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Archive for the ‘information technology’ Category

This video from a company named Leap Motion demonstrates an innovative device  that will be soon changing our way of working and most of all, videogaming.

It seems it is using a mix of gestures (finger-triggered actions introduced with Apple mousepads) and spatial movements (those introduced by Microsoft Kinect).

Hope to see more about this and, definitely I must have it!!!

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When I first wrote my e-commerce software I believed it was a good practice handling shopping carts in session (I remember I did some search around it ) and then invalidating it at session expiration.
Most of the sites you can find about, still suggest the session scope to handle memory structures that keeps items and quantities, but for reporting and performance purposes this is horrible.

First, handling shopping carts in session is cumbersome – either in PHP or in Java –  and second, it does not provide a good customer experience.https://i2.wp.com/www.thinkprofits.com/images/shopping-cart.jpg
In many online shops, a customer is requested to register to complete the buying process, because only after registration, the system is able to calculate the shipping costs on the destination address.
But if we consider for example, a customer that has added 2 products to the shopping cart and after  registration realizes that the shipping costs are too high and closes the site, its buying preferences are lost forever.
When the customer comes back on the site, the shopping cart is empty, so the entire previous buying experience is annihilated, to say the least.
Talking about security, if not carefully implemented, a malicious user can use the session shopping cart to shop for millions of items that will end to saturate the memory of the server.

https://i2.wp.com/cdn1.iconfinder.com/data/icons/database/PNG/512/Database_1.pngOn the other hand, if you used a database for storing the shopping cart, you will be giving your users a better user experience. Doesn’t matter if he simply lost the connection or he leaved for a coffee,  when he comes back, he’ll find his previous shopping cart, along with the personal customization where present.
If the customer will never come back, this shall gives you an hint that your purchasing process is flawed somewhere. Maybe your shipping costs are too high or your order processing is too complicated.
Last but not least, storing database shopping carts will give the sales department the possibility to identify the most/less requested items and design the product catalogue accordingly.

These are valuable insights for any e-commerce initiative and should be carefully considered when designing your software.

 

 

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Together with my wife we recently started a new community for italians in Brussels: www.bruxella.com .

The community aims at providing information for Italian newcomers in Brussels, sponsoring italian shops and events, listing restaurants, pubs, cinemas and useful services owned or managed by italians, for italians.

Bruxella  The idea is to promote Italian shops and services, both on-line and off-line, organizing events, parties, dinners and printing calendars, postcards and other merchandising by selecting some of the best artworks (pictures, illustrations,etc..) of our members, which will be regularly invited to participate in competitions.

The project is fully self-managed and self-financed and is a sort of a technical and economical challenge: it is an open initiative where everyone is invited to contribute and everyone can help extending it.
So join us and help us improve the life of italians in Brussels 🙂

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This year I have been attending a couple of seminars and presentations which I liked very much and from which I learned the power of the open, interconnected, social networking.

I started in February (February 22) with Richard Stallman and his lecture at the VUB in Brussels about “The danger of software patents” which I very much appreciated.  In Stallman’s vision, patents are mind restricting and does not allow creative minds to freely explore and innovate using others’ ideas.

He exemplified many issues that software developers are facing in large U.S. organization which involves patent breaching and causes the developers to be sued by multibillion companies which holds royalties on some algorithms.

His presentation cleared out that if we insist in patenting every single piece of software, soon there will not be any freedom of innovating but to pay royalties to big companies. It recalled me how Google bought Motorola only for its patents and not for its assets!!

Small software companies will likely abandon new ideas just for the fact that they may be breaching some patented software or simply because they might not be capable in determining if and when their software is potentially breaching a patented software.

Although is very much related to US patent’s systems, Stallman warned that soon the same situation may be applicable to the entire eurozone, because there’s no clear legislation on the matter.

In June 29, 2011 I’ve attended “The Power of Open” by Creative Commons at Google’s office here in Brussels – a friend of mine organized 🙂  🙂 🙂 (I am so proud about that) – where I learned the importance of “open licensing” that in facts, made me re-think on how to promote myself and my music. I now publish my music under the Creative Commons “attribution, non commercial, share alike” license which I hope that will improve my music sharing among my (few) followers and enables other creative minds to create derivates and remixes.

Creative Commons is now in my opinion one of the founding pillars at the basis of this new changing world. The reason I learned from the next conference I attended.

I ended up blogging (in their official, password protected blog ) for the 2011 EuroCIO Annual Conference in November 30, a 2 days conference in Paris where I had the pleasure to attend speeches and lectures by many of the most influential CIOs and thought leaders in Europe.

The main thread there was openness and change management in this new ever changing economy. Every single company is now attempting at tackling the recession with new management ideas and tools, most of which are concerned at social networks and systems’ elasticity in the cloud computing era.

The most interesting lecture was the one by Pieter Hinssen which presented the “New Normal”, describing how we have spent 20 years becoming digital and that now we are only half-way to become it. Today the new normal is to put the customer at heart of the company operations because people is starting to become shaped by technology (in his slideshow is showed a split picture with the upper part depicting the “old normal” where a family was having a dinner altogether and the lower part depicting the “new normal” where everyone around the table is watching the TV).

From these 3 conferences I learned that Belgium is a common gather for thought leaders (Stallman was invited by ESI, Google invited Mark Patterson to talk about CC here and Hinssen is a Flemish). There are so many new challenges in the world, and sharing is the key to master it.

Share your thought, your work, your pictures, your music, your life.

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In a recent article published by MusicRadar (anGarageBand running on the iPad!d confirmed by Apple here) seems that the iPad 2 will start a new generation of digital audio workstations and I couldn’t imagine a better future for the music production industry.
It is not only portable, but it is compatible with Apple Logic, wow!!!

I am sure I am not going to buy new bulky hardware like synths, mixers and vinyl or CD decks when I can have a clean, easy maintainance touch-screen which I can even customize as best suits my likes.

Mobility is everywhere and digitization is unavoidable: more and more laptops and midi-controllers are used in gigs (Traktor or Ableton Live are the most famous) and vinyls and CDs are going make the same end as as music cassettes.
Now is the turn of synthetizers (as it has been the case with Korg iMS-20 and Electribe) and finally DAW…

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The angular relationship between two alternating currents or voltages when the voltage or current is plotted as a function of time. When the two are in phase, the angle is zero; both reach their peak simultaneously. When out of phase, one will lead or lag the other; that is, at the instant when one is at its peak, the other will not be at peak value and (depending on the phase angle) may differ in polarity as well as magnitude.

source: http://www.interfacebus.com/Glossary-of-Terms_P2.html

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Living  in Belgium since 2 years, I was looking for some courses in Project Management, not essentially tied up to a certification like PMP or Prince2 or whatever.. but just as introductory course for project management.
Yes of course it should be “IT related” but so far I was able to find only these links:

  1. http://www.prosource.be/content.aspx?PageId=102
  2. http://www.pmi-belgium.be/
  3. http://www.askedu.net/training.asp?Course=Project+Management&Location=Belgium

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