10 essential resources for intermediate C programmers

C is one of the most common languages taught at university, even though more modern languages like Java and Python are considered easier to learn. Why is that? Well, learning C is considered a good foundation for learning fancier languages later, as you get a better idea of what is going on behind the scenes by doing some things yourself. It's also widely used, forming the majority of code written to create Windows, Linux, Mac, databases, embedded systems and more.

In this article, we're going to...

By William Judd, 08 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Languages.

10 essential resources for intermediate Java programmers

Java remains one of the most popular programming languages to learn, thanks to its long history and reputation for being easy to pick up yet difficult to master. After you get through the initial tutorials and become more comfortable in the language, finding out how to progress further can be difficult. This article is intended to help with that, offering ten useful resources that will help you further improve your skills and work your way to becoming an expert programmer. Let's start.

By William Judd, 01 June 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Java, Languages.

Samsung set to switch from Tizen to Wear OS smartwatches

Prolific leaker Evan Blass (of @evleaks and Venture Beat fame) produced a rather interesting morsel this week: reportedly, Samsung employees have been spotted wearing smartwatches running Wear OS, rather than Samsung's own Tizen operating system.

Samsung has been committed to its homegrown platform for a few years now, with Gear smartwatches and fitness trackers exclusively using the Tizen OS, so seeing a switch to Wear OS is something of a sea change.

This tweet...

By William Judd, 25 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Ecosystem, Industry, Mobile, Wearables.

10 essential resources for intermediate Python programmers

So, you're an intermediate Python programmer. You've earned that title through coming into Python after knowing another language, or by going through Python tutorials or classes until you felt confident enough in the basics. That's great. Now, it's time to really spread your wings and really start thinking in a Pythonic way. Here are ten of my favourite resources to do just that, including fun challenges, must-read books, reference tools and projects.

Python Module of the...

By William Judd, 24 May 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Careers, Industry, Languages.

Microsoft reveals little-known Notepad secrets – after *nix EOL support launched

Earlier this month, Microsoft proudly announced it had brought *nix end-of-line support to Notepad, more than a decade after it was first requested. The excitement from developers seems to have been quite palpable, as Microsoft has returned to the subject of Notepad in its latest MSDN blog.

In the blog, Microsoft reveals that Notepad is one of the most common test cases for apps and Windows...

By William Judd, 23 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Windows.

ARM reveals Project Trillium machine learning processor

Arm is best known for its mobile CPU and GPU processors, but the company is keen to also show its expertise in more emerging fields. This week, Arm unveiled its new Project Trillium machine learning processor (MLP), three months after first revealing its existence.

The MLP exists to allow smartphones and tablets to perform machine learning independently, without needing to connect to a server somewhere. While a smartphone has limited performance, there are many advantages to this approach: less bandwidth and...

By William Judd, 23 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, API, Development Tools, IoT, Mobile, Tablet.

Microsoft and Google say they have found a fourth Meltdown-Spectre variant

Bad news, everyone. If you thought we were out of the woods when it comes to the Meltdown / Spectre CPU security flaws, then think again. Researchers from Microsoft and Google have identified a previously unknown fourth variant of the processor design issues that made front page news when they were discovered last year.

Like its predecessors, variant 4 (or CVE-2018-3639, to give its full name) describes a processor design issue that could allow malicious software to discover hidden information, such as a...

By William Judd, 22 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Hacking, Security.

Egretia mashes up HTML5 and blockchain

Beijing-based company Egret Technology is planning to combine two of the most important modern technologies, HTML5 and blockchain, in a project called Egretia. The idea behind Egretia is solving some technical issues in the HTML5 game industry—such as multiplayer matchmaking, digital item marketplaces, data storage, advertising and crowdfunding—using blockchain.

Egret is already well-known in the HTML5 community due to its work on HTML5 development tools, including an engine, IDE and...

By William Judd, 21 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, HTML5, Mobile, Platforms.

Lego's new Powered Up line lets you drive and code the Batmobile

Lego took to the New York City Toy Fair this week to announce its new line of connected toys. They're called Powered Up, and they stride the line between traditional sets and programming-oriented brands like Boost and Mindstorms. The idea is to make sets that are fun out of the box, with nothing but building required, but to add in smarter elements for kids to take the toys further, like remote controls and programming.

The lead set is the Batman App-Controlled Batmobile, a remote controlled car driven...

By William Judd, 18 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Careers, Development Tools, Ecosystem, Industry.

Open source Android Wear alternative AsteroidOS released

After more than three years of development, AsteroidOS has finally reached the version 1.0 milestone. This open source smartwatch OS is designed to offer Android Wear owners an alternative, especially for older watch models that have stopped receiving Wear OS updates.

