Fortune’s List of the 10 Most Powerful Women in Information Technology

Fortune’s List of the 10 Most Powerful Women in Information Technology

Each year for the past two decades, Fortune Magazine has released its list of the Most Powerful Women in the world. The list, which includes 51 women, is based in part on the success of their businesses.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has been credited with provided the operational leadership that has helped drive the social network’s growth since founder Mark Zuckerberg hired her in 2008. Facebook’s 57 percent ad revenue growth in 2016, coupled with Sandberg’s support for women’s health and immigration reform made her one of the most powerful women in the world.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has been facing some challenges with slumping revenue, but she is still regarded as one of the most successful chief executives in any industry, let alone information technology. What’s more, Rometty has positioned IBM to grow in critical markets, including the cloud, mobile, and security.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise chief executive Meg Whitman has worked hard over the past several years to rebuild an ailing Hewlett Packard. As chief executive, Whitman has made some tough decisions to get the iconic company back on track, but has faced criticism because HPE has struggled to grow and its stock has underperformed the broader market.

Oracle Co-CEO Safra Catz might be one of the most successful women in this roundup at expanding a company and improving upon its success. Starting in the mid-2000s, she had a major role in Oracle’s corporate expansion program in which the company spent billions of dollars to acquire scores of software and information technology companies. She also presided over the growth of Oracle’s cloud computing business to the tune of $4.6 billion. She’s also active in STEM programs to educate children.

Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat has had an important role is fine tuning the company balance sheet. She has helped Alphabet, Google’s parent company, improve its profitability and given the company the financial latitude to invest in market sectors that could prove critical to its growth in the coming years.

Apple Senior Vice President Angela Ahrendts has made her presence felt in important ways since joining Apple. She has worked to revamp the company’s retail stores and improve customer experience. This has helped ensure that Apple’s retail stores continue to generate billions of dollars in revenue and profits year after year.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has helped transform YouTube from a costly digital warehouse of user-generated video that had millions of viewers, but scant revenue into a true entertainment powerhouse and revenue generator for Google. Wojcicki’s leadership has ensured that YouTube will play a prominent role in Google future profit growth going forward.

Microsoft CFO Amy Hood leadership is one of the factors for the company’s recent success in cloud computing and software-as-a-service businesses. Since being appointed CFO in 2013 Overall Hood helped Microsoft revitalize the company’s business strategy and get the company’s revenue and profits back on track.

Best Buy’s retail chief Shari Ballard has been critical to the company’s recent renaissance. Despite operating in the retailing industry where many once successful brick and mortar store chains have struggled and failed, Best Buy has watched its profits soar and its appeal to tech buyers grow, thanks to Ballard’s strategy. It wasn’t long ago that some questioned Best Buy’s future. Now, because of Ballard, the company’s future is bright.

Bridget Van Kralingen is senior vice president of Industry Platforms at IBM overseeing the efforts of more than 100,000 consultants and service providers. As head of a division that supports vertical-industry customers, Van Kralingen is eyeing ways to leverage blockchain and other emerging technologies to grow new revenue streams.

Swift 4.0 Released!

Swift 4.0 Released!

Swift 4 is now officially released! Swift 4 builds on the strengths of Swift 3, delivering greater robustness and stability, providing source code compatibility with Swift 3, making improvements to the standard library, and adding features like archival and serialization.

Swift is a general-purpose programming language built using a modern approach to safety, performance, and software design patterns.

Updates

Swift 4.0 is a major language release and contains the following language changes and updates that went through the Swift Evolution process that can be viewed by clicking here

Apple (Xcode)

For development on Apple’s platforms, Swift 4.0 ships as part of Xcode 9.  Open-source Swift can be used on the Mac to target all of the Apple platforms: iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Moreover, binary builds of open-source Swift integrate with the Xcode developer tools, including complete support for the Xcode build system, code completion in the editor, and integrated debugging, allowing anyone to experiment with the latest Swift developments in a familiar Cocoa and Cocoa Touch development environment.

