Wednesday, August 30, 2017

AI talk: Amazon Alexa with Microsoft Cortana

Amazon and Microsoft agree their voice assistants will talk (to each other) | TechCrunch

"Alexa will be able to talk to Cortana, and Cortana will be able to talk to Alexa. You will be able to turn to your Echo device and say, “Alexa, open Cortana,” or turn to your Windows 10 device and say, “Cortana, open Alexa.”

Alexa customers will be able to access Cortana’s unique features like booking a meeting or accessing work calendars, reminding you to pick up flowers on your way home, or reading your work email – all using just your voice. Similarly, Cortana customers can ask Alexa to control their smart home devices, shop on, interact with many of the more than 20,000 skills built by third-party developers, and much more.

“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments, and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal.”

“The world is big and so multifaceted. There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas. Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon. “It’s great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana.”

  harman kardon invoke

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

data: Time Series Forecasting

Complete guide to create a Time Series Forecast (with Codes in Python)

A Complete Tutorial on Time Series Modeling in R

free course: Time Series Forecasting | Udacity

Predictive Analytics with Microsoft Excel: Working with Seasonal Time Series | Simple Seasonal Averages | InformIT

Figure 5.4

Time series - Wikipedia

Chapter 10. Time Series Forecasting - Predictive Analytics and Data Mining [Book]

Data Science: Can machine learning be used for time-series analysis? - Quora

How to Create an ARIMA Model for Time Series Forecasting with Python - Machine Learning 

Predictive Modeling with Azure Machine Learning Studio

Time Series Forecasting with Azure ML | NaadiSpeaks

Retail Forecasting: Step 1 of 6, data preprocessing | Cortana Intelligence Gallery

Time Series Forecasting using Custom Modules | Cortana Intelligence Gallery

Time Series Forecasting | Cortana Intelligence Gallery (Azure ML + R)

Time Series Data | International Institute of Forecasters

Time Series Data Library - Data provider — DataMarket

Apple app development curriculum + AR

Apple launches app development curriculum for high school and community college students - Apple

"Apple launched a new app development curriculum designed for students who want to pursue careers in the fast-growing app economy. The curriculum is available as a free download today from Apple’s iBooks Store."

Monday, August 28, 2017

AI, mobile: Google ProjectionNet: co-train neural nets

Google Researcher Invented New Technology to Bring Neural Networks to Mobile Devices
"Google researcher Sujith Ravi came up with a novel idea: co-train two neural networks. One network is a full neural network, called the trainer network. The other network, called projection network, is a network that tries to represent the input and intermediate representations of the trainer network in a low-memory representation. To do this it uses efficient functions. Both networks are trained at the same time and share the same loss function. In this way the projection network learns from the trainer network. When both neural networks are ready to be used, the large network can remain on the server while users can download the small efficient network on their smartphone."

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Jupyter Notebooks

A nice overview of a great technology in need of better marketing.

What is Jupyter? - O'Reilly Media

"...Jupyter Notebooks are revolutionizing the way engineers and data scientists work together..."

Project Jupyter | Home
example notebook of Lorenz differential equations

JupyterCon, August 22 - 25, 2017, New York, NY

Thursday, August 24, 2017

cloud, .NET: Polly

The Polly Project

The Polly Project

"Polly is a .NET resilience and transient-fault-handling library that allows developers to express policies such as Retry, Circuit Breaker, Timeout, Bulkhead Isolation, and Fallback in a fluent and thread-safe manner. Polly targets .NET 4.0, .NET 4.5 and .NET Standard 1.1."

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Containers vs VMs

Containers to Overtake VMs in Application Platform Space, Says SDxCentral Survey @InfoQ

2017 Container and Cloud Orchestration Report from SDXCentral is that container adoption has
"...steadily increased in the last two years and is set to overtake virtual machines (VMs) in the application platform space..."

8 surprising facts about real Docker adoption

"usage data from a sample of 10,000 companies and 185 million containers"

Sunday, August 20, 2017

programming language Pony (no null, no locks)

a potentially better version of Erlang, interesting, but not yet 1.0

Pony Language Designer Sylvan Clebsch on Pony’s Design, Garbage Collection, and Formal Verification @InfoQ
"...Sylvan Clebsch, who is the designer of the actor-model language Pony programming and now works at Microsoft Research in Cambridge in the Programming Language Principles group."

