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Top Stories

Consider the following scenario-typical in many application development organizations. A major new release of an application has just gone into production. Although the development and QA teams endured many late nights of coding and testing, and consumed large quantities of delivered pizza, the project missed its ship date. Still, customers are happy with the product and are giving positive feedback. By many definitions, the team has produced a quality product. Then, a new, large business opportunity requires the rapid implementation of a significant new feature in the product. The tired and over-worked development team struggles with how, or even if, it can meet the new requirement. They are concerned that the new feature will break the existing product and predict a lengthy development cycle. Schedule overruns, tired staff, and difficulty in changing or adding f... (more)

Twenty-Thousand Men Pregnant Because of Bad Data

Nearly 20,000 British men were pregnant in 2009 and 2010 - according to the UK's National Health System. 8,000 of them had office appointments with their gynecologists, and a total of 17,000 of them were admitted to hospitals to undergo various obstetric services related to their pregnancies. As a big believer in equality across all genders, faiths and genetic backgrounds - I was initially very enthusiastic about this medical breakthrough. But my excitement was short-lived as I shortly found out that it was simply a matter of bad data introduced as data were manually re-entered from one system into another (because the systems were not integrated), or as data were transcribed from paper to machine, or simply mis-keyed into the original system. I've written quite a bit on bad data, how pervasive the problem is, and how expensive it is - for example "$3 Trillion Prob... (more)

Gartner Hype Cycle 2012 – Emerging Technologies

Here is a summary of the Gartner Hype Cycle for “Emerging Technologies” for 2012 – what is stated explicitly, what can be inferred. This Hype Cycle is suppose provide insight into emerging technologies that have broad, cross-industry relevance, and are transformational and high impact in potential. Most crowded hype cycle on emerging technologies in last 10 years 48 technologies are listed in this year’s hype cycle which is the highest in last ten years. Last year they had 42 – year 2008 was the lowest (27) – year 2005 was the previous highest (44). What does this imply? May be Gartner is right when it says: We are at an interesting moment — a time when the scenarios we’ve been talking about for a long time are almost becoming reality. Which macro trends are stated explicitly in the report? Any Channel, Any Device, Anywhere — Bring Your Own Everything Smarter Thing... (more)

Skytap and uTest Announce Webinar on Crowdsourcing and Cloud Computing

SEATTLE, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/03/09 -- Skytap, Inc., the leading provider of cloud-based virtual lab solutions, and uTest, the world's largest marketplace for software testing services, today announced a Webinar on how crowdsourcing and cloud-based technologies can help companies launch higher quality applications, while reducing time to market and controlling costs. The Webinar, "Better Apps with Crowdsourcing & The Cloud," will be held on Wednesday, February 11, at 11AM PT / 2PM ET. Across the software industry, companies are trying to do more with less. For C-level execs and their tech teams, this means dealing with flat or shrinking budgets, while still trying to get new versions to market quickly and maintaining application quality. Companies are now turning to online communities and cloud-based infrastructure to get the job done while reducing capital an... (more)

iPhone Developer Summit: iPhone Testing (or Lack Thereof)

On Monday, Apple announced a whole bunch of exciting and innovative new products.  Two of the more anticipated were the iPhone 3GS and version 3.0 of the iPhone software.  Both of these introduce interesting new features for iPhone users everywhere.  You can watch the entire keynote here. Apple’s keynote presentation went very well, but there were a couple of snags while demoing some of the new iPhone apps.  Two different apps had problems with their demos.  One app had an issue with some on-stage props, but the other simply stopped working in the middle of its presentation. The presenters for both apps recovered and continued to highlight other features of their products.  However, I can’t exactly fault them for having trouble.  In fact, what actually surprised me was that so many of the apps worked given how difficult Apple makes testing iPhone apps. Here’s rough... (more)

Performance Tuning Essentials for Java

In light of today's compressed development cycles, multi-tiered application architectures and complex technologies, many organizations are challenged to get reliable yet scalable enterprise Java applications out the door in a timely manner. Devoting a small amount of energy throughout the development process to identify, address, and correct performance obstacles can lower the risks and costs associated with poorly performing applications over the life of the code. Java performance tuning simply means optimizing your code for speed, reliability, scalability and maintainability. Producing truly scalable, lightning-fast Java SE and Java EE applications demands clarity of purpose and well-understood programming priorities. A major benefit of adopting regular performance tuning cycles is instantly seeing exactly which parts of your applications represent critical bottl... (more)

Is OpenStack a New Door to Cloud Adoption?

