Friday, February 28, 2014

World Kannada Conference to take place in San Francisco

During the coming Labor Day weekend (Aug -29,30, and 31) more than 6000 people who speak the Kannada language will congregate in Silicon Valley, California at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

This will be 8th time such a conferene is held; and  is known by the acronym, AKKA.

Kannada is a language spoken in the State of Karnataka (shown red in the map below)in India and it is the state language. It is one of the Dravidian languages closely aligned with Sanskrit (aka language of the civilized). The language has its own script and spoken by more than 40 million.

Picture source: Wikipedia
Well, if you are planning to move to the Silicon Valley of India (environs of Bengaluru) it may be helpful to pick up this language.
You may follow this link to register:
At least get this minimum,


Bitcoins's Mt.Gox files for Bankruptcy

This is bad news for Bitcoin backers and great news for Bitcoin bashers. Still it is too early to predict how the wind is going to blow regarding its adoption. It has to garner enough credibility to stay alongside the Green Back with a historical difference of over 200 years.

You can get a quick feeling for what Bitcoin is about at the link on USA Today.

Watch the Reuters's Video on this site.

I was thinking of buying bitcoins from Mt. Gox back in November 2013 and the transaction did not take place. The service charge was not cheap either, there was over 4000 Yen each way.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Surf Better after Removing the BetterSurf PUP from your computer

BetterSurf a potentially unwanted program (PUP) is a nuisance if you are using computer infected with it. It can make life miserable for all kinds of browsers, IE, Chrome and Mozilla. Your browsing experiene becomes a nightmare.

If your computer is infected you will notice it rightaway. There are all kinds of text highlighting which when hovered over displays other programs promising you all kinds of things. Then there are windows poping up up/down and sideways.

They really should have called it LousySurf instead of BetterSurf.

When you rightclick and look at the properties sometimes you notice that it came from BetterSurf.

Search for BetterSurf in TaskManager will not yield results as it is 'shy' and calls itself by some other name. However you can look for it in the Windows Registry.

Getting rid of it is not easy as you may be called upon to install other programs that may bring more harm than good. After trying to get rid of it without using these other programs I was able to get rid of it for the moment using Microsoft Security program.

The same site as the previous after removing this program:

The details are here:

Another related article here:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Windows Azure Managment Improvements in the wings

In a recent blog post Scott Guthrie outlined Windows Azure Management
improvements to come. Some of them are still in 'preview' stage.
However, if you are a Windows Azure subscriber you can check them out.

Here is a listing of the improvements in preview with a brief summary:

ExpressRoute Preview
ExpresRoute provides an option for virtual Sites to connect which is
private and dedicated between a private network and a Microsoft Data
Center. This according to Scott, provides a 'guaranteed [sic] network
quality-of-service and the ability to use Azure as a natural extension
of an existing private network or datacenter'

Web Sites Backup and Restore Preview:
Get a snapshot of app services for backup. Backup can be manual or
scheduled. The snapshots includes all data related elements (MySQL,
SQL) and is free for those who have a subscribed to a 'Standard-tier'

Service Outage Notifications:
This is customized for each service and includes service interruptions,
performance degradatons and other related notifications.

VM Agent
A new VM agent to help manage VM Extensions (for example the recently
added extension BG Info) and gets created when a VM is created using
'quick create' option.

Single Sign-On Support for SaaS Apps:
Windows Azure Active Directory(AD) now supports 600 SaaS apps for integrated
single sign-on rolled out in October of last year.

WAAD Premium Preview Reporting:
Well this is premium and has more features than the free Windows Azure
Active Directory(WAAD). If you are worried about security this may be
the one feature you care about. The 'reports' tab reports on suspicious
logons; 'irregular sing-in activity', etc.

BizTalk Services Updates:
Quoted from the blog, "BizTalk Services now supports the EDIFACT protocol and it can pull
messages from service bus queues without writing to another service. "

Hadoop 2.2 Preview:
HD Insight services now supports Hadoop 2.2 at preivew time. Hadoop 2.2
is expected to support faster queries response time; improved data compression, support for YARN, described as an OS for Hadoop 2.0.

