Free work style analysis test

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Don't be disappointed, Jive Software's new WorkType Finder is not a personality test says the firm's exec VP Elisa Steele.

We increasingly analyse our lifestyle today (especially so given the rise of the so-called Internet of Things) to calculate where we can digitise, automate and bring technology innovations to bear - so why not analyse workstyle (one word) then?

According to Jive, by understanding their WorkType, employees can recognise their unique workstyles - the habits and preferences for how they prefer to work - and ultimately use this knowledge to work better.

"At the same time, managers can draw on this information to create more effective teams," said the company, in a press statement.

The WorkType Finder guides users through a series of six straightforward questions. Once completed, the WorkType Finder immediately calculates and provides participants with their primary and secondary WorkTypes.

The eight WorkTypes are:

• Explorers - provide new ideas and fresh perspectives.
• Experts - help solve the toughest problems.
• Planners - create the processes to streamline what needs to get done.
• Optimisers - drive organisation to increase efficiency and productivity.
• Energisers - achieve the seemingly impossible.
• Producers - bring vision into reality and deliver results.
• Connectors - thrive on meeting new people and bridging gaps.
• Coaches - bring out the best in people.

The test (ok sorry, it's not a test) is found linked here.

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Editorial analysis

This tool was presented as part of Jive Software's Jive World 2014 conference and exhibition. The predominant user type found at the conference (populated by developers, product specialists, technologists and other i.e. successful hardworking people) was "Explorers" with "Planners" coming in as the second most popular. Jive's Steele argued that this means: "not only are you all a bunch of creatives, you also want to get things done", as she put it. The only criticism here is that one imagines that this test could be a lot broader and feature a wider range of questions. Also, given that Jive is a self-styled 'communication and collaboration' player, then why not make the test more socially interactive and feature so-called 360 degree feedback from peers? It's an impossible argument because the company is merely trying to show that it has technology prowess in this field and is providing a snapshot web-based tool which is arguably quite fun to use.

So... open source?

Why is this story on the Computer Weekly Open Source Insider column?

Because Jive's 'Fall cloud release' offers enhanced mobile apps for both iOS and Android.

The Jive Android app now features announcement viewing and the ability for people to follow the content, people and places most important to them.

Intel INDE tools make programming not suck

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Intel has released what it says is 'the first' suite of tools for the development of native applications across architectures, operating systems and integrated development environments (IDE.)

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The acronym Intel INDE stands for Integrated Native Developer Experience.

This is essentially a productivity suite of C++ and Java tools and libraries designed to speed software application development of mobile and PC applications on Intel Architecture and Android applications on ARM and Intel Architecture.

Where does the speed come from?

The speed is achieved through code reuse and integrated workflow support.

Developers have the freedom to use Intel INDE within the IDE they prefer, including Microsoft Visual Studio, Google Android Studio, and Eclipse.

Intel INDE provides access to advanced platform capabilities like media acceleration, context sensing, OpenCL 2.0 and threading libraries, with a selection of compilers, analysers and debugging tools.

Media acceleration, you say?

Yes media acceleration -- Media Accelerator technologies are intelligent graphics engine powers built into the chipset itself.

Context sensing, you say?

Yes context sensing, this is another one of those terms that Intel expects us to understand - what is means is the ability for developers to create cross-platform context-aware experiences that understand the context of any action or event: build into an application there is the ability to understand user preferences & anticipate behaviour.

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Intel INDE is available immediately in three editions: Starter, Professional and Ultimate.

Why is Intel INDE important?

First of all says Intel, Android is now running on over 2 billion devices (says Intel).

If we want to develop for the mobile marketplace, you'll find that getting started on the Android platform is hard.

Gaming legend John Carmack recently stated "Brace yourself: Android setup and development really does suck. It's no fun at all."

Intel's Jeff McVeigh, general manager of performance client and visual computing asserts, "So not only does Intel INDE make Android IDE setup a snap, but it will help you develop apps that run at native performance on each platform. And you don't have to spend months learning to optimize for the performance and power characteristics of each and every target device."

Development workflow phases

McVeigh says that Intel INDE addresses each phase of the development workflow:

Setup: To target Windows platforms use an existing Visual Studio environment. For Android target systems, users have a choice of Android development IDE's: Microsoft Visual Studio, Eclipse and Android Studio.

"So if you've been developing for the Windows platform, the Android plugin for Visual Studio allows you to leverage your existing Windows development expertise over to the Android platform. Or if you're only developing for Android, Eclipse might make sense for you," said McVeigh.

Build: Then add one or more libraries of common functions that have been optimized for the Android and Windows platforms: OpenCL Code Builder, Media for Mobile, the Context Sensing SDK, Intel Integrated Performance Primitives (Intel IPP), Intel Threaded Building Blocks (Intel TBB), and the Media SDK (Windows only).

"Most of these tools work on multiple platforms, so your code is easily transportable across platforms. Then compile using the Intel C++ compiler, or use the GCC compiler for ARM* or x86-based devices," said McVeigh.

