Microsoft on Monday confirmed that Windows 10 will be released July 29 as a free upgrade for PCs and tablets running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, and on new Windows 10 devices.
The OS will be available for other devices later this year. However, Microsoft hasn't indicated which of the at least seven Windows 10 builds will be released.
Windows 10 includes the Start menu, which was brought back in Win 8.1 after its exclusion from Win 8 outraged many users.
Consumers can reserve free upgrades now.
New Features in Windows 10
Windows 10 features Microsoft's Cortana personal digital assistant.
Cortana is integrated into Microsoft Edge, the new browser built from the ground up for Windows 10.
The new OS also includes Windows Hello, which greets users by name. It includes biometric authentication so users can log into their PCs without a password.
Windows 10 runs the full Office 2016 suite, plus new, Universal Windows applications for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook that offer a consistent, touch-first experience across a range of devices.
The OS also features Windows Continuum, which transforms desktop applications for mobile device use and vice versa, and lets Windows phones be used as PCs.
In addition, Windows 10 lets users play games on the Xbox Live gaming network using their PCs or tablets.
Caveats, Warnings and Grumbles
Users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs and laptops have to register within one year to get the free upgrade. The Enterprise editions of these OSes don't qualify. Users of machines running Windows Vista or XP, or pirated versions of Windows, don't qualify either. The free upgrade is limited by the life of the device it's installed on.
Cortana won't be available in all markets at launch. Windows Hello will require a specialized illuminated infrared camera for facial recognition or iris detection, or a finger print reader that supports the Windows Biometric Framework. Continuum for phones will be available only on selected models at launch.
No Pain, No New Feature Gain
Getting users to purchase a new laptop or desktop in order to fully exploit the new features of Windows 10 is "absolutely the intent," said Wes Miller, senior analyst at Directions on Microsoft.
"While an existing device is likely to work quite well with Windows 10, making the most of the new OS -- if you really want to use all the new features, Windows Hello in particular -- will likely require a new PC," he told TechNewsWorld.
Still, most existing Windows applications that don't offer low-level security or management functionality will just work on Windows 10, Miller said, although full backward compatibility remains an issue.
"Microsoft is uninstalling their own Media Center feature, even if you paid for it in the past," he pointed out.
Kicking RT Users to the Curb
Devices running Windows RT will not be able to upgrade to Windows 10, which puzzles Al Hilwa, a research program director at IDC.
That leaves purchasers of Microsoft Surface RT and Surface 2 out in the cold.
"Since [these devices] would only run the ARM version of Windows 10, one might imagine that they would be able to run Windows 10 Mobile," Hilwa told TechNewsWorld.
"Microsoft has decided that Surface either has unique hardware requirements that makes the machines unable to run this OS, or that the experience or testing cycle has not been adequate for such larger-screen devices."
Just Following Industry Practices
It's understandable that Cortana won't be available globally when Windows 10 is launched, Miller said.
"Google and Apple have done the same in the past, as localizing an intelligent assistant isn't easy," he explained. "I'd expect it to arrive in other locals over the coming months and years."
Windows 10 "will work on a pretty significant swath of existing systems out there," Miller pointed out. While existing devices' hardware may not be able to exploit new features in the OS, "this is often the case when a new OS ships."
Apple this week announced Swift 2 and said it would open-source it later this year. Swift 2 is a programming language for iOS, OS X and watchOS.
It has a new error handling model that works with Apple SDKs and NSError. Two new features in Objective-C -- nullability annotations and generics -- make Swift 2 work better with Apple SDKs.
"Generating higher-quality code is the central problem in software engineering, and anything that helps developers do that will help," said Al Hilwa, a program director at IDC.
Swift is "a modern language where memory management is internalized," he told LinuxInsider. "Having features that further reduce errors and allow writing of cleaner, more readable code is always welcome."
Hot New Stuff
The most important new features in Swift 2 include increased performance and improved optimization, as well as a new exception-based error handling system that features "throw," "try" and "catch" keywords, like Java and other languages, noted Bill Weinberg, senior director of open source strategy at Black Duck Software.
Others are use of the "#Available" keyword to discover properties of the underlying OS, easier transition across OSes and versions, and new platform-optimized SDKs -- primarily for current Apple devs.
