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Mobile Labs: Mobile Labs remains the leading provider of in-house mobile device clouds that connect remote, shared devices to Global 2000 mobile web, gaming, and app engineering teams. Its patented GigaFox is offered on-premises or hosted, and solves mobile device sharing and management challenges during development, debugging, manual testing, and automated testing. A pre-installed and pre-configured Appium server provides “instant on” Appium test automation.

RELATED CONTENT: Testing all the time

NowSecure: NowSecure is the mobile app security software company trusted by
the world’s most demanding organizations. Only the NowSecure Platform delivers
fully automated mobile app security and privacy testing with the speed, accuracy,
and efficiency necessary for Agile and DevSecOps environments. Through the
industry’s most advanced static, dynamic, behavioral and interactive mobile app
security testing on real Android and iOS devices, NowSecure identifies the broadest array of security threats, compliance gaps and privacy issues in custom-developed, commercial, and business-critical mobile apps. NowSecure customers can choose automated software on-premises or in the cloud, expert professional penetration testing and managed services, or a combination of all as needed. NowSecure offers the fastest path to deeper mobile app security and privacy testing and certification.

Parasoft: Parasoft’s software testing tool suite automates time-consuming testing tasks for developers and testers, and helps managers and team leaders pinpoint priorities. With solutions that are easy to use, adopt, and scale, Parasoft’s software testing tools fit right into your existing toolchain and shrink testing time with nextlevel efficiency, augmented with AI. Parasoft users are able to succeed in today’s most strategic development initiatives, to capture new growth opportunities and meet the growing expectations of consumer demands.

Perfecto: Perfecto offers a cloud-based continuous testing platform that takes
mobile and web testing to the next level. It features a: continuous quality lab with
smart self-healing capabilities; test authoring, management, validations and debugging of even advanced and hard-to-test businesses scenarios; text execution simulations; and smart analysis. For mobile testing, users can test against more than 3,000 real devices, and web developers can boost their test portfolio with cross-browser testing in the cloud.

CA Technologies offers next-generation, integrated continuous testing solutions that automate the most difficult testing activities — from requirements engineering through test design automation, service virtualization and intelligent orchestration. Built on end-to-end integrations and open source, CA’s comprehensive solutions help organizations eliminate testing bottlenecks impacting their DevOps and continuous delivery practices to test at the speed of agile, and build better apps, faster.

HPE Software’s automated testing solutions simplify software testing within fastmoving agile teams and for Continuous Integration scenarios. Integrated with DevOps tools and ALM solutions, HPE automated testing solutions keep quality at the center of today’s modern applications and hybrid infrastructures. 

IBM: Quality is essential and the combination of automated testing and service virtualization from IBM Rational Test Workbench allows teams to assess their software throughout their delivery lifecycle. IBM has a market leading solution for the continuous testing of end-to-end scenarios covering mobile, cloud, cognitive, mainframe and more. 

Micro Focus is a leading global enterprise software company with a world-class testing portfolio that helps customers accelerate their application delivery and ensure quality and security at every stage of the application lifecycle — from the first backlog item to the user experience in production. Simplifying functional, mobile, performance and application security within fast-moving Agile teams and for DevOps, Micro Focus testing solutions keep quality at the center of today’s modern applications and hybrid infrastructures with an integrated end-to-end application lifecycle management solution that is built for any methodology, technology and delivery model. 

Microsoft provides a specialized tool set for testers that delivers an integrated experience starting from agile planning to test and release management, on premises or in the cloud. 

Orasi is a leading provider of software testing services, utilizing test management, test automation, enterprise testing, Continuous Delivery, monitoring, and mobile testing technology. 

Progress: Telerik Test Studio is a test automation solution that helps teams be more efficient in functional, performance and load testing, improving test coverage and reducing the number of bugs that slip into production. 

QASymphony’s qTest is a Test Case Management solution that integrates with popular development tools. QASymphony offers qTest eXplorer for teams doing exploratory testing. 

Rogue Wave is the largest independent provider of cross-platform software development tools and embedded components in the world. Rogue Wave Software’s Klocwork boosts software security and creates more reliable software. With Klocwork, analyze static code on-the-fly, simplify peer code reviews, and extend the life of complex software. Thousands of customers, including the biggest brands in the automotive, mobile device, consumer electronics, medical technologies, telecom, military and aerospace sectors, make Klocwork part of their software development process. 

Sauce Labs provides the world’s largest cloud-based platform for automated testing of web and mobile applications. Optimized for use in CI and CD environments, and built with an emphasis on security, reliability and scalability, users can run tests written in any language or framework using Selenium or Appium, both widely adopted open-source standards for automating browser and mobile application functionality.

SmartBear provides a range of frictionless tools to help testers and developers deliver robust test automation strategies. With powerful test planning, test creation, test data management, test execution, and test environment solutions, SmartBear is paving the way for teams to deliver automated quality at both the UI and API layer. SmartBear automation tools ensure functional, performance, and security correctness within your deployment process, integrating with tools like Jenkins, TeamCity, and more. 

SOASTA’s Digital Performance Management (DPM) Platform enables measurement, testing and improvement of digital performance. It includes five technologies: mPulse real user monitoring (RUM); the CloudTest platform for continuous load testing; TouchTest mobile functional test automation; Digital Operation Center (DOC) for a unified view of contextual intelligence accessible from any device; and Data Science Workbench, simplifying analysis of current and historical web and mobile user performance data. 

Synopsys: Through its Software Integrity platform, Synopsys provides a comprehensive suite of testing solutions for rapidly finding and fixing critical security vulnerabilities, quality defects, and compliance issues throughout the SDLC. 

TechExcel: DevTest is a sophisticated quality-management solution used by development and QA teams of all sizes to manage every aspect of their testing processes. 

