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My 2014 Reading List

If you are searching for book recommendations or something new to read, I am sharing here my list of books. Most of them I’ve finished in the kindle version and I am also sharing some of my views about them. I hope you enjoy. Also feel free to share your recommendations with me at edge@superedge.net 

In case you’re interested, here’s my reading list from 2013

 

What I Am Reading Now

Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential

Books In the Backburner

These are books that people recommended to me as good reads.

The Year When Stardust Fell Dirt Music CloudStreet
Acres of Diamonds Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story Ender’s Game

Finished Reading

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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My Reading List of 2013

If you are searching for book recommendations or something new to read, I am sharing here my list of books. Most of them I’ve finished in the kindle version and I am also sharing some of my views about them. I hope you enjoy. Also feel free to share your recommendations with me at edge@superedge.net 

In case you’re interested, here’s my reading list from 2012

Coraline 05-October-2013
After being wowed by "Stardust" I decided to go for another Neil Gaiman and yet again I found another great story. Gaiman writes great stories for kids, however this one is a bit too much for young hears I think. I love the fact that Coraline is an amazing inspirational tale for young kids. Always polite and always well-mannered.

In a flat with 21 windows and 14 doors, one door is locked but this door occasionally opens up to a parallel world like ours where Coraline finds her other mother, other father, and even other neighbors. All look great at the surface but there are horrible things underneath it as she will discover.

I took this book to read for my daughter, but soon I realized the content was a bit too strong for a 5yo girl. Yet Coraline is an excellent role model for kids between 8-12 years old. Teaching about courage, love and priorities.
I also recommend to get the illustrated version from Dave McKean, the same guy from "Stardust". 5 stars, but not for toddlers IMHO.

Stardust   15-August-2013
Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! A fantastic story about following your dreams, a falling star who becomes a gorgeous woman, the son of an adventurer with a magic gipsy. Everything Gaiman wrote here takes us to a beautiful world of fairies, dreams, adventure and fantasy. I absolutely recommend, specially if you like to read with your kids.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead 16-July-2013
I've seen Sandra's TED presentation and I think it is one of the best ones. She definitely is smart, speak well and direct to the point. Her ideas about female inclusion into the IT workforce certainly resonates with me. When I read this book however I felt disappointed. In the book she has the opportunity to expand her concepts of the TED talk and that's when the challenges become clear. All her ideas are perfect, no problems with that; the issue is that she's not the average working woman/mother/wife. She has vast resources, namely money, that allowed her to fulfill her career. From a "busy mom" point of view she will ask "how come she found time to do this?". Great ideas, but unlikely to be a boiler plate for women to follow.
Transformational Speaking: If you want to change the world, tell a better story 12-June-2013
I started reading this book with 2 assumptions in mind: 1) to develop my public speaking skills 2) to hear from a business perspective how to tell a "better story". Disappointed, the book is not one of the other.
From early on you start to see how little practical information is provided and a lot of spiritual talk. A lot of discussion about shamans, inner cure, invisible beings, energy within etc. I do not have absolutely nothing against it, but then the author should have been clear about the purpose of the book. This is misleading readers.
Too much talk about mystics and nothing about what we can do to deliver/sell a compelling story. This is not a public speaking book, this is not a business book, this is not a story-telling technique book. This is a spiritual/mystical/religious book. (I put in bold so others don’t fall in the same trap I did)
Lord of the Flies 8-May-2013
Lord of the Flies is not a new book, according to my kindle version its 1st publication was in the 50's. A plane crashes on an island, all the adults die, all the kids survive. The main plot is about these kids stranded in a desert island and how their relations go about. Then the author it goes in a discussion about the human nature, which is supposed to be brutal and ruthless. I can even see a lot of influences from The Hunger Games coming from this book. Whilst I don't agree with that we are that brutal, it is an awesome book which can be told as a morality tale or a parable. If you read the Hunter Games and is ready to go to the next level, or to the deeper roots if I may, I can really recommend. You wont be disappointed.
Ca├žadas de Pedrinho (Portuguese Edition)
I read this when I was a young bloke, now I am reading this book with my kids (5 and 3 years-old) and the story is already a success with them. Highly recommended for adventurous toddlers. Something a few people know is that Monteiro Lobato was one of the most important South-American Philosophers. Food for brain!
The Best You: Managing Your Time 16-Apr-2013
I am a big fan of time-management techniques and I got this book on a free- offer from Amazon.
There are a lot of good ideas, but ultimately they fail to sell to the reader the purposes of “why” time management is important. A lot of self-promoting talk and predictable stories. 2.5 stars.
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs 16-Apr-2013
I've got this book after a friend's recommendation. I was a bit reluctant because most of all I know Steve Jobs was not the best role model out there. Many rated him as a "first class CIO, third class human being". Yet one has to recognize his talent to deliver presentations. (sometimes a bit overrated by the Apple-fans), and that aspect of his life is what I am most interested at the moment.
I did not like the book, too many common places and a lot of content repetition. Save your time and money. You can find the same tips from this book by searching the internet. Overrated!
Democratizing Innovation 13-Feb-2013
The premise of this book is that user innovation has a positive impact on social welfare, and the proposition is that government policies should be realigned to eliminate biases against it. The goal is a democratized user-centered innovation system. His research explain a major paradigm shift in innovation where users are displacing manufacturers to become the dominant force of innovation in many fields.  It is a very concise book, only 200 pages, and definitely offers a lot of food for thought. It is not an average read; I do recommended for executive drivers and decision makers to enhance their discussion positioning on the topic.
How We Decide 24-Jan-2013
Why do we take the decisions we take? is there a rational process, or emotional, or both? How serial-killers think, entrepreneurs, football players, writers…do they have something in common? There is a very thin line dividing our choices between rational and emotional and this book talks about this line. Excellent read. I recommend.
It’s not a glass ceiling, is a sticky floor  17-Jan-2013
I was recommended this book by a friend who was being coached by a professional. Apparently this book is targeted to women and talks about the barriers stopping the individuals to reach full their potential. Unfortunately the message in this book did not resonate with me, I found the topics too basically, the messages too obvious, the concept too shallow, and one of the things I try to avoid the most: Author self-promotion.

