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WebLogic Server 9
Which one of these statements is true about Web Services?
A. Enable interoperability among multiple platforms within your enterprise.
B. Expose your business services electronically.
C. Increase accessibility to clients through firewalls using web protocols.
D. All of the above.
What standards are provided by the web service specifications?
A. Invocation and interaction standards.
B. Description standards.
C. Discovery standards.
D. All of the above.
Reliable Web Services in WebLogic Server depend heavily on which of these
C. JMS Store and Forward
WSDL defines the contract between which of these two parties?
A. An EJB and its consumer.
B. A Web Service and its consumer.
C. A JSP and a Servlet.
D. A Web Service and the container.
Which one of these protocols is an envelope protocol that is embedded in other
A web service must follow which of these development rules?
A. Must have an outer public class.
B. Must define a finalize() method.
C. Must be either final or abstract.
D. All of the above.
A web service file must follow which of the following development rules?
A. Must have a private constructor
B. Must include at a minimum, a @WebService JWS annotation
C. May reference a service endpoint interface
D. Must always reference a service endpoint interface
Which of the following statements is true about asynchronous web services?
A. Asynchronous web services cannot be used with either the HTTPS or JMS
B. Asynchronous web services are used when the web service implementation
may introduce latency in the consumer.
C. The asynchronous request-response feature works only with HTTP.
D. All of the above.
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WebLogic Platform 8.1 is BEA's first unified software suite combining J2EE-baesd portal, integration and application server technology with an application framework for modeling and developing applications, Nielsen said.
WebLogic Platform 8.1, shipping now, consists of WebLogic Server 8.1, BEA's application server; WebLogic Portal 8.1, BEA's portal software; WebLogic Liquid Data 8.1, BEA's data integration tool; WebLogic Integration 8.1, BEA's EAI and business process integration tool; WebLogic Workshop 8.1, BEA's visual modeling and design tool for Java application and Web services development; and WebLogic JRockit 8.1, a Java virtual machine.
Nielsen told attendees that BEA created the platform out of customers' need to more efficiently and economically leverage existing IT assets while also having the ability to add new ones quickly as business demands change. WebLogic 8.1 will help solution providers create J2EE-based IT infrastructure to help customers' businesses run more efficiently, he said.
The design goals BEA has achieved with WebLogic 8.1 are merging application development and design, making J2EE development easier for corporate application developers, providing a foundation for a services-oriented architecture, and creating a unified development platform across portal, application server and integration technologies, Nielsen said.
BEA's Chaung reinforced Nielsen's points, saying that integrating all of these capabilities into one software suite ultimately allows solution providers to extend customers' existing business processes and add new ones across all of their applications without ripping out and replacing legacy and other existing software programs.
"Rewriting them all is not only impractical, it's a dumb thing to do," Chuang said of companies' existing IT applications and data sources. "BEA's entire vision of enterprise computing is contained in the idea of convergence."
As CRN first reported, BEA, at its analyst conference last October, introduced its vision to unify portal, application server and integration technologies and an application modeling and development environment, now sold mainly as separate software components. Since then, research firm Gartner has defined the unified software stack as the application platform suite and cites BEA as the thought and technology leader in this area.
BEA competitors IBM, Sun Microsystems and Oracle also have strategies to combine their comparable technologies into an application platform suite. However, BEA, with WebLogic 8.1, has a leg up on those companies, notably primary competitor IBM, said Shawn Willett, principal analyst for Current Analysis. "BEA is ahead of IBM in terms of having a converged platform," he said.
Willett noted, however, that IBM has more mature and expansive software for various forms of integration with its WebSphere Business Integration and MQ Series product lines. IBM, Armonk, N.Y., also has a range of adapter technology to link legacy applications with its own integration suites--technology BEA currently offers through partner iWay Software, he said.
In fact, partners were a major theme of Monday's event, as BEA relies on them to provide key technologies for enterprise IT systems that the company does not have itself.
Both Ann Livermore, executive vice president of HP's Services Organization, and David Schmaier, executive vice president at Siebel Systems, were on hand to emphasize how BEA's new software suite fits into their companies' strategies to help customers integrate business processes and applications across their enterprises.
HP, in particular, is key to BEA's software strategy, providing both hardware and professional services for WebLogic 8.1. BEA does not sell hardware products and lacks a large professional services organization, making it sometimes difficult for it to sell against IBM and its behemoth services arm, IBM Global Services.
Livermore, stressing HP's deepening relationship with BEA, said BEA's software is essential for the company to deliver on its Adaptive Enterprise strategy--HP's plan to create IT infrastructure for companies that can adapt quickly to changing business needs.
Livermore said the problems BEA is trying to solve with its WebLogic 8.1 software suite--unifying business processes across disparate company applications, and from legacy systems to customer- and employee-facing portals--are the same as those HP aims to solve with its Adaptive Enterprise strategy.
"That's what's great about aligning HP and BEA," Livermore said. "We're solving the same set of customer problems in similar ways. ... For the adaptive enterprise, HP needs WebLogic 8.1, and BEA needs HP to help &#91;8.1&#93; be successful."
Livermore said HP Services, which is teaming closely with BEA, now has more than 300 services professionals with expertise around WebLogic 8.1, and 1,000 engineers skilled in the J2EE environment. She said HP is certifying more engineers every week around these technologies to show its commitment to delivering services using J2EE.