The first stable release of AsteroidOS includes what its creators call 'all the features needed for a modern wearable experience'. That includes core watch apps like alarms, timers and weather, plus...

By William Judd, 17 May 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Android, API, Ecosystem, Mobile, Wearables.

The 10 best fonts for programming: A guide

Here, we'll look at ten fonts favoured by programmers, including some of the latest typefaces and some retro classics. Let's get right into it.

Fira Code

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Fira Code is one of the most popular fonts for developers, having been developed with special programming ligatures from Mozilla's Fira Mono typeface. You can see these used in...

By William Judd, 16 May 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Design, Development Tools.

'Efail' exploit circumvents PGP and S/MIME email encryption

If you rely on encrypted email via PGP or S/MIME, you may want to temporarily switch to a new form of communication, as serious issues have been found with how these standards are implemented in many popular email programs on Windows, Linux, macOS and Android.

Following an initial advisory on Monday, European researchers published an exploit called Efail in a paper called Breaking S/Mime and OpenPGP Email Encryption Using Exfiltration Channels.

The paper outlines...

By William Judd, 15 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Ethics, Hacking, Industry.

Learn through doing with 'Build Your Own X'

Swiss developer Daniel Stefanovic has created an impressive resource for developers, called Build Your Own X. This GitHub repository is a carefully vetted list of tutorials, designed to help you actually understand a topic by building a simple - yet functional - implementation.

The idea

For example, if you wanted to know more about how blockchain or cryptocurrencies work, you could create your own in an afternoon. Going through that process means that you can't just fake understanding; you're pushed...

By William Judd, 14 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Industry, Languages.

Android Studio gets Chrome OS emulation

Last week, we covered the exciting news that Google had added Linux app support to Chrome OS, allowing apps like Android Studio to run on Chromebooks. Now we're looking at things from another angle, as Google have added a Chrome OS emulator to Android Studio.

That means developers can now test how Android apps will run on Chrome OS, without needing to have physical access to a Chromebook themselves. 

Given the...

By William Judd, 14 May 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Industry, Testing.

Apple removes location leaking apps ahead of GDPR deadline

This week Apple has started outright removing iOS apps that don't comply with their location privacy standards. After tacitly permitting these apps for months, Apple has begun delisting leaky iOS apps and sending emails to app developers who have fallen afoul of the rules.

The move comes just two weeks before the EU-wide General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, although it's not clear whether Apple is moving in response to the new rules or merely tackling a new category of...

By William Judd, 11 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, App Stores, Hacking, Mobile.

Notepad gets *nix EOL support, Sublime Text adds ligatures and more

Here are the latest updates to your favourite text editors. This week, we've got a long-requested change to the venerable notepad.exe, and a raft of changes to Sublime Text.

Notepad finally adds *nix line ending support

It's finally happened -- Microsoft has added Unix line ending support to Notepad, the default text editor on Windows machines.

The update, which comes perhaps a decade after anyone expected it, finally allows Notepad to open text files created on Linux, macOS and Unix. Previously,...

By William Judd, 11 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Windows.

Vulkan 1.1 on Android P brings VR improvements and more

In March, the first major update to the Vulkan cross-platform GPU API was released, and as of this week, Google have confirmed version 1.1 will be supported by Android P. Here's what you need to know about Vulkan 1.1 for Android development.

First of all, there are several features here are big news for the update as a whole, but aren't likely to be relevant to Android P devices. Multiple GPU support is perhaps the headline feature in this category, as it requires two or more discrete graphics cards...

By William Judd, 11 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Development Tools, Gaming, VR.

Google's 4K Android TV dongle available to devs now

While Google's Android OS has become a giant in the smartphone industry, it's failed to catch on in other form factors. Android TV is one case in point; announced in 2014, the OS for TVs and set top boxes has remained a bit player in the Android ecosystem. This year, Google is trying to get more app makers to target the platform with a particularly juicy hook: an Android TV dongle running Android P, offered exclusively to developers.

This 4K-capable Android TV device was

By William Judd, 09 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Devices.

Linux app support coming to Chrome OS

Google's I/O developer conference kicked off yesterday, bringing with it a raft of announcements of interest to programmers and users alike. While demonstrations like Google Assistant's natural call to a hair salon took centre stage, Google also slipped in a big scoop for developers: Linux app support will soon be added to Chrome OS.

Historically, developers interested in working on Chromebook hardware such as Google's line of Pixelbooks have had to boot Linux on their devices or use tools like...

By William Judd, 09 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Devices, Industry, Platforms.