Items of recent interest:

  1. CS169.1x Software as a Service
    This is an interesting class I have enrolled in through edX. It is an engaging introduction to cloud based computing and software as a service, that utilizes Ruby on Rails as its language and framework. It is not my first exposure to SaaS, but it has proved to be a well designed and accessible overview so far. Of prime interest to me are the tutorials and assignments in Ruby on Rails. I am familiar with ASP.NET MVC and I have used the scripting languages Python and Perl, but I had not written Ruby before starting this class. So far I have been stricken by the syntax which seems very similar to the Fluent API I am so familiar with from C#. My guess is that C# designers learned that from Ruby, but I will have to research that to find out.
  2. Stanford - Cryptography I
    This is another online class. I enrolled in this one via coursera. I started a bit late so I am essentially auditing. The historical perspective served as a a great introduction. I appreciated the review of discrete probability. It took me back to my undergraduate classes in combinatorics and statistics and probability. So far I am learning about stream ciphers and block ciphers. It is fascinating to learn more about these constructs that I have used in the past for encryption, but essentially taken for granted.
  3. DotNetOpenAuth
    This is a Nuget obtainable library that allows a .NET web application to use external sites for authorization via OpenID and OAuth. I have used it on the login page on this site to allow a registered user to use Steam as an external login. The authorization is currently working, but no commands are issued to the Steam API yet (cool stuff is in store for that though!). Unlike Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and others, the Steam OpenID required implementing a custom client. Steam did not provide documentation for this, but with a little help from stackoverflow, I was able to get it implmented.