Monday, 28 April 2014

Indian app market may touch Rs 3,800 crore mark by 2016

Led by a surge in smartphone sales, the application or app market in the country is likely to grow by more than four times to $626.23 million (around Rs 3,800 crore) by 2016, with paid apps contributing Rs 2,065 crore.

The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) said that the total worth of Indian app economy is worth $150 million currently (about Rs 900 crore) but it has immense potential to grow.

"India is on the cusp of a data revolution that will be led by mobile as has been the case with voice," ICRIER Director and Chief Executive Rajat Kathuria said here at a broadband conference organised by Sri Lanka-based think tank Lirne Asia.

"A number of factors favour an app revolution in India -the existence of developers, a billion connections, a deficit in service delivery through conventional means, a competitive mobile market combined with a serious attempt to address regulatory constraints," he said.

He said there are around 3 lakh app developers in the country with about 100 million app downloads every month. There are, however, many developers who are building apps for the global market and not necessarily for India.

Kathuria said application stores such as Google's pay higher revenue share to the developers as compared to the Indian mobile operators. He said India needs local application distribution platform that provide 70-30 revenue share to developers.

"Telecom operators may have a role to play, provided they offer competitive revenue share to app developers, in facilitating mobile payments since they cater to large prepaid segment," he added.

Microsoft rushes to fix Internet Explorer after attacks; no fix for Windows XP users

 Microsoft Corp is rushing to fix a bug in its widely used Internet Explorer web browser after a computer security firm disclosed the flaw over the weekend, saying hackers have already exploited it in attacks on some US companies. 

PCs running Windows XP will not receive any updates fixing that bug when they are released, however, because Microsoft stopped supporting the 13-year-old operating system earlier this month. Security firms estimate that between 15 and 25 per cent of the world's PCs still run Windows XP 

Microsoft disclosed on Saturday its plans to fix the bug in an advisory to its customers posted on its security website, which it said is present in Internet Explorer versions 6 to 11. Those versions dominate desktop browsing, accounting for 55 per cent of the PC browser market, according to tech research firm NetMarketShare. 

Cybersecurity software maker FireEye Inc said that a sophisticated group of hackers have been exploiting the bug in a campaign dubbed " Operation Clandestine Fox." 

FireEye, whose Mandiant division helps companies respond to cyber attacks, declined to name specific victims or identify the group of hackers, saying that an investigation into the matter is still active. 

"It's a campaign of targeted attacks seemingly against US-based firms, currently tied to defense and financial sectors," FireEye spokesman Vitor De Souza said via email. "It's unclear what the motives of this attack group are, at this point. It appears to be broad-spectrum intel gathering." 

He declined to elaborate, though he said one way to protect against them would be to switch to another browser. 

Microsoft said in the advisory that the vulnerability could allow a hacker to take complete control of an affected system, then do things such as viewing changing, or deleting data, installing malicious programs, or creating accounts that would give hackers full user rights. 

FireEye and Microsoft have not provided much information about the security flaw or the approach that hackers could use to figure out how to exploit it, said Aviv Raff, chief technology officer of cybersecurity firm Seculert. 

Yet other groups of hackers are now racing to learn more about it so they can launch similar attacks before Microsoft prepares a security update, Raff said. 

"Microsoft should move fast," he said. "This will snowball." 

Still, he cautioned that Windows XP users will not benefit from that update since Microsoft has just halted support for that product. 

The software maker said in a statement to Reuters that it advises Windows XP users to upgrade to one of two most recently versions of its operating system, Windows 7 or 8.