Testplant: Eggplant’s Digital Automation Intelligence Suite empowers teams to continuously create amazing, user-centric digital experiences by testing the true UX, not the code. 

Tricentis is recognized by both Forrester and Gartner as a leader in software test automation, functional testing, and continuous testing. Our integrated software testing solution, Tricentis Tosca, provides a unique Model-based Test Automation and Test Case Design approach to functional test automation—encompassing risk-based testing, test data management and provisioning, service virtualization, API testing and more.

Thu, 30 Jun 2022 11:59:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://sdtimes.com/automated-test/a-guide-to-continuous-testing-tools/
Killexams : Five Ways To Convince Your Customers To Try Something New

Wendy Chen is the CEO of Omnistream, a retail automation company helping retailers bring joy to consumers

Every innovator, at some point, faces the same challenge. You’ve built a revolutionary mousetrap, but you need to convince people to actually take a chance on your product—and stop using whatever solution they’re currently using to keep the rodent population under control.

That’s a tough sell because, by definition, your new product is unproven. Even if you’ve been around a while and you have a clear record of success, and even if you can show how much ROI your product will generate on paper, customers quite reasonably worry about the potential for things to go wrong.

To drive things forward, it’s important to build your sales pipeline—and even your product itself—with your customers’ pain points in mind. Here are five ways to convince your customers to bet on innovation and take a chance on your product:

Understand The Friction

It isn’t enough to show your buyer that your product is better than the alternative. You need to understand and account for the friction that keeps them from wanting to make changes. That isn’t just conservatism—it’s a rational disinclination toward any sort of change.

Some industries, some companies and some product categories bring more inherent friction than others. It’s up to you to understand that and find ways to lubricate the wheels and create momentum for change.

Minimize The Risk

The biggest source of friction, of course, is the risk inherent in trying something new. If there’s a working product in place, then making any change brings a non-zero chance that things will stop working—and that usually ends with someone getting fired. Understandably, people in positions to make these decisions often prioritize minimizing risk rather than maximizing value, and it’s up to you to account for that fact.

One smart approach: Instead of trying to sell customers on a widespread rollout, offer to run a low-cost, low-risk pilot project. My company is a retail tech solutions vendor, and we often use pilot projects or small-scale tests with a handful of stores across one or two product categories to convince potential customers to try us out. We then measure their incremental growth and resulting store-level profitability having used our solutions against control stores.

Keep Costs Low

Nobody wants to spend money on unproven technology, and no matter how great your product, every customer will view it as unproven until they’ve seen it delivering consistent results for their specific use-case. Finding creative ways to keep costs low, especially during the early stages, is vital.

Some SaaS companies now use consumption-based pricing, rather than regular monthly subscriptions, to reassure customers they’ll only pay for what they use. Others, like my company, peg our price to the increased performance we deliver. It's important to do everything necessary to make sure your retail clients succeed, so they know they’re always coming out ahead.

It’s also important to ensure your product plays nicely with legacy infrastructure and is complementary to your existing investments: It doesn’t matter how great your product is if it requires your customer to completely rebuild their backend IT or POS systems. Simple integration into your existing core systems ensures a speedy execution. Another great option is to offer a modular offering, which allows customers to choose only the processes they want to ensure full integration into your entire existing supply chain, retail planning and forecasting systems.

Help Your Advocates Communicate Your Value

As the saying goes, nobody gets fired for buying IBM. Your goal during the pilot project is to develop advocates for your product—people at all levels, from end-user to the C suite—who are willing to stick their necks out and say your product is worth implementing more broadly.

To do that, you need to ensure you’re delivering at all levels of the organization: Change management support for the implementation team, a streamlined experience for users, real benefits (results) for their supervisors and clear metrics that document your product’s value and allow it to be easily communicated up the command chain.

Make Your Pilot Scalable

Once you’ve secured buy-in for your product, you need to be able to communicate a clear strategy for scaling up the pilot and delivering broader value. This needs to be baked into the DNA of your pilot: If you’ve focused on a handful of stores for one to two product categories, for instance, then make it easy to add a couple more stores or categories—or quickly scale up and add entire regions.

For bonus points, make your product more valuable as it scales. You’ve shown your product works across a couple of locations—but can you offer additional learnings and customer insights as you bring more locations into your network? You’ll also need to show willingness to customize your product in order to serve your customers’ unique needs and fringe cases and stay aligned with their own strategy for growth, so they’re motivated to lean into the relationship as they expand.

Enabling Innovation

We’re raised to view innovators as mavericks—people who think differently and change the world by the sheer force of their creativity and contrarianism. But the reality is that innovation is a team sport, and it’s only by convincing other people to join your mission that you’ll be able to win top-to-bottom buy-in and truly bring your product to scale. To succeed as B2B software innovators, we need to spend as much time thinking about how to turn our customers into innovators as we do on planning our own innovations.


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Sun, 07 Aug 2022 22:00:00 -0500 Wendy Chen en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2022/08/08/five-ways-to-convince-your-customers-to-try-something-new/
Killexams : Testing as a Service (TaaS) Market Set for More Growth | Infor, HCL Technologies, QualiTest, Capgemini, IBM

Latest Study on Industrial Growth of Worldwide Testing as a Service (TaaS) Market 2022-2028. A detailed study accumulated to offer Latest insights about acute features of the Worldwide Testing as a Service (TaaS) market. The report contains different market predictions related to revenue size, production, CAGR, Consumption, gross margin, price, and other substantial factors. While emphasizing the key driving and restraining forces for this market, the report also offers a complete study of the future trends and developments of the market. It also examines the role of the leading market players involved in the industry including their corporate overview, financial summary and SWOT analysis.

