Sep 16 2011

Create SQL Server Database and Database Tables From a File

When working with a database, it’s is always handy to develop a series of scripts to backup, restore, create, move databases around. As of late, I’ve been working with SQL Server a lot so I’ve come to appreciate the sqlcmd utility.

You can run the sqlcmd utility from the command line and run a input sql script and capture the output in a file. The input sql script file can run any sql statement, such as creating a new databases, views, tables, or procedures. You can also restore and backup any given database or whatever else you require.

To run the sqlcmd utility and have it read a file, createTables.sql, you can run something like the following from your command line, of course if you have SQL Server Management Studio and sqlcmd installed.

sqlcmd -S localhost -d dbName -U user -P password -i createTables.sql -o output.out

Aug 15 2011

Google Make Its Largest Acquisition

Google announced that it was buying Motorola for a staggering $12.5 billion. This is the largest acquisition made by the online search and advertising giant to date. I was talking about this with a friend who said the following. “If I’m a typical Motorola employee I’m worried, if I’m HTC I’m pissed, if I’m Microsoft I’m making a bid for Nokia, if I’m Apple, I’m laughing it up.” I’m not entirely sure about my friend’s statement but I am positive that Google has changed it’s strategy and decided to fight fire with fire, patents with patents, lawyers with lawyers, and mind share with truck loads of hard cold cash.

Google went at great lengths on this deal, it not only paid top dollar for Motorola but it even created a special “Facts about Google’s acquisition of Motorola” SEO-rich webpage which includes choice quotes from Android partners and a message from Larry Page.

Larry, CEO of Google, wrote about the purchase…

Motorola has a history of over 80 years of innovation in communications technology and products, and in the development of intellectual property, which have helped drive the remarkable revolution in mobile computing we are all enjoying today.

The last Motorola phone I thought was ground breaking was the first generation RAZR. Since then I have not been impressed with their phone offering, including their Android versions. In the press release, Larry made several references of the StarTAC, which Motorola originally released in 1996.

To appease other Android partners and licensees, the press release stated that Motorola will e a independent business unit.

This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business

For me, the key and most revealing sentence in the whole press release was the following.

Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.

What struck me about the above quote is how hard Google is spinning this. When competitors buy up patents, it’s anti-competitive but when Google itself pays top dollar for a turkey stuffed with patents it will “increase competition.”

It has been reported that Google is paying $40/share, over 50% on top of the price at the time of the announcement. The reason Google is paying this price is clearly for the over 14,000 granted patents and over 6,500 pending patents Motorola has acquired over time. These patents will add to patents Google has added to it’s patent portfolio.


Aug 3 2011

Google Starts Towards The Path of Evil

The unofficial motto at Google has been Don’t Be Evil. Google’s philosophy states that “You can make money without doing evil.” The funny thing about being evil is that there is no technical IEEE standard of evil. That said, Google is on a slippery slope sliding towards impish and evilish behavior. As Google has a lock on the search and online advertising market, it has started to tailgate other industry leaders. Most notably, Google has started to tailgate Facebook and Twitter with different incarnations and versions of a social networking site. Depending on how you count, Google Plus is their fourth attempt at creating a social networking site. Google is also trying to compete with Apple in the mobile space. Well after a year into Apple revolutionizing the mobile phone market, Google got into the arena with their free mobile Operating System Android. In trying to compete in these two distinct markets, they have started to make decisions whose moral compass points towards evil-like behavior.

Even though Google’s latest attempt at a Facebook killer, Google Plus, has been well received it has also generated some of the most passionate arguments against any of their policies. Google Plus does not allow users to use pseudonyms, alias, nicknames, or any online handle other than their real names. There has been opposition against this stance from even within Google engineers tasked with implementing such draconian technology. The reasoning behind this rule makes no sense, and goes against a fundamental human right of self identity. I have the right to go and respond by any name I wish to be known as. In fact, many celebrities often use names other than their real names. Vic Gundotra, the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Google does not go by his real name that was given at birth so this all seems hypocritical.

The second misstep is their self serving stance on patents as written in a recent corporate blog post When Patents Attack Android. In this post, David Drummond, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Google, practically accuses Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle of conspiring against Android with “bogus patents.” These are the same “bogus patents” that Google itself had tried to purchased from Novell for $3.14 billion. I doubt that any publicly traded company would bid $3.14 billion on “bogus patents” and in fact publicly complaining about having lost those patents demonstrates that they are not entirely bogus. Having lost the auction for said “bogus patents” Google went on to buy over 1000 patents from IBM for an undisclosed amount.