Curved iPhone 6 Concept Brings New Rumors to Life

Curved iPhone 6 Concept Brings New Rumors to Life is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.
A brand new iPhone 6 concept brings the most recent iPhone 6 rumors to life and gives us a look at what an iPhone could look like with a curved display.
As we move deeper into the new year, we’re starting to hear more and more about Apple’s plans for 2014. The company is rumored to be coming out with a new MacBook Air, an iWatch, brand new iPads, and a new iPhone that is currently dubbed iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 is expected to debut in the summer or the fall to take on the likes of the HTC One M8 and the all new Samsung Galaxy S5 that launched earlier this month.
Rumors have been rampant, but we still don’t know what Apple’s next iPhone will look like. The lack of a full-fledged design has spawned a number of iPhone 6 concepts that attempt to showcase what the real iPhone 6 could look like when Apple debuts it on stage later on this year. While some concepts are based on fantasy or wishful thinking, others pull in actual rumors to give us a realistic look. Well known designed Martin Hajek is responsible for several of the best iPhone 6 concepts and today, he’s back with yet another.

This iPhone 6 concept incorporates the latest iPhone 6 rumors.
This iPhone 6 concept incorporates the latest iPhone 6 rumors.

Hajek’s new iPhone 6 concept, shared by Nowhereelse, showcases an iPhone 6 that’s based on a rumor that recently came out of Japanese blog, Macotakara. The report, which came out on Wednesday, suggests that Apple may utilize a curved chassis and curved glass for the display, a vast departure from the squared-off design that’s found on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5.

This iPhone 6 concept also uses a larger display.
This iPhone 6 concept also uses a larger display.

The site claims that a trusted source tells them that the device will come with rounded edges similar to what Samsung did with the Galaxy S3 design. Macotakara has a decent track record but at this point, the design change is a rumor and nothing more than that.
That hasn’t stopped Hajek though. The busy designer has quickly pumped out an iPhone 6 concept that is based on this rumor. The new iPhone 6 concept showcases a beautifully crafted concept that utilizes curves around the edges, just like the rumors suggest. The rest of the iPhone 6 concept is based on the concept that Hajek modeled after the alleged iPhone 6 schematics that leaked out earlier this month.
The concept, based on rumors, offers buyers a glimpse at a sleek looking device that comes with an extremely thin design, rounded edges, a large edge-to-edge display, and the change to the volume and power controls that we’ve seen depicted in a couple of recent leaks. And while Hajek’s version of the iPhone 6 may not look exactly like Apple’s version of the device, it’s the closest that consumers are going to get until the real iPhone 6 is released later on this year.
iPhone 6 rumors almost exclusively point to an iPhone 6 with a larger display. Since last year, rumors have pointed to two iPhone 6 models. One model is said to be between 4.5-inches and 4.7-inches in size, similar to the concept seen here. The other iPhone 6 is thought to be somewhere around 5.5-inches or 5.7-inches with HD resolution. If real, it would likely be marketed as a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 competitor.

An iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch display will likely be bigger than the iPhone 5s and iPhone 4s.
An iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch display will likely be bigger than the iPhone 5s and iPhone 4s.

A recent report from Reuters casts some doubt on a two-pronged iPhone attack in 2014. The report claims that Apple may have delayed the larger iPhone and that it will be the 4.5-inch to 4.7-inch iPhone and that makes an appearance later this year. A more recent report from The Commercial Times suggests that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may have been pushed into 2015.
The biggest iPhone 6 leak of the month comes from Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, shared by MacRumors. Kuo accurately predicted many of last year’s iPhone 5s features and while he is not 100% on rumors, he is considered to be very reliable. Here is how he sees Apple’s iPhone 6 features panning out:
  • iPhone 6 Screen Size and Resolution – 4.7- inch (1334 x 750) 5.5-inch (1920 x 1080).
  • iPhone 6 Release Dates – 4.7-inch in September, 5.5-inch in Holiday season.
  • iPhone 6 Design – Power button on right, narrower bezels, larger iPhone 6 as two-hands needed.
  • iPhone 6 Camera – No major Megapixel bump, but added image stability.
  • iPhone 6 Specs – A8, 1GB RAM, Touch ID, 6.5mm to 7mm thickness, NFC.
A specific iPhone 6 release date remains out of reach but rumors put the device’s release during the fall. Apple’s last three iPhone models have launched during the fall with the iPhone 4s coming in October and the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s launching in September. While this doesn’t guarantee a release in the fall, it does make one likely given that Apple tends to stick to predictable launch patterns.
The iPhone 6 is expected to be challenged by a number of new devices including the rumored LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4. While the LG G3 could launch this summer, the Galaxy Note 4 is expected to touch down in the fall, possibly in September at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany.

