London software testing news UK

Testing chess players? Or testing for computers?

Posted in General by testing in London on December 31, 2006

From The Observer

2006 has in chess terms been above all the ‘Year of the Computer’: the computer both as fearsome adversary and more importantly a powerful tool which can potentially be used to cheat.
Whereas other sports fret about drugs, this is a complete non-issue in chess and players have to undergo testing in some official competitions merely as a sop to the Olympic Committee and WADA.

However the use of computers is not only technically quite possible but has also been detected in isolated cases in Open tournaments. It’s therefore perfectly reasonable that players should have to pass through a metal detector in the most serious of competitions. Moreover, the various allegations about cheating at the highest level, while I believe them to be utterly baseless, have certainly not come out of thin air.


Testing robots

Posted in General,Software testing by testing in London on December 30, 2006


Robots are increasingly coming to the rescue for humans undergoing delicate surgeries, say experts at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Engineers and computer scientists at the university’s National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Computer-Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology are working closely with physicians to build robotic tools that can enhance the surgeon’s skills.

The tools include a snakelike robot that could allow surgeons to manipulate surgical instruments in narrow spaces such as the throat region. The robotic assistant would help surgeons make incisions and tie sutures with greater dexterity and precision.

Another tool being developed and tested is the steady-hand robot, which can grasp a needle and work in tandem with a surgeon’s movements, reducing hand tremor that can complicate microsurgery. This robot could allow surgeons to inject drugs into tiny blood vessels in the eye, dissolving clots that can damage vision.

These robotic devices will require about five more years of testing and improvements in a lab environment before they find their way into operating rooms.

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Risk based testing to simplify Sarbanes-Oxley

Posted in Acceptance testing,security testing,Software testing by testing in London on December 29, 2006

From SC Magazine

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted today to simplify the auditing process for Section 404 requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Five SEC commissioners unanimously voted to make checking for security controls more risk based and less “obsessive compulsive,” according to SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins.

In the past, auditors had two opinions – one based on controls and another based on management’s approach to establishing controls, Phil Livingston said. Now they will use one cohesive opinion, requiring less testing to streamline the process.

“The way they do it now is pretty convoluted and dumb,” he said. “The process has been pretty inefficient, and the SEC wants money to be spent on the controls themselves, not on frivolous testing.”

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Testing disaster risk mitigation procedures

Posted in General by testing in London on December 28, 2006

From Chicago Tribure

On Tuesday, Indonesia held its largest-ever test of its tsunami emergency procedures. This was part of regional move, with governments, volunteers and residents taking steps to protect against future tsunamis.

In Sri Lanka, the first of 100 tsunami warning towers was erected on a beach. Volunteers in Malaysia replanted mangroves, which some say act as a barrier against killer waves.

Indonesia said its tsunami test on Bali–a resort island unaffected by the 2004 disaster–was aimed at raising the public’s awareness of safety measures and testing technology deployed over the last two years.

Warnings were sent from the capital, Jakarta, to radios along the beach. Sirens wailed and crowds, many of them schoolchildren, briskly walked inland, accompanied by Indonesia’s minister of research and technology and a handful of foreign tourists.

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Testing security gateway applications

Posted in General,security testing by testing in London on December 27, 2006

Suppose you choose to evaluate for four months a total of four devices that identify and eliminate risks found in your Web traffic. During each week of a given month, plug in and configure one of the four devices and observe how it performs during that week. Then, in the second month of the testing, rotate each device back by a week. Device A will be used in the first week of the first month, in the fourth week of the second month, in the third week of the third month, etc. This is to ensure that each device encounters similar levels of activity.

Do the same rotation of each device during the third and fourth month. By the end of your testing period you should be able to accurately judge how each device performs in terms of average, peak and minimal workloads. Be sure to gather monthly reporting data for the four-month interval so you can spot trends among the devices.

Though the security gateway appliance field is awash with many products, there is currently no market leader. Rather, there are a range of solutions covering different risks whether network or application-based. For more on these devices see the full article

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Are turkeys causing us to waste gas?

Posted in General by testing in London on December 26, 2006

Staying with the seasonal theme of testing food preparation techniques is this story from United Press in London. British Gas says gas consumption rises about 15 percent during the Christmas holiday, likely due to the cooking of turkeys.

The company said consumers usually cook a turkey for an average five hours. If every turkey bought in Britain in December, roughly 10 million, were overcooked by two hours it would waste more than a million pounds in household energy.