Jun 30 2011

Microsoft BizSpark

In the era of Apple fanboys and opinionated Ruby on Rails developers, it might not be cool to use Microsoft tools and products. It seems that startup will tend to use Ruby over .NET, Google Docs instead of Microsoft Office, OS X or Ubuntu in lieu of Windows. I’ve never been dogmatic about the technology I use. I’m a pragmatic programmer and the fact of the matter is that a large number of computer users still rely on Microsoft products. In the financial industry, Excel spreadsheets are traded like baseball cards. Microsoft realizes that they are not the cool kids in the block, at least amongst Silicon Valley startups, and perhaps that is why the started the Microsoft BizSpark program.

I’ve been one to always chase my customers and users, not trends and fads. That is why, I’ve been a huge fan of Microsoft DreamSpark and Microsoft BizSpark. Microsoft BizSpark is a program that allows small startups have access to many of its products, frameworks, tools, and resources for free.

Microsoft BizSpark Software Download

Microsoft BizSpark Software Download

Through BizSpark you can get access to applications such as Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, Office for Mac 2011, Microsoft Windows 3.1 through Windows Vista, and much more for free. There is no need for your CTO to look for serial numbers for Windows Server 2008 on Google and warez sites. BizSpark gives you legit licenses to key Microsoft products.

I’m a huge fan of any company that supports startups and software developers in general. I can’t say enough nice things about Microsoft BizSpark, even if they paid me. And not, they didn’t pay me but I am a proud member. I only wish that the Microsoft BizSpark program also included hardware.


May 23 2011

Retweet April 2011

From time to time I just blast tweets about software development, project planning, team dynamics, or whatever else comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of recent tweets and rants. If you want to follow the conversation follow me at techknow and/or juixe.

Software Development

  • Thread.sleep(28800000);
  • You don’t need a PHD in PHP to be a great Web Developer.
  • Not Another Expression Language. There should be one expression language to rule them all.
  • I am not afraid of rolling up my sleeves and debugger.
  • It’s a thin line between feature and bug.
  • Code is a blunt instrument.
  • We ain’t afraid of no code block.
  • Web designers are modern day alchemists.
  • If developers are a dime a dozen, then product idea people are a silver dollar a dozen.
  • I don’t read romance novels or non-fiction before going to bed, I read programming language technical specifications.
  • New Name For Rock Band: Death By SQL Injection
  • Let there be code.
  • Just code it.
  • Code the future.
  • Crack the code.
  • Don’t be a code donkey.

Team Dynamics

  • Are you a value creator, subtractor, divider, or multiplier?
  • AWS failure is the perfect storm to the cloud.
  • Stress is excess, we don’t need it in our lives.
  • You can’t buy the scrappy mentality.
  • Scale your thought process.
  • The right time is right now.
  • Strive to do what you do well better.
  • People don’t scale and multi-task as well as computers do.
  • Give a man a thought, and he will think for a day. Teach a man to think, and he will think for himself.
  • You don’t want someone to reinvent the wheel, you need someone that makes it turn!
  • Everyone has great ideas, what is needed is great execution of great ideas.

Product Placement

  • Is Automattic, the company behind WordPress, working on an ad network? With millions of WP blogs out there, maybe it should.
  • Jiffy Lube peeps are great at up selling you on add-on services.
  • Forget HAL 3000, I’m afraid of my iPhone 3000. “I’m sorry Dave, but I’m afraid you can’t do that and I’ve notified the authorities.
  • Google announcing that better ads are coming to GMail is like the power company announcing that a better billing system is coming.
  • I feel like I get more snail mail spam than email spam. I wonder if GMail can also filter out my snail mail spam.
  • If you add up all the zero-day holes in Adobe products, you get a lot of days spent patching and upgrading buggy software.

The Valley

  • Welcome to the Blubble 2.0.
  • The trouble with the blubble.
  • I think we are in a #bubble when a website for listing free crap is valued at multiple millions of dollars.
  • Don’t pivot while you pitch.
  • How do you monetize the bubble?
  • Ah, Silicon Valley, the land of vanity startups, founders with ADD, fan boi VCs, me-to products, one trick apps, companies on pivot mode…
  • Bubbles are like snow flakes, there are no two alike, so we can conclude that this tech bubble I’d different from previous ones.