Linux

Official binaries for Ubuntu 16.10, Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 14.04 are available for download. Open-source Swift can be used on Linux to build Swift libraries and applications. The open-source binary builds provide the Swift compiler and standard library, Swift REPL and debugger (LLDB), and the core libraries, so one can jump right in to Swift development.

How the 9-to-5 workday has disappeared

How the 9-to-5 workday has disappeared

 

Work has changed dramatically over the last few decades, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal recently release it has become more time-consuming, less stable, and more flexible.

In 1973, 6% of Americans said they worked excessive hours while in 2016, 26% said they worked more than 48 hours a week.

Insurance coverage by employers has also dropped since 1973, although companies now provide more benefits to aid work-life balance, such as paid parental leave and remote work options.

Businesses are spending less on employees, both in terms of compensation and capital investment, while investors get triple the payout from 30 years ago.

This has all contributed to workers increasingly acting like free agents in the job market.  While they have more control and flexibility, the “safety net that once came with full-time work has frayed.”

Don’t worry be happy

Americans are happier at work, but they might just be settling for less.

For the first time since 2005, more than half of U.S. workers say they’re satisfied with their jobs, according to the Conference Board, a research group. Employment is up, wages are finally rising and layoffs are near record lows, resulting in a more optimistic, contented workforce.

That buoyancy is giving Americans confidence to pull out their wallets.  Depending on whether the tax plan for 2017 gets implemented the middle class will continue to get hammered with taxes to maintain the social programs such as social security, ACA and other various programs.

There is no such thing as a free lunch but employers are looking to try and maintain a profit.  Small business owners will gain from the tax overhaul plan by not getting double taxed for corporate and personal income.  This fact is not known by most Americans.

Hopefully the work place will improve over the next few years putting wages back into a reality check.

10 Most Important Feature Improvements to Apple’s iOS 11

10 Most Important Feature Improvements to Apple’s iOS 11

iOS

Apple iOS 11 is now available to download and install from the Apple store.  There is a new update released 11.0.1 so most likely there were some software glitch that needed immediate repair.

List of 10 improvements

  1. Apple’s iOS 11 includes a new Files app that brings together all of the files and folders stored across a user’s Apple devices, Dropbox accounts and more. The app provides access to iCloud Drive, the company’s cloud data storage service, and can help users find files on other devices.
  2. Apple’s iPad support gains several improvements in iOS 11, including a better Dock app. The Dock now can stretch across the screen to include more apps that can be swapped out when users swipe across the Dock. It also displays apps that have been opened recently and used on the iPhone or Mac.
  3. Apple iOS 11 has improved Apple Pencil support, making it easier to mark up files and folders and access notes. iOS 11 also includes support for inline drawing on e-mails that can be sent to others. Also, scanning and signing support comes standard.
  4. Apple’s App Store gets a revamp in iOS 11. The App Store’s new design, the company says, will make it easier for find apps and search for programs related to specific topics. There’s also a dedicated Games tab, suggesting video games still are an important attraction for Apple’s mobile users.
  5. Apple’s Camera app has a modified design that includes new filters to add flair to photos. According to Apple, the Camera app enables better portrait photos with skin tones “more natural.” Photo compression is also improved, reducing file sizes by 50 percent without sacrificing image quality.
  6. Apple’s virtual assistant Siri has gotten an update in iOS 11. Siri now can immediately translate words or phrases from English to several different languages including Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. Siri also can learn user music preferences and play only tracks that it knows the user will like. Also, Siri can better anticipate what users want and proactively deliver content and make suggestions.
  7. Apple’s Control Center has been rebuilt in iOS 11. Users can customize Control Center to include access to apps used most often and remove apps they don’t use. Control Center also now works with Apple’s 3D Touch feature, so users can access more controls by varying the amount of pressure they place on the screen.
  8. The Lock Screen also has been reworked in iOS 11 to provide better access to the notifications users care about. By swiping up from anywhere on the screen, users can see their most recent notifications as well as missed notifications from both Apple and third-party apps.
  9. In a nod to the one-thumbed typist, Apple has added one-touch support to its keyboard. Users simply touch and hold the emoji or globe keys and the keyboard will shift to a one-handed mode. Apple says it should be easier to type with only one finger, with all the keys close enough to type out messages.
  10. The upcoming iPhone X doesn’t have a physical home button, and iOS 11 has been designed with that in mind, including new gestures. Any gestures that relied on the home button are gone in the iPhone X version—accessing iOS 11 for iPhone X’s multitasking feature now requires swiping up from the display. Swiping down now brings up the Control Panel, and screenshots are done differently.

