October Week 4
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 27 October 2018

Catch up with everything that has appeared on I Programmer. Our digest gives links to news coverage together with the week's book reviews and additions to Book Watch. We also have an extract from Ian Elliot's Just JavaScript. The week's other feature, from our History section, looks at how Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who sadly passed away last week, formed Microsoft.

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October 18 - 24, 2018 

Book Watch

This week's additions to Book Watch, our ever-growing archive of newly published computer books, are:    

Book Reviews



Linus Returns A Reformed Character   Wednesday 24 October

The Linux Kernel Maintainers Summit is taking place in Edinburgh this week, alongside the Open Source Summit, and Linus Torvalds is there, returning to resume his role as Chief Linux Maintainer after a month's break. 

Nematode Worm Parks A Car   Wednesday 24 October

OK, the headline is a bit over the top, but does the slightly more accurate - "12 neurons from a nematode worm parks a car" sound any less so? C. elegans is very definitely the pin-up worm of the AI community. 

Fully Online edX Masters Programs   Tuesday 23 October

Earlier this month edX announced that starting next fall it would offer fully online Master's degrees, including ones related to computer science and data science. Some of them build on existing MicroMaster's programs providing "stackable credentials" along the way. 

New Look For Amazon Developer Console  
Tuesday 23 October

Amazon has provided a new user interface for the Developer Portal console to give devs easy access to popular services together with quick links to technical documentation, support, and search. 

MongoDB Changes License   Monday 22 October

MongoDB has revamped its open source license type in an attempt to prevent commercial organizations in Asia using the database commercially without sticking to the open source rules. 

Google To Charge For Its Android Apps In The EU - Update: Annual Revenue of $5 Billion   Monday 22 October

The European Commission's strong approach to controlling all things computing might be a good thing, but it is certainly creating a two-tier environment. Google is now going to charge for its Android Apps and services but only in the European Economic Area. 

Amazon Patents Nurse Alexa   Sunday 21 October

Amazon was granted a patent last week for "Voice-based determination of physical and emotional characteristics of users". It raises two distinct issues. One is the recurring complaint about patents in general. The other is that Alexa could play a helpful role in health care. 

Playing a Piano and Composing Reduced to Eight Keys   Saturday 20 October

If you have harboured a dream of just sitting down in front of a piano and playing something amazing impromptu then your dream might become a reality - and without all the hard work of learning music theory. AI gets creative in yet another way. 

Visual Studio Roadmap Promises Better Debugger  
Friday 19 October

Microsoft has updated its roadmaps for Visual Studio for Mac and Visual Studio 2019, promising a faster and more reliable code editor on the Mac, and a better debugger for VS 2019. 

Proof Of Quantum Supremacy?   Friday 19 October

You might think, given all the fuss, that quantum computers were a very desirable thing. What you might not be aware of is that there is no theoretical basis to believe that a quantum computer can do anything more than a classical computer can. However, some new results seem to prove that a quantum computer really is worth having. 

The Ever Expanding GitHub Octoverse   Thursday 18 October

GitHub has published its annual report on the State of the Octoverse and its growth has been phenomenal. The headline statistics are that, having welcomed more than 8 million new users since last year, GitHub now has more than 31 million developers and more than 2.1 million organizations.  

RAPIDS GPU Data Analysis Platform Launched  
Thursday 18 October

A collection of software libraries for machine learning and data analysis has been released by NVidia. The GPU-based system, RAPIDS, consists of a suite of open-source software libraries for data science and analytics pipelines on GPU. 

The Core

Just JavaScript - The Search for Type  
Monday 22 October

It is clear that JavaScript is a subtle and sophisticated language that deserves to be treated in its own right and not as a poor copy of other object-oriented languages. JavaScript doesn’t have type so the question is how do we cope?



Bill Gates - Before He Was Famous  
Thursday 18 October

Microsoft as it is today is mostly the invention of one man - Bill Gates. But right at the start Paul Allen, who has recently passed away, made a significant contribution. It probably wouldn't have come about without the pair of them and it is timely to reconsider those early days. 


If you want to delve into I Programmer's coverage of the news over the years, you can access I Programmer Weekly back to January 2012.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 27 October 2018 )