Microsoft Releases Slimline Windows 10 for the Raspberry Pi

Microsoft has unveiled a developer-focused, Windows 10 edition designed for the Rapsberry Pi. Windows 10 IoT Core is targeted towards small form-factor devices and doesn’t utilize the default Windows shell. This means you create your own Universal Windows App and construct a visual frontend. To access these creation tools, you need a development machine running Windows 10 (Build 10240) and Visual Studio 2015.

The operating system is built around software development and encourages new and existing developers to make Windows Apps. The software supports the standard UWP languages such as C++, C#, JavaScript and Visual Basic. There is also a wide array of tools to help with debugging and ensure systems like Node.js and Python are integrated into the toolset without feeling too different.

The Microsoft blog post shows the company’s intentions to create an open-source community of developers who can share and discuss projects on Github. The Raspberry PI is a fantastic learning tool for coders and can create an assortment of unique, yet cheap devices. I’m not convinced if this software package is enough to deter people from a Unix-based environment. Possibly, the focus on is commercial usage and marketing hardware as being invented on a Microsoft development platform.

Clearly, Microsoft is trying to push their own struggling App Store and compete with the Apple Store and Android’s Play Store. Giving developers the tools to create interesting projects is an important step but is it already too late?

4Chan Anon Developing Emoji Programming Language

Emojis, a collection of ideagrams born out a unique brand of shorthand born out of the electronic communications, has fast become the universal language of the internet, so was only a matter of time before the character set was implemented as one of tech’s sub-languages, programming code.

A resourceful member (as much as one can be a member) of 4Chan has developed a coding language using emojis. Dubbed FourMan (or ), the language is still in embryonic form, but it currently exists as a token list, sample code, a C++-based lexer, and an emoji reader. It is described on its GitHub page as:

FourMan is an easy-to-use programming language made entirely of emojis.

FourMan aims to create a clear, understandable, and powerful programming language.

FourMan is for both beginner and expert programmers.

FourMan makes use of emojis to create a universally understandable syntax.

Beginner programmer, ready for a first language? Novice programmer, want another language under your belt? Expert programmer, looking for something a little more powerful? Give FourMan a shot!

Later iterations of the code will add a compiler and what is described as “awesome libraries”, while adding an IDE app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, and IDE, keymapping software, custom keycaps, and custom keyboards for desktops.

FourMan is currently available for download from GitHub.

Thank you The Next Web for providing us with this information.

Australia’s Philistine Prime Minister Doesn’t Take Coding Seriously

Bill Shorten, the leader of Australia’s opposition Labor, last week announced that should his party win government it would introduce coding and digital technologies lessons into primary schools as a “national priority”. “Coding is the literacy of the 21st century,” Shorten said. “Under Labor, every young Australian will have the chance to read, write and work with the global language of the digital age.”

Earlier today, Australia’s current Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, was asked by Shorten whether he supported plans to teach kids to code. Abbott responded by mocking the idea, bizarrely conflating teaching children a skill with forcing them into work:

“Let’s just understand exactly what the Leader of the Opposition has asked. He said that he wants primary school kids to be taught coding so they can get the jobs of the future. Does he want to send them all out to work at the age of 11? Is that what he wants to do? Seriously? Seriously?”

Obviously not. Who would take plans to teach children a valuable modern skill and equate that with child labour? But Abbott’s incredulity stems from an overt hostility towards information technology, an opinion that he has expressed before. This is what Abbott had to say about social media:

“I’ll leave social media to its own devices. Social media is kind of like electronic graffiti and I think that in the media, you make a big mistake to pay too much attention to social media. You wouldn’t report what’s sprayed up on the walls of buildings.”

It’s astonishing that such a Luddite has risen to a position of power in one of the largest mixed market economies in the world. I wonder how Abbott thinks that wealth is sustained.

Thank you CodeHire, ITNews, and The Age for providing us with this information.

Indiegogo Toy Aims to Help Teach Children How to Code

A lot of companies have been struggling to release something that will help children how to code. The use of apps and toys have been the most obvious choice for them in order to make coding a lot more fun.

The latest initiative comes from an Indiegogo startup and its Codie toy, which is a wheeled gadget that comes with an app to let the user control and program it at the same time.

Codie appears to be using a visual drag and drop blocks approach rather than having kids program by typing a bunch of lines of code. While the concept is not new, Codie’s developers state that it will stand out with the help of its programming language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj5GKCavdeM

Codie’s programming language will not require any compiling time and will react in real-time, which means that any changes made by kids will make Codie react instantly, granting a more interactive experience.

