Junior Java Developer

Posted in Jobs on 28 November 2014

A global software solutions provider is looking for a Junior Java Developer to join their expanding team here in Dublin. With offices across the UK and Ireland, this FTSE100 company has gone from strength to strength and are looking for a strong individual to join their team.

This client has been developing software for over 30 years providing custom software solutions including e-business and financial and distribution management software. Working closely with clients, you will help to provide leading SaaS solutions to both the Public and Private sectors, working to meet their requirements in order to reduce costs, provide better services and achieve their business objectives.

Although this is a Junior position, you will be given the opportunity to work on pure Java development work each day, with the potential to really grow your experience in a market leading multinational company.

As part of this team you will:

Analyse, design, develop and test activities for a range of products

Support existing systems and work closely with client to provide solutions and resolve issues

Work on project deliverables from start to finish within the team

Junior Java Developer Qualifications & Experience:


BSc Computer Science or relevant degree

Min 1 year commercial experience working with Java technologies

Experience with 1 or more of the following: SQL, XML, Eclipse, Oracle

If you are interested in this fantastic opportunity and would like to hear more, contact me in confidence, Mark Staines on 01-8883444!

Junior C# Developer

Posted in Jobs on 28 November 2014

My client specialises in providing professional management and industry-specific software to dedicated markets in Ireland and abroad.
Based in South Dublin, your new job will give you the chance to use new technologies and develop top solutions to difficult issues.
Your natural creativity is encouraged, and you will have the freedom to work both independently and in high calibre teams.

The company is working numerous stimulating projects currently and needs a talented C# engineer for present and future developments.

- Third-level degree, Computer Science or similar
- 2-3 years’ experience with C#, ASP.NET and SQL
- Minimum of 2 years executing software systems and object-oriented design
- 1 year professional experience in jQuery and SQL Server development
- Working knowledge of HTML, CSS or MVC
- Permission to work in Ireland

This company is established in the European market with a strong reputation for bringing high quality solutions.
This is a dynamic and fast-paced role working with state-of-the-art technologies and accompanied by strong support networks.
There are numerous opportunities for progression into senior roles, as well as generous benefits.

Apply now by forwarding an up-to-date copy of your CV to, or by phoning JB on +353 (0)1 525 3404.


Deploying JavaFX apps to multiple environments

Posted in Tips on 28 November 2014

JavaFX 2.0.2 and successor SDKs let you deploy JavaFX applications in multiple environments including as a standalone app, via Java Web Start, or embedded in a web page. Jeff Friesen follows up his recent introduction to JavaFX 2.0 with this short tip on deploying JavaFX applications.

If you've read my three-part introduction to JavaFX 2.0, then you will be familiar with JPadFX, the Swing-based notepad that I used as a refactoring example for that series. Even if you're not familiar with JPadFX, you should be able to follow this tip. We'll concentrate on deploying the application, so you won't need to know much about its internals. Do go ahead and download JPadFX now.

Prepare JPadFX for deployment

Source files for the JPadFX app are,,,, and the resource file icon.png. Once you have extracted these files to your current directory, execute the following command to compile the app on Windows:

javac -cp "C:Program FilesOracleJavaFX 2.0

SDK tlibjfxrt.jar";. -d out

I assume that you have installed the JavaFX 2.0.2 SDK to C:Program FilesOracleJavaFX 2.0 SDK. Also, -d out stores the resulting class files in a subdirectory named out.

Deploying JPadFX as a standalone JavaFX application

JavaFX 2.0.2 provides a command-line tool, javafxpackager, that makes application deployment almost a snap. On my Windows XP platform, javafxpackager is installed in the C:Program FilesOracleJavaFX 2.0 SDKin directory.

Once you have compiled JPadFX's source files, use javafxpackager to package the class files and JavaFX Launcher (a small set of classes that finds the installed JavaFX runtime and invokes the main application class via the runtime) into a JAR file as follows:

Listing 1. Package JPadFX with javafxpackager

javafxpackager -createjar -appclass JPadFX -srcdir out -outdir out -outfile

jpadfx.jar -v

Note the options specified in Listing 1:

-createjar tells javafxpackager to create a JAR file.

-appclass identifies JPadFX as the main class for the JAR manifest and JavaFX Launcher.

-srcdir identifies out as the directory containing the class files.

-outdir identifies out as the directory in which to create the JAR file.

-outfile identifies jpadfx.jar as the name of the JAR file.

-v specifies verbose output, which can be useful should an error message be displayed.

