Team Manomaya

Team Manomaya

To experience business growth, business owners can choose to optimize their businesses using smartphones. Making businesses available on mobile reaches a larger customer base at a faster pace because of its easy accessibility and wider user connect. Smartphones provide complete access and round-the-clock customer contact to ensure business success in the cutthroat business world. Incredible features like live chats, one-click calling, catalogues, discounts, offers and help-desk in mobile applications help business owners offer better shopping experiences to customers. Users get their desired information easily on their phone which, in turn, helps in increase in the conversion rate. The in-app payment feature provides a great opportunity for personalized and premium offerings along with attractive discounts. Users can make purchases by paying through Google Wallet (Android) and Apple Pay (iOS). They can also use their mobile banking apps to make the purchase in the mCommerce app. In addition, now that mobile has become a digital wallet, the in-app payment feature offers a prepaid account which is debited with every single purchase. This feature enhances the user experience and ensures that your business achieves a greater conversion rate.

Mobile Image Recognition (MIR): MIR is a great tool to bridge the gap between the virtual and real worlds with the use of snaps. MIR functions as window shopping for the real world from the virtual world. Customers can click pictures of a product while on the go anytime and feed the picture into an application with MIR features. The feature enables the app to recognize the product and display the best deals offered by various retailers online.

Augmented Reality: Makes the user experience more immersing and interactive. Implementing augmented reality in mobile apps is a great choice because users can try out products virtually on their smartphones and snap the products before purchasing them. This brings in more interest in buyers to buy products in an interactive mCommerce app, which in turn results in higher sales and conversions.

source :

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 05:01

AMD ratchets up chip battle with Intel

Intel has been the unchallenged king of PCs for more than a decade, but AMD is fighting back with its new Ryzen PC processor, which will reaches PCs next year.

A healthy rivalry will be good news for PC users, some of whom may jump from the Intel to the AMD camp. AMD claims Ryzen is 40 percent faster than its current PC chips, which on paper is impressive.

The chips will first hit gaming PCs, and then mainstream laptops and desktops later in 2017.

Ryzen will battle Intel’s Kaby Lake in early 2017, and the 10-nanometer Cannonlake in late 2017.


Wednesday, 12 July 2017 04:40

Ethical Hacking vs Traditional Hacking

The idea may sound counterintuitive, but ethical hackers can actually empower small businesses for the better by using their skills for good. Unlike malicious hackers, ethical hackers purposefully break into servers and online systems to expose vulnerabilities so companies can fix them before they spiral and cause catastrophic data loss or financial damage. Some ethical hackers are doing it for the satisfaction and challenge, and others come from robust IT backgrounds with a focus on digital security. Meanwhile, traditional hackers are usually hacking into systems illegally for fun, profit or even revenge. There are many misconceptions and challenges ethical hackers must overcome in order to gain a reputable foothold in the business world. Many hear the word “hacking” and envision entire computers being taken down and sensitive information released to the world, or recall major hacks like Sony’s, when information on thousands of personal computers, servers and devices was compromised, erased or released to the public.

The internet world doesn’t revolve around google. Understand that search engines aren’t a monopoly. No engine has reached that epitome of performance that it commands every Search Query yet.

There are still users who prefer Yahoo or Bing and some are just plain used to it. Some unknowingly set the others as default browsers and never notice a change.

Understand that this requires you to adapt to the workings of the major search engines and develop your site accordingly. It is called Search Engine Optimization, not Google optimization.

Adjust your sites to match the working of these engines as well, to boost your SEO over an expanse of at least three engines to exponentially increase your SERPs.

Just like you have competition, Google has too.


Voice search is being adopted for a variety of purposes, and columnist Nate Dame makes the case that its influence on B2B decision-makers is growing as well. B2B marketers, be prepared!

People use voice search because it’s faster, simpler and more user-friendly. It simplifies searching for individuals who struggle to type on small devices, and it helps searchers avoid navigating confusing site menus. It’s also faster than searching by text, guided by improved accuracy in the technology. And that’s not just people’s perception: Google’s voice recognition technology is now 95 percent accurate — improved nearly 20 percent since 2013. On average, humans can speak more than three times as many words per minute as they can type. If voice recognition is just as accurate as typing, the speed of voice search provides a compelling justification for adoption. Voice search provides a better user experience, particularly on mobile devices. Given that 90 percent of executives use mobile devices to conduct research before making a purchase, it’s not hard to imagine that those executives will transition to voice search — not to mention the next generation of B2B buyers who are growing up with the technology as second nature. Where do people use voice search? If the most popular reason for using voice search is occupied hands/vision, then it’s easy to assume that people are using voice search in their cars and kitchens.

