Scala upgrade brings closer alignment with Java 8

Scala upgrade brings closer alignment with Java 8

Scala, a trendy object-oriented and functional language for the Java Virtual Machine, is now aligned with Java 8, the latest release of the standard Java platform.

Version 2.12.0, released Wednesday, features a complete overhaul of its compiler to take advantage of VM features in the Java upgrade, according to scala-lang.org. With Scala 2.12.0, a trait compiles directly to an interface with default methods, to improve binary compatibility and Java interoperability. And with Java 8 allowing concrete methods in interfaces, Scala 2.12.0 is able to compile a trait to a single interface classfile.

“Before, a trait was represented as an interface and a class that held the method implementations,” scala-lang.org said. “Scala 2.12 is all about making optimal use of Java 8’s new features—and thus generates code that requires a Java 8 runtime.”

Additionally, Scala and Java 8 interop has been improved for functional code, with methods that take functions easily called in each direction via lambda syntax. “The FunctionN classes in Scala’s standard library are now SAM (Single Abstract Method) types and all SAM types are treated uniformly—from type-checking until code generation—no class file is generated for lambdas, and invokedynamic is used instead.”

The new version also features a new bytecode optimizer. “The optimizer is configured using the -opt compiler option. By default it only removes unreachable code within a method.” Dead code elimination and a number of cleanup optimizations are included as well.

Version 2.12.0 standardizes on the GenBCode back end to emit code more quickly, and the interactive shell in Scala has been improved. It also has an upgraded type inference for Scala.js, which generates JavaScript from Scala.

Scala 2.12.1, which will rectify some issues with release 2.12.0, is coming later this month; scala-lang.org says it will clean up code and offer front-end fixes. A future release of Scala 2.12.x will address an issue in which parallel collections are prone to deadlock in the REPL and object initializers. From here on out, Scala 2.12.x releases will be fully binary compatible.

 

[Source:- Javaworld]

SQL Server monitoring tools help DBAs take back nights and weekends

Many DBAs have to work more and more nights and weekends to fulfill zero-downtime demands. But tools for monitoring and managing SQL Server might free up some of that time.

Minimizing weekend and late-night work by database administrators was a quest near and dear to the hearts of many attendees at PASS Summit 2014in Seattle. At the conference, Thomas LaRock, president of the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) user group, explained the dilemma of the modern DBA: Routine maintenance, updates, patches and hardware replacements all require database downtime — but that’s unacceptable except at night or on weekends.

And as systems have grown more and more efficient, La Rock added, many database administrators (DBAs) are being asked to take on workloads that used to be spread across multiple individuals, requiring longer working hours to get everything done. “It’s only ever more, more, more,” he said in an interview.

“I’ve seen a huge growth rate of after-hours work that people are being demanded to do,” agreed Carl Berglund, director of business development at DH2i Co., a vendor of SQL Server monitoring tools and management software in Fort Collins, Colo. But, Berglund said, working more nights and weekends results in tired DBAs — and tired people make more mistakes.

One thing that potentially can help SQL Server DBAs cut down on their off-hours workloads is the database performance monitoring and managementsoftware sold by Microsoft and various third-party vendors. For example, LaRock works as database management “head geek” at SolarWinds, a vendor in Austin, Texas, that offers a tool called Database Performance Analyzer (DPA). The product, which SolarWinds acquired when it bought Confio Software last year, tracks and analyzes the “wait time” in applications running on top of a database. DPA pinpoints processes that are causing holdups and provides guidance on how to alleviate the problems and speed up processing time.

DH2i has also developed tools specifically intended to combat lost nights and weekends for DBAs. Berglund presented on that topic at a SQLSaturday conference held by PASS in Orlando, Fla., in September. DH2i’s strategy is designed to provide application mobility and infrastructure independence, enabling SQL Server instances to be updated on a new virtual host with little downtime. DBAs “can do the majority of [updates and patching] in the daytime and just a stop and restart at night,” Berglund said.

New tool saves time — for other tasks

Cindy Osborn, SQL Server technology lead and SQL architect at International Paper Co. in Memphis, Tenn., is a user of the SolarWinds DPA tool. She started a trial of the software in June, when it was still known as Confio Ignite. Now Osborn uses it on a regular basis as she manages 100 instances of SQL Server for the global paper and packaging manufacturer. She found DPA while looking for a monitoring tool to help her analyze database performance and deal with code issues in applications.