Debug: Debug Android apps from Visual Studio with the Intel INDE plugin, or use the Graphics Frame Debugger to debug your graphics apps on Android (both Intel x86 and limited ARM* devices).

Analyze and Optimize: Use System Analyzer to view key system metrics (CPU, GPU, and power utilization) to determine if your app is CPU-bound or GPU-bound, use Graphics Frame Analyzer to pinpoint graphics pipeline rendering issues, and use Platform Analyzer to visualize the interaction of your app's threads across the CPU cores and the GPU.

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Intel INDE bundles both Intel and 3rd-party software tools into a single product to streamline tool management and compatibility.

Platfora's big data iceberg and other stories

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Platfora has lots to say this week by golly.

Platfora who?

Okay yes, sorry, we haven't spoken about this firm much yet -- the company is a big data analytics specialist and its software works in tandem with the open-source software framework Apache Hadoop.

The technology proposition here is the firm's ability to assist users with tasks associated with rapid data analysis, data visualisation and sharing.

After news this week of Salesforce.com and its Wave technology, the company's CEO Ben Werther just couldn't hold on to an opinion that we need to help share.

Ouch! that smarts!

"Salesforce.com is playing catchup to last-generation of cloud business intelligence offerings rather than attempting a true big data analytics solution," said Werther.

(Ed - don't hold back Mr Werther, tell us what you really think yeah?)

"The data challenges of today are only solved with a native end-to-end big data analytics solution that lets business analysts directly ask the multi-structured questions that matter across exploding volumes of transactional, customer interaction and machine data and get answers in minutes and not months."

Interesting stuff, at this time we do not have any information on whether Werther is prepared to go into hand-to-hand combat with Marc Benioff.

Putting the petabyte on a pedestal

Platfora says that this week, with the launch of its version 4.0 product, it will be the first technology company enable business users (and data scientists) to visually interact with
petabyte-scale data in seconds.

Pardon? Petabyte-scale data in seconds?

Ah yes, well what the company is saying is that as the #1 native big data analytics platform for Hadoop (its tagline, not ours) that it provides advanced visualisations, geo-analytics capabilities and collaboration features that empower cross-functional teams to work iteratively with data at scale.

Werther's got more opinions, hang on...

"While it seems obvious that an organisation should be able to work with all of their data, the current reality is, most are only capable of analysing just the tip of their data iceberg and can't work the newer and more valuable forms of big data," said Werther.

Queue image infographic of BIG DATA ICEBERG.

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"Organizations are losing competitive advantage and exposing themselves to undue risk because their last-generation BI tools can't handle the growing volumes and varieties of machine, transactional and customer interaction data."

Platfora says that its big data analytics platform is the only end-to-end product with a native-Hadoop infrastructure --- and this enables analysts, business professionals and data scientists to access and drill down into the rawest forms of petabyte-scale data without the need for IT support.

While most analytics vendors say they work with any variety or volume of data, recent industry research found that 52% of analytics users trying to work with big data must break it down into smaller parts to analyze it*, causing additional data preparation and modeling tasks that slow down time to insight.

To make big data analytics more accessible beyond the most technical professionals, Platfora Vizboards provide an interactive, visual analytics experience that all roles in the organisation can use to explore and collaborate on analyses.

Platfora Big Data Analytics 4.0 includes enhancements to the visual analysis capabilities and processing engine, including:

• Interactivity at Big Data Scale - Platfora extends its ability to analyze the biggest of big data sets, with performance when analyzing entities with billions of unique values (e.g. customers, devices, endpoints).
• Advanced Visualizations - Platfora builds upon its library of data visualizations such as polar charts, trellises, packed bubbles, word clouds and gauges so that users can achieve new views and insights in seconds.
• Geo Analytics - Users can now visualize geographical data using interactive maps. Platfora Big Data Analytics 4.0 can display multiple attributes of data on the same map and zoom in or drill down to provide deeper views, making it easy to find relationships and insights--all with the speed and power of in-memory data processing.
• Insight Delivery - Users can capture and share visual representations of analyses with internal stakeholders with PDF email scheduling, without ever having to leave the Platfora environment.

Pentaho 5.2 cooks up data analysis to blend, refine & 'visually taste'

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Pentaho has released version 5.2 of its core Business Analytics product this week at the firm's inaugural PentahoWorld 2014 event.

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The company's open source Business Intelligence (BI) products span a technical remit that encompasses data integration, online analytical processing (OLAP) services, reporting, dashboarding, data mining and 'extract, transform, load' (ETL) functionalities.

Pentaho is using the term 'Streamlined Data Refinery' to describe its software's ability to bring the power of data driven analytics to the business.

Hadoop serves as a central processing hub here where analytics ready data sets can be blended, refined, automatically-modeled and then automatically published directly to analytic data bases (like HP Vertica) for interactive analytics using Pentaho Analyzer.

Visually taste through visualisations

The end result here for the end-user (says Pentaho) is a set of data discovery, reports, dashboards and visualisations that are immediately available.

