Category Archives: Software

Microsoft still has ‘a way to go’ in determining its market for Windows 8, says Network Rail

Microsoft has “a bit of a way to go” in determining which market it is targeting for Windows 8, even though the operating system has now been on the market for over a year, Network Rail’s head of information systems strategy Simon Goodman has told Computing.

Goodman praised Microsoft’s early entries into hybrid-led technology via Windows 8, saying there was definitely “a need” for hybrid notebook-tablets, and that this was something Network Rail had “explored internally”.

“We’ve already looked at Surface-based devices,” confirmed Goodman.

“It gives you a combination of nice tablet looks and feel, a lightweight device, but it’s got a bit of grunt behind it, so if you need to do something a little bit more hefty from an applications perspective, you’ve got the tools and capabilities to do that,” he said.

But Goodman described the move from Windows 7 to 8, with its added Modern apps interface, as “a huge jump” for Microsoft, which could affect ease of adoption for some of Network Rail’s workers.

“If you’re a traditional desktop user, it’s quite difficult to get to the look and feel of how that works, and how to navigate around it,” said Goodman.

But Goodman maintained that, from a tablet perspective, “it’s not that hard to work out where you go, and everything else”.

However, Goodman is going to hold fire before rolling out any Windows 8 systems en masse at Network Rail.

“For me, it’s something we will look to embrace where it makes sense to do so, but I still think Microsoft has got a bit of a way to go yet to determine exactly what market it wants to play into,” said Goodman.

Look out for the full-length video interview with Network Rail’s Simon Goodman on Computing very soon.

Maxthon Partners with AMD to Offer Web Browser Optimized for Next Generation APU Chips

Maxthon, a cloud-based browser, today released a new version of its Windows browser that uses a revolutionary new microprocessor from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), significantly reducing power consumption while offering superior video performance. AMD’s new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) leverages new technology to make transactions between the graphics processing unit (GPU) and the central processing unit (CPU) faster and more energy-efficient than ever before.

“New chip architecture like AMD’s APU product is a clear signpost to where we believe the Web technology is heading: more happening in the chip and the browser serving as more of an open standards operating system,” said Jeff Chen, founder and CEO of Maxthon. “We’re proud to collaborate with AMD on such an exciting step forward.”

The GPU handles the processing of rich media including graphics and video, while the CPU manages the heavy lifting of analytical and logic-based functions. Until now, communicating across these two units has depended on a serial data connection that processes millions of functions per second, often resulting in a sluggish and power-consuming Web experience.

The partnership allows Maxthon to optimize the Windows browser for lightning-quick interaction between the APU to speed up video and graphics rendering, particularly using HTML5 standards for which Maxthon is the global leader in support. Among other things, the Maxthon Cloud browser is using OpenCL for lightning quick HTML5 video post processing to offer richer, faster video.

“In the near future what we now know as TV will be mediated through a Web browser optimized for innovative technology like AMD’s APU processors,” said Karl Mattson, vice president of Maxthon International. “Among other things, that means the electronic ‘hearth’ of the TV in the family room will be freed to be available to any device connected to the Web running a browser like Maxthon.”

About Maxthon

Maxthon is an innovative software company that develops superior Web browsers that continue to set new standards for speed, security, simplicity and cloud features. It is available on the Windows, Android, iOS and Mac platforms. With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Maxthon reaches a global community of users that tops more than 120,000,000 people each month in more than 150 countries.

WhatsApp Luncurkan Fitur Baru di Windows Phone

Jakarta – WhatsApp is one of the instant messaging service that can be used by many types of cell phone operating system. Not surprisingly, WhatsApp has 250 million active users. According to the Wall Street Journal website, this amount is equivalent to the number of users on Twitter, Facebook Messenger, and Skype.
What’s more, the instant messaging application also does not include ads in their services. Users were not bothered by ads that sometimes appear like the other instant messaging services.
Now, WhatsApp update the application with new features for Windows Phone users. Some of the new features that include
1. Make voice calls;
2. Background API (Application Programming Interface) which can play music;
3. New Smiley;
4. Notifications are updated to the user;
5. Quick summary (if the application is open and the user clicks the notification, the application will open fast like on Android);
6. The user will be asked whether you want to save the conversation history, users can arrange it through the settings menu, and
7. Images are displayed larger.
Updates on Windows Phone devices can be downloaded in Windows Phone Store.