Review Scott's blog to read more about all these features here:

and this;

Friday, February 21, 2014

OMG! President Clinton at SharePoint Conference 2014

Thrilling to hear a President delivering Keynote address on SharePoint because I never associated Presidents with software.

SharePoint Conference 2014 will be held at Venetian Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas. Mark up your calendars, March 3 to 6.

You will hear all about SharePoint, Yammer and of course Office 365.
It's all about connecting, transforming and reimagining.

See you at Las Vegas!!!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

SkyDrive -----> OneDrive

SkyDrive is dead longlive OneDrive
According to article by Mary Jo Foley which appeared in ZDNET (
Microsoft lost the trademark battle with British SkyDrive Broadcasting Group over the use of 'Sky'.

Customers using SkyDrive will not feel much of a difference as it is just renaming at the source,
new customers will get their 7GB storage for free and current customers can get 5B extra storage,
also free. Also if you use OneDrive camera you get an extra 3G. Generosity all around.
I logged into my Windows Live Account and tried to peek. It looks like Microsoft has not made the switch on my account, or is it a cache.

Well, well, when I click on SkyDrive I get to see the changed look.

Here is a video from Microsoft.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Oracle analytic module to optimize global customs and compliance operations

For optimizing Global Customs and Compliance Operations Oracle has introduced the Oracle Global Trade Intelligence, a new analytic module.

In Oracle's own language:

Effective decision-making is vital to the success of any compliance organization. Oracle Global Trade Intelligence, Oracle’s customs & compliance focused business intelligence solution, promotes better supply chain decisions by providing greater insight into both internal operations and trading partner performance. Oracle Global Trade Intelligence provides you with the information needed to understand what’s happening in your business so you can achieve your organizational goals.

Get a copy of this data sheet 'ORACLE GLOBAL TRADE INTELLIGENCE Data Sheet '

GTI areas covered-excerpt from the data sheet. (Please note, the blog author has changed the listing order.)

Restricted Party List Screening,
Sanctions and Embargoes,
Regulatory Controls,
License Assignment,
Exemptions Used,
Country of Origin,
Documents Required

Total Shipments,
Total Sales Orders,
Total Purchase Orders,
Gross Weight and Net Weight,
Average Gross Volume and Net Volume

Total Cost,
Declared Value,
Billed Amount,
Freight Charges
User Workload:
Item Classification,
Restricted Party List Screening,

Process Analysis:
Business Divisions,
Product Families,
Regions and
Calendar and Fiscal Periods,
Status Updates,

Read this article on Bloomberg web site here:
Read this from Oracle:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Moving your site from one hosting provider to another

Sometimes you may want move over your website hosting from one vendor to another. The reasons may be many, one of which is your bottom line, cost and options.You want to transfer your site content from the old hosting provider to the new hosting provider.

You have to purchase hosting plan with the new provider and get everything needed to run your site. You will have to consider the operating system, the servers (version and other details), email and media service, programming language or languages, the database support, database platform, content managemnt etc.

Once you buy a plan you will get access to your hosting site's control panel where you should get acquainted with all the details like http, ftp, database server access, email and the various authentcation information etc..

If you are moving a site then you already have a domain name. You may wish to use the same domain name or get a new one.

 If you are using the same domain name you should get (the new hostings provider will provide) a temporary site for making the transition.

As to moving the contents you can use any ftp program and you may find a number of them on the internet. Some of them are free. Here are what lifehacker considers five best ftp clients.

 Read here if you are trying to move your ASP.NET site.  The website was moved using the FTP support in Visual Studio 2013 Express for Web.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Economics of migrating Windows Applications from SQL Servers to MySQL

In a forthcoming webinar Oracle will discuss how you may reduce your database TCO by more than 90%, Wow!!