Pentaho 5.2 extends the adaptive big data layer with advanced capabilities for Kerberos security support for major Hadoop distributions, including Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR. This ensures that only those users with proper credentials can access Hadoop cluster resources in their data orchestration.

This 5.2 version also includes additional features that simplify the user experience for both embedded and direct customers.

According to Pentaho, users will get 15X faster results compared to hand coding,

Drag-and-faster-drop

A drag and drop interface for MapReduce allows data to be moved and processed between Hadoop and ANY data source or system.

Tony Cosentino, VP & research director at Ventana Research has said that Pentaho has been helping to solve the difficult problems associated with being able to realise the full potential of big data analytics in the enterprise.

"The challenge lies in striking an optimal balance between delivering speed, power and usability to the business and complying with IT's needs for data governance, interoperability and flexibility. Pentaho's approach to governed data delivery and its roadmap for a new big data orchestration platform is central to this and is good news for business consumers and IT departments alike," added Cosentino.

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PentahoWorld 2014: The George Costanza factor in data analytics

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The "royalty factor" drives data decision making says Mike Gaultieri of Forrester, speaking at the PentahoWorld 2014 keynote this week.

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The big data analyst suggests that consumers today want to be treated like royalty.

That is to say, for every meal they eat (for example) they should expect an individual menu and a specially prepared meal.

So this means that #royalty (note the hashtag) experiences have "contextual awareness"...

... and this is a crucial point if we want to understand how data science and data analytics in the future.

Consider this example and picture this individual:

Male
40 years old
Makes £60,000 a year
Lives in central New York City (or London for the sake of argument)

QUIZ TIME

This guy sees £5000 accidentally transferred to his bank account by the bank itself - so does he:

a) Take the money and run?
b) Own up and hand over the cash so that the bank can track its mistake?

Gualtieri asked the audience to vote and make a decision as to what this person would do.

Some said he would take the money.

Some said he would own up.

The data scientist in the room

One lady called out that although the guy LIVED in New York City he might not be FROM New York and she would need to therefore know more about his background to be able to make a more informed decision on his most likely actions.

Gualtieri said, "Great! I think we have just found the data scientist in the room - what you have done is to correctly identify that we need more information."

Gaultieri then posted up a picture of the shrewd money-aware neurotic character George Costanza from the Seinfeld TV show and said OK, what if I tell you that this is who our guy is.

At which point the audience all knew that he would take the money.

This is a nice way of illustrating the need for more contextual information in terms of the way we now use data.

"Data scientists are people who use a combination of statistical and machine learning algorithms to find patterns and predictive models," said Gaultieri.

"But data science is very different from traditional analytics... in traditional analytics we sit around and discuss and decide what data will be relevant to work on, but in data science we run algorithms to find relevant data and then act to predictively model," he added.

More Seinfeld examples in big data presentations please.







PentahoWorld 2014: new blends & recipes in the data cooking pot

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The first ever PentahoWorld conference was staged this week in Orlando, Florida.

Given the preponderance of so many long in the tooth tech events these days, it's nice to see how a firm with open source founding like Pentaho would structure a gathering of some 400 or so attendees - the audience itself is made up of

  • 75% developers
  • 25% business decision makers for data and analytics

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Chairman and CEO Quentin Gallivan kicked off by reminding us that the Business Intelligence (BI) market is now 20 years old.

From initially being focused on transactional data and historical analysis, BI has (as we know) started to turn towards big data and next-gen data architectures.

The universe of data is exploding

Although we know that the universe of data is exploding and people are getting connected with data, IDC estimates that we are ONLY ANALYSING half of that data.

Gallivan says that right now, our corporate IT functions are trying to work out what to do with all this data and help the Line of Business functions start to monetise the big data flows that circle around them.

"Evolving data architectures are required for blending of all data... we need to blend from the relational world to the unstructured world,"

What we are talking about here is getting analysis happening on the under-utilised elements of so called "dark data"... but this is hard because firms do not want to mess with their EDW (Enterprise Data Warehouse) structures.

NOTE: Dark data is operational data that is not being used -- Gartner describes dark data as information assets that organisations collect, process and store in the course of their regular business activity, but generally fail to use for other purposes.

So to get to the next stage of data analysis - we need to combine analytics, analytics databases, big data, EDW and data marts ... it sounds initially like it could be a noisy business. Pentaho clearly wants to tell us that it will have an answer.

#PWorld2014

With all this happening at the back end, we have an additional problem; the consumerisation of IT means that users EXPECT to be able to use data faster and more easily - and it needs to be social too.

In his keynote, Gallivan lifted the veil on a big data orchestration platform that he insists will be instrumental in delivering a vision for overcoming three persistent big data challenges:

  • need for strong data governance,
  • diverse data blending,
  • and delivery of analytics embedded at the point of impact.

Fundamental to Pentaho's strategy is the concept of governed data delivery, defined as the ability to blend trusted and timely data to power analytics at scale for all users in all environments.

