Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘developers’ Category

IBM Introduces Blockchain Platform, New Academic and Developer Initiatives to Advance Blockchain Skills

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A group of leading companies across the global food supply chain today announced a major blockchain collaboration with IBM intended to further strengthen consumer confidence in the global food system. The consortium includes Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart, who will work with IBM to identify new areas where the global supply chain can benefit from blockchain.

Every year, one-in-ten people fall ill – and 400,000 die – due to contaminated food. Many of the critical issues impacting food safety such as cross-contamination, the spread of food-borne illness, unnecessary waste and the economic burden of recalls are magnified by lack of access to information and traceability.

It can take weeks to identify the precise point of contamination, causing further illness, lost revenue and wasted product. For example, it took more than two months to identify the farm source of contamination in a recent incidence of salmonella in papayas.

Blockchain is ideally suited to help address these challenges because it establishes a trusted environment for all transactions. In the case of the global food supply chain, all participants — growers, suppliers, processors, distributors, retailers, regulators and consumers — can gain permissioned access to known and trusted information regarding the origin and state of food for their transactions.

This can enable food providers and other members of the ecosystem to use a blockchain network to trace contaminated product to its source in a short amount of time to ensure safe removal from store shelves and stem the spread of illnesses.

Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever, Walmart and others are now coming together with IBM to further champion blockchain as an enabling technology for the food sector.

New IBM Blockchain Platform

Beyond food supply chain applications, blockchains are now being used to transform processes and streamline transactions for everything from flowers, real estate and trade finance, to education, insurance and medical services.

To accelerate this adoption, IBM is introducing the first fully integrated, enterprise-grade production blockchain platform, as well as consulting services, that will allow more organizations to quickly activate their own business networks and access the vital capabilities needed to successfully develop, operate, govern and secure these networks. The IBM Blockchain Platform is available via the IBM Cloud.

The platform builds off of the successful blockchain work IBM has delivered to more than 400 organizations, incorporating insights gained as IBM has built blockchain networks across industries including financial services, supply chain and logistics, retail, government and health care.

Extensively tested and piloted, the platform addresses a wide range of enterprise pain points, including both business and technical requirements around security, performance, collaboration and privacy that no other blockchain platform delivers today. It includes innovation developed through open source collaboration in the Hyperledger community, including the newest Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 framework and Hyperledger Composer blockchain tool, both hosted by the Linux Foundation.

The integrated platform allows multiple parties to jointly develop, govern, operate and secure blockchain networks to help enterprises accelerate blockchain adoption.

For developers, easy and flexible network tools designed to bring blockchain networks up to speed in minutes. The platform also includes the first commercial introduction of Hyperledger Composer a framework that helps developers focus on the business use case and more easily and quickly map it to the application code.

Developers can create standard business language in JavaScript and the APIs help keep development work at the business level, rather than being highly technical, making it possible for most any programmer to be a blockchain developer. Additionally, a variety of IBM Developer Journeys for blockchain are available featuring free open source code, documentation, APIs, architecture diagrams and one-click deployment Git repositories to fast-track building.

In addition to food safety, IBM is advancing other blockchain supply chain initiatives using the IBM Blockchain Platform for an automated billing and invoicing system. Initial work to use blockchain for invoicing is underway starting with Lenovo. This will provide an audit-ready solution with full traceability of billing and operational data, and help speed on-boarding time for new vendors and new contract requirements.

To complement the new platform, IBM Global Business Services offers Blockchain Services, which brings deep industry expertise from its 1,600 blockchain consultants who have helped clients deploy and integrate active networks. These consultants can apply design thinking to help enterprises conceptualize and implement blockchain enabled business models to realize optimal value.

For example, during recent blockchain projects with major shipping and retail organizations, IBM consultants have been able to improve food safety traceability by 99.9 percent and decrease trade document workflow by 97percent, potentially unlocking millions of dollars in cost savings and market capital.

Expanding the Blockchain Ecosystem Across Academia and the Start Up Community

To help meet the increasing demand for a skilled technical workforce trained in blockchain, IBM is making available a wide range of resources including software, training and professional partnerships free of charge to more than 1,000 universities in the IBM Academic Initiative. Offerings include six months of access to the IBM Cloud for use of the IBM Blockchain cloud sandbox to help students hone development skills.

