What I tweeted last week..... brought to you this week, March 21 2015 edition

It's spring finally, and we just had 4 to 6 inches of snow fall here yesterday in the Princeton area. Here is what I tweeted last week:

2 thumbs up from Daenerys Targaryen

It doesn't matter if you are a Game Of Thrones fan or not..you gotta love that image.


26 Offensive ads from the 1900s wow... WTF??

All I can think of is...WTF were they thinking...some of those are really crazy


The Escalating Scale of Drunkenness, Explained

One drink, two drink, three drink, four. Don't say we didn't warn you, but don't feel too bad about your evening either


Khan Academy: Algorithms

Khan Academy has partnered with Dartmouth college professors Tom Cormen and Devin Balkcom to teach introductory computer science algorithms, including searching, sorting, recursion, and graph theory. Learn with a combination of articles, visualizations, quizzes, and coding challenges.


Why children need chores

Today’s demands for measurable childhood success—from the Common Core to college placement—have chased household chores from the to-do lists of many young people. In a survey of 1,001 U.S. adults released last fall by Braun Research, 82% reported having regular chores growing up, but only 28% said that they require their own children to do them. With students under pressure to learn Mandarin, run the chess club or get a varsity letter, chores have fallen victim to the imperatives of resume-building—though it is hardly clear that such activities are a better use of their time


Scrum seems to be mostly about having better alibis

Do I believe in the Agile Manifesto?

Of course I do. It's primarily about values and who wouldn't value people over tools, anyway?

With that out of the way, I won't reference the 14 years old page for the remainder of this article, as it is mostly common sense and does not address any of the problems we face in developing digital products.


Microsoft Band now available at Amazon

Microsoft Band helps you achieve your wellness goals by tracking your heart rate, steps, calorie burn and sleep quality, and makes you more productive with email previews and calendar alerts at a glance. Maximize your fitness with Guided Workouts, 24-hour heart rate monitoring, automatic activity counting, and run mapping. Take notes and set reminders with your voice using Cortana personal assistant on Windows Phone. See incoming calls, texts, social updates, weather and more on your wrist. Works with Windows Phone, Android and iPhone

It's available now on Amazon. I have a fitbit and love it...but if it ever breaks I might consider the Microsoft Band


7 things every kid should master

In the past few years, parents, teachers, and policy makers have furiously debated whether standardized tests should be used to promote or hold back children, fire teachers, and withhold funds from schools. The debate has focused for the most part on whether the tests are being used in unfair ways. But almost no one has publicly questioned a fundamental assumption — that the tests measure something meaningful or predict something significant beyond themselves.

I have reviewed more than 300 studies of K–12 academic tests. What I have discovered is startling. Most tests used to evaluate students, teachers, and school districts predict almost nothing except the likelihood of achieving similar scores on subsequent tests. I have found virtually no research demonstrating a relationship between those tests and measures of thinking or life outcomes.


Google Makani – Wind Energy Kites

The energy kite simulates the tip of a wind turbine blade, which is the part of a turbine that makes most of the energy. The kite is launched from the ground station by the rotors, which act like propellers on a helicopter. Once in the air, the kite generates power by flying in large circles where the wind is strong and consistent. Air moving across rotors mounted on the kite forces them to rotate, driving a generator to produce electricity, which travels down the tether to the grid.


MSBuild Engine is now Open Source on GitHub

Microsoft is open sourcing more and more stuff lately, MSBuild is the latest

Today we are pleased to announce that MSBuild is now available on GitHub and we are contributing it to the .NET Foundation! The Microsoft Build Engine (MSBuild) is a platform for building applications. By invoking msbuild.exe on your project or solution file, you can orchestrate and build products in environments where Visual Studio isn't installed. For instance, MSBuild is used to build the .NET Core Libraries and .NET Core Runtime open source projects.


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Legalizes Tesla Direct Sales

Finally..hopefully car dealers will go the way of the dodo...cut out the middleman!

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has just signed a bill allowing Tesla Motors to operate its company-owned direct-sale stores in that state.

The bill, whose full text you can read here, counteracts a statewide ban on direct-to-consumer sales that was enacted in April 2014.

The new bill passed the state’s General Assembly on Monday, from which point Gov. Christie had a 45-day window to decide whether to sign the bill into law.

Importantly, the bill is not just a one-brand exemption for Tesla. In a statement, Christie’s office describes the new law as “giving manufacturers of zero emission cars, including Tesla, the ability to sell directly to New Jersey consumers at up to four locations in the state.”


48 Things Every Man Should Know

I know almost all of these except for a handful, how many things do YOU know?

Dudes. Guys. MEN. When it comes to the male gender, there are certain things all guys simply must know. Whether its for your own personal safety, in case of emergencies (that may or may not be bear attack related), to not look like an idiot in public, for the benefit of the people in your life, or just for your own betterment, taking a moment to learn the secrets on this list of things all men should know is essential.

