Test Information Space

Journal of Tech, Testing and Trends

Archive for October, 2010

Pathos Least

Posted by cadsmith on October 31, 2010

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The internet adds Everest and loses Tehran as US boosts broadband. WiFi direct protocol groups devices. Cell doubles as remote. Semantic web publishes R2RML and MathML 3. China boasts supercomputer lead. Computers used for emotion meter. Intel has press site. HealthTap individualizes care. Knight funds media contest. Security weaves code and judges cyberwar while Iranian hackers trade botnets. No math word problems, but some tips on stories versus statistics. Google does spreadsheet visualization and random street view. AutoBot links car to web. Traffic lights save gas. Digital museums open to public and print 3D. Nook adds color reader. NASA introduces A-Train and tests flight deck. Robots plug into brain and use beanbag hands.

Book reviews:

User Stories Applied, Mike Cohn, 2004

This approach is from Agile User-Centered Design. Stories can also be added to Scrum. Extreme programming, XP, centers on testing, automated and acceptance. The testing is for usability, performance and stress rather than code coverage. There are various techniques used for developing the stories. They are modular for estimation and testability. A case is shown for a workshop having user role cards and story cards. A story card is a reminder of features to discuss. Each bug report is considered its own story. The planning game customer prioritizes their user story cards for the next iteration after developers have indicated the effort estimations for each. Tests are prepared prior to the code. Stories are grouped. A paper prototype is created and refined before programming begins. The UI is postponed for as long as possible. User goals can be listed from which stories will be derived. Burndown charts are used to track iteration hours. Another measure of momentum is the number of story points over time where each is an estimate for an ideal workday. The term smells is used for problems between participants, e.g. customer won’t do the stories, for which solutions are proposed. There are four parts beside an appendix on extreme programming. Each has a chapter summary, responsibilities of the developer and customer, and questions.

Previous links (of about thirty-four):

video

The Poetry of Science: Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson – K21st Essential 21st Century Knowledge
YouTube – R.A. Mashelkar: Breakthrough designs for ultra-low-cost products
The Future of Money on Vimeo
Digg – Deadly Memory Card Testing: Overkill Edition [Video]

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Ghost Parking

Posted by cadsmith on October 24, 2010

 

Time to put those campfire stories to good use. If you’ve ever wondered what it all may lead to, see Cast Shadow.

Book reviews:

Design Informed: Driving Innovation with Evidence-Based Design, Brandt and others, 2010

This book is about architectural research methods which seek evidence to answer specific questions about cause-effect. In a series of a couple of dozen case studies and interviews, it characterizes the six quality attributes of hypothesis, epistemology, metrics, strength of evidence, external validation and transparency. It discusses the 2005 Latrobe hypothesis which has three parts for collaboration between architect and clients, use of both empiricism and induction, and metrics. A process of prototyping and testing is used to make buildings. Software is used for analysis and prediction. Computer models are used to find and demonstrate solutions. Compelling measurements from the realworld support the conclusions. The computer is then used to include these types of measurements in architectural designs. Actual designs are made which use the newer solution approaches. There are seven chapters.

The Artificial Ape: How Technology Changed the Course of Human Evolution, Timothy Taylor, 2010

The author questions how humans became intelligent and whether tools and therefore technology predated humans. He proposes a set of three levels, system 3, flint tool or artificial tech arising after system 1 inanimate natural pebble, and system 2 natural biological mollusk. His style mixes data and personal anecdotes from in the field. He updates the arguments of initially proposed by Darwin regarding trial and error with newer findings and inductive reasoning to demonstrate that technology enabled human biological evolution. The human brain is three to four times larger in size than a primate’s, but smaller than it was 150k years ago. The chart spans ten million years and shows an average increase and several dips. Much of the content has been externalized by technology so the modern head may be more efficient in the social context. This is similar to body mass and coordination which used to be required to get food. Civilizations may succumb to environmental disasters since some tend to worsen due to social practice. Competition between humans was a significant selector and technological advantage allowed symbolic development. Skeuomorphs mimic previous designs using new materials. Anti-science creationism may be an artifact of human models that led to questions of causality for the artists. Infant slings were an initial tool used upon walking upright and which also encouraged brain size. Groups have their own techno-culture and their tools may seem alien to others. This included cooking bowls which led to different diets and centralized preparation like the later fast foods. The first chipped stone tool found preceded homo sapiens by almost 200,000 years. Chimps, who probably were derived from the same ape as humans about seven million years ago, also use these types, as did Tasmanian aborigines isolated from the mainland. Otzi the ice man, from 5000 years ago on the high Alps, had more complex ones like from an early assembly line.

