Programming News and Views

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React 0.11 Released
Jul 31 | Alex Denham
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The latest version of React, Facebook’s open source JavaScript library, has been made available.



PHP Gets A Formal Specification
Jul 31 | Ian Elliot
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Given how important PHP is in terms of its use, it is very surprising to learn that it only now is getting a formal specification after 20 years of use. 



Three August MOOCs
Jul 31 | Sue Gee
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The Linux Foundation's Introduction to Linux starts on August 1st on the edX platform. Coursera has a course on Web Application Architectures and another on Algorithmic Thinking starting later in the month.



Intel $1 Million RealSense App Challenge
Jul 30 | Sue Gee
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Registration has opened for a new contest in which devs are challenged to design perceptual computing apps for Intel's RealSense platform. All you have to do at this stage is submit an idea to be in with a chance to receive a developer kit to take it further. 



Tracking.js Computer Vision In The Browser
Jul 30 | Mike James
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The only real problem with tracking.js is that potential users might ignore it, thinking it has something to do with marketing. It doesn't. It is an open source computer vision library in JavaScript and it makes it fairly easy to add sophisticated image processing into your web apps.



Open Source Code Puts Android At Risk
Jul 30 | Alex Armstrong
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A flaw in the Apache Harmony project has come back to threaten every version of Android from 2.1 to 4.4. It makes it possible to load apps that claim to be from almost any legitimate authority.



Update: The Next Version Of PHP And The Status Of PHPng
Jul 30 | Ian Elliot
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UPDATED If the current version of PHP is 5.x, what should the next version be called? Obviously it should be 6.x. Why then is there a proposal that it should be 7.x? And as PHPng gets ever faster, is it PHP 5.7, PHP 6.0 PHP 7.0 or even PHP 8.0?



Mozilla Appoints New CEO
Jul 29 | Sue Gee
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Chris Beard, who has been acting CEO of Mozilla on an interim basis since the departure of Brendan Eich in April, has been appointed to the role on a permanent basis.



GraphLab Create
Jul 29 | Kay Ewbank
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Software designed to let data science teams gain insights into big data up to 10,000 times faster than rival products has been announced by GraphLab and is downloadable for free.



The Canvas Fingerprint - How?
Jul 29 | Ian Elliot
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There is currently a lot of fuss going on about an additional method of fingerprinting browsers to track users as they move from one website to another. The technology is very simple but the real question is - how can it work well enough to be useful?



The Display That Does Away With Glasses
Jul 28 | David Conrad
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The light field approach to computational photography has more uses than capturing 2.5D images - it can create a display that you can view clearly without your glasses.



GCC Gets An Award From ACM And A Blast From Linus
Jul 28 | Mike James
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The venerable GCC compiler got itself into the news by winning an award from the ACM and by attracting a typical Linus Torvalds blast of rhetoric for an "interesting" bug.



Cat Photos - A Potential Security Risk?
Jul 27 | Lucy Black
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A website called I Know Where your Cat Lives uses the latitude and longitude metadata from photos of cats posted websites like Flickr to place the photos on Google maps with remarkable accuracy. Should we find this alarming?



Jibo Over $1 Million On Indiegogo
Jul 26 | Harry Fairhead
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When we reported on Jibo, the friendly helpful robot, earlier in the week who could have guessed that it would attract more than $1 million in so few days? Is the demand for a robot really so big?



July Week 3
Jul 26 | Editor
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With all the summer distractions, it's hard to keep focused on the news feeds. So, let I Programmer do it for you and simply consult our weekly digest of news, book reviews and articles to keep you up to speed. This one covers July 17 - 23.



Node.js Tools for VS Updated
Jul 25 | Kay Ewbank
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Microsoft has released the second beta of Node.js Tools for Visual Studio 1.0, making it available for download.


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Book Review of the Day


Build Awesome Command-Line Applications in Ruby 2
Wednesday 30 Jul

Author: David B. Copeland
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Pages: 224
ISBN: 978-1937785758
Audience: Ruby Developers
Rating: 2
Reviewer: Mike James

This is an updated edition of an earlier book but the only substantive changes are to make it work with Ruby 2.


