Category Archives: Cloud Computing

How To Build Mobile Apps Quickly Without Sacrificing Stability

How To Build Mobile Apps Quickly Without Sacrificing Stability

Mobile Security and Stability

It’s a fear that many mobile app developers have. That in the haste to construct a mobile app and get it out to market, your slapdash efforts will lead to a buggy and poor performing app. This fear is very viable, especially if your team is rushing to construct an entire multi-leveled app in one-go. You need a way to build your product quickly and effectively without compromising security. Here are the four main ways to build your innovative mobile app in no-time and still make sure that your app is secure and bug-free.


Launch Your MVP, Start Testing

Use the Lean Startup method, launch a lean version of your core product – your MVP – and immediately begin collecting data using a build-measure-learn feedback loop. Through testing, all feedback should be collected that continually informs the development process. Plan to operate on very short iterative cycles or “sprints,” where updates are released in short 2-4 week periods.

Hybrid Apps


Cross-platform hybrid solutions allow you to get 2 for the price of 1. Two versions of your App –Android and iOS – for the same code. This is a huge time-saver as opposed to writing native code for Android and iOS separately. Having said that, hybrid Apps have performance limitations — hybrid Apps handle animations with less fluidity and slow your phone down because they take up a lot of memory. For these reasons, hybrid Apps are best used to enter new markets quickly. If need be, they can then be replaced with more robust, native Apps at a later stage.

Two examples of cross hybrid solutions include Adobe Phonegap and Xamarin.

Integrate Pre-Made Engagement Applets to Increase Engagement

Once you have your MVP, it’s time to think about how your mobile app is going to effectively engage or communicate with your customers. A number of mobile engagement platforms have popped up recently to provide you with just that — all types of pre-made applets that you can add to your core product without any additional coding.

One of the newest platforms launched recently offers codeless mobile engagement . It has a variety of free engagement-driven applets that can be integrated with developer’s core products, without additional coding. The applets are managed and implemented through a smart SDK dashboard and are constantly updated to comply with each operating system demands. This enables not only hyper-accelerated development process but also a continual rock-solid coded solution.

Set Up Automated Testing to Ensure App Security

Automating your mobile application testing is a huge time-saver. Automating your testing allows you to run a suite of tests that would otherwise take hours to complete manually. By speeding up testing, you will be able to expand test coverage in the same amount of time. And you’ll sleep better with the knowledge that your code is bug-free. Appium is a great option on the market right now. Appium is an open source test automation framework for use with native, hybrid and mobile web apps for iOS and Android apps.

By Boaz Amidor

Did You Know That There Is A Real SHIELD?

Did You Know That There Is A Real SHIELD?

The Real Shield

You cannot make this up. The ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence), an Act of Congress and a European Commission special “working group” known as Article 29 are all involved. Blame it on Edward Snowden. The Europeans are “concerned” (meaning: terrified) about the privacy protections surrounding any of their data stored in the US.

What are we talking about? Facebook, Google, Amazon and many more B2C and B2B organizations collect customer’s data and often hold it in their cloud platforms in the US. If your firm works with anyone in the EU and you use the cloud you need to be aware of the major change that has taken place in just the last six months or so. You could be legally liable and suffer penalties for not following these new regulations.

online privacy

A little back ground – until October of 2015 the relationship between the US and EU around privacy protection of EU citizens data stored in the US was governed by something set up in 2000 called Safe Harbor. It was basically a self-policing agreement that stipulated any US company who collected data from EU citizens needed to:

  • Inform them their data was being gathered,
  • Tell them what would be done with it,
  • Obtain permission to pass on the information to a third party,
  • Allow EU citizens access to the data gathered,
  • Ensure data integrity and security and
  • Provide a way to enforce compliance.

But then came the revelations of Snowden. The Europeans were antsy about American Intelligence’s ability to view their personal data but Snowden really drove them wild. A privacy activist named Max Schrems filed suit in the European Court of Justice against the Irish data protection authority based on the concerns he had about Facebook transferring his data from Ireland to the US.

The court ruled last October that Safe Harbor agreement was invalid under the EU’s rules. As you might guess there was immediately a great deal of confusion over what this meant to the various providers and consumers. There was also a recognition that it would be in all parties’ best interest to create a replacement that would meet the EU restrictions. Hence, SHIELD was born.

