Saturday, September 30, 2017

Azure SMS with Twilio

Microsoft Azure does not have direct API for sending text messages.
Instead, there is an option to use third-party tool from Twilio
AWS does provide direct API for SMS, integrated with many other services.

How to Use Twilio for Voice and SMS (.NET) | Microsoft Docs

Add the Twilio Connector in your Azure Logic apps | Microsoft Docs
Get started with the Twilio connector

How to Send Daily SMS Reminders Using C#, Azure Functions and Twilio

Voice Pricing for Phone Numbers & Calls - Twilio

Twilio - Wikipedia
"Twilio uses Amazon Web Services to host telephony infrastructure and provide connectivity between HTTP and the public switched telephone network (PSTN) through its APIs.[21]"

Build an SMS queueing system using Azure and 100 lines of code

SDKs - Twilio

The Twilio C#/.NET Helper Library - Twilio

Your Cloud Buddy: Azure Notifications Hubs not equal to SMS
Azure Notification Hubs does not itself provide SMS text messaging to mobile devices.
"To send SMS text messages from Azure, for example, you can use services like Twilio which is available in the Azure Marketplace. You can use Twilio Connector as an API App (for example that you can invoke from Logic Apps) or your can use the Twilio API directly. "
Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 10.13.36 AM   Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 10.13.43 AM

Gigaom | Why Amazon Will Make or Break Twilio

yEd - Graph Editor (free)

yEd - Graph Editor

"yEd is a powerful desktop application that can be used to quickly and effectively generate high-quality diagrams. Create diagrams manually, or import your external data for analysis. Our automatic layout algorithms arrange even large data sets with just the press of a button.
yEd is freely available and runs on all major platforms: Windows, Unix/Linux, and Mac OS X."

yEd Live - Diagramming in the Browser

"yEd Live is the browser version of the powerful yEd desktop application. No more installer is needed to quickly and effectively create high-quality diagrams. Built upon our JavaScript diagramming library yFiles the automatic layout algorithms arrange even large data sets with just the press of a button." (the library is very expensive)

Azure Availability Zones

AWS has availability zones, and now Azure has them also. 
So far there ware Azure "Availability Sets"  essentially separate racks in same data center.
Availability Zones are separate data centers that are nearby to each other.
Azure is growing fast... 

Microsoft Introduces Azure Availability Zones, Completes MAREA Transatlantic Connection @InfoQ

Introducing Azure Availability Zones for resiliency and high availability | Blog | Microsoft Azure
"To learn more about Availability Zones and sign up for the Preview, visit:"

MyIgnite - On-demand - Detail
Design highly available applications on Microsoft Azure with Availability Zones.

book: "Clean Architecture" by Uncle Bob

Clean Architecture: A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design (Robert C. Martin Series): Robert C. Martin: 9780134494166: Books

Clean Architecture: A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design
@ Safari Books Online

"By applying universal rules of software architecture, you can dramatically improve developer productivity throughout the life of any software system. Now, building upon the success of his best-selling books Clean Code and The Clean Coder, legendary software craftsman Robert C. Martin (“Uncle Bob”) reveals those rules and helps you apply them."

Friday, September 29, 2017

Neuroscience for better PowerPoint slides

How neuroscience beats PowerPoint coma | Pursuit by The University of Melbourne

Fact 1: people can’t actually read and listen at the same time.

Fact 2: images are more digestible and memorable.

Fact 3:  colors matter.

Fact 4:  ‘position’ matters.

Fact 5:  our attention spans are varied but our brains love a good story.

SpaceX: BFR to Mars, Moon, & Shanghai

Elon Musk Says SpaceX's Giant Mars Rocket Could Fly Passengers Around Earth

"If you build a ship that's capable of going to Mars, what if you take that same ship and go from one place to another on Earth?" Musk said. "So we looked at that, and the results are quite interesting.

...flight time by spaceship: 39 minutes at a speed of about 18,000 mph (27,000 km/h). A conventional NYC-to-Shanghai flight on an airplane is about 15 hours,"

"A giant spaceship designed to fly people to Mars could also revolutionize travel on Earth, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced today (Sept. 29).

SpaceX massive "BFR" spaceship, which could be ready to fly astronauts to Mars by 2024, could also be used to transport passengers to any destination on Earth in less than an hour, Musk told a huge crowd at the International Astronautical Congress 2017 in Adelaide, Australia today.

