OnlySoftwareBlog General discussion, news & views about Software Fri, 03 Jul 2015 06:06:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ford recalls 433K cars because of software problem Fri, 03 Jul 2015 06:06:50 +0000 Amrinder Ford is recalling 433,000 cars and SUVs with engines that keep running even with the vehicles shut off. As with many recalls, you can blame this one on computerized gadgetry gone awry.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) announced a recall comprising 432,000 vehicles as the body control module software in cars was found to have a flaw. The issue could also happen after the driver presses the Engine Start/Stop button.

Ford says that it is not aware of any injuries or accidents related to this issue.

Affected vehicles include certain 2015 Focus, certain 2015 C-MAX, and certain 2015 Escape vehicles. The Focus vehicles were made in Michigan as far back as June 2014, while the C-Maxes were made in Michigan starting in April 2014 and the Escapes were built in Louisville starting in April 2014.

Customers can get body control module software replaced at dealers for no cost, Ford said.

Most of the vehicles are in the USA (374,781), with 52,180 in Canada and 5,135 in Mexico.

Ford has recalled several vehicles including the Focus and Escape for potential engine defects.


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Esko donates packaging software to GIPT Fri, 03 Jul 2015 06:06:19 +0000 Amrinder Esko, long known for its steadfast commitment to education, has installed a set of packaging software at the Government Institute of Printing Technology (GIPT) in Mumbai. Esko signed a MOU with GIPT and equipped them with these packaging prepress software licenses, free of cost.
Recognising the need of having trained packaging specialists in India, the packaging and printing pre-media solutions provider furbished the institute with 15 software licenses of ArtiosCAD 3D modeling and structural design tools, DeskPack and flexo tools.

Esko also conducted a special training program in GIPT’s prepress classroom, for the students to equip them with the modelling and layout tools. Subsequent to the seven-day training program conducted by Esko’s application engineer Prashant Kamat, it also organised a follow-up session for prepress essentials and flexo tools.

Dr Hemant Taskar, GIPT’s principal, is delighted with Esko’s effort in supporting education in India. “We are extremely grateful to Esko for showing confidence in our Institute and particularly to Esko’s team members for their overwhelming support,” said Taskar.

By providing knowledge and hands-on training, Esko is creating a resource for the industry and encouraging talent to look at the opportunities in the packaging sector. Srihari Rao, Esko’s sales director for India said, “Our agreement with the GIPT is a necessary part of our ongoing assistance to educational and training institutions.”

Rao assured the institute for any help it might need and for any software upgrades that are part of the agreement.

Briefing the students with the advantages of the training, a member of the GIPT faculty, Sameer Deshpande said, “By providing this high-level training, we have significantly reduced the training time students take in packaging companies. Hence, they are much more suitable and equipped with the knowledge of Esko software for placements and jobs especially in folding carton, flexo and gravure industry.”

The big daddies of the packaging printing segment such as Essel Propack, Huhtamaki PPL and Parksons Packaging have appreciated Esko’s effort in honing the emerging Indian talents. Students too are interested and enthusiastic in learning this software.


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Short Interest in Cyberark Software Increases By 48.5% (CYBR) Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:40:09 +0000 Amrinder Cyberark Software (NASDAQ:CYBR) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in the month of June. As of June 15th, there was short interest totalling 3,482,379 shares, a growth of 48.5% from the May 29th total of 2,344,926 shares, reports. Based on an average daily volume of 3,205,419 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.1 days. Currently, 16.8% of the shares of the company are sold short.

Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Vetr upgraded shares of Cyberark Software from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $53.88 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday. Analysts at Bank of America reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 price target (up previously from $70.00) on shares of Cyberark Software in a research note on Thursday, June 18th. Analysts at Imperial Capital raised their price target on shares of Cyberark Software from $48.00 to $57.00 and gave the company a “line” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 19th. Analysts at Zacks upgraded shares of Cyberark Software from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, May 15th. Finally, analysts at Nomura set a $50.00 price target on shares of Cyberark Software and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, May 8th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. Cyberark Software presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $59.32.

Cyberark Software (NASDAQ:CYBR) opened at 60.38 on Friday. Cyberark Software has a 52 week low of $22.12 and a 52 week high of $76.35. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $65.49 and its 200-day moving average is $54.47. The company has a market cap of $1.79 billion and a P/E ratio of 133.29.

