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Month: March 2017

CodePlex Going Read-only in October, Shutting Down for Good in December

CodePlex was created to be the go-to service for submitting and storing open source projects and code. The service was launched in 2006, but GitHub has all but replaced it over the last couple years. Microsoft today has announced its plans for shutting CodePlex down, citing a drastic drop in submitted projects and the metoric rise in popularity for GitHub… So, it’s time to say goodbye to CodePlex.  As of this post, we’ve disabled the ability to create new CodePlex projects.  In October, we’ll set CodePlex to read-only, before shutting it down completely on December 15th, 2017.  In its place, we’ll have a lightweight archive that will allow you to browse through your project and source code as it looked when CodePlex went read-only. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical confer...

Turn Any Existing Document into an Alexa Skill

For those programmer’s who want a shortcut to Alexa Skill creation – or for those non-programmer’s who want to do the same – noHold, Inc. has now developed a nifty connector named SICURA QuickStart that links Alexa with its own bot called ‘Albert.’ Press Release noHold Connects Its Own Albert With Amazon’s Alexa MILPITAS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– noHold is excited to announce the availability of a connector that can link SICURA QuickStart to Amazon’s Alexa. QuickStart empowers non-programmers to create a bot (Albert) from any existing documents such as, product manuals, employee manuals, training documents, etc. Through the connector Albert can now easily turn a document into an Alexa skill. For example, say you want to extend Alex...

Washington D.C. Brookfield Residential Properties Builds Alexa-powered Smarthomes

Brookfield Residential Properties is one of the first home builders to offer Alexa as part of the construction package. The company serves D.C., Northern Virginia, Maryland and Delaware and specializes in Home Security, Indoor and Outdoor Lighting, Window Shades, Home Entertainment, Garage Door, Heating and Air Conditioning, Lawn Sprinklers, Wi-Fi-Enabled Appliances, and Schedule Reminders as part of the construction. The Brookfield Residential Smart Home is the result of a game-changing collaboration with Amazon, fully integrating voice-enabled home automation through the best-selling Alexa platform. Now the Mid-Atlantic’s most innovative homebuilder is making various levels of Smart Home technology immediately available in select communities. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical...

Citrix Brings Back Dumb Terminal Computing with Windows 10 on Azure Desktops

Remember dumb terminals? Remember the Wyse apocalypse during the 1990’s for manufacturing and health care? A lot of desks were outfitted with terminals that ran Windows, but ran Windows from a local datacenter across the local network. 20 years later and Citrix is ready to serve Windows 10 from the Cloud. A couple weeks ago, rumors began swirling about Microsoft working on its next device class – this one would be a PC that runs everything from the Cloud (if the rumors are true) to compete with Google’s Chromebooks. Fast forward a couple days (last weekend) and the rumor cauldron was swirling again – this time suggesting that Microsoft is considering acquiring Citrix. Now, this week, we hear that Citrix is finally delivering its Citrix Cloud service. What is it? Acc...

An overview of Azure Monitor

Lead Azure engineer, Ashvin Praveen provides an overview of Azure Monitor, just released to GA, which gives you built-in platform monitoring for all-up visibility into the performance, health and state of your Azure Resources. Ashwin walks through you how it works; how to create alerts and enable deeper insights and analytics with your preferred monitoring system to inform troubleshooting. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!

Last Day to Request March 2017’s Free ConfigMgr Report

Today’s the last day! Make sure to request your copy of March 2017’s free ConfigMgr report, Computer Roles and Features, by using your business address and emailing Info AT Enhansoft today! In the Computer Roles and Features report, all of the roles and features assigned to a given computer will be displayed. The style of this report is designed to mimic the Add Roles and Features Wizard. In the same manner, you can expand the primary role/feature (Level 1 – Level 4) in order to expose additional sub-features. Stay tuned because next week we’ll be announcing April’s free report!

Carnegie Mellon University Students Integrate Alexa into a Virtual World

Our 5-person interdisciplinary graduate program team of programmers, sound designers, and technical artists developed this experience in 2 weeks for the class “Building Virtual Worlds” at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. The prototype consists of the following: The Unity game engine, which powered the gameplay mechanics and the world of Planet 532 An Alexa skill developed by the team, which acted as the voice user interface for the game Amazon DynamoDB, a NoSQL database which stored guest state throughout the game Oculus Rift and Amazon Echo, which together allowed guests to interact with the virtual world Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco...

Alexa Skill of the Week: Guitar Tuner

Each week, we take a look at new and important Alexa skills you might want to consider enabling for your Alexa device. Amazon continues to improve Alexa with its own updates, but skills are software components that allow Alexa users to extend functionality across all Alexa-enabled devices in use for very specific functions. Alexa is available for Amazon devices Echo, Dot, Tap, Fire tablets, and Fire TV, but also on iOS, Android, and the web with Reverb.ai. This week’s skill: Guitar Tuner Description: Guitar Tuner allows you to tune your guitar by listening to one or all of the notes on a 6-string guitar. Ask guitar tuner to play an individual note to tune a specific string. You can also ask guitar tuner to play all to hear a sample of all the strings on a guitar in standard tuning. W...

Microsoft Releases Update 1703 for Configuration Manager Technical Preview Branch

The latest build (1703) for System Center Configuration Manager is available for technical preview. As always, the update is available through the ConfigMgr console and new installations can be created using the baseline version from the TechNet Evaluation Center. Improvements Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP) enhancements – Support has been added to tag education vs business volume purchase program tokens, device licensing, and adding multiple volume purchase program tokens. New Features Windows Analytics Commercial ID and Windows telemetry levels – You can specify the Windows Analytics Commercial ID and configure telemetry, commercial data, and Internet Explorer data collection settings in Client Settings for use with Upgrade Analytics. In-place UEFI conversion – You can customize a Wi...

First Look: Koogeek Smart Socket Wi-Fi Enabled Light Bulb Adapter

The Koogeek Smart Socket Wi-Fi Enabled Light Bulb Adapter just arrived today for testing and review. Essentially, this is a smart adapter that screws directly into a standard light socket and then accepts a standard light bulb. Using the iOS app and either Siri or Apple HomeKit, you can control any light and apply schedules and modes, etc. I’ll be testing this out over the next few days. I’ve already tested some other Koogeek home automation products and they’ve all worked perfectly, so I expect this to be very much the same. In the interim, here’s some features and photos. This particular smart socket is available from Amazon for around $40: Koogeek Smart Socket Wi-Fi Enabled Light Bulb Adapter Features Works with Apple HomeKit Easy Setup & App Control Set Sche...

Microsoft HoloLens: One-year Anniversary

Developers and commercial customers have been bringing their ideas to life over the past year with Microsoft HoloLens, and we’ve been inspired by their excitement and innovation. As this dynamic community continues to grow, we know that the best is yet to come. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!

Microsoft’s Phased Approach for the Windows 10 Creators Update Rollout

In a recent blog post, Microsoft’s Director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery, John Cable outlined the phased approach the company will be taking to deploy Windows 10 Creators Update to existing Windows 10 PCs. When Microsoft starts the official rollout on April 11, John states: The first phase will target newer devices, especially those we tested together with our OEM hardware partners. We will then expand the Creators Update release to additional devices based on the feedback we receive during the initial phase. We’ll iterate this process over a period of several months until all compatible devices running Windows 10 worldwide are offered the Creators Update.   So, for those individuals with older PCs, the availability of Creators Update could take several ...