, solar panels are seen near the power grid in northwestern China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region. (Ng Han Guan/AP)

China solar, wind to attract $780 billion investment by 2030 - research report | Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Wind turbines and solar panels are seen at a wind and solar energy storage and transmission power station from State Grid Corporation of China, in Zhangjiakou of Hebei province, China, March 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

Saturday, April 29, 2017

brain-computer interface by Facebook

Facebook details its plans for a brain-computer interface

"Facebook wants you to use your brain to interact with your computer. Specifically, instead of using something primitive like a screen or a controller, the company is looking into ways that you and I can interact with our PCs or phones just by using our mind. Regina Dugan (formerly from DARPA), the head of Building 8, the company's secretive hardware R&D division, delved into this on stage at F8. "What if you could type directly from your brain?" she asks."

Friday, April 28, 2017

AI: "perfect storm of interest & ignorance"

The AI Misinformation Epidemic @ InfoQ

"Over the past five years, Google searches for Machine Learning have gone up five times.
... 'for anything that has machine learning in it or blockchain in it, the valuation goes up, 2, 3, 4, 5x'. There is undeniably great interest from the public as well as investors in Machine Learning and how it can be applied to different industry sectors.

In a recent article about 'The AI Misinformation Epidemic', Zachary Lipton, incoming assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, described how interest in Machine Learning from the wider public audience combined with a lack of understanding of the internals of what is happening, is creating the perfect storm of interest with ignorance, causing a misinformation epidemic in the field. In a follow up post, he clarified some of the outline points made in the first post."

AI / ML:

data, visualization:


"... is a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s finances, and government’s impact on society... a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative and have no political agenda or commercial motive."

(a former Microsof CEO Steve Ballmer's stealth project)

"It takes money to follow the money."

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

AI: Deep Learning in 7 lines of code

Deep Learning in 7 lines of code – Chatbot’s Life

"The essence of machine learning is recognizing patterns within data. This boils down to 3 things: data, software and math. What can be done in seven lines of code you ask? A lot."

"TFLearn: Deep learning library featuring a higher-level API for (Google's) TensorFlow."

# Build neural network
net = tflearn.input_data(shape=[None, 5])
net = tflearn.fully_connected(net, 32)
net = tflearn.fully_connected(net, 32)
net = tflearn.fully_connected(net, 2, activation='softmax')
net = tflearn.regression(net)

# Define model and setup tensorboard
model = tflearn.DNN(net, tensorboard_dir='tflearn_logs')
# Start training (apply gradient descent algorithm), train_y, n_epoch=500, batch_size=16, show_metric=True)

"Zeit now" cloud deployment tool,

very informative podcast interview:

Deployment made easy with Zeit on the Hanselminutes Technology Podcast: Fresh Air for Developers
"Guillermo Rauch created and got the internet excited about WebSockets. Now he's teamed up and created a new cloud company - Zeit - and they are kicking the internet again with "now." Just create a folder, put some files or an app in it and type "now" and you've deployed a cloud scale app."

Now: realtime global deployments
"Make Cloud Computing as Easy and Accessible as Mobile computing."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

cloud: Azure Storage Encryption

Portal Screenshot showing Encryption option

very informative Azure Podcast discussion

Episode 175 - Encryption at Rest

Azure Storage Service Encryption for Data at Rest | Microsoft Docs

PDF 2.0 vs ePub

Get ready for PDF 2.0 | Foxit Blog

"PDF 2.0 fixes many of the ambiguities that were present in the previous standard, provides concise and clear PDF specifications, and includes a range of new features that can be applied in many fields that rely on PDF."

7 Differences between PDF and EPUB
  • PDF file creates a static image, tables, images, and other elements and well retain the original layout as well as eBooks. While EPUB has its outstanding feature-support reflowable content, the text display can be optimized for the EPUB-reading devices.
  • PDF file can be created to take notes, highlights, annotate, etc with Adobe Acrobat. However, EPUB can be read-only, no editing function...