The EU-US Privacy Shield, commonly called “Shield”, was forged out of an EU and US set of consultations and changes of law on both sides. There were a few hair-raising moments when it appeared that all the needed steps might not be accomplished by the deadline imposed by the court. But, in the end, they were and when you look back, it is amazing how fast governments can actually work.

The European Commission did all of the following:

  • Reformed the EU Data protection rules, which apply to all companies providing services on the EU market,
  • Passed the EU-U.S. Umbrella Agreement ensuring high data protection standards for data transfers between the EU and U.S., and
  • Established the Shield for commercial data exchange, which contains obligations on U.S. companies who handle personal data.

On its part The US Congress passed the Judicial Redress Act of 2015 and President Obama signed it. This has significant consequences for US based businesses because it means that EU citizens will have the right to obtain judicial redress in the US if American authorities mishandle their data.

So what are some of the consequences and differences from Safe Harbor?

  • Safeguards related to intelligence activities will extend to all data transferred to the U.S., regardless of the transfer mechanism used.
  • The Shield’s dispute resolution framework provides multiple avenues for individuals to lodge complaints, more than those available under the Safe Harbor and alternative transfer mechanisms such as Standard Contractual Clauses or Binding Corporate Rules.
  • An organization’s compliance with the Privacy Shield will be directly and indirectly monitored by a wider array of authorities in the U.S. and the EU, possibly increasing regulatory risks and compliance costs for participating organizations.
  • The Department of Commerce will significantly expand its role in monitoring and supervising compliance, including carrying out ex officio compliance reviews and investigations of participating organizations.
  • Participating organizations will be subjected to additional compliance and reporting obligations, some of which will continue even after they withdraw from the Privacy Shield.

For the big cloud-based providers none of this represents a real burden but for medium and smaller firms you need to ensure your compliance even if your underlying cloud provider is one of the big boys like Amazon or Microsoft. As they always say: “Consult Your Attorney”.

So, what about the spooks? The EU is still worried that representations by the ODNI are not sufficient (“we don’t do bulk spying”) to assure protections. The bet is the European Commission will probably approve the Shield but the whole thing will still land up in court. Meanwhile, commerce continues to march on and hopefully we will see a complete resolution soon.

By John Pientka

Netflix And Net Neutrality

Netflix And Net Neutrality

How Netflix went against net neutrality

For years, Netflix has been claiming that its videos have been deliberately slowed down by carriers so that they could protect their own TV services.

But, guess what?

It all turns out, things were the other way around.

Netflix has finally admitted that for the past five years the company has been slowing down videos for AT&T and Verizon wireless users. And they claimed to do it because they didn’t want their users to face overage penalties.

All this points to the net neutrality debate which has been going on for years. The funny part is – Netflix itself has been lobbying FCC to ban internet throttling everywhere. And yet, the online streaming service decided to throttle speeds of certain users without their consent.

AT&T and Verizon users were the only ones whose speed was capped to 600 kilobits per second, but it wasn’t done for T-mobile users. You know why?

Because Netflix in collaboration with T-mobile provides a ‘binge-on’ pack using which users can watch unlimited videos on Netflix at a fixed video resolution.

Netflix has obviously been criticized by many. But the company refuses to call it a mistake. According to them, they were only trying to help out their customers. The company wrote on their blog that their main motive was to help users avoid exceeding their mobile data. But shouldn’t that decision be in the hands of the user?

Why did Netflix take a stance on net neutrality

Now that is simple. The two companies in North America that generate more than half of the total downloads are Netflix and Google, it was these two companies who left no stone unturned to make sure the government gives out the net neutrality rule.


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Why is Netflix not being investigated by FCC

Well, that is because of one big reason – according to the FCC rules, Netflix didn’t do anything wrong.

This is because, according the rules defined by the FCC, net neutrality only applies to internet service providers (ISPs). Netflix is not an internet service provider, it is what FCC calls an ‘edge provider’ or a ‘content provider’, and that is why the net neutrality rules do not apply to it.

This was done by the FCC to give freedom to the content providers so that they could give their users a seamless experience.

