Vectorform’s Toolbox For Windows 8 Is Great For Multi-Tasking

Based in Royal Oak, Michigan,Vectorform invents digital products and experiences with a focus on innovative mobile and emerging technology solutions. Vectorform partners with premier global brands including Microsoft MSFT +0.72%, Disney, Coca Cola, and Volkswagen to create the next iconic experience. Vectorform was founded in 1999 and now has over 100 employees across the globe with additional studios in Seattle, New York, Munich and Hyderabad.

Aside from designing experiences for clients, their elite team of artists, engineers, entrepreneurs and technologists has also developed a number of its own applications that have proven very successful.

 

“Vectorform has evolved from a digital agency to part think tank, part lab, and part studio,” stated Vectorform Director of Product Vision, Kevin Foreman.

One of Vectorform’s most popular applications is the ever-evolving Toolbox for Windows 8.  The free application has recorded over 850,000 downloads and is currently the number 1 productivity app available on the Windows Store. With Toolbox you can view and interact with up to six different tools at once, giving you the power and flexibility to customize your workspace for maximum productivity.

There are currently 12 tools available within Toolbox, including a Facebook FB -1.02% application, voice notes, real-time currency converter, web browser, and a Twitter client that was added just this past May. The Twitter application refreshes in real time so that you can view details of content without having to leave the timeline.

When asked why Vectorform was primarily focused on developing apps for the Windows 8 app store, Foreman said “Toolbox specifically was focused on Windows 8, and Toolbox may be ported to additional operating systems.  As a company, we’re focused on mobile and emerging technologies.  We’re platform agnostic.”

Foreman told me that they were one of the companies that had the Microsoft Surface table product a few years ago.  They created a 360-degree user interface where music chips could be dragged around and they used this application create the Vectorform Surface DJ.

Another major project for Vectorform involved the 2008 election where President Barack Obama faced off against John McCain.  Vectorform worked with MSNBC to create virtual charts of aggregated electoral votes used on air by anchor Chuck Todd.

Vectorform was able to take this campaign from concept to final product in 3 weeks.  Vectorform has a passion for creating great products and this is what keeps the company growing.

Software maker E2open plans more revenue, less BlackBerry

Supply chain management software maker E2open Inc (EOPN.O) expects its revenue to hit $100 million for the first time next fiscal year, after replacing its dependence on BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO) and PC makers with a host of new customers.

Chief Executive Mark Woodward said he expected E2open, which went public a year ago, to boost its sales in the 12 months to February 2015 after adding up to 20 new enterprise customers in the current fiscal year.

“We do $80 million (in revenue) this year and we grow 30 percent next year. That should get us there,” Woodward said in an interview, referring to the $100-million revenue target.

E2open, which makes cloud-based software designed to assist companies in managing their supply chains, has more than doubled its annual revenue in the five years since Woodward took charge. Revenue in the fiscal year to February 28, 2013, was $75 million.

The company’s shares have risen about 35 percent since they began trading on the Nasdaq on July 26 last year.

Three of the six analysts covering E2open have a “strong buy” rating on the stock. The other three rate it “buy”, according to Thomson Reuters data. The company has a market capitalization of $460 million.

With a customer base that includes Coca-Cola Co (KO.N), Unilever Plc (ULVR.L), IBM (IBM.N) and Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O), E2open has been diversifying to cut its dependence on any one large customer.

Last year, that customer was Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry (BBRY.O).

Woodward said he expected BlackBerry’s contribution to E2open’s revenue to fall to less than 3 percent in the current fiscal year from nearly 15 percent last year.

BlackBerry, which pioneered on-the-go email with its handsets and messaging systems, has slipped into tough times as it struggles to keep pace with nimbler rivals.

Woodward said BlackBerry’s quarterly shipments of about 7 million units were between a quarter and a third of the volume contracted when it became a customer of E2open four years ago.

“Their usage of our systems, just because they are selling less handsets, has come down dramatically,” said Woodward.

E2open has, on average, signed up 17 enterprise customers in each of the last two years. In total, it has 76 enterprise customers – those which buy E2open’s software as well as pay for access to its network of suppliers and trading partners.

