Apple's stock suffers worst week since 20132016-04-29 20:29:05
SAN FRANCISCO Apple was set on Friday to have its worst week on the stock market since 2013, as worries festered about a slowdown in iPhone sales and after influential shareholder Carl Icahn revealed he sold his entire stake.Shares of Apple, a mainstay of many Wall Street portfolios and the largest component of the S&P 500, have dropped 11 percent in the past five sessions.Confidence in the Cupertino, California company has been shaken since posting its first-ever quarterly decline in iPhone sales and first revenue drop in 13 years on Tuesday, although Apple investors pointed to the stock's relatively low valuation as a key reason to hold onto the stock."If you're going to buy Apple, you have to buy it for the long term, because the next year or two are going to be very tough," said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive of Destination Wealth Management, which owns Apple shares. Faced with lackluster sales of smartphones in the United States, Apple has bet on China as a major new growth engine, but progress there has been a let-down. Revenue from China slumped 26 percent during the March quarter and its iBooks Stores and iTunes Movie service in China were shut down last week after the introduction of new regulations on online publishing.Pointing to concerns that Beijing could make it difficult for Apple to conduct business in China, long-time Apple investor Carl Icahn told CNBC on Thursday that he had sold his stake in the company he previously described as a "no brainer" and undervalued. The selloff has left Apple trading at about 11 times its expected 12-month earnings, cheap compared to its average of 17.5 over the past 10 years. S&P 500 stocks on average are trading at 17 times expected earnings."The tide is going out a bit, but it will probably improve in the fall with the launch of the next iPhone," said Pat Becker Jr, principal of Becker Capital Management, which also owns Apple stock. "This is an opportunity." Wall Street remains positive as 36 analysts tracked by Thomson Reuters recommend buying Apple's shares, while nine have neutral ratings and none recommend selling.The median of the analysts' price targets is $120, down from $130 at the end of March. The stock on Friday fell 1 percent to $93.97. (Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Bernard Orr)
Geek Reading: Spring Boot, Libraries, and More2016-04-28 17:15:07
Glitch postpones first space flight from Russia's new launch-pad2016-04-27 14:17:05
MOSCOW A technical fault forced Russia's space agency on Wednesday to postpone at the last minute the inaugural launch of a rocket into space from its new Vostochny launch-pad, Russian media reported.An unmanned Soyuz rocket carrying three satellites had been scheduled to fire off into orbit from the Vostochny site, which was built to end Russia's reliance on the Baikonur cosmodrome in neighboring Kazakhstan. Moments before the scheduled launch time, officials at the launch-site, in Russia's far eastern Amur region, announced a postponement until Thursday morning, citing technical problems, Interfax news agency reported. (Reporting by Christian Lowe; Editing by Robert Birsel)
5 Things to Consider When Starting an IoT Project2016-04-26 17:31:08
Beginning an IoT project can seem daunting at first; there are so many things to consider, not to mention the fact that IoT is still in a nascent stage. If your company is thinking about starting an IoT project, here are five things to consider to get you started.1. Proof of concept. Many organizations considering IoT aren’t sure where to begin. Enter: quick projects and prototypes. Prototypes allow you to test hypotheses, gauge customer response, develop the mechanics of rolling out an IoT project, and fine tune security measures.2. Think about the future. More specifically, think about how users will connect to your IoT ecosystem weeks, months, and years down the road. Mobile devices are a great way to interact with the IoT world, but new services (like Amazon’s Alexa) are expanding how we interact with machines. If you’re thinking about voice services, augmented reality, or new devices, try to design RESTful services that help you move ubiquitously across devices. Most MBaaS providers can expose legacy services RESTfully as well as provide engagement services such as push notifications and identity management services essential for mobile to IoT interactions.3. Look beyond current definitions. Mobile devices aren’t just interaction points where users look at data or make decisions in an IoT ecosystem. Mobile devices are IoT devices, and they can be used to monitor a user, provide location, identity or other information. Mobile devices also have key support for NFC, Bluetooth, and iBeacons. It’s easy to extend IoT proof of concepts with WICID Bluetooth (pronounced “wik-id”) sensor packages, wearables, or near field stickers using mobile devices as an entry point into IoT.4. IoT is about control and data. Look at the tools that are going to lead your IoT ecosystem into making actionable insights. Think about how new data and new ways of interacting with that data can help automate or build better results. IoT sensors combined with third party services and contextual services can be used to create new ways of automating tasks. Showing graphs and trends may be useful at first, but finding ways to proactively make recommendations or control the IoT ecosystem will provide a greater value. If business rules aren't cutting it for what you have in mind, look at cognitive computing engines like IBM, Cognitive Scale, and Intel's Saffron.5. Figure out how you are going to manage your fleet of devices. How do you track the state of a device? How do you send a firmware update to a device? How do you secure your IoT ecosystem? The news is filled with poorly deployed IoT devices and IoT ecosystems that lack both security and management, such as nanny cams using default passwords. Determine how you are going to secure any apps and data on your devices as well as how you are going to secure the transmission of that data over the internet. Think about how you secure your mobile devices, laptops, and other electronics today. How can you apply similar technologies to manage and secure your fleet?If you’ve recently rolled out IoT projects within your enterprise, feel free to post tips you have for others entering the world of IoT. If you’re thinking about diving into the world of IoT but don’t know where to begin regarding design and development, a Rapid Mobile App Development program such as Kony Visualizer can be a great jumping off point.
