first_imgBuilding a modern Web API has become the newest challenge for developer relations. In the five years since it began building APIs, MasterCard has learned a number of lessons, many of which it has included in its Open API Declaration, released today.The Declaration is filled with promises from MasterCard to developers using its APIs. Sebastien Taveau, chief developer evangelist at MasterCard, said that building APIs requires openness and dialogue with the developers who will be consuming it.(Related: MasterCard on its data-management APIs)“Anyone who is trying to enter the world of APIs has to make it very clear and make it very transparent about what are the intentions. What are you going to do for the developers? For the community?” said Taveau. He added that these external developers need to be kept at the forefront of whatever the business is trying to achieve.To that end, the MasterCard Open API Declaration includes a quote from the company’s CEO, Ajay Banga, saying that MasterCard is “bringing together developers and entrepreneurs using MasterCard APIs to create new applications to drive a new generation of commerce through our products, solutions and services.” Taveau said that one of the driving reasons for the release of this declaration comes from a fundamental change inside MasterCard. “MasterCard is a tech company now,” he said. “We provide one of the only global infrastructures that allows quick deployment at the world level for any kind of commerce application.“[But] no one can do it alone. The most successful applications you find today are a mix of technologies. They come from multiple companies. The developers are the brains for creating this patchwork. They gather what they think will bring the best user experience. You can’t do it alone, and if you are one of the best technologies to actually help implement one of these applications, you have to pay it forward.”To that end, the Open API Declaration contains promises such as “When a developer requests a technology feature or reports a problem, the Open API Team won’t just listen. We’ll act.”The Declaration also states that, for MasterCard’s APIs, “Ease of use is our highest priority. We will achieve this by collaborating closely with developer communities to provide perspective and ideas for creating new tools, enhancing existing ones, and continuously evolving our platform as technology evolves and advances.”The Declaration also offers a road map for the MasterCard APIs and tool sets out to 2020. It can be found on MasterCard’s Developer Zone Website.last_img read more

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first_imgThere’s also support for a number of programming languages, wrote Mourier. “In terms of programming languages, the BUDDY development platform supports the primary industry languages (which can also be imported as libraries), such as: Python, C++, C, C#, Java and Javascript. In addition, our use of OpenCV with its extensive algorithms and which is also supported by a large global community, gives BUDDY developers unparalleled versatility,” wrote Mourier.Of course, having a robot following you around the house can either be extremely cool, or extremely creepy, depending on the attitude of the robot. Wrote Mourier, “We have been extremely sensitive to this issue from day one. Before any work was begun, we conducted a number of focus groups with children–ages 4-8, and with seniors, from 65-75 years of age, to help us determine how to develop a BUDDY that would be friendly and not intimidating. We learned through the focus groups that the general population is not quite ready for a robot face that looks too human. So we stayed away from that. All of the feedback we have received thus far has been positive in terms of BUDDY’s appearance. It’s also important to note that BUDDY is always under the control of a human.”That’s why the Blue Frog Robotics team points to R2-D2 as the inspiration for BUDDY. “There was something about R2-D2 that made people feel affection for him,” wrote Mourier. “That’s why he influenced and inspired BUDDY.”The IndieGoGo for BUDDY is online here. It’s never really tackled in Star Wars: are Astromech Droids open source? While we may never get to see R2-D2’s internal code, a French company called Blue Frog Robotics fired up an IndieGoGo campaign yesterday that seeks to build an open-source companion robot.Blue Frog Robotics, a company founded last year by French roboticist Rodolphe Hasselvander, has dubbed the proposed robot “BUDDY,” and is targeting the home market with the device. BUDDY will include telepresence capabilities, and will be able to look up information online through voice commands.Jean-Michel Mourier, CTO of Blue Frog Robotics, wrote in an email to SD Times that, “About 80% of BUDDY will be open source. Today, all of the major components are open source: the brain of the robot, which controls navigation, facial expressions, object and voice recognition, interfaces that control interactions, learning, making connections as well as domotics. In addition, elements of BUDDY’s mechanics are open so that developers can build accessories.”(Related: Poppy, another French open-source robot project)Buddy is focused on open source and popular development tools, such as Unity. As a developer platform, the robot is designed to be easy to use. Mourier wrote that, “The IDE for BUDDY is Unity 3D. We wanted to work with Unity 3D, the popular video game development platform and one that’s very relevant for robotics, for a number of reasons. Among these is that there are more than one million Unity developers in the world today, so the opportunity for the creation of a wealth of BUDDY applications is great. In addition, Unity 3D is an extremely user friendly development environment. This is important to us because we want to embrace beginner developers, as well as the expert. And Unity 3D provides this.”last_img read more