A Linux port is slated to appear later this year. Key attributes devs should look out for, according to Weinberg, include choice of IDE, if any; support for Android; completeness of the port compared to Swift's native implementation under OS X and iOS; and volume of platform-specific code. [*Correction - June 11, 2015]
Apple will release Swift 2 to open source under an OSI-approved permissive license. It will contribute ports for OS X, iOS and Linux at launch, and source code will include the Swift compiler and standard library.
Using the permissive license "would make Swift friendly to many commercial entities, but could also make it easier to fork the project and the language," Black Duck's Weinberg told LinuxInsider. "Community voices are already singing the praises of Apple's move."
Swift is among the top 25 programming languages, and open-sourcing it "will reduce friction to adoption by ushering the language into other platforms," Weinberg said.
Linux "is a logical target" for Swift, because "it's the platform of choice for new development, and where other next-generation languages were born, and where they're percolating today," Weinberg noted, in addition to being "a close sister operating system to OS X."
How open-sourcing Swift will impact the nascent Phoenix project, an attempt to implement the Swift spec as open source without the benefit of Apple's purview, remains to be seen.
"Will Phoenix developers come over to an open source Swift project?" Weinberg wondered. "And what skills and resources will they bring?"
- Permanent full-time role
- Major projects
- Immediate start
Dialog requires an experienced Mobile Developer with excellent communication, technical and problem solving skills to undertake challenging and interesting assignments in our North Sydney office.
If you can demonstrate all of the following essential capabilities and a range of the desirable capabilities Dialog would like to hear from you.
- Minimum 3 years' iOS or Android developer experience
- Strong UI design & implementation skills
- Cross platform experience
- Web Services (REST, SOAP & XML-RPC)
- Solid Java or Objective-C experience
- Working knowledge of security technologies and techniques such as encryption, SSL, PKI.
- OO Analysis & Design and standard design patterns
- Source control systems (TFS, SVN & Git)
- Outstanding written, verbal communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to work autonomously with minimal supervision
- Demonstrated experience in a highly client facing environment
Highly Desirable Capabilities:
- Experience with HTML5 based web applications
- UX/UI experience
- Experience with other mobile platforms such as Blackberry and Windows
- Experience working in Agile teams
- Experience across a broad range of industries including government and commercial
- Tertiary qualifications in Information Technology
Dialog offers career development through diverse projects, training and mentoring in a team environment.
Join our team of professional, enthusiastic and experienced consultants, where communication, learning and knowledge sharing are prized. We offer an excellent benefits package.
Dialog is an equal opportunity employer.
Applicants should be Australian or NZ citizens or Australian permanent residents.
Please apply here.
Have you got what it takes to further design one of the World’s fastest growing online corporate communication highways?
Would you like to join our young, dynamic team in enhancing a program used by tens of thousands of people worldwide?
World Manager, and the brands using our platform, have won 24 industry awards in the last six years, making it one of the most recognised and awarded online products in the country. To date our product is being used in over 50 countries by over 20,000 business locations and over 130 of Australia's best known companies. Check us out on our website for more information.
To continue expanding our industry leading online platform we are looking to bring on an ambitious junior developer with potential to move up through the ranks. We have a very collaborative approach to development and a fast upgrade schedule, so you will have to have excellent communication skills and a can-do attitude to programming.
You will need a strong background in programming fundamentals. Years of experience are not required, but any of the following would be a huge advantage:
- Development of large database driven applications
- A wide range of development projects, not just websites and CMS
- User-content driven systems
- More specialised areas of development (SMS, dashboard systems, chat, web services, integration with other platforms etc.)
- Problem solving abilities
- PHP or Java
- Impeccable communication skills
- Attention to detail
- Australian/NZ Residency
- Tertiary qualifications
- Experience developing within an Amazon Web Services environment
In 2015 we are taking the World Manager to a new level. We are looking for someone who can step straight in to working on cutting edge projects with the goal of creating a giant WOW factor, so show us what you can do.
We are looking for a talented junior who is keen to advance their skill set, we have an experience team commited to helping guide and mentor the right candidate. Outstanding Efforts equal Outstanding Rewards, so if you feel like you could develop something extraordinary then please click apply now.
