July 17, 2017 brianradio2016

When working with ASP.Net Web API, it is important to return a consistent response for all the requests that are processed by your API regardless of success or failure. This makes it a lot easier to consume the API, without requiring complex code on the client. By using a custom wrapper for Web API responses, you can ensure that all of your responses have a consistent structure, and you can also include custom metadata. This article presents a discussion on how we can decorate Web API responses with useful information.

Let’s understand the problem we are trying to solve. In essence, your standard Web API response will vary when executing different action methods, and we need a way to get around the inconsistency of these responses. When you are trying to retrieve data using HTTP GET, the response may contain data for one or more records. When you are executing a HTTP POST, the response may not even include a body, but only a header. And when there is an error when executing the request, the API will return an object with the appropriate error message.

The differences among all of these responses make it difficult to consume the API, because the consumer needs to know the type and structure of the data that is being returned in each case. Both the client code and the service code become difficult to manage.

Now that we know what the problem is all about, let’s examine the two ways to overcome the problem in Web API. One of the options is to use a message handler. The other option is to intercept the call using a filter and override the OnActionExecuted method. We would prefer to use a message handler because it is called earlier in the request processing pipeline. (Incidentally, you can take advantage of message handlers to process a request even before it reaches the HttpControllerDispatcher.) So, let’s implement a custom message handler to wrap the response by extending the DelegatingHandler class. This will provide a way to send out responses from the Web API in a consistent manner.

July 17, 2017 brianradio2016

Containers have been all the rage in the open source world for a number of years, but noticeably absent from Windows until now. In Windows Server 2016, Microsoft released its own container capabilities. Furthermore, Microsoft has given its customers the flexibility of operating containers at the Windows Server level or at the Hyper-V level.

Before I go on, let me take just a moment to explain the basic concept of a container. Containers are a form of virtualization, but they are quite different from virtual machines. Virtual machines use hardware virtualization to allow multiple OS instances to run side by side, isolated from one another by the virtual machine structure.

July 17, 2017 brianradio2016

Computerworld | Jul 16, 2017

Confused by the jumble of acronyms surrounding mobile device management? This video simply defines three key concepts: Mobile application management (MAM), enterprise mobility management (EMM) and unified endpoint management (UEM).

July 16, 2017 brianradio2016

TLS is the protocol invoked under the covers when viewing secure websites (those loaded with HTTPS rather than HTTP). There are multiple versions of the TLS protocol, and the most recent version, 1.2, is the most secure. Last time, I discussed tweaking Firefox so that it only supports TLS version 1.2 and not the older versions (1.0 and 1.1) of the protocol.

But that begs the question: what happens when a security-reinforced copy of Firefox encounters a website that does not support TLS 1.2? The answer is shown below.

firefox.unsupported.ssl.version2Michael Horowitz

The error message from Firefox 54 when a website does not support TLS 1.2 and it only supports TLS 1.2

For the benefit of search engines, the error reads

Secure Connection Failed.

An error occurred during a connection to [website name]. Peer using unsupported version of security protocol. Error code: SSL_ERROR_UNSUPPORTED_VERSION

The security protocol it refers to is TLS. There are three problems, however, with this Firefox error message.

July 16, 2017 brianradio2016

It’s always harder to get together in the summer to record and mobile news is usually a bit slow. Check out MobileTechRoundup show #402 to hear about one of my most expensive mobile device purchases.

motr-logo1 Image: ZDNet

  • Nokia 6 and Alcatel IDOL 5S: Amazon Prime Exclusives
  • Hands (and feet!) on with the RadCity electric bike
  • Matt tried the iPad Pro 12.9 at Apple Store: It’s not for him.
  • iPhone 8: Touch ID or no?
  • LG V30 launch event at IFA
  • Moto announcement in NYC on 25 July
  • Star Wars games coming to AR thanks to Lenovo
  • Before the Essential Phone even ships, some execs have left

Running time: 66 minutes

Listen here (MP3, 76MB)

Subscribe to the show with this link (RSS)

July 16, 2017 brianradio2016

mophie-cf-and-juice-16.jpg

Android phones have had wireless charging capability for years and indications are that Apple may finally be adding it to the next iPhone. Mophie delivers products that add wireless charging capability to iPhones and the latest cases I tested are designed to be paired with a small battery pack for mobile wireless charging.