"In our hyper-competitive global economy, companies are urgently seeking to harness the value from all their data to find new revenue streams, operate more efficiently, deliver service and minimise risk," said Gallivan.

"They need a platform that catalyses collaboration between IT and business to meet demands both for governance and the business need for timely, comprehensive data," he added.

The new "big blend" for data includes embedded data analytics, real time data analytics, complex unstructured big data analytics, plus all the elements of transactional and historical data analytics that we have been familiar with up until now.

Project Marilyn (open source) crowdfunded patent-free anti-cancer drug

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Project Marilyn is a new drive to develop a patent-free anticancer drug with elements of crowdfunding and open source development.

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The campaign will fund a xenograft experiment, which is the next step in developing the anti-cancer compound "9DS" -- this experiment needs to be completed before 9DS can move on to clinical trials.

TECHNICAL NOTE: A xenograft (experiment) is a graft obtained from a member of one species and transplanted to a member of another species.

MEDICAL NOTE: The drug candidate 9DS was developed at the University of Maryland and the last work done on the drug showed (allegedly) that it had activity against cancer competitive with leading cancer drugs such as taxol.

It is worth noting that the jury is out on 9DS, it is not proven as far as we know today.

All funds in this programme go towards preclinical anticancer drug lab work.

Like the pharmaceutical industry today, the software industry was once historically dominated by big companies and proprietary code bases say Project Marilyn.

The project has a funding goal of US $50,000 (UK£ 31,000)

According to the project website:

"[Today we see that] 9DS is also likely to have lower side effects than most chemotherapies, since a related compound, SJG-136, seems to have low side effects in early clinical trials. Project Marilyn involves: production of more 9DS, and submitting 9DS to a xenograft study ('curing cancer in mice'). This is the next step in drug development and an important one on the way to doing clinical (human) studies. The process we're seeking to fund should take approximately 6 months. If we receive more funding, we will add stretch goals, such as further preclinical experiments on 9DS, development 9DS analogs, or other exciting anti-cancer ideas."

Due to the absence of patents on this project, the status of the project now (and any resultant technologies coming from it) will essentially be open source.


Rackspace: APIs need (cloud uptime) love too

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Rackspace has updated its eponymously named private cloud (powered by OpenStack) with a 99.99 percent OpenStack API uptime guarantee.

A what?

An API uptime guarantee.

What's that?

Well, thanks for asking... okay so Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) form an essential communications bond between different software program elements and data streams with their ability to 'speak' to required information components.

In terms of typical use, APIs are released to programmers who will be involved with third-party development in some way and/or as part of a software development kit (SDK) or as an open API (usually published on the Internet itself).

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Do I need to know more?

Well yes, a bit.

The API defines the correct way for a developer to write a program that requests services from an operating system (OS) or other application.

APIs are implemented by function calls composed of verbs and nouns.The required syntax is described in the documentation of the application being called.

I thought you were going to explain "API uptime" though?

Oh yes, sorry, we will get to that now.

As a key element of a wider Service Level Agreement (SLA), API uptime expresses an interface's availability within a service-based computing system where program components are made available from the cloud.

Okay thanks, wasn't this a Rackspace story though?

Yes sorry, let's get back to that.

Rackspace VP of technology Nigel Beighton says that his firm's news is an "important indication" that OpenStack is maturing fast.

"Today businesses don't want to be tied into proprietary systems that stifle innovation and agility, so the principles of an open source platform that is easy to implement, massively scalable and feature rich is increasingly attractive. The fact that we are also offering unprecedented API uptime guarantees for our private cloud is testament to our faith in the capability of the platform," he said.

The offering combines expertise, services and guarantees with the OpenStack Icehouse release.

The Rackspace Private Cloud 99.99 per cent OpenStack API uptime guarantee is designed to scale to hundreds of nodes and deliver high availability with consistent performance.

It deploys OpenStack services using Linux containers, which allows (so says Rackspace) customers to independently scale each service and provides the ability to perform seamless, in-place upgrades from one release to another.

There is also application-level automation to help users automate their process for deploying and scaling applications by treating their infrastructure as code.

NOTE: In addition, Rackspace Private Cloud supports OpenStack Orchestration (Heat), which helps customers automate the provisioning of infrastructure, services and applications.

Image credit: http://www.technobuzz.net/

OutSystems' mobile app backlog formula: deliver fast, change faster

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Open Rapid Application Delivery (RAD) platform Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) company OutSystems (Ed - does that make oRADpPaaS then?) has released its Platform 9 version this week.

Claiming to be able to "raise the bar for mobile application development", the software is supposed to allow developers to create and deploy apps across iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and web, from a single application design and code base.

NOTE: OutSystems applications are delivered as open, standard-architecture code and aim to "insulate enterprises" (so says the PR) from future technology changes and vendor lock-in.

OutSystems Platform 9 now adds a hybrid mobile capability -- this is a visualisation tool for the aggregation and manipulation of data.