Making Life Multiplanetary - YouTube

Thursday, September 28, 2017

book: Hit Refresh by Microsoft CEO Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone eBook: Satya Nadella, Greg Shaw, Jill Tracie Nichols, Bill Gates: Kindle Store

by Satya Nadella (Author), Greg Shaw (Author), Jill Tracie Nichols (Author), Bill Gates(Foreword)

Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella — Official Site

“At the core, Hit Refresh is about us humans and the unique quality we call empathy, which will become ever more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt the status quo like never before.”– Satya Nadella from Hit Refresh

Very good interview podcast:

Extra: Satya Nadella Full Interview - Freakonomics Freakonomics
"...a conversation with Satya Nadella, the C.E.O. of Microsoft. It was recorded in September, 2017, soon after Nadella published a book, called Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone."

A special annotated version of the book was provided for every of Microsof't's 120K employees.

"...job No. 1 for a CEO should be to curate a company's culture."

AI, ML: Neuro Evolution; Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned

Effective mechanisms for searching the space of machine learning algorithms - O'Reilly Media

"Stanley is also the co-author of a book entitled Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective - a book ... recommended to anyone interested in innovation, public policy, and management. Inspired by Stanley’s research in neuroevolution (into topics like novelty search and open endedness), the book is filled with examples of how notions first uncovered in the field of AI can be applied to many other disciplines and domains."
Neuroevolution: A different kind of deep learning - O'Reilly Media

"The quest to evolve neural networks through evolutionary algorithms."
By Kenneth O. Stanley

"Setting an objective can block its own achievement,
and it can be an obstacle for creativity and innovation in general; furthermore,
without protecting individual autonomy, collaboration can be dangerously objective.

Kenneth Stanley: Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective - YouTube

Ken Stanley: Discovery Without Objectives - YouTube

AI and Machine Learning: The many different approaches
" a collaborative art application based on an idea called evolutionary art, which is a technique that allows pictures to be bred almost like animals."

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

AI model interoperability: ONNX (Microsoft & Facebook)

Microsoft and Facebook create open ecosystem for AI model interoperability - Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit

"Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) format ... provides a shared model representation for interoperability and innovation in the AI framework ecosystem. Cognitive Toolkit, Caffe2, and PyTorch will all be supporting ONNX. Microsoft and Facebook co-developed ONNX as an open source project"

One more thing Microsoft & Facebook did together: an huge-capacity across-ocean optical cable:

Microsoft and Facebook just laid a 160-terabits-per-second cable 4,100 miles across the Atlantic - The Verge

"The Marea cable also provides a path to network hubs in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, where the next billion internet users are anticipated to come from."

Cloud IaaS by Gartner

Gartner Critical Capabilities

Gartner Critical Capabilities Graphic January 2016

Monday, September 25, 2017

Microsoft Quantum Computing @Ignite

Microsoft places its bets on quantum computing | TechCrunch

"At its Ignite conference, Microsoft today put its stake in the ground and discussed its progress in building a quantum computer and giving developers tools to experiment with this new computing paradigm on their existing machines."

Microsoft Quantum Computing - YouTube

Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella — Official Site

AI conf: "Skynet Moment"

Highlights from the Artificial Intelligence Conference in San Francisco 2017 - O'Reilly Media

Our Skynet moment - O'Reilly Media

cloud: AWS EC2: Per-Second Billing

Microsoft Azure and Google GCP billing for cloud VMs is by minute, and AWS was so far by hour.
That did make dynamic creating and removing instances a bit tricky.

On the other side, AWS Lambda "cloud functions" are billed much more precisely.
So now this precision comes to AWS EC2 also.

New – Per-Second Billing for EC2 Instances and EBS Volumes | AWS Blog

"Effective October 2nd, usage of Linux instances that are launched in On-Demand, Reserved, and Spot form will be billed in one-second increments. Similarly, provisioned storage for EBS volumes will be billed in one-second increments.
Per-second billing also applies to Amazon EMR and AWS Batch

Per-second billing is not currently applicable to instances running Microsoft Windows or Linux distributions that have a separate hourly charge."

(So for Windows VMs Azure still has an advantage) 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

course: Flying Cars

The only missing part: "sponsored by Amazon :)"

Flying Car | Udacity

"Learn the latest in flying car technology and drones from the best in the field. Develop the software skills and conceptual understanding necessary to build an autonomous flight system for quadrotor and fixed-wing drones.
Be a pioneer!"

Flying Car Nanodegree Program - YouTube

4 Real Flying Cars That Actually Fly - YouTube

AWS device farm, Xamarin Test Cloud, Google Cloud Test Lab

new competition of "cloud" service providers...

