All posts on August, 2017


Microsoft linker tool shrinks .Net applications

A long-requested and long-unfulfilled feature for .Net has finally been delivered by Microsoft and the Mono team: A linker that allows .Net applications to be stripped down to include only the parts of libraries that are actually used by the program at runtime.

The IL Linker project works by analyzing a .Net application and determining which libraries are never called by the application in question. “It is effectively an application-specific dead code analysis,” says Microsoft in its GitHub announcement for the project.

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Enterprise

Too Few Candidates to Fill Growing Number of Open Source Jobs

Open source hiring has been hampered by a lack of trained job-takers, according to The Linux Foundation, which released its sixth annual summary of career opportunities in open source last week. The report provides an overview of open source career trends, along with factors that motivate industry professionals, and methods employers use to attract and retain qualified talent.

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ApprovedBusiness and financeFinance and economics

The gap between India’s richer and poorer states is widening

COUNTRIES find it easier to get rich once their neighbours already are. East Asia’s growth pattern has for decades been likened to a skein of geese, from Japan at the vanguard to laggards such as Myanmar at the rear. The same pattern can often be seen within big countries. Over the past decade, for example, China’s poorer provinces have grown faster than their wealthier peers. India is different. Far from converging, its states are getting ever more unequal. A recent shake-up in the tax system might even make matters worse.

Bar a few Mumbai penthouses and Bangalore startup offices, all parts of India are relatively poor by global standards. Taken together, its 1.3bn people make up roughly the third and fourth decile of the world’s population, with an income per person (adjusted for purchasing power) of $6,600 dollars. But that average conceals a vast gap. In Kerala, a southern state, the average resident has an annual income per person of $9,300, higher than Ukraine, and…Continue reading

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Exclusives

Congressional App Challenge Director Rachel Décoste: Get on Board the Tech Train

“Coding is one of the most in-demand skills. There’s a myth out there that you need to have this skill only if you work with computers, but as society develops, you’re going to see coding in every field. This is a skill that’s needed in all job sectors,” said Rachel Décoste, director of the Congressional App Challenge. “The jobs of tomorrow will require, if not coding, at least an understanding of how it works.”

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3 projects lighting a fire under machine learning

Mention machine learning, and many common frameworks pop into mind, from “old” stalwarts like Scikit-learn to juggernauts like Google’s TensorFlow. But the field is large and diverse, and useful innovations are bubbling up across the landscape.

Recent releases from three open source projects continue the march toward making machine learning faster, more scalable, and easier to use. PyTorch and Apache MXNet bring GPU support to machine learning and deep learning in Python. 

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Vendors

Ten Billion

Salesforce announced the partial attainment of one of its long-range goals in its Q2 earnings announcement last week: It eclipsed its goal of a $10 billion run rate. This will be followed by similar announcements over the next year — first $10 billion year, etc. — and why not? The company should celebrate. Second quarter revenue hit $2.56 billion, a 26 percent increase year over year.

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Cybercrime

Cyberthieves Train Their Sights on US Mobile Phone Customers

A relatively new form of cybercrime recently has been plaguing American consumers. Thieves have been hijacking mobile phone account numbers and then transferring services to a different device. Further, hackers have begun using mobile numbers to raid digital wallets and similar accounts. This type of theft has been successful even against the most sophisticated of consumers.

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ApprovedBusinessBusiness and finance

Uber picks Dara Khosrowshahi as its new boss

Into the hot seat

“A LEADER is a dealer in hope,” said Napoleon. For much of this year Uber, a ride-hailing firm, has lacked both leadership and optimism. But on August 27th news leaked that Uber had poached as its new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, the boss of Expedia, an online travel company. Mr Khosrowshahi is seen as an astute dealmaker and a canny manager. In his 12 years at the helm of Expedia, the gross value of its hotel and other travel bookings more than quadrupled and its pre-tax earnings more than doubled.