Previously, whenever one of the multiple software development groups at International Paper had a problem, Osborn’s DBA team was forced to drop everything to “stop and dig,” as she described it. The developers couldn’t work on fixing the problems themselves without being given elevated access to the servers running the databases, which could cause security issues. In one case, Osborn had to do hours of code tweaking to get a homegrown incident tracking application to work correctly. At other times, she said, it took her “hours upon hours” to tell software vendors what was wrong with their applications.

With the SolarWinds tool, Osborn said her team can pinpoint problems more quickly and reduce interruptions to their usual DBA work. Another benefit, she added, is that graphs generated by DPA as part of reports on performance problems are easy for business users to understand. “Now, I don’t get, ‘Your server is slow,’ ” she said, describing phone calls with users.

Osborn is still working off-hours, but she said that DPA has helped her reduce her workload by enabling her to consolidate some SQL Server instances. Thanks to the database consolidation, she now can run SQL Server on fewer processor cores — and with fewer cores and instances to manage, Osborn has freed up some time. Much of it was taken up by other tasks, but she has noticed a decrease in night and weekend overtime.

On-call DBA hours hard to endure

Andrea Letourneau stopped working as a DBA for financial services technology provider Fiserv Inc. after her experience in an on-call position there. Letourneau, who now is a developer and database specialist at Viewpoint Construction Software in Portland, Ore., said that she was one of two people working as on-call DBAs at Fiserv, which meant she had to be available to take calls from its customers more than 50% of the time. “My husband got sick of the 3 a.m. phone calls,” she said.

While Letourneau has exchanged the duties of a DBA for writing custom code, she did offer some strategies for minimizing night and weekend work time. She said she checked system usage trends before the weekend so she could see if more hardware would be needed and put in a request to IT before it became a problem, thus cutting down on emergency calls. She also made manual checks of the database servers part of her daily routine and especially monitored disk space to make sure there was plenty of room.

Letourneau added that DBAs now are able to use SQL Server monitoring tools from vendors like SolarWinds, SQL Sentry and Idera to help them with that process. “It’s definitely come a long way,” she said. “If you have good monitoring software and a good DBA doing the monitoring, it helps.”

 

[Source:- techtarget]

Apple Promotes Apple Pay on Web With Exclusive Holiday Offers

apple-pay-web-exclusive-holiday-offers

Following the launch of Apple Pay on the web on iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, Apple is now offering a selection of exclusive holiday discounts and benefits in order to entice customers to use the mobile payments service online.

Some of the offers, for example, include 50% off a one-year subscription to The New York Times, a free $50 iTunes gift card with the purchase of a Casper mattress, and a free $25 gift card if you spend over $150 at athletic apparel retailer Lululemon.

Free shipping, discounts, and other offers are currently available from Adidas, Casper, Grubhub, Instacart, JackThreads, Jet, Lululemon, The New York Times, 1-800-Flowers, Overstock, Seamless, Shopify, Spring, and Vacatia.

Adidas — Enjoy one- or two-day free shipping.
Casper — Buy a mattress and receive a $50 iTunes gift card.
Grubhub — Win a $50 gift card for you and a friend! New diners will also receive $10 off their next order.
Instacart — First-time customers get one month of free Instacart delivery.
JackThreads — Get 20% off great holiday looks.
Jet — Get 10% off your first three orders and $5 JetCash to use on future purchases.
Lululemon — Get a $25 gift card if you spend over $150.
The New York Times — Get 50% off a one-year subscription.
1-800-FLOWERS — Enjoy free shipping.
Overstock — Enjoy a free year of Club O Rewards Membership, a $19.99 value.
Seamless — Win a $50 gift card for you and a friend! New diners will also receive $10 off their next order.
Shopify — Explore unique gifts and deals from Shopify stores.
Spring — Get 20% off perfect looks for holiday.
Vacatia — Get 7% off resort bookings and a chance to win a one-week stay in Hawaii.

Apple said more offers are coming soon from retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Bank of America, Caviar, Chase, Poshmark, Tumi, Under Armour, Warby Parker, and The Washington Post. The offers are valid in the U.S. only.

 

 

[Source:- macrumors]

Snowflake now offers data warehousing to the masses

Snowflake now offers data warehousing to the masses

Snowflake, the cloud-based data warehouse solution co-founded by Microsoft alumnus Bob Muglia, is lowering storage prices and adding a self-service option, meaning prospective customers can open an account with nothing more than a credit card.

These changes also raise an intriguing question: How long can a service like Snowflake expect to reside on Amazon, which itself offers services that are more or less in direct competition — and where the raw cost of storage undercuts Snowflake’s own pricing for same?