 Nearly 50 percent of respondents in a recent survey conducted by Stone Temple Consulting reported that they use voice search at the office. And, while most people are uncomfortable using voice search in public, individuals in the highest income bracket are, interestingly, the least likely to be inhibited about using voice search in front of others

So here’s what we know:

1. Executives use mobile devices to research purchase decisions.

2. People are already using voice search in the office.

3. Individuals with executive-level incomes are more comfortable using voice search, even in situations where others might not.

All things considered, the importance of voice search in B2B marketing becomes hard to ignore.

How to prepare for B2B voice search

Some predict that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be conducted by voice. Current numbers show that this prediction may not be too much of a stretch: last year, Google reported that 20 percent of its mobile queries were already voice searches.

To prepare for the impact of voice search on B2B SEO, marketers should take steps now to begin optimizing for voice queries. There are three major ways to optimize site content for voice search:

1. Focus on mobile. Voice searches are most likely to be conducted on mobile devices, so mobile optimization is more important than ever. But optimizing for mobile goes beyond simple responsive design — you’ll need to improve page load speeds, remove intrusive interstitials, abandon drop-down navigation menus and format videos to display in full-screen when held vertically to improve the mobile user experience.

2. Target long-tail keywords. Voice search queries are more likely to be longer than their text counterparts, and use more conversational language. Find relevant long-tail keywords, and target them in site content to cater to natural language queries.

3. Target featured snippets. When a featured snippet is populated for a query, voice search devices read the snippet and source aloud. This is a huge boost for brand recognition and authority, as Google essentially declares one company the expert. As far as voice search is concerned, “position zero” is the new page one.

The best part of taking time to optimize for voice search is that it improves overall SEO as well. Mobile optimization and page load speeds are already ranking factors, long-tail keywords comprise half of all searches, and featured snippets can drive traffic by securing a position-zero result. Voice search SEO isn’t really a separate initiative — it’s just an expansion or reprioritization of existing SEO best practices.

Voice search and B2B SEO

Voice search is used by people of all ages at home, in the car and in the office. And the rise of personal assistant devices, combined with the improved accuracy of voice recognition technology, will continue to drive voice search adoption through the end of the decade.

B2B brands are not exempt from voice search’s impact on user behavior, and these companies should take time now to begin focusing on voice search optimization.

Get started by optimizing existing content for featured snippets. Find keywords you’re currently ranking on page one for, analyze search results for user intent, and update your content to provide a direct answer. This will help boost brand recognition when a digital assistant reads your business’s name as the source of an answer in response to a voice search query.



Backlinks are the most needed and most misunderstood tactic used by marketers today. The biggest mistake being made by marketers is thinking of these inbound links as commodity items and focusing on ramping up numbers quickly rather than placing those links in proper context.

“Inbound links are extremely important," said Jessica Thiele, marketing manager at Virtual Logistics. "They’re part of the social cues algorithm that Google uses to help determine the relevancy of links it provides in any Google search. That’s why it’s so important for businesses to be genuine in their link building efforts. This, of course, takes a lot more effort compared to just paying some black hat SEO 'expert' to 'work their magic.' But the payoffs are long-lasting and positive, as opposed to risking being blacklisted by Google where your website won’t even show up in search.”

Roman Kowalski, vice president of marketing for said marketers face "a conundrum" when creating a backlink strategy. "On one hand, everybody needs them, and as many as possible. On the other hand, Google doesn’t want you to actively build a body of backlinks just for the sake of SEO.”

The solution lies in acknowledging the true definition of a backlink. SEO specialists claim that a backlink is nothing more than a do-follow hyperlink which is placed in a third party website. “By that broad definition, backlinks can be anything from an entry in a list or a directory, to a link in a spammy article in a private blog network,” said Kowalski. “The theory there is that any type of link, in any outlet and regardless of context, is positive. It’s clear now that it is not. An inbound link without appropriate context is useless and potentially harmful to the brand.”

