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Monday, March 31, 2014

Software Development Exploratory Testing - Use ReqTest to Leave No Stone Unturned

Based on the contributed article (Solutions to problems with Exploratory Testing) by Ulf Eriksson, co-founder of ReQtest.

The article explains the benefits of exploratory testing versus pre-defined testing (conventional testing) - exploratory testing is more effective in discovering user-oriented issues that were not properly defined under System Specification Requirements (SRS) due to too much details not able to be cramped into documents.

Just to give you an example, programmers usually have a hard time unearthing issues related to work flow and screen movements because the programmers know how, when and where to click on the screens as compared to end-users who will just click whenever they see buttons and they don't care about the flow.

This resulted in software issues not related to the requirements but the usability of the system.

Exploratory testing will only work with agile development methodology such as SCRUM - this is because, in order for it to work effectively, it requires a good combination of methods (SCRUM) and tools.

In retrospect, if you are using the tool without performing agile development, it will work less effective and hence it will be less exploratory, instead, it may end up pre-defined.

The tools which ReqTest contributes towards exploratory testing consist of:
  • Test management - to create test cases and checklists
  • Bug tracking - issues tracker
  • Requirement management - to create and manage requirements

GST updates : TheStar: GST Bill tabled in Parliament for first reading

Hey, not too bad ya, after we have published the article on Retail Group Malaysia: GST Implementation will project retail growth to 6.0%, TheStar published a news that the GST bill was tabled for first reading in Parliament.



http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/03/31/GST-Bill-tables-for-first-reading-in-Parliament/
 
I do not mean to suggest that IT-Sideways is the main driver behind this, it was the event by GoldSoft and the supports from the media that followed.

Not too bad really, at least the timing is great.

Hence, now we are waiting to find out do we require to pay the  sales and service tax (10% + 6%) or just the GST (6%) or both.

Good job!!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Mitigating Security Threats on Point of Sale Systems in Malaysia

By Nigel Tan, Director, Systems Engineering with Symantec Malaysia

Yes, the Windows XP end of support by Microsoft is clocked at April 8, 2014.

Symantec published an article articulating that machines running on Windows XP will be exposed to the greatest risks after that deadline, more straining is the effect on certain POS (Point-of-Sales) machines which run on Windows XP embedded.
Nigel Tan

While the end of support for Windows XP embedded is still not around the corner yet - January 2016 - it is imperative that all parties act now to ensure smooth transition.


The article effectively describes the evolution of threats surrounding POS machines and reminds us that evolution of malwares and its egregious nature remains the biggest threat yet so far.

Comparing to other older fashion hardware based threats such as deployment of skimming devices onto credit card readers, malwares are software and evolve faster and are conspicuous - hardware based threats are easily defeated after being exposed thereafter.

In retrospect, Symantec recommends layered security protection.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ProcessOn: HTML5 Online Browser Based Diagramming Tool

Just like using MS Office Visio for creating technical diagrams, ProcessOn supports a platform for creating diagrams online directly from web browser.

The platform was founded in June 2011 and launched in early 2012 by Jack Liu, the CEO of ActionSoftCO., also the founder of CN-Java.

ProcessOn is meant to provide a platform for business collaboration combines diagramming capability with social network for enterprises, teams, business individuals.

ProcessOn HTML5 Browser Based Diagram Designer

The diagrams which ProcessOn supports are:
  • Flowcharts
  • BPMN
  • Value Chain
  • Event-driven process chain
  • UML Diagrams
  • UI Mokcups
  • iOS Mockups
  • Org Charts
  • Venn Diagrams
In retrospect to that, users have also leveraged on it to create mindmaps, rail subway map, piramid diagrams, and other non technical uncategorized diagrams.

What is cool about ProcessOn are:
  • Supports single sign-on with Yahoo, Google, Facebook
  • Caters a platform for social networking and team features
  • It is free as compared to office 365.
  • Caters for unlimited diagrams, unlimited storage space and unlimited teams

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Groupon Launches Its Own Global Affiliate Marketing Platform for Partners

Press release - Mar 18, 2014:

Groupon has launched Groupon Partner Network (GPN), the first proprietary local e-commerce affiliate marketing platform designed to help online publishers better monetise their online presence through the promotion of Groupon deals.