Open to the public

The self-service option, called Snowflake On Demand, is a change from Snowflake’s original sales model. Rather than calling a sales representative to set up an account, Snowflake users can now provision services themselves with no more effort than would be needed to spin up an AWS EC2 instance.

In a phone interview, Muglia discussed how the reason for only just now transitioning to this model was more technical than anything else. Before self-service could be offered, Snowflake had to put protections into place to ensure that both the service itself and its customers could be protected from everything from malice (denial-of-service attacks) to incompetence (honest customers submitting massively malformed queries).

“We wanted to make sure we had appropriately protected the system,” Muglia said, “before we opened it up to anyone, anywhere.”

This effort was further complicated by Snowflake’s relative lack of hard usage limits, which Muglia characterized as being one of its major standout features. “There is no limit to the number of tables you can create,” Muglia said, but he further pointed out that Snowflake has to strike a balance between what it can offer any one customer and protecting the integrity of the service as a whole.

“We get some crazy SQL queries coming in our direction,” Muglia said, “and regardless of what comes in, we need to continue to perform appropriately for that customer as well as other customers. We see SQL queries that are a megabyte in size — the query statements [themselves] are a megabyte in size.” (Many such queries are poorly formed, auto-generated SQL, Muglia claimed.)

Fewer costs, more competition

The other major change is a reduction in storage pricing for the service — $30/TB/month for capacity storage, $50/TB/month for on-demand storage, and uncompressed storage at $10/TB/month.

It’s enough of a reduction in price that Snowflake will be unable to rely on storage costs as a revenue source, since those prices barely pay for the use of Amazon’s services as a storage provider. But Muglia is confident Snowflake is profitable enough overall that such a move won’t impact the company’s bottom line.

“We did the data modeling on this,” said Muglia, “and our margins were always lower on storage than on compute running queries.”

According to the studies Snowflake performed, “when customers put more data into Snowflake, they run more queries…. In almost every scenario you can imagine, they were very much revenue-positive and gross-margin neutral, because people run more queries.”

The long-term implications for Snowflake continuing to reside on Amazon aren’t clear yet, especially since Amazon might well be able to undercut Snowflake by directly offering competitive services.

Muglia, though, is confident that Snowflake’s offering is singular enough to stave off competition for a good long time, and is ready to change things up if need be. “We always look into the possibility of moving to other cloud infrastructures,” Muglia said, “although we don’t have plans to do it right now.”

He also noted that Snowflake competes with Amazon and Redshift right now, but “we have a very different shape of product relative to Redshift…. Snowflake is storing multiple petabytes of data and is able to run hundreds of simultaneous concurrent queries. Redshift can’t do that; no other product can do that. It’s that differentiation that allows to effective compete with Amazon, and for that matter Google and Microsoft and Oracle and Teradata.”

[An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified “uncompressed storage” as “compressed storage”. The pricing of this feature is the same.]

 

[Source:- Infowrold]

 

Apple enhances iOS features for hearing impaired

Tech giant Apple has enhanced its iOS accessibility features for users with hearing impairments, according to a report by Appleinsider.

Features like Bluetooth-based AirPod-style streaming, Live Listen, have been enhanced, focusing on conversations in loud environment for hearing impairments.

Apple first introduced MFi support for Bluetooth hearing aids in iOS 7 and iPhone 4s.

Its latest software expands support for direct streaming of phone calls, FaceTime conversations, movies and other audio to supported hearing aids, without the need for a middleman device known as a “streamer”.

New iOS 10 hearing aid also features integrated device battery life and independent base, treble, right and left volume controls, and supports audiologist-designed presets for handling sound from concerts or restaurants, the report said.

In addition to supporting audio originating on the phone, the new Live Listen feature also allows users to relay focused audio picked up by the iPhone’s mic, enabling clearer conversations when in a loud environment.

 

 

[Source:- Techrader]

The Unified Update Platform for Windows 10 is bringing faster, targeted OS updates

Image result for The Unified Update Platform for Windows 10 is bringing faster, targeted OS updates

Microsoft is today announcing the latest iteration in of their Windows as a Service program for Windows 10. Due to the frequency of OS updates, the change will bring faster and smaller OS updates that are targeted to a user’s PC or mobile device.

The Unified Update Platform (UUP) is a new set of technologies that allows for “differential downloads,” which in layman’s terms means targeted OS updates. An existing analogy is how games in the Windows Stores that are 60GB on initial download have updates that are only a few gigabytes in size instead of having to redownload the entire game.

Now, that same principle is being applied to OS updates with a significant reduction in OS updates for milestone releases.