Sam Jankovich, CEO of Atlanta-based solution provider Enterpulse, who attended the event Monday, said he currently does not see a high level of J2EE expertise from HP Services engineers. Because of this, he said his company can still partner effectively with HP without being in direct competition.
"In our experience, we have different skill sets &#91;than HP engineers&#93;," Jankovich said. In fact, Enterpulse currently is teaming successfully with both BEA and HP to deliver IT services using WebLogic 8.1 and related HP products, he said.
However, Jankovich said that with HP Services' significant investment to build out a skilled practice around J2EE, and BEA WebLogic in particular, HP in a year from now could be competing directly with Enterpulse and other solution providers with J2EE expertise.
In other partner news, Siebel's Schmaier unveiled that Siebel, San Mateo, Calif., is shipping the first release of its Universal Application Network (UAN) on BEA WebLogic Platform 8.1.
UAN is Siebel's Web services-based software for linking legacy systems with other businesses processes and applications in the enterprise.
Schmaier also said Siebel is working to integrate the next version of its CRM applications with WebLogic 8.1, so Siebel's next-generation applications will link up seamlessly with J2EE applications and Web services built on WebLogic 8.1.
BEA, based here, also will unveil the general availability of WebLogic JRockit 8.1, its Java virtual machine that optimized WebLogic on servers running Intel chips, said Eric Stahl, director of product marketing for BEA. WebLogic Server 8.1, which previously used Sun Microsystems' HotSpot JVM, now runs on JRockit 8.1.
The lowest-price configuration of BEA's application server, WebLogic Server 8.1, Express Edition, is priced at less than twice the amount of its previous cost, Stahl said. WebLogic Server Express is available for $495 per CPU, down from its former price $3,000 per CPU, he said.
"Obviously, BEA is trying to get into accounts that wouldn't otherwise buy BEA," said Robert Kelley, director of marketing and alliances for Los Gatos, Calif.-based solution provider InfoGain. "I think it's a smart move."
Kelley said an entry-level version of WebLogic also gives BEA leverage against competing open-source Java application servers such as JBoss, which some observers have said are stealing market share from BEA. "If I'm going to go for something free, there also the concern there's no support," he said. "Five-hundred dollars is just the same as free and you know you have the backing of a company that's continuing to grow with you."
BEA also is unveiling a new Workgroup Edition of Weblogic 8.1, aimed at "distributed deployments" such as those at retail stores, which "might want to host apps locally but only have a small number of users for each," Stahl said. WebLogic Server 8.1, Workgroup Edition, costs $4,000 per CPU.
The full-featured version of WebLogic Server 8.1, also available Monday, costs its standard price of $10,000 per CPU, Stahl said.
WebLogic Server 8.1 is the foundation for BEA's WebLogic Enterprise Platform 8.1, which BEA unveiled at its eWorld show in Kissimmee, Fla., last month. 8.1 versions of BEA's portal, and WebLogic Workshop tool will be available by June, with a new version of WebLogic Integration available in August.
BEA has offered WebLogic Express for several years, but only recently began stepping up efforts to market the product in light of increased interest in reaching the mid-market by competing vendors.
Last fall, BEA's primary application server competitor, IBM, unveiled a major mid-market push with its WebSphere Express line, with low-priced configurations of its application server, portal, database and content management software. (More on WebSphere Express.)
BEA also hopes to reach the volume server market through deals with Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Dell to optimize WebLogic on servers running Intel chips.
Google Maps has changed how we navigate the world. Its desktop and mobile apps have become more than just a way to get from point A to B via car, public transportation, or on foot: The ubiquitous Google service is also a geospatial search engine for the world around us.
Google continues to revamp and Boost its map product, but there are a ton of customizable tools and hidden functions already baked into Google Maps that you may not know about, such as Incognito Mode. Check out our tips for how to maximize your Google Maps power.
1. We're Doing It Live
Search with Live View (Credit: Google)
You can get an AR view of the street you're on, if that street is in Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo, or Venice. Open Maps, click the camera icon at the top, and hold your phone up to scan your location. You'll get an overlay of all the places you'd see on Maps, so you can easily find restaurants, shops, and more.
Meanwhile, Immersive View for routes, which rolled out in October, gives you a bird's-eye view of your route complete with 3D imagery along the way, whether you're walking, cycling, or driving. Look for it in select cities, including Amsterdam, London, New York, and Tokyo.
2. Inside Access
Google Maps isn't just for the great outdoors. You can navigate through malls, airports, and other big buildings by finding the location in Maps, clicking on it, then scrolling to Directory. You'll never get lost looking for a Cinnabon again. This feature is available in over 10,000 locations worldwide.
Navigating with indoor Live View (Credit: Google)
Some places even support Live View inside, where animated arrows will guide you around airports, train stations, and malls. It launched in 2021 in the US, Zurich, and Tokyo, and in early 2023, it announced plans to expand to more than 1,000 new locations in Barcelona, Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Melbourne, Paris, Prague, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, and Taipei. Just lift your phone up in a supported region to jump into Live View.
3. Plot Multiple Locations on Google Maps
Rarely do car trips consist of going from point A to B; more often, they are something like A-to-café-to-library-to-Joe's-house-to-B. Thankfully, Google makes it possible to anticipate real trips. To add multiple destinations in the Google Maps mobile app, enter your starting point and your ultimate destination, and then click the three-dot menu in the top-right corner. This prompts a pop-over menu with the option to "Add stop." Click that, and you can create a route with multiple stops. You can even drag and drop stops within your itinerary. (Note that this doesn't work when you're using the mass-transit option.)
