Orlando Code Camp 2017

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking to a group of folks today at Orlando Code Camp. The topic? Cortana Skills. Not to be confused with Alexa Skills (though you can easily import Alexa Skills that you’ve already created!)

Here is the slide deck that we covered.

Thanks for attending folks!

Orlando Code Camp 2017

Hmm… Eh?

So, apparently I was just banned by Quora.com’s moderation crew. I have no idea if that was automated or by a real person. 

My response…

I’ll keep you posted with the play-by-play on what the heck is going on.
Me? I’m going to take a breather from the “need” to help an organization that obviously doesn’t pay enough attention to its own policies OR has a very heavy-handed way of dealing with “disputes” (of which I have none but one or more folks might be pissed at me from pointing out their obvious commercials on Quora’s site). 

And I’m going to seriously reflect on whether or not I should devote so much time to a community site that devotes absolutely nothing to me, one of its “top contributors”. 

This will be the case even if they’ve been hacked and I’m just an unfortunate casualty.

Hmm… Eh?

Orlando Code Camp 2016!

(For what I feel is the first time in a long time…) My talk crashed and burned.

The projector setup in my assigned room had a VERY bad VGA cable that my Surface Book refused to work with… at all. So the participants at my talk sat and waited for nearly 25 minutes (out of a total of 50 allocated minutes!) until a couple of MacGyver-types figured out how to get things working again (thanks you two!). We raced though the content of the talk but I felt bad that they had to drink from the firehose on what was already a LOT to ingest in under an hour.

So, good people, I apologize that things weren’t right for you while we were there. Hopefully you’ll be able to easily figure things out based on the comments in the code. If you’re coming to the Tallahassee Code Camp on 4/16/2016 please consider giving me another chance.  🙂

Here’s the URL of the repository: https://github.com/azarc3/CortanaDeepDive

— Happy Coding!

Orlando Code Camp 2016!

All “healthy food” is not equal

So I’ve been wondering why I’ve been getting fatter even though my food choices have gotten MUCH better. Other than the obvious lack of exercise, this article — if true — sheds a whole lot of light on the subject.

25 Salads That Have More Calories Than a Big Mac

My point? Just because it’s got green in it don’t mean you should eat it… and now I’ve got to start reading the labels on EVERYTHING. 😉

All “healthy food” is not equal

Atlanta Code Camp 2015

I had a great time sharing “my thing for Cortana” with the good folks in Atlanta. Great crowd, great participation. Hopefully I didn’t confuse the heck out of them.  😉

As promised, here’s the stuff I presented — minus the new “How many steps did I walk today” example. The link: http://1drv.ms/1MLpmH6

Now, it’s time to have some fun at the after party! 😀

 

— Happy Coding!

Atlanta Code Camp 2015

“Can you hear me now?”

Verizon customers, your privacy just went out the window.

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2990096/data-privacy/verizon-to-use-mobile-supercookie-to-target-aol-ads-to-customers.html

My suggestion? Switch to AT&T.

“Can you hear me now?”

Finally… the madness ends.

I’m all for copyright and patent law, but some of the awarded copyrights (and patents!) are just simply RI-DICU-LOUS. In my opinion this has always been one of them.

Federal judge rules ‘Happy Birthday’ song in public domain
http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/federal-judge-rules-happy-birthday-song-in-public-domain/ar-AAeExRs?ocid=ansmsnmoney11

Dear Judge: Thank you for your display of sanity.

Finally… the madness ends.

Code Impact 2015

I had a great time during my Dev’ing with Cortana for the Win(10)! presentation at Code Impact 2015  today. Hopefully the folks who attended my session got something out of it too.

The materials I presented today are available here: http://1drv.ms/1AKnuJ8.

PLEASE MAKE SURE that you pay attention to ReadMe.txt file located here:

Location of the ReadMe.txt file in the solution
Location of the ReadMe.txt file in the solution.

Happy Coding!

Code Impact 2015

Microsoft’s Identity Management Framework (2015)

You know, I really love a LOT of the things that Microsoft is doing in just about every space that they operate in. However, one thing that consistently disappoints me is that the people writing most of their technical documentation have a VERY BAD habit of leaving crucial bits out of their “how-tos”. Once such victim is how to integrate the Identity Management Framework with SendGrid in Windows Azure.

Thankfully someone else has had to deal with this issue (I simply knew I couldn’t be the first person) and they wrote up a good tutorial on how to deal with this little diddy. Of course some things have changed since it was originally written on 9/28/2014… but it’s still about 95% accurate. Special thanks to Max Vasilyev for his hard work —  which saved my Saturday afternoon.

Cheers!

Microsoft’s Identity Management Framework (2015)

Kids and Social Media: The Conundrum

Parents who have non-adult children with tech devices that can access the Internet: This one’s for you.

My 12-Year-Old Was Blackmailed for Nude Photos Via Kik Messenger (published July 29, 2014)

*** Full Disclosure: I am not a parent but there are children in my life that I care deeply about. ***

Also, this is not an attack on the mother of the girl in the article. Rather, this is a “we better wake up and do something” moment.


The reality is that children *will* find a way around any “controls” that you put in place… so, in my mind, the best plan is to:

1. Educate them on why those controls are necessary. Make sure they truly understand that it’s not because you want to be a “helicopter parent”; rather, it’s because a whole life can be ruined (or worse, ended) by one little mistake.

2. If feasible: Follow them on each and every single social network they use. Don’t stalk them; simply give yourself the ability to monitor from afar without needing to take their devices (so you can more easily figure out if confiscation is necessary later).

3. If doing #2 above: Keep an eye on their “friends” lists. If a non-family and grown man (or woman) shows up in your child’s list then all kinds of alarms should start going off in your head.

4. Engage them regularly about social media and let them talk to you about it. Talk about the dangers of a life exposed online and how once it’s out there you can’t get it back.

5. Have them show you what’s new in their apps on a regular basis… At least weekly.

6. Regularly “borrow” their device(s) to gauge their reaction when taken.

7. Make their Internet devices the first thing you take when punishment is necessary.

8. When you first give them their device, set it up on your account as a child’s device so that you can keep an eye on what they’re downloading in the app store.

There’s no question that you cannot protect children from everything. They would never grow up if we did that, anyway. However, we can teach them how to be careful about never going into dark and strange places.

Kids and Social Media: The Conundrum