News

Java Developer

Posted in Jobs on 01 September 2014
Company: VCE
Location: Cork
 
Your responsibilities will include design, development, unit testing, and performance tuning of enterprise-class integrations and new applications. You will be in a position to utilize your technical background and strong communication skills as you interact with both VCE colleagues and customers throughout the entire software development lifecycle. 
 
Responsibilities: 
- Executes software development plans to insure high quality of Vblock foundation platform.
- Participate in the design of general integration strategies and propose/develop specific point integrations within the general framework.
- Ensure all designs are version-proof as integrated products follow their own roadmaps/life cycles.
- Develops Use Cases and other analysis / design artifacts that ensure requirements and score are clearly defined.
- Works under limited direction. Determines and develops approach to solutions. Work is evaluated upon completion to ensure objectives have been met.
- Ability to professionally manage multiple priorities with minimal supervision and on schedule.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills required. Must have strong documentation skills and the ability to understand software functional specifications.
 
Qualifications: 
This position requires an accomplished Engineer who truly understands multiple key technologies and applications, can create software, thrives in a fast-paced, highly ambiguous environment and has the ability and track-record of influencing and collaborating with others. Additionally, you must have: 
 
- Requires 5 years experience in software development, including participation in enterprise-class projects
- Strong object oriented programming experience
- Strong proficiency in Java
- UML knowledge and experience is highly desirable
- Operating System development a plus
- Driver development a plus
- API / integration product development a plus
- DLL / library development a plus
- Experience applying unit testing to components under development and maintenance
- Experience developing distributed systems
- A solid understanding of security concepts is a plus
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to thoroughly document the design of new software and maintain documentation throughout the lifecycle (i.e. Functional Specification Documents, object models, class diagrams, state flows, etc.)
- Team player who will enjoy performing multiple technical functions when needed
 

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Web Developer

Posted in Jobs on 01 September 2014
Location: Galway
 
WebSource team provides web support for various internal and external web sites under a range of different Service Level Agreements. The team provides a variety web related services including web development and maintenance, web applications development, development of tools to create online newsletters, web surveys etc 
 
In addition, the team provides a service for testing web sites to Web Accessibility WCAG guidelines and is expanding services to include Mobile Web development and eLearning.
 
Duties & Responsibilities:
- Development of web applications & web maintenance support
- Development of bespoke applications & web solutions to meet customer needs, mostly on the internal intranet platform using jQuery, SharePoint lists, JavaScript, JSON
- Implementation of new Branding on the internal intranet platform using CSS, web services, SharePoint designer
- Creation of applications to facilitate development of Online Newsletter Tools, Survey tools, metrics etc
- Providing web support for specific Service level Agreements in place including maintenance of sites, Newsletter creation, videos etc
- Implementing and supporting high quality, scalable and extendable web solutions.
 
Mandatory Skills:
- 3rd level IT Qualification
- Strong knowledge of html, CSS, JavaScript
- Ability to work to strict deadlines
- Write the programming code, either from scratch or by adapting existing website software and graphics packages to meet business requirements
- Test a website and identify any technical problems
- Have strong skills in software programming and graphics
 

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Microsoft Weeds Phony Apps From Windows Store

Posted in News on 01 September 2014
Microsoft is finally cracking down on phony apps in its Windows Store.
 
The software giant has given the boot to more than 1,500 “crap apps” and more are likely to follow as the company continues its review of applications in its store.
 
“Earlier this year we heard loud and clear that people were finding it more difficult to find the apps they were searching for; often having to sort through lists of apps with confusing or misleading titles,” Microsoft said in a blog post. “We took the feedback seriously and modified the Windows Store app certification requirements as a first step toward better ensuring that apps are named and described in a way that doesn’t misrepresent their purpose.”
 
App creators must now ensure the app’s name clearly and accurately reflect its purpose. Also, apps must be categorized according to the app function and purpose and icons must be differentiated so there are no look alikes. The new policy is being applied to all new app submissions and existing app updates for both the Windows and Windows Phone Store.
 
“The Store review is ongoing and we recognize that we have more work to do, but we’re on it,” Microsoft said. “We’re applying additional resources to speed up the review process and identify more problem apps faster. No approach is perfect, so we encourage people to report any issues they may encounter with Windows Store.”
 

