Aug 31, 2016

Donuts lowering prices for .business and .company domain names

... further facilitates their bundling into fixed price web presence and hosting ... While Donuts doesn't reveal wholesale pricing, domain name registrar ...
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Sign up for the Technology Industry Day

The General Services Administration (GSA) is known for managing federal real estate and leveraging the government’s buying power to get the best deal for taxpayers, but it also drives and leads technology and innovation within the federal government. The Technology Transformation Service (TTS) builds, buys and shares tech to help federal agencies achieve their mission. They create better services for citizens everyday. TTS works closely with the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) and the GSA CIO to be first movers in and apply agile technology in a meaningful way.

Globe network connection on city skyscraper background

Mirexon/iStock/Thinkstock

On September 8, GSA is hosting its very first Technology Industry Day. Sign up to hear about how GSA is transforming technology in the federal government, see demos of products and solutions developed by technologists and, last but not least, provide feedback on how we can work better with industry. Registration will close on September 6. Below are a few projects we will feature:

Agile BPA

  • The Agile Blanket Purchase Agreement allows innovation in procurement, lessens the burden on industry and solves problems in a user-centered approach. A great example is the work with the FedRAMP program management office at GSA, the first client to use the Agile BPA. We helped the FedRAMP office hire an agile vendor to implement human-centered design and build a public-facing dashboard about cloud authorizations.

Micropurchasing

  • Micropurchasing is a process is where the federal government makes small procurements to directly buy products and services, as long as the price does not exceed $3,500. Currently, we are using that process to buy small pieces of open source software and design through the Micro-purchase Marketplace. This process has allowed clients to add valuable features to their products through quick, inexpensive purchases.

Cloud.gov

  • Cloud.gov is a shared platform built for government that allows agencies to securely deploy systems to the cloud. It takes care of baseline security and scalability concerns and allows federal teams to focus on delivering quality products.

DATA Act

California Child Welfare System

  • Last year, California began a process to replace their child welfare services case management system. Through a partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, 18F was able to work on behalf of HHS with California’s Department of Social Services and Office of Systems Integration and Code for America to simplify the contracting documents and to incorporate modular contracting, agile development, user-centered design, and open source practices into their project.

If you want to learn more, sign up to join GSA on September 8 for the first Technology Industry Day.

This post was originally published on the GSA blog.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

Creative Usability Test Methods—or My Brief Career as a Robot Voice

When you want to do a usability test, sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and get creative to get the job done. That’s just what happened to us.

We’re well practiced at usability testing at USAGov—in person, remote, hallway tests, first-click tests—all of these things we manage without blinking an eye. But this spring, we tried something new. Our office was planning to make some changes to our IVR script. You know what an IVR is even if you don’t know the term. IVR stands for interactive voice response, you hear it when you call an organization and hear a recorded voice that greets you and gives you the option of pressing different buttons for different topics (e.g.,“To schedule an appointment, press 1. For billing questions, press 2.”). That’s an IVR.

Futuristic worker of call-center.

Vladislav Ociacia/iStock/Thinkstock

At USAGov, we wanted to test the recorded information that people hear when they call our toll free number, 1-844-USA-GOV1 (1-844-872-4681) during non-business hours. If you call after hours, you get a greeting, and then some options to listen to recorded information about our most common questions, like passports, housing, taxes, scams, and government benefits and grants.

The goal for our test was to identify major issues or areas that USAGov Contact Center can improve in the IVR messages. Specifically, we looked at:

  • Can our callers get the information they need to progress on their task, or do they get stuck or frustrated?
  • Are we missing vital information?
  • Is there too much information?
  • Do we have enough messages, and are they the right messages?
  • Are the messages clear and easy to understand?

The test planning progressed like a normal usability test. We had goals, tasks, scenarios, and scripts. We had participants, observers, and a facilitator. Here’s where it gets tricky—how do we pull it all together? How does the participant call the number and interact with the IVR, while interacting with a facilitator, while the observers are able to hear everything that’s happening and record the session?

Since the test was scheduled during business hours and the IVR message is only available outside of business hours, using the live number wouldn’t work, and some advanced planning was in order. We had access to the test system, and that seemed like a viable option, so we did a dry run with staff playing the roles of remote observer, facilitator, and participant. It was tricky. Really tricky. We used GoToWebinar to record and bring everyone together, but when we added the element of the test IVR, it became really complicated.

There are a series of menus and passcodes that you have to navigate to get to the recordings, and we would have to send our participants through all the menus and passcodes at the start of each scenario. It was just getting too difficult. So we came up with plan B. Have someone on staff actually perform the IVR script live, in person. That lucky person was me.

But how can you make a live person sound like an automated voice recording? We wanted the experience to be as authentic as possible, so this question haunted us. Like any performance, the key was in rehearsal.

All those years of high school theater performances were about to pay off.

First I printed the script in a large font to make it easy for me to read. I used separate pieces of paper for the greeting, the closing, and each of the 6 menu items so I could spread the script out on my desk and easily jump from task to task. I read the whole script many times, and then I read the script out loud over and over until I was comfortable reading everything without making mistakes. That’s all good, but next I had to learn to read it like it was an automated recording—and they’re just not the same as a conversational voice. So I called the system (we called her IVR Lady) and we spent hours on the phone talking to each other. I had to learn her timing, her pacing, her tone, and her inflection. I became IVR Lady.

When test day rolled around, I was ready. I was able to go through all the scenarios doing my best IVR Lady impersonation. Still, I wondered if I was fooling anyone – it seemed impossible to me that they thought they were talking to a recording, how could they not know the difference? At the end of each session, we had a few minutes to ask our participant questions about their experience, so I asked, “While you were going through our scenarios, did you think that you were speaking to a recording or a live person?” Everyone we asked told us that they thought they were speaking to a recording, and they were surprised when they found out it was me. It worked!

Our creativity, determination, and willingness to take a risk paid off. We learned things about our existing script, and we have implemented changes to improve the experience of our callers.

