November 2022 Gratitudes

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Today I am grateful to see Chris Smither in concert last night

Today I am grateful to pay off some sleep debt last night

Today I am grateful to vote

Today I am grateful for tacos with Tim last night

Today I am grateful for the veterans who offered their service in defense of our country, especially my late father LtCmdr E Normand Giard

Today I am grateful that the unseasonably warm weather lasted into mid-November

Today I am grateful for:

  • breakfast yesterday with John and Kim
  • seeing the LightScape show at Chicago Botanical Garden last night

Today I am grateful to attend the unveiling of Ronald's tombstone and the celebration of his life with his family yesterday.

Today I am grateful to feel refreshed after a midday nap

Today I am grateful for new winter gloves.

Today I am grateful for the many flavours of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Today I am grateful:

  • for lunch with Adam yesterday
  • to see "The Mark of Kane" at City Lit Theater last night

Today I am grateful to finally get my email set up on my new iPhone

Today I am grateful to attend an exciting Patriots - Jets game in Foxborough, MA yesterday.

Today I am grateful to visit my father's hometown for the first time and to see the house in which he grew up.

Today I am grateful for dinner with Bill and his family last night in Portland.

Today I am grateful for:

  • a visit to the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME yesterday
  • a lobster roll in Portsmouth, NH
  • my first visit to Salem, MA
  • dinner last night with Sean and Emilie

Today I am grateful for Thanksgiving dinner with friends yesterday.

Today I am grateful for;

  • a visit to the Musuem of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston
  • a home-cooked Shabbat meal last night, courtesy of Shoshana

Today I am grateful for a week exploring and visiting friends in New England.

Today I am grateful to sleep in my own bed last night.

Today I am grateful for a late November evening warm enough for a Chicago bike ride.

Today I am grateful to see Nick's Kalamazoo team play at the University of Chicago last night.

Today I am grateful for a tour of the Microsoft Technology Center.

Today I am grateful to pass the SC-300 Microsoft certification exam yesterday.

Today I am grateful to see a production of "The Island" on my first visit to The Court Theatre.

GCast 137:

Registering an Application with Azure Active Directory

Learn how to register an application with Azure Active Directory (AAD) and create a Client Secret. This is necessary when using AAD to authenticate users for your application.

Episode 729

Chander Dhall on AI in Azure, Google, and AWS

Chander Dhall compares the artificial intelligence services from the three largest cloud vendors and discusses how you can take advantage of the strengths of each.

GCast 136:

Creating an Azure Active Directory User

Learn how an Admin can create and manage a new Azure Active Directory user in the Azure portal.

Sometimes, you may receive the following error message, when trying to do something in Azure:

"The subscription is not registered to use namespace 'Microsoft.AzureActiveDirectory'. See for how to register subscriptions."

This message prevented me from creating an Azure Active Directory B2C Tenant in the Azure portal.

You can resolve this with a few Azure CLI commands.

Log into the Azure Portal and click the "Cloud Shell" button (Fig. 1) to open a PowerShell terminal window, as shown in Fig. 2.

Cloud Shell Button

Fig. 1

Cloud Shell

Fig. 2

To register an account, you need to know the name of your account. You can list all your accounts with the following command:

az account list

Fig. 3 shows the output of this command. By default, it is in JSON format.

azaccount list

Fig. 3

If you have many accounts (as I do, it may be easier to write the output to a file, download that file, and open it in an editor, such as VS Code. The following commands will do that:

az account list>myaccounts.json
download myaccounts.json

Fig. 4 shows the output opened in VS Code. I want to use the first subscription, so I note the name - in this case "dgiard-Microsoft Internal Subscription".

azaccount list In VS Code

Fig. 4

Use the following command to set the desired subscription as your default for this session:

az account set --subscription "name of subscription"

In my case, it was:

az account set --subscription "dgiard-Microsoft Internal Subscription"

Then register this subscription with the following command:

az provider register --namespace Microsoft.AzureActiveDirectory

This last step may take a few minutes. To view the status, execute the following command and check the

az provider show -n Microsoft.AzureActiveDirectory

Fig. 5 shows the output of this command.

provider show output

Fig. 5

When the "registrationState" property is set to "Enabled", the command has completed executing and the subscription is registered.

After the subscription is registered, you should no longer receive the error message.

NOTE: You can do execute these same commands locally, but you will first need to log into your Azure account with the following command: az login

Episode 727

Stephen Rose on New Features in Microsoft Teams

Stephen Rose describes some of the new announcements and new features in Microsoft Teams, including Intelligent Recap, new security features, Excel Live, live translations, Intelliframe (which highlights individuals on a 360 camera), and animated avatars.




