Articles about development

Crap cracked fat-attack Pact app chaps slapped in pact backtrack infract

Defunct mobile app company Pact broke its pact with customers to pay them promised cash incentives, US trade watchdog the FTC said on Thursday. Pact, which shut down in July, described itself as a 15-person San Francisco startup on its website. Few if any people remain. According to the FTC, the Khosla Ventures-funded startup …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Sep 2017

Stack Overflow + Salary Calculator = your worth

Developers may be no more curious about salaries than any other set of workers, but their high degree of variation in terms of education, skillset and experience – not to mention the often ill-defined nature of their work – gives them ample reason to be curious about pay among their peers. Stack Overflow, a community site …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Sep 2017
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Google sued for paying women less than men

Three former Google employees filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the company on Thursday over charges of unfair pay and promotion. The complaint [PDF] – filed in San Francisco, California, by law firms Altshuler Berzon, LLP and Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP – alleges that Google systematically pays women …
Thomas Claburn, 15 Sep 2017
Monty Python Galaxy Song

Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow

Python, which ranks consistently as one of the most popular programming languages, is the fastest growing major programming language, according to coding community site Stack Overflow. Stack Overflow's metric here is visits to website posts tagged "Python" compared to posts tagged with other programming languages – …
Javascript photo via Shutterstock

Facebook ties JavaScript code together with Yarn

Facebook, known for telling tales about users it doesn't have, has spun another sort of yarn. The ad gavage network on Thursday released Yarn 1.0, the latest update to the open source JavaScript package manager introduced last year with the help of Google, Exponent and Tilde. Yarn is an alternative to npm (Node Package …
Google ARCore

Google ARCore brings augmented reality to relatively small audience

Google on Tuesday released a preview of its augmented reality toolkit, although the company acknowledged that only a small portion of Android's installed base will be able to use the software. ARCore is Google's answer to ARKit, Apple's software development kit for creating augmented reality (AR) applications. It's also the …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Aug 2017

Ad blocking basically doesn't exist on mobile

Ad blocking may prompt fearful publishers to seek help from consultancies, but it isn't actually interfering with the delivery of ads on mobile devices. According to Augustine Fou – a cybersecurity and ad fraud researcher who runs Marketing Science, an ad consultancy – the actual rate of ad blocking on mobile devices in the US …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Aug 2017
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

Is it possible to control Amazon Alexa, Google Now using inaudible commands? Absolutely

Eavesdropping appliances like Amazon Echo and software assistants like Google Now can be attacked using mangled words that get interpreted as commands, but humans hear as nonsense. As explained in a 2015 paper [PDF], the phrase "Cocaine Noodles," for example, can be heard by Google Now as its command invocation, "OK, Google …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Aug 2017

Node.js forks again – this time it's a war of words over anti-sex-pest codes of conduct

Updated The Node.js community has again turned against itself, this time over a failed vote to oust a controversial member of the project's technical steering committee (TSC) over alleged code-of-conduct violations. Two years ago, the community was divided over Joyent's leadership, resulting in a major fork of the project, called io. …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Aug 2017
Android 8 Oreo emoji

Google's Android 8.0 Oreo has been served

Google on Monday released Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest update to the world's most widely used operating system, as measured by internet usage. First released as a developer preview in March, when the code was designated by the letter "O" instead of a trademarked confection, Google's mobile operating system hasn't piggybacked …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Aug 2017

Comp sci world shock: Bonn boffin proposes P≠NP proof, preps for prestige, plump prize

Norbert Blum, a computer science professor at the University of Bonn, has proposed a solution to an unsolved math problem that could win him $1m, not to mention professional accolades, if his approach withstands scrutiny. The problem is known as P ≠ NP. It's one of The Clay Mathematics Institute's seven Millennium Prize …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Aug 2017

The future of Python: Concurrency devoured, Node.js next on menu

Analysis The PyBay 2017 conference, held in San Francisco over the weekend, began with a keynote about concurrency. Though hardly a draw for a general interest audience, the topic – an examination of multithreaded and multiprocess programming techniques – turns out to be central to the future of Python. Since 2008, the Python …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Aug 2017
emo illustration

How are you feeling today? Don't tell us, save for it this handy emotion-detection code

Computer eggheads from Italy's University of Bari have developed what they claim is "the first open-source toolkit for emotion recognition from text." Developers of Twitter bots, among others, often employ sentiment analysis to evaluate whether text expresses positive or negative feelings. Google engineer Max Braun, for …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Aug 2017
Chorus chatbot diagram

Dismayed by woeful AI chatbots, boffins hired real people – and went back to square one

Analysis Convinced that intelligent conversational assistants like Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, and Apple Siri are neither particularly intelligent nor capable of sophisticated conversation, computer boffins last year began testing a crowd-powered assistant embodied by Amazon Mechanical Turk workers. The chatbot, a people-powered …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Aug 2017
instart logic screenshot

Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

Analysis Netizens may choose to block unwanted content – such as intrusive and misbehaving ads – but some advertising companies do not to accept that choice. Instart Logic describes itself as a content delivery service and much of that content happens to be advertising. The California-based biz is determined to help its clients present …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Aug 2017

Favored Swift plans to settle down next year: ABI stability incoming

The Apple-supported open-source Swift programming language is set to stabilize in late 2018, with the release of version 5. The fifth iteration of Swift, outlined on Tuesday in a roadmap published by Ted Kremenek, senior manager of languages and runtimes at Apple, aims to deliver application binary interface (ABI) stability …

Apple signals it's willing to let next-gen web apps compete with iOS apps

Analysis About a week after Philadelphia-based web developer Greg Blass pilloried Apple in a widely discussed online post for hindering web development by refusing to embrace Service Workers, the WebKit team, stewards of the open-source layout engine powering Apple's Safari browser, began doing just that. Service Workers, an API for …
Headshot of Trojan horse

This typosquatting attack on npm went undetected for 2 weeks

A two-week-old campaign to steal developers' credentials using malicious code distributed through npm, the Node.js package management registry, has been halted with the removal of 39 malicious npm packages. Developers regularly add these bundles of JavaScript code to Node.js applications to implement common functions, so they …

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