Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Interview Practice at Gateway STEM

Unidev Presentation Gateway STEMWednesday May 8th was Unidev’s last day of the school year to work with junior and senior students at the St. Louis public school, Gateway STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math). Gateway allows its students to concentrate in particular areas of study, giving them the opportunity to decide their career interests early on. Along with these concentrations, seniors are required to complete internships. Unidev and its local web design and web marketing division, The Net Impact, partnered with Gateway Stem in 2012 to give perspective on the work force. They specifically presented to the marketing and business students, and today they worked with the students performing mock interviews.

The day started off with students dispersing amongst practice interviewers. Although individual interviews lasted around 15 minutes, the questions asked taught the students to think on their feet and develop answers to situational questions, requiring examples from past experiences. This became difficult as many students have not yet held jobs and had to relate to situations that may have occurred on their sports teams and volunteer activities.

Ending with critiques, the students overall did a great job. For most, this was their first interview experience and now they are able to understand the importance of detail, confidence and relatability when it comes to applying and interviewing for a job they desire. After they wiped the sweat off of their foreheads, they seemed to agree the experience was a positive one and will help them in their future endeavors.

TBAN 2.0

TBANUnidev is a new board member of the Technology Business Alliance of Nevada (TBAN). The board is focusing on the creation of a central unit in which the Nevada technology community can come together as one. One of the first major changes TBAN is implementing is the President’s Board. TBAN is bringing together representatives from local and state Government, the Las Vegas Chambers and the Regional Development Authority (RDA). The goal of the President’s Board is to unify the voice of technology, create synergies and communicate the goings on of each organization in efforts to encourage and advance the growth of the technology sector in Southern Nevada. Mike Gardineer, President of TBAN says, “We’re thrilled with the direction and momentum of TBAN. The Board, our generous sponsors, our membership and the community in general are all enthusiastic about solidifying and codifying the way in which technology contributes to the Nevadan economy and culture.”

 

TBAN also intends to get involved with VegasTech and the rest of the startup community. The hopes of TBAN are to facilitate a forum in which startup entities can pose questions and obtain advice and mentoring. TBAN is extending a free one year membership to all new startups that are in their first year of business in efforts to demonstrate their benefits to the startup community. In addition, TBAN will put on events and workshops that will help these young companies cultivate their futures with respect to understanding operational costs, available local resources, procedures associated with applying for trademarks and patents and how to attract investors.

 

TBAN is moving its TechNevada Honors awards to January 2013, intending to start the year off with a bang! The Awards will honor the work of local tech leaders for the past year and pave the way for a productive future. TBAN is working towards the completion of the awards’ nomination paperwork. Please visit our new website at https://www.tban.com for updates.

 

 

Tour de Switch

Switch CampusThe Las Vegas Unidev office is a half a mile from the amazing Switch. Switch is the world’s largest and most powerful data center and technology ecosystem.  A data center is used to store computer systems whether it’s for back-up or communication tools.

Last week Catherine Harris, Unidev’s VP of Mobile and Web Development toured the Switch facility with me.  The Switch facility is no ordinary data center. Since 2006 Switch and Rob Roy have over 125 claims at the patent office. This Includes 42 awarded and 83 additional designs pending release in 2012.  The data center has 2,200,000 square feet of space and 24/7/365 on site security, safety, operations, and critical infrastructure personnel. 

Switch is not only the largest data center, but they have the most powerful technology ecosystem called CORE.  CORE stands for Combined Ordering Retail Ecosystem.   Check out all the companies involved with CORE by clicking on this link http://www.switchnap.com/pages/all-things-switch/connectivity_2.php.   According to their website, no single enterprise in the world has the buying power of the combined groups that exist today in the SuperNAP client ecosystem.  This is also one of the benefits of using Switch for your business.  They have saved business thousands and thousands of dollars by offering this service to their customers.

Mobile Payment Movement Leads to Concerns Over Security

Earlier this month, Starbucks bet big on mobile payment company Square, investing $25 million in the rapidly growing startup and adding its CEO Howard Shultz to Square’s Board of Directors. August also brought an announcement from Google that their mobile payment solution, Google Wallet, now works with any major credit card. These major changes indicate the rapidly growing mobile payment movement, an industry some experts predict to reach $74 billion dollars by 2015.

Google Wallet Mobile Payment

Google Wallet interacts with the Mastercard PayPass system.

