09-06 Contents: Google Settlement, ISSA
SoftTest ICS events, Eusprig conference, Excel 2007 bugs
1649-2374 This issue online at http://www.sysmod.com/praxis/prax0906.htm
Modelling Ltd.: Managing reality in
Information Systems - strategies for success
IN THIS ISSUE
ISSA Ireland open event on Microsoft
Security 10th June
Google Books Settlement Class
Softtest Ireland :
CSE / ICS free event on Agile
SoftTest free events June 16-18
Eusprig 2009 registration open
Excel 2007 unpredictably losing defined
Double-take exteriors of buildings by a
trompe l'oeil artist
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Welcome to PraxIS
July 2-3 is the European Spreadsheet Risk Interest group
annual conference - I hope to see some of you there!
ISSA Ireland open event on Microsoft Security 10th
next event for the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) will
be from 2 to 5pm on Wednesday June 10th and will be a special event in
conjunction with Microsoft, focusing on the upcoming security
enhancements in the Windows platform and Microsoft's security work in
Dublin. The venue for this seminar is the Academy building at 42 Pearse
Street, just around the corner from Pearse Street DART station. This
event is free of charge and open to non-members, however registration
is required at the URL above and in allocating places priority will be
given to ISSA members. For any questions, group bookings, membership
renewals, etc please email info-at-issaireland.org.
Security Improvements in
Windows 7 & Server 2008 R2, Dave Northey,
Principle Systems Engineer, Microsoft Ireland
How Microsoft Manages Information Security, Frank
O'Keeffe, Regional Information Security Manager, Microsoft IT
Microsoft's Malware Research: Conficker Case Study, Elda
Dimakiling & Francis Allan Tan Seng, Microsoft Malware
Tools for Securing Windows Environments, Short
talks & demos by Irish security professionals
Google Books Settlement Class Action
I attended a presentation organised by Publishing Ireland on the topic
of the Google Books settlement given by the Irish Copyright Licensing
Agency (ICLA) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP). The
essential points, if you are an author or publisher, are:
(1) Even if you're outside the USA, it applies to you.
Ignoring the settlement (the ostrich
option) gives Google permission to digitize your books in the future
and use them in accordance with the
(2) Opting out does not mean your copyright is safe
In this context, "opting out" means opting out of the settlement,
it does NOT stop Google scanning your books.
Why the Google settlement
matters to you.
Nearly every book published before January 5, 2009 is covered by the
Google settlement agreement.
Copyright - let the
Karlin Lillington writes "Samantha Holman, chief executive of the Irish
Copyright Licensing Agency, notes that some Irish writers have even
found their doctoral thesis listed on the Google settlement site and so
she encourages anyone who has ever written anything to search under
their name for any works. The settlement “is not the perfect solution
by any means. But it is the solution being proposed,” she told authors.
“You have to start reading your contracts carefully.” To others who
questioned how the company could copy and make available copyright
content, Google’s response was basically “so sue us”, Holman says."
"To consider how bizarre this is, consider it in terms of music.
Imagine if Apple had just started ripping CDs and converting them
without permission into downloads for sale through iTunes. And imagine
if a lawsuit brought by musicians and record companies resulted in
Apple being given digital rights to all that music and to collecting
and distributing revenue for it."
The EU is commissioning a study on the effects of the settlement on
"The German delegation to the European Council has submitted an
"information note" at its most recent meeting. In it, it points out
that many of the rights holders that have works that are being scanned
by Google reside in the EU, and that European copyright law differs
significantly from the US'. Most prominently, the German delegation
argues that Google is citing a fair use exception to copyright claims
in undertaking its digitization efforts; that exception doesn't exist
in Germany and other EU member states. "
4-May Google Books Information from the German delegation
The Department of Justice in the USA launched an antitrust
investigation into the settlement, despite the deal's nonexclusive
"The inquiry does not necessarily mean that the department will oppose
the settlement, which is subject to a court review. But it suggests
that some of the concerns raised by critics, who say the settlement
would unfairly give Google an exclusive license to profit from millions
of books, have resonated with the Justice Department." The settlement
came after two years of disputes and negotiations between Google and
the AAP. It involves Google shelling out $125 million to establish the
Book Rights Registry, which would kill the existing class action
lawsuit against Google for its book search.
From Google themselves:
"If You Are A
Book Author, Book Publisher Or Other Person Who Owns A Copyright In
Books Or Other Writings, Your Rights May Be Affected By A Class Action
Settlement Regarding Google’s Digitization Of Books And Other Writings.