Cyberark Software (NASDAQ:CYBR) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 7th. The company reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.05 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $32.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $26.70 million. Cyberark Software’s revenue was up 89.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Cyberark Software will post $0.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Cyberark Software Ltd is an Israel-based security company. The Company’s provides information technology security solutions that protect organizations from cyber attacks. The Company’s products include CyberArk Shared Technology Platform, Privileged Account Security Solution and Sensitive Information Management Solution. It offers Privileged Account Security Solution, a solution to protect, monitor, detect, alert, and respond to privileged accounts. The company also provides Enterprise Class Integration for devices, networks, applications, and servers. It’s CyberArk Privileged Session Manager that isolates, controls, and monitors privileged user access and activities. It’s CyberArk Sensitive Information Management Solution, a platform for sharing and distributing information to users across systems using Web, desktop, mobile, and email.


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Ford recalls 433,000 cars: Software bug breaks engine off-switch Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:38:40 +0000 Amrinder Ford is recalling 433,000 of its cars as they suffer from a software bug that could prevent drivers from turning off their engines.

The affected models include some 2015 Focus, C-MAX, and Escape vehicles. If you’re unlucky, turning the ignition key to the off position and removing the key, or pressing the engine stop button, will not actually stop the engine, which will keep running thanks to a flaw in the body control module software.

In a statement handed out on Thursday, Ford said:

Ford Motor Company is issuing a safety compliance recall for approximately 433,000 vehicles in North America, including certain 2015 Focus, C-MAX and Escape vehicles, for an issue with the body control module. In these vehicles, it could be possible for the engine to continue to run after turning the ignition key to the “off” position and removing the key, or after pressing the Engine Start/Stop button. This is a compliance issue with FMVSS 114 regarding theft protection and rollaway prevention.

According to Ford, these are the vulnerable rides:

Certain 2015 Focus vehicles built at the Michigan Assembly Plant from June 17, 2014 through June 12, 2015.

Certain 2015 C-MAX vehicles built at the Michigan Assembly Plant from April 22, 2014 through June 12, 2015.

Certain 2015 Escape vehicles built at the Louisville Assembly Plant from April 1, 2014 through June 12, 2015.

Of the at-risk motors, 374,781 are in the US, 52,180 in Canada, and 5,135 in Mexico. Owners should take their cars to their nearest dealer for a bug patch at no extra cost, we’re told. Ford last hit the headlines when it revealed a gizmo to limit the car’s speed depending on approaching traffic signs. There is no suggestion that waving a stop or one-way sign at your motor will fix this particular software bug.


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Payment-by-selfie is nearly a reality Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:37:44 +0000 Amrinder Shoppers will soon be able to pay for purchases by taking a selfie.

Facial recognition software is expected to be ready by the end of the year to link your MasterCard account to the image of your face — so all you have to do at the register is snap a photo of your face and off you go.

The technology, which the credit card company announced on Thursday, is more secure than the passwords now used to prove one’s ID — and you won’t ever forget your face at home when you go shopping.

The biometric system, called ID Check, created by MasterCard in partnership with Google, Apple and Samsung, will digitize your face into a series of zeroes and ones, convert that image into a hash and compare it to the hash stored on MasterCard’s servers, the company said.

Users will employ an app on their smartphones. The app will utilize a fingerprint or the facial biometrics — activated by staring into the smartphone and blinking once. The blink is used to prevent someone from simply holding up a picture of you to spoof the system.

For those who don’t want images of their face circulating around MasterCard’s servers, don’t worry, the company said.

The credit card company won’t be able to re-create your face from the data on their servers, ensuring you keep the image of your face to yourself, Ajay Bhalla, MasterCard’s president for enterprise safety and security, told CNN Money, which first reported on the MasterCard tech move.

People who are into selfies — and who isn’t these days? — may opt for ID Check instead of a password, Bhalla predicts.

MasterCard hopes to begin a test with 500 cardholders soon, with plans to take it worldwide next year.

ID Check can be used for either online purchases or those made in brick-and-mortar stores.

The company said Thursday that it is close to inking deals with two major still-unidentified banks.


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Blue Insurance to create 100 jobs in Dublin Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:37:04 +0000 Amrinder Blue Insurance is to create 100 jobs over the next 18 – 24 months as part of the company’s expansion into the personal lines and international insurance market.

The company will be employing staff across the areas of customer services, IT development, junior management and administration in their Dublin office, increasing staff numbers from 45 to 145.

“These new jobs will help our existing business, our new unique personal lines products and will drive further International expansion in the UK, Australian, UAE and US Markets,” Blue Insurance managing director Ciaran Mulligan said.

Tánaiste Joan Burton said Blue Insurance is an indigenous company that is competing and winning in the most competitive and sophisticated online insurance market globally, the UK.

“It is a young company that rewards its employees for imaginative thinking. It has shown its ability to be innovative, and to respond rapidly to changing market needs,” she said.

Founded in 2003, Blue Insurance has 160,000 Irish customers and more than 200,000 UK customers across its 14 brands including,, and The company specialises in niche insurance products such as travel, gadget, pet, wedding and bicycle insurance.