In a blog post detailing the changes Microsoft explains how it works:

A differential download package contains only the changes that have been made since the last time you updated your device, rather than a full build. As we rollout UUP, this will eventually be impactful for PCs where users can expect their download size to decrease by approximately 35% when going from one major update of Windows to another. We’re working on this now with the goal of supporting this for feature updates after the Windows 10 Creators Update; Insiders will see this sooner.

Besides smaller download packages for OS update, Microsoft is also improving the logic behind OS update checks. Currently, checking for an OS update results in a somewhat long ‘check’ to the server due to the update data being sent back and forth. Starting with UUP updates will now be more efficient “because more processing is being done by the service, this will lead to faster checks for update operations.”

Finally, there is another change for Mobile users. In the past, new mobile devices would start at a base build and sometimes require “two hops” to get to the latest release. This behavior was different from PC where the device could update right to the most recent OS with no delay. Now, Mobile will behave more like PC with direct “one hop” updates to whatever is the latest release.

Microsoft’s UUP starts rolling out in stages today starting with Insiders on Windows 10 Mobile and later this year for PC Insiders. The public, the non-Insider release will occur between the Creators Update early next year and the second OS update due later in 2017.

It is important to note that there will be no visual changes to OS updates. The experience is simply going to improve regarding faster update checks and smaller package downloads, starting today with Mobile for Insiders.

 

 
[Source:- Windowscentral]

Apple Seeds Second macOS Sierra 10.12.2 Beta to Developers

macos-10-12-2-beta

Apple today seeded the second beta of the upcoming macOS Sierra update 10.12.2 to developers, one week after releasing the first 10.12.2 beta and two weeks after the public release of macOS 10.12.1.

macOS Sierra 10.12.2 beta 2 is available for download through the Apple Developer Center and through the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store. A public beta will likely be available for public beta testers later this week.

macOS Sierra 10.12.2 includes new emoji introducing Unicode 9 characters like clown face, drooling face, selfie, face palm, fox face, owl, shark, butterfly, avocado, pancakes, croissant, and more, plus many profession emoji available in both male and female genders.

Apple has also updated the artwork on many existing emoji, adding detail and making them look less cartoonish and more realistic.

The update will also focus on bug fixes and performance enhancements to address issues that have popped up since the release of macOS Sierra 10.12.1.

Available since September, macOS Sierra is the latest Mac operating system. It includes Siri support, Apple Pay for the web, Universal Clipboard, Apple Watch auto unlocking, improved iCloud Drive integration, Picture-in-Picture multitasking, and dozens of smaller features that can be found in our macOS Sierra roundup.

 

 

[Source:- macrumors]

Azure brings SQL Server Analysis Services to the cloud

Azure brings SQL Server Analysis Services to the cloud

SQL Server Analysis Services, one of the key features of Microsoft’s relational database enterprise offering, is going to the cloud. The company announced Tuesday that it’s launching the public beta of Azure Analysis Services, which gives users cloud-based access to semantic data modeling tools.

The news is part of a host of announcements the company is making at the Professional Association for SQL Server Summit in Seattle this week. On top of the new cloud service, Microsoft also released new tools for migrating to the latest version of SQL Server and an expanded free trial for Azure SQL Data Warehouse. On the hardware side, the company revealed new reference architecture for using SQL Server 2016 with active data sets of up to 145TB.

The actions are all part of Microsoft’s continued investment in the company’s relational database product at a time when it’s trying to get customers to move to its cloud.

Azure Analysis Services is designed to help companies get the benefits of cloud processing for semantic data modeling, while still being able to glean insights from data that’s stored either on-premises or in the public cloud. It’s compatible with databases like SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Oracle and Teradata. Customers that already use SQL Server Analysis Services in their private data centers can take the models from that deployment and move them to Azure, too.

One of the key benefits to using Azure Analysis Services is that it’s a fully managed service. Microsoft deals with the work of figuring out the compute resources underpinning the functionality, and users can just focus on the data.

Like its on-premises predecessor, Azure Analysis Services integrates with Microsoft’s Power BI data visualization tools, providing additional modeling capabilities that go beyond what that service can offer. Azure AS can also connect to other business intelligence software, like Tableau.

Microsoft also is making it easier to migrate from an older version of its database software to SQL Server 2016.  To help companies evaluate the difference between their old version of SQL Server and the latest release, Microsoft has launched the  Database Experimentation Assistant.

Customers can use the assistant to run experiments across different versions of the software, so they can see what if any benefits they’ll get out of the upgrade process while also helping to reduce risk. The Data Migration Assistant, which is supposed to help move workloads, is also being upgraded.