Groupon has launched Groupon Partner Network (GPN), the first proprietary local e-commerce affiliate marketing platform designed to help online publishers better monetise their online presence through the promotion of Groupon deals.

The idea is to allow Groupon users to share deals and make money out of it - found a deal you want to share, generate an affiliate link code, promote it and track it.


Computer Security Updates Week 4 of Mar 2014

Refer to Computer Security Updates Week 1 of Mar 2014; the biggest news was regarding Cisco enhanced product portfolios with advanced malware protection.

For this week / last week, here are / were the biggest news.
  • Mar 18, 2014 - Hong Leong Bank Phishing Site Detected
  • PR - Mar 17, 2014 - HP Enhances Security Mobility Printing Solutions for Enterprise Customers
  • Reuters - Mar 16, 2014 - NATO hit by cyber attacks
  • Symantec - Mar 14, 2014 - Google Docs Users Targeted by Sophisticated Phishing Scam
  • PR- Mar 14, 2014 - WatchGuard Technologies Launches Industry’s First Enterprise-Level UTM targeting SOHO
  • PR- Mar 14, 2014 - Kaspersky Lab Bolsters Linux Mail Server Protection with Real-Time Threat Data and New Management Features
  • TheStar - Mar 14, 2017 - Malaysian Opposition leaders claimed phones hacked
  • Ovum - Mar 12, 2014 - Ovum sees security transformation underway
  • PR -KL- Mar 12, 2014 - Blue Coat Malaysia names Ivan Wen NEW country manager
  • PR -FORT LAUDERDALE, FL- Mar 12, 2014 - High-Bandwidth NTP Amplification DDoS Attacks Escalate 371% in the Last 30 days
  • Ovum - Mar 12, 2014 - MEPs voted for stronger safeguards for EU citizens’ personal data
  • Reuters - Mar 12, 2014 - Criminal botnets 'hijacked' by NSA
  • PR - Mar 10, 2014 - McAfee Labs Q4 Report Reveals Techniques Used in High-Profile Data Breaches
  • PR - Moscow, Mar 7, 2014 - An average of 900 online resources are active on TOR daily
  • PR - Feb 26, 2014 - HP Awarded $32.4 Million Cybersecurity Contract by U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Retail Group Malaysia: GST Implementation will project retail growth to 6.0%

Last October (2013), Malaysian government announced that the GST (Good Service Tax) would be implemented in April 2015, it has been set that businesses with taxable turnover exceeding RM 500,000 would be required to register with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department for GST.

Nevertheless, despite its hype and excitement, the GST bill 2009 is not yet finalized.

According to Baker & Mckenzie, the bill remains in a draft form and is still subject to further amendments and debate in Parliament.

During the GST briefing by GoldSoft (accounting software vendor) hosted by MRCA (Malaysia Retail Chain Association) on 13-Mar-2014, its incumbent President, Dato' Nelson Kwok urged Malaysian government to hasten its effort to table the proposed GST bill soonest and to confirm all rules and regulation.

(L-R) Alex Lim, Executive Director, GoldSoft; Tan Hai Hsin, Retail Group Malaysia; Dato' Nelson Kwok, President, MRCA

Dato' Nelson applaused the efforts made by Malaysian government to bring forward the implementation of GST amidst economical and social-political instability of the country.

The GST is not something new, to date, 160 counties have implemented it. It is less susceptible to economic fluctuations as compared to current taxation system which is estimated that taxpayers only consist of 10% of the population.

It will also enable retail busiensses to adopt global economy strategy by striving to participate in exported goods and services business activities - which are GST exempted.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

BuzzCity survey found new discoveries on shopping trends in Malaysia

Press release - KUALA LUMPUR, 6 March 2014

According to a Malaysian survey from leading mobile advertising network, BuzzCity, there is a new wave of customers in 2014, with a new set of priorities and shopping habits. Shopping habits from online and mobile to in-store, the survey reveals key trends in the way shoppers have adapted digital commerce. Retailing is no longer low-skilled employment and as consumers today are more connected, informed and empowered, they too expect shop assistants to be equally connected, informed and empowered especially when needing to close sale on the shop floor.