Authors And Publishers Outside The United States: The Settlement May
Affect Your Rights As Well. Please Read This Notice Carefully."
To participate in the Settlement, you must complete the Claim Form. It
is available at googlebooksettlement.com
has already digitized over seven million books, including millions of
Books that are still in copyright in the United States. Google users
can search Google’s “digital library” and view “snippets,” meaning
several lines of text, from Books.
You should assume that you
own a U.S. copyright interest in your Book, unless you are certain that
your Book was published in, and that you reside and are located in, one
of the few countries that have not had or do not now have copyright
relations with the United States.
What happens to the books of authors and publishers who opt out of the
an author or publisher opts out of the Settlement, the terms of the
Settlement will not apply to this author or publisher. This means that
the author or publisher is retaining all rights to bring a legal action
against Google, for digitizing and displaying the author’s or
publisher’s books and Inserts, and against the Participating Libraries,
if desired. It also means that the Settlement neither authorizes Google
to make certain uses of these books and Inserts nor does it prohibit
Google from doing so.
Softtest Ireland : Professionalism
The May 2009 meeting of SoftTest Ireland was addressed by John McArdle
and Anne-Marie Charrett.
Their presentations are now available for download from
John McArdle is Director of the Applications Software Group
within Sogeti Ireland
His topic was "Professionalism in Testing"
If you're a tester, check for yourself this list of characteristics of
•Have acquired skills
based on theoretical knowledge
•Join professional associations
•Have undertaken an extensive period of education
•Have undergone testing of their competence
•Have received institutional training
•Have some indeterminacy of knowledge
•Have high mobility
John gave some pointers for learning:
preference for learning / Acquiring knowledge
(Learning Styles Questionnaire)
•Identify sources of information / learning
•Whitepapers / Articles
•E-learning / Web-sites
•Courses / Certifications
•Professional Bodies / Industry Associations
•Identify role models and mentors who can share experiences
•Build a Learning Action Plan –liaise with HR / T&D
•Execute your plan
•Monitor and review your progress
Anne-Marie Charrett is a professional software tester and
runs her own company Testing Times.
Her topic was "Startups and Software Testing"
Her own list of the characteristics of testers is:
• Open Minded
She recounted some her own experience which contradicted these myths:
• Startups are not
interested in Quality
• Beta testing is the cheap and dirty solution
• Software testing is document heavy
Anne-Marie is organising a Software Testing Meetup in Dublin
pm on 16th June 2009 in the Library Room, 1st Floor, Central
SoftTest free events June 16-18
|| Radisson SAS
|| Holiday Inn, Pearse
Cork Intl Airport Hotel
|| 12 :
17/06/09 - Please contact
- 12:15 Registration
- 13.10 Evolution of new feature verification in
Ericsson – Michael Monaghan
- 14:00 Software Testing and Global Industry:
Future Paradigms- Val Casey
- 14:30 Networking Lunch
of new feature verification in Ericsson – Michael Monaghan
the commercial launch of 3G Radio Access Networks in the early part of
decade, the market has been demanding new and more complex features,
more demanding time to market requirements. This, combined with demands
continuous improvements in operational excellence, necessitates more
development practices. In order to maximise these development
is vital that improvements are also made in verification strategies.This
presentation will provide a whistle-stop tour along a timeline from
today, detailing the challenges encountered in verification of new
and how they were overcome by shifting verification strategies. Lessons
and problems encountered will also be addressed.
case studies will be presented which show how savings in test cost of
80% were achieved in verification of some features.
Software Testing and
Global Industry: Future Paradigms- Val Casey
software development has truly become a globally sourced
commodity. In the
context of Global Software Development (GSD) to date
testing has been perceived as a well defined task that is relatively
straightforward and lends itself to being outsourced or
talk demonstrates that testing in a GSD
environment is not necessarily a straightforward activity. In reality
it can be
negatively impacted by all the factors associated with distributed
development. In this context practical solutions which can be utilised
address these important issues will be considered and
CSE / ICSfree event on Agile, June 9
Improving Your Agility – Injury-free Approaches
Tuesday June 9th, 2009, 9:00am-1:00pm
This event will focus on the Agile Approach as applied in industry from
four different perspectives:
Agile Projects – What’s
Effective? Ian Lawthers, Centre for Software
Engineering. Ian will give an overview of Agile Methods and explain how
the Agile approach has been applied in software projects within a
number of local companies. He will outline common problems and benefits
when an organization implements the agile approach and how these
problems can be overcome.
The Daily Scrum - does
it Work? Stewart Bourke, ABM Data Systems Ltd.
