I had the honor of meeting (and in some cases, reconnecting) with a great group of people at Bradenton’s Station 2 Innovation. Spark Growth put on one of their many Tech Talks, inviting subject matter experts to share what new and useful in their fields of passion. Mine, of course, is Cortana. 😉
I earned my MBA from the illustrious School of Business and Industry at Florida A&M University in May 2000. To a large degree, that would not have been possible without Dr. Clyde Ashley. No, he didn’t do me any “favors” (that I’m aware of)… but his constant presence, support and guidance were instrumental in my matriculation there. He was so down to earth that he tried to discourage me from calling him “Dr. Ashley” after about 2010; it didn’t work.
How does one describe Dr. Ashley? I can think of quite a few phrases:
A consumate gentleman
Always demanding excellence
Defender of those under his wings
Encourager of all
Exacting of effort
Exhalter of anyone due credit
Poetic to a fault
Stalwart, without peer
… but none of these do the man justice. Words fail to describe the heart that was his and how he looked after anyone he felt worthy of personal patronage — which was doggone near everyone. I can’t tell you how many times he encouraged me. His method wasn’t empty words though; rather, he challenged you, and challenged you, and challenged you… until you had no choice but to respond. Even still, his method is best described by the following:
“My way is all love and confidence, and I cannot understand those souls who are afraid of so loving a Friend.” – St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Doc, thank you for pouring everything that was you into so many of us. You made an impact on my life that can never be forgotten or erased. You will be missed. Rest well.
This is just crazy. I hate to say it, but I think we’re witnessing the start of Ideaocracy. How? By limiting quality education to the wealthy-ier parts of the population. This is partially achieved by — as the article alludes to — squeezing out quality teachers dedicated to low-income areas. Oh, they’ll still be getting an education… But will it be from people who care about their students and those children’s futures or people who are simply working to collect a check?
Here’s an interesting Times article that boils down to what was done with the data obtained via a Facebook quiz app. Note that Facebook did not create this app, but a third party consultant. The intent? To distill enough information about a given voting segment to create political messaging designed to influence those voters.
Although the title is quite misleading, it does capture the fact that people willingly gave clues regarding their political-psychological leanings while “taking the quiz”. Seems harmless, right?
However, they didn’t know that the author was also scraping their profile to gather more information about them and that of their friends. The app author was paid more than $800,000 to create the app… so I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that they weren’t simply trying to figure out your hair color.
Unfortunately, this article is behind the Times pay wall so you’ll have to use one of your 5 monthly free reads if you don’t have a subscription.
How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions
So… a LOT has happened/come out since the last time I stood in front of a group of people. And that’s a good thing. Long story short, you can now create/develop/do for/with Cortana in ways that previous weren’t possible or easily manageable. Now? All that is out the window and you can do pretty much whatever you want — in terms of grabbing and processing data to be displayed via the Cortana Canvas. Which is doggone near the holy grail, neh?
Thanks to the folks who decided to eschew John Papa’s talk and hung out with me and my other favorite girl (after My Queen!) in the early-ish hours of 3/17. Here’s the slide deck… not that there’s a whole lot there for the folks who chose not to attend.
I ran into a myriad of issues with connectivity throughout the presentation. So what should have been easy, bite-sized demos became a tedium of tap-dancing while waiting on connections to be re-established. What it means for the people who were there (and you as well, by the way) is that I felt honor-bound to append more slides to the deck which provide examples of what we couldn’t get to. I also included the source code of my external dll (that is called from within the Azure Function) as well as an offline copy of the Function Bot itself. I recommend that you DO NOT simply try to deploy this bot; if you do, things will not link/sync up correctly and you will get some very frustrating issues. Instead, simply copy and paste the entire BasicLuisDialog.csx file into an Azure Functions Bot that you generate in Azure via the Create Resource workflow. Check the top level read.me file in the archive for more information. Also, don’t forget to get your own Toggl.com account so that you can add your Toggl API key to the External Libray Source\Integrations\Constants.cs file.
If you’re using a Windows 10 computer, just type “Cortana Notebook” into the Start menu. You should see a new item called Connected Home. After you enable this, Cortana can connect to smart home services like Hue, SmartThings, Nest, Insteon and Wink.