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How QA Can Support Businesses in the Journey of Digital Transformation

July 18, 2019

The influence of technology is growing, and businesses strive to take full advantage of it. For many companies, digital transformation is a way to speed up processes, support innovations and embrace and open up new opportunities.

Quality assurance, being the indispensable part of the software development life cycle, has a key role along the path of digital transformation. Introducing quality checkpoints ensures the achievement of the planned business outcomes and flawless end-user experience and satisfaction, which is the objective of every digital endeavor.

How digital transformation changes QA

Digital transformation has significantly influenced the ways QA and software testing are performed and how the results are achieved.

Here are the main improvements:

  • Testing throughout the software life cycle

QA is no longer done at the end of the software development life cycle. Digital transformation has brought about the need to perform testing continuously. More and more often, testers are not asked to check the app functionality once the developers have deemed it to be ready. Today, testing and dev teams work in collaboration, doing their best to deliver a high-quality solution. To ensure testing accuracy and flexibility, organizations adopt Agile and DevOps practices.

But there are some exceptions. Many organizations still run software testing once the development is finished. Mainly, these are the companies representing highly regulated business sectors, for example, the healthcare domain. For the projects with medical devices used, a key component for the product to be released to market is the approval by the FDA. To receive this approval, the company has to submit test results obtained on different stages of software development, including the final tests results.

The obligatory final testing, however, doesn’t count out the need of testing throughout the development life cycle. As a rule, such projects are tested during all development stages with …

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How Security Can Help Your Business Grow

July 18, 2019

A business that is negatively impacted by crime can’t grow, and will inevitably shrink and possibly collapse. Companies should consider investing in security, mainly because of how crime can adversely affect a business’ long-term growth projections.

Criminal activity tends to impact the performance of small and medium enterprises negatively. As the journal Tourism Economics reports, a study based in Latin America finds that there is a negative correlation between increased crime rate and small business growth. How then does a business deal with the problem of crime while at the same time remaining profitable? The key to this discussion lies in how the business approaches its security.

Physical security measures

The first thing a small business must secure is its operating location. The real-world situation of a company is of extreme importance to its growth. Securing that property should be the business’ first step. There are several ways companies can go about securing their premises, including:

Industrial strength locks

The standard locks that a commercial building comes with are usually not made to deal with dedicated criminals. Most commercial rental properties will allow tenants to change locks, once the owner also gets a key. Replacing the standard bolts that a location has with more sophisticated locks, designed for being difficult to break into should be among the first changes a business should make to ensure its continued security.

Security cameras

Surveillance of a commercial property can add to the safety of the premises as well as serve as a deterrent to criminals. It is important to note, according to Security Instrument, that a commercial grade security camera is different from a consumer-grade camera and one should not be used to replace the other. Security cameras offer peace of mind, and many systems come with an option for the user …

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Uber riders now earn rewards for shopping during their trip with new Cargo app

July 17, 2019

Uber is launching a new shopping app with commerce partner Cargo, a startup with which it signed an exclusive global partnership last year. The app will feature items curated by Uber, including products like Nintendo Switch, Apple hardware, Away luggage, Glossier cosmetics and more, and will be available to download for Uber riders making trips in cars that have Cargo consoles on board. The Cargo app will also provide in-ride entertainment, including movies from Universal Studios available to purchase for between $5 and $10 each (with bundle discounts for multiple movies), which are then viewable in the Movies Anywhere app.

Uber riders will also benefit by receiving 10% of their purchase value back in Uber Cash, which they can then use either on future trips or on other purchases made through the Cargo app while riding. Uber drivers also benefit, earning 25% of the value of items purchased from the Cargo Box in-car, and an additional $1 for each first purchase by a passenger through the new app.

Riders just need to grab the iOS or Android app and then scan the QR code located on the Cargo Box in their driver’s car. Cargo’s app only allows purchases while on the trip, and then the item will be automatically shipped to a rider’s home address for free with an estimated delivery time of between two and five business days.

Cargo App Home Screen

This tie-up is a natural evolution for Uber’s business — the company hosts millions of riders every week, and many of those are taking relatively long trips to and from airports and other transit hubs, which provides ample opportunity to get them buying stuff or watching purchased content. Cargo, in which Uber has some equity stake, has a good opportunity to figure out how best to make the most …

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Facebook reportedly hasn’t contacted the regulator it says will oversee Libra’s privacy and data security

Facebook reportedly hasn’t contacted the regulator it says will oversee Libra’s privacy and data security

July 16, 2019

A Swiss regulatory agency that Facebook executive David Marcus said in congressional testimony would be responsible for overseeing data and privacy protections for the company’s newly launched cryptocurrency, Libra, has not been contacted by Facebook, according to a report.