Please apply here.
My client an innovative company based in Brisbane is looking for an experienced iOS Developer to join their team on an initial short term contract basis with possibility of extension or future work.
To undertake this position, candidate should be able to demonstrate the following skills and experience:
- Demonstrated experience with Mac OS X platform (Objective-C), iPhone SDK and iOS programming.
- Demonstrated experience and knowledge of advanced software developing concepts, advanced experience in object-orientated design (OOD) and experience with HTTP request, load balancers, XML/XSL/JSON/ RSS/REST/CSS/JQUERY.
- Demonstrated knowledge and skills in interface design and usability.
- Demonstrated experience in developing networking and/or multimedia applications for the iPhone and iPad.
- Demonstrated experience with developing applications using GPS (e.g. MapKit).
- Demonstrated experience with push notifications.
- Demonstrated experience creating Android applications
If you have the above skills and experience please do not hesitate and apply today!
FinXL IT Professional Services is an innovative Australian owned company providing our clients with technology enabled business solutions and consulting services.
As the 'go-to' mid-tier Service Provider for many Australian and International clients, FinXL enjoys a diverse client portfolio, boasting some of the industry's leading: Telecommunication, Banking and Finance and Commercial Corporations, along with many State and Federal Government Departments.
We have a new requirement for a Senior Java Developer to work for one of our large Telco organisations.
Essential Skills and experience required:
- 8+ years experience in software development
- 7+ years using Java
- Must have strong TDD
Experience with pair programming
Extensive experience with Spring including MVC
- Hibernate experience
- Experience with testing frameworks mainly Junit
- Strong understanding of writing unit tests, integration tests and acceptance tests
- Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, Agile application development using Scrum, XP and/or Kanban.
- Knowledge of Oracle or MySQL
- Experience with Unix/Redhat or Ubuntu
Please apply here.
Do you aspire to help build something better? Would you like to work for a company that employs the best talent to develop and deliver world class capabilities and systems to protect Australia and its national interests? Then we would like to talk to you.
As an Equal opportunity employer that promotes a diverse and safe workplace environment, one of the country’s leading and preferred defence partners, Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) is now recruiting for the position of Engineer – Software Engineering based in Brisbane office. This is a temporary full time position for approximately 12 months.
The Phantom Works – International division of Boeing Defence, Space & Security is responsible for executing Project White Stare, a project exploring the use of UAS in a range of commercial activities. The role of Engineer – Software Engineering will perform highly skilled software development activities focussed on data storage, advanced processing and information dissemination.
This role involves the following key responsibilities:
- Developing analytical software across a range of data types (Image, Video, 3D).
- Developing new capabilities across a variety of front-end and back-end platforms.
- Working with Subject Matter Experts to develop software to undertake advanced processing and analytics.
BDA requires all applicants to be able to demonstrate the following essential qualifications:
- Strong Object Oriented Design, C++ and/or C# development experience (2 to 6 years experience desired, although outstanding graduates will be considered)
- Strong HTML5 / CSS3 knowledge, with solid grasp of modern responsive design concepts, and experience with one or more responsive UI frameworks (Bootstrap, Foundation, HTML5 Boilerplate etc.)
As part of The Boeing Company, BDA employs more than 1,200 people at 13 sites in Australia and two international locations bringing the best of Boeing and industry together to deliver world-best capabilities and systems. Our people are innovative, ethical and have the critical skills to defend Australia and its national interests.
All of The Boeing Company’s 168,000 employees around the world are entitled to flexible working arrangements, benefits and a supportive and safe workplace.
Applicants must be Australian Citizens to meet defence security requirements.
To see how BDA can help your career to take off, check out the Boeing Australia country video. If you are ready to join an innovative industry leader or would like to view a detailed position description, visit the Boeing Careers Centre, or click Apply now.
BDA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages women and people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island descent to be part of an organisation that promotes a diverse and safe workplace environment.
Please apply here.
Sharing content and files has become a part of everyday life for most professionals, and advancements in cloud-based services such as Google Drive and Dropbox have made it even easier to sync, share, and collaborate on projects.
