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The Red Programming Language
Mar 28 | Ian Elliot
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There is a new version of the Red programming language available now. What? You have never heard of Red? 

The Malmo Challenge - Collaborative AI
Mar 28 | Nikos Vaggalis
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Project Malmo, established in 2015, called Project AIX back then, finds its way out of infancy and into childhood, and is now looking to engage in its first social interactions. To further this it has launched a contest for PhD students.

Stack Overflow: A Code Laundering Platform?
Mar 27 | Alex Armstrong
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Is Stack Overflow a code laundering platform? What is a code laundering platform anyway? Did you know that the code examples that you find there are licenced?

Douglas Hartree - Analog Computing With Meccano
Mar 27 | Mike James
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Douglas Hartree was an English mathematician and physicist who made an important contribution to computing in the era before electronic computers. Using a simple Meccano set he replicated the functionality of the differential analyzer built in the USA by Vannevar Bush. Today is the 120th anniversary of his birth on March 27, 1897.

DataGrip Improves Schema Management
Mar 27 | Kay Ewbank
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There's a new version of DataGrip, JetBrain's IDE for databases and SQL. DataGrip 2017.1 has a number of improvements including new schema management and SQL resolution scopes.  

March Week 3
Mar 25 | Editor
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It's hard to keep up with all the developments in the developer world. I Programmer's team cover a wide range of topics, from AI to web development with Android and data science along the way. The weekly digest is the place to find it all.

A Single Perturbation Can Fool Deep Learning
Mar 25 | Mike James
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If you have been reading our reports on adversarial images, the headline should come as no surprise. What is a surprise is the way that AI researchers are regarding such images as security threats rather than a deep insight into the way neural nets work. 

Angular 4 Arrives On Schedule
Mar 24 | Ian Elliot
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Angular 4, the latest version of the popular framework for building JavaScript apps and dynamic web pages that is being developed by Google is now out. This is a major release, but backward compatible with Angular 2.x.x.

Couchbase Mobile Version Adds Sync Gateway
Mar 24 | Kay Ewbank
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There's a new version of Couchbase Mobile with a new Sync Gateway Accelerator that makes Couchbase Mobile 1.4 more scalable.

Machine Learning Superstar Andrew Ng Moving On
Mar 23 | Sue Gee
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Having been Chief Scientist at Baidu for almost 3 years, Andrew Ng now plans to leave. He hasn't made his future plans explicit, other than to continue working in AI and to "keep working hard to get AI to help everyone".

jQuery 3.2.1 Is Out - Do We Still Care?
Mar 23 | Ian Elliot
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jQuery 3.2.1 has just been released only a few days after 3.2.0. It raises the question of whether or not jQuery is still relevant?

Android O on the Horizon
Mar 22 | Lucy Black
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The first developer preview of Android O has been released with new features and APIs for developers to start trying out and ironing out the bugs. 

Microsoft Edge Falls Victim At Pwn2Own
Mar 22 | Sue Gee
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This year's 10th anniversary Pwn2Own spanned over thee days rather than the previous two and was won by the team from 360 Security who achieved a full virtual machine escape through Microsoft Edge.

Which Code Editor Do Devs Prefer?
Mar 21 | Harry Fairhead
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Some programmer's think you have to write code the hard way - without much assistance by way of code completion, syntax highlighting. Others of us rely on all of the above and more. OpenSource.com recently opened a poll asking about code editing tools. The results are not what I would have predicted. 

//No Comment - Language Rankings 2017, APL 1.7 & Rust 1.16
Mar 21 | Alex Armstrong
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• The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2017

• GNU APL 1.7 Released

• Announcing Rust 1.16

Guetzli Makes JPEGs Smaller
Mar 20 | David Conrad
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There is a lot of flexibility in how you can configure a JPEG file to best represent an image. Now Google's Guetzli can find optimum settings and so produce files that are up to 45% than other encoders working at the same perceptual quality. 

More Recent News



Book Review

Spark In Action, 2nd Edition
Tuesday 28 Mar

Author: Petar Zecevic
Publisher: Manning
Date: January 2017
Pages: 468
ISBN: 978-1617292606
Print: 1617292605
Audience: Java, Scala, or Python programmers
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank

This book intended to go beyond the basics and enable you to create useful applications with Spark, comes complete with sample code and a case study.


Featured Articles

Android Adventures - The ConstraintLayout
Mike James
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Like it or loathe it you have to come to terms with the ConstraintLayout. It is Google's preferred way of doing things and Android Studio's Designer and other features are tailored to making it easy to work with, at the expense of the other layouts.

Getting Started with jQuery UI
Ian Elliot
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jQuery UI is built to work with jQuery. If you are  already using jQuery, it is recommended as an addin to make your pages look like more than just HTML. Let's see how easy it is to get started with this excerpt of Ian Elliot's new book, Just JQuery: The Core UI.

