IBM on Monday unveiled technologies aimed at making the work environment more conducive to maturing workers' comfort and productivity. The four new accessibility tools include Keyboard Optimizer, which helps users adjust keyboard settings to suit their typing style; Web Adaptation Technology, which magnifies the contents of a Web page and adjusts font, image, and page layout to improve readability; Mouse Smoothing Software, which enables users with hand tremors to eliminate excessive cursor movement; and Reflexive User Interface Builder, which helps developers build applications with popular graphical user interfaces that are still accessible to users with disabilities and mature workers. The tools are available for free download in a new accessibility section on IBM's alphaWorks Web site. IBM recently announced business consulting services that helps companies prepare for the baby-boomer transition.
Quest releases Application Assurance Suite for Java and Portals
September 30, 6:35 a.m. PDT
Quest Software announced at BEAWorld the release of its Application Assurance Suite for Java and Portals, which lets users rapidly measure, analyze, and optimize applications during development. The suite is the next generation of Quest PerformaSure integrated with Quest JProbe, and it enables development and QA teams to correlate end-user transactions to performance impacts on Java applications and portals. New to this solution are features for diagnosing issues in portals, memory performance analysis, and automated performance blueprinting. Other features include automatic optimization of SQL statements in Java applications when used in conjunction with Quest's database tools; line-of-code isolation; automatic application mapping, which reveals the interdependencies of components; and transaction correlation, which speeds problem diagnosis. Quest's Application Assurance Suite for Java and Portals is available now priced starting at $7,000 per CPU.
Chinaboasts nearly 373 million mobile phone users
September 30, 6:35 a.m. PDT
The number of mobile phone users in China continues to expand at over 3 million new subscribers per month, hitting 372.8 million as of the end of August, the government said. In July, China reported 368 million users, meaning the figure increased by 4.8 million during August, according to statistics from China's Ministry of Information Industry. There were 342.3 million fixed-line telephone users in China as of the end of August. The numbers compare to just 57.4 million mobile phone subscribers in India as of the end of June, 2005, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Both countries boast populations of over 1 billion people. China Mobile (Hong Kong), the world's largest mobile phone service provider, added 3.6 million subscribers in August, bringing its total to 231 million handset users, according to the company's Web site.
Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7 supports Mac OS X 'Tiger'
September 29, 7:55 a.m. PDT
Macromedia announced the availability of the Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7 Updater, a free incremental release that adds support for Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" and Mac OS X Server 10.4 "Tiger", and also updates support for Oracle 10g, Red Hat Linux AS 4, Solaris 10, and IBM WebSphere 5 Network Deployment. In addition to expanded support, ColdFusion MX 7 Updater offers security fixes and other enhancements. To download the free ColdFusion MX 7 Updater go to http://www.macromedia.com/coldfusion.
Samsung breaks ground for $33 billion expansion plan
September 29, 7:55 a.m. PDT
Samsung Electronics has begun construction on a $33 billion expansion of its chip-making base outside Seoul. The funds, which will be spent between 2005 and 2012, will be used to expand Samsung's existing semiconductor facilities at Hwaseong, roughly 50 kilometers south of the South Korean capital. When completed, Hwaseong, which is now home to five Samsung chip production lines, and nearby Giheung, where the company has 11 production lines, will be the world's largest semiconductor manufacturing base with a total of 24 production lines and six R&D lines, Samsung said. The planned expansion is expected to create 14,000 new jobs, according to the company. The expansion at Hwaseong will focus mainly on memory chips and system-on-chip applications, which integrate several semiconductor components on a single piece of silicon.
Baracodaunveils RoadRunner family of wireless scanners
September 27, 7:15 a.m. PDT
Baracoda announced Tuesday the availability of the RoadRunners family of mobile, Bluetooth-enabled barcode scanners. Baracoda RoadRunners, which enable ISVs to quickly integrate mobile data capture into their wireless offerings, are targeted at mobile workers in the areas of pick-up and delivery, salesforce automation, inventory tracking, and asset management. The scanners fit easily into a pocket and feature an integrated stylus, advanced scanning capabilities, and support for Pocket PC 2002, Windows Mobile 2003, and PalmOS. The devices also work with Symbian and Java-based mobile phones such as RIM's BlackBerry and Motorola i605 devices. By year end the Baracoda RoadRunners will have added functionality for reading RFID tags.
Flashline debuts product for managing SOA, Web services
September 26, 7:50 a.m. PDT
Flashline has introduced Flashline for SOA, which provides governance, registration, and lifecycle management of Web services and SOA. The product focuses on architectural compliance and policy enforcement during planning and design phases of the software development lifecycle. The chain of relationships and dependencies is managed ranging from artifacts such as WSDL and XML schemas to business processes and applications.