All the buzz surrounding OpenStack over the past few months may beg the question of whether Openstack can repeat for Cloud what Linux has done for server operating systems over the past several years. With an enthusiastic following and a compelling, if not industry-leading set of functionality, the possibilities may be boundless. This week’s announcement of the HP Cloud public beta, an OpenStack-based cloud that includes compute, object storage and a content delivery network, provides even further momentum to this open source effort. With well-known vendors such as HP, Rackspace and hundreds of others backing them, we can expect OpenStack adoption to increase. In one of the more storied instances of open source successes, the Linux operating system, first released in 1991, was an alternative to existing operating systems embraced primarily by developers. Today, Linu... (more)

Software Should Be Creative

We spend a lot of time talking to business managers about how their operations run. The perspective that we commonly face is one of "this is how we do it; we are looking for software to do it better." But from a business perspective, that is the wrong approach. First, the pain of software adoption is significant, and relatively insensitive to scope of change involved. Whether your software project is small or extensive, employees are going to be unhappy about it for anywhere between a couple of weeks and several months. But with all change, people eventually adjust and move on, and pretty soon what was so traumatic becomes the new standard. Second, the opportunity to get creative and completely re-engineer how your business works is priceless and rare. Software projects are exactly that opportunity. The business value to be gained from rebuilding your processes from... (more)

$55 Per Hour Software Developers

Last week, a US based Flex/Flash developer who IMO belongs to the top 20% Flash developers twitted that he was contacted by a recruiter offering a contract paying $55 per hour. While $55 per hour may sound a lot in some of the developing countries, the cost of living in the USA makes this rate a joke. And we are not talking about some rookie who learn Flex last week in a classroom.  Pretty sad, isn’t it? Next day, a manager of a large corporation asked me if our company can provide them with a senior Flex/Java consultant working onsite in a greater New York area.  The rates were $60-$80 per hour plus this software developer would have to go through another consulting company that was on a preferred vendors list of this large corporation. This middleman would also need to get a cut from this rate. Let’s do some math together assuming that the corporate client is will... (more)

Performing a Penetration Test on a Customer’s Network

When performing a penetration test on a customer’s network by simulating an attack and trying to find a way inside many forget there is an easier way. Many networks have well established security protection through firewalls, Intrusion Detections/ Protections Systems that will alert to your presents. Performing a vulnerability scan using tools such as NeXpose, Nessus, nmap, etc will alert many systems. By performing some research on the target and learn what the company does you can narrow your attack. By using some social engineering you can email your payload to an inspecting victim at the company that will allow you to establish a foothold thereby allowing you to further exploit their network. This can be accomplished by using the Metasploit binary payloads with Shikata-ga_nai encoding scheme. Metasploit Antivirus Bypass When making plans to email or deliver your ... (more)

Software Inventory Control Systems

This article will focus on Software Inventory Control Systems (SICS). Recently, I was asked by Bill Rogers (NH DoIT Commissioner) and Peter Hastings (NH DoIT Director) to take a look at SICS, investigate them and provide a recommendation. When I started this research I knew nothing about SICS. I didn't understand their value. I ate, slept, and breathed these tools for a period of time so that I could understand their value. I got a good education from some smart folks: individuals in DoIT who were familiar with these products, research from the Internet, testimonials from other users on products, many demos and I inquired into what other states were using. Presently, I am the administrator of SCM AllFusion Harvest. SCM AllFusion Harvest is a process-based Software Configuration Management (SCM) tool for managing application source code. I manage 181 applications hous... (more)