Muslim cleric and associate shot to death on New York street

Buddhist pageant lights up streets in Kandy, Sri Lanka

A Muslim cleric and an associate were fatally shot by a lone gunman on Saturday while walking together following afternoon prayers at a mosque in the New York City borough of Queens, authorities said.

The gunman approached the men from behind and shot both in the head at close range at about 1:50 p.m. EDT on a blistering hot afternoon in the Ozone Park neighborhood, police said in a statement, adding that no arrests had been made.

The motive for the shooting was not immediately known and no evidence has been uncovered that the two men were targeted because of their faith, said Tiffany Phillips, a spokeswoman for the New York City Police Department. Even so, police were not ruling out any possibility, she added.

The victims, identified as Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64, were both wearing religious garb at the time of shooting, police said. Police had initially identified Uddin as Tharam.

The men were transported to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where they died, hospital spokesman Andrew Rubin said.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group known by the acronym CAIR, said Uddin was an associate of the imam.

“These were two very beloved people,” Afaf Nasher, executive director of the New York chapter of CAIR, told Reuters. “These were community leaders.

“There is a deep sense of mourning and an overwhelming cry for justice to be served,” Nasher said. “There is a very loud cry, too, for the NYPD to investigate fully, with the total amount of their resources, the incident that happened today.”

The organization held a news conference on Saturday evening in front of the mosque, the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid, where the two men had prayed.

“We are calling for all people, of all faiths, to rally with compassion and with a sense of vigilance so that justice can be served,” Nasher said. ““You can’t go up to a person and shoot them in the head and not be motivated by hatred.”

The suspect was seen by witnesses fleeing the scene with a gun in his hand, police said.

“We are currently conducting an extensive canvass of the area for video and additional witnesses,” Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner said in a statement.

Eric Phillips, a press secretary for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, said the mayor was closely monitoring the police investigation into the shootings.

“While it is too early to tell what led to these murders, it is certain that the NYPD will stop at nothing to ensure justice is served,” Phillips said in a statement.

“He would not hurt a fly,” his nephew Rahi Majid, 26, told the New York Daily News. “You would watch him come down the street and watch the peace he brings.”

Video footage posted on YouTube showed dozens of men gathered near the site of the shooting, with one of them telling the crowd that it appeared to be a hate crime, even as police said the motive was still unknown.

“We feel really insecure and unsafe in a moment like this,” Millat Uddin, an Ozone Park resident told CBS television in New York. “It’s really threatening to us, threatening to our future, threatening to our mobility in our neighborhood, and we’re looking for the justice.”

In June, CAIR issued a statement calling for Muslim community leaders to consider increasing security after the Orlando massacre and incidents that it said had targeted Muslims and Islamic houses of worship.

A gunman who called himself an “Islamic soldier” killed 49 people in an Orlando, Florida, nightclub on June 12.



[Source: Reauters]

Oracle’s ambitious plans focus on density, scaling, and stronger language capabilities

Oracle's JVM goals: Microservices, value types, and more language support

Oracle’s plans for the Java virtual machine include greater language support, as well as accommodations for microservices and a heavier reliance on Java programming itself.

“We want a VM that will continue to be polyglot, that will interoperate with unmanaged languages, implement well-managed languages,” said John Rose, Oracle JVM architect, during the company’s recent JVM Language Summit conference in Silicon Valley. “Maybe in the next decade or so we’ll see C programs or C++ programs running in managed mode on top of the JVM. I wouldn’t be surprised.” In recent years, the JVM has become a home for a quite a few languages, including Scala, Clojure, JRuby, and Groovy.

Rose also cited a trend toward layered software implementations involving strong abstractions, a simplified data model, and Java-on-Java, in which Java is implemented on top of itself. The Graal Project, leveraging Java for writing JVM runtimes and compilers for other languages, and Project Panama, for interoperability between Java and C/C++, help drive Java-on-Java. Instead of having a lot of C++ code and a bytecode interpreter atop a stack, there would be various factored layers, perhaps low layers of C++, midlayers of low-level Java, specially compiled ahead-of-time Java, and Java components.

Java-on-Java “heals the rift between having to code in C++ and Java at the same time,” according to Rose. “It lets you use one high-leverage point, the Java compiler and the Java JiT and the Java type system, to manage more of the important parts of your system.”

