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Fewer Degrees Of Separation With Facebook
Feb 06 | Janet Swift
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Six degrees of separation is the, already well established, idea that any individual is connected to any other via six network nodes. New research has discovered that the average between Facebook users is just three and a half.



January Week 5
Feb 06 | Editor
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If you need to know what's important for the developer, you can rely on I Programmer to sift through the news and uncover the most relevant stories. Our weekly digest gives a handy summary. 



GCHQ's Xmas Puzzle Not Cracked - Update Solutions And Prizes
Feb 06 | Mike James
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The director of GCHQ distributed a puzzle to selected contacts and then made it available to everyone. The deadline for solution passed and there were no 100% correct solutions. Even so prizes were awarded and we do now have the answers.



Winner Of Underhanded C Announced
Feb 05 | Kay Ewbank
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The winner of this year's competition to find the best sneaky C code has been announced. 



Scientist Lets You Refactor Live
Feb 05 | Mike James
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One of the big problems of today is working with live code. Now a team at Github has a very clever tool that makes it easy to make, and evaluate, changes in live code in the same way that you might replace a bridge.



Mozilla Confirms End of Firefox OS For Smartphones
Feb 04 | Ian Elliot
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Mozilla has sent an email to its community signalling a change of direction in which it will focus its activities on the Internet of Things which entails ending Firefox OS for smartphones. 



SQL Server Drivers For PHP and ODBC Updated
Feb 04 | Kay Ewbank
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Microsoft has released a preview version of the latest drivers for PHP for SQL Server, and has also released a community preview of the latest ODBC SQL Server driver for Windows and Linux. 



Facebook F8 2016 Registration Open
Feb 03 | Lucy Black
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F8, the annual Facebook Developer Conference, will be held this year April 12 and 13 at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center and registration is now open.



Number Of Legal Go Positions Finally Worked Out
Feb 03 | Mike James
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Go is an important game for AI in that, until very recently, humans were much better at it than computers. It is a complex and subtle game that has only just yielded one of the most fundamental parameters of any game - how many legal positions are there.



TypeScript 1.8 Hits Beta
Feb 03 | Kay Ewbank
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The next version of TypeScript is out in beta, even though it's only a month since the previous release. TypeScript 1.8 has expanded JSX support and adds support for ChakraCore.



Google AdMob Student App Challenge
Feb 02 | Sue Gee
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Google is inviting student developers around the world to build an app and learn how to make money from it - which is where AdMob comes into the picture. There's also the incentive of prizes.



Vote In The People's Choice AI Video Award
Feb 02 | Mike James
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The People's Choice AI video awards are on again and you have until February 15th to vote. Even if you don't want to vote, the videos are worth seeing. 



Windows 10 Surpasses Windows 8.1
Feb 01 | Janet Swift
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Windows 10 now has around a 12% share of the worldwide desktop operating system market. Is it on track to become the Universal Windows Platform that Microsoft intends it to be?



Azure Stack Tech Preview - Run You Own Azure
Feb 01 | Kay Ewbank
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The first public technical preview of Azure Stack is being released by Microsoft.



Luca Cardelli Gains SIGPLAN Award
Feb 01 | Sue Gee
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Luca Cardelli, Assistant Director at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK is the 2015 recipient of the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Achievement Award for his exceptional contributions to the field of programming languages.



GCHQ Launches Spy Summer School
Jan 31 | Kay Ewbank
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The UK's national security organization, GCHQ, has launched a Cyber Insiders course to help recruit train future analysts and will pay those who attend.


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Book Reviews Of The Year


Debugging Teams
Friday 05 Feb

Author: Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 190
ISBN: 978-1491932056
Print: 1491932058
Kindle: B016NDL1QE
Audience: Primarily software developers but will appeal to anyone who contributes to a team effort. 
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Sue Gee

The quote on the book cover from Peter Norvig reads "The field has needed a book like this for a long  time." Does it live up to the hype?


 

Featured Articles


PHP Variables and Expressions for Complete Beginners
Ian Elliot
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Variables and expressions are the core of programming in general and no less so in PHP. If you have never encountered the ideas here is a gentle introduction.



Autonomous Robot Weaponry - The Debate
Nikos Vaggalis
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Let's face it, Robots in one form or another seem to be everywhere. Having infiltrated factories, healthcare, marine and space exploration, Robots will soon conquer the household too, taking care of all those pesky chores. But what about their military applications. Can they be used to form an army? Further, what about that army being autonomous, able to locate and attack targets without any user intervention?