ABM Data Systems implemented the daily scrum as part of project to
re-architect one of their core products. As they moved from a
legacy development environment to the .NET platform, they also took the
opportunity to review our development practices. Part of this
was the adoption of the daily scrum, and in this presentation they will
present their experiences.
Introducing an Agile
Development Methodology (EVO) – James Cleere,
Cylon Controls. James will speak on how Cylon Controls implemented Tom
Gilb’s Evo method. Evo (Evolutionary Project Management) is an agile
method that allows frequent project feedback that reflects the actual
state of the project. He will also outline how an agile approach was
integrated with an existing ISO 9001 Quality Management System.
– Dave Halpin, Centre for Software Engineering. Step inside
the head of the Agile Expert with the revolutionary new CSE tool
DesignOORama. DesignOORama author, Dave Halpin shows how the
tool can be used to maintain and improve your team's agility.
Attendance at this event is free. Refreshments and a light lunch will
be provided. The event is co-hosted by the Centre for Software
Engineering (CSE) and the Irish Computer Society (ICS) in the ICS at
Crescent Hall, Dublin 2. You must register if you
wish to attend this event; phone: 01 7005750 or email:
Eusprig 2009 registration open
Le rôle des tableurs pour l'excellence dans les organisations
The Role of Spreadsheets in Organizational Excellence
STEF ENS Cachan, Paris, France July 2-3 2009
Early indications of the programme are:
Keynotes from Martin
Erwig and Lousie
Patrick O'Beirne (Sysmod.com) Spreadsheet Check and
Susan Allen (HBOS) Excel modelling, transparency,
auditing and Business use
Tom Grossman, Ozgur Ozluk & Jan Gustavson (UCSF) The
Lookup Technique to Replace Nested-If
Leslie Bradley & Kevin McDaid (DKIT) Error
Estimation in Large Spreadsheets using Bayesian Statistics
Angus Dunn () There will be a better
John Hunt () An approach for automated
Matthew Dinmore (UMB) Documenting Problem-Solving
Knowledge: Annotation Design
Ruth McKeever, Kevin McDaid & Brian Bishop
(DKIT) An Analysis of the Impact of Named Ranges on
Bill Bekenn & Ray Hooper (Fairway) Some
Angela Collins (BDO Stoy Hayward) Embedded spreadsheet
Sriram Iyengar & John Shvirbely (Medal.org and
UT) The medical algorithims
Françoise Tort, François-Marie Blondel, Éric Bruillard (ENS
Cachan) From errors detection to behaviour observation
Étienne Vandeput (U. Liège) Milestones for Teaching
the Spreadsheet Program
Derek Flood, Kevin Mc Daid, Fergal Mc Caffery
(DKIT) NLP-SIR: A Natural Language Approach for Spreadsheet
Grenville Croll (SpreadsheetRisks.com) The role of
spreadsheets in the financial collapse
Excel 2007 unpredictably losing defined names
This was recently posted on the Excel-L list.
"I am continuously losing range names in Excel 2007. I keep renaming
single cell ranges (e.g. "Project1", "TimePeriod1") only to
find the range name missing from the file a few minutes later.
Has anyone found a fix or other way to work through this"
Simon Murphy has already mentioned it:
as has the newsgroup microsoft.public.excel.programming :
This sounds like a really bad problem for those modellers who depend
heavily on the use of defined names to make their models robust.
I don't think that bug is among the 236 Excel bugs fixed in Office
A workbook is available that lists the issues that are fixed by this
Spreadsheet Check and Control: 47 best practices to detect
and prevent errors
SCANXLS - Spreadsheet Files & Links
ScanXLS scans any given directory and below and obtains a list
of all the .XL* files. You then select some or all of these, and it
opens each one in turn read-only and reports on some file properties,
attributes, the presence of unusual features or settings that may
represent a risk or are prone to human error, the error checking
statistics provided by Microsoft Excel, a list of other workbooks that
it depends on through links, and a scoring on how 'problematic' it
might be. SCANXLS can also compare two workbooks to check whether their
formulas and/or values are identical.
Simply send your comments to FEEDBACK (at) SYSMOD (dot) COM
Thank you! Patrick O'Beirne,
Double-take exteriors of buildings by a trompe l'oeil artist
The paintings, which have fooled many, were created by John
Pugh, who specialises in trompe l'oeil - or 'trick of the eye' - art.
His works can been seen all over the world, including in the artist's
home state. The 'earthquake' work shown here is located on Main Street
in the town of Los Gatos and was created following a genuine earthquake
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Patrick O'Beirne, Editor
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