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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JavaScript vs. Java and PHP

JavaScript vs. Java and PHP

The practice of website development starts with the designing aspect, which encompasses client-side programming languages. In general, there are three languages that are used in web design: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. While HTML and CSS have been the base of web designing since the invention of websites, JavaScript is being used to add the dynamic view of the website.

In offering an appealing UI/UX, JavaScript plays a vital role. However, there has been a big misconception about JS being a part of Java. Sometimes, JavaScript is also compared with the server-side language PHP.

According to CodeSWAT company, it’s better to run a comparison of JavaScript vs. Java and JavaScript vs. PHP before choosing any coding platform for a newbie developer. This will let you acknowledge the similarities and differences.

JavaScript vs. Java Similarities

Although both these languages are different, there are some similarities on a broader level.

OOPS Concept

Both the languages follow the OOPS concept. You are already aware of using objects in Java. Similar to that, in JS, too, the objects are along with the relations in between them.

Front-End Development

Where JavaScript can be directly added to the HTML, Java can also be used as Java Applets.

JavaScript vs. Java Dissimilarities

When it comes to the differences between the two, a lengthy list occurs. Few of the major differences between the two are the following.

Running Platform

Java runs on JVM (Java Virtual machine) for which you require JDK or JRE. On the other hand, JavaScript runs on a web browser, so there is no need for a specific platform. Interestingly, all latest web browsers support JavaScript.

Scope

In terms of availability, Java is available everywhere and is also considered to be an independent programming language. On the other hand, JavaScript is limited to be used with HTML and CSS; resisting its global usage.

Compilation

Java is a compiled and interpreted language whereas JavaScript is just a plain-text code. It means the code written for JS is interpreted in on different platforms.

Constructors

The constructors are used in Java at object creation whereas, in JS, the constructors are just a standard function.

JavaScript vs. PHP Similarities

The battle between JavaScript and PHP is more important as both these languages are a major part of Web Development.

Scope of Use

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor), as well as JavaScript, are used for web development task. Their incomparable importance helps the coder to build appealing UI with strong back-end features.

Interpreted Languages

Both PHP and JavaScript are called as interpreted languages (or scripts). It means that the code is made to run on their respective environments (browser and server for JavaScript and PHP respectively)

JavaScript vs. PHP Dissimilarities

Server vs. Client Side

Both the languages are different on the basis of front-end and back-end. JavaScript scripting language is a front-end language (except Node.js) whereas PHP is a server side language and compatible for  IP Phones and you can also run Lucky Patcher APK on it.

Concurrency

In PHP, the concept of multi-threading is available to handle multiple requests simultaneously. On the other hand, in JavaScript, the coder are only provided with some tactics like event loop + Node clustering which helps to deal with the same.

OOPS

As already mentioned that JavaScript uses the objects and the relations in between them while coding a script. On the other hand, PHP is a procedural cum object oriented language.

Compatibility

JS language can be embedded with HTML, XML, and AJAX. On the other hand, PHP can only be embedded with HTML. It can’t be used with XML. However, there are other options to use the same with XML.

So, the comparison makes it clear that JavaScript scripting language is a bit similar to Java and PHP, but is not anyhow an alternate to these languages. You can use JS as a supportive language but you can’t make it the base language for web-based or app based coding.

The scope of JavaScript is enhancing with the introduction of Node.js, Angular.js, and other scripts. So, if you are a web developer, learning JavaScript will always be an advantage to your knowledge and skills.

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reboot software testing jobs

Here come the robots: Intelligent machines could take, make or reboot software testing jobs

The robots are coming: “Lock up your knowledge and protect your job at all costs!” The apocalyptic warnings are starting to flow of how artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics combined with other disruptive technologies could eliminate the need for humans in the workplace. Equally skeptical voices are rubbishing the idea that anything drastic will happen, citing previous industrial revolutions as proof that new jobs will emerge to fill any gaps created by the automation of existing ones. In practice, no one really knows how quickly AI might eliminate jobs or what the employment needs will be of the future businesses and industries that have not yet been born.