Computer maker Dell Inc (DELL) brought in 22.5 percent of E2open’s revenue in fiscal 2011. Now, it accounts for less than 5 percent – even though its contribution in dollar terms has risen, Woodward said.

“The original deal that we signed with Dell was for $3.2 million for three years,” he said. “The last bill we signed with Dell was for $3.2 million per year.”

British mobile telephone company Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L) (VOD.O) is the largest customer for Foster City, California-based E2open, having contributed 12.1 percent of the company’s revenue last fiscal year.

Another customer, Seagate Technology LLC (STX.O), held a 9 percent stake in E2open as of December last year.

Take advantage of travelers Google Google Maps

Jakarta – Indonesia invites the travelers Google using Google Maps on your phone. Rudy Ramawy, Country Head of Google Indonesia, said Google Maps on your phone makes it easy to plan the travelers a safe and comfortable journey.
“Some of it’s ease of search as the most convenient path to the destination,” said Rudy. “You can also find important information regarding the need for travel. Example, the nearest gas station or ATM.”
The travelers can also record all findings during the course of the digital device. “So, when I travel the same route, you can easily find the places you’ve visited,” Rudy explained.
When stuck in traffic, Google Maps users can find an alternative way. This online map applications presents several alternative options that can help road users avoid severe congestion at homecoming.
Google Maps to apply different color lines for different traffic conditions. For example, if there is a congested line, the red line. Yellow to crowded conditions and solid edging, while green for road conditions smoothly.
In addition, Google Maps provides information on the long journey from the user’s location to the destination or hometown. Google Maps even provide mileage information is based on the means of transportation used. For example, driving alone, walking, or using public transportation. Google Maps also provides information public transport fares.
With features and conveniences that exist, Rudy wish Google Maps users can be helped in planning trips back and forth.

TSP Symposium 2013 Keynotes to Focus on Quality Practices for Critical Software

The Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute (SEI) has announced the slate of software engineering thought-leaders who will serve as keynote speakers for the Team Software Process (TSP) Symposium 2013. Held in Dallas, Texas, on September 16-19, the TSP Symposium 2013 keynote line-up includes Bill Curtis, senior vice president and chief scientist with Cast Software; Enrique Ibarra, senior vice president of technology of the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV); and Robert Behler, chief operating officer of the SEI.

The symposium theme, When Software Really Matters, explores the idea that when product quality is critical, high-quality practices are the best way to achieve it.

“When a software system absolutely must work correctly, quality must be built in from the start. A disciplined approach to quality also offers the benefit of lower lifecycle costs. The TSP promotes the application of practices that lead to superior, high-quality products,” said James McHale, TSP Symposium 2013 technical chair. “Our keynote speakers and representatives from industry and government organizations from around the world will share how using TSP helps organizations build quality in from the start when there’s no room for error.”

  • Curtis will assert that the stakes for software-caused operational problems are now larger than ever, approaching a half-billion dollars per incident. Every other aspect of the business is managed by numbers, including IT operations. Software lags behind, however, because the culture of craftsmanship still prevails. Curtis’s talk will challenge that culture: Quality measurement will be challenged for under-measuring non-functional, structural quality, the cause of many operational disasters. Productivity measurement will be challenged for not penalizing baselines when rework is shifted into future releases as technical debt. Software measurement will be challenged to better express outcomes in terms that justify investments for improving quality. The word “quality” will be challenged as the wrong way to frame the argument. Curtis will propose a measurement stack or measurement pyramid to help translate software numbers to business numbers. At the foundation of this pyramid are the Personal Software Process (PSP) and TSP.
  • Ibarra will detail the Mexican Stock Exchange’s (BMV) broad plan of technological renovation that included migration to a new state-of-the-art data center and creating new operational systems with better functionalities and quality attributes. Since 2005, the BMV, which is responsible for operating the cash and derivatives market of the country and is the only exchange in Mexico, has faced the constant challenge of accommodating an exponential growth of demand for its transactional services as well as pressure from the market to offer services with better response times and functionalities. One of the most challenging software projects included in this technological renovation plan was the redesign and construction of the operational system known as the trading engine, which has strict and ambitious requirements for speed (latency), scalability, and continuous availability. The new system, which was to be designed and built internally, and the project were called MoNeT. The BMV had two goals for MoNeT: making sure a carefully considered and reviewed system architecture was in place prior to building the system and adopting a software development process that maximizes the quality of the new system and ensures that it complies with its intended quality attributes. Ibarra will describe the most relevant aspects of the MoNeT project, its performance in production, and the business impact it had on the BMV.
  • Behler, one of only 139 individuals qualified as pilots of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird aircraft, will describe his experience flying the fastest, most physically demanding aircraft in the world to gather vital data during the Cold War and the teamwork approach it took to develop the aircraft. The SR-71 was developed in the 1960s with myriad sophisticated sensors used to acquire highly specific intelligence data. The aircraft remains an icon of American aerospace engineering to this day and is considered to be the most effective reconnaissance aircraft in history.

