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Punctuated Equilibrium in the Large Scale Evolution of Programming Languages

Punctuated Equilibrium in the Large Scale Evolution of Programming Languages | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

The analogies and differences between biological and cultural evolution have been explored by evolutionary biologists, historians, engineers and linguists alike. Two well known domains of cultural change are language and technology. Both share some traits relating the evolution of species, but technological change is very difficult to study. A major challenge in our way towards a scientific theory of technological evolution is how to properly define evolutionary trees or clades and how to weight the role played by horizontal transfer of information. Here we study the large scale historical development of programming languages, which have deeply marked social and technological advances in the last half century. We analyse their historical connections using network theory and reconstructed phylogenetic networks. Using both data analysis and network modelling, it is shown that their evolution is highly uneven, marked by innovation events where new languages are created out of improved combinations of different structural components belonging
to previous languages. These radiation events occur in a bursty pattern and are tied to novel technological and social niches. The method can be extrapolated to other systems and consistently captures the major classes of languages and the widespread horizontal design exchanges, revealing a punctuated evolutionary path.


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Algorithmia - Open Marketplace for Algorithms

Algorithmia - Open Marketplace for Algorithms | Code Hacks | Scoop.it
Algorithmia's goal is to make applications smarter, by building a community around algorithm development, where state of the art algorithms are always live and accessible to anyone.
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Hacker Couture At Defcon

Hacker Couture At Defcon | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Every August, thousands of hackers invade Las Vegas for two security conferences, Black Hat and Defcon. The conferences are ostensibly an opportunity to share knowledge about new vulnerabilities and themes in the industry. Some have called the duo the security mullet, business in the front at the more corporate Black Hat and the party in the back at the weekend’s Defcon, where first time presenters are encouraged to take a shot before addressing their audience. One of the fun parts of attending Defcon is taking a gander at hacker fashion. The hoodies are left at home, and the kilts come out.

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In the Game of Hacks, you win... or you get hacked

In the Game of Hacks, you win... or you get hacked | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

How sharp are your coders when it comes to security? Checkmarx has launched a new game for developers that tests their knowledge of common code vulnerabilities.

It’s an interesting idea. Checkmarx, an application security firm, believes that playing a game just might help developers hone their cyber security knowhow.

The new Game of Hacks, which is available for desktop, tablets and mobile devices presents developers with code snippets written in C#, Groovy, Java, Java Script, ASP, C++, PHP and Ruby and asks them to spot the vulnerability. It includes many of the standard vulnerabilities that have existed in code for years and yet somehow always seem to rank high on the lists of most common security issues.

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Bokeh, a Python library for interactive visualization

Bokeh, a Python library for interactive visualization | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Bokeh is a Python interactive visualization library for large datasets that natively uses the latest web technologies. Its goal is to provide elegant, concise construction of novel graphics in the style of Protovis/D3, while delivering high-performance interactivity over large data to thin clients.

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Why Most Unit Testing is Waste

Why Most Unit Testing is Waste | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

rogrammingI don’t rememember how I ran across this article by James O Coplien. However, I was immediately impressed with the thought and experience that went into this paper.
Regardless of your viewpoints towards unit tests vs. other types of automated tests, this article is important to read.
If your first reaction to the title is anger, please take a deep breath, try to keep an open mind, and actually READ what Cope has to say.
I am going to reserve my own reactions to this to a future post, as I don’t want to color your views before you read it.
I am posting the entire article with no changes other than formatting.

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New algorithm identifies data subsets that will yield the most reliable predictions

New algorithm identifies data subsets that will yield the most reliable predictions | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Much artificial-intelligence research addresses the problem of making predictions based on large data sets. An obvious example is the recommendation engines at retail sites like Amazon and Netflix.

But some types of data are harder to collect than online click histories —information about geological formations thousands of feet underground, for instance. And in other applications—such as trying to predict the path of a storm—there may just not be enough time to crunch all the available data.

Dan Levine, an MIT graduate student in aeronautics and astronautics, and his advisor, Jonathan How, the Richard Cockburn Maclaurin Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, have developed a new technique that could help with both problems. For a range of common applications in which data is either difficult to collect or too time-consuming to process, the technique can identify the subset of data items that will yield the most reliable predictions. So geologists trying to assess the extent of underground petroleum deposits, or meteorologists trying to forecast the weather, can make do with just a few, targeted measurements, saving time and money.


Via Claudia Mihai
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Wikia Maps a playground for amateur cartographers

Wikia Maps a playground for amateur cartographers | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Hold on to your compasses amateur cartographers, for there's an exciting new online tool at your disposal. Jimmy Wales' profit-making wiki-hosting service Wikia, sibling to the not-for-profit Wikipedia, is introducing a feature called Wikia Maps.

