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October 18, 2017

That means customer-facing apps can be rapidly updated with features and tweaks to compete with rivals, for example. "It means you can respond to customer requests and competitive pressures," added Johnston. "A CIO or CTO can go to the CEO, and say: Hey, these apps we're queuing up? We're delivering them in weeks not months."Docker to date isn't about mind-blowing computer-science breakthroughs; it's all about taking existing technologies that have been cranky to configure and a pain to master, and making them super-easy and smooth to use. Now it's taking that approach to container deployment for enterprises. Microservices isn't for everyone – you can't wave a magic wand and turn all dependencies into separate services, and it can introduce really irritating complexities. Still, a lot of people swear by them.Below is a simplified diagram showing how ADP, a major payroll processing service in the US, has used DDC to switch from monolithic programs to apps that are made up of interchangeable and updatable microservices.

It was pretty essential to Docker that it get its software right for ADP, because the finance biz processes Docker staffers' wage slips. "Docker uses ADP, so we have an interest in deploying this successfully," said Johnston."As part of our initiative to modernize our business-critical applications to microservices, ADP has been investigating solutions that would enable our developers to leverage a central library of IT-vetted and secured core services that they could rapidly iterate on,” said ADP CTO Keith Fulton."With Docker, we will be able to ensure application portability, whether it is between dev and ops or between the data center and the cloud."DDC isn't reliant on any particular Linux distribution nor underlying hardware: your kernel and processor just need to support all the low-level stuff that Docker containers are built on. Pricing is based on how many nodes you want to scale DDC on: it's basically $150 per node per month, but do drop them a line to find out more on that score, if DDC floats your container boat.

A UK court has approved for the first time the use of predictive coding as a basis for determining which electronic documents are relevant to a dispute.The High Court in London sanctioned its use in a multi-million pound dispute where more than 3 million electronic documents have to be assessed to determine whether they are relevant and disclosable.Master Matthews, who gave the judgment, said the use of predictive coding in the case "would promote the overriding objective" of the Civil Procedure Rules, which is that courts should seek to "deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost". He said, though, that "whether it would be right for approval to be given in other cases will, of course, depend upon the particular circumstances obtaining in them".Litigation law expert Michael Fletcher of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, welcomed the decision and said that, if anything, it is surprising it has taken so long for an English court to sanction the use of predictive coding as a means for meeting electronic disclosure requirements.

"This may be a vision of the future, but also a rather belated approval of the tools that tech-savvy litigators already have at their disposal and have been using to assess cases and in arbitration," Fletcher said. "I don't therefore see this ruling as opening the floodgates for predictive coding, as cases will need to be of a certain value and have sufficient quantities of electronic documents to make it viable. However, it may encourage parties to consider predictive coding in High Court standard disclosure exercises going forward."Predictive coding is the use of software to review the majority of electronic documents in a disclosure exercise, instead of human beings. The software is programmed to account for findings made by senior lawyers who have reviewed a sample of the documents; those lawyers 'train' the document review platform as to what documents are likely to be relevant. Having been 'trained', the software then analyses the remaining documents and identifies their relevance to issues in the case,. The senior reviewers subsequently review further samples as a quality control process, determining whether the software has correctly identified relevant documents. This process will iteratively improve the quality of the 'training' until an acceptable level of accuracy is reached..

Fletcher said predictive coding can potentially save businesses involved in litigation both money and time in major e-disclosure reviews, and perhaps even be considered more reliable than manual document review.Master Matthews cited a number of reasons why he was persuaded to sanction the use of predictive coding in the case before him. He said that predictive coding had been shown to be "useful in appropriate cases" in other jurisdictions already. He referenced cases in the US and Ireland where predictive coding had been used for e-disclosure purposes.The Master said there is "no evidence to show that the use of predictive coding software leads to less accurate disclosure being given than, say, manual review alone or keyword searches and manual review combined".Predictive coding will offer "greater consistency" in applying an approach to document review defined through senior lawyer sampling, rather than would be the case with many junior lawyers or paralegals independently applying "the relevant criteria in relation to individual documents", Master Matthews said.The Master also said the English civil procedure rules do not prohibit the use of predictive coding software. He found that its use in this case was merited in part because of the "huge" number of "electronic documents which must be considered for relevance and possible disclosure" in the case before him and because it would be "far less expensive" to use predictive coding software than to proceed with manual searching of documents in the case.

The cost of using predictive coding software was deemed to be "proportionate" to the value of the claims at stake in the wider litigation, the judge said. He said that there is "plenty of time to consider other disclosure methods if for any reason the predictive software route turned out to be unsatisfactory" in the case before him because the trial in the case is not scheduled until June 2017. The final factor weighing in favour of using the tool was that all the parties in the case had agreed on using the software and the way it is to be used. Michael Fletcher notes that this "highlights the benefits that can result from parties collaborating early on disclosure and seeking to find common ground on how to proceed in a cost-effective but robust way".