"EPUB is a popular way to feed ebook creation process, because is an open format and is based in HTML, while Amazon's format is proprietary. EPUB is the "first step" content format in many production process and supply chains.

An EPUB file is a ZIP archive that contains, in effect, a website—including HTML files, images, CSS style sheets, and other assets. It also contains metadata. EPUB 3 is the latest version. By using HTML5, publications can contain video, audio, and interactivity, just like websites in web browsers"

Monday, April 24, 2017

book online: Wolfram Language

An Elementary Introduction to the Wolfram Language by Stephen Wolfram
The Wolfram Language represents a major advance in programming
languages that makes leading-edge computation accessible to everyone. Unique in its approach of building in vast knowledge and automation, the Wolfram Language scales from a single line of easy-to-understand interactive code to million-line production systems.

Starting Out: Elementary Arithmetic: Elementary Introduction to the Wolfram Language

Diophantine Equation--5th Powers -- from Wolfram MathWorld

% java Euler 
150 * 27^5 + 84^5 + 110^5 + 133^5 = 144^5 // takes about 20 seconds

cloud: StdLib, Nodal, and Functions as a Service (FaaS)

podcast interview
Herding Code 223: Keith Horwood on StdLib, Nodal, and Functions as a Service

"Standard Lib is a registry for serverless microservices. It’s kind of like a mix between npm and heroku, so there is a central registry, but rather than just installing the services locally, they handle deployment for you. There are command line tools available via npm that make it easy to create (lib create) and deploy microservices (lib up)."

link to another podcast with the same person:
DraganSr: StdLib: micro-services, server-less, cloud tool
StdLib — Function as a Service Software Library

Using “Server-less” Architecture to Massively Parallelize DNA Sequence Alignment via StdLib and…

keithwhor/audiosynth: JS Dynamic Audio Synth
"Dynamic waveform audio synthesizer, written in Javascript.
Generate musical notes dynamically and play them in your browser using the HTML5 Audio Element. No static files required."

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Azure Cloud Partner Portal

Announcing Cloud Partner Portal: Public preview for single-virtual machine offers | Blog | Microsoft Azure

"...public preview of the Cloud Partner Portal for publishing single virtual machine offers. The Cloud Partner Portal enables publisher partners to create, define, publish and get insights for their single virtual machine offerings on the Azure Marketplace."

"Cloud opportunities are exploding. 35% of Azure business comes from partners"

Mac OS 7 & X on JavaScript in Web Browser

James Friend | PCE.js - Classic Mac OS in the Browser

PCE.js Classic Mac OS in the Browser

In-browser Mac OS 7.0.1 emulation, compatible software suite arrives at the Internet Archive

Mac OS X Lion CSS3 by Alessio Atzeni

Saturday, April 22, 2017

all-electric ‘flying car’ (real!)

Watch this all-electric ‘flying car’ take its first test flight in Germany - The Verge

New Google Earth for Earth Day

earth day
Google Earth

Earth | Google Blog

The new Google Earth becomes Chrome-exclusive

The new Google Earth lacks some important tools for researchers | Popular Science

Google Earth Blog - The amazing things about Google Earth

Five new things you can do with Google Earth - The Verge


10x battery (by co-inventor of lithium-ion battery)

Lithium-Ion Battery Inventor Introduces Fast-Charging, Noncombustible Batteries - Cockrell School of Engineering

A Glass Act: Lithium-Ion Battery Inventor Introduces Fast-Charging, Noncombustible Batteries |
@Cleantech Concepts

Google's Schmidt Flags Promise in New Goodenough Battery - Bloomberg

John Goodenough claims a lithium battery breakthrough that would completely change the electric-car industry — Quartz

"... John Goodenough, the 94-year-old father of the lithium-ion battery, is claiming a novel solution as a blockbuster advance. If it proves out, the invention could allow electric cars to compete with conventional vehicles on sticker price. The improbable solution, described in a new paper from Goodenough and three co-authors, has drawn intense interest from leading science and technology publications. He estimates that the solution could store five to ten times as much energy as current standard lithium-ion batteries. That’s enough to have Google’s Eric Schmidt tweeting about it."