  • Pony scales from a Raspberry Pi through a 64 core half terabyte machine to a 4096 core SGI beast
  • An actor has a 256-byte overhead, so creating hundreds of thousands of actors is possible
  • Actors have unbounded queues to prevent deadlock
  • Each actor garbage collects its own heap, so global stop-the-world pauses are not needed
  • Because the type system is data-race free, it’s impossible to have concurrency problems in Pony

  • Saturday, August 19, 2017

    ASP.NET Core 2.0 with IIS

    ASP.NET Core can run on both .NET 4.x as well as on .NET Core (1.x and 2.x)
    The processing pipeline is very different from "classic" ASP.NET.
    While publishing with Azure works seamlessly from VS 2017.3 to Azure,
    as well as testing with IIS Express, publishing to local IIS is much more involved.

    Host ASP.NET Core on Windows with IIS | Microsoft Docs

    Download .NET Core (SDKs & Runtimes)

    Windows Server Hosting (x86/x64) .NET Core 2.0.0 runtime
    Publishing and Running ASP.NET Core Applications with IIS - Rick Strahl's Web Log

    "The AspNetCoreModule has to be installed on your server and is part of the ASP.NET Core Server Hosting Bundle."
    More on ASP.NET Core Running under IIS - Rick Strahl's Web Log
    "IIS acts as a front end proxy to the backend Kestrel Console application that hosts the .NET based Kestrel Web server."ASP.NET Core Hosting with IIS

    "Kestrel's throughput is roughly 20x faster than classic ASP.NET on Windows. It's also nearly 5x faster at serving content natively vs. serving it through IIS:"

    Host ASP.NET Core on Windows with IIS | Microsoft Docs

    new feature:
    Introduction to Razor Pages in ASP.NET Core | Microsoft Docs
    Getting started with Razor Pages in ASP.NET Core | Microsoft Docs

    still limited to .NET 4.x ?
    Host in a Windows Service | Microsoft Docs
    Docs/aspnetcore/hosting/windows-service/sample at master · aspnet/Docs · GitHub

    IoT for cars: OpenXC, SDL

    Apple CarPlay, Android Auto… That is so 2015! Come see what you can do now! - That Conference

    "OpenXC™ is a combination of open source hardware and software that lets you extend your vehicle with custom applications and pluggable modules. It uses standard, well-known tools to open up a wealth of data from the vehicle to developers, even beyond OBD-II."

    OpenXC Use Diagram.
    SmartDeviceLink (SDL) for iOS and Android
    "SmartDeviceLink™ connects in-vehicle infotainment systems to smartphone applications allowing automakers the opportunity to provide customers with highly integrated connected experiences, and app developers with new and exciting ways of connecting with their customers"
    links from:
    That Conference 2017 Part 1 - MS Dev Show Podcast

    Thursday, August 17, 2017

    book: Interactive Data Visualization for the Web, 2nd Edition

    Interactive Data Visualization for the Web, 2nd Edition - O'Reilly Media
    An Introduction to Designing with D3
    By Scott Murray

    cloud: Azure Event Grid

    Microsoft Ships Azure Event Grid for Unified Event Processing

    "The Azure Event Grid takes events generated from Azure services, or custom apps, and routes them to chosen handlers. This service offers developers and operators a single event stream to tap into for serverless apps, app integration, or ops automation.

    Microsoft claims that the Azure Event Grid scales to millions of events per second. The first 100,000 operations per month are free, and users pay $0.60 per million operations after that. like Google Cloud Storage emit events to Google Cloud Pub/Sub, but this is only for a subset of services, and messaging topics are self-managed. In the AWS cloud, SQS takes events from a handful of services, and CloudWatch publishes events to a few types of handlers."

    Event Publishers and Handlers
    "...working to deliver many more event sources and destinations later this year, including Azure Active Directory, API Management, IoT Hub, Service Bus, Azure Data Lake Store, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Data Factory, and Storage Queues"

    (Alternative Azure Service) Service Bus (Topics) is really an enterprise messaging product. If you're moving money or material you probably want transactions, deadlettering, duplicate detection, sessions and other capabilities that Service Bus provides you. Event Grid is really about eventing, not enterprise messaging..."

    video: Azure Event Grid @ Azure Friday

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    Chrome-less Chrome

    Getting Started with Headless Chrome  |  Web  |  Google Developers

    "Headless Chrome is shipping in Chrome 59. It's a way to run the Chrome browser in a headless environment. Essentially, running Chrome without chrome! It brings all modern web platform features provided by Chromium and the Blink rendering engine to the command line.