This new version also sports integration through a "fleet" of connectors for popular SaaS and legacy applications.

The company claims deliver mobile and web applications an average of five times faster than traditional coding techniques, while virtually eliminating change request backlogs due to a life cycle management capability that automates the build, test and deployment process.

A recent survey of more than 200 US and UK enterprises, conducted by independent insight and research agency Opinion Matters, found that enterprises have a significant mobile backlog. Of the companies surveyed, 85 percent noted that they have a mobile backlog of between 1-20 applications with half having a backlog of 10-20 apps. The goal of these new mobile app initiatives is either to generate revenue (64 percent) or to improve the mobile experience of existing apps (58 percent).

"Delivering a comprehensive mobile app dev strategy is a staggering hurdle, but our 'deliver fast, change faster' approach helps IT directly address this challenge," said the company, in a press statement.

Company CEO Paulo Rosado asserts that developers face a deluge of mobile app projects with multiple platforms to support, hundreds of change requests, and complex backend integrations.

"Our visual RAD approach, enterprise scale features, and lifecycle management capabilities give enterprises an unprecedented delivery capacity while utilising their in-house skills. Platform 9 delivers new functionality making it simpler than ever for ANY developer to create, deploy and manage enterprise mobile applications," he said.

RESEARCH NOTE: According to the June 2014 Forrester Research, Inc. report by Clay Richardson and John Rymer entitled New Development Platforms Emerge For Customer-Facing Applications, "Hand-coding is too slow to develop and deliver many of the applications that companies use to win, serve, and retain customers. Some firms are turning to new, 'low-code' application platforms that accelerate app delivery by dramatically reducing the amount of hand-coding required. Faster delivery is the primary benefit of these application platforms; they also help firms respond more quickly to customer feedback after initial software releases and provision mobile and multichannel apps. "

The new OutSystems Now app is an open source native 'shell' that provides integration to device sensors and the benefits of an App Store app -- users can create mobile apps that utilise responsive web design (RWD) to automatically render on any device, form factor or operating system.

OutSystems Now is an open source, native mobile app available in the Apple and Google Play App Stores.

Editorial disclosure: Adrian Bridgwater has worked with OutSystems on commercial content patronage programmes.

Does HP have the stomach to digest Eucalyptus?

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HP is acquiring Eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus is known for its Amazon Web Services compatible open source private cloud software.

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The company's cloud software is intended to coalesce compute, network and storage resources within to create on-demand (self-service) private cloud resources.

Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos is lined up for a "VeeP" position in HP's cloud business.

He will join HP as senior vice president and general manager of the cloud business, reporting to Meg Whitman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of HP.

Is anything fishy here?

Well Mickos undertook something of a turncoat action by saying how much he liked OpenStack after previously deriding the project as nothing more than a failure from the start.

Commentators have so far not been "wholly" complementary about the deal; Eucalyptus is not the only open cloud player to have been derided for losing its way recently.

The world of open cloud is unsettled and disquieted -- and HP's recent track record in acquisitions is another subject altogether.

Regardless of the naysayers then -- Martin Fink, who currently leads HP's Cloud business, will remain in his roles as chief technology officer of HP and director of HP Labs.

"We've said before that we believe the future of the Cloud is open source, and this transaction underscores our deep commitment to helping customers build enterprise-class, open clouds their way," said Fink.

"We've already seen significant momentum since launching HP Helion and have put in place an outstanding team. I'm confident that Marten, a fellow open source devotee, will continue to build out the HP Helion portfolio into the enterprise cloud offering of choice."

HP expects the acquisition to close in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2014. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.







Community revolts against ISO software testing standards

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The International Standards Organisation (ISO) wants us to adopt a new standard for software testing.

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Known as ISO 29119, the standard aims to join (and in some cases replace) existing ISO software testing mandates for concepts and definitions, test processes, test documentation, test techniques and one for keyword driven testing.

The elegantly named 29119 Software Testing standard has been created in association with the IEEE and the IEC -- it is said to be an internationally agreed set of standards for software testing that can be used within any software development life cycle or organisation.

"By implementing these standards, you will be adopting the only internationally-recognised and agreed standards for software testing, which will provide your organisation with a high-quality approach to testing that can be communicated throughout the world," said softwaretestingstandard.org.

But, the software application development world is not happy.

A petition has already been started to counter the proposal at "Stop 29119" webpage on ipetitions.com with the below comment posted by professor of software engineering Cem Kaner who says that software testing has not approximated a consensus upon its 'vocabularity' as he puts it.

A heavily politicised situation

"We see strong divergences within the academic community as well as within the practitioner communities. The 'standards' movement within software testing has long been heavily politicised. Their objective seems to be to impose a set of ideas on people who would not otherwise agree to them, 'for their own good' and for the good of the stakeholders who find it profitable to invest enough to dominate the standards-development process," wrote Kaner.

It's an open market for discussion as sensitively fought as the Scottish independence battle.

