Tag Archives: avoid

Vendors need to concentrate on wireless reliability, not hype

WLAN vendors and industry institutions need to avoid getting lost in a sea of buzzword and marketing hype and remain focused on wireless reliability. So writes blogger and wireless veteran, Lee Badman.

“For those of us that have been in the wireless game for a long time, unfulfilled promises and poor output from certain industry groups are a way of life,” he said. “That’s not to say that Wi-Fi isn’t an utterly amazing, transformative technology. It most certainly is. But just like politicians can make promises that no one blinks at when they stay unfulfilled, many WLAN-related organizations and entities have become known as much for what they don’t deliver as for what they do.”

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ insistence on making new standards backward-compatible is one area Badman finds frustrating, as does the bewildering amount of mobile clients certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Furthermore, Badman lambastes vendors for using industry buzzwords without having the results to support their claims. “Maybe the vendors can prove they have fixed the cultures that have resulted in their sins of the past before asking us to embrace the latest flavor of the month and the fat fees that come with it,” he said.

The advent of 802.11ax will usher in new performance standards and new claims, Badman said. These new products could indeed be as great as promised, or it could just open the door for more wireless reliability problems if the industry doesn’t properly prepare.

Read more of what Badman says vendors need to do to ensure wireless reliability.

Finding the next generation of coders

GlobalData analyst Charlotte Dunlap took a look at how vendors are increasing their efforts to bring in new coding talent in her most recent blog.

According to Dunlap, the biggest problem facing the technology industry is the lack of coding talent. In response to this deficit, major application platform vendors have ramped up campaigns to attract new developers and grow developer communities.

The most significant result of this shift was Microsoft’s purchase of GitHub for $7.5 billion. Dunlap described GitHub as being among the industry’s most powerful programming environments, predicting that Microsoft Azure will be the largest beneficiary of the acquisition.

IBM, meantime, recently announced its new coding campaign, Call for Code, which challenges programmers to create an app to assist in disaster relief. Oracle has been attracting young coders through social media with its Live for the Code and Why I Code campaigns.

These strategies have been yielding impressive results, Dunlap said.

“For their efforts, vendors get access to developers, equip them with tools and solutions to develop advanced apps, and try to make them loyal followers of their cloud platforms.”

Read more on what Dunlap had to say about the talent deficit.

Tracing why networking wasn’t horizontally integrated

Why did networking evolve the way it did, with routers and switches being vertically integrated? According to Ivan Pepelnjak at IPSpace, it’s because “nobody was interested in disaggregating them.”

Enterprise networking, unlike compute, didn’t have a Microsoft or an Intel making the software and chips that could be used in any box. Networking is more complex and it’s a much smaller market than the server market, meaning there weren’t any companies willing to make the necessary investment to develop a multivendor approach. And, Pepelnjak said, “high-speed packet forwarding was always a bleeding-edge technology,” which posed another barrier to a disaggregated environment.

Finally, Pepelnjak said, “vertical integration is the only way to push things to their maximum capacity.” Companies that wrote code or designed systems tailored to the least common denominator ran into problems supporting a multivendor switching environment.

And there is this: the question of support and a single throat to choke. Many companies would prefer to spend more money on an integrated system because they know it’s easier to get the service and upgrades they might need.

Read more about why networking developed the way it did.

3 brilliant design details from the new Microsoft Office

Since the introduction of Google Docs, many of us avoid Microsoft Office like the plague. But Office is still a mainstay in business. Excel, for instance, is the untouchable spreadsheet champion of the world, which is why a remarkable 1 billion people on the planet still use the software suite. And for all of them, Microsoft is rolling out a series of welcome design updates that should make the experience better. The company is focusing on creating simplicity–but without costing users power.

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These updates are a year in the works and promise to be but the first of many starting this June. “We’re on the beginning of the journey. I want to make that part clear,” says Jon Friedman, chief designer on Microsoft Office. “This is not the older world of software where you deliver something and move on to the next thing.” Here are three new features that aren’t just useful–they show where Microsoft is taking its flagship business tools.

A simplified ribbon

Here’s a staggering stat: 95% of people use only 10 commands in the top “ribbon” bar of Outlook. That means that of 32 (or so) functions that might be in a typical Outlook bar, 22 are wasted space. So Microsoft hid them, spreading those functions across various tabs. And that’s true whether you’re in Outlook or Word.

[Image: Microsoft]

Microsoft paired less information with cleaner information by remaking all of the functions as clean, wireframe icons. They’re actually optimized for accessibility for the vision impaired, and scale to tiny sizes clearly. But they also give the ribbon a sense of white space that was lacking before, allowing you, as Friedman puts it, to focus on your emails rather than your menus.

AI Buttons

But can a simpler menu bar become too simple? In some cases, yes. So Microsoft had to negotiate where–and how–to surface the rest of the program’s deep library of commands. “It turns out, 95% of the things people do are 10 commands in Outlook,” Friedman reiterates. “The other 5% are the 11th, 12th, and 13th commands that I use, and they’re completely different from the 11th, 12th, and 13th commands that you use.” In other words, we’re all the same user until the point we’re different. And when we’re different, we’re incredibly different.

[Image: Microsoft]

To accommodate each unique case, Microsoft deployed AI. Tap on a search bar, and search lists the top three commands on your screen that you’re most likely to need–customized to you. The technology is called “0-Query” and it doesn’t even need you to type in the search bar to give you a predictive answer. Truth be told, it’s similar to the way that iOS and Android suggest apps that you’re likely to open at any given time, but it’s the first time we’ve seen this tool applied to desktop productivity software.

“We’re very [focused on] anticipating people’s needs,” says Friedman. “We think this is what’s going to allow us to find that balance between simplicity and power.”

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Emotional Understanding

Another addition? “We have this little Coming Soon button in Outlook, and we want to give [users] a heads up,” says Friedman. “If an Outlook visual refresh is coming soon, we show them it’s coming up, and ask them if it helps [to get the heads up].”

Sounds minor, right? Why create this feature?

[Image: Microsoft]

As part of the design process, Microsoft did empathic research, surveying users to figure out what made their favorite productivity apps their favorites–and that included studying their own software and that of competitors.

What Microsoft concluded was that people wanted to feel three sensations when working with business tools: productive, in control, and safe. And they wanted to avoid two feelings: inadequacy and uncertainty.

Moving forward, Microsoft wants to focus many of its design updates in Office in response to these core emotions. Perhaps that sounds too heady, but it’s not really that complicated.

A perfect example of how small design features can quell uncertainty? “If you chase [features] without understanding the emotional response to them, then you might find yourself in a place where you have something highly efficient but not enjoyable,” says Friedman.

HP Microserver Gen8

What have you got ?

Can met in Central London to avoid postage / damage issues too 😉

Location: Norfolk

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HP Microserver Gen8

HP Microserver Gen8

What have you got ?

Can met in Central London to avoid postage / damage issues too 😉

Location: Norfolk

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party…

HP Microserver Gen8