So you've got a Y chromosome. Now what? What should every guy know how to do? What are the things every man should know? From building fires to tying your tie, if you're a man, the things on this list are essentials for being the best, most manly man you can be. But it's not all beer and sports. Men should also know how to hold a baby and sew on a button


Big Data - A Google Data Center Tour

A collection of 23 images showing the Google data center. Real neat images, below you can see one of those.







U.S. federal government now has a public dashboard and dataset for its web traffic

This data provides a window into how people are interacting with the government online. The data comes from a unified Google Analytics account for U.S. federal government agencies known as the Digital Analytics Program. This program helps government agencies understand how people find, access, and use government services online. The program does not track individuals, and anonymizes the IP addresses of visitors


How we built analytics.usa.gov

This site explains what technologies were used to build the analytics.usa.gov site I mentioned above.

The analytics.usa.gov dashboard is a static website, stored in Amazon S3 and served via Amazon CloudFront. The dashboard loads empty, uses JavaScript to download JSON data, and renders it client-side into tables and charts.

All the details can be found at the site.

That's all for this week...see you next week

What I tweeted last week..... brought to you this week, March 14 2015 edition

Happy Pi day all. Here are all the links I tweeted the past week


Fixes for Mono Vulnerability to FREAK and SKIP TLS have been posted

A TLS impersonation attack was discovered in Mono’s TLS stack by researchers at Inria (SKIP-TLS. During checks on our TLS stack, we have discovered two further issues which we have fixed - SSLv2 support, and vulnerability to FREAK. These vulnerabilities affect basically every Mono version ever released.

All three issues should be addressed in the following patches:

These patches should apply to all Mono versions from 3.4.0 or so onwards


Windows 93 which was never released to the public has been found, you can see it in action here

Windows 93 implemented in JavaScript. looks cool, open up a command window and you will see that you can execute JavaScript


A website that irrevocably deletes itself once indexed by Google

The site is constantly searching for itself in Google, over and over and over, 24 hours a day. The instant it finds itself in Google search results, the site will instantaneously and irrevocably securely delete itself. Visitors can contribute to the public content of the site, these contributions will also be destroyed when the site deletes itself.

Why would you do such a thing? My full explanation was in the content of the site. (edit: ...which is now gone)


Apple’s patent: a method that allows to make 18k gold that has, on volume basis, less gold than regular 18k gold

 Apple’s patent application is for a method that allows them to make 18k gold that has, on a volume basis, less gold than regular 18k gold.

How can this be? It’s because Apple’s gold is a metal matrix composite, not a standard alloy. Instead of mixing the gold with silver, copper, or other metals to make it harder, Apple is mixing it with low-density ceramic particles. The ceramic makes Apple’s gold harder and more scratch-resistant—which Tim Cook touted during the September announcement—and it also makes it less dense overall.


Neurostimulation: Hacking your brain

“IT’S like coffee times ten,” raves one enthusiast. “I use it a couple of times a week and problems solve themselves. At the end of the day, I haven’t wasted hours on frivolous websites. At the end of the week, my apartment is clean.” This marvel of productivity is not a new energy drink or an experimental wonder drug but a simple electrical device that he built at home for less than $10. Whenever this physicist feels like an extra burst of motivation, he places electrodes on his skull and sends a jolt of electricity into his brain.


Squats are dangerous..I will use the leg press machines instead

I feel sorry for this girl...and it hurts me watching this..but using a machine still means that you have to watch your form



Soon You’ll Be Able to Turn Your Brown Eyes Blue for $5,000

A new treatment has successfully changed the color of people's eyes in Latin America, but the procedure isn't approved in the U.S. yet.

For years, a California-based company called Stroma Medical has been publicizing a laser procedure that turns brown eyes blue. Theoretically, this would give brown-eyed individuals the choice to change the tint of their irises, not unlike the way many decide to use surgery to alter the noses or chests they were born with


DevOps Is Bullshit: Why One Programmer Doesn't Do It Anymore

And then something happened. As my career progressed, I took on more responsibilities and did more and more systems work. This was partly because of the divide widening to some extent at one particular job, but mostly because, I could. Right around this time the “DevOps Revolution” was beginning.

Much like when I was a teenager and everyone needed a web site, suddenly everyoneneeded DevOps.

I didn’t really know what it was. I was aware of the term, but being a smart person, I tend to ignore radical claims of great cultural shifts, especially in technology. In this stance, I find myself feeling a step or two behind at times, but it helps keep things in perspective. Over time, technology changes, but true radicalism is rare. Most often, a reinvention or revisiting of past ideas forms the basis for such claims. This “DevOps” thing was no different. Honestly, at the time it seemed like a smoke screen; a flashy way to save money for startups.


First run of the year along the East River...Manhattan Bridge sunrise

I run in the financial district in New York City along the East River when the weather is not too bad. This year was pretty cold, the first run I did was this past week, I took some pictures of the sunrise, here is one of those pictures


Notes on 416 Days of Treadmill Desk Usage

I have been using a treadmill desk for a few years, but in mid-January of 2014 I began keeping track of my daily mileage on a spreadsheet. As of early March 2015 I have enough data (416 days’ worth) to amass some simple statistics.