Telling Stories: A Short Path to Writing Better Software Requirements, Ben Rinzler, 2009

The thesis is that there is an analogy between writing requirements and a story. The book is concise and readable and formalizes a requirements method. The instructions show how to illustrate dataflow and UML. There are outlines and a document template. The outline formats differentiate an Agile version from more robust. Scenarios are used to show the success and exception results of each application process. The latter word is used in several contexts such as for the requirements themselves, for the system, and for the software elements. It assumes that the review considers feasibility.

This title is a happy medium as an anecdote, however the full length treatment is full of caveats. A story is a narrative, where the requirements are more of an agreement. There are a lot of differences. The audience of designers, for example, will have an expectation that there is enough detail for them to do specifications. System analysts and testers will seek to itemize features and constraints so that they can be tracked throughout the development and validation processes. Perhaps the story explains the why’s, the requirements the what’s, and the designs do the how’s. It does list usability testing and brings up availability, for example.

In summary, marketing presentations might lean more heavily on the story side, and software on objectives. Other approaches along these lines have included object-oriented parsing of text to objects. Scenarios and scenes are also used in test descriptions, e.g. use cases. Analogies are used in technical documentation. Complementary approaches might also include user actions as problem-solving or decision trees.

Recent links (about thirty-six):

video

Diminished Reality: Impressive Video Manipulation In Real-Time (Video)
YouTube – O’Reilly Webcast: The Myths of Innovation – Remixed and Remastered
YouTube – Heribert Watzke: The brain in your gut

ai Intellitar

browser First Alpha Of Opera 11 Released, Developers Can Now Build Extensions

climate

Blotting Out Sun May Soon Be Banned : Discovery News
Flower Power: Genetic Modification Could Amply Boost Plants’ Carbon-Capture and Bioenergy Capacity: Scientific American

computer Researchers one step closer to ‘bootless’ computer – Computerworld

digital-libraries Technology Review: Blogs: Mims’s Bits: Why There Can Never Be A Competitor to Google Books

disaster

Layer 8: IBM says software helps predict natural disasters | Network World
Building a Giant Lab to Test Disasters – WSJ.com

ebooks eBook price comparisons for iBooks, Kindle and Nook – Leatherbound

holography This Rocking Lead Singer is a 3D Hologram (video) | Singularity Hub

journalism WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Chased by Turmoil – NYTimes.com

mathematics Dr Dobbs – Linear Equation Breakthrough

mobile

Glasses With HUDs Just Became A Little More Affordable | Techi.com
What is Mobile Virtualization and Why is it Important? – ReadWriteCloud
picplz for iPhone & Android – See what’s happening now
Mitek Systems

music Google India Blog: Introducing Google Music Search (India) at Labs

payments Citibank First to Test Revolutionary Credit Card System, Card 2.0

physics Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: Mass Can Be ‘Created’ Inside Graphene, Say Physicists

privacy Every email and website to be stored – Telegraph

robotics

BattleBricks: MakerLegoBot: The Lego Mindstorms NXT 3D Lego Printer
Buzzll.com: Singing Humanoids
IEEE Spectrum: Japanese Snake Robot Goes Where Humans Can’t

science

First All-Digital Science Textbook Will Be Free | Wired Science | Wired.com
publicscience.ca – Science that Protects You
E. O. Wilson, Harrison Ford Ask You to Give a Damn About Biodiversity

security Coder for CIA: Drone Targeting Software “Far From Ready”

smartgrid

IEEE 1901TM BROADBAND POWER LINE STANDARD FOR 500 Mbps COMMUNICATIONS APPROVED – IEEE Smart Grid
NIST Lays Out Spec to Turn Power Grid to Network Grid | ITworld

space

Record-breaking galaxy found at the edge of the Universe | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
NASA Ames’ Worden reveals DARPA-funded “Hundred Year Starship” program | KurzweilAI

spacecraft International Docking Standard

telescope Technology Review: Blogs: Mims’s Bits: How To Handle The World’s Largest Digital Images