This is what happens when new UX testing frontiers open up. I remember the first time we tested our website on mobile devices, we had to solve the problem of how to project the screen so our observers could watch what was going on. Our solution involved a desk lamp, a cheap webcam, and some binder clips. So don’t be afraid to come up with a low-tech hack to make a test work; the worst that could happen is that they tell you that you have a lousy robot voice.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

North American stock markets, Canadian dollar and crude oil prices down

North American stock markets, Canadian dollar and crude oil prices down
CTV News - 17 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar was at 76.15 cents US, down 0.21 of a cent from Tuesday's close. The October crude contract was down $1.25 at US$45.10 per barrel and October natural gas was up 2.7 cents to $2.85 per mmBTU.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
North American stock markets, Canadian dollar and crude oil prices down

Canadian dollar weakens to 3-week low as oil falls

Canadian dollar weakens to 3-week low as oil falls
bnn.ca - 7 minutes ago
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar weakened to a three-week low against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as oil fell and government data showed a deep contraction in the country's economy for the second quarter.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
Canadian dollar weakens to 3-week low as oil falls

Canadian dollar weakens to 3-week low as oil falls

Canadian dollar weakens to 3-week low as oil falls
Reuters Canada - 46 minutes ago
TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened to a three-week low against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as oil fell and government data showed a deep contraction in the country's economy for the second quarter.
BRIEF-TCP prices $125 million of 4.625% convertible senior notes due 2022 - Reuters

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
Canadian dollar weakens to 3-week low as oil falls

Aug 30, 2016

Sponsor Big Data at @CloudExpo | #BigData #IoT #DigitalTransformation

Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher. Big Data at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley is the place where you can see the technologies and use cases that are delivering Big Data to enterprise IT.

read more


by via Latest News from Java IoT

Canadian Dollar May Be In For Rough Ride Due To Current Account Deficit: BMO

Canadian Dollar May Be In For Rough Ride Due To Current Account Deficit: BMO
Huffington Post Canada - 1 hour ago
It's been this way for the past two years, with the loonie's value slumping as oil prices have plummeted from around US$100 per barrel to about $46 on Tuesday.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
Canadian Dollar May Be In For Rough Ride Due To Current Account Deficit: BMO

Cash In On Risk-Free Money Bonuses

Competition in the Online Gambling Industry is massive with multiple billion dollar companies facing off against each other to get new players.

This has resulted in online casinos literally throwing money at people to get you through the door. This includes both risk-free money and new player deposit incentives.

A Guide to #LowCode #NoCode Apps | @CloudExpo @OutSystems #APM #DataCenter

This complete kit provides a proven process and customizable documents that will help you evaluate rapid application delivery platforms and select the ideal partner for building mobile and web apps for your organization.

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by via Latest News from Java IoT

How to Sponsor @CloudExpo | #BigData #DevOps #DigitalTransformation

19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.

read more


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Trends on Tuesday: Pokemon Go-es Away Slowly

The wildly popular, augmented reality game we reported on for Trends on Tuesday a few weeks ago and the focus of a piece about government agencies using it to engage citizens appears to have hit a ceiling and is slowly losing active fans in August according to a recent report in Bloomberg.

While the mobile game may be losing audience, from a brand perspective Nintendo’s Pokemon franchise was reinvigorated for a new generation of fans which will pay dividends in the future.

Female hands with mobile smartphone.

stevanovicigor/iStock/Thinksock

The app also provided the first mainstream mobile augmented reality experience for many people, so in the future the space can grow with new applications and eventually enter the virtual reality space, which is even more advanced. Pokemon Go also may have changed lives for the better by getting people more healthy through chasing fake animals or maybe for worse by growing an insatiable addiction.

Chasing trends (much like Pokemon on private property) can be a dangerous and costly game for government agencies, but paying attention to them and finding low-cost ways to creatively ride the wave like the National Parks Service did can serve as low-hanging fruit for engaging with citizens where they are spending their time and interest.


by Will Sullivan via DigitalGov

Isomorphic to Exhibit at @DevOpsSummit | @IsomorphicHQ #IoT #DevOps

SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web.

read more


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Shanghai housing sales surge as new curbs feared

Homebuyers in Shanghai rushed to buy about 5,300 apartments since Friday, after news media widely reported on Thursday that the city's policymakers would consider realty price curbs with tightened measures.

Genius Host Announces Successful SSD Web Hosting with LiteSpeed Web Server

Genius host provide stable, fast and reliable hosting environment built on state-of-the-art technologies. These services extend to shared, cPanel, ...
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Aug 29, 2016

Real Email Marketing Has Relaunched Their Opt-in Email List Service

Real Email Marketing, one of the forerunners in email marketing services, ... Real Email Marketing are specialists on updated products such as bulk ...
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Intro to Java programming, Part 4: Unit 4: Getting started with the Java language

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 5: Unit 5: Your first Java class

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 12: Unit 12: Writing good Java code

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 7: Unit 7: Strings and operators

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 2: Unit 2: Setting up your Java development environment

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 19: Unit 19: Regular expressions

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 3: Unit 3: Object-oriented programming concepts and principles

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 13: Unit 13: Next steps with objects

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 18: Unit 18: Nested classes

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 9: Unit 9: Loops

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 22: Unit 22: Java serialization

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 1: Unit 1: Java platform overview

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 23: Unit 23: Java in the cloud

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 10: Unit 10: Java Collections

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 21: Unit 21: I/O

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 17: Unit 17: Interfaces

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 16: Unit 16: Inheritance

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 20: Unit 20: Generics

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 14: Unit 14: Exceptions

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 8: Unit 8: Conditional operators and control statements

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 15: Unit 15: Building Java applications

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 11: Unit 11: Archiving Java code

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Intro to Java programming, Part 6: Unit 6: Adding behavior to a Java class

Learn the structure, syntax, and programming paradigm of the Java platform and language. Start by mastering the essentials of object-oriented programming on the Java platform, and progress incrementally to the more-sophisticated syntax and libraries that you need to develop complex, real-world Java applications.

Canadian Dollar Hits Lowest Mark In 2 Weeks

Canadian Dollar Hits Lowest Mark In 2 Weeks
Huffington Post Canada - 3 minutes ago
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar fell 0.13 of a cent to was at 76.79 cents US on Monday - its lowest point in two weeks. The currency trend came as the October crude contract fell 66 cents at US$46.98 per barrel - yanking the dollar's value down ...

