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Game Wisdom4 Reasons Why the Souls Series is Accessible

4 Reasons Why the Souls Series is Accessible Josh Bycer josh@game-wisdom.com

Recently we had a conversation about accessible games and avoiding making things too obscure. During the chat, the topic of Soulsborne came up and I was asked an interesting question: For a game that is so demanding, why does the Souls Series avoid accessibility complaints?

Dark Souls 3 6 560x200 4 Reasons Why the Souls Series is Accessible

Easy to Follow:

While it may not look it at first glance, the Souls series is not that hard to understand at the base level. Action games, or those focused on the player skill, by their design are easier to learn. When you’re playing a Souls game, it’s very easy to grasp what the buttons do and what’s going on.

Even though there is leveling and RPG progression, it’s never the focal point of the series. The player’s skill will ultimately see them through or stop them. As with most action games, the Souls series is very 1:1 in how it works.

When I swing my weapon, I immediately know the range and speed of it. Despite using every button on the controller, the Souls series is not button-heavy. The reason is that at any one time you’re only using a specific set of buttons. With combat, you’re focusing on the shoulder buttons and the dodge button as an example.

Dark Souls 3 300x168 4 Reasons Why the Souls Series is Accessible

The core gameplay loop of the Souls series is easy to pick up and learn

Combat may be challenging in the Souls series, but it’s easy to read and learn from. If an enemy attacks with X, then I should learn how to counter it. Nothing new in terms of design is introduced, but the game continues to add to the basic foundation.

Get Right Back Up:

Downtime can turn the player off on a game, especially in games where death or failure can constantly happen. The Souls series has gotten really good at keeping time wasted down. Bonfires provide checkpoints around the world, and fast travel is now standard in subsequent games.

Opening up permanent shortcuts is another major point and has two impacts. The first is that it provides easier access to areas and cuts down on backtracking or repeating completed sections. Secondly, it’s proof that the player is making headway in the game. One of the worst feelings in a game is when the player is either stuck or is going backwards in terms of progression.

The shortcuts in the Souls series shows the player that they have made major progress in a given area, and their reward is being able to skip completed sections. This is also a part of the amazing level design of the series that creates a game space with these logical shortcuts. Many times, a single area will have multiple shortcuts; usually one from the beginning to a mid-point, and one possibly from the start or mid to the end of the level.

Dark Souls 3 8 300x168 4 Reasons Why the Souls Series is Accessible

Getting back to a boss fight is usually very quick

Another detail is that there is usually a short delay going from the shortcut to the boss of the area. Considering how easy it is to die for new players, having that short turnaround is important to keep them from being frustrated.

A Plan B:

The Souls series may have some of the most challenging boss fights around, but they don’t leave the player without any additional options. The ability to summon help in the form of other players or NPCs can turn things around.

Side systems such as leveling and upgrading can make a good player better. Even the level designs will usually have several paths forward for the player. It’s very rare to come to a situation that is just a metaphorical brick wall with no other way to progress.

Focused on the Player:

The final point and the genius of how the series is accessible is that it never takes the focus off of the player. As we’ve talked about, the Souls series never introduces elements or systems that distract from the player learning and playing the game. The upgrade systems will never take away from the player’s skill impacting success or failure.

With that said, there is always a point where the player reaches their absolute limit in terms of skill mastery. The additional systems can help, but they can only go so far.

Dark Souls 3 2 300x168 4 Reasons Why the Souls Series is Accessible

The challenge of the Souls series is built on the player’s mastery.

Depth vs. Complexity:

One of the hardest things to do in terms of game design is to create something that is deep without feeling complex.  There are many deep games across different genres, but it’s rare to find those that are accessible.

When we talk about accessible games, it’s not just about quality of life features, but creating something that anyone can sit down and start playing.

And while the Souls series will probably not be a “first time gamer’s choice” any time soon, it’s still as deep and inviting for anyone who wants to work for their fun. As long as you can make your foundation or core gameplay loop as easy to understand as possible, you will at least get people wanting to give it a go.

Throwing someone into the fire from the get-go may be exciting, but remember this: Losing without understanding why is never fun.

The post 4 Reasons Why the Souls Series is Accessible appeared first on Game Wisdom.

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Ars TechnicaIntel is keeping Moore’s Law alive by making bigger improvements less often

Gordon Moore's original graph, showing projected transistor counts, long before the term "Moore's law" was coined. Moore's original observation was that transistor density doubled every year; in 1975, this was revised to doubling every two years. (credit: Intel)

Intel took half a day this week to talk about processor manufacturing technology. The company still believes in Moore's Law and says the principle will continue to guide and shape the microchip industry. But the way the law works is changing. The company also wants to change how people talk about manufacturing processes, because current terminology—wherein the node size is used to characterize a particular process—no longer serves as a good guide to how many transistors can be packed into a chip.

Moore's Law—the observation by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit would double every two years, and correspondingly, the cost per transistor would halve over the same time frame—guided microchip manufacturing for around three decades. During that period, process node shrinks, each one bringing a doubling of the number of transistors by making everything 0.7 times smaller, were all it took to fulfill Moore's Law. Backed by this easy scaling, computer performance increased at a rate unrivaled by any other human technological innovation.

This scaling started to falter in the 2000s when it became increasingly difficult to shrink integrated circuits simply by switching to a smaller process node. But this didn't bring about an end to Moore's Law; instead, the industry used additional techniques, such as strained silicon, high-κ metal gates, and FinFETs. The doubling of transistor density or halving of transistor cost continued to take place every two or so years.

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Daring FireballThe 265 Members of Congress Who Sold You Out to ISPs, and How Much It Cost to Buy Them

T.C. Sottek, reporting for The Verge:

Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule that opens the door for ISPs to sell customer data. Lawmakers provided no credible reason for this being in the interest of Americans, except for vague platitudes about “consumer choice” and “free markets,” as if consumers at the mercy of their local internet monopoly are craving to have their web history quietly sold to marketers and any other third party willing to pay.

The only people who seem to want this are the people who are going to make lots of money from it. (Hint: they work for companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.) Incidentally, these people and their companies routinely give lots of money to members of Congress.

So here is a list of the lawmakers who voted to betray you, and how much money they received from the telecom industry in their most recent election cycle.

Completely and utterly along party lines. Not one Democrat voted for this. “Congress” didn’t do this. Republicans in Congress did this.

There’s no argument that can be made in defense of this bill other than that the Republican party believes that increasing the profits of telecom companies is more important than protecting the privacy of people.

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Ars TechnicaSamsung Galaxy S8 hands-on: Samsung produces a stunning redesign

(video link)

NEW YORK CITY—After tons of leaks and speculation, the Galaxy S8 is finally here. Samsung took the wraps off its newest flagship at the swanky Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and we spent a few minutes testing the device out.

I'm a bit spoiled by having seen recent slim bezel devices like the Xiaomi Mi Mix and the LG G6, but the Galaxy S8 is still a stunner in person. Samsung's and LG's slim-bezel entries have a lot in common, but Samsung's execution wins on all fronts. LG and Samsung have both attempted to round the corners of their displays, but the corners on the Galaxy S8 are actually round and look great (unlike the G6's awkward corner transitions). Samsung has beaten LG by a few millimeters in the slim bezel department, too, especially on the bottom bezel. The front is a great new look for Samsung, with no buttons or logos to clutter up the design.

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Planet IntertwinglyHow to Optimize Chatbots for a Superior Customer Experience
Chatbots may not be a new invention, but improving technologies are enabling the world’s biggest companies to incorporate them into their customer engagement strategies.   While chatbots’ capabilities may have been limited in the past, the chatbots of today are expanded, full-service software. Empires like Macy’s and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have incorporated chatbots into the Facebook Messenger platform where customers can “discuss” their flight reservations with the KLM chatbot or ask the Macy’s chatbot if a particular item is available for purchase at a specific store.   An estimated 8.3 trillion messages will be sent via messaging platforms in 2017, 90 percent of which will be read less than 3 minutes after they’re sent. Such a massive number indicates just how many customers are easily accessible through messaging platforms – and how many prefer typing to talking. It seems only natural that brands would start using chatbots on these platforms to improve the customer experience and cut out the time spent on the phone with customer service.   However, with every new element in the customer experience comes a new set of challenges and elements to optimize. While chatbots are becoming increasingly popular, more questions are being raised about how to accurately implement, track and optimize chatbots as part of the organization’s overall customer experience. What challenges arise when using chatbots? The customer experience can make or break the brand-consumer relationship. Representatives on the phone, online or in-person can make decisions on the fly that help them tailor the customer’s experience according to what they may want or need, but a chatbot needs a little extra help to fill the shoes of a dedicated customer service representative.   There are 4 main challenges digital marketers need to consider when incorporating chatbots into their customer experience strategy:   Analyzing “digital body language”: Just like they do in person, customers communicating through chatbots give off non-verbal communication cues which indicate contentedness or displeasure. How can chatbots understand these cues and use them to the benefit of the business? Personalization: Tailoring the chatbot customer experience goes beyond calling the user by name. Digital marketing representatives need to find other ways to personalize the chatbot experience through factors such as gender, age, and location. Measuring conversion rates: Digital marketers need to monitor conversion rates following chatbot interactions and identify issues with the human-chatbot experience, so they can analyze what encouraged users to convert and what reduced the likelihood of success. Improvements: Changes to chatbot mechanisms need to be tested and tracked to ensure that conversion rates are improving as the technology develops.   How can a digital marketer optimize the chatbot user experience? To overcome these challenges and improve the chatbot user experience, a digital marketer can enlist the help of advanced analytics solutions to identify elements that need to be optimized:   Track the bot’s confusion triggers. While chatbots are a convenient alternative for customers who do not want to wait on the phone for human assistance, a frustrating chat interaction can be a negative experience that damages the customer-business relationship as much as an hour on hold. The transaction won’t end well if the bot can’t understand what the customer is typing. Regularly identify and log the terms that confuse the chatbot and update the bot accordingly. Measure the number of conversation steps. A conversation step is the equivalent of one back-and-forth message between the user and the chatbot. For example, one step could be when a user types “Hi, I need help,” and the chatbot responds, “How can I help you?”   Having more conversation steps does not always equal more engagement or a better customer experience, like in cases of making a reservation at a restaurant. Reserving a table should require a maximum of 5 steps, so if there are 25 steps, it should raise a red flag. Analyzing individual chat sessions can help pinpoint where the conversation may be taking too long and adjustments can be made to the bot accordingly.   Optimize active and engaged user rates. Chatbots experience high turnover rates -- 40% of users only exchange one message with any particular chatbot. This large number of users could throw off any meaningful metrics, so it’s important to pinpoint the rate of active users (those who read chatbot messages) and engaged users (those who respond to chatbot messages). The best way to do this is by identifying the top responses that users write back to the chatbot. You can use that data to adjust the chatbot’s prompts to meet the users’ expectations and increase engagement.   Using data to inform the chatbot-user interaction One of the most important tools for optimizing chatbots is something that can't necessarily be seen or experienced outright: user-generated data. Each user has unique digital body language, communicated through details like:   What page they are on Where and what they clicked (or tapped, on mobile) Where they moved the mouse and hovered or hesitated The speed at which they scrolled through certain pages What they searched   By incorporating information about customers’ digital behavior before, during and after their chatbot interaction, a better-informed bot can deliver tailored answers that direct the user’s experience.   Dr. Liraz Margalit, Web Psychologist at Clicktale, says that the user’s mindset can be inferred by following his or her online behavior:   “[By] leveraging data gathered in real time... such algorithms could integrate actions, attributes and contexts to generate a real-time classification of an individual visitor’s intent. Then, based on such knowledge, brands can automatically adapt their offerings.”   According to Margalit, the chatbot can formulate a response based on the actions taking place on-screen in real time.   For example, a properly-enabled chatbot on a chocolatier’s website could determine if someone is buying a corporate gift basket or Valentine’s Day chocolates based on their actions on screen and respond appropriately, providing a memorable – and positive – customer experience.   The rapid rise in chatbots as a customer service and engagement tool fits in with the general direction of digitization that much of retail is trending towards. In order to be effective, digital marketers need to teach chatbots how to interact with users, which they can do with the data they collect from advanced analytics software. Armed with that information, they can use the data to tackle their biggest challenges and provide an optimal customer experience anywhere and everywhere their customers are located.   Author Bio: Yael Tolub is the VP of Marketing at Clicktale, leading the company’s worldwide marketing initiatives and driving awareness and adoption at global fortune 500 companies. Yael has a global perspective of marketing, having lived and worked on three different continents (and counting!). Prior to Clicktale, Yael held product and strategy roles in various companies, including MediaMind (today called Sizmek). Yael holds a LLB from Hebrew University, and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.  
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Planet IntertwinglyGeneral Reading for 03/29/2017
The B Corp Handbook | B Corporation “A useful tool for any business to learn how to become a force for good.” tags: bs Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here. © Robert S. Sutor for Bob Sutor, 2017. All rights reserved. Permalink | No comments Categorized under: What I'm Reading. Tagged with: . Twitter: bob_sutor
Ars TechnicaNuclear giant Westinghouse files for bankruptcy after costs skyrocketed

