Programming News and Views
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GitHub Launches Draft Pull Requests
18 Feb | Kay Ewbank
GitHub has added a way to show other developers that a pull request is code that is work in progress or even just an idea on how you're thinking of creating code.
The Ai-Da Delusion - Machines Don't Have Souls
17 Feb | David Conrad
A new robot con is on the rise - the robot artist that is personified by its promoters to fool the gullible. Meet Ai-Da, a toy with some software designed to be taken seriously by people who should know better.
Google Does Domaining Like Big Time Extortion
16 Feb | Mike James
Google Domains has the rights to the .dev Top Level Domain and intends to make as much money from it as possible - $11,500 just for early access to the scramble to register the most desirable names.
February Week 2
16 Feb | Editor
Catch up with everything that appeared on I Programmer last week. Our digest gives links to news coverage plus the week's book review and additions to Book Watch. We start with feature articles, an extract from Harry Fairhead's soon-to-be-published book, C For The IoT and, from our History section, Douglas Engelbart - The Man Who Invented The Future.
DigitalOcean Launches Managed Database Service
15 Feb | Kay Ewbank
DigitalOcean has launched a Managed Database service for PostgreSQL, with plans to add support for other database engines throughout the year. The service provides fully hosted and managed database engines.
Arduino IoT Cloud Public Beta
15 Feb | Harry Fairhead
Everyone seems to want to provide an IoT solution, but it's a tough market to crack. Now Arduino has an easy to use cloud solution, but can you trust it? And is it even needed?
Memory Safety Bugs Form 70 Percent Of Vulnerabilities
14 Feb | Kay Ewbank
Almost three quarters of all vulnerabilities found in Microsoft products come into the category of memory safety issues, according to a talk by a Microsoft Engineer at this year's BlueHat conference.
Final EU Copyright Directive Spells Disaster
14 Feb | Sue Gee
The European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission has now agreed a compromise text for the EU copyright directive and the process has entered into its final phase in which it will either be adopted or rejected by a plenary session of MEPs.
TCAV Explains How AI Reaches A Decision
13 Feb | Nikos Vaggalis
Why is it important to understand the inner workings of a neural network? Read on to find out and to be introduced to Google's machine-to-human translator tool, TCAV (Testing with Concept Activation Vectors)
Android Things Is Now Less Of A Thing
13 Feb | Harry Fairhead
It is hardly surprising, to me at least, that Android Things is being "refocused". It was unimaginative in the extreme, misunderstood the problems of the IoT and security and was unattractive to anyone knowing Google's tendency to drop projects.
Intuit Hackathon Returns To London
13 Feb | Lucy Black
Intuit's Small Business Hackathon is back in London for the third time and has a prizes of up to £5000 for creating a brand new solution that saves small businesses time or money.
SQLite Introduces Vacuum Into
12 Feb | Kay Ewbank
The team at SQLite has added a Vacuum Into command that lets you back up a database atomically so that the backup is as small as possible and contains no forensic traces of deleted content.
Athena Query Alterer Open Sourced
12 Feb | Alex Denham
A tool that alerts you if users are running expensive queries on Amazon Athena query engine has been open sourced by the developers.
Computer Science Curriculum From Minecraft
11 Feb | Nikos Vaggalis
Teaching Computer Science at school just got easier as Microsoft is making a 30-hour curriculum, targeted at students in the age range 11 to 16, available as a free download.
Data Studio Adds Interactive Charts
11 Feb | Kay Ewbank
The Data Studio team has added a number of new features to allow for faster insights and richer reporting. The improvements include interactive charts, search filters and the ability to embed external data.
The Importance Of Responsive Web Design
10 Feb | Janet Swift
The days when we could afford to ignore responsive web design are over. Here's an infographic that summarizes the reasons why we should all be adopting mobile-friendly design.
Computer Analysis Shows Music Getting Angrier
09 Feb | Kay Ewbank
A study of popular music by data scientists, using the IBM Watson Tone Analyzer, has found increasing levels of anger and sadness in the lyrics from the 50s till now.
February Week 1
09 Feb | Editor
Every day I Programmer has new material written by programmers, for programmers. Each week our digest gives a handy summary of the latest content. While you are here there's plenty more to explore, whatever topics you are interested in.
Tuesday 12 Feb
Author: H. Bhasin
A "Self-Teaching Introduction" to Python Basics. Is this a good place to start?
How To Successfully Teach Computing Disciplines To The Uninitiated
How can you turn a student with little background in computation into a competent programming computer user? Could the solution be R and data science.
Information theory – perhaps one of the most remarkable inventions of the twentieth century - naturally leads on to the consideration of how information can be coded and hence coding theory.
Fundamental C - Side Effects, Sequence Points And Lazy Evaluation
Operators are one of C's strong points and it is important to know how to use them - but what are side effects and who ordered sequence points!? It all can seem confusing. This extract, from my forthcoming book on programming C in an IoT context, provides a very helpful explanation.
Douglas Engelbart - The Man Who Invented The Future
Over 40 years ago a man demonstrated things that were well ahead of their time but now we taken them for granted. Doug Engelbart may not be as well known as Steve Jobs but he did far, far more for personal computing.
Android Programming In Kotlin: Resources
Resources are a central part of Android programming, but how do you get at them from code and what are conditional resources? Here's how to do it in Kotlin, in an extract from my published book Android Programming in Kotlin: Starting With An App.
To continue our in-depth analysis of all that is wrong with statistics and data science. Bayes Rules! Well more accurately Bayes' rule. Above we have a perfectly reasonable use of said rule - but only if the number are probabilities. So let's take the simplest P(I picked up a seashell) - what can this possibly mean, let alone how could you estimate it in any objective sense? You don't have to move on to the others - this is broken right here.
More cartoon fun at xkcd a webcomic of romance,sarcasm, math, and language
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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.
Jump Start Vue.js (SitePoint)
Monday 18 Feb
Data Structures and Program Design Using C++ (Mercury Learning)
Friday 15 Feb
This book is designed to present fundamentals of data structures for beginners using the C++ programming language in a friendly, self-teaching, format. Author D. Malhotra integrates practical analogies and real world applications throughout the text to explain technical concepts. The book includes a variety of end-of-chapter practice exercises, including programming, theoretical, and multiple-choice tests..
Property-Based Testing with PropEr, Erlang and Elixir (Pragmatic Bookshelf)
Wednesday 13 Feb
By using the PropEr framework in both Erlang and Elixir, this book teaches how to automatically generate test cases, test stateful programs, and change how you design your software for more principled and reliable approaches. Author Fred Hebert shows how you can better explore the problem space, validate the assumptions you make when coming up with program behavior, and expose unexpected weaknesses in your design.
Introduction to Deep Learning (MIT Press)
Monday 11 Feb
This concise, project-driven guide to deep learning takes readers through a series of program-writing tasks that introduce them to the use of deep learning in such areas of artificial intelligence as computer vision, natural-language processing, and reinforcement learning. Author Eugene Charniak, a longtime artificial intelligence researcher specializing in natural-language processing, covers feed-forward neural nets, convolutional neural nets, word embeddings, recurrent neural nets, sequence-to-sequence learning, deep reinforcement learning, unsupervised models, and other fundamental concepts and techniques. The book illustrates the basics of deep learning by working through programs in the Tensorflow open-source machine learning framework
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