IBM is also working with select universities including Baruch College/CUNY, Fordham University, University of Arkansas, University at Buffalo and University of British Columbia to fund research grants, develop customized curricula and host workshops and hackathons. For technologists who want more in-depth guidance, IBM has refreshed its blockchain training and educational materials on developerWorks for Hyperledger Fabric 1.0.

As interest in Hyperledger Fabric continues to grow, IBM is also working with other companies such as Boldstart Ventures, to provide support and resources that broaden access. Boldstart Ventures has launched Fabric Foundry, the first accelerator dedicated to this framework, to foster adoption.

Written by turbotodd

August 22, 2017 at 8:41 am

Posted in blockchain, developers, food safety, ibm

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Apple 2017 WWDC Opening Keynote: What Does It All Mean?

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There was a lot to absorb today in the opening 2+ hour keynote from Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose, CA.

There are plenty of blog posts that are deconstructing the individual pieces and all the speeds and feeds. As a longtime, but skeptical, Apple fanboy, I thought I’d throw in my two cents…

  • Apple HomePod. Is it a “breakthrough home speaker” or is it Apple’s answer to the home assistant market from which it has been conspicuously absent?  Yes, and yes.  But it’s not about the speaker, nor does it seem to be about Apple’s home assistant. It’s somewhere in between, and with Google Home and Amazon Echoes and Taps flying off the shelves, and introducing new capabilities almost daily, Apple has a LOT of catching up to do here.
  • A new and invigorated Siri…hopefully. — Let’s face it, aside from IBM Watson, Siri was one of the first faces of a common AI. But AI seems to have taken a a few gap years, and certainly hasn’t exactly been studying for the GMAT or LSATs. We did see some new Siri capabilities with iOS 11 today (a more proactive, Google Assistant-like-orientation vis a vis the Apple Watch), a new male voice, and some cool language translation betas. But I, for one, expected to hear more about the newer and smarter Siri.
  • The ARKit Future. Apple’s new augmented reality feature in iOS 11, ARKit, is probably the most exciting “new new” thing we saw on stage today from Apple. The Wingnut AR demo (Peter Jackson’s new AR company) absolutely killed it in terms of future AR direction, and the gaming potential alone could be HUGE. AR is the immediate future of our mobile augmented reality future, and ARKit could be one of the jumpstarters developers need to start to make it (almost) real.
  • Hang on to your MacBook Air. There was lots of advanced chatter about new MacBooks, and that’s just what we got: A new MacBook (it looks like an Air, but doesn’t have the name), new MacBook Pros, a new iMac, and even an iMac Pro. Oh yeah, and a 10.5 inch iPad Pro. Hang on to those vintage 2011-2012 MacBook Airs — you might be able to sell them to desperate MBA loyalists in a few years.
  • Amazon on the Apple TV. Not sure if this is just a strategic hedge against other TV set top players or a me, too, but the really interesting part of this could be the enhanced AI and voice capabilities, especially now that 3rd party developers will be able to write to it.
  • Making new time with the Apple Watch. Okay, I’m a sucker for gimmicks, so the new “Toy Story” character watch faces and animations — all over it. For fitness buffs, the new and improved Activity tracker could help you get rid of that expensive personal trainer, but the headline for the watch for me personally was using Siri’s contextual answers and suggestions (assuming Siri HAS been doing her homework).
  • iPad Multitasking Features. Apple realizes that to jump start iPad sales, it needs to better position the device as a full-on laptop/notebook replacement. To do that, it needs to continually show that the iPad can do more and faster. Today, it introduced several changes that make it easier to multitask, including a new dragging and dropping capability that allows one to move assets between two apps in Split View. Sounds arcane enough, but much needed, even if it was more “me, too” against the Mac OS desktop. Apple also showed off a new File System for iOS and an overhauled App Switcher that should up the ante on the iPod’s potential for taking over as “the” work machine (The new Apple Pencil capabilities, including marking up PDFs, will also help here).

I’ll be keeping an eye out for other reactions, particularly from developers. Apple pointed out the review time for newly-submitted App Store is down to 24 hours, and highlighted the fact that developers have been paid out over $70B U.S. since its launch in 2008, and on pace to deliver $10B+ this year alone. 

