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AI Creates Flintstones Cartoons From A Description
Apr 22 | Lucy Black
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As long as you know the Flintstones, and if you don't you've been under a (Bed)rock for too long, then "Fred is talking to Barney in the lounge" will cause you to imagine the scene. Now an AI system can visualize it for real by generating the cartoon to fit.

Uber Makes GPS More Accurate
Apr 21 | Mike James
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The big problem with GPS, amazing though it is, comes down to accuracy. It just never seems to be quite accurate enough. Uber engineers now think they have a software way of making it quite a bit more accurate and it's remarkably clever.

April Week 3
Apr 21 | Editor
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I Programmer Weekly puts all our news coverage together in a handy digest together with the week's book reviews and additions to our archive of new  book titles related to programming. The list finishes with the latest articles - a programmer's getting started guide to TypeScript and a new arrival on Programmer's Bookshelf covering Agile Programming, Scrum and Lean.  

An Update on Language Popularity - Perl is in Trouble
Apr 20 | Janet Swift
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According to April's TIOBE Index, Python has dislodged C#, and Objective C and Perl are both in decline. SQL appears to be making a rapid rise - but that's an anomaly.

Skill Up Survey 2018
Apr 20 | Lucy Black
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Packt has launched its annual Skill Up survey for 2018 to gain insight into the state of the IT industry from a developer’s perspective. The incentive to participate is 80% discount on offer from Packt store.

Java 10 Improves Garbage Collection
Apr 19 | Alex Denham
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Java 10, a feature release of Java SE, has improved its garbage collection and compilation, and has also extended the Class-Data Sharing feature to improve startup and footprint. 

GitHub Learning Labs Now Open For Newbies
Apr 19 | Sue Gee
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Once you know your way around GitHub its difficult to remember how it felt when it was an unfamiliar environment with its strange jargon of Commits, Issues, Pull Requests and so on. The newly launched GitHub Learning Lab has a bot to guide you through a set of courses in a novel way.

Microsoft Chooses Linux for IoT
Apr 18 | Kay Ewbank
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Microsoft has chosen a Linux kernel for its latest move into IoT, despite the recent launch of Windows 10 IoT. Azure Sphere is the operating system that runs on micro controllers powering IoT devices. 

Fear and Loathing In the App Store 21 - Oracle Owns JavaScript and Apple Pulls App
Apr 18 | Ian Elliot
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It shouldn't come as a shock that Oracle owns the trademark on the term "JavaScript", but it seems to. A recent incident, Apple pulling an app because it has "JavaScript" in its name, has sparked heated discussion.

Quantum Computing From FutureLearn
Apr 18 | Sue Gee
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A new course on quantum computing for which the only prerequisite is high school math and a rough idea of what atoms, electrons and photons are, started this week on the FutureLearn platform. I Programmer has enrolled.

Google Upgrades AIY Project Kits
Apr 17 | Lucy Black
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This is as much about a statement that Google is still serious about its AI education efforts as it is about any new features. The two new kits are complete and ready to go. They take a sort of "batteries included" approach, although it is worth saying that no batteries are actually needed...

Apache Drill Adds YARN Support
Apr 17 | Kay Ewbank
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The new release of Apache Drill has added the ability to run Drill as a YARN application, along with support for HTTP Kerberos authentication using SPNEGO, and SQL syntax highlighting of queries.

Udacity Withdraws Jobs Guarantee
Apr 17 | Sue Gee
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Udacity's Nanodegree Plus option, in which the Plus was that graduating students would be helped to get a job within 6 months of graduating or receive a full refund of what they had paid for tuition, has been quietly dropped. So too has the offer of half your tuition back for graduating within 12 months.

Topcoder Marathon Match 100
Apr 16 | Sue Gee
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Topcoder is celebrating a historic event this week with a rerun of the first Marathon Match, a Random Walking fun challenge, in which 164 members took part. Thousands are expected to join in MM100 and if you've never participated before this could be the right time to take the plunge.

Mozilla Makes WebAssembly For The Rest Of Us
Apr 16 | Ian Elliot
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WebAssembly - it's the next big thing. Until now the problem has been that you had to be dedicated, to say the least, to get involved. Now Mozilla has a way that we can all try it out  with WebAssembly Studio. Is this really WebAssembly for the rest of us?

