APPLE TO PUSH BACK SOME KEY IPHONE SOFTWARE FEATURES

APPLE TO PUSH BACK SOME KEY IPHONE SOFTWARE FEATURES

Apple executives, seeking to improve the performance of iPhone software after months of reported quality issues, have decided to delay some key features originally planned for this fall’s update, according to a person familiar with the matter.

As part of an annual release of new iPhone models, Apple also usually rolls out a major iOS update each year. The current software version, iOS 11, added augmented-reality features, a file management app and business-user enhancements for the iPad. For iOS 12, Apple has been working on additions like a redesigned home screen app grid, a multiplayer mode for augmented reality games, and a merger of the third-party applications running on iPhones and Macs, the people said, asking not to be named discussing information that isn’t public.

While core features like the combined apps platform are still on schedule to be introduced this year, some flashier changes like the redesigned home screen will likely be held back until the 2019 software update, a person familiar with the matter said. The company will also probably delay a revamped photo management application that used new algorithms to better automatically sort pictures, though some smaller upgrades to the Photos app will still appear this year.

The shift in strategy comes following months of criticism due to bugs found in Apple’s software. Late last year, researchers discovered a login flaw that allowed intruders to access files without a passcode on Mac computers and vulnerabilities in the company’s smart-home platform. Apple has also publicly delayed key new iOS features in recent months, including a feature for synchronizing text messages across Apple devices and its peer to peer payments system, Apple Pay Cash.

New features for parents to better monitor how long apps are being used for by kids and their overall screen time, as well as improvements to Apple’s FaceTime video calling service are still on track for this year’s update, the people said. A shareholder group recently criticized the parental control on iPhones, pushing Apple to say earlier this month that improvements would be released in a future software update.

The company told its software engineering groups about the change this month, one of the people said. The shift will also affect this year’s update to Mac computer software, but to a lesser degree, the person said, adding that planned upgrades to Apple Watch and Apple TV software won’t be affected.

Axios reported earlier on the delay. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. The company reports quarterly earnings on Thursday.

This isn’t the first time Apple has told engineers that focus should be on performance rather than new features. Apple made a similar push in 2015 with the release of iOS 9 and for Mac software updates in recent years.

Earlier this month, Apple said it would release an update for iPhones called iOS 11.3 that would allow customers to disable a feature that slowed iPhone performance in favor of battery life. The update will also have improved AR apps, new video modes for Apple Music and Apple News, and security enhancements for smart-home appliances.

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This new software will help rescue kidnapped kids

This new software will help rescue kidnapped kids

NEW DELHI. Tracing abducted and lost kids will now be easier thanks to a new piece of software designed by former Mumbai cop Vasant Dhoble and his son Kshitij.
This software will make use of face recognition technology and as soon it is uploaded in the CCTV systems of Mumbai Police, locating any missing children across country would be a lot easier.

Any kidnapped child that appears on the cameras attached to the CCTV system will be identified and rescued. And so will their abductors.

Ex-assistant commissioner of Mumbai police Dhoble was part of the ‘Missing Persons bureau’ in the city before he retired. While with the bureau, he reportedly found 7,000 childern who had been kidnapped and taken prisoner.

Dhoble is now meeting with several senior police officials across country to expand the scope of his software. His son Kshitij, who has a Phd in artificial intelligence from Auckland, is a collaborator in the project.

Dhoble recently took time out to speak with our sister publication Navbharat Times. He explained why he believes the software will help.

“There are 15,843 police stations in Mumbai. As per my knowledge there are missing complaints of approximately 2 lakh kids in these stations. All big cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi are going to be under CCTV surveillance soon. Mumbai alone has 6,000 CCTV cameras that are directly connected to the control room,” he explained.

Here’s how he expects the software to work:

1. After a missing complaint is registered at a police station, police will scour the CCTV database to look for the child.

2. The footage of the missing child will be sent to central missing persons bureau (CMPB).

3. The CMPB will then pass on this footage to other state police departments.

4. If a child is identified, an alarm will go off in the computers of the control room. This alert will be similar to the one that is sounded when a lookout notice is issued at airports.

