Programming News and Views

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A Robot Learns To Do Things Using A Deep Neural Network
May 27 | Mike James
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We seem to be starting on the road to autonomous robots that learn how to do things and generalize. Watch as a robot learns how to use a hammer and adapts to changes in the setup.



LOGJAM - Can The NSA Break 1024-bit DHM Keys?
May 26 | Mike James
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The difference between security done right and not quite right can make what is theoretically secure into something that is practically crackable. New results demonstrate how falling back to a small encryption key can make the data readable by almost anyone with the need - this is the LOGJAM vulnerability. But given enough resources can state agencies break 1024 bit keys?



Visual Language Snap! Version 4.0 Released
May 26 | Sue Gee
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Snap! is a free, browser-based educational programming language  inspired by Scratch. This month it reached Version 4.0.



John Nash Dies In Car Crash
May 25 | Mike James
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John Nash had a great deal of influence on computing without ever really being part of it all. Here we tell of some of the things he worked on and why they are important.



Separating Reflection And Image
May 25 | David Conrad
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When you take a photo through glass the big problem is the reflections that you get from things inside the room. Unless you got to a lot of trouble to adjust the lighting these can ruin a shot. Now MIT researchers have a computational way of separating image from reflection. 



.NET T-Shirts - Would You Wear One?
May 25 | Alex Denham
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Now that coding has become a very cool thing to do, plans are in hand to produce t-shirts sporting .NET language logos. Developers are invited to have their say on design issues such as color.



Play With Your Pet With Telepresence
May 24 | Lucy Black
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iPetCompanion is a web-based system that lets people view and play with pets remotely. Already a success in animal shelters, it is now looking to provide a home version with a Kickstarter campaign.



Google Founders Win New Test-of-Time Award
May 23 | Sue Gee
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At this year's 24th International World Wide Web Conference, held in Florence, Italy, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, became the inaugural winners of a new Test-of-Time award.



May Week 3
May 23 | Editor
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If you want to get up to speed on stuff that affects you as a developer, I Programmer Weekly is a digest of book reviews, articles and news written by programmers, for programmers.



Java Reaches 20th Anniversary
May 22 | Alex Armstrong
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Java is arguably today's most important programming language and while it has its flaws and detractors it has had a big impact. It was first officially announced on May 23rd 1995 and Oracle has already been celebrating its 20th Birthday.



Microsoft Open Sources WCF
May 22 | Mike James
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A new version of WCF that targets .NET Core has been donated to the family of .NET Foundation open source projects.



Powerful New Features For Edison
May 21 | Harry Fairhead
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Intel has updated the firmware and software for its Edison IoT device. The new features open up the potential for what you can do with this embedded microcontroller.



Software Gives Centimeter Positioning With Phone GPS
May 21 | Mike James
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It is a little known fact that GPS can provide much more accurate positioning, although only if you provide a big enough antenna. This isn't a reasonable proposition for most applications, but now we have an algorithm that can extract the extra accuracy using nothing but a standard mobile phone aerial.



Web Design Course From Code School
May 21 | Sue Gee
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Code School has added a course on website design to its growing list of "learning by doing courses". It also has a time-limited offer for those who want to try the wider range of courses from its parent company, Pluralsight.



Microsoft Tears Node.js From V8
May 20 | Mike James
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Node.js is a way of running JavaScript on the server and until now it has been tied to the V8 JavaScript engine. Now Microsoft has forked Node.js to make it run on its Chakra JavaScript engine so that Node.js is available on Windows 10 IoT core. 



Computer Visionary Alan Kay Turns 75
May 20 | Historian
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Alan Kay, the computer visionary whose Dynabook concept was a futuristic idea in the 1970s of the sorts of devices we now use, celebrates his 75th birthday this week.


More Recent News
 

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Book Review Of The Day


NoSQL for Mere Mortals
Wednesday 27 May

Author: Dan Sullivan
Publisher: Wiley
Date: April 16, 2015
Pages: 552
ISBN: 9780134023212
Print: 0134023218
Kindle: B00VO27P1K
Audience: Techies learning about NoSQL
Rating: 4

Reviewer:  Kay Ewbank

 

Confused about the range of options on offer from NoSQL? Will this book help you?


 

Featured Articles


Android Adventures - Menus, Context & Popup
Mike James
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As well as the all-purpose action bar, there are three other commonly encountered menus - the context menu, the contextual action menu and the popup menu. They share the basic Android approach to menus and they also have some special characteristics.



Alan Kay
Historian
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Alan Kay is perhaps the best known computing visionary - but what was his vision of?