For companies that have large amounts of data they want to store in a cloud database, Microsoft is offering an expanded free trial of Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Users can sign up starting on Tuesday, and get a free month of use. Those customers who want to give it a shot will have to move quickly, though: Microsoft is only taking trial sign-ups until December 31.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Joseph Sirosh said in an interview that the change to the Azure SQL Data Warehouse trial was necessary because setting up the system to work with actual data warehouse workloads would blow through the typical Azure free trial. Giving people additional capacity to work with should let them have more of an opportunity to test the service before committing to a large deployment.

All of this SQL news comes a little more than a month before AWS Re:Invent, Amazon’s big cloud conference in Las Vegas. It’s likely that we’ll see Amazon unveil some new database products at that event, continuing the ongoing cycle of competition among database vendors in the cloud.

 

 

[Source:- Infowrold]

How to schedule WhatsApp messages on your Android smartphone

WhatsApp has become an indispensable part of our lives, especially in India where almost everyone who has a smartphone uses the messaging service for texting/calling their loved ones.

WhatsApp is a great application with tons of features, but one thing it lacks is the ability to schedule messages. Scheduling messages can prove to be very nifty, especially if you want to send someone a birthday wish, or you have to send your boss some important information at a particular time.

Scheduler for WhatsApp
This is an easy to use application that allows you to can schedule messages on WhatsApp. The nest part is that using this application doesn’t require rooting your Android device and can be used as is from the Play Store.

You can set daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly schedules, sent messages are added to their proper threads on WhatsApp and can also schedule messages for WhatsApp groups ( Though you need to buy the Pro version for that).

 

 

[Source:- Techrader]

Windows 10 build 14959 now available for Insiders on PC and Mobile

Microsoft has just started rolling out Windows 10 build 14959, the latest preview build for Insiders in the fast ring on PC and phone. Today’s build features more improvements under the hood, bug fixes and other small changes on the surface.

In what’s probably the biggest change this week, Microsoft has started rolling out its new Unified Update Platform, available for Mobile insiders today, which makes downloading new builds faster by simply downloading the new bits needed, rather than a full build.

What’s new

  • Unified Update Platform: This build for Mobile is being published using our new update publishing system called Unified Update Platform (UUP).
  • Controlling the Display Scaling of your Virtual Machines (PC):  We’ve heard your feedback that Hyper-V Virtual Machines sometimes aren’t scaled as you’d expect, so we’ve added a new Zoom option in the View menu, where you can override the default scaling and set it to 100, 125, 150 or 200 – whichever matches your preference. Along the way, we also fixed an issue where certain VMs wouldn’t display the remote desktop connection bar after entering full screen mode. We are still refining the experience so there might be some rough edges. For example, although we added zoom levels to handle high DPI more gracefully, when zooming you won’t be able to see the VM’s whole screen without scrolling.

Improvements for PC

  • fixed an issue for Insiders resulting in the automatic brightness setting unexpectedly being turned off after upgrading. In doing so, we’ve re-enabled automatic brightness adjust for users that have never changed their auto-brightness setting. If you have already manually configured your auto-brightness setting, then this fix will not affect you. If you would like to enable or disable automatic brightness adjustment, please go to Settings > System > Display, where you can adjust your preferences.
  • fixed an issue Insiders on domain connected PCs may have experienced where login might fail when the computer was disconnected from its domain network.
  • fixed an issue resulting in certain apps, such as Outlook Mail and Calendar, failing to update for some Insiders with the error code 0x800700B7.
  • fixed an issue for Insiders with certain device models where ejecting an SD card might result in a system crash.
  • fixed an issue where disliking one of the Spotlight lock screen images would show the new image immediately, followed by a transition animation from the previous image to the new image.
  • fixed an issue where launching an app from another app while in Tablet mode no longer launched it side by side, and instead launched it fullscreen (for example, when launching a web link from the MSN News app).

Improvements for phone

  • The data usage page in Settings via Settings > Network & wireless > Data usage has been updated with performance and UI improvements.
  • We fixed issues preventing Insiders from adding cards to Wallet and paying using tap to pay.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in being unexpectedly able to close Start in the task switcher.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in certain options for default calling app via Settings > System > Phone > Default apps from being unexpectedly missing.
  • We fixed an issue causing apps that play media in the background, such as Groove Music, to stop when Battery Saver turns on.
  • We fixed an issue Insiders may have experienced where the phone would get into a state where copy/paste wouldn’t work until the device had been restarted.
  • We fixed an issue where Settings might hang after unchecking “Let apps automatically use this VPN connection” in VPN Settings.

 

 

[Source:- Windowscentral]