While its beneficial effects certainly outweigh its downside, it would be less than honest to claim that use of a treadmill while working is completely benign. During the first half of 2014 I began to experience discomfort in my left leg, typically in the buttock and thigh but sometimes extending down to the knee and ankle. This was clearly associated with walking on the treadmill. Interestingly, however, it was completely absent when walking out of doors. I could walk in a normal stride outdoors for many miles without having any trace of this problem, but even a short stint on the treadmill brought it back. I began to curtail my treadmill mileage by reducing the speed, typically to the minimum value of 0.5 miles per hour.


DBMS Comparison

This comparison focuses on features that can be used in SQL statements or self-contained SQL scripts that don't require additional software (e.g. a compiler) to be usable.


Goodbye MongoDB, Hello PostgreSQL

I am seeing this more and more, shops are ditching MongoDB for PostgreSQL

While this setup served us well initially we began experiencing various problems as we grew, in particular with MongoDB. Some of these problems were due to the way applications interacted with the database, some were due to the database itself.

For example, at some point in time we had to remove about a million documents from MongoDB and then re-insert them later on. The result of this process was that the database went in a near total lockdown for several hours, resulting in degraded performance. It wasn’t until we performed a database repair (using MongoDB’s repairDatabase command). This repair itself also took hours to complete due to the size of the database.

In another instance we noticed degraded performance of our applications and managed to trace it to our MongoDB cluster. However, upon further inspection we were unable to find the actual cause of the problem. No matter what metrics we installed, tools we used or commands we ran we couldn’t find the cause. It wasn’t until we replaced the primaries of the cluster that performance returned back to normal.

These are just two examples, we’ve had numerous cases like this over time


Due to unexpected demand, NYCFC will open every seat in Yankee Stadium for home opener

Demand for seats for this historic game has been tremendous and momentum is growing by the day. It was only 10 days ago that we announced that the 300 level will be open. Now with more than 30,000 sold, we have decided to open even more seats. New Yorkers clearly want to be part of this landmark moment for our club and for soccer and we are giving them every opportunity to come and support their new team.


How to Tell if You Have a Development Environment

I guess I should consider myself lucky 

We have the following environments besides production

  • Dev
  • Dev-Integration (this is for the other apps that connect to dev but we don’t push changes to this ad-hoc but twice a week)
  • 2 Test environment (1 is always live..this way if restores are being done..test is not down at any time)
  • Staging

Except for Dev..everything else is built from SVN by an automated process


How long would this barrel of Jack Daniels last you? For sale at Sams club

Did 200 floors today...More than the Burj Khalifa and almost twice the World Trade Center

Today I decided to do a little challenge, I wanted to see if I could better my previous floor record of 125 floors. I did, I ended up doing 200 floors


Indian bride ditches groom after he flubs math test at their wedding

At her wedding ceremony in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh Wednesday, the bride posed the following math problem to the man she was due to wed: 15 + 6 = ?

The groom answered 17, and the bride fled. The groom’s family tried to get her back, but she refused to marry someone who couldn’t add


That's all the stuff for this week.... don't eat too many pies

Did 200 floors today...More than the Burj Khalifa and almost twice the World Trade Center

Today I decided to do a little challenge, I wanted to see if I could better my previous floor record of 125 floors. I did, I ended up doing 200 floors. Here is what the fitbit dashboard looks like.

As a reference here are the top 8 completed buildings with the most floors in the world

Burj Khalifa Dubai 1632010
Shanghai Tower China 1212015
Abraj Al-Bait Clock TowerSaudi Arabia1202012
International Commerce CentreChina 1182010
CTF Finance Centre China 1112016
Willis Tower†USA 1081973
Ryugyong Hotel North Korea 1051992
One World Trade Center USA 1042014


As you can see I almost did twice the floors that are in the World Trade Center, I also did 37 more floors than what the Burj Khalifa has. Here is a pic of the Burj Khalifa to see how tall this building really is

Burj Khalifa by Night @ Dubai

So how did I do the 200 floors?

It was not complicated... I walked to the gym, that was 12 floors. At the gym between each set I did 3 floors (walking up and down the stairs). By the time the workout was done I already did 72 floors.  I walked home and by the time I got home, the tally was 81 floors.

I had a couple of conference calls, during each call I just walked up and down the stairs.. By the time it was 6:30 PM I completed 200 floors

When you do 200 floors in 1 day you get the Castle badge

You're a knight in shining steppage! With this kind of stronghold on the stairs, we proclaim the Castle badge to be all yours!

I also received the Russian Railway badge today

This badge represents a lifetime distance of 5,772 miles—the same length as the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia! With an achievement this big, it looks like you're en route to destination fitness.

The next floor badge is the 300 floor badge...I am not doing that any time soon..my calves are already killing me...