Mobile App Testing on Devices – AWS Device Farm

"WS Device Farm lets mobile app developers test their apps against a wide array of mobile devices and catch bugs early "
link from:
AWS Podcast | Listen & Learn About AWS

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

Azure "reboot" to Server 2016

Virtual Machine Planned Maintenance | Azure Friday | Channel 9

"During September 2017, you can try the new experience by creating new VMs in the US West Central region"
Maintenance and updates for Windows VMs in Azure | Microsoft Docs

"Azure periodically performs updates to improve the reliability, performance, and security of the host infrastructure for virtual machines. These updates range from patching software components in the hosting environment (like operating system, hypervisor, and various agents deployed on the host), upgrading networking components, to hardware decommissioning. The majority of these updates are performed without any impact to the hosted virtual machines. However, there are cases where updates do have an impact:
If the maintenance does not require a reboot, Azure uses in-place live migration to pause the VM while the host is updated."

In this case the host OS is being upgraded form Server 2012 (R2) to Server 2016. 
New VMs are already being created on Server 2016, now existing long running VMs need to migrate.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Google += HTC phone business

Google signs agreement with HTC, continuing our big bet on hardware

Google is buying part of HTC’s smartphone team for $1.1 billion - The Verge

Google Pixel and Pixel XL
"HTC manufactured last year’s Google Pixel and Pixel XL."

"HTC’s T-Mobile G1 was the first-ever commercially released Android smartphone in the US."

"Google completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility in 2012. Two years later, it offloaded the company to Lenovo"

HTC Messed Up Its Google Deal - Bloomberg Gadfly

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa: $150

It is not an iPad, but it is a usable tablet for affordable price.
But it is not a "real" Android, so much less apps, not (yet) access to Play Store.
Even web browser is limited to only one.  It is mostly a "portal" device for Amazon content.

There are Android tables with Amazon comparable price,
but those comparable with iPad have similar price to iPad.

Amazon updates the Fire HD 10 tablet with a 1080p display and a much lower price - The Verge All-New Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1" 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB, Black - with Special Offers: Kindle Store
$150 with adds, $165 without adds

Alternatives: Lenovo Tab 10, 10-Inch Android Tablet, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 Quad-Core 1.3 GHz Processor, 16 GB Storage, Slate Black, ZA1U0003US: Computers & Accessories
$99 (list $130), not HD Lenovo Tab 4, 10.1" Android Tablet, Quad-Core Processor, 1.4GHz, 16GB Storage, Slate Black, ZA2J0007US: Computers & Accessories
$180 : ASUS ZenPad 10.1", 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC, 2MP Front / 5MP Rear Camera, Android 6.0, Tablet, Dark Gray (Z300M-A2-GR) : Computers & Accessories

Amazon IoT Button technology

New Amazon Dash Button Teardown (JK29LP) | Matthew Petroff
"Amazon updated the Dash Button’s hardware... While the form factor and case remained much the same, the internals changed substantially. The major highlights are a switch from Broadcom to Atmel chips, a switch from an Energizer lithium battery to a Duracell alkaline battery, and the addition of Bluetooth Low Energy."

Battery Removed Front of Button

"Overall, the new Dash Button appears to be a revision designed to reduce production cost, centered around a reduction in energy usage, which allows for use of a considerably cheaper, alkaline battery."


Monday, September 18, 2017

class: Introduction to AI @ edX by Microsoft

free class: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI) | edX

"A high-level overview of AI to learn how Machine Learning provides the foundation for AI, and how you can leverage cognitive services in your apps."

Azure Podcast Episode 195 - ML & AI

"very insightful discussion about getting ramped up on Machine Learning and AI related workloads in Azure, with Azure RD, MVP and Architect - Vishwas Lele."

virtual event: .NET Conf 2017

.NET Conf 2017
September 19 - 21, 2017

.NET Conf is a free, live streamed, 3 day virtual developer event co-organized by the .NET community and Microsoft.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

server-side web: ASP.NET Razor Pages etc.

podcast interview about ASP.NET Razor Pages
New Razor Pages with Jess Chadwick @.NET Rocks! vNext

Razor Pages
"Razor Pages is a new feature of ASP.NET Core MVC that makes coding page-focused scenarios easier and more productive."

"Electrode is a platform for building universal React/Node.js applications with standardized structure, best practices, and modern technologies baked in."
Angular Universal
"The Angular Universal project consists of the base platform API and the surrounding tools that enables developer to do server side rendering(or pre-rendering) of Angular applications"

Redux on the Server
"server side rendering or React.js pages"

cloud technology: GCP BigQuery

A very interesting technical explanation how (part of) Google's big data cloud platform works!

