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Quick Tip: Working With Multiple Power BI Subscriptions/Accounts

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As a consultant I frequently work with customers who want to add me to their Power BI tenant so I can publish reports, monitor data refresh and so on. However, this means I end up with many different Microsoft “Work or School” accounts, one for each customer, and signing in and out of each one can be a real pain. I use Chrome as my main browser so instead I create one profile in Chrome for each customer – it makes it very easy to switch between Power BI accounts without having to sign in and out.

For more details, see the Google documentation here:

https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/2364824

…and here’s the blog post by James Callaghan on using this feature with multiple Office 365 subscriptions that I got the idea from:

https://jcallaghan.com/2014/06/login-multiple-office-365-azure-accounts/

It looks like you can do something similar with other browsers too.




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TheRomit
3 days ago
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Announcing TensorFlow 1.0

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Originally posted on the Google Developer Blog

In just its first year, TensorFlow has helped researchers, engineers, artists, students, and many others make progress with everything from language translation to early detection of skin cancer and preventing blindness in diabetics. We're excited to see people using TensorFlow in over 6000 open source repositories online.

Today, as part of the first annual TensorFlow Developer Summit, hosted in Mountain View and livestreamed around the world, we're announcing TensorFlow 1.0:

It's faster: TensorFlow 1.0 is incredibly fast! XLA lays the groundwork for even more performance improvements in the future, and tensorflow.org now includes tips & tricksfor tuning your models to achieve maximum speed. We'll soon publish updated implementations of several popular models to show how to take full advantage of TensorFlow 1.0 - including a 7.3x speedup on 8 GPUs for Inception v3 and 58x speedup for distributed Inception v3 training on 64 GPUs!

It's more flexible: TensorFlow 1.0 introduces a high-level API for TensorFlow, with tf.layers, tf.metrics, and tf.losses modules. We've also announced the inclusion of a new tf.keras module that provides full compatibility with Keras, another popular high-level neural networks library.

It's more production-ready than ever: TensorFlow 1.0 promises Python API stability (details here), making it easier to pick up new features without worrying about breaking your existing code.

Other highlights from TensorFlow 1.0:
  • Python APIs have been changed to resemble NumPy more closely. For this and other backwards-incompatible changes made to support API stability going forward, please use our handy migration guide and conversion script.
  • Experimental APIs for Javaand Go
  • Higher-level API modules tf.layers, tf.metrics, and tf.losses - brought over from tf.contrib.learnafter incorporating skflowand TF Slim
  • Experimental release of XLA, a domain-specific compiler for TensorFlow graphs, that targets CPUs and GPUs. XLA is rapidly evolving - expect to see more progress in upcoming releases.
  • Introduction of the TensorFlow Debugger (tfdbg), a command-line interface and API for debugging live TensorFlow programs.
  • New Android demos for object detection and localization, and camera-based image stylization.
  • Installation improvements: Python 3 docker images have been added, and TensorFlow's pip packages are now PyPI compliant. This means TensorFlow can now be installed with a simple invocation of pip install tensorflow.
We're thrilled to see the pace of development in the TensorFlow community around the world. To hear more about TensorFlow 1.0 and how it's being used, you can watch the TensorFlow Developer Summit talks on YouTube, covering recent updates from higher-level APIs to TensorFlow on mobile to our new XLA compiler, as well as the exciting ways that TensorFlow is being used:

Click here for a link to the livestream and video playlist
(individual talks will be posted online later in the day).
The TensorFlow ecosystem continues to grow with new techniques like Foldfor dynamic batching and tools like the Embedding Projector along with updatesto our existing tools like TensorFlow Serving. We're incredibly grateful to the community of contributors, educators, and researchers who have made advances in deep learning available to everyone. We look forward to working with you on forums like GitHub issues, Stack Overflow, @TensorFlow, the discuss@tensorflow.orggroup, and at future events.