CNBC is reporting that the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner, who Marcus said would oversee data protections for its cryptocurrency in his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, has yet to hear from the company which is depending on it for oversight.

In a statement provided to CNBC, Hugo Wyler, who’s the head of communication at the FDPIC said:

We have taken note of the statements made by David Marcus, Chief of Calibra, on our potential role as data protection supervisory authority in the Libra context. Until today we have not been contacted by the promoters of Libra… We expect Facebook or its promoters to provide us with concrete information when the time comes. Only then will we be able to examine the extent to which our legal advisory and supervisory competence is given. In any case, we are following the development of the project in the public debate.

Facebook’s attempted end-run around national monetary policy already has been criticized by lawmakers in the U.S. and around the world.

“With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users… Given the company’s troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who heads the House Financial Services Committee, in a statement on the day Facebook announced its …

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How to Use Technology for Direct Mail Marketing

July 16, 2019

Paper-based advertisements, like direct mails, play a crucial role in influencing the purchase decision of the buyer. While direct mail is a proven marketing strategy, technology takes it to a whole new level.

It’s evident that even in the wake of technological advancements, customers are actively embracing direct mail. It’s no surprise why big corporates invest in direct mail engagement. The touch-and-feel experience offered by direct mail helps customers remember the brand and the product. [Are you interested in direct mail marketing services? Check out the reviews and best picks.]

By streamlining the process and utilizing the power of technology in direct mail, marketers can improve personalization and ease planning, execution, and tracking. In this post, we’ll discuss how technology can make direct mail better and easy for businesses.

Direct mail: The traditional way

1) Redundant process

Traditionally, direct mail marketers handled customer data and mailing information manually. Even now, most are likely to use spreadsheets to share data with other teams. This leaves no room to track data accurately. A notably redundant process in direct mail is where the same spreadsheet passes through multiple hands. Numerous edits, revisions, and updates can damage the entire operation. While necessary in some cases, such a redundant process is time-consuming and involves a lot of work.

Using technology can streamline the process and maintain an up-to-date system to achieve better results.

2) Room for errors

Efficiency and accuracy go hand in hand in direct mail marketing. Assume you are managing direct mail marketing and you send out printed copies to thousands of users. This process may involve different teams within the organization and some third-party vendors for printing and logistics. How do you know the right team is managing the process? Are you confident that your mailing list is error-free?

Without …

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How to Use Conversational Interfaces to Build Websites of the Future

July 12, 2019

Have you ever wondered what the world’s first website looked like? Who created it and when? Well, the world’s first website was launched by Sir Tim Berners Lee in the year 1991. It was a simple webpage having some texts and hyperlinks. You can have a look at it by clicking on this link.

From that modest beginning back in 1991, we have come forward 27 years where some extraordinary transformations have taken place in the world of web design. Whether, it is the launch of the first browser in 1996 by Microsoft, or the introduction of CSS and Flash (both in 1996) and in the recent years, the need of responsive design, all played their role in the evolution of web design.

Now, we are moving into the future of web design and conversational interfaces will be the key that will power up modern mobile first websites.

What is conversation UI?

Conversation interface has been rightly referred to as the “UI of the future.” Global leaders like Google, Amazon and Apple are already developing smart websites that will handle customer queries using conversational interfaces.

In fact, a few years back Google developed a chatbot that could debate the meaning of life with users – its developers didn’t build it through code but used a machine-learning algorithm to study existing conversations – namely movie conversations to teach it to respond to queries from users contemplating the deeper meaning of life.

Conversation interfaces are platforms that have the power to mimic a conversation with a real human. This means, users can interact with a machine in the same language as though they are communicating with a human. This happens with the help of Natural Language Processing which allows the computers to understand, analyze and create meaning from the words entered …

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Twitter returns after an hour-long outage

Twitter returns after an hour-long outage

July 11, 2019

After an hour of sweet freedom, the world has been returned to the grasp of Twitter.

At about 2:50 pm ET, the desktop and mobile site were down, displaying a “Something is technically wrong” error. The app was also not working. The site returned at about 3:45 pm ET, but took a few minutes to regain full functionality.

Twitter’s status page said little more than it was an “active incident.” A spokesperson for Twitter confirmed the outage but referred us to the status page.

After the site returned, Twitter said it was because of an “internal configuration change,” which it has since rolled back.

It’s not the first time Twitter’s had a hiccup in the past few weeks. The social media giant was hit by a direct message outage earlier this month. In fact, between June and July, most of the major internet companies had some form of outage, knocking themselves or other sites offline in the process.