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
Canadian Dollar Hits Lowest Mark In 2 Weeks

TSX closes 42 points higher; Canadian dollar drops

TSX closes 42 points higher; Canadian dollar drops
Times Colonist - 23 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar was at 76.79 cents US, down 0.13 of a cent, as the October crude contract fell 66 cents at US$46.98 per barrel.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
TSX closes 42 points higher; Canadian dollar drops

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Lower as USD Rally Continues

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Lower as USD Rally Continues
MarketPulse (blog) - 7 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar depreciated slightly on Monday as the U.S. dollar is still trending higher after the encouraging words from U.S.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Lower as USD Rally Continues

[session] Next-Gen Digital Platforms By @Splunk | @CloudExpo #IoT #Cloud #DigitalTransformation

There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs and many new requirements. He will provide reference architectures for next-gen platforms and sample apps that can be built on this platform.

read more


by via Latest News from Java IoT

TSX up 38 points; Canadian dollar retreats

TSX up 38 points; Canadian dollar retreats
Times Colonist - 7 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.77 cents US on Monday morning, down 0.15 from Friday's close. Photograph By Frank Gunn, The Canadian Press.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
TSX up 38 points; Canadian dollar retreats

Canadian dollar weakens to 2-week low as oil falls

Canadian dollar weakens to 2-week low as oil falls
Reuters Canada - 9 minutes ago
TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened to a two-week low against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as oil fell, and the greenback drew support from heightened expectations of a U.S.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
Canadian dollar weakens to 2-week low as oil falls

Smithsonian Learning Lab: Designing for the Classroom

The Smithsonian’s mission statement is wonderfully simple: “The increase and diffusion of knowledge.” The “increasing” is arguably the straightforward part – the Smithsonian has amassed a collection of over 138 million objects and specimens, and the Institution’s curators and scientists obsessively add to the world’s knowledge base, publishing papers, creating exhibitions, and sharing their expertise. But how can all this informational goodness get passed along to teachers, our nation’s most powerful “diffusers” of knowledge?

Smithsonian Learning Lab, resources in a collection.

To help tackle this problem, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA) created the Smithsonian Learning Lab, an online toolkit that launched in June of this year. The Learning Lab encourages teachers to make use of the Smithsonian’s collection: artworks, archival documents, and specimens, along with educational resources like videos, articles, and standards-aligned lesson plans. Teachers and students can use the Learning Lab to create and share their own collections of Smithsonian objects, using them for lessons, class projects, or PowerPoint presentations. Interactive tools like “hotspot” annotations, the ability to add notes, and built-in customizable assessments allow teachers and students to examine objects and tailor their presentation or learning experience.

Before Learning Lab was even a gleam in the Smithsonian’s eye, SCLDA set out to answer a basic question: How are teachers using the Smithsonian’s existing digital offerings? The team embarked on the Digital Learning Resources Project, a multi-year effort to better understand how teachers use Smithsonian digital resources and provide a roadmap to develop better tools.

Employing an online survey of 7,470 responses and conducting interviews and observations with a group of 20 educators in California, SCLDA landed on a key finding: teachers were not using the Smithsonian’s educational resources as published. Thoughtfully crafted lesson plans and teacher guides, designed to meet specific learning objectives and Common Core standards, were being mercilessly sliced-and-diced by educators. Linear, pre-baked tools were giving way to the reality of the classroom.

“What we found was that teachers were pulling the resources apart. They weren’t using the whole resource from A–Z in the way it was designed. They we’re saying ‘no, this doesn’t work for my classroom’ or ‘this isn’t the right reading level,'” said Melissa Wadman, manager of program evaluation at SCLDA.

With this finding in-hand, SCLDA and development partner Navigation North pursued a modular approach that emphasized customization and allowed teachers to easily search the Smithsonian collection, organize objects as needed, and upload resources from other sources.

The team convened focus groups and conducted user testing with over 100 teachers that came to Washington, DC from across the country. Rapid prototyping, first with paper prototypes and then with a functional test site, fed multiple rounds of iterations. This work was further refined with beta testing in Pittsburgh Public Schools and surrounding Allegheny County.

Teacher at a prototyping session.

The extensive user testing and feedback sessions resulted in key observations and feature requests. One of the biggest eye-openers was that high school teachers saw the Learning Lab as a tool for their students rather than themselves.

“The high school teachers said, ‘Yeah, this is great but I’d never use this to build collections. This is a tool for my students – doing their own research and creating collections is where the learning happens,'” said Darren Milligan, senior digital strategist at SCLDA.

This discovery shifted the project. The team, keenly focused on teachers and their experiences with the Learning Lab, had not observed students using the tool. Once again, SCLDA set out to classrooms, this time to interview middle school students and conduct more prototyping and user testing.

User testing with middle school students.

Group discussion and collaboration tools for students are now in development, and SCLDA has secured a Smithsonian Youth Access Grant to study how students use existing online platforms for educational and personal reasons. These findings will be used to further prototype with middle school students and adapt the Learning Lab to meet their needs.

The Learning Lab has been live for about two months now with more than 5,000 user-generated collections made. The team, working with their research collaborators at the University of California, Irvine, is closely following the website’s metrics and feedback reports, but it’s too early to assess quantitative successes or shortcomings. That said, there is no doubt that Learning Lab is making an impact. Said Jane Joyce, a teacher at Moon Middle School in Moon, Pennsylvania, “There are so many different ways you can use the Learning Lab in the classroom and it’s invaluable that I can easily adapt learning activities created by other teachers to fit my needs. It’s helped my students and me think more creatively.”

Screen capture of the Smithsonian Learning Lab homepage.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

Solving the Storage Problem | @CloudExpo #IoT #Cloud #BigData #Storage

Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting by reimagining positions across several dimensions. The unprecedented explosion of Big Data and cloud services is driving the development of new storage architectures to store the information produced by this web-scale trend. It is becoming increasingly clear that even a linear growth trajectory for storage is insufficient to deliver the quantity of storage needed for data produced by the Internet of Things. Current architectures have bottlenecks that, while merely inconvenient for legacy data, are simply unacceptable for the scale of storage needed today.

read more


by via Latest News from Java IoT

Canadian dollar slips in early trading

Canadian dollar slips in early trading
Times Colonist - 8 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar is trading at 76.87 cents US this morning, down 0.05 of a cent from Friday's close. The U.S. dollar is trading at C$1.3009, up 0.09 of a cent.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
Canadian dollar slips in early trading

Whatever Happened to the Dev in DevOps? | @DevOpsSummit #APM #DevOps

DevOps is a term that comes full of controversy. A lot of people are on the bandwagon, while others are waiting for the term to jump the shark, and eventually go back to business as usual. Regardless of where you are along the specturm of loving or hating the term DevOps, one thing is certain. More and more people are using it to describe a system administrator who uses scripts, or tools like, Chef, Puppet or Ansible, in order to provision infrastructure. There is also usually an expectation of being able to deliver this in 100% cloud, or hybrid cloud environments.