Illustration of the AP1000 reactor from Westinghouse bankruptcy filing. (credit: Westinghouse)

On Wednesday, Westinghouse Electric Company, a subsidiary of Japanese company Toshiba, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company claimed in a court filing that it was losing money on construction projects in South Carolina and Georgia, although it maintained that nuclear fuel and plant servicing operations remained “very profitable.”

The construction cost overruns fall on nuclear power plants that would have contained Generation III+ AP1000 reactors, which Westinghouse designed with “passive safety features,” like using gravity and convective cooling, to make them simpler, easier to maintain, and more resistant to earthquakes, plane crashes, or electrical blackouts. According to The New York Times, the two projects are nearly three years overdue and have cost somewhere between $1 billion and $1.3 billion more than expected.

The two projects include the Alvin W. Vogtle generating station in Georgia, which was in the news in February 2015 for missing deadlines and for cost overruns, and South Carolina Gas & Electric’s Virgil C. Summer plant in Jenkinsville, South Carolina, which has suffered similar setbacks.

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Planet Intertwingly6 Ways Artificial Intelligence Will Revamp Your Business
The latest and greatest tech trends for businesses in 2016 has been revealed, and artificial intelligence (AI) is at the top of the list. This new development is daunting for some business professionals who see AI as science fiction that will take over human power on the Earth. It’s also associated with downsizing jobs and upping the unemployment rate.   However, that’s what movies are made of. In the real world, AI is a powerful business tool that increases the number of high quality jobs, boosts efficiencies, and decreases overhead. AI simply does what it’s programmed to do, and if it’s programmed effectively, businesses have the opportunity to expand their business potential exponentially. Here are a few of the many ways that AI has the power to revamp businesses.   1. Big Data Becomes Understandable     With today’s technology and interconnectedness, it’s easy to find data about your customers and what they like. But understanding that data is another story altogether, especially for small and midsize businesses that lack the resources to translate the information in-house. AI has led to the creation of systems that can explain in plain language the meaning of the data and how it should be used, and these systems are available to businesses of any size.   2. Online Stores Become More Human   Ever since ecommerce was inducted, companies have been facing the issue of replicating the brick-and-mortar store experience. Customers enjoy the friendly, personalized service that comes from walking into a real store, not to mention the convenience of being able to see, touch, smell, and interact with the merchandise before making a purchase.   Now, AI can replicate that brick and mortar experience online in a sense. It’s more than simple dialogue. It can sell more complex products online by educating users first. It brings in more information about what customers want to see from online stores so they can include it, like product videos, photos of the product in context, and content describing a product’s use.   3. Improved Customer Service   For most companies, the products they sell don’t set them apart from others. It’s the customer service and support they provide that makes the difference, and smart machines and analytics are paving the way for better customer service everywhere. They help businesses offer speedy and appropriate responses to their customers through data and analytics. They can “coach” executives on the things customers want to see and the practices businesses are lacking in the customer service area.     4. More Accurate Forecasts   You don’t need to be told that forecasting is an important part of expansion and growth operations, but you should be aware of how much AI can help with that. Quantitative forecasting is based off of data and analytics. The information gained through these processes shows businesses the outlooks on some processes within a business structure. AI streamlines the process by bringing in more accurate data and interpreting the information into content executives can use. Thanks to this form of data processing, companies can look into their futures and see what they need to do now to manipulate the outcome.   5. Less Time Spent on Menial Tasks   When you let AI take over much of the processings and analytics, your employees can spend less time on menial tasks and more time on higher order functions in the areas they were trained to perform, including strategy, people connections, creativity, and critical thinking. They can leave the software conversations up to software and focus their time on cultivating relationships and doing what only humans can do.   6. Customer Personalization   Everything customers do online today leaves an imprint, a trail of information detailing their interests and preferences. AI makes it possible to use that information to personalize the customer experience in your business. You can learn to produce content they enjoy, develop products they love, and design a website with the ultimate user experience in mind. Every time a customer makes a purchase, they can feel like they’re getting more human treatment.   AI will continue to get smarter as it becomes the norm for online products, services, and support. This technology is not something to be afraid of, but rather something to embrace wholeheartedly for the good it can do for your business. It shows businesses how to make their teams more productive and their customers more satisfied.  
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Daring Fireball‘Things Change’

Jim Coudal breaks the news: The Deck network is shutting down.

I’ll have more to say later, but now, just one word: Thanks.

Daring FireballNathan Peretic Called It, Too

Nathan Peretic, one day after Zeldman’s post in February 2010:

The coup de grâce, history will note, was Apple’s release of the iPhone sans Flash. The mobile Internet became a force to reckon with overnight, single-handedly trashing Flash’s former claim of ubiquity. The iPhone has gashed a gigantic hole in the number of people browsing the Internet who don’t have Flash. The iPad is poised to increase that number.

This is an excellent summation of the logic that doomed Flash.

Before the iPhone and iPad, Flash was the easiest way to publish multimedia viewable by the largest audience. The percentage of web-viewing devices with Flash Player installed, right from the factory, was surely in the high 90s. In an ideal world, web publishers would have aggressively moved to HTML5 simply because it was a better — and open — technology. But that wasn’t enough of a motivation.

Almost every device could play Flash content. Many devices could not render HTML5 content, because they were junky PCs running Internet Explorer. Publishers went for the larger group, technology be damned.

Starting with the iPhone, there was no longer any way to publish multimedia in one format for “almost all” devices. You could stick with Flash and ignore mobile, or you could switch to HTML5 and leave legacy PCs running old browsers behind. The choice was easy.

Ars TechnicaLamar Smith claims climate scientists not following scientific method

Enlarge / Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. (credit: Bill Clark / Getty Images Contributor)

Illinois Representative Bill Foster summed up today's hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology as "a very strange mixture of science and not." Entitled "Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method," the hearing provided a platform for Committee Chairman Lamar Smith to pursue his latest attack on climate science. He says researchers in the area have left behind the scientific method.

Smith went after climate scientists right in the statement he used to open the hearing, saying, "Far too often, alarmist theories on climate science originate with scientists who operate outside the principles of the scientific method." He went on to say that "all too often, scientists ignore the basic tenets of science." Smith singled out climate projections such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), saying that any predictions made to the end of this century are simply not credible.

"Alarmist predictions amount to nothing more than wild guesses," he said.

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Daring FireballZeldman Called It

Jeffrey Zeldman, back in February 2010 (two months before Steve Jobs’s “Thoughts on Flash”):

Flash won’t die tomorrow, but plug-in technology is on its way out.

Plug-in technology made sense when web browsing was the province of geeks. It was a brilliant solution to the question of how to extend the user experience beyond what HTML allowed. People who were used to extending their PC via third-party hardware, and jacking the capabilities of their operating system via third-party spell checkers, font managers, and more, intuitively grasped how to boost their browser’s prowess by downloading and updating plug-ins.

But tomorrow’s computing systems, heralded by the iPhone, are not for DIYers. You don’t add Default Folder or FontExplorer X Pro to your iPhone, you don’t choose your iPhone’s browser, and you don’t install plug-ins in your iPhone’s browser. This lack of extensibility may not please the Slashdot crowd but it’s the future of computing and browsing. The bulk of humanity doesn’t want a computing experience it can tinker with; it wants a computing experience that works.

If you had your eyes open, you could see that Flash was doomed as soon as it became clear that the iPhone had changed the world.