The rules of the game have changed.

Attorney James Goodnow of the law team Lamber Goodnow at Fennemore Craig, said, “The rules of the game have changed. If you think you can rocket to the top of Google by paying a ‘tech geek’ who can outsmart Google by building a backlink profile that will rocket you to the top, you are flat wrong.”

Goodnow describes a three-step process for organic link building:

  1. A comprehensive content campaign is developed. Innovative, cutting-edge, industry-leading ideas are developed and used. This is the most important step because it’s the foundation for everything else you do. If you don’t have an amazing idea or informative content, you will not get amazing, legitimate links.
  2. A comprehensive content strategy is developed around that idea that includes articles, video and more. This is how people learn about your game-changing ideas.
  3. A targeted and sustained communications strategy is realized. A targeted, sustained, non-internet based communications strategy is developed. This includes presentations within your industry, authoring articles, sharing ideas on industry newsletters or forums, speaking with industry authors and touching base with key media contacts.
  4. Goodnow shares a real-world example of how it worked for his firm. “When iPads first came out in 2010, we were among the first legal teams in the country to use them as a client communication portal and to present video presentations for opposing lawyers that relied heavily on computer-generated images (CGI) and animation. We spent a lot of time and a lot of money developing apps to allow us to be on the bleeding edge. And the product we created worked, leading to strikingly strong outcomes for clients. The word of mouth buzz generated by this led to presentations we gave on our new use of the iPad."
  5. Those presentations led to a feature story in the Arizona Republic newspaper. The article got picked up on the wire, which led to a larger article in USA Today. Following the USA Today article, Apple contacted Goodnow's firm and profiled it on their website. The Apple profile led to articles and features from legal publications around the world. "In each step of the process, we gained more and more links and citations from authoritative and real sources," Goodnow said.
  6. It’s the context, not the inbound link, that matters.
  7. To frame the discussion of context, it is important to look at it as a byproduct of the post-dotcom era of “dotcloud,” defined by Cloudipedia as “the emergence of a new class of born-in-the-cloud startups which are driven by an imperative for speed, convenience and personalization on the part of the consumer, and which are built on as-a-service infrastructure, software and development tools that allow a more agile startup cycle with low initial capital requirements.”
  8. With barriers to entry lower than ever -- and more websites competing for eyeballs -- simply placing links with no context and no attention to the quality of the site where they are placed is a recipe for failure.
  9. Chris Brantner, founder of, uses a backlink strategy that has helped him reach 500,000 to a million visitors a month. “Most of that traffic can be attributed to the impressive backlink profile we’ve put together,” said Brantner. “The fact is that Google still values links to your site more than anything. You just have to make sure you get good, high quality ones. I achieve this through connecting and engaging with industry reporters and offering my two cents when applicable. I’ve also been building my name as an expert in the field, which has landed me with important contributor roles at Business Insider, VICE and others. Each of these roles allows me to get my name out in front of a new audience, which ends up sending more traffic to my site.”
  10. There are plenty of backlinking tactics that just don’t work that well any more -- forum spamming, contributing to websites that exist only for SEO, link exchanges, private blog networks, directories and “friends” lists. These tactics are likely to backfire and result in being downgraded or even de-indexed by Google. Plenty of SEO providers still use those tactics, and at a tempting low cost, but those budget providers may wind up costing you more in lost business.


It’s evident that technology is vital when building and running any organization, especially in field service operations.

In the business world today, it has become necessary for service companies to use field service management (FSM) solutions. Such a solution helps to enhance the output of your enterprise. With increase productivity, comes better resource utilization. This, in turn, casts a healthy effect on the company’s profitability. The management software also assists the organization to look for other unique ways for increasing efficiency when offering services to customers.

Easier and Instantaneous Monitoring

By using a field service management software, you can easily monitor and accomplish the tasks of all the field agents. Initially, managers had to wait for the agents to provide the reports, but now you can check the progress of the work the agents are doing in real time via the advanced capabilities of the FSM software. You don’t have to meet with your agents face to face just to get work updates. Therefore, when you use FSM software, task management will be better, and back-office responses will be quicker if some emergencies or situations require the manager’s intervention.

