Mo’ Code Movember – A Month of Code happening in Houston!
October 21, 2014
It looks like November is shaping up to be an event-packed month with various hackathons / coding challenges taking place at UH, Rice, and near UHD in the EaDo area.
To participate in Mo’ Code Movember you will want to join the official Facebook Event and view the contest rules!
Seeing these events laid out, I can’t help but notice the natural progression it proposes for participants.
Assuming you are female, every one of the events above brings attention to Women in Technology when you participate! It’s also a great time to encourage group involvement and learning by hosting workshops that coincide with any of the events listed above.
Ok, so what exactly is a Mo’Code Movember? This is a month-long event hosted by CougarCS @ the University of Houston which aims to bring quality to the typical 24-hour hackathon format, by using a month-long running format with weekly check-ins, while enforcing that submissions themselves are checked-in to Github. We want to teach and encourage proper software engineering practices over quick and dirty mish-mashing of API’s. Have an itch you need to scratch? Mo’Code Movember is the opportunity to get it done!
CodeDay Houston is a 24-hour event where students passionate about technology get together and build cool things together! You pitch ideas, form teams, and build a cool app or game in 24 hours! The best projects will even be rewarded with prizes. The event is open to highschool and college students and boasts participation form 27 cities around the US!
Hacktoberfest is Hackathon with a tip of the hat to fall, Octoberfest, and Bavarian flare! If you work in interface design or graphic design, or you currently build websites, apps, and services, you are probably a good fit!
3 Day Startup is an entrepreneurship education program designed for university students with an emphasis on learning by doing. 3 Day Startup teaches entrepreneurial skills to university students in an extreme hands-on environment.
Let’s assume you are a CS Student and you have an awesome idea you have been dying to work on. Maybe you just want to try coding something challenging or just to learn what all this development stuff is all about because you are new to the scene. You could vet that idea at the Mo’Code Movember kickoff and learn everything you need to know to get that code placed up on Github where it can be properly maintained (KILLER resume line!). The next day, you bring your idea out to Codeday Houston and find some like-minded individuals who you recruit to your project, you bang out a minimally viable product, and you end up placing in the top 5! Next week, you take it out to Hacktoberfest and get the UI polished by the wonderful design divas who will be in attendance. Sweet, thankfully you had visions of grandiosity early on so you beat the October 28 deadline to sign up for 3 Day Startup. You bring your baby out and discover some pals in the business school who prove out your product using market analysis, product validation, and other things you never considered. You pitch the idea that Sunday and see a clear vision now on what you want to do. The following week you showcase your project to the most difficult audience of all, your family at Thanksgiving dinner, and they provide you feedback that everyone before was scared to share! Taking into account those nitpicky suggestions Uncle Jeff gave you, you incorporate them into your project and show off a polished product at the Mo’Code Movember showcase. You now have invaluable experience at what it takes to be an idie developer OR maybe none of this happened but you learned invaluable skills along the way! Oh and bonus if you are female, because you did all this and represented women in Technology!
Full text schedule with hyperlinks:
October 11 to December 12:
International Women’s Hackathon – http://
University of Houston Mo’Code Movember Kickoff – A Github hosted month-long competition where creations will be showcased at UH on first month of December
November 8 & 9:
Code Day Houston – https://codeday.org/
Mo’Code Movember Checkpoint
November 13 to 14:
Hacktoberfest – http://hacktoberfe.st/
Mo’Code Movember Checkpoint
November 21 to 23:
3 Day Startup – http://
November 27 to 28:
Thanksgiving Holiday – Show your family the awesome thing(s) you created and add those finishing touches!
December 5: Mo’Code Movember Showcase – Show your colleagues the awesome thing(s) you created!
Kinect4NES – Control your classic NES with the Power of Kinect v2
October 20, 2014
Recently, I have found myself becoming involved in the exciting world of “IoT” or internet of things. All of this started while attending a presentation on the subject that was put on by my fellow colleague Bret Stateham. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of “IoT”, I like to think of it as a programmable system comprised of input sensor(s) / polling service(s) which interact with a physical device and optionally store data received by the sensors to a web service where it could be optionally processed for patterns to facilitate things like forecasting. In short, we are connecting your things that are inherently offline to the internet.