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Planet IntertwinglySave the Date! Monthly OMEGAMON Performance Management Suite V5.4 Deployment Customer Call on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 11 a.m. US EDT
Thanks for your attendance of the previous OMEGAMON deployment customer open Q&A teleconference call held on February 22, 2017.  The cumulative 2016-2017 meeting minutes, which include the Q&A low-level details from our last call, are available in a downloadable PDF from the following link in SMC z Systems community: URL: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/groups/service/html/communityview?communityUuid=5e65990a-9690-42e2-93b1-c2267be7620c#fullpageWidgetId=Waa62f018a05a_4ca4_b612_49ffee80398e&file=2a89045f-e21a-4538-87d7-14445d2f5467   We are scheduling the next call, planned to be held on Wednesday, April 12th @ 11 a.m. US EDT.  As part of our continued focus on further improving the product deployment user experience and helping answer any deployment queries you may have, the monthly customer call's goal is to have an informal, open Q&A forum especially for those in the midst of varying product deployment phases,   including the upgrading phase of deploying one of our IBM z Management Suites (IBM OMEGAMON for z/OS Management Suite, IBM OMEGAMON Performance Management Suite for z/OS, IBM Service Management Suite for z/OS, and IBM Advanced Storage Management Suite for z/OS).   For these product suites, a number of the components included can be installed by the optional Install Job Generator (JOBGEN) and configured by the PARMGEN configuration tool.  Both JOBGEN and PARMGEN tooling are delivered by the shared HKCI310 infrastructure base Function Modification ID (FMID).   We know that many customers are planning on moving to the latest GA releases, or in the middle of the respective IBM z Systems Management Suites' deployment, where they will encounter a number of valuable updates in the products.  Some of those significant enhancements focus on deployment with great aid from the PARMGEN configuration tool, which was further enhanced in the latest cumulative PARMGEN 4Q16B IF PTF UA83283.  This cumulative PTF delivers significant Time-to-Value (TTV) improvements that cater to all products that PARMGEN deploys. PTF UA83283 also deliver the latest PARMGEN z/OS Discovery Library Adapter (DLA) integration enhancement, as well as the configuration support for the various new product versions that GA'd in 4Q16. For more information, please review the "What's New in PARMGEN IFs?" attachments in Section C1 of the master PARMGEN Technote.  Section A1 and Section A2 of the master PARMGEN Technote also list important JOBGEN/PARMGEN PTFs and product PTFs that you would want to review as part of system preparation.   For our regular attendees who requested an official calendar invitation for these calls, a broadcast invitation will be sent out shortly.  For those new to our forum and are not currently part of the monthly mailing lists, please e-mail me (dayce@us.ibm.com) with your contact information and we can add your info. to the calendar/mailing list if you would like to receive an official broadcast invitation.  We appreciate everyone's ongoing participation, and valuable feedback.  If you have any questions about these events, kindly e-mail me directly.  I welcome your feedback on this event, as well as on any other topics you'd like us to cover via this venue.   You are also welcome to forward to other participants in your company who may be interested in attending.  We look forward to your participation and thanks in advance for your time!   Thanks very much, Cecile Day (dayce@us.ibm.com) PARMGEN L3/R&D ========================================================================= Web/Audio conference details:   Broadcast Invitation: If you wish to receive an official calendar broadcast invitation entry to reserve the meeting time, please e-mail me with your contact information and we can add your info. to the calendar/mailing list.  Thank you.   On the day of the event, please: * Join an IBM Connections Cloud Web Meeting: Go to the URL: http://apps.na.collabserv.com/meetings/join?id=6684-6611 Log-on with your credentials (kindly provide your customer name or e-mail address and company name). When prompted for a meeting password, enter lower-case password = parmgen * DIAL IN: AT&T TeleConference Access Details: (USA) Toll Free:  888-426-6840             Toll:   215-861-6239 Passcode:  7186841 Call Monitor:   https://teleconference.uc.att.com/ecm/?bp=8884266840&mac=7186841 __________________________________________________ In countries with an AT&T Direct number listed below, participants should dial the AT&T Direct number first and, when prompted, dial the toll free number listed in this URL: https://www.teleconference.att.com/servlet/glbAccess?process=1&accessCode=7186841&accessNumber=8884266840&brand=att&lang=English =========================================================================
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Ars TechnicaFCC to halt expansion of broadband subsidies for poor people

(credit: Free Press)

The Federal Communications Commission is dropping its legal defense of a new system for expanding broadband subsidies for poor people, and it will not approve applications from companies that want to offer the low-income broadband service.

The decision announced today by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai would halt implementation of last year's expansion of the Lifeline program. This 32-year-old program gives poor people $9.25 a month toward communications services, and it was changed last year to support broadband in addition to phone service.

Pai's decision won't prevent Lifeline subsidies from being used toward broadband, but will make it harder for ISPs to gain approval to sell the subsidized plans. Last year's decision enabled the FCC to approve new Lifeline Broadband Providers nationwide so that ISPs would not have to seek approval from each state's government. Nine providers were approved under the new system late in former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's term, but Pai rescinded those approvals in February.

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Ars TechnicaEncounters with Jupiter send asteroid on a bizarre backward spin

Enlarge (credit: NASA)

Jupiter is widely credited with providing Earth with a bit of protection. The immense gravity of the gas giant typically either sucks in asteroids and comets or flings them out into orbits where they pose our planet little danger. But astronomers have now identified an asteroid that's in a stable orbital interaction with Jupiter. That interaction sends the asteroid around our Solar System backward and causes it to shift between two radically different orbits without ever settling into either.

The planets and other bodies in the Solar System mostly orbit in a single direction, inherited from the spinning disk of material from which they formed. A few bodies orbit in the opposite direction—called retrograde—but these tend to have odd, highly elliptical orbits. They're also very rare; only 0.01 percent of the known asteroids have retrograde orbits. Orbiting in the wrong direction around the Solar System tends to bring an object into relative proximity to a planet twice an orbit, and the resulting gravitational interactions will eventually destabilize the orbit.

Or so we thought. Some mathematical work showed that it's possible to have a stable retrograde orbit that overlaps with the orbit of a planet. In this case, the gravitational interactions are the key to stability. Each of the two passes of a single orbit would provide a nudge that counteracted the results of the previous one. While the orbit would shift with each nudge, it would remain stable due to this cancellation.

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Planet IntertwinglyProduct Manager, Calendar
Whether you’re jumping from meeting to meeting or on your way to meet a customer—your calendar needs to to work for you...anywhere, anytime. That’s why today, we’re bringing Google Calendar to the iPad. With the new app, you’ll get all the Calendar features you know and love, now optimized for iPad. Use Calendar’s machine intelligence-powered features to: Find a time and book a room. Get everyone together faster for meetings. With smart scheduling, Calendar suggests meeting times and available rooms based on your team’s  availability and room preferences.Set Goals and achieve them. Add a goal and Calendar will intelligently schedule time for it so you can stick to it.Plus, you can search your Calendar easily from the iPad home screen with Spotlight Search.Download the Calendar app for iPad today. Stay tuned for more updates, like a Today View Widget to easily see your upcoming events in the Notification Center and on the lock screen (coming soon!).
Ars TechnicaLawsuit: $3.5M Indiegogo crowdfunded drones are shoddy, not delivered

Enlarge (credit: Shenzen Sunshine)

The marketplace for the consumer drone is skyrocketing. Now there are more than 770,000 drones registered with the US Federal Aviation Administration. That's up from 670,000 in January alone.

The number might be even higher if an Indiegogo crowdfunded campaign delivered its Onagofly F115 drone as promised, according to a would-be class-action federal lawsuit. The suit, (PDF) filed Monday in a Los Angeles federal court, also accuses drone-makers Shenzen Sunshine Technology of China and Acumen Robot Intelligence of Brea, California, of delivering "a worthless product" when it does follow through on orders for its hand-sized, camera-equipped drones. The suit says the delivered drones are "nothing more than a spruced-up paperweight" and that the companies have "perpetrated a scam upon the fast-growing drone-buying community."

The suit also claims that their "customer service department is nonexistent, such that it is completely unresponsive to the hundreds if not thousands of customer complaints" regarding the Onagofly F115 drone, which costs up to $280. The company had raised some $3.5 million in crowdfunding on Indiegogo. Crowdfund Insider claims that the drone was one of "the most funded Indiegogo campaigns of all time" and that the drone has been riddled with complaints of it either being shoddy or not being delivered at all.

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Ars Technica“Samsung Dex” is a Galaxy S8 dock that makes your phone into a desktop


Samsung brought a few different accessories to the launch party for the Galaxy S8 this morning. One, Samsung Dex, is the latest in a long line of products that promise to let you replace your desktop computer with your phone.

Samsung hasn't announced pricing or a release date, and most of what we know comes from Samsung's presentation. The dock is small and circular, includes two USB ports and an HDMI port, and it is powered via USB-C (same as the S8 itself). The Verge reports that there's a small cooling fan inside the dock that presumably keeps the phone from throttling too much, enabling more desktop-y performance.

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Hacker NewsBlazingDB GPU cluster running on AWS in minutes
Ars Technica“Samsung Connect” wrangles all the insecure Things in your Internet of Things

Enlarge / Every blue dot represents a thing that can be hacked into and broken by malicious actors or used to spy on you by unscrupulous OEMs. But hey, at least you'll be able to control them all from one app.

As part of today's Samsung event, the Korean megacorp announced its intention to launch the new "Samsung Connect" service. Centered around a small Google Wi-Fi-like home router (called the "Samsung Connect Home"), the company's fact sheet explains that Samsung Connect "delivers on the vision of an integrated, cohesive, easy-to-use IoT ecosystem."

Connect is able to automatically identify Samsung-branded smart devices on your home's LAN, along with any other devices compatible with Samsung's SmartThings platform. SmartThings came under fire last May for numerous flaws and security vulnerabilities, though the company claims that it has since fixed its problems.

According to Samsung, the Connect app and service will eventually be available for all Android smartphones, rather than being restricted to Samsung devices. This is great news for folks who desperately want to see how much milk they have in their Samsung smart fridge, but who don't own a Samsung Android phone. Thanks to Connect, all Android owners will at some point be able to remotely verify their milk levels, reorder eggs, or whatever else you're supposed to do with smart fridges.

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Hacker NewsSimpleLegal Is Hiring – Devs, Customer Success, and Implementation Mgr
roguelike developmentThoughts on a game i would like to create

I planning on making a php rougelike game for the bash terminal and was wondering if it would interest anyone. I am hoping to be adding features such as a inventory system, stats, chest, equipement, all the usual stuff. I just looking to see if people would be interested in a game like that or if it is just a waste of my time. i know there are better languages and platforms to be making a game like that be i am looking for a challenge in php and i just really like making games that not too many people have made.