4. Customize Your Vehicle Icon
When you're driving, Google lets you choose what kind of car shows up on your navigation in the iOS and Android apps. In the app, plug in your destination and start up driving directions. Tap the icon that shows your current location, and a pop-up menu appears with several car-icon options: a sedan, a pickup truck, or an SUV.
5. 'Hey Google, Where Am I Going?'
You might want to interact with Maps while you're driving, but you don't want to take your eyes off the road. With "OK Google" voice commands in the Google Maps Android app, you don't have to. For example, if you notice you're running low on gas, say "OK Google, find gas stations," and it will show gas stations on the map (which you can look at when you've come to a red light or pulled over). You can also ask questions like "What's my next turn?", "What's my ETA?", and "How's traffic ahead?" On Android, set up Google Assistant, and you're good to go. (You'll need a phone running Android Version 9.0 or higher with 4GB RAM or more.) On iOS (pictured above), tap the microphone icon at the top-right, then ask your questions via voice.
6. Access Google Maps Offline
Today, Maps is most useful on mobile, which brings up a problem: When you're in need of Maps, you may find yourself somewhere with limited (or—gasp—nonexistent) coverage. To help, Google Maps supports offline access. Type in an address or area, swipe up on the menu at the bottom of the screen, tap the ellipsis icon on the top right, and select Download offline map. If you have enough storage on your device, the map in question will be saved. To access it later, tap your avatar > Offline maps, and you can then get information about businesses in the region and turn-by-turn directions within the downloaded section.
7. Get Your Groceries
Google has incorporated grocery ordering and pickup functionality into Maps for select brands. Things kicked off a few years ago amid the boom in curbside pickup during the pandemic. That's still an option; in early 2023, Google touted the improvements it's made to the ETA function inside Google Maps for Kroger pickups. But grocery stores can also add a Place an order option to their Maps business profiles. In addition to Kroger stores (which also includes Fry's, Ralphs, and Marianos), it's also available for Albertson's and Fred Meyer locations.
8. Let Other People Drive
Ride-sharing services are a big part of the modern transportation mix, so Google added ride options from companies such as Lyft (sorry, no more Uber) to its mobile app. Once you enter your destination, tap the little figure attempting to hail a taxi or the mass-transit option. You'll then be presented with nearby rideshare options, along with the estimated time of arrival and fare. Tap Open App to book your ride.
9. Find Accessible Transit Routes and Locations
Those with mobility issues can search for wheelchair-accessible transit routes by tapping Options > Wheelchair Accessible when looking for train or bus directions. When you get to your destination, meanwhile, the Accessible Places setting offers up wheelchair-accessibility information about that location.
Turn it on via Settings > Accessibility > Accessible Places. "When Accessible Places is switched on, a wheelchair icon will indicate an accessible entrance, and you’ll be able to see if a place has accessible seating, restrooms, or parking," Google says. "If it’s confirmed that a place does not have an accessible entrance, we’ll show that information on Maps as well."
10. Change The Font Size
If the words on Google Maps are too small to read, make them bigger.
On an iPhone, make sure you have iOS 15 or higher via Settings > General > About. Then go to Settings > Control Center. Under More Controls, you'll see Text Size. Tap the green plus icon on the left, which moves it to the top under Included Controls. Now, open Google Maps and swipe down from the upper right where you see the battery icon. Tap on the Text Size button (an icon of a small A next to a large A). On the bottom, select whether you want to increase the font size on just Google Maps or across all apps. You can then increase the font size with the white bars. Close out of Control Center and your font adjustments should update automatically.
On an Android, you can change the size of the font or display but this is going to be a universal change across all of the device's apps. Open Settings, then select Accessibility. You can make words larger by tapping Font Size and then setting your preferred letter size or change the display size by tapping Display Size and then setting your preferred icon size.
11. Remember Where You Parked
Remember when the Seinfeld gang spent the whole half hour wandering around a parking garage looking for their parked car? That episode (along with many others) would not work in 2024, thanks to Google Maps.
At your destination, tap the blue location dot, and select Save parking, which adds a label to the Maps app identifying where you parked. On Android, tap that to add details such as the parking garage level and spot or the amount of time left before a meter expires. You can also set meter reminders, add a photo of where you parked, and send your parking location to friends.
To find it later, tap the search bar at the top, and select Parking location (Android) or Saved parking (iOS). Or tap the Driving arrow below, and look for Saved parking on iOS. Google will automatically delete the parking reminder after 8 hours, though you can manually get rid of it by tapping You parked here on the map and selecting Clear (iOS) or More info > Clear (Android).
12. What's the Parking Sitch?
Google Maps can provide turn-by-turn directions based on live-ish traffic data, but it can also provide you with a glimpse of the parking situation. When you search for driving directions to a location on iOS or Android, you might see a P logo at the bottom of the screen along with one of three designations: limited, medium, and easy (plus On-site for retailers with large parking lots). This can help you decide how much time you'll need to allocate for parking or even whether another form of transportation would be a better option.
13. Share Your Location
Google Maps lets you share your current location with people for specified periods of time. When you share your location with a certain contact, they'll see your icon moving in real time on their map. On mobile, tap your profile icon on the top right, and select Location sharing. Then choose with whom you want to share and for how long. (You may need to first allow notifications from Google Maps in your phone's settings menu.)
