Developers could obviously already build Windows Store/Metro apps with jQuery, but thanks to this cooperation, the process for developing jQuery 2.0-based Windows Store applications should now be smoother, safer and more streamlined.
As appendTo’s director of support Jonathan Sampson wrote in today’s announcement, jQuery always met the language criteria for Windows Store applications, but “Windows 8 exposes all the WinRT APIs within the HTML5 development environment, which comes with a new security model that made some code and common practices of jQuery flagged as unsafe in the context of a Windows Store application. AppendTo reviewed and re-authored portions of jQuery core to bring it into alignment with the Windows security model, as well as identified key areas where alternative patterns would need to be substituted for actually-used conventions.”
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) provider ActiveState recently scored a sweet deal with HP: It is the official PaaS for the entire HP cloud business.
ActiveState won the HP deal through the strength of Stackato, its PaaS that uses Cloud Foundry to offer a distributed developer platform. ActiveState executives say it hardened CloudFoundry for the enterprise. This means Stackato offers additional languages and provides more hypervisor and infrastructure support, as well as application lifecycle tools and monitoring capabilities.
Stackato is packaged as a virtual machine and can run both in a private data center and a public cloud environment. That’s the appeal to HP – Stackato has dual capabilities.
Stackato’s strength is that it was built with a “security first” approach, which makes it appealing to enterprise buyers. It supports multiple programming languages, enabling developers to push apps from their desktops to different cloud environments. That might mean a public cloud service, a hybrid one or a deployment that is entirely on-premise.
That gives Stackato the opportunity to leverage HP and its massive customer base. But therein also lies the problem. ActiveState could get ensnared in the roiling internal politics that are pitting HP’s traditional server business against its cloud strategy. The fissure is apparent in the recent departure of Zorawar Biri Singh, HP’s head of cloud computing. But it’s also connected to HP’s deep ties to the traditional enterprise hardware and software market where it makes the majority of its revenues.
HP is the global leader in x86 server sales, so the company faces a paradox: sell more servers and attract businesses to a public cloud service. A customer doessn’t need servers if it uses a public cloud environment. HP can get better margins if it sells into the traditional data-center market. These days, like a lot of companies, HP postions this as a private or managed cloud strategy.
But the bigger challenge for ActiveState may come with Cloud Foundry, the PaaS developed by VMware. It had once been promised as an open-source PaaS platform. Developers loved it. But there was always this question about VMware’s true intentions? Would it really support an open-source effort and foster a community?
Sacha Labourey, founder and CEO of PaaS provider CloudBees, said that when Cloud Foundry was released, he was extremely bullish, but then it made no sense after awhile. What was the real strategy? Cloud Foundry represented an open-source services play. But virtualization software made VMware a power in the enterprise. The company increasingly looked to that power base to establish a cloud strategy. Cloud Foundry seemed out of place.
Fast forward to December of last year and what does VMware do? It spins out Cloud Foundry, creating the Pivotal Group under the direction of Paul Maritz, EMC’s chief strategist.
Today, Cloud Foundry is a big question mark in the PaaS market. There are rumblings of a fork. AppFog, Tier3, and Uhuru all rely on it. Adopting a fork would mean a deep investment in engineering for the company that took that path.
But if any company can manage these waters, it’s ActiveState. Founded in 1997, the company is well-established as a provider of development tools for dynamic languages. It has the engineering resources to manage a Cloud Foundry fork if it chooses to do so.
In the meantime, the PaaS market is still quite nascent. HP may be able to leverage its vast customer base, but the customers using PaaS are very few.
Labourey says companies need to try a service like AWS and build a stack on it. Using AWS helps developers see the differences between services and software plays, and it will help them see that a PaaS can remove a lot of the complexity inherent in developing custom stacks.
Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState, says Stackato can provide speed and simplicity on-premise and in the cloud. The PaaS can provide the dual capability that companies seem more comfortable with using.