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Planet IntertwinglyAutomated Testing of the MQ Console
Automated testing of a software product is vital for ensuring that quality is maintained while reducing the resource cost of manual testing. However, as any of you who have been developing your own MQ front-end will know, simulating how a user interacts with a GUI can be a significant task. In this blog I will outline the technology we have used in order to maintain the integrity of the MQ Console during development, and how you can go about implementing a similar system.   We have set up a test infrastructure using the open-source testing framework Selenium WebDriver, which allows a web browser to be remote-controlled as part of an automated test script. Our tests mimic the way a user would administer an MQ system using the Console, allowing regressions to be rapidly identified during development of new features. Selenium is a popular and widely-used tool, with support for many browsers, operating systems, and languages, as well as a substantial community of online support. It works by interpreting instructions to find and interact with HTML DOM elements on a web page, such as reading text, clicking buttons, and typing into forms. Information from these interactions can then be used as part of a test, for instance verifying that an MQ object appears as expected in a Console widget.   If you have been working on your own web UI, or would just like to try running a Selenium test yourself, you can get started by following this basic example after first downloading the latest version of the Selenium Java bindings and WebDriver executable (Mozilla GeckoDriver, Google ChromeDriver, etc.) from http://docs.seleniumhq.org/download/. Running the following code as a JUnit test will open up a Firefox browser window, navigate to www.google.com, check that the logo is displayed, search Google for “selenium”, click a link, wait for the Selenium homepage to load, and check it has the expected page title: @Test public void test() {         // Create WebDriver object be setting the path to the WebDriver executable and creating the relevant WebDriver subclass         System.setProperty("webdriver.gecko.driver", "path/to/geckodriver.exe");         WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver(DesiredCapabilities.firefox());         try {                 // Open the browser and maximise it                 driver.manage().window().maximize();                 // Navigate to the URL of the initial page to be tested                 driver.get("http://google.com");                 // Locate the element with the desired ID attribute (you can view the relevant part of the DOM on any page by right-clicking and selecting Inspect Element)                 WebElement logo = driver.findElement(By.id("hplogo"));                 // Test that the found element is displayed using a JUnit assertion                 Assert.assertTrue("Logo was not displayed", logo.isDisplayed());                 // Locate the search form using its ID                 WebElement input = driver.findElement(By.id("lst-ib"));                 // Type "selenium" and press return                 input.sendKeys("selenium" + Keys.RETURN);                 // Wait for search results to load (by waiting until an element with the specified ID can be found)                 new WebDriverWait(driver, 5).until(ExpectedConditions.presenceOfElementLocated(By.id("rso")));                 // Locate the link to the Selenium page by searching within another element, then click it                 WebElement searchResults = driver.findElement(By.id("rso"));                 String expPageTitle = "Selenium - Web Browser Automation";                 searchResults.findElement(By.linkText(expPageTitle)).click();                 // Wait for the page to load                 new WebDriverWait(driver, 5).until(ExpectedConditions.presenceOfElementLocated(By.id("header")));                 // Check that the page title is as expected                 Assert.assertEquals("Page title was incorrect", expPageTitle, driver.getTitle());         } finally {                 // Close the browser even if the test has failed or an exception has been thrown                 driver.quit();         } } All Selenium functionality stems from the WebDriver object: WebElement objects are obtained by calling WebDriver.findElement or WebElement.findElement and specifying a locator e.g. By.id, By.className, By.tagName WebElement has built-in methods such as .isDisplayed and .getText to return information about the element, as well as .getAttribute to return the value of a specified HTML attribute WebElement.click will simulate a click on the element and WebElement.sendKeys will simulate typing into it Searching for elements before the page has loaded will result in failures Tests written without consideration of loading times can be very unreliable, however this can be simply resolved by trying to locate a specific element inside a loop until it is found, then continuing with the test Wait methods such as WebDriverWait.until simplify the process of repeating a specific action until it is successful, for instance using ExpectedConditions.presenceOfElementLocated For more advanced waiting, FluentWait can be used to repeat a specific function until a condition is met or a timeout is reached To prevent code repetition and make test scripts more readable it can be useful to build up OOP representations of parts of the web page being tested, for instance Java classes representing the page as a whole, a dialog that can be opened, or a widget with which a user interacts This can be done by building on the basic tools Selenium provides, for instance by creating classes which implement the WebElement interface, and wrapping findElement methods up so that they return your new classes JUnit annotations can also be used to simplify the process of setting up Selenium at the start of every test and ensuring that all browser windows are closed afterwards @BeforeClass and @AfterClass allow code to be executed once at the start and end of each test script @Before and @After allow code to be executed before and after each test case is run @Rule allows behaviour to be shared between test scripts   Selenium doesn't have to run the browser on the same machine as the test script; Selenium Grid allows you to register multiple machines as 'nodes', specifying their OS and the browsers they have available. Tests simply point to an URL where the Selenium 'hub' is running and specify the details of the OS and browser the test is to be run on, e.g. WebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(new URL(hubUrl), DesiredCapabilities.firefox()); The Selenium Standalone Server is a .jar file (available from http://docs.seleniumhq.org/download/) which can be run as a hub or a node from a command prompt or terminal Start a new hub on the default port of 4444: java -jar selenium-server-standalone.jar -role hub Start a new node (registering Firefox and Chrome on Linux) and connect to the hub: java -jar selenium-server-standalone.jar -role node -hub http://hub.domain:4444/grid/register -browser browserName=firefox,platform=LINUX -Dwebdriver.gecko.driver=/path/to/geckodriver -browser browserName=chrome,platform=LINUX -Dwebdriver.chrome.driver=/path/to/chromedriver -port 5555 Registered nodes can be viewed at hub.domain:4444/grid/console   We have taken into account the above practices when testing the MQ Console, with individual test cases similar in structure to the example used to verify individual Console features. Classes implementing WebElement are used to represent Console objects such as widgets, allowing for common actions to be repeated in a clear and concise manner. FluentWaits are used when an action is non-instantaneous, increasing the robustness of the test to behaviour changes and different test machines, and JUnit annotations prepare a test Queue Manager and ensure the Console is in a known state at the start of each test. This setup allows for an agile relationship between test and development as part of the MQ 9.0.x Continuous Delivery model.   I hope that this introduction to Selenium testing can be of use in your own front-end projects, please leave a comment if you have any questions or would like me to go into further detail.
Ars TechnicaStealth update to enemy power causes an uproar in World of Warcraft

This patch announcement video fails to mention a massive change to late game enemy power hidden in the latest World of Warcraft update

Keeping a massively multiplayer online game fresh and challenging for longtime players while simultaneously staying accessible and fun for lower-powered relative newcomers is always a challenge. In World of Warcraft, a hidden change to the way end-game enemies power up alongside players has unintentionally thrown that balance out of whack, and Blizzard is working on a fix.

Shortly after yesterday's release of Patch 7.2 for the long-running MMO, players quickly began noticing that high-end enemies were scaling up in power depending on the power of the gear the player characters were wearing. The specific power numbers involved seem to make it so that players could perversely make a fight easier by taking off their high-end gear and replacing it with slightly worse weapons and armor, reducing the enemy's health and power greatly in the process.

The change in how enemy scaling works took many players by surprise because it wasn't explicitly mentioned in the extensive patch notes Blizzard released yesterday. Furthermore, WoW assistant director Ion Hazzikostas spoke out specifically against this kind of gear-based enemy scaling in a Twitch interview last year.

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Hacker NewsNew York Has a Great Subway, If You’re Not in a Wheelchair
Ars TechnicaPersona 5 brings depth and complexity to its Robin Hood tale

Enlarge / The Phantom Thieves love leather.

Note: Light spoilers for Persona 5 follow.

You should know exactly how you feel about Persona 5's style and tone within the first 10 minutes. I certainly did—although it has taken me well over 100 hours to see all the incredible and consistent ways developer Atlus' high-school heist RPG bends, breaks, and leans into its look, feel, and message.

Persona 5 took basically no time at all to knock me against the wild and woolly world of "shadows"—supernatural monsters born from the human psyche—in a frenetic opening scene set atop chandeliers hanging above a casino. Seemingly human guards hot on the protagonist's trail suddenly melted and morphed into mythical monsters. Just as the first creature showed its true form, the game's open environment smoothly twisted into turn-based combat. I took a while to realize the game even changes scenery when flipping into fights; the transitions are just that seamless.

Persona 5 has a much quicker, more gripping introduction than 2008's (also excellent) Persona 4. That game demanded players spend a good hour or more drifting through rural life before seriously hinting at the series' hybrid nature as part dating simulator, part dungeon crawler.

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Planet IntertwinglyDirector of 21st Century Learning
Gary Lambert, Director of 21st Century Learning at Beekmantown Central School District, discusses three ways to engage district leadership, faculty and students when implementing technology.
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Planet IntertwinglySlides: CSUN 2017: Accessible Code for Web Designers
In my CSUN presentation this year I wanted to talk about what I think is the minimum amount of code that web designers should understand to best embed accessibility into their work. Should web designers be able to code? is a question that has been debated for years with, extremes of viewpoint from designers being fully capable developers to designers shouldn’t touch code at all. My opinion is, like most people’s, somewhere in the middle. Understanding the building blocks of web development and a little bit about how CSS and JavaScript can impact accessibility, positively and negatively, is important. The list of things I think web designers need to have some understanding of covers: Structure and Semantics Content order Interactions For example, a web designer needs to know how headings and landmark roles are implemented in HTML to be able to properly structure a page. My slides on Accessible Code for Web Designers are available to read online or download.
Ars TechnicaSamsung announces its newest flagship, the Galaxy S8 and S8+

NEW YORK CITY—After months of speculation and leaks, Samsung has finally made the Galaxy S8 official. It's everything we were expecting based on weeks of leaks: a major redesign of Samsung's flagship smartphone, and a departure from the design language of the Galaxy S6 and S7. Samsung hasn't mentioned a price, but in the US the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will go up for pre-order on March 30 and will start shipping on April 21.

First off, well, just look at it. Samsung's typical smartphone design has been scrapped in favor of slim bezels and an extra-tall 18.5:9 AMOLED display. The bezels are so slim there almost isn't room for anything other than screen on the front of the phone. The front hardware navigation buttons are gone, replaced with on-screen software buttons. The fingerprint reader has been moved to the back, next to the camera lens. There isn't even the traditional all-caps "SAMSUNG" logo on the front. The only thing on the front of the phone, other than the screen, is the bevy of sensors at the top. Those include the usual front camera, earpiece, proximity sensor, and the iris scanner from the failed Galaxy Note 7.

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Hacker NewsWestinghouse Files for Bankruptcy, in Blow to Nuclear Power
Ars TechnicaISPs and FCC chair Ajit Pai celebrate death of online privacy rules

Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai testifying before a Senate subcommittee on May 11, 2016. (credit: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Internet privacy advocates are mourning the death of online privacy rules, but yesterday's House vote to eliminate the consumer protections was celebrated by ISPs, advertisers, and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.

The rules would have required home Internet and mobile broadband providers to get consumers' opt-in consent before selling or sharing Web browsing history, app usage history, and other private information with advertisers and other companies.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has consistently agreed with ISPs that they should not face stricter rules than website operators like Google and Facebook. Pai, a Republican, was in the commission minority when the rules were passed last year, but Republicans now have a majority on the FCC.

