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04/25/2018   PC World Latest News
Save your pennies if you want to adopt Nest’s sleek—yet limited—security offering.
04/25/2018   PC World Latest News

Revenues in AMD’s computing and graphics segment nearly doubled compared to a year ago, paving the way for even more growth as AMD’s mobile Ryzen chips begin taking the field.

AMD, which has struggled to achieve profits for most of the last decade or so, reported a $114 million increase in net income to $81 million during the first calendar quarter of 2018. The company also posted a sizeable 40 percent increase in revenue to $1.65 billion. AMD even confidently predicted revenues for the next quarter would be about $1.725 billion, which would represent an increase of another 50 percent.

AMD’s numbers represent the success of both the company’s Ryzen and Vega-based GPUs, while the outlook reflects expectations for the recently announced Ryzen 2 CPUs and notebook chips. Processor sales were “significantly better than seasonality,” chief executive Lisa Su told analysts in a Wednesday afternoon conference call. 

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04/25/2018   PC World Latest News
Today’s smart bulbs are brighter and easier to control than ever, but choosing the right one for your environment remains a challenge.
04/25/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft's early-May Build developer conference is coming into further focus as the company reveals more (but still not all) of the sessions it's planning for the three-day event.
04/25/2018   PC World Latest News

Selecting the best Intel 300-series motherboard to fit your needs was straightforward when the initial wave of 8th-gen Core desktop processors launched in October 2017, because only the enthusiast-class Z370 chipset released alongside the new chips. That was enough to help the flagship Core i7-8700K CPU counter AMD’s Ryzen threat at the high end, but left PC users looking for more affordable options in a pickle. Buying a $100 Core i3 chip doesn’t make much sense when you’re forced to slap it in a $130, high-end motherboard, especially with AMD offering a full arsenal of Ryzen motherboards at all price points.

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04/25/2018   PC World Latest News

Stop just talking or dreaming about it! Get a handle on your game design career with a lifetime membership in the School of Game Design. You'll learn game planning, project development and interface, environment, and character design—all at your own pace. Your lifetime membership gives you access to an enormous, continuously updated library of step-by-step training videos. From the critical basics to achieving advanced techniques with the Unity3D game engine, and so much more—right now, lifetime access to The School of Game Design will cost you only $59 (was $5,990), or 99% off. 

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04/25/2018   PC World Latest News

Think of AMD’s new Combat Crates as PC gaming supply crates dropped behind enemy lines during the zombie apocalypse. Yup, finding a graphics card to game with has gotten that bad that AMD has had to resort to bundling up Radeon GPUs with a motherboard and Ryzen CPUs to get hardware into the hands of gamers.

The first bundle spotted on Amazon includes a first-gen Ryzen 5 1600 with cooler, an MSI  B350 Tomahawk motherboard and most importantly—an MSI Radeon RX 580 Armor OC card. The entire bundle now costs $549. AMD says a Combat Crate with the Ryzen 7 1700 will also be released soon.

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04/25/2018   PC World Latest News

Just when you thought it had completely forgotten about the Gmail web client, Google has launched a brand new version, with a fresh design, new features, and a new way of thinking about email. As previously rumored, Google is rolling out a slew of interface and feature changes to the Gmail web client today, but as with all things web and Google, it may take a while to reach your browser.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice a visual change with the new Gmail. While the old web interface was a bit long in the tooth, the new redesign gives it a more modern feel, with rounded buttons, cleaner menus, and collapsible side panels. But while the new interface is nice and intuitive, the biggest changes are in how you use it, not how it looks.

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04/25/2018   PC World Latest News

If you can’t get your shiny new 2nd-gen Ryzen processor running on your AM4 motherboard, don’t panic: AMD officials have confirmed that they will indeed ship you a “boot kit” with an older dual-core chip to help you make it work. The program was introduced for Ryzen APUs with Radeon graphics in February 2018 and extended to the 2nd-gen Ryzen CPUs that launched in April.

