Roland DürreSaturday May 11th, 2013
Dr. Elmar Jürgens is one of the speakers at our Craftsmanship workshop on June, 13th, 2013. His presentation will be about:
Here is the abstract of the presentation he will give for us:
Experience, competence, culture, quality and knowledge are the focal issues of the IF Forum on craftsmanship. How can we generate a software development culture that promotes mutual exchange of experience, competence and knowledge in such a way that the software quality will benefit?
For me, the answer is a culture of lightweight peer reviews. There is hardly any quality control mechanism the usefulness of which has been more thoroughly investigated than peer reviews. Moreover, they give us an effective tool for knowledge transfer. We have been using it for many years now. Regardless of this, many teams still do not conduct any peer reviews during their development phases.
In my presentation, I will introduce a lightweight approach for continuous code reviews where the programming and review phases are separate. This gives the programmer and reviewer respectively the chance to decide by themselves when, where and how fast they wish to work. In the development of the Open-Source programming tool ConQAT, we have been using these reviews for seven years in quality control of all code modifications. On a voluntary basis. We are convinced that this is the main reason why ConQAT is so easy on maintenance and so flexible. I will tell you about our experiences and will also report social challenges and best practices.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Elmar Jürgens is founder and associate of the CQSE GmbH. Elmar wrote his dissertational thesis at Munich Technical University about the discovery, consequences and handling of clones, for which he was awarded the software engineering prize of the Ernst Dehnert Foundation in 2011. As one of the founders of CQSE GmbH, he supports enterprises when they analyse and improve the quality of their software systems. He was among the five best speakers of the Software Quality Days 2013.
Moreover, Elmar is the co-chair of the Nineteenth International Workshop on Software Clones held in San Francisco this year. It is part of the “International Conference on Software Engineering”.
Elmar also initiated a very special community: together with other doctoral candidates of TUM and colleagues of CQSE GmbH, he organizes a regular “Tasting Group”. Whenever they meet, the “Tasting Group” tries out a new idea (in the form of an established scientific paper in the field of software quality) and a new taste (for instance in the form of testing wine or a special cuisine). To me, this sounds like a truly innovative concept!
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreTuesday April 23rd, 2013
In its new advertising folder for Thursday, April, 25th, Aldi sells one of those multimedia notebooks for 459.- €. To be sure, I would not want it even if it cost nothing. In the flyer, they say that “Medion® recommends Windows 8”, because it is so “nice, quick and fluid”. They also wrote: “Windows 8 with Windows® Experience Surface”. Well, there we have it again, the old Wintel connection between Microsoft® and Intel®. And then, they will again wonder why so many of these computers will remain unsold at Aldi.
On the back of the folder, I read that the 1,000 giga-bytes of hard drive now cost 69.99 Euros. A decade ago, such a thing was unimaginable. It seems that hardware still develops in record time.
Other than that, everything is in motion in the IT world. Microsoft tries to get to the top again. Apple does their own thing and Google will leave the HTML community. You can never really tell what Amazon is doing. IBM and HP seem to be reduced to the role of spectators, watching how the “big ones” are fighting each other. Dell starts a new approach and Japan’s Fujitsu is also still kicking around.
Yet, all of this will not really be important, because the future of IT technology will belong to the Asians anyway. For quite some time, companies with totally new names have been setting the pace technologically and conquering the markets.
From powerful CIO circles, I hear that Java is no longer fashionable – perhaps because of the purchase of Sun by Oracle. Other augurs tell me that c# (c sharp) probably is not the language of the future, either. I no longer know which way to turn and ask myself: what will be our programming language five years from now?
Pragmatists give a shrug of their shoulders and tell us that Phyton is a fashionable way of programming in the USA. That is something I really find hard to believe. People in Academica explain to me that, unfortunately, we neglected to further research and develop programming languages during the last two decades. Moreover, they relied on the Mozilla Foundation, but apparently, it is too weak.