By Amy McDonald Sandjideh, Technical Program Manager, TensorFlow

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TheRomit
23 days ago
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Open-sourcing Google Earth Enterprise

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(originally posted on the Geo Developers blog)

We are excited to announce that we are open-sourcing Google Earth Enterprise (GEE), the enterprise product that allows developers to build and host their own private maps and 3D globes. With this release, GEE Fusion, GEE Server, and GEE Portable Server source code (all 470,000+ lines!) will be published on GitHub under the Apache2 license in March.
Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 2.51.24 PM.png
Originally launched in 2006, Google Earth Enterprise provides customers the ability to build and host private, on-premise versions of Google Earth and Google Maps. In March 2015, we announced the deprecation of the product and the end of all sales. To provide ample time for customers to transition, we have provided a two year maintenance period ending on March 22, 2017. During this maintenance period, product updates have been regularly shipped and technical support has been available to licensed customers.

Feedback is important to us and we’ve heard from our customers that GEE remains in-use in mission-critical applications. Many customers have not transitioned to other technologies. Open-sourcing GEE allows our customer community to continue to improve and evolve the project in perpetuity. Note that the implementations for Google Earth Enterprise Client, Google Maps JavaScript® API V3 and Google Earth API will not be open sourced. The Enterprise Client will continue to be made available and updated. However, since GEE Fusion and GEE Server are being open-sourced, the imagery and terrain quadtree implementations used in these products will allow third-party developers to build viewers that can consume GEE Server Databases.

We’re thankful for the help of our GEE partners in preparing the codebase to be migrated to GitHub. It’s a lot of work and we cannot do it without them. It is our hope that their passion for GEE and GEE customers will serve to lead the project into its next chapter.

Looking forward, GEE customers can use Google Cloud Platform (GCP) instead of legacy on-premises enterprise servers to run their GEE instances. For many customers, GCP provides a scalable and affordable infrastructure as a service where they can securely run GEE. Other GEE customers will be able to continue to operate the software in disconnected environments. However, we believe that the advantages of incorporating even some of the workloads on GCP will become apparent (such as processing large imagery or terrain assets on GCP that can be downloaded and brought to internal networks, or standing up user-facing Portable Globe Factories).

Moreover, GCP is increasingly used as a source for geospatial data. Google’s Earth Engine has made available over a petabyte of raster datasets which are readily accessible and available to the public on Google Cloud Storage. Additionally, Google uses Cloud Storage to provide data to customers who purchase Google Imagery today. Having access to massive amounts of geospatial data, on the same platform as your flexible compute and storage, makes generating high quality Google Earth Enterprise Databases and Portables easier and faster than ever.

We will be sharing a series of white papers and other technical resources to make it as frictionless as possible to get open source GEE up and running on Google Cloud Platform. We are excited about the possibilities that open-sourcing enables, and we trust this is good news for our community. We will be sharing more information when we launch the code in March on GitHub. For general product information, visit the Google Earth Enterprise Help Center. Review the essential and advanced training for how to use Google Earth Enterprise, or learn more about the benefits of Google Cloud Platform.

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TheRomit
23 days ago
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Announcing the Xbox Live Creators Program

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Today at GDC we announced the launch of Xbox Live Creators Program, starting with an Insider Preview that gives any developer the opportunity to publish Xbox Live-enabled games on Windows 10 PCs along with Xbox One consoles.

The Creators Program provides game developers access to Xbox Live sign-in, presence and select social features that can all be integrated with their UWP games, and then they can publish their game to Xbox One and Windows 10. This means your title can be seen by every Xbox One owner across the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio this holiday, as well as hundreds of millions of Windows 10 PCs.

What do you get with the Xbox Live Creators Program?

First, we are opening publishing to the Xbox One console. With the Xbox Live Creators Program, you can ship your UWP game on Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, or simultaneously on both platforms. And because Xbox One offers players a curated store experience, games from the Creators Program will appear in a new, distinct Creators game section in the Store.

Second, we’re making it easy to integrate with Xbox Live using the Xbox Live Creators SDK.  Take advantage of the following capabilities:

  • Xbox Live sign-in and profile, including gamertag.
  • Xbox Live presence, recently played and activity feed.
  • Xbox Live social, including friends, Game Hubs, clubs, party chat, gameDVR and Beam broadcast.
  • Xbox Live leaderboards and feature stats.
  • Title Storage and Connected Storage.

Any developer who wants to take advantage of more Xbox Live capabilities and development and marketing support for their game should apply and enroll into the ID@Xbox program.

What tools can I develop with?

