Atlanta Code Camp 2018

Today, I was back in the ATL — despite Florence trying to make things difficult — talking about one of my favorite subjects and passions: Cortana. I had a small but entirely engaged group in the room — and we had a GREAT TIME — solving a real problem. That wasn’t a simply “Hello World” demo, was it Gerald?  😉

Anyway, here are the slides and take home content from the presentation. I just realized that one (or several) of the slides near the end have changed slightly… but no biggie; the gist of the content is still accurate. I’ll eventually update those screenshots… but not today. 😀

Let me know if you have questions.

Happy Coding!

Atlanta Code Camp 2018

Farewell, Dr. Ashley

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Dr. Clyde Ashley

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
  • Amazingly aggressive
  • Caringly critical
  • Defender of those under his wings
  • Encourager of all
  • Exacting of effort
  • Exhalter of anyone due credit
  • Fiercely loyal
  • Poetic to a fault
  • Progressively protective
  • 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.

Farewell, Dr. Ashley

Be careful what you “do” on social media…

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?

Yeah.

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

Full Article: nyti.ms/2GB9dK4

Be careful what you “do” on social media…

Orlando Code Camp 2018

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.

UPDATE:
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.

Anyway, here’s the stuff; it’s nearly 14MB in size.

Happy Coding!

Orlando Code Camp 2018

Cortana: “Hey” is no longer necessary (kinda)

apple.news/Ay7R0K7ofR7SNumgHF-k93Q

Cortana: “Hey” is no longer necessary (kinda)

Cortana can command your smart home devices on Windows 10

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.

Source: Cortana can command your smart home devices on Windows 10

One other thing; to get it to work (after you’ve linked a service to Cortana), the “formula” is to say one of the following:

  • Ask {Invocation Name} {Utterance}
  • Tell {Invocation Name} {Utterance}
  • Use {Invocation Name} {Utterance}
  • Get {Invocation Name} {Utterance}
  • Have {Invocation Name} {Utterance}

In my case it was “use Insteon to turn on the TV backlighting”.

More technical information here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cortana/design-guides/guide-invocation

Cortana can command your smart home devices on Windows 10

Atlanta Code Camp 2017

I had a great time today at Kennesaw State University with a very cool crew of folks who wanted to learn more about one of my favorite topics: Cortana Skills. (“Does this guy ever talk about anything else?” LOL!)

There have been several changes to the slide deck since the last time presented it due to a few exciting, real-world developments have occurred.

Anyway, slides: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AqKcjfYvOvTcm_dRSgfP2HtIpZSuJQ

Happy Coding!

Atlanta Code Camp 2017