July Week 2
Saturday, 20 July 2013

This digest of the latest additions to I Programmer covers July 11-17. In addition to around twenty news items and three book reviews we looked at Data Compression, posed a Python Puzzle, and published Part 5 of Android Adventures, our series about using the new Android Studio, looking at Controls and Events.

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This Week's Book Reviews


Programmer Puzzles

Python Puzzle - Where Did The Time Go   Saturday 13 July

A Python programming puzzle to get you up to speed. This one is all about time keeping, or is it? There are some strange things that go on in Python when you aren't paying attention. 



Erik Demaine On How To Do Research   Wednesday 17 July

Theoretical computer scientist Erik Demaine, who is also known for his love of puzzles and his origami sculptures, shares his approach to research in a video made for ICALP 2013.



GitHub Adds Licensing Option   Wednesday 17 July

Although GitHub is the most popular tool for collaborative online version control and development of open source software, it hasn't been hot on licensing, with the result that many of its projects don't even have a declared license. Now it is taking steps to rectify this situation.



Regular Expression Crossword Site   Wednesday 17 July

A new web site gives you the chance to improve your regular expressions and have fun at the same time. Regular expression crosswords are like Sudoku for programmers.



Bill Gates - How Software Can Save The World   Tuesday 16 July

Bill Gates gave the keynote at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit and took the opportunity to reflect on what can be achieved in the Golden Age of Computing by the magic of software.



WebGL 3D Sculpture Demo   Tuesday 16 July

With many demonstrations, WebGL is fast becoming an essential part of the web experience. But what can you say about SculptGL - it lets you model a blob of clay interactively and you could even 3D print the final result.



Which Languages Have Most Influence?   Monday 15 July

How do you rank the relative importance of programming languages? Most developers say it’s obvious; ‘their’ language is the best AND the most important. If you want a more scientific (or should that be artistic) view, check out an interactive network graph that charts languages' relationships.



Singapore, India and Italy Top In Imagine Cup Challenges   Monday 15 July

Nine of teams that arrived in St. Petersburg last week for the Worldwide Finals of the Imagine Cup were already prize winners in the three challenges for which the initial stages were held exclusively online. But which teams would be placed first to win the $10,000 prizes?



$4 Million In Prize Money For Tizen Apps   Monday 15 July

Tizen is the latest in-development mobile operating system to be in desperate need of apps and, to tempt developers to stock its brand new store, The Linux Foundation, Intel and Samsung have together announced the Tizen App Challenge with around $4 million in prizes.



The Weird World Of Datalandia   Sunday 14 July

Big Data isn’t usually seen as the most street-cred area to work in, and big data from industrial machines is probably as far as you can get from trendy. So how about making it trendier with weird films about vampires and werewolves? No, it wasn’t what sprang to our minds either, but we’re obviously just too hidebound.



DARPA'S ATLAS Robot Needs A Brain   Sunday 14 July

The latest DARPA challenge is to create a disaster response robot and, surprisingly, it's not the hardware that forms the main part of the task. DARPA has built a robot called Atlas and the challenge is to program it.



Going Further Into Complexity With Santa Fe Institute   Saturday 13 July

The Santa Fe Institutes's inaugural presentation of Introduction to Complexity, a MOOC based on its Complexity Explorer platform, has officially ended. This course is of interest to computer scientists so it is good to know that a revised version will start in September are there are plans for other courses.



Virtual Reality Dissection   Saturday 13 July

Virtual Reality Dissection is not only an alternative to the difficult task of real human dissection, it may also be better because it can show students details that would otherwise be difficult to see clearly. 



MIT - Who Needs Programming Languages?   Friday 12 July

Research at MIT has resulted in the implementation of a system that can take a description of a task in standard English and churn out the code to do the job. Is this the end of programming?



UK, Portugal and Austria Win Top Awards at Imagine Cup 2013   Friday 12 July

Teams from around the world gathered in St. Petersburg, Russia, this week for the finals of Microsoft's annual student contest.



Firefox OS Simulator Reaches 4   Friday 12 July

I really like Firefox OS, but I am repeatedly amazed that it is taking so long to get a good developer infrastructure. We now have Firefox OS Simulator 4.0, but it lags the real thing by a long way.



Power BI   Thursday 11 July

Microsoft has used its Partner Conference to show off a new BI tool for Office 365 that will also be available as a standalone product.



Coursera Plans To Double In Size   Thursday 11 July

Having secured a fresh injection of funding, Coursera plans to recruit more staff, partner with more institutions and offer more features to more students.


The Core

Android Adventures - Basic Controls And Events   Wednesday 17 July

Working with Android Studio makes building the UI easy with an interactive editor but you still need to find out how to handled the things it isn't quite so good at. In this chapter of our ebook on Android the easy way we look at the basic UI components and general event handling - i.e beyond onClick. 


Babbage's Bag

Data Compression The Dictionary Way   Monday 15 July

One of the most important lossless forms of compression is the LZW dictionary based method. It turns up in lots of compression utilities - ZIP, Compress, Deflate and in GIF and PNG format files. It is also an important idea in programming and you really do need to know something about how it works - if only to avoid reinventing it from scratch.


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Last Updated ( Saturday, 20 July 2013 )