But the future is not black and white. Aside from the potential to take (and make) jobs, AI might also transform jobs. Below, we share a list of some critical job roles that could be transformed or eliminated completely by the use of AI and robotics over the period from 2020 to 2030. The automation of the following six jobs would bring new opportunities to the software testing world, but could also change it in other possibly in unexpected ways.

Below we elaborate about how the role of AI in reshaping work could reverberate into the IT, software, and computer security sector of the future.

Doctors/Surgeons

Fully autonomous and remote-controlled robotic surgeons will diagnose, treat, and operate on patients in areas where there are no physical human medics available. Humans might monitor or control these robo-docs via video from central hub hospital facilities in bigger towns and cities. As a public good, the sanctity of software and computer systems upon which medical AI is based cannot be emphasised enough. Should doctors truly be replaced by Dr. Watson, AI of IBM fame, technology would literally wield power over life-or-death situations. Aside from protection from hackers, there may be special preparation companies would take to support employees working with medical tech, similar to how medical school trains doctors to deal with grave situations.

Policing

Robots could perform tasks like crowd control, and police drones could track and intercept criminals escaping from crime scenes. In a future where policing is automated, IT support would be a critical public service. Would the staff running the software support be considered peace officers? What other authority might be given to tech staff should their work coincide so closely with law enforcement? Helping municipalities secure a Robocop could become reality for software testers by 2030. Automated policing would put technology at the forefront of criminal justice and community safety — how is the industry preparing for growing responsibilities to the public sector?

Lawyers

A range of search, analysis, and contract drafting tasks are already being automated. Robot-lawyers are already overturning parking tickets in the UK and US. Additionally, smart policing devices and an expanding blanket of sensors will feed into AI judges where there would be little to no room for debate. Moral and ethical issues related to technology advances may become the next legal growth arena. As law becomes increasingly automated, software and security have gained emphasis in the law firm as well as in the public safety arena. Legal tech is likely to continue to grow as a subsector of law as well as IT.

Life Coaches/Therapists

Automation forecasts today are already causing anxiety and stress among perfectly healthy professionals. Should mass layoffs start, society could see mental health issues rise to crisis level. There are already strong provisions in place in most modern societies to protect medical information online. It may be possible that software and security experts will have requests in the future for new products and services to protect personal coaching and psychotherapy data from sessions conducted online. Also, with the continuous existential threat in terms of terrorist use of cyber attacks, anxiety solutions might be one of the future niches software vendors could fill.

Drivers/Mechanics

From taxis to buses, trucks and rescue services, automated vehicles hold the promise of being inherently safer, more fuel efficient, and productive — freeing up drivers’ time. As a vehicle becomes a digitally immersed experience for the passenger, software and IT is critical to its smooth functioning and enjoyment. By 2030, hacking could be a bigger threat to personal mobility than engine problems. Certainly more so than running out of fuel!

Personal Assistants

Future generations of Siri, Cortana, and Alexa should be able to undertake personal shopping, screen incoming calls, and determine which news to show us, even determine where we dine. To be able to instill full trust in the personal services provided by AI, consumers will require robust computer security and software. Unless there is a strong basis for protecting private data, personal assistant AIs won’t overtake real-life, flesh-and-blood PAs. However, if the market presents a demand for PA services for the masses, writing the software and securing such systems could be a lucrative area in which to establish an early presence.

In addition to this list, there are a number of ways computer security firms and vendors could evolve in response to the growing use of AI in other professions. Ultimately, today’s business leaders in every sector acknowledge that the robots are coming; it is just that we don’t know where they may have their biggest impacts.

How could AI reshape the tools for software security and testing?

Does AI pose a replacement risk or enhance the software professional’s job?

Does the role of AI in software improve the product development cycle? How would it impact jobs?