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Google Testing Drones for Disaster Relief, Delivery of Goods

Posted in News on 01 September 2014
Google is taking to the skies with aerial drones to optimize the delivery of its goods around the world.
 
Although still in the test phase, Project Wing — the result of two years of hard work at Google X, the company’s research lab — has already made some deliveries.
 
Tests performed in Queensland, Australia, saw shipments of candy bars, dog treats, cattle vaccines, water and radios carried by the drones safely to their destination. The devices are pre-programmed to fly a particular route simply by pushing a button. Despite the success of early tests, Google told the BBC it would be a few more years before the system is implemented.
 
Google’s drone project is not just about business, however. The company envisions the devices being used for disaster relief. An early test in 2012 brought defibrillators to heart attack victims, for instance.
 
“Even just a few of these, being able to shuttle nearly continuously could service a very large number of people in an emergency situation,” Google X chief Astro Teller told the BBC.
 
The 19-pound drones’ wings span roughly five feet and are outfitted with four electrically-driven propellers, according to the report.
 
That Google is working on a fleet of delivery drones comes as little surprise. Google X, which works on “moon shot” projects such as self-driving vehicles and Glass, Google’s computerized spectacles, is staffed by top-notch researchers with the seemingly unlimited resources of Google at its disposal.
 
That eCommerce powerhouse Amazon and social media king Facebook are also looking to use drones for various projects, will, no doubt, only push Google harder to be the first technology company to make drone deliveries a reality.
 

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Facebook Testing Keyword Search

Posted in News on 01 September 2014
Facebook is expanding Graph Search.
 
The social network is testing keyword search on its mobile app, allowing members to search through old posts or pages they have followed according to keyword.
 
“We’re testing an improvement to search on mobile,” Facebook said in a statement. “In this test you can use keywords to search for posts you’re in the audience for on Facebook.”
 
As an example, if a user wanted to find a post by his friend Alex Jones about his trip to Las Vega, he would type in “Las Vega Alex Jones.”
 
Facebook is remaining pretty tight-lipped about the experiment, which it said is being tested only on a small scale thus far. The company declined to comment on if it will be rolled out to all users.
 
Seemingly, the only reason Facebook offered any comment at all, was because the story was reported by Bloomberg.
 

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Twitter Opens Analytics Tools to All

Posted in News on 29 August 2014
Twitter is making its new analytics tools available for all users
 
The micro-blogging site launched its analytics dashboard in July, but only for advertisers and verified users. The tools offer users insight into how their content is performing on Twitter with a breakdown on the success of each tweet, total impressions and engagement rate.
 
Now, any and all Twitter users can find out how popular their tweets are.
 
“Absolutely thrilled to open up access to http://analytics.twitter.com to EVERYONE,” Twitter engineer Ian Chan tweeted to announce the change.
 
To break it down, the dashboard allows users to:
 
- See how their tweets are performing in real time.
- Compare impressions (times a tweet is viewed by anyone on Twitter Web and Android or iOS apps, including logged-out users), total engagements and retweets month over month.
- Use the tweet details page to see how many retweets, replies, favorites, follows, link clicks and embedded media clicks each tweet received.
- Export tweet performance metrics into a CSV file, which now includes both organic and promoted data.
 
Although analytics is far more useful to brands and marketers than it is for the average Joe, it still might be interesting for other users as well. If nothing else, it will help them to gauge the best time to tweet and how often to do so.
 

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Samsung Announces Gear S Watch

Posted in News on 29 August 2014

The face of Smartwatches is changing.

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Samsung image

Samsung has stepped ahead of competitors with the unveiling of its Gear S watch. The small, wearable device was presented Thursday with Samsung Electronics’ chief executive officer and head of IT and mobile communication noting the company is “leading this exciting and rapidly developing wearable category through progressive innovation.”

JK Shin, in a press release, said the watch is breaking new ground.

“The Samsung Gear S redefines the idea of the smart wearable and the culture of mobile communication. It will let consumers live a truly connected life anywhere, anytime,” Shin said.

And, he’s right. The new model is much more advanced than the company’s previous watches and should allow owners to break away from their Smartphones.