Google+ won't remain a social network for long: Report

Google is reportedly planning to dismantle its social network, Google+. Google will turn Google+ into a platform instead of a product, TechCrunch reports citing "multiple sources."

This means that it will no longer exist as a social network aimed at competing with Facebook, but it still may be integrated into Google's existing products.

The company has allegedly been shifting the teams that used to be at "the core" of Google+ and is moving more talent toward the Android team.

Google had 1,000-1,200 employees working on Google+. Facebook has 6,818 employees.

According to TechCrunch, here's how the shakeup will play out:

* The Google Hangouts team will be moving to the Android team
* The Photo teams are also likely to move to the Android team
* The rest of the employees are likely to take on mobile projects, such as working on widgets that would employ Google+ as a platform rather than a product. However, Google is still undecided on the matter.

All of these Google+ changes surfaced after Vic Gundotra, who led Google+, announced that he was leaving Google.

A Google representative has denied to TechCrunch that any changes within the company's Google+ strategy will change, saying that Gundotra's exit has "no impact" on its plans for Google+.

Google is also reportedly scrapping mandatory Google+ integration with its other products. That doesn't mean it will completely go away, but the integration may be scaled back.

Gundotra reportedly clashed with others inside the company, particularly around this idea of "forced" Google+ integrations into products like YouTube and Gmail.

The changes aren't particularly surprising, given Google+ as a standalone social media site didn't reach the level of popularity as rivals such as Facebook. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google+ had about seven million daily active users two years ago.

By active, the WSJ means who read posts on the social network, not those who click Google+ notifications while using Google's other services. It's possible it's grown since then, but considering that Google+ is being broken up, it seems unlikely that it had massive growth

Russia may ban Facebook, Gmail, Skype

Russia's parliament has reportedly passed legislation that will ban Western technology firms from operating on failure to store data within Russia.

According to CNET, the "Information, Information Technologies and Protection of Information" amendment, part of the country's anti-terrorism laws, would require Russian data handled by tech giants such as Facebook, Google's Gmail, and Microsoft's Skype to be stored within the country in order for it to be accessed by state security and intelligence services for legal inspection.

The move will facilitate the Russian government's surveillance plans that include snooping on user data.

However, the legislation is yet to be approved by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Once the legislation gets the president's nod, Russia would force foreign companies to install servers and data centers inside the country in order to be compliant, which in turn would give greater control to the Russian Federal Security Service over the Russian Internet, the report adds

TCS joins global IT league

With its domestic rivals fading in the rearview mirror and global competitors coming into focus, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chief executive of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), in early 2013 went on a quest.

His target and that of many of his peers was the $100-billion Japanese outsourcing market. Until very recently, TCS earned barely $100 million of $12 billion in annual revenues from the Land of The Rising Sun. Chandrasekaran, 51, was determined to fix this.

On April 22, TCS jumped-started this business it had painstakingly built since 1987, when it merged its Japan unit with IT Frontier Corporation (ITF) and a local joint venture Nippon TCS Solution Center Limited to overnight create a business with revenues of around $600 million annually.

Japan is the world's second largest market after the United States. But it's been a difficult one to crack courtesy of its culturally sensitive clients chary of outsourcing work to vendors without local language and knowledge expertise.

Tokyo Story

TCS, and most rivals, have had to take the long way around. Starting with work for global multinationals such as GM and American Express in China, then to work for Japanese giants in North America (Toyota, for example), then to setting up centres in places like China, which are close to Japan, before finally opening up local delivery centres in Japan.

Analysts believe TCS has put in place a strong framework for future growth. "TCS has a robust business acquisition and execution engine," says Dipen Shah, an analyst with Kotak Securities. "Right from recruitment, to planning of projects and executing on time and within budgets, TCS has built a business which is superior to others."