Wikia Maps is a fan-authored mapping tool that will allow you as a user to create maps of real or fictional places and share them with others. Some highlights we've spotted so far include Westeros from Game of Thrones,Dark Souls 2 Locations and of course the Millenium Falcon.

To get started make sure you are logged in and then click "Create a Map". You will be given the option to either create a real or custom map. The real maps are based on OpenStreetMap and you can select anywhere in the world to zoom in on and create your own map by dropping pins on top of it.

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Teach Together, Learn Together

Teach Together, Learn Together | Code Hacks | Scoop.it
Programming.com is a social platform for Programmers to teach, learn, connect and share their latest projects. Programmers use Programming.com everyday to spread and discover new stuff related to programming.
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Why Is A Math Proof Like A Unit Test? - Daniela Wellisz

Breaking concepts down into logical chunks, tackling them in isolation. Sound familiar? This is how we write tests, but it's also how a mathematician writes proofs. Exploring the similarities and differences between the two can bring us back to our profession's mathematical roots. In this talk, we will look at mathematical proofs and ruby code side-by-side in an effort to uncover why these sorts of puzzles are appealing. I'll explain a few mathematical methods through Ruby code, but don't worry, no math background is required. We'll examine summation notation—the mathematical loop, as well as the multiple ways of defining the Binomial Coefficient. (Refresher: remember n choose k?) After that, I'll translate a basic proof by induction into pseudo-RSpec in order to highlight the similarities between writing a test and writing a proof, such as the existence of stubs. When you leave this talk, you'll have a better understanding of what you love about test driving, and perhaps you'll learn some math in the process.

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ALGORITHM

ALGORITHM | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

PLOT SUMMARYIn San Francisco, during September, 2012, nine months before Edward Snowden leaked documents that prove the NSA spies on everyone—Will, a freelance computer hacker specializes in breaking into secure systems. Using a security hole he found while on a job, Will breaks into a top-secret government contractor and downloads all their recently developed programs, including the conspicuously named Shepherd. Every time Will attempts to access Shepherd, bad things happen.

MOTIVATION

At the core of ALGORITHM’s plot are the questions that are shaking up the tech world to it’s very core, and the nations of the world right along with them: privacy, human rights, the place of government in the lives of citizens, the value and power of technology.

 A DIFFERENT BUSINESS MODEL

The business model for ALGORITHM is based on the models of tech startups as described in The Lean Startup. It’s a profit-share agreement, giving everyone who works on the movie a vested interest in the success of the project. All profits get shared by the artist who actually made it happen.

 CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION

Because of our New Media Agreement with SAG, ALGORITHM will be released for a very limited time on Youtube/Vimeo, for free! After the 24hr free-view period, we’re taking the movie offline. Two weeks later, it goes for sale on our website, again, as streaming video. Then the real sales begin as we slowly scale to HD downloads, to DVD and Blu-ray sales, even a complete production journal by the writer/director, Jonathan Schiefer. Finally, if there’s enough demand, we might do a limited and targeted theater run.

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Why Coders Are Going Nuts Over Apple’s New Programming Language

Why Coders Are Going Nuts Over Apple’s New Programming Language | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

When Apple unveiled a new programming language at its World Wide Developers Conference on Monday, the place went “nuts,” erupting with raucous cheers and applause. It was the coding-world equivalent of Oprah giving away all those free cars.

WWDC is a gathering of people who build software applications for Apple hardware devices—from the iPhone and the iPad to the Mac—and with its new language,dubbed Swift, Apple is apparently providing a much faster and more effective means of doing so, significantly improving on its current language of choice, Objective-C. With something that Apple calls an “interactive playground,” Swift is even exploring a highly visual kind of programming that may go beyond other mainstream languages. All those developers went nuts not only because they love Apple, but because the new language could make their lives that much easier.

 

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The Next Big Programming Language You’ve Never Heard Of

The Next Big Programming Language You’ve Never Heard Of | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Andrei Alexandrescu didn’t stand much of a chance. And neither did Walter Bright.

When the two men met for beers at a Seattle bar in 2005, each was in the midst of building a new programming language, trying to remake the way the world creates and runs its computer software. That’s something pretty close to a hopeless task, as Bright knew all too well. “Most languages never go anywhere,” he told Alexandrescu that night. “Your language may have interesting ideas. But it’s never going to succeed.”

Alexandrescu, a graduate student at the time, could’ve said the same thing to Bright, an engineer who had left the venerable software maker Symantec a few years earlier. People are constantly creating new programming languages, but because the software world is already saturated with so many if them, the new ones rarely get used by more than a handful of coders—especially if they’re built by an ex-Symantec engineer without the backing of a big-name outfit. But Bright’s new language, known as D, was much further along than the one Alexandrescu was working on, dubbed Enki, and Bright said they’d both be better off if Alexandrescu dumped Enki and rolled his ideas into D. Alexandrescu didn’t much like D, but he agreed. “I think it was the beer,” he now says.