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How to Create Office 365 Website using Client Object Model ?

Let's cut to the chase. Here's the code below:

/// <summary>
/// Creates the child site.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="parentSiteUrl">The parent site URL.</param>
/// <param name="adminUsername">The admin username.</param>
/// <param name="adminPassword">The admin password.</param>
/// <param name="newWebsiteInfo">The new website information.</param>
/// <returns>a <see cref="bool"/> indicating if the site was created with success or not</returns>
bool CreateChildSite(string parentSiteUrl, string adminUsername, string adminPassword, WebCreationInformation newWebsiteInfo )
{
// by default assume the function will fail. Just to be on the safe side.
bool output = false;
try
{
// create a clientContext from the provided parent site
// and get the collection of all the webs below the parent site
ClientContext clientContext = new ClientContext(parentSiteUrl);
WebCollection currentListOfWebs = clientContext.Web.Webs;

// encrypt the password in a secure string and add to the current context
SecureString password = new SecureString();
foreach (char c in adminPassword.ToCharArray())
{
password.AppendChar(c);
}
// add the credentials to the clientContext. This will avoid the nasty 403: Forbidden errors.
clientContext.Credentials = new SharePointOnlineCredentials(adminUsername, password);

// create a new web object using the websiteinfo provided
// and add to the collection to make sure it is under the right parent
Web newWebsite = currentListOfWebs.Add(newWebsiteInfo);

// execute the web provisioning
clientContext.ExecuteQuery();

// if got to this point then it was executed with success
output = true;
}
catch (Exception exception)
{
// something went wrong, add to the ULS, display some message etc...

}
return output;
}

Then what you have to do is to call like in the example below:

/// <summary>
/// Handles the site provisioning call
/// </summary>
protected void ProvisionSite()
{
WebCreationInformation webCreationInfo = new WebCreationInformation()
{
Title = "This is my new child site",
Description = "This is the description of my new child site",
Language = 1033,
Url = "childsite1",
UseSamePermissionsAsParentSite = true,
WebTemplate = "STS#0" // team site template
};
CreateChildSite("https://<yoursite>.sharepoint.com", "<admin>@<yoursite>.onmicrosoft.com", "<your password>", webCreationInfo);
}

When you publish the app you will see the following screen. Click the Trust button and afterwards you will see your brand new site provisioned under the parent you selected.

do-you-trust.poc



new-sharepoint-online-site




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Where is the Microsoft.Online.SharePoint.Client.Tenant.dll ?

You know...those things that were supposed to be easy to find...
If you are looking to create a site collection, manage sites, tenants permissions in Office 365 you will need to access this the Tenant class.
But it is not installed by default in your machine, nor it does come with Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2013. So how do you get it?

You need to download and install the SharePoint Server 2013 Client Components from MSDN.

After the installation is done, you will find it at C:\Program Files\SharePoint Client Components\Assemblies. Just add it to your project and off you go!
I hope I just saved you some precious time :-)

tenant


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Australia vs. Brazil

They are not prettier or uglier than the other, instead they do have distinct beauties…each their own way. This page’s intent is to basically show my Brazuca and Aussie friends that both countries are quite similar in the eco-tourism aspects and natural beauties ( or at least as far as nature is concerned). If you have any images of similar places between Brazil and Australia feel free to share in the comments.