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Planet IntertwinglyThe Benefits of Running a Diversified Company
Diversification is a corporate strategy where a company enters into a new market and also creating a new product for that new market or industry. It could also refer to allocating capital or investing in assets to limit exposure to business risk or volatility.   To make it clear, Investopedia defines a diversified company as one which runs multiple and unrelated businesses. These businesses have different management requirements, different customers, and they offer different products or services to the public.   It is crucial for a company to diversify in a fast-paced and dynamic economic landscape. Not only does it help companies remain deeply rooted in business, it also contributes to their growth and development.   What a diversified company looks like   For instance, BHP Billiton Limited is a highly diversified global resources company. They deal in the production and exploration of natural resources like petroleum, iron ore, metallurgical & thermal coal, lead, gold, silver, molybdenum, zinc, uranium, and copper.   The company operates an internal system that handles product distribution through its global logistics chain, including freight and pipeline transportation. Information found on their website reveals their chains of businesses are Minerals Americas, Minerals Australia, Petroleum and Marketing.   This is just a typical example of a highly diversified company, and there are many others like Bella Bathrooms, Siemens, and Toshiba.   What are the benefits of running a diversified company?   There are countless benefits involved in diversifying a business. It suffices us to mention a few in this article.   Diversification breeds innovation   Operating a diversified company creates opportunities for new innovation and discoveries. And this is the ingredient a company needs to grow or succeed. By exploring different markets and industries, companies can create new opportunities and discover more profitable business models that would project their financial status and earnings.   For instance, if a company in the farming industry which operates solely offline enters an industry like luxury clothing, they’d have to embrace innovations and make new discoveries – like using a pay button which gives them access to underbanked people to process transactions – in order to stand out.   It provides security and stability   Business diversification creates a buffer for companies against dramatic instabilities in any particular industry or sector. Because of this security, a lot of businesses are able to stand firmly in the face of the storm. It is on record that the few companies that were least affected by the financial crisis that rocked the US some years back were companies that diversified.   It creates more employment opportunities   There’s no doubt that diversification leads to the creation of more jobs opportunities. It also creates room for business collaborations of all sorts. For example, General electric is one of the largest business conglomerates with global staff strength of about 305,000.   More profit is generated   Expanding your business definitely helps to increase your revenue base. And one approach that really makes this possible is to tap into industries with huge investment potentials. Richard Branson was already successful with his conglomerates but saw his revenue base exponentially increased when he diversified into the media industry in 2006/2007.   Diversification helps the economy to grow   The end result of diversifying a company is increased revenue and more profits. But ultimately, it drives growth for the economy. The government generates revenue through tax, and also through the profits shared with multinational companies.   Conclusion   The effectiveness of diversification is never in doubt. In the words of Chris Lutz, “the purpose of diversification is so that when one investment goes down or is not doing well, you are insulated from the result because of the others you have in place.”
Hacker News'It's easier to hack an election than eBay': confessions of a Belarusian hacker
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Planet IntertwinglyMAXIMO IOT Newsletter: March Edition - Your Monthly updates - All in one place
      MAXIMO IoT Newsletter: March Edition - Your Monthly updates - All in one place   The IoT newsletter will be published monthly, this will be the perfect way to share with you our high value content, recent updates and any information you might have missed.   The main objective of this Newsletter is to give you a monthly peek with what's happening in the world of Maximo, value added contents such as videos, blogs, IFIX releases etc.   This month we have added a vast amount of YouTube Videos, make sure you do check them out..          Maximo Asset Management Customer Support Technical Information Newsletter The IBM Maximo Asset Management Customer Support Technical Information Newsletter, is an excellent Technical newsletter which has been put together by our U.S. colleague, Jason O'Donnell and Denise McKinnon, here you will find  vast amount of knowledgeable information, that is available to you such as Latest Technotes and FAQs, Education and training Forums and Wikis. You are  guaranteed to find this Technical newsletter  a very  useful  source of information for you day to day need.   Direct Link to Customer Support Technical Information Newsletter - March 2017 Edition http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27013363&acss=danl_3910_email IBM Support Interim Fix Pack Changes Here you will find all the information you need to know about the changes to the interim fix pack delivery schedule more focus on the latest fix pack releases.                       Direct Link to Interim Fix Pack Changes http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21999295        Top Videos For This Month In this section, you'll find the  top videos for this month released by our own team;     Maximo -  Finding and Downloading Latest Feature Pack and IFIX - David Leftwich   Direct Link to You Tube Video:  https://youtu.be/ScYGSmqxOwY     Maximo - Reporting Browser View - Juliet Mosiadz                                                                                                                             Direct Link to You Tube Video: https://youtu.be/uzwbnNvpYTI     Maximo -  Migration Manager and Automation Scripts - Jaegee Ramos        Direct Link to You Tube Video: https://youtu.be/iNVFrhEtE-c   Maximo - Required Field based on a Condition - By Roberto Plama    Direct Link to You Tube Video: https://youtu.be/EZev_oGu7r4       Maximo - Setting users display date format - Roberto Palma    Direct Link to You Tube Video: https://youtu.be/L2cc8tJIn8Q   Maximo - AnyWhere Administration - Shane Howard    Direct Link to You Tube Video: https://youtu.be/J3ZhCj9ElwM     Maximo - Report Administration Part 1 - Remove a BIRT report from available list - Juliet Mosiadz    Direct Link to You Tube Video: https://youtu.be/cKb8PYKjen4   Maximo - Report Administration Part 2 - Restore a BIRT report to available list - Juliet Mosiadz    Direct Link to You Tube Video: https://youtu.be/prdAE7MZZuc   Maximo - Software Product Compatibility Reports for Maximo - Eric LeGuennec    Direct Link to You Tube Video: https://youtu.be/cxp8iGgFGgE     https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkcm7pKdtuWbQ9mugvMmpZg/videos Top Blogs of the Month Be sure to look out for our  Blogs Posts   Post Author: Post Title: Jaegee Ramos How to enable DOCLINKS_ASSETID Relationship to use for Attachments to be moved with Asset to another Site  Jaegee Ramos Maximo Time difference for Europe/Moscow (GMT + 3 DST/Y) Moscow, St.. Petersburg, Volgograd  Alice Degawa System freezes while trying to close PO with 6,000+ PO Lines  Benoit Cotnoir What is Watson IoT Accelerated Value Program? Stephan Lambert Inspect Element in Firefox and Maximo cascading style sheets (css)  Alice Degawa Cannot add Items to Storeroom using Item Master application  Benoit Cotnoir The Three Pillars of Accelerated Value Program  Richard Lesses Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 009 released  Richard Lesses Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 008 released  Richard Lesses Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 010 Released  Richard Lesses Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 016 released  Richard Lesses Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 004 released  Richard Lesses Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 014 released  Richard Lesses Maximo and WebSphere 9.0.0 - Getting Started  Richard Lesses Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 004 released  Richard Lesses Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 009 released  Colborn Chapman Using The Additional Resource section of Graphical Assignment.  Edgar Mengelberg How to create a TRIRIGA Classification?  Juliet M .MSG File Type in Maximo  Jaegee Ramos Launch Entry Name Field In Work Order  Rick Rhea Maximo Anywhere 7.6.x Sizing Guidelines  Paulus Gunadi Maximo: Update Person's Supervisor from Active Directory using Escalation and Automation Script  Katherine Collins What's new in Maximo for Service Providers version 7.6.3  Pearse Gough New features in Maximo Asset Configuration Manager 7.6.5  Pearse Gough New features in Maximo for Aviation 7.6.5  Paulus Gunadi Maximo Cleanup Work Order and Ticket MBO  Yalcin Kumbasar Marking Main Record as Modified while Modifying Related (Child) Records via Automation Scripts (v7.6) New Releases For each Maximo TPAE versions Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 016 released  Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 010 released  Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 004 released Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 014 released  Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 010 Released  Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 009 released  Maximo Asset Management Interim Fix 004 released      Most recent News and Flashes   Deferring database update operation during installation stops the application server BMXAA4195E- A Value is Required For the URL / File Name Field on the DOCLINKS Object on IE 11   Problem Solving Resources Featured documents for Maximo Asset Management Lists the most requested documents as well as those identified as valuable in answering your questions. Collecting Data: Read first for Maximo Asset Management Gathering this data before calling IBM support will help you understand the problem and save time analyzing the data. Collecting Data: Maximo Purchase Requisitions Gathering this data before calling IBM support will help you understand the problem and save time analyzing the data. Collecting Data: Maximo Invoice Gathering this data before calling IBM support will help you understand the problem and save time analyzing the data. Useful Links for Maximo 7.5 The links below include useful Maximo 7.5 content and currently available 7.5 product downloads. Maximo Asset Management Documentation Central This page include various documentation links.   Thank you for  taking the time to look at our March 2017 Newsletter - please take a look at all our links below; Feel free to add comments, so we know, what you would like to see in the Next Month Edition ... Hit the Like button, if you have enjoyed reading this month Newsletter  :-)   IBM IoT Support YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkcm7pKdtuWbQ9mugvMmpZg/videos IBM Asset Management  Blog Posts https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/a9ba1efe-b731-4317-9724-a181d6155e3a?lang=en Maximo DWAnswers https://developer.ibm.com/answers/search.html?page=1&pageSize=15&sort=newest&f=&customPageSize=true&q=maximo&redirect=search%2Fsearch&type=question MAXIMO IoT Newsletter: October 2016 Edition https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/a9ba1efe-b731-4317-9724-a181d6155e3a/entry/MAXIMO_IOT_Newsletter_October_Edition_Your_Monthly_updates_all_in_one_place?lang=en MAXIMO IoT Newsletter: November 2016  Edition MAXIMO IOT Newsletter: November Edition - Your Monthly updates - All in one place  MAXIMO IoT Newsletter: December 2016 Edition MAXIMO IOT Newsletter: December Edition - Your Monthly updates - All in one place MAXIMO IoT Newsletter: January 2017 Edition MAXIMO IOT Newsletter: January Edition - Your Monthly updates - All in one place  MAXIMO IoT Newsletter: Feb 2017 Edition MAXIMO IOT Newsletter: February Edition - Your Monthly updates - All in one place       
Hacker NewsAudi's unions demand electric model for main German plant
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Planet IntertwinglyGenerate Optimization Profile
When I generate optimization profile through DSM, it is shows nothing in the window even though it asks to review the statement. Any reason why? "To Lock down the access path of the SQL statement, it is required to run the following statements to create an optimization profile. Review the following statement and click Next button to continue."
Planet Intertwingly5 Trends to Watch for in Computer Networking for 2017
Trends change with each passing year. We have been fortunate to witness some remarkable aspects of networking in recent years with the ability to virtually be anywhere at any time through the internet, but those trends have just grown tremendously. In 2017, you can rest assured that we will see some new trends and maybe some twists on some of the older trends we are used to. According to the IT & Tech Magazine elektronik-magazin.com, here are 5 trends to watch for in computer networking for this year. Artificial Intelligence Within Appliances Smart technology is certainly not a new thing in our society. We have grown used to the fact that our cell phones are able to do practically everything we need throughout the day, but that technology is now a part of our everyday appliances as well. Refrigerators that connect to the internet to keep track of our need for specific groceries and tells us where those items may be on sale within our community is not just a dream, but a reality for those who can afford it. More and more smart appliances are getting into our homes and making our lives easier during 2017 and beyond. Buzz About 5G The ability to connect to the internet via wireless technology is something that is now common place. If you go into a store or a coffee shop, they generally have Wi-Fi, but in 2017 you can bet that you will be hearing more about the coming 5G network. That will mean the end of the usual internet towers and the rise of internet everywhere and the end of dead spots in our cell signal. Augmented Offices One of the largest trends of this year is the augmented offices. These virtual places of business allow the business person to work from anywhere and have access to their own personal office. The trend is one that is on the rise, but be warned, that this trend may be just a fad and we may also see the fall of this form of technology this year as well. Personalized Cloud Security Endless amounts of information is stored within the cloud, yet some people have questioned its vulnerability to a security breech. We have seen breeches in security in some of these systems and now people are turning to more personalized cloud security to keep their information safer than the standard cloud options. Smart Malware Where the networking trends of 2017 are usually positive, there is one that will result in a lot of negativity. Those that would put malware on systems are now utilizing malware that evolves and is less detectable by standard security programs. These new adaptations are something to watch for this year to keep your systems and information safe. It is a new year with new possibilities. Technology is always changing and evolving into more sophisticated systems. It is an exciting time in the networking world with the ability to keep in touch with anyone no matter where you are. Watch for these trends and the remarkable networking trends that are sure to come within the next few years. ​
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Ars TechnicaAndroid Wear 2.0 begins rolling out, but only to three watches for now

Enlarge / New Balance's $299 RunIQ Android Wear running watch. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Nearly two months after Android Wear 2.0 launched, some smartwatches are finally getting the update. According to Android Wear Google forums, the Fossil Q Founder, Casio Smart Outdoor, and Tag Heuer Connected smartwatches have started receiving updates to Android Wear 2.0. Those are the only three devices being updated right now, and the official rollout for those devices should be completed by April 4.

