Programming News and Views

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Bring Back RoboGames And Inspire Underprivileged Kids
Oct 25 | Lucy Black
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A new series of the show in which weaponized robots wage battle in the arena is planned for 2015 - but only if  $40,000 can be raised on Kickstarter. This isn't just a commercial venture. Instead it aims to reach a new generation of robot enthusiasts.



October Week 3
Oct 25 | Editor
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I Programmer reports news of interest to developers. We cover new releases of languages and tools and a lot more besides. Sometimes we are controversial and we always welcome your comments. This round-up covers October 16-22.



Kinect SDK 2 And An Xbox Adaptor
Oct 24 | Harry Fairhead
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The Kinect is a well developed depth camera, but the SKD for version 2 is only just rolling out. You can now also use the Xbox One Kinect with the PC and create Windows Store apps. Is this the start of the new Kinect era?



Google DeepMind Expands
Oct 24 | Sue Gee
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Furthering its push into artificial intelligence research Google has acquired two more UK AI start ups and announced a partnership with Oxford University.



Survey Indicates Fast Take Up Of Java 8
Oct 23 | Janet Swift
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Survey findings suggest Java 8 take up is faster than expected and developers are already starting to think about Java 9. 



Raspberry Pi Gets HAT Touch Screen
Oct 23 | Harry Fairhead
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The founder of Raspberry Pi was interviewed about all things Pi and gave way some hints on what is coming in the near future.



Google Adds Firebase To Its Cloud
Oct 23 | Kay Ewbank
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The acquisition will add the Firebase backend service to Google's Cloud Platform lineup making it easier for developers to sync data across web and mobile apps.



Synaptic - Advanced Neural Nets In JavaScript
Oct 23 | Mike James
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This is a project you need to know about if you have an interest in AI or teaching AI. Put simply it is JavaScript library that lets you implement and work with neural networks. What's special is that this one lets you do much more than a simple introduction.



Doctor Who Teaches Programming
Oct 22 | Sue Gee
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Dr Who is a sci fi hero to a great many kids and not so kid like techies. What could be more logical than to get him, and everyone's favourite killing machine, the daleks to teach programming and all cleverly disguised as a game. 



Windows 10 Suggestion Box
Oct 22 | Mike James
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Microsoft seems to have decided to use UserVoice to get feedback about what should be in Windows 10. What is really surprising is that users don't seem to have a clue.



AngularJS Superluminal Nudge Released
Oct 22 | Kay Ewbank
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Google has released AngularJS 1.3, codenamed "superluminal-nudge" on account of its substantial performance improvements.



Python Tools for Visual Studio Gets New Focus
Oct 21 | Alex Armstrong
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PTVS 2.1 has just been released and now can be used for free with Visual Express. The more interesting news is that the PTVS team has become part of the Azure Machine Learning group and it PTVS2.1 already has some Machine Learning templates.



IBM Launches IoT Foundation
Oct 21 | Harry Fairhead
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Just about everyone you can think of wants a slice of the Internet of Things pie and now IBM has placed its best bet for securing its IoT profits in the future - the IBM Internet of Things Foundation. What are they trying to sell you?



Debian And The Systemd Storm - Ready To Reconsider?
Oct 20 | Alex Armstrong
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Debian has adopted systemd in place of the existing init system and this seemingly small technical change is creating mayhem. Is it about to move back to init or will the Fork Debian group have to go though with their threat?



Ceylon 1.1.0 And Ceylon IDE 1.1 Released
Oct 20 | Kay Ewbank
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A new version of statically typed language Ceylon has been released with performance improvements, API optimizations, and new features. The Ceylon IDE also been improved.



Linus On Linux And Strong Language
Oct 19 | Mike James
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In a recent video made of a Q&A at this year's LinuxCon, Linus Torvalds says some interesting things - including some comments about his interesting robust style. It also gives us the amazing one-liner, "On the Internet nobody can hear you being subtle."


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Book Review of the Day


Raspberry Pi: A Quick-Start Guide
Friday 24 Oct

Author: Maik Schmidt
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Pages: 176

ISBN: 9781937785802
Print: 1937785807
Kindle: B00JS5Z8XW

Audience: New users of Raspberry Pi
Rating: 3
Reviewer: Harry Fairhead

 

A quick start guide to the Pi - help just when it is needed?


 

Featured Articles


Getting Started With jQuery - Filters
Ian Elliot
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Mastering the core of jQuery is first a matter of understanding selectors and then DOM manipulation. Filters are often confused with selectors but they are quite different and serve an important purpose.