    Why is that useful?

    A headless browser is a great tool for automated testing and server environments where you don't need a visible UI shell. For example, you may want to run some tests against a real web page, create a PDF of it, or just inspect how the browser renders an URL."
    DevTools remote debugging UI:
    DevTools Remote
    Chromeless - Product Hunt
    Headless Chrome automation on AWS Lambda

    IoT: Chinese robots for T-shirts in USA

    A Chinese company making T-shirts in USA mostly by robots...

    Textile companies go high tech in Arkansas - USA -

    "From fabric cutting and sewing to finished product, it takes roughly four minutes," said Tang Xinhong, chairman of Tianyuan Garments. "We will install 21 production lines. When fully operational, the system will make one T-shirt every 22 seconds.
    We will produce 800,000 T-shirts a day for Adidas.
    ... it will bring 400 new jobs to Arkansas"

    So the productivity is 2000 T-shirts per person per day!
    Link from
    Episode 124: How to think about cybersecurity in old-line industries – IoT Podcast – Internet of Things

    By the way, the leading German manufacturer of industrial robots, Kuka was recently purchased by Chinese company.

    Chinese-Owned Robot Maker Is Gunning for No. 1 in Booming Market - Bloomberg

    “Kuka has a reputation for reliability, but as you know, as a German company, they are not really well-known for low-cost products,” Midea Vice President Andy Gu said in an interview Wednesday in Shanghai. “We need to really work very hard to figure out how we can really reduce these costs.”
    In the meantime, Japanese competitors “are very aggressive in terms of grabbing market share,” he said."

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    Monday, August 14, 2017

    Windows Nano Server for Containers

    Delivering continuous innovation with Windows Server – Hybrid Cloud Blog

    • "Using Nano Server for containers is their highest priority.
    • When it comes to containers, smaller is better.
    Based on that feedback, we are making an important change to Nano Server. This next release will focus on making Nano Server the very best container image possible. From these changes, customers will now see the Nano Server images shrink in size by more than 50 percent, further decreasing startup times and improving container density. As part of this effort to focus on containers, we will be removing the functionality for infrastructure-related roles. Instead of using Nano Server for these scenarios, we recommend deploying the Server Core installation option, which includes all the roles and features you would need. These changes to Nano Server, combined with the new application innovations in .NET Core 2.0 which enables customers to use more of their code in more places, make Nano Server the best option for new container-based development."

    podcast: NanoServer and Containers with Jason Helmick - RunAsRadio

    course: Play by Play: Nano Server | Pluralsight

    AWS Summit NY, Hulu, Amazon Macie, AWS Hub, AWS Glue...

    New York Summit

    Some new AWS services and tools are announced today...

    AWS Summits 2017 | New York

    AWS Live Stream (previous recordings)

    What’s New at AWS – Cloud Innovation & News

    aws summit - Twitter Search

    AWS What is New in 2017

    AWS infrastructure is now behind three main streaming media providers | ZDNet
    "Amazon Web Services is now the infrastructure behind three main streaming media providers: Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Hulu."

    Watch live: Exploring AWS’ cloud-native ambitions at AWS Summit New York - SiliconANGLE

    #awssummit hashtag on Twitter

    Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) | Twitter

    Matt Wood (@mza) | Twitter

    Launch – Hello Amazon Macie: Automatically Discover, Classify, and Secure Content at Scale | AWS Blog

    Amazon Macie - Amazon Web Services (AWS)
    "A machine learning-powered security service to discover, classify, and protect sensitive data."Macie_How-It-Works
    AWS Announces Amazon Macie | Business Wire

    Sources: Amazon quietly acquired AI security startup for around $20M | TechCrunch

    "’s flagship, patent-pending AI product is called MACIE Analytics. It uses AI to monitor how a customer’s intellectual property is being accessed in real-time"

    Sunday, August 13, 2017

    .NET Core 2.0, .NET Standard 2.0, VS2017.3 (!)