How to Ramp Up Steps in Your Load Tests2016-04-25 08:22:06
The user ramp up is all too often overlooked in load testing. When launching a test, we usually divide the concurrent users by the ramp up value that was set before the test. Let’s take a look at an example of such a scenario. The screenshot below from creating a test on BlazeMeter shows that it takes 20 seconds for all 100 users to be active and concurrent on the site.If you do the math, you can see that this means five users become active every second. Now for many users, this linear ramp-up works for them since the maximum concurrency is what matters most the most. But this is not the best way to approach to take.What’s Wrong With a Linear Ramp Up?Let’s say you want to test 100k concurrent users. If you run the load test with a linear ramp up and it crashes, you only know that your site or app can’t handle 100K users. You have no idea how much it can handle before that point.For example: if you split it into four steps or stages, with each step at 25K users, and then you run the test, you’ll get a much more accurate view of where the bottleneck is. If your site or app crashes at 50K, you’ll know that it can handle 25K, if it crashes at 75K, you’ll know it can handle 50K etc.How to Ramp Up in Steps At BlazeMeter, we recently had the opportunity to run a test case with a client that needed to load test for a BIG event.The engagement was very professional, and the engineers and architects knew exactly what their goals were: To run a 200k user JMeter test from multiple geographical locations and simultaneously run many scenarios. There was just one missing piece of the puzzle - understanding the ramp up of the concurrent users. They shared the test plan with us, and from there we recommended using the Ultimate Thread Group, a popular JMeter plugin.The Ultimate Thread Group does a great job in allowing multiple thread scenarios with separate ramp up values. Plus it gives the user full flexibility in controlling how they want their load scenario to be. This test case involved:- A ramp up of 4K users every minute- A 120K load burst after the 10th minute- A 40K load burst after the 15th minute- Holding the 200K load until the 20th minute As you can tell, there are multiple load scenarios at play here, with burst loads happening at several different times.We then leveraged the Ultimate Thread Group to create this scenario. As you can see, there is a slight ramp up of users every 1 minute, and there is a big spike after the 10th minute.Note: The values are under 600 because in the Ultimate Thread Group in BlazeMeter the threads are multiplied by the number of engines.Since we needed to hit 200K users, we knew we needed around 330 Engines in BlazeMeter itself. At the peak of the Ultimate Thread Group, we hit 600 users (600 x 330 = 198,000 users). Testing from Multiple Geographical LocationsOnce we knew how many engines we needed in BlazeMeter, the customer also wanted to test from multiple geographical locations as well.With BlazeMeter, we can run something called a Multi-Test, which allows us to run multiple combinations of tests at the same time. We uploaded the JMX script with the Ultimate Thread Group, and then added the tests several times in the multi-test window while overriding the geo-locations. The Result: We were able to effectively mimic the Ultimate Thread Group and the customer’s needs by simulating multiple load bursts and thread ramp up.What We Learned From This Test CaseJMeter has a vast number of plugins that allow you to test specific needs. The Ultimate Thread Group does a great job of giving users flexibility in their load testing scenarios.With BlazeMeter, it was easy to upload the JMX and run a 200K user test in order to satisfy the customer’s needs. We are starting to see the Ultimate Threat Group being used more often to fit the specific test plan requirements of JMeter users.