Apple began its journey to provide a similar service in 2011. Business Insider reported in 2011 that Steve Jobs approached Dropbox CEO Drew Houston in an attempt to acquire his company. Houston didn't want to sell and Jobs was clear that he was going to come after Dropbox with a similar product.
A few months later, Jobs took the stage at a keynote address to present iCloud, the cloud solution for the Apple ecosystem. iCloud was met with mixed reviews. The biggest complaint being provide the ease of use of some of its competitors.
At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in 2014, the company announced iCloud Drive, a system for storing, sharing, and syncing data among your devices. Files can be synced among OS X, iOS, and Windows. All in all, iCloud Drive offers a much more intuitive and useful product than the standard iCloud that came before it, especially for professional users.
To get started using iCloud Drive, you must make sure you meet the device and software requirements. First off, your iOS devices must be running iOS 8 and your Mac must be running OS X Yosemite. If you want to use it with a Windows PC, it must be running Windows 7 or later, and you'll also need iCloud for Windows.
Additionally, iCloud Drive requires Safari 6 or later, Firefox 22 or later, or Google Chrome 28 or later, according to the Apple website. Being that iCloud Drive is designed to work with Apple's iWork suite (Numbers, Pages, and Keynote), so it would be a good time to update those individual apps through their respective app stores as well.
Important: You'll need your AppleID and password to use iCloud Drive. If you forgot your password, you can reset it here.
If you didn't enable iCloud drive on your iOS device when you upgraded to iOS 8, or your Mac when you upgraded to Yosemite, it's simple. On your iOS devices (iPhone, iPod, or iPad) start by tapping the Settings icon. Within the settings, tap iCloud and you should see iCloud Drive toward the top with "On" or "Off" labeled next to it. If it is Off, tap iCloud Drive and then tap the blue "Upgrade to iCloud Drive" to complete the process.
On a Mac, click the Apple menu icon at the very top left of your screen, in the menu bar. On the drop-down menu select "System Preferences..." and then select "iCloud." Follow the prompt and sign in with your AppleID and Password, then click "iCloud Drive" to finish.
Just as with the original iCloud, users are given 5 GB of free storage to start. Storage can be upgraded for an additional monthly fee. Here are the available storage tiers in USD. iCloud storage pricing for other countries can be found here.
- 20 GB: $0.99
- 200 GB: $3.99
- 500 GB: $9.99
- 1 TB: $19.99
Once you have iCloud Drive set up, it will show up on the left side in your main Finder windows. If you click on "iCloud Drive" within the Finder window, you'll see a group of folders on the right, which represent the applications that work with your iCloud Drive. You can access files through these folders and all edits will be saved and synced across your devices. You can also drag and drop files into folders here to have them show up on all your devices.
If you want to move your files, the easiest way is to simply drag them out of the iCloud Drive folder and drop them on your Desktop or in your Documents. You can also move the file from the application itself. With the file open, click "File," then "Move to," and select the destination for the file.
Additionally, you can save the file directly to iCloud Drive from the application you're working in. So, if you're building a spreadsheet in Numbers (or another iCloud-compatible app) you should see the option to save directly to iCloud Drive. Individual files cannot exceed 15 GB if you wish to store them in iCloud Drive.
Accessing iCloud Drive on iOS has to be done through individual apps. To open a file from iCloud, you must first tap the icon for the compatible app, such as Pages or Keynote. Within the app, tap the + icon and then tap iCloud. A window will open displaying the contents of your iCloud Drive. Tap the icon of the folder that contains the file you want to access and tap the file name. A copy of the file will then open in the app on your iOS device.
If you want to send a file to iCloud from your iOS device start with the file you want to send and tap the Share icon (the one that looks like a box with an arrow coming out of it). Tap "Send a Copy" and select the file type you want to export it as. Then tap "iCloud Drive" and tap the name of the folder you want to save it to. When prompted tap "Export to this location" and your file will be saved to iCloud Drive.
iCloud Drive is a great step forward for cloud-based document storage in the Apple ecosystem. No company has truly mastered the syncing process across computers and mobile devices, but hopefully with iCloud Drive you can stay better organized and get more done on your Apple devices.