The problem relates to how AMD’s new 2nd-gen Ryzen CPUs and APUs interact with older stocks of motherboards. It’s a classic chicken-and-egg situation: Some older motherboards won’t recognize the new Ryzen chips without a BIOS update. And the only way to update that BIOS is to boot the system with a chip that it recognizes.

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04/25/2018   PC World Latest News

Online backup is an essential hedge against physical data disaster. Whether it’s an act of theft or an act of God (earthquakes, floods, hard-drive devouring locusts), you never know what could hit your PC or phone, and when. This is especially important for mobile-centric users, who stand to lose a lot of digital stuff if their device disappears.

Uploading your data to an online service covers a lot of the bases. Some people call these “cloud” services, but in reality, your data is stored on servers at the other end of the connection—that is, someone else’s hard drives. But that’s part of the plan! The backup Rule of Three says you should maintain three copies of your data: the original, a copy, and a copy of the copy. One copy should be in a safe place away from the original and secondary.

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04/25/2018   PC World Latest News

Truly wireless headphones keep you from tripping over cables while you’re jamming to your workout playlist. There are lots of options out there, but if you’re looking for top-of-the-line wireless earbuds designed for life in motion, you can’t get much better than Bose’s SoundSport Free sport headphones, our favorite true wireless earbuds for exercising. And you’re in luck – they’re on sale at Amazon for $179.10, the lowest we’ve seen them and down $70 from their normal listing of $249.

To read this article in full, please click here

04/25/2018   PC World Latest News

There’s nothing we love more than singing the praises of solid state drives. It’s such a simple DIY upgrade for your PC, but it pays dividends in vastly increased performance. And right now, if you pick up the spacious 1TB version of the Samsung 860 EVO—the best SSD for most people—you can grab a free copy of a hot new game, or a steep discount on an AMD Ryzen processor. 

First up, Amazon has a fantastic deal, selling the 1TB Samsung 860 EVO for just $280 with a free game code for Far Cry 5. This is the lowest price yet for this drive, though it has been hovering around $290 in recent months. Still, this is a great price for a fantastic SSD with a large amount of storage. Far Cry 5 is just a cherry on top. The free game offer expires on Saturday, April 28, just before midnight Pacific time.

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04/25/2018   PC World Latest News

It might seem as though the OnePlus 5T just arrived, but it’s already sold out in the U.S., and OnePlus has said it won’t be making any more. But don’t fret, it shouldn’t be too much longer before the OnePlus 6, the company’s next flagship handset, makes its debut, And it’s already shaping up to be one of the best phones of the year. To cut off the rumors leading up to its launch, OnePlus has provided its customers with a slew of details about the 6. Here’s everything we know about it so far.

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04/25/2018   PC World Latest News

Intel’s 8th-gen “Coffee Lake” mobile CPUs arrived en masse this month, packing more cores and higher performance than ever before. What does that mean for budget gaming laptops?

If you’ve been waiting for the prices of gaming laptops to plunge now that next-gen processors are here, prepare to be a little disappointed. Prices of older laptops generally don’t drop too much when the next big thing shows up.

The reasons vary, but in general, PC vendors typically manage inventories fairly tightly to avoid being left with a lot full of Oldsmobiles when the new models come in. That’s not always the case though, and sometimes you’ll find some nice deals if you know where—and when—to look.

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04/25/2018   InfoWorld Insider

GraphQL, developed by Facebook and released as an open standard for all to use, provides a way to create and consume web-based APIs that is designed to be an alternative to REST APIs. With GraphQL, queries and returned data use formal schemas and a type system to guarantee consistency.

In this article we’ll walk through the basics of designing and implementing a GraphQL API, and identify many of the key considerations and choices you’ll make during the process.

Languages and frameworks for GraphQL

If you’re planning to use GraphQL for the API of your web application, there is a very good chance the language and data components you’re already using will support your efforts. GraphQL libraries are available for most every major language in production use. Clients are available for C#/.NET, Go, Java/Android, JavaScript, Swift/Objective-C, and Python, and the server libraries cover even more ground. 