About the Authors

The authors are futurists with Fast Future – a professional foresight firm specializing in delivering keynote speeches, executive education, research, and consulting on the emerging future and the impacts of change for global clients. Fast Future publishes books from leading future thinkers around the world, exploring how developments such as AI, robotics, exponential technologies, and disruptive?thinking?could impact?individuals, societies, businesses,?and governments and create the trillion-dollar sectors of the future. Fast Future has a particular focus on ensuring these advances are harnessed to unleash individual potential and enable a very human future.

Rohit Talwar is a global futurist, award-winning keynote speaker, author, and the CEO of Fast Future. His prime focus is on helping clients understand and shape the emerging future by putting people at the center of the agenda. Rohit is the co-author of Designing Your Future, lead editor and a contributing author for The Future of Business, and editor of Technology vs. Humanity. He is a co-editor and contributor for the recently published Beyond Genuine Stupidity – ensuring AI serves humanity, and three forthcoming books -Future Transformations – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business, Unleashing Human Potential – the Future of AI in Business, and 50:50 – scenarios for the next 50 Years.

Steve Wells is an experienced strategist, keynote speaker, futures analyst, partnership working practitioner, and the COO of Fast Future. He has a particular interest in helping clients anticipate and respond to the disruptive bursts of technological possibility that are shaping the emerging future. Steve is a contributor to the recently published Beyond Genuine Stupidity – ensuring AI Serves Humanity, and co-editor of The Future of Business and Technology vs. Humanity. He is a co-editor and contributor to two forthcoming books on Unleashing Human Potential – The Future of AI in Business, and 50:50 – Scenarios for the Next 50 Years.

Alexandra Whittington is a futurist, writer, Foresight Director of Fast Future, and a faculty member on the Futures program at the University of Houston. She has a particular expertise in future visioning and scenario planning. Alexandra is a contributor to The Future of Business and the recently published Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity. She is also a co-editor and contributor for forthcoming books on Unleashing Human Potential – The Future of AI in Business, and 50:50 – Scenarios for the Next 50 Years.

Maria Romero is a futurist and foresight researcher at Fast Future. She has worked on a range of foresight initiatives including a project for NASA’s Langley Research Center and the publication of “The Future of Student Life: Living” in On the Horizon. Maria is a co-editor and contributor to the recently published Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity and of the forthcoming book Future Transformations – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business. She is also a contributor to Unleashing Human Potential – The Future of AI in Business.

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Top Java tools to watch out for in 2018

Top Java tools to watch out for in 2018

Java has never failed to improve year by year. 2018 seems to be another year of significant and fascinating changes for the number one programming language worldwide.

Why is it important to know about the upcoming changes to Java? Java is one of the most user-friendly computer programming languages; it is class-based, concurrent, object-oriented and is particularly designed to suit the needs of any industry. Since its onset, it has evolved in a great way to offer immense benefits to the industry.

Every year, the world of technology witnesses a lot of changes in the Java world. The challenge this year is to face these changes and incorporate them into the ongoing programs in order to reap the maximum benefits.

Retrospective: Java in 2017
2017 was a roller coaster ride for Java development along with many upgrades and advancements. Let’s have a look at Java’s transformation over the years:

Java continued to maintain its position with the heritage apps and its immense popularity among Android applications.
Java EE was moved to an open source foundation with a new host for Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J).
Java EE 8 was launched in September 2017.
MicroProfile also witnessed some progress.
The community of Android has accepted Kotlin with open arms and will see even greater changes in the future.
Java in 2018
With the tremendous transformation and the major updates that happened in 2017, Java has taken a huge leap that will not only benefit the IT industry specifically but will also contribute significantly to the advancement of a number of different industries. The experts are foreseeing great changes for 2018. Some predictions are:

EE4J will see immense changes
With EE community gaining popularity, Java J2EE development will definitely strengthen its impact (also known as Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition).

