Keep caught up on the latest news with Next News Lock Screen

nextnews-logo-300If you’re like me, then you’re busy. Very busy. Down moments are either in between meetings, or often at night just before you go to bed. Yes. There are a few moments here and there, but there’s never really a chance to catch up on anything that may be happening in the world.

Often you have to make the most of those free moments of downtime between meetings, or during the morning or evening commute on a bus or train to and from the office. Its during these moments that I’m really glad I have Next News Lock Screen. Its an Android app that helps you catch up on the news in the world that interests you most.

Next News Lock Screen is a next generation lock screen that delivers the latest trending news, based on your reading and news category interests. You can choose news categories for sports, good, world news, technology, health, fashion, etc. You choose only the topics that interest you, and then you get the news, straight to your phone, complete with full screen color pictures.

Next News Lock Screen

There are some really cool features, here. First, the app displays a full screen pictures with a descriptive headline. The picture is digitally zoomed in so that it takes up the full screen. Depending on the size and pixel depth of the original, you may see some pixelation here, but every shot I’ve seen thus far has been big enough so that it doesn’t look bad. The picture, regardless of orientation is moved around the screen in some kind of “animation,” giving the display some life. If you want to see the whole picture, you can tap and slide up on the screen. You can cycle through available articles with a screen slide to the left or right. If you find an article you want to read, tap and hold it. Your default web browser will launch, with the article loaded. Its all very fast and very easy to use.

Next News Lock Screen is a really nice app. I’m very busy and often don’t have time to stop and check out news and other important information. However, I do often have a free moment to check mail and such on my phone. In those cases, I now can also scan the headlines without having to specifically do anything else – like start a new app – other than turn on my phone.

I did have a bit of trouble with this on my HTC One M8. I had some issues getting to the lock screen and then the app had issues downloading content when turning the device on at times. I think this may be Verizon or One M8 specific issue here in the States, however; and shouldn’t deter anyone from giving this app a shot. Verizon is a quirky US-based carrier, and they often make changes to device configurations that has been known to cause issues with some apps.

download NextNews Lock Screen

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RAD Software Development – For when Management Wants it Bad

2013-02-14-13.06.17In an age where convenience and instant gratification are easy to come by, taking time to do things the right way often gets glossed over…and causes a lot of problems

I am a software QA professional. That means that I test software for a living and manage teams to do the same thing. I’m good at it; and one of the things that I’m really beginning to hate about some of the faster paced, quick turnaround software development and releases processes is that time for testing is either greatly reduced or bypassed entirely.

I’ve learned that when management wants it bad, they can usually count on those fast passed processes to deliver just that – bad, buggy software.

Here’s a very clear case in point – today The Verge reported that it had found a bug in iOS 6.1 that allowed anyone to bypass the iOS lock screen and view and modify contacts, listen to your voicemail, and browse your photos (by attempting to add a photo to the accessible contact list). It doesn’t appear as if the exploit grants access to email or the web.

The new exploit is similar to one that was discovered in iOS 4.1 that allowed access to contacts, call history and voicemail on a passcode-locked handset without knowing the numeric entry code required to formally unlock the phone. While the steps seem to be bit unusual and convoluted – a user needs to make and then immediately cancel an emergency call and then hold down the power button a couple of times – its bugs like this that completely destroy any confidence a smartphone dependent public has in a venerated company like Apple.

It also really chaps my hide.

Testing is something that many companies either bypass or greatly reduce time and resources on, as its seen as a road block to release. In fact, many modern day methodologies don’t carry a lot of support for the different types of needed testing.

System testing, or testing the entire (and just the) application as a whole, is usually supported. Integration testing, or testing the interaction of the application with other apps and systems, usually gets bypassed. Regression testing, or the reexecution of previously completed system and integration testing tests, rarely ever gets done.

…and case in point. The bug that’s referenced here seems to be some type or classification of regression bug that should have been squashed over two FULL versions ago. The fact that it’s come back, isn’t cool; and is something that Apple needs to deal with quickly.

I’ll be watching beta releases of iOS in the near future and if I find out anything interesting, I’ll pass it on.

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