 

Featured Articles


Android Adventures - Dialog Classes In DialogFragments
Mike James
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The relationship between a DialogFragment and the Dialog within can seem mysterious, but in the previous chapter we discovered how to make a custom dialog using nothing but DialogFragment. Now we have to find out how we can use the Dialog class to do the same thing.



Spreadsheets Are Special
Mike James
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Don't dismiss the spreadsheet. It not only brought programming to the masses but was an early entry into rapid application development, functional programming and an easy and natural approach to parallel programming, reactive programming and cellular automata.



Accessing Salesforce Data from Angular.js
Mohit Taneja
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In this tutorial we show you how to sign up for a Salseforce developer account and build a connected app that gets contacts from the user’s Force.com account and shows them using twitter bootstrap.


 

Unhandled Exception! - Pillow Talk

 

Pillow Talk

 

 More cartoon fun at xkcd a webcomic of romance,sarcasm, math, and language

Click to view bigger version

Read more...
 

Book Watch

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iOS Programming 4th Ed (Big Nerd Ranch Guides)
Wednesday 30 Jul

Based on Big Nerd Ranch's iOS Bootcamp, this guide by Joe Conway, Aaron Hillegass and Christian Keur teaches iOS concepts and coding in tandem. Updated and expanded to cover iOS 7 and Xcode 5 this 4th edition leads you through the essential tools, and techniques for developing iOS applications, providing the understanding and  confidence you need to tackle iOS projects of your own. 

<ASIN:0321942051>



The Java EE 7 Tutorial: Volume 1 (Addison Wesley)
Tuesday 29 Jul

Written by members of the Java EE documentation team at Oracle, this two-volume task-oriented, example-driven guide to developing enterprise applications provides new and intermediate Java programmers with a deep understanding of the platform. Volume 1 introduces platform basics, including resource creation, resource injection, and packaging.

<ASIN:0321994922>



Galaxy S5: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly)
Monday 28 Jul

Get the most out of Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone right from the start. With clear instructions from technology expert Preston Gralla, this Missing Manual gives you a guided tour of Samsung's new flagship phone, including great new features such as the fingerprint scanner, heart rate sensor, and Download Booster.

<ASIN:1491904534>



The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book (No Starch Press)
Friday 25 Jul

A complete beginner's guide to the EV3 kit from robotics expert Laurens Valk. This full color book teaches you fundamental programming and robotics skills as you build and program six increasingly sophisticated robots that move, monitor sensors, and respond to their environments including an autonomous robotic arm and a humanoid that walks and talks.

<ASIN:1593275323>



MySQL High Availability 2nd Ed (O'Reilly)
Thursday 24 Jul

Server bottlenecks and failures are a fact of life in any database deployment, but they don't have to bring everything to a halt. MySQL has several features that can help you protect your system from outages. Written by engineers who designed many of the tools covered, this book reveals undocumented or hard-to-find aspects of MySQL reliability and high availability.
 

<ASIN:1449339581>



Python 101 (Michael Driscoll)
Wednesday 23 Jul

Learn how to program with Python from beginning to end with Michael Driscoll's book for beginners and intermediate programmers. After Python basics, he covers a subset of the Python standard library. There's a series of tutorials and the final part of the book is on 3rd party modules and also covers creating a module and its packaging and distribution.

<ASIN:0996062815>



iOS Development with Xamarin Cookbook (Packt)
Tuesday 22 Jul

With over 100 recipes to help you develop iOS applications with Xamarin, Dimitris Tavlikos provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to be part of the mobile development era, using C#. Starting from installing the necessary tools, he covers everything you need to develop an application ready to be deployed plus best practices for interacting with the device hardware, such as the GPS, compass, and accelerometer.

<ASIN:1849698929>



QuickBooks 2014 on Demand (Que)
Monday 21 Jul

If you have questions about using Intuit's small buinsess accounting package QuickBooks, Gail Perry and Michelle Long provide answers in a visual step-by-step format with lots of full color illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions. Numbered steps guide you through each task including new QuickBooks features for 2014 - Income Tracker, Bank Feeds, and Rules.

<ASIN:0789752344>



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