PowerHammer - Leaking Data Through The Power Line
Apr 15 | Harry Fairhead
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One of the things you just have to accept is that human ingenuity will always find a way. When it comes to security even the strongest protection will fail. An air-gapped computer has no external networking connections so it cannot leak data to the outside world. Don't you believe it.

More Recent News



Book Review

Graph Analysis and Visualization
Friday 20 Apr

Author: Richard Brath and David Jonker
Publisher: Wiley
ISBN: 9781118845844
Print: 1118845846
Kindle: B00T1JQUQE
Audience: People wanting to make their data understandable
Rating: 4

Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank

The title of this book may suggest heavy numerical analysis, but its subtitle, Discovering Business Opportunity in Linked Data, gives a clearer idea of what it covers – graphs and how they can be used to solve business problems.  


Featured Articles

Date Hacks - Doing JavaScript Date Calculations
Ian Elliot
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OK, you have mastered the way your particular language represents dates and times but.. this is just the start. Doing arithmetic with dates can go well beyond just working out the interval between two fixed points. What about the third Thursday in the month or how many days are we from the previous 11th of the month? Find out how to hack dates.

Reading Your Way To Agile
Kay Ewbank
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In almost a decade I Programmer's book reviewers have read and commented on over 1500 programming titles, only a fraction of the programming books published, but we try to cover the important ones. In Programmer's Bookshelf we recommend the books you might find helpful at different stages in your personal development. This addition is on Agile Progamming.

Getting Started With TypeScript
Mike James
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TypeScript is probably the most successful JavaScript replacement. While JavaScript has evolved since TypeScript was first introduced to "improve" it, there are still lots of reasons for using TypeScript. As long as you know JavaScript, TypeScript is an easy and gradual upgrade.

Micro:bit Commando Jump Using MakeCode
Sue Gee
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The Micro:bit is quite a capable computer, but it does have one limitation - it only has a 5x5 LED matrix display. What sort of game could you possibly program on that?!

The Early History of the Internet
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The Internet is now a boon and a blessing to individuals and businesses around the world in fact its is difficult to imagine the modern world without it. But look back over 40 years and you'll find that the Internet as we know it today was born out of the cold war between the USA and the USSR.


Unhandled Exception!
Making Progress

Making Progress

This isn't the first or only xkcd that deals with the central problem of programming and computer use. The words that should be engraved on every programmers heart are: it is always more difficult than it appears, it will always take more time than you think and the problem you solve will be replaced by something much, much, harder.

 Click for larger image

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


Book Watch

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Book Watch is I Programmer's listing of new books and is compiled using publishers' publicity material. It is not to be read as a review where we provide an independent assessment. Some but by no means all of the books in Book Watch are eventually reviewed.

Learning PostgreSQL 10 2nd Ed (Packt)
Thursday 19 Apr

This book will familiarize you with the latest new features released in PostgreSQL 10, and get you up and running with building efficient PostgreSQL database solutions from scratch. Author Salahaldin Juba gives a thorough introduction to PostgreSQL and the new features introduced in PostgreSQL 10. Data Definition Language (DDL) is covered with an emphasis on PostgreSQL, as is Data Manipulation Language (DML) and PostgreSQL server-side programming capabilities using PL/pgSQL. The book also explores the NoSQL capabilities of PostgreSQL.


Murach's HTML5 and CSS3, 4th Ed (Murach)
Wednesday 18 Apr

This revised 4th Edition of a popular title updates and improves all the HTML and CSS content in the book, and adds coverage of Flexible Box and Grid Layout, two new CSS3 ways to implement page layouts. Authors Zak Ruvalcaba and Anne Boehm begin with an 8-chapter hands-on course that teaches you HTML and CSS from scratch, including the latest HTML5 and CSS3 features.


Unreal Engine 4 for Design Visualization (Addison-Wesley)
Monday 16 Apr

This book shows how to use Unreal Engine for creating interactive visualizations, animations, and renderings. UE4 expert Tom Shannon introduces Unreal Engine 4’s components and technical concepts, taking you through the entire process of building outstanding visualization content with realistic, carefully documented, step-by-step sample projects. 


Vue.js: Up and Running (O'Reilly)
Thursday 12 Apr

A brisk introduction to building fast, interactive single-page web applications with Vue.js, theJavaScript framework for web development,  this practical guide starts from basics and moves to custom components and advanced features including JSX, the JavaScript syntax extension. Author Callum Macrae shows you his choice of the most useful libraries in the Vue ecosystem, such as vue-router for routing, vuex for state management, and vue-test-utils for testing.


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