Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Special: Free Stuff From Microsoft - TechNet UK - Site Home - TechNet Blogs #yam

Christmas comes but once a year, which is similar to the frequency in which I blog.  I thought as it’s the season of good will, I would write a blog that details some of the free stuff we have to offer.  

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Why Averages Are Inadequate, and Percentiles Are Great | Cloud Computing Journal #yam

Anyone who ever monitored or analyzed an application uses or has used averages. They are simple to understand and calculate. We tend to ignore just how wrong the picture is that averages paint of the world. To emphasis the point let me give you a real-world example outside of the performance space that I read recently in a newspaper.

The article was explaining that the average salary in a certain region in Europe was 1900 Euro's (to be clear this would be quite good in that region!). However when looking closer they found out that the majority, namely 9 out of 10 people, only earned around 1000 Euros and one would earn 10.000 (I over simplified this of course, but you get the idea). If you do the math you will see that the average of this is indeed 1900, but we can all agree that this does not represent the "average" salary as we would use the word in day to day live. So now let's apply this thinking to application performance.

Posted via email from Tony Gurney's Pre-posterous

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Computational Fairy Tales: Book: Proper CompSci concepts in improper contexts. #yam

Have you ever thought that computer science should include more dragons and wizards? Computational Fairy Tales introduces principles of computational thinking, illustrating high-level computer science concepts, the motivation behind them, and their application in a non-computer—fairy tale—domain. It’s a quest that will take you from learning the basics of programming in a blacksmith’s forge to fighting curses with recursion.

 Fifteen seers delivered the same prophecy, without so much as a single minstrel to lighten the mood: an unknown darkness threatens the kingdom. Suddenly, Princess Ann finds herself sent forth alone to save the kingdom. Leaving behind her home, family, and pet turtle Fido, Princess Ann must face goblin attacks, magical curses, arrogant scholars, an unpleasant oracle, and rude Boolean waiters. Along the way she must build a war chest of computational knowledge to survive the coming challenge.

The Computational Fairy Tales book includes ~30 rewritten or revised stories from the online collection and 15 all new chapters.  Each story serves to illustrate a computational concept, supplementing official instruction or motivating computer science concepts.  The stories have also be set up to provide a natural progression both within the computer science concepts and within the fairy tale quest.

Posted via email from Tony Gurney's Pre-posterous

How four Microsoft engineers proved copy protection would fail | Ars Technica

Can digital rights management technology stop the unauthorized spread of copyrighted content? Ten years ago this month, four engineers argued that it can't, forever changing how the world thinks about piracy. Their paper, "The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution" (available as a .doc here) was presented at a security conference in Washington, DC, on November 18, 2002.

By itself, the paper's clever and provocative argument likely would have earned it a broad readership. But the really remarkable thing about the paper is who wrote it: four engineers at Microsoft whose work many expected to be at the foundation of Microsoft's future DRM schemes. The paper's lead author told Ars that the paper's pessimistic view of Hollywood's beloved copy protection schemes almost got him fired. But ten years later, its predictions have proved impressively accurate.

Posted via email from Tony Gurney's Pre-posterous

Monday, 3 December 2012

25 Ways Software Startups can use BizSpark, Day 3: Upgrade your PC (or macbook using bootcamp) to Windows 8 | Taylor Cowan (Online)

BizSpark, via MSDN, comes with a generous supply of Windows operating system licenses, including the recently released Windows 8 OS.  Upgrading from Windows 7 is easy and will allow you to keep your files and settings.  If you or your teammates have MacBooks you may use the preinstalled “bootcamp” software to run Windows 8 on a partition.  Here’s are the steps I used to get Windows 8 up and running on my MacBook:

Posted via email from Tony Gurney's Pre-posterous

25 Ways Software Startups can use BizSpark, Day 2: Run your blog, a wiki, and a marketing site | Taylor Cowan (Online)

Most startup companies will want to run at least one, and often several websites.  A wiki for technical documentation, a blog for the team to keep customers informed, and a marketing site can be had free for three years using the benefits provided by BizSpark.  How so?  All BizSparks are eligible for up to $3700 in free Azure utilization each year they are in the program.  Under that program your startup could run 3 custom websites, with ample storage and bandwidth included.  Azure’s web site product makes it easy to run custom, php, or node.js sites.  Code and content can be updated using TFS, FTP, or GIT publishing.  You may also quickly create sites from a gallery of blog, wiki, and CMS engines.

Posted via email from Tony Gurney's Pre-posterous

How Writers Use Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox and CloudHQ - cloudHQ Blog #yam

There are many individuals and companies that use the cloud to help improve their business activities. We were curious how writers use cloud services in their line of work so we contacted a few of our customers that are freelance writers and asked them how they use the cloud.

Based on these interviews, we found that the majority of writers use multiple cloud services- Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox and cloudHQ. Google Drive, Evernote and Dropbox are not instantly compatible with each other so the writers use cloudHQ to sync them all together for the ultimate writing package.

Posted via email from Tony Gurney's Pre-posterous