April Week 1
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 13 April 2013

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.  This one covers April 4 -10, 2013.


This Week's Book Reviews


Programmer Puzzles

Jigsaw Puzzles and The MacMahon Squares   Friday 05 April

Another puzzle featuring Joe Celko's characterful pair, Melvin Frammis, an experienced developer at International Storm Door & Software, and his junior programmer sidekick, Bugsy Cottman. This classic puzzle looks deceptively simple but can you produce some beautiful code to solve it?



The Joy Of Complexity MOOCS   Wednesday 10 April

Students who are already halfway through the Santa Fe Institute's inaugural MOOC, Introduction to Complexity, are being asked for small donations to fund future courses. This seems so worthwhile that external sponsors might also like to contribute. And there is still time to join in this course.



The Future Is Android   Wednesday 10 April

Projections from Gartner suggest that as consumers move away from desktop PCs Android will become the overwhelmingly dominant operating system, with iOS/MacOS and Windows competing for second place.



R 3.0 - the Masked Marvel   Tuesday 09 April

A major update of the R programming has been released with support for 64-bit integer values on all platforms. The release also pulls together the cumulative updates from the minor releases over the last eight years.



Google Compute Engine   Tuesday 09 April

Google’s rival to Amazon Web Services (AWS) is being made more widely available after months of running as an invite-only club.



Visual Studio 2012 Update 2   Monday 08 April

Microsoft has released the second update for Visual Studio 2012 just four months since the release of the previous update. The release is part of Microsoft’s pledge to ship updates for VS in "a regular cadence".



Who Pays Software Engineers The Most?   Monday 08 April

If you want the smartest software engineers you have to pay top dollar both to attract them and to hang on to them. Here's the low-down on the top salaries in the industry.



Mozilla Attempts to Fix Web Payments   Monday 08 April

Mozilla is working towards a WebPayment API to enable web content to collect payment (or issue refunds) for a virtual good. The goal is to make payments easy and secure on web devices yet still as flexible as the checkout button for merchants.



Hands That Learn To Hold   Sunday 07 April

This is another of Festo's latest robotic inventions and while it isn't as visually stunning as its flying insect, a multi-fingered gripper that learns how to manipulate an object is still impressive.



AdaFruit Puppets Teach Electronics   Sunday 07 April

AdaFruit's plan to get even the youngest of children into building electronics has kicked off with Episode 1 of Circuit Playground - A is for Ampere.



AppInventor Awarded Funding To Democratize Computing   Sunday 07 April

David Wolber and the University of  San Francisco have been awarded a grant to launch the Democratize Computing Lab, an initiative to radically broaden and diversify the pool of software creators using App Inventor for Android.



Google Glass The Mirror API - How It Works   Saturday 06 April

Timothy Jordan gave developers at SXSW a sneak peek at the Google Mirror API, which is what they'll use to build services for Glass, and now you can see it as a video.  What it reveals is that the Mirror API has more structure than you might expect.



Underhanded C Contest Revived   Saturday 06 April

After an gap of four years the Underhanded C Contest, the challenge that asks you to write code that easily passes visual inspection, but actually performs something subtly evil, is back.



Build Sold Out - But What Is On The Agenda?   Friday 05 April

Tickets for Microsoft's  Build 2013 developer conference sold out just under a day after registration opened. There's going to be a hackathon but so far there's no details of the sessions.



Blink - More Answers   Friday 05 April

The decision by Google to change from WebKit to a new rendering engine has stirred up more interest and concern than might have been predicted. Now the Google Chrome Developer team has issued a video answering some of the outstanding questions.



$10,000 Robonaut Challenge   Friday 05 April

NASA is looking for help to program Robonaut 2, the humanoid robot that has been on the International Space Station for the past 2 years but without the ability to do the routine and dangerous tasks it was intended for.



Browser Split - Google And Opera Fork WebKit To Blink   Thursday 04 April

It has been something of a mystery as to how the WebKit community managed to not only stay together but to mostly "play nicely". Now we have the, not entirely unpredictable, split with Google creating a new, but WebKit derived, engine called Blink which Opera has already signed up to support. 



A Major Shift in the Android Landscape?   Thursday 04 April

Google has changed the basis on which it measures Android version use. As a result there's a jump in Jelly Bean's share of the Android platform. Is this a better version of reality?



Mozilla Builds Servo, a New Browser Engine   Thursday 04 April

Mozilla has enlisted the help of Samsung to create a new browser engine that takes advantage of multicore processors. It seems that Gecko might not have a long-term future. 


Babbage's Bag

What Is Computable?   Monday 08 April

Performing a computation sounds simple like a simple enough task and it is easy to suppose that everything is computable. In fact there are a range of different types of non-computability that we need to consider. In this article we try to answer the question of what is computable and what is not. 



How To Draw Einstein's Face Parametrically   Wednesday 10 April

There are some amazing math artworks on Wolfram Alpha. I was captivated by parametric equations that draw the faces of well known people and all using a few Sin functions. How is this achieved? It seems like a lot of work to go to if the curves are constructed by manual trial and error. The good news is that they are not - we show you how.


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Last Updated ( Saturday, 13 April 2013 )