March - Week 2
Saturday, 17 March 2012

A digest of the week's news, articles and book reviews on I Programmer from Thursday March 8th  to Wednesday March 14th.

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This Week's Book Reviews

 

News

Celebrate Pi Day It Contains All Human Knowledge   Wednesday 14 March

Assuming you are reading this on the 14th of March then the good news is that it is Pi Day. Of course, the date has been chosen because it is 3/14 i.e. 3rd month, 14th day, and these are the first three digits of Pi, 3.14.


More for Facebook Devs   Wednesday 14 March

Facebook has extended the options you have available when writing apps with the ability to share data directly from your Facebook apps.


Chrome, IE and Firefox Hacked   Wednesday 14 March

By the end of the Pwn2Own competition held last week Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox were all subject to zero day exploits. In the separate Pwnium competition Chrome was a victim twice over. 


Azure Outage - Date Arithmetic Details   Tuesday 13 March

Now we know why Microsoft suffered an outage of its Azure Compute service last month. And it really was the dumbest sort of error!


Robotics Developer Studio 4   Tuesday 13 March

Microsoft's Robotics IDE has been extended to cope with Kinect-based robots  - which makes sense given how useful a depth sensor is. The first robotic hardware kit for combining a laptop and a Kinect has also been announced.


Microsoft Makes Mayhem Open Source   Monday 12 March

Microsoft has handed over Mayhem, its Windows Scripting tool, to the Outercurve Foundation. A contest with $5,000 in prizes is underway to promote interest in Mayhem.


Bing Maps for Metro Style Apps   Monday 12 March

The Bing Maps team has announced a beta SDK for Bing Maps that is designed to give you a way to integrate Bing mapping into your Windows Metro style apps.


Work Starts on Metro Firefox - The Birth of the MetroTop App   Sunday 11 March Until now programmers have been working on two types of app for Windows 8 - Metro/WinRT and Desktop/Win32. Now we have a third type, a cross between the two that can be called MetroTop apps because they mix the two systems.


Inside Stuxnet   Sunday 11 March

Ralph Langner has analyzed the Stuxnet virus and made a convincing argument that it was created to do a single job. The technical details are really interesting and not the sort of thing you will encounter in the usual news media.


New Google Easter Eggs   Sunday 11 March

When is an Easter Egg not an Easter Egg? Here are a couple of examples which seem to break the code.


NP-Complete - Why So Hard?   Sunday 11 March

This week's selected xkcd cartoon is about the mysteries of NP-Complete problems. So does the waiter have a problem? Probably not. Let's see why.


On This Day in 1890 - Vannevar Bush Born   Sunday 11 March Vannevar Bush, who is remembered for his work on analog computers and for introducing a concept that we now consider the hyperlink, was born on March 11, 1890 in Everett, Massachusetts, USA.


A Better Way To Program   Saturday 10 March

This video will change the way you think about programming.  The argument is clear and impressive - it suggest that we really are building programs with one hand tied behind our backs. After you have watched the video you will want the tools demonstrated.


There's Still Time To Enroll in a Free Class   Saturday 10 March

Five new Computer Science courses start in the next two weeks. Other free online classes in Computer Science and Electronics have already started and some are still open to latecomers.


AWS Adds Features, Cuts Prices   Friday 09 March

Amazon is doing everything it can to maintain its position in the cloud, with announcements of new features for EC2 and yet another price drop for AWS.


Classic Nintendo Games Are NP Hard   Friday 09 March

You may have have thought that games like Mario, Donkey Kong and so on were hard at the time you were playing them, but you probably didn't guess that they were NP-hard.


Google Insists On Google Wallet   Friday 09 March

Not only is Google changing the image of Android Market with its rebranding as Google Pay, it is also insisting that devs use Google Payments. Currently this appears to exclude any developer outside the USA.


Almost Still Photos - Free Cliplet App From MS Research   Thursday 08 March

Microsoft Research has just invented "almost" still photography and you can try it out for yourself with a free to download app that converts video clips into photos with just a hint of movement.


Chrome Hacked Twice at CanSecWest   Thursday 08 March

A French team successfully attacked Google's Chrome Browser on Day 1 of thePwn2Own competition and a Russian student bypassed the Chrome sandbox to win $60,000, a top prize in the Pwnium contest.


SQL Server 2012 Launched   Thursday 08 March

SQL Server 2012 has been released to manufacturing and to mark the occasion Microsoft is hosting a Virtual Launch Event.


Professional Programmer

Programming - A Life Long Challenge   Friday 09 March

What is it that makes programming more than just an occupation? It's that chance it gives you to see things from the inside out. And watching a beginner gives insights into what it is all about.


The Core

Understanding the Fourier Transform   Wednesday 14 March

The Fourier transform crops up in a wide range of everyday programming areas - compression, filtering, reconstruction to mention just three general areas. You can get away with using it without understanding the math. On the other hand, knowing about it might come in handy and this way of thinking about it is novel and might work for you.


eBooks

Kinect SDK 1 - Depth and Video Space   Monday 12 March

The Kinect has both a video and a depth camera and they have slightly different viewpoints on the world. Relating their co-ordinate systems is the subject of this chapter of our ebook on using the Kinect for Windows SDK 1. We create a background remover along the way.

 


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