October 2022 Gratitudes

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Today I am grateful to see Sergio Mendes in concert last night

Today I am grateful to receive a COVID booster shot yesterday

Today I am grateful for a visit from Christina

Today I am grateful for a good job

Today I am grateful to see Matt Maeson in concert last night

Today I am grateful to experience a new restaurant and good conversation with new friends

Today I am grateful that I did not get caught in any of the Chicago Marathon traffic jams this weekend.

Today I am grateful for mild weather in October

Today I am grateful for a 5K ride for charity yesterday

Today I am grateful to see The Who in concert last night from Row 3!

Today I am grateful for 9 years at Microsoft

Today I am grateful to see Todd Rundgren and Adrien Belew perform a tribute to David Bowie last night.

Today I am grateful to pass 600 subscribers for my GCast show

Today I am grateful my son came over last night for a home-cooked meal

Today I am grateful for my new Roomba

Today I am grateful for dinner with Philip last night

Today I am grateful for dinner with Austin last night

Today I am grateful to meet many members of my team in person for the first time

Today I am grateful for a new iPhone

Today I am grateful for my first visit to Lisbon

Today I am grateful to listen to live fado music in Lisbon last night

Today I am grateful for
- a private tour of the old neighborhoods of Lisbon
- a visit to the Museu De Artes Decorativas Portuguesas
- a walk around the Castelo de São Jorge

Today I am grateful for:
- a bus tour of the modern areas of Lisbon
- a visit to The Lisbon Cathedral (Sé de Lisboa) and two beautiful churches - Saint Mary Magdalene and Saint Anthony
- to watch the sunset over the Tagus River from a rooftop cafe

Today I am grateful:
- for a visit to the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
- for a boat ride along the Tagus River out to the ocean and back
- to learn about the history of Lisbon at the Lisbon Story Center

Today I am grateful for a visit to Sintra, Portugal yesterday

Today I am grateful to begin this bike trip across Portugal

Today I am grateful for 2 days in Évora

Today I am grateful for:
- 2 days visiting Mertola and Pmoarao
- a boat ride up the Guadiana River
- my first time in Spain

Today I am grateful for:
- 2 days visiting Mertola and Pmoarao
- a boat ride up the Guadiana River
- my first time in Spain

Today I am grateful for a bike ride along the Guadiano River yesterday afternoon

Today I am grateful for a tour of an olive oil factory yesterday

Today I am grateful for a day in Cascais

Today I am grateful for a bike trip across Portugal these past 2 weeks.

Today I am grateful for an extra hour of vacation

Michael Crichton's novel "Jurassic Park" and its movie adaptation were so popular that Crichton's publisher and audience convinced him to write a sequel. In "The Lost World", chaos mathematician Ian Malcolm - presumed dead in the first novel - returns to explore rumours that some genetically created dinosaurs survived on a different island. Malcolm flies to the island and finds himself caught between a reckless paleontologist and bad guys intent on stealing dinosaur eggs.

In some ways, Crichton repackaged themes from his earlier novel. 

Malcolm points out the hubris of those attempting to play with forces they cannot control.

Greedy corporate goons skip all the hard work and try to steal scientific discoveries of others.

A beautiful scientist shows up and proves strong, yet feminine.

Two pre-teens tag along and play a role in solving the problems the adults encounter.

While not as original as its preceding novel, this is still a fun story filled with almost non-stop action. It is a thrill ride that accelerated the flow of my adrenalin.

GCast 135:

Deploying a Web App to Azure from VS Code

Visual Studio Code is an excellent development environment for creating web applications. It also contains tools to deploy those applications to Azure App Services. Learn how to use those tools to move your web app to the cloud.

Episode 726

Christina Aldan on Brain Performance and Memory

Christina Aldan discusses the physiology of brain performance and memory; and describes things we can do to improve our memory.

"In the narrative of my life, which is the look backward rather than forward into the unknown and unstoried future, I emerged from the pool as from a baptismal font—changed, reborn—as if I had been shown what would be my calling even then. This is how the past fits into the narrative of our lives, gives meaning and purpose. Even my mother’s death is redeemed in the story of my calling, made meaningful rather than merely senseless. It is the story I tell myself to survive."

Natasha Trethewey is a poet. A very good one. So good, in fact that she was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 2012.

But "Memorial Drive" is not a book of poetry. It is a memoir of her life, written in prose, rather than poetry. Yet even her prose sounds like poetry. In describing a photograph of her grandmother holding Natasha's infant mother in her arms, she writes:

"But the photograph hints, too, at another story. I can see it in the tall grass brushing her ankles, the blades bent as if moved by wind."

Trethewey was born in Mississippi on the 100th celebration of Confederate Memorial Day - a day which celebrates a battle for white supremacy in the south. As the daughter of a white Canadian father and a black southern mother, she grew up experiencing racism firsthand. Interracial marriage was illegal in Mississippi at the time of their matrimony!