Adobe completes $600M purchase of Neolane

Calif. (AP) — Adobe Systems Inc. said Tuesday that it has closed on a $600 million purchase of Neolane, a French company that provides technology for marketing campaigns.

Adobe, which makes Photoshop and other creative software and is shifting its business to a subscription model, said that Neolane would bolster its digital-marketing services.

The San Jose, Calif., company already has digital marketing services, including analytics and targeting. Neolane’s technology, meanwhile, helps companies manage marketing campaigns on the Internet, email, social media and mobile devices, as well as through call centers and direct mail. It has more than 400 customers around the world, many of whom also used Adobe services.

When it announced its plans for the deal last month, Adobe said buying Neolane would not significantly affect its results this year. The company couldn’t estimate the effect of the acquisition on future earnings.

Adobe’s stock closed Monday at $48.28, up 28 percent this year.

Share Location, Google Maps Help Increase Accuracy

JAKARTA – Google recognizes that besutannya rudimentary mapping applications. Therefore, the company continues to update and even in this case involve the user. This was stated by Google Indonesia Country Head, Rudy Ramawy.

“That’s when you make the trip? Maybe it’s been accurate. That’s why we have never held a ‘grand launch’ of our products, because the company is aware of updates and updates to keep going” Rudy said while responding to thoughts about the accuracy of the crew Techno Okezone Google Maps in Jakarta , overnight.

“We are aware that our service is not completely perfect, but we continue to make updates. Indonesia with a wide geographical conditions is a challenge to deliver the best service,” he said.

Furthermore, Rudy said that if the Android-based smartphone users to enable or diligently perform ‘share location’, it was very helpful software giant to improve the accuracy of its services. “Of course in this case we appreciate aspects of secrecy,” said Rudy.

“If the big cities such as Jakarta, the accuracy of Google Maps can be relied upon. But if remote areas, we continue to provide the best possible experience. Many ways we are doing, Google Drive one of them,” said Rudy.

Meanwhile, following the Google Maps that can be accessed offline in a number of countries, Indonesia Google promised that the service would go in Indonesia, but companies are reluctant to disclose when exactly the service that can be enjoyed.

“A number of countries able to access Google Maps offline, and Indonesia are also included in the list will receive the service. Certainty but we do not know yet,” alluded Country Marketing Manager for Google Indonesia Krishna Zulkarnain.

Review: First 8-inch Windows tablet is a device that shouldn’t exist

My dissatisfaction with PC OEMs is something I have documented in the past. They offer a confusing array of products and tend to cut corners in the worst ways imaginable. The OEM response to Windows 8 has been to produce a wide range of machines sporting novel form factors to fit all sorts of niches, both real and imagined.

One niche that the OEMs haven’t tried to fill, however, has been sub-10-inch tablets. That’s not altogether surprising. Microsoft designed Windows 8 for screens of 10 inches or more, and initially the operating system’s hardware requirements had a similar constraint.

That decision looked a little short-sighted after the success of tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 and the iPad mini. Accordingly, Microsoft changed the rules in March, opening the door to a range of smaller Windows tablets.

The Acer Iconia W3 is the first—and currently the only—8-inch Windows tablet. That attribute alone makes it in some sense noteworthy. Sadly, it’s about the only thing that does.

Spec-wise, this is another Intel Clover Trail tablet, and its internals are basically the same as the devices that launched last year (such as its bigger brother, the Acer Iconia W510). This means 1.8 GHz, dual core, four thread Intel Atom Z2760 CPU, 2 GB RAM, 64 GB flash storage (which with Acer’s default partitioning leaves a little over 29 GB usable), front and rear cameras, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11b/g/n (no 5 GHz support). There’s a micro-HDMI and micro-USB port for external connectivity (a separate cable converts the micro USB port into a full-size one), along with an SD card slot. The tablet has a speaker adequate for notification sounds but little more.

As a result, performance and battery life are similar to what we’ve seen before. The Iconia W3 comes equipped with full-blown Windows 8, unlike ARM tablets, so it can run any 32-bit Windows application—should you really want to. Clover Trail’s GPU performance is such that games and other graphics-intensive programs won’t run well, however.

Eight inches of horror

The new bits on this tablet are really the screen and the size.

Screens are important. We spend essentially all our time interacting with devices looking at screens. Cost-cutting on screens is unforgivable, as a bad screen will damage every single interaction you have with the device. This goes doubly so for tablets, where the screen works not only as an output device but also as the primary input device.