If the previous command succeeds, you will need to introduce icon.png to jpadfx.jar. A simple way to do this is to use the JDK's jar tool. Assuming that the current directory contains icon.png and the out subdirectory, execute the following command to store icon.png in jpadfx.jar:

jar uf

outjpadfx.jar icon.png

At this point, you might want to try running JPadFX in standalone mode in order to test the JAR file's veracity. First, switch to the out directory (which contains jpadfx.jar) and execute a command similar to the following:

java -cp "C:Program FilesOracleJavaFX 2.0

SDK tlibjfxrt.jar";. -jar jpadfx.jar

This command adds jfxrt.jar to java's classpath, which contains JavaFX class files that the JVM needs to load at runtime.

Deploying JPadFX in a web page and via Java Web Start

You can now use javafxpackager to create an HTML page and a deployment descriptor (JNLP) file to handle the scenarios of embedding the JavaFX application into a web page or running it via Java Web Start. The command in Listing 2 assumes that you are using the same directory used in Listing 1:

Listing 2. Create an HTML page and deployment descriptor for JPadFX via javafxpackager

javafxpackager -deploy -outdir out -outfile JPadFX -width 400 -height

400 -srcdir out -srcfiles jpadfx.jar

               -appclass JPadFX -name "JPad FX" -title "JPadFX Equivalent of

JPad" -vendor "Jeff Friesen" -v

The following options are specified:

-deploy tells javafxpackager to create the deployment HTML and JNLP files.

-outdir identifies out as the directory in which to store the HTML and JNLP files.

-outfile identifies JPadFX as the name of the HTML and JNLP files. This option must be present; otherwise, javafxpackager throws an exception.

-width identifies the width of the web page space devoted to the embedded application. I've chosen 400 for the width.

-height identifies the height of the web page space devoted to the embedded application. I've chosen 400 for the height.

-srcdir identifies out as the directory containing the JAR file.

-srcfiles identifies jpadfx.jar as the JAR file.

-appclass identifies JPadFX as the main application class to be executed.

-name identifies JPad FX as the name of the application. This information appears as the heading on the HTML page. If the name has a space, enclose the string in quotation marks.

-title identifies JPadFX Equivalent of JPad as the application's title. This information is stored in the JNLP file.

-vendor identifies Jeff Friesen as the application's vendor. This information is stored in the JNLP file.

-v specifies verbose output, which can be useful should an error message be displayed.

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At this point, your out directory should contain JPadFX.jnlp and JPadFX.html along with jpadfx.jar.

Because JPadFX accesses the local filesystem, you must sign jpadfx.jar; otherwise, an exception will be thrown when you try to perform a file-oriented task, when the application is embedded in a web page or run from Java Web Start. Assuming that you haven't purchased a certificate, you also need to create a self-signed certificate. Use the JDK's keytool program to perform both tasks, as follows:

keytool -genkey -keystore jpadfx.ks -alias jpadfx

keytool -selfcert -alias jpadfx -keystore jpadfx.ks

This command creates a new key in a new keystore named jpadfx.ks, which is created in the current directory. For convenience, I've specified jpadfx as the alias. You will be prompted for information regarding the new key, such as password, name, and so on. Simply follow the prompts.

The second command creates a self-signed test certificate. You'll be prompted to enter a password and then the certificate will be created.

Unfortunately, it is problematic to use javafxpackager to sign the previously created jpadfx.jar file with the test certificate. For this reason, I use the jarsigner command directly, as demonstrated below:

jarsigner -keystore jpadfx.ks outjpadfx.jar jpadfx

Double-click JPadFX.jnlp from a file manager program to run JPadFX via Java Web Start. Similarly, double-click JPadFX.html to load this HTML file in a browser and run the application in that context (see Figure 1). In either scenario, you must grant permission to give the application unrestricted access.

Figure 1. A screenshot of the JPadFX app embedded in a Mozilla Firefox web browser (click to enlarge)

In conclusion

You can compile and deploy JPadFX under JavaFX 2.0.2, JavaFX 2.0.3, and JavaFX 2.1. For each version, javafxpackager makes it easy to deploy this JavaFX app to multiple environments. JavaFX 2.0.2's version of this tool is somewhat problematic, resulting in your having to explicitly use jarsigner to sign jpadfx.jar with a test certificate.

