Mozilla is concerned about Microsoft’s decision to ditch EdgeHTML

The open internet advocates at Mozilla have shared their concern that Microsoft’s decision to ditch EdgeHTML hands too much power to Google.

Microsoft announced it would be dropping its EdgeHTML rendering engine for its desktop Edge browser in favour of Chromium next year. The company uses Chromium for its Android version but has now scrapped an EdgeHTML transition plan.

Chromium is an impressive engine, but a reduction in competition is a concern. There’s less incentive to invest when...

By Ryan Daws, 07 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Microsoft.

Supreme Court leaning against Apple in App Store monopoly claim

The day for Apple to defend itself against App Store monopoly claims in front of the Supreme Court arrived Monday, and it’s not looking good for the company.

Attendees claim the case appears to be leaning in favour of the claimants; Robert Pepper and three other Apple users who joined him in a class-action lawsuit.

The claimants brought the case in front of the Supreme Court with the allegation that Apple is forcing users to get apps from the iOS App Store with no alternative. That means Apple can take...

By Ryan Daws, 27 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Monetisation, Platforms.

Uber joins Linux Foundation in further nod to open source commitment

Uber has joined the Linux Foundation as a gold member, firming up a long-standing commitment to open source technologies.

The ridesharing firm, which is working on more than 300 open source projects, said it was looking forward to collaborate with other open source leaders to solve problems and further promote open source adoption globally.

One of the hallmark technologies Uber...

By James Bourne, 19 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms.

Brexit is having little impact on attracting tech sector talent

Research from the world's largest job site Indeed has found Brexit is having little impact on the UK’s ability to attract tech sector talent.

Among the many fears spread about Brexit was the UK would struggle to attract needed talent from around the world to fill high-skilled roles.

Brexit supporters have called for a ‘fairer’ system which no longer prioritises European immigration over anywhere else. Instead, advocates want a skills-based system to focus on filling roles unable to be...

By Ryan Daws, 12 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Careers, Industry.

AI software development line Engineer.ai raises over £29 million

A UK-based startup using AI in tandem with a network of human developers to build software has raised over £29 million in funding.

Engineer.ai launched around two and a half years ago promising to combine AI with crowdsourced developer and designers to build products.

According to the company, their ‘Builder’ solution enables bespoke products to be created twice as fast and for less than a third of traditional software development costs.

Builder functions by getting...

By Ryan Daws, 07 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Industry.

Torvalds is already more empathetic in Linux code reviews

Following a promise to address his unempathetic approach towards kernel developers, Torvalds already seems to be more considerate in code reviews.

Linux creator Linus Torvalds recently acknowledged his problems in an email to kernel developers in September.

In his email, Torvalds wrote:

“I am not an emotionally empathetic kind of person and that probably doesn't come as a big surprise to anybody....

By Ryan Daws, 05 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms.

GitHub suffers hours of downtime from data storage issue

GitHub users in some regions have experienced hours of downtime from what's been identified as a data storage issue.

The problems appear to have started around midnight GMT and some users are still reporting issues. GitHub acknowledged the problem and has been posting regular status updates.

At 9:20am, GitHub said its restore operations were ‘still on track to serve consistent data’ within the hour. However, a further update over an hour after said the repair was...

By Ryan Daws, 22 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Git, Industry, Platforms.

GitHub: Kotlin is now the fastest growing language

Repository giant GitHub has revealed Kotlin for Android is now the fastest growing programming language in the world.

As the world’s largest Git repository host, GitHub has a fairly unique ability to discover notable changes in the developer landscape.

Last year, Google made Kotlin a ‘first-class’ language for Android in addition to existing support for Java and C++. GitHub’s findings show what an impact Google’s decision has had for Kotlin adoption.

Over the course of the past...

By Ryan Daws, 18 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Git, Industry, Languages.

Vulnerability in GitLab’s API exposed confidential data

Popular web-based repository manager GitLab has fixed a bug with its API which may have exposed confidential data about projects.

An insecure direct object reference within the GitLab Events API made information such as private notes, merge requests, and issues available.

In a post, GitLab Director of Security Kathy Wang wrote:

“We discovered that this exposure dates back to June 22, 2017, with the 9.3 release. GitLab’s...

By Ryan Daws, 05 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Git, Industry, Platforms.

Opinion: Poor user experience is the enemy of customer loyalty

It used to be the case that people bought a product, used it until it wore out, and then replaced it. If it had worked well, they went back to the same manufacturer. Today, the separation of product and service means that purchase decisions are much more frequent and that ongoing loyalty is based much more on the user experience.

App performance, therefore, has a huge impact on whether consumers continue to subscribe to connected services such as Facebook or Netflix. It is also common for an end-user to...

By Matthew Read, 04 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Design, Industry.

Fastai is a Python library aiming to make AI simpler

A startup called Fastai is aiming to help developers carry out AI-related tasks with its deep learning library for Python.

Fastai was cofounded by two University of San Francisco employees. Rachel Thomas is a professor at the university, while Jeremy Howard is a research scientist.