In addition to the keynote speakers, substantial technical program, and organized networking events, the TSP Symposium 2013 also offers practitioners an in-depth learning opportunity with full-day tutorials on introductory and advanced TSP concepts.

“I am very excited about this year’s lineup of keynote speakers and technical presenters. The symposium should be stimulating with presentations on a broad array of topics related to quality-focused software development. It is also an excellent way for participants to network and exchange diverse ideas about how they have used the PSP/TSP approach to achieve their software quality goals,” said Mark Kasunic, Symposium co-chair.

Leap Motion Controller, Great Hardware in Search of Great Software

By now, we all know what the future will be like; movies and TV shows have described it in detail. We know about the flying cars (thank you, “Blade Runner”), holograms (thank you, “Star Trek”) and robot butlers (thank you, “Jetsons”).

The Leap Motion Controller is a solution in search of a problem: its hardware is simple, but it needs a killer app.

So when will we really get those technologies? Probably on the 11th of “Don’t hold your breath.”

There is, however, one exception. As of this week, you can buy your own little piece of “Minority Report” and “Iron Man”: controlling your computer by making hand motions in the air.

The Internet has been buzzing about the much-delayed Leap Motion Controller ($80) since its first public demonstrations over a year ago. Imagine controlling on-screen objects just by reaching into empty space, just like Tom Cruise! Imagine gesture recognition just like Microsoft’s Kinect game controller, but on a much smaller, more precise scale! Imagine the future, plugged into a USB jack on the Mac or Windows PC you own today!

The Leap Motion sensor is beautiful, tiny and self-contained. If Wrigley’s ever comes out with a Juicy Fruit Designer Pack, it might look like this: a sleek, glass-and-aluminum slab (1.2 by 3 by 0.5 inches), with nonskid rubber on the bottom. A single USB cable (both a long one and a short one come in the box) stretches away to your computer; a light comes on when it’s working.

(Please note that Leap Motion has nothing to do with Leap Pad, the children’s toy. That gadget is educational in a completely different way.)

If you have a desktop computer, you put the sensor between your screen and keyboard. If it’s a laptop, you park it on the desk just in front of the keyboard. Soon, Leap says, you’ll be able to buy a PC from H.P. or Asus that has the sensor built right in.You download the Leap software, and presto: a somewhat buggy tutorial instructs you to insert your hands into the space — an invisible two-foot cube — that’s monitored by the Leap’s cameras and infrared sensors.

This device is like the Kinect in that it recognizes body parts in space. But not only is the Leap far smaller and less expensive, it’s also far more precise. According to the company, it can detect the precise positions of all 10 of your fingers simultaneously, with a spatial accuracy to a 100th of a millimeter — 200 times as accurate as the Kinect.

And remember, the Leap adds gesture recognition not to your TV, but to your computer. A machine that can run millions of different programs for all different purposes. Games, sure, but also office work. Creative work. Communication. Entertainment. Surely this little wonder is a very big deal.

Unfortunately, it’s not. The Leap’s hardware may be simple, attractive and coherent — but its software is scattershot, inconsistent and frustrating.

