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MIT Self-Driving Car - Do The Free Course, Purchase the T-Shirt
Jan 18 | Sue Gee
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MIT has made a course on the practice of deep learning freely available to all - both in person on campus and online. It even has a course t-shirt, but hurry to claim one as the offer ends in three days.



Oracle Holds On To Java EE Brand
Jan 18 | Kay Ewbank
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Despite Oracle recently agreeing to hand over control of Java Enterprise Edition to the Eclipse Foundation, it seems that the situation isn't as clear cut as it originally seemed.



What Breaks APIs?
Jan 17 | Ian Elliot
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There is so little information about how we actually code that almost any data is worth looking at. In this case the study is on how and why Java programmers break the APIs that they are creating and evolving.



Google Play Indie Contest Finalists Announced
Jan 17 | Kay Ewbank
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The finalists of the Google Play Indie Games Contest in Europe have been announced. The competition is open to indie game developers from more than 30 countries.



Analyzing Alexa
Jan 17 | Sue Gee
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Although we might be skeptical about the desirability of holding a sustained conversation an Amazon Echo device, Amazon established the Alexa Prize as a serious endeavour in the area of conversational AI and has now made available the 2017 Alexa Prize Proceedings.



Levchin Prize for Real-World Cryptography
Jan 16 | Alex Armstrong
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The Levchin Prize is awarded annually for significant advances in the practice of cryptography and its use in real-world systems. This year's recipients,  Hugo Krawczyk of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center and the OpenSSL team, accepted their awards at the 2018 Real-World Crypto conference.



Kafka Webview Released
Jan 16 | Kay Ewbank
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A new web-based interface for reading data from Kafka Clusters has been released. Kafka Webview can be used for reading data out of Kafka topics and providing basic filtering and searching capabilities.



Supercomputing MOOC on Future Learn
Jan 16 | Sue Gee
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A free Supercomputing MOOC designed for anyone interested in leading-edge computing technology or the role that computer simulation takes in modern science and engineering restarted on Future Learn on January 15th, 2018.



Stack Overflow Analysis of JavaScript Framework Trends
Jan 15 | Janet Swift
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An analysis of JavaScript frameworks based on the proportion of new questions asked about them on Stack Overflow claims that they share a pattern of a quick ascent in popularity followed by a steady decline in interest.



Microsoft Shuts Coding4Fun - Big Changes At Channel 9
Jan 15 | Mike James
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Without any warning Coding4Fun, a really useful and fun blog hosted on Microsoft's Channel 9 portal, has gone. There are also rumors of big changes to the portal itself. More proof that Microsoft doesn't value what it has and doesn't communicate with the outside world at all well.



Pepper's Cone - An Easy 3D Display
Jan 14 | David Conrad
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Pepper's Ghost is a trick that has been frightening theater goers since Victorian times, but recently it has been receiving some technological upgrades. The latest is Pepper's Cone, a dynamic 3D display that is simple enough to be implemented by almost anyone with some programming and almost no hardware skills.



MistyThe Robot For Programmers
Jan 13 | Harry Fairhead
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It is arguable that what we need is a sort of IBM PC of the robot world; a robot that we can use without worrying too much about hardware and just get on with programming. Misty is aiming to be just such a robot.



January Week 2
Jan 13 | Editor
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Do you have better things to do than scour the internet for news? No problem! If you need to know what's important for the developer, IProgrammer Weekly puts the unmissable bits together in a handy digest. 



Nearly A Third Of Devs Using AI And ML
Jan 12 | Kay Ewbank
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Twenty-nine percent of developers worldwide, or 6,452,000 in all, are currently using some form of AI or ML and an additional 5.8 million expect to within the next six months, according  to a new study by Evans Data.



Top 10 - Web Design Matters
Jan 12 | Lucy Black
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We start this roundup of external blog posts with a guide to flat, aka minimalist, website design. Other posts concern responsive web design. Another key topic is costs and pricing.



A Neural Network Reads Your Mind
Jan 11 | Mike James
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Is this AI or UI? The idea is simple enough - train a neural network to recognize what you are seeing from just your brain activity. Is it even possible?


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Book Review


Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum
Thursday 18 Jan

Author: Leonard Susskind, Art Friedman
Publisher: Basic Books 
Pages: Basic Books 
ISBN: 978-0465062904
Print: 0465062903
Kindle: B00IFTT8GA
Audience: Students of Quantum Mechanics and the curious.
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Mike James

There are lots of people who want to know about quantum mechanics just because it is interesting. Is this a book for them?


 

Featured Articles


Finite State Machines
Mike James
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Finite state machines may sound like a very dry and boring topic but they reveal a lot about the power of different types of computing machine.  Every Turing machine includes a finite state machine so there is a sense in which they come first. They also turn out to be very useful in practice.



Java Books For Going Further
Kay Ewbank
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Java is one of, if not the most, widespread programming language. Given its popularity, it's not surprising that our reviewers have scrutinized over 50 books relating to it, both new and classic. This is the pick of recommended titles for programmers who know some Java and want to go further.