The Greeks, George Boole and Prolog
Alex Armstrong & Mike James
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Logic isn't the most exciting of subjects and you might think that it had its day with the Greeks, but you would be wrong. Logic isn't just part of programming, it can be all of  it!


 

Unhandled Exception!
Movie Seating

Movie Seating

Click to view bigger version

Why has no one created an app for this? Or perhaps they have and I just haven't sat next to the person who knows about it...  

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

Read more...
 

Book Watch

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Learning my MySQL and MariaDB (O'Reilly)
Wednesday 27 May

This hands-on guide provides an easy, step-by-step approach to installing, using, and maintaining these popular relational database engines. Author Russell Dyer, Curriculum Manager at MariaDB and former editor of the MySQL Knowledge Base, takes you through database design and the basics of data management and manipulation, using real-world examples and many practical tips. Exercises and review questions help you practice what you’ve just learned.

<ASIN:1449362907>



Big Data (Manning)
Tuesday 26 May

With the subtitle "Principles and best practices of scalable realtime data systems", this book teaches you to build big data systems using an architecture that takes advantage of clustered hardware along with new tools designed specifically to capture and analyze web-scale data. Nathan Marz and James Warren describe a scalable, easy-to-understand approach to big data systems that can be built and run by a small team. Following a realistic example, they guide readers through the theory of big data systems, how to implement them in practice, and how to deploy and operate them once they're built.

<ASIN:1617290343>



Secrets and Lies (Wiley)
Monday 25 May

This is a special 15th Anniversary hardcover edition of security expert Bruce Schneier's book subtitled "Digital Security in a Networked World"  in which provides a practical, straight–forward guide to achieving security throughout computer networks. No theory, no math, no fiction of what should be working but isn′t, just the facts. Schneier uses his extensive field experience with his own clients to dispel the myths that often mislead IT managers as they try to build secure systems. Schneier′s tutorial on just what cryptography (a subset of computer security) can and cannot do for them, has received far–reaching praise from both the technical and business community.

<ASIN:1119092434>



Learning AngularJS (O'Reilly)
Friday 22 May

With AngularJS, you can quickly build client-side applications that run well on any desktop or mobile platform, using REST web services for backend processes. You may have heard that the learning curve for this JavaScript MVC framework is too steep, but that’s not the case. Ken Williamson provides a hands-on approach to learning AngularJS in which you gain direct experience with AngularJS by building a sample application.

<ASIN:1491916753>



The Gourmet iOS Developer's Cookbook (Addison Wesley)
Thursday 21 May

Offers a fresh banquet of delicious cutting-edge iOS programming recipes for projects both big and small. Renowned iOS programming expert Erica Sadun presents innovative ways to make the most of AVFoundation, Text Kit, animation, adaptive interface programming, with code for creating rich, robust. apps. As with her other iOS titles, this pragmatic guide translates modern best practices into working code, distilling key concepts into recipes you can understand and build on.

<ASIN:0134086228>



Designing for Performance (O'Reilly)
Wednesday 20 May

As a web designer, you encounter tough choices when it comes to weighing aesthetics and performance. Good content, layout, images, and interactivity are essential for engaging your audience, and each of these elements have an enormous impact on page load time and the end-user experience. In this practical book, Lara Hogan helps you approach projects with page speed in mind, showing you how to test and benchmark which design choices are most critical.

<ASIN:1491902515>



Phishing Dark Waters: The Offensive and Defensive Sides of Malicious Emails (Wiley)
Tuesday 19 May

Christopher Hadnagy and Michele Fincher address the growing scourge of phishing emails, and provides actionable defensive techniques and tools to help you steer clear of malicious emails. Phishing is analyzed from the viewpoint of human decision–making and the impact of deliberate influence and manipulation on the recipient. Using detailed examples, the authors provide insight into the financial, corporate espionage, nation state, identity the goals of the attackers, and teach you how to spot a spoofed e–mail or cloned website.

<ASIN:1118958470>



Automate the Boring Stuff with Python (No Starch Press)
Monday 18 May

Described in its subtitle as "Practical Programming for Total Beginners" this is a book for non-programmers. In it Al Sweigart shows how to perform tasks that take hours to do by hand, such as renaming files or updating spreadsheet cells, with Python programs. Step-by-step instructions walk you through each program, and practice projects at the end of each chapter challenge you to improve those programs and use your newfound skills to automate similar tasks. As the blurb puts it, don't spend your time doing work a well-trained monkey could do. Even if you've never written a line of code, you can make your computer do the grunt work.

<ASIN:1593275994>



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