The Gear S will not only, through its 3G connectivity, allow wearers to remain up-to-date on messages and social network activities, it can also make and receive phone calls. The device — with its two-inch curved Super AMOLED display — can also be synced with a user’s Smartphone to have calls forwarded.

Samsung isn’t forgetting those with a healthy lifestyle in mind, either. The Gear S comes with enhanced multi-sensors, built-in GPS and a number of S Health features. Applications such as Nike + Running will also allow users to track their runs and stay on the go without carrying their smartphones.

The Gear S is expected to come on to the market in October.

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Apple Confirms Sept. 9 Debut Date - But for What?

Posted in News on 29 August 2014

Apple has set its much-anticipated fall line-up launch for Sept. 9, confirming earlier media reports that the new iPhone debut would indeed be held early next month.

The company sent invitations to the media today for its Sept. 9 press event in Cupertino, Calif — the company’s home base.

Apple, as usual, was cryptic. The invitation simply lists the date and the phrase: “Wish we could say more.”

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 2.11.58 PMIt is thought the company will debut its next-generation iPhone, which is expected to feature a larger screen and run on speedy new A8 processors.

Bloomberg reported in June that Apple was planning to kick-start production in China this summer on two new iPhones that will feature larger screens. So, it is possible the firm will debut two new handsets.

The new iPhone will have a screen that is 4.7 inches by 5.5 inches and the device will be rounder and thinner than the iPhone 5S, sources told Bloomberg. The move toward larger displays is a bid to enable the Cupertino company to better compete with the larger-screened Smartphones from Samsung and HTC.

There is also much speculation that the company will finally debut its iWatch, which has been in the works for some time.

Apple is rumored to have a team of about 100 product designers working on the device which will perform at least some of the tasks handled by the iPhone and iPad.

Apple filed a patent application in 2011 for a “wearable accessory device” with a “flexible display coupled to a bi-stable spring.”

Apple described the one-size fits all slap bracelet as layered flexible steel bands sealed within a fabric cover that are roughly one inch in width by nine inches in length. The device, which can lay flat or curl around the wrist, can switch from a convex shape to concave to allow it to be worn with the switches facing up or down.

The device, according to the patent, will use sensors to display information of interest to the wearer. It will also communicate wirelessly through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi with other gadgets such as Smartphones or tablets. The watch will also manage texts and phone calls, have access to music playlists and possibly be used for map viewing.

Yet another thought is that Apple will present an update for its virtual assistant Siri.

 

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Gmail Adds Auto-Unsubscribe Feature

Posted in News on 28 August 2014
On August 6, Google’s Gmail announced a new feature: the auto-unsubscribe button. What is it? What does it mean for your brand’s marketing efforts? The potential implications are great; as such, it’s important that you become familiar with the feature and gain an understanding of how to adjust your marketing efforts accordingly.
 
Why the Focus on Unsubscribing?
 
Beginning in 2003 with the passage of the CAN-SPAM Act, which, among other regulations like not using false or misleading header information or deceptive subject lines, requires the senders of email marketing campaigns to clearly tell recipients how to opt-out of receiving future emails – return email addresses, opt-out buttons or otherwise – and to honor opt-out requests promptly, email marketers have understood the importance of allowing target audience members to unsubscribe. Because harsh penalties and fines exist for non-compliance, unsubscribe options became commonplace quickly.
 
With Gmail’s announcement on August 6, however, this has gone one step further. The auto-unsubscribe feature that will be displayed on promotional messages will make it easier than ever for Gmail users – which comprise 74 percent of the United States’ consumer base – to unsubscribe from unwanted messages and senders.
 
How Gmail’s Unsubscribe Works
 
The basic premise is simple. On promotional messages that already contain unsubscribe options, recipients will now see a prominent link at the top of the email – right beside the name of the sender – that allow them to unsubscribe from the sender. Because most unsubscribe options are featured at the bottom of email messages, this eliminates the need for scrolling through a message in order to opt-out.
 
Along with the feature’s debut announcement, Gmail stated that the process can take a few days, depending on how fast the requests are processed; however, the end result is the same.
 
Implementing the Feature
 
The unsubscribe option is made possible through the list-unsubscribe header inside common email marketing campaigns. This is what makes the option appear at the bottom of messages, however it is generally hidden from email recipients in the actual header. Gmail’s feature pulls from that – otherwise invisible – feature and makes it visible at the top of messages.
 