    .NET Core 2 Released, Supports .NET Standard 2.0 @ InfoQ

    "The highly anticipated .NET Core 2 SDK has been officially released by Microsoft. The debut of .NET Core 1 exhibited great potential, but many developers found the supported number of .NET APIs to be lacking. That all changes in this release of .NET Core, which implements .NET Standard 2.0. Through supporting this standard, .NET Core 2 supports 32,000 APIs. "

    .NET Standard 2.0 Has Been Finalized @InfoQ

    ".NET Standard is Microsoft’s solution to provide .NET compatibility across multiple platforms,

    .NET Standard 2.0 is supported by .NET Framework 4.6.1, .NET Core 2.0, Mono 5.4, Xamarin.iOS 10.14, Xamarin.Mac 3.8, and Xamarin.Android 7.5. A new version of UWP will be made available later this year with support for the latest standard."

    Friday, August 11, 2017

    Tesla Model 3 has arrived; Project Loveday

    Driving Tesla’s Model 3 Changes Everything - Bloomberg

    Elon Musk: Hyperloop + Boring + Twitter = speeed

    podcast: Getting On Board The Hyperloop | On Point

    Oh, Elon. Building Infrastructure for the Hyperloop Doesn't Work Like That | WIRED

    "Elon Musk made ... announcement on Twitter: His Boring Company ... had received “verbal government approval” to build an underground hyperloop,... The maglev-powered train thing would pass through New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore before terminating in ...Washington, DC. All in twenty-nine minutes."

    Why Elon Musk Spends 80 Percent of His Time on This 1 Activity |
    "Elon Musk is doing right by design. In a recent interview on Y Combinator (often called the world's No. 1 startup incubator), Musk explained that he spends 80 percent of his time on engineering and design, developing next-generation products. He is what I call a designers' CEO."
    Hyperloop Transportation Technologies | HTT

    (Courtesy Hyperloop One) (Courtesy Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)

    Wednesday, August 09, 2017

    VR, AR, MR, AI: HoloLens HPU += DNN coprocessor

    Second version of HoloLens HPU will incorporate AI coprocessor for implementing DNNs - Microsoft Research

    "Harry Shum, executive vice president of our Artificial Intelligence and Research Group, announced in a keynote speech at CVPR 2017, that the second version of the HPU, currently under development, will incorporate an AI coprocessor to natively and flexibly implement DNNs."

    Tuesday, August 08, 2017

    IoT, Azure: Raspberry Pi simulator

    Raspberry Pi simulator: Microsoft creates online tool for prototyping projects - The MagPi MagazineThe MagPi Magazine

    "New online service could help with prototyping your next Raspberry Pi project"

    GCP Cloud Dataflow, Apache Beam

    Gaming Analytics Platform with Kir Titievsky, Eric Anderson, and Tino Tereshko | Google Cloud Platform Podcast

    What is Google Cloud Pub/Sub?  |  Cloud Pub/Sub Documentation  |  Google Cloud Platform

    Cloud Dataflow with Frances Perry | Google Cloud Platform Podcast

    Cloud Dataflow - Batch & Stream Data Processing  |  Google Cloud Platform

    BigQuery - Analytics Data Warehouse  |  Google Cloud Platform

    Apache Beam
    "An advanced unified programming model
    Implement batch and streaming data processing jobs that run on any execution engine."

    Beam Overview
    "Apache Beam is an open source, unified model for defining both batch and streaming data-parallel processing pipelines. Using one of the open source Beam SDKs, you build a program that defines the pipeline. The pipeline is then executed by one of Beam’s supported distributed processing back-ends, which include Apache Apex, Apache Flink, Apache Spark, and Google Cloud Dataflow.

    Beam is particularly useful for Embarrassingly Parallel data processing tasks, in which the problem can be decomposed into many smaller bundles of data that can be processed independently and in parallel. You can also use Beam for Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) tasks and pure data integration. These tasks are useful for moving data between different storage media and data sources, transforming data into a more desirable format, or loading data onto a new system."

    Monday, August 07, 2017

    Azure Stack integrated systems

    (3) Azure Stack integrated systems – how to bring Azure to your data center - YouTube

    #AzureStack hashtag on Twitter

    (3) KEYNOTE: Azure Stack – Its More Radical Than You Think - YouTube

    (3) Dive into Microsoft Azure Stack Architecture - YouTube

    Azure Stack – Hybrid Cloud | Microsoft Azure

    kaizen + cloud: AWS Well-Architected

    Some useful whitepapers for cloud design...
    AWS is mostly based on IaaS, with many components to arrange in solutions designs ("architectures")

    AWS Well-Architected - Build secure, efficient, cloud enabled applications

    "The Well-Architected framework has been developed to help cloud architects build the most secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure possible for their applications. This framework provides a consistent approach for customers and partners to evaluate architectures, and provides guidance to help implement designs that will scale with your application needs over time."