BuzzCity, Mr. Hisham Isa, Vice President (Marketing)

Following the Shopper Marketing Asia Conference, Mr. Hisham Isa, Vice President (Marketing) BuzzCity shares on the danger merchants face. He remarked, “What traditional retailers need to realise is that the Malaysian mobile user is constantly connected. The key to survival for many is to develop business strategies with mobiles in mind. Mobiles can complement shopping if it is treated as another channel to reach consumers”.

The survey reveals that online shoppers have not abandoned retail stores! Key findings shows that 59% of Malaysian mobile users are shopping online.

Details.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

EventNook - Web Based Event management With Ticketing Feature

EventNook is fairly easy to use, it is a web based event management with ticket feature.

It targets consumers, companies and professionals who wanted to organize events, invite people to the events through the platform whilst supporting the capability to sell ticket for the events online.

Cool features:
  • Choose payment options to sell tickets
  • Customize registration form with drag and drop
  • Direct integration with Google analytics
  • Direct integration with Paypal - credit card payment is supported through Paypal
  • Single sign-on integration with Facebook

Sign-up for free, create events, invite attendees and generate tickets. Event's tickets can be classified as free or paid.

Public relation firms should leverage on this platform to manage their press events.

All payments are carried out through Paypal; check out the pricing, FAQ and their blog.

What I like best about it is the simplicity; just anybody can learn and do it and right away !!!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

OM Extends To Represent Shared Services Companies

Press Release - KL, Feb 25, 2014

Outsourcing Malaysia (‘OM’), an initiative of PIKOM, today announced that it extends its purview for a greater representation of local and foreign shared services and Outsourcing companies.

OM’s membership is currently made of local players comprising of 90 percent of outsourcing companies, and just 10 percent of shared services companies.

(L-R): Lim Han Boon ,Treasurer of Outsourcing Malaysia; Justin J Anthony, Head of Outsourcing Malaysia; Cheah Kok Hoong, PIKOM Chairman; David Wong, Chairman of Outsourcing Malaysia; Jason Crimson, Deputy of Shared Services, Outsourcing Malaysia and Anthony Raja Devadoss, Deputy of Outsourcing, Outsourcing Malaysia; at the Press Conference of Outsourcing Malaysia.

To achieve the objectives, OM therefore will be embarking on new efforts to drive to garner greater collaboration between local and foreign players in both shared services and outsourcing.

Besides that, they will also focus on talent sourcing for the industry of shared services and outsourcing.

Details.

Friday, March 07, 2014

ICT Happenings Week 2 of Mar 2014

News for Week 5 of Feb 2014; the biggest news was the acquisition of Whatsapp by Facebook - I hope Whatsapp will proceed with charging yearly subscription for users, so that the industry will have a working model of low cost software subscription based on volume.
  • PR - Mar 7, 2014 - Wechat Partners Coffee Chain EspressoLab
  • PR - Mar 7, 2014 - APEXnetworks Standardises Service Platform with Brocade CER an ICX Switch Families
  • PR - Mar 6, 2014- Fusion-io Helps Yelp Deliver Reviews on Short Order
  • PR - Mar 6, 2014- SAP Unveils Next Step for the Cloud powered by SAP HANA
  • PR - Mar 6, 2014- Fireeye: Dimension Data is Global Systems Integrator
  • PR - Mar 6, 2014 - Dr. Chester W. Anderson III, joins Translate Your World as Director
  • Telegraph - Mar 6, 2014 - Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto has been found
  • USA Today - Mar 5, 2014 - Bitcoin exchange CEO found dead in Singapore
  • PR - Mar 5, 2014- Brocade Gen-5 Fibre Channel SAN Powers Rackspace Global Hybrid Cloud
  • PR - Mar 5, 2014- EPSON'S 3LCD TECHNOLOGY Celebrates 25th Anniversary
  • PR - Mar 4, 2014- iContro: Chaos Expected as Manufacturers Rush to 'GST-Ready' their ERP System
  • Ovum - Mar 4, 2014- Ovum assesses methods to wring last drops of capacity from fiber networks
  • PR - Mar 3, 2014 - WD Debuts Surveillance-Class Hard Drive Line
  • PR - Feb 28, 2014 - Brocade Appoints Avnet Technology Solutions to Expand Distribution Network in SEA
  • PR - Feb 27, 2014 - Groupon Malaysia subscribers set Ferrari Racing Days 2014 ablaze
  • PR - Feb 25, 2014 - HTC Aims to Create a Supercomputer with "HTC Power to Give"