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first_img“A system like this can help companies make sure that the next generation of code is faster, and save them the trouble of putting 100 people on these sorts of problems.”Software rot can occur with the emergence of new technologies and hardware that can change the way software operates.“Highly optimized programs are prone to bit rot, where performance quickly becomes suboptimal in the face of new hardware and compiler techniques,” the researchers wrote in a paper.The researchers used Helium to replace bit-rotted components in Adobe Photoshop and improved its performance by 75%. In addition, the researchers said it can improve performance in less-optimized programs by 400% to 500%. If developers neglect software for too long, the code inside begins to rot and becomes useless. According to researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), this is a “billion-dollar problem” for companies, and takes a massive amount of time and resources to go back every few years to revitalize the old code.To solve this problem, researchers have developed Helium, a system designed to automatically revamp and fine-tune code in order to give programmers the ability to focus on other tasks.(Related: MIT scientists develop an automatic code-repair system)“We’ve found that Helium can make updates in one day that would take human engineers upwards of three months,” said Saman Amarasinghe, professor and researcher at CSAIL, according to MIT News.last_img read more

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first_imgThe consumer mobility market has experienced massive growth, largely driven by the sale of smartphones, which topped 1.2 billion units sold globally in 2014, an increase of 28% from 2013.This consumer adoption subsequently drove the Bring Your Own Device movement, as employees demanded the right to bring their own mobile devices into their workplaces. Ninety-five percent of employees now say they use at least one personal device for work. In turn, companies adopted mobile device-management solutions for security and control, largely to protect company information and applications. This resulted in companies locking down employee devices to provide secure access to personal information-management (PIM) applications such as e-mail, calendar and contacts.Despite the ascent of mobile devices in the workplace, fewer than 25% of companies have built or bought a mobile app beyond PIM apps. Despite the high demand from employees to access corporate systems from mobile endpoints, enterprises are woefully unable to deliver the “consumer-like” user experiences their employees expect.Where are all the apps?The average Global 2000 enterprise uses 424 packaged and custom-built applications to support its business. This includes packaged on-premises applications such as SAP and Oracle; packaged cloud-based applications such as Salesforce and Workday; and bespoke applications that were purpose-built using Web, .NET, Java, and even legacy “green screen” systems. Out of all of these applications, fewer than 5% have been extended to users on mobile devices. Why? On average it takes corporations seven months and US$270,000 to develop one mobile app of medium complexity for two mobile device platforms.Gartner warns that companies will need to develop and support up to 2,000 mobile apps within five years, as the mobilization of a given back-end system will likely yield multiple apps to support various subsets of workflows.Sadly, only 33% of companies have a formal strategy for enterprise mobility. Further, 67% of CIOs have no specific budget for such projects, 53% have infrastructure built for Web (not mobile), and 50% do not have the right in-house resources to develop mobile apps. Clearly, the time, complexity and cost of current approaches have kept enterprise mobility an unfulfilled promise.To be fair, the CIO should not shoulder the blame alone for this lack of progress. Rather, the technology vendor community shares responsibility, as the solutions and approaches that have been set forth to date are slow, complex and expensive, relegating enterprise mobility as a luxury that can only be justified by a handful of revenue-generating or customer-facing use cases.last_img read more