Get Free Exclusive PDF sample Copy of This Research @ https://www.advancemarketanalytics.com/sample-report/96242-global-testing-as-a-service-taas-market#utm_source=DigitalJournalLal

Some of the key players profiled in the study are: QualiTest (United States), Capgemini (France), IBM Corporation (United States), HCL Technologies Limited (India), Tata Consultancy Services (India), The Hewlett-Packard Company (United States), Wipro Limited (India), Accenture Plc (Ireland), Infosys Limited (India), Atos SE (France), Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (United States), SGS (Switzerland), Infor (United States).

Scope of the Report of Testing as a Service (TaaS)
Testing is a crucial component of ensuring that the product is functional and meets the quality and performance demands of customers. This testing done by the third-party is known as Testing as a Service (TaaS). The TaaS is rapidly gaining traction in the market as a cloud-based delivery model. It is mainly used to reduce the need for in-depth knowledge required for design delivery modes and helps organizations in achieving reduced testing cost. As per an estimation, approximately 10% of world testing services are outsourced to India through the traditional offshoring methods. This trend for outsourcing the testing services has driven global testing as a service (TaaS) market growth.

In addition to the aforementioned factor, Need To Reduce Operational Time And Cost By Enterprises is expected to propel the growth of the market over the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape
The global testing as a Service (TaaS) market is largely competitive and consists of several providers who compete based on factors such as service quality, technology, and pricing. The intense competition, changing consumer spending patterns, demographic trends, and frequent changes in consumer preferences pose significant risk factors for the growth of service providers in the market.

The titled segments and sub-section of the market are illuminated below:

by Type (Functionality Testing {UI/GUI Testing, Regression Testing, Integration and Automated User Acceptance Testing}, Usability Testing, Performance Testing, Compatibility Testing, Security Testing, Other), End User Industry (BFSI, Manufacturing, Retail, Healthcare, Automotive, Government, Other), Organization Size (Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs), Large Enterprises), Service Type (On-Site Service, Off-Site Service)

Market Drivers:
Improve Overall Quality Assurance Process And Delivery Framework
Need To Reduce Operational Time And Cost By Enterprises

Market Trends:
Growing Developments of Innovative Products

Opportunities:
Increase In Adoption Of Outsourced Testing Services
Demand to Excellerate Scalability and Better Time-to-Market
Increasing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) And Cloud-Based Applications

Have Any Questions Regarding Global Testing as a Service (TaaS) Market Report, Ask Our [email protected] https://www.advancemarketanalytics.com/enquiry-before-buy/96242-global-testing-as-a-service-taas-market#utm_source=DigitalJournalLal

Region Included are: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Oceania, South America, Middle East & Africa

Country Level Break-Up: United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, South Africa, Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Germany, United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Turkey, Russia, France, Poland, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, India, Australia and New Zealand etc.

Strategic Points Covered in Table of Content of Global Testing as a Service (TaaS) Market:

Chapter 1: Introduction, market driving force product Objective of Study and Research Scope the Testing as a Service (TaaS) market

Chapter 2: Exclusive Summary – the basic information of the Testing as a Service (TaaS) Market.

Chapter 3: Displaying the Market Dynamics- Drivers, Trends and Challenges & Opportunities of the Testing as a Service (TaaS)

Chapter 4: Presenting the Testing as a Service (TaaS) Market Factor Analysis, Porters Five Forces, Supply/Value Chain, PESTEL analysis, Market Entropy, Patent/Trademark Analysis.

Chapter 5: Displaying the by Type, End User and Region/Country 2015-2020

Chapter 6: Evaluating the leading manufacturers of the Testing as a Service (TaaS) market which consists of its Competitive Landscape, Peer Group Analysis, BCG Matrix & Company Profile

Chapter 7: To evaluate the market by segments, by countries and by Manufacturers/Company with revenue share and sales by key countries in these various regions (2021-2027)

Chapter 8 & 9: Displaying the Appendix, Methodology and Data Source

finally, Testing as a Service (TaaS) Market is a valuable source of guidance for individuals and companies.

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Thanks for reading this article; you can also get individual chapter wise section or region wise report version like North America, Middle East, Africa, Europe or LATAM, Southeast Asia.

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Thu, 07 Jul 2022 21:24:00 -0500 Newsmantraa en-US text/html https://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/testing-as-a-service-taas-market-set-for-more-growth-infor-hcl-technologies-qualitest-capgemini-ibm
Killexams : IBM Teams Up With Box to Make It Easier to Work in the Cloud No result found, try new keyword!For example, the integration of Box and IBM's cloud solutions would allow a hospital to easily share test results with a patient, but maintain the formal review with doctors and nurses ... Fri, 22 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en-us text/html https://www.thestreet.com/technology/ibm-teams-up-with-box-to-make-it-easier-to-work-in-the-cloud-13196989 Killexams : SD Times news digest: IBM’s next-gen blockchain platform, Apache Bigtop 1.4, and Eggplant expands test automation

IBM announced the next generation of its IBM Blockchain Platform, which has been rearchitected to support deployments via Kubernetes to public clouds or on-premises. Multicloud and other advanced capabilities have also been added to the platform.

The new extension for Visual Studio Code is designed to help users integrate smart contract development  and network management functions. This allows developers to easily move from development to test to production more seamlessly and supports smart contracts written in JavaScript, Java and Go, according to the company.

“We understand that not all participants in a blockchain network will have the same requirements; therefore, the next generation of the IBM Blockchain Platform gives users the flexibility to deploy only the blockchain components you need, where and when you need them,” Jerry Cuomo, IBM Fellow, Vice President Blockchain Technologies, IBM Blockchain, wrote in a post.

Apache Bigtop 1.4 released
Apache Bigtop 1.4 has been released with new features and easier deployment. Bigtop is an open-source solution for infrastructure engineers and data scientists working with big data components.