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

WhyMoolah: Keep COE prices down

Press release -Singapore, 25 February 2014

Unsure if you can afford a car? Simulate the car purchasing process with WhyMoolah. Download the App today to win Real Rewards including discounts on your car loan and a 3-day Mazda 3 driveaway!

Rising COE costs and the price of cars in general can make owning a car in Singapore next to impossible – especially for young adults. Additionally, there’s the technical jargon and complicated calculators to wade through before you can roughly determine how your purchase will impact your savings and budgets. WhyMoolah gives you the unique opportunity to “try before you buy” – to calculate the costs and visibly see the impact of your purchase before taking the plunge. Backed by DBS, the WhyMoolah App provides a powerful demonstration of how current lifestyle decisions play out in the future, and the Car Lifecard extends this ability to include one of the major decisions young adults face.


WhyMoolah is currently offering some great incentives via DBS’s Real Rewards. Complete and submit the Real Rewards form by 28 February 2014 and stand a chance to win a 3-day Mazda 3 Driveaway. Already decided on a car? The first 20 users who apply for a DBS Car Financing Package (“Auto Loan”) successfully by 31 March 2014 will receive a 0.1% p.a. off the prevailing DBS Car Financing Package interest rate!

The WhyMoolah App is free for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. There is also a community page on Facebook.

Details.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Security for the Internet of Things by Cisco

In a recent article by Ammar Hindi, Managing Director APAC, Sourcefire now part of CISCO, he wrote that that the Internet of Things (IoT) has expanded the potential attack surface with its exponential growth to approximately 10 billion connected things — with an expectation of 50 billion by 2020.
Ammar Hindi, MD, Cisco APAC.

Hence, a good and effective way to mitigate these risks is to view security is to look at the network and defences from the view of an attacker and rather than assuming it might not happen -- assume it has already and set the plans accordingly.

Mr. Hindi stressed the importance of managing 'silence' security threats that run in the background or 'usual suspect' security loopholes that are happening on daily routines which can be manipulated as backdoors by perpetrators. 

Full article.

Computer Security Updates Week 1 of Mar 2014

Refer to Computer Security Updates Week 3 of Feb 2014; the biggest news was the DDoS attack towards CloudFlare.

For this week / last week, here are / were the biggest news.
  • PR- PJ, Feb 28, 2014 - Kaspersky Lab solutions top overall test rating for 2013
  • PR- KL, Feb 28, 2014 - Cisco Security Introduces Open Source Application Detection and Control
  • Reuters - Feb 27, 2014 - British man charged with hacking
  • PR - KL, Feb 27, 2014 - Barracuda integrates eSignature into its Cloud Storage
  • Kaspersky - Feb 26, 2014 - Mobile malware evolution: 3 infection attempts per user in 2013
  • PR - KL, Feb 25, 2014 - Cisco Adds Advanced Malware Protection to product portfolios
  • PR - KL, Feb 25, 2014 - McAfee Expands Comprehensive Threat Protection in Security Connected Platform
  • PR - Feb 25, 2014 - Sophos Issues Mobile Threat Report at Mobile World Congress
  • PR - Feb 24, 2014 - McAfee offers updated, full-featured Mobile Security to consumers for free
  • Symantec - Feb 24, 2014 - The future of Mobile Malware - 2FA at risks
  • PR - Singapore - Feb 20, 2014 - CyberArk Launches Enhanced “CyberArk DNA” to Detect Pass-the-Hash Vulnerabilities
  • PR - Singapore - Feb 18, 2014 - McAfee Stops Advanced Threats Within Milliseconds