January Week 2
January Week 2
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 13 January 2018

Do you have better things to do than scour the internet for news? No problem! If you need to know what's important for the developer, IProgrammer Weekly puts the unmissable bits together in a handy digest. 

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January 4 - 10, 2018 

 

 

Book Watch

This week's additions to our ever-growing archive of newly published computer books are:

Book Reviews

  • Learn Java the Easy Way

    Awarding it a rating of 2 out of 5 Mike James concluded:
    If you like a task-oriented approach you might like this book but I can't recommend it to you if you are a complete beginner at programming or Java. 

  • The Theoretical Minimum

    The subtitle of this book is "What you need to know to start doing physics" and it comes highly recommended to anyone who has a solid grounding in maths and wants to understand classical physics. 

Programmer Puzzles

Taxicab Geometry Problems   Thursday 04 January

In the conference season, developers face the perennial problem of getting from one hotel to another to meet colleagues. How good is your ability to write procedures to find shortest distance in a city block setting.  Let's look at how the team at International Storm Door & Software set out the problem of Taxicab Geometry. 

News

How Spectre Works   Wednesday 10 January

This the second part of our examination of how Meltdown and Spectre work. The aim is not to explain how to manage the vulnerabliities but to understand how they work and what exactly the flaw is in the hardware that the software can take advantage of. 

Use of Obfuscation In Android Apps   Wednesday 10 January

Android apps are plagued by plagiarism and outright theft by way of malicious repackaging. Obfuscation is the main means of protection but only a quarter of Android apps on Google Play are obfuscated by their primary developer. 

Apache MADlib Adds HITS Implementation   Wednesday 10 January

There's a new version of Apache MADlib with new features including an implementation of HITS. MADlib makes it possible to carry out  big data machine learning from SQL. 

Facebook Closes M, Its Virtual Assistant   Tuesday 09 January

Facebook is shutting down M, its virtual assistant that relies on help from humans to handle users' questions and requests. Launched in limited beta almost two and a half years ago, it was only ever offered to around 10,000 Facebook Messenger users in the San Francisco area. 

Oracle Announces Java Champions   Tuesday 09 January

Oracle has announced the names of more than 40 Java Champions who have been accepted into the program over the past year. Java Champions are professionals who do not work for Oracle, and who make significant contributions to the Java ecosystem. 

Alexa Comes to PCs and Accessory Devices   Monday 08 January

Amazon's Alexa will soon be available on the latest Windows 10 PCs alongside Microsoft Cortana. In addition, the newly announced Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit will give devs new way to bring Alexa to portable, on-the-go devices such as headphones, smart watches and fitness devices. 

Apache Samza Adds SQL   Monday 08 January

There's a new version of Apache Samza that adds Samza SQL and both Azure EventHubs and AWS Kinesis. Samza is an open source framework originally developed alongside Kafka by LinkedIn before being made open source and taken over by the Apache Software Foundation. 

Largest Prime Now Has Over 23 Milliion Digits   Sunday 07 January

The newly discovered prime is 2 77,232,917 -1. There is no real practical use for a prime of this size, it is simply for the fun and the mathematics of it. And I suppose the technical accomplishment of having the computing power to verify that it is a prime. 

C - Language Of The Year 2017   Saturday 06 January

The Tiobe index isn't too be taken too seriously, but it does reflect changes in the current interest in languages and the shock at the start of 2018 is that C has put on most growth making it the language of the year. 

How Meltdown Works   Friday 05 January

The news is full of Meltdown and Spectre attacks that appear to work on a wide range of current CPUs, particularly on Intel processors dating from 1995 on. The interesting part of the story is how the exploits work and how they could have been built into processors for so long without anyone noticing. 

IBM Announces Quantum Computing Prizes   Friday 05 January

IBM Research has announced new prizes designed to encourage developers, teachers and students to use the IBM QISKit development platform and IBM's cloud quantum environment, the IBM Q Experience. While three of the prizes are for teachers and students, one is directly aimed at developers. 

The Hottest Android SDKs   Thursday 04 January

A new report that documents the fastest-growing Android SDKs of 2017 has been made available to help app developers understand what technologies are taking off. It uses an interactive charting tool that lets you identify the mobile trends you find most interesting.  

Prestigious Prize For Bjarne Stroustrup   Thursday 04 January

 C++ creator Bjarne Stroustrup has been awarded the 2018 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering. The $500,000 annual award is given to engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society. 

The Core

The Programmers Guide To Kotlin - Annotation & Reflection   Monday 08 January

Kotlin supports Java-like annotations but they don't really make much sense without the help of reflection. So let's take a look at both of them and see how they work together. An extract from Mike James book exploring Kotlin from a programmer's point of view.

 

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