Adam Osborne Serial Entrepreneur
Historian
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Adam Osborne isn't a name much in circulation at the moment but we have a lot to thank him for. Some of his "inventions" seem very clunky today "how could you possibly use that" but at the time Adam Osborne was cutting edge and a purveyor of high quality information.



The Programmers Guide To Kotlin - Annotation & Reflection
Mike James
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Kotlin supports Java-like annotations but they don't really make much sense without the help of reflection. So let's take a look at both of them and see how they work together.



Taxicab Geometry Problems
Joe Celko
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In the conference season, developers face the perennial problem of getting from one hotel to another to meet colleagues. How good is your ability to write procedures to find shortest distance in a city block setting.  Let's look at how the team at International Storm Door & Software set out the problem of Taxicab Geometry.


 

Unhandled Exception!
Meltdown and Spectre

Meltdown and Spectre

Click for larger image

The world has been worrying about Meltdown and Spectre, but I don't know why. How could a phatom trolley have any effect in the real world? Now rowhammer - that's much more scary as it involves hammers.
Also see: How Meltdown Works, Rowhammer and Halting Problem Used To Prove A Robot Cannot Computably Kill A Human

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

Read more...
 

Book Watch

Follow Book Watch on Twitter

Book Watch is I Programmer's listing of new books and is compiled using publishers' publicity material. It is not to be read as a review where we provide an independent assessment. Some but by no means all of the books in Book Watch are eventually reviewed.


Head First Learn to Code (O'Reilly)
Thursday 18 Jan

This book is designed to teach you how to think computationally and how to write code to make your computer, mobile device, or anything with a CPU do things for you. Using Python and a step by step approach, author Eric Freeman shows the core concepts of programming alongside topics such as data structures, storage, abstraction, recursion, and modularity.

<ASIN:1491958863>



Mastering Machine Learning With Scikit-learn 2nd Ed (Packt)
Wednesday 17 Jan

Now in its second edition of this book shows how the algorithms and techniques offered by machine learning can be used to automate any analytical model. Author Gavin Hackeling examines a variety of machine learning models including popular machine learning algorithms including k-nearest neighbors, logistic regression, naive Bayes, k-means, decision trees, and artificial neural networks. It discusses data preprocessing, hyperparameter optimization, and ensemble methods.

<ASIN:1788299876>



Cryptography (River Publishers)
Monday 15 Jan

This book aims to develop a deep understanding of cryptography and provide understanding of how privacy, identity provision, and integrity can be enhanced with the usage of encryption.  Author William J Buchanan covers core cryptography alongside emerging areas such as Blockchain, Light-weight Cryptography, and Zero-knowledge Proofs. The book provides web-based material on almost every topic covered, alongside additional on-line material such as videos, source code, and labs.

<ASIN:8793379102>



The Nexus Framework For Scaling Scrum (Addison Wesley)
Thursday 11 Jan

This concise book shows how Nexus helps teams to deliver  complex, multi-platform software in short, frequent cycles, without straying from Scrum’s core principles. Using an extended case study, authors Kurt Bittner, Patricia Kong and Dave West show how to use Nexus to apply Scrum at scale across multiple teams, sites, and time zones. The Nexus Framework was created by Scrum.org, a training and certification organization founded by Scrum co-creator Ken Schwaber.

<ASIN:0134682661>



Grey Hat C# (No Starch Press)
Wednesday 10 Jan

This book shows how to use C#'s set of core libraries to automate tedious yet important tasks like performing vulnerability scans, malware analysis, and incident response. Author Brandon Perry shows how with some help from Mono, you can write your own practical security tools that will run on Windows, Mac, Linux, and even mobile devices. The book starts with a crash course in C# and some of its advanced features before going on to look at how to create and automate security tools.

<ASIN:1593277598>



Programming for the Puzzled (MIT Press)
Monday 08 Jan

With a subtitle of "Learn to Program While Solving Puzzles", this book builds a bridge between the recreational world of algorithmic puzzles (puzzles that can be solved by algorithms) and the pragmatic world of computer programming, teaching readers to program while solving puzzles.  Author Srini Devadas has included twenty puzzles and seventy programming exercises that vary in difficulty. Each lesson starts with the description of a puzzle illustrating concepts required to solve similar problems, and the solution to the puzzle becomes the specification of the code to be written.

<ASIN:0262534304>



Arduino Project Handbook, Volume 2 (No Starch Press)
Thursday 04 Jan

In this second volume of the ­Arduino Project Handbook Mark Geddes delivers 25 more ­beginner-friendly electronics projects for hobbyists, parents, and educators. Get up and running with a crash course on the Arduino, and then pick any project that sparks your interest and start making!  Each project includes cost and time estimates, simple instructions, colorful photos and circuit diagrams, a troubleshooting section, and the complete code to bring your build to life.

<ASIN:1593278187>



Machine Learning Algorithms (Packt)
Wednesday 03 Jan

This guide to machine learning takes a solid, concept-rich, yet highly practical approach. Author Giuseppe Bonaccorso covers the whats and whys of machine learning algorithms and their implementation. The book is aimed at IT professionals who want to enter the field of data science and are very new to machine learning. Familiarity with languages such as R and Python will be invaluable.

<ASIN:1785889621>



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bookwatch@i-programmer.info


 
 
   
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