Having snagged a bigger share in Japan, analysts think this will be a stepping stone for TCS.

The company, they say, will now focus on similar investments in Latin America and Continental Europe to further globalize its revenues.

The protracted negotiations by TCS signal the company's intent not only to crack the Japanese market but also to be seen in the same bracket as IBM and Accenture and less as an India-centric outsourcer.

Not only did it multiply its business in Japan, it has also clambered onto the top 10 list of global IT services providers, according to HfS Research, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based research services firm.

TCS gained three places in this year's study, according to the report, putting it in the same league as global giants such as IBM, HP, SAP and Oracle.

But a No 10 position may not be enough for Chandrasekaran, and sure enough rival analysts and industry executive dispute the HfS figures; they reckon TCS may be higher than the No 10 ranking bestowed on them (see The HfS Ranking...).

According to a TCS spokesperson, TCS ranks No 2 in market value, No 7 in revenues, and No 4 in profitability.

Company officials were not available for comments for this feature. "I think TCS breaking into the top 5 [in revenues] can only be achieved in the near future [next three years] through a major acquisition [or a few sizeable ones].

Even at current growth rates it would be hard for them to gain the [at least] $6 billion they need to get to a top 5 position [assuming zero growth in the top 5 position]," says Jamie Snowdon, a vice-president with HfS.

Good Going

In the ever-changing world of outsourcing, making long-term bets is risky. "I expect if they don't make a major acquisition, the highest position TCS will hit by 2016 is seventh, unless one of the bigger firms make a big divestment or if there is a major shift in exchange rates and Japanese firms lose ground," adds Snowdon. Other analysts think it is only a matter of time before TCS hits the big time. "TCS has a lot of momentum and today they are able to compete with the largest players in the market," says Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of Everest Group, an offshore advisory firm. "Their focus on localization of their business and investment in understanding their customers better is paying off."

TCS' revenue has doubled to $12 billion in around five years, while IBM Global Services, its largest global rival, has stalled in the $55-56 billion range. In a difficult market, smaller global rivals have been growing at a slower pace. Parisbased outsourcer Capgemini, for example, has seen revenue go up from 8.37 to 10.09 billion in the same timeframe (1 equals $1.4).

In an industry where its rivals have chosen to grow either revenues or profitability, TCS has managed to do both. TCS grew 16.1% year on year in the January-December period; Cognizant grew faster at 20.3% albeit on a smaller base. TCS' growth is hardly without challenges.

For example, a couple of quarters ago, the firm found itself upended in the North America market for IT services, when Cognizant took top spot. Cognizant has since then proven that its growth in North America which accounts for two thirds of all IT spending is no fluke by keeping its top position.

Despite its size, TCS has also set itself up for future growth by building an efficient business. It has a lean bench and lower attrition than most India-based outsourcers. Its utilization, including trainees (a measure of the number of people on billable projects), was at 77.9% for financial year 2013-14. While HCL Technologies' utlization was higher at 84.2% it lost more people, with an attrition rate of 16.9% for its IT services business. TCS' attrition rate at 11% was the lowest amongst its peers.

Riding the Wave

As TCS closes the gap on its global rivals and stretches the lead from its domestic competitors, analysts contend that the company needs to look for multiple growth engines to sustain its growth. Chandrasekaran indicated during a recent chat with analysts that Latin America and Europe were priority sectors.

"As a company with [only] a billion dollars in revenue... you do not have the scale to be able to say that we are growing in all markets," he told them after the firm announced results for the fourth quarter and financial year 2013-14. "The company has the scale, size, the kind of offerings, investment capacity."

He also added that TCS was not only able to snare new clients in Latin America but also grow existing customer relationships. "We have built a solid base in Latin America; we have got credible clients in this market. So we need to scale up these relationships," he explained. "In Latin America, our $1 million-plus clients are nicely migrating to $5 million-plus, and $5 million-plus clients are nicely showing signs of migrating to $10 million-plus and $20 million-plus and so on."

