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Wolfram 11.2 Improves Image Processing
Sep 25 | Kay Ewbank
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The latest version of Mathematica and the Wolfram language have been released. Version 11.2 improves the options for audio and image processing, as well as adding more functions for mathematical computation, task handling and machine learning.

Tetris On Game Of Life - A Great Achievement
Sep 24 | Mike James
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It is one thing to know that something unlikely is Turing complete; it is quite another to use it to build a computer and then implement something real. This is exactly what has just happened with Conway's Game Of Life with the construction of a computer to play Tetris. This is a remarkable achievement that should send your brain into a tailspin.

Matternet - Life Saving Distribution By Drone
Sep 23 | Harry Fairhead
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The newly unveiled Matternet Station, together with Matternet's cloud platform and its autonomous M2 drones, is a viable solution for delivering small payloads where speed is essential. Its latest demonstration is in delivering vital medical supplies.

September Week 3
Sep 23 | Editor
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As well as sifting through the news, the IProgrammer team does the same for books, selecting titles for Book Watch and for review. We also bring you articles. This week's are on handling negative numbers in binary and building a Weblogic WS-Security enabled clinet on the CLI.

Game of Codes Competitions - UPDATE
Sep 22 | Lucy Black
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A "Game of Codes" online competition with $20K in prizes is underway, ending on September 24. There is still plenty of opportunity to win a $50 gift card and the number of points required to win one of 500 tee-shirts has been reduced to 5.

WebAssembly Computer Vision Experiments
Sep 22 | Alex Armstrong
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If you need convincing that WebAssembly is going to change the way we program web apps take a look at WebSight which shows that it is twenty times faster than JavaScript at a face detection task and twice as fast as asm.js

The Discovery Of The Twitter Bursty Botnet
Sep 22 | Lucy Black
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There is no doubt that bots are a growing problem, but perhaps it is a bigger problem than any of us imagine. Researchers have discovered a Twitter botnet with over 500,000 bots, and it isn't a simple one.

Java 9 Finally Appears
Sep 21 | Kay Ewbank
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Java SE version 9 is finally released today, following what have seemed like endless delays. The main change to the new version is support for modules, aka Jigsaw..  

ImageNet Training Record - 24 Minutes
Sep 21 | Mike James
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One of the problems with neural networks is how long it takes to train them. Researchers have just smashed the training barrier by reducing the time to train ResNet from 14 days to one hour and have claimed a world record of 24 minutes for AlexNet with a lower hardware budget than used for the task by Facebook.

Is Your Degree Worth Its Cost?
Sep 20 | Janet Swift
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Reporting findings of a survey that some will find controversial, Stack Overflow suggests that developers are increasingly unlikely to recoup the cost of a university education. Stack Overflow urges those hiring to include details of salary in job listings and remove educational requirements in order to attract more applicants.

GitHub Desktop Released
Sep 20 | Kay Ewbank
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GitHub has redesigned GitHub Desktop with Electron to provide a way for developers to extend their GitHub workflow beyond their browsers.

Udacity Launches Flying Car Nanodegree Program
Sep 19 | Sue Gee
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During his keynote today at Disrupt 2017 taking place in San Francisco, Sebastian Thrun is announcing two new programs related to his enduring interest in self-driving cars and a new partnership with Lyft, which will fund 400 scholarships.

IBM Big SQL Sandbox
Sep 19 | Kay Ewbank
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IBM has released a sandbox version of Big SQL for desktop use. The Sandbox comes as a single node docker image, and is designed to let you started with Big SQL and Hortonworks Data platform.

Facebook's New AI Lab In Montreal
Sep 19 | Sue Gee
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Facebook is opening its fourth artificial intelligence research lab in Montreal. FAIR Montreal will start with ten researchers, growing to 30 in the coming year and Joelle Pineau has been appointed to head it.

New WinDbg Available In Preview
Sep 18 | Kay Ewbank
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Microsoft has announced a preview version of a new WinDbg. The new version has been updated to have more modern visuals, faster windows, and built-on support for scripting.

Geoffrey Hinton Says AI Needs To Start Over
Sep 18 | Mike James
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Geoffrey Hinton is widely recognized as the father of the current AI boom. Decades ago he hung on to the idea that back propagation and neural networks were the way to go when everyone else had given up. Now, in an off-the-cuff interview, he reveals that back prop might not be enough and that AI should start over.

More Recent News



Book Review

Introducing Python
Friday 22 Sep

Author: Bill Lubanovic
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2014
Pages: 478
ISBN: 9781449359362
Print: 1449359361
Kindle: B00PHTRLO2
Audience: Not beginners 
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Mike James 

Python is a popular first language and it is used by many first courses in programming. An Introduction to Python is perhaps just what we all need. 