The first crushing disappointment is that no software recognizes your hand motions unless it’s been specially written, or adapted, for use by the Leap.

There are 75 such apps already on the Leap’s app store, Airspace; some are free, some cost a few dollars. Not all work on both Mac and Windows.

Most are games. In the best of them, you control the action in 3-D space, just as with the Kinect but without having to stand up. For example, Boom Ball ($5) is the classic Breakout game, where you try to knock out bricks by bouncing a ball against them — but your paddle is attached to your finger in vertical space.

In Disney’s clever Sugar Rush ($2), a spin off from the “Wreck-It Ralph” movie, you bake yourself a racing car shaped like a wedge of cake, and then steer it by holding both sides of an invisible steering wheel. When you play Dropchord ($3), you hold two index fingers out in space; you’re defining a line between them that you use to slice dots and avoid X’s. Cut the Rope is here, too (free).

There are some interesting music-making programs, which makes sense, since hand motions are generally associated with playing instruments. Air Harp ($1) is just what it sounds like. Chordion Conductor is a sweet-sounding arpeggiator (generates music from chords you select).

A few simple educational apps are available, like Molecules (rotate molecules on the screen; free), Cyber Science 3D (pull apart a skull; free) and Frog Dissection (you guessed it; $4).

How Apollo 11′s 1.024MHz guidance computer did a lot with very little

 

early 44 years ago computer hardware was in an entirely different place than it is now. The levels of performance don’t even fit on the same scale. The anniversary of the Apollo 11moon landing is upon us, and those brave space pioneers got by without a 3GHz multi-core CPU. The guidance computer used on the Apollo 11 mission ran at only 1.024 MHz.

The moon landing was the height of technological achievement at the time, and some of the rocket technology is still relevant today. That computer, though, has been left in the dust. In fact, it was well and truly obsolete a few years after the landing.

The Intel 8086 came about roughly ten years after the Apollo landing, marking the beginning of x86. Apollo 11’s computer had 4 registers — essentially slots for holding numeric values. The 8086 boosted that to eight 16-bit registers.

The IBM PC XT ran the next version of that chip, the famous 8088. This computer ran at 4.077MHz, which sounds incredibly slow by today’s standards, but is still four times faster than the Apollo 11computer. The XT also packed in eight times the memory used on Apollo 11.

The Apollo 11 guidance computer actually had some impressive software features for a system that didn’t even run a graphical interface. It could multitask up to 8 different operations, but it didn’t work the way we think of multitasking. Today’s operations use preemptive multitasking that allows the OS to distribute computing resources as needed. On Apollo 11, programs were in charge and had to give control back to the OS periodically. A kind of virtual machine was used to allow developers to mix hardware-level instructions with virtual machine commands within the same assembler code.

Inputting commands required translating the English words into “verb noun pairs,” which could be input as numbers. There was a handy sign in the cabin as a reminder. To top it all off, none of the computer’s systems were software upgradeable. All the code was stored in read-only memory. Several years after Apollo 11, Apollo 14 was forced to manually input the code to patch a system malfunction — it took 90 minutes just to type it in.

Maybe your computer is a little sluggish, and your smartphone is a couple years old, but you have it better than those astronauts

Present Mozilla Firefox Beta 23

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Following the release of Firefox 22 two days ago, Mozilla announced the Firefox Beta update, with version 23, on the desktop and Android.

As reported by TheNextWeb, Wednesday, Firefox Beta 23 is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The biggest addition is the function of sharing new Mozilla.

Firefox beta has a new Share button and the panel for the application programming interfaces (Application Program Interface / API) social. In other words, developers can let users share content with friends with one click (Facebook users, for instance, can use it to share content directly from Firefox).

In addition, Firefox Social API now open to all developers who are interested in integrating their services to the website or the Mozilla browser.

This feature was first comes back in Firefox 17 in November 2012, is integrated with Facebook in December 2012, and then expanded to support providers with Firefox 21 in May this year.