Better Customer Data Access

Proper workforce management involves ensuring that the remote employees access vital data so as to address customer requests in a better way. An FSM will offer history and contact information including other data needed to complete the job successfully. Your technicians also get notes about certain equipment including model numbers to make sure that they have all they need to finish their tasks in one visit. This will reduce the time employees take to complete requests.

Route Planning

When it comes to a mobile workforce, a high level of organization is needed. By using a scheduling tool, coordination in your company will be taken to an extraordinary level since the team will have the ability to keep customer requests organized by location. Vehicle tear and wear, travel time and fuel expenses will reduce significantly. With a tight schedule, more requests can be added to fill in the free slots and your employees can focus better especially on high-priority requests. Other solutions can still use GPS technology to identify the best route to take to avoid getting stuck in traffic.

Showing Trends

Most of the field service management solutions have a reporting tool that allows you to identify trends in all your technicians’ productivity levels. With this, you will know the right employee for every task you assign and also see the technicians you should release to improve productivity in your company.

Inspiring Growth in your Employees Through the management software for field technicians, you can show your team how their performance has been. You will also know the best performing employees and will be easy to show your appreciation. This, in turn, inspires growth since every technician will do their best to be the best. It also helps in holding the employees accountable whenever they get lazy.

Customer/Technician Satisfaction

Immediately you implement this solution, professionals will notice the difference, and so will your clients. An FSM tool turns your organization into a smooth-running machine since it will create a communication bridge between the technician and the management. This improves service delivery; achieving customer satisfaction each time you serve them. When the customer is happy, your employees will feel appreciated, and the company will grow tremendously. The FSM is a superior asset that will help in boosting communication and teamwork between the managements and field technicians. If the two divisions work hand in hand and harmoniously towards the same objectives , the result will be improved productivity and efficiency. This software binds both divisions together.


Wednesday, 14 June 2017 04:41

SEO trends to prepare for in 2017

What's on the horizon for search engine optimization (SEO) practitioners in the coming year? Columnist Pratik Dholakiya shares his predictions.

Search engine optimization is evolving at lightning speed. As 2016 begins to wind down, it is time to examine the digital marketing landscape for the upcoming year.

There have been numerous developments in SEO over the past 10 months. A lot of the prominent trends of 2016 will continue and grow in 2017. As Google’s algorithm updates constantly keep business owners on their toes, several other trends are expected to take shape in 2017.

Here are a few things look out for in the ensuing months:

Optimization for user intent

Although keywords are still important, typing in simple words yields simple results. Consumers today know exactly what they’re looking for, and search engines are getting much better at identifying user intent. Therefore, users are now entering full queries or phrases in search engines, which gather data and heuristics to provide results more effectively.

In 2017, brands will need to place value on optimizing their digital content based on intent rather than specific keywords. For your SEO strategy, it will be critical to:

  1. Investigate. What are users searching for that brings them to your page? What questions do they want your content to answer?
  2. Optimize. Once you have gathered your research data and found areas that need work, make the changes needed to boost ratings. Based on your research, tell the consumer’s story by altering content to reflect the reader’s experience.
  3. Adjust. Keep up with analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t so you can update accordingly.

More rich answers and snippets

We all turn to Google for answers. In response to our queries, Google will often display the required information directly in search results, along with other helpful websites, videos, movie or event information, reviews or specific dates.

Structured data markup (often referred to as “schema markup”) can help website owners achieve these enhanced listings on search engine results pages (SERPs). This markup works to assist search engines in understanding website content, allowing them to display that information in a way that is helpful for users.

For example, let’s say you ask Google for instructions for cooking meatloaf. The SERP features a rich answer (also known as a “direct answer” or “featured snippet”), followed by search listings that contain rich snippets relevant to recipes, such as reviews, ratings, cook time and calorie information.

According to a study by Stone Temple Consulting, the volume of rich answers appearing in search results has nearly doubled from 2014 to 2016. If this trend continues, we’re likely to see an even greater number in the coming years.

Adding structured data markup to your website can increase your chances of having an enhanced SERP listing, being featured in a rich answer, or (in the case of branded searches) having a knowledge panel appear.