Density and scaling goals for the JVM include enabling it to work with microservices. “We want those terabyte heaps,” Rose said. “We also want to be able to do tiny microservices, maybe running a few of them in the JVM or maybe a million of them in the JVM but independently.” Scaling will entail a fast startup, data sharing, and big heaps, making immutability more important. Aside from its JVM plans, Oracle recently cited work to retool Java EE for microservices and cloud deployments.

Honing in on language capabilities, Rose was bullish on value types, to mend a rift between classes and primitives. Value types enable huge changes through the stack and depend on parametric polymorphism, making generalizations across all values. “This is the last big thing that Java needs, in my opinion,” unifying primitives and objects but with everything looking like a class, he said. Rose sees value types as comparable to the impact of generics or lambdas in Java.

Rose listed eight specific goals for the JVM for the next 19 years, saying they had been initially expressed in 2015. These include having a uniform model, with objects, arrays, values, types and methods looking similar; memory efficiency, with tuneable data layouts and efficient code; optimization, in which shared code is mechanically customized; and post-threading, with confined, immutable data and granular concurrency.

Oracle wants Java to be broadly useful for running languages like Scala and Clojurewhile maintaining the compatibility to run even 30-year-old “dusty” JAR (Java Archive) files. The company also is emphasizing performance and interoperability. “Our JVM is more slowly changing than the hardware over which it runs, which means that we are always getting the latest chips and trying to figure out how to do the trick again on the new chips,” Rose said.



[Source: Javaworld]

OpenStack’s future: Docker workloads on Kubernetes

OpenStack's future: Docker workloads on Kubernetes

OpenStack distributor Mirantis will work with Google and Intel to repackage the cloud platform for deployment via Docker containers managed with Kubernetes.

This is the most radical reworking of OpenStack yet, with major implications for Google’s planned open standard and open source hybrid cloud. It also shows how much OpenStack’s future depends on containers.

Containerize all the things!

The plan is to rework OpenStack’s deployment system, Fuel, so that OpenStack will run as a series of Docker containers on a minimal Linux installation derived from Debian and Ubuntu. General availability for this reworked OpenStack is expected in the first quarter of 2017.

Fuel will use Kubernetes to manage the containers, and to accomplish that, Mirantis will come on board as a major contributor to the Kubernetes project.

Mirantis CMO Boris Renski described in a phone call how the company had settled on Kubernetes as the orchestration platform after a year’s deliberation. The other candidates included Swarm and Mesos, but Kubernetes was fast becoming the dominant orchestration fabric. Renski characterized this as similar to OpenStack becoming the default choice of its kind compared to CloudStack or Eucalyptus.

The reworked, containerized OpenStack will run as “just another distributed app,” Renski explained. The Kubernetes APIs will be fully exposed; there will be no masking of them as there was with the Openstack Magnum subsystem.

“You could almost think of OpenStack as a PaaS for VMs that runs on top of Kubernetes/Docker,” said Renski.

The Google on-ramp

One Mirantis partner in this effort is Kubernetes creator Google. This isn’t happening merely because Mirantis wants to drive Kubernetes support as part of OpenStack’s development effort. It’s also because a containerized OpenStack could in theory run seamlessly on Google Container Engine — another step toward the open hybrid cloudGoogle’s been working on.

“Customers will get to this ‘nirvana state’ where you have one fabric all based on open standards and open APIs with OpenStack and Kubernetes combined,” said Renski. “Where you can run contains, VMs, and mixed workloads on one fabric — with the option to run that same fabric off-prem on Google Container Engine.”

This ambition is a none-too-subtle echo of what Microsoft is planning in the long run with its Azure Service Fabric. While Service Fabric will eventually be open source and enjoy strong support for containers, its current incarnation is quite complex.

By contrast, all the pieces in Renski’s vision are open source right now, although it isn’t clear how much easier a fully containerized OpenStack will be to set up and maintain. Mirantis wants to make OpenStack behave like Red Hat’s Project Atomic, where encapsulating all the components of the product in containers leads to less complex upgrades and rollbacks.

One of OpenStack’s biggest bugaboos has always been deploying, maintaining, and upgrading a given OpenStack installation. Every OpenStack vendor offers to make all of that less ornery, but if all of OpenStack is reinvented from the inside out, it’ll be one more reason to pick OpenStack as a whole, rather than side with any particular vendor.