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(Insider Story)
04/25/2018   PC World Latest News

Wi-Fi networking is poised for a major update: The transition from 802.11ac to 802.11ax promises a modern networking hub that can cope with the burgeoning number and diversity of wireless devices that need access to your broadband connection.

At the dawn of the modern smartphone era in 2007, even a highly unplugged home might have only a handful of hardware connecting to its wireless router. Now—if you use tablets, smart-home devices, media streamers, smart TVs, gaming gear and security cameras—you could have 20, 30, or many more. And that number won’t get smaller in the future.

With 802.11ax, the IEEE engineering group that drives standards like wireless local area networking (WLAN) has pushed hard in several directions to make these complicated environments work. There are a lot of benefits for dense corporate networks that need massive throughput and could have tens of thousands of roaming and fixed Wi-Fi clients, but there’s no shortage of upsides for home users or small offices, especially when it comes to video streaming and file transfers.

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04/24/2018   PC World Latest News

Microsoft continued its gradual push toward making the Xbox One more like PCs by announcing it will soon support compatible 120Hz displays for its game console platform. How soon? Try today. The new features are part of the "April Xbox Update," and it's rolling out over the "next few days".

Microsoft said in a blog post on Friday that the new additions would be coming in the next few weeks, but Microsoft apparently pulled in that timetable. (Microsoft is also expected to release a April Update to Windows 10 soon, too.) The April Xbox Update will still be rolled out first to members of the Xbox Insiders program, then to the general public, Microsoft added Tuesday.

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04/24/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is continuing to roll out test builds for its Windows Server 2019 and associated semi-annual channel 1809 Server update.
04/24/2018   PC World Latest News
Spotify has taken the wraps off its new mobile app, which includes a major upgrade to the streaming service's free tier. Here's why Premium users might want to give it a listen.
04/24/2018   PC World Latest News

We need backup software on our PCs because we don’t live in a perfect world. If only Microsoft provided Windows users with something like Apple’s Time Machine: an effective, set-it-and-forget-it, total system recovery and backup solution that requires little interaction or thought on the part of the user. 

Instead, Microsoft offers a mishmash of restore points, recovery discs, file backup, and even the un-retired System Backup (Windows 7), which was probably originally put out to pasture for its propensity to choke on dissimilar hardware. Online backup services are another option, but desktop clients tend to offer far more flexibility. 

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04/24/2018   PC World Latest News
Google lets you see everything Assistant heard and delete your history.
04/24/2018   PC World Latest News
04/24/2018   PC World Latest News

As Microsoft’s annual Build developer conference nears, a new report suggests that the relationship between Microsoft Windows 10 S and Windows 10 may be more flexible than before.

Microsoft said in March that Microsoft will deploy Windows 10 S as a mode of Windows 10. In a blog post at the time, Windows chief Joe Belfiore said that users would be able to buy a new “Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro PC with S mode enabled.” Now, Windows users may be getting a clearer look at what options they have with the Windows 10 operating system installed on new computers.

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04/23/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft and other cloud vendors are keeping close tabs on the estimated multi-billion-dollar U.S. DoD JEDI cloud contract, as it winds its way through the bidding process.
04/23/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Windows Phone users will lose support for their native Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Skype for Business apps as of next month.
04/23/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is continuing its quest to try to make workers more productive via a variety of bots, including SwitchBot and Calendar.help.
04/23/2018   InfoWorld Insider

F# is a strongly typed, functional-first programming language that lets you solve complex problems by writing simple code. Based on ML and built on the .NET Framework, F# offers good interoperability, portability, and run-time speed, as well as the “Five Cs”—conciseness, convenience, correctness, concurrency, and completeness.

F# was initially available only on Windows, as a Microsoft Research project, but it’s now a first-class language on a number of platforms. You can use F# on the Mac and Linux with tool support in Xamarin Studio, MonoDevelop, Emacs, and others; on Windows with Visual Studio, Xamarin Studio, and Emacs; and on Android and iOS devices and on the Web using HTML5. In addition to general purpose programming, F# is applicable to GPU code, big data, games, and much more.