Not every Android Wear watch will be updated to 2.0, and the process to get all the devices updated will likely be long. Starting with these three particular devices is interesting, mostly because the Huawei Watch and LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, which have been running the Android Wear 2.0 developer preview since mid-2016, aren't included.

According to the forum, manufacturers have to green-light the update, so we'll be waiting to hear from each smartwatch maker on a timeline for its devices. The update also isn't across the board based on manufacturer, either. Fossil is slated to update its Q Marshal and Q Wander smartwatches to Android Wear 2.0 as well, but only the Q Found is included in this wave. Until now, most manufacturers have said their devices will be updated sometime in spring 2017.

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Planet Intertwingly[liveblog] Ed tech hackathon
I’m at an education technology hackathon — “Shaping the Future” — put on by MindCET, an ed tech accelerator created by the Center for Educational Technology in Israel. MindCET’s headquarters are in Yeruham in the Negev, a small-ish town that’s been growing as tech companies migrate there. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people. Our group created — in a demo hackathon-ish way — a tool that helps teachers create workgroups for collaborative learning based on information gleaned from machine learning about learning capabilities. The judges are four young people who are prodigiously talented computer developers. We named it Sort_ed because my team did not appreciate the sheer (shear?) genius of Zissorz. (My team was awesome.) “Our business plan: Mexico will pay for it.”Our business plan: Mexico will pay for it. Here are some of the projects presented at the end of the 36 hours of development. Each group has two minutes to present, ruthlessly enforced. Interest In: A platform for students sharing their interests by learning or teaching. They can create tutorials and list them. They get badges. Escape the classroom “Classrooms are so boring”Classrooms are so boring. Escape the Classroom uses the power of whatsApp and escape rooms (i.e., the puzzle rooms you try to get out of collaboratively, using educational clues. Rope. Team-based learning.”Rope Team” is a course format for Moodle that implements a unique workflow for learning a set number of topics.” There are roles and responsibilities, and a workflow with automation. (The creator of Moodle, Martin Dougiamas, is on that team.) Snippy. Every child has a passion for something. Snippy lets students create content, share it, and share the content of others. A chatbot interviews you and presents relevant materials from what other students have uploaded. You can create a multimedia object to share your passion. Clash of Brains. No one (hardly) likes tests. This team wants to bring fun and sociality into assessments. Teachers create a quiz and the app sends a code to students. Students can “duel” other students. Edventure — a tailor-made education adventure. In the example, a friendly monster asks for help with a question. It’s a collaborative RPG for 3-5 players. Playful — “promoting education through play.” “They introduce RRS: Robot Rewards System.”They introduce RRS: Robot Rewards System. You get real-world rewards from a robot: perhaps art, maybe it does a dance, etc. You can also be challenged to hack the robot. Disruptive text. “For students who hate to read.” For 7-9th graders who struggle to read long texts. The text becomes a riddle they need to decode. They use several techniques to challenge the reader: Difficult fonts. Blurred text until you click. Mirrored words that reverse when clicked. The Words and Image Challenge. “Students from a local Bedouin school are wearing a word and a drawing of an object.”Students from a local Bedouin school (unfairly adorable) are wearing a word and a drawing of an object. They throw a ball to the person with the name of the object on her or his shirt. You have to throw the ball as quickly as you can, in “hot potato” style. ReflectMe. A team from the Israeli army has created an app that enables students to give one another feedback. (They contrast this with top-down military structure.) It has a simple, intuitive UI. In the example, students can leave feedback on a video, tied to the time code. Peerz. Standardization misses individual passion. The future is individualized passion-based learning. But teachers can’t scale for this. A student asks Peerz a question, with hashtags. Other students can respond. The system suggests resources, better questions, etc. The questions are rated. “Peerz monetizes talent discovery.” “Co-creative learning in your pocket.” EdMarket. “The Amazon of Education.” It gives teachers the ability to choose the best products. EdMarket is a marketplace of learning resources, sponsored by the govt (or so their business plan says). The students and teachers can reference the market. Owie. “An AI best friend.” It will help students talk about emotions, especially when the situation is stressful. Owie is a chatbot that lets 8-12 year olds communicate with other friends and play emotionally-supportive games. Shape on You. A virtual reality experience that teaches geometric figures. It aims at making it easier to grasp abstract concepts. You can manipulate figures, see the dimensions, alter them, and see the results. You can share your figure with other students. Action Learning. They show a robot (a bit Lego-like) that models a robot for delivering water in the desert. They programmed this with the Creative Learning Lab. They created a space, physical and digital, where you can meet others and learn life lessons. “Solving problems that you couldn’t solve in school.” Who Am I?. How to encourage creation within children, and how to motivate them to be interactive and really invest in the process. Who Am I? is a mini-quest game where you try to discover who is hidden in the room. It’s a mobile app that you navigate by moving the phone. You find clues. Students can make their own puzzles. DPlay — “Democracy Playground.” “How do you liberate learning for self-reflection.” They created a platform for debating issues and reflecting on one’s own positions. Students fill out a little survey about the opposing positions, reflecting on why they react against it. These surveys are compiled over time. Is a student changing her vote often? Is she always voting with her friends? OwnEd. They created an app that takes away the stress from students (12-13yr old) who are unsure what subjects they should be taking. It lets them design their own learning program. How do they want to learn? When do they want to learn? An “intuitive app” visually stimulates them to say that they’re most interested in. The backend uses this to suggest areas. The app suggests a time structure for their program. “Breaking the rules around space and time.” Imagibate.com “Free learners’ mind from the old structures by engaging them in debate.” They use imaginary worlds to make sure the issues are not personally sensitive. The debates will be put up on line. E.g., “a world of unicorns and coffee beans”a world of unicorns and coffee beans, two tribes that have gotten along until the coffee beans learn to make a scent they find pleasurable, but it makes the unicorns sick. The team models a live debate, complete with a unicorn hat. The winner was Who Am I?. We came in second, by one vote. The post [liveblog] Ed tech hackathon appeared first on Joho the Blog.
Planet IntertwinglyThey…Are Watching You
Today, Trump is likely to sign the latest in Congressional Review Act bills, this one to overturn a new FCC rule that would force ISPs to get permission from users to collect and share personal information. The Senate was the first to toss the privacy rule, followed by the House. The vote was along party lines. Kudos to the Democrats for looking out for us, but the party-line Republican vote was a little surprising considering the number of libertarians among the Republicans. Libertarians have a real thing for privacy. I expect Rand Paul will have some explaining to do the next time he runs for re-election. So, why is this vote bad? ISPs can track your every move, whether it’s watching a movie on Roku, surfing the web using Chrome, or accessing your medical information using an app on your Android phone. They can sell the data they collect to third parties in order to target you with “appropriate ads”. Actually, they can sell the information to any entity for any  purpose. The ISPs claim this is a service, but not even the most gullible believes we, the people, will benefit from this activity. I’m typing this using the Opera browser. I switched to Opera because it has a built-in VPN (Virtual Private Network) that obscures my web activity from the ISPs. It’s one of the many suggestions we’ve read the last few days. In Twitter, Joy Reid recommended we clear our browsing history, but that will have absolutely no impact. If you want privacy, you’ll need to become familiar with VPNs. And the new head of the FCC approves. Delete your browsing history daily. Or hourly. https://t.co/kKCqR1QwG7 — Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 29, 2017 My favorite how-to guide is How to set up a VPN in 10 minutes for free (and why you urgently need one) by Free Code Camp’s Quincy Larson. Just make sure that you pick an aboveboard VPN: they can also collect data on you. Of course, using Opera won’t help with the app on Android or what I’m watching using my Roku, but it’s a start. I could install a VPN on my router, but then I won’t be able to watch Netflix, as this service blocks VPN use. Netflix’s actions are not for nefarious purposes: many of its video offerings are geographically restricted and VPNs hide your country of origin. In addition to using Opera, I’m need to enable HTTPS on my web server, another recommendation from the EFF. This won’t be as simple a move, but I need to stop being lazy and just get it done. My approach to Trump and the Congressional Republicans selling out our privacy is simple: I’m not going to be paranoid, but I’m not going to make it easier for my ISP to profit from my actions. If my ISP wants to note that I play the fireplace video from Netflix every time it’s cloudy and cold, I’m OK with this. But it doesn’t need to see what web sites I’m visiting on my computer. In other words, I’m blasting a hole in the picture my ISP is building of me. It will never have a complete picture of who I am. It will have some data, but not all data. And not having a complete set of data makes the data it has less valuable.       Photo courtesy of Metro Centric CC BY 2.0 The post They…Are Watching You appeared first on Burningbird.
Ars TechnicaGoogle adds “order ahead” feature to Waze, letting you skip the morning coffee line

Enlarge (credit: Dunkin' Donuts)

Google wants to make your morning commute as easy as possible with a new feature in its navigation app Waze. The company added an "order ahead" feature to Waze and teamed up with Dunkin' Donuts to let users order coffee and breakfast from within the Waze app. Now you can place an order with Dunkin' Donuts on your way to work and pick it up immediately, skipping the regularly long and tedious drive-through line.

The caveat is that you need to have the Dunkin' Donuts mobile app installed on your device as well, and you need to be a Dunkin' Donuts Perks member. If that's you, all you need to do is connect the Dunkin' Donuts app with your Perks account information to the Waze app, and then you'll be able to place an order with one tap in Waze. Dunkin' Donuts already has an order-ahead feature in its own mobile app, and requiring both apps to have this feature work in Waze is disappointing. However, the feature is mostly about streamlining the process of getting coffee and breakfast during your morning commute in which you're already using Waze for navigation and traffic information.

According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, you won't pay more for coffee when using the Waze-Dunkin' collaboration feature. Dunkin' Donuts agreed to spend more in Waze advertising rather than get a commission off the food and drink orders made with Waze. Ordering ahead has become a popular perk for many companies including Taco Bell, McDonalds, and Starbucks, so it's not surprising that Dunkin' Donuts would want to expand this feature by partnering with Google and Waze.

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Ars TechnicaBlue Origin teases more images of its New Shepard capsule

Blue Origin

Even as Blue Origin has talked up its ambitions to build a larger New Glenn rocket this year, the company also continues to finalize work on its suborbital space tourism vehicle, New Shepard. On Wednesday, Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos released some illustrations of what the experience might look like from inside the capsule.

The images show six leather, recumbent seats arranged around the interior of the spacecraft, and each seat features a large window view and a small personal view screen to track the flight. Passengers are wearing Blue Origin pullovers, apparently their "launch suits." The images also show a brightly lit console in the middle of the capsule—but this isn't a table or an in-flight service bar; it's the capsule's escape motor. The company demonstrated the functionality of this feature with a dramatic in-flight escape test last October.