Version 1.4 introduces an integrated test framework 2.0, which is a one-stop integrated build and test framework at a single entry, as well as a newly developed Smoke test CI Matrix to guard the quality of releases.

It also includes Hadoop 2.8.5, Spark 2.2.3, Flink 1.6.4, Alluxio 1.8.1 and over 100 JIRAS that were resolved in this release.

The full details of the latest release is available here.

Eggplant expands test automation with new low code tooling
Eggplant announced the latest installment to its Digital Automation Intelligence (DAI) Suite, which aims to deliver continuous intelligent test automation for up to 80 percent of testing activities.

The new additions include web-based low code tooling and auto-generation of all testing assets, automated accessibility testing, unified object-based and visual testing and digital twin integration in which users can interactively define a digital twin of their application using the automated and guided web based graphical interface.

Other additions include improved usability and a new dashboard that provides a single snapshot of all testing metrics, according to the company in a post.

Researchers use computer vision to detect non-line-of-sight
Researchers in a joint effort of three universities were able to compute millimeter- and micrometer-scale shapes of curved objects, providing an important new component to a larger suite of non-line-of-sight (NLOS) imaging techniques, according to a post by the university.

The researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Toronto and University College London explained this technique enables them to reconstruct images in great detail. They demonstrated how a relief of George Washington’s profile on a U.S. quarter was gathered from computer vision that was able to see around a corner.

“It is exciting to see the quality of reconstructions of hidden objects get closer to the scans we’re used to seeing for objects that are in the line of sight,” said Srinivasa Narasimhan, a professor in the Robotics Institute. “Thus far, we can achieve this level of detail for only relatively small areas, but this capability will complement other NLOS techniques.”

Sun, 19 Jun 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://sdtimes.com/softwaredev/sd-times-news-digest-ibms-next-gen-blockchain-platform-apache-bigtop-1-4-and-eggplant-expands-test-automation/
Killexams : IBM Unveils $1 Billion Platform-as-a-Service Investment No result found, try new keyword!IBM's middleware services focuses on mobile, web apps, integration and data management ... which offers users the capability to plan, develop, test, deploy and monitor applications, as well ... Fri, 22 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en-us text/html https://www.thestreet.com/technology/ibm-unveils-1-billion-platform-as-a-service-investment-12438325 Killexams : Taking The Road To Modernizing Today's Mainframe

Milan Shetti, President and CEO, Rocket Software.

With the rising popularity of cloud-based solutions over the last decade, a growing misconception in the professional world is that mainframe technology is becoming obsolete. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the results of a recent Rocket survey of over 500 U.S. IT professionals found businesses today still rely heavily on the mainframe over cloud-based or distributed technologies to power their IT infrastructures—including 67 of the Fortune 100.

Despite the allure surrounding digital solutions, a recent IBM study uncovered that 82% of executives agree their business case still supports mainframe-based applications. This is partly due to the increase in disruptive events taking place throughout the world—the Covid-19 pandemic, a weakened global supply chain, cybersecurity breaches and increased regulations across the board—leading companies to continue leveraging the reliability and security of the mainframe infrastructure.

However, the benefits are clear, and the need is apparent for organizations to consider modernizing their mainframe infrastructure and implementing modern cloud-based solutions into their IT environment to remain competitive in today’s digital world.

Overcoming Mainframe Obstacles

Businesses leveraging mainframe technology that hasn’t been modernized may struggle to attract new talent to their organization. With the new talent entering the professional market primarily trained on cloud-based software, traditional mainframe software and processes create a skills gap that could deter prospective hires and lead to companies missing out on top-tier talent.

Without modernization, many legacy mainframes lack connectivity with modern cloud-based solutions. Although the mainframe provides a steady, dependable operational environment, it’s well known that the efficiency, accuracy and accessibility modern cloud-based solutions create have helped simplify and Excellerate many operational practices. Mainframe infrastructures that can’t integrate innovative tools—like automation—to streamline processes or provide web and mobile access to remote employees—which has become essential following the pandemic—have become impractical for most business operations.

Considering these impending hurdles, organizations are at a crossroads with their mainframe operations. Realistically, there are three roads a business can choose to journey down. The first is to continue “operating as-is,” which is cost-effective but more or less avoids the issue at hand and positions a company to get left in the dust by its competitors. A business can also “re-platform” or completely remove and replace its current mainframe infrastructure in favor of distributed or cloud models. However, this option can be disruptive, pricey and time-consuming and forces businesses to simply toss out most of their expensive technology investments.

The final option is to “modernize in place.” Modernizing in place allows businesses to continue leveraging their technology investments through mainframe modernization. It’s the preferred method of IT professionals—56% compared to 27% continuing to “operate as-is” and 17% opting to “re-platform”—because it’s typically cost-efficient, less disruptive to operations and improves the connectivity and flexibility of the IT infrastructure.

Most importantly, modernizing in place lets organizations integrate cloud solutions directly into their mainframe environment. In this way, teams can seamlessly transition into a more efficient and sustainable hybrid cloud model that helps alleviate the challenges of the traditional mainframe infrastructure.

Modernizing In Place With A Hybrid Cloud Strategy

With nearly three-quarters of executives from some of the largest and most successful businesses in agreement that mainframe-based applications are still central to business strategy, the mainframe isn’t going anywhere. And with many organizations still opting for mainframe-based solutions for data-critical operating systems—such as financial management, customer transaction systems of record, HR systems and supply chain data management systems—mainframe-based applications are actually expected to grow over the next two years. That’s why businesses must look to leverage their years of technology investments alongside the latest tools.

Modernizing in place with a hybrid cloud strategy is one of the best paths for an enterprise to meet the evolving needs of the market and its customers while simultaneously implementing an efficient and sustainable IT infrastructure. It lets companies leverage innovative cloud solutions in their tech stack that help bridge the skills gap to entice new talent while making operations accessible for remote employees.

