Developer

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Computers believe in conspiracy theories now. The New Inquiry's Francis Tseng trained a bot to recognise patterns in photos and draw links between similar pictures, forming the kind of conspiracy-theory diagram seen in the last act of a Homeland episode or the front page of Reddit. It's a cute trick that reminds us that humans are gullible (hey, maybe those photos do match!), and that the machines we train to think for us could end up just as gullible.

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A new book, The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, chronicles the two year process Apple went through to create what became the template for the modern smartphone. Like it or not, the iPhone did change the mobile phone business significantly. But the design was not solely dependent on Steve Jobs. An anecdote from the book highlights how the device's success came about through iteration, hard work and a focus on the end user - all valuable lessons for today's developers.

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While I was in the US recently, I was surprised by a billboard I saw, that was overlooking Canal Street in New Orleans. It was advertising a company whose entire business was built around selling APIs. Tech advertising in the US is always interesting - I've saw ads on TV discussing IoT three or four years ago and when you drive through parts of California advertising for tech companies is common.

But the move towards APIs is fascinating as it signals a major change in how software development happens and what the next generation of applications will bring.

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Apple's iOS and iPad combination is largely considered a content consumption, rather than creation, platform. But the iPad started to change that perception. Now, a developer has pushed the envelope, building a new game completely on iOS.

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Whenever a new version of iOS is announced, developers scramble to update their apps so they don't become disabled. For iOS 11, this is particularly important as support for 32-bit applications is dying off. This is also the reason a bunch of older iOS devices will no longer be upgradeable to the latest iOS. Over the weekend, my iPhone 7 Plus had over 30 apps that needed updating. That's a pain but I was amazed at how big those updates were.

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HBO's Silicon Valley made fun of the old coding argument between tabs or spaces for indentation. But it turns out it's no joke, at least when it comes to making money as a developer. Stack Overflow's recent programmer survey revealed an interesting tidbit: devs who uses spaces make around 8.6 per cent more than their tab-tapping counterparts.

Shared from Gizmodo

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If you aren't a programmer, you're probably not going to know this, but there's a vicious rivalry lurking in the code of every app you use. If code isn't written consistently — using either the tab or the space button to create indentations — the format can get all wonky, making it difficult for multiple authors to contribute to the code. While the methods produce virtually the same result, lines have still been drawn.

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The tech sector is booming all around, and web development in particular is becoming a lucrative field for aspiring techies. Regardless of your experience, you can break in and take your cut of Silicon Valley's success by building full websites with JavaScript. With the Full Stack JavaScript Bundle, you can take the first step toward mastering this in-demand skill with 57+ hours of training.

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The full-blown version of Visual Studio its still limited to Windows machines, but if you want a similar experience on non-Microsoft platforms, the open-source Visual Studio Code is about as close as you can get. Official builds are available for macOS and Linux and thanks to a fellow by the name of Jay Rodgers, you can get it on Chromebook and the Raspberry Pi.

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GitHub has added a bunch of new tools to their platform. Using the GitHub GraphQL API, you can now create your own tools, there have been enhancements made to project boards and new tools for organising repositories have been added. There are also a bunch of bug fixes and the ability to deprecate TLS protocols in order to enhance application security.

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At yesterday's WWDC keynote, Apple announced updates to almost every piece of hardware in their product catalog other than the iPhone and iPad Mini. You'd almost think it was January 2009 at the Macworld Expo, when Apple used to give the keynote and announce new hardware to keep the fan-boys excited. But given WWDC is a developer conference, was there anything announced yesterday for developers other than shiny new computers?

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Online is where it's at when it comes to learning resources for programming, especially for languages used primarily for web. Sometimes however, you just want a solid, consistent experience you can read without necessarily needing an IDE open in front of you and that's where eBooks reign supreme. Fortunately, O'Reilly has you covered with 36 free coding titles.