Open source as a philosophy for life

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In an age of ice bucket challenge awareness raising, surely our mind (and indeed Mind, the mental health charity) and our cerebral well-being needs more attention.

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Washington DC based educator and FOSS evangelist Phil Shapiro thinks that open source could be a route to a more balanced mind if mental energies are attuned correctly.

Open source is as much a philosophy of living as it is a method of creating software argues Shapiro.

Writing on opensource.com this month he states, "Open source practitioners spend no time worrying about what cannot be done. All of their mental energies attune to what can be done. If you love open source, you live in a constant state of wondering.

The theory here is a positive one...

... should we suggest that living in a constant state of hope has a positive spill-over effect on mental health?

Infinite hope

After all, F. Scott Fitzgerald started the first page of The Great Gatsby with a comment somewhere along the lines of: reserved judgements are a matter of infinite hope.

Shapiro is right of course (and so was Fitzgerald and Gatsby) -- the glass half full approach to life where we consider the solutions and challenges rather than setbacks and challenges is the only way to live.

Stress and worry, after all, creates negative energy throughout the body.

"The human mind remains a great mystery and mental illness can befall any of us at any time. We are just beginning to understand ways of creating greater resilience in the mind. From where I sit, open source creates more hopeful and resilient minds. Talk this over with your friends, co-workers, and relatives. Ask them for their ideas and perspective on this matter. True understanding will only reach us when we pursue answers using the open source way," writes Shapiro -- you can read his full comment here.

Extra (open peaceful) thoughts...

"I am constantly amazed by what an Open Source community can achieve - consider what the PostgreSQL project has achieved with just a fraction of the resources that our commercial competitors have for example. To do this though, we spend a ridiculous amount of time heads-down in our laptops. That may contribute to our feelings of well-being and is very rewarding, but that doesn't mean it's not also stressful, tiring, frustrating and sometimes detrimental to our personal relationships with family and friends. But we do it because we love what we do," said Dave Page, chief architect, EnterpriseDB.

STOP PRESS -- additional comment

"When you look at open source and how it mirrors a healthy approach to life the similarities are strong.Open source starts small and "grows" through the support of a community of like-minded people - like a society. The care and nourishment of open source is driven as much or even more so by individual and collective passion than monetary or material gain. Open source can start with the germ a single individuals' idea and can soon travel the world and engage a broader community of all types and backgrounds. An important aspect of the most successful open source is that it benefits the desires of the developers and users - and considers the needs the commercial benefits to the community sponsors. Similar to a life, thoughtful and balanced goals that meet the needs of the individual and the economic goals of the society will fuel the continued passion and improvement of the open source project," said Bill Portelli, CEO of CollabNet.

Microwavable instant 'convenient' cloud analytics, just add data

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RapidMiner has produced what it calls an 'introductory release' of its eponymously named RapidMiner Cloud product that seeks to "make analytics more convenient" -- which means what exactly?

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The open source software allows users to store, manage and deploy data analytics on a cloud-based service.

The idea is, store the data on the cloud service and -- when (and only when) the analytics are ready to be executed, they can be.

This software integrates with more than 300 leading cloud data sources including Amazon S3, Dropbox, Salesforce.com, Twitter and many other cloud applications, to power high value predictive insights and actions.

"We find that the people working on analytic predictions for their business are 'always on' - they work in their office, on the road, and at home," said Ingo Mierswa, CEO of RapidMiner.

RapidMiner says it predictive analytics software helps companies across multiple industries in areas where advanced analytics can make a significant impact such as:

  • churn reduction,
  • product propensity modelling,
  • predictive maintenance,
  • sentiment analysis etc.

RapidMiner platform derives extensibility via source-code availability and integration with other open-source solutions.

Image credit: http://hungryjackpotatoes.com/

Intel unifies with Unity to extend Android support

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Intel has announced a strategic collaboration (Ed - is there any other kind?) with Unity Technologies.

INDUSTRY NOTE: Unity is a high-performance end-to-end development platform for creating interactive 3D and 2D experiences.

The firms will come together now with the aim of advancing the development of Android-based applications on Intel architecture.

The agreement is engineered to help Intel's mobility push (say the firms) as millions of developers using the Unity development platform can now bring native Android games and other apps to Intel-based mobile devices.

PRODUCT NOTE: Unity adds support for Android across all of Intel's current and future processors including both the Intel Core and Intel Atom processor families.

Unity will ensure Intel product enhancements, including both graphics and CPU performance improvements and features, will be integrated into future releases of the Unity 4 and Unity 5 product lines.

DEVELOPER NOTE: In addition, developers using Unity can now add support for Intel architecture in their applications or produce native applications for Intel architecture only with minimal extra effort.

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"We've set a goal to ship 40 million Intel-based tablets this year and expect more than 100 Android tablet designs on Intel in the market by the end of this year," said Doug Fisher, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the software and services group.

"Our collaboration with Unity will give its nearly three million developers the necessary software tools and support to build amazing Android experiences on Intel architecture," added Fisher.

