Category Archives: Technology

Twitter’s New Tip Jar for Charity Funraising

I’m excited to enable the new Tip Jar feature for fundraising for charities. Twitter users should be able to create a campaign to raise money for a charity boasted with Tweets related to the charity.

The Twitter Tip Jar should allow users to raise money, goal oriented with a tweatable bar chart that indicates progress, current money raised, and target goals.

Twitter Tip Chart should allow multiple fundraising initiatives in parallel, and tweet tags indicate which charity donation.

Twitter Advertising should allow tweet goal oriented tip jar fundraising, and extend the Twitter Advertising model to pause funding tweets based on daily fundraising goals.

Delineation of Work Items, Segregated by Tech Stack

Building any multitiered solution is not just creating a User Interface to render the data, there is most likely a service tier that fetches data from a database, and serves that data up to the UI to then be rendered. How do you derive work items in your product backlog? One User Story, and multiple child tasks, one task per tech stack tier, UI, service tier, and database? Or three user stories, one per tech stack tier?

User Stories Defined, Per Tech Stack Tier

There are clear advantages of representing most work items with User Stories such as deriving story points, determining team average velocity, and a more accurate burndown chart depicting a downward trending scope and implementation of user stories.

Using child Tasks of user stories may obfuscate the total work required to implementation of the solution unless baked into the parent story points. Tasks are typically tracked in terms of hours, and separately user story points are calculated/derived from a collective, relative effort estimation, e.g. Fibonacci sequence; 1,3,5,8,13,20…, and many teams may overlay this scale to fit their sprint duration.

Feature and Story Planning – At a Glance

In order to organize each feature, and correlated user stories, teams may use a prefix in the title of the user stories, such as [UI] or [DB]. At a glance, a product owner, or the implementation team can see if all the required stories for a given feature have all the elements required to implement the feature. For example, if a new report needs to be created, multiple stories must contain [UI], [API], and [DB] stories.

Drawbacks – Accepting a User Story as Complete

If you segment your product backlog user stories based on tech stack, you may need to wait until all related stories, UI, API, and DB have been implemented. For example, If your API and DB stories are developed, and not the User Interface (UI), you’re QA/Testing may not start until the UI story has been deployed. Of course, your tester could test the API using testing tools like SoapUI.

Netflix Is Testing A Way To Limit Password Sharing

r Netflix is testing a way it can limit password sharing, in what could signal a notable shift of the streaming giant’s posture toward users.“Is this your account?” an on-screen notification asks some of those trying to log on with credentials from someone outside their household, according to users’ screenshots. “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”Users can then enter their own information and create an account, which comes with a 30-day free trial in certain territories.“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

Source: Netflix Is Testing A Way To Limit Password Sharing – Deadline

Two Factor Authentication verse Location-Based 

This measure is an ineffective approach at best, and a hindrance, worst-case scenario to those valid Netflix users who travel often and take their streaming service on the road.  Many other Internet Services, beyond content streaming,  are now implementing a 2-Factor Authentication (2-FA) approach.  With 2-FA, a user will log into the Netflix app, and then is sent an email or text message with an authentication code.  The code is then used to complete the login of the Software as a Service (SaaS).  This approach could be extended to VOD  streaming services, and for each account “Profile”,  there is a defined mobile number and email address where the access code can be sent.   Only the default account profile can unlock the security details for profiles, allowing the assignment of mobile numbers and email addresses.

How Will Consumers React?

The initial pilot solution seems like a half measure at the moment. I’m not familiar with how they will implement the location-based, “Outside Your Household” solution because of a legitimate use case where some people who have subscriptions actively travel, for example. Surely, these people who travel will appear to be in various locations, according to network topology. On the other side, if you apply a multifactor authentication approach, that’s bound to be more successful in inhibiting the “password sharing” issue. Netflix defines/reevaluates a maximum number of user-profiles per account. Will this help generate more revenue for the “fledgling” streaming service, or anger their audience who may take flight to one of the many other services offered. It’s not the cheapest streaming service in town. Let’s see.

Agile Advisor Plugin for Microsoft Teams

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Advisory Role in Microsoft Team Communications

Agile Advisor Plugin for #Microsoft Teams is able to observe team interactions, such as conference calls within Microsoft Teams. The Advisor can derive “dialog intents” and provide recommendations for improvement. A retrospective on communications, such as Scrum ceremonies

Voice Recognition During Teams Meetings

Technology that leverages voice recognition, such as Interactive voice response (IVR) solutions are fraught with failed recognition. IVRs are used to answer calls in just about every company, which prompts for either a phrase from the user on what they want and the ability to enter a numeric value correlating to the desired intent. Challenge #1.

