Programming News and Views
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Unitree Go1 - Your Four-Legged Robot Companion
13 Jun | Harry Fairhead
A new robot dog is being put through its paces. The Unitree Go1 looks a lot like Boston Dynamic's Spot but with a base price of $2,700 it's a lot more affordable.
June Week 1
12 Jun | Editor
If you've not visited I Programmer before, this Weekly Digest gives you a taster. It has links to our wide ranging news with its mix of analysis and comment. It also lists the week's additions to Book Watch Archive and our Book Review of the Week. This week saw the publication of Programmers Guide To Kotlin, 2nd Ed by Mike James so that's where we start.
Margaret Martonosi Receives Computer Architecture Award
11 Jun | Sue Gee
The 2021 Eckert-Mauchly Award has been awarded to Margaret Martonosi for contributions to the design, modeling, and verification of power-efficient computer architecture which have led to new fields of research.
11 Jun | Kay Ewbank
Open Source Insights Into The Software Supply Chain
10 Jun | Nikos Vaggalis
Open Source Insights is a new project by Google that helps developers understand and visualize their applications' dependencies and therefore the vulnerabilities that come with them.
Apple Introduces Developer Xcode Cloud
10 Jun | Kay Ewbank
Apple has announced new developer tools and features during this year's WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC), including Xcode Cloud, a new integration and delivery service built into Xcode 13, improvements to Swift, and developer-focused improvements to Apple App Store.
Wolfram Offers $20,000 For A Proof
09 Jun | Mike James
In the past, Stephen Wolfram has offered prizes for proofs that are in line with his particular way of thinking about the world. Now we have a prize for proving that S is all you need.
HackerEarth Finds Sources of Developer Unhappiness
09 Jun | Janet Swift
The results of HackerEarth's second survey are in and reveal that developers are negatively impacted by Zoom meetings and dislike the lack of post-interview feedback. These results may not be surprising but they are interesting.
Towards A Common Vision For Browser Extensions
08 Jun | Sue Gee
Browser extension are, rightly, perceived as unsafe and yet they seem to spread like wildfire. One limiting factor is that they tend to be browser specific. Now a new group with members from all the major browser developers, aims to create a common architecture to standardize future web extensions.
Amazon DocumentDB Adds Global Cluster Support
08 Jun | Kay Ewbank
Amazon has added support for global clusters to its DocumentDB database. Amazon DocumentDB was created by Amazon for its internal use to be compatible with the MongoDB API without using any MongoDB code following MongoDB's move to a paid-for model.
Stack Overflow Sold for US$1.8 Billion
07 Jun | Sue Gee
Prosus, one of the largest technology investors in the world, has announced that it is acquiring Stack Overflow for US$1.8 Billion. Stack Overflow CEO Prashanth Chandrasekar described this as "tremendously exciting news".
Angular Gets New DevTools and Feature Request Process
07 Jun | Kay Ewbank
The Angular team has announced a new Chrome DevTools extension and a change to the way feature requests are handled.
Zap A Mosquito With A Pi
06 Jun | Harry Fairhead
and a laser of course. It isn't a new idea but at last someone has given it a go and made some results available. You might be surprised what the biggest problem is.
May Week 5
05 Jun | Editor
This weekly digest is a summary of our news coverage together with the latest book review and additions to our archive of new book titles plus our latest articles. This week Harry Fairhead takes a hands-on look at the SPI Linux Driver for the Raspberry Pi for IoT projects and Mike James explains how a logical deterministic device like a computer can produce random numbers.
Levesque and Vardi Receive Newell Award
04 Jun | Sue Gee
Hector Levesque of University of Toronto and Moshe Vardi of Rice University have been named as the 2020 recipients of the ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award. They share the $10,000 prize, co-funded by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
Google Launches Indie Games Accelerator
04 Jun | Alex Denham
Google has opened submissions for two annual developer programs - the Indie Games Accelerator and the Indie Games Festival. These programs are designed to help small games studios grow on Google Play, no matter what stage they are in.