The Acer Iconia W3’s screen is a standout—because it is worst-in-class. I hated every moment I used the Iconia W3, and I hated it because I hated the screen. Its color accuracy and viewing angles are both miserable (whites aren’t white—they’re weirdly colorful and speckled). The screen has a peculiar grainy appearance that makes it look permanently greasy. You can polish as much as you like; it will never go away. The whole effect is reminiscent in some ways of old resistive screens.

It’s hard to overstate just how poor this screen is. At any reasonable tablet viewing distance, the color of the screen is uneven. The viewing angle is so narrow that at typical hand-held distances, the colors change across the width of the screen. At full arm’s length the screen does finally look even, but the device is obviously unusable that way.

Acer has clearly skimped on the screen. I’m sure the panel in the W3 was quite cheap, and that may be somewhat reflected in the unit’s retail price ($379 for a 32GB unit, $429 for this 64GB one—putting it at the same price as the 32GB iPad mini, which has a comparable amount of available disk space), but who cares? It doesn’t matter how cheap something is if you don’t want to use it at all.

This poor screen quality isn’t a question of resolution, either. 1280×800 is not a tremendously high resolution, but text looks crisp enough. At 186 pixels per inch, 1280×800 feels more or less OK for this size of device.

The low resolution does, however, have one significant drawback: it disables Windows 8’s side-by-side Metro multitasking, which requires a resolution of at least 1366×768. The W3’s screen is 86 pixels too narrow, so the Metro environment is strictly one application at a time.

This is an unfortunate decision. The side-by-side multitasking is one of the Metro environment’s most compelling features. Keeping Twitter or Messenger snapped to the side makes a lot of sense and works well. I’ve never used Windows 8 on a device that didn’t support side-by-side Metro multitasking before, and I don’t ever want to again.

Size-wise, the W3 may be small for a Windows tablet, but it’s not exactly small. It’s fat. The W3 is 11.4 mm thick. The iPad mini, in comparison, is 7.2 mm thick. The Iconia W3 is also heavy at 500 g; the iPad mini, in comparison, is 308 g. That makes the W3 more than 50 percent thicker and more than 50 percent heavier.

The thickness makes the lack of a full-sized USB port on the device more than a little confusing. There’s certainly room for a full USB port, and a full port would be more convenient than the dongle. But for whatever reason, Acer didn’t give us one.

The device itself feels solid enough, albeit plasticky. It doesn’t exude quality, but it’s a step or two up from the bargain basement.

Keyboard non-dock

The W3 also has a keyboard accessory. As is common for this kind of thing, the keyboard has no electrical connection to the tablet. It’s a Bluetooth keyboard powered by a pair of AAA batteries. It has a groove along the top that can hold the tablet in both landscape and portrait orientations and a clip on the back that lets you use the keyboard as a kind of screen protector.

The keyboard has to be manually paired to the tablet. It’s more or less full-size, with a reasonable key layout. It’s a typical mediocre keyboard. The feel is a little on the squishy side, lacking the crispness of, for example Microsoft’s Type Cover for its Surface tablets. It’s better than any on-screen keyboard, and to that extent it does its job. But it’s a long way from being an actually good keyboard.

The groove does hold the tablet up, and on a level surface the unit doesn’t topple over, but it’s not as satisfactory as some of the hinged keyboard/docks we’ve seen on other devices. Tilt the base while carrying it or using it on your lap and the tablet is liable to fall out.

The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache(tm) Mesos(tm) as a Top-Level Project

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of nearly 150 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today that Apache Mesos has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP), signifying that the project’s community and products have been well-governed under the ASF’s meritocratic process and principles.

Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that provides efficient resource isolation and sharing across distributed applications, or frameworks. It can run multiple frameworks, including Apache Hadoop, MPI, Hypertable, Jenkins, Storm, and Spark, as well as other applications and custom frameworks.

“It was our goal all along to see Mesos become a kernel of the infrastructure stack of the future,” said Benjamin Hindman, Vice President of Apache Mesos. “The project’s graduation from the Apache Incubator is recognition that the software is mature and has brought together a diverse community to sustain it in the future.”

Initially created at the University of California at Berkeley’s AMPLab (the research center also responsible for the original development of Apache Spark) to manage resource sharing and isolation in data centers, Mesos acts as a layer of abstraction between applications and pools of servers. Mesos helps avoid the necessity of creating separate clusters to run individual frameworks and instead making it possible to optimize how jobs are executed across shared machines.