Outsourcing experts think that TCS needs to not just widen its geographic presence, but also overhaul the kind of technology services it provides. "When we look at the market, the future winners will not only focus on the classic operate, maintain, transfer [of technology and tech assets] business, but also focus on design and build," says R Ray Wang, principal and founder of Constellation Research.

"Our clients are asking for their system integrators to be co-innovation and co-creation partners." It is this wave that TCS will need to ride to reach the summit of IT services. "The firm that helps their clients with design and build will be the winners in this next era of digital transformation and digital business," Wang concludes.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Java 8 Features.

Java Platform, Standard Edition 8 is a major feature release. This document summarizes features and enhancements in Java SE 8 and in JDK 8, Oracle's implementation of Java SE 8. Click the component name for a more detailed description of the enhancements for that component.
  • Java Programming Language
    • Lambda Expressions, a new language feature, has been introduced in this release. They enable you to treat functionality as a method argument, or code as data. Lambda expressions let you express instances of single-method interfaces (referred to as functional interfaces) more compactly.
    • Method references provide easy-to-read lambda expressions for methods that already have a name.
    • Default methods enable new functionality to be added to the interfaces of libraries and ensure binary compatibility with code written for older versions of those interfaces.
    • Repeating Annotations provide the ability to apply the same annotation type more than once to the same declaration or type use.
    • Type Annotations provide the ability to apply an annotation anywhere a type is used, not just on a declaration. Used with a pluggable type system, this feature enables improved type checking of your code.
    • Improved type inference.
    • Method parameter reflection.
  • Collections
    • Classes in the new package provide a Stream API to support functional-style operations on streams of elements. The Stream API is integrated into the Collections API, which enables bulk operations on collections, such as sequential or parallel map-reduce transformations.
    • Performance Improvement for HashMaps with Key Collisions
  • Compact Profiles contain predefined subsets of the Java SE platform and enable applications that do not require the entire Platform to be deployed and run on small devices.