[Source: Javaworld]

Petition to bring Pokémon Go to Windows phones officially hits over 100,000 signatures

Pokémon Go is everywhere – be it walking around town, eating out at a restaurant, or even being at work. The phenomenon of Pokémon has just taken the world by storm with endless news stories of people wandering into dangerous places that they normally wouldn’t pay attention towards. Fortunately or unfortunately, Windows phones don’t have access to the latest “must-have” app. For some, this could be a blessing in disguise, saving them from the dangers of the wilderness. For others, it is acting as a social barrier from those on other mobile platforms, preventing people from socialising with their friends.

For some, this could be a blessing in disguise, saving them from the dangers of the wilderness. For others, it is acting as a social barrier from those on other mobile platforms, preventing people from socialising with their friends.

Over the past few days, Windows phone users have come quite a long way, with anunofficial client for Pokemon Go on Windows 10 Mobile being delivered. It’s in beta stage at the moment, however, development is seemingly fast-paced with therealready being 3 versions and counting. The app is rough and doesn’t provide the full experience, but for some it is enough for now. That doesn’t stop people clamouring for an official app though – in fact, thousands of people every day are still signing the petition to bring Pokemon Go to Windows phones, in particular, Windows 10 Mobile.

A few weeks ago, the petition hit 50,000 signatures. Today, it has reached 100,000 – just 20 days later. That’s a pretty hefty milestone to reach for a mobile platform that so many claim is “dead” or lacks any large number of users. If we put this into perspective, many Windows phone users, with the exception of those who follow the news closely or are really into the platform, will not have noticed the petition or even thought of it. If those were to be factored into the numbers, then that 100,000 could, in reality, be much larger.

Of course, there will also be some fake signatures on the petition, alongside those who signed it but wouldn’t use the app. These variables make it difficult to provide an accurate number of how many actually want Pokemon Go to arrive on Windows 10 Mobile. One thing is for certain, though: a large number of users do want it.

There’s been no response from Nintendo, Niantic, or Microsoft regarding the petition. Microsoft did respond to some feedback reports on their Feedback Hub, stating thatthey’re looking into it, but that’s as far as it has gone.


[Source: Winbeta]

Spark 2.0 takes an all-in-one approach to big data

Spark 2.0 takes an all-in-one approach to big data

Apache Spark, the in-memory processing system that’s fast become a centerpiece of modern big data frameworks, has officially released its long-awaited version 2.0.

Aside from some major usability and performance improvements, Spark 2.0’s mission is to become a total solution for streaming and real-time data. This comes as a number of other projects — including others from the Apache Foundation — provide their own ways to boost real-time and in-memory processing.

Easier on top, faster underneath

Most of Spark 2.0’s big changes have been known well in advance, which has made them even more hotly anticipated.

One of the largest and most technologically ambitious additions is Project Tungsten, a reworking of Spark’s treatment for memory and code generation. Pieces of Project Tungsten have showed up in earlier releases, but 2.0 adds more, such as applying Tungsten’s memory management to both caching and runtime execution.

For users, these changes, plus a great many other under-the-hood improvements, provide across-the-board performance gains. Spark’s developers claim a two-to-tenfold increase in speed for common DataFrames and SQL operations, thanks to a new code generation system. Window functions, used for tasks like moving averages in data, have been reimplemented natively for further speed-ups.

Spark 2.0 also brings a major shift in programming APIs. DataFrames and Datasets, previously two different ways of accessing structured data, are now the same under the hood; DataFrames are now “just a type alias for Dataset of Row,” per Spark’s release notes. R language users can also now write a small range of user-defined functions and leverage better support for existing Spark features.

These changes make Spark more powerful without unnecessary complexity, since Spark’s straightforward APIs are one of its biggest attractions.

Spark has streaming — and company

Spark has been refining its metaphors for streamed and real-time data as well, and Structured Streaming makes its proper debut in 2.0. It repurposes Spark’s existing DataFrame/Dataset API to connect with streaming data sources like Kafka 0.10, so such data can be processed live.

Streaming has long been considered one of Spark’s weaker features because it’sharder to debug and keep running than it is to get set up. But it’s emerged as a contender to another major streaming-data solution, Apache Storm, in big part because Spark’s much easier to use overall.