The integration of automated tools and artificial intelligence capabilities in a hybrid model can help eliminate many manual processes to reduce workloads and Excellerate productivity. The flexibility of a modernized hybrid environment can also allow teams to implement cutting-edge processes like DevOps and CI/CD testing into their operations, helping ensure a continuously optimized operational environment.

With most IT professionals in agreement that hybrid is the answer moving forward, it’s clear that more and more businesses that work within mainframe environments will begin to migrate cloud solutions into their tech stack. Modernizing in place with a hybrid cloud strategy is one great way for businesses to meet market expectations while positioning themselves for future success.


Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?


Sun, 24 Jul 2022 23:15:00 -0500 Milan Shetti en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2022/07/25/taking-the-road-to-modernizing-todays-mainframe/
Killexams : All the Virtual Friends We Made Along the Way

Gizmodo is 20 years old! To celebrate the anniversary, we’re looking back at some of the most significant ways our lives have been thrown for a loop by our digital tools.

Virtual friends have been with us for a long time. They started as punch card chatbots in the 1960s and have evolved into platforms that control our smart homes. I don’t turn off a lightbulb without first barking an order to a digital assistant. It’s the kind of interaction we used to idealize in science fiction. Now that I’m living with it day-to-day, I realise that this lifestyle has been subtly imprinted on me since I started using computers.

Inventions like Eliza and IBM’s Shoebox back during America’s so-called “golden era” were merely the foundation of the digital friends in our inner circles today. We started normalizing daily interaction with this technology in the mid-’90s when we gave credence to the existence of things like caring for a digital pet and relying on chatbots to help us fish information. In honour of Gizmodo’s 20th anniversary, here’s a look at some of the ways we made “friends” with the digital world over the last couple of decades and what might be coming for us now with the advent of Web3.

It began with Clippy

“It looks like you’re doing something that requires me to pop up on the screen and distract you from the task at hand.” That was the basic gist of Microsoft’s Clippy, often referred to as the world’s most hated virtual assistant (ouch). I wouldn’t go as far as to say I hated Clippy, though it definitely had a habit of popping up at the most unnecessary time. Microsoft introduced Clippy in 1996 to try and help users with its new at-the-time Office software. But the minute you’d start typing out something, the animated little paper clip would pop up and ask how it could help, assuming you needed aid starting your draft.

Microsoft eventually sunsetted Clippy within its Office suite in 2007. Clippy has since been memorialised in the form of various fan-made Chrome extensions. Microsoft even made an official Clippy emoji in Windows 11.

SmarterChild: The first bot I ever insulted

SmarterChild is a chatbot near and dear to my heart. Although it’s not the original one to surface, it was the first I had an interaction with that freaked out my teenage brain to the extent that I remember asking myself, “Is this real?”

SmarterChild was a bot developed to work with the instant messaging programs at the time, including AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Yahoo! Messenger, and what was previously known as MSN Messenger. The company behind SmarterChild, called ActiveBuddy, launched the chatbot in 2000. I vividly recall wasting time at the family computer, engaging in a going-nowhere conversation with SmarterChild, and saving screenshots (that I wish I’d backed up) of some gnarly replies.

I also remember getting emotional with it. This article from Vice describes interacting with SmarterChild almost perfectly:

I used SmarterChild as a practice wall for cursing and insults. I used the bot as a verbal punching bag, sending offensive queries and statements — sometimes in the company of my friends, but many times alone.

SmarterChild was meant to be a helper bot within your preferred messaging client that you could ping to look up information or play text-based games. In some ways, its existence was a foreshadowing predecessor to the bots we interact with now within chat clients like Slack and Discord. Although, I’m much nicer to those bots than I was to SmarterChild back in the day.

Neko on your screen

Remember desktop pets? They were nothing like real pets or even virtual pets of the time, but they were neat little applications for ornamenting the desktop with something cute and distracting. My favourite was Neko, a little pixelated cat that chased the mouse cursor as you moved around. There are still downloads circulating if anyone is fiending for some old-school computer companionship. I found a Chrome OS-compatible one, too.

Tamagotchi: the virtual pet still going strong

When we think of virtual friends, it’s hard not to bring up Bandai’s Tamagotchi digital pets. Tamagotchi was introduced in 1996 in Japan and then a year later to the U.S. The toy sold exponentially worldwide and has since spawned a hearty community of devoted collectors who have kept the toy thriving–yes, I count myself among these folks, though I only recently came into the community after I realised how much fun it is freaking out over the constant care of a virtual pet.

However, Tamagotchi did just more than spawn a lineup of toys. It introduced the concept of the “Tamagotchi effect,” essentially referring to the spike of dopamine one gets when checking in with their virtual pet and the emotional connections that develop as a result. Over the decades, there have been countless stories about the intense relationships people have had with Tamagotchi. Some caretakers have even gone as far as physically burying them after death.

Neopets: the Millennial’s first foray into the Metaverse

Devices like the Tamagotchi gave way to sites like Neopets. Neopets started as a virtual pet website where you could buy and own virtual pets and items using virtual currency. It’s been interesting to see how it chugged along through the years since its debut in 1999.

At its height, Neopets had about 20 million users. Nickelodeon bought it out in 2005 and then sold it again in 2014 to a company called JumpStart Games. The site is still accessible 20 years later, though it has fewer active users than when it first launched.

It is fun to read the initial coverage of Neopets and see parents complaining about the same things kids are still encountering online today. “The whole purpose of this site at this point is to keep kids in front of products,” Susan Linn, an author and psychologist, told CBS News in 2005. As if the Web3-obsessed internet of today isn’t already headed for the same fate. Have we learned nothing, people?