5. The respective state police will then locate the child and inform the police of the city from where the child was abducted.

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PHP vs. Java

PHP vs. Java

PHP or Java—which language is right for your software project?

PHP is one of the most mature, ubiquitous server-side scripts on the web. Java is a general-purpose, compiled programming language designed with one mantra in mind—”write once, run anywhere.” Both power dynamic web applications and sites, with their own strengths and nuances.

Once you choose a language for your software project, it can be pretty difficult to change gears unless you perform a major overhaul down the line. That’s why choosing the right language up front is imperative to building a scalable, successful site that accomplishes your business goals.

You’ve probably done a little research into the right language, but it can be difficult for someone without software development expertise to determine which one is right. Here’s a look at two of the most popular programming languages, Java and PHP. A software developer can help you best decide between the two based on your project, but here are some basics to help you make the right decision.

What is Java?
Java was designed as a general purpose programming language for building standalone applications. When Java was released by Sun in 1991, it was initially being used to program consumer electronics like VCRs.

Java is a compiled language, so when you compile code it’s turned to intermediate binary for the specific operating system running your software. Its applications are compiled into bytecode that can run on implementations of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The JVM helps bridge the gap between source code and the 1s and 0s that the computer understands. Any machine that has the JVM installed can run Java.

In development, Java is primarily a server-side language for the web, and the programming language of choice for mobile development on the Android platform. It also still has a decent presence on the front-end as a Java applet, although this is falling out of favor due to security concerns.

What is PHP?
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a general purpose scripting language that quickly became the de facto server-side language of choice for web developers after its initial release in 1995. It’s got an advantage in that it was designed and created for the web, versus languages that were adapted to the web (like Ruby or Python). Today, a majority of websites run on PHP, and PHP programmers are still in high demand thanks to its role as the foundation for content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla and a number of modern frameworks like Laravel, Symfony, and CakePHP that have accelerated development with this mature language.

PHP and Java Differences
Let’s take a closer look at some of the major differences between these two languages.

Compiled vs. Interpreted. Java is considered a compiled programming language. This allows it to run on any operating system regardless of where it was written. The difference is in the implementation: Java is compiled into bytecode and run on a virtual machine. PHP is what you call an interpreted language, or “script”—the code can be run as-is in their respective runtime environments (i.e., the server). While there’s a lot of nuance to the compiled vs. interpreted debate, it is generally true that scripts are much easier to use and favor programmer productivity.
Memory safe. Java is a memory-safe language, which means if you attempt to assign values outside of the given array parameters, the programmer receives an error.
Static vs. Dynamic Type Checking. Java uses static type checking, where the type of a variable is checked at compile-time. The programmer must specify the type (integer, double, string, etc.) of any variable they create. There are many pros and cons for these two paradigms, but the primary advantage of static type checking is that type errors are caught early in development, and because the compiler knows exactly what data types are being used, code typically executes faster or uses less memory. The primary advantage of dynamic type checking is programmer productivity—you are free to assign types at your leisure.
Concurrency. This is the language’s ability to handle the execution of several instruction sequences at the same time. Java makes use of multiple threads to perform tasks in parallel. PHP, like most server-side languages, uses multi-threaded, blocking I/O to carry out multiple tasks in parallel. For most use-cases, both methods work just fine, but Java is generally faster because thread to thread memory sharing much faster than interprocess communication (IPC). PHP has been around the block for a while though, and has found its own way to achieve asynchronous processing—most notably through the HHVM project released by Facebook.
Class-Based vs. Prototype Based. Java follows class based inheritance—a top down, hierarchical, class-based relationship whereby properties are defined in a class and inherited by an instance of that class (one of its members).
PHP vs. Java: Major Similarities
Let’s take a closer look at some of the major similarities between these two languages.

