Category Archives: Software

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.

Predixion Software Raises $20 Million in Series C Financing

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA–(Marketwired – Jul 8, 2013) -Predixion Software, a developer of collaborative predictive analytics solutions, announced today it has raised $20 million in Series C financing. Predixion’s Series C includes two new strategic investors, Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and GE Ventures. Current investors DFJ Frontier, EMC, Miramar Venture Partners and Palomar Ventures also subscribed to the round of financing along with new investor, Frost Venture Partners.

In conjunction with its role in leading the financing round, Accenture will jointly develop a range of advanced analytics solutions for its clients with Predixion. These solutions will reduce the time and cost of decision making by extending the use of predictive analytics applications to managers in a range of business functions, allowing them to apply data-driven insights directly to their operational workflows. The solutions will be marketed to Accenture clients.

“We are pleased to join forces with Predixion Software to offer our clients’ business users new intuitive data analytics and collaboration solutions,” said Sajid Usman, global managing director for Technology at Accenture Analytics. “The end-to-end capabilities we’re building will make it more cost effective for our clients to turn data into insights, actions, and ultimately business outcomes. Our investment in Predixion is part of our ongoing strategy of bringing capabilities to our clients that cover the full analytics value chain and help them move forward on their Analytics Journey to ROI.”

Predixion provides collaborative predictive analytics solutions for customers across key industries such as healthcare, life sciences, financial services, marketing, government, manufacturing and ecommerce. Predixion software eliminates the complexity of predictive analytics so non-technical professionals on the front lines of business can anticipate customer needs, reduce costs and accelerate operational efficiency. For example, a healthcare administrator can predict which patients are likely to readmit, a bank manager can anticipate when a valuable customer is likely to switch banks, or a marketing manager can use predictive targeting to improve campaign response rates.

The company’s recent milestones include starting the year with six new strategic customers, revenue growth of over 800%, on average, for 2011 and 2012 as well as closing Q1 2013 revenue that exceeded all of 2012 revenue by 30%. Predixion was also selected as a finalist for Red Herring’s Top 100 North America award, a prestigious list honoring the year’s most promising private technology ventures from the North American business region.

“Bringing on world-class investors like Accenture and GE validates the massive opportunity for nimble predictive analytics technologies,” said Simon Arkell, CEO and Co-Founder, Predixion Software. “Partnering with such an experienced group of strategics will help us accelerate growth and scale globally as we continue our mission to drive adoption of predictive analytics into every industry.”

“From aviation to health care, GE’s customers are now collecting unprecedented amounts of data, due to a growing number of intelligent business systems and sensor-equipped machines,” said Brett May, Head of Software Ventures and Business Development, GE Software. “GE plans to launch many next-generation Industrial Internet services that leverage that data and its context. We believe that Predixion will broaden the spectrum of creators and consumers of big data predictive analytics and we’re excited about the company’s potential to help us offer data-driven value to our customers.”

Predixion will use the funding proceeds to accelerate product development and scale its sales and marketing organizations to support current and anticipated demand and growth for its family of predictive analytics solutions.

About Predixion Software
Predixion Software is a disruptive predictive analytics software company with a unique focus on the development of portable predictive applications via its patent pending “Machine Learning Semantic Model” (MLSM) and the “last mile” of analytics — the deployment of powerful predictions to the people who need to act upon them. Predixion offers an easy-to-deploy self-service predictive analytics solution that allows customers to unlock deep insights within their data with technology that integrates with leading business intelligence platforms, business applications and workflows.

Watchful Software to Showcase Leading Cybersecurity Technologies at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2013

Watchful Software, a leading provider of data-centric information security solutions, will feature live demonstrations of its award-winning cybersecurity technologies at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2013 this week, July 8-11. The company will showcase how RightsWATCH and TypeWATCH prevent sensitive data from being disclosed inadvertently and unauthorized users from accessing your systems. Watchful Software is also announcing a global collaboration with SECUDE and Foxit Corporation to offer enterprises running on SAP a powerful end-to-end approach to protect business critical information regardless of its form or location.

“Often, data is being pulled out of a SAP system, and is being transformed into emails, documents, spreadsheets, etc. This transformation process creates the opportunity for data breaches,” states Charles Foley, CEO of Watchful Software. “The alliance between Watchful, SECUDE and Foxit product offerings ensures that SAP-based information is protected against leaks, loss or theft, even if it is outside of the SAP database or published into different formats. This combination gives enterprises an unprecedented level of security of their business critical information both inside and outside the SAP landscape, as it moves around the world.”

