SpotQA, a new automated software testing platform that claims to be significantly faster than either manual testing or existing automated QA solutions, has raised $3.25 million in seed funding.
Leading the round is Crane Venture Partners, the newly-outed London venture capital firm focusing on “intelligent” enterprise startups. Also participating is Forward Ventures, Downing Ventures and Acequia Capital.
Founded in 2016 by CEO Adil Mohammed, who sold his previous company to apparel platform Teespring, SpotQA’s flagship product is dubbed Virtuoso. Described as an “Intelligent Quality Assistance Platform” that uses machine learning and robotic process automation, it claims to speed up the testing of web and mobile apps by up to 25x and make QA accessible across an entire company, not just software or QA engineers.
“Over the years working closely with engineering teams, I learned how the QA and testing process, when done inefficiently, can be a big barrier for company growth and productivity,” Mohammed tells me. “The way testing is done today is not fit for purpose. Even automated testing methods are not keeping pace with agile development practices”.
This results in software testing creating a bottleneck that prevents companies deploying as fast as they’d like to, says the SpotQA CEO, which is pain point for all involved, from developers to testers, all the way through to DevOps and production. “It has a real impact on the company’s bottom line,” adds Mohammed.
The incumbent options are either manual testing or traditional automation. Mohammed says manual testing is slow and makes continuous development difficult as there is a constant “disconnect” between QA and other teams. In turn, traditional automation is not very smart and hasn’t seen much innovation in the last decade. “It’s still very code based, relies on expensive automation engineers and it is difficult to setup and maintain,” he argues.
In contrast, SpotQA claims to have designed Virtuoso so that software quality can be ensured across the entire software development lifecycle, something the company has branded “Quality Assistance”.
“By using machine learning and robotic process automation, Virtuoso is by far the most efficient and effective way to ensure bugs, inconsistencies and errors can be identified and fixed in a fraction of the time taken using manual and traditional automated testing,” says Mohammed.
Meanwhile, the London-based company will use the new injection of capital to scale engineering, sales and marketing, and to expand internationally. Existing Virtuoso customers include Experian, Chemistry, Optionis and DXC Technologies.
Customs delays could seriously hamper the movement of goods between the EU and the UK, according to a leaked Cabinet Office document on a ‘no-deal’ Brexit – as reported by The Times newspaper over the weekend.
The document, dubbed ‘Operation Yellowhammer’, also raised concerns about fuel supplies,
While shipments of fresh food and medicines were of wider concern, the news will likely add to existing disquiet within the wine trade about how a no-deal Brexit on 31 October might disrupt the supply chain – particularly ahead of the key Christmas selling period.
The EU accounts for 55% of the UK’s wine imports, making the matter an issue for both sides of the English Channel.
Italian farmers’ union Coldiretti again warned of the dangers of a no-deal Brexit yesterday (18 August), highlighting that Italian wine exports to the UK were worth €827m. It has previously called prime minister Boris Johnson the ‘enemy of Prosecco’.
A ‘no deal’ UK departure from the EU was the UK wine trade’s ‘worst case scenario’, said the Wine & Spirit Trade Association last month, following a survey of its members.
‘The biggest industry concern is being prevented from moving goods on and around 31 October 2019,’ it said in a detailed report that called on government to properly implement proposed temporary measures to ensure the flow of trade.
Several wine merchants and retailers bought in extra stocks ahead of the previous Brexit deadline, which was 31 March.
The WSTA has welcomed the UK government’s proposal to suspend tariffs on wine following a no-deal exit, as well as a planned nine-month exemption period for the VI-1 import certificates.
But the trade body last month called for more clarity on how customs and excise systems would work and it requested that the VI-1 exemption be formalised in secondary legislation.
However, the WSTA said that, while businesses would prefer a negotiated Brexit, most of its members had no-deal contingency plans in place.
Jennifer Lopez's abs have been getting most of the attention lately (with good reason), but her newest Instagram photo is all about her other famous body part: her butt.
The new photo, shared on Instagram over the weekend, shows the Bronx queen sprawled out on a mesh hammock, looking into the distance. "I summertime #julybaby#leoseason," she wrote in the caption, also crediting her photographer, Ana Carballosa (@lacarba).
J.Lo's wearing a strappy, burgundy one-piece swimsuit that she's been photographed in before—but while the swimsuit is super cute, the main focus of the photo is her glutes and hamstrings. Even an Instagram account simply called "@squats" felt the need to comment with three fire emojis.
ICYMI, J.Lo just turned 50 years old on July 24, and tbh, looking that good at 50 (or any age, really) takes work and time—which isn't something J.Lo has a ton of (she just wrapped her "It's My Party" tour, FYI). Because she's tight on time, one of J.Lo's trainers, Tracy Anderson, likes to do workouts in a heated room. "Doing workouts in a warm and humid environment makes your muscles more pliable," she wrote in a previous article for Health.