It was named one of Ireland’s “best managed companies” by Deloitte for the past three years running.

Meanwhile, US financial software firm ProSeeder Technologies yesterday announced the establishment of its first European subsidiary office in Dublin.

The company will create 15 jobs over three years, in the areas of software development, sales and business development at its Dublin technology centre.

Proseeder Technologies chief executive Ken Gatz said the company has become a global bridge between the US and EU seed and venture investment communities.

“Our Dublin office will bring further collaboration between investment organisations and growing companies,” he said.

He said Ireland’s availability of talent and the ease of access to the EU were key factors in the company’s decision to locate its European operation in Dublin.


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Cameron Bowen merges digital tools and traditional tailoring with Parametric Tape Measure Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:36:17 +0000 Amrinder Royal College of Art graduate Cameron Bowen has developed a tape measure that enables tailors to generate digital fabric patterns while retaining the intimacy of the fitting process.

Bowen created the Parametric Tape Measure while studying on the RCA’s Design Products course as part of an investigation into the intersection of fashion and technology.

“I really wanted to investigate the dialogue between digital fabrication and traditional craftsmanship,” Bowen told Dezeen.

His aim was to maintain the relationship between the tailor and customer while being measured for a suit, but bring the process up to date using digital technology for better efficiency.

“I took a trip to Paris and was measured for a pair of trousers in the basement of a tailoring shop by two Iranian refugees,” Bowen said. “It was really weird but really nice and one of the strangest things – the sort of moment that I wanted to capture in this project.”

Instead of using a technique like 3D scanning – which could be used to capture all of the body measurements without any physical interaction – the tape measure allows the tailor to work in the manner they are accustomed to.

However, the user doesn’t have to pause to write down each number, as the device wirelessly sends the measurements to parametric modelling software – a type of computer program that alters shapes in response to changing numerical values. This software then builds the shape of the pattern bit by bit.

“I’ve created an interaction that allows for tailors to take customer measurements and simultaneously have those measurements translated as patterns in front of the customer,” said Bowen.

The device incorporates a sensor that counts the rotations of the tape as it is pulled away from its source, and translates the figures into linear distances. The measurements have to be taken in a specific order, similar to how they are obtained in standard tailoring practices.

The distances are then translated by an algorithm that draws the patterns within a computer aided design (CAD) environment, which can be displayed on a screen while the process takes place.

Once the patterns are generated, they can be printed out to the correct scale and laid on the fabric to be cut around.

A variety of different technologies are being proposed and utilised to create customised clothing and accessories, including 3D scanning to produce bespoke dresses and augmented modelling tools for designing wearable 3D-printed pieces.

However, Bowen believes that these high-tech processes pose a threat to centuries-old tailoring traditions and the human interaction that comes with them.

“This level of intimacy becomes endangered as technology progresses,” he said. Similar tools that link digital modelling and traditional craft include Unfold’s set of instruments that measure physical objects and transfer the dimensions to a digital model.

The Parametric Tape Measure is on display at the Show RCA graduate exhibition in London until 5 July, along with a “power glove” for carving hard materials by hand and a tactile interface for navigating CAD environments.


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Maharashtra CM Seeks Microsoft Support for Smart City Project Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:34:15 +0000 Amrinder Terming his meeting with India-born Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as “very productive” and “insightful”, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said the software giant will extend support for a digital village and smart city in the state.

Fadnavis, who is on a week-long visit to the US, met Nadella in Seattle yesterday.

He tweeted a picture of him with the Microsoft CEO and said “Had a very productive meeting and insightful discussion with @Microsoft CEO @satyanadella at Microsoft in Seattle”.

He said Microsoft has agreed for a “Digital Village” and for technology support to provide health care services in remote tribal areas in Maharashtra, with a pilot programme to come up at Melghat in Amravati district.

The technology major also agreed to develop a smart city, similar to the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and will set up a cyber security centre at Pune, Fadnavis said in his tweet.

He also met Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Raymond Conner and “discussed expansion of operations at MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) plant in Mihan, Nagpur.

He spoke on Maharashtra’s initiatives for expansion of aviation infrastructure and future requirements of aeroplanes, according to a tweet by his office.

“@Boeing agreed to take hard look at Nagpur MRO for greater direct expansion and also to steer training initiatives in Nagpur & Maharashtra,” he tweeted.

Fadnavis also met Joe Minarik of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and briefed him about the state’s new IT policy.

Amazon has shown keen interest in further dialogue for evaluating sites for India AWS Region and also for new investments.

“@Dev_Fadnavis assured all the help and necessary support if the company decides to begin its AWS operations in Maharashtra,” his office tweeted.

