My F8 experience

F8 is the annual Facebook’s developer conference. During this conference, the company announces all their new products and technologies. This year 2018, the conference was hosted in the McEnery Convention Center San José.

I had the opportunity to attend this year and I want to show you here my experience.

Keynote

The F8 starts with the keynote, which is live broadcasted and watched by thousands of people from all over the world. This year the main spotlight was the issues that the company has recently encountered regarding users’ data privacy. During the first minutes of the keynote, Mark Zuckerberg focused on talking about the solutions Facebook is developing to solve these problems. Here you can watch the complete video of the keynote.

 

F8 Keynote

 

Let me highlight two different moments. The first is the one that made everyone laugh, when Mark Zuckerberg played the video when he testified before Congress. The second one, the moment with the loudest applause, was when Mark Zuckerberg said that all the audience would get the Oculus Go for free.

After the keynote was finished, the Festival Hall was opened. This hall was distributed in different areas, where all the new products could be enjoyed, like the Oculus Go or the AR experience in messenger.

 

F8 Festival Hall

 

Sessions

Since F8 is a conference after all, let me tell you about the sessions. I attended around 10-12 sessions. From all of them, only 2 of them had some code-related content. I mean by this, that the technical level of the sessions was low. Even more considering that this is a conference for developers. Most of the sessions seem to be more focused on product and management areas, than on engineering.

An interesting session was “How React Native Helps Companies Build Better Mobile Apps”. Although it was in the form of a panel, the discussion was about how React Native has been used by different companies (Microsoft, TaskRabbit, Vogue.com and Postlight), and how this affected to the distribution of the engineering teams and to the way the company works internally. Again, no technical details, but it provided a good overview of this technology.

 

The conference is a good source of inspiration for future trends.

 

F8 Session
 

Networking events

As any other conference similar to this one, there were several networking events to meet people and hang out, with catering, bar and music. The main social event was the After Party music concert. This year performer was Logic.

 

F8 After Party

 

PD: Now is the moment to try my new Oculus Go!

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Security in Cloud Computing: a Mapping Study

I have a new article published. For my PhD I write scientific articles that are submitted to scientific journals or conferences. This article is in English and it is published in Computer Science and Information Systems. The Computer Science and Information Systems journal is indexed in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) and it has a two year impact factor of 0.575 (2013).

ComSIS publishes original papers of lasting value covering both theoretical foundations of computer science and commercial, industrial, or educational aspects that provide new insights into design and implementation of software and information systems.

Here is the reference and the link to my article:

Zapata, B. C., Fernández-Alemán, J. L., Toval, A.: Security in Cloud Computing: a Mapping Study. Computer Science and Information Systems, Vol. 12, No. 1, 161–184. (2015)

The abstract of the article:

JMS

A number of cloud applications are currently widely used. However, one of the main reasons for the slowing down in the growth of cloud computing is that of security. Even though some research has been done in the security field, it is necessary to assess the current state of research and practice. This paper aims for the study of the existing research about security in cloud computing to analyze the state of art and to identify future directions. The method selected to investigate the security in cloud computing is a systematic mapping study. A total of 344 papers were selected and classified by security goal, research type and contribution type. The main security specific issues extracted are data protection (30.29%), access management (20.14%), software isolation (16.7%), availability (16%), trust (13.6%) and governance (3.27%). Our results demonstrate that cloud computing seems to be a promising area for security research and evaluation.

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Giveaway Winners: Free copy of new book on Android Studio

The giveaway that was published here has ended. The winners were generated automatically and they will be contacted to let them know about it.

Winners:
Angel (entry #53)
Paul (entry #106)
Victor (entry #41)

I used an external tool, PromoSimple (promosimple.com) to register the entrants and their number of entries. The following screenshot shows the Manage Winners page in which you can generate a winner for each prize.

Manage winners

To generate a random number, you can use the external site of Random.org or the PromoSimple generator.

Generate winners randomly

Thanks to everyone who participated and shared it!

You can still buy it at several sites:

Testing and Securing Android Studio Applications cover

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My new destination: San Francisco

After spending the last 10 months living in Rabat (Morocco), in a few weeks I’m starting a new project. My new destination is San Francisco, California, US.
I’m going to start working at SWARM mobile: http://www.swarm-mobile.com/. As described in Swarm webpage,

Swarm is committed to helping small business retailers understand their businesses and customers better. Our family of smart retail devices, coupled with advanced retail analytics and a comprehensive retail management platform, can help retailers increase sales through superior insights.

This opportunity is thanks to the Jóvenes con Futuro program: http://www.stepone.com/jovenes/about-the-program/.

The goal of the program is to match the brightest technical minds in Spain and arrange placement with companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.

 
I’m very excited about this new project. I expect to learn a lot and from the best.

Swarm
JCF

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Win Free copy of new book on Android Studio

Readers would be pleased to know that I have teamed up with Packt Publishing  to organize a Giveaway of my book “Testing and Securing Android Studio Applications

Three lucky winners stand a chance to win e-copy of the book. Keep reading to find out how you can be one of the Lucky Ones.

Testing and Securing Android Studio Applications cover

Overview

  • Explore the foundations of security and learn how to apply these measures to create secure applications using Android Studio
  • Create effective test cases, unit tests, and functional tests to ensure your Android applications function correctly
  • Optimize the performance of your app by debugging and using high-quality code

How to Enter?

All you need to do is write your e-mail and name below. It’s that simple. Winners will be contacted by email, so be sure to use your real email address when you comment!

