Articles about development

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FYI: AI tools can unmask anonymous coders from their binary executables

Talk about the ultimate Git Blame. Programmers can be potentially identified from the low-level machine-code instructions in their software executables by AI-powered tools. That's according to boffins from Princeton University, Shiftleft, Drexel University, Sophos, and Braunschweig University of Technology, who have described …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Mar 2018
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Google ad blocks itself with DoubleClick snafu

Google's ad service DoubleClick for Publishers has been experiencing problems since at least 1000 Pacific Time (1700 UTC) on Tuesday. DoubleClick for Publishers allows those running websites to sell ad space (inventory) and manage ad campaigns by logging who clicks on which advertisement. "We're investigating reports of an …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Mar 2018
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GitHub Marketplace dev toolmakers get a clue

Community code site GitHub on Monday plans to illuminate its Marketplace, not with lights but with data. The social software development biz opened its online Marketplace last year to provide a central storefront for developer tools that can be integrated with its code repositories. GitHub's bit bazaar provides assorted …
Thomas Claburn, 26 Feb 2018

When clever code kills, who pays and who does the time? A Brit expert explains to El Reg

Analysis On September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov, an officer in the Soviet Union's Air Defense Forces, heard an alarm and saw that the warning system he'd been assigned to monitor showed the US had launched five nuclear missiles. Suspecting an error with the system's sensors, he waited instead of alerting his superiors, who probably …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Feb 2018
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Software shortcuts: Pay down your tech debt. It's time to fix a price

Technical debt: we probably create it every day. It happens when you do things that might get you closer to goal now, but which create problems that you’ll have to pay for later. The concept “technical debt” in software design and development comes from Agile development guru Ward Cunningham. He described what happens when you …
Danny Bradbury, 23 Feb 2018

Here's how we made a no-fuss RSS vulture app using trendy Electron

Code corner Keeping up with the endless torrent of stuff happening online is a losing battle. In the absence of omniscience, there's just no way to catch every bug, cockup, blowup, and scandal as it breaks. The next best thing is RSS, the aging syndication protocol that provides a convenient mechanism for aggregating online content. In …
Thomas Claburn, 23 Feb 2018
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Unlucky Linux boxes trampled by NPM code update, patch zapped

NPM – the biz behind the Node.js package management software used to wrangle JavaScript code and various related frameworks – on Thursday undid a code update less than 24 hours after it was issued because the software was messing with Linux file permissions. The release of npm 5.7.0 on Wednesday – under the company's pre- …
Thomas Claburn, 23 Feb 2018
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IBM Java CTO: Devs shouldn't have to learn Docker, K8s, 30 other things to deploy an app

Index At IBM's Index developer conference in San Francisco, on Tuesday, The Register sat down with Big Blue's Java CTO John Duimovich to talk about the Java programming language, IBM, the cloud and other developer-oriented concerns. Duimovich made the case for IBM as a cloud platform partner, based on the company's Java expertise. …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Feb 2018
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A computer file system shouldn't lose data, right? Tell that to Apple

Apple's recently revised file system, APFS, may lose data under specific circumstances, a maker of macOS backup software is warning. In a blog post on Thursday, Mike Bombich, creator of Carbon Copy Cloner, says that APFS sparse disk images fail to accurately track available free space, thereby allowing storage operations to …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Feb 2018
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You can resurrect any deleted GitHub account name. And this is why we have trust issues

Analysis The sudden departure of a developer from GitHub, along with the Go code packages he maintained, has underscored a potential security issue with the way some developers rely on code distributed through the community site. The individual identifying himself as Jim Teeuwen, who maintained GitHub repository for a tool called go- …
Thomas Claburn, 10 Feb 2018
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Ballmer once yelled: Developers, developers! Today it would be: Docs! Support! Certificates!

Analysis Technology platform companies depend on third-party developers to such an extent that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer famously turned his company's codependence into a mantra, repeating "Developers! Developers! Developers!" as a sign of appreciation. Almost two decades later, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and …

Open source turns 20 years old, looks to attract normal people

Feature Twenty years ago, the Open Source Definition (OSD) was published, providing a framework for the most significant trend in software development since then, and building upon Richard Stallman's prior advocacy for "free software." The Open Source Initiative, a non-profit that advocates open source development and non-proprietary …

New click-to-hack tool: One script to exploit them all and in the darkness TCP bind them

Python code has emerged that automatically searches for vulnerable devices online using – and then uses Metasploit's database of exploits to potentially hijack the computers and gadgets. You set this script running, it crawls the internet looking for machines that are possibly vulnerable to attack – typically due to …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Jan 2018
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When you play this song backwards, you can hear Satan. Play it forwards, and it hijacks Siri, Alexa

Computer science boffins affiliated with IBM and universities in China and the United States have devised a way to issue covert commands to voice-based AI software – like Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana – by encoding them in popular songs. They refer to these tweaked tunes, which issue mostly …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Jan 2018
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Google can't innovate anymore, exiting programmer laments

Seven years ago, Google software engineer Steve Yegge, having failed to understand the risk that a private social media rant might become public, lambasted Google for its failure to understand software platforms, with Google+ serving as his whipping boy. Despite calling out Google's leaders by name and highlighting the …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Jan 2018
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Causes of software development woes

Research "Agile development" can mean different things to different people. To some it's about easing up on traditional rigour, and even legitimising a quick-and-dirty approach to getting stuff out of the door. To others it's about implementing a different kind of rigour, in order to bust project backlogs in a more robust manner, and …
Dale Vile, 16 Jan 2018
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Next; tech; meltdown..? Mandatory; semicolons; in; JavaScript; mulled;

In what non-technical people might take as an attempt to outdo the absurdity of the tabs vs. spaces debate that continues to divide programmers, the TC39 technical group that advises the development of ECMAScript – the specification from which JavaScript is implemented – has proposed telling web developers to terminate …
Thomas Claburn, 12 Jan 2018

Wondering where your JavaScript libs went? Spam-detection snafu exiled npm packages

On the defensive after a malware kerfuffle last year, code registry npm shot first before asking questions over the weekend – and is now apologizing for the errant execution. The keeper of hundreds of thousands of Node.js packages and other JavaScript libraries wrongly removed the account "floatdrop" belonging to developer …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Jan 2018

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