Top Java tools to watch out for in 2018
The diversified tools available in the market offer different functions, thus making it difficult for developers to choose a particular one. The same goes for Java, which is specifically designed to offer excellent services to the set-top box devices and mobile phones. The light-weighted tools will be given a boost in 2018.

These are the Java development tools that are expected to offer immense benefits this year:

Eclipse — It is one of the most preferred tools among developers and has highly customizable features. Some of the advantages are:
Convenient navigational features
Seamless problem-solving
Easily customizable
Auto-completion attribute
Supported by other programming languages
Java Development Kit (JDK) — With its immense features, developers find it extremely feasible to use. The features are:
Top-notch memory allocation techniques
Cost-effective tool
Easy to use even for a novice
Easy transformation from C to other programming languages
It utilizes a personalized Java Virtual Machine (JVM) along with other resources
Java security API is amalgamated with the high as well as low level of functionality
Oracle JDeveloper — It is an integrated development framework which aims to offer an informative and visual approach in order to boost the user development experience. It has high-quality features like:
High-security services
Adoption of code features
Other attributes like open API, ANT support, audit & metrics, etc.
150+ Ajax powered components are available
NetBeans IDE — It is an open-source IDE and is compatible with Java J2EE development, along with Java SE. The features include:
Compatibility with various languages
Extensible platform
Ideal for novice users
High-performing GUI builder
Conclusion
The Java ecosystem is huge and it has been changing since its onset to suit the needs of the industry and developers. It always provides tools and technologies to fit the diversified users and their demands. These tools, along with the upcoming additions will make sure this programming language will be adopted in a wider range of digital transformations.

With its upcoming improvements, Java promises to deliver one of the most cost-effective and user-friendly solutions for making outstanding mobile phone apps in the years to come.

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Web App Development which will Trend in 2018

Web App Development which will Trend in 2018

The trend of web app development is gearing up, and so is the demand for web app development experts and consultants; do you know why?

It is because web apps are leveraging the device-independent architecture while being operational on multiple devices. Pushing a user to install your application and sacrifice that precious memory space from his mobile phone is the biggest challenge, especially when there are tens of non-replaceable apps are decorating his/her app directory. Web apps can run on the browser, which means they are the modern and easily-marketable product, you can own. And as you can send out notifications and do a lot of other things, web apps are surely a savior.

Okay. So, you know that a web app is what you need to serve your audience; what’s the next? Confused in choosing an affordable web app development company for your web development projects or picking the right framework looks a tough task? Count on us. We know that you’re interested in knowing the trendy frameworks for web app development this year. So here are the top ten of them:

1. Laravel:

Laravel is regarded as the finest PHP development framework, being utilized for developing the web & mobile apps by all type of businesses. Xtreem Solution, the top PHP development Company in India, makes use of this framework in process of web and mobile application development.

For developers as well as the app owners, Laravel framework offers numerous features and benefits. Starting from Object Oriented implementations to Authorization technique, MVC Support, Artisan, Database Migration, Security, password reset, Bcrypt hashing, encryption and many other features, Laravel has it all. The framework is widely used in web app and portal development already, and it will remain in trend this year too.

In short: it’s super-secure, extremely flexible and utilizes MVC like a boss. So when you’re going to have multiple users, Laravel is the right choice for your web app.

2. Zend:

Zend is open source and PHP-based framework, which is being widely used for web development. It works to let the process of web app development faster and simpler. Besides, it is PHP7 ready which boosts simplicity, reusability and performance.

As it applies MVC Architecture, it splits the database and business logic right from the presentation layer. It means you back-end and front-end code will remain separate, letting the developers and designers work with full flexibility. Moreover, it even supports best security practices such as encryption with AES-256, encrypt etc. Besides, you can extend its several components by use of this framework as it implements OOP concepts such as inheritance and interfaces.

By using this framework, you can do the tasks like user authentication, code-generation, and ORM implementations very easily. All these aspects make it simple to use for affordable Web App Development Company, suggesting its trend in this year.