 

Apple’s iOS 11 kills old 32-bit iPhone and iPad apps

Apple’s iOS 11 kills old 32-bit iPhone and iPad apps

iOS

Well the time has come to begin the end of the 32 bit application.  What this means to the general public is that certain older applications may no longer work if you install the latest iOS on your iPhone.  Owners of iPhones and iPads who install the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system will find that some older apps will stop working.

Android still allows for 32 and 64 bit applications to co-exist as well as Windows/Linux but Apple will start to force developers to upgrade their application.

What does this mean to the general public ?

Dropping support for 32-bit software lets Apple streamline its operating system and helps it run more quickly since it no longer needs to load software libraries to make sense of the older programs.

A 64-bit application signifies how much data a processor can handle at once – the larger the figure, the faster a computer can potentially operate.  That is in theory but in life you have developers that sometimes do not properly code and you end up with a buggy application.

Microsoft is the biggest example of keeping legacy programs working  and it is to keep as many things as compatible as possible for as long as possible.  Is a 32 bit application that bad, not really and it all depends on what is being done with the application.  If a 32 bit application is processing XML files for distribution to a SQL server than it will speed up in a 64 bit world but it still works.

End of the party

Most people really do not know the difference and may not realize their applications were 32 bit until they upgrade the iOS operating system.  Than they may be in for a shock when it no longer works.  This is the reality and Apple is forcing everyone to go with them if you want to use their equipment.

Advanced iPhone X Design Holds Spotlight

Advanced iPhone X Design Holds Spotlight at Steve Jobs Theater Debut

iPhone

For the first time Apple on September 12th held the iPhone X Spotlight at Steve Jobs Theater. The iPhone X is a sensational-looking iPhone  but it comes at a huge cost, and you’ll have to wait to get it.  Will Face ID become a way of unlocking the phone, but if your face truly does get ‘learned’ over time, it could work well.

  • Screen is stunning
  • New user interface is intuitive
  • Portrait Lighting is effective
  • Face ID was erratic in demos
  • Cost is so, so high

Let’s get the important bit out of the way first: the iPhone X is one of the most expensive flagship phones ever made. It’ll retail at $999 / £999 / AU$1,579 for the basic model. In terms of when you’ll be able to get your hands on it, the iPhone X release date has been set for November 3, with pre-orders going live on October 27. It’ll be coming to the major territories first, with the UK, US and Australia all tipped to be included in the first wave of shipments.

iPhone X Details

The resolution of the screen has been upgraded from the iPhone 7, as the sub-HD pixel count wasn’t really something Apple could hope to get away with in 2017 in the face of such strong competition from the rest of the industry.  The iPhone X has been upgraded to match its rivals, with a resolution of 2436 x 1125 on the new Super Retina HD display.

The ‘lip’ at the top of the phone, where a section of the ‘all-screen’ display was cut out to place the cameras.  The True Depth camera at the top is needed for Face ID, so it makes sense that a small portion would need to be kept for all the technology – but it does ruin the aesthetic somewhat. The screen is 18:9 (although that’s not been confirmed by Apple) so a movie that’s in a standard 16:9 format won’t fill the display.

