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Winter Journal

Volume 29, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

Socialspiel Meets Global, Multi-Platform Launch Timeline with the Perforce Helix SCM and Collaboration Platform

 

WOKINGHAM (UK)Perforce Software today announced that Legacy Quest, the new free-to-play roguelike action-RPG game developed by Socialspiel Entertainment and published by Nexon, has launched in 14 countries. The game was developed using the Perforce Helix source code management (SCM) and collaboration platform.

 

Global Cross-Platform Development
The scalability of the Perforce Helix platform was critical to Socialspiel’s development process. The studio initially used Git for version control, but the platform couldn’t meet Socialspiel’s need to store all project assets—including large binary files—in one place. By using Perforce Helix as the “single source of truth” for all Legacy Quest IP, the studio’s art, audio and development teams from Germany and Korea collaborated seamlessly to branch, build and merge new releases across platforms including iOS and Android. Socialspiel estimates that Perforce Helix helped increase release efficiency by as much as 30 percent compared to previous projects.

 

“We founded Socialspiel as a group of ex-Rockstar Games and Deep Silver developers who were used to using Perforce on some of the largest game franchises in the world,” said Mike Borras, co-founder and CEO of Socialspiel Entertainment. “We thought that Perforce was out of our price range as a startup, but the free-for-20-users program allowed us to switch over from Git and continue working the way we’ve always done. From Legacy Quest’s initial development to its release and ongoing support, Perforce Helix allows us to operate at Triple-A scale, with the speed, flexibility and efficiency of a lean mobile studio.”

 

Perforce is the games industry’s most popular SCM and collaboration platform due to its speed, ease of use and ability to manage any type of file–including large binaries, such as the artwork and audio files used to make games. By acting as a single repository for all code, IP and other assets, it enables studios to accelerate many of their key development processes and easily plug in automation tools to quickly branch and manage builds.

 

Scaling Triple-A Development
Socialspiel started using Perforce Helix through the
Perforce 20/20 Program, which offers Perforce Helix free of charge for up to 20 users or 20 workspaces; it also includes access to Perforce’s award-winning technical support. As Socialspiel outgrew the program, it migrated to the paid edition without any downtime or issues, allowing the studio to scale its Triple-A development practices throughout the entire development and release process.

 

“We created the 20/20 Program because we believe that companies shouldn’t have to compromise on the quality of their tools and processes based on their size and budget,” said Christopher Seiwald, founder and CEO of Perforce. “It’s very satisfying to work with young companies like Socialspiel and watch them grow and mature with our technology.”

 

Legacy Quest is available on iOS and Android. Additional press information on the game is available here: https://app.box.com/s/ztkcsw7s46lwot7r044sxsjflph8f958

 

About Perforce Software
Perforce Software helps companies build complex products more collaboratively and securely. Its highly scalable source code management (SCM) and collaboration platform, Perforce Helix, enables global teams to collaborate on any type or size of file. It supports both centralised and distributed (DVCS) workflows while safeguarding intellectual property with advanced behavioural analytics. Perforce is trusted by the world’s most innovative brands, including adidas, Samsung, NVIDIA, Intuit, Pixar, Salesforce, EA, Ubisoft and VMware. The company is headquartered in Alameda, California, with offices in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, and sales partners around the globe. For more information, please visit http://www.perforce.com/.

About Socialspiel Entertainment GmbH
Socialspiel Entertainment is a developer of free to play mobile games exclusively published by Nexon. Founded in 2010 in Vienna, Austria by a team of ex-Rockstar Games developers, Socialspiel has created several award winning free to play social games such as “Tight Lines Fishing” and “Asterix & Friends”. Since 2014, Socialspiel has been working together with Nexon to bring high-quality adventures to the hands of mobile gamers around the world. For more information, please visit
http://www.socialspiel.com.