Please tweet about how it was down and how it’s hard to tweet about how Twitter’s down when it is itself down, and the irony therein.

We’ll patiently wait to hear from Twitter about the cause of the outage.

Devin Coldewey contributed.

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What Digital Adoption Means for Business in 2019

July 11, 2019

It’s just as much a part of the world of business, but not all companies have fully embraced what digital adoption would entail. As a result, they might not only be leaving bigger profits on the table, they may also be doing a disservice to their customers. Digital adoption is more than just migrating away from the analog.

With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at how digital adoption is quickly making a name and presence for itself in the world of online business – and why and how businesses must start using it to their advantage in 2019 and beyond.

Beyond the basics of digital adoption

Let’s start with a fundamental definition. If you are not already familiar with the term “digital adoption,” you would be forgiven for thinking it simply means that a company has adopted digital tools as part of its day-to-day operations.

By the same accord, it’s perfectly understandable for the concept to be quickly dismissed, because practically every company has adopted some digital tools, of course. You’ve got a website with a contact form, the marketing team interacts with publishers via email, and you might be managing your projects in Asana.

But that’s not enough on its own. Entrepreneur defines digital adoption as “achieving a state in which people reach the capability to use digital tools to their fullest extent.”

Did you catch that last part? Until a company is in a position where both its employees and its customers are able to leverage the digital tools available to them “to their fullest extent,” the company has not achieved the ideal of digital adoption. While many organizations and brands use SaaS and automation to improve their daily workflow and processes, it’s likely that many of them are still not getting the most …

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Apple has pushed a silent Mac update to remove hidden Zoom web server

Apple has pushed a silent Mac update to remove hidden Zoom web server

July 10, 2019

Apple has released a silent update for Mac users removing a vulnerable component in Zoom, the popular video conferencing app, which allowed websites to automatically add a user to a video call without their permission.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant told TechCrunch that the update — now released — removes the hidden web server, which Zoom quietly installed on users’ Macs when they installed the app.

Apple said the update does not require any user interaction and is deployed automatically.

The video conferencing giant took flack from users following a public vulnerability disclosure on Monday by Jonathan Leitschuh, in which he described how “any website [could] forcibly join a user to a Zoom call, with their video camera activated, without the user’s permission.” The undocumented web server remained installed even if a user uninstalled Zoom. Leitschuh said this allowed Zoom to reinstall the app without requiring any user interaction.

He also released a proof-of-concept page demonstrating the vulnerability.

Although Zoom released a fixed app version on Tuesday, Apple said its actions will protect users both past and present from the undocumented web server vulnerability without affecting or hindering the functionality of the Zoom app itself.

The update will now prompt users if they want to open the app, whereas before it would open automatically.

Apple often pushes silent signature updates to Macs to thwart known malware — similar to an anti-malware service — but it’s rare for Apple to take action publicly against a known or popular app. The company said it pushed the update to protect users from the risks posed by the exposed web server.

Zoom spokesperson Priscilla McCarthy told TechCrunch: “We’re happy to have worked with Apple on testing this update. We expect the web server issue to be resolved today. We appreciate our users’ patience …

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How to Monetize Your Tech Knowledge

July 10, 2019

I bet you take that knowledge for granted. Technology experts seem to think that just because we know the ins and outs of deploying a virtual machine, installing and configuring software or writing some code.

It’s not true.

We are subject matter experts (SMEs), and the knowledge in our head is valuable. There are lots of people out there that would love to know what you know, and where there is demand, there can be a financial reward, but where do you start?

If you’ve been toiling away in your job your entire life and have never considered creating training content before, the task may seem overwhelming. Where do you start? Whom do I contact?

Write articles.

One of the easiest ways to monetize your knowledge is writing articles like this one. Writing isn’t difficult if you know how to explain yourself and write well. Start blogging to get used to writing. Ask for feedback on your writing from others and pay attention to how other authors write.

Once you’ve built up a portfolio of written content, you will then use this as your resume to potential clients.

Look for sites that publish tech content that you’re interested in and contact them. Some will pay you and some will not.

Compose an e-book.

It’s easier than ever to publish your own book. Although e-books entail a lot more writing than a 500- to 1,000-word article, they can be more financially lucrative because you’re selling copies.

Check out such sites as LeanPub that help authors publish e-books. I’ve personally published my Pester Book on LeanPub, and the rewards have been much more than I had expected.

Record videos.

You don’t have to be an expert writer to produce great content; screencast videos work well too. If you can speak intelligently about …

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