Category Archives: Technology

Blockchain & Crypto Currency WT…..

It feels like if you are not talking about crypto, blockchain, AI or machine learning you are out of the loop…… or maybe you are missing out on something. There is certainly a lot going on in the space but the question for me is where do you spend your time learning? The reality is you have to learn a little to understand if you need or want to learn a lot, also its helpful if the learning relates to what you do during the day.

Of recent I’ve been playing with Crypto currencies like every other person, after all www.coinbase.com made has made it easy……. But in additional to this I’ve been trying to get more informed. I’ve been checking out http://blockchain.global/blockchain-innovation/ as a podcast plus reading a bunch of stuff, it feels like information overload currently.

With regards to Blockchain I’ve been trying focusing on what Microsoft is doing in the space as my day job relates to the Microsoft world. The following are some of the resources I’ve checked out.

The Microsoft Coco Framework

This is interesting as it will allow the standard Microsoft Development company to leverage the skills that they already have inhouse to some degree, also as a framework it looks like it starts to address some of the common requests a standard business customer asks for.

  • Throughput and latency approaching database speeds. Moving from 20 transactions a second to 1000+ per second
  • Richer, more flexible, business-specific confidentiality models.
  • Network policy management through distributed governance.
  • Support for non-deterministic transactions.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-microsoft-s-coco-framework-for-enterprise-blockchain-networks/ here is a summary video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s6JMmGJ-dY about Coco

Also check out this web interview if you want to understand a little more from one of the key guys at Microsoft on Coco https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWuipzXYyiU

This was an interesting post to provide some food for thought https://semiengineering.com/blockchain-hype-reality-and-opportunities/

Another interesting post that I ran into https://github.com/Azure/azure-blockchain-projects/blob/master/bletchley/bletchley-whitepaper.md

 

On top of all the reading I keep coming back to WHY? Why do a blockchain based project and will the ROI be realized? I guess with all “new” things you have to force a fit to validate the why, the forcing motion just needs to be balanced, measured and monitored. Over time we will see more and more examples come to life to help us understand the practical implementations. I spotted http://id2020.org/ today which feels like a great example and http://www.diamonds.net/news/NewsItem.aspx?ArticleID=59618 and UNICEF is putting some money on the table https://www2.fundsforngos.org/news/unicef-funding-opportunity-for-blockchain-start-ups/

Time will tell where this all lands but its looking interesting.

Booking a meeting is a simple task, joining is not

We have so many tools available to us to collaborate with people these days, but we also have habits of the past. I do a lot of meetings and a lot of them are with folk that are not in the same location (or time zone as me) & therefore I use Skype for Business meetings a lot. Well in fact Delve tells me that I do a lot of meetings!

I feel that some people make it harder for others to join meetings than they need to, I’ll step you through my view of the world and please let me know what you think. Am I on cr$#k or not?

The situation

You are meeting with an internal person or two but also require an external person to join the meeting. Because you have an external person joining you cannot really rely on them having S4B (Skype for Business) or knowing how to use it (unless you have done calls with them in the past, but even then they could still have issues).

Approach 1. Book the meeting and say you will dial me in

 

Approach 2. Book the meeting every time with a Skype for Business invite and dial in the external.

 

 

Summary

I see why people do option one as getting externals to use sb4 can be an issue. A simple solution would be to book two meetings or add a comment to the email when inviting the external person explaining their options

  1. Use S4B
  2. You dial them in
  3. They dial in

If they come back to you with questions do a test call before the big meeting, also ask your IT team to provide a cheat sheet PDF that you can send to an external to help them join the call. Simple things make life simple, a couple of goals for this new year could be

  1. Don’t overcook your technology solutions when working with unknown externals keep it simple
  2. Don’t overcook the meat on the BBQ….. no one likes burnt BBQ!!

 

Setting up your WordPress site in Azure

The biggest part of the delay on getting my blog back up and going really related to me procrastinating about setting it up in Azure again. Last time I setup my WordPress blog on Azure I was using MySQL via the ClearDB service. It worked ok but it all got to hard when I had to restore my blog when I accidently deleted it L.

Getting back into the office this year I committed to myself to getting my blog back up and going again, I was at the point where I was just going to go back to hosting it with www.wordpress.com and move off Azure. But with the aim of continuing to learn about Azure (using it, managing it etc) I decided to make one last effort to get WordPress going on Azure. First things first I’m a believer in asking people that have done it before, so I asked JB (https://twitter.com/jiminynzl) and he point me at http://projectnami.org/ and OMG it was so simple to get up and going with Project Nami. Last year when I looked at this I could have deployed from www.github.com but it would have taken a little bit of work (I was thinking that’s what I would have had to do today). The new approach using Azure Resource Manager via the deploy to Azure button is crazy simple! Click click click and you are done!

Post deployment I have done a couple of other things also, to avoid the issues of the past I’ve configured to automatically backup my Azure Website and SQL DB, I’ve also added SSL (www.name.com had a RapidSSL cert for $9.99 USD a year!).

 

In summary if you want to run WordPress on Azure this tool is a MUST to check out! Thanks to the team at Project Nami for providing a great tool! You can find them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/projectnami