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Microsoft IoT Central vs. Azure IoT Suite

Microsoft simplifies IoT further | Internet of Things

"Microsoft is announcing Microsoft IoT Central, a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that reduces the complexity of IoT solutions. Microsoft IoT Central is a fully managed SaaS offering for customers and partners that enables powerful IoT scenarios without requiring cloud solution expertise."

Microsoft launches new IoT services for the enterprise | TechCrunch

New IoT services from Microsoft Azure promise to make managing connected devices way easier - GeekWire

"Microsoft already offers a platform-as-a-service IoT product for Azure customers who would prefer to do more of the work themselves, but this new service eliminates a lot of that heavy lifting. The company also announced Thursday that IoT customers can soon access two new data analytics tools, called Microsoft Azure Time Series Insights and Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics, both of which are available as a preview. Time Series Insights is basically a dashboard for your connected devices run through Azure, and Azure Stream Analytics will help companies get better data from connected devices out on the edge of a network where consistent connectivity is not always a given."
Azure IoT Suite—IoT Cloud Solution | Microsoft

Cloud Comparison: AWS vs Azure vs Google vs IBM

Cloud Price Comparison for Compute: AWS vs Azure vs Google vs IBM @ RightScale

"Cloud pricing is complicated and constantly changing. It can be difficult to compare cloud prices because providers offer different pricing models, unique discounting options, frequent price cuts, and promises to match prices."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

future: SmartPhones => SmartGlasses

Mark Zuckerberg Sees Augmented Reality Ecosystem in Facebook - The New York Times

“Think about how many of the things around us don’t actually need to be physical,” Mr. Zuckerberg said in an interview last week. “Instead of a $500 TV sitting in front of us, what’s to keep us from one day having it be a $1 app?”

Zuckerberg sees augmented reality's future in camera | F8 2017 Keynote - YouTube

AR glasses to be hotter than phones in 5 years, Facebook exec predicts - Business Insider

Facebook Oculus Research: "20 or 30 years from now, I predict that instead of carrying stylish smartphones everywhere, we’ll wear stylish glasses. Those glasses will offer VR, AR and everything in between and we’ll use them all day," 

Or don't wait, just spend $3K on Microsoft HoloLens

HoloLens Case Western

AI: ML with Jupyter for "New NBA"

Mark Cuban is learning ML to improve NBA
and interesting twitter discussion

link from: Data Newsletter - O'Reilly Media

Microsoft += Intentional Software

Hungarian Notation (C++ naming convention) comes back to Microsoft :)

Hungarian notation - Wikipedia

Microsoft buys Intentional Software; Simonyi to rejoin Microsoft | ZDNet

"Simonyi, while at Microsoft, oversaw the creation of a number of Microsoft productivity applications, including Excel and Word. Simonyi -- founder, chairman, and chief technology officer of Intentional"

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

private cloud: Walmart OpenStack 100K cores

Gigaom | For retailers the buy-or-build cloud decision looms large

@Walmartlabs deploying 100K cores of OpenStack 
"@WalmartLabs is now running in excess of 100,000 cores of OpenStack on its compute layer.
It’s also the technology that ran parent company Walmart’s prodigious Cyber Monday and holiday season sales operations.
Nothing says big like Walmart. It has around $480 billion in annual revenue, more than 2 million employees, and more than 11,000 retail locations worldwide (including Sam’s Club and Walmart International venues). claims more than 140 million weekly visitors. So scale was clearly an issue from the get-go.