NEW YORK – The world’s largest online project management conference – IIL’s International Project Management Day: Ensuring a Sustainable Future – is set to go live November 5, 2015. Thousands of professionals from around the globe, from project managers to C-suite executives, will come together to hear insights into the future of project management, business, and sustainability.  

The virtual conference, hosted by global training organization International Institute for Learning, Inc., will feature 8 keynotes with live Q&A and more than 25 video presentations on Project, Program, and Portfolio Management; Sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); Leadership; and Business Strategy. Participants will hear from innovators and thought leaders that are changing “business as usual,” including:

  • Curtis Ravenel, Global Head of Sustainable Business and Finance, Bloomberg L.P. – Keynote

  • Don Kingsberry, Enterprise PMO Leader, Bill & Melina Gates Foundation – Keynote

  • Fulya Kocak, Director of Sustainability, Clark Construction Group – Keynote

  • Dr. Harold Kerzner, Executive Director of Project Management, IIL – Keynote

  • Dr. Ed Hoffman, Chief Knowledge Officer, NASA

  • Sarina Arcari, PMP, 2015 Kerzner Award Winner and Staff VP, Implementation Management Office, WellPoint Military Care

  • Steve Del Grosso, Director, Project Management Center of Excellence, IBM


“IIL has hosted events in honor of International Project Management Day for the past 11 years,” said E. LaVerne Johnson, IIL Founder, President, and CEO.“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate International Project Management Day through this virtual conference, as well as to share critical knowledge and best practices with professionals around the world. We have brought together IIL’s subject matter experts and speakers from many other leading organizations. I believe this year’s program is our strongest yet.”

In addition to keynotes and presentations, attendees will be able to connect with speakers, network with fellow attendees, and visit sponsor booths for downloads and giveaways. PMI-certified practitioners can also earn up to 20 Professional Development Units (PDUs) to maintain their PMP® or PgMP® credential. Registrants will have access to all keynotes and video presentations for 90 days on demand.

For more information or to register for IIL’s International Project Management Day 2015: Ensuring a Sustainable Future, please visit www.iil.com/international-project-management-day-2015.

Advanced Features Enhance Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Create Enterprise-Grade Solution

 

IRVINE, Calif. – Zadara™ Storage, the provider of enterprise-class storage-as-a-service (STaaS) announced that its customer Moonami Learning Solutions has achieved significant time-savings and competitive advantage by leveraging the award-winning Zadara VPSA enterprise storage as-a-service (STaaS) solution in concert with compute resources at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

By eliminating its use of GlusterFS storage and deploying Zadara’s enterprise-grade NFS and CIFS storage co-located adjacent to AWS East 1, Moonami is saving approximately 20 hours of IT time each week — nearly half of a full-time administrator’s role — from the daily headaches of managing the storage resource. This is extra time that Moonami’s small, but savvy IT team is now allocating to more business-impactful activities. The move also lowered Moonami’s total storage costs by 45%.

The Zadara VPSA also enabled Moonami to take advantage of low-cost object-based storage capabilities for backup, via Zadara’s unique Backup to Amazon S3 (B2S3) feature — an automatic, snapshot-based, continuous, incremental backup. With increments as frequent as once a minute, B2S3 allows any Moonami customer who accidentally deleted files to request a backup copy saved within the past hour, instead of within the past day. This enables heightened customer peace of mind and allows Moonami to deliver even better service to their customers.

“Once we discovered the elasticity and scalability that Zadara offers, our entire IT infrastructure was easier to manage — an advantage that translates directly into even better service to our customers,” said John Porten, president of Moonami LMS, based in Indianapolis. “With Gluster it could take weeks or as much as a month to rebalance a disk when you added capacity. This was wasted time that impacted our customer service. Now we can devote that time to running and managing our business.”

“Having hourly backups has also been especially valuable for us,” Porten continued. “Our customers often ask us to restore their site to how it was a few hours ago. Previously, the best we could do was a daily restore. Now, with B2S3 we can do hourly point and restores and it doesn’t take up any of our Zadara disk space — which is even better.”