Mophie also continues to release its traditional Juice Pack products, this time for the Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, and Google Pixel XL. As the battery life of mobile devices improves, there is less of a reason for these battery packs. However, there are still events, activities, and periods of time when you need extended battery life to get work done and Mophie offers a couple of different ways to help you top off on the go.

Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Charge Force Case and Powerstation Mini

Android smartphones have had wireless charging capability in their phones for years. Rumors of the next iPhone show that it may also add wireless charging this year, likely with Apple labeling it as some new technology it invented.

Mophie sent along its new Charge Force case for the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 7 case is tan and black while the 7 Plus case is black. Mophie offers each in five color variations; black leather/black, tan leather/black, brown leather/black, red leather/black, and blue leather/black.

The back and half way down the sides is soft leather fabric that looks good and offers a texture for easy holding. The rest of the case is hard black plastic.

This Charge Force case is designed to add wireless charging to the Apple iPhone. It does this through the Lightning port so there is a small Lightning plug on the bottom that is attached to a wireless coil piece that together slide up and down in the back interior of the case.

The bottom of the front of the case has openings for the speaker and mic. Thus, the bottom speaker is redirected towards the front of the iPhone so you get a bit better sound directed at you. There are ample openings for the camera, flash, and ringer switch with raised volume and power buttons.

Secure your iPhone into the shell case and then slide the Lightning port attachment up and into the Lightning port to enable the wireless charging functionality. If you want to use your Lightning port for headphones or external charging, you can keep your iPhone in the case and slide out the attachment since the coil patch slides up and down within a track inside the case. You can connect what you need and then secure the bottom when you are done to enable wireless charging again.

Wireless charging works via the Qi standard so you can connect to Mophie charging accessories or other Qi-enabled chargers. Coil to coil alignment is critical for optimal charging. If the case is not optimally aligned with the charger, charging may start, but then stop or may not start at all. If the charging device has a charge indicator light, the light should be solid when charging. If it is blinking, there could be an alignment issue.

The magnets in the Charge Force case and Mophie-branded charging pads ensure optimal alignment between the case and pad. The addition of the magnets in the Charge Force case also enable connection to a Charge Force Powerstation Mini. This is a small 3,000 mAh battery pack that secures to the back of the Charge Force case to wirelessly charge up your iPhone.

The cool thing about the Powerstation Mini is that you can slap it on when you need a charge simply by setting it against the back of the case and the magnets hold it very securely. It charges via a microUSB port and weighs in at 90 grams.

The Charge Force case is priced at $59.95 while the Powerstation Mini is $49.95. You do not need a Powerstation Mini to use a Charge Force case, but understand the Charge Force case does not have any kind of battery capacity in it. The case is designed to add wireless charging capability, along with some protection for your iPhone back and sides. The case feels good in the hand and weighs in at 48 grams.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus Charge Force Case and Powerstation Mini

Mophie also sent along Charge Force cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. You may be thinking, as I was, why you would need a case on a phone that already has wireless charging technology integrated into the phone with a couple of wireless charging standards. The Charge Force case for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus is designed to provide some protection for your Galaxy smartphone while adding support for Mophie charging solutions, such as the Powerstation Mini, Powerstation, vent mount, desk mount, and wireless charging base.

This means that the Charge Force case includes magnets on the back for optimal alingment to these Mophie charging accessories. You can also use the Galaxy Charge Force case with any existing Samsung or other wireless charging solution you already have.

The Charge Force Case is $49.95, the same as the optional Powerstation Mini 3,000 mAh battery pack. The case weighs in at just 28 grams and definitely enhances your ability to hold onto your Galaxy smartphone. The black leather fabric, there is only one color option available, feels great in your hand and keeps the Galaxy from sliding around on a table.

There are large openings for the camera, fingerprint sensor, headphone jack, and USB Type-C port. The nice thing about the headphone jack is that you do not need to use any kind of dongle cable to connect to your headphones while using this case.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus Juice Pack

Mophie is probably most well-known for its Juice Pack batteries that act as an external battery and case in one. I’ve purchased a couple of these at airports around the country when I needed to add battery life to my smartphones and had no option to charge via an external power source.

