Programming News and Views
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Where Are The Raspberry Pi Zeros?
Feb 08 | Lucy Black
The Raspberry Pi Zero is a game changer, but it is not the only game changer on the market. In fact the question of whether it is on the market or not is an important one.
How Fast Can You Number Crunch In Python
Feb 07 | Mike James
We are all more or less committed to using high-level languages, but there is always a background worry that they might not be fast enough for some tasks. An interesting set of benchmarks shows how to use Python to number crunch.
Usborne Books Revival
Feb 07 | Sue Gee
Children's book publisher Usborne has launched two new titles about computers and coding aimed at young children. At the same time it has made pdfs of its 1980's computing titles freely available online.
Fewer Degrees Of Separation With Facebook
Feb 06 | Janet Swift
Six degrees of separation is the, already well established, idea that any individual is connected to any other via six network nodes. New research has discovered that the average between Facebook users is just three and a half.
January Week 5
Feb 06 | Editor
If you need to know what's important for the developer, you can rely on I Programmer to sift through the news and uncover the most relevant stories. Our weekly digest gives a handy summary.
GCHQ's Xmas Puzzle Not Cracked - Update Solutions And Prizes
Feb 06 | Mike James
The director of GCHQ distributed a puzzle to selected contacts and then made it available to everyone. The deadline for solution passed and there were no 100% correct solutions. Even so prizes were awarded and we do now have the answers.
Winner Of Underhanded C Announced
Feb 05 | Kay Ewbank
The winner of this year's competition to find the best sneaky C code has been announced.
Scientist Lets You Refactor Live
Feb 05 | Mike James
One of the big problems of today is working with live code. Now a team at Github has a very clever tool that makes it easy to make, and evaluate, changes in live code in the same way that you might replace a bridge.
Mozilla Confirms End of Firefox OS For Smartphones
Feb 04 | Ian Elliot
Mozilla has sent an email to its community signalling a change of direction in which it will focus its activities on the Internet of Things which entails ending Firefox OS for smartphones.
SQL Server Drivers For PHP and ODBC Updated
Feb 04 | Kay Ewbank
Microsoft has released a preview version of the latest drivers for PHP for SQL Server, and has also released a community preview of the latest ODBC SQL Server driver for Windows and Linux.
Facebook F8 2016 Registration Open
Feb 03 | Lucy Black
F8, the annual Facebook Developer Conference, will be held this year April 12 and 13 at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center and registration is now open.
Number Of Legal Go Positions Finally Worked Out
Feb 03 | Mike James
Go is an important game for AI in that, until very recently, humans were much better at it than computers. It is a complex and subtle game that has only just yielded one of the most fundamental parameters of any game - how many legal positions are there.
TypeScript 1.8 Hits Beta
Feb 03 | Kay Ewbank
The next version of TypeScript is out in beta, even though it's only a month since the previous release. TypeScript 1.8 has expanded JSX support and adds support for ChakraCore.
Google AdMob Student App Challenge
Feb 02 | Sue Gee
Google is inviting student developers around the world to build an app and learn how to make money from it - which is where AdMob comes into the picture. There's also the incentive of prizes.
Vote In The People's Choice AI Video Award
Feb 02 | Mike James
The People's Choice AI video awards are on again and you have until February 15th to vote. Even if you don't want to vote, the videos are worth seeing.
Windows 10 Surpasses Windows 8.1
Feb 01 | Janet Swift
Windows 10 now has around a 12% share of the worldwide desktop operating system market. Is it on track to become the Universal Windows Platform that Microsoft intends it to be?
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Book Reviews Of The Year
Friday 05 Feb
Author: Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman
Audience: Primarily software developers but will appeal to anyone who contributes to a team effort.
Reviewer: Sue Gee
The quote on the book cover from Peter Norvig reads "The field has needed a book like this for a long time." Does it live up to the hype?
Advanced Perl Regular Expressions - The Pattern Code Expression
In this part of our series exploring Perl RegEx we are going to look into another advanced construct, that of the pattern code expression ??. According to the official perldoc this "..is like a regular code expression, except that the result of the code evaluation is treated as a regular expression and matched immediately."