In short, social API lets you keep up with the latest social events without having to switch to a new tab. Mozilla developed the “activation of social services and providers that integrate directly into Firefox where users can search for content or websites in person”. So now any developer can participate.

Next up is a mixture of content blocker, prevents (HTTP) malicious content on the site is being read or modified by an attacker with blocking. Content mixture occurs when a web page containing a combination of content secure (HTTPS) and non-secure (HTTP) which is transmitted through a secure data channel to the browser.

Finally, developers can use the new network monitor. Monitor new tissue damage components of individual sites, highlighting how long it takes each of the sites to load.

Accela Releases Civic Hero App for Windows 8

Accela, Inc., the leading provider of civic engagement solutions for government agencies, announced today that its Civic Hero app is now available for Windows 8. With Civic Hero for Windows 8, Accela is providing entire communities with an innovative app that empowers citizens to report non-emergency community issues such as graffiti, potholes, or damaged public property to local government.

“We’re very excited that Civic Hero is now available on Windows 8,” said Maury Blackman, Accela President and CEO. “This opportunity provides an amazing user experiences and offers features that will delight our user base. Now more government agencies and citizens will be able to access our expanding platform of applications and will realize the true value of citizen engagement. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Microsoft to bring additional apps to market.”

By using their Windows 8 devices, citizens can simply select the type of issue they are reporting, take or add a quick photo or comment and they are done. Citizens can also review and comment on issues reported by others. Government agencies will benefit from utilizing Civic Hero in the following ways:

  • Automatic report routing to only receive service requests within your jurisdiction and areas of responsibility.
  • Tight integration with Accela Automation, allowing agencies to leverage the workflow engine to assign and track reports.
  • Prioritization of reported issues through community feedback.
  • Elimination of duplicate requests.
  • Good will from citizens when they utilize a convenient and useful app that makes communicating with government easy and efficient.

“Civic Hero for Windows 8 offers significant benefits to government agencies and citizens by enabling a fast and transparent method for reporting non-emergency issues,” said Steve Jenkins, senior director of government partners, Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector. “Accela’s easy-to-use app helps cities, citizens and government employees stay engaged with their communities on their Windows 8 devices with convenient access virtually anywhere.”

The Windows 8 version of Civic Hero joins existing versions deployed on leading mobile platforms including iOS and Android. For more information on Accela’s mobile applications, including Civic Hero, visit www.accela.com/civic-apps.

About Accela

Accela, Inc. provides the leading civic engagement platform, powering thousands of services and millions of transactions daily for large and small public agencies worldwide. We connect government to people and accelerate and streamline land management, licensing, asset management and public health and safety processes. Accela’s Civic Cloud includes a complete platform, both packaged and tailored solutions and cloud-based, office, mobile and social applications to support government agency, business and citizen needs. Accela is headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., with international offices in Australia and the United Arab Emirates. For more information, visit www.accela.com.

Sony SmartWatch 2 will launch at 9 September

Jakarta – In June 2013, Sony has introduced smart watches, Sony SmartWatch 2. Previous smart watches is reported to be released on July 15, 2013. But, then again Sony deliver a new launch date for the SmartWatch 2 on 9 September 2013.
If ordered through Clove website, you can get 2 SmartWatch soon after launch. This smart watches IP57 certified. So SmartWatch 2 can be brought into the water up to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes. In addition, the SmartWatch 2 also anti dust.
Sony SmartWatch 2 had 200 applications. The developers can also access the API (Application Programming Interface) to add the application. This device is compatible with all types of operating system Android 4.0 and above. This watch is also equipped with NFC technology (Near Field Communication).
With smart watches SmartWatch, the user can answer or ignore the call. SmartWatch 2 also displays incoming phone call notifications and missed calls. Wearable device also has a calendar and weather applications and other applications that can be downloaded on Google Play Store. Sony Smartwatch 2 will be priced at U.S. $ 181 or about USD 1.8 million.
Besides Sony, other technology manufacturers like Apple, Microsoft, Google and others are now also working on smart watches. It is estimated that smart watches will emerge from 2014. Wearable devices or devices that can be used are likely to soon become a new trend in the technology market.