    #202: The AWS Well-Architected Framework by AWS Podcast | Free Listening on SoundCloud

    Kaizen - Wikipedia
    "Kaizen (改善), is the Japanese word for "continual improvement ". In business, kaizen refers to activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees"

    MSSQL Scripter: REST API + Python CLI

    Now that Azure is moving to Python based CLI, other tools are following the same pattern:
    expose REST web services, then create command line tool that is using it.

    Azure Podcast: Episode 190 - MSSQL Scripter

    Azure SQL DB: Generate scripts by using mssql-scripter

    GitHub - Microsoft/sql-xplat-cli: Repository for the new SQL cross-platform command line tools

    "mssql-scripter is the multiplatform command line equivalent of the widely used Generate Scripts Wizard experience in SSMS. You can use mssql-scripter on Linux, macOS, and Windows to generate data definition language (DDL) and data manipulation language (DML) T-SQL scripts for database objects in SQL Server running anywhere, Azure SQL Database, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse. You can save the generated T-SQL script to a .sql file or pipe it to standard nix utilities"

    Sunday, August 06, 2017

    Data Science + Cloud: JupyterHub

    JupyterHub on Google Cloud - O'Reilly Media

    "JupyterHub, a "multi-user server for Jupyter Notebooks," is an essential tool for teaching and training at scale with Jupyter. As described in The course of the future – and the technology behind it , JupyterHub is being used to power an introductory class in data science taken by hundreds of students at Berkeley every semester.

    JupyterHub is a complex piece of software... new project "Helm" package for JupyterHub and an accompanying article called Zero to JupyterHub on how to use it, describes the relatively straightforward steps needed to install and run JupyterHub on Google cloud."

    On Microsoft Azure it is easier, there is a VM with JupyterHub  already installed:

    "The Linux data science VM now has JupyterHub installed by default."


    Similar to smartphone plans, lease-like purchase will be now available for Microsoft devices

    Need a New Microsoft Gadget? Upgrade With 'Surface Plus' | News & Opinion |

    "With Surface Plus, you can pay off your device in monthly installments with zero percent interest for two years. After 18 months, you can upgrade to the latest Surface device, as long as you turn in your existing gadget and agree to a new 24-month payment plan for the new one."

    Microsoft Surface Pro (2017)

    Friday, August 04, 2017

    Cloud Storage Magic Quadrant 2017

    AWS approach to cloud is same as in retail: economy of scale:
    huge volume, simple service, reasonable prices... worked well so far for them,
    as well as for Microsoft...

    AWS named as a leader in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Magic Quadrant report for the 7th consecutive year*

    free ebook: Microservices vs. SOA

    Microservices vs. Service-Oriented Architecture - NGINX by O'Reilly

    Thursday, August 03, 2017

    cloud: AWS Web Application Firewall

    AWS Web Application Firewall: Bolt-on Security for Insecure Websites @ InfoQ

    "Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a new feature from AWS which sits in front of your public website and protects it from malicious traffic. It works like a reverse proxy which inspects incoming HTTP requests looking for patterns that indicate suspicious activity. Good requests are passed onto your web application to handle, and bad requests are blocked. It's a tool which can potentially add a layer of security to an existing application without changing the app."

    book: Augmented - Life in the Smart Lane

    cover: Augmented-Life in the Smart Lane

    Reforming your world: Augmented reality and virtual reality — Safari Learning Platform @O'Reilly

    "Smartphones and the internet are the latest in a 250-year cycle of disruption that's changed the way we live and work, says Brett King, author of Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane—and augmented reality will disrupt us even further.
    Ready to adapt? Because if history proves anything, you don't have much of a choice."

    Augmented-Life in the Smart Lane [Book]

    "Augmented is a book on future history, but more than that, it is a story about how you will live your life in a world that will change more in the next 20 years than it has in the last 250 years."

    Brett King – Futurist

    ASUS Launches ZenFone AR Unlocked In U.S. Starting At $599 |