Using HP AppPulse With iOS
Benjamin Garrigues
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HP AppPulse Mobile is performance monitoring software for mobile apps, which tracks user experience and reports it using relevant dashboards. It provides user-centric monitoring, without requiring a single new line of code. This iOS tutorial shows it in action.


 

Unhandled Exception!
In Case of Emergency

  In Case of Emergency  

 

A computer is also a machine for making work. Thank goodness.

 

Click to view bigger version 

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

Read more...
 

Book Watch

Follow Book Watch on Twitter


iOS 9 Programming Fundamentals with Swift (O'Reilly)
Thursday 04 Feb

Move into iOS 9 development by getting a firm grasp of its fundamentals, including Xcode 7, the Cocoa Touch framework, and Apple’s Swift programming language. With this thoroughly updated guide from Matt Neuberg, author of the Programming iOS tome, you’ll learn Swift’s object-oriented concepts, understand how to use Apple’s development tools, and discover how Cocoa provides the underlying functionality iOS apps need to have.

<ASIN:1491936770>



The Official ScratchJr Book (No Starch Press)
Wednesday 03 Feb

 ScratchJr is a free, introductory computer programming language that runs on iPads and Android tablets. Inspired by Scratch, it helps even younger kids create their own playful animations, interactive stories, and dynamic games. Intended for children aged 5 and over, it is co-authored by Mitch Resnick, creator of Scratch, and has the subtitle "Help Your Kids Learn to Code". Each of the book's chapters includes activities that build on one another, culminating in a fun final project. 

<ASIN:1593276710>



Introduction to Computational Models with Python (CRC Press)
Monday 01 Feb

Jose M. Garrido explains how to implement computational models using the flexible and easy-to-use Python programming language. The book introduces the principles of computational modeling as well as the approaches of multi- and interdisciplinary computing to beginners in the field. It provides the foundation for more advanced studies in scientific computing, including parallel computing using MPI, grid computing, and other methods and techniques used in high-performance computing.

<ASIN:1498712037>



RESTful Rails Development (O'Reilly)
Thursday 28 Jan

This book serves as a practical guide to developing RESTful applications, designing RESTful architectures, and deploying RESTful services using Ruby on Rails. By the end of each chapter, the reader will have key takeaways for how to build and extend a multi-service platform spanning different devices. Silvia Puglisi  explains the power of RESTful development with Rails, illustrating how to build an architecture composed of different services accessing shared resources through a set of collaborating APIs and applications.

<ASIN:1491910852>



Next Generation Databases (Apress)
Wednesday 27 Jan

The relational database (RDBMS) model completely dominated database technology for over 20 years. Today this "one size fits all" stability has been disrupted by a seemingly sudden explosion of new database technologies. These paradigm-busting technologies are driving the "Big Data" and "NoSQL" revolutions, as well as forcing fundamental changes in databases across the board.

<ASIN:1484213300>



Debugging Teams (O'Reilly)
Monday 25 Jan

Over their 20+-year engineering careers Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman have picked up a treasure trove of wisdom and anecdotes about how successful teams work together. In this slim volume, subtitled "Better Productivity through Collaboration" they share their insights on how to lead a team effectively, navigate an organization, and build a healthy relationship with the users of your software.

 

<ASIN:1491932058>



Mastering ROS for Robotics Programming (Packt)
Thursday 21 Jan

Lentin Joseph discusses the advanced concepts in robotics and how to program using the Robot Operating System (ROS), a modular software platform for developing generic robotic applications. He starts with deep overview of the ROS framework, which will give you a clear idea of how ROS really works. During the course of the book, you will learn how to build models of complex robots, and simulate and interface the robot using the ROS MoveIt motion planning library and ROS navigation stacks.

<ASIN:1783551798>



Enterprise IoT (O'Reilly)
Wednesday 20 Jan

The Internet of Things will ultimately become as fundamental as the Internet itself, with lots of opportunities and trials along the way. To help you navigate these choppy waters, in this practical guide, subtitled Strategies and Best Practices for Connected Products and Services, Dirk Slama, Frank Puhlmann, Jim Morrish and Rishi Bhatnagar introduce a dedicated methodology for businesses preparing to transition towards IoT-based business models.

<ASIN:1491924837>



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