For each of versions 2.0.2, 2.0.3, or 2.1, JPadFX exhibits a serious problem when run on a 64-bit Windows platform. Selecting Open, Save, or Save As from the File menu results in the following error messages:

Error: 80070057 in SHCreateItemFromParsingName((PCWSTR)

folder, NULL,


                                               (void **) &pItem)

COM Error: 80070057 The parameter is incorrect.

Error: 80004005 in pOpenDialog->GetResults(&pFiles)

COM Error: 80004005 Unspecified error


As pointed out by a poster in the Oracle Discussion Forums, these messages appear to be related to a low-level Microsoft COM error in a native library accessed by the javafx.stage.DirectoryChooser and javafx.stage.FileChooser Windows implementations.


Roadmap suggests hard drive storage will exceed 100TB by 2025

Posted in News on 28 November 2014

The Advanced Storage Technology Consortium has released its latest report which predicts mechanical disk drives will skyrocket to 100TB by 2025. Data use has risen exponentially over the last few years due to 4k video and megatextures in newer game engines. Back in September, HGST unveiled a 10TB 3.5” hard drive which implements shingled magnetic recording technology to increase the capacity without adding to the number of total platters.

Even though capacities have expanded to 10TB using this process, it seems like the limits of storage expansion are already being reached.

Currently, mechanical drives utilize perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) techniques which operate at a maximum areal density of 0.86Tbpsi. Future storage devices are destined to use heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) which should, according to Forbes, increase the annual areal density growth rate from 15% to 30%.

A longer term plan, involves the heated-dot magnetic recording (HDMR) system which combines bit patterned magnetic recording and HAMR to dramatically improve the areal density to 10. As a result, it is realistic to theorize that we should have 100TB drives on the market by year 2025.

This report may signify that standard disk drive storage won’t be entirely replaced by solid state drives for a long time because the demand for data is so high. Another factor to take into consideration is the way we are using data with a greater reliance on cloud storage. By 2025, it’s not too far-fetched to suggest that the entertainment industry might replace digital downloads with on-demand streams. Nevertheless, the future is uncertain and consumers are undoubtedly using vast sums of data that need to be stored in potentially more than one place.


Opera launches all-you-can-eat subscription-based app store

Posted in News on 28 November 2014

The mobile app business model has gone largely unchanged since its inception. Developers typically either offer their apps for a one-time fee or make them free to use and collect revenue via in-app advertising or microtransactions.

Opera Software – the company responsible for the Opera browser – has come up with a new approach to apps that has found a ton of success in other markets: subscriptions.

Opera is pitching its Subscription Mobile Store directly to operators. Participating operators would be able to brand Opera’s app store as their own which would let subscribers download an unlimited number of apps for one weekly rate.

Under the white label program, Opera takes care of virtually all of the operational and administrative overhead including KPIs, developer payments and back-office marketing support. The company also promises that a constant rotation of popular apps in the Top Apps list will keep customers coming back.

Many would likely be surprised to learn that Opera operates the third largest mobile storefront in the world – second only behind offerings from Apple and Google – with nearly 300,000 apps. Most major platforms are supported which translates to compatibility with some 6,000 phones.

Would you be interested in a mobile app store subscription that’d let you download an unlimited number of apps? If so, what would be the sweet spot in terms of pricing? Let us know in the comments section below!


Android 5.0 Lollipop encryption found to hamper storage performance by up to 80 percent

Posted in News on 28 November 2014

Android 5.0 Lollipop includes a bevy of new features and enhancements such as a remote kill switch and Trusted Places, among others. It’s also the first version of Android that enables Full Disk Encryption (FDE) by default on new devices. It’s a thoughtful gesture on Google’s part considering today’s privacy-conscious culture but as AnandTech recently discovered, it also severely hampers read / write performance.

The publication first noticed some anomalies when benchmark testing the storage system of the new Nexus 6 and decided to dig a bit deeper.

The results almost seem unfathomable but it does make sense. With FDE enabled, all writes to disk are encrypted before being saved and conversely, all reads are decrypted before being sent to RAM.

What makes things worse is the fact that the key to decrypt is protected by the lockscreen password. That means that people who don’t use a passcode on the lockscreen (there are lots of people who don’t) are taking the performance hit without any gains from FDE.

With any luck, Google will find a workaround to speed up FDE reads and writes though given that it’s been around since Honeycomb (2011), it seems somewhat unlikely. At the very least, maybe they will reconsider whether it should be enabled by default.

If your Nexus 6 feels a bit laggy at times, this could be why. It may be worth turning FDE off for a bit to see if it helps speed things up. For now, however, users must decide if the added security is worth the performance trade-off. 