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Top women billionaires in tech in 2016

No 1 Zhou Qunfei

Net worth: $6.4 billion

Source of wealthsmartphone screens

Zhou owns the majority of Lens Technologyone of theworld's largest manufacturers of screens for mobile phonesand tabletsShe was a factory worker in the glass industrybefore setting up her own company.

Aug 28, 2016

Reviews Domain Name & Hosting Provider download free books for kindle

Click Here to Download Domain Name & Hosting Provider Now --<. <strong>Web Hosting & Domain Names - D Buy domain registration service from ...
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Infrastructure 101 - Part 2 | @CloudExpo #Cloud #SDN #SDS #DataCenter

Server Virtualization has transformed the way we manage server workloads but virtualization hypervisors were not the endgame of datacenter management. What is the role of server virtualization and hypervisors in the new age of cloud, containers, and more importantly, hyperconvergence? I covered SAN technology in my last Infrastructure 101 article, so for today I'm going to cover server virtualization and maybe delve into containers and cloud. Server virtualization as we know it now is based on hypervisor technology. A hypervisor is an operating system that allows sharing of physical computing resources such as networking, CPU, RAM, and storage among multiple virtual machines (sometimes called virtual servers). Virtual machines replaced traditional physical servers that each had their own physical chassis with storage, RAM, networking, and CPU. To understand the importance of hypervisors, let's look at a bit of history.

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API Security: Six Themes for Securing Your API | @CloudExpo #API #Cloud #Security #Microservices

Security certainly feels a lot more like a journey than a destination. This is especially true with APIs becoming a critical piece of any mobile or web application. With so much information being shared through APIs, teams need to ask themselves: how can you effectively secure your API? While the security demands of developing and maintaining APIs will continue to evolve, there are a few key areas your team should be focused on if you have have responsibility for an Application Programming Interface (API).

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Cloud Is Now Seen as a Way to Better Security | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Security #DigitalTransformation

A cybersecurity transformation discussion on how cloud security is rapidly advancing, and how enterprises can begin to prevail over digital disruption by increasingly using cloud-defined security. We'll examine how a secure content collaboration services provider removes the notion of organizational boundaries so that businesses can better extend processes. And we'll hear how less boundaries and cloud-based security together support transformative business benefits.

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Revisiting the Anatomy of HTTP: Part I | @DevOpsSummit #APM #DevOps #WebPerf

One of the key driving factors behind the various web/mobile performance initiatives is the fact that end-users’ tolerance for latency has nose-dived. Several studies have been published whereby it has been demonstrated that poor performance routinely impacts the bottom line, viz,. # users, # transactions, etc. Over five years back we had written a blog on the anatomy of HTTP. In the Internet era, five years is a long time. There has been a sea change across the board and hence we thought it was time to revisit the subject for the benefit of the community as a whole. The figure below shows the key components of a HTTP request.

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Big Data and Analytics Blaze a Trail for Genomic Medicine | @BigDataExpo #API #Cloud #BigData

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology leverages modern IT infrastructure and big-data analytics to power a pioneering research project incubator and genomic medicine innovator.

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Aug 27, 2016

How to Learn Angular

AngularJS (commonly known as Angular) is an exceptionally powerful front-end development framework for building sophisticated JavaScript apps. Though learning Angular will be immensely rewarding, I’m certain many prospective initiates to Angular have had their desires of Angular mastery nipped in the bud due to the terrifyingly intimidating and complicated Angular documentation.

That’s a shame, because Angular has so much to offer:

  • Modularity that allows a team of developers to work on specific parts of an app concurrently
  • Testability and maintainability of your app’s various pieces
  • A big, thriving community of developers and organizations who love Angular
  • Clean separation of the app’s UI from its logic, while still keeping them in sync
  • Two-way data-binding — it’s pure magic (or sorcery?) — that updates the UI whenever a model changes (and vice versa)
  • Useful out-of-the-box (as well as third-party-developed) modules such as Filters and Services that take the complexity out of stuff like data-processing, templating of UIs, dealing with HTTP requests, sanitizing and validating user inputs, animation, and (much, much) more

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Should you decide to learn Angular, you’ll be endowed with the skills required to develop cross-platform apps, and your newfound superpowers will prove to be valuable and profitable for years to come.

What follows is a guide (I call it a roadmap) designed to help you learn Angular effectively. My goal with this roadmap was to chart a carefully-crafted curriculum of free online resources that gently introduces you to the world of Angular. I wanted to create a self-learning guide that will motivate you to continue to pursue higher levels of Angular expertise.

After completing this learning guide, you can look forward to having a proficient-level understanding of Angular and the ability to use it to build JavaScript applications.

I’m not going to mince words, learning Angular will be hard work. Expect to encounter many roadblocks during this arduous undertaking. But I encourage you to stick with it. Your efforts and hard-earned battle scars will be worth it because Angular will ingrain so much value into your work and your repertoire of development skills.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

First, You Need to Know JavaScript

Using Angular effectively requires that you understand the fundamentals of JavaScript.

What’s more, the value you derive from Angular will be proportional to how adept you are at JavaScript.

I don’t recommend learning Angular without at least a basic understanding of JavaScript. The task will be, to put it mildly, 100x tougher if you don’t know JavaScript.

Other web development frameworks are a little more forgiving towards people who don’t have a solid understanding of JavaScript. For example, jQuery conceals some of the more complicated JavaScript concepts from its users. Now, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually excellent for many developers and certain types of development projects.

(To further underscore my preceding argument, jQuery was built using the Facade software design pattern, defined by the renowned JavaScript developer and Google engineer Addy Osmani in his book as a design pattern that "provides a convenient higher-level interface to a larger body of code, hiding its true underlying complexity.")