It’s the same as Youtube lowering the video quality when it notices the internet speed has gone down and watching an HD video with that speed would take a lot of time. But that is done by Youtube to make sure users can watch continuous videos without any buffering time. Also while doing so, Youtube notifies the users about it and the users can also choose a higher video quality even at a low speed, if they want to. Now if Netflix did a similar thing, it would have been acceptable. The main issue was that the company did not notify its users.

When FCC was asked about Netflix’s notorious activities, they started by saying that since the video streaming service is not an open service provider, it is outside FCC’s jurisdiction.

But Michael O’Rielly, chairman of FCC made a statement in front of the Federal Trade Commission saying that Netflix should be investigated. According to O’Rielly, Netflix might have not directly broken any net neutrality rules by throttling speeds but while doing so, they might have broken some commission rules since the company did withhold the information.

Are other content providers doing the same thing as well?

There are chances that they are, or they might be getting the idea from Netflix. The main purpose of introducing net neutrality was to make sure all the content providers were given equal bandwidth access by the ISPs and the government. To make sure, every website or app you access online gets the same internet speed from your end.

But with content providers trying to take advantage of this, it’s time the governments all around the world step up and create some regulations for content providers too.

By Ritika Tiwari

This Week In Tech: Streaming TV Wars, Tesla and EMCWorld

This Week In Tech: Streaming TV Wars, Tesla and EMCWorld

EMCWorld takes over Las Vegas

The world of streaming content got a lot more interesting this week, following the revelation that Google has been plotting a web TV service since 2012, and now is scheduled to launch it in 2017. According to Bloomberg Technology, “YouTube is working on a paid subscription service called Unplugged that would offer customers a bundle of cable TV channels streamed over the Internet”. Not to be outdone, Hulu is planning to begin live streaming shows next year, including live sports, news and events, to viewers who don’t necessarily have a cable TV subscription.

Tesla Motors

One year after Tesla Motors unveiled its revolutionary Powerwall home solar systems to an adoring public, the company has begun its first wave of residential installations in the United States. In a letter to shareholders this week, the company revealed that it had delivered more than 2500 pre-ordered Powerwalls and 100 Powerpacks in North America, Asia, Europe and Africa.


In other Tesla-related news, the company’s stock price jumped overnight on news that it expected to produce half a million cars annually, two years ahead of schedule. Clearly, the issues of delivery have been addressed by Elon Musk and the Tesla team.

Pressure Cooker

Apple CEO Tim Cook found himself in the unusual position of having to reassure investors, following a few weeks where the quarterly results disappointed. Apple revealed that sales of the iPhone were down for the first time in 13 years, and billionaire investor Carl Icahn sold his stake in the company due to fears over Apple’s growth in China. But Cook hit back hard, and was bullish about both the Apple Watch and the upcoming iPhone 7, telling Jim Cramer on CNBC’s Mad Money that “We are going to give you things that you can’t live without, that you just don’t even know you need today. You will look back and wonder: ‘How did I live without this?’”

Global Titans

The EMC World conference has been the focal point of global tech titans this week as the industry converges to collaborate around issues of modernization, automation and transformation. Keynote speakers included Michael Dell of Dell Computers, Joe Tucci, the CEO of EMC Corportation and Nina Tandon, co-founder and CEO of Epibone, not to mention instructor-led vLabs, a World Solutions Expo and a performance from timeless rock band, Duran Duran.

Finally, a 10-year old boy in Finland was awarded US$10 000 from Facebook after he discovered a security-threatening bug in the code of the photo-sharing app, Instagram, which was purchased by Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012. The kid told the Guardian newspaper that “tested whether the comments section of Instagram can handle harmful code. Turns out it can’t. I noticed that I can delete other people’s comments from there. I could have deleted anyone’s – like Justin Bieber’s for example – comments.

The unnamed child hasn’t let the money go to his head though, his big plan is to use the cash to buy a bike.

World Password Day


Don’t forget to update and change your passwords!

