Programming News and Views

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Microsoft And Universal Apps
Mar 04 | Mike James
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Microsoft has chosen to talk about universal apps at this year's Mobile World Congress, but real hard facts are still thin on the ground. What has emerged has that sort of PR speak that indicates that perhaps Microsoft isn't really sure what it is all about. 



AI And Growing Old In-Place
Mar 04 | Lucy Black
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Can AI and robotics help with one of our most serious social problems - the aging of the population. 



Google Shrinks List of GSoC Open Source Organizations
Mar 04 | Sue Gee
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The list of mentoring organisations for Google Summer of Code 2015 has some surprising omissions. The Linux Foundation and Mozilla are among those missing from the list of just 137 open source organisations.



The New OpenGL - Vulkan and SPIR-V
Mar 03 | Sue Gee
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Previously referred to as the Next Generation OpenGL, Vulkan is the new open standard cross platform graphics API. Khronos has now made it available in technical preview and also released the provisional specification of Open CL 2.1.



Google's DeepMind Learns To Play Arcade Games
Mar 03 | Mike James
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Google has another breakthrough in AI and it's big enough for a paper in Nature - so what exactly is it all about?



HBase 1.0 Released
Mar 03 | Kay Ewbank
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 Apache has announced the availability of HBase v1.0, a distributed, scalable, database for Hadoop and HDFS.



Apple And Google Break W3C Standards
Mar 02 | Ian Elliot
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The story of pointer events and its API is a complicated and divisive one, but now that it is effectively a W3C standard browser makers should start to support it. The problem is that Apple won't and Google probably won't unless Apple changes its mind. 



Firefox 64-bit For Windows Coming Soon?
Mar 02 | Alex Armstrong
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The long-awaited Windows 64-bit version of the Firefox browser is in prospect. It is already available to download in the Firefox Developer Edition Channel.



Waterbear Spaceship - Conway's Life
Mar 01 | Mike James
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What do programmers do for fun? Some play code golf, some contribute to open source, but some try to build an alternative universe within Life. Waterbear is an amazing testament to what can be achieved if you put your mind to it. 



New Milestone For Google - 1000 Chrome Experiments
Feb 28 | David Conrad
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To celebrate reaching 1,000 Chrome Experiments that showcase what you can do in the browser with HTML5 and JavaScript, the Google Chrome has created an experiment that visualizes every other experiment on the site.



February Week 4
Feb 28 | Editor
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If you want to keep up with what's important from the point of view of the developer, you can rely on the  I Programmer team to sift through the news to select items that are of interest. This one is for February 19th to 25th.



ASP.NET 5 Cross Platform - But Is It Still ASP?
Feb 27 | Mike James
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Microsoft has announced version 5 of ASP.NET and seems pleased that the 15 year old technology is alive and well - but is it? If you replace the heart, mind and soul of a technology all you have left is the name.



Firefox 36.0 Released Firefox 37.0 In Beta Channel
Feb 27 | Ian Elliot
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Firefox 36 implements support for the HTTP/2 network protocol which should lead to it being faster, more scalable and more responsive. 



All Change For Pwnium V
Feb 26 | Alex Armstrong
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Google has scrapped its annual one-day contest to demonstrate vulnerabilities in Chrome. In future bugs can attract rewards all the year round.



Android For Work - A Developer Opportunity?
Feb 26 | Mike James
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Google has finally made a move on its promise of Android for Work, first announced at last year's I/O conference. It has a range of features that make Android more business-friendly, but there are some important things to know before you decide to adopt it.



Apache Storm On Azure
Feb 26 | Kay Ewbank
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Apache Storm,  a distributed real-time analytics system for Hadoop that can be used for processing large volumes of rapidly changing data, has been released on Microsoft Azure HDInsight.


More Recent News
 

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Book Review Of The Day


Mastering Bitcoin
Wednesday 04 Mar

Author: Andreas M. Antonopoulos
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 298
ISBN: 9781449374044
Print: 1449374042
Kindle:B00QJDYKJO
Audience: Developers with a deep, technical interest in Bitcoin
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Mike James 

 

Bitcoin - it's interesting, exciting and potentially profitable in so many ways. A book that promises you mastery has to be a good investment.


 

Featured Articles


Android Adventures - Basic Controls And Events
Mike James
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Working with Android Studio makes building the UI easy with an interactive editor, but you still need to find out how to handle the things it isn't quite so good at. In this chapter of our ebook on Android the easy way we look at the basic UI components and general event handling - i.e beyond onClick. 