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(Insider Story)
04/23/2018   InfoWorld Insider

Azure Search is a powerful search service available in Microsoft’s Azure cloud. Azure Search provides excellent support for indexing and querying data while at the same time shielding you from the intricacies of deployment, management, and search algorithms.

Azure Search gives you an easy way to integrate powerful search capabilities (scalable full-text search, indexing, filtering, geospatial search, etc.) into your web and mobile applications. In this article we’ll look at how we can work with the Azure Search SDK in .Net.

How to work with the Azure Search SDK

Our journey will take us through the following steps.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
04/20/2018   InfoWorld Insider

The beginning of April is GitHub mark 10 years since it launched out of private beta. Though the San Francisco-based code repository startup is celebrating April 2018 as its official birthday, October 2017 is the company’s unofficial 10th anniversary; a basic default Rails app import for building GitHub in 2007 was the company’s first Git commit.

Below is the IDG Connect article marking that 2007 milestone and features interviews with various GitHub execs about the first decade of the company’s existence and what lies in store in the future for both the company and software development.

October 2017 saw GitHub celebrate its unofficial tenth anniversary. The software repository startup saw its first Git commit for building GitHub itself—a basic default Rails app import—back in 2007.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
04/19/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Lenovo plans to make available to large business customers "in the coming months" the option of using Windows Autopilot to set up, reset, and recover their devices.
04/19/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is offering 30 percent off a SQL Server 2017 on Linux subscription through June 30, 2018, to qualifying customers.
04/18/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
A new Microsoft plugin for Google Chrome for Windows users adds Windows Defender support.
04/18/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft plans to replace the desktop version of OneNote with the Universal Windows Platform/mobile one later this year when Office 2019 launches.
04/17/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
The Supreme Court won't be ruling on Microsoft's ongoing data privacy fight over emails stored in Ireland. But the matter is far from settled.
04/17/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is moving more product groups under Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore, sources say, as part of its cross-platform experience strategy.
04/16/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft still has yet to start rolling out Windows 10 1803, aka Windows 10 'Redstone 4,' to mainstream users. More 'general reliability' fixes are still coming to testers.
04/16/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is introducing new custom silicon, a Linux-based embedded OS and cloud service aimed at securing microcontroller-based devices.
04/16/2018   InfoWorld Insider

Programmers love to sneer at the world of fashion where trends blow through like breezes. Skirt lengths rise and fall, pigments come and go, ties get fatter, then thinner. But in the world of technology, rigor, science, math, and precision rule over fad.

That’s not to say programming is a profession devoid of trends. The difference is that programming trends are driven by greater efficiency, increased customization, and ease of use. The new technologies that deliver one or more of these eclipse the previous generation. It’s a meritocracy, not a whimsy-ocracy.

What follows is a list of what’s hot and what’s not among today’s programmers. Not everyone will agree with what’s A-listed, what’s D-listed, and what’s been left out. That’s what makes programming an endlessly fascinating profession: rapid change, passionate debate, sudden comebacks.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
04/16/2018   InfoWorld Insider

Microsoft's ASP.Net Core has already become a popular way to build high-performance, modern web applications that can run on Windows, Linux, or MacOS. One way it supports high performance of course is caching. Although ASP.Net Core doesn’t have an in-built Cache object, it provides support for several different types of caching including in-memory caching, distributed caching, and response caching.

In previous articles I discussed how to use in-memory caching in ASP.Net Core and how to implement a distributed cache in ASP.Net Core. In this post, I will explain response caching and its benefits and then examine how we can work with the response caching middleware provided in ASP.Net Core.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
04/13/2018   InfoWorld Insider

Open source is everywhere, and is quickly becoming the new norm for how companies approach software development. We take a look at some of the open source projects on GitHub created by Microsoft that can help make life easier for IT teams in organizations.