MWC16 Just ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Alcatel has announced the Idol 4 and 4S smartphones, complete with VR headset in the box, and a Windows 10 2-in-1 tablet/laptop.Alcatel, formerly known as Alcatel OneTouch, is a brand of the China-based TCL Communications. At a press event in Barcelona, the company unveiled a new logo and announced that it is dropping OneTouch from the name. Specialising in the budget and mid-tier segment, the company claims to be the fiftth largest handset manufacturer in the world, and aims to become number 5 in smartphones and tablets by the end of 2016.Newly announced at MWC are the Idol 5.2" 4+ and 5.4" Idol 4S smartphones, running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The Idol 4+ has a Qualcomm SnapDragon 617 chipset, 1.7 GHz Octa Core, 1080x1920 display, 13MP rear camera and 8MP front, 3GB RAM and 16GB storage of which 10GB is free for the user.The slightly larger 4S sports a SnapDragon 652 chipset, 1.8 GHz Octa Core, 1440x2560 display, 16MP rear and 8MP front camera, 3GB RAM and 32GB storage of which 25GB is available for user storage. Both models have MicroSD slots.

The challenge at MWC is how to differentiate your products from the mass of other Android handsets. The Idol 4 series has a couple of tricks, most notably a VR handset included in the box for the 4S, and available as an extra for the 4+. What you get is a strap-on headset into which the phone slots, providing a mobile VR experience which looks superficially similar to Samsung's Oculus-based Gear VR, into which you slot a Galaxy Note 5 or 6 series mobile.The Alcatel effort feels reasonably solid, though a bit fiddly to unpack and assemble judging by our quick hands-on in Barcelona. It is bulky though, and the key questions are what VR content will be available, and whether the headset will be destined for significant active use or the back of the drawer after purchase. A VR Store app for obtaining pictures, videos and games is pre-installed.Although detailed pricing has not been announced, the company said that the Idol 4 series will be available from April 2016, at prices from €279 to €449.

Next up from Alcatel is a Windows 10 2-in-1 tablet/laptop. The Plus 10 is a 10.1" device with a quad-core 1.92GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8350 chipset. The keyboard is detachable and includes a SIM slot for LTE (4G wireless) connectivity so you can use it as a wifi hotspot for up to 15 users.You also get basic cameras front and rear, 32GB internal storage, 2GB RAM, MicroSD slot, USB and HDMI ports. The Plus 10 is not the slimmest of devices but weighs only 850g, and battery life of 8 hours "light usage" is claimed. The model on display in Barcelona felt a bit plasticky but its light weight is a benefit.The Plus 10 will be available from June 2016, priced "from €379", according to the presentation in Barcelona. The company is "very bullish on Windows", according to VP and chief marketing officer Dan Dery. The Plus 10 joins the Fierce XL Windows 10 smartphone, released earlier this year in the US, and the Pixi 3 8-inch Windows 10 tablet announced at CES in January and set for availability in April 2016. The Pixi 3 is an ARM-based device running Windows 10 Mobile, whereas the Plus 10 runs full Windows and is the first Alcatel device with an Intel chipset.

Why do a Windows 10 device? "There is a business market but there is also a very good consumer market," Dery told El Reg. "A market that is very familiar with Windows. Having a laptop at home that can be detached as a tablet makes a lot of sense."A VR smartphone, a hotspot keyboard: it is a bit gimmicky; but Alcatel's competitive pricing will attract some interest.MWC16 HP Inc has unveiled a big bet re-entry into the handheld device market, banking on enterprise’s attachment to the Windows ecosystem to blur the memory of its previous forays and retreats into the space.The vendor will unveil its Elite x3 phablet at MWC, a six inch-high, 7.8mm thick phablet, along with a desktop dock to connect with a big screen and proper corporate networks, and a mobile extender with full size keyboard and 12.5 inch screen.The device cops a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, meaning it will not be a true Wintel device, but it will run on Windows 10. It packs 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal memory and will take SD cards of up to 2TB - once they actually hit the market.

And how much will all this cost? We don't know yet, with pricing due to be released shortly before its expected summer release.Michael Park, VP and GM for mobility and retail solutions at HP Inc, claimed the x3 is “the one device that is every device...we are basically covering desktop, notebook and phablet use cases with one product”.He said that while most mobile/handheld vendors were pushing into the enterprise as “a marketing continuum” of their consumer product lines the X3 was an unapologetically commercial enterprise product “designed for a commercial lifecycle which is two to three years.”This industrial grade ethos extends to dual SIM support, claimed all-day battery life, dual biometrics, 8MP front facing camera, active noise cancellation and B&O optimised audio so that you can really appreciate the hold music while waiting for your conference call to start.The x3 is IP67 tested, meaning it can take a four-foot fall, and will operate under water for 30 minutes before failing. (Though if that latter use case is relevant, perhaps you need to reconsider who you’re doing business with.)

Needless to say, Park also describes the device as “beautiful”. Nevertheless, despite all this status symbol box ticking, HP’s key selling point will likely be its compatibility with existing enterprise legacy systems.Park said the world doesn’t quite seem to have twigged that with Windows 10 for “the first time in the history of Microsoft that all devices have converged to the common Windows kernel.”While he had no illusions that the consumer world is unlikely to shift ecosystems any time soon, “In the world of commercial though when you go talk to a CIO and ask ‘what you do you use to drive productivity in your enterprise, to secure your back-end or to run your servers,' Microsoft is still the name in the game.”“The average Fortune 500 company has 3,500 bespoke apps that they’ve written over the last 20 to 30 years, all on .Net, all for PCs, and those have to be moved to a mobile world if that is how people are going to work.”“I think what the market doesn’t see that’s going to happen is the ability to use Continuum in Windows 10 to now drive a new type of application where you write it once and it runs on a desktop, a phone, a Surface hub, a workstation without having to re-write code will present a massive TCO and value proposition for IT moving forward.”

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