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Cell Complex

Posted by cadsmith on October 18, 2010

Usability test sites are listed below. Visualization has Circos tool. Machine learning can automatically read the web and derive laws from data. Biotech do-it-yourself has reached the garage stage. Japan has machines that win at chess, economize both heat and smartgrid, sing like humans, and crawl like snakes. Surveillance has video analytics and privacy concerns. Movies have character makeover. Security has memory hardware ID, Bugat trojan, cyber cold war and first strike alert. Space tourism is less than a couple of years away. Water shortages are prevented by intelligence, startups and solar power. Ebooks have self-publishing, search, blog converter, and writing nook.

Book reviews:

Undercover User Experience Design, Cennydd Bowles and James Box, 2010

This is a comprehensive do-it-yourself description about many facets of the topic. The undercover manifesto values bottom-up change, delivery, timeliness, sociability, and action. There are details about critiques, deliverables, design process and problems, research, usability testing, and UX design. UX adoption begins in web design, and proceeds to check-up, integration, ownership, allies, education, persuasion, trust, stories, skills, and ROI. The content of the book has dynamic highlights, notes appear in side-boxes. It has tips for Agile as well as waterfall design. There are recommendations for using the process with various types of customers including developers, visual designers, content specialists, product owners, marketers, SEO specialists and senior managers. It talks about metrics, A/B testing, common design review pitfalls. Types of test include rapid iterative testing and evaluation, and remote. Tools range from sketching wireframes and storyboards, to apps, to dedicated sites. Research methods include feedback, surveys, and third-parties. Author sites http://www.cennydd.co.uk and twitter.com/boxman.
Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, Andrew J. Bacevich, 2010

The title simultaneously refers to the beltway, namesake, possible result, and the name of the national security consensus since WWII which is no longer as effective. The sacred trinity now holds that the US needs global presence, power projections and interventionism. The inability to distinguish institutional well-being from that of the nation has led to the present conditions. This affected historical figures such as Allen Dulles, Curtis LeMay and Maxwell Taylor. The author takes issue with the way things have turned out for the US. The arguments are nonpartisan. The return to counterinsurgency demonstrates an abandonment of victory as an objective. The US could revert to the tradition of military for defense and Just War. Americans would see soldiers stationed in the country as citizen-protectors. This frees up resources to restore the economy.

Previous links (from about fifty-four):

test

Turn Visitors into Customers with Performable.
Easy User Experience research – whatusersdo.com
Webnographer Home
Remote Usability testing, online customer experience research, usability testing software. Userzoom
User Experience | Website Usability Testing and Evaluation
Usability Testing
Treejack :: Optimise your site structure using tree testing.
OpenHallway
Navflow
Remote & Online Usability Testing Tool | Loop11
IntuitionHQ, make website usability testing part of every website project
FiveSecondTest
CommandShift3 – It’s like Hot or Not for web design
Chalkmark :: First impression testing.

astronomy Planet hunters no longer blinded by the light | International Space Fellowship

automotive CarWoo!

climate Old Weather – Our Weather’s Past, the Climate’s Future

community Get Satisfaction | Customer Community Software – Love your Customers.

economics Coming Soon: World Government and Global Currency – Beyond Money

education Next Gen Learning Challenges

invention Dean of Invention : Planet Green – On TV

maps The Web 2.0 Summit Points of Control Map

social Multitude

social-networks MYCUBE

technology Garnter’s Newest Hype Cycle: Discuss

transportation Everyone’s Private Driver / UberCab

windows Windows Live Mesh 2011

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Point to Pole

Posted by cadsmith on October 10, 2010

The Pole

Political artifacts are sweeping much of the attention. Next generation designs consider networks, environment, globalization, and personalization. Architecture seems to be maintaining eyes and ears and administering disapproving dread on behalf of a someone or something in the central keep. Votes are predicted and ballots are built according to the pulse from purchases, product use and promotional responses for goodness’ sake. Some take the quest to the furthest outposts which then become the new melting pots. Others meld to media and march the machines in their stead. Statistics are a snapshot of what needs to be shaped next and there is a cloud of colors around the computation.