Dialog and Intent Identification

Beyond trying to identify the user’s intent from a phrase or sentence, a dialog, a series of interactions between two or more team members is even more complex. Current AI models that identify intent from a sentence or phrase have a mixed variable of accuracy, which is why these models must be tuned over time. A collective of interactions, a dialog between two or more team members, has a much higher level of complexity to identify intents. Challenge #2. Once a dialog intent(s) has an “N”% level of accuracy, rules may be fired with any number of outcomes, such as unintrusive logging of Agile suggestions for best practices, and next steps: e.g. a retrospective of the scrum ceremony.

Dynamically Identify Roles in Teams Meetings

Who participates in Microsoft Teams meetings and team chats can be associated with Microsoft Teams’ member profiles, such as Scrum Master, and Product Owners.

Enhance the Adherence to Agile Principles

12 Principles Behind the Agile Manifesto, and opportunities for rules to be trigger based on conversations, the interactive dialogs.

  1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
  3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
  5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
  7. Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  10. Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
  11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

Dialog Intent Rules for Agile Guidance

From the above agile principles, we can derive the following dialog intents and precise recommendations for improvement.

Barriers to Implementation

At the current level of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Digital Assistants, i.e. chatbots, even the “best in breed”, has “difficulty”, i.e. lower probability with intent recognition, with a single sentence or phrase. Multiply that by interpreting an interactive dialog with multiple sentences, multiple participants, and exchange of responses, feasibility is highly speculative.

And Still More Opportunity: Recognition of Facial Emotional Expressions 

Expressions of people may be able to be determined, and opportunities for suggestive posture can be advised. Even body posture folded arms as an example, can imply a guarded opinion, and not open to compromise.

Reference article – Emotion recognition using facial expressions

Caution and Opportunities

This plugin output could be used for annual employee evaluations.

2020 posts that never were

Occasionally, when a thought gets bubbled up in my brain, I pop open Twitter, and tweet the thought. In some cases, the fleeting idea seems larger than a tweet, so I open up WordPress, and start a post. I may save it and come back to add content to the post. I’ll come back to the post, and say to myself, what was I thinking, and don’t pursue publishing post. Here’s the list of blog posts that I drafted this year, but decided for one reason or another, I wouldn’t post it.

LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT MICROSOFT BING

THE ANATOMY OF A TWILIO STUDIO PROGRAMMABLE VOICE WORKFLOW

LOW COST, PLATFORM AGNOSTIC, BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, PROLIFIC REPORTING TOOL

RADICAL TRANSFORMATION OF K-12 EDUCATION SYLLABUS

AFTER THE PANDEMIC: GETTING PAST THE FEAR FROM SOCIAL DISTANCING

STOP WORDS: MODEL TRAINING

AI – BEST IN SHOW

BUY AND BUILD – DIGITAL TRANSFORMATIONS

iPhone Notifications Need an Upgrade

Color Coded Notification Cards

I have a swarm of notifications from many sources, and yes, the header source name and icon does help differentiate between notification sources, but it’s relatively tiny, and I have the 8+. Developers and/or User Settings should allow for the color-coding of the header, and the body of the notification cards by App Name, or App Category (“Gaming”)

Notification Transitions – Active and Passive

When the iPhone screen is in passive (sleep) mode or the screen is active, the ability to transition the notification in and out could be fun, such as when using PowerPoint slide transitions.

Notifications List by Source – Filter + Sort Order

I’m constantly scrolling through my notifications for specific Notification sources’ updates. It would be great if the user can sort Notifications not just by the latest updates. Maybe allow alphabetical sort order. Or, allow the user to Filter by only the notifications they need at the moment, instead of being lost in a sea of notifications. For example, allow the user to Filter the notification list by specific app notifications.

My Internal IRQ is Broken

Interrupt ReQuest (IRQ) is an hardware interrupt on a PC. There are 16 IRQ lines used to signal the CPU that a peripheral event has started or terminated. Except for PCI devices, two devices cannot use the same line. If a new expansion card is preset to the IRQ used by an existing board, one of them must be changed. This was an enormous headache in earlier machines.

Starting with the Intel 286 CPU in 1982, two 8259A controller chips were cascaded together and bumped the IRQs from 8 to 16. However, IRQ 2 is lost because it is used to connect to the second chip. IRQ 9 may be available for general use as most VGA cards do not require an IRQ.

PCI to the Rescue
The PCI bus solved the limited IRQ problem, as it allowed IRQs to be shared. For example, if there were only one IRQ left after ISA devices were assigned their required IRQs, all PCI devices could share it.