Angular, in contrast, exposes the powerfully potent and elegant — but often hard-to-understand/misused — features of JavaScript. Angular doesn’t shy away from JavaScript’s complexities; it embraces them and pushes them to their limits.

If you need to learn or brush up on JavaScript, start with these articles first:

Here’s the silver lining. Reflecting back on my own journey into the world of Angular, I can confidently say that it has helped me become a better JavaScript programmer. Using Angular has encouraged me to further my understanding of advanced JavaScript concepts, techniques, and design patterns.

Without further ado, what follows is my roadmap towards learning Angular.

A Roadmap to Learning Angular

Here’s a five-step process for learning Angular using free, online resources.

I’ve used these resources to gain a competent-level understanding of Angular. I admit that I still have a long way to go, but these resources have helped me get started on the right track.

If you want, you can begin with the resources that you personally find interesting. However, keep in mind that I intentionally structured this guide with the goal of helping you gently get on your way with Angular. Use the wrong resource at the wrong time, and you might get discouraged from continuing to explore Angular.

Step 1: Shaping up with Angular.js

Shaping up with Angular.js

Goal: To get a gentle, hands-on introduction to the world of Angular.

Whenever I try to learn something, my initial objective is to get a bird’s-eye view of the thing I’m trying to learn, and to get hands-on with it as fast as possible. I want to avoid as much set-up and configuration as I can. There are two reasons for this objective. The first is so I can decide right off the bat whether it’s something I see as being a potentially worthwhile skill to acquire, without putting in too much time into it. The second reason is getting up and running quickly often makes the task more engaging, fun, and motivating.

Shaping up with Angular.js — a free Code School video course sponsored by Google, the developer and maintainer of the Angular — fits the bill.

This online course is a well-structured and efficient intro to Angular. In this course, you’ll be building a simple Angular app. There are coding challenges interspersed throughout the course to help you review the key concepts being discussed. As you develop the app, you’ll learn about some of Angular’s powerful features, such as Directives, two-way data-binding, Services, and so forth.

Step 2: Angular Basics by ScriptyBooks

Angular Basics by ScriptyBooks

Goal: To learn about the main Angular concepts and features.

The official AngularJS tutorials and documentation (which we’ll discuss later) is extremely detailed and thorough. For me, the problem with the official docs is it’s incredibly dry and intimidating. It’s especially uninviting to individuals like me who don’t have a formal academic background in computer science.

I understand the Angular team’s need to be detailed and thorough in the documentation of their project. By being comprehensive and technical with their docs, they sidestep ambiguity issues and allow its users to find all the information they need.

But for most people, my view is that learning Angular must start with third-party content. There are other learning resources out there besides the AngularJS docs that are more approachable for newcomers.

The free online book Angular Basics is one such learning resource.

Chris Smith, the author of the book, perfectly describes my initial experience trying to learn Angular via the AngularJS docs:

"[A]fter digging into the [Angular] API and its documentation, I found my progress blocked by an unfamiliar vocabulary that included terms like transclusion, directive, and isolate scope. As I read through the official documentation and tutorial, the prospect of easy mastery seemed to retreat into a fog."Angular Basics – Introduction chapter

In Angular Basics, you’ll learn about the vital Angular concepts: Controllers, Directives, Services, scope, dependency injection, and so forth. This book is interactive — as you’re reading the book, you’re prompted to play around with the code examples — which makes it a fun and engaging read.

This online book won’t go over every single Angular feature. The author instead capitulates his book to the Pareto principle: "To give you access to a large part of Angular’s power, while burdening you with only [a] small part of its complexity."

The next three steps will deal with completeness and Angular best practices.

Step 3: AngularJS PhoneCat Tutorial App

AngularJS PhoneCat Tutorial App

Goal: To learn how to build apps the Angular way.

After the two Angular-learning resources above, you’ll be well on your way to developing Angular apps.

Nothing beats the official Angular documentation in terms of completeness. In my opinion, you simply can’t learn Angular properly without spending time in the official docs.

In the PhoneCat Tutorial App, you will be creating a smartphone directory app. You’ll learn intermediate- and advanced-level Angular concepts such as unit-testing, E2E tests, how to organize your app files and directories, templating, best practices for modularizing your app’s code, and more.

Take your time with this tutorial. Resist the urge to jump ahead whenever you reach a roadblock. (I encountered many of them when I went through this tutorial.) By persevering through the hard parts of this tutorial, you’ll guarantee yourself true Angular understanding.

The writer/s of the PhoneCat tutorial app says that you "can go through the whole tutorial in a couple of hours or you may want to spend a pleasant day really digging into it." For me, it took a week to finish, putting in two hours of focused learning each day.

Step 4: AngularJS Developer Guide

AngularJS Developer Guide

Goal: To gain a deep understanding of Angular’s foundational concepts, features, and terminologies.

At this point, you should now be well-equipped with Angular knowledge. It’s now time to dig deeper into the details. The official AngularJS Developer Guide is your next stop.

The AngularJS Developer Guide will dive into the nitty-gritty of Angular’s features and capabilities. Many AngularJS newcomers probably started with this guide (or the PhoneCat tutorial) and it might have dissuaded them from continuing to learn Angular because of the guide’s daunting demeanor. But after the previous steps, you should now be more confident tackling this guide.

In this guide, you’ll learn (or be pointed towards) all the stuff you need to know about Angular. The guide covers things like Providers, Decorators, interpolation, security, accessibility, running Angular in production, etc.

My advice with this guide parrots the one I gave you for the PhoneCat tutorial: Take it slow and easy. Resist the urge to skip sections.

Step 5: Angular Style Guide by John Papa

Angular Style Guide by John Papa

Goal: To learn Angular best practices such as how to write, organize, and structure your code so that it’s maintainable and testable.

We can learn a lot by reading coding style guides, even if we don’t end up using them in our projects. A style guide is an opinionated documentation of guidelines and best practices for producing readable, high-quality code.

There are several excellent Angular style guides out there, but this one is worth highlighting because it’s endorsed by the Angular team.

This Angular style guide was reviewed by Igor Minar, the team lead of Angular and a software engineer at Google.