Git Virtual File System (GVFS)

Find it at https://github.com/Microsoft/GVFS

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
04/12/2018   InfoWorld Insider

Open source is everywhere, and is quickly becoming the new norm for how companies approach software development. Here, we take at a look at some of the open source projects on GitHub created by Google that can help make life easier for IT teams in organizations.

Ganeti

Find it at https://github.com/ganeti/ganeti

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
04/12/2018   InfoWorld Insider

APIs have been around for a while. In the last decade, however, a new generation of standards-based APIs has transformed enterprise computing. Combining the Representational State Transfer (REST) approach with JSON and HTTP, APIs today make it possible to integrate virtually any two systems or applications using simple, open standards.

IT departments love APIs. Their loose coupling simplifies application integration, data center operations, and more. At the same time, APIs potentially expose infrastructure to risk. They are also inherently unmanageable in their native states. API management tools solve this problem, offering the IT department a way to control API access, monitor usage, and apply security policies.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
04/10/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is making available several fixes for Windows 10 'Redstone 4,' plus new Windows Server 2019 test builds with a couple of new features.
04/09/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft researchers will show off the company's 'Zanzibar' portable mat, designed to blend the physical and digital worlds, at the end of this month.
04/09/2018   InfoWorld Insider

When people think of the word Google, they think about search and the immense computational infrastructure that converts your words into a list of websites that probably have exactly what you’re looking to find. It took Google years to hire the engineers, design the custom computers, and create the huge collection of hardware that answers web queries. Now it can be yours with just a few keystrokes and clicks. 

Google rents out much of that expertise and infrastructure to other web companies. If you want to build a clever website or service, Google is ready to charge you to run it on its vast collection of machines. All you need to do is start filling out some web forms and soon you’ll have a big collection of servers ready to scale and handle your chores.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
04/09/2018   InfoWorld Insider

Redis is an open source, feature rich, in-memory database and caching engine that can be used to store and retrieve data in your applications. Azure Redis Cache is based on this popular database, providing a powerful and secure way to cache your application’s data in the Azure cloud.

Azure Redis Cache is a distributed cache service that can be used to share data across instances and applications running in Azure. You can use Azure Redis Cache in .Net, ASP.Net, Java, Node.js, and Python. In this article we will examine how we can work with Azure Redis Cache in C#.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
04/06/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft has a plan to try to get developers to recompile their Windows apps to work natively on 64-bit ARM processors coming to Windows 10 on ARM devices.
04/05/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is bringing more of the OneDrive and Outlook security protection tools it offers its Office 365 business customers to consumers.
04/05/2018   InfoWorld Insider

Devops is now important in many technology organizations because of two seemingly opposing missions and cultures that need to come together:

  • Agile development teams move fast to meet business requirements and implement application changes.
  • Operational teams work hard to keep systems performing, ensure computing environments are secure, and manage computing resources.

Agile teams often view operational teams as slow and rigid while system engineers view agile developers as unsupportive of operational needs and reckless when application deployments cause production issues.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
04/04/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is adding more functionality to its Sets windows-management feature, with the latest Windows 10 'Redstone 5' test build.
04/04/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft, the 'intelligent cloud/intelligent edge' company, plans to step up its work in IoT research, products and programs.
04/03/2018   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft has filed a brief responding to the Department of Justice in its ongoing case over emails stored in Microsoft's Irish datacenter.
04/02/2018   InfoWorld Insider

SignalR for ASP.Net Core is a new version of the SignalR library that enables you to implement real-time communications in ASP.Net Core applications. Here the term “real-time” means that the server application can push data or content to connected clients as soon as updates happen, without clients having to request them. You can learn more about SignalR from my earlier post on SignalR for ASP.Net.

Note that SignalR for ASP.Net Core drops some of the features found in SignalR for ASP.Net (including automatic reconnects, support for progress messages, multiple hubs per connection) but is more robust and easier to use. As a result, this new version is not compatible with its predecessor. Note too that the new SignalR client is based on TypeScript. 

