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$100K Machine Learning Challenge
May 24 | Lucy Black
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In partnership with Udacity, Chinese ridesharing company Didi Chuxing has announced a global machine learning competition to come up with a better ride matching algorithm using Didi’s published data sets.



XSS Hunter For Pentesting
May 24 | Nikos Vaggalis
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XSS Hunter is a recently launched platform that makes pentesting for XSS vulnerabilities much easier to monitor and organize. Through it you can launch all kinds of XSS attacks, but where it really shines is when carrying out a Blind XSS attack.



Imagine Cup Earth Final Round
May 24 | Kay Ewbank
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The winners of Round Two of the Imagine Cup Earth, a worldwide contest organized by Microsoft in conjunction with NASA for students aged between 6 and 18, have been announced. The deadline for Round Three is approaching, but there's still time to take part.



Agile Methods Specialization on Coursera
May 23 | Sue Gee
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The latest addition to Coursera's ever growing list of developer-related Specializations is on Agile Methods. Two of its four courses start today, including Managing an Agile Team which is a brand new course. 



Visual Basic Reaches 25th Birthday - Microsoft Censors Campaign To Open Source VB6
May 23 | Sue Gee
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Visual Basic was launched by Bill Gates at Windows World on May 20, 1991 and since then has gone through has fourteen releases. The pinnacle release, as far as many of are concerned was VB6, the final non-dot-net version. To celebrate VB's Silver Anniversary let's re-open the campaign to open source VB6. Update: May 23 



Google's Science Journal Android App For Experiments
May 23 | Mike James
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We need to find good ways for young people to get started with real science and data. Google has produced an Android app that just might help - it sounds fun too.



Open Source Employment Trends
May 23 | Janet Swift
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Open source talent is in high demand according to the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report, the 5th annual report from the Linux Foundation, produced in collaboration with Dice.com.



Can Robots Create Art?
May 22 | David Conrad
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The RobotArt competition was started to explore the intersection of technology and art. For its inaugural contest fifteen teams from seven countries submitted over 70 different artworks.  The winners were announced this week with $100K being shared between the participating teams.



May Week 3
May 21 | Editor
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If you want to keep up with what's important from the point of view of the developer, you can rely on the IProgrammer team to sift through the news to select items that are of interest and to review the books you might want to read. 



Android Studio 2.2 Preview Big Changes!
May 20 | Mike James
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As this year's Google I/O draws to a close the Android Studio 2.2 preview was the star of the show. It brings really big changes to Android programming. 



Node.js Bridge For COBOL
May 20 | Kay Ewbank
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The developer who came up with a way to run COBOL from within JavaScript has now added a way to run JavaScript in COBOL.



A New Version Of Raspbian Almost Solves WiFi Problem
May 20 | Harry Fairhead
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The Raspberry Pi is a phenomenon that will be remembered long after it has passed and I guess so will its companion OS Raspian, but it is amazing how slowly it evolves - a measure of the size of the task and the small resources allocated to it. The latest version brings some interesting extras for users and programmers. 



Google Revamps Firebase As App Platform
May 19 | Kay Ewbank
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Google has shown off a revamped version of Firebase at Google I/O, with improvements that make use of various Google developer tools such as Cloud Messaging.



Google Takes VR Seriously - DayDream
May 19 | Harry Fairhead
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Google Cardboard was perhaps the biggest surprise in the VR world - a virtually no-cost VR viewer made from any Android phone. However. it left people thinking that perhaps Google wasn't completely serious about VR. Now we have several announcements at Google I/O that suggest otherwise. 



Google Home Your Personal Assistant
May 19 | Lucy Black
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Among the biggest announcements on Day One of Google I/O 2016, taking place in Mountain View, home to Google, is Google Home, a voice-activated product that brings the Google assistant to any room in your house. 



Scratch Blocks For Beginners In Developer Preview
May 18 | Lucy Black
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Scratch Blocks has been released as an open-source developer preview ahead of Google I/O which starts today. It is a collaboration between Google and MIT Media Lab and builds on Google's Blockly technology and the Scratch Team’s expertise in designing creative interfaces for young learners. 


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Book Review


Concurrency in C# Cookbook
Tuesday 24 May

Author:  Stephen Cleary 
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages:208 
ISBN: 978-1449367565
Print: 1449367569
Kindle: B00KCY2CB4
Audience: Experienced C# programmers
Rating:  4
Reviewer: Mike James

Concurrency is a tough topic and you need all the help you can get, hence this book needs no excuse to exist. 