In the same article, Anderson showed five different J.Lo-inspired moves to help tone your backside. While the workout incorporated some typical butt-building moves like lunges and side kicks, there was an added element: ankle weights. According to Anderson, those ankle weights are meant to give "a little extra love to the derrière" by adding an extra strength-training element to leg work.
And of course, no J.Lo article is complete without at least a mention of what it takes to get her signature abs. According to J.Lo's other trainer, David Kirsch, one of her go-to ab moves is side-plank oblique crunches. "It’s perfect for when you need to focus on shaping and toning not only the obliques but the entire core," he told Health previously.
Clearly, all her hard work has paid off. Happy belated to our fave Leo—keep those swimsuit pics comin'.
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The video is from 2012, but has been written about in one fashion or another by publications as early as this July. Ben Jay Crossman, Die Antwoord’s former videographer, was the one who originally uploaded the video but it’s been taken down and reuploaded many times since then.
Crossman’s video shows the final breaking point of tensions between Ninja and Yolandi and Andy Butler of the band Hercules and Love Affair, who is openly gay. In the video, Ninja runs up to Butler, seemingly unprovoked, and spits in his face, saying, “It’s nice to see you! I haven’t seen you for so long.”
Butler moves away from group, who are following him at this point. Yolandi can be heard in the video yelling, “Run, fa**ot, run! Run for your life b*tch.”
After Butler successfully makes it away, Ninja’s tone rapidly changes as he starts to tell everyone “what went down.” “Now here’s the story guys,” he says. “He walked up on this young girl and he felt her bum and her tits and she’s upset. Don’t laugh anymore.”
As they reach other groups of people, Ninja starts talking out loud about their fabricated story, though now the victim has changed to Yolandi, and Butler apparently followed her into a porta-pottie — Yolandi can be seen in the video feigning tears (2:25). When they walk away out of earshot, Ninja remarks, “She’s like Marilyn Monroe, this is Oscar Award Winning…”
In just the past week since the video resurfaced, Die Antwoord has been removed from the lineup on Kentucky festival Louder Than Life, and also apparently Life Is Beautiful. LIB has made no official statement about the lineup change, but apparently told a Redditor about it in DMs.
Neither festival makes any explicit mention of the video.
Die Antwoord have long been accused of various nefarious deeds, but this seems to be the first time that the group has been caught red-handed on camera.
Extracurricular activities are great for children. They help kids learn new things and perfect their skills. They provide opportunities to bond with peers and a constructive use of time. They look great on college and scholarship applications.
But all that enrichment comes at a cost. And these nonessential additions to the household budget can be expensive to keep up with — especially when you have multiple children with multiple interests.
Huntington Bank and Communities in Schools’ 2019 Backpack Index estimates extracurricular fees average about $150 for elementary students, $250 for middle school students and $350 for high school students.
Of course, there are parents who spend much more. A 2017 Capital One poll found that over a third of those surveyed planned to spend more than $1,000 per kid on extracurricular activities for the school year.
If the cost of after-school activities concerns you, consider these ways to make them more affordable.
1. Turn to Government or Nonprofit Programs
Before signing your kids up for private music lessons or a traveling sports league, check to see if there are similar offerings located at or sponsored by your local:
Boys and Girls Club
Police Athletic League
Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts
City or county parks and recreation department
2. Ask About Discounts
Be thrifty and save where you can by asking the activity provider about discounts. Is there a trial period where you kid can take a class or two for free before signing up for the season? Can you get a discounted rate for being a returning participant, enrolling more than one child or recommending another family to sign up?
Some programs offer a reduced rate if you register before a certain date, if you sign up for a package of sessions or if you volunteer to coach. Others offer scholarships or set their prices on a sliding scale based on income. You might want to ask if the organization will allow you to set up a payment plan rather than requiring all the money upfront.
Check discount sites like Groupon or Living Social for current deals on activities.
3. Reduce the Associated Costs of After-School Activities
The cost to enroll your child in an activity is rarely the only expense you’ll encounter. Equipment, supplies, uniforms, fundraisers, travel and performance tickets can greatly increase your investment.
Find ways to lower these additional costs whenever possible. Arrange a carpool with team members. Buy secondhand equipment and attire. Limit the family members who attend smaller performances throughout the year, and save up so everyone can attend the major show at the end of the season.
4. DIY Your Extracurriculars
Your kid can get the benefits of participating in an activity without it being a formal program that you pay for. Consider your children’s interests and figure out how to pursue them on an individual scale.