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Weighted/Biased Random Number Generation with JavaScript based on Probability

Weighted/Biased Random Number Generation with JavaScript based on Probability | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

First of all what is weighted random ? Let’s say you have a list of items and you want to pick one of them randomly. Doing this seems easy as all that’s required is to write a little function that generates a random index referring to one of the items in the list. Sometimes plain randomness is not enough, we want random results that are biased or based on some probability. This is where a simple weighted random generation algorithm can be used.

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How to Use Your Cat to Hack Your Neighbor’s Wi-Fi

How to Use Your Cat to Hack Your Neighbor’s Wi-Fi | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Late last month, a Siamese cat named Coco went wandering in his suburban Washington, DC neighborhood. He spent three hours exploring nearby backyards. He killed a mouse, whose carcass he thoughtfully brought home to his octogenarian owner, Nancy. And while he was out, Coco mapped dozens of his neighbors’ Wi-Fi networks, identifying four routers that used an old, easily-broken form of encryption and another four that were left entirely unprotected.

Unbeknownst to Coco, he’d been fitted with a collar created by Nancy’s granddaughter’s husband, security researcher Gene Bransfield. And Bransfield had built into that collar a Spark Core chip loaded with his custom-coded firmware, a Wi-Fi card, a tiny GPS module and a battery—everything necessary to map all the networks in the neighborhood that would be vulnerable to any intruder or Wi-Fi mooch with, at most, some simple crypto-cracking tools.

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Android Forensics, Part 1: How we recovered (supposedly) erased data

Android Forensics, Part 1: How we recovered (supposedly) erased data | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Digital forensics is a branch of science which deals with the recovery and investigation of materials found in digital devices. Forensics is usually mentioned in connection with crime, vaguely similar to criminal investigations on TV shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and NCIS. However, several experiments (1, 2), including this one, use methods of digital forensics as proof that people do not pay attention to what happens with their personal data when replacing their digital devices (computers, hard drives, cell phones). In this blog post series we will reveal what we managed to dig out from supposedly erased devices. The sensitive information includes pictures (even very private ones!), videos, contacts, SMS messages, Facebook chat logs, Google searches, GPS location coordinates, and more.

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Code Tricks - Coding and Beyond

Code Tricks - Coding and Beyond | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Just a quick tip for those who are not familiar with the which command. You can use it to easily find the location of an executable in your system.

For instance, if you are looking for which python executable is running by default you can type:

1 which python

Result:

1 /usr/bin/python

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dataset: databases for lazy people

dataset: databases for lazy people | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Although managing data in relational database has plenty of benefits, they’re rarely used in day-to-day work with small to medium scale datasets. But why is that? Why do we see an awful lot of data stored in static files in CSV or JSON format, even though they are hard to query and update incrementally?

The answer is that programmers are lazy, and thus they tend to prefer the easiest solution they find. And in Python, a database isn’t the simplest solution for storing a bunch of structured data. This is what dataset is going to change!

dataset provides two key functions that make using SQL databases in Python a breeze:

A simple abstraction layer removes most direct SQL statements without the necessity for a full ORM model - essentially, databases can be used like a JSON file or NoSQL store.Database contents can be exported (frozen) using a sophisticated plain file generatorwith JSON and CSV support. Exports can be configured to include metadata and dynamic file names depending on the exported data. The exporter can also be used as a command-line tool, datafreeze.

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Coding conventions: 9 areas where developers actually agree

Coding conventions: 9 areas where developers actually agree | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Programmers usually adhere to certain conventions when writing code, such as using spaces instead of tabs (or vice versa) when indenting code. These conventions can differ across programming languages and organizations and even from developer to developer. But which conventions are most commonly followed? A new tool that grew out of a recent GitHub data challenge now helps to identify the most popular coding conventions. By looking at millions of recent GitHub commits, Popular Convention by JeongHoon Byun identifies the rates at which programmers are following common conventions for a number of popular programming languages. Using this tool, here are 9 coding conventions that developers seem to (almost) agree on.

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Hacker School

Hacker School | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Hacker School is a free, full-time, immersive school in New York for becoming a better programmer. We're like a writers' retreat for programmers. People come from around the world to write code and grow as programmers. We run Hacker School in three-month sessions, called batches, and each batch has about 35 people. Batches overlap with each other. We make money by helping companies hire our alumni.

Hacker School is a "school" in the sense that it's a place people come to learn, but we intentionally forgo many of the trappings of traditional schools. We don't have grades, degrees, classes, or a fixed curriculum.