The new iPhone X is easily, easily the best-looking phone Apple’s ever made.  The rear, which is now glass, doesn’t feel as premium as the almost-ceramic metal of previous models, but it still feels solid and secure in the hand. The edges aren’t sharp, instead folding into the palm in a way that’s pleasant to hold.

Face ID is the major shift here to allow the iPhone to know it’s owner but can you reset it in the event it is being resold or given away.  iOS 11 is the operating system with new features that will improve things.  The cameras also provide excellent quality and depth but the big question is battery life which sucks the life out of a user.

You can even get a fast charger – 50% within 30 minutes from dead – but only with a USB-C cable. A USB-C to Lightning Cable retails for $25 (£25 / AU$35) on Apple.com, while a USB-C Power Adapter is available in a few sizes: 29W, 61W and 87W. And if you want it, the price of the cheapest adapter (29W) is $49 (£49 / AU$69) from Apple.

Pumping at the heart of the iPhone X is the new A11 Bionic chipset, designed to handle the heavy lifting the new iPhone is calling on it for.

Final verdict is whether you really want to drop $1,000.00 on a phone or wait for the prices to drop when the ‘s’ version is release in the September of 2018 as it has been done before.  The iPhone 7 still does the job for most folks as well as the iPhone 6s so you get a new tool at a high price.

 

 

 

How to tell which iPad model you have

How to tell which iPad model you have

iPads

iPads aren’t as easily distinguishable as iPhones are the following article will assist.

How to find your iPad model number

In addition to the marketing names that we all know so well, all iPads have a model number. Two of them, actually. The first one is on the device itself. If you flip over your iPad, you’ll see a bunch of tiny writing below the word “iPad.” That’s where you’ll find the model number.

At the end of the top row, you’ll find the world “Model,” followed by an “A” and a four-digit string of numbers. The number string tells you what screen size and generation of iPad you have, as well as whether it’s cellular-equipped. For example, the latest 10.5-inch iPad Pro is A1701 for the Wi-Fi model and A1709 for the LTE version.) There is also a serial number printed here, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever need it.

In addition, some cellular-equipped fourth-generation iPads and first-generation iPad minis have an “MM” version indicating CDMA compatibility—though you’ll see that designation only on spec sheets. If you use one of these iPads on Verizon’s network, the MM version is probably the one you’ve got.

Please click here to review the chart on PC World

You’ll also find a model number in Settings.

The second model number (which is really an internal SKU number) is in Settings. If you tap General and then About, you’ll see a Model tab that lists a completely different number than the one on the rear of the device. This is a much more specific identifier, which provides information about the capacity and country, as well as the type of iPad.

If you’re selling or buying one internationally on eBay, it’s an important number, but otherwise the number on the back will tell you everything you need to know.

Coding Boot Camps should they go or be used ?

Coding Boot Camps should they go or be used ?

Boot Camp

Within the past week, two well-known and well-established coding bootcamps have announced they’ll be closing their doors: Dev Bootcamp, owned by Kaplan Inc., and The Iron Yard, owned by the Apollo Education Group (parent company of the University of Phoenix).  Not the most strongest places to learn how to code but some industry observers have suggested that the market may be merging in the coming months.

It appears that there are simply more coding bootcamps – almost 100 across the US and Canada – than there are students looking to learn to code.   Remember these courses are geared for a quick turnaround in studying and learning how to program.  I never mentioned that these were gifted academic schools since on average they are charging $11,000 for a 12 weeks of intensive training in a programming language or framework.

College or Bust ?

Does a person who goes thru this actually know the basics, sure but can they develop software that could possibly be used by millions, most likely not.  They stand a chance of getting a low entry level position at a software house.  They could have simply saved the money, learn the piece they needed from the vast amount of knowledge on the internet, or webinars.  Writing software is an art form as well as a love fest.  There are times a software developer will stay up long hours going over code to make it better.