What I tweeted last week..... brought to you this week, March 7 2015 edition

Here is all the stuff I tweeted the past week. Was quite busy this past week so not too many tweets


Notes on watching "Aliens" for the first time again, with a bunch of kids.. Roger Ebert

For his 11th birthday, my son asked if he could have a slumber party. He invited seven other fifth-grade boys. They played video games for a couple of hours, ate pizza, then said they wanted to watch a movie. They'd seen every comic book movie multiple times. Seen all the Indiana Jones films. Star Wars. Anything with a hobbit in it. The usual 11-year old boy options, circa 2015, weren't going to work. 

So I suggested "Aliens," thinking, "Well, it's exciting, and even if they haven't see the first one, the movie tells the story well enough that you won't be confused about who Ripley is and what's at stake for her." 


Timesheet.js:Visualize your data and events with HTML5 and CSS3

Visualize your data and events with sexy HTML5 and CSS3. Create simple time sheets with sneaky JavaScript. Style them with CSS and have mobile fun as well …



One of the largest generations in history is about to move into its prime spending years. Millennials are poised to reshape the economy; their unique experiences will change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come.


Forget the ‘To-Do’ List, You Need a ‘Stop Doing’ List

It’s interesting to think about the things you want to accomplish in life and work towards those goals. This is, after all, what we’ve been taught to do since birth. But over time we accumulate other habits and end up spending our time on things that aren’t important to us.

Jim Collins, author of the cult business classics Good to Great and Great by Choicesuggests an interesting thought experiment (reminiscent of Alan Watts) to help clean the windshield so-to-speak.

Posted a couple of pics on instagram, tweeted those as well...won't put all of them here, here is just one of them.

Object Oriented Programming is an expensive disaster which must end

There are many beautiful ideas that people associate with OOP. I am going to show 2 things:

1.) compared to other languages (lisps, functional languages, etc) OOP languages have no unique strengths

2.) compared to other languages (lisps, functional languages, etc) OOP languages inflict a heavy burden of unneeded complexity

Those features which are potentially good (data hiding, contract enforcement, polymorphism) are not unique to OOP and, in fact, stronger versions of these things are available in non-OOP languages. Those features that are unique to OOP (dependency injection, instantiation) are awful and exist only because OOP is awful.


How It Works: MAX DOP Level and Parallel Index Builds - CSS SQL Server Engineers

I have been working on an issue where rebuilding an index leads to additional fragmentation.   Using XEvents I debugged the page allocations and writes and was able to narrow in on the behavior.

There are lots of factors to take into account when rebuilding the index.   I was able to break down the behavior to the worst possible case using a single file database, single heap table,  SORT IN TEMPDB and packing of the heap data to the beginning of the database file when create clustered index is issued.


Running SQL Server on Machines with More Than 8 CPUs per NUMA Node May Need Trace Flag 8048

The number of CPUs is the logical count, not sockets.   If more than 8 logical CPUs are presented this post may apply.

The SQL Server developer can elect to partition memory allocations at different levels based on the what the memory is used for.   The developer may choose a global, CPU, Node, or even worker partitioning scheme.   Several of the allocation activities within SQL Server use the CMemPartitioned allocator.  This partitions the memory by CPU or NUMA node to increase concurrency and performance.  


The Top 3 Mistakes T-SQL Developers Make

Over the years, I’ve done all kinds of awful things with T-SQL and made countless mistakes. Some were harmless; others were borderline catastrophic (exciting times!). I was curious what kind of horrible mistakes other people make, so I threw the question out to Twitter.


One Twin Exercises, the Other Doesn’t

Identical twins in Finland who shared the same sports and other physical activities as youngsters but different exercise habits as adults soon developed quite different bodies and brains, according to a fascinating new study that highlights the extent to which exercise shapes our health, even in people who have identical genes and nurturing.

Determining the precise, long-term effects of exercise is surprisingly difficult. Most large-scale exercise studies rely on questionnaires or interviews and medical records to establish the role of exercise. But these epidemiological studies, while important and persuasive, cannot prove that exercise causes health changes, only that people who exercise tend to be healthier than those who do not.


Writing another chapter in my career book

I’m heading into a new office to start my first day at a new job!

After three years with the crazy-smart crew at Brent Ozar Unlimited, I’m closing that chapter and starting the next. I’ll be a Senior SQL Server Engineer at Concurrency, a Brookfield, WI-based Microsoft partner and consultancy.


VMware sued for failure to comply with the GPL on Linux

Software Freedom Conservancy announces today Christoph Hellwig's lawsuit against VMware in the district court of Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany. This is the regretful but necessary next step in both Hellwig and Conservancy's ongoing effort to convince VMware to comply properly with the terms of the GPLv2, the license of Linux and many other Open Source and Free Software included in VMware's ESXi products.

Hellwig, a key Linux kernel developer and one of the earliest members of Conservancy's GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers, has publicly denounced VMware's misuse of GPL-licensed code since 2007. In 2011, Conservancy discovered that VMware had failed to provide nor offer any source code for the version of BusyBox included in VMware's ESXi products (as required by BusyBox's license, GPLv2). Conservancy began in early 2012 negotiations with VMware to seek compliance on all GPL'd components in the ESXi project. Progress was slow through 2012 and 2013.