Whilst in the Apache Incubator, Mesos had four releases, and established an Open Source community according to The Apache Way of governance. Additional improvements to the project includes its flexibility to support several application framework languages, and scalability that has been production tested to thousands of nodes and simulated to tens of thousands of nodes and hundreds of frameworks.

Apache Mesos has proven to be reliable for use in production, and has already been adopted by several organizations for cluster management.

“Mesos is the cornerstone of our elastic compute infrastructure,” explained Chris Fry, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Twitter. “It’s how we build all our new services and is critical for Twitter’s continued success at scale … one of the primary keys to our data infrastructure efficiency.”

“We’re using Mesos to manage cluster resources for most of our data infrastructure,” said Brenden Matthews, Engineer at Airbnb and Apache Mesos Committer. “We run Chronos, Storm, and Hadoop on top of Mesos in order to process petabytes of data.” (Chronos is an Airbnb-developed Mesos framework as a replacement for cron, and an example of how custom frameworks can be developed on Mesos to leverage its resource sharing).

“Community support for Apache Mesos is encouraging, particularly as more companies assess how they manage their clusters and look for more efficiency,” added Hindman. “Now that we’ve graduated, we look forward to continuing to grow the number of Mesos adopters and fostering an ecosystem around the project.”

Availability and Oversight
As with all Apache products, Apache Mesos software is released under the Apache License v2.0, and is overseen by a self-selected team of active contributors to the project. A Project Management Committee (PMC) guides the Project’s day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases.

VUE Software to Provide Compensation Management System With Revenue Reconciliation for Insurance Technology and Distribution Organization

COCONUT CREEK, Fla., July 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — VUE Software® today announced that a rapidly growing health insurance technology and distribution partner recently selected the VUE Compensation Management™ solution for its compensation management infrastructure. A subsidiary of one of the top ten health insurance companies in the United States the organization is hiring and training thousands of agents and service workers. The firm plans to leverage the system’s comprehensive commission management capabilities, which include automated revenue reconciliation, to confirm commission accuracy across multiple carriers, maintain smooth operations and ensure correct, timely agent compensation.

Because of its highly specialized business model, rapid growth and ongoing interactions with carriers, exchanges, agents and consumers, the insurance service partner required a robust, configurable system able to scale to high business volumes. Revenue reconciliation was a deciding factor due to the need to verify payment accuracy across a multi-carrier, multi-hierarchy environment and incorporate pay structures such as flat fees, percentages and multiple commission tiers. In addition, higher transaction volumes were anticipated to accommodate the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and increases in Medicare use with a shifting retiree population.

The service partner chose VUE Compensation Management following a referral from an existing VUE Software client on the basis of revenue reconciliation. The solution is being integrated into the service partner’s technology and will provide comprehensive revenue reconciliation capabilities as partnerships are established in the organization’s aggressive growth phase.

“With our dedicated insurance focus and successful track record with reputable clients, VUE Software is an excellent choice for companies that need to rise above industry complexities and healthcare reform challenges,” said Abhinav Dave, executive vice president of VUE Software. “Unlike many solutions, automated reconciliation is built into VUE Compensation Management so our customers can keep pace with complex commission environments. Reconciling variations between expected revenue and payments received is just good business, but doing it manually can be extremely time-consuming. Higher transaction volumes increase the potential for error, particularly in multi-carrier situations. Only a sophisticated system like ours can make accuracy easy.”

VUE Compensation Management’s revenue reconciliation module enables service providers, managing general agents (MGAs), Health Insurance Exchanges (HIXs), carriers and other key partners to forecast, track, measure, compare and recognize earned revenue and avoid agent overpayments. Automation streamlines payment and reconciliation processes, saves time and money, helps eliminate errors and increases overall efficiencies. The system helps strengthen partner relationships by providing factual evidence for any payment errors, since all calculations are documented according to the contracted commission structure.

About VUE Software®

VUE Software is a leading provider of distribution, incentive compensation and sales performance management suites. Backed by over 20 years of insurance experience, VUE Software solutions are built to meet the unique needs of the life, health, property and casualty, and distribution verticals. VUE Software is a doing-business-as (DBA) name of Computer Solutions and Software International, LLC (CSSI).

Surge Software Announces General Availability of SurgeHub – Full Suite of Mobile Tools for the Entire Sales Lifecycle

Surge Software, Inc. announced today the general availability of their new mobile sales enablement platform, SurgeHub. SurgeHub is a mobile content management (CMS), customer relationship management (CRM), and order entry application that provides a true mobile sales enablement solution to sales teams large and small.