Recent links (about twenty-seven):

Book Reviews:

The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future, Laurence C. Smith, 2010
The author is a professor of earth and atmospheric sciences. There are three parts for ten chapters. Each chapter provides trend data and describes what 2050 will be like. The forces are demographics, resource demand, globalization, climate change. These all include technology. Ground rules included no silver bullets or world war III or hidden genies, and the models are okay. There is a trend toward urbanization. Resource depletion is analyzed. Carbon-free energy sources include hydropower, wind and concentrated solar thermal power. Water is in contention between farmers and cities. Computer models indicate rising air temperatures in the north. Trade can increase around the north pole without need for major contention. There is a third wave of immigration to the northern rim and the arctic seabed. Ancestral traditions merge with modern business practices. Models of abrupt climate change indicate probability that northern fresh water will not be affected and it may redirect water to the south. The new north may be like the American West at the start of the nineteenth century.

video

YouTube – Hans Rosling: The good news of the decade?
YouTube – Digital Art@Google: James Tunick and Jack Toolin
YouTube – Barbara Block: Tagging tuna in the deep ocean
Tim Jackson’s economic reality check | Video on TED.com

application Ovi app wizard beta

censorship The .ly domain space to be considered unsafe | :Ben Metcalfe Blog

computation Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: The Post-Singularity Future Of Astronomy

disaster A flood of toxic sludge – The Big Picture – Boston.com

ebooks Worldreader.org – Books for All

games

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
IBM INNOV8: CityOne

government Tech CEOs tell US gov’t how to cut $1 trillion from deficit

ideas Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson on Where Ideas Come From | Magazine

linkedin LinkedIn and PwC Launch Breakthrough Career Mapping Tool for College Students | LinkedIn – Public Relations

medical Berkeley Bionics

review ‘The Social Network’: A Review Of Aaron Sorkin’s Film About Facebook And Mark Zuckerberg | The New Republic

robotics

Boy of 15 fitted with robotic heart – Computer Chips & Hardware Technology | Geek.com
IEEE Spectrum: Humanoid Robots Rise. Now, Can They Walk?
IEEE Spectrum: Omniwheels Gaining Popularity in Robotics

security Collective Defense: Applying Public Health Models to the Internet (PDF)

space

Update: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Makes First Glide Flight | Autopia | Wired.com
The Space Game

statistics Truthy

tags FollowYours

tv Quick Tour – Google TV

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Act of Reason

Posted by cadsmith on October 3, 2010

derakshan

The internet is broadening as its component types become more speciated. It carries more virtual goods and prototypes by DIY makers. Cell phones handle mobile payment. Journalism trends are visualized. Social media is used to tell stories. Ebooks have new readers for Kindle and Blio. Data drives discovery. Original manuscripts are viewable. Fiction publishing includes anthologies of scifi. There is a backlash to blacklisting.

Recent links (about twenty-six):

video

YouTube – SingTel Cloud computing in Augmented Reality

YouTube – Sebastian Seung: I am my connectome

answers Quora

climate NASA – Climate@Home: Creating a Virtual Supercomputer to Model Climate

game Brain Odyssey

maps Polymaps

quality Mass offers “Seal of Commonwealth Quality” – Boston Business Journal

security Technology Review: Blogs: Mims’s Bits: The Hot New Thing in Biometric Security is… Ears

space

NASA – IBEX Finds Surprising Changes at Solar Boundary

A Habitable Exoplanet – for Real This Time | Wired Science | Wired.com

telepresence IEEE Spectrum: A DIY Telepresence Robot

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