All posts on August, 2017


Jenkins Blue Ocean UI to provide code quality insights

Blue Ocean, the new user interface for the popular Jenkins continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform, will begin incorporating insights into code quality trends and static analyses, under an improvement plan detailed this week by the project’s creator.

The goal is to improve the developer’s visibility into the health of software projects, Blue Ocean creator James Dumay, director of project management at Jenkins technology vendor CloudBees, said. Plans also call for expanding the capabilities of Blue Ocean’s visual pipeline editor to better match what is available in Jenkins’ declarative pipelines for software delivery. The development team intends to outfit Blue Ocean with these capabilities in the next six to 12 months.

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Trends

Consumers’ Embrace of Mobile Apps Is Limited to a Choice Few

Mobile app use has become a powerful habit among U.S. consumers, based on new research findings. An increasing number of users have been spending their time consuming video, music and social media on smartphones and other mobile devices, but many are reluctant to try new apps. A large percentage of mobile app users’ time is spent on apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter or Instagram.

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Audio/Video

Alexa Can Make Music Echo All Through the House

Alexa has a new musical talent, Amazon announced Tuesday. “Today, we’re making Alexa even smarter with an all-new feature that lets you play music synchronized on multiple Echo devices to provide room-filling music throughout your home,” said Amazon Alexa Vice President Toni Reid. Setting up the syncing is easy. Using the Alexa app, you give a group of devices a name, such as “first floor.”

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What’s new in TypeScript 2.5

TypeScript 2.5, the upcoming upgrade to Microsoft’s popular typed superset of JavaScript, is now available as a release candidate. It includes an enhancement for try/catch statements for errors as well as compiler improvements.

The catch binding parameters capability in TypeScript 2.5 uses a late-stage ECMAScript feature to make catch binding optional in try/catch statements. Making catch binding optional “means we can just omit unusedError altogether,” said Daniel Rosenwasser, Microsoft’s program manager for TypeScript. The reason for that is there are times when developers expect something might fail by throwing an error, but the developer does not care what the error is.

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Users review the top cloud data integration tools

As the world of cloud computing becomes more globalized, IT professionals need multiple levels of security and transparency to manage cloud relationships. Using a cloud data integration solution, an enterprise can configure a number of disparate application programs sharing data in a diverse network, including cloud-based data repositories. This allows enterprise tech professionals to manage, monitor and cleanse data from various web-based and mobile applications more effectively.

IT Central Station users have identified agile data transformation, a clear, customizable dashboard and efficient data replication as valuable features when looking for a cloud data integration solution. According to their reviews, the IT Central Station community has ranked Informatica Cloud Data Integration, Dell Boomi AtomSphere,  IBM App Connect and SnapLogic as leading cloud data integration solutions in the market.

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Deals

Apple, Accenture Team on iOS Enterprise Apps

Apple and Accenture on Tuesday announced a new partnership to develop iOS tools and services to help enterprises connect with their customers through iPads and iPhones. Accenture will create a dedicated iOS practice within Accenture Digital Studios, staffed by a range of visual and experience designers, programmers, data scientists and architects, as well as hardware and software designers.

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Customer Service

Rise in Mobile Commerce Fuels Demand for Omnichannel Service

Omnichannel support and communications are becoming essential for brands, as consumers’ increasing use of mobile devices to make purchases and access content fuels their demand to be able to connect with companies when and how they want. However, brands lack the necessary expertise and infrastructure, and are turning to mobile network operators, or MNOs, to acquire omnichannel capabilities.

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Microsoft linker tool shrinks .Net applications

A long-requested and long-unfulfilled feature for .Net has finally been delivered by Microsoft and the Mono team: A linker that allows .Net applications to be stripped down to include only the parts of libraries that are actually used by the program at runtime.

The IL Linker project works by analyzing a .Net application and determining which libraries are never called by the application in question. “It is effectively an application-specific dead code analysis,” says Microsoft in its GitHub announcement for the project.

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Enterprise

Too Few Candidates to Fill Growing Number of Open Source Jobs

Open source hiring has been hampered by a lack of trained job-takers, according to The Linux Foundation, which released its sixth annual summary of career opportunities in open source last week. The report provides an overview of open source career trends, along with factors that motivate industry professionals, and methods employers use to attract and retain qualified talent.