The tablet, mobile, and web-based application allows sales teams to upload, organize, and share sales material, queue up content for upcoming presentations, show PowerPoint presentations in slideshow mode, fill out and digitally sign forms, and track and monitor content usage and sessions with clients. SurgeHub also allows sales teams to easily manage their accounts and contacts, setup customized deal flows, collaborate with other team members, and manage tasks across the organization. In addition, SurgeHub includes a mobile order entry tool, is branded and customized to fit the needs of each unique business, and works both online and offline.

SurgeHub is the first product of its kind to support the entire sales cycle on a mobile device, from giving the initial presentation, to managing content and customers, to taking and tracking orders. SurgeHub is unique in the sense that it allows companies choose to use the full suite of sales enablement features or a subset of features depending on their company needs, giving businesses both large and small the option of tailoring the application to their specific needs.

“There are a number of products in the market that support part of the sales process, such as giving presentations or managing contacts. SurgeHub is the first application to support the entire sales process from giving an initial presentation to taking an order, and everything in-between,” said Matt MacKay, CEO of Surge Software, Inc. “Sales people don’t want to deal with multiple tools from multiple vendors, and the proliferation of mobile apps is just making things worse. We bring sanity to the market for sales teams by giving them an intuitive, easy-to-use sales enablement tool that works the same on any device, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and cell phones.”

“We chose SurgeHub as our mobile sales enablement tool because of the comprehensive feature set and the ease of use,” said Jason Abromaitis, CEO of Simple Serve.” The usage tracking features help us to understand what is going on in the field. SurgeHub is an essential tool for any mobile sales team.”

SurgeHub can be used stand-alone or it can be connected to 3rd party systems. A web version is included for desktop/browser-based access. SurgeHub can be used in a hosted “SaaS / Cloud” model or it can be installed on premise.

Boffin Advises Consumers On The Best Typing Tutor Software This Year, eReflect Announces

Ultimate Typing™ software developer eReflect announced today that the software review website Boffin has published extensive reviews on the best typing tutor software for 2013. As the eReflect representative noted in today’s statement, the company is proud to learn of the high rating given to its product, and appreciates the suggestions and comments provided by this and other reviewers and customers. eReflect states that its goal is to provide the best possible product to users, and relies on such feedback to continually refine and improve its software.

In this most recent review, the Boffin team of reviewers examined four typing improvement software products and concluded that Ultimate Typing™ is the top choice for the review team, as the software includes features and technologies the other products lacked.

The Boffin software review team evaluated all typing tutor software products in terms of efficiency, help and support for users, instruction quality, user friendliness, and several other parameters. While each of the other software products reviewed lacked strength in one or more of these categories, Ultimate Typing™ had all these features and more, making the team’s decision as to the best typing software an easy one. The SoftwareReviewBoffin.com website illustrates the pros and cons of each typing software product in great detail so that interested users can get an accurate idea on how each software works and how it can improve their typing skills.

According to the Boffin website, Ultimate Typing™ was a clear winner as the top 2013 typing tutor software in view of its cutting-edge tools, impressive integrated technologies and its scientifically informed design and overall interface. The review team also highlighted that the software offers a great variety of activities, games, and practice difficulty levels, making it an appealing choice for people of all ages, needs, and learning styles. The Boffin team of reviewers also emphasized that unlike other software, in addition to its extensive practice material Ultimate Typing™ also has the most user-friendly interface making navigation easy, thus allowing users to focus on what really matters, improving their typing speed and accuracy. In today’s statement, the representative from eReflect remarked that the development team is quite pleased with this aspect of the review, as the interface was one area of product development that the software company put a great deal of time into.

The Boffin review concluded by mentioning that all top software products listed on the website are frequently reevaluated in order for visitors to have up to date information on the most efficient software products on the market. It was also stated that the actual differences between the top three software products selected were often rather minute and that once new releases or versions are published, the current ratings are likely to change.

About Ultimate Typing™

Ultimate Typing™ software is designed specifically for the improvement of typing skills. Created by eReflect, a world leader in e-learning and self-development software, Ultimate Typing™ has been informed by the latest developments in the science of touch typing.

Since its creation in 2006 by Marc Slater, the company has already catered to over 112 countries all over the world, offering products with the latest cutting-edge technology, some of which are among the world’s most recognized and awarded in the industry.