PHP Variables and Expressions for Complete Beginners
Variables and expressions are the core of programming in general and no less so in PHP. If you have never encountered the ideas here is a gentle introduction.
Autonomous Robot Weaponry - The Debate
Let's face it, Robots in one form or another seem to be everywhere. Having infiltrated factories, healthcare, marine and space exploration, Robots will soon conquer the household too, taking care of all those pesky chores. But what about their military applications. Can they be used to form an army? Further, what about that army being autonomous, able to locate and attack targets without any user intervention?
If this joke escapes you (pun intended) then the chances are that you are not a programmer but you could be a backslash...
Click to view bigger version
More cartoon fun at xkcd a webcomic of romance,sarcasm, math, and language
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Coding for Beginners: Using Scratch
Monday 08 Feb
This friendly book hardcover covers the basics of Scratch coding for complete beginners, with step-by-step instructions showing children how to use code to create games and animations, from racing cars to virtual pets. Scratch is one of the most popular programmes used in primary schools and this book covers sprites, binary, debugging and more.
iOS 9 Programming Fundamentals with Swift (O'Reilly)
Thursday 04 Feb
Move into iOS 9 development by getting a firm grasp of its fundamentals, including Xcode 7, the Cocoa Touch framework, and Apple’s Swift programming language. With this thoroughly updated guide from Matt Neuberg, author of the Programming iOS tome, you’ll learn Swift’s object-oriented concepts, understand how to use Apple’s development tools, and discover how Cocoa provides the underlying functionality iOS apps need to have.
The Official ScratchJr Book (No Starch Press)
Wednesday 03 Feb
ScratchJr is a free, introductory computer programming language that runs on iPads and Android tablets. Inspired by Scratch, it helps even younger kids create their own playful animations, interactive stories, and dynamic games. Intended for children aged 5 and over, it is co-authored by Mitch Resnick, creator of Scratch, and has the subtitle "Help Your Kids Learn to Code". Each of the book's chapters includes activities that build on one another, culminating in a fun final project.
Introduction to Computational Models with Python (CRC Press)
Monday 01 Feb
Jose M. Garrido explains how to implement computational models using the flexible and easy-to-use Python programming language. The book introduces the principles of computational modeling as well as the approaches of multi- and interdisciplinary computing to beginners in the field. It provides the foundation for more advanced studies in scientific computing, including parallel computing using MPI, grid computing, and other methods and techniques used in high-performance computing.
RESTful Rails Development (O'Reilly)
Thursday 28 Jan
This book serves as a practical guide to developing RESTful applications, designing RESTful architectures, and deploying RESTful services using Ruby on Rails. By the end of each chapter, the reader will have key takeaways for how to build and extend a multi-service platform spanning different devices. Silvia Puglisi explains the power of RESTful development with Rails, illustrating how to build an architecture composed of different services accessing shared resources through a set of collaborating APIs and applications.
Next Generation Databases (Apress)
Wednesday 27 Jan
The relational database (RDBMS) model completely dominated database technology for over 20 years. Today this "one size fits all" stability has been disrupted by a seemingly sudden explosion of new database technologies. These paradigm-busting technologies are driving the "Big Data" and "NoSQL" revolutions, as well as forcing fundamental changes in databases across the board.
Debugging Teams (O'Reilly)
Monday 25 Jan
Over their 20+-year engineering careers Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman have picked up a treasure trove of wisdom and anecdotes about how successful teams work together. In this slim volume, subtitled "Better Productivity through Collaboration" they share their insights on how to lead a team effectively, navigate an organization, and build a healthy relationship with the users of your software.
Mastering ROS for Robotics Programming (Packt)
Thursday 21 Jan
Lentin Joseph discusses the advanced concepts in robotics and how to program using the Robot Operating System (ROS), a modular software platform for developing generic robotic applications. He starts with deep overview of the ROS framework, which will give you a clear idea of how ROS really works. During the course of the book, you will learn how to build models of complex robots, and simulate and interface the robot using the ROS MoveIt motion planning library and ROS navigation stacks.
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