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Planet IntertwinglySequence the Features
Now the Lean Inception has a list of features put in the context of the user journeys. On Thursday afternoon Paulo leads the team to use this information to sequence these features into several iterations of an MVP. more…
Planet IntertwinglyIBM Interconnect 2017 round up
Keynote: Welcome to InterConnect 2017 - On stage at InterConnect 2017, Chris Moody, VP and GM, Data & Enterprise Solutions, Twitter, kicks off the session.  As Twitter turns 11, Chris reflects on the transformative power of cloud technologies. ‘It has never been more possible than it is today, to change kids and technology’, he begins. ‘Anyone can change the world.’  ‘Like raising a child, technology moves fast. When Twitter started out, it was a side project to keep friends connected, and it’s still evolving today. POTUS is using the platform daily, and there are other evolutions too. It’s evolving into a powerful business platform’. [Read more...]     Harriet Green on theCUBE, live from InterConnect 2017 - On Monday, March 20, Harriet Green, General Manager, IBM Watson Internet of Things, Cognitive Engagement and Education, kicked off the IoT: Genius of Things keynote at InterConnect 2017. Harriet talked passionately about how the Internet of Things is changing the way we live, work and interact today. How when you combine Watson with IoT data, the platform, the security and the growing ecosystem of clients, technology providers, and industry experts, extraordinary things become possible. And how IoT is the next great wave of digitization and is truly a powerful transformational force, emanating from the offices of C-Level executives across all industries. [Read more...]    InterConnect: The intelligent workplace of the future - IBM’s Brian Dalgetty, Offering Executive for Watson IoT welcomed Brett Lancaster, Ricoh’s Global Sales Director for Managed Information Services and Harman International’s Kevin Hague, VP Technology Strategy to join him on the stage. The panel came together to discuss the intelligent workplace of the future, how intelligent agents can help us do our work better, and what the workplace of the future will be like to work in. [Read more... ]     InterConnect: Mythbusters – how Watson works - Have you ever wondered how Watson, IBM’s AI works? Attendees at IBM’s InterConnect 2017 were able to find out from Rob High Jr. IBM Fellow, VP, CTO Watson, IBM Academy of Technology. Rob kicked off by defining the characteristics of what IBM sees as AI before busting a myth or four.  1. Cognitive systems understand human expressions – textual, verbal, visual   2. By reasoning about the actual intention or problem being addressed   3. They learn how to recognize patterns of meaning through examples and feedback   4. And they interact with humans on their own terms, and in a way that inspires people.   5. And they do it at scale!   [Read more... ]    Girls Who Code: inspiring a generation of change-makers - Reshma Saujani CEO of Girls Who Code, joined Ginni Rometty on stage at IBM Interconnect to discuss how IBM has supported the company growth and has helped young girls break barriers with the technology industry. As a politician, Reshma visited hundreds of schools and the lack of females in the IT classes made her question where women sit in the tech industry, after researching she found out that today, less than 18% of women do IT majors. [Read more...]     Blockchain technology: the next generation of the internet - On Tuesday afternoon, Don Tapscott, author, consultant and entrepreneur, took us through the transformative power of blockchain technology, and its huge potential for change. Here’s what he had to say: "I wrote a book in 1981 arguing that everyone was going to use this vast network of networks, and that computers would become tools for the communication of information. It didn’t sell that well – it was a study in bad timing – but we were right. I’m here to tell you that computers are about to become something else again. We are getting a second era of the internet – the Internet of Value. The fourth industrial revolution is infusing technology through every organization; through every business process. Through our economy, through our business world, even through our bodies. All of these technologies that will participate in the transformation of businesses need a commercial and transactional platform. And that is crypto-currencies – blockchain." [Read more...]     IBM, Watson, and the Royal Bank of Canada - Ginni introduced Bruce Ross, Group Head of Operations at the Royal Bank of Canada mentioning that both he and the organisation are pioneers. Bruce is the head of both technology and operations at the no. 1 bank in Canada. [Read more...]     Dehyping Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Dr. Sabine Hauert, President and Co-Founder of Robohub.org and Assistant Professor in Robotics at the University of Bristol, provided the InterConnect 2017 audience with an insightful (and interactive) discussion about robotics – highlighting the need for balanced media and communications around robotics and artificial intelligence.  As a member of the Royal Society’s Working Group on Machine Learning, Dr. Hauert is an expert in science communication and a frequent speaker on the future of robotics. In her talk, Hauert explains how robots can be game changers, but not in the way we think. [Read more...]    Watson standing strong to beat cyber bullying - Five-time Emmy winner and Grammy nominee, Wayne Brady has a strong message for online bullies, “I don’t want you as my fan.” And to millions of fellow cyberbullying victims – many of them adolescents – he says, “be yourself, no matter what anyone else says, be strong.” Brady gets bullied too [Read more...]    How cognitive solutions are transforming HR: InterConnect 2017 - With their capacity to absorb vast quantities of structured and unstructured data, cognitive solutions are creating unforeseen possibilities across every enterprise domain, including Human Resources. On Monday afternoon at InterConnect 2017, Duke Daehling talked us through the way cognitive solutions are transforming HR – from guiding staff on their next career move, to performance management, career development and learning. [Read more...]    AT&T and IBM: Analytics with Watson - Today at IBM InterConnect we learned that IBM are partnering with AT&T to support their enterprise customers IoT with data insights. This data is huge for business customers, but is only valuable with real-time meaningful insights. AT&T will be using a variety of IBM products including:  Watson IoT Platform: to build the next generation of connected industrial IoT devices and products that continuously learn from the physical world.   IBM Watson Data Platform: which is the fastest data ingestion engine combined with cognitive powered decision making. This helps uncover business insights and value from data. That data could be from the weather, the road, social media, or a customers sales data.   IBM Machine Learning Service: used by AT&T to give their customers access to machine learning.   [Read more...]    US Speedskating at InterConnect: Going for gold with smarter training - Elite sports team US Speedskating has teamed up with IBM to get smarter about how athletes train and prepare for competitions – both on and off the ice. Together with M&S Consulting, we’ve created a voice-enabled iPad app that uses real-time performance metrics and individual insights to review each athlete’s workload and shape smart training plans to boost each skater’s chance of success. You can see the solution in action at InterConnect in Las Vegas. [Read more....]    Keynote: David Kenny on cloud technologies - David Kenny, senior vice president IBM Watson and Cloud Platform is spearheading the Watson technology platform development, as well as optimizing IBM’s public cloud for data and cognitive workloads. David joins speakers from IBM, Fitly, Indiegogo and American Airlines as he explores how businesses are increasingly coming to depend on cloud – to explore artificial intelligence, security and the IoT. [Read more...]    InterConnect: Arrow Electronics and Indiegogo - Slava Rubin, Founder and Chief Business Officer, Indiegogo talks start-ups and the democratising power of the Internet at InterConnect 2017. Indiegogo is a launchpad for entrepreneurial ideas and platform where start-ups and new businesses can raise funds, start a campaign, organize marketing and promotion and use analytics to see how their campaigns are performing. Slava explains that crowdfunding of this sort has seen an explosion of activity – from products, security and activity trackers. Now, he says, Indiegogo is moving beyond funding. The company operates more as a springboard for entrepreneurs – who come initially to Indiegogo for validation and engagement funding, before they can actually make something. [Read more...]    InterConnect keynote: Harriet Green - When hype gave way to reality... When I first started running the IoT business for IBM, I spent a lot of time promoting the technology itself; persuading people of the potential of IoT with impressive statistics: 20 billion connected devices by 2020; $11 trillion in economic value by 2025. But I don’t do any of that anymore, because the Internet of Things is no longer a story of future growth. It’s a story about the here and now, and the outcomes speak for themselves. In the last eight months, IBM has seen its number of IoT clients increase from 4,000 to 6,000, and each has a compelling story to tell. Stories about overcoming business challenges, digital transformation, and, perhaps most importantly, stories about outcomes. [Read more....]     InterConnect keynote: Ginni Rometty, Watson cloud - How cloud is changing business and the world. IBM’s Chairman, President and CEO took to the InterConnect Stage to discuss how the Cloud is changing both business and society. She states that IBM’s cloud is the platform for the next era of business as it can help companies do things never done before. It enables you to make architectural decisions and determines how a company runs. She brings to light why the IBM platform is for the new era of business in three points. [Read more...]     
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Ars TechnicaReview: Windows 10 Creators Update is quite a small major update

Enlarge / The announcement of the Creators Update in October 2016.

The next big update to Windows 10 is nearly upon us: Windows 10 version 1703, known as the Creators Update, will be published to Windows Update next Patch Tuesday, on April 11th.

The final build is—probably—15063. That build is already available to insiders and should soon become available for the Windows 10 Media Creation tool, but we also know that there are going to be some patches materializing some time between now and when that happens. There's a small chance those patches will bump the build number; more likely, they will instead bump the patch number, which is currently a pristine and perfect 0 on the desktop. The mobile build has already been bumped to 15063.2 to handle an installation problem when upgrading from version 1607.

Version 1703 has been branded the "Creators Update" (without an apostrophe). Frankly, this made more sense in the context of its grand unveiling than it does now; when the Creators Update was revealed, Microsoft also introduced its new Surface Studio desktop computer, and promised that a range of affordable virtual reality headsets would be developed for Windows 10. With the Surface Studio being a machine unambiguously designed for digital artists, and with virtual reality needing a wealth of new 3D applications to truly shine, the "Creators Update" branding was an obvious nod to these new hardware form factors.