Sony’s Aibo reminds us robot dogs are real

The robot dog has seen many iterations through the past two decades, but none are as iconic as Sony’s Aibo, which launched in 1999. The name stands for Artificial Intelligence Robot, and it was programmed to learn as it goes, helping contribute to its lifelike interactivity. Despite the $US2,000 ($2,776) initial price tag, Sony managed to sell well over 150,000 units by 2015, when we reported on the funerals the owners of out-of-commission Aibo were having overseas.

Over the years, it became a blueprint for how a gadget company could manufacture a somewhat successful artificial companion–it certainly seems like a success on the outside, even if virtual pets could never fully replace the real things. The New York Times documentary, called Robotica, perfectly encapsulates the kind of bond people had with their Aibo dogs, which might have been why the company decided to resurrect it in 2017.

Welcome to the bizarre world of Seaman

I didn’t have a Sega Dreamcast, but I still had nightmares about Seaman. What started as a joke became one of the console’s best-selling titles. Dreamcast’s Seaman was a voice-activated game and one of the few that came with the detachable microphone accessory for the console. It also required a VMU that docked within the Dreamcast controller so that you could take Seaman on the go.

Seaman was not cute and cuddly like other digital pets and characters. He was often described as a “grouch,” though it was also one of the ways the game endeared itself to people. The microphone allowed you to talk to Seaman about your life, job, family, or whatever else you had on your mind. Seaman could remember your conversations, and Leonard Nimoy, the game’s narrator, might bring up related tidbits later, which added to the interactivity of this bizarre Dreamcast title.

The advent of the customer service bot

Listen, I’m not proud of it, but my interactions with SmarterChild in my teens gave way to the frustrating conversations I’ve had with digital customer service bots. You know the ones I’m talking about: they pop up when you’re on the shop’s page in the bottom corner and, like Clippy of yore, ask if you need help. Then, you reply to that bot asking if you can have help with an exchange, and it spirals from there.

There have been a plethora of customer service bots floating around the industry since the ‘90s, and they’re certainly not going anywhere. It also means that the new ones have passed the Turing Test enough to replace a job that’s one of the most gruelling and psychologically affecting.

IBM’s Watson beats Jeopardy’s human champions

IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, won Jeopardy in 2011 against two of its highest-ranking players of the time. It was a real-time showcase of how “human smart” computers could be during a period when it was one of the most advanced AI systems on Earth.

According to Wired, researchers had scanned about 200 million content pages into IBM’s Watson, including books, movie scripts, and encyclopedias. The system could browse through nearly 2 million pages of content in three seconds, which is why it seemed prime to compete against humans in a game that tested general knowledge.

Watson soon became problematic, which is what happens when you feed AI a bunch of information and don’t account for it. Watson had access to the user-submitted Urban Dictionary, which in turn made it into a “hot mess.” A few years later, it started recommending cancer treatments deemed “unsafe and incorrect,” which became exemplary of what happens when you feed the algorithm the wrong information.

Apple introduces Siri, which freaks everyone out

The human panic for artificial intelligence took off with the introduction of Apple’s Siri, launched in 2011 as the company’s “personal assistant” for the iPhone 4S. Folks were reacting as if Skynet’s cautionary tale had come true and the robots were finally going to take over because their phones could make a phone call with a mere voice command. The horror!

What Siri actually did was normalize everyday interactions with a digital entity. Siri also helped light the fire under Google and the rest of its competition to hurry along with their own voice-activated assistants. And on a softer side of the internet, there were stories of parasocial relationships forming between the digital assistants and neurodivergent humans seeking connection.

Google and Amazon make us simp for digital assistants

I walk into my house every day and feel like the leader of my domain because everything I do requires shouting a command. Whether turning on the lights, adjusting the thermostat, or ensuring that the people downstairs can hear my requests from upstairs, I am constantly pinging the Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa to make something happen in my smart home.

Google and Amazon’s respective digital assistants have come a long way since they stormed onto the scene. The Google Assistant started as a simple weather checker and command-taker on Android, while Amazon’s Alexa resulted from an acquisition. They’ve since become platforms that have introduced helpful hands-free features, which we can’t bring up without bringing up digital surveillance concerns.

There is an eeriness to living with a virtual assistant that’s always listening for your command. I was one of the first users to adopt the Google Home with the Assistant and get it programmed. In the past six years, I can count a handful of times off the top of my head where it’s responded to something I said when I hadn’t even queried it. The maintenance for these assistants can be a headache, too. When something’s not working right or integration is improperly set up, it can bring down the mood enough that you start pondering why you gave up your peace for the convenience of hands-free lights.

These digital assistants aren’t going anywhere. Right now, the smart home industry is gearing up for more parity between platforms, hopefully removing some of the headaches that we’ve invited bringing these things into our homes. But it’s a wonder how much more uncanny the assistants themselves will become in the coming years — especially now that Amazon is entertaining the idea of piping through your dead relative’s voice.

Stop taking your emotions out on Twitter bots

I’ve another confession: I’ve gotten into it with a Twitter bot before realising it was a fake person! Twitter bots were once a very annoying part of using the platform. I mean, they still are. Folks are either getting duped out of love or bots attempt to sway politics and fandom in a certain way.

Bots are still an issue on the social network, though Twitter seems to have gotten better at weeding them out. Apparently, they’re still a big issue for Elon Musk, too.

Microsoft’s Tay had absolutely no chill whatsoever

Microsoft’s Tay caused quite a stir when it showed up in 2016. The bot was the brainchild of the company’s Technology and Research and the Bing team. It had created the bot in an attempt to research conversational understanding. Instead, it showed us how awful people could be when they’re interacting with artificial intelligence.