14. View (and Delete) Your Google Maps History
Google maintains a very detailed record of your digital activities. If you'd rather it lose your Maps data, you can erase it on desktop or mobile. On a desktop, go to maps.google.com. Click the hamburger menu, and select Your data in Maps. You'll end up on a page titled Google-wide Controls, where you can go to Location History > See & delete activity. You'll see a map with a timeline of your activity. On the bottom-right of the map, click the trashcan icon to delete all your location history permanently.
As of December 2023, the first time you turn on location history, Google will default you to auto-delete your history every three months. To adjust that, navigate to myactivity.google.com. Click Location History > Choose an auto-delete option, and choose how often Google will delete your data (every 3, 18, or 36 months) or turn auto-delete off completely.
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On mobile, go to Settings > Maps History, which will bring you to a Maps Activity page. Look for the Delete drop-down menu, where you can opt to delete your history from today, all time, or a custom range. Tap Auto-delete to select a timeframe for when Google will automatically delete Maps data
15. Go Incognito
For a quick way to poke around Google Maps without leaving any obvious footprints, go Incognito. Google Maps won't save your browser or search history in your account or send notifications. Your searches and movements won't be added to location history or shared location. And Google won't use your activity while you're in Incognito Mode to personalize Maps. This mode has advantages when you want to peep a location without having it tangled up with your search history, but just as on web browsers, it doesn't make you invisible. To turn the mode on, tap your avatar and select Turn on Incognito mode; the Incognito icon appears in the search bar. Tap it and select Turn off Incognito mode to switch it off.
16. Time Travel With Google Maps
Street View has amassed a huge collection of street imagery over the years. In 2014, Google introduced Time Travel, a way for users to see how Street View has changed over time. And in 2022, it expanded from the desktop to mobile. To look back at a particular address, enter Street View and tap anywhere on the screen. At the bottom, tap See more dates. Where available, this should produce a series of photos. Scroll through and select the date you want to see.
17. Add Some Music
If you've always got Google Maps navigation open while you're driving (or walking), you can add music to your trip without leaving the app. Sync music apps such as Spotify or Apple Music by opening the menu and navigating to Settings. On iOS, tap Navigation > Music playback controls to connect Apple Music or Spotify. On Android, tap Navigation settings > Assistant default media provider, where you can link a number of music-streaming services, including YouTube Music, Spotify, Apple Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Deezer. Once you do, a pop-up to your app of choice should appear as you're driving for a quick tap to get your music started. Be sure to create your playlists beforehand so you can keep your eyes on the road!
18. Find Electric-Vehicle Charging Stations
More and more electric vehicles (EVs) are taking to the road, and Google Maps is adapting. You can search "EV charging" or "EV charging station" in Google Maps, and it suggests the best station for you based on traffic conditions, your charge level, and the expected energy consumption. You can filter by types of plugs, and if you're in a rush, you can select Fast Charge to find the charging stations with the most voltage. If you use Android Auto in an EV, meanwhile, it will no longer show gas stations.
19. Request Fuel-Efficient Routes
Want to make sure that next road trip is fuel-efficient? Turn on this setting in Google Maps and the app will prioritize fuel- or energy-efficiency over other factors like real-time traffic and road conditions. "So besides showing you the fastest route, it will also show you the most efficient one, even if they aren't the same," Google says.
Go to Settings > Navigation / Navigation settings and toggle Prefer fuel-efficient routes to on. Here, you can also tell Google Maps your engine type: gas, diesel, electric, or hybrid. Google will then serve up routes based on that engine type to help you save fuel.
20. Find Safe Drug-Disposal Locations
Google Maps is doing its part to fight the opioid crisis with a search tool to help users find safe drug-disposal locations. Type "drug disposal" into the search bar to pull up pharmacies, medical centers, and local authority locations where you can safely dispose of excess pills.
21. Share Your Favorite Places
Google Maps lets you share some of your favorite places with a friend. Just tap the share icon on the location's Google Maps card to send it to them via text, email, or your app of choice. Save favorite places by tapping the Save icon; they then show up in the Saved option in the menu bar.
If you want to share more than one favorite location, you can create a Pinterest-like list within Google Maps. When you save a favorite place, tap New List to create a collection (like "Thai restaurants in Brooklyn") or add it to an existing collection. You'll find them in the Saved tab under Your lists; tap the three-dot menu and then Share List to send a link to friends.
22. Become (or Consult) a Local Guide
Think you know your neighborhood better than Google's algorithm? Then consider becoming a Local Guide. Although anyone can leave reviews and tips in Google Maps, being a Local Guides allows you to earn points for leaving more insights and data, which—as you go up the ladder—can result in "rewards and early access to new features," Google says.
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You can lead your organization to success in one of two ways: You can actually lead your people or you can herd them like cattle. I've been a fan of cattle drives ever since watching the TV show Rawhide with Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates, but that doesn't make me a fan of the herding-cattle model of leadership. The cattle model gets an organization to its planned destination but usually without creativity and with mediocre productivity.
What are the stupid leadership tricks you need to avoid so that you can lead as opposed to herding your employees?