This particular project does not quite fully fit the definition above as the end result is a non-network connected thing (a classic NES console) connected to modern sensor (the Kinect V2). However, it could be easily modified to fit such a description. For example, this concept could be extended to allow the public to access and control a physical NES through a web interface (think Twitch plays Pokémon) ~Coming Soon~ OR it could allow users to upload Kinect Gesture profiles online that could be pulled down through the application to allow better control in certain games. Nonetheless, it leverages concepts that are integral to most “IoT” projects, specifically hardware interface construction, software interfacing, and application development.
I’d like to elaborate a little bit more on inspiration for this project as I would really like to tear down any barriers currently holding back abled developers from breaking into this field. At the end of Bret’s presentation, he showed off a quick demo that showcased an Intel Galileo board running Windows for IoT that contolled a blinking LED with breakpoints set in Visual Studio. Not exactly, jaw dropping surface value, but when looked at for what it can enable rather what it is specifically doing, you may find an opportunity to expand the possibilities of your code. It dawned on me that that this blinking LED demo was all I needed to know to allow computer code to interact with physical objects. I began thinking about everything like a blinking LED project, SMS notifications from my washer/dryer/dishwasher when a cycle is complete, automating the addition of chemicals to a swimming pool, or firing a rocket when a threshold of retweets is achieved on a particular hashtag. All of these become comparatively simple problems when looked at through the lens of turning on a light when a certain condition is met! I soon found myself pondering the idea of mixing old nostalgic technology with the bleeding edge. What if I could control a classic NES with a Kinect 2 device? Not through an emulator, but a physical, rectangular, Gray-Box NES from 1984.
- An NES console with game to test
- An NES controller OR some wiring skills and a CD4021BE 8-bit shift register
- 12 strands of wire, recommend Kynar
- 8 1k resistors (technically any value from 1k to 50k should suffice)
- 2 3.6k resistors (again higher not necessarily bad)
- IoT board capable of running Firmata, Intel Galileo or Arudio Uno etc.
- Kinect V2 Sensor for Windows OR recently announced Kinect V2 Adapter and existing Xbox One Kinect Sensor
- Machine capable of running the Kinect V2 SDK
In my writeup, I am going to assume you have zero experience with hardware development which is fitting because I literally had no idea how to even blink an LED when I started this project last week. I am also going to assume you want to know how to do achieve the final product from a blank slate, let’s start by breaking down the problem into sub-problems.
We want to use a Kinect V2 Sensor to control games on a physical NES
1. We need to interface with the NES controller port using computer code
2. We need to speak to that hardware interface through a software interface, preferably in C#
3. We need to create an application that takes input from the Kinect V2 Sensor and processes it through the software interface, into the hardware interface, where it can reproduce button presses on the NES console based on defined gestures.
Sub-Problem #1 – Creating a controller interface in hardware
We need to understand how an NES controller works. I found an excellent article on the subject @ the PoorStudentHobbyist Blog. I highly recommend giving it a read. We learn that the NES controller operates using a 4021B 8-bit shift register wired to 8 inputs (the 4 D-Pad directions + Select, Start, A, and B buttons). Given this knowledge, we can build an interface in a couple of ways. One would be to use an 8-bit shift register emulator like the one described @ MezzoMill or we can leverage the physical hardware within an NES controller to create the interface or we could substitute a comparable 8-bit shift register. Coincidentally, I came across 2 NES controllers brand new in the box at a local flea market for $6 a week before starting this project. I considered it a sign and went through with deconstructing the controllers to get the parts I needed.
I removed the screws on the back of one of the controllers, opened it up, and desoldered the 5-wire braid that connects to the controller port and I also desoldered the 4021B shift register. With the board disassembled you can determine the pinouts to see which wires / buttons are attached to which pins on the 4021b using a mulimeter or the painstaking process of tracing with your finger.
The 4021B Shift register:
Let’s assume you have never used an Arduino and have no idea what it is or does. All you really need to know is that it is a programmable device that has the ability to turn on/off certain digital pins through programs referred to as sketches. Those on/off pins will essentially become our buttons, where button press is determined by sending a low signal (see PoorStudentHobbyist blog for details). Ergo, we are basically going to create a circuit and wire-up a glorified blinking LED demo, the blinking light is going to be NES controller buttons.
I followed the pinouts and wiring guide used @ PoorStudentHobbyistBlog but I did not use the proposed switch. At this point, try running a sample program to see that your interface works by sending a low signal to the start button every few seconds or so. The blog post above includes a sample for exactly that.
