June - Week 4
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 30 June 2012

A digest of the week's news, articles and book reviews on I Programmer from Thursday June 21st to Wednesday June 27th.  In the week that included the Alan Turing Centenary we covered an interactive Turing Machine and the biggest ever Turing Test and also reported a remarkable advance in AI.

 

IP

 

This Week's Book Reviews

 

News

Largest Turing Test Ever   Wednesday 27 June

Chatbot Eugene Goostman, the creation of Vladimir Veselov who endowed his machine with the personality of a 13-year old boy, was awarded 1st Prize at a Turing Test  event held on June 23,2102, the 100th Anniversary of Alan Turing's birth.

 


 

Google Announces Search MOCC   Wednesday 27 June

No it's not a mistake in the headline. Google has announced its own "Massive Online Crash Course" MOCC - five hours of interactve video tuition about search techniques- starting on July 10, 2012.

 


 

Community Edition of jQuery Controls   Wednesday 27 June

Infragistics has released NetAdvantage for jQuery Community Edition, an entry level version of its client-side control toolset for developers using jQuery and JavaScript .

 


 

A Neural Network Learns What A Face Is   Tuesday 26 June

It probably is a breakthrough in AI that we will look back on and say "this is where it really took off". A big neural network has finally done something that is close to what human brains do. After being shown lots of photos extracted from YouTube, it learned to recognize faces - without being told what a face is.

 


 

Survey Reveals App Poverty Line   Tuesday 26 June

One in three mobile developers cannot rely on apps as a sole source of income, even if they have created multiple apps. In other words, they are below the app poverty line.

 

 


 

Google Slashes Map Fees   Tuesday 26 June

Google has started to monitor usage of it Maps API and at the same time has announced reductions in the charges for exceeding the free daily usage tier.

 


 

Google Doodle - A Turing Machine Puzzle - Update: Play it Now   Tuesday 26 June

Update: The Turing machine Google Doodle that was up for only a day to celebrate Alan Turing's 100th birthday is back. You can now play it as much as you want, when you want.

 


 

The Robot Bartender - A Lesson in Why Robotics Is Difficult   Monday 25 June

One of the real frustrations of trying to do anything with a robot is that the task always looks so simple. You say, "I just invented a robot bartender" and the usual response is "what took you so long?". For an insight into why it is difficult, take a look at the this video.

 


 

What's a Sample of Size One Worth?   Monday 25 June

We are in the information business and it seems obvious that more data is better, but how much better? Would you be surprised to learn that most of the information is in a single measurement?

 


 

Learning Oriental Ink Painting   Sunday 24 June

Using reinforcement learning to make a computer paint like an oriental Sumi-e artist isn't just a matter of shouting "well done" - and yet when you look at the results that's what you want to do...

 


 

Game Of Phones   Sunday 24 June

An infographic draws parallels between the battle for supremacy in the app store ecosystem and the popular blockbuster TV epic. Here there are just two players, Android and iOS - after all this time Windows Phone 7 doesn't even signify.

 


 

Turing Exhibition and Facebook Timeline   Saturday 23 June

Today is the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing's birth and to mark it the London Science Museum's special exhibition, "Codebreaker: Alan Turing's Life and Legacy" has opened. If you can't attend in person much of it can be experienced online, including in a Facebook Timeline.

 


 

Amazon App Store Extends its Reach   Friday 22 June

Amazon’s Android Appstore is being expanded to add support for apps for distribution in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, with plans to add more countries in the near future. Does this mean Kindle Fire is about to spread its range?

 


 

Peter Norvig On The 100,000-Student Classroom   Friday 22 June

We hear a lot about the great MOOC experiment where 160,000 students signed up for an advanced course on AI from front man Sebastian Thrun but not so much from Peter Norvig - the "other" lecturer involved. Now we have  Ted Talk where he gives his point of view.

 


 

MemSQL - 80,000 queries per second   Friday 22 June

Two former Facebook developers have created a new database that they say is the world’s fastest and a video to demonstrate its superiority compared to MySQL.

 


 

Introduction to Statistics – Your Access Pass to the Udacity Artificial Intelligence Track   Thursday 21 June

Introduction to Statistics - Making Decisions based on Data is one of five new courses from Udacity that start next week and is designed to complement any subject that requires analysis and manipulation of data, including machine learning and AI.

 


 

Firefox Junior for Apple iOS   Thursday 21 June

Mozilla is working on a new browser that uses the WebKit rendering engine, meaning it will be possible to run it on iOS as well as on other mobile operating systems such as Android and Blackberry.

 


 

Windows Phone 8 - A Restart   Thursday 21 June

Microsoft has announced some of the details of the new Windows Phone 8 system - and if you have been following the plot there are few surprises. The main thing is that the upgrade to the new Windows Kernel, and essentially WinRT, means that this is a new start and WP7 is dead.

 


Professional Programmer

The Astonishing Tale of WP8 - Compiling 100,000 Apps   Friday 22 June

Ladies and gentlemen, I have for your delectation and  delight a quite extraordinary trick. Watch as the giant of Redmond compiles 100,000 apps with a compiler that has no track record...

 


eBooks

The Java User Interface - More Swing   Wednesday 27 June

Finding out how to create a User Interface (UI) using the Java Swing library is not only a useful skill, it also is an ideal way to learn about objects and to make sure that the ideas really have sunk in.

 


Babbage's Bag

Information Theory   Monday 25 June

So you know what a bit is – or do you? How much information does a bit carry? What is this "information" stuff anyway? The answers are, unsurprisingly, all contained in the subject called Information Theory, which was invented by one man.

 


 

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