What @WalmartLabs loved about OpenStack was that it could be molded and modified to fit its specifications, without vendor lock-in."

cloud event: AWS Summits 2017

2017-04-18 -:- 2017-04-19

AWS Summits 2017 | San Francisco

"Whether you are new to the cloud or an experienced user, you will learn something new at the AWS Summit. This free event is designed to educate you about the AWS platform. Develop the skills to design, deploy, and operate infrastructure and applications."

Microsoft Data Amp, SQL Server 2017, AI in DB

online event: 2017-04-19

Microsoft Data Amp | Microsoft
"Put data, analytics and artificial intelligence into the heart of your solutions. Get the latest on big data and machine learning innovations."

SQL Server 2017 on Windows and Linux | Microsoft

Now including Graph database support, R, Python, AI tools in DB!
Also using GPU for 30x speed improvement in some cases.
CTP2 version with production support level is available now.

Monday, April 17, 2017

cloud mobile testing: AWS Device Farm

Microsoft Azure Mobile / Xamarin Test Cloud has some competition

Mobile App Testing on Devices – AWS Device Farm

"AWS Device Farm is an app testing service that lets you test and interact with your Android, iOS, and web apps on many devices at once, or reproduce issues on a device in real time. View video, screenshots, logs, and performance data to pinpoint and fix issues before shipping your app."
Automated Mobile App Testing

Amazon Device Farm vs Google Cloud Test Lab vs Xamarin Test Cloud | Somenath Ghosh | Pulse | LinkedIn

cloud: AWS: Innovation Challenge


City on a Cloud
AWS City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge 2017

"Through our City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge, we recognize local and regional governments, and private and public schools and districts as hubs of innovation in three categories: Best Practices, Partners in Innovation, and Dream Big. Winners will receive AWS promotional credits to start or continue their projects."

$25K - $50K

link from:
AWS Podcast | Listen & Learn About AWS

web protocol: WebSub; network: Mastodon

PubSubHubbub - Wikipedia

"PubSubHubbub is an open protocol for distributed publish/subscribe communication on the Internet. Initially designed to extend the Atom (and RSS) protocols for data feeds, the protocol can be applied to any data type (e.g. HTML, text, pictures, audio, video) as long as it is accessible via HTTP. Its main purpose is to provide real-time notifications of changes, which improves upon the typical situation where a client periodically polls the feed server at some arbitrary interval. In this way, PubSubHubbub provides pushed HTTP notifications without requiring clients to spend resources on polling for changes.

As for April 2017, the PubSubHubbub protocol has been adopted by the W3C has a Candidate Recommendation and renamed to WebSub for simplicity and clarity."
WebSub @ W3C

Mastodon Is What Disruption Looks Like Right Before It Happens - Mastodon
"Mastodon is a free, open-source social network. A decentralized alternative to commercial platforms, it avoids the risks of a single company monopolizing your communication. Pick a server that you trust — whichever you choose, you can interact with everyone else. Anyone can run their own Mastodon instance and participate in the social network seamlessly."
Infrastructure 101

link from: This Week in Google 400 Toot, Not Tweet

Saturday, April 15, 2017

IoT: Amazon Alexa 7-Mic Dev Kit

A reason to expect more devices with VUI (voice user interface)...
and more usage of AWS (Amazon Web Services) AVS (Alexa Voice Service)
Amazon Alexa 7-Mic Far-Field Development Kit
"Designed to help commercial device manufacturers easily create far-field voice experiences, this development kit features the same 7-mic circular array and technology for “Alexa” wake word recognition, beam forming, noise reduction, acoustic echo cancellation, and barge-in capabilities found in the Amazon Echo."

link from:
This Week in Computer Hardware 410 Ryzen 5 and the AMD Power Plan

Azure AD: cloud based MF Authentication for on-premises

Azure AD News: Azure MFA cloud based protection for on-premises VPNs is now in public preview! – Enterprise Mobility and Security Blog