But the convenience of mobile smartphone payments have many concerned over security issues with the new payment platform. Both technical and personal concerns have arisen, and the companies heavily invested in mobile commerce are making efforts to ensure consumers stick around.

Many personal concerns stem from a fear that easy payments mean easy money for criminals who get their hands on consumer smartphones. However, most mobile applications that process payments have built in features to make them possibly more secure than traditional credit cards.

First, most mobile commerce apps require a pin number to activate the NFC (near-field communicator) antennae. Coupled with pin-based locks screens on smartphones themselves, consumers often have two layers protecting their digital wallets. Also, stolen smartphones can be tracked with the built-in GPS capabilities and shut down remotely. While these features aren’t universally true of all mobile payment applications, major players like Google and Square lead the market with these security features.

From a technical standpoint, things get more interesting. With a new transactional platform, new methods of exploitation arise. Indeed, Square has already been hacked twice since 2011. However, it seems that these breaches in card security aren’t significantly different from fraud issues facing credit cards.

Some experts even feel that mobile payments are safer from exploitation than traditional 16-digit credit card accounts. Because credit cards have been in use so long, much more developed and sophisticated methods for cracking these accounts exist. Mobile payment systems may have the added security benefit of simply being new.

While valid concerns surround this new method of payment on the go, the security issues currently facing mobile payments seem manageable at this point. With the continued rapid growth in market share, it seems that the mobile payment movement will continue to march onward.

Stay in touch with all things mobile, tech, and software with the Unidev News.

 

5 Bold Moves Microsoft is Making with Internet Explorer 10

In May 2012, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer lost its long-reigning position at the top of the browser usage charts to Google Chrome. While no longer the world’s most-used browser, IE is not content to stay in second place for long. With IE 10 this Fall, Microsoft is making bold moves to stay relevant in the fast-moving “browser wars”. Here are 5 big changes in IE 10 that are sure to make an impact:

1. Speed and Performance

When it comes to web browsers, speed and compatibility are of utmost importance. With improved HTML5 functionality and a sped up Javascript engine (a new iteration of IE 9’s “Chakra” Jscript engine), IE 10 is Microsoft’s fastest browser yet. Preview releases of IE 10 have already impressed reviewers with Javascript speeds on the Metro version, optimized for Windows 8 on tablets.

2. Web App Focus

Microsoft is betting big on the future of web applications, particularly those using HTML5. IE 10 is incorporating major updates to its HTML5 functionality, allowing video with links to specific times and embedded captions. With these updates, advanced web applications can be optimized for IE 10, allowing for complex browser games and applications, like Office 365, to run smoother than ever. Web developers and designers can take advantage of this improved horsepower with more robust sites.

Internet Explorer 10 Bubble Test

Internet Explorer 10 flexes its muscles with high performance benchmarks.

3. Touch-first

Announced last month, the Microsoft Surface tablet demonstrated the company’s commitment to mobile browsing. The new hardware, along with Windows 8’s “touch-first” design standard, means IE 10 is built from the ground up around touch screen interaction. With a rapidly growing smartphone and tablet market, Microsoft saw the need for a browser that is truly mobile. Fluid design and a tile-based interface for favorites and tabs are key components of the touch-first standard.

4. Windows 8

Microsoft is tying the fate of IE 10 closely with that of its new Windows 8 operating system also releasing this Fall. Finally shedding its older operating systems, IE 10 will not run on Windows XP or Vista. Even its support for Windows 7 is suspect, as recent preview builds have only been made available for the Windows 8 developer’s preview build. Microsoft is completely changing their model by charging only $40 for their latest OS upgrade.

5. Do Not Track

Perhaps most controversial is Microsoft’s decision to enable their “Do Not Track” setting by default in IE 10. This represents a strong stance in favor of consumer privacy from Microsoft. However, it has certainly angered online advertisers who rely on tracking technology to deliver targeted ads. The effects of this change are still unknown, as some critics believe the do not track setting won’t even help consumers protect their privacy. Regardless of the outcome, Microsoft aims to be on the forefront of evolving web standards.

 

With these significant upgrades to their browser, Microsoft is making a major push to get back on top of the browser usage charts. But will it pay off? We’ll find out when IE 10 and Windows 8 launch this Fall. For up to date web applications and technology information follow @Unidev on Twitter.