* Estimated savings for 3 year database TCO with MySQL Enterprise Edition vs. Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition, with the following hardware configuration: 4 Intel x86_64 Servers, with 4 CPUs per Server and 8 Cores per CPU.

More here:

World Freedom of the Press Index


It is interesting to review how free is our press (looking at it as a citizen of the world) from time to time, as Freedom of Press a topic most of us take for granted making no allowances to what we read .

What influences this freedom; what economic factors have a bearing and how terrorism and cyber crime abrogates it are truly fascinating. In a global view we can see all of the above and more that makes it impossible to have a press which can be called 'truly free'.

Reporters without Borders a France based non-profit using the methodology ranks more than 180 nations on the basis of Freedom of the press and publishes a list  every year. Here is a screen capture from its web site.

Read more about Reporters without Borders here.

RSF's Mission

The methodlogy used to classify country ranking can be downloaded as a PDF document here:

Download enemies of the Internet document here:

Please support RSF by making donations at their site.


Oracle Taleo Learn Cloud Service

This is Oracle's one stop for Learning. Oracle bought Taleo, a California based SaaS company in early 2012 and parked it under its umbrella.

Both formal and informal learning are included and you can do everything including delivering, tracking, and managing your learning as well as reporting.

With this clound service you can access all of your learning resources like,

Live class room
virtual class room
on the job traning

In Oracle's own language this is what Taleo Learning Cloud Services is

"Oracle Taleo Learn Cloud Service is a comprehensive learning solution that helps your organization perform at the highest levels by linking investments in people to bottom-line business results. Based on a scalable and extensible cloud platform, Oracle Taleo Learn Cloud Service provides a system for delivering, managing, and tracking your learning initiatives. Featuring a flexible architecture that adapts to business requirements and learning cultures, it gives you the power to make the changes you need, when you need them"

How'z your learning going? 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Oracle Eloqua is about marketing from the cloud

The long and short of marketing is that traditional marketing (in-person) is too expensive to be effective. Oracle takes marekting to the clouds. The influencers to call upon in in-person marketing has grown to include health care providers, payors and those who influence prescriptions and to provide a personalized communication to each of these is challenging.

Oracle has announced Oracel Eloqua for Life Sciences to day. Details of Oracle Eloqua can be found here:

The data sheet of Oracle Eloqua for Life Sciences can be found here:

Here is what Oracel Eloqua for Life Sciences in Oracle's own language

"The Oracle Eloqua for Life Sciences Marketing Cloud Service solution helps pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers marketing professionals systematically design and deliver relevant marketing content that promotes brand and products, satisfies compliance and audit requirements, increases revenue, and reduces costs"

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Google Cloud SQL goes GA

Finally Google Cloud SQL (mysql version 5.5 in the cloud) has reached General Availability status. With this comes an SLA of 99.95 for this service. All customer data is encrypted too.

Google Cloud SQL supports all the features of MySQL. For unsupported feature and differences follow the next link. Data Storage is limited to 250 GB by default. As to programming languages that you can use - only two are supported, Python and Java.

Frequently asked questions about Google Cloud SQL is here:

Pricing information is here: There is a special price with discount for developers experiencing more traffic. On demand pricing comparable to Amazon's RDS for SQL Server.

More information here:

and here:

Sunday, February 09, 2014

One way to handle "Port 80 in use by "Unable to open process" with PID 4!" error

This frustrating message is displayed if there is port contention between an existing program and the new program you are trying to install.

For example, I wanted to install Apache, MySQL and PHP using the XAMPP cross-platform web server stack. I was frustrated by various erros that showed up which includes the 'Port 80 in use by Unable to open process with PID 4!'. It could be Port 443 as well. I am using Windows 7 64bit Ultimate edition OS and XAMPP version 1.8.3.

The PID refers to a port being used by the system. After various tweaks found a  way to start APACHE and the other programs. The XAMPP Control Panel may have a bug. Read here for details...

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Big data gets a big break on Windows Azure

Big drop in price for data processing price for big data was announced by Microsoft effective February 7, 2014. Also announced was the name change for Windows Azure Media Services.