ActiveState will increasingly compete with Cloud Foundry while using its technology. How that competition plays out will depend a lot on ActiveState’s success with HP and the direction Cloud Foundry takes as part of the Pivotal Labs group.
Read the original here: PaaS Provider ActiveState And The Paradox Of Aligning With HP And Cloud Foundry
Microsoft Research and UN scientists have teamed up to build the first general-purpose computer model of whole ecosystems across the entire world. The project was detailed in a recent Nature article titled “Ecosystems: Time to model all life on Earth,” which unfortunately requires a subscription. Thankfully, details have started to leak out to more public sources of information.
The United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), a collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme, the world’s foremost intergovernmental environmental organization, and WCMC, a UK-based charity. Scientists from the group specialize in biodiversity assessment, and according to the site, the authors of the Nature paper believe the type of model they are developing “could radically improve our understanding of the biosphere and inform policy decisions about biodiversity and conservation.”
The vision is to build General Ecosystem Models (GEMs), the ecological equivalent of General Circulation models (GCMs), which are used in climate change science to simulate the physics and chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere. The point of GEMs is to capture the complete structure of an ecosystem in the world by simulating processes such as feeding, reproduction, migration, and death, in order to help design future conservation policy.
By mapping the flows of energy and nutrients within the food chain over time, organisms could be grouped not by species but by their key functional characteristics: plants, birds, mammals, warm blooded, nocturnal and so on. From there, ecologists could assess a given ecosystem’s health, model what happens to the various groups over time as well as how it might change to a natural or human disturbance.
Over the past two years, the two groups have built a prototype GEM, the Madingley Model, for terrestrial and marine ecosystems that uses real data on carbon flows as a starting point. It’s nowhere near as comprehensive as a full GEM is supposed to be, but it’s the most ambitious attempt yet. The ultimate goal, according to the team, is not to develop a perfect model – but rather to trigger the creation of a set of competing models as other ecologists become encouraged to suggest improvements, adaptations, or complete replacements.
Image credit: Roberto Ribeiro
Go here to see the original: Microsoft Research and the UN team up to build a computational model of ecosystems across the world
The company says that it has opened 401 stores total, with four new ones in China alone. The average revenue per store is $1.25 million per week, compared to $1.22 million last year.
It’s no secret that Apple has unlocked something very special in its retail stores. They’re all arranged basically the same way, and the experience is something similar to walking into a Starbucks. No matter where you are in the world, you’ll be able to find people wearing similar clothing, knowledgable in the same way and very happy to take your money.
I’ve never been pressured to buy something, and I’ve found that every single time I ask a question, it’s answered quickly and in a way that I can understand. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much money you have or how many Apple products you currently own, its retail employees treat everyone the same way. I’d love to see numbers on how many repeat customers its retail stores have, because it wouldn’t surprise me if people were to have an affinity for specific stores and staff members due to this comfortable environment that Apple fosters.
[Photo credit: Flickr]
The rest is here: Apple Retail Stores Averaged $1.25M In Revenue Per Week For Q1 2013
Voxel Farm is a game framework for sale to developers who want to create cool, photorealistic environments. But the demo, called Procedural World, is a Minecraft clone that I would pay big bucks for if it were available for sale.
Minecraft, you’ll recall, is a 3D sandbox game that uses a very specific and very wonky 8-bit style. You run around the world with your axe and hammer through rock and stone, building houses and avoiding baddies. Procedural World essentially mirrors this process – complete with the mining – in an environment that looks like Far Cry met a box of LEGO.
The video above shows some of the basic features and an older video, below, gives you a really in-depth look at the environment. The creator, Miguel Cepero, blogs about the game here and you can license the engine here. There’s not much information on whether he’s actually launching this thing but I’d suspect Notch wouldn’t be overly upset if a beta version ended up in my mailbox somehow so I could play the heck out of it. Sadly, there are no zombies in Procedural World (yet) so there’s no opportunity for some photorealistic gore.
Go here to read the rest: Voxel Farm Is Demoing A Photorealistic Clone Of Minecraft That Looks Absolutely Amazing