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first_imgOpen-source software is helping move along the drone industry with easy access to code, software, designs, and features that can be shared, modified, redistributed and implemented into developers’ applications and hardware. But proprietary software is also trying to mold the industry by providing advanced hardware and software solutions, as well as new technologies. So which is better when it comes to drone development?(Related: 3D Robotics releases a free and open-source drone application development platform)SD Times recently connected with Eren Niazi, CEO of Open Source Storage, to discuss the pros and cons of open-source versus proprietary software for drones, and to get a look at where he sees the drone industry heading.SD Times: How has open-source software helped shape the drone industry?Niazi: Open-source software has literally shaped the drone industry. 3D printer plans for open-source drone components are freely available on the Net. The software used to control drones such as Dronecode.org and OpenPilot have strong support from their development and support communities. Open-source hardware like Erle-Brain and BeagleDrone provide control for various functions, such as three-axis accelerometers and gyros. MAVLink has developed software technologies that link multiple drones, and it is open to incorporating and collaborating with other open-source projects. The Dronecode platform hosts numerous open-source projects related to drone management, from mission planning to controlling flight. Advanced functionality projects are also in development. What are the benefits of using open-source software for drones over proprietary software?Access to open-source repositories of collected knowledge, like Google maps.Crowdsourcing funds will lead to faster creation of new features such as AI and collision detection.Easier-to-audit processes.Can be more secure.Bugs are resolved faster within open-source communities.Allows developers to add desired features.Can create an active feedback loop between customers and developers.Open-source communities adhere to communications standards like MAVLink, which allows control of multiple drones.Typically less expensive.Provides for best-of-breed solutions.And the disadvantages? Some smaller or do-it-yourself drones using open-source technologies do not have the Special Airworthiness Certificate necessary for commercial usage.Can be buggier depending on the development project.Resources may be limited, slowing down development.Developers may lose interest or may not have monetary incentives to improve their product.Projects can offer generic features, but not designed for a specific task.Some functions may only exist for proprietary systems, like pesticide delivery.Support may be community message board only or e-mail-based.So which would you recommend for developers, open-source software or proprietary software?The choice of using open-source software vs. proprietary software is use-based. Due to restrictions on drone usage in the commercial sector, proprietary systems currently have the edge due to certification requirements. Additionally, a commercial pilot’s license is required to control a drone.However, open-source software and hardware have become the platform of choice for developers for next-generation drone technology. Mature alternatives exist in the open-source realm. From OpenPilot to Dronecode, these projects emphasize customizability and offer ways to collaborate on development and support that are not possible with proprietary systems. For every layer of the drone, from flight code to firmware, to vision processing and collision avoidance, there are viable open-source options.last_img read more

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first_imgCall it the digital sword of Damocles: Like some torturous situation out of an Edgar Allan Poe story, the entire world’s population of Android users is currently waiting with baited breath for Joshua Drake (Jduck) to release his claimed super exploit for Android. The famous security researcher claims his exploit can take advantage of 95% of all Android devices.The actual exploit has yet to arrive, as it will be released formally at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas this coming week. It’s such a big deal that Jduck and Zimperium Labs (his security company) are hosting an exploit release party at the event. I’ve been in the security industry for almost 20 years now, and I have never heard of an exploit release party.The core of the supposed exploit comes from libstagefright: a library in Android that handles the rendering of moving images. The result of this library having exploitable code inside of it is that Jduck has crafted an SMS message with a picture attached. Send that picture to someone, and even if they don’t look at the image, their phone is compromised with arbitrary code execution. That’s a major downer for the Android community, and hopefully it won’t last long: an update to the included library could patch the arbitrary code execution exploit. But then, if we were all using the same phone, we could easily patch, right? Instead, we’re all using 10,000 different devices, and they’ll all require their own patch from the manufacturer.In the somewhat less doom and gloom news category, Android Developer Conference will also be hosting some quality talks on the Android ecosystem. Keynote speaker Aparna Chennapragada, product director at Google, will be discussing the future of search and apps on Android, tomorrow.Additional keynotes will be given from Qualcomm and Intel. Qualcomm will be discussing the benefits of using its Android development boards for protyping, while Intel will be discussing the advantages of Android on Intel.Android Developer Conference kicks off today and runs through Friday.last_img read more

