August - Week 4
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 01 September 2012

As well as news of more courses and more Turing Centenary events, we look at what Apple's win over Samsung means, and note that PC manufacturers are listening to users and not following Microsoft's hardline about the start button, and provide a forthright reaction to the new Microsoft Logo.

A digest of the week's news, articles and book reviews on I Programmer from Thursday, August 23 to Wednesday, 29 August 2012.

IP

 

This Week's Book Reviews

 

News

Manufacturers Putting The Start Menu Back In Windows 8   Wednesday 29 August

Microsoft has been hardline about no return to the start menu and start button. No matter how hard users have requested the change, it has been a matter of dogma that the start screen is here to stay. Now it looks as if PC manufacturers might not be so hard line and might undo Microsoft's revolution.

 


 

Udacity Has More Computer Science   Wednesday 29 August

Next week sees the start of two new Udacity courses in its Computer Science curriculum, one on numerical methods; the other on software debugging. Meanwhile if you've been waiting for the Pearson VUE exam for CS 101, it is now available.

 


 

Firefox 15 Is Go Along With A New 3D Game Demo   Wednesday 29 August

Firefox 15 was released on August 28th, one day ahead of schedule. Improvements to memory usage make it faster, but for many it is its game-related enhancements that are the main highlight. A new game demo, Bananabread, makes the point and proves that HTML5 gaming isn't a joke.

 


 

Code In The Cloud - Orion 1.0 Reaches M1   Tuesday 28 August

Creating code using online services is becoming increasingly mainstream but we still need better tools. Eclipse Orion is intended to be a general purpose code development system. With the target of completing Version 1.0 in time for EclipseCon Europe in October, its first milestone version, Orion 1.0 M1, has been released.

 


 

Turing Lectures From Andrew Hodges   Tuesday 28 August

Among the Turing Centenary events that have still to take place there are two lectures on Turing's life, work and untimely death by his biographer, Andrew Hodges.

 


 

Rare Apple I Available at Auction   Tuesday 28 August

Apple Is are rare. Around 200 units were originally produced and it is estimated that fewer than fifty are still in existence. One with the serial number 22 is to be included in a Christie's sale on October 9, 2012.

 

 


 

3D Input Using Just Projector & Camera   Monday 27 August

The Kinect is a great input device, but do you really need it? If you have a video projector and a camera then, with a little software, you can input 3D data in a much more flexible way.

 


 

Samsung Hopes to Lift Ban on Galaxy Tab   Monday 27 August

After last Friday's verdict in the Apple versus Samsung lawsuit, Samsung was quick to file for removal of the injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

 


 

Preferred Platforms for Mobile/Web Developers   Monday 27 August

Mozilla is determined to help keep the web open and this includes having a choice of browser and technology. It's recent survey of mobile to gather background information and a found that in developing apps 60% of the respondents were focusing on web apps and only 2% were ignoring the web.

 


 

Computer Simulated Knitting   Sunday 26 August

Simulating cloth is big business - how else can CGI characters get to wear any clothes? Now, as well as simple fabrics, graphics designers can have knitwear on their virtual clothes racks.

 


 

Google Uses AI To Find Good Tables   Sunday 26 August

Google has switched from a rule-based method of detecting useful data to an AI machine learning technique. This, plus the knowledge graph, produces better search results.

 


 

Apple's Win Over Samsung - What Next   Saturday 25 August

The jury in the Apple versus Samsung case found that Samsung products infringed a number of Apple design and utility patents and Apple has already asked for an injunction to stop Samsung selling them. What does this mean for Android?

 


 

Vanilla JS Used On More Sites Than jQuery   Saturday 25 August

If you are looking for a new framework to help you build a web site, then you need to know about Vanilla JS. This is the most powerful and lightweight of all the frameworks. It is already in use by a huge number of websites and autodownloaded by most browsers.

 


 

SDK for Bing Spatial Data Services   Friday 24 August

Microsoft has released an SDK for Bing Spatial Data Services.  So if you are looking for geocoding this is a good place to start.

 


 

Perform Data Queries Faster With Drill   Friday 24 August

Drill a new distributed system for interactive analysis of large-scale datasets, inspired by Google's Dremel, has been accepted into the Apache Incubator.

 


 

Coursera's Machine Learning Course Runs Again   Friday 24 August

Andrew Ng's popular online course on Machine Learning started again this week. There's still time to enroll and catch up with the new cohort of students so what can you expect if you sign up.

 


 

JQuery Ever More Popular   Thursday 23 August

We have two pieces of evidence that JQuery is on the up. One survey suggests it is used by half of all websites; another has the information that it is used by 74%  of mobile web developers.

 


 

Elastic Beanstalk Now Runs Python   Thursday 23 August

Amazon has added support for Python to Elastic Beanstalk.

 


 

StackExchange AI Contest   Thursday 23 August

The StackExchange Machine Learning Contest launched this week on Kaggle has a prize pool of $20,000 and  winners will also improve the way that StackOverflow works - which might be reward enough.

 


Professional Programmer

A New Microsoft Logo - Sign Of The Times   Friday 24 August

Or is it a sign for the times? It all depends on your outlook and where you are positioned in the Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft seems to have embraced design and style but rejected sound engineering principles.

 


eBooks

WinRT JavaScript - Web Workers & Promises   Wednesday 29 August

If you want to keep the user interface fast and responsive you have to follow the framework and create asynchronous functions - but how? This sounds complicated. The solution is to make use of Web Workers and wrap what you create so that it returns a promise. Let's see how it all fits together.

 


Babbage's Bag

CPU   Monday 27 August

The real complexity of any computer system resides in the processor, but do you know how it works? It isn't difficult - just a matter of "fetch" and "execute".

 


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