In December of last year, Bloomberg published a warning to prospective students: “Want a Job in Silicon Valley? Keep Away From Coding Schools.”

The article contended that many companies have found coding bootcamp grads unprepared for technical work.   A tech recruiter told the publication. “My clients are looking for a solid CS degree from a reputable university or relevant work experience.” Google’s director of education echoed this sentiment: “Our experience has found that most graduates from these programs are not quite prepared for software engineering roles at Google without additional training or previous programming roles in the industry.”

New iPhone will be announced soon

New iPhone will be announced soon

iPhone

 

September 12th a very important date to mark on your calendar.  That’s when Apple will host its next media event, at the Steve Jobs Theater on its new Cupertino campus, where it’s expected to unveil three new iPhone models, the third-generation Apple Watch, and an upgraded Apple TV with support for 4K and HDR display technologies.

With new iPhones just days away from being officially revealed, a Bloomberg journalist has reported what he saw in images of the expected new high-end model. The key change is said to be the removal of the Home button, which has been rumored before. However, Bloomberg goes into fine detail on accompanying gestural changes on the software side. Click here to read more about this.

Even if you’re planning to stick with your current Apple hardware for now, there’s lots more to look forward to on September 12. During Apple’s media event, expect to find out when you’ll be able to upgrade your devices to iOS 11, watchOS 4, tvOS 11, and perhaps even macOS High Sierra as well.

Additional Information

Meanwhile, if you ever connect to public hotspots, you’ll definitely want to know more about a new Wi-Fi feature that’s coming in iOS 11.   You can also check out MacRumors for additional information on the iPhone that will be released.

The hardest thing to understand with Android and iPhone phones is the cost, it is always going up placing close to a $1,000 for units.  Sooner or later folks will have to make that decision on whether their budgets will be able to handle it.  It would also be nice if there was a recycle program with the vendors to trade in a phone and get discounts.  You can always send to a third party but the amount of returned funds is low.  Anyway an Apple release is always fun.

 

A simple approach to software development

A simple approach to software development

Development

Setting up your software development for a new application there are quite a few set of software developers that tend to jump on their machine and begin coding.  I would strongly suggest that an application which could be successful needs to start from thought to paper (even electronic) before any new code is typed.

Now as some suggest creating designs or layouts are the best method for them and sometimes that does make sense.  Creating a sketch board  or laying out the screen design is a simple way to visually see what you want to achieve.

Here are the steps that you can use when you are preparing to create a new application.

Sitting at a table or desk
Using white boards do help when you plan to get your thought on to the board for the initial start of the project.  You can quickly put down what your clients (consumers) wish to have or to fulfill their needs.  Simple step is to list all of the pieces in bullet point what you think the client is expecting from your application.

Always remember that developers can write a great application that nobody wants.

Flowcharts
Yes this is one of computer 101 concepts that no software developer wishes to use any longer but if you set up a general flowchart it will show you things you did not think of.

Screen Design
Screen layouts are extremely important, it gives the visual aspect on what the application will look like.  The best thing is that it could be done on paper without using a computer.  Sure it looks like stick men but it does show the layout that you think clients will be happy with.

Data Model
This is essential if you plan on having some sort of database manager that will capture the information entered with your application.  A proper data model will show exactly what you think each table and record size will be.  The database manager is another piece where you must either sell to the client on a robust database or a small foot print.

Know your customer
Sitting with your clients or consumers or customers, you need to understand the business.  You may not be a retail sales guru but you have to understand what the client wants and possibly increase business.  This does not mean as a software developer you need to allow the client overrun the project where your team gets the blame for it falling apart but you have to understand how the client starts and ends the day.

Team work
The biggest and one of the most difficult piece is to have the presentation in front of the software team.  You must be prepared to accept criticism from your peers.  They may see something you did not see or whether there is a market for your application.

Starting a new application for a market can be either a hard task or you can set up a plan that will get you to the end line quickly and successfully.