Apple's Black Friday sale includes iPhone for the first time

Posted in News on 28 November 2014

Apple today launched its annual Black Friday sale and for the first time offered gift cards with the purchase of an iPhone.

The sale -- Apple's only everyone-is-eligible one of the year -- provides iTunes gift cards of $50 with the purchase of any new iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6 or iPhone 5S, or with the purchase of an unlocked iPhone 5C.

People who buy a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro or iMac receive a $100 iTunes gift card, while all iPads -- including the newest iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 -- come with a $50 gift card.

Apple also threw in $25 gift cards with the purchase of an iPod Touch or Nano, Apple TV, or Beats headphones or speakers.

The gift cards represent 10% of the list price of a 16GB iPad Air 2, 11% of the lowest-priced MacBook Air, and 20% of the cost of a first-generation Wi-Fi iPad Mini. The "discounts" are less than Apple -- known as a Black Friday skinflint -- has handed out in the past. In 2013, the $150 gift card included with an entry-level 11-in. MacBook Air and the $75 card that came with an iPad Air represented 15% of each product's then-list price.

The iTunes gift cards are a change from last year's Black Friday Apple Store cards. iTunes gift cards can be used only for digital purchases, including iOS and OS X apps; Apple Store cards are good at the company's online and retail stores.

Rival retailers again beat Apple's deals, especially on the harder-to-move iPad. For Black Friday, Best Buy cut the price of a 16GB iPad Air 2 to $399, a $100 reduction, and Target included a $140 store gift card with the same iPad Air 2.

Businesses have increasingly gravitated toward gift cards to drive traffic back into stores, and to cut expenses and boost profits. Cards are often lost or simply forgotten, and many future purchases exceed the value of the cards, bringing in even more revenue.

Apple is enamored of gift cards: Not only is this the second time it has used them for Black Friday, but it has deployed gift cards in the last four of its annual back-to-school sales. This year, those deals ranged from $50 with the purchase of an iPad, iPad Mini or iPhone, to $100 with a Mac. The gift cards were good for later purchases of iOS or OS X apps, or for goods bought at the Cupertino, Calif. company's online or retail outlets.

The Black Friday sale terms and conditions (download PDF) are available on Apple's website.


Mac won't boot? About Yosemite and your third-party SSD

Posted in Tips on 28 November 2014

About SSDs and LBA

An SSD writes small bits data to "pages," and multiple pages make up blocks. The SSD uses something called Logical Block Addressing (LBA) to keep track of which pages and blocks have information on them. This is a kind of map that details which pages and blocks are and aren't occupied with "good" data. When you delete information from an SSD, that information isn't really deleted. Rather, a reference to it is removed from the LBA and it's marked as invalid data. When the drive can't find any remaining open pages, it looks for the pages that contain invalid data to erase to make room for the fresh stuff.

The difficulty is that the drive can't erase individual pages. It has to overwrite blocks. So if you have a block where half the data is good and half invalid, you have to move the good data to another location before you can erase the block. This takes time and slows down the drive's performance.

The controllers within SSDs have a technology called "garbage collection" that moves the data within pages--both the good and invalid data--to new blocks and then erases the old ones. TRIM works at the operating system level and ensures that only the good data is moved. Invalid data is erased when the drive is otherwise idle. In sum, the two technologies speed up the drive's performance so that it's not performing a lot of needless move and erase actions.

Where Yosemite fits in

If you purchase a Mac with an SSD or Fusion drive built in, the TRIM technology is working away in the background to keep your drive running at its peak. However, if you've installed a third-party SSD, that drive doesn't use TRIM because Apple's TRIM technology is not built to support it. Instead, you'd do some Terminal work or use a third-party tool such as Cindori Software's Trim Enabler to make TRIM work with your drive.

This worked perfectly well with Mavericks. Yosemite, however, introduced a twist. With Yosemite, kernel extension (kext) files must be "signed" (or approved) by Apple for security reasons. And there's the issue. The workarounds that allow TRIM to function with third-party SSDs require that kext files are modified. If Yosemite encounters such a modified kext file, it won't run. In cases where you have such a modified extension installed, your Mac won't be able to boot from the drive. Without it, you can boot from the SSD but it won't run with the benefit of TRIM.

What options do you have?

The only way to allow TRIM to work with third-party drives under Yosemite is to disable kext signing. Unfortunately, you can't do this on an extension-by-extension basis. Instead, you have to turn it off globally. And when you do, this opens the security hole that Apple has attempted to close. Because I think it's a terrible idea to disable this security measure I won't provide you with the steps necessary to make it happen. (There's a big wide Internet out there that will guide you if you want to pursue this course.)

