Technology News Worth Reading

Here are a few technology news stories that I’ve read in the past week or so.

News Headlines

Reading Code Is a Skill

The problem is not that we shouldn’t write readable code. Of course we should aim to write readable code, if only for our own poor selves further down the line (there is no one less capable of reading my code the following week than me). The problem is that these two issues are not mutually exclusive. It’s not “write readable code” or “learn to read code”. Read the DZone article by Trisha Gee.

When a digital twin becomes the evil twin

A digital twin is a digital replica of some physical entity, such as a person, a device, manufacturing equipment, or even planes and cars. The idea is to provide a real-time simulation of a physical asset or human to determine when problems are likely to occur and to proactively fix them before they actually arise. Read the InfoWorld article by David Linthicum.

The NVIDIA-Arm merger could change how we work

If the merger between Arm and NVIDIA is approved (I expect Great Britain, the EU, and China will have reservations), the result could be a massive change in AI capability. And, given that Arm is dominant in mobile devices and IoT, and NVIDIA is dominant in both graphics and AI training, it’s a merger that could have a dramatic impact on how we work as well. Read the ComputerWorld article by Rob Enderle.

Don’t write off government algorithms: Responsible AI can produce real benefits

There are many cases in which government bodies can deploy AI technology in lower risk, high-impact scenarios that can improve lives, particularly if they don’t directly use personal data. So before we leap full pelt into AI cynicism we should consider benefits as well as risks it offers, and demand a more responsible approach to AI development and deployment. Read the TechXplore article by Allison Gardner.

Postman’s New Schema Validation Feature Helps Encourage API Spec Literacy

Postman, an API development platform provider, has announced that its API Builder is gaining the ability to validate API schemas in real-time via a new UI pane that is accessible in the tool’s define tab. The addition of this functionality helps to provide developers with real-time feedback and encourage API specification literacy. Read the ProgrammableWeb article by Kevin Sundstrom.

Microsoft open-sources fuzzing test framework

Microsoft is looking to help developers continuously fuzz-test code prior to release, via the open source OneFuzz framework. Described as a self-hosted fuzzing-as-a-service platform, OneFuzz enables developer-driven fuzzing to identify software vulnerabilites during the development process. Read the InfoWorld article by Paul Krill. Access the OneFuzz framework on GitHub.

IoT Platform – Binding the IoT Ecosystem Together

The word IoT has meant many different things to different people, none of it is wrong in any sense. It has been just a matter of perspective. Device and sensor manufacturers think of it as the sensors at the center of the IoT ecosystem with some connectivity and software around the sensors to capture and transmit data. Network services providers think of IoT as a secure network that connects a bunch of commodity sensors to a backend data store. BI and Big Data platform providers think of their role in IoT as the most important; after all if you cannot process a large amount of data coming through and extract intelligence from it, what’s the point in putting all these sensors and networks in place. Read this DZone article by Seemant Ahuja

Tourists on Tech’s Toll Roads

The recent trend is toward systems that are increasingly more closed. Unfortunately it’s only the latest in an ongoing cycle throughout the history of computing between open highways and private roads. Each swing in the pendulum moves from public, open, shared innovation that lays the open roads to private companies who use those public roads to build their for-profit toll roads. Those companies fight to ensure that no matter what signs you follow, you end up on their private road. Read the blog post by Kyle Rankin.

4 Python type checkers to keep your code clean

Over the last few years, though, Python has added support for type annotations, inspiring a whole culture of software devoted to type checking Python during development. Python doesn’t check types at runtime — at least, not yet. But by taking advantage of a good type checker, riding shotgun with you in your IDE of choice, you can use Python’s type annotations to screen out many common mistakes before they hit production. Read the InfoWorld article by Serdar Yegulalp.

Interview with Homage’s Gillian Tee on how technology can serve the world’s aging population

According to the United Nations, the fastest-growing age bracket worldwide is aged 65-years-old and older. At the same time, there is also an acute shortage of caregivers in many countries, complicated by high rates of burnout in the profession. Read the TechCrunch interview with Homage’s co-founder and chief executive Gillian Tee in an article by Catherine Shu.

Refactoring from single to multi purpose

For the second time this year I’m refactoring a program from a single purpose to have two or more modes of operation. Both times the start and end result is similar, just the processing is different. A classic case of using polymorphism. The first program was a tool to process videos from speakers, find a face and export the subframe around it into a new video. The first mode was a good approach to test it, and gave results for some speakers. The second mode did a complete scan first, and then gave a smoother video for some videos. Read the Meeting C++ blog post by Jens Weller.