By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Tom Waits’ Orphans:
Intridea has announced the launch of “Acts As Community,” described by company officials as “the first social network custom-tailored to encourage communication and collaboration among users of the Ruby programming language.”
Through a number of tools and sharing methods, company officials say, Rubyists “can be more informed and learn from their colleagues in ways never before possible.” AAC is being introduced in conjunction with RailsConf 2008, which is being held May 29-June 1, 2008 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.
Acts As Community provides an all-inclusive Ruby community for sharing and communications in which Merbivores (devotees of the Merb model-view-controller design method), Rails developers, and all Ruby users are welcome.
By joining AAC, IT professionals can “connect with other Rubyists, share experiences, ask questions, learn about new happenings in the Ruby community and find and post Ruby-related jobs.”
The Acts As Community social network provides benefits in such areas as Open-Source Projects, where users can plug in the URL of their GitHub project to create a full profile, including forums, a blog, and more for their open-source software (OSS) projects.
There are also Personal Profiles, where members can “show off their latest blog posts and OSS contributions in a fully customizable interface,” company officials say.
“As long-time active contributors to Ruby on Rails, directly and through our plug-ins, we’ve recognized firsthand the opportunities and innovation that come from interacting with our peers,” said Barg Upender, Intridea founding partner and director of strategic partnerships. “We’re happy to give back to the Ruby community, and are excited to see Acts As Community embraced so readily.”
In what company officials say is a bid to widen its market coverage in the SME and Mid-market enterprise segments, business applications company Sage has signed a Partner agreement with Tasaa Netcom to offer Sage Accpac ERP in the Mumbai market.
In addition to providing implementation services, Tasaa has also signed as a Development Partner of Sage to “provide industry specific products and locally relevant add-ons on the Sage Accpac ERP platform.” The Tasaa team has also built up skills on the Sage Business Intelligence tool, Sage Accpac Insight.
Tasaa officials say the partnership with Sage will allow Tasaa to offer “value added products to the Trading, Services and Manufacturing sectors.”
Sage India Managing Director Thomas Abraham said “we believe the team at Tasaa has the necessary skills and domain expertise to make this happen. Sage remains committed to the Partner model.”
Ameet Shah, Managing Director Tasaa Netcom, said the partnership with Sage “will help us move to the next level of providing business applications like ERP to our customers.”
Auto/Mate Dealership Systems has announced that it has completed the integration of GM’s Parts Workbench with its Automotive Management Productivity Suite. The new interface allows Auto/Mate dealer customers to place, access, track and modify GM parts orders via the Internet through the AMPS dealership management system.
“With almost half of a dealer’s operating profits come from its service and parts department, getting a new service like this up and running as fast as possible is critical for our GM dealership customers,” explains Mike Esposito, president of Auto/Mate.
Parts Workbench is a secure Web service designed to replace GM’s Rapid system for parts ordering with more features and functionality. It has separate interfaces designed to speed up the parts submission and delivery process, and eliminate artificial bottlenecks.
The interfaces include Daily Financial Invoice, which allows real-time retrieval of GM Service and Parts Operations invoices within the last 24 hours, and Parts Order Inquiry, which provides on-demand real-time retrieval of part orders status and gives dealers the ability to immediately query the GM SPO Host.
AMPS is a dealership management system with over 20 integrated modules, and supports an unlimited number of users, workstations and printers. It’s available as both an in-house and ASP product.
Kicking the music up a notch, we have Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ surprisingly good — First Coffee has never had much use for Nick Cave beyond the scattered song here and there — album Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Metavante and Monitise Americas have announced that H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard cardholders will have access to mobile phone text messaging to check their balances and receive account reload mobile alerts.
H&R Block will pilot the text messaging capabilities made available by Metavante Mobile Financial Services, powered by Monitise Americas technology.
H&R Block’s Emerald Prepaid MasterCard marked what the Blocksters call “the largest launch of a prepaid debit card in the industry.” Monitise Americas is a joint venture between Monitise plc, a global specialist in mobile banking technology, and Metavante Corporation, a vendor of banking and payments technologies to financial institutions and businesses worldwide.
Calling the Emerald Card “a safe, lower cost and convenient way for customers to receive their tax refunds,” Kevin Morrison, H&R Block’s assistant vice president of card programs said the company is “continuing to explore ways we can provide improved account access and support.”
He said the company is looking to the Emerald Card to “build loyalty” while “meeting the specific support needs of our tax clients.”
In addition to text message balance inquiry, the Emerald Card offers payroll direct deposit, connection to line of credit, access to a savings account and a link to money transfer services.
This tax season, H&R Block issued 2.6 million cards usable for purposes beyond receiving their tax refund, such as loading payroll direct deposit and other funds.
“When banking services perform as advertised, they build relationships,” said Frank D’Angelo, group president, Metavante Payment Solutions. “The hope for reloadable prepaid cards has been equipping financial institutions to offer an alternative to checking accounts as an entry-level product and eventually transition non-traditional customers into traditional banking relationships.”
Opera Software has announced that it will support Gears in its desktop and mobile browsers. The inclusion of Gears in Opera’s main browsing products “supports Opera’s vision of transforming the browser into a full platform for applications, regardless of device,” says the company.
“Opera will have full support for Gears on mobile when they launch this year,” said Charles Wiles, Product Manager for mobile Web apps at Google. “This marks the coming of age of the browser as the platform for application development on mobile devices.”
“The forthcoming Opera Mobile 9.5 with Gears will usher in a new era for the Web on mobile devices,” concurs Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera. “Together, these products will create new ways to bring applications to life on mobile devices. Developers will be able to use this along with Opera Dragonfly to develop and debug compelling applications for any connected environment.”