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Google Chrome Tops 1 Billion Users 59

Posted by timothy
from the and-they're-grateful-for-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Venture Beat: At the I/O 2015 developer conference today, Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of product, announced that Chrome has passed 1 billion active users. Less than a year ago, Google revealed Android has over 1 billion active users. These are indeed Google's biggest ecosystems. Google also shared that Google Search, YouTube, and Google Maps all have over 1 billion users as well. Gmail will reach the milestone next; it has 900 million users.

Android M Arrives In Q3: Native Fingerprint Support, Android Pay, 'Doze' Mode 82

Posted by timothy
from the sleep-beats-death dept.
MojoKid writes with yet more news from the ongoing Google IO conference: Google I/O kicked off this afternoon and the first topic of discussion was of course Google's next generation mobile operating system. For those that were hoping for a huge UI overhaul or a ton of whiz-bang features, this is not the Android release for you. Instead, Android M is more of a maintenance released focused mainly on squashing bugs and improving stability/performance across the board. Even though Android M is about making Android a more stable platform, there are a few features that have been improved upon or introduced for this release: App Permissions, Chrome Custom Tabs for apps, App Links (instead of asking you which app to choose when clicking a link, Android M's new Intent System can allow apps to verify that they are rightfully in possession of a link), NFC-based Android Pay, standardized fingerprint scanning support, and a new "doze" mode that supposedly offers 2X longer battery life when idle.

Android M To Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI 102

Posted by timothy
from the loving-arms-of-a-robot dept.
jones_supa writes: USB Type-C connection is showing up in more and more devices, and Google is rolling support for the interface in its Android M operating system. The most significant additions relate to the USB Power Delivery spec. Charging will now work in both directions. That effectively means that Type-C devices can be used as external batteries for other devices. Android M is also finally introducing a feature that musicmakers have been long asking for: MIDI support. This builds on some of the audio features Google introduced in Android 5, including reduction in latency, multichannel audio stream mixing, and support for USB microphones, amplifiers, speakers, and other accessories. As others have written, music and media creation apps are much more prevalent in iOS than they are in Android, and Google hopes turning that around.
Social Networks

Linux/Moose Worm Targets Routers, Modems, and Embedded Systems 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the moose-is-the-penguin's-natural-enemy dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Security firm ESET has published a report on new malware that targets Linux-based communication devices (modems, routers, and other internet-connected systems) to create a giant proxy network for manipulating social media. It's also capable of hijacking DNS settings. The people controlling the system use it for selling "follows," "likes," and so forth on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, and Google+. Affected router manufacturers include: Actiontec, Hik Vision, Netgear, Synology, TP-Link, ZyXEL, and Zhone. The researchers found that even some medical devices were vulnerable to the worm, though it wasn't designed specifically to work with them.

Microsoft Tries Another Icon Theme For Windows 10 236

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-solid-color-rectangles dept.
jones_supa writes: Back in February, users decried the new icon look in Windows 10. In response to that feedback, Microsoft has implemented a new icon pack in build 10125, which was leaked early but expected to arrive soon for Technical Preview testers. Screenshots show what the final version of the OS could look like when it goes live this summer. The new icons go all-in on a flat approach, following the same design cues as the rest of the operating system, but the "pixel art" style has been abandoned. Once again, Softpedia asked for user experiences, and this time the comments have been mostly positive.

How Java Changed Programming Forever 382

Posted by samzenpus
from the changing-the-game dept.
snydeq writes: With Java hitting its 20th anniversary this week, Elliotte Rusty Harold discusses how the language changed the art and business of programming, turning on a generation of coders. Infoworld reports: "Java's core strength was that it was built to be a practical tool for getting work done. It popularized good ideas from earlier languages by repackaging them in a format that was familiar to the average C coder, though (unlike C++ and Objective-C) Java was not a strict superset of C. Indeed it was precisely this willingness to not only add but also remove features that made Java so much simpler and easier to learn than other object-oriented C descendants."

Linux 4.0 Has a File-System Corruption Problem, RAID Users Warned 226

Posted by timothy
from the don't-store-the-ark-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes: For the past few days kernel developers and Linux users have been investigating an EXT4 file-system corruption issue affecting the latest stable kernel series (Linux 4.0) and the current development code (Linux 4.1). It turns out that Linux users running the EXT4 file-system on a RAID0 configuration can easily destroy their file-system with this newest "stable" kernel. The cause and fix have materialized but it hasn't yet worked its way out into the mainline kernel, thus users should be warned before quickly upgrading to the new kernel on systems with EXT4 and RAID0.