  • Security
    • Client-side TLS 1.2 enabled by default
    • New variant of AccessController.doPrivileged that enables code to assert a subset of its privileges, without preventing the full traversal of the stack to check for other permissions
    • Stronger algorithms for password-based encryption
    • SSL/TLS Server Name Indication (SNI) Extension support in JSSE Server
    • Support for AEAD algorithms: The SunJCE provider is enhanced to support AES/GCM/NoPadding cipher implementation as well as GCM algorithm parameters. And the SunJSSE provider is enhanced to support AEAD mode based cipher suites. See Oracle Providers Documentation, JEP 115.
    • KeyStore enhancements, including the new Domain KeyStore type, and the new command option -importpassword for the keytool utility
    • SHA-224 Message Digests
    • Enhanced Support for NSA Suite B Cryptography
    • Better Support for High Entropy Random Number Generation
    • New class for configuring revocation checking of X.509 certificates
    • 64-bit PKCS11 for Windows
    • New rcache Types in Kerberos 5 Replay Caching
    • Support for Kerberos 5 Protocol Transition and Constrained Delegation
    • Kerberos 5 weak encryption types disabled by default
    • Unbound SASL for the GSS-API/Kerberos 5 mechanism
    • SASL service for multiple host names
    • JNI bridge to native JGSS on Mac OS X
    • Support for stronger strength ephemeral DH keys in the SunJSSE provider
    • Support for server-side cipher suites preference customization in JSSE
  • JavaFX
    • The new Modena theme has been implemented in this release. For more information, see the blog at
    • The new SwingNode class enables developers to embed Swing content into JavaFX applications. See the SwingNode javadoc and Embedding Swing Content in JavaFX Applications.
    • The new UI Controls include the DatePicker and the TreeTableView controls.
    • The javafx.print package provides the public classes for the JavaFX Printing API. See the javadoc for more information.
    • The 3D Graphics features now include 3D shapes, camera, lights, subscene, material, picking, and antialiasing. The new Shape3D (Box, Cylinder, MeshView, and Sphere subclasses), SubScene, Material, PickResult, LightBase (AmbientLight and PointLight subclasses) , and SceneAntialiasing API classes have been added to the JavaFX 3D Graphics library. The Camera API class has also been updated in this release. See the corresponding class javadoc for javafx.scene.shape.Shape3D, javafx.scene.SubScene, javafx.scene.paint.Material, javafx.scene.input.PickResult, javafx.scene.SceneAntialiasing, and the Getting Started with JavaFX 3D Graphics document.
    • The WebView class provides new features and improvements. Review Supported Features of HTML5 for more information about additional HTML5 features including Web Sockets, Web Workers, and Web Fonts.
    • Enhanced text support including bi-directional text and complex text scripts such as Thai and Hindi in controls, and multi-line, multi-style text in text nodes.
    • Support for Hi-DPI displays has been added in this release.
    • The CSS Styleable* classes became public API. See the javafx.css javadoc for more information.
    • The new ScheduledService class allows to automatically restart the service.
    • JavaFX is now available for ARM platforms. JDK for ARM includes the base, graphics and controls components of JavaFX.
  • Tools
    • The jjs command is provided to invoke the Nashorn engine.
    • The java command launches JavaFX applications.
    • The java man page has been reworked.
    • The jdeps command-line tool is provided for analyzing class files.
    • Java Management Extensions (JMX) provide remote access to diagnostic commands.
    • The jarsigner tool has an option for requesting a signed time stamp from a Time Stamping Authority (TSA).
    • Javac tool
      • The -parameters option of the javac command can be used to store formal parameter names and enable the Reflection API to retrieve formal parameter names.
      • The type rules for equality operators in the Java Language Specification (JLS) Section 15.21 are now correctly enforced by the javac command.
      • The javac tool now has support for checking the content of javadoc comments for issues that could lead to various problems, such as invalid HTML or accessibility issues, in the files that are generated when javadoc is run. The feature is enabled by the new -Xdoclint option. For more details, see the output from running "javac -X". This feature is also available in the javadoc tool, and is enabled there by default.
      • The javac tool now provides the ability to generate native headers, as needed. This removes the need to run the javah tool as a separate step in the build pipeline. The feature is enabled in javac by using the new -h option, which is used to specify a directory in which the header files should be written. Header files will be generated for any class which has either native methods, or constant fields annotated with a new annotation of type java.lang.annotation.Native.
    • Javadoc tool
      • The javadoc tool supports the new DocTree API that enables you to traverse Javadoc comments as abstract syntax trees.
      • The javadoc tool supports the new Javadoc Access API that enables you to invoke the Javadoc tool directly from a Java application, without executing a new process. See the javadoc what's new page for more information.
      • The javadoc tool now has support for checking the content of javadoc comments for issues that could lead to various problems, such as invalid HTML or accessibility issues, in the files that are generated when javadoc is run. The feature is enabled by default, and can also be controlled by the new -Xdoclint option. For more details, see the output from running "javadoc -X". This feature is also available in the javac tool, although it is not enabled by default there.
  • Internationalization
    • Unicode Enhancements, including support for Unicode 6.2.0
    • Adoption of Unicode CLDR Data and the java.locale.providers System Property
    • New Calendar and Locale APIs
    • Ability to Install a Custom Resource Bundle as an Extension
  • Deployment
    • For sandbox applets and Java Web Start applications, URLPermission is now used to allow connections back to the server from which they were started. SocketPermission is no longer granted.
    • The Permissions attribute is required in the JAR file manifest of the main JAR file at all security levels.
  • Date-Time Package - a new set of packages that provide a comprehensive date-time model.
  • Scripting
  • Pack200
    • Pack200 Support for Constant Pool Entries and New Bytecodes Introduced by JSR 292
    • JDK8 support for class files changes specified by JSR-292, JSR-308 and JSR-335
  • IO and NIO
    • New SelectorProvider implementation for Solaris based on the Solaris event port mechanism. To use, run with the system property java.nio.channels.spi.Selector set to the value
    • Decrease in the size of the <JDK_HOME>/jre/lib/charsets.jar file
    • Performance improvement for the java.lang.String(byte[], *) constructor and the java.lang.String.getBytes() method.
  • java.lang and java.util Packages
    • Parallel Array Sorting
    • Standard Encoding and Decoding Base64
    • Unsigned Arithmetic Support
  • JDBC
    • The JDBC-ODBC Bridge has been removed.
    • JDBC 4.2 introduces new features.
  • Java DB
    • JDK 8 includes Java DB 10.10.
  • Networking
    • The class has been added.
    • In the class, if a security manager is installed, calls that request to open a connection require permission.
  • Concurrency
    • Classes and interfaces have been added to the java.util.concurrent package.
    • Methods have been added to the java.util.concurrent.ConcurrentHashMap class to support aggregate operations based on the newly added streams facility and lambda expressions.
    • Classes have been added to the java.util.concurrent.atomic package to support scalable updatable variables.
    • Methods have been added to the java.util.concurrent.ForkJoinPool class to support a common pool.
    • The java.util.concurrent.locks.StampedLock class has been added to provide a capability-based lock with three modes for controlling read/write access.
  • Java XML - JAXP
  • HotSpot
    • Hardware intrinsics were added to use Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). The UseAES and UseAESIntrinsics flags are available to enable the hardware-based AES intrinsics for Intel hardware. The hardware must be 2010 or newer Westmere hardware. For example, to enable hardware AES, use the following flags:
      -XX:+UseAES -XX:+UseAESIntrinsics
      To disable hardware AES use the following flags:
      -XX:-UseAES -XX:-UseAESIntrinsics
    • Removal of PermGen.
    • Default Methods in the Java Programming Language are supported by the byte code instructions for method invocation.
  • Java Mission Control 5.3 Release Notes
    • JDK 8 includes Java Mission Control 5.3.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Cortana vs. Siri vs. Google Now