This means that without implementing the list-unsubscribe header, recipients will not be able to see the auto-unsubscribe option. Furthermore, senders with negative reputations will not be rewarded by being able to use the feature. Because it could be used as a method for validating the authenticity of email addresses, only senders with positive overall reputations will be able to implement the option.
 
Brands sending from new IP addresses, email addresses or domains will not have the auto-unsubscribe feature to accompany their messages until a positive history of sending is established. Like Google’s other products, those who take advantage will simply not be rewarded.
 
For brands that use multiple unsubscribe options to allow users to unsubscribe, Gmail’s recommendation is that those options be limited to a maximum of five.
 
When Google receives unsubscribe requests through the auto-unsubscribe feature, senders will receive notices and will be required to act immediately by removing those recipients from their email lists. If this fails to happen, Gmail could stop delivering messages to all users which could seriously hinder email marketing initiatives.
 
Why the Auto-Unsubscribe is Positive
 
You might be wondering why making it easier for email recipients to opt-out of your campaigns could possibly be viewed as a positive thing. Why do you want your subscribers to be able to opt out without even viewing the information contained in your message?
 
The answer to this question is simple: transparency. Your target audience members want to do business with brands that are trustworthy. Often times, trust is associated with transparency. When users are able to unsubscribe to your campaign without a hassle, your complaint rate will likely drop.
 
An additional positive? A more focused and receptive email subscriber list. It’s great to have a list that contains thousands of recipients. However, the focus of email marketing should be effectiveness. If your list is full of individuals who will never take action, you’re wasting your efforts. A list of subscribers that are engaged and interested leads to better results in the long run. Cutting out those who are completely uninterested – and will always remain uninterested – doesn’t hurt a brand at all.
 
Why the Auto-Unsubscribe Option Could Also Be Negative
 
Just because a particular email recipient isn’t interested in what your brand has to offer right now, they still made it to your list in one way or another. Whether this was through an event, a promotion or something else, they are on your list for a reason.
 
When an email doesn’t interest them, they may not feel like scrolling through your message to find the unsubscribe option at the bottom of the screen, so, instead, they stay subscribed. In the mentality mentioned above, this means they are uninterested. However, from another perspective, it might also mean they just aren’t interested right now.
 
This means that a future message, tagline or headline could draw them back in. They may be content to receive messages without taking action, however, something may interest them in the future. If the option to opt out becomes easier, they may do so without ever receiving that future message. This could lead to a loss in conversions and profits in the future.
 
Whether the auto-unsubscribe feature is a positive or a negative has yet to be seen and may depend upon your email marketing strategy and outlook. In either case, it’s important to be aware of the new feature and to consider how to incorporate it into your strategy, starting today.
 

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Apple to Debut a 12.9-inch iPad

Posted in News on 28 August 2014
Maybe bigger really is better — when it comes to tablets, that is.
 
Apple, it seems, agrees. The Cupertino company has plans to produce a 12.9-inch iPad by early next year, according to a report from Bloomberg.
 
Sources told the publication that Apple has been working with suppliers for more than a year to develop a new range of larger touch-screen devices.
 
The iPad Air coming this fall boasts a 9.7-inch screen while the iPad Mini has a 7.85-inch screen — meaning this new tablet will be significantly bigger.
 
The changes on the way for the iPad are likely an effort by Apple CEO Tim Cook to encourage new sales in a tablet–saturated market. In another move to give iPad sales a boost, Apple is teaming up with IBM to build enterprise apps designed only for iPhones and iPads.
 
The new class of business apps will bring big data and analytics capabilities to Apple’s handsets, challenging longtime industry leader Microsoft’s offerings.
 
The new capabilities will include:
- A new lot of more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions including native apps, fashioned exclusively for the iPhone and iPad;
- Unique IBM cloud services optimized for iOS, including device management, security, analytics and mobile integration;
- New AppleCare service and support offering tailored to the needs of the enterprise;  and
- New packaged offerings from IBM for device activation, supply and management.
 
It is impossible to say if the changes Apple has up its sleeve will be enough to convince tablet users to upgrade to the new version of the iPad.
 

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