Solar-powered plane circles globe, returns to UAE

ABU DHABI A solar-powered aircraft successfully completed the first fuel-free flight around the world on Tuesday, returning to Abu Dhabi after an epic 16-month voyage and demonstrating the potential of renewable energy.The plane, Solar Impulse 2, touched down in the United Arab Emirates capital at 0005 GMT (0405 local time) on Tuesday. It first took off from Abu Dhabi on March 9, 2015, beginning a landmark journey of about 40,000 km (24,500 miles) around the globe and nearly 500 hours of flying. Unfavorable weather at times hindered smooth flying, causing the plane to be grounded for months in some countries. Swiss explorers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, Solar Impulse founders and pilots, took turns piloting the aircraft with a wingspan larger than a Boeing 747 and weighing only as much as a family car. The Swiss team is campaigning to bolster support for clean energy. The propeller-driven aircraft's four engines are powered exclusively by energy collected from more than 17,000 solar cells built the plane's wings. Excess energy is stored in four batteries during daylight hours to keep the plane flying after dark.Over its entire mission, Solar Impulse 2 cruised at altitudes of up to 9,000 meters and at an average speed of between 45 and 90 km (12.5 and 25 miles) per hour. The plane had 16 stopovers along the way including in Oman, India, Myanmar, China, Japan, the United States, Spain and Egypt. Abu Dhabi’s green energy firm Masdar is the official host partner of Solar Impulse 2. Oil-rich Abu Dhabi is investing billions in industry, tourism and renewables to diversify its economy away from oil. (Reporting by Stanley Carvalho, editing by Sami Aboudi and Hugh Lawson)

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Yahoo reports lackluster results as sale looms

Yahoo Inc's (YHOO.O) quarterly earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations on Monday in what may be the company's last financial report before it sells its core business.Yahoo reported adjusted earnings of 9 cents per share, short of the 10 cents that analysts expected. It also announced a $482 million write-down on the value of Tumblr, the social media service that it acquired in 2013 for $1.1 billion.Total revenue rose to $1.31 billion from $1.24 billion a year earlier, though that seeming improvement was the result of a change in the way the cost of acquiring traffic is counted. After deducting fees paid to partner websites for traffic, revenue fell to $841.2 million from $1.04 billion.Revenue in the company's emerging businesses, which Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer calls Mavens - mobile, video, native and social advertising - showed some life, rising 25.7 percent to $504 million in the second quarter ended June 30.Gross search revenue for the quarter was $765 million, a 17 percent decrease from the same period last year. The company posted a net loss of $439.9 million, or 46 cents per share, compared with a loss of $21.6 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier. "If search continues to decline as much as it has that's something that's going to be called into question," said JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey.Yahoo is in the process of auctioning off its search and advertising business and is expected to choose a winner this week. The company said its board has made "great progress on strategic alternatives" but did not comment further on the auction process. Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and AT&T Inc (T.N) are said to be in the running, as well as private equity firm TPG Capital and a consortium lead by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and backed by billionaire Warren Buffett.Yahoo's fortunes have waned under Chief Executive Marissa Mayer, who has made little progress in her attempts to gain ground against newer, bigger Internet players such Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google. The tepid progress in turning around the business attracted pressure from activist investors who pushed Yahoo to launch an auction of its core business in February. Yahoo has also said it could spin off the business.Yahoo's shares were little changed at $37.92 in trading after the bell. (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Jonathan Weber and Chris Reese)

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Megaupload coming back? Founder Kim Dotcom plans a relaunch in 2017

Flamboyant German tech entrepreneur Kim Dotcom is planning to relaunch file-sharing website Megaupload in January 2017, five years after the U.S. government took down the site accusing it of piracy.Megaupload, founded in 2005, had boasted of having more than 150 million registered users and 50 million daily visitors. At one point, it was estimated to be the 13th most frequently visited website on the internet.Dotcom, who announced his plans in a series of tweets on Friday, said most of the Megaupload users would get their accounts reinstated with premium privileges.He also hinted and that the new website will use bitcoins. (bit.ly/29r9UIA)Dotcom did not immediately respond to a mail seeking comment.Dotcom and three others were arrested on Jan. 20, 2012, after armed New Zealand police raided his country estate at the request of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. U.S. authorities had said Dotcom and three other Megaupload executives cost film studios and record companies more than $500 million and generated more than $175 million by encouraging paying users to store and share copyrighted material, such as movies and TV shows. (reut.rs/29Ja8Ji)Dotcom, who has New Zealand residency, has denied charges of internet piracy and money laundering and has been fighting extradition to the United States.He has contended that the website was merely a storage facility for online files and should not be held accountable if stored content was obtained illegally. A New Zealand court in 2013 granted Dotcom access to all evidence seized by police in the raid of his house. (reut.rs/2a1Ti7g)While Kim Dotcom's net worth was not known, he became well known for his lavish lifestyle as much as his computer skills.He used to post photographs of himself with cars having vanity plates such as "GOD" and "GUILTY", shooting an assault rifle and flying around the world in his private jet. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated in 2012 that Dotcom personally made around $115,000 a day during 2010.The assets seized earlier included nearly 20 luxury cars, one of them a pink Cadillac, works of art, and NZ$10 million invested in local finance companies. (reut.rs/29GXjjR)"I'll be the first tech billionaire who got indicted, lost everything and created another billion $ tech company while on bail," he tweeted on Sunday. (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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The Life of a Serverless Microservice on AWS