Now that Cortana, Windows Phone 8.1's new personal assistant, is out, we decided to put it up against the field - Siri and Google Now.
For some time, Windows Phone struggled to keep up with iOS and Android in many areas, especially with having a decent and usable notification system. Now that Windows Phone 8.1 brings the platform into the modern age, Microsoft saw it fit to throw in a personal assistant, too.
Like Siri's early days, Cortana is in a beta stage. That means it has a long way to go as far as Microsoft is planning, but we were pleasantly surprised with the results that it gave us. It's pretty clear that Microsoft has put the work into its personal assistant before releasing it in its beta stage.
YouTube : good personal assistant will keep track of your schedule, reminders and take note of the things you're interested in. Cortana mostly nails all of those things, and then some. When you open up Cortana, it shows you news, traffic and other bits of information that might be useful to you, just like Google Now. Siri doesn't really do that.

Talk to me, Cortana

But like Google Now and Siri, Cortana will also take your orders via voice recognition. You can ask Cortana to do simple things, like setting alarms and calendar appointments. However, like Siri, Cortana will also take on more advanced questions, with a few Easter eggs in its set of responses.
Cortana Windows Phone 8.1
Once Windows Phone 8.1 becomes available to the public, everyone will be able to try out the voice-recognition system on Windows Phone handsets. Accessing it is easy - you just press and hold the search button on the home screen and Cortana is reatdy for your every whim and command.
You'll have to watch the video to see how Microsoft's new Windows Phone 8.1 personal assistant holds up against the competition, but we will say that we're very curious to see just how much Cortana will get better over time. It's already great.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif: - How's my kid going to get a job? There are few questions I hear more often than that one.

In February, I interviewed Laszlo Bock, who is in charge of all hiring at Google - about 100 new hires a week - to try to understand what an employer like Google was looking for and why it was increasingly ready to hire people with no college degrees. Bock's remarks generated a lot of reader response, particularly his point that prospective bosses today care less about what you know or where you learned it - the Google machine knows everything now - than what value you can create with what you know. With graduations approaching, I went back to Google to ask Bock to share his best advice for job-seekers anywhere, not just at Google. Here is a condensed version of our conversations:

You're not saying college education is worthless?

"My belief is not that one shouldn't go to college," Bock said.