The Mophie Juice Pack for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are available now for $99.95.

The Juice Pack adds a 3,300 mAh battery to the S8 Plus and a 2,950 mAh battery to the S8. These are rated to provide 39 hours of talk time to the S8 Plus and 33 hours to the S8.

The Juice Pack is a two piece system where the top sixth or so of the case is removed to slide your Galaxy smartphone down and onto the integrated USB Type-C port. Soft touch material lines the inside and outside of the case to protect your phone and make it easier to hold onto.

As with most Juice Pack cases, you likely need to use the included headphone dongle to use the 3.5mm headset jack since the bottom piece is deep and not many headsets have such a long connector to use them without the extension cable. You can use your standard USB Type-C plug to charge the case and your phone through the case though.

The case does not hamper your ability to use the edge screen panels on your Galaxy. Raised corners of the case do offer some drop protection though, which is often the worst area to drop your phone.

July 15, 2017 brianradio2016

I just received word from Gunter Born that Microsoft has pulled three of its Outlook patches:

  • KB 4011042 – July 5, 2017, update for Outlook 2010
  • KB 3191849 – June 27, 2017, update for Outlook 2013
  • KB 3213654 – June 30, 2017, update for Outlook 2016

As I mentioned last week, Microsoft still hasn’t fixed any of the Office 2007 bugs it introduced in the June security patches.

Microsoft has posted a hodgepodge of manual fixes for the seven identified and acknowledged bugs in its June Office security patches.

For those of you with Automatic Update turned on: Remember, Auto Update will install patches, but it won’t uninstall them. There’s no specific recommendation that you uninstall the yanked patches — indeed, there’s no description of the problems caused by the latest round — but earlier versions of the bad patches-of-patches had a nasty habit of crashing Outlook.

July 15, 2017 brianradio2016

I like the Start app, not only because it’s an easy-to-use alarm, timer, and stopwatch app, but also because it can be used to trigger certain apps (which include Facebook, Fantastical, Instagram, Music, Pandora, Path, Reeder, Rdio, Safari, Sparrow, Spotify, and Tweetbot) when the timer reaches zero.

July 15, 2017 brianradio2016

Isn’t it annoying when you pop your finger on the Touch ID button of your iPhone or iPad only to have it rejected?

Here’s a quick and simple way to improve the accuracy and reliability of Touch ID.

Must read : How much power does your smartphone charger waste?

It’s really simple – since iOS allows you to register multiple fingers, what you do is register the same finger multiple times. By doing this you can press your finger (or thumb) on the sensor in different ways so it gets registers from a variety of angles.

Another thing you can do is since dirty of damp fingers fail to pass muster with Touch ID because it sees them differently to clear, dry fingerprints, you can also register a finger when it’s damp (not soggy or wet) and dirty.

This can be a real timesaver if you have sweaty fingers or operate your iPhone or iPad with dirty hands.

Touch ID & Passcode

Touch ID & Passcode

To do this click on Settings and go to Touch ID & Passcode . You’ll be prompted to enter your PIN or passcode and from there you can add more fingerprints by clicking Add a Fingerprint.

You can add as many prints as you want, and you can give each enrolled fingerprint a unique name (which might come in handy for fine-tuning this trick).

See also:

July 14, 2017 brianradio2016

SAN FRANCISCO — Innovative mobile apps married to increasingly powerful artificial intelligence (A.I.) are rapidly getting smarter — making them even more helpful for users.

These kinds of apps, showcased at VentureBeat’s two-day MobileBeat conference here this week, are designed to anticipate user needs. Who knew, for example, that you can use your smartphone to simplify the process of getting a green card to enter the United States or to streamline corporate travel?

During a “Startup Showcase” session, Visabot showcased its appropriately-named Green Card app. The program is based on a bot that walks users through a series of simple questions that, when answered, generates a package of documents you can file with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to complete the application process.

“When I came to this country, I needed a visa urgently, but it took a month,” said Visibot’s co-founder and chief operating officer, Andrey Ziniviev. “We built this bot to help folks like us come here quickly and legally and not have to pay lawyers thousands of dollars.” Green Card costs $149 and Ziniviev said it’s already been used by 70,000 people to help get their paperwork in order.