Software-Deficits Decreasing. Hurrah!?

Good News?

In the beginning of this year we were pleased to read: the number of worldwide documented software-deficits went down in 2016 compared to 2015: from 6,400 to 5,600, more than 10% minus! The source was the Hasso-Plattner-Institut in Potsdam near Berlin, Germany.

One month later it seems that some more bugs have been reported and hence the decrease turned into a little increase by then. (yellow = little deficits, red = severe deficits). Too bad.

Software-deficits reported by Hasso-Plattner-Institut on 02-18 / 17

Poor quality anyway

However: Some 100 vulnerablity-deficits more or less seem not so important to me. What really counts is the absolute number of them: 6,500!

The red part of the column display the number of severe deficits – nearly 2,500!

If we’d talk about cars, in these models the breaks wouldn’t work or the steering would block. Thousands of fridges would defrost over night and many nuclear plants would emit much too much radiation. Why is that not the case? These are technologies with a zero-bug-philosophy. Zero-bug is the standard-orientation for any educated engeneer.

But not in the software business. Since more than 30 years we have gotten used to the fact that software-development is a multi-bug-technology. Explicitely and unscrupulously. The patch- and bug-fixing-plans are even part of the marketing-strategy.

It is true: cars, fridges and even nucear plants have problems once in a while. We know product recalls and we know Tschnernobyl and Harrisburg. No fun at all for the management. But: they did not plan it that way!

For software-developers the green banana is the standard business case.

And it’s true too: One reason for this situation is the enormous price-pressure in the IT-business, and in the end that means: we ourselves are responsible. But are we truely more generous and less parsimonious when buying a car or a fridge?

The underlying metric of the statistics above is the CVSS-Index. It measures only vulnerability, “hackability” in a way. The mere functionality (does it what it shall do?) is not concerned. We probaply could double all numbers here if we were to evaluate the deficits in the understanding of some “holistic quality”.

The true reason

I believe the reason behind this absurd situation is that we do not have any official licensing-process for software. Anybody can claim to be a developer and sell his software-products. Thinking of our faster and faster growing dependency of digital environment, this is really wantonly negligant. But which semi-official institution is daring to put up with such a challenging task?

The difficult Germans are not known as first line fans of the digital world. They have been for long and still are quality-fans. The multi-deficit-culture of the software industry surely is one of the reasons for the German’s reserve.

Google Trends visualized – what for?

Recently I stumbled upon this psychedelic scheme:

What is it?

You see the top 25 search-phrases on Google in a near-realtime-visualization. Google calls these labels, names, words or phrases “trends”. Well, maybe they are.

Here is how Wikipedia explains Google Trends: Google Trends is a public web facility of Google Inc., based on Google Search, that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages…..”

What is it for?

Good question. First of all it is coloured and dynamic. Eye-catchy in a way.

It demonstrates which subjects, issues, concerns, hypes, interests and questions are right now current – somewhere on the world. And by this it shows (to me at least) how small my perspective, how narrow my angle is. I do not know half of these words or names, many of them I even cannot read or pronounce. And if by chance I do know a name or word here and there however, in most cases I have no idea, why this one pops up for some seconds and then declines again.

In other words: the world and I do not follow the same trends. So this colourful map tells me to picture myself at the right place: somewhere way out, far off the center.

How does it work?

You like this flashing picture? You’d like to have it on your site? Here is how the psychedelic chessboard comes to your webpage:

This is the central line:

http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends/visualize?nrow=5&ncol=5&pn=p1

It has to be embedded into your html-code, using the “iframe” command. You might like some calibration for the size too.

So altogether in WordPress (this is WordPress) the full line is:

<iframe src=”http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends/visualize?nrow=5&amp;ncol=5&amp;pn=p1/” width=”918″ height=”576″></iframe>

Copy it and paste it into your content, where it shall appear. That’s it.

Something else?

These coloured trends obviously do not lead to deep insights, they are rather entertaining. This site is based on the same data but a bit more serious. Here you can apply filters for specific regions and subjects. This might suffice as smalltalk-preparation for an international dinner party.

If you are really after the data for your own analysis of trends ands topics, you have here the API, Google’s raw-data-station.

Digital Media Time: Over 50% on Smartphones

Digital media is mobile

Following a recent research-study by comScore every second minute on digital media ist spent on a smartphone.

Social Media, Kugel, 3D, Web 3.0, Text, Bild, Audio, Video, P2P, digitale MedienIf you add tablets the mobile share reaches even 68%, two thirds.

Apps dominate the internet

The large majority of these mobile minutes (85%) is spent on apps, crude web-usage only has a share of 15%.

So the mobile trend is still ongoing. The authors of the study remark however that the old-school PC will keep its relevant role for a number of purposes however.

How to stay up-to-date with Facebook: 10 Sources for Facebook-News

This is a short English translation of my German post a few days ago. Here is what it’s all about:

I have written a German book on how to use Facebook. Facebook: Digitale Welt für Einsteiger

It has been labeled “Digital World for Beginners”. So it is very basic. And it is only on facebook’s German features, limitations, options a.s.f. As you know, the facebook properties and functionalities as well as its interface differ from country to country. In most cases the US-version is the most developped one.
Since my book sold relatively well, we came with a second edition in last year’s December. To write it I had to collect all the new facebook developments for resp. of the German market. I looked out for the sources available for this job and found some 35 to 40 information-provider.