Those who stop by stand 1825 at WPC 2013 will be able to see how Watchful’s comprehensive product suite is capable of 1) educating users and training them to handle confidential information, 2) leveraging ERM and DLP technology to classify, encrypt and protect sensitive data from being leaked, and 3) leveraging state-of-the-art eBiometrics technology, to constantly ensure that the people using your systems are who you think they are.

“Data breaches aren’t simply a question of good versus evil; oftentimes, these breaches are a result of an error by someone who really had no intention of disclosing sensitive information. Moreover, we should accept that just because there’s a security policy manual does not mean that its readers are going to act accordingly. Experience has proven that they won’t,” states Rui Melo Biscaia, Director of Product Management at Watchful Software. “RightsWATCH delivers a powerful tool for classifying data, controlling access to that data based on its user clearance and classification, and ensuring that the end result is what the organization expects and demands.”

The WPC 2013 is a four-day global gathering of top Microsoft partners held in Houston, Texas, USA (08 – 11 July 2013).

About Watchful Software – www.watchfulsoftware.com
Watchful Software was formed in 2012 to address the requirement to protect an organization’s most critical asset after its people — its information. The company is staffed by industry executives with decades of systems, software, networking, security, and compliance experience to address the growing need for protecting sensitive and proprietary information against accidental or malicious theft, leakage, or loss. Leveraging key technologies including advanced encryption algorithms, digital rights management, and e-Biometrics, Watchful Software has developed a suite of solutions that ensure only authorized personnel have access to enterprise systems or can handle sensitive information, thereby protecting against the massive economic and competitive damage often done by cyber terrorists and information thieves.

Upland Software Hires Brian Wilson as Vice President of Sales

AUSTIN, Texas, July 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Upland Software, the world’s largest cloud provider of enterprise software for project, portfolio, and work management, today announced that Brian Wilson has joined the company as Vice President of Sales. In this role, he will direct Upland’s global field and inside sales force in aligning clients’ business goals with Upland’s family of best-of-breed applications.

Brian comes to Upland with over twelve years of enterprise technology sales experience. Most recently, he was a Vice President of Sales at Innotas, a cloud provider of project and portfolio management (PPM) software.

“Brian’s experience in the cloud PPM space, proven sales management track record, and focus on a consultative, customer-centric approach will be tremendous assets in helping us achieve our organic growth goals,” commented Ludwig Melik, President of Upland Software. “We are thrilled to have him on the team. One of the exciting aspects of the Upland vision is that it allows us to attract top talent, drawn by the opportunities and challenges of creating the first cloud project, portfolio, and work management provider with real scale.”

Upland’s strategy is to build a family of cloud products that address a comprehensive range of PPM needs from strategic planning to work execution, whether in IT or across the business, managing projects or ad hoc work, or focused on “top-down” portfolio analysis or “bottom-up” productivity. Cloud software has transformed the market with its rapid speed-to-value, scalability, low total cost of ownership, and reduced financial risk, as well as its inherent ability to deliver a real-time data integration and collaboration platform to distributed workforces on a local or global scale. Bringing together strong, established cloud products not only creates economies of scale, but also opportunities to leverage talent, product innovation, and best practices across the Upland family of applications.

“What drew me to Upland are the convictions we share about the transformative potential of project, portfolio, and work management as a business discipline; the power of a cloud delivery model; and the integral role of the sales process in laying the foundations for long-term customer success,” Brian Wilson explained.  “I am also excited to work with such a seasoned, talented sales team. It’s great to be on board.”

Prior to Innotas, Brian held various sales and management positions at Seagate Technology and Fujitsu Computer Products. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis in Communication with a minor in Managerial Economics.

About Upland Software

Upland is the world’s largest cloud provider of enterprise software for project, portfolio and work management. Upland is the only cloud software provider that offers a comprehensive family of applications that enable organizations to align their goals, projects and programs, optimize their resource utilization and workflows, and empower teams to collaborate and work effectively.

TSP Symposium 2013 Keynotes to Focus on Quality Practices for Critical Software

The Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute (SEI) has announced the slate of software engineering thought-leaders who will serve as keynote speakers for the Team Software Process (TSP) Symposium 2013. Held in Dallas, Texas, on September 16-19, the TSP Symposium 2013 keynote line-up includes Bill Curtis, senior vice president and chief scientist with Cast Software; Enrique Ibarra, senior vice president of technology of the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV); and Robert Behler, chief operating officer of the SEI.

The symposium theme, When Software Really Matters, explores the idea that when product quality is critical, high-quality practices are the best way to achieve it.