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Planet IntertwinglyOrthopedic patients recover from surgery quickly thanks to new advancements
One of the most annoying parts of any surgery is the road to recovery after it’s done and over with. Rehabilitation can be a time-consuming, painful and grueling process even with the best outlook and the priciest physical therapy. However, all of those problems are being quickly erased thanks to new technologies and techniques employed by orthopedic surgeons.   These new technologies also provide another means of relief to future patients: they can be done with more precision, more efficiency and greater speed. Once upon a time, a good surgeon might only be able to fit two or three surgeries a day into a busy schedule, but new robots used to map a patient’s anatomy allow surgeons to eliminate a lot of the work beforehand. This allows surgeons to schedule more patients each day, and that means that people don’t have to wait as long after the surgery is scheduled.   Patients who don’t require surgery can expect a better outlook as well.   Remember the days when kids were waltzing around with a rock hard cast and a hundred signatures and notes from friends? The need for one rarely exists anymore. Now, removable casts and braces perform the same function, and that’s not all. Sometimes surgery might be preferable to the annoyance forced upon patients by months in a cast. In this case, patients might find themselves on the receiving end of cutting edge stem cell treatments or similar procedures that involve transferring tissue from one area of the body to another. This might be more invasive, but it drastically reduces recovery times--and patients love that.   New physical therapy techniques help patients recover even faster. For example, Hartford Hospital offers a zero-gravity treadmill that decreases recovery time by keeping patients more mobile for longer periods of time. In addition, a new motion analysis lab ensures that the therapy does not cause any potentially permanent issues down the road, increasing the success rate of both surgery and recovery.   Part of the technique requires surgeons and doctors to better understand what caused a patient to fall ill or become injured in the first place, greatly reducing the chance of recurrence. Hartford Hospital provides the use of the new motion analysis lab to area high schools in order to study how academic athletes move in order to discover how they become prone to dangerous injuries like ACL tear, or even more minor conditions like tendonitis.   New techniques allow surgeons to wiggle around muscles and tissues instead of cutting through them, meaning that the surgeries themselves are no longer as dangerous or intrusive as they once were. Not only that, but patients experience less short-term and long-term pain, and fewer mobility issues during and after recovery. New biological techniques provide better outlooks for younger patients by extending the shelf-life of hip and knee replacements, a fact which cannot be stressed enough.   These new technologies and techniques are still improving year by year, and as they do the costs are being cut. They don’t only help athletes. They also help those involved in accidents or those subject to aging find better outcomes to common accidents or preventable conditions. This is better for everyone in the long-term, and it’s only getting better in the near future.  
Planet IntertwinglyCrazy new technologies will give people with disabilities a new life
  A number of people with debilitating diseases are rendered nearly immobile and have trouble going about their daily routine without the aid of a wheelchair or crutches, and this can prove catastrophic for self-esteem and self-image, especially for kids. New technology is changing that outlook very fast. The same goes for those who suffer from autism spectrum disorder or are born deaf.   Wearable exoskeletons have been in development for years in Silicon Valley, California and abroad, and they’re getting better and better.   One company based in Quebec, Canada hopes to deliver this life-changing tech to residents of Canadian provinces as soon as January, and they’re on track to make good on their lofty goal. The mechanical exoskeleton specifically targets those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular illnesses that prevent patients from achieving a full range of motion needed for normal day-to-day activities. Even those who can live completely normal lives outside of needing crutches stand to benefit.   The biggest hurdle right now is cost. Because the technology is so fresh, it runs at about 50,000 Canadian dollars and hasn’t been fully accepted by insurance providers.   Here’s more food for thought: this same technology has military and industrial applications as well. Similar exoskeleton technology allows humans to lift many times their own weight. In the military, this would allow troops to cover much larger distances on foot while carrying more than they can conceive of doing right now. In factories, individuals could hope to accomplish tasks that only robots can perform right now, allowing companies to eliminate some less “dexterous” machines altogether.   Personal applications might exist as well. Chopping wood or performing any other task that requires enormous strength and stamina might suddenly get a lot simpler. If the technology becomes widely used, then the price will be much reduced and those using it to eliminate the restrictions of a disability will feel less pressure and stigma.   The ridiculously fast expansion of machine learning and artificial intelligence might soon provide alternatives to the traditional use of closed captions that allow deaf TV viewers to know more about what is going on while they watch. For years, the captions were painstakingly transcribed by hand, and could prove painfully inaccurate when rendered on the TV screen.   Now, speech-to-text technology uses machine learning to do the exact same thing automatically. Yet another job nixed by automation. The technology is not yet perfect, but earlier this week new algorithms were implemented by YouTube that allow it to provide closed captions that show applause, music, and a number of other sounds. Without this technology, deaf and hard-of-hearing folk would find it impossible to enjoy the immense selection of YouTube videos now available.   The same technology has other, creepier applications as well. For instance, Facebook used similar technology when it rolled out a feature that automatically provided textual descriptions of images uploaded to the website last year. That same machine learning is used by Google and other search engine giants to allow users to upload photos to receive similar results as they would from simply entering a text description in the search bar.   Not only do these rapidly expanding new technologies make you wonder what is just around the corner, but it makes you consider whether or not disability and disease might very soon be a thing of fiction. Will these one day become relics of a distant past, only to be read about in history textbooks? Maybe, but for now we’re just glad the new technology is helping people.  
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Planet IntertwinglyAllison Miller on making security better and easier for everyone
The O’Reilly Security Podcast: Focusing on defense, making security better for everyone, and how it takes a village.In this episode, I talk with Allison Miller, product manager for secure browsing at Google and my co-host of the O’Reilly Security conference, which is returning to New York City this fall. We discuss the importance of having an event focused solely on defense, what we’re looking forward to this year, and some notable ideas and topics from the call for proposals.Continue reading Allison Miller on making security better and easier for everyone.
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Planet IntertwinglyWhat is JWT?
This post explains what JWT is, without getting into technical details you don’t need to know. Intention of the post is to dispel some harmful misconceptions. In short, JWT is just a piece of data signed by someone. It doesn’t do much as-is but it’s a key building block useful in many applications. What JWT Looks Like eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJzdWIiOiIxMjM0NTY3ODkwIiwibmFtZSI6IkpvaG4gRG9lIiwiYWRtaW4iOnRydWV9.TJVA95OrM7E2cBab30RMHrHDcEfxjoYZgeFONFh7HgQ If you look carefully, it’s basically three gibberish text separated by a period. Th role each part plays are: Header.Payload.Signature They look gibberish because they are encoded. Important part is the payload. Rest is there to describe (header) and protect (signature) the payload. What Each Part Does Header primarily describes (using JSON) how the Payload was signed so the Signature can be verified. { "alg": "HS256", "typ": "JWT" } Payload is a collection of name-value pairs presented as JSON like this: { "sub": "1234567890", "name": "John Doe", "admin": true } Signature protects both the Header and the Payload so that neither can be changed without detection. Key Points About JWT JWT doesn’t say anything meaningful about its sender, recipient nor signer as-is. JWT is not encrypted as-is. This is not to say JWT can’t but they have to be added. Allow me to go into a bit more detail on each points. JWT doesn’t say anything meaningful about its sender, recipient nor signer as-is. JWT typically includes some info on its signer so the signature can be verified but that only proves it was signed by someone who can prove they signed it. Unless the signer is known that is. How one know calls for relationship and/or infrastructure. Same goes for sender and recipient. To verify sender or recipient, more has to be built-on top of JWT. JWT is not encrypted as-is. JWT is typically sent unencrypted over a secure channel of communication to a recipient but it may even be printed plainly using QR-code in newspapers. If you need to protect the token, encrypt it whole in  way that only the recipient can decrypt it. If only part of the payload needs to be protected, then encrypt just the value.Filed under: Technical
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Ars TechnicaHow teachers see the classroom redefined by the cloud

Enlarge / 6th Grade Teacher Helping Student at Computer, Wellsville, New York, USA. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images) (credit: Getty Images)

The Library of Alexandria was one of the most important libraries of the ancient world. Its vast number of scrolls, collections of works, lecture halls, and meeting rooms were a boon to education. In many ways, the cloud has the potential to have just as revolutionary an effect as the Library of Alexandria—it can liberate education, enabling teachers to be innovative and spontaneous.

Teachers are incorporating cloud tools and content into instruction in ways that change how they interact with students both in and outside the classroom. They are no longer limited to face-to-face instruction or constricted by class schedules. Instead, teachers are using both tools that are imposed by administrators and more ad-hoc resources. For example, algebra teachers can spend more time troubleshooting individual students' problems by using content like Khan Academy to cover the core material. In other cases, Khan Academy can be used as additional support material.

Mark Miazga, an English and Language Arts teacher at Baltimore City College High School, is an example of a teacher who's taking the more ad-hoc approach. Miazga, who also mentors new teachers and writes curriculum for Baltimore City Public Schools, was featured with his English I class in the documentary Experiencing Shakespeare, produced by the Folger Shakespeare Library. Miazga regularly uses Folger’s resources, including Hamnet, Folger’s online catalog plays by Shakespeare and other eminent playwrights, and an image repository called Luna.

However, Miazga said the largest role that the cloud has played in his teaching has been in shaping his students’ writing process. “Most essays in our classes are turned in electronically via Google Docs,” he explained. “Students share their essays with a peer or their teacher, and we offer live comments. The student can then resolve the comment and make the changes.”

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Planet IntertwinglyIBM TRIRIGA UK User Group Community and Upcoming Spring 2017 Meeting!
The next TRIRIGA UK & Ireland User Group meeting is coming up!   Tuesday 9th May 2017...put the date in your diaries with an agenda to follow!   Once again it will be at IBM Southbank (although the User Group Committee is hoping to spread their wings for the autumn meeting)   In a big step forward, we will be joining up with our colleagues at the Maximo User Group for the keynote address. Bringing the two groups together will allow to share a high-profile keynote speaker, and then break out into own sessions for both TRIRIGA and Maximo. Of course, you then have a great opportunity to mingle with the Maximo delegates over coffee and lunch.   So, are you a TRIRIGA user or partner in the UK and not a member of the IBM TRIRIGA UK User Group Community yet?   It's easy to join this great community here: https://www.imwuc.org/p/cm/ld/fid=1026&gid=1123   Some of the benefits to joining the IBM TRIRIGA UK User Group:     Access to the latest product information from IBM     Face-to-face user group meetings     Networking with like-minded professionals   The User Group committee will be trying something fresh ,namely one break out stream will be a Q&A around WebSphere. Designed more for technical support staff, this will be a chance to meet an expert and raise your questions in an informal environment.   There will be a newsletter send out soon, so why not register now at the above link and hear all about it with further details in the newsletter. We hope you will join this great community and hope to see you at the meeting in Southbank on the 9th May!    
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Planet IntertwinglyHow to create a TRIRIGA Classification?
Hello!,   My name is Edgar Mengelberg and I have been working with the Maximo and TPAE product suite in various Support roles for over 16 years. Recently I made the jump over to the WW TRIRIGA L2 support team and currently going through a steep learning curve, that's for sure! As TRIRIGA is also new territory for a lot of you out there and I have already received various queries around Classifications , let's have a brief look how you properly create a new TRIRIGA Classification.   The correct sequence of creating a new classification is as follows:   1. Create a new BO within the Classification module, and add other fields, if needed. 2. Set up Publish Name (BO Mapping). Tip: For classifications, you use the Name field as the lone field in the Publish Name to prevent entering duplicate classification entries. The Name field is in the Record Information section when you click Find in the BO Mapping tool. 3. Save the BO. 4. Create an association between new BO and itself by using Is Parent Of. This action creates an Include. Note: Create this association from within the Data Modeler, not within the Association Manager. Also, when creating Includes, ensure sure that the Parent BO is in the Revision in Progress state before you create the association. Otherwise, the Include is not created properly. 5. Publish the BO. 6. Revise the Classification BO. 7. Create an association between the classification BO and the new BO that was created in Step 1 using Is Parent Of. This action creates an Include. 8. Publish the Classification BO. 9. Copy the triClassification Form and assign the new Form to the BO that was created in Step 1. Add at least the Name field to the form. 10. Change the Label of the new form to match the label of the new BO. 11. In State Family, click Find to import the other states and transitions. 12. In the Includes/Forms tab, add the newly created form to the Includes list. (Add it to itself.) 13. Publish the form. 14. Revise the triClassification form. 15. In the Includes/Forms tab, add the newly created form to the Includes list. 16. Publish the triClassification form. If you find this How To blog useful , please click the "Like" button to show your appreciation and follow me here --> Follow me and my blogs on DevWorks here! -Edgar