If your kid is into music, hit up YouTube for free tutorials. There are tons of cooking blogs with detailed recipes for those who want to master baking. Your library may provide free access to software to learn a foreign language.
Tap into your network of family, friends and neighbors to expose your child to different pursuits. Commit to teaching their kids about a skill you’ve mastered in exchange. It might be a bigger investment in time, but you can save a lot of money by creating your own means of developing your child’s interests.
There may be times where you simply have to say no to your kid’s request to enroll in another extracurricular activity. If you don’t have the funds and you’d have to charge expenses on a credit card, you should reevaluate things.
Parents never want to put financial stress on their kids, but it’s okay to be up-front about the limitations of your budget. This might mean having your kids choose one sport to commit to rather than two, or asking if they prefer dance lessons over vacationing at the beach next summer.
If you have teenagers, get them to contribute to their extracurricular expenses with money from babysitting, mowing lawns or a part-time job. Depending on the activity, you can challenge your child to turn their hobby into an entrepreneurial pursuit — like selling handmade bracelets at local festivals or giving piano lessons to younger kids.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s a parent who’s always looking for ways to save money.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
A 2012 video allegedly showing South African duo Die Antwoord committing a hate crime has gone viral, apparently leading to the group being removed from at least two festival lineups that we know of so far. The video shows group member Ninja running up and spitting in the face of an openly gay musician, and while they chase after him, Yolandi can be heard yelling, “Run fa**ot run!” The group then fabricates a story about a sexual assault and goes around telling anyone who will listen.
Earlier today, Ninja posted a response to the video on their Facebook page, claiming that it was “cleverly edited” to make them out to be the bad guys. He further claims that the cameraman was actually the one who beat up Andy Butler of Hercules and the Love Affair.
Ninja claims that Butler stalked the group on every stop during their Big Day Out tour making “fucked up comments” toward them repeatedly. He then doubles down on the story he tells in the video, “At the end of the tour, during our final festival in Adelaide, the guy from Hercules followed ¥o-landi into the girls bathroom and wouldn’t let her out, and she had to physically push past him to get out of the bathroom.”
In the video, when Ninja is telling people about what allegedly happened, Yolandi can be seeing feigning tears. As they walk away, he says about her, “She’s like Marilyn Monroe, this is Oscar Award Winning…” and tells her to stop smiling. He also says, “We’re going to have to edit that part out.”
He tries to explain this away in his post, saying, “In the heat of the moment I quickly told ¥o-landi to be as dramatic as possible about what happened so that we wouldn’t be detained for this guys bullshit story he was busy spinning to security.” Butler can never be seen in the video attempting to flag down security or spin a “bullshit story,” only trying to get away from Yolandi and Ninja.
He also says in his post, “As I ran up to the guy from Hercules, he threw a drink at me and punched me so I hit him back, and he ran off.” In the video, Butler throws a drink at Ninja after Ninja spits on him and starts verbally harassing him.
As far as advances in video editing have come, Ninja’s claim that this whole 11-minute video has been doctored in such a way as to paint them in this kind of light, so clearly, falls utterly flat. You can read his attempt at an explanation below. Watch the video here in our initial coverage.
Ninja speaking.In relation to the“hate crime” video in Adeliaide filmed by our ex-cameraman Ben Crossman:Ben has…
Diplo just headlined Atlantic City’s Premier Nightclub, but not everyone coming out to see the show recognized him.
The DJ/producer was walking by when a group of girls asked to take a photo outside the venue — without him in it. You’d think Diplo’s strong selfie arms and cowboy hat would be a dead giveaway. But, nope!
Being the gentleman that he is, Diplo took several photos from all the angles and with a great attitude. However, he couldn’t help but poke a little fun afterwards.
These ladies must have had too much rosé and didn’t recognize how handsome I was because they asked me to take their picture in front of the club I’m headlining tonight .. it’s ok though because I’m an experienced Instagram photographer and I knew the right angles.
These girls are probably kicking themselves today for not realizing they bushed shoulders with greatness.
“Midnight Hour” is out on Beatport — well, it was.
The highly anticipated single with Skrillex, Boys Noize and Ty Dolla $ign popped up for a brief time via the online music store, hinting that an official release is on the near horizon. Unfortunately, now all that appears at the link is a 404 error. Perhaps this is intentional to build the hype. Who knows.
Skrillex recently updated on social media (screenshot here), promising “Midnight Hour” is coming soon. Meaning that any Friday now we’ll be hearing this much anticipated collaboration.
I have a record coming out in a week and it leaked on beatport yesterday how the fuck did that happen?
Skrillex, Boys Noize and Ty Dolla $ign prove to be the perfect match with “Midnight Hour” (just watch). Considering we first heard the ID play out during Miami Music Week, this one will be well worth the mild wait.