General Technologist

  • If Arthur Miller were alive today he would have written a sequel to Death of a Salesman called Death of a Social Media Marketing Ninja.
  • You know your service or product is successful if GOOG wants to buy you for a billion dollars, FB copies you, and if MSFT doesn’t get it.
  • Any lawmaker who proposes any bill related to technology should be able to correctly setup a wifi router, Facebook privacy settings, …
  • My iPhone knows too much about me. I think I want a dumb phone, instead of a scheming evil genius phone that is tracking my every move.
  • If TinyUrl was a utilities company it would force upgrade everybody to use smart grid meter and charge us extra to use green friendly links.
  • Twitter management seem to play musical chairs with titles. It seems like everyone at the company has had a turn at being CEO.
  • There are different degrees of open in open platforms, from marketing buzzword open to data portability open.
  • What I learned by reading Rework by 37signals: Emulate drug dealing celebrity chefs and up sale the by-products of what you do.

Feb 2 2011

Dude, Where’s My Search Results

Google just hit a new low by accusing Microsoft of stealing their search results. This just seems like an unbelievable link bating ploy on part of Google that might have back fired. At first I thought I had read the headline wrong. If I would think of any tech company would air their dirty laundry in a public forum I would have thought it would be on Microsoft’s part.

Here is how this tech “he said, she said” came to be. Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land wrote a blog post where Google acknowledged that it ran a covert Bing sting operation that proved that Microsoft’s Bing’s search results are in some way influenced by what users search for and click on Google’s search engine. This whole secret operation ran by Google reminds me of the HP spying scandal of 2006. Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow in charge of this operation, went on to compare Microsoft Bing’s actions to copying and cheating and other mean evil stuff.

Apparently, all this came about because of misspelled search terms. As Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land describes, Google noticed that Bing’s search result for misspelled terms were similar to Google’s. Over at the official Google blog, Amit Singhal went on to describe the methodology used by Google to prove that Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results in some capacity. To prove their hypothesis, Google gave engineers Windows’ laptops with Internet Explorer with Bing Toolbar installed and invented crazy words like hiybbprqag that when searched on Google would return completely unrelated search results. These same search results where found in Bing some time later for these made up search queries.

If this is true, this does prove to a high degree of certainty that Microsoft Bing uses, to some capacity Google search results, at least for made up search queries, or “synthetic queries” as Amit Singhal described them. This does not prove that all or 80% or 10% or any significant percent of Microsoft Bing’s results are copied verbatim from Google, as Amit would have you believe. What is also clear but downplayed behind the link bating headlines and accusations is that Bing does not scrape in any scale Google’s search results. In fact, Bing does nothing more than what Google already does. Google has a large number of tools in its arsenal where it collects online traffic and user data no matter what search engine was used. Google is monitoring and tracking the whole web with its search, analytic, ad network, browser, and mobile products and platforms

What I find amusing, is that gall and hypocrisy of Google to accuse Microsoft of monitoring the search terms and queries on search engines and the websites visited from those search results. Every time you search for a term on Google, that is recorded and associated with your account. Every time you click on search result from Google, that is recorded and associated with your account and your search term. If Google collects this data, I am think it might be fair game. Not only does Google collect this the search term and corresponding website you visit, but does the website you visit and their ad network.

I would also question the timing and the motive of publishing this now and this manner. Google has recently come under fire for the spam results taking over their search results and on how they tracks and monitors users’ online activities. It’s widely known that Google collects and uses just about every piece of information it can gather from end users in the development of their products. Google Voice is improved by having millions of users correct Google’s automated voice translations. Improved speech to text translations are then rolled out into other products and projects, such as this speak2tweet Twitter account that transcribes voice messages left on free public phone numbers and tweets them. It is also known that Android, Google’s mobile platform, is a used to improve Google’s local service and I’ve already written about how Google’s Chrome OS laptop will be used to feed even more user data into the Googleplex.

Instead of spending over a half a year on a sting operation of this size and scope they could have better spent their resources. This smells of bad PR to deflect some of the heat Google has been attracting for their spam-ridden search results and privacy issues. Google is just calling the kettle black.

The links below are additional coverage, analysis, and opinions of what one Blogger has dubbed Bing-gate.