3. Ruby on Rails:

Developed in Ruby, RoR (aka. ‘Ruby on Rails’), is a server-side web framework. Its RESTful design and MVC-based features are enough to prove its efficiency. Besides, the reusability of the code, it makes the web app development easy and less time-consuming. As it comes along a testing framework, the quality-related concerned could be sorted out too.

GitHub, SoundCloud, Airbnb, Shopify, Hulu, are few famous websites built on the framework. Being open source, the framework has a huge development community from whom you can seek assistance for your project anytime. The reason why this will be trendy in 2018 is that it offers a variety of resources wherein you can seek the solution of all your web app development issues.

4. AngularJS:

AngularJS is basically a JavaScript framework which can be added to HTML web page through a tag. It extends HTML attributes through Directives and impasses knowledge to HTML through Expressions.

It is a structural framework utilized for dynamic web apps. Besides, it allows you to use HTML as your template language. Its data binding and dependency injection remove much of the code complexity you would otherwise need to write. Besides, all the activities occur within the browser, creating it a perfect partner with any server technology.

5. React.js:

React.js is recognized as an open-source, JavaScript library maintained through Facebook in aggregation with a large developer group. It allows web application developers to develop big web-applications that utilize data and can modify over time in absence of need of reloading the page.

The reason why the framework will be trendy this year is that it aims mainly to provide simplicity, speed, and scalability. It processes only user interfaces within applications. This links to View in the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern, and it can be utilized in grouping with other JavaScript frameworks or libraries in MVC, like AngularJS.

6. Node.js:

Node.js framework has been a favourite one amongst web app developer’s for a very long time and it is expected to hold this standing for some time, suggesting its trend in 2018. It assists to create scalable and quick community programs as it’s in a position to manage with many simultaneous connections with major efficiency, which offers major scalability.

The framework also permits the creation of web servers as well as networking tools through JavaScript and a group of “modules” that manage different core functionality.

7. Django:

Django is one of the most prevalent web development frameworks which is written in Python and built through Model View Template (MVC) architecture. Affordable Web App Development Company always emphasis on this framework to make their web app development project reliable.

It is known that NASA, Instagram, Mozilla, Disqus, etc. are few popular sites that use this framework. This suggests that this framework is trending this 2018. It primarily emphasizes pluggability of components as well as reusability. Object mapping and support to multiple databases make Django ease to use and utilize for different developers, without needing them to learn a new query language to make the shift from one Database to another.

RSS feeds, content-related tasks, sitemaps, authentication of users and admin tasks can be handled through Django. The framework has multiple forums and communities, active to help you come out of confusions related to it.

8. Express JS:

Express JS is perfect for those, looking for a minimalistic open-source solution which is flexible too. As a developer, you will be delighted to use it for the web app and API development. Developing mobile applications isn’t a hard task in Express JS. This aspect boosted it to go trendy in 2018.

The framework is pluggable and very flexible. It is utilized to enhance the functionality of your web app through NPM modules and can even be straight deployed with Express. For developing websites in EXPRESS JS, only basic knowledge of CSS, HTML, and JavaScript with a basic understanding of MongoDB is enough. It supports reusable and dynamic code too. Hence, your app code won’t go too complex either.

9. YII:

PHP is a small and beautiful language, having a wide range of amazing web app development frameworks written in it. YII is another great example of the same. It leverages a component-based architecture, OOP concepts and MVC to give you 100% development and implementation flexibility. Its authentication and role-based features are unbeatable too.

The framework comes with a variety of features such as Internationalization & localization (I18N/L10N), DAO/ActiveRecord, caching, testing, scaffolding, etc. stay assured that no SQL injection will harm you, as the input validation rules are written very careful in Yii.

10. Meteor JS:

Meteor JS is an open-source isomorphic JavaScript framework for web development. Because of its isomorphic nature, the framework helps in SEO as well as loading the pages quickly. Most of its parts are written using Node.js which let the developers deploy amazing real-time web apps for different platforms using METEOR. Through using this, one requires less coding for developing web applications. Hence, it facilitates faster web development process, getting in trend in 2018.

