Programming News and Views

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Mozilla Appoints New CEO
Jul 29 | Sue Gee
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Chris Beard, who has been acting CEO of Mozilla on an interim basis since the departure of Brendan Eich in April has been appointed to the role on a permanent basis.



GraphLab Create
Jul 29 | Kay Ewbank
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Software designed to let data science teams gain insights into big data up to 10,000 times faster than rival products has been announced by GraphLab and is downloadable for free.



The Canvas Fingerprint - How?
Jul 29 | Ian Elliot
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There is currently a lot of fuss going on about an additional method of fingerprinting browsers to track users as they move from one website to another. The technology is very simple but the real question is - how can it work well enough to be useful?



The Display That Does Away With Glasses
Jul 28 | David Conrad
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The light field approach to computational photography has more uses than capturing 2.5D images - it can create a display that you can view clearly without your glasses.



GCC Gets An Award From ACM And A Blast From Linus
Jul 28 | Mike James
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The venerable GCC compiler got itself into the news by winning an award from the ACM and by attracting a typical Linus Torvalds blast of rhetoric for an "interesting" bug.



Cat Photos - A Potential Security Risk?
Jul 27 | Lucy Black
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A website called I Know Where your Cat Lives uses the latitude and longitude metadata from photos of cats posted websites like Flickr to place the photos on Google maps with remarkable accuracy. Should we find this alarming?



Jibo Over $1 Million On Indiegogo
Jul 26 | Harry Fairhead
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When we reported on Jibo, the friendly helpful robot, earlier in the week who could have guessed that it would attract more than $1 million in so few days? Is the demand for a robot really so big?



July Week 3
Jul 26 | Editor
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With all the summer distractions, it's hard to keep focused on the news feeds. So, let I Programmer do it for you and simply consult our weekly digest of news, book reviews and articles to keep you up to speed. This one covers July 17 - 23.



Node.js Tools for VS Updated
Jul 25 | Kay Ewbank
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Microsoft has released the second beta of Node.js Tools for Visual Studio 1.0, making it available for download.



NASA’s Asteroid Tracker Challenge
Jul 25 | Sue Gee
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A 14-day Marathon Match with $15,000 in prizes at stake starts today. Join other competitors to devise algorithms to help NASA track asteroids that would cause cataclysmic devastation were they to impact Earth.



TypeScript Goes Light, Moves To GitHub
Jul 24 | Alex Denham
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The TypeScript team has reworked the compiler core of TypeScript to be lighter and faster and has moved the project to GitHub.



UK Government Adopts Open Standards
Jul 24 | See Gee
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The UK Government has selected ODF (Open Document Format) as a required standard for sharing and collaborating on documents across all governement bodies. PDF/A and HTML are the selected standards for viewing government documents.



Visual Studio 14 CTP 2 - NO CAPS
Jul 24 | Mike James
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It seems almost silly to lead a story about the next version of Visual Studio with the fact that it might have dropped the ALL CAPS menu items, but it is an indication that the team is trying to fix VS and turn it into the IDE we all loved. 



Hijacking Chromecast Is Easy
Jul 23 | Harry Fairhead
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Chromecast, Google's streaming video USB stick, has a really clever way of allowing users to set it up. The trouble is that it might just be too clever. It turns out that what is easy for users to set up is also easy to hijack.



Wire The Programmer To Prevent Buggy Code
Jul 23 | Sue Gee
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It's impossible to eliminate all coding errors, but it is certainly worth taking measures to reduce their frequency. A novel approach looks at using psycho-physiological measures.



Microsoft Plans To Merge Windows Systems - Again!
Jul 23 | Mike James
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Microsoft seems to be suffering from a strange case of re-inventing things that it once knew were essential. This time it is the unification of Windows into one operating system.


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Book Review of the Day


Oracle Essentials
Monday 28 Jul

Authors: Rick Greenwald, Robert Stackowiak, Jonathan Stern
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2013
Pages: 405
ISBN: 978-1449343033
Aimed at: anyone who wants to learn Oracle
Rating: 4.5
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank 

This is the fifth edition of this popular title, updated to cover Oracle 12c.