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(Insider Story)
03/30/2018   InfoWorld Insider

According to a recent HackerRank study, Go, Python, Scala, Kotlin, and Ruby are the top five languages programmers want to learn next. But which are the languages coders should not be looking to learn?

CodeMentor, a coding educating and marketplace platform, recently ranked which languages it claimed weren’t worth developers’ time anymore. The research was centered around three areas; community engagement, the job market, and growth in developers using it (and is not a critique on their usefulness or capabilities).

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
03/30/2018   InfoWorld Insider

February saw open source turn 20 years old. Or the OSI definition at least. According to the OSI, the term was coined in Palo Alto by nanotechnologist Christine Peterson during a meeting on February 3, 1998, shortly after the announcement of the release of Netscape’s source code.

In those 20 years, a lot has changed. Major technology shifts are now driven by open aource technologies: big data (Hadoop, Spark), AI (TensorFlow, Caffe), and containers (Docker, Kubernetes) are all open source projects. Massive companies including Google, Facebook, and even Lyft regularly release open source tools for the world to use. Microsoft—a company that once described Linux as a cancer—now embraces the concept. And commercial open source is not just a niche idea operated at the fringes of the technology landscape but a common and successful business model for companies to adopt.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
03/29/2018   InfoWorld Insider

At the peak of the Japanese harvest, Makoto Koike’s mother spends around eight hours a day sorting cucumbers from the family farm into different categories—a dull, time-consuming task that her son decided to automate. Although Makoto wasn’t a machine learning expert, he started playing around with TensorFlow, Google’s popular open-source machine learning framework, and developed a deep learning model that could sort cucumbers by size, shape and other attributes. The system isn’t perfect (it has an accuracy rate of around 75 percent). But it’s a sign of how AI could soon transform even the smallest family-run business.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
03/29/2018   InfoWorld Insider

Data doesn’t sit in one database, file system, data lake, or repository. To service many business needs, data must be integrated from a system of record with other data sources and then used for analytics, customer-facing applications, or internal workflows.

Technologists working with or responsible for data technologies should be well versed on the types of tools available for the various data-integration needs. Here, I survey seven major types of tools. 

Because many organizations have different types, volumes, and velocities of data, with different business needs developed over time, it’s likely that there are already different methodologies and tools already in use to integrate data. It’s tempting to stick with those, and extend them to new use cases. Although anyone working with data tools might be more familiar with one approach over others, applying a one-size-fits-all data integration approach may not be optimal for organizations with multiple business and user needs.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
03/27/2018   InfoWorld Insider

Open source is everywhere, and quickly becoming the new norm for how companies approach software development. Here are some open source projects on GitHub created by Facebook that can help make life easier for IT teams.

OSquery

Find it at https://github.com/facebook/osquery

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
03/26/2018   InfoWorld Insider

We’re frequently told that “software is eating the world” and that digital transformation is turning even the biggest and oldest corporations into technology companies.

But at times it can feel like this promise is always just out of reach. The day-to-day tasks of running IT departments bogs down innovation, and promises of moving away from waterfall to agile methodologies never quite appear.

“Software development cycles are becoming larger in scope and complexity, and developers need to do lots of things other than development, such as setting up development environments, managing users, and keeping systems up to date,” says Rocro CEO Tomoaki Kobayakawa. “This nondevelopment work is important but takes up considerable time of the developer.”

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)
03/26/2018   InfoWorld Insider

We often need to write unit tests for code that accesses an external resource such as a database or a file file system. If such resources are not available, the only way to ensure that the tests can execute is by creating mock objects. In essence, by drawing on fake implementations of these underlying dependencies, you can test the interaction between the method being tested and its dependencies. Three of the most popular mocking frameworks for .Net developers are Rhino Mocks, Moq, and NMock.

Among these, Moq may be the most flexible and easy to use. The Moq framework provides an elegant way to set up, test, and verify mocks. This article presents a discussion of Moq and how it can be used to isolate units of code from their dependencies.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)