August - Week 1
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 11 August 2012

Our favorite news item of the week was about animation with KinÊtre and the most read items were on the Sudoku difficulty scale, Microsoft's latest standards proposals and the potential dangers of Google's Panda algorithm.

A digest of the week's news, articles and book reviews on I Programmer from Thursday, August 2nd to Wednesday,  August 8th. Our favorite news item of the week, about animation with KinÊtre, was also popular with readers, but the most read items were on the Sudoku difficulty scale, Microsoft's latest standards proposals and the potential dangers of Google's Panda algorithm.

 

IP

 

This Week's Book Reviews

 

News

Google Self-Driving Car For Daily Commute   Wednesday 08 August

Google's driverless cars are coming up to a new milestone. In future there will be just one human tester from the project team in each car.

 


 

Real-time Hadoop Analysis   Wednesday 08 August

Actian has announced a bi-directional Hadoop data connector, to be available later this year, for its Vectorwise database.

 


 

Want To Animate A Chair? Easy With Kinect   Wednesday 08 August

Microsoft Research has just released a video of a new Kinect animation system - KinÊtre. All you have to do is scan a 3D object, make a connection between your body and it, and start animating.

 

 


 

New Windows Phone Dev Center Launched   Tuesday 07 August

If you’re developing for Windows Phone, there’s a new site that’s been designed to make developing apps for Windows Phone faster and more profitable.

 


 

Google Doodle Hurdles Towards Social Success   Tuesday 07 August

Today's Google Doodle extends Olympic fever to the desktop and to Google+ circles. But for developers what is interesting is the way in which it uses canvas to such good effect.

 


 

Microsoft Picks Another Web Standards Fight   Tuesday 07 August

WebRTC is an important technology that is making its way towards becoming an HTML5 standard. Mozilla and Google seem to be happy with the way things are going - but what about Microsoft?

 


 

All-In-One Script Framework   Monday 06 August

If you make a living from developing scripts and macros for applications, operating systems and servers, you’ll be less than happy to hear about Microsoft’s latest move.

 


 

Demos from Assembly Summer 2012   Monday 06 August

The demoscene computer festival Assembly Summer 2012 took place August 2nd-5th in Helsinki, Finland and the winning entries are now available to view.

 


 

Further Update for Kinect Developer Toolkit   Monday 06 August

Microsoft has released an update to the Kinect Developer Toolkit. It includes a sample for DirectX 11 interoperability with WPF and fixes a known issue with Kinect Studio playback.

 


 

A Smart Kinect Trashcan   Sunday 05 August

This is a Kinect project that could sell well if mass produced and it hints at many other possible applications. Can you believe it - a trashcan that catches your randomly  thrown rubbish?

 


 

The Chaos Within Sudoku - A Richter Scale   Sunday 05 August

Sudoku is a fun problem, but how hard is any particular puzzle? Now we have the answer based on measuring the chaos inherent in a grid. This gives a Richter scale for Sudoku.

 


 

Digital Stress From Multitasking   Sunday 05 August

In our increasingly interconnected world, thanks to computers, the Internet, smartphones and all the other ways to access and process information, our brains are having to deal with the negative consequences of overload. 
What can we do to reduce the stress?

 


 

Daphne Koller What We Are Learning From Online Eduction   Saturday 04 August

A recent TED talk by Daphne Koller suggests that we have much to learn from online courses, but it might not just be the knowledge that they convey.

 


 

Program Curiosity With Kodu On Mars   Saturday 04 August

The Mars Rover, Curiosity, is scheduled to land on August 5 and Microsoft Research is pretty excited about it. Not only you can watch the event live on the Xbox channel, there's a new Kodu world in which kids can control a rover to explore an authentic version of the Red Planet.

 


 

Stompy The Giant Hexapod - A Kickstarter You Want To Support   Saturday 04 August

Stompy is probably well named. It is a six-legged insectoid robot that you can ride, so isn't going to be a quiet walker. If you want to see, or hear it in action then you need to pledge some money at Kickstarter. They only want $65,000.

 


 

OpenGL Faster Than DirectX - Or Is It?   Friday 03 August

It is being reported that Valve has found OpenGL to be faster than DirectX, but the real conclusion is slightly more complicated.

 


 

Microsoft Drops Metro Name   Friday 03 August

It's over two years since Microsoft introduced the name "Metro" but it has now suddenly decided to drop it and is asking developers to refer to "New User Interface" until it comes up with an alternative.

 


 

Halide - New Language For Image Processing   Friday 03 August

Halide is a new open source language designed specifically for image processing and computational photography. It not only makes it easy to implement photo algorithms, it also makes them run fast by semi-automatic parallelization.

 


 

Nokia Drops Qt   Thursday 02 August

Nokia is closing down its Brisbane, Australia office with effect from the end of August 2012 in a move that appears to spells the end of Nokia's involvement with Qt.

 


 

A Shift in the Android Landscape   Thursday 02 August

Ice Cream Sandwich has grown 50% in latest Android platform stats and now has 16% share compared to 11% a month ago. Gingerbread remains the most commonly used version with 60%

 


 

Google Not Interested in Screwing Over Developers   Thursday 02 August

Google's Vic Gundot, Senior VP of Engineering and the man in charge of Google+, has apologized for not making a full read/write API available. The reason given is that Google doesn't want to do a rush job and so "screw over developers" like Facebook has.

 


The Core

Getting Started With Google App Script   Monday 06 August

App Script is a language and framework that deserves to be better known. Using it you can write programs that work with almost any Google service from Gmail, through Calendar and on to Spreadsheeting. You can even use it to work with non-Google APIs. It is the glue that binds all of these facilities together and the good news is that it is very easy to use. So let's get started...

 


The Stone Tapes

Google's War On Links - Prohibition All Over Again   Friday 03 August

Given that Google's life blood is the hyperlink you might find it strange that it has just declared war on said link. Not only that, but in its attempts to make search better it has placed a weapon in your opponent's hands that you are powerless to defend yourself against.

 


Projects

Disk Drive Dangers - SMART and WMI   Wednesday 08 August

Getting access to the hardware is never easy from an application. If you want to know how well your disk drive is performing then there is a way of accessing the SMART data - including the temperature - using WMI and it is fairly easy.

 


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