Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Five levels of autonomous driving defined

Research and Development money is coming in to develop technology for self-driving cars. Some form of autonomous driving is around the corner in less than 4 to 5 years. I am sure most automakers have been making plans and the Department of Transport (DOT) has come up with a definition of vehicle automation consiting of 5 levels, the most important focus is Safety.

Good news you are already in Level 0.
This is from NHTSA Site
NHTSA defines vehicle automation as having five levels:
No-Automation (Level 0): The driver is in complete and sole control of the primary vehicle controls – brake, steering, throttle, and motive power – at all times.

Function-specific Automation (Level 1): Automation at this level involves one or more specific control functions. Examples include electronic stability control or pre-charged brakes, where the vehicle automatically assists with braking to enable the driver to regain control of the vehicle or stop faster than possible by acting alone.

Combined Function Automation (Level 2): This level involves automation of at least two primary control functions designed to work in unison to relieve the driver of control of those functions. An example of combined functions enabling a Level 2 system is adaptive cruise control in combination with lane centering.

Limited Self-Driving Automation (Level 3): Vehicles at this level of automation enable the driver to cede full control of all safety-critical functions under certain traffic or environmental conditions and in those conditions to rely heavily on the vehicle to monitor for changes in those conditions requiring transition back to driver control. The driver is expected to be available for occasional control, but with sufficiently comfortable transition time. The Google car is an example of limited self-driving automation.

Full Self-Driving Automation (Level 4): The vehicle is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip. Such a design anticipates that the driver will provide destination or navigation input, but is not expected to be available for control at any time during the trip. This includes both occupied and unoccupied vehicles.

Get Fiddler to do your web debugging

It is a free web debugging tool that can see what is going between your computer and the Internet.
It can be used on any browser, system or platform.

These are Fiddler's key features:
  • Web Debugging - PC, Mac or Linux OK
  • Performance testing
  • HTTP/HTTPS Traffic recording
  • Web Session Manipulation
  • Security Testing
  • Supports multiple frameworks-.NET, Ruby, Java etc
  • Not limited to PC also includes Mobile devices
Besides the above, you can also customize Fiddler.
Read all about Fiddler and download it from here.

For Internet Explorer it is an add-on, go here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Microsoft's Surface Book selling like hot cakes


Well it is because of these unbeatable new features:

1TB SSD Storage
Intel Core i7 processor
Ultra thin
Great workmanship
PC or Tablet both OK

Of course it is pricey at $2699 and buy a keyboard add another $129
It is already sold out. Next availability is after February 2016. 

Get a grip on your data with JetBrain's DataGrip

DataGrip is an integrated IDE for all of your data needs.

DataGrip is the multi-engine database environment that supports the following:

 Microsoft SQL Server
 Oracle, Sybase
 Apache Derby

JDBC driver is necessary to connect to your database management system. For listed database engines DataGrip provides database introspection and various instruments for creating and modifying objects.

Main features:

It provides folders for the objects grouped by schemas
Navigation to any object is easy by entering database/table or procedure name
Table editor is powerful supported by text search
Intelligent coding assistance with code completion; code generation; renaming objects; code analysis with fixes; smart text editor; and support customizing appearance
Querying with query console; diff viewer; parametrized queries
Database diagramming; CSV editor
Supports version control for Git, SVN, Mercurial, and many others

Here is a video which provides mode insight:

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The workaround for Reporting Services on Windows 10

Microsoft Edge, or simply Edge is the default browser in Windows 10. It is not designed to start with elevated permissions.

Reporting Services Server is accessed in the default Edge browser and you always end up with access denied for the user, <domain>/<User> for lack of sufficient permissions. One could use another browser such as Firefox but Reporting Services server cannot be accessed even when the browser is launched with elevated permissions. Firefox did not have problems in accessing the Report Server in SSRS 2012.

The way out for this in using the IE 11 browser that comes with Windows 10.

Monday, January 18, 2016

A note on Window 10 Operating System

It is somewhat confusing when it comes to operating system for Windows 10.

If you go by this link on msdn, you will see that Windows 10 oprating systems version number is 10 and for Windows 8.1 version 6.3. Here is a partial screen shot:


When you look at settings of your Computer on Windows 10 you would see this:


You get Windows 10 as the Operating System when you use Windows Command or PowerShell command gwmi win32_operatingsystem.

Recently I installed SQL Server 2014 (x64) Developer Edition on Windows 10 (the same lap top).
I queried for the version of SQL Server 2014 using the query:

Select @@version
To my great surprise, I got the below response (Operating system highlighted):

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 12.0.2269.0 (X64)
 Jun 10 2015 03:35:45
 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation
 Developer Edition (64-bit) on Windows NT 6.3 <X64> (Build 10586: ) (Hypervisor)

The Operating System for Windows System is still reported as Windows NT 6.3 <x64> (Build 10586). This means the SQL Server is assuming to be running on a Windows 8.1 Computer OS.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Microsoft's R Server Developer Edition is FREE

Data is dead long live analytics.