Azure podcast: Episode 173 - SQL Data Warehouse

cloud: Azure SQL Data Warehouse

one of many ways to handle "big data" in the cloud

Episode 173 - SQL Data Warehouse @ Azure Podcast

Episode 115 - Azure SQL Data Warehouse @ Azure Podcast

SQL Data Warehouse – Solutions for Azure SQL | Microsoft Azure

Overview of Azure SQL Data Warehouse

What is Azure SQL Data Warehouse? | Microsoft Docs

SQL Data Warehouse Architecture

Your Cloud Buddy: SQL Data Warehouse

book: Mastering Azure Analytics - O'Reilly Media By Zoiner Tejada

Azure Data Lake vs. Amazon Redshift: Data Warehousing for Professionals - DZone Big Data

Friday, April 14, 2017

AI as the new UI

idea: using voice user interface (with AI) for human/computer interaction
instead (and in addition to) GUI

AI as the new UI – Accenture Tech Vision

"AI is making every interface both simple and smart–and setting a high bar for how future experiences will work. AI is poised to act as the face of a company’s digital brand and a key differentiator – and become a core competency demanding of C-level investment and strategy."


business book: Dual Transformation

podcast interview:
To Reinvent Your Firm, Do Two Things at the Same Time @ HBR IdeaCast

... approach to transform a company’s existing business while creating future business. It hinges on a “capabilities link,” which means using corporate assets—that startups don’t have—to fight unfairly.


"...a practical and sustainable approach to one of the greatest challenges facing leaders today: transforming your business in the face of imminent disruption. "Dual Transformation" shows you how your company can come out of a market shift stronger and more profitable, because the threat of disruption is also the greatest opportunity a leadership team will ever face. Disruptive change opens a window of opportunity to create massive new markets...

dual transformation framework:
  • Transformation A: Re-positioning today's business to maximize its resilience,  
  • Transformation B: Creating a new growth engine, 
the characteristics leaders must embrace: 

Intel’s Optane SSD (fast almost as RAM)

Intel’s first Optane SSD: 375GB that you can also use as RAM | Ars Technica

"Intel announced ... its new 3D XPoint memory ... Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X. It's a 375GB SSD on a PCIe card. Initial limited availability starts today, for $1520, with broad availability in the second half of the year.
...3D XPoint is a new kind of persistent solid state memory devised by Intel and Micron. 
...has about one thousandth the latency of NAND flash (or about ten times the latency of DRAM), and tens times the density of DRAM.'s a datacenter-oriented part, built for applications with high read/write loads, looking for low latency."

bots in the enterprise, messages syndication

Tom Hadfield on bots in the enterprise - O'Reilly Media - Cross-Platform Chatbots
"bot syndication, making it simple for bot developers to reach more users and expand to more platforms"

SlackHipChatMS TeamsCisco SparkRingCentralFlowdock

Xamarin test cloud + HockeyApp + SDK + new portal..
iOS and Android, UWP comming...
includes cloud builds of iOS apps

Announcing custom domain HTTPS support with Azure CDN | Blog | Microsoft Azure
"No additional cost: There are no costs for certificate acquisition or renewal and no additional cost for HTTPS traffic. You just pay for GB egress from the CDN".

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

JSON Data in SQL Server 2016

Cutting Edge - Query JSON Data in SQL Server 2016 @ MSDN Magazine

Results of a JSON Query

Hosted Web Apps for UWP

UWP Apps - Develop Hosted Web Apps for UWP @ MSDN Magazine

"The Project Westminster bridge enables Web developers to bring their responsive Web applications to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) by leveraging existing code (see the “Project Westminster in a Nutshell” Windows Developer blog post at The idea of this “bridge” is to help reuse existing Web site code and add a layer for UWP-specific code to form the integration points of the Web app with an underlying Windows platform."

Docker and Windows Server Containers

MSDN Magazine April 2017, an inside story by one of key people for Windows Virtualization:

Containers - Bringing Docker To Windows Developers with Windows Server Containers

Comparing the Basic Architecture of Containers and Docker Across Windows and Linux

Containers - Modernizing Traditional .NET Apps with Docker

Monday, April 10, 2017

stock: Tesla > GM > Ford

The future of cars and energy is electric and solar...