Featured Articles

How WiFi Works
Harry Fairhead
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WiFi has freed the computer from being tied to a network connection by wires. If you think your tablet or smartphone is fun, imagine if you needed a wire to connect it to the Internet. But WiFi isn't just a dumb radio transmitter and receiver, it is a sophisticated computer in its own right and it deserves to be better understood.

Hardcore DevOps: Building A Portable Weblogic Client on the CLI
Nikos Vaggalis
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It shouldn't be that difficult to build a standalone Weblogic WS-Security enabled client for invoking JAX Web Services, but the reality is that it is. Let's find out why.

Binary - Negative Numbers
Mike James
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Binary arithmetic is easy, so easy a computer can do it, but what about negative numbers? This is altogether more tricky and isn't just a matter of putting a negative sign in front of the number.

The Programmers Guide To Kotlin: Advanced Functions
Mike James
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Although we have had a brief look at functions in an earlier chapter, functions are so central to what makes Kotlin special they deserve a chapter to themselves. In this chapter we look at how functions make Kotlin more powerful and easier to use.

jQuery 3 - Promises, Deferred & WebWorkers
Ian Elliot
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It is fairly easy to consume promises returned by asynchronous functions that other programmers have put together for you. It is only a little more difficult to use promises to create your own asynchronous functions that run in parallel a non-UI thread. 


Unhandled Exception!
Supervillain Plan

Supervillain Plan

No, we are not weird. It is just that the rest of the world ignores the problem. They get worried when an hour goes missing or turns up unexpectedly when a DST changeover happens. But we know where it goes!

More cartoon fun at xkcd a webcomic of romance,sarcasm, math, and language


Book Watch

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Programmers Guide To Kotlin (I/O Press)
Thursday 21 Sep

Kotlin is attracting attention as "a better Java" especially since Google backed it as a language for Android development. In this book, some chapters of which you can read on this site, Mike James introduces Kotlin to programmers. You don't have to be an expert programmer in Java or any other language, but you need to know the basics of programming and using objects.


Test-Driven Development with Python, 2nd Ed (O'Reilly)
Wednesday 20 Sep

This book, subtitled "Obey the Testing Goat: Using Django, Selenium, and JavaScript" is the second edition of a hands-on guide to the practical advantages of test-driven development (TDD) with Python. Author Harry Percival shows how to write and run tests before building each part of your app, and then develop the minimum amount of code required to pass those tests.


More Effective C# 2nd Ed (Addison Wesley)
Monday 18 Sep

This book is a collection of 50 intermediate-to-advanced techniques for writing robust and well-performing C# 7.0 code. Reflecting the growing sophistication of the C# language and its development community, author Bill Wagner presents new solutions to problems you are likely to encounter every day. This second edition has been completely reorganized to provide clear explanations, expert tips, and realistic code examples in a cohesive package for modern C#, covering C# 7.0.


Computers for Seniors (No Starch Press)
Thursday 14 Sep

Computers for Seniors is a step-by-step guide designed for older people that will take them all the way from pressing the 'On' button on a new computer to being a confident user. Authors Carrie Ewin, Cheryl Ewin, and Chris Ewin show how to send emails, shop online safely, read the latest news, use YouTube, share pictures, and check the weather forecast, among other topics. 


Think Data Structures (O'Reilly)
Wednesday 13 Sep

This practical book aims to help you get to grips with data structures and algorithms in a clear, concise, and engaging way.  Author Allen Downey emphasizes practical knowledge and skills over theory and shows how to use data structures to implement efficient algorithms, and then analyze and measure their performance. The book explores the important classes in the Java collections framework (JCF), how they're implemented, and how they're expected to perform.


Angular 4: Pocket Primer (Mercury)
Monday 11 Sep

This book provides an introduction to Angular 2 application development, independent of any exposure to Angular 1.x and is intended for beginners who want to develop Web applications. Author Oswald Campesato shows how to create applications with various UI Controls, how to create custom components, and how to handle mouse-related events.


Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development 2nd Ed (Addison Wesley)
Friday 08 Sep

This book covers the techniques and tools needed for designing and developing games. This new edition was written with Unity 2017. Author Jeremy Gibson Bond has spent more than a decade teaching game design and building games, and the book covers game design theory, rapid iterative prototyping, and practical programming.


React Quickly (Manning)
Tuesday 05 Sep

Subtitled Painless web apps with React, JSX, Redux, and GraphQL, this book is intended for web developers who want to learn React.js, the JavaScript that improving data flow between UI components, fast. Author Azat Mardan teaches React development using your existing JavaScript and web dev skills. It imparts you the concepts you need with lots of examples, tutorials, and a large main project that gets built throughout the book.


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