Written by turbotodd

June 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm

IBM and Galvanize Partner to Deliver Hands-on AI Skills Training in NYC

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Developers and data scientists in the Big Apple, be forewarned!

IBM and Galvanize are hosting a three-day Cognitive Builder Faire in New York City this weekend which will include workshops, tutorials and hands-on labs delivered through IBM’s Data Science Experience.

The technology industry is facing a shortage of experienced developers and data scientists to address the growing demand for cognitive and AI development. IDC predicts that by 2018 75 percent of all developers will embed cognitive technology in their applications. IBM and Galvanize are partnering to bring cognitive skills and data science curriculum to individuals interested in some of the most lucrative careers in technology.

“The cognitive skills that developers and data scientists gain during this event will empower them to lead the next generation of discovery in AI,” said Jim Deters, CEO of Galvanize. “As demand surges for talent with this skillset, IBM’s commitment to ‘new collar’ jobs aligns with our mission to provide world-class technical training to anyone with the smarts and grit to transform their lives through technology.”

Throughout the weekend, developers, data scientists and technology enthusiasts will have an opportunity to build cognition solutions with various Watson APIs available on the IBM Bluemix cloud platform, including Watson Conversation Service, as well as the data science Foursquare API. Tutorials will also cover Node.js and machine learning fundamentals with Python/R. The Watson APIs simplify the process of building tools that rely on language, speech and vision analysis, and discovery.

If you are interested, you can register for the event online.

For more information on the tools, resources, courses and code provided by IBM, visit: www.ibm.com/developer

EVENT DETAILS:

DATE & TIME: 6 p.m. EST, Friday, May 12 – 3:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, May 14

LOCATION: Galvanize, 315 Hudson St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY

SPEAKERS:

  • Kelcey Gosserand, Evangelist, Galvanize
  • Matt Kamen, VP of Engineering, Foursquare
  • Polong Lin, Lead Data Science Advocate, IBM
  • Chyld Medford, Software Engineer, Galvanize
  • Jean-Francois Omhover, Senior Data Scientist, Galvanize
  • Cecelia Shao, Associate Offering Manager, IBM

Written by turbotodd

May 11, 2017 at 11:09 am

Posted in 2017, developers

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Apple Announces WWDC 2017: June 5-9

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Apple has announced its developer conference, WWDC 2017, will be held June 5th to June 9th, and will change venues from previous years to the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.

9to5 Mac is reporting that Apple is expected to unveil the next major versions of its software operating systems, including iOS 11, macOS 10.13, and updates to tvOS and watchOS.

Why the change of venue?

TechCrunch suggests San Jose is simply more convenient to Apple’s HQ in Cupertino (15 minutes to San Jose vs. 45 to San Francisco, where the Moscone Center is located).

Because there are an expected 1,000 Apple engineers that will be addressing the Apple developer community, it’s more convenient for the Apple participants. For the independent Apple developer, it’s less of a hit to the pocketbook (in terms of travel, hotel costs, etc.)

The conference price is expected to cost roughly the same, $1,599.

Developers will be able to register for a WWDC ticket starting March 27. Then, there will be a lottery to select the attendees (demand usually exceeds ticket supply!)

Written by turbotodd

February 16, 2017 at 9:16 am

Posted in 2017, apple, developers, wwdc

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Apple App Store Price Increases

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The BBC is reporting that Apple is expected to shortly raise prices for what it charges for apps in select countries, including the UK, India, and Turkey.

The increase is about a 25 percent one over previous currency conversions, which for the UK was 79p.

Now, Apple intends to numerically match the U.S. cost, meaning a $.99 app in the U.S. will now be 99p in the UK.

9to5 Mac asserts that the rising prices for both apps and in-app purchases is due to changes in exchange rates and taxation policy. Call it “The Brexit Effect,” which has led to weakened pound exchange rate post-Brexit.

Also figuring into the equation is the UK’s 20 percent value-added tax.

Apple app developers should check the official documentation for the full details and breakdown of the app cost increases.

Written by turbotodd

January 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Posted in 2017, apple, apps, developers, iPhone

The Yahoo Repo

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And you thought bad security didn’t cost your business anything to the downside?

A few months ago Verizon was posing the question “Should we Yahoo!?” and the answer was a resounding “Yes We Should!”