Here is a picture of the completed interface:
Sub-Problem #2 – Speaking to our Hardware Interface from C#
We are going to leverage open-source software to interface with our board via C#. A very common scenario when developing for IoT boards is the ability to control the pinouts via an external interface i.e. a Web API or in our case the serial port. Lucky for us, Firmata is an open-source protocol for doing exactly that! Firmata is so pervasive that it is actually included as a default sketch in the Arduino IDE. Simply, upload the standard Firmata sketch to your device. Now we need to setup communication via C#. Again, luck for us, we can leverage Arduino4Net which lets us speak to Firmata to control our board via C#. Bonus, Arduino4Net can be brought in easily using Nuget! At this point, you will want to create a simple test where you can verify that Arduino4NET is properly passing signals to your board. I have included one as part of the Kinect4NES project.
Sub-Problem #3 – Creating the Kinect Application to simulate control signals based on gestures
We are going to connect up the Kinect V2 sensor and create a gesture scheme to signal button presses through our interface! The Kinect V2 SDK includes something called the SDK Browser 2.0. Inside you will find a Body Basics XAML sample. Install the sample and copy out to somewhere where you can modify.
The Kinect V2 SDK Browser:
We begin by intercepting the Reader_FrameArrived method when datareceived is true. Keeping in mind that Kinect can track more than one body, we take one of those bodies and call CalcController(Body body). Inside this method, we setup the logic for controlling which pin we wish to signal to based on defined gestures which are determined from the joint tracking points. All of this starts with trial and error, but essentially you make considerations based on where the joints are in relation to each other. We could also train a gesture using the Gesture Builder tool which is included with the SDK, but that is for a later post =) Working with my colleague Jared Bienz, we were able to blindly construct the gestures during a visit to the local Microsoft Store. Simply find some space, get a body, and start doing some gestures and determine how to best capture!
The Kinect4NES Application:
Once you have all this, put all the pieces together and turn on your favorite game! I chose the pinnacle classic Super Mario 3 which worked well enough with our scheme to actually allow you to play through the first level! Next thing to consider is trying other games out and possibly allowing for multiple gesture profiles. For example, I have created a stub in the hosted project to play Mario by physically jumping and running as opposed to using hands. All in all, this was an extremely fun hack that allowed me to bridge my interest in class video games with modern gaming peripherals!
If you want to get the bits and follow along with updates or even contribute to this project, you may want to check out the GitHub Project Page for Kinect4NES.
Introducing Azure Media Services – Uploading File Content to Azure Media Service
September 30, 2014
Azure Media Services allows you to leverage the highly scalable Azure infrastructure to deliver media content on demand. It boasts the ability to deliver content at a scale equivalent of that used to distribute the Olympics to viewers worldwide! It addition, it supports the ability to live stream muli-bitrate broadcasts, encode content on the fly, and configure accessibility to your content. Azure Media Services is currently in Preview in the Microsoft Azure Portal, so let’s take it for a test spin with a very simply demo of uploading file content and making a highly-scalable pubicly distributed link to that content!
1. Create Media Service instance by selecting from panel on the left
2. Name the Media Service, determine the region where you would like it to exist, create a new storage account for your service
3. Wait for Azure to complete the creation of your new Media Service
4. Click on the service to view the “Getting Started” page
5. Click the upload button at the bottom of the screen and select the file you wish to upload
6. Click the “Content” tab and noticed your uploaded content, take note that it’s “Publish Url” value is “Not Published”
7. Click the “Publish” button and the “Publish Url” value will change to a URL
8. Copy and paste the resulting Url and watch your content stream from Azure to your device!
Although this demo may seem very basic, it highlights some interesting ideas. You could theoretically utilize Azure Media Services to create your own Video On Demand service capable of serving a global audience. This could possibly be consumed by client applications for any platform capable of consuming content supported by the Azure Media Service Encoder and even monetized via access controls. In the next article we will look at how to create a near infinitely scalable live broadcast using Azure Media Service Channels. Stay tuned for more on this topic in the next coming weeks!
Using Web App Template in App Studio to Publish Top-Music-Videos.com WP8 in 25 Steps
August 7, 2014
Microsoft’s App Studio portal allows developers to build rapid prototypes as well as full blown applications quickly and easily on any machine with a capable web browser. This has resulted in thousands of published apps from developers around the world! In today’s post, I am going to focus on one of the many provided templates, the Web App Template.