Insider's Guide To Udacity Android Developer Nanodegree
Nikos Vaggalis
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The Android Developer Nanodegree, designed by Google and delivered through Udacity's platform, is for intermediate Java developers, or even those experienced in other object-oriented languages, looking to start developing for Android. As such it teaches the tools, principles, patterns and conventions pertaining to Android.

A Programmer's Guide To Octave
Mike James
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Octave is an open source language, mostly compatible with MatLab, that makes doing difficult math easy. It supports matrix operations and has lots of different types of built-in mathematical operations. It isn't as well known as it deserves to be, and if you are a programmer it can be difficult to find out what you need to know. Hence a programmer's guide.

Password Cracking RAR Archives With Perl
Nikos Vaggalis
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Cracking RAR archives is something not yet achievable as the format has no known vulnerabilities.Let me correct that, no known vulnerabilities as far as unlocking an encrypted RAR archive without the use of a password goes. In this article we look at password cracking by dictionary attack.  Along the way we explore how to turn a single threaded Perl/Tk GUI application into a multi-threaded one.


Unhandled Exception!
Ineffective SortsIneffective Sorts

   Click to view bigger version 

Recently there has been some discussion of whether or not it is fair to conduct whiteboard interviews - where the victim, sorry applicant, is asked to write some difficult program using a whiteboard or similar. The argument is that this is unfair because in real life perfectly competent programmers tend to consult the internet before they write anything but the most basic code. So to code from scratch without an internet connection is not the way it is done in the real world.

A shorter version of this conclusion is that 99.9% of programmers would write something like the above if asked to write a sort routine without a web connection.

   More cartoon fun at xkcd a webcomic of romance,sarcasm, math, and language


Book Watch

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Wireshark For Security Professionals (Wiley)
Monday 27 Mar

Covers Wireshark and related tools such as the command line TShark application, the offensive tool Metasploit, and the Lua scripting language. Authors J. D. Bullock and Jeff T. Parker show you how Wireshark is used in an actual network with the provided Docker virtual environment, and basic networking and security principles are explained in detail to help you understand the why along with the how. 


Kotlin in Action (Manning)
Friday 24 Mar

Dmitry Jemerov and Svetlana Isakova guide experienced Java developers from the language basics of Kotlin all the way through building applications to run on the JVM and Android devices. Their book is designed to teach developers to use the Kotlin language for production-quality applications with many examples covering topics like building DSLs with natural language syntax.


RESTful Web Clients (O'Reilly)
Monday 20 Mar

Web-based REST and hypermedia-style APIs are becoming more common, but many developers rely on custom client code instead of applying the same techniques and patterns to hypermedia clients. In this book subtitled "Enabling Reuse Through Hypermedia", Mike Amundsen shows how to move from one-off implementations to general-purpose client apps that are stable, flexible, and reusable.


Introducing Elixir 2nd Ed (O'Reilly)
Thursday 16 Mar

In this hands on introduction, authors Simon St. Laurent and J. David Eisenberg show you how Elixir combines the robust functional programming of Erlang with an approach that looks more like Ruby, and includes powerful macro features for metaprogramming. Updated to cover Elixir 1.4, the second edition of this practical book helps you write simple Elixir programs by teaching one skill at a time.


Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services and Mobile Reports (Wrox)
Wednesday 15 Mar

This book covers business intelligence (BI), operational reporting and Reporting Services architecture using a clear, concise tutorial approach. Paul Turley discusses effective report solution design, and shows how to improve your own reports with advanced, best-practice design, usability, query design, and filtering techniques. 


Understanding the Digital World (Princeton University Press)
Monday 13 Mar

With the subtitle "What You Need to Know About Computers, the Internet, Privacy, and Security", this book by  Brian W. Kernighan, co-author of the classic K&R book "The C Programming Language", covers how computers are built and how they compute; what programming is and why it is difficult; how the Internet and the web operate; and how all of these affect our security, privacy, property, and other important social, political, and economic issues.


Thoughtful Machine Learning with Python (O'Reilly)
Thursday 09 Mar

By teaching you how to code machine-learning algorithms using a test-driven approach, this practical book aims to help you gain the confidence you need to use machine learning effectively in a business environment. The book shows how to dissect algorithms at a granular level, using various tests, and discover a framework for testing machine learning code. The author Matthew Kirk provides real-world examples to demonstrate the results of using machine-learning code effectively.


Beginning Android Programming with Android Studio, 4th Ed (Wrox)
Wednesday 08 Mar

The Android 7 release (New York Cheesecake) boasts significant new features and enhancements for both smartphone and tablet applications. J. F. DiMarzio takes a hands-on approach to teaching you how to create Android applications for the latest OS and the newest devices, including both smartphones and tablets. Backed by real-world examples he goes through all phases of Android application development, from getting acquainted with Android Studio to publishing to the Marketplace.


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