The Creators Program enables you to easily integrate Xbox Live into your existing UWP projects.  Supported game engines include Construct 2, MonoGame, Unity and Xenko, and they all create beautiful games. Others may also work. And, you can develop games for the console without a Dev Kit.

How do I get started?

  1. Join the Developer Preview at https://developer.microsoft.com/games/xbox/xboxlive/creator. This will give you access to Creator’s Program configuration pages is Dev Center.
  2. Download and start using the Xbox Live Creators SDK.

While the Xbox Live Creators Program is in limited release to insiders, you can integrate and configure services using the SDK and the Dev Center. However, you will not be able to publish to the Store. We’ll be enabling publishing in the near future, so stay tuned!

To learn more, browse sample code and ask questions, check out the following documentation and communities:

We’d love to hear your feedback!  Use the Xbox Live Creator’s Program UserVoice site to voice your suggestions.

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TheRomit
25 days ago
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Introducing Xbox Game Pass: Unlimited Access to More Than 100 Games

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At Xbox, we put gamers at the center of everything we do and remain committed to giving you the freedom to play the games you want, with the friends you want, on the devices you want. This year is shaping up to be an exciting one for gamers. As we prepare to launch Project Scorpio this holiday, bringing the most powerful console ever made to the Xbox One family of devices, we continue to make platform improvements to connect the growing community of players on Xbox Live and add to a robust and diverse portfolio of games across Xbox One and Windows 10.

Today, we’re continuing our commitment to give you more options to diversify and expand your library of games with Xbox Game Pass, a new gaming subscription service coming later this spring. Xbox Game Pass gives you unlimited access to over 100 Xbox One and backward compatible Xbox 360 games – all for $9.99 per month.

With great games from top industry publishers such as 2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, SNK CORPORATION, THQ Nordic GmbH, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Microsoft Studios, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and you will always find something exciting to play across a variety of genres. Some of the fan-favorite titles coming to Xbox Game Pass when it launches to the broader Xbox community later this spring include Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16 and SoulCalibur II.

One of the best things about Xbox Game Pass is that you can discover and download the full titles directly on your Xbox One. That means continuous, full-fidelity gameplay without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues. In addition, all Xbox One games in the catalog – and related add-ons – will be available to purchase at an exclusive discount for Xbox Game Pass members, so you can make the games you love part of your permanent library to play whenever you want. Every month new games will cycle into the subscription with some cycling out, giving you a constantly-updating library of games. Xbox Game Pass is your ticket to endless play.

It’s important to us that Xbox Game Pass provides an enjoyable and seamless experience. Before the program rolls out to the broader community later this spring, we’ll be testing Xbox Game Pass with select members of the Xbox Insider Program in the Alpha Preview ring starting today with a very limited number of titles. The titles that are available in Preview are just a small glimpse at the expansive catalog of games that will be available when Xbox Game Pass launches this spring. Xbox Live Gold members will also be receiving exclusive access to Xbox Game Pass prior to the program launching to the broader community. We’ll have more details on timing closer to launch.

We hope you enjoy Xbox Game Pass and all that it has to offer. We’re looking forward to hearing the feedback from the gamers in the Xbox Insider Program and then from the rest of the Xbox community when it’s broadly available later this spring. Your feedback will make this program better for all gamers.

Thank you for your continued passion and support of Xbox.

Phil Spencer
Twitter: @XboxP3
GT: P3


See the rest of the story on Xbox Wire

Related:
ID@Xbox Games Descend on GDC 2017
From the Creators of Starbound, Wargroove is Coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 in 2017
Chess Ultra is Coming to Xbox One This Spring
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TheRomit
25 days ago
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I like this idea although I am not the type to sign up for such a program because I hardly play :-(
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1 public comment
jepler
25 days ago
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do you buy 2 or more games a year and think they're likely to be on this list? take the deal.
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm

Scale your Python service with Managed Disks

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The Azure Python SDK now supports Azure Managed Disks!

 

Azure Managed Disks and 1000 VMs in a Scale Set are now generally available. Azure Managed Disks provide a simplified disk management, enhanced scalability, and better security. It takes away the notion of storage account for disks, enabling developers to scale without worrying about the limitations associated with storage accounts. This post provides a quick introduction and reference to consuming key service features from Python.