You can integrate it seamlessly with MongoDB, METEOR makes use of distributed protocols for data distribution, which keeps the redundancy to the least and keeps your data updated on the servers, letting your audience access the most recent updates easily. The framework presents the Blaze template engine and also you can use the angular frame or even the React library. Different features contain faster developments, SEO friendly, as well as real-time web app development.

 

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IBM may finally stop shrinking. But is it a turnaround?

IBM may finally stop shrinking. But is it a turnaround?

By Steve Lohr
For 5 1/2 years, nearly the entire tenure of its chief executive, Virginia M. Rometty, IBM has reported a steady erosion of revenue.

Selling off its chip manufacturing and smaller data-center computer businesses contributed to the decline. So, too, did the fact that new businesses like cloud computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence had not yet grown big enough to make up for the downturn in IBM’s traditional hardware and software products.

But IBM’s half-decade losing streak will most likely end Thursday, analysts predict, when the company reports its quarterly performance.

The crossover to growth would be a long-awaited bright spot for Rometty and IBM, a challenged giant that has been overshadowed in recent years by the younger technology giants on the West Coast.

Even if IBM delivers a revenue gain, however, the bigger question facing the company remains: Has Rometty turned it around?

Skeptics abound. IBM is expected to have gotten an extra lift in the most recent quarter from currency gains and strong sales of a new line of mainframe computers. Without that help, the company’s revenue would decline by 2 percent or so, according to an estimate from A.M. Sacconaghi, a financial analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein.

There is no doubt, though, that there are signs of progress at IBM, which would not comment on its financial picture before the release of the earning report. So much attention is focused on the company’s top line because revenue is the broadest measure of the headway IBM is making in a difficult transformation toward cloud computing, data handling and AI offerings for corporate customers.

The new businesses — “strategic imperatives,” IBM calls them — now account for 45 percent of the company’s revenue. And though it still has a ways to go, IBM has steadily built up those operations — and gained converts.

The number of software developers using its cloud technology has doubled in the last year, IBM says, though it would not provide numbers. On Wednesday, Barclays upgraded IBM’s stock to a buy and noted its long-term opportunity in the cloud market. IBM’s stock price, a notable laggard as markets have surged in recent years, has climbed nearly 10 percent so far this year.

IBM was slow to recognize the significance of cloud computing and software tools delivered as Internet-style services. In artificial intelligence, the company scored a research and public relations triumph in 2011, when its Watson system defeated human champions in the question-and-answer game, “Jeopardy!” But IBM first applied the Watson technology to the daunting realm of cancer research, a lengthy struggle with little short-term financial reward.Today, IBM trails well behind Amazon Web Services and Microsoft in the cloud market, according to analysts. Yet IBM has invested heavily in more than 60 cloud data centers in 19 countries in the past three years. And the most recent analysis by IDC, a technology research firm, and a report last month by Jefferies, a Wall Street firm, ranked IBM third in the category, ahead of Google.

The Watson technology has been retooled as dozens of services including text understanding, language translation, image recognition and sentiment analysis — all delivered via the cloud and available a la carte.

IBM’s strategy is to offer businesses cloud computing, AI technology and industry expertise tailored for each customer. Big companies, said David Kenny, senior vice president for IBM’s Watson and cloud businesses, are adapting cloud and AI technology to make their businesses faster and smarter.

“We start from our strength in knowing how enterprises operate,” Kenny said. “We’re a trusted partner for companies in this data and AI wave.”Companies want to move quickly, Kenny said, but they often want to exploit the speed and flexibility of cloud technology from within their own computer centers, where they figure their vital business data is more secure.

AT&T began a project with IBM last fall to accelerate the use of cloud technology in developing and updating the telecommunications giant’s 2,200 in-house software applications. IBM — a longtime technology supplier to AT&T — was chosen both for its cloud expertise and its industry knowledge, said Sorabh Saxena, AT&T’s president of business operations.