Python has become almost synonymous with AI development due to being fast, robust, portable, and scalable. Some of the world’s most popular AI frameworks such as TensorFlow, Deap, and Chainer are designed for...

By Ryan Daws, 03 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, API, Development Tools, Industry, Platforms.

Microsoft open sources MS-DOS (for real this time!)

After over 30 years, Microsoft is making MS-DOS fully open source as part of a “re-release” without the restrictions of the last.

Many will not have seen MS-DOS for decades, but the 1983 OS remains among the most important software ever written.

Indicating the importance of the OS, MS-DOS was added to the Computer History Museum in 2013. In doing so, the original source codes were transferred.

The clause of MS-DOS in the Computer History Museum was that people were prohibited from using it for...

By Ryan Daws, 01 October 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Industry, Microsoft.

Analyst: Supreme Court won’t rule on App Store fees until mid-2019

Developers awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling in a case against Apple over its App Store fees may have to wait until mid-2019.

Benjamin Schachter, Analyst at Macquarie Research, expects the verdict will be heard soon but the ruling won’t be made until early next year. Furthermore, any potential financial impact will be at least a year away.

The case against Apple was filed in 2011 by a group of app developers who allege that Apple has engaged in anti-competitive behaviours in taking a cut from...

By Ryan Daws, 28 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Industry, iOS, Monetisation, Platforms.

Linus shows humility in apology to Linux kernel developers

Linux creator Linus Torvalds isn’t known for mincing his words, but in his latest update, he’s apologised for his rude behaviour towards kernel developers.

The apology was made in the latest email to kernel developers regarding the most recent Linux 4.19-rc4 release.

Only a quick note was made regarding the actual kernel, mentioning small changes and being ‘fairly average in size for this stage in the release cycle’. However, the ‘other, much longer, part’ (in Linus’...

By Ryan Daws, 18 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms.

Fortnite developer and Google have an Epic spat over vulnerability​​​​​​​

Fortnite developer Epic is not too pleased with the way in which Google publicly disclosed a security vulnerability with the game’s Android installer.

Rather than pay the 30 percent cut which Google takes from distributing games through its Play Store, Epic decided to bypass the official app store in favour of its own installer.

Sideloading games poses an increased risk to consumers as it bypasses many of...

By Ryan Daws, 28 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Gaming, Hacking, Industry, Platforms, Security.

Google warns users against fakes of Play Store-bypassing apps

A new Play Store feature helps to protect users against software imitating those from developers who’ve decided to bypass Google's official app marketplace.

With the confirmation that Epic Games’ popular game Fortnite will be shunning the Play Store in favour of sideloading, an influx of fake apps is expected to hit Google’s marketplace.

Google will likely be taking measures to ensure such apps never reach the Play Store, but for any that slip through, it warns users that no...

By Ryan Daws, 10 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Platforms.

Play Store expands paid apps support to six more countries

Only developers in a select number of countries have the ability to sell their apps on the Play Store, but that list has now expanded by a further six.

Here are the new additions:

  • Albania

  • Algeria

  • Armenia

  • Namibia

  • Nicaragua

  • Trinidad and Tobago

Back in April, Google enabled support for Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

Many of our readers are not based in these countries and so most are likely unaware there are countries where developers can release free apps on the Play Store but cannot monetise with paid apps or in-app purchases.

That unfortunate list, thankfully, is slowly getting smaller.

What are your thoughts on the Play Store’s paid apps support expansion? Let us know in the...

By Ryan Daws, 08 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Monetisation, Platforms.

Apple shutters affiliate commissions for apps in the App Store

Effective as of October 1st, Apple will no longer provide affiliate commissions for referrals to apps on its App Store.

The move is of particular concern to publishers who focus on game and app reviews for iOS and Mac. While the commission Apple provides is only around 2.5 percent, a small percentage of the company’s revenue, they are of large importance to such websites.

Following the change, it’s likely there are many publishers out there concerned about how they’re going to make up for...

By Ryan Daws, 03 August 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Industry, iOS, Mac.

Research: Key insights from the UK developer job market

The number of UK vacancies for developers has increased by four percent over the last two years, according to research by Joblift.

Joblift is a job search platform that also monitors for notable changes in the career market. The findings in their latest research is evidence of the growing appetite for developers.

Seven percent of all vacancies listed in the last 12 months requested programming expertise. These vacancies increased by an average of four percent each month, double the rate of the...

By Ryan Daws, 01 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Careers, Industry, Languages.

Facebook makes the UK its largest engineering base outside the US

London is now Facebook’s largest software engineering base outside the United States following another huge investment in the UK.

Seven months after taking a large site in west London, Facebook has leased 600,000 sq ft at three buildings in King’s Cross.

The buildings can provide employment for 6,000 employees, offering a significant boon to the economy.

Steve Hatch, Facebook’s Managing Director for Northern Europe, said:

“The UK is one of the best places in the...

By Ryan Daws, 24 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Facebook, Industry.