Emerging Market Software Blog

500 million dollars lesson in UX

published on 2021/02/18

A federal judge has ruled that Citibank isn't entitled to the return of $500 million it sent to various creditors last August. Kludgey software and a poorly designed user interface contributed to the massive screwup.

Citibank was acting as an agent for Revlon, which owed hundreds of millions of dollars to various creditors. On August 11, Citibank was supposed to send out interest payments totaling $7.8 million to these creditors.

However, Revlon was in the process of refinancing its debt—paying off a few creditors while rolling the rest of its debt into a new loan. And this, combined with the confusing interface of financial software called Flexcube, led the bank to accidentally pay back the principal on the entire loan—most of which wasn't due until 2023.

Ars Technica

Oh dear

Security is hard #1934

published on 2021/02/15

A hacking campaign that used a U.S. tech company as a springboard to compromise a raft of U.S. government agencies is “the largest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen,” Microsoft Corp President Brad Smith said.

The operation, which was identified in December and that the U.S. government has said was likely orchestrated by Russia, breached software made by SolarWinds Corp, giving hackers access to thousands of companies and government offices that used its products.

The hackers got access to emails at the U.S. Treasury, Justice and Commerce departments and other agencies.


Security is hard. Even the best companies with excellent security infrastructure can be breached because of the complexity of our current IT infrastructure. It is important to be vigilant and humble in this realm. We need to keep improving our ability in securing our systems.

Impressive growth on Microsoft Azure

published on 2021/02/11

Microsoft Azure revenue grew 50% year-over-year in fiscal Q2, 2021, contributing to a 26% increase in Server products and cloud services revenue.

According to the latest earnings call, more than 1,000 Microsoft customers now use Azure Arc to simplify hybrid management and run Azure services across on-premises, multi-cloud and at the edge.

Commercial cloud gross margins increased to 71% in the latest quarter, up from 67% a year earlier.

There are now over 60 Azure regions globally, strengthening Microsoft's competitive global position versus Amazon Web Services.

Microsoft reported $43.08 billion in the second fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $36.91 billion a year earlier,

10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Microsoft Azure’s Growth

Friendly XMPP messaging

published on 2021/02/11

Snikket is an initiative to bring a more product-led approach to the XMPP ecosystem. It’s a project that will deliver a suite of XMPP software: a single app for each platform, and an easy to deploy server for self-hosting.

The goal is to reduce fragmentation in the XMPP ecosystem, and ensure that people have access to a familiar brand across all platforms. This brand will represent a consistent set of features, and no interoperability issues. The software is all open-source, and of course still (the latest and greatest) XMPP.

Hopefully Snikket will also become an easy gateway to the world of XMPP for users who may previously have found it inaccessible due to the need to understand the ecosystem and choose the best software for each platform. All the other XMPP software continues to exist, and people are free to use anything that better suits their needs. Products vs Protocols: What Signal got right

If you are an organization, this initiative offers a path where you can unite your people in a decentralized, secure and user friendly communication tool with data that you control. We find this development exciting.

One thing is missing at the moment is the "slack" version of the XMPP client protocol. We hope it is in the works. Perhaps something built on top of [Kaiwa] (http://getkaiwa.com/) or JSXC.

The Web Project Guide - a fantastic resource

published on 2021/01/27

Building and managing a web project is a big, complex process — one that branches far beyond the phases directly in front of us.

On one hand, there’s the multi-disciplinary nuts and bolts work of creating the site itself. But beyond that, there’s the connective points — the ideas, the strategy, the decision making, and the upkeep. Even if you’re an expert in your field, it can still be a struggle to find context across the entire project landscape.

The Web Project Guide

This is a fantastic read about the steps on building websites and similar digital publications. We highly recommend it for anyone thinking building a website.