But this book is less about her early childhood in Mississippi and more about the time after her parents’ divorce, when she and her mother emigrated to Atlanta. She recounts the abuse suffered by her mother at the hands of her stepfather Joel - abuse that ultimately led to the murder of her mother. She refers to this period as her "lost years".

Ms. Trethewey pours out her soul into these writings, recounting memories she had tried to forget.

"You are in the fifth grade the first time you hear your mother begin beaten", she writes.

Memorable parts of the book include:

  • Upon discovering that her stepfather had broken the lock on her journal and was reading it, teenage Natasha began addressing journal entries directly to him, letting him know he was abusing her mother.
  • The book reprints parts of a journal kept by Natasha's mother in the weeks before she died. The police found it in her briefcase the day of the murder, but Natasha did not read it until 25 years later. It details the abuse she suffered during her second marriage.
  • A police report to the police, following Joel's first attempt on the life of his estranged wife.
  • An encounter decades after the incident with a policeman who was on the scene. Meeting Ms. Trethewey brought tears to the eyes of the officer.

Brace yourself for an emotional journey - one you will not soon forget.

Dan Rey on Live Streaming

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Episode 725

Dan Rey on Live Streaming

Dan Rey shares a lot of technical information online via live streaming on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms. He discusses the tools and technologies he uses to make this happen.

Episode 724

Caito Scherr on Apache Flink

Ververica Developer Advocate Caito Scherr talks about Apache Fink - an open source tool designed to ingest and manage streaming data.




Microsoft's Ignite conference kicked off Wednesday morning. It took place in Seattle, but was broadcast live globally, so most of the "attendees" watched it virtually.

As usual, the conference began with a keynote address from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Satya acknowledged that we are now going through a period of historic economic, societal, and technological change. To address this, he asserted that we must "do more with less!" - a phrase he repeated throughout the keynote and which he described as "applying technology to amplify what you can do and... what an organization can achieve".

He focused on five key "imperatives":

  • Be data-driven and optimize with Azure
  • Deliver efficiency with Automation and AI
  • Innovate with a cloud developer platform
  • Re-energize your workforce with Microsoft 365
  • Protect everything, everyone, everywhere

Be data-driven and optimize with Azure

The cloud allows you to scale your applications and data horizontally and vertically.

Azure Arc allows you to extend applications from Azure to on-premise, edge, and multi-cloud environments.

Deliver efficiency with Automation and AI

Azure provides AI models available for Microsoft AI and OpenAI services

Microsoft Designer is a new tool designed to generate images based on a description.

Innovate with a cloud developer platform

Satya announced improvements to GitHub Co-Pilot:

  • Co-Pilot can generate code based on a description of what that code should do
  • It can explain existing code in plain English
  • It can translate code from one language to another

Enhanced Power Apps features include:

  • Generate flows based on plain text description
  • AI Builder - a tool that integrates AI capabilities into Power Apps by selecting from a set of templates

Re-energize your workforce with Microsoft 365

He announced a number of new features for Microsoft Teams and tools that integrate with Teams, including the following:

  • Teams Premium, which features advanced meeting protection to protect privacy of meetings
  • Teams Intelligent which provides a recap of a Teams meeting
  • New apps (e.g., SAP adaptive cards)
  • Mesh Avatars: animated graphics that represent an attendee without them turning on camera
  • Microsoft Syntex, which provides automatic summarization, classification, and translation of documents
  • Microsoft Places provides tools to match available people and locations, making it easier to schedule meetings at the right time and place in a hybrid work environment.
  • Microsoft Viva brings actionable insights and connections into Teams to drive productive hybrid work. Viva Sales integrates CRM, teams, and Outlook for an integrated view of customer data.

Edge - Microsoft's web browser - also includes some new features, the most interesting of which was Edge Workspace, which allows multiple users to share the same set of tabs

Windows 11 will have enhanced phishing protection built in;

and Windows 365 is a SAAS offering for a Windows desktop that can be accessed from your Start menu or taskbar.

Protect everything, everyone, everywhere

This section was about security and focused on the following products:

  • Entra for identity protection
  • Purview for data governance
  • Priva to protect privacy
  • Intune to protect and manage endpoints

A significant new feature for Microsoft Defender provides security recommendations for multi-cloud deployments.


Satya promised over 100 updates would be announced at Ignite. Some of the features he highlighted are available now, some are in preview, and some will be available in a few months. It was not always clear to me the status of each feature or product when he described it.

The most compelling features for me were the enhancements to GitHub Co-Pilot; but each of you should find something to increase your productivity among this week's announcements.

GCast 133:

Configuring an Azure App Service Identity Provider

Learn how to configure Azure Active Directory as an Identity Provider for an Azure Web Application. An Application Registration points to the App Service containing the web app.

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