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Exclusives

Congressional App Challenge Director Rachel Décoste: Get on Board the Tech Train

“Coding is one of the most in-demand skills. There’s a myth out there that you need to have this skill only if you work with computers, but as society develops, you’re going to see coding in every field. This is a skill that’s needed in all job sectors,” said Rachel Décoste, director of the Congressional App Challenge. “The jobs of tomorrow will require, if not coding, at least an understanding of how it works.”

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3 projects lighting a fire under machine learning

Mention machine learning, and many common frameworks pop into mind, from “old” stalwarts like Scikit-learn to juggernauts like Google’s TensorFlow. But the field is large and diverse, and useful innovations are bubbling up across the landscape.

Recent releases from three open source projects continue the march toward making machine learning faster, more scalable, and easier to use. PyTorch and Apache MXNet bring GPU support to machine learning and deep learning in Python. 

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Vendors

Ten Billion

Salesforce announced the partial attainment of one of its long-range goals in its Q2 earnings announcement last week: It eclipsed its goal of a $10 billion run rate. This will be followed by similar announcements over the next year — first $10 billion year, etc. — and why not? The company should celebrate. Second quarter revenue hit $2.56 billion, a 26 percent increase year over year.

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Cybercrime

Cyberthieves Train Their Sights on US Mobile Phone Customers

A relatively new form of cybercrime recently has been plaguing American consumers. Thieves have been hijacking mobile phone account numbers and then transferring services to a different device. Further, hackers have begun using mobile numbers to raid digital wallets and similar accounts. This type of theft has been successful even against the most sophisticated of consumers.

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Tech Buzz

Apple to Sate iPhone Curiosity Sept. 12

Apple plans to refresh its iPhone, TV and watch lines at an event scheduled Sept. 12. In addition to upgrading its iPhone 7 models, the company is expected to debut the “iPhone 8” to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the brand. It reportedly will have an OLED display with barely any bezel, a fingerprint scanner at the rear of the phone, and support for facial recognition and wireless charging.

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Pivotal, VMware team up to deploy Kubernetes on vSphere

Pivotal and VMware have teamed up to deliver commercial-grade Kubernetes distributions on both VMware vSphere and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Pivotal Container Service (PKS), launching in Q4 2017, runs Kubernetes atop VMware’s infrastructure management tools—vSphere, vSAN, and NSX. It also taps a project from Cloud Foundry, Kubo, originally created by Pivotal and Google, to deploy and manage Kubernetes on VMware’s stack.

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What’s new in .Net’s Microsoft C# 8

Version 8 of Microsoft’s C# language will have nullable reference types, to improve code quality, according to the latest roadmap for the programming language from the .Net Foundation, which oversees the open source .Net that C# is part of. The feature will add safe reference types in addition to the existing ones that will be called non-nullable. Compilers will warn you when nullable types are dereferenced or when null is values are assigned to non-nullable variable types.

The nullable reference type is intended to help developers prevent null reference exceptions. A core of the capability is expressing an intent to be null. The compiler will recognize when something is not null and warn you when you’ve assigned null to a reference that was not declared as null. With the capability, developers get an assist in finding bugs and making them go away.

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Reviews

Window Maker Live: Cool Retro Look, Even Cooler Performance

Window Maker Live takes an unusual approach to desktop interface management. It has an old-fashioned look with a productive new feel. The latest version of Window Maker Live, released this month, is a Debian-based Linux distribution that uses the Window Maker window manager as the default GUI. It integrates well-known open source components in a surprisingly satisfying interface.

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E-Commerce

Amazon Takes 1st Steps Toward Whole Foods Pricing Makeover

Amazon kicked off the completion of its acquisition of Whole Foods Market with steep price cuts on some products. Among those now available at lower prices are Whole Trade bananas, organic avocados, organic large brown eggs, responsibly-farmed salmon and tilapia, organic baby kale and baby lettuce, animal-welfare-rated 85 percent lean ground beef, and organic Gala and Fuji apples.

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