The Maharashtra Chief Minister arrived in the US on June 29, holding meetings and discussions with business executives and community members in New York, New Jersey, and Detroit where he visited the General Motors and Chrysler headquarters and addressed the Maharashtra Trade Development Conference.

He then flew to San Francisco and will visit Los Angeles.

Accompanied by Industry Minister Subhash Desai and other state cabinet ministers, he met senior executives from Google, Cisco and Apple and also signed agreements for various collaborative projects with the companies.

He also tweeted that an MoU has been signed between the Maharashtra government and Cisco to make Nagpur a smart city.

Another agreement has been signed between the state government and multinational Blackstone and Panchshil Joint Venture for three different projects.

“Blackstone to invest Rs 750 crore in EON Free Zone SEZ, Rs 1,200 crore in Hinjewadi Phase-3, Rs 1,500 crore in IT park in Central Mumbai & Rs 1,050 crore in other IT park (Mumbai),” he tweeted.

Beverage giant Coca Cola also announced Rs 500 crore investment in Chiplun MIDC.


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Progress Software Trading 5.8% Higher on Better-Than-Expected Earnings (PRGS) Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:32:57 +0000 Amrinder Shares of Progress Software (NASDAQ:PRGS) traded up 5.8% on Thursday following a stronger than expected earnings report, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The stock traded as high as $30.20 and last traded at $29.78, with a volume of 802,072 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $28.15.

The company reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.32 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $100.90 million for the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.37 earnings per share. Progress Software’s revenue was up 24.9% compared to the same quarter last year.

PRGS has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Analysts at TheStreet upgraded shares of Progress Software from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Analysts at Raymond James upgraded shares of Progress Software from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday. Analysts at Benchmark Co. raised their price target on shares of Progress Software from $29.00 to $33.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday. Analysts at Sidoti initiated coverage on shares of Progress Software in a research note on Tuesday, June 23rd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $30.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at Zacks downgraded shares of Progress Software from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 2nd. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $28.33.

In other Progress Software news, SVP John Goodson sold 13,504 shares of Progress Software stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.18, for a total value of $353,534.72. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $27.40 and a 200-day moving average of $26.64. The company has a market cap of $1.51 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.79.

Progress Software Corporation is a global software company that simplifies the development, deployment and management of business applications. The Company’s products provide leading solutions for rapid application development, broad data integration and efficient data analysis. The Company’s products are sold as perpetual licenses, but certain products and business activities also use term licensing models and its new Progress Pacific platform offering uses a subscription based model. More than half of its worldwide license revenue is realized through relationships with indirect channel partners, principally application partners and original equipment manufacturers (NASDAQ:PRGS). Application partners are independent software vendors that develop and market applications using its technology and resell its products in conjunction with sales of their own products that incorporate its technology. OEMs are companies that embed the Company’s products into their own software products or devices.


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NexGen releases goodies for next-gen software package Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:30:29 +0000 Amrinder Reinvigorated hybrid array startup NexGen is pushing out quality-of-service (QoS) goodies for vCentre and VMware VMs, saying it will cut the need for vMotioning VMs from one server to another when performance slows.

It comes with v3.5 of NexGen’s ioControl software, which marketing veep Chris McCall said: “Takes our user interface and spools it into vCenter,” as a plug-in. NexGen claims it is the industry’s first and only VM-level QoS designed for VMware Virtual Volumes and PCIe flash.

NexGen makes a hybrid flash/disk array, using up to 4 SanDisk PX PCIe flash card products along with 7.2K disk drives. It currently supports iSCSI access, with Fibre Channel being looked at by NexGen engineers. It’s also looking at adding support for containers and will upgrade to NVMe as components come through the supply chain. The NexGen controller has two x86 processors, which will be interconnected by NVME in the future.

Its QoS is based on all data landing in flash first and then a decision is made about what to move down to disk.

The QoS is set per LUN (logical disk volume), VM or VVOL, with two levels of granularity. In total there are five performance policies with three basic service levels; mission-critical, business-critical and non-critical.

QoS can promote disk data to flash cache on the basis of a mission-critical data cache-miss. It promotes desired data, and the data round it, to flash, for faster service.

There is a Prioritised Active Cache (PAC) in DRAM. A VM’s active data set is in PCIe flash and DRAM with inactive (less-active) data on disk. Read-ahead is integrated with QoS and works on a sub-volume level, with 1MB chunks of data.

The highest-priority data is stored in PAC. The QoS settings affect how much data is read ahead of use and stored in the cache – a process called warming. Mission-critical data has the most aggressive warming policy, with business-critical data next. There us no warming for non-critical data.

The v3.5 software supports vCenter Server 6 and provides performance service levels to VMs, delivering VM data path control on a per I/O basis, improving infrastructure utilisation and scale. ESC testing supports the claim that it can increase server VM workload.