Users love quick access to useful information like this, so do yourself a favor and consider implementing schema markup for your website in 2017, if you haven’t already.

Cross-channel marketing

Cross-channel and multi-channel marketing sound similar, but in actuality, they are very different. Multi-channel simply means establishing a presence on more than one platform. Cross-channel means you are using several channels to market your brand in an integrated way. For example, if users are browsing products on a mobile app but decide not to buy, you can send them targeted ads based on their searches via email or social media.

Multi-channel marketing is by no means a new phenomenon. Cross-channel marketing, however, is like an extension of it. The primary goal of cross-channel marketing is to create a consistent brand presence across multiple channels so that users can move seamlessly between devices and platforms to make a purchase.

According to Econsultancy’s fourth annual Cross-Channel Marketing Report, 73 percent of respondents claimed that cross-channel marketing had a significant impact on increased conversion rates. However, it is only effective if you know your target audience and their consumption habits. The big challenges that businesses face in this process include:

  • knowing what the right message is
  • finding the right time to release it
  • using the correct channel

Although there are several tools and resources to help, cross-channel marketing is still in the infancy stages, even with the widespread adoption of mobile devices. Consumers today are more connected than ever, and the need for quality cross-channel marketing will continue to be in high demand throughout 2017.

Increased mobile growth

Mobile accessibility has reshaped SEO over the past few years. Mobile search is growing at a rapid pace and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down in the future. Traffic distribution has been shifting away from desktop and moving towards mobile devices, and many websites are already getting the majority of their traffic from mobile devices.

In May 2015, Google reported that mobile searches had surpassed desktop searches on its search engine. Since then, the company has taken many steps which signal that mobile, not desktop, should be considered as the default user experience. In fact, Google recently announced that it has begun experiments to make its index mobile-first.

Mobile optimization is already extremely important in SEO strategies. However, it will prove to be mandatory in 2017.

Voice search is the next big thing

Voice search has been an ongoing project in the tech industry for a few years now. In the process of working out the kinks, it has become one of the fastest-growing search options. The appeal is undeniable. It’s hands-free, fast and futuristic.

As technology improves with each update, the error rate of voice search plummets. In his keynote speech at SMX West 2016, Google’s director of conversational search, Behshad Behzadi, noted that the speech recognition error rate has been reduced from around 25 percent two years ago to just 8 percent today.

The goal for voice search in 2017 is to go above and beyond voice recognition and evolve into voice understanding. This involves several changes with respect to:

  • previous searches
  • location-based context
  • context based on frequently used apps
  • personalized information
  • keyword research based on spoken queries

There’s no denying that voice search is a one of the biggest trends of the digital age. With massive improvements to Siri, Google Now and Cortana, SEO marketers would be wise to closely examine voice innovation and think beyond text-based queries in 2017.

Closing thoughts

The year 2017 will be a big year all around. Users are becoming increasingly connected and engaged with the content they consume. It is very important for SEO marketers to factor these upcoming trends into the bigger picture in order to be prepared to take on future challenges.


Mobile devices have exploded in our modern world. And with the explosion have come implications. Business can be conducted anywhere now, and high-value documents and data can easily be read and shared on the go. While this may be great for productivity levels and greater flexibility, security risks only seem to increase as more cell phones and tablets hit the marketplace.

The customers who use our mobile apps aren’t necessarily thinking about security as they use their phones to do any number of things – and it’s on us if our applications are hit by hackers. Each mobile operating system (OS) comes with its own security risks, and developing secure applications for different platforms, written (and secured) in the appropriate language for the platform, can get tricky.

In response to the various complications brought about by developing the same application for (very) different mobile platforms, there’s been a move towards converging to a single platform. One of these solutions is PhoneGap. And while it solves a few big problems, it also comes with security issues of its own.

What is PhoneGap and Why Would I Use It?

PhoneGap, for the uninitiated, is a framework for developing mobile apps for Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Ubuntu and Firefox OS. Developers create PhoneGap apps using standard tech: HTML for organization and structure, CSS for design, and JavaScript for logic and anything else.

The beauty of the Phonegap framework and underlying Cordova software is that it allows developers to write code for only one app, then have it compiled for use on all the above platforms once it’s written. It also allows developers who don’t know the intricacies of Java, Objective C, or other mobile programming languages, to still be able to create apps for use on mobile platforms.