Zadara’s Backup to S3 (B2S3) makes recovery quick and easy, with instant access to backed-up volumes. Data backed up via B2S3 can also be restored to any storage medium from any vendor, including Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) — avoiding vendor lock-in and providing customers with the ultimate in backup flexibility.

“We are proud to provide Moonami with storage that matches the functionality, sophistication and flexibility of AWS compute,” said Nelson Nahum, CEO and co-founder of Zadara Storage. “As CIOs and IT executives struggle to meet their elasticity, scalability and economic goals, Moonami Learning Solutions’ experience showcases how the right technology is enabling smart, nimble enterprises to gain a competitive edge.”

Click to Tweet: Moonami Learning Solutions saves 50% of their time and 45% of their cost with Zadara’s VPSA Storage-as-a-Service http://bit.ly/1Ngd24w

About Zadara Storage

Zadara Storage offers enterprise storage-as-a-service, delivering high-performance, highly available file and block storage. The company’s patented, software-defined Virtual Private Storage Arrays™ (VPSA™) deliver flexible, multi-tenant enterprise SAN and NAS technology for peta-scale primary and secondary storage. With isolated resources, exceptional data security, and management control, VPSAs meet the most stringent Service-Level Agreements (SLAs). Zadara is available both via OPaaS (On-Premise as a Service) and through a wide range of worldwide cloud and colocation providers, including value-added relationships with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Dimension Data, TelecityGroup, CloudSigma, and others. Visit www.zadarastorage.com, the Zadara Blog, or on LinkedIn and Twitter.

EATONTOWN, NJ. -- In the three years since Hurricane Sandy scored a direct hit on New Jersey, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been actively engaged in the recovery effort, providing $6.8 billion to date to help the state recover and rebuild.

This money has helped to restore critical facilities, clear debris, replace boardwalks along the Jersey Shore, rebuild public infrastructure, and reimburse municipalities throughout the state for the enormous costs of clearing debris and restoring public safety in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

FEMA’s National flood Insurance program has paid out more than $3.5 billion in claims to flood insurance policyholders whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the storm. Through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP), the agency approved $422.9 million in payments to Sandy survivors.

FEMA Public Assistance, which provides funds for repair and rebuilding of infrastructure and public facilities as well as necessary work such as debris removal and emergency response, has obligated $1.809 billion in Public Assistance funds towards repair and rebuilding projects in New Jersey.

As the work of rebuilding continues, FEMA is helping to strengthen the state’s capacity to withstand a future disaster. Thirty-nine percent of all Public Assistance (PA) projects have accompanying mitigation projects. FEMA is funding projects that protect vulnerable facilities from inundation by storm waters, raise homes above the flood plain and convert neighborhoods that have experienced repeated and devastating flooding to public, open space. Eighty-six percent of all New Jersey PA projects over a half-million dollars have a mitigation component.

To date, the FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has obligated $258,456,164 million for a series of mitigation measures that includes voluntary property acquisitions in communities subject to repetitive flooding, energy allocation, retail fuel, infrastructure, home elevations and planning projects, including $30.9 million for home elevations in flood-prone areas and $9.7 million for the Retail Fuel Station Program. The RFS is a voluntary grant program designed to enhance the operational resiliency of retail fuel stations statewide by funding the installation of back-up generators capable of operating fuel pumps when power outages occur.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at www.twitter.com/FEMASandy,www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/FEMASandy, www.facebook.com/fema, www.fema.gov/blog, and www.youtube.com/fema.Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.”

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 00:00

5 simple tools to help count the cost of IT

SaaS TCO Calculator

Buying a SaaS product is very different to paying for software in the traditional sense, with the latter tending to involve one-off licence fees rather than subscriptions, greater overheads in terms of setup and maintenance, and potentially demanding their own dedicated hardware. The Software Advice TCO Calculator allows users to make a side-by-side comparison of SaaS and on-premise software in terms of cost, taking into account a vast array of factors like the terms of their respective licences, their life expectancy, and any support and training that may be required. It also provides a useful visualisation of cost over time.