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first_imgNokia is entering the virtual reality world. The company officially confirmed it has a VR product in the work: OZO, a VR camera designed for professional content creators.“OZO aims to advance the next wave of innovation in VR by putting powerful tools in the hands of professionals who will create amazing experiences for people around the world,” said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies. “We expect that virtual reality experiences will soon radically enhance the way people communicate and connect to stories, entertainment, world events, and each other. With OZO, we plan to be at the heart of this new world.”OZO features 3D video, shutter sensors, spatial audio, and real-time 3D viewing.AWS announces iOS support for its Device FarmAmazon has announced that support for iOS apps is coming to its recently revealed AWS Device Farm. The device farm allows developers to test mobile apps on physical mobile devices. Support is expected to be released on Aug. 4, and it will also come with support for test automation frameworks Appium, Calabash, UI Automation and XCTest. “With the new iOS support, you will be able to test your cross-platform titles and get reports (including high-level test results, problem patterns, logs, screenshots and performances data) that are consistent, regardless of the platform and test framework that you use,” wrote Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS, in a blog post. “If you use a cross-platform test framework such as Appium or Calabash, you can use the same code for Android, Fire OS, and iOS tests.”Google brings deep learning to mobile phonesGoogle has announced it is bringing real-time visual translation of 20 more languages to the Google Translate app, and to do so, it will use deep neural nets.To get deep learning into the app, Google uses a convolutional neural network to train it on letters and non-letters, as well as a generator to create letters with reflections, dirt and smudges to make sure it works in those types of situations.“Thanks to convolutional neural networks, not only can computers tell the difference between cats and dogs, they can even recognize different breeds of dogs,” wrote Otavio Good, software engineer for Google Translate, in a blog post. “Yes, they’re good for more than just trippy art—if you’re translating a foreign menu or sign with the latest version of Google’s Translate app, you’re now using a deep neural net. And the amazing part is it can all work on your phone, without an Internet connection.”last_img read more

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first_imgWindows 10 was only released last week, and already another company is trying to build a bigger and better Windows. Israeli security startup MorphiSec is working on a more secure version of Microsoft’s operating system, Business Insider reported.Dudu Mimran, the cofounder of MorphiSec, tells Business Insider that it is the Windows Microsoft should have built, and will be 100% unhackable.(Related: Windows 10 is out and about)Mimran explained that the operating system will randomize memory for Windows apps in order to prevent zero-day attacks, and he said so far it has been 100% successful in preventing hackers and avoiding false positives.The full story can be found here.last_img

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first_imgBased on Notary and the Update Framework, Docker Content Trust seamlessly integrates into existing workflows and doesn’t require the need to learn new commands or security principles, according to Docker.The framework has two distinct keys: an offline key and a tagging key. The tagging key gets generated for each unique repository a publisher owns, and it allows the publisher to digitally sign Docker images to a particular repository. According to Docker, since the tagging key is online, it is vulnerable to attack. Publishers can securely rotate compromised keys with the offline key.“Keys are the critical component to sign and verify trusted content for your repositories. It is very important that you back up these keys to a safe and secure location,” Mónica wrote in a blog post.In addition, the framework generates a timestamp key to protect against replay attacks. Docker is looking to improve container security with a newly announced capability in Docker 1.8: Docker Content Trust. The feature uses digital signatures to secure Dockerized content.“As organizations evolve from a monolithic software architecture to distributed applications, the secure distribution of software becomes increasingly difficult to solve,” said Diogo Mónica, security lead for Docker. “Without a standard method for validating the integrity of content, Docker has the unique opportunity to leapfrog the status quo and build a system that meets the strongest standard for software distribution. With Docker Content Trust, users have a solution that works across any infrastructure, offering security guarantees that were not previously available to them.”(Related: Docker and the ‘coolification’ of containers)last_img read more

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first_img(Related: Rust hits version 1.0)To close the gaps in some of Rust’s key features, the team has proposed specialization to enable multiple overlapping trait implementations, and it is planning to propose a new plug-in to provide more stability and support.In addition, the team will focus on bringing Rust to new environments by improving cross-compiling with Rust, as well as extending the compiler with “trace hooks” capabilities to make it easier to embed Rust.“Rust is exciting because it is empowering: You can hack without fear,” wrote Matsakis and Turon. “And you can do so in contexts you might not have before, dropping down from languages like Ruby or Python, making your first foray into systems programming.” It’s been three months since version one of the Mozilla-backed programming language Rust was released. Rust 1.0 focused on stability, community and clarity. But looking ahead, the programming language team plans to tackle infrastructure, use cases and improving key features over the next year.“Our basic stability promise for Rust is that upgrades between versions are ‘hassle-free,’ ” wrote Rust team members Nicholas Matsakis and Aaron Turon in a blog post. “To deliver on this promise, we need to detect compiler bugs that cause code to stop working.”Over the next year, the team will work on creating a tool that lets library authors see how changes affect their code, introducing a new incremental compilation model, and extending support for IDEs and other tools.last_img read more

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