Back-End Development. Both languages are used on the server-side. Java has long been used to power back-end technologies like Apache, JBoss, and WebSphere.
Syntax. Looping structures, classes, defining variables, and conditional operators are very similar in both languages. This makes it easy for developers to work cross-platform should you have several projects that use both languages.
Entry points. When your program starts, the compiler or interpreter looks for where it needs to begin execution.
Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). Neither language is “fully” object-oriented, but both languages have access to techniques like inheritance, encapsulation, and polymorphism. The benefit? Object-oriented languages make your program much more modular so you can reuse code for other programs.
Should I Use PHP or Java for my Next Project?
As with all languages, the choice really boils down to what you’re trying to build and what resources you have at your disposal.

You should consider Java if your project involves…

Android Apps
Enterprise Software
Scientific Computing
Big Data Analytics
General Purpose Programming of Hardware
Server-Side Technologies like Apache, JBoss, Geronimo, GlassFish, etc.
You should consider PHP if your project involves…

Software stacks like the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)
CMS’s like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla etc.
Servers like MySQL, SQL, MariaDB, Oracle, Sybase, and Postgresql etc.
Both Java and PHP are excellent foundations for a wide variety of software. Which language you choose to use will be determined by what you want developed.

You can manipulate hardware with Java, but it’s not a common language for low-level programming since it’s a “safer” language. Because Java won’t allow you to perform certain functions to protect the PC, it’s preferred for higher level applications.

The best way to make a firm decision is to post your project and ask developers for their opinions. They can tell you which language is right for your project to help guide you to the right solution.

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How simulation software is improving the wind industry

How simulation software is improving the wind industry

Advances in wind-turbine design and operation over the past few years have improved several bottom lines making wind energy more efficient and affordable than ever. Although much of this can be attributed to what’s visible — the innovative components and hardware that go into these machines — much credit should go to what’s behind the scenes ? the engineering software that guided the design.

Software simulations and analytics are helping manufacturers and operators maximize wind developments, and now researchers are benefiting, too.

For example, until recently much focus was on how to improve the performance of individual wind turbines through comparative analytics, and programs that assessed turbines under different loading and weather conditions. But researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) decided to look at the bigger picture and the performance of a wind farm as a whole.

The research was referred to as “The butterfly effect at wind-farm scales,” which refers to the concept that small causes can have large effects or that small occurrences (say in one wind turbine) can impact a larger scale (for an entire wind farm). Upon accumulating and analyzing the data, the NREL team found that “optimizing yaw control and the relative positioning of individual turbines improved the power performance of downstream wind turbines by mitigating the interference that wind turbines in an array have on each other.”

This is important insight for developers who are deciding on the optimal placement of turbines in a farm. The researchers were able to make this conclusion, thanks to the design and development of “Simulator fOr Wind Farm Applications” (or SOWFA), a coupled open-source software platform and framework. SOWFA let users investigate the effects of weather patterns, turbulence, and complex terrain on the performance of turbines and wind farms.

According to NREL, such software also lets engineers and scientists understand the causes of wind-farm underperformance, increase a farm’s power output, and decrease the effects of structural loads to minimize wear on turbine components. Additionally, SOWFA lets turbine manufacturers study designs before they are manufactured and lets developers assess the performance of turbines on a proposed site before construction, reducing the risks of development.

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind Energies Technologies Office has stated that generation costs by wind power have dropped considerably from over 55 cents (current dollars) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) back in the 80s to an average of 2.35 cents in the U.S. The DOE’s wind site contends that: “To ensure future industry growth, the technology must continue to evolve, building on earlier successes to further improve reliability, increase capacity factors, and reduce costs.”

In addition to improvements in manufacturing and O&M, it seems that advances in software are paving the way to further industry growth. Here are a few other examples of how focused engineering software is pushing the wind industry forward.

Bladed modeling
As the primary simulation tool in the design of about half of the utility-scale wind turbines manufactured worldwide, DNV GL’s Bladed wind-turbine modeling software has recently undergone a transformation to improve its outputs and user experience.