In short, developing apps for multiple operating systems using a single framework offers developers a much more simplistic way of writing apps. It can also be much cheaper if you’re planning on developing your apps for more than one mobile OS. And the technology is catching on, with thousands of apps built and over 400,000 developers using the PhoneGap platform.

How Does PhoneGap Work?

PhoneGap uses web technology to help bridge the gap between mobile and web.

Applications built for PhoneGap are hybrid apps, and are neither fully native or truly web-based, living somewhere in between. Because mobile OS’s don’t natively support HTML5 and JavaScript, PhoneGap apps use WebView, a web container that allows mobile devices to execute JavaScript and HTML5. WebView (called various terms for differing platforms) helps bridge the gap between web and mobile, and various plugins help make an application more robust and native-feeling.

Communicating with each OS, PhoneGap uses different APIs (built by PhoneGap) and plugins (both native and custom), which act as the bridge between each platform’s native language and the PhoneGap script. Out of the box, PhoneGap comes with APIs for Camera, Contacts, Compass, Media, FileSystem and more. Plugins extend those functionalities not accessible with the available APIs.

1. Cross-Site Scripting

When developing on PhoneGap, it’s important to keep XSS in mind while dealing with output. Because PhoneGap apps execute JavaScript on the user’s OS, your app can essentially access plugins which can then be used to call the OS’s native capabilities – which of course can get into dangerous territory if not handled properly.

What make XSS exponentially more dangerous in mobile apps is that an attack using an XSS vulnerability can steal your users contacts, the content of users text messages, the notes stored on users’ phones, and more. To see a good example of what kind of damage a cross-site scripting vulnerability, check out Nerdy Beardo’s POC, where he was able to steal all (his own) phone contacts as well as take a picture and send both to a third-party – easily.

How to Fix:

  • Use whitelisting to only allow certain domains to be accessed by the user.
  • Use an encoder library, such as Microsoft’s AntiXSS.
  • Sanitize data to make sure that HTML tags aren’t rendered in a way that could allow for an XSS attack.

2. Lack of Source Code Protection

One of the most common worries about PhoneGap insecurity is the fact that much of your data is stored locally on the user’s device by default. Anyone with access to your app also has access to your source code. If your code isn’t secure, you’re setting yourself up for any number of malicious attacks left open through vulnerabilities in your code. Anything from reverse engineering and app spoofing to theft of data can happen if you’re not careful in protecting your high-value data.

How to Fix:

  •  Put any and all sensitive data into the native code, which will be compiled, adding a plug-in that will enable the app to access the date.
  •  Use static code analysis to find any potential vulnerabilities and fix them before releasing. We can help with that.
  •  Follow the guidelines released on the GitHub repository for PhoneGap security when it comes to encrypting data.

3. JavaScript Security Issues

A client side language has it’s pros, but it also comes with various security implications – especially when it’s being executed where it’s not ‘natural’ to do so. Client-side apps, including the ones written for PhoneGap, normally allow anyone to see, modify and send the code under the surface. That makes paying attention to escaping each input and treating all input as evil especially important when developing PhoneGap applications.

A study performed by Syracuse University researchers found that out of 764 free Android apps built on the PhoneGap platform, eleven were vulnerable to code injection, and they successfully attacked two of them. While that’s not a significant percentage of vulnerable apps, it’s something to pay close attention to as use of the PhoneGap platform expands.

How to Fix:

  • Design your app to load JavaScript remotely using a secure API which authenticates the user when the app is first opened.
  • Download the JavaScript logic your app needs to run once the user has been authenticated and delete is once the app has closed or after a period of time.

4. Excessive permission granting

In Android applications especially, developers need to be aware of the permissions they’re asking users to grant them.

With PhoneGap’s standard plugins, 16 permissions are requested by default. Each of these permissions adds an additional origin of attack. Should a user be hit by an XSS attack using your app, you can at least minimize the risk of total device takeover by limiting the permissions only essential to your app’s functionality.

How to Fix:

  • Turn off any permissions not required by your application.
  • Secure any potential holes made possible by permissions you need for your app.


So – Is PhoneGap Less Secure Than Other Platforms?