...

http://blog.krollontrack.co.uk/pieces-of-interest/5-simple-tools-to-help-count-the-cost-of-it/

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 00:00

Cobalt Enters the BCI Hall of Fame

Winning a BCI Award, whether regional or global, is a considerable achievement. It demonstrates your dedication to the industry and reflects the effort you have put in, either as an individual or as an organization. BCI Award winners act as a shining light to those around them, giving them something to aspire to and work towards. To win a BCI Award on a regular basis however, that takes something extra special.

The BCI is pleased to announce that the latest entry to the Hall of Fame is Cobalt. Cobalt have won three consecutive BCI Middle East Innovation of the Year Awards with three different solutions. This category is a particularity difficult category to win repeatedly as entrants must provide evidence that they are exploring new ground, delivering innovation, understanding current and future needs, and at the same time deliver tangible operational benefits for clients.

Jean-François Plante, Cobalt founder and CEO said: “To achieve entry into the BCI Hall of Fame is a realisation of our determination to develop world-class solutions and be a global leader in our industry. From day one, the Cobalt team has worked with a clear focus on innovation and quality, with the BCI and its members’ principal in our endeavours.

There is a lot of marketing strategy in our industry but for Cobalt, it starts and ends with talking to people. People, with their unique experiences, shared concerns and organisational needs, give us our market vision and enable us to listen and provide answers with our technology, this validation is testament to our vision and we are incredibly proud."

The Business Continuity Institute’s Hall of Fame, set up in 2015, is for those who have not only displayed a high standard of achievement, but have done so consistently. As such, only those who have won three BCI Awards within the same category will be permitted to enter.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 00:00

The IT Security Risk on Your Wrist

Mobile computing devices used to be the challenge for many enterprises. IT departments found themselves tugged in several different directions at once. Employees insisted on using their tablets and smartphones to access company applications, while security officers threw up their hands in horror at the idea of unknown and uncontrollable devices having a way in to corporate data. Judging from statistics from a survey earlier in 2015 by BYOD security solutions provider SOTI Inc., security officers are right in their misgivings. Mobile device usage puts enterprises at risk, whether through sloppy networking or data storage practices or other. Yet what if the bigger security risk was now no longer in your pocket, but strapped to your wrist?

...

http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/the-it-security-risk-on-your-wrist/

EATONTOWN, N.J. -- When it comes to destruction, disasters like Superstorm Sandy don’t discriminate:  historic structures and environmentally sensitive areas that lie in the path of a storm are in just as much peril as less significant sites.

But when a historic structure or ecologically fragile area is damaged in a disaster, particular care must be taken to ensure that any repair or remediation that must take place is done in accordance with historic and environmental regulations.

To accomplish that, state, county and local officials in the impacted area are able to draw on the support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Environmental and Historic Preservation Specialists.

The EHP cadre plays a critical role in helping municipalities and agencies understand the importance of compliance with environmental and cultural regulations so they may make informed planning decisions.

A view of the damaged Liberty State Park pedestrian bridge
The Liberty State Park pedestrian bridge was destroyed in Sandy.
 
EHP provides expertise and technical assistance to FEMA staff, local, state and federal partners and applicants who are tasked with the challenge of preserving historic, cultural and natural aspects of our national heritage. They help applicants understand what is required under the law and how best to meet those requirements.

At Liberty State Park, which is adjacent to Jersey City, Superstorm Sandy destroyed a popular pedestrian bridge that provided access to the park for walkers and cyclists in the Jersey City area.

With the help of specialists from FEMA’s Environmental and Historic Preservation Department, city officials acted quickly to develop a plan for reconstructing the bridge.

The city applied for a FEMA Public Assistance grant which, if the project was approved, would reimburse the city for most of the reconstruction costs.