"Unity is used by half of all mobile game developers, and many of them have been asking for increased support for Intel-based devices running Android," said David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies. "We are proud to be working with Intel to ensure that Unity provides the smoothest and highest performing experience possible on Intel platforms."

Mini case study
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Intel and Unity have given a few software developers access to a very early version of the Unity code base that supports access to Intel graphics and CPU technology. Early indications are that this announcement will cause tremendous excitement in the game developer community. SEGA is one of the companies jumping on this opportunity quickly, having already added x86 support to its Unity-based Sonic Dash* title.

Chris Southall, Studio Head of Hardlight has stated, "SEGA's Hardlight is one of the very first mobile studios to utilize the x86-enabled version of Unity in one of its games. We've seen impressive performance gains by 'going native' - it's been great working with Unity and Intel on this."

In-the-field debugger, when offsite is a bugger

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Undo Software has released UndoDB Out-and-About.

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Described as a "new way of licensing" its reversible debugging software, this product is aimed at vendors whose software is deployed on:

• customer sites,
• in the field,
• on a customer machine,
• in real life (OK, we get it -- Ed)

The software is used by engineers to investigate, find and (hopefully) consequently fix customer-critical bugs.

UndoDB Out-and-About helps track down software failures, such as intermittent issues and memory corruption errors.

Offsite is a bugger

It is particularly useful (says the firm) when customers do not want to send their highly confidential, mission-critical data off-site to the vendor for them to reproduce the bug -- oh ok, we get the "in the field" repetition now.

UndoDB Out-and-About provides exactly the same functionality as Undo Software's flagship product, UndoDB, but is licensed for use on a machine not owned by the licensee (OK we get it, not offsite -- Ed)

Available on Linux and Android, UndoDB allows developers to record their program's execution and then rewind and replay their C/C++ code in real-time to find bugs more quickly, increasing productivity and helping to meet development deadlines.

CEO insight, always nice

"Software vendors operate in a complex development ecosystem, and it is imperative that they work closely with their customers to ensure software is meeting the highest quality standards in the field," said Greg Law, CEO and co-founder, Undo Software.

"By extending the power of reversible debugging to customer sites with UndoDB Out-and-About, vendors can find and fix customer-critical bugs faster, protecting client relationships while increasing productivity."

Did we mention this software can be used in-the-field? Just checking.







Hadoop is only a 'landing zone', THEN you start big data analytics

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Pentaho thinks its new Streamlined Data Refinery solution architecture (optimised for the HP Vertica Analytics Platform) could provide a better (more "refined & sophisticated" route to big data analytics.

This software is designed to help create analytic datasets within Hadoop and immediately push that data to HP Vertica.

The firms' vision is one of analytics in Hadoop where users can:

• blend,
• explore,
• analyse and,
• visualise all of their data.

Landing zone

Users are saying that while Hadoop is a "great landing zone" for big data, the real analysis of granular data needs an additional custom-designed extra.

"We're using Pentaho and HP Vertica to quickly slice and dice terabytes of data and millions of daily records, plus record click stream data and pixel logs," said Jaiesh Khavani, senior manager, BI & data warehousing at Santa Monica-based e-commerce fashion company Beachmint.
"While Hadoop is a great landing zone for our big data requirements, to truly engineer data sets for predictive analytics, we need purpose-built platforms like HP Vertica and Pentaho to provide the data integration, reporting, and visualization capabilities to drive meaningful insights," added Khavani.
Through this collaboration, analytics-ready datasets are blended using HP Vertica for analytics against minimally modeled data.


According to Pentaho's Christopher Dziekan, as one of the four big data blueprints built by his firm, the Streamlined Data Refinery for HP Vertica offers data developers in-cluster data integration capabilities to power scalable and interactive analytics for end users.


Could fundamental open cloud freedom die?

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The Open-Xchange Summit will be held in late September in the Germany city of Munich.

Its organisers describe the gathering as a four-day event for technologists committed to developing open standards for the formation and continuation of a trusted cloud ecosystem.

The event includes a guest keynote address entitled 'Free is a Lie' from Aral Balkan, a designer & social entrepreneur.

Fundamental freedoms

Balkan claims he is working to create independent technologies that protect our fundamental freedoms & democracy.

Trust in the cloud forms the cornerstone of the Summit agenda with topics covered including:

• the surveillance state,
• the encryption economy,
• honest business models and,
• keeping trust amongst customers.

"There is a very real demand for secure cloud services and service providers are moving to cloud packages that offer their customers that extra peace of mind," said Rafael Laguna, CEO of Open-Xchange.

"Open source protocols and tools can ensure transparency as well as offering end users choice and full flexibility. At OX Summit we aim to support those providers as well as spur on the debate around the future of a free and open internet".

Ya ya ya, das Muffatwerk ist gut ya?

The conference takes place at the Muffatwerk, a former hydroelectric power station built on the banks of the Isar river in the heart of Munich.

