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.

Hackers hid malware in CCleaner software

Hackers hid malware in CCleaner software

Hackers have successfully breached CCleaner’s security to inject malware into the app and distribute it to millions of users. Security researchers at Cisco Talos discovered that download servers used by Avast (the company that owns CCleaner) were compromised to distribute malware inside CCleaner.

CCleaner Version 5.33 being distributed by Avast also contained a multi-stage malware payload that rode on top of the installation of CCleaner.  CCleaner has been downloaded more than 2 billion times according to Avast, making it a popular target for hackers.

CCleaner is a software utility that wipes out application leftover garbage, can view the registry for entries no longer wanted, remove applications, etc.   Piriform believes that all users are now safe but the real question is how was this even possible to happen.

Trusted by consumers and businesses, CCleaner will lose some of the trustworthiness they have built over the years. The malware itself appears to have been designed to use infected PCs as part of a botnet.

The hackers have proven that this could lead to other companies not securing their software.  The danger is that anyone who allows their people to not protect their workstations from the outside world can affect millions others.  Similar things have happened to Equifax and Sony, if you do not have the latest Anti-Virus software on your workstation you need to make sure you are protected today.

A end user can remove the CCleaner application for now and run a malware check on your machine for protection.

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.

Dr. Explain releases version 5.5 today!

Dr.Explain news: version 5.5 – HiDPI support, 64bit performance, new UI, and more

Dr. Explain

What’s new in Dr.Explain 5.5 (release notes)

  1. 64 Bit architecture
    Starting from version 5.5, Dr.Explain will run on 64 bit Windows OS exclusively so as to support bigger projects as well as to be more performant.
  2. Hi-DPI monitors support
    Dr.Explain now also supports high resolution (Hi-DPI) screens, such as 4K monitors, taking full advantage of fine pixeling for the clearest user interface and better user experience.
  3. New revamped and refreshed user interface
    The new clear and attractive interface will help you to work more efficiently and with greater comfort.
  4. The Import fucntion got more flexible
  5. The Export functions were optimized
  6. Many issues in different modules were fixed

 

Dr.Explain is based on a unique interface analysis and screen capture system. Thanks to this system, Dr.Explain can automatically analyze an application’s user interface, take screenshots of all controls and elements, and then add explanatory callouts to all images in the draft help system. After that, all one needs to do is add descriptions to the callouts, and save the result in the HTML, CHM, RTF, or PDF format.

 

With the Dr.Explain you can easily generate a complete array of end user help in various formats from a single source file. The Dr.Explain can make CHM help filescreate online help manuals and prepare printable manuals in RTF and PDF formats. Electronically distribute your help file with application; put it on your product website; or deliver it as a printed manual within the box.

Simple to use you can import your Word Documents allowing a technical writer to quickly have a manual and help file in one shot.

 

Day of the Programmer so let’s Celebrate

Day of the Programmer so let’s celebrate

Day

The Day of the Programmer is an international professional day that is celebrated on the 256th (hexadecimal 100th, or the 28th) day of each year (September 13 during common years and on September 12 in leap years). It is officially recognized in Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Austria, Germany, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, India, Belgium, Australia, Poland, Romania, Ireland, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the United States and Russia.[1][2]

The number 256 (28) was chosen because it is the number of distinct values that can be represented with an eight-bit byte, a value well-known to programmers. 256 is also the highest power of two that is less than 365, the number of days in a common year.

You wonder why Russia out of all places decided to create the official day of the programmer.  I guess the old “JOLT” and late nights weren’t the prize after all to all programmers.

If you think about it, everything in your life now is based on a software developer from your phone to your heating system.  So celebrate the day!

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.

Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are going to work together

Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are going to work together

Phone

Amazon and Microsoft announced on Wednesday that they’ve been working on a partnership to allow their respective voice assistants, Alexa and Cortana, to speak to one another.

Starting later this year, owners of Amazon Echos and other Alexa-powered devices will be able to say: “Alexa, open Cortana” to start querying Microsoft’s voice assistant. Owners of devices running Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system will be able to summon Alexa via Cortana in a similar manner.

Why would customers want that — especially with the relatively clunky nature of the necessary voice command? The companies say that each voice assistant has its strengths — features like Microsoft Outlook and Exchange email integration for Cortana and smart-home controls or shopping for Alexa — and that customers of both companies would benefit from an integration.

It’s not clear if the two assistants will share voice data in an effort to make each digital assistant smarter. But there is the hope that someday these artificial agents will be intelligent enough to route requests to the best virtual assistant for the task without a specific “Alexa” or “Cortana” command.

What about Apple ?

The new partnership throws a wrinkle into the narrative of the emerging world of voice assistants, where Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Apple have been competing to build the operating system of the future. Google, of course, has Google Assistant built into the Google Home speaker as well as select Android phones. Apple’s Siri has been the digital assistant inside iPhones for years and will power the forthcoming HomePod.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft chief Satya Nadella told the New York Times they would welcome such cooperation. But, as the Times notes, such a future may be unlikely since Google and Apple see their AIs as key differentiators for their mobile phone operating systems.

As Windows always wanted was to have a house completely working with their OS so now that you have Alexa involved or linked that dream may come true.

Expert Delphi by Paweł Głowacki

Expert Delphi by Paweł Głowacki

 

Expert

After reading the latest book from Author Pawel Glowacki the feeling of fresh FireMonkey Delphi material left an excellent karma.  It should be part of anyone’s Delphi Library since it has great reference material.  The book was written by Pawel Glowacki whom is Embarcadero’s European Technical Lead for Developer Tools.

The book begins with a basic primer on Delphi helping you get accustomed to the IDE and the Object Pascal language.  It quickly moves into advanced concepts dealing with FireMonkey.  You should be able to build server-side services, create new Internet of Things (IOT) and integrate your applet with web services to deploy them to market.

As always the pricing from PackT is on the mark.  The writing is very clear at 506 pages and does come with the eBook Format for those wanting that instead of print.

Pawel touches FireDAC which is the database component to gain access to various databases.  DataSnap as well as Rad Server which allows your software to request data from a secured environment.  Finally the pieces alone on FireMonkey are well worth the price.  It takes you from installing, preparing and developing a smart phone applet.  There is a section on deployment to the various platforms.

FireMonkey is RAD

Working with Delphi VCL and FireMonkey provide any software developer to quickly build a solution for either clients or market.  The Delphi library on the FireMonkey side is growing and with the ability of building Linux server command line applications it is opening new doors.

You can visit the Embarcadro web site for additional information pertaining to either the C++ or Delphi or Rad Studio which includes both compilers.  The other thing to know that you will need the enterprise addition to create Linux applications as well as DataSnap.

You can visit the Packt web site to check the table of contents but Baron Software highly recommends to purchase a copy.