The Angular Style Guide espouses an extensive range of Angular (and JavaScript) best practices such as:

  • Single responsibility of your components
  • Using IIFEs to modularize your JavaScript’s scope
  • How to write your directives, controllers, modules, services, etc. in a readable, testable, and maintainable way
  • Suggested naming conventions
  • How to comment your code
  • Settings for JS Hint (a popular code-quality checker) to work effectively with Angular

After reading this style guide, I suggest choosing one of the following four courses of action:

  1. Apply this style guide as-is in your Angular projects.
  2. Tweak it (i.e. fork it and then modify it) so that it lines up with your personal style and philosophies.
  3. Look for an alternative style guide, such as Angular 1.x styleguide by well-respected developer and Google Developer expert, Todd Motto.
  4. Create your own Angular style guide.

In any event, before working on a major Angular app, it’s important to have a set of best practices that help guide the way towards the project’s completion and promote high-quality code-writing. Otherwise, your Angular apps will quickly get messy and hard to maintain.

 

If you’ve managed to go through the roadmap, congratulations are in order because you’re now well-equipped with the knowledge you need to build Angular apps!

In the next sections, I’ll talk about some general learning strategies, the next generation of AngularJS (Angular 2), and more excellent Angular learning resources.

Effective Learning Strategies

  • Take your time. Some of the resources above will tell you an estimate of how long it will take you to complete it. Don’t be pressured by these estimates. Take as much time as you need, because we all have different ways of learning. In my experience, it almost always took me twice as long to finish them compared to the suggested completion times.
  • Set aside time for distraction-free learning. To master something requires deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is a learning method conceptualized by psychologist K. Anders Ericsson during his research on elite performers. The results of Ericsson’s studies on deliberate practice suggest that maximum performance during a learning/training session can only be sustained for 1 hour. Consider setting aside several one-hour sessions of intense, focused learning per day, with sufficient rest periods in between the one-hour sessions.

What About Angular 2?

At the time of writing, Angular 2 is still in beta (release candidate stage). According to Is Angular 2 Ready? — a project that keeps track of Angular 2’s GitHub milestones — Angular 2 Final is only 38% complete.

This guide is for learning AngularJS 1. I know many people reading this will want to know if they should wait to learn Angular until Angular 2 is finalized.

First, I’d like to make it clear that you can use Angular 2 today, depending on your technology-adoption philosophy. If you feel comfortable relying on software that’s (in a fairly mature) beta stage of its life cycle, Angular 2 has many new features that makes it compelling to use today.

We’re in an awkward point in time where Angular 2 is developing quite rapidly. My view is that learning AngularJS 1 now will allow you to confidently use a stable, mature Angular version in your existing projects today, and will make it easier for you to move on to Angular 2 when you’re ready.

Above and Beyond: More Angular Learning Resources

Here are other excellent Angular resources. They’ll prove themselves useful throughout your journey towards Angular enlightenment.

  • Angular 1.x Lessons by egghead.io
    Learn about specific Angular topics such as using Gulp with Angular, and data-modeling with Angular in this high-quality set of video courses.
  • Thinkster AngularJS Tutorials and Courses
    Learn Angular-related subjects such as how to integrate Angular into your Rails projects by checking out Thinkster’s lineup of excellent online tutorials and courses.
  • Made with Angular
    See real-world examples of Angular apps created by major companies and organizations such as Amazon, PayPal, and Apple.
  • AngularJS API Reference
    Find detailed, definitive information on specific Angular features via the official API documentation.
  • DevDocs Angular.js documentation
    This is an alternative third-party user interface for Angular’s API docs.
  • ng-newsletter
    Subscribe to this newsletter to get notified of must-read Angular content.
  • AngularJS-Learning
    Find a massive amount of Angular tutorials, books, videos, articles, and other resources in this GitHub repo created and maintained by Jeff Cunningham.

 

What other learning resources and tips can you offer people who want to learn Angular? Please leave a comment below!

Related Content

Jacob Gube is the founder of Six Revisions. He’s a front-end developer. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Learn Angular appeared first on Six Revisions.

M2C Teleports By @GregoryJOconnor | @CloudExpo #Docker #IoT #API #SDS

It's been a busy time for tech's ongoing infatuation with containers. Amazon just announced EC2 Container Registry to simply container management. The new Azure container service taps into Microsoft's partnership with Docker and Mesosphere. You know when there's a standard for containers on the table there's money on the table, too. Everyone is talking containers because they reduce a ton of development-related challenges and make it much easier to move across production and testing environments and clouds. Containers are the technology that, many believe, deliver on the long-promised portability in the cloud to avoid vendor lock-in, and put developers, system administrators and their enterprises in the driver's seat.

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A Reality Check on 'Everyone’s Moving Everything to the Cloud' | @CloudExpo #SaaS #Cloud #Agile

A recent CIO editorial by Bernard Golden regarding the future of private cloud spurred some interesting commentary in my network. The pushback seemed to focus around the viability of the term “private cloud”. These individuals are well-respected thought-leaders in cloud with significant experience guiding senior IT executives transition to modern architectures, so I decided I’d engage them in a discussion regarding the future of self-managed infrastructure as a whole.

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Announcing @TelecomReseller Named “Media Sponsor” of @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #IoT #Cloud #BigData

SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.

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Taking a closer look at Google Apps for Work.

Here are three reasons to give it a try:

  1. You can get custom email and more with Gmail for work.
  2. It helps employees get things done while collaborating more quickly and efficiently.
  3. Millions of businesses large and small have already made the switch.

StarNet Adds Secure Remote Linux and Unix Desktops to X-Win32 | @CloudExpo @XWin32 #Cloud #Linux #Security

StarNet Communications Corp has announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 to safely tunnel the remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP protocol to display remote desktop environments such as the Gnome and KDE desktops on Linux servers and the CDE environment on Solaris Unix machines. XDMCP is used primarily on company Local Area Networks as it is a both unsecure and does not work over the Internet.

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Fixing the Privacy Concern with the Internet of Things | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #API

The growing popularity of IoT has spawned the debate on privacy once again. Last year, Samsung stoked controversy by warning customers that their Smart TV Voice Recognition system was capable of “listening” to personal and sensitive information spoken by customers. Not only this, all of this intercepted information is transmitted over a non-encrypted connection to be stored in a third party server.

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Microsoft Cloud | @CloudExpo @Azure #BigData #IaaS #IoT #API #Heroku

Since its introduction in 2009, Microsoft Azure has gone through a significant transformation. What started as a hardcore set of platform services is now a force to be reckoned within the infrastructure market as well. According to Gartner, Azure is inching closer to AWS, firmly securing its place in the top right section of the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Magic Quadrant, which is reserved only for the market leaders.