 

Featured Articles


Remote C/C++ Development With NetBeans
Mike James
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NetBeans is a great IDE for working with C/C++ and it supports remote build hosts, which is a good way to work. The only problem is that getting it all set up is more difficult than it needs to be. Find out how it works and how to get started. 



Introducing Java - Swing Objects
Ian Elliot
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In the second part of our beginner's guide to Modern Java we find out more about objects by exploring the Swing framework with a simple hands-on example.



The BBC Micro:bit Which Language?
Sue Gee & Mike James
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The micro:bit is supposed to be a breakthrough educational tool that will introduce physical computing to the masses, starting with 11- to 12-year olds. However, even physical computing needs code and this raises the question of which language to use. 



Android Adventures - Activity And UI
Mike James
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So you know how to create an Android app, but do you really know how it works? In this second part of our ebook on getting started with Android using Android Studio 2 we look at how to create a UI and how to hook it up to the code in the Activity.  



Exposing The Most Frequent Mistakes In Programming
Nikos Vaggalis
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The Blackbox project is a massive data collection initiative by the University of Kent, that sifts through millions of source code compilations looking to identify the most frequent mistakes made by student programmers.


 

Unhandled Exception!
Is It Worth the Time?

Is It Worth the Time?

Click to view bigger version 

This is where we all go wrong. What programming project, no matter how simple, takes 8 weeks or less? How many programs save as much as an hour a day or one day a week? Clearly programs always use up more time than they save and are inherently pointless exercises. I'm off now to sell my keyboard and take up yak shaving. 

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

Read more...
 

Book Watch

Follow Book Watch on Twitter


Kubernetes Microservices with Docker (Apress)
Monday 23 May

In this book on Kubernetes, the  container cluster manager, Deepak Vohra discusses all aspects of using Kubernetes in today's complex big data and enterprise applications, including Docker containers.  Starting with installing Kubernetes on a single node, he introduces Kubernetes with a simple Hello example and discusses using environment variables in Kubernetes.  

<ASIN:1484219066>



The Car Hacker's Handbook (No Starch Press)
Friday 20 May

Subtitled A Guide for Penetration Testers this book will give you a deeper understanding of the computer systems and embedded software in modern vehicles. Modern cars are more computerized than ever. Infotainment and navigation systems, Wi-Fi, automatic software updates, and other innovations aim to make driving more convenient. But vehicle technologies haven't kept pace with today's more hostile security environment, leaving millions vulnerable to attack. 

<ASIN:1593277032>



Zero Bugs and Program Faster (Kate Thompson Books)
Wednesday 18 May

Kate Thompson spent two years researching every bug avoidance technique she could find. This book contains the best of them. The first half of the book teaches principles through stories and anecdotes. The second half of the book dives into code, trying to teach by showing good examples including code from Bill Gates, Richard Stallman and Joe Celko.

<ASIN:0996193308>



Learning Puppet 4 (O'Reilly)
Monday 16 May

If you’re a system administrator, developer, or site reliability engineer responsible for handling hundreds or even thousands of nodes in your network, the Puppet configuration management tool will make your job a whole lot easier. In this practical guide DevOps engineer, Jo Rhett, shows you what Puppet does, how it works, and how it can provide significant value to your organization.

<ASIN:1491907665>



Big Data in Practice (Wiley)
Wednesday 11 May

Big data is a hot topic. Everyone understands its power and importance, but many fail to grasp the actionable steps and resources required to utilise it effectively. This book from Bernard Marr, author of Big Data (see Kay Ewbank's review) fills the knowledge gap by showing how major companies are using big data every day, from an up-close, on-the-ground perspective.

<ASIN:1119231388>



Game Engine Gems 3 (CRC Press)
Monday 09 May

The third volume in a series by veteran of the computer games industry, Eric Lengyel. Covering the latest developments with practical methods and tips for game engine development it is intended to aid professionals in their work and shows students and others interested in game development how the pros tackle specific problems that arise during game engine development.

<ASIN:1498755658>



Learn to Program with Small Basic (No Starch Press)
Saturday 07 May

Small Basic, created by Microsoft to inspire kids to learn to program, is a free modern language that makes coding simple and fun. This book from Majed Marji and Ed Price sets out to bring code to life and introduces you to the empowering world of programming with hands-on projects intended to challenge and inspire you. 

<ASIN:1593277024>



Algorithms in a Nutshell 2nd Ed (O'Reilly)
Wednesday 04 May

Creating robust software requires the use of efficient algorithms, but programmers seldom think about them until a problem occurs. This updated edition of a book that figures among our popular reviews describes a large number of existing algorithms for solving a variety of problems, and helps you select and implement the right algorithm for your needs with just enough math to let you understand and analyze algorithm performance.

<ASIN:1491948922>



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