Mark Peters, practice director and senior analyst for the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) stated: “By simply knowing what data needs to be in flash and what data doesn’t, our testing shows NexGen’s ability to handle a 23 per cent greater workload.“

That a VM’s QoS can be modified, Peters said, “without the need for storage… is impressive and provides the ability to speed-up or slow down VMs in real time”. Change occurs in seconds to minutes and, NexGen says, there is no impact on other workloads.

NexGen’s QoS framework applies primarily to performance today, with some data protection through scheduled snapshots. NexGen has ambitions to extend it to data placement. Also NexGen says it is ready for coming NVMe flash devices.

NexGen is looking to an all-flash future, with McCall saying: “Flash on PCIe is our design centre – We are absolutely committed to an all-flash array and believe in multi-tiered media… TLC, PCM [and] ULLtraDIMM are technologies we’re looking at in the lab.”

He said NexGen is “waiting for switched PCIe fabric technology to give us means to scale-out without [any] latency hit from networking as we have today.”

NexGen aims to catch up with the three hybrid array startups – Nimble Data, Tegile and Tintri – by provider faster supports for NVMe, moving into tiered all-flash systems when practical, better QoS for more efficient array operation, and fast and deep integration with VMware VVOLs etc. and containers.

It’s run by execs in a hurry to prove that the SanDisk sojourn and exit has unfettered them and now they will be able to run fast and free.


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Army Launches Software to Digitise Data on Soldiers Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:29:47 +0000 Amrinder In a bid to digitise service records of over 12 lakh Army soldiers, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday launched new automation software ARPAN 3.0. The software would also provide easy access to pay, leave, transfer and posting details of the personnel and could be accessed both by the units as well as individuals.

The rollout of ARPAN 3.0 – its full name is Army Record Office Process Automation 3.0 – coincides with the National Digital India Week launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

As per the plan, the Indian Army targets digitisation of its 45 Record Offices (ROs) across the country in a year’s time. It has already been test-bedded at seven ROs and would now be implemented in five more.

The software would allow soldiers, including junior commissioned officers, to access their service records at the unit level itself through Army’s intranet facility, using an assigned login ID and password. The service records of all Army officers have already been digitised.

“I hope in a year’s time, we will be perfectly on the website,” Parrikar said, at the launch attended by Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag and senior Defence Ministry and Army officials.

“The launch of ARPAN 3.0 will not only digitise the 45 ROs, but will also seamlessly integrate it with the Human Resources Management (HRM 2.0) system,” Gen Suhag said.

The new software is user-friendly and could be accessed both by the units as well as individual, he said.

ARPAN 3.0 was developed jointly by the Army Software Development Centre and Tech Mahindra, using state-of-the-art web-based technology.


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Google throws open DeepDream software to create bizarre images Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:28:23 +0000 Amrinder You can now make your own neural network-inspired images, as weird and creative as you like, using Google’s DeepDream software available on its blogspot.

Two weeks ago, the company had released the product of its experiment in bizarre computer-generated images. It has now made the software available to public.

Submit an image and choose which layers in the network to enhance, how many iterations to apply and how far to zoom in, or just plug in different pre-trained networks, says Google.

The results can be psychedelic, out-of-this-world with ‘dog fishes’, multi-hued cats, ‘pig snails’, knight built of dogs and strange, colourful cities — much like the strange worlds of human dreams.

Besides aiding the artist, the software is intended to help understand how neural networks work – classify, improve network architecture and learn.

The software is based on a code used for image and pattern recognition aimed at making the computers think like humans. In the latest application, it looks for such patterns and enhances the image to make it look more like that pattern and repeats the process.

Over the course of multiple iterations, everyday photos would turn abstract, weird and even grotesque.

Animals and rainbow colouring are hot favourites of the software.

The computers usually work in a series of steps, wherein the image runs through layers and each layer picks on one aspect of the image and enhances it in steps– like edges, what they look like, bringing in those bits together to build the image.

In a slight change to the process, Google provided the final image and asked the computer to spot it in unrelated images.

The artificial networks proved equal to the task by generating the images, seeing things in pictures that aren’t really there. They were next trained to amplify and over-interpret images in a series of iterations.

“It’ll be interesting to see what imagery people are able to generate,” wrote the Google engineers in the post introducing the tool. “If you post images to Google+, Facebook, or Twitter, be sure to tag them with #deepdream so other researchers can check them out too.”


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Greece crisis not to hurt software exports: Export body Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:27:44 +0000 Amrinder The default crisis of Greece will have marginal impact on software exports, an export promotion council official said on Thursday. “Though, export to Eurozone market is 29 percent of total export, but excluding UK the exports will be hardly 11 percent.

So, the Greece crisis will have nil or marginal impact,” Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) Chairman Saumen Chakraborty said.

