June week 4

Our weekly digest lists the news of the week, new titles added to our Book Watch Archive and our weekly book review. The first featured article of this week comes from Fundamental C: getting closer to the machine and look at Strings. The other is “The Bloom Filter” in which Mike James introduces an ingenious algorithm to avoid wasting time looking for data that isn’t there.

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June 23 – 29, 2022

Featured articles

Fundamental C – String I/O
Harry Fairhead
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This excerpt from my book on C programming in an IoT context explains that strings aren’t that user-friendly after all. You need to know how to get strings from the outside world and convert them to C data types.

The Bloom Filter
mike james
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You may never have heard of a Bloom filter, but this ingenious algorithm is used in Google’s BigTable database to avoid wasting time pointlessly searching for data that isn’t there.


Programming News and Views

Rust enters the core
June 29 | Harry Fairhead
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To the innocent, this seems like a serious problem, but to the insiders, it looks like a serious opportunity. The rust we’re talking about is, of course, language, not the result of corrosion, and this might be the biggest lineup change in quite some time.

Celebrating Tau Day
June 29 | Sue Gee
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Today is June 28 or 6:28 a.m. Is this a familiar number? Probably not. It’s called tau and it’s twice a number we remember – 3.14, called pi, which we used to celebrate on the day of Pi – March 14th. The good news is that since tau is twice pi, it gives us a great excuse to eat a double serving.

Amazon introduces CodeWhisperer
June 28 | Ian Elliot
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Amazon announced CodeWhisperer, a machine learning-powered programming tool that offers similar functionality to GitHub’s Copilot. CodeWhisperer, which was announced at Amazon’s re:Mars conference, generates code recommendations based on user feedback in natural language and code.

Google introduces Earth Engine as an enterprise-level service
June 28 | Kay Ewbank
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Google announced that it is making Google Earth Engine available to businesses and governments around the world as an enterprise service through Google Cloud.

AGE – The Open Source PostgreSQL extension for graph database functionality
June 27 | Nikos Vaggalis
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Apache AGE, “A Graph Extension” was recently announced as an Apache Software Foundation (TLP) high-level project. How important is that?

Launch of the GitHub co-pilot
June 27 | Kay Ewbank
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GitHub CoPilot has been officially released with a free-to-use option for verified students and maintainers of popular open source projects. Other developers will be charged $10/month or $100/year.

Alexa TaskBot Challenge Pricing
June 26 | Sue Gee
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A team of graduate students from the University of Glasgow have won Amazon’s first Alexa Prize TaskBot challenge with GRILLBot, a “multimodal task-oriented digital assistant to guide users through complex real-world tasks”.

Mark Horowitz recipient of the Computer Architecture Award
June 24 | Sue Gee
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The 2022 ACM Eckert-Mauchly Prize was awarded to Mark Horowitz, pioneer of the DRAM interface and whose ideas at the intersection of architecture and circuitry have had a profound influence.


GitHub Skills – A Better Way to Learn Git and GitHub
June 24 | Nikos Vaggalis
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GitHub has just launched Github Skills, a new learning platform that replaces the current Learning Labs. It’s a change for the better.

Meta launches five new professional certificates on Coursera
June 23 | Sue Gee
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Meta expands its training offering on Coursera with five new professional certificates for those who want to embark on a career as a programmer – for web, for mobile or as a database engineer. Pre-register before the start date to enjoy your first 30 days free.

Apache InLong becomes a high-level project
June 23 | Kay Ewbank
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Apache announced that InLong is now a high-level project. InLong is a unique integration framework for big data that provides automatic, secure and reliable data transmission capabilities.


Books of the week

If you want to buy or learn more about any of the titles listed below on Amazon, click on book covers at the top of the right sidebar. If you shop on Amazon after that, we may earn pennies through the Amazon Associates program, which is a small revenue stream that allows us to continue publishing.

Full review

Verdict: It’s an amazing book. It is profusely illustrated with diagrams, charts and color samples, but it is a very large and demanding book. I don’t think you could create a more accessible introduction to machine learning and deep learning, but it’s still 750 pages of hard ideas. As I said before, without math to reduce it to general principles, it’s going to be hard to keep in mind. What’s kind of sad is that if the equations were in the book, the illustrations would be a great way to figure out what they mean. I would strongly suggest that the author produce another version of this book complete with equations, it would be shorter but more valuable.

Added to Watch Book

More recently published books can be found in Archives of book watches.

From the I Programmer library

Latest publications:


This week sees the publication of the second revised edition of Programmer’s Python: Everything is an Object in which Mike James reveals how Python has a unique and unifying approach when it comes to classes and objects. This is the first in a series of intermediate level titles for the programmer who wants to understand what makes Python special and sets it apart from other programming languages, hence the tagline “Something Completely Different – which is, of course , a reference to the television and film brand Monty Python that inspired Guido Van Rossum to name his new language. The topic is basically anything to do with how Python implements objects. say, in order of sophistication, metaclass; class; object; attribute; and all the other features like functions, methods, and the many “magic methods” that Python uses to make everything work.


This is the second of that something completely different titles and explores how data is handled in a distinctly Pythonic way. What we have in Python are very usable and very extensible data objects. From integers with unlimited precision, called bignums, to choosing a list to act as the array, to having the dictionary available as a built-in data type, Python behaves differently from other languages ​​and this book is what you need to help you get the most out of these special features. There are also comprehensive chapters on Boolean logic, dates and times, regular expressions, and bit manipulation.

Mike James is currently working on the third book in the series, Programmer’s Python: Asynchronous which not only covers the latest asyncio in depth, but has everything you need to know about the many approaches to asynchrony provided by Python – threads, processes, futures, tasks, schedulers. This is the book you need to understand all the options, trade-offs and pitfalls.

These books are not intended for complete beginners and some familiarity with object-oriented programming and Python is assumed, with the first chapter providing a quick recap. They also share an appendix on using Visual Studio Code from Python.


Programmers think differently from non-programmers, they see and solve problems in a way the rest of the world doesn’t. In this book, Mike James takes programming concepts and explains what the skill entails and how a programmer goes about it. In each case, Mike examines how we convert a dynamic process into static text that can be understood by other programmers and put into action by a computer. If you’re a programmer, its intention is to give you a better understanding of what you’re doing so that you enjoy it even more.

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Steven L. Nielsen