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Showing posts from March, 2016

The AIX Minecraft Project Makes Thinking Software Possible

Microsoft researchers set out to make a difference by trying to make a Minecraft character climb a virtual hill. It might sound as not that big a deal, but it is. The difference arises out of  trying to program it to learn, as opposed to programming it to accomplish specific tasks.

Until now a neural network has been supplied with millions of preclassified data sets in order to be taught how to do something, So called supervised learning resulted in networks only learning what we already knew how to do.

full article on i-programmer

Automatically Generating Regular Expressions with Genetic Programming

Is it possible to "breed" a correct regular expression so that you don't have to go to the trouble of actually working it out for yourself? The answer seems to be "yes", and the result could even be better than the one you created by hard logical thinking.

When you construct a computer program you do so through a series of well defined instructions that work on a set of data and produce a desired outcome.
Given our focus here is on regular expressions, let's say that our goal is to match just the alphanumeric characters of the string:

Sticking to the traditional way we would have to supply an instruction in the form of a regular expression, that is '/[a-zA-Z]/g'

But what if we could start the other way around? That is, get the computer to solve problems without being explicitly programmed?

How can this be done?

With Genetic Programming we can tell a computer program what we're after and let it  generat…

Hacksplaining - Learn Through Hacking

Hacksplaining is a newly established web site that encourages hacking in order to learn and protect against it. Everyone in the web development business knows achieving a secure web site, to the degree that is possible, is difficult. It's a task of utmost concern that must be integrated into the building stages of the site, not applied afterwards.

Security wise, there's just too much for the web developer to follow, having to cope with terms and acronyms like SQL Injection, XSS and CSRF etc that tend to confuse rather than help to maintain focus.

full article on i-programmer

Scrape away from KimonoLabs

A recent startup, KimonoLabs, established in 2014,  set out to change the scraping landscape. Its recently announced takeover by Palantir will shut down its data scraping service. Kimono has produced a desktop app into which devs can import its APIs before the end of March.

Picking up on the growing trend, driven in part by the growing IoT applications Kimono aimed to build web based RESTful APIs around them that would be accessible by developers and non developers alike.
Its early successes included integration with the Pebble smart watch for results of the 2014 World Cup.

Kimono's API's promised to take the burden off the user, who otherwise would had to write code and use tools such as Scrapy for his scraping tasks instead. In short Kimono did the scraping for you and provided the results via a standard API.

But delay in establishing a sustainable revenue plan was probably the major reason for its takeover by Palantir. 

full article on i-programmer 

Data Entry with Xataface

Xataface is a full-featured PHP Web application framework for building a MySQL database front-end for, targeted at non-technical users who will do the task of actually entering data. Based on real life experience of using it for a search and comparison website for smart devices, we explain the why and how of using it.

In web development the focus is always on the development side. But what about the infrastructure, the crucial data backend that the web site is going to operate on?
It really depends on the content. In some cases a CMS will be enough but in a data-driven web site like that of an e-shop where you have to combine information from a variety of tables staying true to the relational model, a CMS might not be the most appropriate solution. So where does that leaves us?
Entering data using raw SQL queries might be possible for a low volume site with simple entity relationships, but for anything more involved it's not practical.

We faced this dilemma when buil…

Java Cryptography Basics On Skillshare

Java Cryptography Architecture: Hashing and Secure Password Hashing is a new video based course by Frank Hissen of IT Security Development & Consulting. It goes through the very basics of Java's crypto hashing algorithms such as MD5, HMAC and PBKDF2 in a little over half an hour.

The Setup
The first video goes through the prerequisites needed for trying out the coding examples yourself. These are JDK 1.8 as it contains all of the latest encryption providers, any Eclipse IDE version and the Apache Commons Codecs Library, which is used in most examples since it exposes an API that is much easier to work with than the inherent JDK one.

full article on i-programmer

Atlas Robot - The Next Generation

An impressive video released by Boston Dynamics, showcases the capabilities of the new generation of the Atlas robots. Untethered at last, Atlas is now confident not only in its ability to move but also to recover from a fall.

The video begins by showing the robot walking on snow and navigating alone through the woods, mirroring the human way of walking. It's remarkable watching it recalibrating its side stepping, like humans do with their muscles,when losing its foothold because of the snow and harsh terrain.

full article on i-programmer