 

From a developer perspective, the Managed Disks experience in Azure CLI is idomatic to the CLI experience in other cross-platform tools. You can use the Azure Python SDK and the azure-mgmt-compute package 0.33.0 to administer Managed Disks. You can create a compute client using this tutorial. The complete API documentation is available on ReadTheDocs.

Standalone Managed Disks

Prior to Managed Disks, developers needed to maintain images for their VMs in multiple storage accounts to avoid the risk of running out of disk space. It is easy to see how this can complicate the architecture, and the dev-ops, for a service that requires a large number of VMs quickly, and has to be available across multiple regions. With Managed Disks, you do not need to worry about replicating images into new storage accounts. You can have a single image per region, and the service will make sure they are available for up to 10,000 VMs under a single subscription.

 

You can create new disks from various starting points with a lines of Python code. Here are a few specific examples:

 

Here’s a quick preview for creating an empty Managed disk in Python with a few lines of code:

from azure.mgmt.compute.models import DiskCreateOption

 

from azure.mgmt.compute.models import DiskCreateOption

 

        async_creation = compute_client.disks.create_or_update(

            'my_resource_group',

            'my_disk_name',

            {

                'location': 'westus',

                'disk_size_gb': 20,

                'creation_data': {

                    'create_option': DiskCreateOption.empty

                }

            }

        )

        disk_resource = async_creation.result()

 

Virtual Machine with Managed Disks

Now that you know the basics of creating managed disks, but how do you configure your service to create VMs from images stored on a Managed Disk? The service affords flexibility to create VMs from various types of Managed Disks. You can create a VM with an implicit Managed Disk for a specific disk image. Creation is simplified with implicit creation of managed disks without specifying all the disk details. You do not have to worry about creating and managing Storage Accounts.

 

A Managed Disk is also implicitly created when provisioning a VM from an OS image on the Azure Marketplace. Here’s an example for a Ubuntu VM. Notice how the storage account parameter is optional in the VM definition.

 

storage_profile = azure.mgmt.compute.models.StorageProfile(

                image_reference = azure.mgmt.compute.models.ImageReference(

                    publisher='Canonical',

                    offer='UbuntuServer',

                    sku='16.04.0-LTS',

                    version='latest'

                )

            )

 

 

You can easily attach a previously provisioned Managed Disk as shown here. See a complete example on how to create a VM in Python (including network), and how check the full VM tutorial in Python.

Virtual Machine Scale Sets with Managed Disks

For very large scale services, Azure recommends using Virtual Machine Scale Sets (VMSS). VMSS allows developers to create a pool of VMs with identical configuration. The service allows “true autoscale” – developers do not need to pre-provision VMs. Prior to Managed Disks, the developers needed to consider the design carefully to ensure efficient Disk IO, ideally using a single storage account for up to 20 VMs. This limitation required developers to create and manage additional storage accounts to support a larger scale. With Managed Disk, you don’t have to manage any storage account at all. If you are used to the VMSS Python SDK, your storage_profile can now be exactly the same as the one used in VM creation. This feature also simplifies programming - you no longer have to manage any storage account at all.

 

The official guide to transitioning from user managed storage to Managed Disks is available in this article. Quick samples are also available for preview.

Get productive with the Azure CLI

If the CLI is your management tool of choice, there are several handy commands available for various scenarios. For example, here’s how you can create a stand alone Managed Disk from the Azure CLI with a single command:

 

az disk create -n myDisk -g myResourceGroup --size-gb 20

 

Check out Aaron Roney’s blog post to learn more CLI commands for programming Managed Disks.

Other operations

There are numerous other quick management operations you might need to get started with Managed Disks. See sample code for the following operations:

In summary

Managed Disks can tighten your workflow, simplify your service architecture, and offer you greater peace of mind in running a highly scalable Python cloud service. It also offers better reliability for Availability Sets by ensuring that the disks of VMs in an Availability Set are sufficiently isolated from each other to avoid single points of failure, and offers better security via granular role based access to resources. You can use the Azure CLI to create and manage your Managed Disks. Hopefully this blog post serves as a quick reference as you try Managed Disks on your own. For more information about the service, head over the Azure documentation. For feedback on the Python SDK, please send an email to azurepysdk@microsoft.com.

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TheRomit
27 days ago
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