Meetings: Meetings are the graveyard of productivity. Meetings corral your people like cattle awaiting the train to the slaughterhouse. Why? People can’t do their jobs when they’re in meetings. And if you think they can multi-task by working on their smart devices in a meeting, well, what the heck is the point of having those people in a meeting? You know how you can tell who’s multi-tasking in a meeting? They’re the folks who respond to a question by saying, “Oh, I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”
Only have meetings when there's a real need. The frequency of meetings should be driven by urgent need. If you must have meetings, keep the attendance down to the people you need to have in the room. And whatever else you do, keep the meeting short: Admiral Chester Nimitz, commander of the Pacific Fleet in World War II, ran all Navy operations throughout the war in daily (he was leading the entire Pacific war — of course the frequency of his meetings needed to be daily), short meetings (usually 20 minutes) where all the attendees stood through the meeting. Given Nimitz’s victorious record fighting the most geographically gigantic war in the history of the world, you might want to adopt brief, stand-up meetings.
Memos instead of calls/calls instead of face-to-face: Don’t send someone an email when you can call. And don’t call if you can talk face-to-face. Communication always works better the more direct and personal it is. Think this is a waste of time? Would you prefer to stick to large meetings and broadcast emails and voicemails? Try this experiment: designate an employee as your lead steer, hang a bell around her neck and see if she leads all the other employees (cattle) to creative productivity.
If you communicate directly, write a memo recapping your conversation. Your memo (best if on email) serves to put the conversation on the record and gives whomever you talked to a guide for dealing with the matters discussed.
Another tool for clarity: General George Patton insisted that anyone he gave an order to repeat the order back to him. The repetitious response didn’t prove that the order was properly understood, but it did prove that the order was heard correctly — and that’s often a long step toward understanding. (If you decide to use this tool, you should still follow up with a memo recapping your conversation.)
On occasion, the urgency of a situation requires mass communications. It's the fastest way to get necessary details out. But, like meetings, this should be done because it's a necessity.
Insisting on results: This should be a no brainer, but sadly, it’s not. I’ve worked in the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds for a long time and have had a number of bosses who honestly believed that if they insisted that a project have a certain result, it would produce the demanded result. Bosses who employ this technique like to use the word “must” as if it were a magical incantation that always works.
In the real world, a boss’s use of the word “must” has no more effectiveness than “hocus pocus.” If you don’t believe me, imagine this scenario: you prod your lead steer (the one with the bell around its neck) to guide the herd to a watering hole. You then call to the cattle and tell them they must drink. Must. Drink. You say this in a loud, powerful tone. Do the cattle drink? Or do they look around for a salt lick?
Please believe me, when it comes to use of the word “must,” human beings are barely more cooperative than cattle. Do you really want to risk thousands of dollars (or much, much more?) on insisting you get your results?
Spinning instead of straight talk: Many employees have excellent BS radars. You can feed them spin all day long, but they won’t buy it. Worse, they’ll think you’re an idiot for trying to convince them your spin is reality — and people don’t like working for idiots. Most people think they’re smarter than their bosses anyway, so why give them grist for their ego mills?
General Dwight Eisenhower ran D-Day and commanded the Allies all the way into Germany on the principle of honesty. He briefed the press completely on the D-Day invasion and told them he needed their cooperation in keeping the operation a secret until he approved the news release. The reporters were happy to comply. He was honest with his superiors when he disagreed with their ideas but loyal in following his orders, knowing that he had been heard. He accepted argument from his subordinates, even from the egomaniacal Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery.
Once you’ve established your reputation for honesty, when you find yourself in a situation where you can’t be completely forthcoming, you can say, “I’m sorry but I can’t talk about that right now,” and it will be accepted. After all, everyone knows you’re honest. If Ike could beat the Nazis by continuously playing the honesty card, it'll probably work for you.
Avoid these stupid leadership tricks, treat your people like people instead of cattle, and enjoy the increase in productivity and creativity at your organization.
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Your Android device has a powerful system for helping you recall almost anything imaginable, but — oh, yes — it's up to you to remember to use it.
Roku devices offer plenty of variety and portability, from the budget Roku Express to the feature-packed Roku Ultra. Whichever one you have, there's more to know beyond the basics. Here's how to get more out of your streaming device.
1. One List to Rule Them All
You have watchlists for all of your streaming apps, which means you have to scroll and scroll when you want to find something to watch. Instead, you can save everything to one universal list with a Roku. Use the Roku OS to search for the shows and movies you want to watch, and on the details page of each, select Add to Save List. Find the list by going to the Roku home screen and selecting What to Watch.
2. Pick Up Where You Left Off
Have you ever wanted to resume watching a movie or show where you left off, but you've forgotten which streaming service it was on? Just go to the Roku Home Screen, click What to Watch, scroll to Continue Watching, and it'll be listed there.
3. Watch Free Movies and Shows on The Roku Channel
Video-streaming services are great, but the majority aren't free. With The Roku Channel, you can sign in and access those premium channels (including Max and Netflix)—but the channel also offers free access to thousands of movies and TV episodes, if you can handle a few commercials. Roku has been adding more original content as well. Go to The Roku Channel, and scroll down to the Live TV Channel Guide for hundreds of choices. You can also watch in the Roku app, whether you have a Roku device or not: Just get it, sign in or create an account, and start streaming.
4. Search Thousands of Channels at Once
Instead of searching every Roku channel individually to find what you want, search across them with Roku Search. Enter your search term via the Roku remote, Roku mobile app, or via voice search, and you'll see results from over 4,000 channels. Search by title, actor, or director, and you'll get a comprehensive list. Similarly, use Roku Search to compare the costs of streaming content: Type in a movie, show, or star for a list of available titles and the prices for each across channels and services.