After attending a few seminars on the topic of productivity and time management and reading a couple of books on the subject, I was introduced to some profound concepts and made some great realizations about the way I used to work. With this new knowledge, I completely redesigned my workflow framework something that lead in a tremendous boost of my productivity.
I would like to share with you the most important tips that will help you boost your productivity, increase your overall output and, perhaps most importantly, free you time to spend in other activities.
Note that the following tips can be applied to both personal and professional aspects, the principles are essentially the same.
So, let’s hit the road…
Never, ever, ever read e-mails first thing in the morning
If there is one thing to keep from this article, then this is it. Again, never read e-mails first thing in the morning. If you do, you will automatically be positioned in a reactive and passive mode instead of the active and creative mode we want to be.
Check and respond to e-mails only in predefined time windows within the day. Those should be before launch break, let’s say around 12.00-13.00, and then again at around 16.00, when your energy levels will be low anyway so you won’t lose any productive energy. Don’t worry, this “urgent” e-mail, is not really that urgent.
Avoid meetings if you can
Meetings are the number one productivity killers in the corporate environment. There I said it. You know it, I know it, everybody knows (but perhaps won’t admit).
“Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that corporations and other large organizations habitually engage in only because they cannot actually masturbate.” – Dave Barry
Yeap, this pretty much sums it up. What is most interesting is that a meeting kills the productivity of multiple people at the same time. Amazing. So, if it is not absolutely critical to attend, just skip it. Say that you have a lot in your hands (which is probably true) and arrange to check with a colleague after the meeting to fill you in about the important stuff.
If it is really important to hold a meeting (this should be rare actually), then keep these things in mind:
- Do it late in the afternoon when your productivity is down anyway.
- Always have an agenda of topics to be discussed. Don’t deviate from those.
- Set up a strict end time. Call the meeting off when this time comes.
- Don’t leave the room without clear, actionable next steps.
This is huge. The world in the information age is full of distractions coming in every possible way and keeping you from getting things done. I would classify distractions in two main categories: those that we create ourselves and those that are created by others.
Let’s start with the distractions that we create ourselves. This seems odd to think about, but the truth is that we manage to keep ourselves from being productive, even if we do not do this consciously. Examples are abundant: setting up our e-mail and social media accounts to “notify” us when something “important” happens, switching between different tasks like maniacs, getting a quick “fix” at Hacker News or Reddit and the list goes on.
The thing is that you should setup your work environment in a way that when you are actually on a task, there is nothing to distract you. Begin by switching off all your notifications, be it text messages on your mobile, Facebook updates etc. Next, exit your e-mail application or if you decide to leave it on, make sure that the automatic Send/Receive option is disabled. Then, eliminate access to any non productive sites that you usually hang like DZone, Hacker News etc. Note that I did not say “don’t use”, I used the phrase “eliminate access”. We are all geeks here so I trust you that you will find the technical way to accomplish this. You can use a low level approach of editing your machine’s “hosts” file to make facebook.com point to 127.0.0.1 or using a plugin to temporarily restrict access to those sites. I personally use the Blocksite plugin. With this setup, you will be in a position where you have eliminated the majority of the distractions that you essentially cause yourself.
Let’s move on to the distractions that other people cause. You could argue that some of the above distractions are caused by other people but the hard truth is that you cause them yourself since nobody forces you to check Twitter or Facebook. What I refer to here are “obtrusive” distractions. For example, how many times this scenario has happened to you? You get an e-mail by your manager and then he calls you to ask you if you got said e-mail. Talk about productivity. Or what about this: A colleague pokes you while you are debugging your code and asks you how something trivial is accomplished in Java and the first response that comes to your mind is “Google it, bitch!“.
In reality, those distractions are a bit tricky to defend yourself from because it is easy to go overboard and pass the limits of what is socially acceptable. Some ideas would be using headphones (though I have found that even this does not work sometimes), allowing the incoming calls to go to voice mail and checking them later, hanging a piece of paper on your PC that says “Do not disturb, coding in progress” etc. You will have to gauge what would be appropriate in your work establishment and proceed accordingly. The goal is to allow for an uninterrupted workflow.