The Web App Template started as a project on Codeplex that allows for the creation of an app experience on Windows Phone and Windows 8 by leveraging your existing website. This approach comes with various pros and cons, namely that the more responsive design implemented in the original website the better the layout is when wrapped into an application, in addition the app requires accessibility to the internet for full functionality. However, this can be seen as a great opportunity for developers looking to create applications which require little maintenance to render across multiple platforms i.e. Android, IOS, Windows etc.
Recently, the Web App Template was brought over as an available template in App Studio offering developers the ability to easily generate wrapped applications over existing mobile ready websites. This can aid companies in rapidly creating a presence on the Windows ecosystem. Using this approach, I was able to bring my mobile ready website @ http://top-music-videos.com over to the Windows Store as an app in only 25 steps!
1. A mobile ready / responsive website (It is encouraged to use only IP’s or sites that you own)
2. A free App Studio account available @ http://appstudio.windows.com
3. A Windows Store Developer Account – If you are reading this blog, I may be able to help you out with getting access, e-mail “p decarlo @ Micro soft dot com”
Login to App Studio, and start a new project.
When prompted to Choose your template, select the Web App Template
Click the Create Button
Note the default template which wraps http://m.microsoft.com
The fields should be fairly intuitive
Modify the values below:
1. App Title
2. Base Url – Note the site may render differently on a device, do not always assume it will look like the simulator on the left
3. Message (I did not prefer the default grammar)
Then click Save
Select Themes from the top menu
Here you can optionally change the color of the Application Bar
Note: Other template modifications won’t render changes in the Web App Template
Let’s gather logos using Bing Image Search
Note: I am searching for Free to modify, share, and use commercially tagged images
Create a nice square logo larger
Note: It is recommended to use a large layout 400 x 400 or greater
App Studio will resize the large square image in the next step
Select Tiles from the Top menu
Upload your image as the Small and Large Tile
Provide appropriate text for your tile
You may also click over to the Splash and Lock menu to modify the Splash Screen
Select Publish Info from the top menu
Click to modify the logo, again I used the same image from the previous step
Click Finish, then Generate and select the options below
Verify your app was successfully generated
Head to the Windows Store Dev Center
Select Windows Phone Store
Select Submit App
Select App Info
Reserve your App Name
Make sure this app matches the name given to your app in App Studio
If the name is unavailable, find one that is and regenerate your app in App Studio using the new name
Scroll down and select the appropriate categories and distribution options for your app
Head back over to your generated App Studio App and Download the publish package
Here you can also test your app by side-loading using the Installable Packages QR code
More information on these features can be found by clicking “How to”
Note the location of the downloaded publish package
Locate your downloaded publish package
Extract the .XAP file within
Head to Upload and Describe your packages in the Windows Phone Store
Click Add new and select your extracted .XAP file from the previous steps
Add the necessary description and keyword info
In addition you will want to provide the necessary images
I resized my logo used for the live tiles in order to create the 300×300 App Tile Icon
I used the Snipping Tool to grab screenshots from the App Studio previewer and resized to 1280×800
You could also obtain screenshots by sideloading your package into the emulator if you have the WP8 SDK installed
Click Review and Submit
Note the summary of your app submission
If everything looks good, click Submit
Download the published app!
Adblock for Buffalo WHR-G54 running DD-WRT
June 27, 2014
You can install and run adblock on your devices at home and create an ad-free experience for users of those devices, or you can block ads at the router level and block ads for every device on your network. Using a WHR-G54 router flashed with DD-WRT I was able to implement such a solution in bash that executes on the router during boot. As would be expected, this consists of hacks upon hacks upon hacks.
High-level overview: Create script and house in ram, call script to download and parse adblock list to hostsfile, append hosts in hostsfile to dnsmasq config, restart web portal on port 81, redirect port 80 traffic to gateway ip to webserver on port 81 via firewall rules so things appear vanilla, download pixelserv from remote location, store in ram and initiate on current ip block ending in 254, then deploy cron job to refresh adblock list during router uptime every Friday at 11:45 PM.