By Jeremy Daniel

The 2016 Open Source Jobs Report: Companies Hungry For Professional Open Source Talent

The 2016 Open Source Jobs Report: Companies Hungry For Professional Open Source Talent

The 2016 Open Source Jobs Report

Fifth Annual Report Expands Scope Beyond Linux to Examine What Motivates Open Source Professionals and How Companies Are Attracting and Retaining This in Demand Talent

NEW YORK, NY and SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – May 05, 2016) –  Recruiting open source talent is a top priority for hiring managers focused on recruiting technology talent, and recruiters are increasingly looking for more professional training credentials from their candidates. According to the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report released today, 65 percent of hiring managers say open source hiring will increase more than any other part of their business over the next six months, and 79 percent of hiring managers have increased incentives to hold on to their current open source professionals.

This is the fifth year Dice®, the leading career site for technology and engineering professionals, and The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, are partnering to produce the jobs report. The four previous years’ research focused exclusively on the job market for Linux professionals. As open source software has become an ever increasing footprint in technology infrastructure and end products, it is important to understand the opportunities and challenges associated with the overall open source talent market. As a result, the organizations are expanding the report this year to examine the broader job market for open source professionals. While this means comparisons to past years’ results are not exact, the data is more broadly relevant to a larger pool of professionals and hiring managers.

The 2016 Open Source Jobs Survey and Report provides an overview of the trends for open source careers, motivation for professionals in the industry and how employers attract and retain qualified talent.

Key findings from the 2016 Open Source Jobs Survey and Report include:

  • Open source talent is one of the top priorities for recruitment this year. Fifty-nine percent of hiring managers say they’ll add more open source professionals to their ranks in the next six months. This is an increase when compared to last year’s Linux-specific jobs report, which found 50 percent planning to add Linux talent during the same time period.
  • DevOps is among the most sought after skills in the industry. Fifty-eight percent of hiring managers are seeking DevOps professionals while the need for developers remains the top position on their list at 74 percent. Open source professionals also feed this trend as 13 percent of the surveyed identified DevOps as the most in-demand skill today — more than any other category.
  • Networking is a leading emergent technology. As the second most in-demand knowledge area, 21 percent of hiring managers say networking has the biggest impact on open source hiring. The only higher category, at 51 percent of surveyed hiring managers, is knowledge of OpenStack, CloudStack and related cloud technologies.
  • Open source professionals are driven to innovate and collaborate. Only two percent of professionals stated that money and perks were the best thing about their jobs. Working on interesting projects tops the list with 31 percent, while working on the most cutting-edge technology challenges (18%) and collaborating with a global community (17%) are also high on open source professionals’ lists.

Demand for open source talent is growing and companies struggle to find experienced professionals to fill open roles,” said Bob Melk, President of Dice. “Rising salaries for open source professionals indicate companies recognize the need to attract, recruit and retain qualified open source professionals on a global scale.”

It’s a seller’s market and it’s only going to get more beneficial for open source professionals,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director at the Linux Foundation. “As more and more open source projects are developed, open source professionals will need to update their skillsets with knowledge and experience including DevOps and networking. Ongoing training and certifications will be the key to growing their expertise and keeping a competitive edge.”

The annual report features data from more than 400 hiring managers at corporations, small and medium businesses (SMBs), government organizations, and staffing agencies across the globe — as well as responses from more than 4,500 open source professionals worldwide.

The full 2016 Open Source Jobs Report is available to download for free from

About Dice

Technology powers companies. Professionals power technology. Dice quickly delivers the opportunities, insights, and connections technology professionals and employers need to move forward. Dice is a proud winner of 2015 Recruitment Service Innovation Awards: Innovator of the Year, Niche Employment Site; Most Innovative Big Data Solution. Learn how to effectively move forward at Dice is a DHI Group, Inc. service.

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and commercial adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at

Trademarks: The Linux Foundation, Linux Standard Base, MeeGo, Tizen, and Yocto Project are trademarks of The Linux Foundation. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Samsung Making Strides In IoT Innovation

Samsung Making Strides In IoT Innovation

Samsung IoT Innovation

Samsung’s recent Developer Conference highlighted a few key concepts the organization plans to cultivate going forward, not least of all plans to simply produce more of everything. But the conference’s logo, “connecting the future everywhere you look”, is perhaps eloquently expressive of some strong initiatives Samsung is making in the Internet of Things (IoT) arena.