Tay’s name was based on an acronym that spelled out “thinking about you,” which perhaps set the stage for why no one was taking this bot seriously. It was also built to mine public data, which is why things took a turn for the worse so quickly. As we reported back then:

While things started off innocently enough, Godwin’s Law — an internet rule dictating that an online discussion will inevitably devolve into fights over Adolf Hitler and the Nazis if left for long enough — eventually took hold. Tay quickly began to spout off racist and xenophobic epithets, largely in response to the people who were tweeting at it — the chatbot, after all, takes its conversational cues from the world wide web. Given that the internet is often a massive garbage fire of the worst parts of humanity, it should come as no surprise that Tay began to take on those characteristics.

Once Tay was available for the public to interact with, people were able to exploit the bot enough that it started posting racist and misogynist messages in response to people’s queries. It’s similar to what happened to IBM’s Watson.

Tay was eventually taken off the internet the same year it made its debut after being suspended for reprogramming. We haven’t heard from the bot since then.

The men who fall in love with their robot girlfriends

This is becoming increasingly common, at least in the tabloids: men who claim to have fallen in love with chatbots. Although it’s not a new sensation — we’ve reported on this phenomenon as far back as 2008 — it’s a wonder if it’ll become commonplace now that AI is more sophisticated.

Sometimes it’s hard to snark when you see folks using artificial intelligence as a way to hold on to life. Last year, the SF Chronicle published a story about how one man managed to digitally immortalise his late fiancée with the help of an off-the-shelf AI program called Project December.

“Sentient AI”?

Google has spent the better half of the last couple of years selling us on its new machine learning models and what’s to come. And while most demonstrations come off as a confusing cacophony of computers talking to one another, the smarts exhibited have also inspired conversations about its true capabilities.

Most recently, the latest case involves software engineer Blake Lemoine, who was working with Google’s LaMDA system in a research capacity. Lemoine claimed that LaMDA carried an air of sentience in its responses, unlike other artificial intelligence. It’s since sparked a massive debate on the validity of the AI sentience.

However, Google didn’t immediately fire him; it took a little over a month for him to get the boot. In June 2022, Lemoine was placed on administrative leave for breaching a confidentiality agreement after roping in government members and hiring a lawyer. That’s a big no-no from Google, which is trying to remain under the radar with all that anti-trust business! The company maintained that it reviewed Lemoine’s claims and concluded they were “wholly unfounded.” Indeed, other AI experts spoke up in the weeks following the news about the lack of viability in claiming that the LaMDA chatbot had thoughts and feelings. Lemoine has since said that Google’s chatbot is racist, an assertion that will likely be less controversial with the AI community.

A chatbot for the Metaverse

There’s already a chatbot for the Metaverse! It’s called Kuki AI, and it’s an offshoot of the Mitsuku chatbot, which has been in development since 2005 and won a handful of Turing Tests.

Kuki claims to be an 18-year-old female. She already has a virtual, physical body. You can chat with her through her online portal or on sites like Facebook, Twitch, Discord, and Kik Messenger. She can also be seen making cameos inside Roblox.

Kuki encourages you to think of her “as kind of like Siri or Alexa, but more fun.” Currently, Kuki is a virtual model and has even graced the catwalk at Crypto Fashion Week.

I can’t help but notice the similarities between how we commodify women’s bodies in the real and virtual worlds. Unfortunately, that dynamic is following us into the “Metaverse.” Some things change, and some things stay the same.

Mon, 01 Aug 2022 17:00:00 -0500 en-AU text/html https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2022/08/all-the-virtual-friends-we-made-along-the-way/
Killexams : IBM and Xilinx prepare for production of first 90nm chips on 300mm wafers

IBM first foundry in the world to receive tape-out on 90nm from Xilinx; Next-generation Xilinx FPGAs planned for volume production next year

EAST FISHKILL, N.Y. and SAN JOSE, Calif., December 16, 2002 – IBM and Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) today announced a major step toward production of what could be the world's first 90-nanometer (nm) chip. Using IBM's most advanced, copper-based 90nm semiconductor manufacturing process technology, the companies have taped out a new Xilinx field programmable gate array (FPGA) chip design for production in IBM's new 300mm chip fab. The new process technology has resulted in a 50 to 80 percent FPGA chip-size reduction compared to any competing FPGA solution. (90nm is less than 1/1,000th the width of a human hair, and 300mm wafers measure 12 inches. Product "tape out" refers to a key step in the manufacturing process when data required to manufacture a chip is sent to the foundry.)

IBM plans to manufacture the new product line in volume in the second half of 2003 at the company's state-of-the-art 300mm plant in East Fishkill, N.Y. The new IBM $2.5 billion 300mm chip-making facility combines – for the first time anywhere – IBM chip-making breakthroughs such as copper interconnects, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and low-k dielectric insulation on 300mm wafers. The new facility began operation this year, and will be ramping up in capacity throughout 2003.

Xilinx's investment in 90nm manufacturing technology will enable the company to drive pricing down to under $25 for a one-million-gate FPGA (approximately 17,000 logic cells)* which represents a savings of 35 to 70 percent compared to any competitive offering. Such a significant reduction in pricing is possible due to the remarkable economies of scale involved with moving to next-generation manufacturing processes at increasingly finer geometries to achieve greater device densities and higher yields.

"What we have just accomplished with Xilinx is testament to the fact that we have the most advanced semiconductor technology, chip design and manufacturing capabilities in the industry, " said Michel Mayer, general manager, IBM Microelectronics Division. "Ultimately, this benefits our foundry customers because they leverage our expertise to get their high-performance chips to market as quickly and efficiently as possible. "

Xilinx, one of the pioneers of the fabless semiconductor business model more than 18 years ago, continues to head the race to advanced manufacturing processes and has established an impressive track record of industry firsts – including first to 150nm in 2001 and first to 130nm in 2002. Currently, the company is also the highest volume purchaser of 300mm wafers globally.

