First Satellite to Collect Space Junk Deployed From ISS

First Satellite to Collect Space Junk Deployed From ISS

HIGHLIGHTS

  • RemoveDEBRIS mission is one of world’s first such attempts
  • The 100-kg spacecraft will attempt to capture simulated space debris
  • There are thousands of pieces of space debris circulating the planet

The first-ever satellite to test possible solutions in cleaning up space junk has been deployed by the International Space Station (ISS) and would soon begin experiments in orbit.

The Britain-built satellite, named RemoveDEBRIS mission, is one of the world’s first attempts to tackle the build-up of dangerous space debris orbiting the Earth, the British space agency said in a statement late on Friday.

The 100-kg RemoveDebris spacecraft will attempt to capture simulated space debris using a net and a harpoon while also testing advanced cameras and radar systems.

The experiment is important as there are thousands of pieces of space debris circulating the planet, many travelling faster than a speeding bullet, posing a risk to valuable satellites and even the International Space Station itself, the report stated.

Once the experiments are complete, it will unfurl a drag sail to bring itself and the debris out of orbit, where it will burn up as it enters the earth’s atmosphere.

“If successful, the technologies found in RemoveDEBRIS could be included in other missions in the very near future,” said Guglielmo Aglietti, Professor at the University of Surrey.

The RemoveDEBRIS mission is led by the varsity and built by the world’s leading small satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), with technology on board designed by Airbus.

It was launched on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft from Florida in April.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Continuous Testing Insights from 2018 DevTest Research

Continuous Testing Insights

The year is far from over, but there already several interesting DevTest surveys worth your attention. These studies don’t just quantify the obvious; they actually report some unexpected findings regarding how far and how fast we’re advancing, and offer some very specific advice on what’s needed to improve.

We strongly recommend that you spend some time reading all three of these surveys in their entirety. However, in case you’re short on time (or impatient … or both), we wanted to highlight the findings that are most pertinent for readers practicing or researching Continuous Testing.

 

Sauce Labs – Testing Trends for 2018: A Survey of Development and Testing Professionals

 

[Read the complete report]

 

2018 marks the fourth annual “Testing Trends” report, which is based on a global survey of more than 1,000 technology professionals responsible for developing and testing web and mobile applications.

 

Key findings in terms of testing include:

 

  • 87 percent report that management supports test automation initiatives.
  • 45 percent expect to increase spending on test automation in 2018 (55 percent at large companies).
  • The number of respondents with high levels of test automation dropped to 28 percent in 2018 from 32 percent in 2017 .
  • The release cadence is actually slowing, with hourly deployments dropping to 5 percent from 14 percent and daily deployments dropping to 27 percent from 34 percent.

 

In other words, everyone recognizes the value of test automation and most companies are willing to invest in it. However, test automation rates are actually decreasing, while Agile and DevOps adoption are steadily increasing. In the 2017 report, test automation rates increased slightly, and delivery speed also increased slightly. The 2018 reported a similar correlation: Test automation rates decreased, and the release cadence slowed down.

 

GitLab – 2018 Global Developer Report

 

[Read the complete report]

 

This expansive survey polled 5,296 software professionals from around the world. The majority of respondents were software developers or engineers who worked for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMB) in the hardware, services and SaaS industries.

 

Testing wasn’t a common topic in this development-focused research, but it did earn a prominent spot in the report. Testing was the No. 1 response to the question, “Where in the development process do you encounter the most delays?” A dubious honor—but not a surprising one. Last year’s DevOps Review polled an entirely different audience and came up with the exact same finding.

 

VersionOne – 12th Annual State of Agile Report

 

[Read the complete report]

 

The 12th edition of the world’s longest-running Agile study found that while 97 percent of the 1,492 respondents’ organizations are practicing Agile, 84 percent report that their Agile adoption is not yet mature.