Mercury Extends Visual Basic For .NET
03 Jun | Kay Ewbank
An implementation of Basic that is fully code-compatible with VB.NET has been released. Mercury adds multi-platform support and is feature compatible with C#.
GraalVM 21.1 Released - What's New?
03 Jun | Nikos Vaggalis
GraalVM, the runtime that compiles Java bytecode into native self-contained executables has reached version 21.1.
TinyML: Machine Learning with TensorFlow Lite
Tuesday 08 Jun
Authors: Pete Warden and Daniel Situnayake
The Essence Of Loops
Loops are an essential part of any program and becoming a programmer is mostly a matter of mastering the idea of controlled repetition. It is sad that most programmers only know the forms of loops provided by one or at most two languages because they have a life and structure that doesn't depend on language.
The Programmers Guide To Kotlin - Coroutines
Coroutines are now a stable part of Kotlin and an important way of creating asychronous code. Find out how they work in this extract from the second edition of my book on Kotlin for Programmers.
Simple and Compound Interest - Time Is Money
In the second chapter of Janet Swift's e-book on using a spreadsheet to take care of your personal and business finances and we explore the idea of borrowing money for a specified rate of interest or earning interest on an investment.
Pi IoT In C Using Linux Drivers - The SPI Driver
SPI is a very popular way of connecting devices to the Raspberry Pi and the good news is that it is well supported by Linux drivers - once you know how.
Inside Random Numbers
We often refer to things that are unpredictable as being "random" but this is not the same as truly random behavior - which is something we have to work hard to achieve. Put another way - how can a logical deterministic device like a computer produce a random number?
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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.
The Art of WebAssembly (No Starch)
Monday 14 Jun
This book is designed to give web developers a solid understanding of how it works, when to use it (and when not to), and how to develop and deploy WebAssembly apps. Rick Battagline shows how to optimize and compile low-level code, debug and evaluate WebAssembly, and represent WebAssembly in the human-readable WebAssembly Text (WAT) format. Later chapters show how to build a browser-based collision detection program, work with browser rendering technologies to create graphics and animations, and how WebAssembly interacts with other web languages.
The Computers That Made Britain (Raspberry Pi Press)
Friday 11 Jun
This book tells the story of the computers that would go on to inspire a generation, such as the ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, and Commodore 64, and what happened behind the scenes during their creation. With dozens of interviews Tim Danton looks at the tales of missed deadlines, technical faults, business interference, and the unheralded geniuses behind all of it.
Programmer’s Guide To Kotlin, 2nd Ed (I/O Press)
Wednesday 09 Jun
This book introduces Kotlin to programmers. You don't have to be an expert in Java or any other language, but you do need to know the basics of programming and using objects. As with all languages Kotlin has some subtle areas where an understanding of how things work makes all the difference and in this second edition Mike James pays close attention to these gotchas. The new edition has been extensively revised and expanded, with a new chapter on Coroutines which is perhaps the Kotlin feature with the most pitfalls and the least documentation.
React 17 Design Patterns and Best Practices (Packt)
Monday 07 Jun
This book shows how to use React effectively to make applications more flexible, easier to maintain, and improve their performance, while improving speed without affecting quality. Carlos Santana Roldán starts with the internals of React, before gradually moving on to writing maintainable and clean code, showing how to build components that are reusable across the application, structure applications, and creating forms that actually work. Later chapters cover styling React components and optimize them to make applications faster and more responsive.
The Constitution of Algorithms (MIT Press)
Friday 04 Jun
Subtitled "Ground-Truthing, Programming, Formulating", this book covers a laboratory study that investigates how algorithms come into existence. Florian Jaton offers a new way to study computerized methods, providing an account of where algorithms come from and how they are constituted. He investigates the practical activities by which algorithms are progressively assembled rather than what they may suggest or require once they are assembled.
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