Because the original bridge traversed environmentally sensitive wetlands, it was important that any new construction be environmentally acceptable and that it occupy the same footprint as the previous bridge.

The park, an oasis of green space adjacent to the bustle of Jersey City, offers recreational facilities, a science museum, and several historic sites including the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey terminal where new immigrants arriving from Ellis Island boarded the trains that would take them to new lives across America.

The park is also the site of a memorial honoring those who died in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, titled Empty Sky. It is the most heavily visited park in the state.

Located just across the river from lower Manhattan, Liberty State Park also played a critical role following the attacks of 9/11 as a staging area for first responders.

With so many reasons for area residents to visit the park, restoring access via the pedestrian bridge was a priority for Jersey City officials.

The cost of replacing the 120-foot-long, 10-foot-wide bridge replacement project was estimated at $834,600. Jersey City’s Assistant City Engineer Jeff Reeves chose a pre-fabricated bridge that could be lifted onto the foundation via a crane. The pre-made span cost $160,000.

Restoring the foundation cost an additional $650,000, which included the demolition of the remnants of the original bridge and the installation of necessary components such as foundation “riprap.”

The final cost for reconstruction of the foundation and replacement of the pedestrian bridge came in under budget at $755,642 which represents the 90% federal share of the total cost.

A view of the newly constructed bridge
The new Ethel Pesin Liberty Footbridge
 
Because the total cost of disaster recovery in New Jersey exceeded a benchmark set by the federal government according to a specific formula, the federal share of the cost of the bridge replacement was increased to 90 percent with the remaining 10 percent borne by the state and the City of Jersey City.

On June 20, 2013, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy dedicated the new bridge, which has been officially named the “Ethel Pesin Liberty Footbridge” in memory of the woman who, with her husband, Morris, worked tirelessly to  establish the park. A community leader and founding trustee of the Friends of Liberty State Park, Pesin died early in 2013.

“We know how important this piece of infrastructure is to our residents, and that is why we worked with OEM and our engineering staff to find a way to expedite the replacement of the Jersey Avenue footbridge,” the mayor said.

Today, walkers and cyclists are again able to enjoy the recreational facilities at Liberty State Park and visit the park’s historic sites via the Jersey Avenue Bridge.

And because of the teamwork between state and local officials and FEMA’s EHP experts, the environmentally sensitive wetlands that surround the bridge have been protected.

Please be sure to watch the video titled, “Apr 17, 2013- Liberty State Park - A Gift Worth Saving” at http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/82646

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at www.twitter.com/FEMASandy,www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/FEMASandy, www.facebook.com/fema, www.fema.gov/blog, and www.youtube.com/fema.Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.”

(TNS) - In the midst of powerful storms and heavy rains, Victoria set a new record Saturday, receiving 3.87 inches of rain.

The previous record for the most rainfall received on Oct. 24 was set in 1949 with a total of 2.17 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Although the city is not experiencing any major flooding at the moment, Richard McBrayer, coordinator of Victoria's Office of Emergency Management, said Sunday that the public should not let its guard down. The city received .3 inches of rain Sunday with most ending by 11 a.m. Sunday.

"Right now, we're at a mild to moderate flood rate, but we'll be monitoring it and know more later in the week," McBrayer said, as the rain continues to drain into regional creeks and the Guadalupe River.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Victoria-Sets-Rainfall-Record-Monitors-Rising-Guadalupe-River.html

(TNS) - Greenfield Twp. firefighters were cutting a driver out of a Jeep last week when an elderly man from the other car involved in the wreck started having chest pains.

Firefighters tried to call for another ambulance, but the crash scene near the intersection of Route 247 and Greenfield Road was in a dead zone in the county radio network, Fire Chief P.J. Fortuner recalled.

“We had to call Susquehanna County to dispatch the ambulance,” Chief Fortuner said. “It took a good 10 minutes for the ambulance to get there because they couldn’t hear us.”

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Lackawanna-County-to-overhaul-fire-EMS-radio-system.html