BigQuery Under the Hood with Tino Tereshko and Jordan Tigani | Google Cloud Platform Podcast

a blog post with similar description, including Borg (container compute engine), Dremel (column storage), Colossus (storage engine), Jupiter (high-performance Network)

BigQuery under the hood | Google Cloud Big Data and Machine Learning Blog  |  Google Cloud Platform

Dremel: Interactive Analysis of Web-Scale Datasets

BigQuery - Analytics Data Warehouse  |  Google Cloud Platform

Google BigQuery Documentation  |  BigQuery  |  Google Cloud Platform

This week in GCP – Google Cloud Platform — Community – Medium

cloud flexible workloads VMs: Azure B, AWS’s T2, GCP f1

Microsoft Azure gets a new VM family for bursty workloads | TechCrunch
"Microsoft argues that these so-called B-series machines, which are currently the lowest-cost Azure machines with flexible CPU usage, should work well for workloads like web servers, small databases and dev/test environments.

The principle behind these Azure B-series VMs is similar to AWS’s T2 instances in that they offer burstable performance and that you build up credits for the periods when you don’t need the full power of the virtual CPU. 

Google offers a similar machine type with its f1-micro and g1-small instances. This scheme of letting you bank credits as your machine idles (or only needs very little CPU power) means you end up saving money over using a traditional VM, but still get access to enough power when you need it."

Saturday, September 16, 2017

containers: Kubernetes += Oracle Cloud

Oracle Joins CNCF, and Releases Kubernetes on Oracle Linux and Terraform Kubernetes Cloud Installer

"At the Open Source Summit, held in Los Angeles, USA, it was announced that Oracle has joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as a Platinum member. Oracle has also released two technologies for installing Kubernetes on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI): "Kubernetes on Oracle Linux", an integration of Kubernetes into the Oracle Container Service
HashiCorp Terraform was chosen to install and configure Kubernetes on OCI"

Friday, September 15, 2017

big data/money: Amazon’s HQ2

Amazon’s new headquarters: Top U.S. city contenders - Recode
"Amazon plans to open a second North American headquarters in addition to its original headquarters in Seattle. The retailer promised 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in capital expenditures for the city that proves it has the best assets and incentives."

Amazon headquarters contest: States to compete for 50,000 jobs
"Amazon said it wanted an urban or suburban area with more than one million people, shovel-ready real estate, quality of life and a "stable and business-friendly environment."
Deadline for proposals: 2017-10-19 #AmazonPickMyCity

Amazon to add second headquarters with up to 50,000 jobs

Why Even Software Companies Can't Afford Seattle Anymore | Glenn Kelman | Pulse | LinkedIn

Which cities are well positioned to land Amazon’s HQ2?
CEO Jeff Bezos has intimated that HQ2 will “be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters.” Amazon Map 2
Amazon Headquarters Could End Up in Canada |

The key for Amazon are great people, and Canada has a meritocratic immigration policy to add more.
For Amazon, this is a long term numbers game.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Courses powered by Jupyter Notebooks

Online Training Courses powered by Jupyter Notebooks — Safari Learning Platform
"Don’t just read or watch—learn by doing (you know it’s the best way). Take one of our new “Powered by Jupyter” online courses, and you’ll be coding and running data analysis right in your browser as you work alongside your instructor."

Jupyter Notebook

Statistics: Growth of Python + MIT learning

To be popular on Stack Overflow means that original documentation may be missing or not clear,
not only that a programming language is heavily used...

The Incredible Growth of Python - Stack Overflow Blog

Why is Python Growing So Quickly? - Stack Overflow Blog

How to Lie with Statistics - Wikipedia
"... a standard textbook introduction to the subject of statistics for many college students. It has become one of the best-selling statistics books in history..."

Free Python training from MIT:
Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python | edX

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Apple: iPhone X + 8/Plus + LTE Watch + 4K "TV"

Apple Events - Keynote September 2017 - Apple

Live Apple Event - Apple September Event 2017 - iPhone 8, iPhone X, iOS 11 - Apple Keynote - YouTube

Introducing iPhone X — Apple - YouTube

The Apple iPhone X will stand for ‘exclusive’ - The Verge

Azure IoT Camp + edX Microsoft IoT class

GitHub - dxcamps/MicrosoftIntelIoTCamp

"Azure IoT Hub natively supports communication over the MQTT, AMQP, and HTTP protocols.
In some cases, devices or field gateways might not be able to use one of these standard protocols and will require protocol adaptation. In such cases, you can use a custom gateway. A custom gateway can enable protocol adaptation for IoT Hub endpoints by bridging the traffic to and from IoT Hub. You can use the Azure IoT protocol gateway as a custom gateway to enable protocol adaptation for IoT Hub."