In the second step, you can get extra entries if:

  • You head on over to the book page (Testing and Securing Android Studio Applications) and look through the product description of the book and drop a line via the comments after sending your email, to let us know what interests you the most about this book.
  • You tweet about this giveaway.
  • You follow me on twitter.

Winners will get an e-copy of the Book.

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New Web Design

Welcome to the new design of my personal website: belencruz.com. The design is as minimalist as the previous one but in my opinion it looks much better now. Apart from the aesthetic changes, the navigation menu is now placed in a fixed top toolbar and the resume has been divided into Timeline and Publications.
This is the third version of my website. The versions are compared in the following screenshots.

2012 Home

2012 web design

2013 Home

2013 web design

2014 Home

2014 web design

 2012 Resume

2012 resume design

2013 Resume

2013 resume design

2014 Resume – Timeline

2014 timeline design

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How to export from Zotero to Excel

Some days ago I needed to export a set of references from Zotero to a Microsoft Excel file. I tried to export and import them in Excel using different formats, but none of them was good enough. For example, a single article was imported into several rows, one per author, and that’s not the result that I wanted. Finally I found out the following mechanism although it requires several steps.

  1. Export the database from Zotero using the BibTeX format.Export Zotero
  2. Import it in JabRef as a new database. JabRef is another source bibliography reference manager that uses BibTeX as its native file format. You can download the .jar file from here, so you don’t need to install it.

    Import JabRef

  3. Export the database from JabRef using the OpenOffice Calc format. You can export it using the MS Office XML format, but as I mentioned before, each article will be in more than one row.

    Export JabRef

  4. Open the OpenOffice Calc file and save it as a Microsoft Excel file.

    OpenOffice

  5. Finally, we can open the Excel file and format the results as we like.

    Excel file

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How to find CSL citations styles

Using a reference management software is necessary when writing scientific articles, or any other kind of article, to manage bibliographic data. One of the most popular tools is EndNote, but EndNote is not a free software. I use Zotero instead, which is free and open-source. Zotero is a great tool and works perfectly. The only problem is that the output style that supports the formatting of references required by publishers is usually an EndNote style file, a file with .ens extension. Zotero manages style files with .csl extension.

Currently Zotero provides a list of 6,789 styles in their website here, so this shouldn’t be a problem. But what to do if the required style can’t be found in the Zotero list? Or what to do if you don’t even know the name of the required style? Exploring the styles one by one, even using the search filters can be tedious.

I recently discovered a great solution: the following web page, http://editor.citationstyles.org.

In this web page we can find a style in CSL format by its name, as we can do in Zotero web page, but the interesting functionality is the “Search by example” one.

If you don’t know the name of the style, but know what the final citation should look like, you can use our search by example tool to find styles that most closely match.

So, I want to publish in the journal named “Journal of Medical Systems“. This journal, in the Instructions for Authors section, provides just the .ens file to format the references and gives no specific name for that style, just some examples.

Instructions for Authors

If I try to search it in the Zotero styles page, this journal can’t be found.

Search in Zotero

The solution is using the search by example tool from here. Open the website and write in the inline citation input: “[1]”. In the bibliography input, paste the example given in the journal instructions. Then, click on the Search button. The inputs and results are in the next screenshot.

Gamelin FX, Baquet G, Berthoin S, Thevenet D, Nourry C, Nottin S, Bosquet L (2009) Effect of high intensity intermittent training on heart rate variability in prepubescent children. Eur J Appl Physiol 105:731-738. doi: 10.1007/s00421-008-0955-8

Search by example

The highest match is 18%. Not what we were expecting, right?. This is because we didn’t use the same data than the example shown in the left edge of the screen. We have to edit the bibliography input to include the same information. For this example, change the authors’ name, the year, the title, the journal name, the volume and pages, and the doi. Notice that while we rewrite the fields, the matched information is highlighted in the left box. Click on the Search button again.

1. Watson JD, Crick FHC (1953) Molecular structure of nucleic acids; a structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid. Nature 171:737-738. doi: 10.1038/171737a0

Search by example OK

This time we get 99% match. We can view the details of the style, edit it and download it.

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Personal resume – Infographic

Some days ago I decided I wanted to change the page containing my resume so it wasn’t a boring CV. I wanted to do a more visual resume taking advantage of the web platform. I’ve seen those webs in HTML5 that create a kind of animation while scrolling over the page: Android KitKat, Firefox OS, or Robby Leonardi resume. But I think they are not practical and you have to keep scrolling and scrolling. I wanted a simple design, at a glance. The solution was to create an infographic.

To create the infographic I used the online tool Piktochart . It was very easy and it really works very well. These are some of its features:

  • Free. You can create a whole infographic for free.
  • Possibility of become a PRO user to get more themes or to export the infographic to an image up to A4 resolution.
  • Choose a theme or a blank infographic. I created mine from a blank template.
  • Export to jpeg, png or export the HTML.
  • Upload your own images or use the images and icons provided by picktochart.
  • Add links to the elements of the infographic.

You can see my first approach as an image in pinterest here.

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Giveaway Winners: Free copy of my book on Android Studio

The giveaway that was published here, has ended. The winners were generated automatically and I’ve already contact them to let them know about it.

Winners:
Sergio (entry #71)
Paul (entry #62)
Saravanan (entry #113)

I used an external tool, PromoSimple (promosimple.com) to register the entrants and their number of entries. The following screenshot shows the Manage Winners page in which you can generate a winner for each prize.

Manage winners

To generate a random number, you can use the external site of Random.org or the PromoSimple generator.

Generate winners randomly

Thanks to everyone who participated and shared it!

You can still buy it at several sites:

Android Studio Application Development

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