The design of a turbine is fundamental to its function and productivity. Failure to correctly model loads, structural integrity, or even the environment— and perform accurate testing — can jeopardize the long-term safety and reliability of a turbine. Accurate modeling of a wind turbine is essential.

“Wind-turbine modeling in the design phase is incredibly important,” said Patrick Rainey, Bladed Product Manager, DNV GL – Energy. “If a design isn’t accurately tested and a failure mode not detected, then the final operational design could encounter serious problems and cost a manufacturer in terms of reputation, lost revenue, and the time to find a solution.”

Thanks to Bladed’s new 3D animation graphical environment, designers can now view simulated turbine behavior from any angle by “panning” around a three-dimensional model. The new Multipart Blade non-linear structural model reduces uncertainty in blade vibration predictions, and the Result Animation gives users insight into turbine performance via a simulated scenario.

“This new functionality is an important expansion of Bladed’s capability and helps manufacturers remove risk and uncertainty, and then speed up design modeling and cut costs,” added Rainey. An on-demand computing platform also means that turbine designers can click one button in Bladed and their calculations are sent to the Cloud for processing. This saves significant IT upgrade costs and cuts turbine design times.

Project siting
The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and its Business Renewables Center (BRC) have launched a new software platform that helps buyers and developers of renewable projects better understand which locations are more likely to be economically attractive across deregulated electricity markets in the U.S.

The platform was built using publicly available data from market operators, a levelized cost of energy calculation, and a proprietary algorithm to model hypothetical project revenue. BRC’s market analysis platform produces an estimated “value” calculation for about 4,300 nodes, or grid-connection points — across all seven U.S. independent system operators covering 39 states.

“In 65% of the U.S., it’s possible to source wind and solar directly but, much like real estate, these renewable energy deals hinge on location, location, location,” said Hervé Touati, Managing Director at RMI. “At the Business Renewables Center, we are working to educate business leaders with insights on economic value that help buyers and developers build better projects in ideal locations.”

This software tool, currently available to members of the BRC, aims to help buyers and developers of renewable projects build a more complete picture of wholesale electricity market economics, based on real price histories for individual grid-connection locations.

“Though our software platform, BRC is working to streamline corporate procurement by bringing a new level of transparency to the industry,” said Touati.

Thermal tracking
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are developing software to track birds and bats near offshore wind projects. The platform, called ThermalTracker, automatically notes and categorizes birds and bats found in thermal-imaging video.

“Birds and bats fly over offshore waters, but they’re difficult to track in such remote locations,” said PNNL engineer Shari Matzner, who leads the project.

The software can help determine if there are many birds or bats near a proposed offshore project, and if they could be affected by development. If that’s the case, developers can consider adjusting the location of a the project or even modifying an existing project’s operations.

“ThermalTracker can help developers and regulators make informed decisions about siting and operating offshore wind projects,” said Matzner. “We need scientific tools like this to better understand how offshore wind turbines can coexist with birds and bats.”  

Connecting experts
Imagine that during a routine wind-turbine inspection, a wind tech hears an odd noise coming from the gearbox. He is unsure of the cause and could use a second opinion to diagnose the problem. If the technician is equipped with live video-collaboration software that connects his footage and audio to a remote expert, he or she may save time, costs, and an additional trip or two up-tower.

By using a collaboration platform, such as Librestream’s Onsight, the tech simply launches the Onsight app on his smartphone, connects using cellular or wireless networks, and video calls his expert at headquarters. Unlike video chat or conference calling, Onsight was built to meet rigorous security requirements and operate in low bandwidth environments.

“Through use of an easy-to-access app, the wind technician and equipment expert can work together on finding and fixing that gearbox problem,” explained Charlie Neagoy, VP Business Development with Librestream Technologies Inc. “The two can pass notes virtually (via text), and telestrate or draw on the video screen.” A telestrator is a device that lets its operator draw a freehand sketch over a moving or still video image.

Neagoy said the software can also integrate within existing workflow processes and build a saved knowledge base that leverages expertise as part of the Internet of things. “So when a similar problem occurs in the future, the answer is available and only a click away.”

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