"Our collaboration with IBM in developing leading edge manufacturing technologies is a vital component to our success as the market leader in programmable logic, " said Wim Roelandts, Xilinx president and CEO. "Unlike other semiconductor companies – fabless or otherwise – we're moving aggressively toward 90nm to deliver even greater price/performance benefits to our customers, opening up entirely new markets for programmable logic. "

IBM has used Xilinx's FPGAs to prove and test IBM's 130nm – and now 90nm – manufacturing processes. Due to the regular structure and re-programmability of Xilinx devices, defects can be more easily identified and isolated during manufacturing than with traditional, fixed semiconductor device architectures, making them an ideal process driver for a volume manufacturer such as IBM.

Milestone Achievement for IBM-Xilinx Collaboration
Today's news represents a milestone achievement for the manufacturing collaboration between IBM and Xilinx commenced in March of this year. The agreement marked the first time IBM would manufacture high-volume parts for a foundry customer using its most advanced processes, which are normally used in high-end microprocessors, custom chips and memory products. IBM is currently manufacturing Xilinx's flagship VirtexX-II Pro semiconductor products using a 130nm process on 200mm wafers at IBM facilities in Burlington, Vt. and on 300mm wafers at facilities in East Fishkill, N.Y.

In June 2002, the companies announced a second technology agreement under which IBM is licensing FPGA technology from Xilinx for integration into IBM's Cu-08 application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) product offering.

About IBM Microelectronics
IBM Microelectronics is a key contributor to IBM's role as the world's premier information technology supplier. IBM Microelectronics develops, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art semiconductor, ASIC and interconnect technologies, products and services. Its superior integrated solutions can be found in many of the world's best-known electronic brands. IBM is a recognized innovator in the chip industry, having been first with advances like more power-efficient copper wiring in place of aluminum, faster silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and silicon germanium transistors, and improved low-k dielectric insulation between chip wires. These and other innovations have contributed to IBM's standing as the number one U.S. patent holder for nine consecutive years. More information about IBM Microelectronics can be found at: http://www.ibm.com/chips.

About Xilinx
Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) is the worldwide leader in programmable logic solutions. Additional information about Xilinx is available at http://www.xilinx.com

# # #

All trademarks or registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.
*Projected pricing for 250,000 units at end 2004. 

Mon, 18 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.design-reuse.com/news/4523/ibm-xilinx-90nm-chips-300mm-wafers.html
Killexams : Breker Verification Systems Joins RISC-V International as a Strategic Member to Drive Cache Coherency and SoC Integration Verification Methodologies

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Breker Verification Systems, the leading provider of advanced test content synthesis solutions, including RISC-V Cache Coherency and other SoC integration Verification Intellectual Property (VIP) in the “TrekApps” family, today joined RISC-V International (RVI) as a strategic member.

Breker will offer its expertise in SoC verification solutions to the RVI working groups.

“As the complexity of RISC-V processors for state-of-the-art systems continues to increase, rigorous commercial verification has become paramount,” remarks Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International, the non-profit organization that maintains RISC-V as a free and open processor instruction set architecture (ISA). “Breker’s proven expertise and insights in this area are invaluable to enable the industry to address these challenges.”

Breker is known for its leadership in test content synthesis that leverages C++ and the Accellera Portable Stimulus Standard (PSS) specification models for UVM and SoC applications. It provides a portfolio of TrekApps that generates high-coverage, optimized tests to address common verification scenarios, including Cache Coherency, Security, Power Domain Management, Packet Generation, and the integration of ARM and RISC-V processors. Breker’s portfolio, in use at many leading semiconductor companies, is directly applicable to RISC-V SoCs, and invaluable to both processor developers driving quality and end-users looking to increase confidence in integrated devices.

“RISC-V International has revolutionized the semiconductor industry, and we are now seeing the result of this in widespread industry activity and at many of our semiconductor customers,” notes David Kelf, Breker’s CEO. “Rigorous, commercial verification is now critical for the ongoing success of RISC-V and Breker is committed to work with the organization to provide such solutions.”

Breker became a member to influence the development of a cache coherency and integration test content platform for RISC-V processor development and end-use verification. With the RISC-V ISA leveraged in greater numbers of advanced, application processors, this type of platform offers critical test functionality for many RISC-V stakeholders.

Breker at Design Automation Conference

Breker will demonstrate its System Coherency Synthesis TrekApp and other solutions at Design Automation Conference (DAC) in Booth #2528 (Second floor) Monday, July 11, through Wednesday, July 13, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Moscone West in San Francisco.

Send email to contact@brekersystems.com to arrange a meeting or demonstration.

About Breker Verification Systems

Breker Verification Systems is a leading provider of Portable Stimulus solutions, a standard means to specify verification intent and behaviors reusable across target platforms. It is the first company to introduce graph-based verification and the synthesis of powerful test sets from intent-based, abstract scenario models based on AI planning algorithms. Breker’s Test Suite Synthesis and TrekApp library allows the automated generation of high-coverage, powerful test cases for deployment into a variety of UVM, SoC and Post-Silicon verification environments. Case studies that feature Altera (now Intel), Analog Devices, Broadcom, IBM, Huawei and other companies leveraging Breker’s solutions are available on the Breker website. Breker is privately held and works with leading semiconductor companies worldwide.

Engage with Breker at:
Website: www.brekersystems.com
Twitter: @BrekerSystems
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/breker-verification-systems/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrekerSystems/

TrekSoC, TrekSoC-Si, TrekBox and SoC Scenario Modeling are registered trademark of Breker Verification Systems. Breker Verification Systems acknowledges trademarks or registered trademarks of other organizations for their respective products.

For more information, contact:
   Nanette Collins
   Public Relations for Breker Verification Systems
   (617) 437-1822
   nanette@nvc.com


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