To install simply copy and paste the script below into the window @ Administration=>Command and click “Save Startup”
Get the script @ Github
2nd Annual Houston Hackathon nets Honorable Mention for Team Awesome
June 13, 2014
This year marked the 2nd annual Houston Hackathon held at the Houston Technology Center in Downtown Houston. This year’s event pitted 18 teams against each other to brainstorm up and prototype a technological innovation which benefits the city for the chance to pitch the idea to mayor Annise Parker. Patrick Wolf, Jesus Hernandez, Thomas Garza, and I formed a group unofficially titled “Team Awesome” to create a concept around the XPlatformCloudKit. At first, we utilized the framework to consume Police Report data as participants were encouraged to used data repos from the city’s open data initiative. However, due to the agility of the XPCK framework, we found ourselves with a complete and published project after approximately 6 hours! We quickly shifted our approach to pitch the ease with which we were to able create a polished application as a pitch to encourage development amongst the community. Using our app HPD Reports as a proof of concept, we showed the mayor that we could enable the consumption of a variety of data. This posed a great opportunity to “appify” even more open data repos and even educate the community on how to do so! At the end of the day, we wound up winning an honorable mention and got an excellent “Winner” banner placed on our Challenge Post submission.
Also awesome, was the fact that our teammate Patrick Wolf’s son’s team won the “Student Challenge” for their not one, but three websites that they created to better service citizens of Houston. These included a Biking trail service, an HISD lunch menu, and Houston Hackathon promo site!
View the official Challenge Post submission for HPD Reports:
Download the HPD Reports App @ http://hpdreports.azurewebsites.net/
So much fun! We even got to meet Mayor Annise Parker!
Workaround for “You’ve reached your MYSQL quota” with WordPress WebSite Deploy on Microsoft Azure
May 22, 2014
Normally to create a new WordPress site on Azure you would Click => New => Compute => Website => From Gallery => WordPress. Except, this doesn’t work if you already have an existing WordPress site on Azure because the MYSql provider “ClearDB” limits you to one SQL instance. In the final step, you may encounter the following message:
But… you can create a new one and attach it to your site by following these instructions:
1. Select your existing website from the left panel in the Azure Portal
2. Click “Dashboard”
3. Scroll down to “Linked Resources” and click the resource in blue
4. This brings you into your associated “ClearDB” account, click “Dashboard”
5. Click “Create a new Database”
6. Select the free “Mercury” instance
7. Choose the Primary region to deploy your database (you likely want this match the region you intend to deploy your Azure Website)
8. Click “Create my free Database”
9. Take note of the name of your newly created database
10. Back in Azure, create your new WordPress site from New => Compute => Website => From Gallery => WordPress and in step 3, select to “Use an existing MYSQL Database” and create a new WebScale Group in the same region as the Database that was created in step 7
All you have to do now is select your newly created database (name given in step 9) and you are good to go with using your new site against a new ClearDB database instance! Check the “ClearDB terms” box in the final step and notice the check mark is enabled and you can now deply your new WordPress site!
Claim Your Industry-Leading Tools for Windows 8 and Windows Phone Today
May 13, 2014
To support Microsoft and the Microsoft developer community, Telerik is giving away their best tools for building Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps. Get yours before the end of TechEd 2014 — no strings attached.
And here’s the best part: When Telerik tools for building Windows Universal Apps is officially launched, they will automatically upgrade all license holders of Telerik UI for Windows 8 and UI for Windows Phone.
May 5, 2014
Do you live to code?
- Activate your DreamSpark benefits!
- Download Visual Studio Pro 2013 FOR FREE
- Qualify to win an Xbox One Titanfall Edition
Download Visual Studio Professional 2013 FOR FREE and enter a chance to win an Xbox One Titanfall Edition!
By using Visual Studio Professional 2013, you can deliver quality applications on Windows, Office, Windows Phone, the web, or the cloud. When you combine it with Windows 8.1, you’ll be able to build Windows Store apps. It’s a great way to be prepared for that summer internship, or for your new job after graduation. Best of all, it’s FREE to download as a DreamSpark member.
Go here to learn how you can earn a chance to win 1 of 14 Xbox One Titanfall editions. Act fast – the offer ends June 15th!
April 14, 2014
Microsoft Virtual Academy has just announced this year’s Windows Phone Jump Start training for developers!