 

Respondents feel strongly that two testing-related items would help them increase process maturity across both Agile and DevOps:

 

  • 83 percent want end-to-end traceability from business initiative through development, test and deployment.
  • 82 percent want better identification and measurement of risk prior to deployment.

 

Respondents also reported a relatively high level of adoption of development testing and “shift left” testing techniques. Adoption levels were reported at:

 

  • Unit testing – 75 percent.
  • Coding standards – 64 percent.
  • Pair programming – 36 percent.
  • TDD – 35 percent.
  • BDD – 17 percent.

 

Testers might also be interested in the survey’s feedback on Agile management tools. Usage rates were reported at:

 

  • Atlassian Jira – 58 percent.
  • VersionOne – 20 percent.
  • Microsoft TFS – 21 percent.
  • HP (now Micro Focus) Quality Center / ALM – 14 percent.

 

The most highly recommended tools were VersionOne, Jira and CA Agile Central. HP Agile Manager, Hansoft and HP Quality Center /ALM were the least likely to be recommended.

[“Source-devops”]

Apple Maps Recovers From Multi-Hour Outage Affecting Users Globally

Apple Maps Recovers From Multi-Hour Outage Affecting Users Globally

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple Maps faced a multi-hour outage on Friday
  • The outage wasn’t limited to a specific region
  • Apple investigated and fixed the issue

Apple Maps on Friday faced a multi-hour outage that affected navigation and location search services for several hours. The outage wasn’t limited to a specific region. As per the system status available on Apple’s website, all users were affected by the issue that was resolved after over four hours of its emergence. The prime cause of the issue hasn’t been revealed formally. However, Apple said that it investigated and fixed the issues. Users weren’t notably able to access navigation or search for places through the mapping service in the duration of the outage. Some users even spotted its impact on third-party apps, including weather apps, using Apple’s location services.

The system status page on Apple’s site shows that the Maps Routing & Navigation and Maps Search services were down between 6:18pm and 10:35pm IST. While the company didn’t specify the issue, it mentioned on the status logs that all users were affected by the problem.

As folks at Apple Insider report, users on Apple Maps weren’t able to find a route as the app shows a warning message that reads, “Directions Not Available, Route information is not available at the movement.” The Apple Maps app was also showing errors while searching any locations. The Verge notes that the app was showing the error “No Results Found” after attempting to load search results for about 30 seconds before timing out. Furthermore, weather apps on iOS weren’t able to show real-time weather information due to the limited access to Apple’s location services.

Apart from iOS devices, the outage was impacting location-based experiences on Apple Watch and in-dash systems powered by Apple’s CarPlay. The issue apparently affected the Maps Routing & Navigation and Maps Search services, while Maps Display and Maps Traffic services didn’t face any issue.

Launched in September 2012, Apple Maps is competing against services such as Google Maps and Here. Apple recently revealed that it has started using drones to improve its mapping service.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Helping close divisions in the US: Insights from the American Well-Being Project

Image result for Helping close divisions in the US: Insights from the American Well-Being Project

Editor’s Note:The American Well-Being Project is a joint initiative between scholars at the Brookings Institution and Washington University in St. Louis.

Issues of despair in the United States are diverse, widespread, and politically fueled, ranging from concentrated poverty and crime in cities to the opioid crisis plaguing poor rural towns. Local leaders and actors in disconnected communities need public policy resources and inputs beyond what has traditionally been available.

Scholars at Brookings and Washington University in St. Louis are working together to analyze the issues underlying America’s disaffection and divisions in order to provide policy ideas for a better, more inclusive future. Through on-the-ground community research in Missouri—a microcosm of America’s problems—as well as the application of ongoing policy research, we hope to develop approaches that can tackle factors like lack of access to health care, scarcity of low-skilled jobs, weak education systems, and hollowed-out communities.

Simply put, we are asking how has the American Dream been broken and how can it be restored?

