BBC News – Universal credit – an IT fiasco?

It’s an ambitious plan to transform the benefits system – but it looks as though the technology meant to power universal credit is turning into another great government IT disaster.

This morning the work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith told the BBC that the planned 2017 deadline for the programme would probably slip – although the DWP statement still talks optimistically of the continued “safe and secure roll-out” of the scheme.

One civil servant close to the situation has painted a rather different picture. He tells me that DWP staff at the frontline are doing a heroic job using the IT but they are “struggling so much with the number of times they have to re-key, systems are crashing. They’re not joined up, they just can’t cope with the messy reality of people’s lives”.

The IT system that the DWP is using at the moment is the one severely criticised in a National Audit Office report. It has been developed mainly by big outside contractors such as Accenture and IBM at a cost of more than £300m. Some believe much of that money will have to be written off.

via BBC News – Universal credit – an IT fiasco?.

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Cortana to open up to new devices and developers with Cortana Skills Kit and Cortana Devices SDK – Building Apps for Windows

Fancy trying to create for a digital assistant? Microsoft have release a new Skills Kit and SDK for Cortana.

We believe that everyone deserves a personal assistant. One to help you cope as you battle to stay on top of everything, from work to your home life. Calendars, communications and commitments. An assistant that is available everywhere you need it, working in concert with the experts you rely on to get things done.

We’re at the beginning of a technological revolution in artificial intelligence. The personal digital assistant is the interface where all the powers of that intelligence can become an extension

Source: Cortana to open up to new devices and developers with Cortana Skills Kit and Cortana Devices SDK – Building Apps for WindowsBuilding Apps for Windows

Cloud-computing training for researchers marches on – Microsoft Research Connections Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs #yam

English: Diagram showing overview of cloud com...
English: Diagram showing overview of cloud computing including Google, Salesforce, Amazon, Axios Systems, Microsoft, Yahoo & Zoho (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last September, as part of our global Windows Azure for Research program, we announced our cloud training classes that we designed to show academics how Windows Azure can accelerate their research. Now that we’re almost a month into the new year, we would like to let you know what we have planned for 2014—including some new resources that you can use and share with your colleagues and contacts.

via Cloud-computing training for researchers marches on – Microsoft Research Connections Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs.

Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon: Excerpt From ‘The Everything Store’ by Brad Stone – Businessweek

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Image via CrunchBase

Amazon.com rivals Wal-Mart as a store, Apple as a device maker, and IBM as a data services provider. It will rake in about $75 billion this year. For his book, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone spoke to hundreds of current and former friends of founder Jeff Bezos. In the process, he discovered the poignant story of how Amazon became the Everything Store.

via Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon: Excerpt From ‘The Everything Store’ by Brad Stone – Businessweek.

IBM Redbooks | Real-time Fraud Detection Analytics on IBM System z

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Image via CrunchBase

Payment fraud can be defined as an intentional deception or misrepresentation that is designed to result in an unauthorized benefit. Fraud schemes are becoming more complex and difficult to identify. It is estimated that industries lose nearly $1 trillion USD annually because of fraud. The ideal solution is where you avoid making fraudulent payments without slowing down legitimate payments. This solution requires that you adopt a comprehensive fraud business architecture that applies predictive analytics.

This IBM® Redbooks® publication begins with the business process flows of several industries, such as banking, property/casualty insurance, and tax revenue, where payment fraud is a significant problem. This book then shows how to incorporate technological advancements that help you move from a post-payment to pre-payment fraud detection architecture. Subsequent chapters describe a solution that is specific to the banking industry that can be easily extrapolated to other industries. This book describes the benefits of doing fraud detection on IBM System z®.

This book is intended for financial decisionmakers, consultants, and architects, in addition to IT administrators.

via IBM Redbooks | Real-time Fraud Detection Analytics on IBM System z.

Websphereusergroup.org | New Complimentary IBM WebSphere Education Courses Available from the Global WebSphere Community

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Image via CrunchBase

You asked, and we listened.  Last year, we polled our Global WebSphere Community members asking you what WebSphere topics you were most interested in having additional training information on from the GWC.  The results came back showing a strong interest in WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere MQ. The Global WebSphere Community is pleased to announce the availability of the following complimentary IBM WebSphere Education courses available to our GWC members:

via Websphereusergroup.org | New Complimentary IBM WebSphere Education Courses Available from the Global WebSphere Community.

HND Computer Games Development

Image via Wikipedia SQA Computing blog: HND Computer Games Development

Just back and straight in to the swing of things. Tuesday involved a trip to Edinburgh to talk about the proposed HND in Computer Games to supplement the HNC. The day went well and things look positive for the development.

I must be getting old as, instead of pushing for the latest up to date gadgetry to be involved in the new award, my input seemed focussed more on what’s good for the learner and for the centres.

Bottom line I think we need to ensure that we have as much cross award compatibility as possible enabling the students to switch to another award such as Software Development or Technical Support, and to allow the centres to in-fill classes to make them viable.

We’ll see what happens over the next eighteen months or so.

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