BhSkOynCMAAhlFP

Smith’s Beach, Australia ( credit: @laurenepbath ) and Canoa Quebrada Beach, Brazil

 

bondi-copacabana

Bondi Beach, Australia and Copacabana Beach, Brazil

 

Blue_Mountains_Australia-chapada-diamantina

Blue Mountains, Australia and Chapada Diamantina, Brazil

 

sydney-rio

Sydney, Australia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

margaret-river-angra-dos-reis

Margareth River, Australia and Angra dos Reis, Brazil

 

ponta-dos-ganchos

Chinamans Beach, Australia (Credit: @cami_810) and Ponta dos Ganchos, Brazil

 

australia-brazil-cave

Tasmania Beach Cave, Australia (credit: @matthewtaylorthomas) and Gruta da Lagoa Azul, Brazil

 

south-australia-port-willunga-canoa-quebrada

Port Willunga Beach, Australia (credit: @jennieknutson) and Falesias de Canoa Quebrada, Brazil


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Office 365 Fix: The Search Request was Unable to Connect to Search Service

After a few deployments and customizations, somehow my Office 365 environment got trashed and I started to see the following error when searching *anything* on it.

office-365-search-request-was-unable-to-connect-to-search-service

“the search request was unable to connect to the Search Service”

After several hours spent trying to fix that I think I found the issue. The most likely cause for this is because the Search Application proxy could not be found in the farm, or it is stopped. Since we are talking of an Office 365 application, it is very unlikely that a Search Service has stopped, which leaves us with the other option of inexistent Search App.

sharepoint-online-management-shell

To fix this, open your SharePoint Online Management Shell (which is the PowerShell for Office 365) and create the search app manually using the following code snippet:


$myO365SearchService = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication
New-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplicationProxy -SearchApplication $myO365SearchService





 



How Did my Search App Got Deleted?



This is beyond me Smile but I can tell you this (and to cut the ammo for the critics): Office 365 is an extremely reliable platform. It just does not break like that. The culprit was probably one of my own scripts or done via some collateral effect; anyhow, this fixed it for me and I hope it should fix it for you as well.




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How to Enable Bitlocker for Windows 8 without TPM

BitLocker is probably one of the most important single advances in computing security. It is the requirement now for all the serious enterprises using windows systems. Read this post to understand more about BitLocker.
If you have windows 8, you will notice it will try to enable BitLocker with TPM, which is a property of the processor. The possibility to marry a software security encryption and a processor dispositive is perfect.
But what if your tablet/notebook does not have a processor TPM-enabled? If one try, it might see this message.
this device can't use a trusted platform module. your administrator must set allow bitlocker without a compatible tpm option in the require additional authentication at startup policy for OS volumes.
 
Here’s how to enable BitLocker for windows 8 in these cases.
In your windows 8, call the gpedit.msc.
enable-bitlocker-windows-8-1
in the group policy manager navigate to Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/BitLocker Drive Encryption/Operating System Drives. Once there, double-click the option Require additional authentication at startup
enable-bitlocker-windows-8-6
Choose the option Enabled and in the options pane select the checkbox Allow BitLocker without a compatible TPM.
enable-bitlocker-windows-8-5
That’s it. Your device is now ready to be encrypted with BitLocker. Right-click your disk and the option to Turn on BitLocker will be available.
enable-bitlocker-windows-8-2
You will need to keep a USB memory stick to save your BitLocked credentials. Additionally you can save to a file and upload this file to your preferred storage location.
enable-bitlocker-windows-8-4
 
enable-bitlocker-windows-8-3

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How to Activate Feature in a SharePoint Online Site Using Client-Object Model

Here’s how to activate a feature in a SharePoint Online site (Office 365), via client object model (CSOM).
/// <summary>
/// Activates the feature.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="webUrl">The web URL.</param>
/// <param name="featureId">The feature identifier.</param>
/// <param name="forceActivationFlag">if set to <c>true</c> [force flag].</param>
/// <param name="featureScope">The feature scope.</param>
/// <returns></returns>
public bool ActivateFeature(string webUrl, Guid featureId, bool forceActivationFlag, FeatureDefinitionScope featureScope)
{
    var output = true;
    try
    {
        using (var clientContextToken = new ClientContext(webUrl))
        {
            // retrieves a list of the features 
            // and add activate the one with the specified ID
            var listOfFeatures = clientContextToken.Web.Features;
            clientContextToken.Load(listOfFeatures);
            clientContextToken.ExecuteQuery();

            listOfFeatures.Add(featureId, forceActivationFlag, featureScope);
            clientContextToken.ExecuteQuery();
        }
    }
    catch(Exception ex)
    {
        output = false;
        //If something goes wrong, you can catch it here and
        // display on a page, message, add to log etc.
    }
    return output;
}


There is a Catch…


This only works for Site and Farm scopes; doesn’t work for Web scope. You can have a look at the FeatureCollection signature here and see that FeatureDefinitionScope does not have Web as an option for SharePoint 2010.