MXCHIP IoT DevKit AZ3166

Free Azure IoT training from Microsoft @ edX:

Developing IoT Solutions with Azure IoT | edX

Saturday, September 09, 2017

AssemblyScript: TypeScript to WebAssembly

GitHub - AssemblyScript/assemblyscript: A subset of TypeScript that compiles to WebAssembly.
A subset of TypeScript that compiles to WebAssembly.

"AssemblyScript defines a subset of TypeScript that it compiles to WebAssembly. It aims to provide everyone with an existing background in TypeScript and standard JavaScript-APIs with a comfortable way to compile to WebAssembly, eliminating the need to switch between languages or to learn new ones just for this purpose.
Try it out in your browser!"

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

OpenAI pro gaming bot wins with Azure help

Elon Musk just made Microsoft Azure 100% cooler by association - MSPoweruser

"... Dota 2, a 1v1 exhibition game under standard tournament rules at The International 2017 the OpenAI bot beat top human player..."  ($24 M prize pool)

"OpenAI is a $1 billion initiative by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Y Combinator President Sam Altman to accelerate AI research in the public so any advances could be shared equally with the whole world, rather than being a proprietary advantage for any one company. Microsoft Azure is the venture’s preferred location to run OpenAI experiments after Microsoft install NVIDIA’s DGX-1 supercomputers on their Azure cloud."

Elon Musk  @elonmusk
"Would like to express our appreciation to Microsoft for use of their Azure cloud computing platform. This required massive processing power."

Monday, September 04, 2017

IoT in healthcare, smart home style

Listen. Imagine. Do.Episode 126: Sonos wants to brick your speakers – IoT Podcast – Internet of Things

podcast includes interview with Nick Dawson, executive director
of the Johns Hopkins Sibley innovation hub

The pilot solution is based on parallel network for "smart-home" style IoT devices
that is used to help patients and hospital staff.
That includes a hotel-style embedded tablets
Interesting logo... 

AI / ML for Content Creation @ Google Cloud Platfrom

The Future of Media with Machine Learning with Amit Pande | Google Cloud Platform Podcast

With less restrictions on cloud storage and on-demand computing power,
it is becoming possible to transcribe and analyze video content and deliver personalized
both content and advertising, that could be different and optimized for each user.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

cloud containers: Cabin, Mobile App for Kubernetes

open source mobile app, created with React Native
for managing containers from iOS and Android

Demo of Kubernetes Cabin, Mobile App for Kubernetes - YouTube

GitHub - bitnami/cabin: The Mobile Dashboard for Kubernetes

link from:
The Future of Media with Machine Learning with Amit Pande | Google Cloud Platform Podcast

AWS IoT Button Setup

aws_iot_button All-New AWS IoT Button (2nd Generation): Amazon Devices
Battery life now extended to 2000 clicks.
Battery is not replaceable.
The button license if for development and testing only.
The button connects to AWS services only
(AWS Lambda, DynamoDB, SNS, and others),
and from there can perform any programmed action. 
The button can recognize 3 types of clicks: single, double and long. 

"With the AWS IoT Button Enterprise Program, you can bulk order buttons with custom labels and take advantage of pre-provisioned certificates and keys to get started quickly. Pre-provisioning grants the device access to AWS IoT and only needs to be configured with WiFi for it to work. Each button will be given a certificate and a unique private key, which enables secure communication with the AWS cloud."

AWS Intros IoT Button for the Enterprise -- AWSInsider

Introducing the AWS IoT Button Enterprise Program | AWS Blog

Getting Started with the AWS IoT Button – Amazon Web Services

AWS Roundup: IoT buttons hit the enterprise, Directory launch and more | PCWorld

AWS IoT Button Wireless Setup - YouTube

How to configure an AWS IoT Button - YouTube

The button can connect to one WiFi network only (at one time)
There is no buffering of clicks when connection is missing.
AWS Developer Forums: Multiple Wifi Networks for a Single IoT ...

Amazon Dash Button Teardown | Matthew Petroff
"printed circuit board with an Energizer Ultimate Lithium AAA battery."
BatteryPartially Disassembled

Saturday, September 02, 2017

blockchain for business: Microsoft Coco Framework

Announcing the Coco Framework for enterprise blockchain networks | Blog | Microsoft Azure

"Coco Framework, an open-source system that enables high-scale, confidential blockchain networks that meet all key enterprise requirements—providing a means to accelerate production enterprise adoption of blockchain technology.

Coco achieves this by designing specifically for confidential consortiums, where nodes and actors are explicitly declared and controlled. Based on these requirements, Coco presents an alternative approach to ledger construction, giving enterprises the scalability, distributed governance and enhanced confidentiality they need without sacrificing the inherent security and immutability they expect."