“However, we want that the crisis should get resolved soon,” he said. ESC Committee Member S Radhakrishnan said India’s software export will be USD 109 billion for 2015-16 as against USD 97 billion in the last fiscal.

Chakraborty said the Digital India drive, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, and the smart city projects will have profound impact on the Information and Communications Technology sector inluding in exports of heardware and solutions.

“Once these projects roll out in India, we will be geared to export the solutions to emerging markets of the world,” he said. Speaking about growth of exports of software from West Bengal which accounts for two percent of national exports, Chakraborty said, “We would require to build the eco-system toward developing the intellectual property through IT entrepreneurship.


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Microsoft’s Worldwide Telescope astronomy software is now an open-source project Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:26:44 +0000 Amrinder Microsoft has boosted its open-source credentials by making the code for its Worldwide Telescope (WWT) software available on GitHub for anyone to use.

Microsoft first revealed plans to make WWT freely available under the MIT license back in January, and six months on it is now officially an independent project, as part of the .NET Foundation, a forum established on the back of Microsoft’s software framework that went open source last year.

Open-sourcing the software effectively lets anyone adapt and expand WWT for use in other projects.

For the uninitiated, WWT launched initially in 2007 as a research project, with Microsoft teaming up with universities and other academic institutions including NASA’s Caltech. In a nutshell, WWT is designed to give a “unified contextual visualization of the universe,” as the computing giant puts it. The software contains five main modes — Earth, Sky, Planets, Panoramas, and Solar System — and can be used by anyone to search outer space and focus in on any area.

“We believe that extensions and improvements to the software will continuously enhance formal and informal learning and astronomical research,” explained Microsoft. “Making the code available will also help ensure that the data, protocols and techniques used are also available for others to inspect, use, adapt and improve upon in their own applications.”

The open-source agenda has received a huge boost from the big tech firms of late, besides Microsoft’s own efforts, which include open-sourcing .NET and acquiring Revolution Analytics, a provider of commercial services for open-source programming language R. Indeed, just yesterday news emerged that Google was open-sourcing its software for making trippy images using deep learning.


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FTC Settles Charges with App Maker Wed, 01 Jul 2015 07:54:59 +0000 Amrinder An Ohio maker of smartphone apps has agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New Jersey attorney general that it lured consumers into downloading a rewards app that turned out to be malicious.

The company, whose app is called Prized, had promised consumers the app would be free of malware. But in fact, the main purpose of the app was to load the consumers’ mobile phones with malicious software to mine virtual currencies for the developer.

The defendants, Equiliv Investments and Ryan Ramminger, began making the Prized app around February 2014 in outlets including the Google Play Store and Amazon App Store. According to the FTC, thousands of consumers downloaded the app under the impression that they could earn points for playing games or downloading affiliated apps and then spend those points on rewards such as clothes, gift cards and other items. Consumers were also promised that the app would not contain malware or viruses.

What consumers got instead, was an app that contained malware that took control of the device’s computing resources to mine for virtual currencies including DogeCoin, LiteCoin and QuarkCoin, according to the complaint.

Exploiting Hardware

How did they do it? According to the FTC, virtual currencies are created by solving complex mathematical equations, and the malicious app attempted to harness the power of many users’ devices to solve the equations more quickly, thus generating virtual currency. The use of that power also caused the devices’ batteries to drain faster and recharge more slowly, and to burn through consumers’ monthly data plans.

The defendants agreed to a settlement that will permanently ban them from creating and distributing malicious software. “Hijacking consumers’ mobile devices with malware to mine virtual currency isn’t just deplorable; it’s also illegal,” stated Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The complaint also alleged that the defendants violated both the FTC Act and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. In addition to the ban on creating and distributing malicious software, the court order also requires the defendants to destroy any information about consumers that they collected via the distribution of the app.

Trojan Horse

The FTC and the New Jersey attorney general filed the complaint and order in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The settlement also includes a $50,000 monetary judgment against the defendants payable to the state of New Jersey.

The FTC said the case is part of its ongoing work to protect consumers taking advantage of new and emerging financial technology. As new technology increases the number of consumers who can store, share, and spend money, the FTC said it’s working to keep consumers protected while encouraging innovation.

“Consumers downloaded this app thinking that at the very worst it would not be as useful or entertaining as advertised,” said acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman. “Instead, the app allegedly turned out to be a Trojan horse for intrusive, invasive malware.”


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AOL to take over Microsoft’s display ad business Wed, 01 Jul 2015 07:54:23 +0000 Amrinder Microsoft Corp. is getting out of Web display advertising, with AOL Inc. taking over the business and letting the software maker focus on mobile and cloud computing.