5. Get in the Zone
Roku Zones are collections of movies and shows from across channels that are organized by genre or topic. Go to search, type in a search term such as "comedy," and scroll through the zone that pops up. Roku added a Live TV Zone for quick access to live TV streaming services like Hulu, fuboTV, Philo, Sling, and YouTube TV, to name a few.
6. Photos as Big as Life
If you want to get a closer look at your photos or share them with a group, you can add Google Photos to your Roku. Go to photostreams.roku.com, sign in (you may have to verify your email), and you'll see a link to connect to Google Photos.
7. Turn Your Phone Into a Roku Remote
As great a device as the Roku is, navigating via the remote could be a better experience. To get around that, get the Roku Official Remote Control app (iOS, Android), and get the benefit of a keyboard, easy searching, and streaming from your phone or tablet.
8. Talk to Your Roku Remote
That said, you could always talk to your Roku directly with a Roku Voice Remote Pro, Voice Remote, or the Roku mobile app. On the remotes, press either the microphone icon and hold down as you speak your request. On the app, select the magnifying glass to get to the search page, then tap the microphone, let it go, speak your request, and tap the middle of the screen.
9. Ask Alexa or the Google Assistant
Connecting Roku to Amazon's Alexa (Credit: PCMag/Amazon)
If you have an Amazon Echo and a Roku, ask Alexa to control your Roku. First, you'll have to link both accounts by opening the Alexa mobile app, selecting Skills & Games, and searching for Roku. When you find it, tap Enable to Use, sign in to your Roku account, and select the Roku device you want to link (or Select All if you have more than one).
Close your Roku account, and Alexa will search for the device on the Device Discovery screen. Once it's found, tap Manage, Link Devices, and select the Roku you want to connect to Alexa. Then add the Roku to a group by selecting the Devices icon. Either add it to an existing group or create a new one by tapping the plus button. In the Alexa app, tap on the Roku device, and make sure it is enabled. Then you'll be able to use commands such as, "Alexa, open Netflix on living room Roku."
You can also use Google Assistant to make voice requests. First, check that your Roku player is running Roku OS 9.0 or higher or that your Roku TV has Roku OS 8.2 or higher. Set up your Google Assistant on your Google device or app. Open the Google Assistant mobile app, tap Explore > Settings > Home Control > Add Device > Find > Roku. Sign in to your Roku account and then choose which device you want to control with Google Assistant.
10. Find That Lost Remote
Speaker grille on the Roku Remote Pro (Credit: Will Greenwald/PCMag)
The Roku remote is easily lost in couch cushions and under coffee tables. If you've spent far too much time hunting for it, we have some solutions.
To change the noise your Roku remote emits when it's lost, open the Roku app on your TV and go to Settings > Remote > Change Remote Finder Sound. To hear what it sounds like, click Preview Remote Finder Sound.
11. Make Your Roku at Home(Kit)
For iPhone and iPad owners, Roku devices support AirPlay and HomeKit, so you can send videos, photos, and music from your device to the TV and supported speakers. Set it up in the Roku menu by navigating to Settings > Apple AirPlay & HomeKit > Launch Apple AirPlay & HomeKit setup. A QR code will pop up. Scan it with your iPhone or iPad's camera and follow the instructions on your Apple device to finish setup. HomeKit, meanwhile, lets you control your Roku using Siri and the Apple Home app ("Hey Siri, play jazz on the living room TV").
12. Let Siri and Roku Chat
Your Roku and iPhone can work together, with Siri acting as the interpreter. The Roku iOS app has Siri Shortcuts that let you control your Roku with your voice. Open the app on your phone, tap the account icon at the top right, and select Siri Shortcuts. You can turn on the ability to open the Roku remote, play or pause Roku, search Roku, and turn a Roku on and off for certain models. Click on each option to keep the suggested phrasing or come up with your own commands.
13. Roku Screen Mirroring
With AirPlay enabled, you can mirror your iPhone or iPad screen via the Control Center to Roku, though most Roku devices support screen mirroring from Android and Windows devices too. To hook it up, press the Home button on your Roku remote, then go to Settings > System > Screen Mirroring. You’ll have the option to choose between Prompt or Always Allow.
14. Practice Casting
If you prefer Google's Cast technology, you can send music, videos, and photos from mobile devices to most Roku-connected devices easily as long as both are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Open the content you want to share on the device, and look for the cast icon. Click it, and you should see all available Roku devices pop up in a menu.
15. Automatic Volume Leveling
How many times have you been lulled into somnolence by a show only to be jolted awake by a commercial? On most Roku models, you can turn on Leveling, so a commercial or a channel change doesn't result in a spike in volume. You can also choose to have soft sounds increased and loud sounds decreased with Night mode.
Turn on the feature either from Settings, if you have a Streambar or Smart Soundbar, or while streaming with other Roku devices. For Streambars and Soundbars, press the Home button on the remote and go to Settings > Audio > Volume Modes. For other devices, press the star button on the remote and navigate to Sound Settings > Volume Mode.
16. Use Roku Private Listening
Roku Voice Remote Pro (Credit: Roku)
When you want to watch something on your Roku without disturbing those around you, use Private Listening. The Roku Voice Remote Pro, Enhanced Voice Remote, and Gaming Remote include built-in headphone jacks; just plug in and keep watching. Or get the Roku mobile app, connect your headphones to your device, and tap the headphones icon.