In this post, I will demonstrate how you can develop, test, deploy, and operate a production-ready serverless microservice using the AWS ecosystem. The combination of AWS Lambda and Amazon API Gateway allows us to operate a REST endpoint without the need of any virtual machines. We will use Amazon DynamoDB as our database, Amazon CloudWatch for metrics and logs, and AWS CodeCommit and AWS CodePipeline as our delivery pipeline. In the end, you will know how to wire together a bunch of AWS services to run a system in production.The LifeMy idea of "The Life of a Serverless Microservice on AWS" is best described by this figure:A developer is pushing code changes to a repository. This git push triggers the CI & CD pipeline to deploy a new version of the service, which our users consume. The load generated on the system produces logs and metrics that are used by the developer to operate the system. The operational feedback is used to improve the quality of the system.What is Serverless?Serverless or Function as a Service (FaaS) describes the idea that the deployment unit is a single function. A function takes input and returns output. The responsibility of the FaaS user is to develop the function while the FaaS provider's responsible is to execute the function whenever some event happens. The following figure demonstrates this idea.Some possible events:File uploaded.E-Mail received.Database changed.Manual invoked.HTTP API called.Cron.The cool things about serverless architecture are:You only pay when the function is executed.No under/over provisioning.No boot time.No patching.No SSH.No load balancing.Read more about Serverless Architectures if you are interested in the details.What is a Microservice?Imagine a small system where users have a public visible profile page with location information of that user. The idea of a microservice architecture is that you slice your system into smaller units around bounded contexts. I identified three of them:Authentication Service: Handles authentication.Location Service: Manages location information via a private HTTP API. Uses the Authentication Service internally to authenticate requests.Profile Service: Stores and retrieves the profile via a public HTTP API. Makes an internal call to the Location Service to retrieve the location information.Each service gets its own database, and services are only to communicate with each other over well-defined APIs, not the database!Let's get started!The source code and installation instruction can be found at the bottom of this page. Please use the us-east-1 region! We will use services that are not available in other AWS regions at the moment.CodeAWS CodeCommit is a hosted Git repository that uses IAM for access control. You need to upload your public SSH key to your IAM User as shown in the following figure:Creating a repository is simple. Just click on the Create new Repository button in the AWS Management Console.We need a repository for each service. You can then clone the repository locally with the following command. Replace $SSHKeyID with the SSH Key ID of your IAM user and $RepositoryName with the name of your repository.git clone ssh://$SSHKeyID@git-codecommit.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/v1/repos/$RepositoryName` We now have a home for our code.Continuous Integration & Continuous DeliveryAWS CodePipeline is a service to manage a build and deployment pipeline. CodePipeline itself is only responsible triggering integrations to do things like:Build.TestDeploy.We need a pipeline for each service that:Downloads the sources from CodeCommit if something changes there.Runs our test and bundles the code in a zip file for Lambda.Deploys the zip file.Luckily, CodePipeline has native support for downloading sources from CodeCommit. To run our tests, we will use a third-party integration to trigger Solano CI to run our tests and bundle the source files. The deployment step is implemented in a Lambda function that triggers a CloudFormation stack update. A CloudFormation stack is a bunch of AWS resources managed by CloudFormation based on a template that you provide (Infrastructure as Code). Read more about CloudFormation on our blog.The following figure shows the pipeline:The cool thing about CloudFormation is that you can define the pipeline itself in a template. So we get Pipeline as Code.The CloudFormation template that is used for service deployment describes a Lambda function, a DynamoDB database, and an API Gateway. After deployment you will see one CloudFormation stack for each service:We now have a CI & CD pipeline.ServiceWe use a bunch of AWS services to run our microservices.Amazon API GatewayAPI Gateway is a service that offers a configurable REST API as a service. You describe what should happen if a certain HTTP Method (GET, POST,PUT, DELETE, ...) is called on a certain HTTP Resource (e.g. /user). In our case, we want to execute a Lambda function if an HTTP request comes in. API Gateway also takes care of mapping input and output data between formats. The following figure shows how this looks like in the AWS Management Console for the Profile Service.The API Gateway is a fully managed service. You only pay for requests, no under/over provisioning, no boot time, no patching, no SSH, no load balancing. AWS takes care of all those aspects.Read more about API Gateway on our blogAWS LambdaTo run code in AWS Lambda you need to:use one of the supported runtimes (Node.js (JavaScript), Python, JVM (Java, Scala, ...).implement a predefined interface.The interface in abstract terms requires a function that takes an input parameter and returns void, something, or throws an error.We will use the Node.js runtime where a function implementation looks like this:exports.handler = function(event, context, cb) { console.log(JSON.stringify(event)); // TODO do something cb(null, {name: 'Michael'}); }; In Node.js, the function is not expected to return something. Instead, you need to call the callback function cb that is passed into the function as a parameter.The following figure shows how this looks like in the AWS Management Console for the profile service.AWS Lambda is a fully managed service. You only pay for function executions, no under/over provisioning, no boot time, no patching, no SSH, no load balancing. AWS takes care of all those aspects.Read more about Lambda on our blogAmazon DynamoDBDynamoDB is a Key-Value-Store or Document-Store. You can lookup values by their key. DynamoDB replicates across multiple Availability Zones (data centers) and is eventually consistent.The following figure shows how this looks like in the AWS Management Console for the authentication service.Amazon DynamoDB is a 99% managed service. The 1% that is up to you is that you need to provision read and write capacity. When your service makes more request than provisioned, you will see errors. So it is your job to monitor the consumed capacity to increase the provisioned capacity before you run out of capacity.Read more about DynamoDB on our blogRequest FlowThe three services work together in the following way:The user's HTTP request hits API Gateway. API Gateway checks if the request is valid — if so, it invokes the Lambda function. The function makes one or more requests to the database and executes some business logic. The result of the function is then transformed into an HTTP response by API Gateway.We now have an environment to run our microservices.Logs, Metrics, and AlertingA Blackbox is very hard to operate. That's why we need as much information from the inside of the system as possible. AWS CloudWatch is the right place to store and analyze this kind of information:Metrics (numbers).Logs (text).CloudWatch also lets you define alarms on metrics. The following figure demonstrated how the pieces work together.Operational insights that you get out-of-the-box:Lambda writes STDOUTand STDERR to CloudWatch logs.Lambda publishes metrics to CloudWatch about the number of invocations, runtime duration, the number of failures, etc.API Gateway publishes metrics about the number of requests, 4XX and 5XX Response Codes, etc.DynamoDB publishes metrics about consumed capacity, the number of requests, etc.The following figure shows a CloudWatch alarm that is triggered if the number of throttled read requests of the Location Service DynamoDB table is bigger or equal to one. This situation indicates that the provisioned capacity is not sufficient to serve the traffic.With all those metrics and alarms in place, we now can be confident that we receive an alert if our system is not working properly.SummaryYou can run a high-quality system on AWS by only using managed services. This approach frees you from many operational tasks that are not directly related to your service. Think of operating a monitoring system, a log index system, a database, virtual machines, etc. Instead, you can focus on operating and improving your service's code.The following figure shows the overall architecture of our system:Serverless or FaaS does not force you to use a specific framework. As long as you are fine with the interface (a function with input and output), you can do whatever you want inside your function to produce an output with the given input.