These are the things I hear IT analysts say. To be sure, I have no idea how much technological competence they have, because I myself do no longer understand the current developments, either. Some way or other, IT became very complex and confusing – which went (and goes) along with such breath-taking speed that I was literally run over.
But I remember a time when Unix seemed to converge (X-OPEN). It was a good thing – even if, in the end, it did not work out. In those days, I liked programming with “c” and found it the best language of my programming life. To be sure, it was a language that suffered from a certain lack of clarity – but it was rather nice for development. And the results were efficient systems and solutions.
Since everything is so complex, I repress it. And I look forward to my small Nexus with Ubuntu. I might even get it as early as tomorrow. It cost me 250 Euros, value added tax included. This is probably also a lot too expensive, considering the additional devices – like my Airbook. It was registered on November, 23rd, 2010 – which means it is almost three years old already. It still runs like clockwork, but some way or other, I keep returning to the tablet. And then the mixture Ubuntu/Nexus might replace the Airbook in my creative everyday life …
Well, let’s wait and see …
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreTuesday April 16th, 2013
In our Lecture Series (Vortragsreihe)
“IF Technology – from Computer Scientists for Computer Scientists”
(also known as Beer&Informatics), Johannes Schmidt gave a presentation on March, 21st, 2013:
Get In Shape!
How Video games and activity control will get us off the sofa?
We made a recording of this beautiful and interesting presentation and filled two video tapes with it. Here they are – very much to be recommended!
In the first part of the presentation, Johannes Schmidt gives an overview of the history of activity control.
What is the difference between Sony EyeToy & Nitendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect?
The second part shows you how easy it is nowadays to program this technologically very challenging topic.
Including live programming!
Our next Beer&Informatics presentation will be on May, 16th, 2013. Again, the location is our Unterhaching office building.
The presentation will be about:
“Ubuntu & Android as Used in Business”
The practical test. – What exactly can the windows alternatives do? Features, problems and solutions. An overview.
Alexander Jachmann (IF-Tech AG) will tell us everything about the current state of affairs on that Thursday. And, of course, there will again be beer and meatloaf afterwards.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreMonday March 25th, 2013
“Get in Shape!” held on March, 31st at the IF Academy is now over. It was a truly nice presentation by Johannes Schmidt. As soon as the video recording is finished, we will make it available to you.
After “Get In Shape!”, we will present
“Ubuntu & Android Usage in Business”
The test in practice – what can Windows alternatives really achieve? Features, problems and solutions. An overview.
On May, 16th, 2013, Alexander Jachmann of the IF-Tech AG will update us on the current state of affairs. It will, again, be very well worth watching, so write down the time! And the other scheduled presentations can also already be seen on the poster.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreThursday March 14th, 2013
Since it is our upcoming event, here is the poster announcing the next IF Academy presentations. I am always happy to remind you of “upcoming events”:
Johannes Schmidt (TUM, IF-Lab/InterFace AG, Glassbox Games) will speak on Thursday, March, 21st, 2013, starting at 6 p.m. at the InterFace building in Unterhaching. His Topic
Get Under Way!
How video games and movement control want to get us away from being couch potatoes!
Of course, this invitation is not exclusively for f(e)male students. The event is free for all who want to come. After the event, we will again have a little “happy hour”.
For more information on the series of presentations by “(Fe)Male Computer Scientists for (Fe)Male Computer Scientists” click here. If you want to print the poster in high quality, just send an email to me – I will gladly send you the print PDF version.
Roland DürreWednesday March 13th, 2013
I often travel and meet many people. Hardly ever, I fly through the air, but I enjoy wireless world-wide communication via “air”. This is especially true when I go places by public transportation, when I sit in rooms, at universities or enterprises, in coffee shops or restaurants, at institutions or associations, or wherever.
