Programming News and Views
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PostgreSQL 9.4 Released
Dec 22 | Kay Ewbank
The PostgreSQL Global Development Group has released PostgreSQL 9.4, with improved JSON support, replication and index performance.
The Snake Robot Arm Gets Everywhere
Dec 21 | Harry Fairhead
To be honest - this robot makes the cut because watching it is hypnotic. It moves like something out of a science fiction movie and is very impressive. But be warned, if you don't like wiggly things or the Martian probes from War Of The Worlds, look away now.
Jeff 1000 And Summer Glau
Dec 20 | Lucy Black
This is just for fun - but we wouldn't have you miss it. See the first three episodes of Jeff 1000, the everyday story of a robot that just wants to make good in Hollywood and in the human world in general.
December Week 3
Dec 20 | Editor
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. This one is for December 11-17.
Google To Close Freebase and Open Up Knowledge Graph
Dec 19 | Alex Denham
Google is shutting down Freebase, its semi-structured database of well-known people, places and things, but plans on offering access to Knowledge Graph.
Upgrade Git Client To Avoid Vulnerability
Dec 19 | Ian Elliot
If you use Git or GitHub then you need to upgrade you Git client to avoid a potential security breach.
Microsoft Updates Data Platform
Dec 19 | Kay Ewbank
Microsoft has updated a number of components in its data platform including Azure SQL to offer better analysis of big data. The services that are being updated include Analytics Platform System (APS), Azure SQL Database and other Microsoft Azure services.
Mozilla Goes Its Own Way On Web Components
Dec 18 | Ian Elliot
Mozilla has decided not to stick strictly to standards in implementing Web Components. When you look a little more carefully at what is going on it seems to be inevitable that it has to break out of the standards.
Skype Translator Cracks Language Barrier
Dec 18 | Sue Gee
Skype has started to roll out the "first phase" of its live speech translating feature. It is between Spanish and English for now and there is also text translation for instant messaging in more than forty languages.
Dr Dobb's Bites The Dust After 38 Years
Dec 17 | Mike James
If you don't know Dr Dobb's - or Dr. Dobb's Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia - then you probably missed out on a great era of computing. Sadly this iconic publication has just announced that it is closing and the reasons are worth exploring.
Deep Learning Chess
Dec 17 | Alex Armstrong
Usually chess playing programs take a search approach to finding good moves, but why not see if a deep neural network can do the job without the need to hand tune game algorithms.
Asterix DB – Big Data Management System
Dec 17 | Kay Ewbank
A new database designed specifically for managing semi-structured information has been made available in beta form.
Go 1.4 gets Android support
Dec 16 | Kay Ewbank
A new version of Go has been announced by Google with support for developing native Android apps along with better garbage collection.
Google Drops Google Earth API
Dec 16 | Ian Elliot
Google isn't one to keep something it doesn't want hanging around just in case someone else still wants it. So another API bites the dust. You have one year to - do what exactly? There is no alternative to migrate to.
Microsoft Buys HockeyApp
Dec 15 | Kay Ewbank
Microsoft has acquired the analysis and app distribution service HockeyApp.
Create 2 Roomba That Doesn't Suck
Dec 15 | Lucy Black
iRobot's Roomba is the iconic robot vacuum cleaner - but it leads a double life, moonlighting in STEM education. The company has just launched Create 2, an updated model for those interested in hacking robot behavior.
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Top Books Of 2014
The Art of Unit Testing
Monday 22 Dec
Author: Roy Osherove
Audience: C# users and others using statically typed languages
Reviewer: Alex Armstrong
If you don't already use unit testing, this book is a complete and clear guide to the idea and how to implement it.
There's an Arduino for that!
The Arduino is an ideal way to delve into the realm of embedded programming - or the Internet of Things. Here's a fun introduction to the basics that will get you started without fear of creating any burning electronic components.
Mojolicious In Conversation With Sebastian Riedel
Our journey into the world of Perl's Web frameworks would not be complete without Mojolicious. So Nikos Vaggalis talked to Sebastian Riedel, Mojolicious mastermind and the original founder of Catalyst.