A cuttlefish is like an alien from a horror movie..amazing stuff


True Facts About The CuttleFish

MySpace – what went wrong: ‘The site was a massive spaghetti-ball mess’

In 2015, Sean Percival is a partner at Silicon Valley seed accelerator 500 Startups, but from 2009 to 2011, he was working at MySpace as its vice president of online marketing – just as the social network lost its crown to Facebook.

In a speech at the By:Larm conference in Oslo this week, Percival gave an insider’s view of what went wrong at MySpace, from the “massive spaghetti-ball mess” of its website and the “politics, greed” of parent company News Corporation to a doomed attempt to acquire music streaming service Spotify.


Apple to join Dow industrials, replace AT&T

Apple Inc. will join the Dow Jones Industrial Average this month, a long-anticipated change that adds the world’s most-valuable company to the 119-year-old blue-chip index.

What I tweeted last week..... brought to you this week, Feb 28 2015 edition

Here is all the stuff I tweeted the past week. Was quite busy this past week so not too many tweets


If you are storing important info in Evernote, think twice

Four days back my OS X Evernote app crashed. Boom. Everything down the drain. 

I assumed this was probably due to some shutdown corruption (though I rarely hit those in OS X). It just wouldn’t come back up and showed me some font error. And for the first time in a very very long time I logged into the web console.
You see, I use Evernote as a note app to just backup. I sleep in the comfort that my notes are somewhere safe in the “cloud”.


DataMetrics - New Success in the Making

My friend SQL Server MVP Ted Krueger decided to start his own consulting company


Proving that Android’s, Java’s and Python’s sorting algorithm is broken (and showing how to fix it)

Tim Peters developed the Timsort hybrid sorting algorithm in 2002. It is a clever combination of ideas from merge sort and insertion sort, and designed to perform well on real world data. TimSort was first developed for Python, but later ported to Java (where it appears as java.util.Collections.sort and java.util.Arrays.sort) 

Fast forward to 2015. After we had successfully verified Counting and Radix sort implementations in Java (J. Autom. Reasoning 53(2), 129-139) with a formal verification tool called KeY, we were looking for a new challenge.  TimSort seemed to fit the bill, as it is rather complex and widely used. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to prove its correctness. A closer analysis showed that this was, quite simply, because TimSort was broken and our theoretical considerations finally led us to a path towards finding the bug (interestingly, that bug appears already in the Python implementation). This blog post shows how we did it.


Intel forges ahead to 10nm, will move away from silicon at 7nm


This week at the 2015 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), Intel will provide an update on its new 10nm manufacturing process and new research on how it's maintaining the march of Moore's law to 7nm and beyond. The first chips based on Intel's new 10nm process are expected in late 2016/early 2017, and the company says it's hoping to avoid the delays that haunted the belabored release of 14nm Broadwell. To hit 7nm, Intel says new materials will be required—as in, it looks like 10nm will finally be the end of the road for silicon. The most likely replacement for silicon is a III-V semiconductor such as indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs), though Intel hasn't provided any specific details yet.


Looking for a SQL Server DBA Job? Brent Ozar Unlimited is hiring, details here..Now Hiring: SQL Server Consultants

tl;dr – Brent Ozar unlimited is looking for SQL Server database administrators who want to make the jump into consulting from home.

Some of the perks


  • You can work remotely from home during normal business hours, with no on-call requirements, and a max of 1 week of travel per 2 months
  • You get to blog and present about your work
  • You and your significant other will join us at our awesome annual retreat (in August 2015, it’s a week at a beach house on the Oregon coast)
  • You get 6 weeks paid vacation per year
  • You’ll be covered with a great health insurance plan at very low costs ($28.50 per person, per pay period)
  • You’ll get your IRA matched up to 3% of your salary
  • You’ll attend an annual training conference of your choosing, plus if you’re a Microsoft MVP, we pay for your travel and time for the MVP Summit each year
  • You get your certification test attempts paid whether you pass or fail
  • You’ll get home Internet, VOIP, and cell phone paid, plus a $3,000 biennial budget for hardware and software


Tweeted the following awesome sunrise I took in Manhattan

Icy east river in New York City this morning.. #NYC #brooklyn #manhattan #skyline #river #sunrise

A photo posted by Denis Gobo (@denisgobo) on



Solving a slow running query issue with UNION

That’s right! I will solve a performance issue by adding a UNION into the query. Interested? Read on!


A break from the past: the birth of Microsoft's new web rendering engine

As we announced last month, Project Spartan will be the new browser across all Windows 10 devices, from phones to tablets, PCs and beyond. You’ll hear about the new browser’s features in the coming months but in this post, we want to tell you more about what motivated us to build a new rendering engine focused on interoperability with other modern browsers ― all in the name of making the Web “just work” for our customers. This new rendering engine was designed with Project Spartan in mind, but will also be available in Internet Explorer on Windows 10 for enterprises and other customers who require legacy extensibility support.


UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Draw results

Here are the results after the draw, these are going to be some interesting games


Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mr. Nimoy announced last year that he had the disease, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.


Generalfeldmarschall von Mackensen had the best hat ever

Anton Ludwig August von Mackensen (6 December 1849 – 8 November 1945), born August Mackensen, was a German soldier and field marshal.[3] He commanded with success during the First World War and became one of the German Empire's most prominent military leaders. After the Armistice, Mackensen was interned for a year. He retired from the army in 1920 and was made a Prussian state councillor in 1933 by Hermann Göring. During the Nazi era, Mackensen remained a committed monarchistand sometimes appeared at official functions in his First World War uniform. He was suspected of disloyalty to the Third Reich, although nothing was proved against him at this time

Mackensen died on November 8, 1945 at the age of 95, his life having spanned the Kingdom of Prussia, the North German Confederation, the German Empire, the Weimar RepublicNazi Germany, and the post-war Allied occupation of Germany.


That is all for this week, I won't ask you what color a certain dress is  :-)

Hardcore History with Dan Carlin, something everyone should listen to

We talked about history a little during a meeting at work and I mentioned the Hardcore History podcast, seems nobody knew about this, I wanted to give a shout-out to a wider audience

I highly recommend that you subscribe to this podcast in iTunes/Sticher/Zune/yadayada

Website link is here http://www.dancarlin.com/hardcore-history-series/ 

All the episodes listed on that page are free, when he adds a new episode (one every quarter) he removes the oldest one… so don’t start with the latest one  

I suggest you start with  The Wrath of the Khans  http://www.dancarlin.com/product/hardcore-history-43-wrath-of-the-khans-i/   this is a 5 part series running about 1-2 hours each (this is when a long commute is actually beneficial) This deals with the history of the Mongols (Genghis Khan & Co)

Here is a blurb about each episode

Episode I

In one of the most violent outbursts in history a little-known tribe of Eurasian nomads breaks upon the great societies of the Old World like a human tsunami. It may have ushered in the modern era, but at what cost?

Episode II

The Mongol leader Genghis Khan displays an unmatched level of strategic genius while moving against both Northern China and the Eastern Islamic world. Both civilizations are left stunned and millions are slaughtered

Episode III

The expansion of Genghis Khan's conquests continue, with locations as far apart as Europe and China feeling the bloody effects of Mongol warfare and retribution. Can anything halt the carnage?

Episode IV

The death of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, should have slowed the momentum of Mongol conquests, but instead it accelerated it. This time though, all of Europe is on the Mongol hit list

Episode V

Succession issues weaken the Mongol Empire as the grandchildren of Genghis Khan fight over their imperial inheritance. This doesn't stop them from dealing out pain, suffering, and ironically good governance while doing so.


Once you are done with the Wrath of the Khans..start on the World War I series named Blueprint for Armageddonhttp://www.dancarlin.com/product/hardcore-history-50-blueprint-for-armageddon-i/  

Now is a nice time to revisit WW I, it started 100 years ago last summer and you will learn lots of stuff( fascinating things)

Here is a blurb about each episode

Episode I

The planet hadn't seen a major war between all the Great Powers since the downfall of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. But 99 years later the dam breaks and a Pandora's Box of violence engulfs the planet.

Episode II

The Great Powers all come out swinging in the first round of the worst war the planet has ever seen. Millions of men in dozens of armies vie in the most deadly and complex opening moves of any conflict in world history.

Episode III

The war of maneuver that was supposed to be over quickly instead turns into a lingering bloody stalemate. Trench warfare begins, and with it, all the murderous efforts on both sides to overcome the static defenses.

Episode IV

Machine guns, barbed wire and millions upon millions of artillery shells create industrialized meat grinders at Verdun and the Somme. There's never been a human experience like it and it changes a generation.

Episode V

Politics, diplomacy, revolution and mutiny take center stage at the start of this episode, but mud, blood, shells and tragedy drown all by the end.



Warning…once you start listening to one of these…it’s kind of though not to want to immediately listen to a whole set…but since we have a 3 day weekend…that should be fine  

I will let you go with some links to this podcast

Feed link is here http://feeds.feedburner.com/dancarlin/history?format=xml

Stitcher link: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/dan-carlins-hardcore-history-30606

iTunes Link should be this otherwise do a search https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/dan-carlins-hardcore-history/id173001861?mt=2

Or you can search for hardcore history with Dan Carlin in your favorite podcast tool



What I tweeted last week..... brought to you this week, Feb 21 2015 edition

Here is all the stuff I tweeted the past week. I decided to take a different approach this week instead of publishing the post on Saturday. I will just publish the post after the first tweet. I will then update the post each day with all the stuff I have tweeted about


The Hummingbird Effect: How Galileo Invented Time and Gave Rise to the Modern Tyranny of the Clock

That Galileo was daydreaming about time and rhythm shouldn’t surprise us: his father was a music theorist and played the lute. In the middle of the sixteenth century, playing music would have been one of the most temporally precise activities in everyday culture. (The musical term “tempo” comes from the Italian word for time.) But machines that could keep a reliable beat didn’t exist in Galileo’s age; the metronome wouldn’t be invented for another few centuries. So watching the altar lamp sway back and forth with such regularity planted the seed of an idea in Galileo’s young mind. As is so often the case, however, it would take decades before the seed would blossom into something useful.