Here is a summary of this change in price:

As to name change what was called 'Encoding Reserved Units' previously will be called 'Basic Encoding Reserved Units'.

Here is a summary view of  'Windows Azure Media Services'.

Friday, February 07, 2014

LibreOffice gets launched to the cloud

LibreOffice Writer is a wizard driven, On-line (you can have a shortcut to the APP on your desktop/phone) word processor and publishing tool similar to other similar word processing products (MS Office etc.).

There were to Office related products on tne cloud, Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs. Now there is a third one. Will it make substantial difference to MSFT it is hard to tell in the long run but probably just one more program on the internet for now.

Key features noted from the web site  are the following:

•    Templates and styles
•    A spelling and grammar checker
•    Word and character count
•    Page-layout methods, including frames, columns, and tables
•    Embedding or linking of graphics, spreadsheets, and other objects
•    Built-in drawing tools
•    Master documents—to group a collection of documents into a single document
•    Change tracking during revisions
•    The ability to import and edit PDF files.
•    Database integration, including a bibliography database
•    Indexing
•    AutoCorrect and AutoComplete

Here are some details of the shortcut.

You need to spend $0.99 to try it out

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

LibreOffice 4.2 does better than OpenOffice 4.0 connecting to SQL Anywhere 16

LibreOffice 4.2 does better than OpenOffice 4.0 connecting to SQL Anywhere 16 using a ODBC connection.

In my previous article I had found that connecting to SQL Anywhere 16 using OpenOffice 4.0 was easy but it failed to bring in data of tables from the server.

Using LibreOffice 4.2, connecting and fetching data from SQL Anywhere 16 presented no problems. Updating was as easy. More here....

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

End of days for Cable TV

  • How much do you pay for watching TV over the cable? 
  • How many channels they offer and how many of them do you really watch or really want? 
  • Are the fees they charge reasonable considering what you want and what they offer? 
  • What about channels they offer and charge for them? You want to get away from the Cable TV guys? Here is your chance.

Well, Aereo will at least make it lot cheaper for the users. It may not offer 3 to 400 channels (very few useful or the ones you care to watch) but the price is very good, about 8 to 10 times lower. It is only available in some cities now but spreading rapidly. I guess it will take a long time to reach the Hawaiian Islands.

The cable companies are not keeping quite and the battle appears to be raging and reaching the highest legal levels . This following quote is from Bloomberg regarding this case:

"The justices yesterday agreed to hear an appeal by media companies including Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ABC, 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOX), Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s NBCUniversal and CBS Corp. (CBS) They contend that Aereo, which is backed by Barry Diller, violates their copyrights by using thousands of dime-sized antennas to obtain broadcast signals without paying fees."

Here is are some pictures from Aereo and  Digital Trends sites.

Your route to getting signals from the cloud

Supported devices and browsers. More will be coming soon

Here is the antenna from Aereo, the image on the right is an array of antennae. 

  The locatioins where it is available are shown here (sold out in NY)

Looking briefly at LibreOffice 4.2

I had tried earlier downloading the LibreOffice 4.2 executable and due to unnecessary bundled programs downloading at the same time, I had given up looking at LibreOffice. You can read about my previous attempt here.

The following download URL however gets you the needed files without bringing in bundled programs.

It installs without any problem (Windows 7, x64 bit laptop here). You can start up LibreOffice by just double clicking the icon on your desktop after installation.

This is the screen that gets displayed when you launch the program. The file displayed is the last file open with this program.

This is quite similar to OpenOffice 4.0.1 from Apache.

I had a look at Math Formula in LibreOffice. Here is a basic screen showing the various possibilities.