In short, the answer is no. Out-of-the-box, PhoneGap may come with security issues that need to be addressed, mostly because of how new the platform is, but they’re quickly working out the kinks.

The cause of most vulnerabilities comes down to a lack of knowledge regarding what secure code looks like, as well as what issues to watch out for. With a bit of work and some hacks of your own, it is possible to release secure PhoneGap applications. What it really boils down to is in making the conscious decision to submitting your code to whatever testing and changes that are necessary.


+Programmers love to sneer at the world of fashion where trends blow through like breezes. Skirt lengths rise and fall, pigments come and go, ties get fatter, then thinner. But in the world of technology, rigor, science, math, and precision rule over fad.

That's not to say programming is a profession devoid of trends. The difference is that programming trends are driven by greater efficiency, increased customization, and ease of use. The new technologies that deliver one or more of these eclipse the previous generation. It's a meritocracy, not a whimsy-ocracy.

What follows is a list of what's hot and what's not among today's programmers. Not everyone will agree with what's A-listed, what's D-listed, and what's been left out. That's what makes programming an endlessly fascinating profession: rapid change, passionate debate, sudden comebacks.

Hot: Preprocessors

Not: Full language stacks

It wasn't long ago that people who created a new programming language had to build everything that turned code into the bits fed to the silicon. Then someone figured out they could piggyback on the work that came before. Now people with a clever idea simply write a preprocessor that translates the new code into something old with a rich set of libraries and APIs.

The scripting languages like Python or JavaScript were once limited to little projects, but now they’re the foundation for serious work. And those who didn’t like JavaScript created CoffeeScript, a preprocessor that lets them code, again, without the onerous punctuation. There are dozens of variations preslicing and predicing the syntax in a different way.

The folks who loved dynamic typing created Groovy, a simpler version of Java without the overly insistent punctuation. There seem to be dozens of languages like Scala or Clojure that run on the JVM, but there's only one JVM. You can run many languages on .Net’s VM. Why reinvent the wheel?

Hot: Docker

Not: Hypervisors

This isn’t exactly true. The hypervisors have their place, and many Docker containers run inside of operating systems running on top of hypervisors. However, Docker containers are soooo much smaller than virtual machine images, and that makes them much easier to use and deploy. When developers can, they prefer to ship only Docker containers, thanks to the ease with which they can be juggled during deployment. Clever companies such as Joyent are figuring out how to squeeze even more fat out of the stack so that the containers can run, as they like to say, on “bare metal.”

In the digital business era, you need agility to seize new opportunities while efficiently maintaining legacy, on-premise systems.

Hot: JavaScript MV* frameworks

Not: JavaScript files

Long ago, everyone learned to write JavaScript to pop up an alert box or check to see that the email address in the form contained an @ sign. Now HTML AJAX apps are so sophisticated that few people start from scratch. It's simpler to adopt an elaborate framework and write a bit of glue code to implement your business logic.

There are now dozens of frameworks like Kendo, Sencha, jQuery Mobile, AngularJS, Ember, Backbone, Meteor JS, and many more, all ready to handle the events and content for your web apps and pages.

Those are merely the web apps. There are also a number tuned to offering cross-platform development for the smartphone/tablet world. Technologies like NativeScript, PhoneGap, and Ext JS are a few of the options for creating apps out of HTML5 technology.

Hot: CSS frameworks

Not: Generic Cascading Style Sheets

Once upon a time, adding a bit of pizzazz to a web page meant opening the CSS file and including a new command like font-style:italic. Then you saved the file and went to lunch after a hard morning's work. Now web pages are so sophisticated that it's impossible to fill a file with such simple commands. One tweak to a color and everything goes out of whack. It's like what they say about conspiracies and ecologies: Everything is interconnected.

That's where CSS frameworks like SASS and its cousins Compass have found solid footing. They encourage literate, stable coding by offering programming constructs such as real variables, nesting blocks, and mix-ins. It may not sound like much newness in the programming layer, but it's a big leap forward for the design layer.  

 Hot: Video tags

Not: Static tags

video as building blocks like static GIFs or JPGs. All of a sudden, the screen starts to move as the people or dogs come alive.