“When a software system absolutely must work correctly, quality must be built in from the start. A disciplined approach to quality also offers the benefit of lower lifecycle costs. The TSP promotes the application of practices that lead to superior, high-quality products,” said James McHale, TSP Symposium 2013 technical chair. “Our keynote speakers and representatives from industry and government organizations from around the world will share how using TSP helps organizations build quality in from the start when there’s no room for error.”

  • Curtis will assert that the stakes for software-caused operational problems are now larger than ever, approaching a half-billion dollars per incident. Every other aspect of the business is managed by numbers, including IT operations. Software lags behind, however, because the culture of craftsmanship still prevails. Curtis’s talk will challenge that culture: Quality measurement will be challenged for under-measuring non-functional, structural quality, the cause of many operational disasters. Productivity measurement will be challenged for not penalizing baselines when rework is shifted into future releases as technical debt. Software measurement will be challenged to better express outcomes in terms that justify investments for improving quality. The word “quality” will be challenged as the wrong way to frame the argument. Curtis will propose a measurement stack or measurement pyramid to help translate software numbers to business numbers. At the foundation of this pyramid are the Personal Software Process (PSP) and TSP.
  • Ibarra will detail the Mexican Stock Exchange’s (BMV) broad plan of technological renovation that included migration to a new state-of-the-art data center and creating new operational systems with better functionalities and quality attributes. Since 2005, the BMV, which is responsible for operating the cash and derivatives market of the country and is the only exchange in Mexico, has faced the constant challenge of accommodating an exponential growth of demand for its transactional services as well as pressure from the market to offer services with better response times and functionalities. One of the most challenging software projects included in this technological renovation plan was the redesign and construction of the operational system known as the trading engine, which has strict and ambitious requirements for speed (latency), scalability, and continuous availability. The new system, which was to be designed and built internally, and the project were called MoNeT. The BMV had two goals for MoNeT: making sure a carefully considered and reviewed system architecture was in place prior to building the system and adopting a software development process that maximizes the quality of the new system and ensures that it complies with its intended quality attributes. Ibarra will describe the most relevant aspects of the MoNeT project, its performance in production, and the business impact it had on the BMV.
  • Behler, one of only 139 individuals qualified as pilots of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird aircraft, will describe his experience flying the fastest, most physically demanding aircraft in the world to gather vital data during the Cold War and the teamwork approach it took to develop the aircraft. The SR-71 was developed in the 1960s with myriad sophisticated sensors used to acquire highly specific intelligence data. The aircraft remains an icon of American aerospace engineering to this day and is considered to be the most effective reconnaissance aircraft in history.

In addition to the keynote speakers, substantial technical program, and organized networking events, the TSP Symposium 2013 also offers practitioners an in-depth learning opportunity with full-day tutorials on introductory and advanced TSP concepts.

“I am very excited about this year’s lineup of keynote speakers and technical presenters. The symposium should be stimulating with presentations on a broad array of topics related to quality-focused software development. It is also an excellent way for participants to network and exchange diverse ideas about how they have used the PSP/TSP approach to achieve their software quality goals,” said Mark Kasunic, Symposium co-chair.

Present Mozilla Firefox Beta 23

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Following the release of Firefox 22 two days ago, Mozilla announced the Firefox Beta update, with version 23, on the desktop and Android.

As reported by TheNextWeb, Wednesday, Firefox Beta 23 is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The biggest addition is the function of sharing new Mozilla.

Firefox beta has a new Share button and the panel for the application programming interfaces (Application Program Interface / API) social. In other words, developers can let users share content with friends with one click (Facebook users, for instance, can use it to share content directly from Firefox).

In addition, Firefox Social API now open to all developers who are interested in integrating their services to the website or the Mozilla browser.

This feature was first comes back in Firefox 17 in November 2012, is integrated with Facebook in December 2012, and then expanded to support providers with Firefox 21 in May this year.

In short, social API lets you keep up with the latest social events without having to switch to a new tab. Mozilla developed the “activation of social services and providers that integrate directly into Firefox where users can search for content or websites in person”. So now any developer can participate.

Next up is a mixture of content blocker, prevents (HTTP) malicious content on the site is being read or modified by an attacker with blocking. Content mixture occurs when a web page containing a combination of content secure (HTTPS) and non-secure (HTTP) which is transmitted through a secure data channel to the browser.

Finally, developers can use the new network monitor. Monitor new tissue damage components of individual sites, highlighting how long it takes each of the sites to load.