British Gas suggests testing is the turkey is cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear, the bird is cooked. By not overcooking the turkey and by not producing greenhouse gases, using yesterday’s sprout preparation method, we can each do a bit more for a better enivronment.

How to stop sprout eaters smelling. Farmer tests out mthod on Grandson.

Posted in General by testing in London on December 25, 2006

From Zeenews

London, Dec 24: A farmer has suggested a five-point method of cooking sprouts, which helps them retain their nutritional value and prevent its eaters from smelling. Freda Neale, the sprout producer from Burscough, Lancs, claims that her method also makes the food taste better.

Her five-point formula includes peeling of the outer layer, removal of the base, boiling sprouts in water with half a teaspoon of salt, cooking for 6-8 minutes, and chewing each mouthful at least ten times.

Freda, who has been testing her method on her two-year-old grandson Jack Makinson, says that what matters the most is the type of sprouts bought, and the way they are cooked.

“Overcooking causes chemicals in the sprouts to react and emit sulphur. This gives them their bitter taste and makes them — and those who eat them — smell,” she said.

Copyright tool being tested

Posted in Software testing,testing tool by testing in London on December 24, 2006

From Wall Street Journal

Privately held Attributor Corp, based in Silicon Valley, has begun testing a system to scan the billions of pages on the Web for clients’ audio, video, images and text; potentially making it easier for owners to request that Web sites take content down or provide payment for its use.

The start-up, which was founded last year is emerging from the shadows at a time when some media and entertainment companies’ frustration with the difficulties of identifying infringing uses of their content online is increasing. The problem has intensified with the proliferation and increasing usage of sites such as Google’s YouTube, which lets consumers post video clips.

Media and entertainment companies have so far relied on a combination of technology and their own scanning to protect their content online — but with mixed results. Media companies have used digital-rights management technology designed to make it hard to copy or transfer files. But such measures have often proved to be clumsy, despised by consumers or quickly thwarted. That’s the case for DRM technology built into DVDs to prevent them from being ripped onto computers, for example. Entertainment and media companies have also relied on their own staff to scan Web sites for infringing content. But even when such content is spotted and taken down, the companies often see the content pop up in the same places or elsewhere soon after.

Though its service isn’t out yet, Attributor appears to go further than existing techniques for weeding out unauthorized uses of content online. It claims to have cracked the thorny computer-science problem of scouring the entire Web by using undisclosed technology to efficiently process and comb through chunks of content. The company says it will have over 10 billion Web pages in its index before the end of this month.

QA software testing

Test tool for e passports meets new international standards

Posted in security testing,Software testing,testing tool by testing in London on December 23, 2006

From Card Technology

HJP Consulting says its GlobalTester tool for testing electronic passports conforms to the new standard released by the International Civil Aviation Organization, the body that sets international travel document standards.

HJP parts 2 and 4 of the ICAO RF Protocol and Application Test Standard for E-Passports was released Dec. 13 and part 3 this week. The company says its GlobalTester product has been updated to conform to part 3 and that it will send updates to GlobalTester subscribers.

ICAO created the test standard in response to demand from passport issuers for a common way to test electronic passports that contain contactless smart card chips. More than 50 nations are said to be planning to introduce such e-passports, and smart card vendor association Eurosmart predicts 30 million to 40 million chip-based passports will be shipped next year. The United States alone issues more than 12 million passports annually, and U.S. passport officials say they expect to complete the conversion to issuing e-passports only by early 2007. (2006-12-22).

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BCS and QAA to work more closely

Posted in Events and improvement by testing in London on December 22, 2006

From BCS

The British Computer Society (BCS) and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) have agreed to work more closely in their higher education activities relating to computing.

QAA works with higher education institutions to define academic standards and quality, and carry out and publish reviews against them.

The aims of the memorandum between BCS and QAA are:

  • to enable BCS to make an appropriate contribution to the development and review of the QAA academic infrastructure to the extent that it has a bearing upon BCS accreditation activities, in particular the computing subject benchmark statements;
  • to encourage higher education institutions to share their BCS accreditation reports and outcomes with all stakeholders;
  • to provide developmental opportunities as appropriate for staff of both parties;
  • to collaborate in joint research of mutual benefit;
  • to cooperate in any other mutually agreed activities for the benefit of both parties.

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