Update: There is a Web property in the FeatureDefinitionScope for SharePoint 2013


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Dangerous Animals in Australia (and amongst us…)

One post from Scott Hanselman ( @shanselman ) regarding venomous creatures attracted my attention.

oregon-spider

This might look as scary spider, however from my experience here in Australia the most scary spiders are not the big ones but the small ones.
Just to give you an idea, have a look at the sequence of photos below. All these photos are from residential areas, I am not talking about going out the city and to the forest etc.

 

The Australian RedBack Spider

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and we were preparing for a great Aussie tradition: BBQ. When my 3 year old daughter pointed me a 'spydie'. We could not see it at first, but after a closer look we did...it was an Australian Red Back spider.

1 2

3

After a bit more of searching, we found another one, this time inside the kids plastic swimming pool. See how small they are:

4 5

6

Let me tell you that we do not live in the outback. We live in a typical Australian family suburb. So for you who don't know it, yeah...they can show up pretty much anywhere. Of course, they favour quieter places.

Two important points to make from this experience:

  1. Despite being a small thing, that IS a dangerous spider. One of the most dangerous Down Under. If this spider bites you, you will be in a world of pain for more than 24 hours, but you won't die because antivenom for them are readily available.
  2. Since young age, Australian kids seems to be able to identify danger because of experiences like that. We do not kill these animals, the most we can do is let them pass or move them do a more distant place. After all they did not invade our homes, we did invade theirs.

 

The Brown Huntsman Spider

spider-brisbane-huntsman-aranhaAnother encounter was the day I was going to make myself a nice cup of coffee. I reached to the mug and I noticed a shadow going behind it. And there it was, an Australian Brown Huntsman spider. You can see its size compared to this 10cm tall coffee mug. It is a bigger spider, however it IS NOT a dangerous spider. As a matter of fact, this little creature helps your home to be clean of cockroaches, silverfish and small insects.
What I did:

  1. I called the kids. Gave her a name "mr. Huntsman" and explained to them the whole thing.
  2. after that, we moved the spider away and said we all said:"good bye mr. Huntsman"…you know, to make the whole experience more friendly to them instead of “OMG…a freaking deadly spider!!!” :-)

Great experience for everyone involved: me, wife, kids… ( well, not so much for wifey ) and to make them understand these animals are our friends.

 

Australian Sea Snake

DSC_1109The other day we and some friends went to Noosa, a very beautiful region from Australia with some stunning beaches. And then our kids found this playing around the rocks: a Sea Snake.

All the animal lovers around here, please excuse me but I had to capture this beautiful and exotic thing for a few minutes. So I run with the sand bucket and caught it to explain the kids what it was. It was great, I did not know what it was as well so I did some online search and we literally had a classroom in the wild with a whole bunch of highly excited kids making all kinds of questions: it is a boy or a girl? can she see? where she lives? can she hear us? Hellooo missy!!

This is a highly venomous snake, and can only live in the water. She is very shy so she will flee away at the closest encounter, only when she cannot swim away and there is no other alternative she will bite. And she bites, it is very unlikely the venom will be transferred. Despite that one thing I learned is that sea snakes must be handled with extreme caution. It was great, again for us adults and kids.

 

The Golden Orb Spider

DSC_0068This spider was one of the most scariest things I’ve seen here in Oz. It can grow very big and some of them can reportedly eat birds. However, it all comes down to education and exposure. I’ve seen so many of those here during summer that I don't worry about them anymore, yet I must say it is funny to see hordes of tourists taking photos of them as very exotic things.

 

 

Australian Brown Snake

This "cute" 1.8 meters Australian Brown Snake showed up in the beach of Surfers Paradise. She is the second most venomous land snake in the world.

australian-brown-snake-beach (4) australian-brown-snake-beach (1) australian-brown-snake-beach (2) australian-brown-snake-beach (3)

She is extremely aggressive and can pursue humans in a run. So if you see one of those, run! Of course on this day, she immediately became news and people all over the place came to see, instead of running away.

 

Australian Python Snake

This little girl showed up the other day during a warm summer day. She is very common python, around 2 meters long, called Coastal Carpet. Main thing is its bite is not venomous, however because of it's large fangs it will make a big laceration. The most common victims of the Coastal Carpet are possums, frogs, dogs, cats etc. This snake lives in suburban backyards, which is the thing that scares most people.

australian-python

And here’s another one, this time on a suburban street.

snake-australia-north-lakes

 

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