Just insert (drag and drop) the place holders for the formulae (in this case a*b=24) and the display shows the  formula and the pane below shows how you would write a formula directly using this interface. You can do either way.
Here is more things you can do (Examples) with Math function

If you cannot find what you want you can look for extensions such as the one shown here,

I had a look at some of the other programs. While looking at Impress Presentation program in LibreOffice 4.2 and the program worked more or less the same way as Microsoft Power Point. Trying to open a Power Point file using LibreOffice 4.2 and Apache's Openoffice 4.0.1 displayed some differences, 

Original Using Microsoft Power Point 2010

Using Apache OpenOffice 4.0.1

Using LibreOffice 4.2

Satya Nadella takes the steering wheel

The first Indian born person to be at the top of a high profile company. Welcome to Satya the CEO of Microsoft.

Here is a brief sketch about Satya Nadella. Wall Street is debating as i post this whether he can make a difference.

He may not be too well known but there is a very good chance he will steer the company to profitability. He has grown up with the company and he should be knowing the company inside out. It is time for Microsoft investors to look forward.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Cloud-based PC and Mobile Device Management with Windows Intune gets an update

Windows Intune manages PC's and Mobile devices from the cloud and an update is coming soon. The Windows Intune web based admininstration console in the cloud can manage the PC's and mobile devices and includes all of these:

  • Windows,
  • Windows RT,
  • Windows Phone 8,
  • Apple iOS,
  • Mac OS, and
  • Android devices.
In an earlier avatar Windows Intune also needed System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, but according to the following:

Windows intune now is stand alone. Review this quote is from the above site,
"In addition to our unified deployment mode and integration with System Center Configuration Manager, Windows Intune can now stand alone as a cloud-only MDM solution," Anderson wrote in a blog post. "This is a big win for organizations that want a cloud-only management solutions [sic] to manage both their mobile devices and PC's."
The main benefits are (taken from this source:,
  • Track hardware and software inventory to efficiently manage your assets, licenses, and compliance.
  • Manage updates. Centrally manage the deployment of the Microsoft updates and service packs that you select to all your devices from the Windows Intune console—freeing up your IT staff from routine management tasks.
  • Protect devices from malware.  Help safeguard your devices from the latest threats with centralized protection built on the award-winning Microsoft Malware Protection Engine and using the same trusted technologies as Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection and Microsoft Security Essentials.
  • Proactively monitor devices. Receive alerts on updates and threats so that you can proactively identify and resolve problems with your devices—before they impact users and your business.
  • Provide remote assistance. Resolve device issues, regardless of where you or your users are located, with remote assistance.
  • Set security policies. Centrally manage update, firewall, and malware protection settings across all of your devices, even on remote machines outside the corporate
Click  on the video to get a feeling for what all Windows Intune can do,

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Roslyn and Visual Studio

Roslyn with the last public preview released in September 2012 is described as, Microsoft's 'compiler as service' project (new language object models for code generation, analysis, and refactoring, and the upcoming support for scripting and interactive use of C# and Visual Basic). It appears Roslyn is being used internally by Microsoft and is in the process of being 'solidified'.

Rosalyn will create APIs for the compiler which is no longer a blackbox  - the Visual Basic and C# compilers being written in C# instead of C++.

Presently the only version of Visual Studio you can use with 'Roslyn' is Visual Studio 2012. The September 2012 CTP can be downloaded here: - get this file:

RoslynSetup.exe (10.8 MB)

The CTP supports all of the following:

  • You can use the VS Project templates to get started with the RoslynAPIs and build new VS Extensions
  • Provides assemblies that you can add to your project
  • C# interactive window 
  • C# Script File Editing Support

This image is an example of interactive C# taken from,

Read about script support here:

I look forward to the next update.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

I bought the <$50.00 UbiSlate 7Ci Tablet

I just unpacked my UbiSlate 7Ci tablet. I switched on and the 'android' logo came up rather quickly. It can be used for communications if you have a WIFI available. Getting on to WiFi was also easy, what was not easy is the WEP password which is rather long (not the fault of Ubi). It has quite a few built-in apps and more can be downloaded. It also has a port for extra memory. It is charged by a USB cable powered by the mains energy (110V). It has two browsers, Chrome and Ubi proprietary and both worked well.

Previous post here:

More details here: Protection Status