|The 12 News Days of Xmas 06 - June|
|Written by Editor|
|Thursday, 27 December 2018|
June isn't quite the silly season, but some of the news items in the month were fairly silly - others more worrying than silly.
You don't really expect much to happen in June, but Microsoft buying GitHub was a biggy. At the end of the year a lot of the fuss has died down and all the people who were really incensed by the idea have left, leaving the rest working away in blissful ignorance that anything has changed. Occasionally I see an announcement from, say, Google and the code is available on GithHub and I think ... that's strange. I wonder if Microsoft will realize how much it is subsidizing its enemies? At the end of the year we still haven't really seen the Microsoft effect...
Microsoft Buys GitHub - Get Ready For a Bigger Devil
Microsoft has announced a deal to acquire GitHub valued at $7.5 billion. Microsoft VP Nat Friedman, formerly CEO of Xamarin, will become GitHub CEO, taking over from GitHub's founder Chris Wanstrath.
Firefox, I worry about you... Beleaguered, mismanaged and out maneuvered poor little Firefox hasn't got much hope when its market share keeps falling. Even a re-engineering that makes it as fast as Chrome and with far less memory usage doesn't seem to have had much effect. This was the first worrying news about its market share and it continued to fall slowly throughout the year.
Firefox Share Below 10 Percent Wednesday 06 June
Despite any confidence we expressed about Firefox Quantum's ability to regain popularity as a desktop browser, its market share has continued to decline and has dipped below 10% for the first time.
Another announcement that really doesn't seem to have had the effect is should have is the dropping of OpenGL and OpenCL in favour of its own graphics framework, Metal. Where this leaves all us graphics "dabblers" and Vulcan using experts is a mystery. Why hasn't there been more moaning?
Apple Drops OpenGL and OpenCL Thursday 07 June
One of the more important announcements at WWDC, Apple's developer conference, was that as far as Apple is concerned OpenGL and Open CL are deprecated technologies. What do you think Apple expects you to use? Yes you got it - Metal - Apple's invented-here, closer-to-the-hardware 3D graphics system.
A now here is an early glimpse of the silly season. Google patents lots of AI techniques that are as ubiquitous in AI programming as the for loop is in general programming. Google's excuse is always that if it didn't patent them someone more evil would. I leave you to decide the logic of this.
Google's DeepMind Files AI Patents Monday 11 June
When you see the list of patents that DeepMind has filed you will be shocked and not in awe. It reinforces not learning, but the idea that all software patents are stupid.
Remember Microsoft taking over GitHub, if not you aren't concentrating because it's at the top of the page. Well with acquisitions come things you might not have expected. Part of the GitHub bundle is the Atom IDE. but Microsoft already has its own Visual Studio Code. Why take two IDEs into the development process when you can just have one?
OK, so you got upset about Microsoft taking over GitHub, but after a lot of reassurance you can see that commercial interests mean that Microsoft isn't going to trash GitHub - well not at first. But what about Atom? Can MS really afford to have two products in the same area?
Over the year browser makers increased their restriction on what you can do with their products. Slowly but surely Chrome is becoming a walled garden. It is all for the best possible reasons, however, and the protection of the Chrome user it clearly uppermost in the corporate mindset.
Chrome Closes Down Inline Installation Monday 18 June
This news is something you will applaud, but I'd ask you to also think of what is lost. The Google Chromium Blog has announced that no longer will Inline Installation of extensions be allowed. The browser has become walled garden and another piece of programmer freedom has evaporated.
But just as you decide that you want to live back in the freedom of the late 80s and 90s, a group of users strike back at the biggest wall garden of all. In fact to call it a walled garden is to make it sound nice and pretty - a gulag is closer to the truth. A marketplace where Apple is the only authority is clearly a monopoly but can anyone do anything about it?
Supreme Court To Rule On Apple App Store Monopoly
There's another strange twist in the story of the modern app store - the Supreme Court has decided that it will rule on whether or not the Apple App Store is a monopoly or not. The strange part is that it doesn't have to and usually wouldn't get involved.
To show just how far things have moved on the code breaking efforts of Bletchley Park were replicated in minutes. Would WWII have been over in an equally short time if we had had the computing power? Probably not because the chances are it would have been available on the other side too and the encoding would have been that much tougher.
Breaking Enigma Code In Minutes
Using AI processes across 2,000 DigitalOcean servers, engineers at Enigma Pattern accomplished in 13 minutes and at a cost of just $7 the feat for which Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman, working on a basis provided by Polish cryptographers, built the Bombe and Colossus machines at Bletchley Park during WWII.
On a personal note, and I Programmer tries not to do personal notes, we moved to HTTPS on this day in June. The reason - Google strong-armed us into it. Adopt HTTPS or get a lower ranking was the message and, despite the fact that a few of us thought it was a silly thing to do for a mostly read=only website, we still had to do it. Best practice it seems is dictated by Google. Who put them in charge? They did!
We also revived an old I Programmer banner, we'll be 10 years old in 2019 you know. Happy Birthday us.
I Programmer Moves On In Order To Stay Put
You might have noticed that I Programmer has changed to HTTPS access only. Less noticeable is our shift to Amazon AWS. It has been an interesting time.
The 12 News Days of Xmas
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|Last Updated ( Friday, 04 January 2019 )|