Appealing Innovations

At this year’s conference, Samsung has displayed a few products that, while not likely to reach the consumer market any time soon, exhibit some of the possible devices their Artik line of chips will support. The Otto prototype, an emotive robot able to answer questions as well as act as a casual security system, is functionally similar to Amazon Echo and is also able to interact with smart appliances. Samsung additionally displayed a light switch that listens and responds to questions, and a security system which uses algorithms to differentiate between humans and animals. The goal of these devices is to encourage customers to conceive of new ideas, and says Curtis Sasaki, vice president of ecosystems at Samsung, “I don’t think any other company is going to this length to build this quality of reference designs… This is a different way of giving an idea of where IoT can go.”

Smart Devices in Our Homes

Already one of the world’s largest TV and smartphone manufacturers, Samsung plans to immerse itself even more in our homes in the coming years through home automation, focusing on internet connected appliances such as ovens, refrigerators, washing machines, and light bulbs. Earlier this year, a Samsung smart refrigerator able to recognize missing items and send a relevant grocery list to its users was demoed, but with recent reports of vulnerabilities in their Smart Home automation system, Samsung’s SmartThings developers have been faced with some fresh challenges that will need to be adequately addressed before going ahead with further smart home innovations.

Samsung Cloud Services


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

In order to improve the performance of their future IoT devices, Samsung is building its own cloud services, and not only advancing the functionality of IoT devices, this network will also assist with wearable data collection. Rivaling Microsoft’s Azure and IBM’s Bluemix, Samsung’s Artik Cloud is built on top of Amazon Web Services and being developed to provide connections to organizations’ existing data storage and cloud services. Addressing what might be one of the chief obstacles to the rapid adoption of IoT, the Artik Cloud provides privacy and permissions management, open internet standards based authentication, and secure device registration.

Fostering Loyalty through Intersection

Because hardware is no longer a primary differentiator, hardware manufacturers like Samsung are fighting to create their own development ecosystems that encourage the implementation of their products. And so, while the reference designs unveiled at the Samsung Developer Conference are unlikely to ever become Samsung consumer products, their high quality and fascination help engage both consumers and developers. Along with these prototypes, Samsung’s Artik Cloud will enable the connection of smart home devices across brands. This means that products which currently can’t interact could be melded for more tailored user experiences, and Artik will be able to cooperate with Twitter, Instagram, Amazon Echo, Nest, FitBit, and other home smart technologies. Samsung will apparently even be working with Amazon’s digital voice assistant, Alexa. Says Abhi Rele, Samsung director of product marketing for Samsung’s Strategy and Innovation Center, “You want all of those [smart home] devices to talk to together. Today a lot of that is custom work people need to do. But with the Artik Cloud, you’re able to easily wire up or connect those devices.”

According to Harbor Research and Postscapes, in 2014 the smart home industry generated revenues of $79 billion. Cisco believes that today’s 15 billion connected devices will rise to 50 billion by 2020, while Intel optimistically predicted (in 2014) that 31 billion devices will be connected by then. 


If even the most cautious estimates are trusted, our world will soon be dominated by IoT devices and smart appliances, and so Samsung’s move towards interoperability and cross-brand compatibility deserves commendation. Hopefully, synergy in the IoT market will follow.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Big Data Breaches Found With Major Email Providers

Big Data Breaches Found With Major Email Providers

Big Data Breaches Found

Hundreds of millions of hacked user names and passwords for email accounts and other websites are being traded in Russia’s criminal underworld, a security expert told Reuters.

The discovery of 272.3 million stolen accounts included a majority of users of (MAILRq.L), Russia’s most popular email service, and smaller fractions of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft email users, said Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security.

It is one of the biggest stashes of stolen credentials to be uncovered since cyber attacks hit major U.S. banks and retailers two years ago.

Holden was previously instrumental in uncovering some of the world’s biggest known data breaches, affecting tens of millions of users at Adobe Systems, JPMorgan and Target and exposing them to subsequent cyber crimes.

The latest discovery came after Hold Security researchers found a young Russian hacker bragging in an online forum that he had collected and was ready to give away a far larger number of stolen credentials that ended up totalling 1.17 billion records.

Read Full Article Source: Reuters

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