Reverse Polish Notation - RPN
Harry Fairhead
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This week's cartoon is based on the use of RPN or Reverse Polish Notation. This used to be a basic of the computer programmer's world, but today it is not as well known. Hence there may be some perfectly clued up programmers who are still left wondering what the sausage is doing outside of the bun.



Android Adventures - ListView And Adapters
Mike James
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ListView is probably the most commonly used and needed UI components in an Android app. It isn't difficult to use, but you need to get to grips with the idea of an "adapter" and understanding what is going on pays dividends.


 

Unhandled Exception!
RPS

RPS

 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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If Hemingway Wrote JavaScript (No Starch Press)
Friday 24 Oct

What if William Shakespeare were asked to generate the Fibonacci series or Jane Austen had to write a factorial program? Angus Croll imagines short JavaScript programs as written by famous wordsmiths. The result is a peculiar and charming combination of prose, poetry, and programming. The best authors are those who obsess about language—and the same goes for JavaScript developers. To master either craft, you must experiment with language to develop your own style, your own idioms, and your own expressions. 

<ASIN:1593275854>



21st Century C 2nd Ed (O'Reilly )
Thursday 23 Oct

Throw out your old ideas of C, and relearn a programming language that’s substantially outgrown its origins. With the subtitle C Tips from the New School Ben Klemens presents up-to-date techniques that are absent from every other C text available. C isn’t just the foundation of modern programming languages, it is a modern language, ideal for writing efficient, state-of-the-art applications. No matter what programming language you currently champion, you’ll agree that C rocks.

<ASIN:1491903899>



Make: Wearable Electronics (Maker Media)
Wednesday 22 Oct

With the subtitle "Design, prototype, and wear your own interactive garments" this book is intended for those with an interest in physical computing who are looking to create interfaces or systems that live on the body.  Kate Hartman introduces you to the tools, materials, and techniques for creating interactive electronic circuits and embedding them in clothing and other things you can wear. Each chapter features experiments to get you comfortable with the technology and then invites you to build upon that knowledge with your own projects.

<ASIN:1449336515>



Introduction to Agile Methods (Addison-Wesley)
Tuesday 21 Oct

Many people with varying levels of work experience are interested in understanding the architecture and nuances of Agile, but it is difficult to know where to start. Here Sondra Ashmore and Kristin Runyan use academic research and their own experiences with numerous Agile implementations to present a clear description of the essential concepts for students and professionals who want to understand Agile and become conversant with Agile values, principles, framework, and processes.

<ASIN:032192956X>



Photoshop Elements 13: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly)
Monday 20 Oct

Photoshop Elements 13 looks sharper, performs better, and has more sophisticated photo-editing and slideshow features than previous versions—but knowing which tools to use when can be confusing. In this new edition Barbara Brundage removes the guesswork. With her candid, jargon-free advice and step-by-step guidance, you’ll get the most out of Elements for everything from sharing and touching-up photos to fun print and online projects.

<ASIN:1491947217>



Introducing Elixir (O'Reilly)
Friday 17 Oct

Elixir combines the robust functional programming of Erlang with a syntax similar to Ruby, and includes powerful features for metaprogramming. Simon St. Laurent and J. David Eisenberg show you how to write simple Elixir programs one skill at a time. Once you pick up pattern matching, process-oriented programming, and other concepts, you’ll understand why Elixir makes it easier to build concurrent and resilient programs that scale up and down with ease.

<ASIN:1449369995>



Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 (Microsoft Press)
Thursday 16 Oct

Dig into the architecture and internals of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 - with firsthand insights from the team that designed and developed it. Deepen your knowledge of the underlying frameworks, components, and tools - and deliver custom ERP applications with the extensibility and performance your business needs. Useful for Microsoft Dynamics AX solution developers at all levels, this guide will provide max benefit to those who understand OOP, relational database, and Transact-SQL concepts.

<ASIN:073568510X>



Raspberry Pi User Guide 3rd Ed (Wiley)
Wednesday 15 Oct

Eben Upton, co-creator of the Raspberry Pi, and Gareth Halfacree have updated the third edition of their "unofficial guide" for Noobs who want to dive right in to cover the model B+ Raspberry Pi. It covers the software, additional USB ports, and changes to the GPIO, including new information on Arduino and Minecraft on the Pi as well as step–by–step instruction for everything from software installation and configuration to customizing your Raspberry Pi.

<ASIN:1118921666>



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