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The Intruders of Things | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #API #Security

2020 seems to be an important milestone for the Internet of Things. That’s the year that Cisco says there will be 50 billion connected devices and also the year Gartner notes that over 50% of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element of the Internet of Things. That’s the good news.

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Announcing @XWin32 to Exhibit at @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #API #Cloud #Linux

SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center.

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Pulzze Systems Winner of G-Startup Worldwide Tokyo | @ThingsExpo @PulzzeInc #IoT #M2M #API #Cloud

Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There were multiple rounds of competitive selection process before the top 8 finalists were invited to present their product in front of a distinguished jury panel and an audience of ardent business executives, technologists and entrepreneurs.

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Aug 26, 2016

A Complete IoT Solution | @ThingsExpo @A1anw2 #IoT #IIoT #M2M #API

With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.

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Monitoring with #ArtificialIntelligence | @CloudExpo #BigData #AI #IoT

Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no idea how to get a proper answer.

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Azure Resource Manager | @CloudExpo #IaaS #Azure #ASM #ARM #AWS

In the first part of this series, we discussed the evolution of Azure IaaS and role of Azure Resource Manager. The next installment of the series explains the key differences between Azure Service Management (ASM) and Azure Resource Management (ARM) models. We will also take a look at key concepts and terminology related to ARM. ASM or ARM? One of the key tenets of cloud, especially infrastructure services, is programmability. Almost every cloud provider exposes a set of APIs to manipulate the virtual infrastructure programmatically. Even before the Cloud Computing term became a buzzword, Amazon exposed APIs for storage and compute, which eventually became the core of AWS.

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Marketers, make sure you are not being list-bombed and blocked by Spamhaus

Recently, valid email addresses have been fraudulently added to many ... to recipients who have previously subscribed to their bulk email service.”.
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Can Software Make You Less Racist?

I don't think we computer geeks appreciate how profoundly the rise of the smartphone, and Facebook, has changed the Internet audience. It's something that really only happened in the last five years, as smartphones and data plans dropped radically in price and became accessible – and addictive – to huge segments of the population.

People may have regularly used computers in 2007, sure, but that is a very different thing than having your computer in your pocket, 24/7, with you every step of every day, fully integrated into your life. As Jerry Seinfeld noted in 2014:

But I know you got your phone. Everybody here's got their phone. There's not one person here who doesn't have it. You better have it … you gotta have it. Because there is no safety, there is no comfort, there is no security for you in this life any more … unless when you're walking down the street you can feel a hard rectangle in your pants.

It's an addiction that is new to millions – but eerily familiar to us.

The good news is that, at this moment, every human being is far more connected to their fellow humans than any human has ever been in the entirety of recorded history.

Spoiler alert: that's also the bad news.

Nextdoor is a Facebook-alike focused on specific neighborhoods. The idea is that you and everyone else on your block would join, and you can privately discuss local events, block parties, and generally hang out like neighbors do. It's a good idea, and my wife started using it a fair amount in the last few years. We feel more connected to our neighbors through the service. But one unfortunate thing you'll find out when using Nextdoor is that your neighbors are probably a little bit racist.

I don't use Nextdoor myself, but I remember Betsy specifically complaining about the casual racism she saw there, and I've also seen it mentioned several times on Twitter by people I follow. They're not the only ones. It became so epidemic that Nextdoor got a reputation for being a racial profiling hub. Which is obviously not good.

Social networking historically trends young, with the early adopters. Facebook launched as a site for college students. But as those networks grow, they inevitably age. They begin to include older people. And those older people will, statistically speaking, be more racist. I apologize if this sounds ageist, but let me ask you something: do you consider your parents a little racist? I will personally admit that one of my parents is definitely someone I would label a little bit racist. It's … not awesome.

The older the person, the more likely they are to have these "old fashioned" notions that the mere presence of differently-colored people on your block is inherently suspicious, and marriage should probably be defined as between a man and a woman.

In one meta-analysis by Jeffrey Lax and Justin Phillips of Columbia University, a majority of 18–29 year old Americans in 38 states support same sex marriage while in only 6 states do less than 45% of 18–29 year olds support same-sex marriage. At the same time not a single state shows support for same-sex marriage greater than 35% amongst those 64 and older

The idea that regressive social opinions correlate with age isn't an opinion; it's a statistical fact.

Support for same-sex marriage in the U.S.

18 - 29 years old    65%
30 - 49 years old    54%
50 - 64 years old    45%
65+ years old        39%

Are there progressive septuagenarians? Sure there are. But not many.

To me, failure to support same-sex marriage is as inconceivable as failing to support interracial marriage. Which was not that long ago, to the tune of the late 60s and early 70s. If you want some truly hair-raising reading, try Loving v. Virginia on for size. Because Virginia is for lovers. Just not those kind of lovers, 49 years ago. In the interests of full disclosure, I am 45 years old, and I graduated from the University of Virginia.

With Nextdoor, you're more connected with your neighbors than ever before. But through that connection you may also find out some regressive things about your neighbors that you'd never have discovered in years of the traditional daily routine of polite waves, hellos from the driveway, and casual sidewalk conversations.

To their immense credit, rather than accepting this status quo, Nextdoor did what any self-respecting computer geek would do: they changed their software. Now, when you attempt to post about a crime or suspicious activity …

… you get smart, just in time nudges to think less about race, and more about behavior.

The results were striking:

Nextdoor claims this new multi-step system has, so far, reduced instances of racial profiling by 75%. It’s also decreased considerably the number of notes about crime and safety. During testing, the number of crime and safety issue reports abandoned before being published rose by 50%. “It’s a fairly significant dropoff,” said Tolia, “but we believe that, for Nextdoor, quality is more important than quantity.”

I'm a huge fan of designing software to help nudge people, at exactly the right time, to be their better selves. And this is a textbook example of doing it right.

Would using Nextdoor and encountering these dialogs make my aforementioned parent a little bit less racist? Probably not. But I like to think they would stop for at least a moment and consider the importance of focusing on the behavior that is problematic, rather than the individual person. This is a philosophy I promoted on Stack Overflow, I continue to promote with Discourse, and I reinforce daily with our three kids. You never, ever judge someone by what they look like. Look at what they do instead.