The company looks like it is trying to raise $70,000 on Indiegogo, having it already raised half the sum. If you are interested about the project and want to learn more, or even contribute to its creation, you can visit its Indiegogo page here.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

7,000 Women Achieved a World Record for Hackathon Ahead of Women’s Day

A three-day coding marathon organised by HackerEarth, a Bengaluru-based coding platform, which started on Friday managed to get together exactly 7134 women from all around the world.

“We want to catalyse a change that encourages more women to take up technology. An IDC report found that only 18% of the 5 million developers in India were women.We want to bridge this gender gap,” said Vivek Prakash, co-founder and CTO of Hacker Earth.

The majority of women, namely around 80%, are said to have been from India, while 12% were from the United States and the rest from 34 countries around the world including UK, New Zealand, Chile, and Iraq, having to work in big-name companies such as Walmart Labs, Altimetrik, ThoughtWorks, Snapdeal, Akamai, SanDisk, Harman, Capillary, HCL, AT&T, Freshdesk, VMware and Practo.

“Writing great code can be fun for everyone.Women might feel intimidated because they do not get to see many other women in the industry .While this is unfortunate, it is surmountable.Which is why we are very happy to be a part of HackerEarth’s women’s hackathon,” said Kaushik Ghosh, head of people at ThoughtWorks India.

While the current record has been set, there is still room for another one to be set, as there’s still one more day left!

Thank you TechWorm for providing us with this information

Do We All Need To Know How To Code In A World Full Of Tech?

We can’t deny it being a necessity to have your smartphone in your pocket, your laptop in your backpack and possibly your tablet in one of your hands. Technology is all around us today, from the traffic light at the intersection, to the way you get your coffee served at a shop. Everything is automated nowadays. But the actual question is, do we all know how it works?

Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, said that “becoming literate in code is as essential to being literate in language and math”, a “necessary tool of the century”. President Obama seems to agree that “computers are going to be a big part of your future” as he stated it. But is coding really for everyone? Is it a necessity for tomorrow’s society?

Looking at an event called CodeDay in Santa Monica, California, we see some examples of how coding impacts our lives. CodeDay is just one event supported by StudentRND, who organises such events all over the US, and it attracts more and more coding enthusiasts. The event is about pairing up in teams and coding an app in 24 hours.

It usually takes place in the weekend, from noon Saturday until noon Sunday as it is described, in which contestants need to release an app which is planned and coded within those 24 hours. It is an interesting idea to make your weekend productive, having the alternative to go at a party and get ‘wasted’. This way, you also learn new things and improve your teamwork as well as your coding knowledge, while having something to put on your resume.

Michael Bloomberg, former New York mayor, has even tweeted last year that his new year’s resolution would be to learn how to code. Some other thoughts about coding comes from Jacob Sharf, a junior at UCLA, where he predicts that “It’ll be something that everyone knows, just like everyone knows how to read or write, it’ll be taught in middle school or elementary school, and so everyone will be familiar with the basics of it.”.

Moreover, last December, the president announced a Computer Science Education Week through YouTube. In addition to that, Tony Cárdenas has also introduced a bill called ‘416D65726963612043616E20436F646520’, which states in hexadecimal ‘America can code’, hoping to classify computer programming as a foreign language, and allocate grants for schools to start teaching coding as early as kindergarten.

Examples such as these go on and on, and the truth is that you do not have to be a genius to ‘code’. However, you are not required to know how to code to use technology now, and probably even in the future. Tech devices, operating systems and so on are made extremely easy and very intuitive, not as they were back in the 80’s where you would get a pointer on-screen waiting for commands to be inserted every second for each and every computing operation.

Although, coding is extremely beneficial and can really help you understand and probably invent new things. And you can start to code on almost everything nowadays. From PCs, to laptops, netbooks, even tablets and smartphones. Coding and ‘code’ altogether is everywhere, so why not give it a try?

Thank you NPR for providing us with this information

Judge Overturns Madden Football Lawsuit Award

Robin Antonick

Meet Robin Antonick, who was awarded a huge settlement from Electronic Arts last summer. The win for Robin was to the tune of $11 million, and was in regards to a long running law suit against EA over the Madden Football franchise. Mr Antonick was a programmer and part of a team that worked on the first Madden game which was released in 1988. The law suit filled by Mr Antonick claimed that succeeding editions of the Madden games continued to use his source code, even though he hadn’t been paid royalties since 1992. In this case the jury agreed with Mr Antonick, giving him a windfall of $4 million in damages and also an extra $7 million in interest.

