December Week 4
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 27 December 2014

If you need to know what's important for the developer, you can rely on  I Programmer to sift through the news and uncover the most relevant stories. Our weekly digest gives a handy summary. This one is for December 18-24.



I Programmer's Top Books for 2014

Over the holiday season we are giving our reviewers a well deserved break. Instead of new reviews we are re-publishing books that were given a 5-star rating during the year.

  • Raspberry Pi Hacks (O'Reilly)
    by Ruth Suehle & Tom Callaway
    Reviewer: Harry Fairhead

    If you are a Pi enthusiast, how much you get out of this book depends on what you want to do. The parts that were most valuable to me were on the software - especially creating a custom Linux Kernel which really does open up some additional possibilities. The feel of the book is very much "hack" rather than buying off-the-shelf finished units and this makes it so much the better. Highly recommended as long as you are not a complete beginner.

  • SQL Queries For Mere Mortals, 3e (Addison Wesley)
    by John Viescas and Michael J. Hernandez
    Reviewer: Kay Ewbank
    For anyone wanting to learn or improve SQL this is an excellent book. The examples are really clear and show both traps you can fall into and how to avoid them. The authors avoid relational jargon while staying within the rules, and help you think more clearly about how to write good SQL.

  • The Art of Unit Testing  (Manning)

    by Roy Osherove
    Reviewer: Alex Armstrong
    If you don't already use unit testing, this book, for C# users and others using statically typed languages, is a complete and clear guide to the idea and how to implement it. Recommended to developers who don't already employ unit testing or who haven't yet mastered it.



Santa Sets Off - Track His Progress Across the Globe   Wednesday 24 December

It's official Santa Claus has set off to deliver presents to children anywhere in the world where children believe in him and thanks to NORAD, Microsoft and Google you can watch his journey and play games on your computer, your tablet, your smartphone and even your smartwatch.



See Invisible Motion, Hear silent sounds. Cool? Creepy?   Wednesday 24 December

Computational photography provides all sorts of clever tricks but how many of them are actually useful? In this TED talk Michael Rubinstein explains the "motion microscope" which is, perhaps, really useful.



NTP The Latest Open Source Security Problem   Tuesday 23 December

NTP - Network Time Protocol (or SNTP - Simple Network Time Protocol) is one of the un-sung heros of the Internet. Put simply, it provides the time and data for servers and clients so that they know when something happened. Now we have another security problem to deal with in the Linux NTP code.



Bing Developer Assistant Released   Tuesday 23 December

A free Visual Studio extension that provides developers with smart contextual help to search for projects and code samples and resolve code errors has been released by Microsoft.



Wolfram Alpha Comes to Windows 8.1   Monday 22 December

A new Windows 8.1 and Windows phone app brings Wolfram Alpha to users in a packaged form. Well worth having if you do math - if you can find them!



PostgreSQL 9.4 Released   Monday 22 December

The PostgreSQL Global Development Group has released PostgreSQL 9.4, with improved JSON support, replication and index performance.



The Snake Robot Arm Gets Everywhere   Sunday 21 December

To be honest - this robot makes the cut because watching it is hypnotic. It moves like something out of a science fiction movie and is very impressive. But be warned, if you don't like wiggly things or the Martian probes from War Of The Worlds, look away now. 



Jeff 1000 And Summer Glau   Saturday 20 December

This is just for fun - but we wouldn't have you miss it. See the first three episodes of Jeff 1000, the everyday story of a robot that just wants to make good in Hollywood and in the human world in general.



Google To Close Freebase and Open Up Knowledge Graph   Friday 19 December

Google is shutting down Freebase, its semi-structured database of well-known people, places and things, but plans on offering access to Knowledge Graph.



Upgrade Git Client To Avoid Vulnerability   Friday 19 December

If you use Git or GitHub then you need to upgrade you Git client to avoid a potential security breach. 



Microsoft Updates Data Platform   Friday 19 December

Microsoft has updated a number of components in its data platform including Azure SQL to offer better analysis of big data. The services that are being updated include Analytics Platform System (APS), Azure SQL Database and other Microsoft Azure services.



Mozilla Goes Its Own Way On Web Components   Thursday 18 December

Mozilla has decided not to stick strictly to standards in implementing Web Components. When you look a little more carefully at what is going on it seems to be inevitable that it has to break out of the standards. 



Skype Translator Cracks Language Barrier   Thursday 18 December

Skype has started to roll out the "first phase" of its live speech translating feature. It is between Spanish and English for now and there is also text translation for instant messaging in more than forty languages.



SNTP time class   Tuesday 23 December

SNTP is a network protocol for obtaining an accurate time and it is an interesting exercise to build an SNTP client. In this article the language used is C# but it is easy enough to generalise to a language of your choice and extend the ideas to an SNTP server if you need to. The main aim is to describe and show how to implement the basic protocol.






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Last Updated ( Saturday, 27 December 2014 )