AOL will use Microsoft’s Bing Internet search engine instead of Google Inc. as part of the 10-year deal, the companies said in a statement Monday. Microsoft also said it’s expanding an ad partnership with AppNexus Inc., an online marketing company.

AOL will hire about 1,200 Microsoft workers in display ad sales, marketing and engineering, according to Gerasimos Manolatos, a spokesman for AOL. AppNexus will take other Microsoft employees. Some remaining employees will be offered other jobs at Microsoft, said a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because specific details of the deal haven’t been announced.

Microsoft is shedding the business, which focuses on graphic ads such as banners and videos, as Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella works to sharpen focus on three key areas: personal computing, cloud platforms and business productivity. Since becoming CEO early last year, Nadella has been streamlining the workforce, acquiring mobile and cloud software makers, and paring units not central to his strategy.

Separately, Microsoft said Monday that it’s selling part of the Bing maps unit to car-booking company Uber Technologies Inc. As part of that deal, Uber will offer jobs to about 100 Microsoft employees.
Display ads

Financial terms of the deals weren’t immediately known. Microsoft unveiled a plan a year ago to eliminate as many 18,000 jobs, the largest round of cuts in its history as Mr. Nadella overhauls the software maker.

Peter Wootton, a spokesman for Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, declined to comment on the workforce impact of the deal.

The deal with AOL marks the end of a years-long, multibillion-dollar effort by Microsoft to profit from the display advertising market with its own unit. The company spent $6.3 billion in 2007 to buy AQuantive Inc. to build the business weeks after Google Inc. moved into the market with the purchase of DoubleClick. After several strategy shifts, execution failures and executive departures, Microsoft in 2012 was forced to write down almost the entire value of AQuantive.

AOL, which was bought by Verizon Communications Inc. this month, will take over management and sales responsibility for all of Microsoft’s display, mobile and video advertising inventory in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan, according to the statement. AOL will start using Bing as the search engine for its users from Jan. 1.
Global sales

Microsoft is splitting up the direct ad sales team on a country-by-country basis between AOL and AppNexus, said Michael Rubenstein, president of New York-based AppNexus. His programmatic advertising technology startup, which automates buying and selling of ads online, will oversee sales in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.

“AppNexus will be wholly responsible for ad revenue for Microsoft in those European countries,” Mr. Rubenstein said in an interview. The startup is expected to take some Microsoft employees, pending legal approval in the countries, though he couldn’t disclose the number of people or financial details on the deal.


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Zooming in on the right molecule Wed, 01 Jul 2015 07:51:47 +0000 Amrinder Have a look round your living room. Everything around you is made up of molecules – just as you are. When they are put together, the molecules act as the building blocks of life. Every single building block has a very small effect and we normally relate to the finished things. However, there are scientific disciplines that have specialised in looking down at the individual molecules to understand how they work and especially what happens when something goes wrong with the building blocks.
Molecular Pacman
Research into individual molecules is about understanding the components and using this as a gateway to learning more about the correlations. In figurative terms, it is like observing cats at night. They all appear to be grey, but we have to recognise their colour individually to distinguish them from each other. Researchers all over the world who work with molecular biology, nanoscience, chemistry and physics are carrying out multidisciplinary work in this area. To a great extent, they make use of a measuring method called single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET), which takes measurements of distances between molecules right down to 2-10 nanometres.
Molecules are not static, but can move, open and close – something like the Pacman game of the 1980s. Their structure and movement patterns have an impact on how they interact with other molecules, which is why the researchers are interested in being able to describe them.
Individual molecules provide new knowledge
“If we can visualise and characterise a single molecule and see how it interacts with the other molecules, we can understand what is going on in the individual event. Once we understand the mechanisms behind this, we can begin to work on controlling how the molecules work, so that this takes place at the most advantageous times,” says Associate Professor Victoria Birkedal, who carries out research into the understanding of individual molecules at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Centre (iNANO), Aarhus University.
Easy access to better data
Associate Professor Birkedal’s research group has developed new software that makes it much easier to obtain rapid and precise data following an smFRET analysis. The group has just published an article about the software in Nature Methods (“iSMS: single-molecule FRET microscopy software”).
The software provides easier access to data that would otherwise be time-consuming and laborious to obtain. Only a few specialists have previously been able to process the data. However, the program now makes it accessible to a wide circle of researchers.
From dot to structure
“We used to do data analyses during the night without really knowing whether they’d provide the answers we wanted. The program is so fast that we now get the results within a few minutes,” says Associate Professor Birkedal. The program provides an innovative visual approach to data and enables the researchers to carry out faster and more precise data analyses. Seeing the individual molecules and analysing their behaviour gives graphic support that can be used in all research into individual molecules, but the Aarhus group uses it to look at biological processes in the body.
“A molecule is very, very small, but it’s no longer just a dot. We can see its structure and how it behaves, and try to understand why it does what it does,” says Associate Professor Birkedal.
The next step is to control the molecule’s structure so as to get it to behave in a particular way – something that can be used in targeted medicine.
Democratic software
The group has decided to make its software freely available to everyone. “We’d like to democratise access to data,” says Associate Professor Birkedal, who is pleased that the software opens up for easier opportunities to work together at a distance. The program has been well received wherever it has been presented.