U.S. poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol in diet

The nation's top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption.

The group's finding that cholesterol in the diet need no longer be considered a "nutrient of concern" stands in contrast to the committee's findings five years ago, the last time it convened. During those proceedings, as in previous years, the panel deemed the issue of "excess dietary cholesterol" a public health concern. The most current finding was discussed at the group's last meeting.


You Don't Know JS (book series)

This is a series of books diving deep into the core mechanisms of the JavaScript language.You can read the books for free at this site as well as purchase ebook and print versions from the links that are provided. Currently this is available


The Shape of Things to Come. Jonathan Ive and the Future of Apple

This article is about Jony Ive, it is looooong but interesting, here is a short blurb:

During the visit, Ive said, Jobs “became more and more confident, and got really excited about our ability to work together.” That day, according to Ive, they started collaborating on what became the iMac. Soon afterward, Apple launched its “Think Different” campaign, and Ive took it as a reminder of the importance of “not being apologetic, not defining a way of being in response to what Dell just did.” He went on, “My intuition’s good, but my ability to articulate what I feel was not very good—and remains not very good, frustratingly. And that’s what’s hard, with Steve not being here now.” (At Jobs’s memorial, Ive called him “my closest and my most loyal friend.”)


Microsoft adopts first international cloud privacy standard

Microsoft is the first major cloud provider to adopt the world’s first international standard ISO/IEC 27018

Adherence to ISO 27018 assures enterprise customers that privacy will be protected in several distinct ways:

  • You are in control of your data. Our adherence to the standard ensures that we only process personally identifiable information according to the instructions that you provide to us as our customer.
  • You know what’s happening with your data. Adherence to the standard ensures transparency about our policies regarding the return, transfer, and deletion of personal information you store in our data centers. We’ll not only let you know where your data is, but if we work with other companies who need to access your data, we’ll let you know who we’re working with. In addition, if there is unauthorized access to personally identifiable information or processing equipment or facilities resulting in the loss, disclosure or alteration of this information, we’ll let you know about this.
  • We provide strong security protection for your data. Adherence to ISO 27018 provides a number of important security safeguards. It ensures that there are defined restrictions on how we handle personally identifiable information, including restrictions on its transmission over public networks, storage on transportable media, and proper processes for data recovery and restoration efforts. In addition, the standard ensures that all of the people, including our own employees, who process personally identifiable information must be subject to a confidentiality obligation.
  • Your data won’t be used for advertising. Enterprise customers are increasingly expressing concerns about cloud service providers using their data for advertising purposes without consent. The adoption of this standard reaffirms our longstanding commitment not to use enterprise customer data for advertising purposes.
  • We inform you about government access to data. The standard requires that law enforcement requests for disclosure of personally identifiable data must be disclosed to you as an enterprise customer, unless this disclosure is prohibited by law. We’ve already adhered to this approach (and more), and adoption of the standard reinforces this commitment.



History, Sugar and Sex: Why Mixed Drinks Were Terrible for 30 Years

If you live in a reasonably large metropolis, your watering-hole options might include: the artisanal cocktail emporium where the staff display a fondness for arm garters and moustache wax; a beer at the arrested development palace touting its vintage arcade games and Skee-Ball; or, say, a shotgun wedding between sushi and tequila (more Google results than you might think!).

Now imagine that you have none of those options. What you have is T.G.I. Friday’s. You can get a mudslide at Friday’s, or a frozen strawberry Daiquiri. Remember those sickly sweet, vomit-inducing staples of your college days, the shots with raunchy names like Slippery Nipple, Sex on the Beach or Redheaded Slut? You can have as many of those that you like. But everything else—from that Boulevardier made with local vermouth to everything on that fish-paired, artisanal-agave-spirits list—is gone.

Welcome to the Dark Ages of the American cocktail.


How we built the new BBC Homepage

We chose to move away from the Forge platform (a web application development platform that is hosted on physical servers using a recommended set of technologies such as PHP and Java) to a cloud infrastructure. This allows us to respond to demand by adding servers and save costs in quiet times by removing servers.


My Love-Hate Relationship with Stack Overflow: Arthur S., Arthur T., and the Soup Nazi

I joined Stack Overflow a few months after the site opened as a public beta. At the time — and this is going to be prone to revisionist history, because I didn’t take good notes every step of the way; sorry — I was an embedded hardware and software engineer, trying to port some small PC software tools I had been working on, from the hell of C++/COM/Windows to Java. Learning the Java language was a breath of fresh air; no more worries about IDL or memory management or CComPtr<ISomethingOrOther>. But I had only been programming in Java for a few months, and still had lots of questions. Somehow I stumbled on Stack Overflow, probably through a Google search.