First Smart TVs Powered By Firefox OS On Sale In Europe, Worldwide Soon 119

Posted by samzenpus
from the brand-new dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The first smart TVs powered by Firefox OS have gone on sale in Europe. Panasonic's line of Viera smart TVs includes six that are powered by Firefox OS — CR850, CR730, CX800, CX750, CX700 and CX680 — including their first curved LED LCD TV. The full global launch of the TVs is expected “in the coming months.” From the Mozilla blog: "We’re happy to partner with Panasonic to bring the first Smart TVs powered by Firefox OS to the world,” said Andreas Gal, Mozilla CTO. “With Firefox and Firefox OS powered devices, users can enjoy a custom and connected Web experience and take their favorite content (apps, videos, photos, websites) across devices without being locked into one proprietary ecosystem or brand.”

Report: Google To Add 'Buy' Buttons To Mobile Search Results 35

Posted by Soulskill
from the consume-consume-consume dept.
An anonymous reader writes: According to a (paywalled) report in the Wall Street Journal, Google is stepping up its efforts to take some of the online marketspace away from Amazon and eBay. Soon, the company will start showing "buy" buttons alongside sponsored search results on mobile devices. So, for example, if you search for a particular pair of pants, and one of the top sponsored results is from Macy's, then Macy's can pay Google to slap a big "buy" button right there that will take you directly to a product page where you can pick sizes and shipping options before checking out. Google won't be selling the products, but they will be hosting the product pages — "a major and potentially risky strategy shift that will turn the company into more of an online transactional business, rather than simply a provider of links to information elsewhere on the Internet." The report says Google will be trying to streamline the purchasing process by taking the payment from the customer and then passing it on to the retailer, so users only need to input their credit card details once.

Microsoft Confirms It Won't Offer Free Windows 10 Upgrades To Pirates 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the on-second-thought-they-like-money dept.
An anonymous reader writes: If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. All that talk about pirates getting free Windows 10 upgrades? Not happening. For genuine users, the free upgrade to Windows 10 means receiving "ongoing Windows innovation and security updates for free, for the supported lifetime of that device." Terry Myerson, Microsoft's executive vice president of operating systems, has clarified the company's plans were not changing for non-genuine users: "Microsoft and our OEM partners know that many consumers are unwitting victims of piracy, and with Windows 10, we would like all of our customers to move forward with us together. While our free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to Non-Genuine Windows devices, and as we've always done, we will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a Non-Genuine state."

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 507

by Entrope (#49696561) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?

Sounds like a typical offshoring disaster. I hope somebody somewhere up the command chain felt the consequences.

I've also had luck with waterfall-like development models, on projects from six months to about four years (although the four-year project did have three distinct iterations in order to manage risk). That was for a vehicle-mounted sensor to detect land mines, so there were obvious reliability concerns -- and we could meet them because waterfall let us budget time for detailed failure mode analyses, rather than trying to make that fulfill some user story within a single sprint.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 507

by Entrope (#49696545) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?

Of course you would say that. You would still be wrong. What you call "organizational dysfunctions" -- but everyone else would call "a normal mix of people" -- can be handled more effectively under a waterfall-like process than under an Agile one. That doesn't make it less efficient.

If you want the same kinds and amount of work product (including detailed requirements, design documents, formal verification, etc.), Agile is likely to be less efficient because you start lots of developers writing code before anyone has a good grip on what the project should look like -- and they continue working furiously until the end. It looks nice because you have something to show and everybody is busy, but the something doesn't fit the need and you're burning through your budget.

Comment: Re: No. (Score 1) 507

by Entrope (#49696535) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?

Telling people what is blocking your progress *is* pointing fingers, friend.

Waterfall does not need that many long meetings. Instead of five 15-minute scrums in a week, I've typically had one 30- to 40-minute status meeting in a week.

Waterfall does not require the users to know in advance exactly what they want. Why do agilistas spout that nonsense (beyond it being part of the creed)?

If your project leads -- managers, systems engineers, whoever deals with the customer most -- do not know how to deal with vague requirements, irrational schedules, or requirements changes, your project is going to fail regardless of methodology. Agile exacerbates and encourages those problems.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 507

by Entrope (#49696525) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?

Successful waterfall does not have the problem you claim with requirements elicitation because that is part of what a good system engineer does. I guess agilistas have never worked with good systems engineers. Unless the customer is a professional software developer, it is natural that he or she can't explain their business requirements in the kind of detail that is needed to guide software development and testing. The development team can still develop "use cases" (IMO a more cumbersome, but clearer, term than "stories" -- but basically the same thing) and refine them enough for developers to use.

Waterfall is fragile to change only to the extent that the project is mismanaged -- yet when agile is mismanaged, it fails more spectacularly than waterfall. Agile is designed to make a more convincing appearance of progress, but it is also designed to throw more code away.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 507

by Entrope (#49696503) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?

Put as much lipstick on that pig as you want, but it's still going to squeal.

A functional waterfall-style team needs two people to be good at their jobs: A manager (to keep everyone pointed in the same direction) and a system engineer (to make sure that direction is a good one). By your argument, a functional agile-style team needs almost everyone to be good. Most teams aren't like that, and the ones that are will do pretty well with any methodology.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!