Just like my travels and meetings promote “networking”, so I wish to be linked to the rest of the world through networks. Consequently, I always find it rather nice to find a WLAN I can actually access. Since I seem to be a demanding network user, I am not content with UTMS & CO. Personally, I do not have any experience with LTE (Long Term Evolution), because I do not own an LTE –capable device.
But I already looked over the shoulder of people who used LTE. The speed was really amazing. I got the impression that the LTE will, again, trigger a small revolution – after which the mobile world will be even more on the way up than it already is.
Who knows: perhaps soon we will only have LTE and all the many WLAN networks will be removed. That would, again, be progress in the direction of “less waste” if we no longer need all those parallel WLANs many places have.
But we are not yet at that stage. For me, using LTE would mean that I have, yet again, to buy new technology. Well, I prefer to wait a little. When travelling, I use various devices (Smartphone, Pad, Notebooks with Stick). None of them is capable of LTE, and still I am quite content using them. But since I do not wish to buy everything new now, I will wait for a truly new generation of hardware – one which, of course, will be capable of using LTE.
Consequently, I am often on the lookout for free WLANs. And as we all know, WLANs are almost everywhere. For me, however, they are not accessible. I often have a two-digit number of networks showing on my display, but they are all password-protected. Only if I am an invited guest at modern enterprises, institutions, hotels or other locations, I usually have no problem. Because especially “good” companies with a reasonable and modern (entrepreneurial) culture also have WLAN with which they can easily offer their guests access to the internet. It is basically part of their definition of hospitality.
The Telekom and older enterprises, such as the railway in its lounges in some trains – unfortunately only on few of their routes – are doing quite a good job with their internet supply. But there are numerous institutions and enterprises where it is still hard or even impossible to access WLAN. More often than not, these companies are huge and a little complex. Whenever I see this, I am surprised and hope that we may soon get area-wide LTE.
When accessing WLAN as a guest, I am overjoyed if the password is still valid after my last visit. In that case, I get immediate access to the internet. As a guest, I also find it nice if the WLAN password is written on a note and clearly visible for guests somewhere in the guest rooms.
I am just as happy not having to use a password for WLAN access and instead having to fill in a start screen where they want me to put my cross at the question: will you promise to adhere to the business conditions? I am more than willing to do both: put my cross there and adhere to the business conditions. Basically, I believe the latter alternative is the more reasonable way of doing it, because open networks help us to reduce the gigantic waste caused by all those many parallel WLANs all over the world. Isn’t it also about time for “shared economics”?
I would therefore here and now like to explicitly thank all these excellent hosts.
But now I am switching roles. Now I am no longer the guest but the host.
At home, I yielded to the fears of the rest of my family and encoded our WLAN. Mind you, all probabilities of real risk scenarios for our physical well-being and property is many, many times higher than the risk that someone might do damage to us through open WLAN.
Since, however, everything is possible und you want to protect against really everything, we bowed to the public super ego and set a password before our WLAN. But it remained the same ever since we first installed said WLAN. And the “modern segment” of our many guests is happy about this. To be sure, they forgot our password a long time ago, but their devices remember. Consequently, they are instantly back in the network when visiting us and hopefully feel at home.
At the enterprise, this seems to be more difficult. We have the explicit intent of adhering to the law. We therefore take the topics security and data protection just as seriously as quite a few other things our legislation came up with. Even if, more often than not, this does not make life any easier for us.
Consequently, we provide our guests with their own open WLAN called IF-OPEN at InterFace AG, both in the Unterhaching headquarter building and our branch offices. To be sure, said open WLAN is also password protected. But we chose a “promotionally effective” password. It alludes to the capital “F” in “InterFace” and indicates that we are already almost 30 years old.
We give our guests the password in order to make sure they feel at home in our building. In the common rooms, such as the seminar zone and meeting room, a note is pinned to the wall. Our IF-Open is also something I and several other employees like to use, since it gives you direct and proxy-free internet access.
A short time ago, someone raised the question: should we change our guest network password? And if, at what regular intervals should we change it?
