Hawaii missile false alarm due to badly designed user interface, reports say

The user was to select from a menu of options including “Missile Alert” and “Test Missile Alert”, which were next to each other on the options menu.

The system also lacked a “Cancel missile alert” feature so no one knew how to un-do the transmission of the fake missile alert.

As I suspected, the system design was so bad, they never thought to add a “cancel alert” feature to the system. Other news reports say no one will lose their job over this or be reprimanded. This sounds like an organizational leadership and organizational culture failure – bad design, bad implementation, bad procedures, lack of leadership.

Source: Hawaii missile false alarm due to badly designed user interface, reports say


Workaround: Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader app no longer available for PC, Mac #BarnesAndNoble

I discovered after a Mac OS X update that my very old Nook e-reader app for Mac OS X no longer works – and that Nook discontinued the app for PC and Mac desktops in 2013. Barnes and Noble says we should use their cloud-based/web-based app from a browser (presumably this means we must have an Internet connection in order to read?)

Problem 1 – Barnesandnoble.com Inaccessible

Unfortunately, an attempt to access the Barnes and Noble web site returns

This page is unavailable due to either geographic restrictions or other restrictions in place at this time. NOTE: other restrictions can be a result of our security platform detecting potential malicious activity. Please try again later as the restrictions may be lifted, or contact your service provider if the issue persists.

ID: 8387029820181080074

As best I can tell, this means Barnes and Noble has blocked our IP address for unknown reasons. Their recommended solution is to reboot our Internet access modem and/or attempt to request a new IP address. This is absurd. Our IP address works fine for accessing all other web sites.

Problem 2 – No Nook E-Reader app available – Work Around

If Barnes and Noble e-books can no longer be read on a PC or Mac, what can we do?

One solution is to install an Android emulator, and then install the Android B&N e-reader app in the emulated Android. An emulator is basically a simulator – it simulates and Android device but its really just software running on a PC or a Mac.

I installed the Nox Android emulator app on my Macbook. After dealing with odd user interface issues, I went into the Google folder and opened Google Play, and then downloaded and installed the Nook e-reader app for Android. I ran that and was able to synchronize my library of purchased e-books and can now read them using the Nook app for Android running in an emulator on my Macbook. The emulator seems to be a bit hard on the battery – may want to use this solution when you can plug in the notebook computer to AC.

I had the same IP address when I synchronized the Nook library, pointing to something very weird (and possibly very stupid) in Barnes and Noble’s web site operation.




Google adds #Bluetooth & USB support to Android Things #IOT #InternetOfThings

Android Things is an embedded Android OS for, well, things, as in Internet of Things. Android Things supports connected devices in a wide range of applications.

Source: Google adds Bluetooth APIs and USB support to Android Things Developer Preview 3 | Android Central

Websites Can Track You Online Across Multiple Web Browsers

Researchers have determined a method of tracking individual users across web browsers. That means, changing to a different browser – or even using incognito or private browsing mode – to avoid tracking your online behavior, is no longer sufficient.

The researched identified 36 different properties that can be identified across browsers – some of which, when combined, identify a unique computer user – with 99% accuracy.
Source: Websites Can Now Track You Online Across Multiple Web Browsers

Top programming languages as of December 2016 

  • Java
  • C (but popularity has fallen by half year over year)
  • C++
  • Python
  • Visual Basic .NET
  • PHP
  • Javascript
  • Assembly language
  • Perl
  • Objective-C
  • Ruby
  • Swift
  • Visual Basic
  • Delphi/Object Pascal
  • Go
  • R

Main take aways from this list:

Java, C/C++, Python, Visual Basic .Net, C#, PHP and JavaScript are the top programming languages.

Java, however, rates twice as high as C, which is higher than C++. Notably Python has risen to 4th place on the list, and assembly language makes it in to the top 10 at #9.

C and C++, and assembly language, are the languages of the Internet of Things devices (other languages are used too).

SourcE: Tiobe Index