Who’s Managing & Securing Your Information Assets?

What is meant by Information Architecture (IA)?

Information architecture (IA) focuses on organizing, structuring, and labeling content in an effective and sustainable way. The goal is to help users find information and complete tasks.

There must be a common consensus, an understanding of each data point collected, and the appropriate labeling and cataloging of the Information Asset. Information assets may have a score attributed to the asset and leveraged in a multitude of ways, such as guidelines for the purging of archives, sensitivity of the information, and the levels of trust.

For each data point collected, correlations/relationships can be added either manually, or through an Induction Engine (AI) leveraging a history of relationships. The definition of hierarchical relationships between data points, and link types (e.g. processor, successor, child, or generally related) further to bolster a larger lexicon.

What are Information Assets?

For example, your phone number is an information asset. Your phone number is provided to everyone you know and is a primary point of reference to contact you. Traditionally, the “phone companies” manage that resource for you. However, in this “new” day and age, we see companies like Google providing a phone number, and as a result providing features not generally available, such as Google Voice, with Call Forwarding, and obfuscation.

Common, Consumer, Information Assets Include:

  • Documents of ALL Types, e.g. text, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.
  • Domain Names and Email Addresses are Information Assets.
  • Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Other Social Media Platforms Assets, such as User Names, Post Text, Images, Video, and Profile details.
  • Skype, WhatsApp, and other VoIP Info Assets such as Phone Number, User Profile information
  • Windows Teams, Slack, and other Team Collaboration, Information Assets, such as the historical, ongoing posted information in the Team Chat, including the integration of 3rd party apps, such as Whiteboard collaborative drawings.
  • Passwords, Passwords, Passwords

Common, Corporate, Information Assets Include:

  • All of the Consumer, Information Assets PLUS
  • Documents of ALL Types, e.g. Solution Architecture docs, Database Models, HR Policies, Org Charts, Corp. Network Topography, etc.

Disaster Recovery for Information Assets

What happens when the technology managing information assets become “unavailable”? What is your impact assessment? Is there a centralized data/information catalog or repository that contains a partial or complete set of Information Assets?

Information Assets are also passwords, and we have a plethora of “secure” password managers, such as Norton Antivirus provides a mechanism to hold passwords in a virtual “safe”.

Insurance Policies for [digital] Information Assets

What is the cost of securing these Information Assets, verse the payment of recuperating the information assets, if even possible?

What about Hackers that “hold your data/information” hostage?

How to price out “Insurance” for your information, just like safeguarding any other personal articles insurance policies today? Are there “Personal Articles, Insurance Policies” that can currently add a rider to your existing policies? Need to price out “Information Assets”, and the recuperation values?

Norton Life Lock [Personal / Business]

Norton LifeLock reimburses funds stolen due to identity theft up to the limit of the plan total not exceeding $1 Million USD.

Notes Repositories

Notepads like Notepad++, Microsoft OneNote, and Google Keep are tools that allow their authors to quickly take notes and organize them. A wide array of Information Assets are contained within these applications, such as text, and photos with some data describing the information captured (i.e. metadata). Gathering and exporting this information to reference Information Assets could be a lengthy and laborious process without automation, rules for sorting, and tagging info.

AI Induction and Rules Engines

Dynamically labeling Information Assets as they are “discovered”, an auto curation process. For example, the Microsoft Outlook rules engine has a robust library of canned AI rules for sorting, forwarding, formatting as emails arrive in your inbox, as well as a host of other rules “triggers”. An Induction engine is a predictive instrument that “observes” behavior over time, and then creates/suggests new rules on the basis of the history of user behavior. For example, if MS Outlook had an AI Induction engine, and observed a user ‘almost’ always moving an email with the same subject to folder N, the AI Induction engine could create the rule to anticipate the user’s behavior.

Data Lakes or Sea of Information Assets

  • Structured, Semi-Structured, and Unstructured data.
  • Labeling/tagging Information Assets in a consistent fashion.
  • Retrieval of data, and cross-referenced data types

19 Best Data Catalog Tools and Software for 2020

Extract –

Tool: Alation Data Catalog

Description: Alation is a complete repository for enterprise data, providing a single point of reference for business glossaries, data dictionaries, and Wiki articles. The product profiles data and monitors usage to ensure that users have accurate insight into data accuracy. Alation also provides insight into how users are creating and sharing information from raw data. Customers tout the product for its expansive partner ecosystem, and Alation has focused on increasing data literacy when metadata is distributed across business and IT.

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