Designers are discovering that the modern video tag is simply another rectangle, albeit a rectangle that often needs a bit more JavaScript code from the programmer to control it. We’re only beginning to understand that video isn’t the main course for that box in front of the living room couch, but a decorating option everywhere.  

Hot: Almost big data (analysis without Hadoop)

Not: Big data (with Hadoop)

Everyone likes to feel like the Big Man on Campus, and if they aren't, they're looking for a campus of the appropriate size where they can stand out. It's no surprise then that when the words "big data" started flowing through the executive suite, the suits started asking for the biggest, most powerful big data systems as if they were purchasing a yacht or a skyscraper.

The funny thing is many problems aren't big enough to use the fanciest big data solutions. Sure, companies like Google or Yahoo track all of our web browsing; they have data files measured in petabytes or yottabytes. But most companies have data sets that can easily fit in the RAM of a basic PC. I'm writing this on a PC with 16GB of RAM—enough for a billion events with a handful of bytes. In most algorithms, the data doesn't need to be read into memory because streaming it from an SSD is fine.

There will be instances that demand the fast response times of dozens of machines in a Hadoop cloud running in parallel, but many will do fine plugging along on a single machine without the hassles of coordination or communication.

Hot: Spark

Not: Hadoop

It’s not so much that Hadoop is cooling off. It’s more that Spark is red hot, making the Hadoop model look a bit old. Spark borrows some of the best ideas of Hadoop’s approach to extracting meaning from large volumes of data and updates them with a few solid improvements that make the code run much, much faster. The biggest may be the way that Spark keeps data in fast memory instead of requiring everything be written to the distributed file system.

Of course many people are merging the two by using Spark’s processing speed on data stored in Hadoop’s distributed file system. They’re more partners than competitors.

Hot: Artificial intelligence/machine learning

No one knows what the phrase “artificial intelligence” means, and that helps the marketers, especially since the term “big data” has run its course. They’re grabbing terms from artificial intelligence and upgrading the sophistication of the big, number-crunching algorithms that plow through our log files and clickstreams. By borrowing the more sophisticated algorithms from the 50-odd years of AI research, we stand a better chance than ever of finding that signal in the noise. Tools run the gamut from machine learning frameworks to cognitive computing, all the way up to IBM’s Watson, which you can now ping to solve your problems. Each offers its own level of machine intelligence and, with this, the promise of taking over more of the data analysis and forensics for us.

Hot: Robotics

Not: Virtual things

Was it only a few minutes ago that we were all going to be living in virtual reality where everything was drawn on our retinas by some video card? It still might happen, but in the meantime the world of robotics is exploding. Every school has a robotics team, and every corner of the house is now open to a robotics invasion. The robot vacuum cleaners are old news and the drones are taking off.

That means programmers need to start thinking about how to write code to control the new machines. For the time being, that often means writing scripts for lightweight controllers like the Raspberry Pi, but that’s bound to change as the libraries grow more sophisticated. Many roboticists, for instance, like hacking the code in OpenCV, a machine vision platform filled with C. This means new rules, new libraries, new protocols, and plenty of other new topics to think about.

Hot: Single-page web apps

Not: Websites

Remember when URLs pointed to web pages filled with static text and images? How simple and quaint to put all information in a network of separate web pages called a website. The design team would spend hours haggling over the site map and trying to make it easy enough to navigate.

New web apps are front ends to large databases filled with content. When the web app wants information, it pulls it from the database and pours it into the local mold. There's no need to mark up the data with all the web extras needed to build a web page. The data layer is completely separate from the presentation and formatting layer. Here, the rise of mobile computing is another factor: a single, responsive-designed web page that work like an app -- to better avoid the turmoil of the app stores.

Hot: Mobile web apps

Not: Native mobile apps

Let's say you have a great idea for mobile content. You could rush off and write separate versions for iOS, Android, Windows 8, and maybe even BlackBerry OS or one of the others. Each requires a separate team speaking a different programming language. Then each platform's app store exerts its own pound of flesh before the app can be delivered to the users.

Or you could build one HTML app and put it on a website to run on all the platforms. If there's a change, you don't need to return to the app store, begging for a quick review of a bug fix. Now that the HTML layer is getting faster and running on faster chips, this approach can compete with native apps better on even more complicated and interactive apps.


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From the Blog

05 July 2018
29 June 2018