If you were getting excited about the prospect of validating Betteridge's Law yet again, I'm sorry to disappoint you. I truly do believe software, properly designed software, can not only help us be more civil to each other, but can also help people – maybe even people you love – behave a bit less like racists online.

[advertisement] At Stack Overflow, we help developers learn, share, and grow. Whether you’re looking for your next dream job or looking to build out your team, we've got your back.


via Coding Horror https://blog.codinghorror.com/can-software-make-you-less-racist/

Integrate New Systems Gracefully with Request Management | @CloudExpo #API #Agile #Cloud

One of the many questions that companies face when introducing new enterprise systems either to provide new functionality or incorporate legacy systems from a merger or acquisition is "How do we identify and manage access rights?" Not only do new access approval processes need to be established, but a common platform to define and execute processes, reliably document approvals and provide users with an acceptable user experience is often not in place to handle the additional workload. Corporate IT is also faced with the challenge responding quickly to changes in access rules or approval chains.

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[session] Architecting for the Cloud By @RagsS | @CloudExpo @IBMBluemix #Cloud #Docker #Microservices

As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghavan "Rags" Srinivas, an Architect/Developer Evangelist at IBM, will discuss the Microservices architecture, 12-factor app, containers, etc., and how to architect applications for the cloud in general and Cloud Foundry in particular. We will look at serverless computing for increasing efficiencies.

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US Federal Reserve speech prompts dip in Canadian dollar, flatlines stock markets

US Federal Reserve speech prompts dip in Canadian dollar, flatlines stock markets
Globalnews.ca - 39 minutes ago
WATCH ABOVE: The case for a U.S. interest rate hike is strong thanks to improving labor market and expectations for solid growth, says Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

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US Federal Reserve speech prompts dip in Canadian dollar, flatlines stock markets

Uberizing Smart Cities | @ThingsExpo #IoT #IIoT #M2M #API #BigData

Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.

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21 #DevOps and #Docker Reference Architectures | @DevOpsSummit #IoT

When building DevOps or continuous delivery practices you can learn a great deal from others. What choices did they make, what practices did they put in place, and how did they connect the dots? At Sonatype, we pulled together a set of 21 reference architectures for folks building continuous delivery and DevOps practices using Docker. Why? After 3,000 DevOps professionals attended our webinar on "Continuous Integration using Docker" discussing just one reference architecture example, we recognized there was a strong interest in the community to learn more. That's why we assembled 20 more reference architectures into this collection. A picture speaks a thousand words, but beyond the images, we also share the details of each DevOps/CD Docker reference architecture. In the bottom right corner of each slide, we share the original blog or presentation source for the image. When one of the images piques your interest, you can then dive deep into the source. Cool, huh?

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[session] Virtualized Apps and Private Cloud By @Tintri | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Storage #WebPerf

Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, will share success stories from a few folks who have already started using VM-aware storage. By managing storage operations at the VM-level, they’ve been able to solve their most vexing storage problems, and create infrastructures that scale to meet the needs of their applications. Best of all, they’ve got predictable, manageable storage performance – at a level conventional storage can’t match.

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NASA Pulls Together National Data to Sleuth Out Air Traffic Improvement Mysteries

For the first time ever, air traffic researchers can view and analyze archived flight data collected and merged from all air traffic facilities across the U.S., with fast update rates ranging from one second to 12 seconds for every flight’s position. Previously, researchers only had access to national flight data that was similar to internet flight tracking, with one-minute flight updates and no information about flights on the ground at airports. Or, they had access to separate flight data sets from 77 different Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic facilities, which made research very challenging. NASA’s newly improved tool, the Sherlock Air Traffic Management (ATM) Data Warehouse, merges all of the air traffic facility data to produce analysis-ready, end-to-end flight information at these improved resolutions for the entire U.S. airspace.

NASA’s Sherlock Air Traffic Management Data Warehouse shows one day of air traffic for Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

Credits: NASA Ames

NASA is committed to transforming aviation by dramatically reducing its environmental impact and improving efficiency while maintaining safety in more crowded skies. Sherlock will help air traffic management researchers quickly perform large-scale analyses of the U.S. air traffic system, to look for areas where ideas for improvement will have the most benefit in terms of environment, safety and efficiency.

NASA is committed to transforming aviation by dramatically reducing its environmental impact and improving efficiency while maintaining safety in more crowded skies. Sherlock will help air traffic management researchers quickly perform large-scale analyses of the U.S. air traffic system, to look for areas where ideas for improvement will have the most benefit in terms of environment, safety and efficiency.

For example, it allows researchers to use actual flight data to answer questions such as, “How much fuel could be saved if all flights into the San Francisco Airport used lower power for their final descent?” Or, “Would more accurate departure schedules reduce delays into busy Northeast airports, and at what rate?” Since new technologies are so costly to deploy in the complex U.S. airspace, finding the regions where they will help the most is very important, as is predicting the benefits to the flying public.

In development since 2009, Sherlock is a crucial piece of the air traffic management research infrastructure used by NASA and its partners. Sherlock includes a traditional database, a big data analytics system, web-based user interfaces and several tools for query and visualization. Located at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, the Sherlock ATM Data Warehouse team overcame challenges in correlating and rationalizing data from the 77 different FAA air traffic facilities, often with overlapping and conflicting positions, flight plans, as well as time and airspace references. The raw data include a variety of flight information from live streams of operational facilities, weather observations and forecasts, and other information collected from the FAA, such as traffic advisories and delay status.

Sherlock contains over 36 terabytes of raw data, with more collected daily. The merged flight data will soon be available for all of the archived data going back to 2011. This will enable researchers to look at very large data sets of many billions of flight tracks, and at trends in the national traffic picture over the past five years, which in turn will help predict future traffic.

While in development, Sherlock supported many research studies with separate FAA flight data. Sherlock’s merged data will streamline future research, such as estimating fuel savings and predicting the time savings that new air traffic control tools will provide. Planned enhancements include the capability to integrate the national flight data with weather data, to show, for example, how flights moved in relation to thunderstorms or other weather events.

This post was originally featured on NASA.gov by Sharon Lozano, NASA Ames Research Center.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

Gambling problem: Growth slows for Playtech

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