Prepare a list of tasks to do the night before
The previous night you should make a clean list of tasks that is important to be accomplished the day that follows. I am not talking about huge lists of several items, this never works. Instead, pinpoint 2-3 important tasks, those that if performed, significant progress will occur in your projects. It should go like this: “If I only accomplish these two tasks today, will I feel productive about my day?“. If yes, jot them down.
Do the most important tasks first
As mentioned above, e-mails should never be the first thing to deal with. So, what would that be? The most important task in the list! You have identified the single most crucial task so, you sit down and deal with it without thinking about anything else. Ideally, you should finish this in “one seating”. Take a short break and then proceed with the second most major task in your list. I will talk in a later section about how to alternate work and breaks for optimal results.
Batching is not only for databases
I am sure that most of you are familiar with the concept of query batching. In short, you “batch” a lot of similar DB queries and send only one request in the database which allows for better performance. Optimization at its best. Guess what, you can use the same principles for your own tasks! WIth that way, you will minimize the activation costs and various overheads that come with certain tasks. Good examples of tasks that batching can be applied to are e-mail checking (notice a pattern here?), phone calls and generally any menial, repetitive work.
Automate like there is no tomorrow
Another thing to add to your productivity toolbox is the concept of automation. As programmers, we live essentially in quite an automated environment but yet I have seen several incidents where people resolve to manually performing a menial, mundane task which could easily be automated. Look, humans fail, are less reliable than machines and fail even more when the task at hand is boring and insignificant. Strive to automate as many of the tasks as possible. Examples would be performing a full application build with just one click, deploying to production servers using only one script etc. Seriously, do not lose mental and physical energy performing something that a machine would perform faster, more reliably and without your involvement.
Alternate “work” and “play” for maximum results
So, it is now time to talk about how to actually set up a work framework. What I would like to suggest is allocating specific time periods that would be earmarked as “work” and time periods that would be assigned as “break” or even better “play”.
For example, you would dedicate 45 minutes of continuous, focused work on a specific task and then, follow that up with a 15 minutes break where you can surf the internet, check your social media updates, read the latest Java Code Geeks articles etc. Make sure to move your eyes away from the screen during the break and definitely getting some mild physical action. Seriously, sitting can kill you, stand up and walk.
The concept is that, among other things, the “play” time period would serve as a reward to yourself for having the discipline to plow through the longer time period of working. Our minds are mysterious things but I can assure you that setting up a reward mechanism like this will help you accomplish more stuff and have some fun time as well.
On the technical side of accomplishing this, there are numerous timer applications and you can also experiment with the Pomodoro technique.
Jot everything down
What I refer to here is making the habit of noting everything down. Whether it is a new idea you have, a new approach you would like to follow for a problem you are trying to solve or a bill you have to pay tomorrow. You have to make sure that your brain’s capacity is not consumed by “remembering stuff” but on focusing on the specific goal you are trying to accomplish.
Think of your brain as a computer CPU. The “stuff” you assign to it is similar to launching several process in the background. It will eventually cause it to hang and not work properly. The process of jotting things down will offload your brain and allow it to perform in a more optimal way.
Make separate lists and categorize those thoughts you have. Lists could include “Potential Projects”, “Thing to buy”, “Development” etc., so that you can quickly scan through them later on.
Leverage “flow” – Working “in the zone”
This is the holy grail. This is what we are trying to achieve by properly designing our working framework. This is what all the aforementioned tips will allow you to achieve. I am sure you have experienced a state of “flow” or “being in the zone” as it is more commonly known among programmers. It is that time period when your mind is totally dedicated, laser focused to a particular task or problem and you essentially lose track of time. You code and code and code and nothing else exists. External stimuli do not even register with your brain and there is only you and your favorite IDE. I would dare to bet that 80% of all progress in our programming work is performed during “flow” incidents. Heck, I got in the zone while writing this article!
The bottom line here is that you have to put yourself in a position where you can get in “flow” easily and stay there as long as possible. This is the mode our brains have evolved to work in and this will skyrocket your productivity. I love being in the zone and I am sure you love it too, so why not give ourselves the chance to experience this more?
So, there you have it. A few simple tips for getting the most out of your time. Please, try those for a short period (say one or two weeks) and then let me know in the comments how it goes. You can even shoot me an e-mail, I would be happy to hear from you!