17. Save That Screen
Maybe you paused whatever you're watching and walked out of the room. Or you fell asleep, and now the Roku logo is bouncing around your screen like the flying toasters of yore. give yourself something nicer to look at with Roku's screensavers. Click the Home button on your remote, then go to Settings > Theme > Screensavers.
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18. Get Your Game On
It's not a Nintendo Switch, but your Roku is still in the game. Hit the Home button, go to Streaming Channels > Games, and you can go retro with Snake or go on a sugar-fueled rampage in Candy Bear. The Roku Enhanced Gaming Remote with Voice Search supports motion-control gaming.
19. Move the Apps on Your Roku Home Screen
Roku displays channels in the order in which you add them, but you can move them around. Find the app you want to move, press the star button on your Roku remote, and select "Move channel" from the pop-up menu. Use the directional pad to move it to the desired location.
20. Say What?
If you missed those last few lines in a show or movie, there's a quick way to catch up. Set up instant replay by going to Settings > Accessibility > Captions Mode and selecting On Replay. Then, when you hit the Instant Replay button on the remote, you'll also get the text on the screen.
21. Stream Your Own Stuff Via Plex
Though Roku offers a ton of different channels and things to watch, you'll probably still want to access your locally stored content on your TV. Sign up for Plex Pass ($4.99 per month, $39.99 per year, $119.99 for a lifetime), and you can. Plex organizes your scattered content and lets you watch it from tablets, TVs, phones, and more; you can record and watch live broadcast TV, too.
Download the Plex app. Then install the Plex channel on your Roku, launch it, then go to plex.tv/pin. Log in and enter the code from the Roku Plex channel on the website.
22. Tap Into Live TV Streaming Services
New live TV services are popping up regularly to meet your sports and Hallmark movie needs. To see what's on offer, click the Home button on your remote, and go to Streaming Channels > Cable Alternative to log into services including Sling and Hulu, or go to Streaming Channels > Watch With Cable to log in with a pay TV provider, such as Comcast or Spectrum. You can also go to the Roku Channel, scroll down to the Live TV Channel Guide, and flip through hundreds of channels without paying for any of them. That includes NewsOn, which streams local news broadcasts from outlets nationwide.
23. Show Your Team Spirit
You can follow your favorite sports teams on Roku by going to the Home screen on your device, scrolling down to Sports, doing a search for an upcoming game, going to that page, and then selecting the heart icon next to your team's name. That will create a My Favorites row under Sports with all upcoming games.
24. Cloud DVRs
A number of live TV streaming services offer cloud DVR, meaning you can record live TV and access your shows later via the service's Roku app.
25. Be Our Guest
Your guests can make themselves at home by accessing their Roku settings without disturbing yours. All you have to do is enable Guest Mode (previously Auto Sign Out Mode). Go to my.roku.com/account/PIN, set up a PIN, and then press the Home button on the Roku remote. Go to Settings > System > Guest Mode > Enter Guest Mode. Then enter your PIN and select OK. When guests come to stay, direct them to the Roku guide on using Guest Mode
26. Stay Up to Date
To get the most out of your Roku, you should install the latest software version. The device generally handles this on its own, but if you've recently added a channel, or your Roku has been disconnected for a while, you might have missed an update. In that case, you can update manually by going to Settings > System > System Update.
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An RC VTOL aircraft always makes for a compelling project, but ensuring the transition between hover and forward flight can be quite challenging. In the video after the break, [Nicholas Rehm] demystifies of the flight control algorithm required for a VTOL tailsitter.
Tailsitters are one of the simplest VTOL arrangements, the testbed here being a simple foam KF airfoil wing with two motors and two servo-controlled elevons. As with almost all his projects [Nicholas], uses of his open-source dRehmFlight flight controller to demonstrate the practical implementation of the control algorithm.
Three major factors that need to be simultaneously taken into account when transitioning a tailsitter VTOL. First off, yaw becomes roll, and vice versa. This implies that in hover mode, elevons have to move in opposite directions to control yaw; however, this same action will make it roll in forward flight. The same applies for differential thrust from motors — it controls roll in hover and yaw in forward flight. Nevertheless, this change of control scheme only works if the flight controller also alters its reference frame for “level” flight (i.e., flips forward 90°). As [Nicholas] demonstrates, failing to do so results in a quick and chaotic encounter with the ground.
With these adjustments made, the aircraft can transition to forward flight but will oscillate pitch-wise as it overcorrects while trying to maintain stable flight; this is due to PID gains – 3rd factor. The deflection required by control surfaces is much more aggressive during hover mode; thus PID gains need to be reduced during forward flight. A final improvement involves adding a brief delay when switching modes for smoother rotation.
First making her name as the ‘broke millennial’ blogger, Erin Lowry has grown up since her early twenties. With a personal finance book under her belt, as well as TV spots, snazzy profiles and guest-spots on podcasts, Lowry turned her focus from money 101 to investing…and boy are we glad she did.
With succinct prose and personal anecdotes, the personal finance writer aims to demystify investing with her latest tome, "Broke Millennial Takes on Investing: A Beginner's Guide to Leveling Up Your Money."
Written as a prescriptive advice, the book progresses from the basics (like, what exactly is an ETF?) to more advanced concepts (like the best way to whether a market downturn). The millennial wanted to write something both for the person who didn’t know the first thing about a 401 (k) as well as the person who knows about investing but wants to advance their knowledge.