But after yesterday’s report of another Yahoo! hacking incident, this time dating back to 2013 and involving as many as 1 billion user accounts, the answer is quite different.

Bloomberg is reporting that Verizon is looking for either a price cut (“Hacker’s Discount!”) or even a “possible exit” from the $4.83 billion pending acquisition.

Yahoo shares have fallen as much as 6.5 percent since the news broke of the latest hack.

Me, I stopped Yahooing the first time around, going so far as to completely delete my Yahoo! account (one, by the way, I’d probably had for going on 17 years!)

(See IBM’s cognitive security to learn how you can prime your company’s digital immune system.)

In other breaking tech news and also from Bloomberg, VC-backed unicorn and developer-can’t-live-without coding platform, GitHub, lost $66M in nine months over 2016.

GitHub received a $250M funding round by Sequoia Capital in 2015, but has apparently been burning through cash as fast as developers can create new repos.

And seemingly straight outta the HBO show, “Silicon Valley,” GitHub’s San Fran HQ apparently has a lobby modeled after the White House’s Oval Office, which in turn leads to a replica of the Situation Room.

Let’s hope they won’t be needing to go to DefCon 4 anytime soon — the software development world would likely come to a screeching halt if GitHub were to head south.

If only they could just commit!

{{IF you think that was a bad joke, THEN I’ve got plenty more where that one came from.}}

Written by turbotodd

December 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Waiting For The New iPhone 5?

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So tomorrow’s the day.

We find out what the Apple iPhone 5 is all about.

Before we discover what the details behind the new Apple smartphone are, I thought it might be interesting to provide a quick glimpse at the state of the mobile marketplace here in the U.S.

I unearthed a blog post from TechCrunch from September 4th, citing the “latest data” from comScore that suggests Apple’s smartphone market share has grown to just over 33 percent, up 2 percent since April of this year.

That study surveyed over 30,000 U.S. mobile phone subscribers, which revealed that Google’s Android continues to keep the pace, holding 52 percent share, a 1.4 percent increase since April.

RIM, the maker of the BlackBerry, decline some 2.1 percent, down from 11.6 percent to 9.5 percent.

Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform also saw a 0.4 percent decline in the same data, dropping from 4.0 percent to 3.6 percent.

And Symbian brings up the rear, down 0.5 percent, from 1.3 percent to 0.8 percent.

Despite the recent patent verdict, device maker Samsung is holding steady for smartphone device share at 25.6 percent in the latest period while Apple stood at 16.3 percent.

So what does Apple’s introduction of the iPhone 5 portend for the device market?

AppleInsider’s Neil Hughes wrote earlier today that the new iPhone will have “major implications throughout the personal electronics markets,” suggesting that existing LTE smartphones will come to be seen as “bulky and subpar” while stealing share not only from other smartphone makers, but also from PC makers like Dell and HP.

Hughes also cites J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskovitz in suggesting that the iPhone 5 “will offer better battery performance in a smaller form factor.”

In finding its way to new customers, Apple is also moving away from existing GPS service providers, and will instead transition to the new Maps application for iOS 6.

But will extended battery life and an Apple-owned GPS service be enough to lure loyal iPhone users to the new device, never mind Android loyalists happy with their current devices?

The answer to that question probably lies more in the emergence of new cloud and application offerings than the device characteristics themselves.

More interesting to me this past week, for example, was the report from The Wall Street Journal that Apple was looking to build its own streaming radio service, a move that seems to have helped drive Pandora’s share price down from a recent $12 high to just under $10.

Or consider the expectation Apple will introduce further synchronization between its iCloud offerings into the iOS mobile sphere, apps like Reminders, Notes, Mail, Calendar, and a new “Lost Mode,” which helps itinerant iPhone users find their lost phones.

I know I’ve found that Web-based services like Evernote and Remember the Milk, which synch across multiple devices and/or computers, provide much more utility than those dependent upon a single platform or device.

Whatever the details of the iPhone 5, the world will be watching closely, but my recommendation as one who’s used smartphones across the range of top competitors, including Apple, Android, and RIM, is to look beyond the device and underneath that larger intersection of IP-based services which transcend platform and help unearth the riches of true and unbound universal computing.

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