Can he rally the troops? Uber is fast-growing and was last year valued privately by investors at around $68bn, but has suffered a host of setbacks, which led to the ousting of Travis Kalanick, its co-founder and boss, in June. The firm faces a criminal probe by America’s Department of Justice into a covert software feature that showed regulators different versions of its app, as well as a new investigation into whether it…Continue reading

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Tech Buzz

Apple to Sate iPhone Curiosity Sept. 12

Apple plans to refresh its iPhone, TV and watch lines at an event scheduled Sept. 12. In addition to upgrading its iPhone 7 models, the company is expected to debut the “iPhone 8” to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the brand. It reportedly will have an OLED display with barely any bezel, a fingerprint scanner at the rear of the phone, and support for facial recognition and wireless charging.

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Pivotal, VMware team up to deploy Kubernetes on vSphere

Pivotal and VMware have teamed up to deliver commercial-grade Kubernetes distributions on both VMware vSphere and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Pivotal Container Service (PKS), launching in Q4 2017, runs Kubernetes atop VMware’s infrastructure management tools—vSphere, vSAN, and NSX. It also taps a project from Cloud Foundry, Kubo, originally created by Pivotal and Google, to deploy and manage Kubernetes on VMware’s stack.

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What’s new in .Net’s Microsoft C# 8

Version 8 of Microsoft’s C# language will have nullable reference types, to improve code quality, according to the latest roadmap for the programming language from the .Net Foundation, which oversees the open source .Net that C# is part of. The feature will add safe reference types in addition to the existing ones that will be called non-nullable. Compilers will warn you when nullable types are dereferenced or when null is values are assigned to non-nullable variable types.

The nullable reference type is intended to help developers prevent null reference exceptions. A core of the capability is expressing an intent to be null. The compiler will recognize when something is not null and warn you when you’ve assigned null to a reference that was not declared as null. With the capability, developers get an assist in finding bugs and making them go away.

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Reviews

Window Maker Live: Cool Retro Look, Even Cooler Performance

Window Maker Live takes an unusual approach to desktop interface management. It has an old-fashioned look with a productive new feel. The latest version of Window Maker Live, released this month, is a Debian-based Linux distribution that uses the Window Maker window manager as the default GUI. It integrates well-known open source components in a surprisingly satisfying interface.

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E-Commerce

Amazon Takes 1st Steps Toward Whole Foods Pricing Makeover

Amazon kicked off the completion of its acquisition of Whole Foods Market with steep price cuts on some products. Among those now available at lower prices are Whole Trade bananas, organic avocados, organic large brown eggs, responsibly-farmed salmon and tilapia, organic baby kale and baby lettuce, animal-welfare-rated 85 percent lean ground beef, and organic Gala and Fuji apples.

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Tech Buzz

As New Turnaround King, Is HP Better Than Apple?

HP is the new turnaround king — but is it better than Apple? IBM was the king of tech in the 1980s, but in the 1990s it was the king of turnarounds, after almost going under but coming back from a negative brand equity, which occurs when folks will pay more for a no-name product than one with a negative brand. Apple, at the end of the 90s, was in much the same shape IBM was at the beginning.

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How much is a good deal worth?

If you knew that every single commercial or ad you ever had to see would only be for the exact products you wanted, what would you be willing to give up in trade? Would you be willing to post your home address for others to see? Your income bracket? Your birth date? Mind you, this information wouldn’t only go to your approved social media connections…would you be willing to tell the whole internet?

For most of us, the automatic answer is no, but the reality of social media isn’t too far off. Some platforms like Facebook rely on targeted advertising to keep the lights on, and to keep the service free for the public to use.

You might argue that it’s a small price to pay for the ability to connect to practically anyone in the world, and sure, advertising in and of itself is not inherently bad. But when advertising crosses the line into invasion of privacy, consumers have to ask hard questions about what personal data they’re giving away.

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