But it turned out that there were only 10 amongst them which I read regularly and with growing confidence. Some came as a newsletter, some as an rss-feed and some of them I visited manually once a week. The news and information provided by these sources covered my “area” quite well. But remember: it is all about facebook-news for resp. of the German market. (One direct consequence is that 9 of the 10 are written in German language.)

For the majority of you, who have a rather international point-of-view, I suspect that these sources of mine will not be too helpful. For the remaining few (?) however I list my sources here.

Newsletter

  • Hutter Consulting GmbH; Swiss consultant for social media marketing; clear focus: b2b. Quite a rich newsletter.
  • Allfacebook facebook, facebook facebook; simple and clear.
  • futurebiz Similar to Hutter Consult
  • BASICthinking Interesting to read for professional and private purpose. Good legal overview.
  • Golem The rather sceptical to critical view
  • Jeff Bullas in English language (an Australian guy). Jeff provides with interesting stories and data.

Blogs and Portals

  • Caschys Blog. Quite a tekki approach. Facebook seen rather from a gamer’s point of view.
  • t3n Fast and broad
  • FAZ The no. 1 newspaper in Germany with a sharp political eye.
  • Facebook Newsroom in German language rather poor, in the American version Facebook Newsroom more data but US-focussed.

Comments are always welcome.

Adobe PDF Printer-Problem

Introduction for the English Version

This article was posted first in May 2015 – in German language. During the last half year it became the most visited article of my blog – to my big surprise. So I thought, maybe it covers an issue relevant for other language-settings too.

Unfortunately the screenshots are still German ones – but their meaning should be nearly 1:1 translateable. I’ll try. So here we go.

The PDF Printer-Problem

We ran several times into PDF printer-problems on some PCs under Win 7 and did not find any solution for them in the internet.

Adobe Acrobat Reader did show the documents but could not print them, to no printer available. “Could not print the document” it did say and after OK: “No pages selected for printing.” Rubbish! Of course pages were selected, and Acrobat Reader did present them well, even in the print-preview.

Read more

Hatespeech increases after Terror in Paris

Some weeks ago we’ve set up some hatespeech queries using a common social media monitoring tool. We focused only on German posts and mentions. To use the appropriate search strings requires quite intimate cultural insights. We did not dare to stumble through a foreign language on a subject so sensible as this one.

Hence this is only a brief English version of the corresponding German article about our findings. The full German version is quite a bit longer and it contains diagrams. To read it please follow the flag in the top.

The Setup

We focused on the sources Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and Forums.

We had 7 queries to catch hatespeeches against asylum seekers, blacks, Jews, Moslems, Roma people, Turks and foreigners (“Ausländer”) in general.

We searched by typical hatespeech words such as “Kümmeltürke”, “Judensau”, “Nigger” and the like.

Some findings

Over the last 4 weeks we found:

  • There are 800 – 900 hatespeech-posts per week. The absolute number however is by no means representative. Every new search string produces new results.
  • Among the results are about 45% posts which are no real hatespeeches. Some Turks for instance call themselves “Kümmeltürke” as some kind of a joke. Quotes of hatespeeches are among our findings too. And articles like this one as well. These and a some other types do not represent true hatespeeches.
  • The majority of the hatespeeches is on Twitter, not on Facebook. Actually the Twitter volume is nearly three times as big as the Facebook volume. But we have only about 1 million Twitter users in Germany compared to 30 million Facebook users.
  • The majority of the hatespeeches is against Moslems, Roma people are target no. 2. Turks and asyl seekers are rather a minor target.
  • The attacks of November 13th in Paris brought a sharp increase of hatespeeches – but only against Moslems.

Next Steps

We plan to go on for a while with this subject and produce some more results. Especially the ratio true vs. false hatespeech seems worth to be considered in more detail.

There is strange meta finding with this issue however: Nobody wants to be quoted or referred to a topic like this. Of course: We use quite a lot of really bad words. They are far from political correctness. Some machine-like checkpoints and control-bots might detect this and put the article and everything in relation to it on an index – bad reputation management.

So maybe we are soon turned off by the provider of the monitoring tool or even by somebody else – we’ll see. Stay tuned!

And as always: any serious comment on this is absolutely welcome!

No Coupling – and Facebook isn’t free anymore

Money alone can’t buy you happiness –  you have to have stocks and properties in your portfolio as well.

But that is an old saying. In these days one better adds: – you have to have tons of private data of real people in your database and means to refresh them frequently.

In the new economy the value of an enterprise does hardly depend only on classic assets such as machines, properties, employees, company shares and patents. The true new valuedriver is continuous access to private data of living men and women. The reason is simple: these informations can be used for a large variety of expanding business activities. And parallely the data can be sold.

Combining a new business-case with a settled one is called coupling business.

Read more

The Password Poem has no Clues…

…if telling tales of kangaroos.concept of computer security

This nearly senseless verse is an example for a good password or passphrase – at least if you follow Marjan Ghazvininejad and Kevin Knight of the University of California (USC).

In How to Memorize a Random 60-Bit String they line out a quite creative method to overcome the classic paradoxon of passwords:  passwords are either safe or easy to remember but never the both together.

The core idea to cut this knot is that a rhyme in the iambic tetrameter like the one above, is sufficiently long (size matters for safety questions) and however relatively easy to remember, even if it has little to no sense at all.

Read more

Social Networks: Users in Germany and Worldwide

In this article I will provide

  • an overview over the number of users of the 10 most relevant social networks in Germany in 2014,
  • a comparison of these data with the corresponding worldwide figures and
  • a breakdown of the German data by sex and by age.

Read more