November Week 3
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 21 November 2020

Our weekly digest lists the week's news, new titles added to our Book Watch Archive and our weekly book review. This week's featured articles are an extract from JavaScript Bitmap Graphics with Canvas about drawing Bezier curves by Ian Elliot and the history of the UK 1970's Big Board Computers.

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November 12 - 16, 2020      

Featured Articles

JavaScript Canvas - Bezier Curves
Ian Elliot
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Once you move beyond simple shapes like rectangles, circles and ellipses, the first thing you are likely to encounter is the Bezier curve. In this extract from my book on JavaScript Graphics, we look at what makes a Bezier curve.

The UK 1970s Big Board Computers
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When it comes to the early days of the personal computer revolution, what happened in the UK was very different from what happened in the US. So don't imagine that the well- publicized stories of what happened around Silicon Valley tell you what happened in Britain. Oh no, it was much more interesting than that!


Programming News and Views 

Nvidia's AI Supercomputer For Medical Research And Drug Discovery
18 Nov | Nikos Vaggalis
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Last month Nvidia unveiled plans to build a supercomputer intended for AI research in health care. This prompts us to look at AI's potential role in health care and how it is already being used.

The State of Computer Science Education 2020
18 Nov | Sue Gee
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The majority of US schools still do not teach Computer Science, despite the concerted efforts of Advocacy Coalition. On the other hand, a lot of progress has been made and the number of students taking the AP Computer Science exams has "skyrocketed".

What Languages Do Devs Want to Learn?
17 Nov | Mike James
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Python, of course. What comes as a surprise is the size of the margin between Python and the rest of the pack. The other unexpected finding is that JavaScript doesn't even make it into the top 10. So, what going on?

Angular 11 Released With Byelog Goal Complete
17 Nov | Kay Ewbank
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Angular 11 has been released with updates across the platform including the framework, the CLI and components. More specifically, the new version enforces stricter types and has automatic inlining of fonts.

Learn To Develop On Android With MAD Skills
16 Nov | Nikos Vaggalis
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Modern Android Development (MAD) Skills is a free series of videos and articles by Google that teaches the modern ways of doing development on the Android platform.

Microsoft Releases Playwright Test Runner
16 Nov | Kay Ewbank
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Microsoft has released a preview version of Playwright Test Runner, a zero config cross-browser tool providing end-to-end testing for web apps. Features include browser automation for Playwright, Jest-like assertions and built-in support for TypeScript.

World Gone Mad - Computer Vision: The Universal Interface
15 Nov | Harry Fairhead
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This is a good story - a new app allows easier monitoring of diabetes. It is the way that it has been achieved that should give us cause for thought. It reads data from a glucose meter but you can forget bluetooth or wifi - it uses computer vision to read the display just like a human.

Guido van Rossum Joins Microsoft
13 Nov | Mike James
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Creator of Python, Guido van Rossum, has joined Microsoft as a Distinguished Engineer in the Developer Division. His stated aim is to make Python better. We can't wait to find out what that results in. 

IBM Announces Code Spot Challenge For Wildfires
13 Nov | Kay Ewbank
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IBM has announced the Code Spot Challenge on Wildfires. The objective will be to forecast wildfires in Australia during February 2021, with the aim of improving and gaining better understanding of how machine learning techniques can be used for this type of problem.

C# 9 and F# 5 Released With .NET 5
12 Nov | Kay Ewbank
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Microsoft has released C# 9 and F# 5 as part of the .NET 5 release this week. Visual Basic is also included in the 5.0 SDK. It does not include language changes, but has improvements to support the Visual Basic Application Framework on .NET Core.

More AWS on Coursera and edX
12 Nov | Sue Gee
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Amazon Web Services has announced additions to its range of training options. Two free self-paced courses, one on AWS IAM, Identity and Access Management, and the other on AWS IoTusing Amazon Web Services for the Internet of Things, are now available from both edX and Coursera.


Books of the Week

If you want to purchase, or to know more about, any of the titles listed below from Amazon, click on the book jackets at the top of the right sidebar. If you do make Amazon purchases after this, we may earn a few cents through the Amazon Associates program which is a source of revenue that enables us to continue posting.

Full Review  

  • Algorithms (MIT Press)


  • Reviewer: Mike James  Rating: 4 out of 5
    Verdict: This would make a good present for a beginning programmer looking for an easy-to-read way into algorithms. For the general, initially disinterested, reader, the target audience for the book, I'm not so sure.

Added to Book Watch    

More recently published books can be found in Book Watch Archive

From the I Programmer Library

Most recently published book:  

For JavaScript Devs:

A "meditation" on the features that make JavaScript stand apart from other languages and make it special in terms of having admirable qualities. 

Recommended as an informal intro to Computer Science:   


Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 November 2020 )