Fresh off her book tour, I caught up with Lowry over the phone. Our interview was edited and condensed.
Alexandra Talty: In the book, you talk about the concept of being risk adverse. There are countless studies on how women can be more risk adverse than men when it comes to investing. Do you have any tips to over come that initial fear?
Erin Lowry: It’s natural to be risk adverse in the beginning…regardless of gender
You don't know what you’re doing yet. It’s not something that we are taught in school. There’s not often someone there to hold our hands.
Most of us start investing with our retirement accounts. I don’t know about you, but I was not given any sort of assistance by my employer. It was just me and the name of a ton of different investments options. That’s a little overwhelming and intimidating.
There are a couple of things you can do when you are first getting started. One thing to consider is a target date fund which is sometimes known as an all-in-one-fund or a lifecycle fund.
The advantage of doing a target date fund when you’re getting started is that it makes sure your money is actually invested. There are horror stories of people just leaving their retirement money in cash, thinking that it was invested.
A target date fund is simply put, a fund that is tied to an approximate year when you are planning to retire. It removes the burden of having to make a decision of what you’re investing in. So hypothetically, if you’re planning to retire in 2045 then it’s automatically going to invest more aggressively in the beginning, then a bit more moderately and then to the more conservative investments towards your 2045.
The downside of the target date fund is that the fees are typically higher. It’s not tailored specifically to you and your goals and your risk tolerance.
If you have no idea what you’re doing and just want to make sure your money is invested, a target date fund is a good option. You can always re-balance your portfolio at a later date. There’s no rule that says once you go into a target date fund that you have to stay there forever.
Another thing that I recommend people do is to go to Investor.gov. Go to the compound interest calculator play around with the numbers. See how much less you have to save if you are investing your way to a million dollars. It’s really hard to save your way to wealth.
AT: You've talked about some tools like micro-investing or practice investing apps. Do you think using those can help people become less risk adverse?
EL: I think they can. The only concern I have is if you get into the market at a bad time. Say your first three months of investment are a time when we happen to be going through a market correction. You’re just seeing negative numbers and negative returns and red arrows pointing down. I would hate to have someone’s first at bat be a very negative experience like that.
Couple whatever you are doing with a lot of memorizing and education. I love going through the history of the stock market. It is cyclical. There are ups, there are downs. That is part of the economic growth cycle.
Also, micro-investing shouldn’t be your primary means of investing. It is a good way for people to get started and get some learning.
ACT: You use this term in the book “having your financial oxygen mask on” to refer to people who’ve paid off most of their student loans or at least the ones above 5% interest, who have an emergency funds and aren’t carrying any credit card debt.
Sometimes, these people will just be investing in their retirement and not investing in other things. What advice would you give to someone who is ready to make that pivot?
EL: If you’re ready to be investing in what’s called taxable accounts I would say the very first step is setting your goals.
What do you want this money to be doing? Because that is going to dictate how much risk you are putting on your money and what kind of investments you are selecting. Without that information, you cannot be making educated choices.
It is also easy to say, 'oh my car is going to quit on me in the next two to three years, well I want to be earning more than my average savings account, let me invest this money.' Truthfully, you probably don’t want to invest that money that you know you’re going to need in two years.
If it’s a goal that is seven to ten years away – then yeah, it makes sense to be investing at least in the beginning. Get some growth on it and then you can get it into something a bit more conservative as you start to reach the end of what we call your time horizon.
ACT: There’s a lot of talk about the gender pay gap and the retirement saving shortfall for women. But there’s also this idea of getting in the investment game early on as a way for women to offset these economic realities.
EL: It would be wonderful for the wage gap to close. For all sorts of inequality for parity to take effect. But we can’t wait around for that to happen.
The advantage of starting young is huge. Then you’re taking advantage of time and compound interest.
[George Stagg] recently found himself stung by the burden of free time while in lockdown. Needing a project to keep him occupied, he decided to upgrade his 90s Casio CFX-9850G calculator to run custom machine code.
All [George] really wanted was for his vintage calculator to understand Reverse Polish Notation (RPN). The calculator in question can already run its own version of BASIC, however the bespoke Hitachi CPU struggles performance-wise with complex programs, and wouldn’t be a realistic way of using RPN on the calculator. An RPN interpreter written in assembly language would be much faster.
The first step in cracking this calculator wide open was a ROM dump, followed by writing a disassembler. Incredibly, the MAME framework already featured a ‘partial implementation’ of the calculator’s CPU, which was a much needed shot in the arm when it came time to write a full-featured emulator.
With the entire calculator emulated in software, the plan from here involved replacing one of the BASIC commands in ROM with new code that would jump to an address in RAM. With 32KB of RAM there ended up being plenty of room for experimentation, and uploading a program into RAM was simplified by using Casio’s original backup software to dump the RAM onto a PC. Here, the contents of RAM could be easily modified with custom code, then uploaded back into the calculator.
With RAM to burn, new routines were created to write custom characters to the screen, and a new font was created to squeeze more characters onto the display than normal. [George] ended up porting a Forth interpreter, which defaults to RPN style, to finally achieve his humble objective. He also managed to get a version of Conway’s Game Of Life running, check out the video after the break.
We can’t get enough of our calculator hacks here, so make sure to check out the CPU transplant on this vintage Soviet calculator.
[Many thanks to Adrian for the hot tip]
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