News

Stealing Apple's Thunder: New Releases that Could Overshadow the iPhone 6 Release

Posted in News on 02 September 2014
With every new release of an iPhone, Apple gets worldwide fanfare unlike any other device. The company is currently revving up for its fall release of the iPhone 6, however, there are now a growing number of Windows and Android enthusiasts that are more excited about other new device releases. Although some think there isn’t a cloud big enough to overshadow anything Apple does, there is a chance that the iPhone 6 could get lost in the mix this fall with so many banner releases. Here is a look at some of the fall 2014 releases and how they could change up the industry, or cast a shadow over Apple’s big moment.
 
Moto X+1
 
The 2013 Moto X received relatively good reviews as well as improving Sony’s share of the Smartphone market, but it still wasn’t quite a contender for the older iPhone models. With the newest Moto +1 model (release date set for late fall 2014), all of the specs have been improved from top to bottom. This includes the new Snapdragon 800 chip for lightning fast multi-tasking as well as the ability to customize the appearance of the phone straight from the store, an option that the iPhone 6 lacks almost entirely.
 
Sony Xperia Z3
 
The tentative release date for the Xperia Z3 is around the end September, which gives it the perfect position to compete with the iPhone 6. The Z3 is slated to come out with upgrades on almost all hardware and software including the Snapdragon 801 chip, 3GB of RAM, and a forward-facing camera rated at more than 20 megapixels. The truly standout feature of this phone is its water and dust resistance with an Ingress protection rating of IP67, one of the highest on the market and a great option for the adventurous user.
 
Galaxy Note 4
 
The Galaxy Note 4 now finds itself in the relatively new “phablet” market with a display that measures nearly six inches from corner to corner. This makes it an unwieldy option for some, but the perfect product for those that would like a more functional tablet that is able to make and receive calls. The standout feature is either going to be the iris scanner, or finger the scanner, both of which have been mentioned by Samsung as a possible security addition not seen on many other Smartphones.
 
Nexus 6
 
Much like Apple, Google makes a habit out of shrouding their biggest releases in mystery, and this includes the upcoming Nexus which has been dubbed the Nexus 6. With a release date most likely in October, the Nexus 6 will be another major holiday Smartphone contender with seamless integration to all of Google’s most popular software and hardware. The standout feature for the Nexus 6 is the upcoming Android L operating system, which will offer performance boosts on almost all attached hardware.
The competition for the iPhone 6 is now streaming in from dozens of Smartphone manufacturers, and this makes the fall 2014 season an exciting time for those with a finger on the pulse of this industry.
 

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Google Encourages Users To Upgrade

Posted in News on 02 September 2014
Some web surfers may have felt they stepped back in time this past weekend.
 
Google, reportedly, began using older versions of its search home page when surfers were using out-of-date browsers. A number of posters on a Google group page complained of seeing the older page versions while searching on the Internet.
 
The BBC reported the problem was most common for users still using variants of Safari 5.1 and Opera 12.
 
However, it was not a glitch as a Google official assured users the company is simply hoping to encourage people to upgrade their browsers.
 
“I want to assure you this isn’t a bug, it’s working as intended,” stated a poster identified as nealem. “We’re continually making improvements to Search, so we can only provide limited support for some outdated browsers. We encourage everyone to make the free upgrade to modern browsers – they’re more secure and provide a better web experience overall.”
 
It’s not a new thing for Google to try and get users to upgrade.
 
For the past three years, The Inquirer reported, Google has followed a policy of supporting only the most up-to-date versions of web browsers.
 
It became a larger issues with the release of Internet Explorer 11. Google stopped supporting Internet Explorer 9 leaving some users in a lurch.
 
However, some of the current users who found they were looking at older pages were not impressed with the encouragement to upgrade. The forum postings continued with some users saying they preferred the older version of Google and some even said they’d be better served by switching over the Bing.
 

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MSN Messenger Shutting Down

Posted in News on 02 September 2014
The final message will be delivered next month.
 
After approximately 15 years, Microsoft will officially decommission its once hugely popular service, MSN Messenger , in October. The service has seen dwindling numbers, and availability, in recent years and is slated for its finale next month.
 
The company began to phase out the service across the globe beginning in April 2013, Forbes reported. As of Oct. 31, though, all users will be discontinued as the final area serviced by MSN Messenger, mainland China, will be forced to permanently log out.
 
Users are being encouraged to change over to Skype.
 
That makes sense considering the hugely popular video-messaging service was purchased by Microsoft two years ago.
 
In 2012, Skype was boasting 300 million users. Three years prior to that, MSN Messenger had 330 million but those numbers began to drop as Skype grew in popularity.
 
It was only in 2005 when China was introduced by MSN Messenger, reports BBC, but it faced competition from Cinese-based services such as QQ messenger.
 
Late last week, Chinese users of MSN Messenger began receiving e-mails instructing them the service would be closing. That same e-mail said users could get free Skype credits if they chose to use the newer service.
 
MSN Messenger was introduced, as a competitor to AOL’s Instant Messenger, in 1999. As Microsoft’s service grew in popularity it added a handful of features including video calls. It was renamed to Windows Live Messenger in 2005.
 

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iOS Developer

Posted in Jobs on 01 September 2014
A leader in the Medical Devices field, has an urgent need for an iOS Developer with solid commercial experience and an excellent portfolio. The role will involve developing, analysing, testing and implementing a variety of Smartphone and web applications for the company and it's customers.
 
Responsibilities
Design, develop and document Smartphone applications aimed at the consumer market. Apply development skills and technology to the product design process. Design, develop, prototype and test of the required subsystem and its interface to the system. Work with a small team of software and hardware developers. Interface with other stakeholders to ensure the system objectives are balanced with overall project objectives. Provide product design input for the project team. Assist management in the development of design policies and procedures which improve the ability to meet product system requirements. To assure the quality of software applications through design, review and testing. Responsible for the delivery of the product to manufacturing within the required timelines.
 
Qualifications and Skills
University degree or College Diploma in Electronic Engineering, Computer Science or other equivalent experience Excellent knowledge of Objective-C and the iOS SDK A portfolio of apps either available on AppStore or Enterprise deployed Experience with Android or Windows Phone a bonus Excellent knowledge of the Objective-C, XCode 5 & 6 Experience in a product development environment Experience interfacing with RestFul web services over JSON. Experience writing unit tests Experience working within an Agile software development process, particularly Scrum Minimum 5 years software development experience in C, C++ or Objective-C. Consumer market industry experience.
 

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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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