The AT&T-IBM collaboration involves breaking down programs into cloud-based building blocks of code called microservices, each of which handles a certain task. So a new feature for mobile payments, for example, can be adopted quickly by updating a few lines of code rather than having to rewrite an entire program.Most of this business software uses cloud technology that runs inside AT&T data centers — in a so-called private cloud, in contrast to a public cloud in which computing services are delivered from remote data centers owned by another company. Many corporations opt for private clouds to house their most sensitive customer and business data.

“For certain parts of our business, IBM was the ideal partner,” Saxena said.IBM emphasizes its hybrid stance in the cloud market, offering both private and public cloud technology to its corporate clients. In its financial reporting, IBM also includes all the hardware, software and services it sells to companies to build private clouds in its total cloud revenue, which would put it on a par with Amazon.

Most industry analysts focus on the public cloud market, assuming it will grow faster as companies build fewer data centers themselves. In the public cloud market, IBM has revenue of about $2 billion a year, growing at 30 percent, according to the most recent estimate by IDC. By contrast, Amazon generates more than $12 billion a year and Microsoft about $6.5 billion.

Yet for IBM, its underlying cloud software is crucial to building a big AI business with Watson. “IBM has a strong set of assets in AI,” said Ed Anderson, an analyst at Gartner. “And cloud is the answer to getting Watson in the hands of developers.”

That was the appeal for Opentopic, a startup that uses AI technology to mine online and corporate data for marketing insights. Opentopic switched from Amazon Web Services to the IBM cloud in 2015, largely to tap Watson’s code modules for text, image and sentiment analysis, so the Opentopic developers had to write less code themselves.

“It allows us to prototype rapidly,” said Andre Konig, a co-founder of Opentopic. “And Watson is the artificial intelligence layer that makes that possible.”The startup’s clients include Unilever, Abbott Laboratories and The Economist. Today, Opentopic does all its software development on the IBM cloud, but that will most likely change soon.

It is working with a new company that runs its business on the Amazon cloud. “We need to be where our customers are,” Konig said. “The future is going to be multi-cloud,” meaning businesses will use various services.His comment points to a brewing issue for IBM — and perhaps one that will help determine the resilience of Rometty’s turnaround campaign.

IBM is putting all its advanced technology on the cloud — not just artificial intelligence, but also blockchain and quantum computing. If others are leaders in the underlying cloud layers, why not focus higher up and distribute its leading-edge technology on other clouds as well?
IBM says its Watson software, for example, is fine-tuned down to the chip level for the IBM cloud. But some analysts suggest that IBM may eventually take another path, working with Amazon, Microsoft and Google.“If IBM does that,” said Frank Gens, IDC’s chief analyst, “its chance of being a cloud leader goes way up.”

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Northern Trust to buy software development resources from Citadel

Northern Trust to buy software development resources from Citadel

Northern Trust has agreed to acquire software development rights of Omnium technology platform from hedge fund manager Citadel.

Omnium, established in 2007, was the hedge fund administration subsidiary of Citadel before it was acquired by Northern Trust in 2011.

Following that deal, the asset manager licensed Omnion’s middle and back office investment technology and rebranded the firm to Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services, which now manages over $350bn in assets and employs around 1,200 staff.

Several key development professionals will also join Northern Trust as part of the latest deal, which is anticipated to be completed in the first half of 2018.

Northern Trust expects the deal to give it better control over technological enhancements.

Also, the asset manager hopes that this transaction will foster deeper collaboration between operations professionals and the team of developers.

Northern Trust corporate and institutional services president Peter Cherecwich said: “We are excited to have the opportunity to bring this technology development team to Northern Trust. Their deep expertise has been a key contributor to our growth, and has been critical to our success in delivering solutions to our clients – which are among the world’s most sophisticated asset managers and institutional investors.”

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