The Game that started this whole lawsuit

However all has not ended well for Mr Antonick, with a federal ruling on Wednesday that the original jury had no basis for concluding that later games in the Madden series had used Mr Antonick’s original source code. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer ruled that the jurors in the original case had no basis for reaching their conclusion to award Mr Antonick the $11 million award, because they relied on Mr Antonick’s expert witness but they were not shown the games side-by-side as required by law. Judge Breyer ruled that;

“Without the opportunity to view each of the versions of the later games, the jury had no basis for evaluating whether the changes the expert witness addressed altered each subsequent game. Because of this there is no evidence from which a reasonable juror could concluded that the games are virtually identical when compared as a whole.”

And this is the reason that U.S. District Judge Breyer used to have the case thrown out. Electronic Arts lead attorney Susan Harriman released this statement after the court case was thrown out;

“We are thrilled to see the claims resolved in favor of EA. As judge Breyer held, there is no evidence that any of the Sega Madden games are virtually identical to the Apple II game that Robin Antonick programmed. The evidence also proved that EA’s source code was not substantially similar to Antonick’s source code. As EA has maintained from day one, Antonick was fully compensated for his work on the Apple II game. Because Antonick had no involvement in the Sega Madden games, he had no entitlement to further royalties.”

While this is a big win for EA, Mr Antonick has said his lawyers will appeal the ruling. We will keep you updated on any further information that comes from this appeal.

Thank you The Escapist for the information provided

Image courtesy of CraveOnline and Beekays

 

Homeless Man Being Taught Coding Since August Launches His First App, Trees For Cars

You have probably heard about the homeless guy named Leo Grand and programmer Patrick McConlogue offering him a choice between $100 and 16 free coding lessons. Grand, homeless since 2011 after losing his job at insurance provider MetLife and being priced out of his home when a high-rise apartment block was built nearby, didn’t have to think for long and a coding life for him began.

Grand received a refurbished Chromebook and three books on coding, having McConlogue meet with him every weekday morning for some coding sessions. We are pleased to hear that Grand has released his very first app named Trees for Cars, available for iOS and Android. The idea behind the app, Grand said, is to decrease the number of cars on the roads with an eye toward reducing CO2 emissions. Users have to sign up and specify whether they want to catch a ride or offer one, and the app will connect them with fellow carpoolers nearby. The app will then track how much CO2 was saved by all the passengers. To be noted here is that Grand wrote every line of code, and all app purchases from both stores will go directly to him.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ2INl29sfc#t=0[/youtube]

McConlogue’s tutoring was based on the course found here and you can also read the story of Grand’s remarkable journey here. And don’t forget to check out the app on iTunes and Google Play and maybe even buy it for $0.99 / £0.67.

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of Cnet

NVIDIA Announces Unified Memory In CUDA 6

NVIDIA has announced unified memory support in CUDA 6. The hope is that this will greatly ease the process writing programs that use CUDA, by simplifying the process of managing memory access.

Former implementations of CUDA relied on the programmer to manage the exchange of information from CPU/system memory to GPU memory. This creates a sizeable and somewhat unnecessary overhead for coders. With the new unified memory system, though, programmers can access and operate on any memory resource, regardless of which pool of memory the address actually resides in.

The system doesn’t actually eliminate the physical requirement to copy the memory contents from one pool to another but does remove the need for programmers to manage that part of the process – CUDA 6 does it automatically.

This is contrast to the unified memory implementation that AMD has been lauding on its upcoming Kaveri APUs. Those chips actually use the same block of memory, eliminating the need to copy the data from one block to another entirely.

There is a possibility that the new CUDA 6 solution will have a negative impact on performance, as finer control of memory management is taken away from the program. However, coders will still have the option to manually control memory if needed, while providing a simpler solution for those that don’t require more granular control.

NVIDIA has also announced that CUDA 6 will include new BLAS and FFT libraries that a tuned for multi-GPU scaling, with them optimised to support up to 8 GPUs in a node. Another key aspect that NVIDIA states regards the open source parallel programming standard OpenACC, which will be incorporated into the GNU Compiler Collection bringing GPU acceleration support to the popular compiler.

Thank you Bit-Tech for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Bit-Tech