WHAT WE KNOW AND WHAT IS MISSING

In general, indicators such as economic growth and unemployment rates continue to improve in the U.S., as do some markers of well-being, such as longevity. Yet the aggregate indicators mask inequality of access and outcomes. Such indicators do not account, for example, for the decline in prime age male labor force participation, nor do they reflect the rising numbers of “deaths of despair” due to opioid or other drug overdoses, suicide, and other preventable causes. Such deaths are concentrated among less than college educated, middle-aged whites.

The past few decades have also seen a dramatic increase in the disability rate (the number of disabled Social Security beneficiaries), greater income inequality, and stagnating mobility rates. Different regions have had divergent fortunes, meanwhile, and many, particularly in the heartland where manufacturing has declined, are characterized by “left-behind” populations in poor health and with little hope for the future, and a hollowed out middle-class.

As such, the macro numbers simply do not capture the full picture of inequality, public frustration, and socioeconomic distress. Well-being metrics could be part of the solution in understanding trends among and across subpopulations.

Looking back on recent episodes of political upheaval, previous decades produced clear indicators that should have been seen as red flags for the current crisis. If we can better identify these risk factors in advance, then we can provide appropriate policy recommendations to those working in communities most affected, as well as anticipate the challenges of those populations and places at greatest risk.

HOW CAN RESEARCH AND DATA BE USED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL? THE APPLICATION OF SUBJECTIVE MEASURES

As we further explore metrics of well-being, the question will be how to analyze data in a way that is useable and valuable to local leaders. While well-being measures offer interesting insights, they are inherently subjective and focused on mindset rather than quantitative outcomes. Pairing well-being measures with traditional “hard” measures like GDP and employment rates has proven useful in the past.

As shown by research in Peru into the relationship of traditional economic and social measures to perceived well-being, status, identity, and inclusion, hope is a significant factor in determining success. People who are more hopeful tend to have better economic and social outcomes.

Communities should also strive to achieve a balance between hope and realism. Although our research shows that hope is a key determinant of well-being, excessive optimism can easily lead to disappointment.

Personal responsibility for success is also an important factor. To the extent that people blame themselves (or their neighbors) for the current social and economic challenges, pressure for policy responses is lost. Too much blame on individual agency makes a community unwilling to try to make things better through policy. The goal should be to achieve a healthy balance of outlooks, personal responsibility, and realistic understanding of chances for success.

Better indicators of people’s outlooks on life combined with indicators of opportunity and deprivation could help achieve this at the grassroots level. Novel approaches that combine quantitative and qualitative data can inform a range of community efforts. Scholars at Washington University have already taken the lead by using national data from call-in distress services for individuals and families, with the goal of identifying specific geographic information, down to the neighborhood level, on vulnerable areas.

Brookings scholars actively participated with the state of Colorado to implement a comprehensive system for monitoring mobility and opportunity—the Colorado Opportunity project, and in a separate effort, with the city of Santa Monica to design an effort to regularly monitor a range of well-being dimensions.

NEXT STEPS

Now is an opportune moment for local, regional, and state leaders to make positives changes in communities, rather than waiting for action at the federal level. And, given the complex nature of our crisis of divide and desperation, policies must be better targeted to different age, racial, and socioeconomic groups—and their circumstances, something best achieved at the local level.

Even if analyses and practices are adapted for specific geographic regions and demographic groups, local governance challenges will still make implementation difficult to achieve on the ground. Many communities lack local leadership and empowered community organizations. Nongovernmental organizations, state level governments, and even the private sector can help fill the leadership void in communities and support existing local efforts.

The fact is that the issues of despair in America have no one answer, nor does the responsibility fall on a single sector, institution, or group of people. It will take a concerted effort from many stakeholders, focusing on an immense set of challenges that differ from community to community.

Our collaboration between Brookings and Washington University aims to help those taking the lead by providing valuable data, analyses, and policy ideas.

[“Source-brookings”]