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Red Hat Summit/DevNation: Tightening the Knot With Microsoft

Earlier today at Red Hat DevNation in San Francisco, the open source giant announced new products and partnerships, in part celebrating the ten years since Red Hat bought JBoss and entered the application development market.Microsoft and Red Hat Tighten the KnotAfter Microsoft open sourced the .NET Core language in 2014, they announced a strategic partnership with Red Hat in 2015, promising that .NET would be available on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Now, .NET Core is available on both RHEL and OpenShift via containers. According to Red Hat, this makes RHEL the "only commercial Linux distribution to feature full, enterprise-grade support for .NET, opening up platform choice for enterprises seeking to use .NET on a flexible Linux and container-based environments."Red Hat points out that the benefits of this integration include setting up microservices that use different components while also running on the same platform, a non-Windows Server infrastructure for running .NET apps, and access to more languages within OpenShift.  It looks like a win-win for both companies. Microsoft gets to prove that their recent push into open source software is genuine, and Red Hat gets to add more functionality to two of their flagship projects. EAP 7 is ReleasedIn addition to announcing the general availability of JBoss EAP 7, Red Hat also released the JBoss Core Services Collection, a set of common and fundamental application components. These components include SSO, load balancing, proxying, and monitoring capabilities.Red Hat's primary goal with EAP 7 was to make it easier for companies to move their Java apps to new architecture models, like microservices, and establish DevOps practices within their organizations. EAP7 also contains:Java EE 7 APIsJBoss Developer Studio IDEJenkinsArquillanMavenSeveral JavaScript frameworksAnd Now for Something Completely Different...You may have caught wind of this before now, but DZone's own Sam Atkinson presented at DevNation earlier today with "Learning From Astronauts On How to Be Better Developers". Our editor-in-chief, John Esposito, is on the floor as well, so if you see anyone wearing our t-shirts, be sure to say hi! You'll be able to catch Sam's presentation once the videos are uploaded at this link. I'm sure he'll have something to say about it once the show's over. For more information about Red Hat's upcoming releases, check out their blog posts:Red Hat Delivers EAP 7.NET Core Now Available

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