 

Featured Articles


Spreadsheets Are Special
Mike James
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Don't dismiss the spreadsheet. It not only brought programming to the masses but was an early entry into rapid application development, functional programming and an easy and natural approach to parallel programming, reactive programming and cellular automata.



Accessing Salesforce Data from Angular.js
Mohit Taneja
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In this tutorial we show you how to sign up for a Salseforce developer account and build a connected app that gets contacts from the user’s Force.com account and shows them using twitter bootstrap.



Clive Sinclair And The Small Home Computer Revolution
Harry Fairhead
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Not every computer innovation originated in the United States. Clive Sinclair was a designer who could make one transistor do the work of two or more. He built low cost and futuristic electronics by doing things different.


 

Unhandled Exception! - Pillow Talk

 

Pillow Talk

 

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

Click to view bigger version

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Book Watch

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Galaxy S5: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly)
Monday 28 Jul

Get the most out of Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone right from the start. With clear instructions from technology expert Preston Gralla, this Missing Manual gives you a guided tour of Samsung's new flagship phone, including great new features such as the fingerprint scanner, heart rate sensor, and Download Booster.

<ASIN:1491904534>



The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book (No Starch Press)
Friday 25 Jul

A complete beginner's guide to the EV3 kit from robotics expert Laurens Valk. This full color book teaches you fundamental programming and robotics skills as you build and program six increasingly sophisticated robots that move, monitor sensors, and respond to their environments including an autonomous robotic arm and a humanoid that walks and talks.

<ASIN:1593275323>



MySQL High Availability 2nd Ed (O'Reilly)
Thursday 24 Jul

Server bottlenecks and failures are a fact of life in any database deployment, but they don't have to bring everything to a halt. MySQL has several features that can help you protect your system from outages. Written by engineers who designed many of the tools covered, this book reveals undocumented or hard-to-find aspects of MySQL reliability and high availability.
 

<ASIN:1449339581>



Python 101 (Michael Driscoll)
Wednesday 23 Jul

Learn how to program with Python from beginning to end with Michael Driscoll's book for beginners and intermediate programmers. After Python basics, he covers a subset of the Python standard library. There's a series of tutorials and the final part of the book is on 3rd party modules and also covers creating a module and its packaging and distribution.

<ASIN:0996062815>



iOS Development with Xamarin Cookbook (Packt)
Tuesday 22 Jul

With over 100 recipes to help you develop iOS applications with Xamarin, Dimitris Tavlikos provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to be part of the mobile development era, using C#. Starting from installing the necessary tools, he covers everything you need to develop an application ready to be deployed plus best practices for interacting with the device hardware, such as the GPS, compass, and accelerometer.

<ASIN:1849698929>



QuickBooks 2014 on Demand (Que)
Monday 21 Jul

If you have questions about using Intuit's small buinsess accounting package QuickBooks, Gail Perry and Michelle Long provide answers in a visual step-by-step format with lots of full color illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions. Numbered steps guide you through each task including new QuickBooks features for 2014 - Income Tracker, Bank Feeds, and Rules.

<ASIN:0789752344>



Modern Mathematics and Applications in Computer Graphics and Vision (World Scientific)
Friday 18 Jul

Presents a comprehensive overview of modern mathematical concepts, models, methods and tools with applications in computer graphics, computer vision and machine learning. Hongyu Guo covers 15 topics arranged in three parts: algebra, geometry and topology, with an emphasis on tensors and manifolds, and there's a separate part on applications.

<ASIN:9814449326>



Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, CSS & HTML5 (O'Reilly)
Thursday 17 Jul

In this step-by-step guide to creating dynamic websites, Robin Nixon first explore each technology separately and then shows how to use them together, demoing up valuable web programming practices along the way. At the end of the book, you’ll put everything together to build a fully functional social networking site.

<ASIN:1491949465>



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