Raspberry Pi 2 and Alexa Voice Service

Here’s a fun project. Turn your Raspberry Pi 2 into an Alexa Voice Service.

This project demonstrates how to access and test the Alexa Voice Service using a Java client (running on a Raspberry Pi), and a Node.js server. You will be using the Node.js server to get a Login with Amazon authorization code by visiting a website using your computer’s (Raspberry Pi in this case) web browser.

Follow this guide.

Based on first read, it looks like a fairly involved project.

Google Nik Collection Now Free

Google made the announcement yesterday to make the Nik Collection for free. Free as in beer.

Photo enthusiasts all over the world use the Nik Collection to get the best out of their images every day. As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.

The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities — from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.

Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.

We’re excited to bring the powerful photo editing tools once only used by professionals to even more people now.

The Transformation of Microsoft

Microsoft has been going through a transformation over the years. It has been slow, but the changes are dramatic if you haven’t been paying attention. Microsoft no longer makes a ton of money on the Windows platform. Far from it. Just take a look at the areas where Microsoft made the most money this past year based on revenue.

  1. Server and Cloud Services (Azure)
  2. Gaming (Xbox)
  3. Microsoft Office
  4. Windows OS

Windows OS is only 10% of Microsoft’s total revenue, and it grew a paltry 5% despite the Windows 10 release last year. Sales on Azure on the other end, grew a whopping 140% more than last year.

Microsoft Decides Not To Buy Slack

If you were shopping for an app, at $8 billion dollars, would you buy Slack?

Slack is one of the hottest app in the last year. Microsoft doesn’t think so. They were thinking of it at one time, but apparently former CEO Bill Gates doesn’t think it’s a great idea.

Slack has $2.8 billion valuation. They have 2.3 million active users, and about 650,000 paid users, and they recently received $160 million funding.

15.36 TB SSD

Samsung is now shipping the 15.36 TB SSD based on a 12Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface. It’s will not be cheap. Samsung has not revealed the price yet.

In addition, Samsung will also release different versions at 7.68TB, 3.84TB, 1.92TB, 960GB, and 480GB. The speeds of this new SSD are going to be other worldly with sequential read and write speeds of up to 1,200 mbps.

Raleway Font

I change fonts on this site often.

It’s made possible by Google fonts and my Google Fonts custom plugin.

Here’s a snapshot of my Google Fonts plugin:

custom-font

I’m currently using the beautiful ‘Raleway’ font.

It can change in a moments notice.