If it were up to me, once in fifty years would be enough.
Let me try to explain: a stable, reliable and, above all, easily remembered password for a WLAN which is intended and referred to as open and still protected by a password is a true blessing. If you change it often, this will cause some – if only little, but constantly recurring – extra work for many people. Just because (probably only in theory) there might be someone in or near our building who “pinches” our internet access and even “abuses” it.
I have no idea how realistic this kind of fear is. However, in my estimation, it is rather negligible, considering what “real” risks we might have to face (breaking and entering, theft, …) .
But a few years from now, we will have area-wide LTE, anyway. By then, you will no longer need WLANs and all these considerations will be obsolete
(Translated by EG)
Werner LorbeerTuesday March 5th, 2013
The data are the program? Really ingenious, truly dangerous.
Here is my experience in a nutshell: while AVIRA professional was running, the BKA virus took command. I experienced live how the windows registry was overwritten and then there was the usual command by the virus… 100 € – or else no more access.
How is that possible?
What is the requirement for a chain of symbols, called virus, to gain the status “executable” on my PC? I will go so far as to come up with the following theory: program and data cannot be distinguished, because they have the same status. I go back and arrive at the Turing links which then became the pattern for the von-Neumann principles for computer construction.
I presume that this is where the errors originated. If every string can be advanced to program code by an interpreter, all doors are open for everything. In particular, the owner will be robbed of the right to property by some network criminals who were given the executive right by some crazy interpreter.
If you take a look at the technology of patches and patchworkers over the last few years, then you have to note they put civilization at risk. But they cannot avoid this, because the machines they have to work with do not permit other solutions – due to their flat data logic.
Assuming I had a free wish, I would wish for Post-Neumann machines that can guarantee the user the ownership of his rights on the PC. These machine principles probably already exist. If not: I have some blue—prints.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreFriday February 15th, 2013
On March, 31st, 2013, Johannes Schmidt will be our speaker at the IF Academy. He studies Informatics at TU München, minoring in Medicine. “Additionally“, he also works at the InterFace AG IF lab.
He has also several years of experience as an entrepreneur and started Glassbox Games with a group of friends. The young team programmed all kinds of smaller video games and Apps for various platforms.
In order to try and learn new things, Glassbox Games was founded by the same group. By now, Glassbox Games already won some smaller prizes and developed into a small enterprise. The goals have grown and now include serious entrepreneurial visions. And, of course, the Glassbox Games and InterFace AG are closely connected and on very friendly terms.
In his presentation, Johannes will focus on “movement control”. He will tell us about the historical development of this technology and show in a practical exercise how easily this technically really demanding topic can now be programmed.
Besides, he will introduce an IF lap project that reasonably integrates movement control. The presentation will conclude with a short outlook on what we might expect in this sector in the near future.
As always, the presentation will be held in our seminar zone. I strongly recommend it. Johannes will take us on a trip to a world that is alien to many of us, but it might suddenly become a very relevant part of ”common IT“. You really should have some basic understanding of it.…
We start at 6 p.m. – visitors are welcome from 5.30 p.m. After the presentation, there will again be a happy hour, called “beer and informatics”.
We look forward to welcoming many visitors from all age groups!
If you are interested in the tournament, click here.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreWednesday February 6th, 2013
… and yet so hard!
Today, all you get is a short article: here are just a few citations of remarkable tweets by Nils Pflaeging:
If you want to kill connectedness: create functional division, departmentalize and allow hierarchy to invade the work #stoos
All that planning doesnt earn you any money. Improving the work and fighting waste does. #stoos
Functional division, divisionalization and matrix structures ALWAYS result in a loss of accountability. Period. #stoos
That is exactly how I feel and could have come straight from my heart. Consequently, there is nothing left for me to say.
(Translated by EG)
For more articles in my entrepreneur’s diary, click here: Drehscheibe!
Edwin EderleMonday January 21st, 2013