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Lepide Software Launches First Mobile App Wed, 01 Jul 2015 07:50:11 +0000 Amrinder IT management solutions provider Lepide Software has announced the release of its LepideAuditor App for LepideAuditor Suite 15.1 on Google Play Store for Android devices.

This app provides IT managers with instant notifications of critical changes direct to their mobile devices ensuring that they can save time and effort in being informed of important actions while being able to apprise others by sharing notifications instantly.

The app is a natural progression of Lepide’s goal of making the IT managers’ job easier and more efficient by keeping them informed and in control of their IT infrastructure at all times.

Through the app, events instantly reported on the user’s mobile device include:

Permission modification
Object access
Server availability
Service start/stop

Rupesh Kumar, Managing Director of Lepide Software, said: “Lepide is committed on improving the working life of the under pressure IT manager. A vital part of this is freeing them up to concentrate on the most important parts of their job and ensuring that they have full visibility of their IT systems at all times. The new mobile app fits perfectly with this strategy.”


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EFF Stands With Innovative Developers in the Wake of Oracle v. Google Wed, 01 Jul 2015 07:48:47 +0000 Amrinder The Supreme Court’s refusal to review the Federal Circuit’s dangerous decision in Oracle v. Google means that court’s decision will stand for now. EFF, along with leading computer scientists and copyright practitioners, thinks the Federal Circuit got it wrong: the legal precedents that the Federal Circuit refused to follow, as well as the realities of software development, argue against treating application programming interfaces (APIs) as copyrightable. And while the case isn’t over, we’re worried that litigious, well-heeled software companies will begin to threaten innovative developers with lawsuits, or demand license fees, when they create interoperable software by using or re-implementing an API. EFF is interested in hearing from software developers or companies that have received these kinds of threats or demands in the wake of Oracle v. Google.

The Federal Circuit’s decision came as a shock to many in the software community. The free and open use of APIs has been both routine and essential in the computer industry since its beginning, and that use was based on the sensible assumption that APIs and other interfaces could not be copyrighted. Aside from the Oracle decision, the federal courts have uniformly upheld that pro-innovation interpretation of copyright law, ruling that copyright doesn’t cover functional elements of software.1 The European Court of Justice has reached the same conclusions. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which hears appeals from the West Coast states where many software companies are located, ruled that the “functional requirements for compatibility” between computer programs “are not protected by copyright.”2 APIs are, of course, functional requirements for compatibility with existing software.

The Federal Circuit hears appeals in certain cases where the complaint includes a patent claim, as Oracle v. Google did, and on non-patent legal issues it’s supposed to follow the precedents of the circuit court in the geographic region where the case arose—in this case, the Ninth. But the Federal Circuit’s decision in Oracle disregarded the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning, essentially rejecting it outright.

While EFF is worried about software developers, coding projects, and small software companies receiving legal threats based on the Oracle decision, we’re looking into how these innovators can push back, and we could use your input.


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MVP Systems Software Unveils Cross-Platform Automation for the IBM Mainframe Wed, 01 Jul 2015 07:47:29 +0000 Amrinder MVP Systems Software, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise job scheduling and workload automation software, announced today that it has added support for the IBM mainframe to JAMS Job Scheduler. JAMS now offers a comprehensive set of features to manage JCL jobs and link them together with business processes running on distributed systems and in the cloud.

“The latest version of JAMS enables organizations to create and manage job streams that integrate mainframe jobs with jobs running on different platforms, such as Windows, Linux and UNIX,” says David Kluskiewicz, VP Marketing at MVP. “Mainframe jobs that have traditionally run in isolation can now be automated and monitored through a single management console.”

JAMS provides organizations with a secure and highly available connection to the mainframe’s batch processing system. Its enterprise architecture ensures that critical jobs are executed reliably and efficiently. JAMS includes a full suite of utilities for logging errors, generating alerts and maintaining business continuity when unexpected issues, such as network outages, occur.

JAMS enhances mainframe jobs with powerful logic and controls, such as:

File and job dependencies
File and job triggers
Real-time alerting
Custom calendars
Granular access
Version control

JAMS supports all versions of the z/OS operating system and requires no modifications to a mainframe’s existing configuration. Users can securely manage mainframe jobs through multiple access points, including a desktop client, web client, .NET SDK and PowerShell module.


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