The Summit itself, scheduled for Thursday 18th, will be officially opened with a keynote address entitled 'Switch to Open: Why an Honest Business Model is so Important' from Rafael Laguna, CEO Open-Xchange.

Compuware & the 'horizontal' Agile LoB DevOps dream

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Compuware has been vocal recently on the subject of open source and its impact upon DevOps -- (the confluence of both software application development and 'operations').

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Creepy open source

The firm suggests that open source can often creep in to organisations without central IT knowing i.e. as side projects outside of its purview.

Often driven by line of business (many big data projects are often actually spearheaded by LoB) -- and this means that where many different projects are running, there is a lack of visibility and standardisation is almost impossible.

QED: many inefficiencies can appear.

Compuware believes there is a trend towards breaking the vertical functional silos (Dev, Ops, LoB, ...) within organisation, as most (large) organisations are having to re-structure with 'horizontal' teams in order to work on a given business objective with stakeholders from each of the old silos.

In a way, this is 'Agile' for the enterprise, including Dev and Ops around a LoB value.

Unacceptable for applications to fail

"It is unacceptable for applications to fail now, they are customer-facing and people need to be able to use them to be productive. This means there have been a lot of additional reporting requirements put in and quality gates that developers need to pass through -- which is good in terms of improving code and reducing the amount of fixes that have to be done in the field, but does slow things down and means developers are actually spending just a fifth of their time actually coding -- this needs to be changed so that developer time is more productive," said Wolfgang Gottesheim, technology strategist for Compuware.

The challenge now (suggests Compuware) is integration in the face of complexity i.e. developers need to be able to ensure that the code they are writing is optimised across the application delivery chain, not just for their environment at hand.

For example, if we have a distributed application that needs to call on the mainframe to complete transactions, we need to ensure that that application is written in a way that does not use up extra MIPS.

The firm insists that developers need end-to-end visibility so that they can understand how change and updates will impact across the application environment.

Is the 'horizontal' Agile LoB DevOps dream real yet? This debate is not over.

Android Lapse It photo app: puts pro cameramen out of a job?

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The rise in prominence of LibreOffice with what is now claimed to be 80 million active users is fuelling discussion around those Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) applications that do as good a job (if not better) as their proprietary counterparts.

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We don't usually review apps as such on the Computer Weekly Open Source Insider blog, but Lapse It for Android (it's native for iOS too) is worth calling out.

Available on the Google Play store, Lapse It is a free time lapse photography app for your smartphone or tablet.

There is a paid for "Pro" version too with more features and less ads -- and a higher capture resolution up to 1080p.

In the lite version, the resolution is limited to 240p.

The app is promoted with the following blurb, "Events such as movement of clouds, the rising and setting of the sun, a party with your friends, even individual activities or anything else that you can imagine. You will see them in a new way and otherwise undetectable patterns will emerge."

You can upload directly to YouTube, Facebook and others social/video sites.

Lapse It has a native C++ render engine and a fully featured range of settings to apply.

The app works rendering the videos in the Android proper format, so you can watch the videos on your phone, share it across the web and with other devices.

Why dairy fresh openSUSE Linux is even creamier

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The openSUSE Project is taking the development version of openSUSE (known to family and friends as Factory) to distribution using the "rolling release" development model.

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Huh?

What is rolling release?

A rolling release is a continually developing software system where software is recurrently updated to be (what openSUSE hopes can stand as) a tested and stable "daily (dairy) fresh" bleeding-edge distribution.

As Matt Hartley explained on Datamation earlier in 2014, with any Linux distribution you have the ability to roll back a problematic update should something go horribly wrong.

"How easy or complex this is, really depends on the Linux distribution," he said.

Hartley writes further, "With a rolling Linux distribution, on the other hand, you're able to tackle "upgrades" in nice bite-sized pieces. This means if you're updating your package management daily, odds are good your package cache is going to keep the older version of any newly upgraded package."

Back at openSUSE, the team says that the rolling release model will "shorten the stabilisation process" in openSUSE releases and eliminate the need for pre-releases or what are know as 'milestones'.

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NOTE: A milestone release is regarded to be a pre-Alpha software release version released to the community before complete (or even extensive) testing has been carried out -- milestones feature heavily in open source development as they refer to periods in development where specific functionality has been incorporated into the software project.

What used to happen

In the old openSUSE development model, an army of packagers would shoot new packages and updates to a playground called Factory, with a relatively small team taking care of the integration process of all those packages, which sometimes took a long time to stabilise and release.

What happens now

The new Factory model balances responsibility among packagers, testers and end users while putting more emphasis on automated quality assurance.

"With this new openSUSE development model, users get the latest free software packages without waiting for the next release," said Richard Brown, openSUSE board chair.

"With a daily fresh Factory distribution making it easier for those who want to preview and test, we hope to see more users and contributors, leading to faster fixes and even higher quality. Factory is critical as it provides the base technology for openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise, which is used by tens of thousands of organizations around the world."

Image credits: http://www.freshdairy-daima.com/

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