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:

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

Sarasota/Bradenton UG Presentation Materials

I had the pleasure of speaking to a GREAT group this evening (8/18) about Cortana. As promised, here are the materials that we covered, as well as some source code.

The actual (shortened) link:

* IMPORTANT NOTE: You’ll need Visual Studio 2015 to run the code. (Don’t worry, it’s free!)

Happy Coding! :D

Sarasota/Bradenton UG Presentation Materials

Yikes — I need more sleep!

Just ran across this one today… and it’s telling me what I already suspected but didn’t want to admit to myself.

8 Reasons Lack Of Sleep Is Killing You (And How To Fix It)  (via OfficeVibe)

<< sigh. >>

Time to make some changes, neh?

Yikes — I need more sleep!

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.


Microsoft’s Identity Management Framework (2015)

Tampa Code Camp 2015 Presentation Materials

I had the honor of presenting one of my favorite topics (#Cortana!) at Tampa Code Camp. As promised the materials I presented from (minus the witty banter and EXCELLENT interaction with the group) are available here.

UPDATE: I just remembered that if you want the “Weather” example to work you need to follow the instructions in the following file: IntegratingCortant.Win10.Universal\Extensions\GeopositionExpressions.cs

Tampa Code Camp 2015 Presentation Materials

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

This one’s for… my homey…

It’s amazing how people come and go from our lives. Some of those relationships are completely meaningless. Some are trivial and sometimes, they’re even a nice distraction. And then there are those which are world changing.

My good friend, Darryl Champion, was one of the latter. The crazy thing though? Darryl already had SO MANY friends that he certainly didn’t need me to be one. Talk about busy? Try being that guy and keeping up with the thousands of people he knew. I have a “policy” where I do not publicly wish people well on their birthday (via Facebook) for fear that i might miss and offend someone. Which has actually happened. And I only have about a thousand “friends”; I can’t imagine what he went through, every day.

See, Champ was the kind of guy that you bonded with instantly, and he always welcomed you in TOTALLY. There was no “halfway” with Darryl; either you weren’t there, or you were. And I appreciated that because I was always one of the skittish type until I got to know someone. Darryl helped me get beyond “myself” and my issues in that regard.

My friend passed sometime in the afternoon of 5/31/2015. While I was at a theater, watching a movie. I’m going to assume it was directly from, or due to complications arising from, the incredibly bad case of pneumonia he was suffering from.

Though there was no call to rush to the IA because people thought “this is it”, I wish I’d had the flexibility to make the trip and be with him for at least a little while before today. See, I got married just a little while ago, and he even let me know how happy he was about that milestone in my life. When he first had the strength to do so, he made it a point to contact me and let me know he appreciated my thoughts and well wishes. That’s the kind of person he was.

I had even thought about him this morning. Dear God, I never thought today would be the day.

Darryl, thank you for the time I had to share with you. Thank you for all the concern, well wishes, encouragement and chastising when I needed it.

I miss you man. Keep the light on for me — I’ll be there sometime soon, but not yet. Not yet; I’ve got to much to do first.

I love you, brother.

This one’s for… my homey…