Another option is to get an SSD that uses the SandForce processor, which some claim makes TRIM unnecessary. OWC's Mercury line of SSDs use this processor.

You could also take your Mac to Apple and ask them to install an SSD that will work with their driver.

And finally, you can send Apple feedback and suggest that in a future update they make Yosemite compatible with TRIM and third-party SSDs.


Tablet craze calms down as iPad shipments decline

Posted in News on 28 November 2014

It's time to kiss the tablet boom goodbye, as shipments of the once-dominant Apple iPad decline amid a worldwide slowdown for the devices.

Shipments of all tablets worldwide will increase by just 7.2 percent this year, compared to 52.5 percent in 2013, according to a projection from research firm IDC. Tablet shipments this year will total 235.7 million.

The numbers reflect widespread reliance on PCs and smartphones for computing and communicating. Buying trends show that consumers and businesses still look to run full-fledged applications on PCs, which have experienced a jump in sales recently.

Otherwise, users are hanging on to tablets longer than expected, which is one reason for the slowdown in tablet shipments, IDC said. Tablet refreshes were expected every two to three years, but owners are holding on to devices for three years and longer, IDC said. New software can run on old devices, and there is no compelling reason for tablet owners to upgrade, IDC said.

IDC's numbers include hybrid devices that are mainly tablets, but can also be laptops when needed with keyboard attachments. The increase of shipments of such devices, which mostly run Windows 8, was just 4 percent.

IDC is projecting shipments of Apple's iPad to be 64.7 million units this year, a decline of 12.7 percent compared to 2013. Apple has reported declines in iPad shipments in recent quarters, but iPhone and Mac shipments increased in the most recent, October fiscal quarter.

As expected, Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed hope that iPad shipments will return to growth. Apple could get a major boost through a enterprise partnership with IBM to deliver mobile devices with customized cloud, management and analytics software.

Android and Windows device shipments, however, are increasing at the expense of iPads. Shipment of tablets with Android will reach 159.5 million units in 2014, growing by 16 percent. Samsung, Lenovo, Asus, Amazon and others sell Android tablets.

The shipment of Windows tablets and hybrids totaled 10.9 million, growing by 67.3 percent. Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is the most well-known device Windows tablet.

IDC is projecting tablet shipments to continue slowing down into 2018, when yearly growth will be just 5.4 percent. But the research firm also noted that Windows 10, Google's operating systems and Apple's product expansion were "unknowns" that could impact tablet shipment numbers.


Sony confirms development of e-paper smartwatch

Posted in News on 28 November 2014

Sony is developing a watch that uses electronic paper as a display, a spokesman said Friday.

No other details about the project were available but the confirmation follows a Bloomberg report that said the watch's face and band will be made of e-paper and serve as a combined display surface.

"We can confirm that a project team named Fashion Entertainments located in the New Business Creation Department of Sony Corporation is working on prototypes that use electronic paper including a wristwatch," a Sony spokesman in Tokyo wrote in an email.

"We decline to comment on specifics such as the possible commercialization of this project, or any targeted product launch date."

The struggling electronics company refused to give any details about the Fashion Entertainments team other than saying it works on prototypes including e-paper devices.

Sony established its New Business Creation Department in April this year in an attempt to foster new products that don't fit into its traditional product categories. Referring to creations such as its tennis sensor, lens-style cameras and 4K ultra short-throw projector, in May it said the new organization's mission is "to draw on internal and external insight to provide a catalyst for innovation and to provide the opportunity for new ideas to transition into successful new businesses."

In a sign of its importance to Sony, the department is being overseen directly by CEO Kazuo Hirai. It was being run by Hiroki Totoki until he was appointed in October to take over subsidiary Sony Mobile Communications.

Sony was an early entrant to the still nascent wearables market, launching its first SmartWatch in 2012. At IFA 2014 in September, it unveiled the third generation as an Android Wear-powered timepiece with a 1.3-inch LCD screen, a 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM A7 processor and 512 MB RAM.

At an electronics strategy briefing this week, Sony said its Mobile Communications Segment, of which smartwatches and smartbands are a small fraction, will post an operating loss of ¥204 billion (US$ 1.7 billion) in the fiscal year to March 31, 2015. It blamed the poor performance on slower sales of mid- and low-end smartphones and the appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the yen.


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