January Week 1
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 08 January 2022

As we transition to the new year, here is the first weekly digest of 2022 which, as well as current news, includes four items from 2021 that are worth a second look. The week's features are an extract from Harry Fairhead's book on using C in an IoT context and an explanation of how the block chain used for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency works. 

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December 31, 2021 - January 5, 2022

Featured Articles     

Applying C - Pipes
Harry Fairhead
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You can use files to communicate between two processes, but pipes are a much better solution. Find out how they work in this  extract from my book on using C in an IoT context.

Inside Bitcoin - The Block Chain
Mike James
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Bitcoin is a currency that exists entirely in software and is under the control of no central authority. What is really important about Bitcoin, however, are the algorithms that make it all work. We explain the way the Block Chain works. 


Programming News and Views  

Python Declared TIOBE Language Of The Year 2021
05 Jan | Mike James
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For the second year in a row and the fifth time ever Python has the status of being TIOBE's Language of the Year by TIOBE. 2021 was a good year for Python vis-a-vis TIOBE as it achieved the status of the top ranking language on the TIOBE Index back in October 2021. 

Free Bootcamps Bolstered By Class Central
05 Jan | Sue Gee
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Class Central Cohorts describes itself as "social learning for Open Courses". This means you don't have to undertake an online course in isolation - instead you can join in with other learners. Two new Bootcamps from freeCodeCamp are about to start with this support. 

Microsoft Releases Open Source Distributed Machine Learning Library
04 Jan | Kay Ewbank
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Microsoft has released an open-source library for creating massively scalable machine learning (ML) pipelines. SynapseML was until now known as MMLSpark, and it unifies several existing ML frameworks and new Microsoft algorithms in a single, scalable API that’s usable across Python, R, Scala, and Java.

Ruby 3.1 Adds In-Process JIT Compiler
04 Jan | Alex Denham
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Ruby 3.1 has been released with improvements including an experimental in-process just in time compiler and a new debugger.

New Astro Pi Units Now Aboard ISS
03 Jan | Harry Fairhead
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Two new, upgraded, Astro Pi units were launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on December 21st, 2021 and arrived the following day at the International Space Station, ready to perform experiments coded by school students as part of the challenge set by the European Space Agency and Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Google AI Recreates Lost Klimt Artworks
03 Jan | David Conrad
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Too Good To Miss: In October we looked at a less obvious way that AI was influencing art. Can it really create lost works from what remains of it?

Atlas Does Parkour And The Team Explains Why And How
02 Jan | Lucy Black
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Too Good To Miss: Back in August 2021 Boston Dynamics made the best roboto video of the year. The only question that remains is will they make the best commercial robot any time soon?

A Clock For 2022
31 Dec | Harry Fairhead
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What sort of clock are you watching to herald in the New Year? One of the deep seams of the DIY hardware is the custom clock. None of these projects is essential, but you probably will end up wanting one.

Drones For Hogmanay
31 Dec | Lucy Black
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Too Good To Miss: Seeing in the New Year in Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh. is usually a really big thing, shared on television by millions worldwide. This year's event has been cancelled due to Coronavirus restrictions, but we can still enjoy last year's drone display.

Animating Flow In Still Photos
30 Dec | David Conrad
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Too Good To Miss: Back in June 2021 we looked at a way to make a photo more than a photo and not just inside your head. Looking at the photo of a waterfall you are often convinced the water is moving.

GitHub Provides Precise Python Code Navigation
30 Dec | Kay Ewbank
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GitHub has announced that developers can now get precise code navigation in pull requests and specifically in Python code.


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 small source of revenue that enables us to continue posting.

Full Review 

Ian Stirk concludes his review:

Overall, a very practical book, useful for DBAs and developers that want to know about Azure SQL. Recommended.

Added to Book Watch

More recently published books can be found in Book Watch Archive.

From the I Programmer Library

Recently published:


Programmers think differently from non-programmers, they see and solve problems in a way that the rest of the world doesn't. In this book Mike James takes programming concepts and explains what the skill involves and how a programmer goes about it. In each case, Mike looks at how we convert a dynamic process into a static text that can be understood by other programmers and put into action by a computer. If you're a programmer, his intent is to give you a clearer understanding of what you do so you value it even more.  

  • Deep C#: Dive Into Modern C# by Mike James

    In Deep C#, I Programmer's Mike James, who has programmed in C# since its launch in 2000, provides a “deep dive” into various topics that are important or central to the language at a level that will suit the majority of C# programmers. Not everything will be new to any given reader, but by exploring the motivation behind key concepts, which is so often ignored in the documentation, the intention is to be thought-provoking and to give developers confidence to exploit C#’s wide range of features.

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 08 January 2022 )