Database The Prolog Way
Prolog - is it just a blast from the past only of interest to AI and strange language enthusiasts? Or could it just be the ultimate NoSQL database capable of things that are difficult to do without it. In this article we write a remarkably short Prolog program that can route find on London's Tube network.
This week's xkcd cartoon illustrates the one great characteristic of any programmer. Never solve the problem in hand. Always solve the general set of problems of the same type with the help of a good algorithm.
More cartoon fun at xkcd a webcomic of romance,sarcasm, math, and language
Click to view bigger version
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The Official Ubuntu Book, 8th Ed (Prentice Hall)
Monday 22 Dec
Extensively updated to make running today’s Ubuntu even more pleasant and productive this is the ideal one-stop knowledge source for Ubuntu novices, those upgrading from older versions or other Linux distributions, and anyone moving toward power-user status. Its team of expert authors focus on what you need to know most about installation, applications, media, administration, software applications, and much more. You’ll discover powerful Unity desktop improvements that make Ubuntu even friendlier and more convenient.
Learning 2D Game Development with Unity (Addison-Wesley)
Friday 19 Dec
With Unity, now the world’s #1 game engine, you can design, code, and author your game once, and then deploy it to multiple platforms, reaching huge audiences and earning maximum returns. Matthew Johnson and James Henley help you master Unity and build powerful skills for success in today’s game industry. It also includes a bonus rundown of the new GUI tools introduced in Unity’s version 4.6 beta.
Time Series Databases (O'Reilly)
Thursday 18 Dec
Time series data is of growing importance, especially with the rapid expansion of the Internet of Things. This concise guide shows you effective ways to collect, persist, and access large-scale time series data for analysis. You’ll explore the theory behind time series databases and learn practical methods for implementing them. Ted Dunning and Ellen Friedman provide a detailed examination of open source tools such as OpenTSDB and new modifications that greatly speed up data ingestion.
Ruby Wizardry: An Introduction to Programming for Kids (No Starch Press)
Wednesday 17 Dec
An introduction to Ruby with the help of wizards and dragons. Using a playful, illustrated tale Codeademy's Eric Weinstein teaches kids aged 10+ (and their parents!) how to program in Ruby in a fantastical journey following the adventures of young heroes Ruben and Scarlet. Along the way, you'll meet colorful characters from around the kingdom, like the hacker Queen, the Off-White Knight, and Wherefore the minstrel.
Bulletproof Android (Addison Wesley)
Tuesday 16 Dec
With the subtitle "Practical Advice for Building Secure Apps" and in the distinctive Developer's Library, Godfrey Nolan has "battle-tested" best practices for securing android apps throughout the development lifecycle. Using detailed examples from hundreds of apps he has personally audited, the author identifies common “anti-patterns” that expose apps to attack, and then demonstrates more secure solutions.
Swift in 24 Hours (Sams)
Monday 15 Dec
In the Teach Yourself series, B J Miller helps you quickly master Swift’s core concepts, structure, and syntax and use Swift to write safe, powerful, modern code. In just a few hours you’ll be applying advanced features such as extensions, closures, protocols, and generics.Examples show you how to apply what you learn. Quizzes and exercises help you test your knowledge and stretch your skills and notes and tips point out shortcuts and solutions.
Introducing Python: Modern Computing in Simple Packages (O'Reilly)
Friday 12 Dec
Easy to understand and fun to read for beginning programmers as well as those new to the language. Author Bill Lubanovic takes you from the basics to more involved and varied topics, mixing tutorials with cookbook-style code recipes to explain concepts in Python 3. End-of-chapter exercises help you practice what you’ve learned. You’ll gain a strong foundation in the language, including best practices for testing, debugging, code reuse, and other development tips.
Black Hat Python (No Starch Press )
Thursday 11 Dec
When it comes to creating powerful and effective hacking tools, Python is the language of choice for most security analysts. With the subtitle "Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters" Justin Seitz explores the darker side of Python's capabilities—writing network sniffers, manipulating packets, infecting virtual machines, creating stealthy trojans, and more. Insider techniques and creative challenges throughout show you how to extend the hacks and how to write your own exploits.
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