Updated for Android Studio 1



What is a Data Scientist and How Do I Become One?
Edward Jones
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What exactly is it that data scientists do? Why does everyone want one? And, how do you become one? These are the some of the key questions circulating as the term "data scientist" spreads.



Codebreaking and Colossus
Historian
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In the mid 70s it was revealed that British Intelligence had been using machines to break the German coded communications - and one of the machines was an early electronic computer called Colossus. Can it lay claim to being the first electronic computer?


 

Unhandled Exception!
Microsoft

Microsoft

This week's xkcd cartoon reminds us of a time when the problem was clear and we fixed it - or did we? Even if we did. it is a well known law that commerce abhors a vacuum. 

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

Click to view bigger version

Read more...
 

Book Watch

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Git in Practice (Manning)
Wednesday 04 Mar

A collection of 66 tested techniques that will optimize the way you and your team manage your development projects. Mike McQuaid begins with a brief reminder of the core version control concepts you need when using Git and moves on to the high-value features you may not have explored yet. Then, you'll dig into cookbook-style techniques like history visualization, advanced branching and rewriting history, each presented in a problem-solution-discussion format. Finally you'll work out how to use Git to its full potential through configuration, team workflows, submodules and using GitHub pull requests effectively.

<ASIN:1617291978>



Big Data (Wiley)
Tuesday 03 Mar

There is much buzz around big data and we all want to know what it is and how it works. This book's subtitle is "Using Smart Big Data, Analytics and Metrics to Make Better Decisions and Improve Performance" . In it ′Big Data Guru" Bernard Marr looks at the SMART model: Start with Strategy; Measure Metrics and Data, Apply Analytics, Report Results, Transform Business.  

 

<ASIN:1118965833>



Learning Spark: Lightning-Fast Big Data Analysis (O'Reilly)
Monday 02 Mar

Data in all domains is getting bigger. How can you work with it efficiently? Written by the developers of Apache Spark, the open source cluster computing system that makes data analytics fast to write and fast to run, this book will have data scientists and engineers up and running in no time. You’ll learn how to express parallel jobs with just a few lines of code, and cover applications from simple batch jobs to stream processing and machine learning.

<ASIN:1449358624>



iOS for GameProgrammers (Mercury)
Friday 27 Feb

Allen Sherrod guides you on a journey into the world of mobile game development aimed at beginner Objective-C programmers. You will create five projects: a matching game, a puzzle game, a whack-a-mole game, a pong game, and a coloring book, each of which impart knowledge and skillsyou can apply to your own gaming projects.

<ASIN:1938549872>



Arduino: A Quick-Start Guide 2nd Ed (Pragmatic Bookshelf)
Thursday 26 Feb

Arduino is an open-source platform that makes DIY electronics projects easier than ever. Maik Schmidt helps readers with no electronics experience create their first gadgets quickly. This new edtion which has photos throughout. is up-to-date for Arduino 1.6.0 and  the new Arduino Zero board, with step-by-step instructions for building a universal remote, a motion-sensing game controller, and many other fun, useful projects.

<ASIN: 1941222242>



Cython (O'Reilly)
Wednesday 25 Feb

Build software that combines Python’s expressivity with the performance and control of C (and C++). It’s possible with Cython, the compiler and hybrid programming language used by NumPy. Kurt Smith takes you through Cython’s capabilities, with sample code and in-depth practice exercises, showing how to use Cython to improve Python’s performance—up to 3000x— and to wrap C and C++ libraries in Python with ease.

<ASIN:1491901551>



Machine Learning (Wiley)
Tuesday 24 Feb

Hands–on instruction and fully–coded working examples for the most common machine learning techniques used by developers and technical professionals. The book contains a breakdown of each ML variant, explaining how it works and how it is used within certain industries, allowing readers to incorporate the techniques presented by Jason Bell into their own work.

<ASIN:1118889061>



The VimL Primer (Pragmatic Bookshelf)
Monday 23 Feb

VimL is the scripting language of the Vim editor. If you've ever edited or saved a vimrc file, you've written VimL. With VimL you can configure basic settings and specify option values- or add entirely new functionality. You can write entire plugins in VimL.This quick and easy introduction from Benjamin Klein helps you create your own Vim plugin while learning the concepts and syntax of VimL.

<ASIN: 1680500406>



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