With version 2.0, Spark is making a bid to be an all-in-one processing framework accessed by a few overarching APIs. But in the run-up to Spark 2.0, other projects have emerged with their own conceits for how to approach streaming and batch processing — Twitter’s Heron, Apache Apex, and Apache Flink, to name a few.

All these projects have their advantages. Heron reuses Apache Storm’s metaphors for streaming to make it easier for Storm users to get on board. Apex is even easier than Spark to work with, especially when it comes to fault tolerance or event ordering. And Flink uses a native streaming model rather than a retrofitted version of Spark’s existing data model.

Still, Spark has managed to establish itself solidly over the past couple of years as an ingredient in third-party software products (SnappyData, Splice Machine) and cloud-native data systems (IBM and more). Spark 2.0 is set on making that legacy harder to displace.



[Source: Javaworld]

Everything you need to know about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update was released August 2, 2016 worldwide for everyone to try out Windows 10 in all its glory. Our definitive review of Windows 10 Anniversary Update showcased many things that non-Windows Insiders were seeing for the first time and there are a number of new Windows 10 features, tweaks, and more functionality.

Since last year, Windows 10 has made substantial strides in the number of tweaks, improvements, and fixes in Windows 10 through user feedback from the Windows Insider program. It’s been a long road to get Windows 10 to this point, but there is a long way to go before Windows 10 can be considered a finished product.

First unveiled in September 2014 and entered public beta testing in October 2014, Windows 10 was released on July 29th, 2015. Windows 10 is the successor of Windows 8.1, offering a return of a more classic version of the Start Menu. In addition, Windows 10 brings a number of features and improvements to pen and touch, as well as mouse and keyboard on the PC and Microsoft Surface devices.

Just a year ago, Windows 10 was touted as more than just the next Windows. Windows 10 was a new Microsoft experience, dubbed “Windows as a Service.” Windows Insiders could experience all the new features of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update much sooner than the general public, and be able to provide Microsoft with feedback on bugs, including what needed to be improved and what needed to be fixed.

Universal Windows 10 apps, Task View, Microsoft Edge, and Windows Hello support for some websites and apps, are just some of the new features now available in the Windows 10.


[Source: Winbeta]

The future of Node.js: Stable, secure, everywhere

The future of Node.js: Stable, secure, everywhere

Server-side JavaScript platform Node.js remains on the rise in enterprise IT, as its usage has been doubling every year for four years now, according to the Node.js Foundation. Now, developers overseeing Node’s future are mapping out future priorities like stability and security, and they’re exploring threaded workloads and engagement with the JavaScript language itself.

Looking to spread Node “everywhere,” proponents are pushing for increased adoption across servers and the desktop as well as the internet of things, according to a presentation by Rod Vagg, member of the Node Technical Steering Committee, at this week’s Node Summit conference in San Francisco.

Node developers endeavor to improve stability of Node releases, Vagg said. “Unfortunately, this branch that we have called ‘current’ — we used to call it stable — is not quite as stable as we’d like to be,” he said. Too many breakages and regressions have been slipping into releases, he said, and while the situation is not “terrible,” it needs improvement.

Planned language enhancements include Zones, which make it easier to write asynchronous code. Threaded workloads, meanwhile, could be implemented in Node akin to browsers supporting Web Workers, which run web content in scripts in background threads.

Proponents also want to improve the relationship between Node and the ECMA TC39 committee, which develops the ECMAScript specifications underlying JavaScript. For example, Node could accommodate ECMAScript’s promises capability, which helps asynchronous communications. “There are some ways that promises work that work against the way that some people use Node,” Vagg noted. Node could also implement low-level JavaScript features like tail calls, which could impact debugging.

Node also may see a shifting philosophy related to its use of HTTP, includingadherence to HTTP/2. New APIs may be needed for HTTP/2, though, and Node’s loose approach to HTTP has been a source of security issues.

To further address security, Node’s developers want to clarify and have strict adherence to security policies for Node while supporting a growing ecosystem of security service providers, including Lift, Node Security, and Snyk. Node has faced security issues like denial-of-service and out-of-bounds vulnerabilities recently.