Analytics will be the beacon to follow by all enterprises in the future. Having mere data and not being able to act on it is something that everyone will rush to avoid. R language, a language meant for statisticss and analytics will be one of the most sought after skills in the near future.

Microsoft has thrown in a lot to be at the forefront, not only acquiring the Revolution Analytics Company but also making it one of the prime features of SQL Server 2016.

Microsoft will be rebranding Revolution Enterprise for Hadoop, Linux and Tera data as R Server.
If you are interested in this growing technology area you could jump start downloading the R Server Developer Edition which is free (as free can be). It's just like all the other developer's stuff, has all the features of enterprise but not production worthy.

Also Revolution R Open has been rebranded as Microsoft R Open which is also free. For those who are already using MicrosoftData Science Virtual will have a preinstalled R Server. It is not a stretch that R Server will be on Azure as well for machine learning and IOT.

Download R Server here.

Read more here:

Students following an acdemic course will be benefitted with the Microsoft DreamSpark Program .

MirrorLink protocol and Car Connnectivity Consortium

Internet of things may appear more rapidly than one believes. Connected cars will be the one that will appear first and make an even greater impact than self-driving cars. Many car manufacturers and software vendors are actively working to make this possible. In addition to car-to-car communication and car-to-internet/cloud communication, communication between smartphones and vehicles infotainment system is also vigorously pursued.

MirrorlLink Protocol which is presently in version 1.1 allows third-party apps to board screens in automobiles. It is an interoperability standard interfacing smartphones to vehicle's infotainment system. This allows drivers to access more mobile apps from dashboards. This may not be as distracting as you think it will be due to the fact that there are resrictions on how it is implemented. The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) showed is behind this using MirrorLink protocol.

This is the driving force for the CCC,
"The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) is an organization driving global technologies for smartphone-centric car connectivity solutions. The organization is dedicated to cross-industry collaboration in developing MirrorLink®, an open standard for car-smartphone connectivity. CCC members include a majority of the world’s auto and smartphone manufacturers, along with a who’s who of aftermarket consumer electronics vendors.
Read more here;

The interested group consists of Car Manufacturers (about 20); phone manufacturers (8); Infotainment Systems (23); Ecosystem partners(50) and Test Labs(13).
App developers would need the CCC approval which defines two categories, base category and drive category. The drive category apps will be those that can be used while the car in motion. Only approved apps can only be accessed.

View Mirrorlink enabled dashboards here:
A small sample is shown here from the above link:

Friday, January 15, 2016

Learn for Free Geo Web Apps

This course is offered by ESRI.

Read here:
and here:

This is announced on the site:
February 2, 2016: Do It Yourself GeoApps (landing page forthcoming). This (Massive Open online Course) MOOC is for anyone who wants to build geo-enabled apps that make communities smarter and businesses more successful. Anyone can learn to build apps with configurable templates like Storymaps, and with applications called Web AppBuilder and AppStudio, all with little or no coding. Coders can learn about Esri's developer resources like SDKs and APIs, and can join the GeoDev community. Four weeks, self-paced, 12-18 hours total.

Section 1: Overveiw of the Course and Geo Apps
Section 2: Geo apps for Smarter Communities
Section 3: Put Your Story on the Map
Section 4: Web Apps for Your Community
Section 5: Native Apps for your Community
Section 6; Building Geo Apps onOpen Data
Section 7: Custom Coding and the GeoDev Community

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Urgent: Do not answer this telephone call

There is something wrong about this number. The telephone operator (AT&amp;T) in my case flagged it as an international call. I do not know anyone from this area code (assuming it is 718).

This web site flags it as something that may be related to terrorist, but I am not sure.

I called up and added my telephone numbers.

Is it related to terrorists? I am not sure. I did not answer although for the last two, three days he/she attempting to talk to me.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Optomec and the Internet of Things

IOT depends to a large part on the availability of custom hardware of sensors that can be efficiently manufactured with exacting tolerances in its specifications. Smart Parts manufacturing will be one of the key technologies required to address the IOT 3D Sensors and 3D Antennae.

Optomec which manfuactures production grade 3D printers can manufacture parts both in plastics and metals.

Here is a picture showing some of the smart stuff that can be made using Optomec 3D Printers.

The parts made with additive printing uses the Aerosol Jet Process (no different from spraying a liquid principle). Here is YouTube Video from Optomec.

Here is a high volume production process.

Read more here:

Monday, January 04, 2016

Microsoft is leading the pack in Magic Quandrant for ODBMS

Operational Database Management System (ODBMS) which is a more appropriate name than OLTP there has many new entrants to the business. It is not just RDBMS anymore as you have Big Data, NoSQL, etc.

Microsoft is tops in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems for 2015. Oracle is a little behind Microsoft and IBM is trailing.

Here is the picture of the Quadrant: Protection Status