August - Week 3
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 25 August 2012

New articles this week included how to implement a fluent interface in JavaScript, promises in WinRT and a discussion of how debugging is more like experimental physics than programming. Refer to the digest for the full list of news, articles and book reviews

from Thursday, August 16th to Wednesday,  August 22nd, 2012.

IP

 

 

This Week's Book Reviews

 

News

Google's Octane - New JavaScript Benchmark   Wednesday 22 August

Google has decided that the existing JavaScript benchmarks just don't do the job of a testing a modern language in a modern web page. The solution is Octane a new benchmark which Google has designed to be more representative of how we use browsers today. Of course we all know what is really wrong with benchmarks...

 


 

Book Stored On DNA - All Knowledge In Just 4gm of DNA   Wednesday 22 August

Researchers have successfully encoded an entire book - including text, images, and interactive animations - in DNA at a density which means that you could store the total of the world's information in about 4 grams of DNA. This isn't science fiction - it is science and it changes the game for data storage.

 


 

Mechanical MOOC Offers Introductory Python   Wednesday 22 August

There's yet another approach to providing free online learning. In this model there's no course instructor but you still get to study with other people, if you choose to do so. There are no certificates but you can earn badges.

 


 

Amazon Glacier For Cold Storage   Tuesday 21 August

Amazon has announced a new low cost storage option for data archiving and backup.

 


 

A Quantum Computer Finds Factors   Tuesday 21 August

The Shor quantum factoring algorithm has been run for the first time on a solid state device and it successfully factored a composite number. Is this the start of the quantum computing revolution?

 


 

Stanford's Robotic Racecar Learns From Humans   Tuesday 21 August

Professional racing drivers are helping robot engineers to improve the algorithms used by Shelley, Stanford's self-driving racing car.

 


 

LibreOffice Initiative To Eradicate Most Annoying Bugs   Monday 20 August

LibreOffice developers are being challenged to confront  difficult bugs in a newly announced HardHacks project.

 


 

Oracle Making MySQL Less Open   Monday 20 August

The philosophical gulf between Oracle and the MySQL community seems to be growing wider.

 


 

FlightGear 2.8 Takes Off   Monday 20 August

Improved AI aircraft is the main highlight of the latest version of FlightGear, the free and open source flight simulator. FlightGear is used for research and education, for a variety of aerospace engineering and visualization work in industry, for interactive exhibits in museums and, of course, for fun by enthusiasts.

 


 

The Revolution In Evolutionary Game Theory - Prisoners Dilemma Solved?   Sunday 19 August

Game theory is well established enough there to be no deep shocks left to surprise us, but one of the most studied games, the Prisoner's Dilemma has returned to center stage. The surprise is that there is a winning strategy. 

 


 

Robot & Frank - A Vision of the Future?   Sunday 19 August

The movie Robot & Frank, starring Frank Langella and a cute humanoid robot, opened in New York this weekend. The idea of robots being able to care for elderly people is nothing new, so does this film add to the debate?

 


 

FSF Introduces DRM-Free Logo   Sunday 19 August

The Free Software Foundation has produced a logo that can be used to identify products that are not subject to digital rights restrictions. Early adopters of this label include O'Reilly Media and Pragmatic Bookshelf.

 


 

Google’s Motorola Seeks Import Ban On IPhone and iPad   Saturday 18 August

Google's Motorola Mobility division has filed a new patent-infringement case claiming that features on some Apple devices, including the Siri voice-recognition program, infringe its patents.

 


 

Windows 8 Devs Enticed By Offers - Such As Meet Steve Ballmer!   Saturday 18 August

Microsoft really has a lot riding on the success of Windows 8 and the UI formerly known as Metro. So much so that it is offering as much help and encouragement to developers it can think of. In this UK this goes a step further with an offer of winning a meeting with CEO Steve Ballmer.

 


 

Gender Stereotyping of Robots   Saturday 18 August

We strive to create robots that share human characteristics in order to make them socially acceptable. It also means our creations cannot escape gender stereotyping.

 


 

Paperback - Joke or Not?   Friday 17 August

Most of us will have at some point talked about taking a paper copy of important documents, but it’s unlikely you’ve ever considered taking backups onto paper with the expectation of being able to use them on a computer at some point in the future.  Think again - a free application that can do just that.

 


 

Twitter Previews Changes That Will Rein In Competitors   Friday 17 August

Twitter had already been talking about "stricter guidelines" for the use of its API. Now it has some details of the restrictions to be introduced in Version 1.1 which will impact third party apps.

 


 

The Significance Of Big Data   Friday 17 August

Significance, a magazine produced by the Royal Statistical Society has a special issue on Big Data and it has some really interesting articles, including Peter Norvig on why language is statistical in nature.

 


 

Window 8 90-day Trial and VS 2012 Ready To Download   Thursday 16 August

Microsoft has released a 90-day free trial of Windows 8 that anyone can download. MSDN subscribers can also download the full versions and the final version of Visual Studio 2012. So what is the official launch all about?

 


 

Google Announces More Cash For Security Bugs   Thursday 16 August

Google has announced Pwnium2 and has increased the level of bonuses it pays through its Chromium Vulnerability Rewards Program.

 


 

Create An Office Or SharePoint App And Win $10,000   Thursday 16 August

Microsoft has announced a competition with a prize of $10,000 for the best Office or SharePoint app but don't bother trying to submit anything based on old technology - this is for the new style apps only.

 


Professional Programmer

Debugging and the Experimental Method   Friday 17 August

How do you debug a program? What approaches and qualities of mind are needed to get the job done? In many ways debugging a program is quite different from the act of programming and we need to be clear about it so that we can both do it better and  teach it better.

 


The Core

Chaining - Fluent Interfaces In JavaScript   Monday 20 August

One of jQuery's attractive features is the way that you can build up chains of commands that look almost like the way you would use a language. This is more generally called a "Fluent Interface" and it isn't difficult to implement in JavaScript.

 


eBooks

WinRT JavaScript - Promises   Wednesday 22 August

WinRT is mostly an asynchronous system and making the best of this is a matter of using the promise object. The promise object makes asynchronous code easy to use and easier to create. Promises are a proposed JavaScript standard.

 

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