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RavenHQ Outage: What happened and what WILL happen

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“We can confirm that a large number of instances in a single Availability Zone have lost power due to electrical storms in the area,” Amazon reported at 8:30 pm Pacific time on Friday the 29th. Among those servers were RavenHQ-web-1 server (responsible for showing the marketing site) and RavenHQ-DB-1 (responsible for all the databases located on The reason for that is apparently a big storm that hit the  US-East-1 region (Virginia data center). The data center lost power (and no generators were up, somehow) for about 30 minutes which caused extended outage for some of
our customers. Small comforts, but we were in the same boat as Netflix, Heroku, Pinterest, and Instagram, among others. Before we dig any deeper. No data was lost, and we resumed normal operations within a few hours. Users with replicated plans had no interruption of service. During the outage, we were in the process of bringing up a new node with all of the databases from the impacted servers, but that would have entailed customers having to change connection strings, and the outage was resolved before we got to that point. I want to show you how RavenHQ is architected...(Read whole news on source site)

The Morning Brew #1137

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Software Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 - Brandon LeBlanc announces the pricing for windows 8 upgrades to Windows 8 Pro, all for the very reasonable price of $39.99 (or $69.99 for the boxed DVD version) Information Responsive design using Foundation with ASP.Net MVC - Edward Charbeneau takes a look at Zurb’s Foundation Framework, exploring how you [...]

Finding Near-Earth Asteroids

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One of the puzzling aspects of hunting for Near Earth Asteroids is that more has been spent on Hollywood films about potential disasters should one hit the Earth than on finding them in the first place. While there are a number of on-going asteroid search programs, these are all Earth-based at the moment. The limitations of them are:
Each telescope can only observe for a maximum average of 12 hours per day.As far as I am aware, all these programs are in the visible light only. (Once an asteroid is found, then radar tracking is possible when it is close.)Being
Earth based they cannot see inside the Earth's orbit.The Asteroids being generally dark, do not show up well in visible light.
A private group are proposing a radical alternative to this by orbiting an infra-red telescope in the orbit of Venus. In Infra-red, the asteroids are more readily seen. Here are some details:

Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration ...(Read whole news on source site)

Using Basic Authentication In REST Based Services Hosted in IIS

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So a colleague of mine asked a good question earlier today in reference to my last post on using Basic Authentication techniques in reference to REST based WCF services hosted in IIS. It turns out that there is conflicting documentation on whether or not a Custom User Name and Password Validator that has been configured works properly. In my last post I created a self-hosted service with full implementation and it does indeed work.

However best I can determine is that the IIS call stack is executed and handled, using Basic Authentication for your service does not allow
you to override the IIS behavior and intercept those credentials using a custom username/password validator. This is because IIS is handling the authentication prior to the WCF service being called. Thus resulting in a lot of buzz around, "...why doesn't my custom user name and password validator" code get hit for a my WCF REST service hosted in IIS." I also believe I have found some definitive information on the support of this in IIS from Phil Henning's MSDN blog:

"In the version of WCF that shipped with .Net Framework 3.0 we didn't support custom validators with...(Read whole news on source site)

Upcoming Events for July 2nd, 2012

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Here are the events listed in Community Megaphone for the next couple of weeks for the Mid-Atlantic area, as well as webcasts of interest…this list includes events imported from the UGSS event calendar, and user group events entered in Community Megaphone are also automatically synced to the UGSS event calendar: MD CMAP Main Meeting - HTTP the Right Way with ASP.NET Web API - Steve Michelotti
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 6:30 PM, Columbia, MD
Topic: HTTP the Right Way with ASP.NET Web API

Modern web applications have seen an explosion in Web API creation. Twitter, Facebook,
Google, Azure, you name it – it is becoming essential to provide a Web API so that consumers can build applications and mashups on top of your services. Web 2.0 has shown a trend away from SOAP towards a REST architecture style. With the new ASP.NET Web API, Microsoft is now providing first-class support for HTTP services including tools to apply the richness of a REST architectural style. This demo heavy presentation will show how the new ASP.NET Web API will enable you to build rich HTTP services in a REST architectural style while leveraging custom media types, custom HTTP...(Read whole news on source site)