Programming News and Views

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Blockly Games Introduce Kids To Code
Aug 22 | Sue Gee
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Google has launched a set of games where instead of just playing you write the code. Using Blockly requires little or no typing and lets young or novice programmers discover core coding principles in an intuitive way.



C++ 14 Approved
Aug 22 | Alex Denham
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The ISO C++14 draft international standard has been approved and will be published later in the year.



Java JDK 9 Proposals
Aug 22 | Kay Ewbank
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Oracle has announced the first set of proposed improvements for inclusion in Java 9.



Xamarin Mac Updates
Aug 21 | Alex Armstrong
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Xamarin has announced a Unified API for Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Mac which  allows developers to support both 32-bit and 64-bit applications with the same source code (as well as binaries) on both Mac and iOS.



SharePoint Conference Deadline
Aug 21 | Kay Ewbank
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If you want to attend the SharePoint Connect conference this November in Amsterdam, there are just ten days left to qualify for the Early Bird discount.



Robots That Can See Through Walls
Aug 21 | Harry Fairhead
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Using WiFi signals a pair of robots can detect unseen features behind thick solid walls and can differentiate between materials, giving the ability to detect the presence of humans.



Code In The Classroom
Aug 20 | Sue Gee
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Continuing its push to give all school students the opportunity to learn to code, Code.org is inviting educators to check out the beta of its K-5 Computer Science Curriculum, which will be launched in September.



Speed Data Is Enough To Track You
Aug 20 | Mike James
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If I tell you how fast I have been driving and for how long, you might think that the best you can do is to compute the radius of the circle I must be in given my starting point. In fact, the data provides much more information than you might expect and it is usually enough to give your exact route. So tell me your speed and I'll tell you where you have been. 



Bing Developer Assistant
Aug 20 | Kay Ewbank
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The new plug in from Microsoft that helps developers find code snippets and samples is available for Visual Studio 2012 and 2013. It has been created by combining two existing Visual Studio extensions - Sample Browser and Bing Code Search.



Intel RealSense Webinars
Aug 19 | Sue Gee
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Intel's second webinar about its latest RealSense Technology takes place tomorrow August 20th. And if you missed the first one it is now available online.



Gordon Bell Lifelogging at 80
Aug 19 | Historian
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Gordon Bell turns 80 today, August 19th, 2014. Born in 1934 he has lived through an era in which computers occupied entire building through to being able to carry one in your pocket or around your neck.



Amazon Live App Testing
Aug 18 | Alex Denham
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Amazon has released a tool that lets you test mobile apps on a group of users before going fully live.



Google's Blink Not Implementing W3C Pointer Events
Aug 18 | Ian Elliot
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Since it split away from the WebKit render engine to create Blink, Google has been free to pick and choose what gets implemented. Now we have the news that it has decided to ignore the W3C spec for touch events.



Numerical Methods With Python MOOC Starts Today
Aug 18 | Sue Gee
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An interesting sounding MOOC that will help students implement numerical solution methods in well-designed Python programs starts on August 18.



1000 Kilobots Make Patterns
Aug 17 | Harry Fairhead
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Self organizing swarms are fascinating. If you have grown bored with watching ants or termites do their thing, you can now watch a swarm of 1000 tiny robots making shapes without anyone having overall control. 



Realtime Facial Tracking and Animation
Aug 16 | Alex Armstrong
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A video from SIGGRAPH 2014 presents a fully automatic approach to realtime facial tracking and animation which doesn't require calibration for different individuals and seems suitable for deployment in consumer-level applications. See the video to appreciate how good it is at getting an avatar to follow your facial expressions.


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