House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

The weirdest book I have ever read

One part of this book is about a house which is always changing and somehow the measurements inside are larger  than the outside measurements. There is are video recordings of what happens inside the house to the Navidson family as well as some people who are trying to help. The other part of this book is about Johnny Truant who discovers the manuscript written by Zampanò about the videos mentioned earlier, the Navidson record. I don't want to give you more info about the story, this way I won't spoil anything for you

This book has pages with text in circles, braille, upside down text, mirrored text and much more. Here is also a short video with some of the weirder pages of the book

There are also hidden messages in the book, the word house is always colored blue, some of the references are real, some are made up


Microsoft embraces Python, Linux in new big data tools


Azure: Machine Learning Service, Hadoop Storm, Cluster Scaling, Linux Support, Site Recovery and More

Today we released a number of great enhancements to Microsoft Azure. These include:

  • Machine Learning: General Availability of the Azure Machine Learning Service
  • Hadoop: General Availability of Apache Storm Support, Hadoop 2.6 support, Cluster Scaling, Node Size Selection and preview of next Linux OS support
  • Site Recovery: General Availability of DR capabilities with SAN arrays

I've also included details in this blog post of other great Azure features that went live earlier this month:

  • SQL Database: General Availability of SQL Database (V12)
  • Web Sites: Support for Slot Settings
  • API Management: New Premium Tier
  • DocumentDB: New Asia and US Regions, SQL Parameterization and Increased Account Limits
  • Search: Portal Enhancements, Suggestions & Scoring, New Regions
  • Media: General Availability of Content Protection Service for Azure Media Services
  • Management: General Availability of the Azure Resource Manager

All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).


US Marshals announce March 5 auction for 50K bitcoins seized from Ross Ulbricht, worth about $11.85M

The US Marshals service has announced it will auction off 50,000 BTC, worth $11.85m at press time, to the public on 5th March.

The auction will take place from 8:00 EST to 14:00 EST, with bids being accepted only by pre-registered participants. Bidders must complete the registrationprocess by 2nd March to be eligible, while winning bidders will be notified 6th March.


Microsoft announces asm.js optimizations


Bringing asm.js to the Chakra JavaScript engine in Windows 10

IE will get asm.js

Earlier today, we flipped asm.js to “In Development” at status.modern.ie. Support for asm.js has been one of the top 10 most-requested items at the IE Suggestion Box on UserVoice since we launched it in December.

Delivering an interoperable & spec compliant JavaScript engine with the capabilities and performance for modern experiences has been a key goal for us since the inception of Chakra. Bringing near-native performance for JavaScript code execution is a part of the same. We recently shared the details of some of the work we’ve done in Windows 10 to boost JavaScript execution speed in the Chakra engine


Bundling with the RequireJS Optimizer

When we build sites using an AMD library like RequireJS, we will have a long list of files that need to be downloaded when someone uses the site. More files means more trips to the server and more download time. Minifying files and using gzip can speed up the download times, but neither affects the Round Trip Time (RTT) that even a cache validation incurs, clogging up a request pipeline just to ask the server if an ETag or last modified date is still valid.

So let’s see one way we can improve things, with small (14 requests) and larger (194 requests) page loads as an example.


SQL Cruise Caribbean 2015: More Than A Cruise With Classes. Much More.

I had the opportunity to attend (and be a technical lead for!) SQL Cruise Caribbean 2015 in February 2015. This was my second SQL Cruise – my first was as an attendee on SQL Cruise Alaska 2012. I loved the first event, so my expectations were fairly high – and they were completely exceeded.


The Billion Dollar Startup Club

The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones VentureSource are tracking venture-backed private companies valued at $1 billion or more


The Superfish certificate has been cracked, exposing Lenovo users to attack

Lenovo doing idiotic things  Oops

The bug has come under fire for breaking fundamental web security protocols, routing all encryption through a single password-protected certificate authority owned by a third-party adware company that makes Superfish. Anyone with the password that unlocks that certificate authority would be able to completely bypass the computer's web encryption.

This morning, researchers found and published that password, turning a security flaw into an active vector for attack. According to a post by Errata Security's Robert David Graham, the password was stored in the Superfish software's active memory and was trivial to extract.


Microsoft Is The New Google, Google Is The Old Microsoft

Sure looks like it

Google is letting the basics slip:

  • The once lean Chrome browser remains a memory-hogging mess
  • Chrome OS lacks direction (the Pixel hasn’t been updated in two years)
  • Chromecast is 18 months old without an update and muddied by Android TV
  • Android roll-out times are getting longer and less transparent
  • Android Wear’s release was rushed and subsequent evolution is slow
  • Google+ is a ghost town
  • Google Wallet completely dropped the ball


Knockout rounds of FIFA World Cups 1986-2010

The knockout rounds of the world cups shown in nice graphics, here is the 2010 one, you can see all of them by clicking on the link above

That is it for this week, come back next week for more interesting stuff.