Register for the PASS summit 2017

PASS summit 2017

The PASS summit brings you three days of inspiring, jam-packed educational opportunities focused on the Microsoft Platform, professional connections, and new skills and know-how you can put to use immediately. Don’t forget to stop by the IDERA booth for your chance to win one of 3 apple watches!

What to expect this year at the summit:

  • More than 5,000 registrants from more than 2,000 companies
  • Representatives from 52 different countries
  • Over 200 technical sessions presented by industry experts from around the world including more advanced sessions than years before
  • 70+ hours networking with MVPs, experts and peers
  • Inspiring keynote speakers that include Rohan Kumar, Rimma Nehma, and Heather Ritchie,
  • An opportunity to connect, share and learn

Pass

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.

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.

 

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.

Embarcadero Academy Debuts with Online Courses

Embarcadero Academy Debuts with Online Courses 

Delphi

A provider of cross-platform application developer productivity tools, today announced the launch of Embarcadero Academy, an online school for developers of all levels. The Academy, operated in partnership with Embarcadero by CodePower, offers a wide variety of expert-led courses in Delphi and C++Builder skills and technologies.

Finally Embarcardo / Idera have decided to get into the possible educational on line webinars to improve the software developers of Delphi or C++ Builder.

Embarcadero Academy is launching with approximately 15 courses, and has an additional 15 in development. The curriculum, which spans beginner to advanced courses, will initially focus on Delphi and C++Builder capabilities such as language and framework skills, and will continue to grow in range and scope of languages. Full courses run from several days to weeks or months, with mini-courses that last an hour to several hours.

It is worth the cost in getting tools to improve the Embarcadero user base and it is going in the positive direction. Through November 30, Embarcadero is sponsoring a free, five-week “Introduction to Android Mobile Development with Delphi,” typically a $199 value. Developers can learn more and sign up here to receive the free promo, or enter the code ANDROIDINTROFREE at any checkout screen.

About Embarcadero

Embarcadero provides tools that solve application developer productivity problems. The company’s products allow users to design, build, and run applications from a single code base across all platforms. A community of more than three million C++ and Delphi users worldwide rely on Embarcadero’s award-winning products to deliver critical enterprise applications. Embarcadero is a division of Idera, Inc. To learn more, visit www.embarcadero.com.

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.

 

 

 

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!

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.

Do you need to know Javascript ?

Do you need to know Javascript ?

JavaScript

Web site maintenance or development has led to the need for software developers to know and understand how to write or read JavaScript.  The need for professional JavaScript developers is growing at a fast rate.  Now that does not mean there will be college courses dealing with JavaScript 101 but there is a vast amount of on-line knowledge areas for self taught on how to use JavaScript.

The beauty of JavaScript is that you do not need a degree where it is a free technology that requires no installation and no configuration.  You can easily open up a HTML page and quickly write a function to send out the famous “Hello World!”

Hello World Sample

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html>

<body>

<p>Simple JavaScript</p>

<script>
alert( ‘Hello, world!’ );
</script>

<p>Not hard ?</p>

</body>

</html>

As displayed above, the code shows the necessary tags to create a nicely formatted HTML page which will open an alert window to display ‘Hello World’.

Advantages of learning JavaScript

A major advantage to JavaScript is the fact that it is not strictly an interactive programming language but it is platform-independent.  This means you can write the code and insert it on any machine, Android, iOS, iMac, Windows, etc.  The next important thing to take into account is that it is case sensitive which the function HelloWorld is not the same as helloworld. Be very careful about this.

The final advantage of JavaScript is the event loop. When an event is triggered in the browser, JavaScript run-time stores information in the message queue. If a callback function existed with this stored information, it will be executed the next time it is encountered within the loop. The end result is that the application is able to handle multiple operations on a single thread, which grants the developer freedom from additional programming of all the different application states.

To wrap up, it is your best interest to learn JavaScript at least to a very basic level.   It is extremely easy to pick up and use in less than an hour and finally you can not go wrong with mastering JavaScript.

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.