Building Apps for Windows Phone 8.1 Jump Start will be held on 29th, 30th April and extend onto the morning of May 1st:
“If you’re an app developer who wants to design and build Windows Phone 8.1 apps using XAML and C#, don’t miss this exciting event. The two-and-a-half day, demo-rich course, taught by experts who have years of experience developing (and writing about the process), focuses on how to create apps for Windows Phone 8.1 in Visual Studio and how to create universal app projects that share a high percentage of code and that target both Windows and Windows Phone.”
If you are unable to make the live event, you can catch all of the content at your leisure as the videos will be posted to Channel 9.
The Jump Start course is comprised of four sections:
Section 1: Introduction
· Session 1: Introduction to Windows Phone 8.1 (50 minutes)
Overview of the Windows Phone 8.1 developer platform, including guidance on the choices of app framework now available.
Section 2: Building Windows Runtime Apps using XAML and C#
Sessions that show how to build phone apps using WinRT XAML
· Session 2: Getting Started Building Windows Runtime Apps (50 minutes)
Fundamentals of building a WinRT XAML app for a Phone target, introducing the controls, layout, styles and theme resources, AppBar, StatusBar.
· Session 3: Page Navigation and Data Binding (25 minutes)
Navigating between pages in a Windows Runtime app, page caching and data binding
· Session 4: Lists and List Items (50 minutes)
Programming Lists, formatting list items and handling long or complex lists effectively
· Session 5: Windows Runtime App Page Layout Controls (25 minutes)
Pivot, Hub and Single Page layouts.
· Session 6: Adapting UI for Different Screens (25 minutes)
Explain the new layout system, and how to ensure your UI adapts to different phone screen sizes and orientations.
· Session 7: Windows Runtime App Lifecycle (25 minutes)
Explain the ways apps can be started, terminated and resumed.
· Session 8: Localization and Globalization in Windows Runtime Apps (25 minutes)
Making your app world-ready
Section 3: Programming Windows Runtime Platform Features (Windows Runtime XAML and Silverlight 8.1)
Programming platform features in Windows Phone 8.1 apps from either Windows Runtime Apps or Windows Phone Silverlight Apps
· Session 9: Data Storage, Backup and Roaming (50 minutes)
All about storing data, backing app data up to the cloud and roaming data across devices
· Session 10: Contracts and Sharing Files and Data (50 minutes)
Share contract, FileOpenPicker/FileSavePicker, File & Uri associations
· Session 11: Background Tasks (25 minutes)
How to run code in the background
· Session 12: Maps, Geolocation and Geofencing (25 minutes)
Maps, Location and GeoFencing
· Session 13: Networking, Mobile Services and Authentication (50 minutes)
Networking fundamentals. Includes Background Transfer Service and Web Authentication Broker
· Session 14: Tiles, badges and toasts and Notification Center (50 minutes)
Tiles and toasts and Notification Center
· Session 15: Sensors and Proximity: NFC and Bluetooth (25 minutes)
Sensors, NFC and Bluetooth
· Session 16: Contacts and Calendar (25 minutes)
WinRT APIs for Contacts and Calendar, plus new capabilities (available on phone only) for Wallet-aware apps
· Session 17: Camera, Media, Audio and Speech (50 minutes)
Working with the camera, media and video editing
· Session 18: Enterprise LOB Apps (50 minutes)
All the new features aimed at Enterprise LOB and MDDM
· Session 19: SQLite Database (25 minutes)
How to program SQLite
· Session 20: VS Tooling and Memory Profiling (25 minutes)
Introduction to the many tools built into Visual Studio to help you develop Windows apps
· Session 21: App Packaging and Publication (50 minutes)
How to package your app and get your app published in the Store
· Session 22: Best practices: Building Universal Apps for Windows Phone and Windows (50 minutes)
Guidance for building for both
Section 4: Upgrading Windows Phone Silverlight 8.0 apps to Silverlight 8.1
Programming new platform features from a Silverlight app
· Session 23: Upgrading Windows Phone Silverlight 8.0 Apps to Silverlight 8.1 (50 minutes)
Recap on why you would use Silverlight, and explanation of what issues must be considered when upgrading to Silverlight 8.1. Topics include behavioural changes introduced by the quirks API, Lifecycle changes as FAR is now the only mode of reactivation, implementing share contract and using the FileOpenPicker/FileSavePicker, Web Authentication Broker, moving from MPNS to WNS, background agents alongside background tasks.