Instead, Hacker School is largely unstructured, self-directed, and project-based. That's because we value internal motivation over external motivation, and self-direction over coercion. We believe people learn best when they have the freedom to explore their interests and passions, surrounded by friendly and intellectually curious peers and mentors.

This does not mean that Hacker School is a vacuum. Every batch brims with optional activities and structure: reading groups, mini workshops and seminars, weekly dinners and talks, group presentations, and more. Much of this is driven by Hacker Schoolers themselves, and is the result of the preconditions of Hacker School. When you bring together a bunch of smart and friendly people who all want to learn and help each other grow, great things happen. For instance, one Hacker Schooler wanted increased accountability for blogging regularly, and so he organized a successful weekly "Iron Blogger" group.

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Exploring No Man’s Sky, A Computer Game Forged by Algorithms

Exploring No Man’s Sky, A Computer Game Forged by Algorithms | Code Hacks | Scoop.it
A new computer game, No Man’s Sky, demonstrates a new way to build computer games filled with diverse flora and fauna.

Sean Murray, one of the creators of the computer game No Man’s Sky, can’t guarantee that the virtual universe he is building is infinite, but he’s certain that, if it isn’t, nobody will ever find out. “If you were to visit one virtual planet every second,” he says, “then our own sun will have died before you’d have seen them all.”

No Man’s Sky is a video game quite unlike any other. Developed for Sony’s PlayStation 4 by an improbably small team (the original four-person crew has grown only to 10 in recent months) at Hello Games, an independent studio in the south of England, it’s a game that presents a traversable universe in which every rock, flower, tree, creature, and planet has been “procedurally generated” to create a vast and diverse play area.


Via Claudia Mihai
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Maths can make the internet 5-10 times faster

Maths can make the internet 5-10 times faster | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Mathematical equations can make Internet communication via computer, mobile phone or satellite many times faster and more secure than today. Results with software developed by researchers from Aalborg University in collaboration with the US universities the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) are attracting attention in the international technology media.

A new study uses a four minute long mobile video as an example. The method used by the Danish and US researchers in the study resulted in the video being downloaded five times faster than state of the art technology. The video also streamed without interruptions. In comparison, the original video got stuck 13 times along the way.

"This has the potential to change the entire market. In experiments with our network coding of Internet traffic, equipment manufacturers experienced speeds that are five to ten times faster than usual. And this technology can be used in satellite communication, mobile communication and regular Internet communication from computers," says Frank Fitzek, Professor in the Department of Electronic Systems and one of the pioneers in the development of network coding.

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Google Go boldly goes where no code has gone before

Google Go boldly goes where no code has gone before | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Like the rest of Google's much admired back-end infrastructure, Chubby is decidedly closed source, so Heroku men Keith Rarick and Blake Mizerany built their own. Although they didn't have source code, they did have one of those secret-spilling Google research papers. And they had Go, Google's open source programming language for building systems like Google's. 

Running its myriad online services atop a famously distributed back-end, splitting tasks into tiny pieces and spreading them across a vast network of machines, Google needs a way of controlling access to those machines – and that's Chubby. According to a 2006 Google research paper (PDF), there's a least one Chubby instance in each of the company's data centers, coordinating server access for its GFS distributed file system, its BigTable database, and its epic number-crunching platform, MapReduce.

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Top 10 Programming Languages

Top 10 Programming Languages | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Working with computational journalist Nick Diakopoulos, IEEE Spectrum hasweighted and combined 12 metrics from 10 sources (including IEEE Xplore, Google, and GitHub) to rank the most popular programming languages. If you don’t agree with our weighting, want to see more languages, or are interested in what’s dominant in a specific subsector, such as mobile, go to our online interactive version. There you can adjust the weight of each metric and create your own custom ranking.

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Facebook Introduces ‘Hack,’ the Programming Language of the Future

Facebook Introduces ‘Hack,’ the Programming Language of the Future | Code Hacks | Scoop.it

Facebook engineers Bryan O’Sullivan, Julien Verlaguet, and Alok Menghrajani spent the last few years building a programming language unlike any other.

Working alongside a handful of others inside the social networking giant, they fashioned a language that lets programmers build complex websites and other software at great speed while still ensuring that their software code is precisely organized and relatively free of flaws — a combination that few of today’s languages even approach. In typical Facebook fashion, the new language is calledHack, and it already drives almost all of the company’s website — a site that serves more than 1.2 billion people across the globe.

“We can say with complete assurance that this has been as battle-tested as it can possibly be,” says O’Sullivan, a veteran of iconic tech companies Sun Microsystemsand Linden Lab who has long played an important role in a popular language calledHaskell.

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