It is that among 18- to 22-year-olds - or people returning to school years later - "most don't put enough thought into why they're going, and what they want to get out of it." Of course, we want an informed citizenry, where everyone has a baseline of knowledge from which to build skills. That is a social good. But, he added, don't just go to college because you think it is the right thing to do and that any bachelor's degree will suffice.

Also Read: Wish to get a job at Google? Here are their five hiring attributes

"The first and most important thing is to be explicit and willful in making the decisions about what you want to get out of this investment in your education." It's a huge investment of time, effort and money and people should think "incredibly hard about what they're getting in return."

Once there, said Bock, make sure that you're getting out of it not only a broadening of your knowledge but skills that will be valued in today's workplace. Your college degree is not a proxy anymore for having the skills or traits to do any job.

What are those traits? One is grit, he said. Shuffling through resumes of some of Google's 100 hires that week, Bock explained: "I was on campus speaking to a student who was a computer science and math double major, who was thinking of shifting to an economics major because the computer science courses were too difficult. I told that student they are much better off being a B student in computer science than an A+ student in English because it signals a rigor in your thinking and a more challenging course load. That student will be one of our interns this summer."

Or, he added, think of this headline from The Wall Street Journal in 2011: "Students Pick Easier Majors Despite Less Pay." This was an article about a student who switched from electrical and computer engineering to a major in psychology. She said she just found the former too difficult and would focus instead on a career in public relations and human resources. "I think this student was making a mistake," said Bock, even if it meant lower grades. "She was moving out of a major where she would have been differentiated in the labor force" and "out of classes that would have made her better qualified for other jobs because of the training."

This is key for Bock because the first thing Google looks for "is general cognitive ability - the ability to learn things and solve problems," he said. In that vein, "a knowledge set that will be invaluable is the ability to understand and apply information - so, basic computer science skills. I'm not saying you have to be some terrific coder, but to just understand how [these] things work you have to be able to think in a formal and logical and structured way." But that kind of thinking doesn't have to come from a computer science degree. "I took statistics at business school, and it was transformative for my career. Analytical training gives you a skill set that differentiates you from most people in the labor market."

A lot of work, he added, is no longer tied to location.

"So if you want your job tied to where you are, you need to be: A) quite good at it; and B) you need to be very adaptable so that you have a baseline skill set that allows you to be a call center operator today and tomorrow be able to interpret MRI scans. To have built the skill set that allows you to do both things requires a baseline capability that's analytical."

Well, what about creativity?

Bock: "Humans are by nature creative beings, but not by nature logical, structured-thinking beings. Those are skills you have to learn. One of the things that makes people more effective is if you can do both. ... If you're great on both attributes, you'll have a lot more options. If you have just one, that's fine, too." But a lot fewer people have this kind of structured thought process and creativity.

Are the liberal arts still important?

They are "phenomenally important," he said, especially when you combine them with other disciplines. "Ten years ago behavioral economics was rarely referenced. But [then] you apply social science to economics and suddenly there's this whole new field. I think a lot about how the most interesting things are happening at the intersection of two fields. To pursue that, you need expertise in both fields. You have to understand economics and psychology or statistics and physics [and] bring them together. You need some people who are holistic thinkers and have liberal arts backgrounds and some who are deep functional experts. Building that balance is hard, but that's where you end up building great societies, great organizations."

How do you write a good resume?

"The key," he said, "is to frame your strengths as: 'I accomplished X, relative to Y, by doing Z.' Most people would write a resume like this: 'Wrote editorials for The New York Times.' Better would be to say: 'Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of six by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.' Most people don't put the right content on their resumes."

What's your best advice for job interviews?

"What you want to do is say: 'Here's the attribute I'm going to demonstrate; here's the story demonstrating it; here's how that story demonstrated that attribute.' " And here is how it can create value. "Most people in an interview don't make explicit their thought process behind how or why they did something and, even if they are able to come up with a compelling story, they are unable to explain their thought process."

For parents, new grads and those too long out of work, I hope some of this helps.
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