Plans also call for more rapid upgrades of the V8 engine underlying Node while maintaining ABI stability, Vagg said. Also, to provide add-on stability and multivirtual machine experimentation, Node proponents are exploring development of a new C++ API compatibility layer. Google’s V8 JavaScript engine currently is the VM of choice for Node, but Microsoft hopes to change that with a planned standard interface.


[Source: Javaworld]

Watch Apple advertise Microsoft’s Surface Pro

Over the weekend, Apple released a new ad campaign for the iPad Pro. Perhaps directed at Windows users, the ad shows off iPad Pro features not available on traditional computers, and questions viewers by asking,”what’s a computer?”

Of course, this ad will not settle well with some Windows and Microsoft fans, so one Reddit user switched things up and created a video of Apple advertising Microsoft’s Surface Pro.

Seen above, Reddit user hisensemusic, overlaid the voice over from Apple’s original adwith clips from Microsoft’s ads for the Surface Pro 4. The user notes that the video was made in around 30 minutes, and that it is, “amazing how well the Surface commercial just slots in to the voice over.”

Amazing it is indeed, because right the Apple narration mentions “Keyboard that can just out of the way,” images of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 Type Cover appear on the screen. Similarly, when the Apple narration taunts, “and a screen you can touch and write on” images of the Surface Pen, and the Surface Pro 4’s touch screen display appear on the screen.

So, what do you think of this video? Let us know your thoughts and reflections by dropping us a comment below!


[Source: Winbeta]

Businesses stick with Java, Python, and C

Businesses stick with Java, Python, and C

Developers may yearn for hot newer languages like Swift, Rust, and Scala, but their employers prefer stalwarts like Java. Yet Python, a trendy language that also is gaining momentum in businesses, bucks the trend altogether.

Based on a study of more than 3,000 coding tests specified by employers, technical recruiting platform HackerRank found industries as a whole are slow to adopt new languages. “Employers are still mostly looking for strong foundational skills in good old Java, Python, and C. Unsurprisingly, they’re focused on infrastructure strength, security and scalability,” HackerRank said.

In HackerRank’s methodology, employers administering coding tests were able to determine which languages were included in the tests, hence indicating which languages were important to them. Out of 3,000 tests, Java was enabled in 100 percent of them followed by Python (88 percent), C (70 percent), C++ (61 percent), Ruby (52 percent), C# (51 percent), JavaScript (49 percent), PHP (36 percent), Perl (25 percent), Swift (14 percent), Go (12 percent), Scala (8 percent), and Objective-C (7 percent). Companies that enabled all languages by default were eliminated from the sample set.

While Rust, Swift, F#, and Scala may have been ranked “most loved” in Stack Overflow’s 2016 developer survey, they did not score high among employers looking for programmers through HackerRank. In fact, Swift has yet to fully take over Apple’s own internal development. “When Swift first released in 2014, people thought Objective-C’s days are numbered,” HackerRank said. “But realistically, Apple isn’t going to flip a switch.”

Python could be the common ground between business and developer. It’s getting a thumbs-up from businesses, particularly in the online financial field and financial startups, while also showing up with a 62.5 percent rating in Stack Overflow’s survey.

According to HackerRack, Finance recruiters say Python is the fastest-growing language in general. “People and industries are definitely adopting Python more so over the past few years,” said Heraldo Memelli, lead technical content manager at HackerRank. “It’s proven itself as a dependable force for many different uses in the industry, especially in parallel to the rise of big data. It’s skyrocketed in popularity among finance institutions over the past few years especially because of its rich set of finance open libraries.” On the developer side, Python’s syntax is cleaner and the language is generally easier to learn, Memelli said.

Java, meanwhile, remains critical to businesses, with a “perfect story” of technologies arising that depend on it, according to HackerRank. Many languages depend on Java’s free, open source Java Virtual Machine, and Java runs on multiple types of OSes — including Windows, MacOS, and Linux — with one compiled library.

“With the proliferation of the virtual machine, employers increasingly need Java developers to sustain the foundation elements,” said HackerRank. Google’s choice of Java for Android mobile development has been a boon, and big data libraries like  MapReduce, HDFS and Lucene leverage the language. “Java certainly has its downsides, but ultimately it’s widespread and it works. Plus, with the release of Java 8 in 2014, some of the verbosity has been minimized with new, lambda support to improve readability,” HackerRank said.


[Source: Javaworld]