Tesla's stock bubble just got terrifying - Business Insider

"On Monday the carmaker's market cap exceeded that of General Motors: $51 billion. This is about $15 billion more than where Tesla was valued for much of 2016. And it's about $7 billion more than Ford.
One explanation for Tesla's most recent surge could be that short sellers (traders who had bet against Tesla) are finally throwing in the towel and covering their positions. That, by definition, would have them buying the shares."

"Panels with a Sleek, Low-Profile Design
... solar panels blend into your roof with integrated front skirts and no visible mounting hardware. The result is a clean, streamlined look."

High-DPI: .NET 4.7, 8K Dell monitor

Announcing the .NET Framework 4.7 | .NET Blog
  • High DPI support for Windows Forms applications on Windows 10
  • Touch support for WPF applications on Windows 10
TWC9: 400! #SpringIntoDevOps, Windows 10 1703 & SDK Out, Project Scorpio Revealed and more... | This Week On Channel 9 | Channel 9

High-DPI Scaling Improvements for Desktop Applications in the Windows 10 Creators Update - Building Apps for WindowsBuilding Apps for Windows

Dell Ultrasharp UP3218K could be the world's first 8K monitor, and it has a price to match - CNET
"It's like having four 4K screens in a single panel"

Dell 32 UltraSharp 8K Monitor: UP3218K | Dell United States
Dell UP3218K Monitor

AI, ML, cloud: Bot for Stock Trading Based on Tweets

An interesting experiment, with some real money:
Trading "bot" that decides to buy or sell based on "sentiment analysis" of tweets by President Trump:

Some cloud tools that could be used for sentiment analysis:

Bot of the U.S. (@BOTUS) | Twitter 
(name play on POTUS tweet account: President Of The US)

Episode 763: BOTUS : Planet Money : NPR
"All decisions on buying and selling stocks are made automatically by BOTUS, a computer program. BOTUS makes trades by analyzing tweets from @realDonaldTrump to recognize when he mentions a publicly traded company. BOTUS also measures the sentiment using VADER Sentiment Analysis. If BOTUS decides a tweet is positive, it will buy the stock mentioned in the tweet; if BOTUS decides the tweet is negative, it will sell the stock short. BOTUS will hold the position for 30 minutes, then get out. BOTUS was built with Tradeworx and trades through the Interactive Brokers platform."
Planet Money : NPR

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Amazon Connect: Customer Support as a Service

excellent podcast:
AWS Podcast | Listen & Learn About AWS

Amazon Connect – Cloud-Based Contact Center
"Amazon Connect is a self-service, cloud-based contact center service that makes it easy for any business to deliver better customer service at lower cost. Amazon Connect is based on the same contact center technology used by Amazon customer service associates around the world to power millions of customer conversations. The self-service graphical interface in Amazon Connect makes it easy for non-technical users to design contact flows, manage agents, and track performance metrics – no specialized skills required. There are no up-front payments or long-term commitments and no infrastructure to manage with Amazon Connect; customers pay by the minute for Amazon Connect usage plus any associated telephony services."

Microsoft Small Basic

About Microsoft Small Basic

"Small Basic combines a friendly environment with a very simple language and a rich and engaging set of libraries to make your programs and games pop. In a matter of few lines of code, you will be well on your way to creating your very own game!"

Windows install tool: Squirrel

Squirrel/Squirrel.Windows: An installation and update framework for Windows desktop apps
@GitHub, MIT license

"Windows apps should be as fast and as easy to install and update as apps like Google Chrome. From an app developer's side, it should be really straightforward to create an installer for my app, and publish updates to it, without having to jump through insane hoops."

Guide to the CoreCLR Source Code

A Hitchhikers Guide to the CoreCLR Source Code · Performance is a Feature!

CoreCLR GitHub repo info

Notice "Smalltalk 0.6%"  !?