Java loses no luster in popularity index

Java loses no luster in popularity index

Java is coming off a banner year in language popularity indexes, and it looks to continue its momentum in 2016.

Named the Programming Language of the Year on the Tiobe index and scoring the largest increase in popularity, Java remains in the top spot for the first month of this year as well. Tiobe’s index is calculated based on a formula assessing searches on languages in a variety of different search engines.

“At first sight, it might seem surprising that an old language like Java wins this award, especially if you take into consideration that Java won the same award exactly 10 years ago,” said index author Paul Jansen, managing director of software quality services vendor Tiobe. “[But] Java is currently number one in the enterprise back-end market and number one in the still-growing mobile application development market (Android). Moreover, Java has become a language that integrates modern language features such as lambda expressions and streams. The future looks bright for Java.” Java had been stuck in second place on the Tiobe index behind C for a year and a half until April 2015.

Java’s rating on the index grew nearly 6 percentage points in 2015, and its share for January is 21.465 percent. It topped the alternative PyPL Popularity of Programming Language index this month as well, with a 24.4 percent share. PyPL measures popularity by analyzing how often language tutorials are searched on in Google.

Runner-ups behind Java for 2015 were Visual Basic.Net (an increase of 1.51 percentage points) and Python (1.24 percentage points). “I don’t have a clue why VB.Net is increasing,” Jansen said in an email. “I would expect that it will gradually go extinct, since there is no reason why one should adopt this language for a new software system, because C# is built upon the same intermediate language and much more powerful and with a much larger community.” Python, he added, benefits from ease of use in creating small scripts.

Rounding out the top five in this month’s Tiobe index behind Java were C (16.036 percent rating), C++ (6.914), C# (4.707), and Python (3.854). Finishing second to fifth in PyPL’s index were Python (11.8 percent share), PHP (10.7), C# (8.9), and C++ (7.6).

Along with continued success for Java, Tiobe predicts a big year for PHP, thanks to the newly released version 7 of the language, which could erase a decline it saw in 2015. Tiobe also expects gains for JavaScript, Apple’s Swift, and Scala, whichprovides functional programming on the JVM. “Scala might gain a permanent top 20 position, whereas Rust, Clojure, Julia and TypeScript will also move up considerably in the chart,” Jansen said. Tiobe also sees Go, Hack, and Clojure about to enter its top 50 languages list.

This story, “Java loses no luster in popularity index” was originally published byInfoWorld.

[Source:- JW]

Russian teenager born with no fingers becomes celebrated piano playe

Alexey Romanov tells Russia Behind the Headlines about winning the heart of the nation with a Twilight performance on TV

Alexey Romanov plays for the nation
Alexey Romanov plays for the nation Photograph: Screengrab: YouTube

Teenager Alexey Romanov has become a promising piano player despite a debilitating illness that has deprived him of his fingers since birth.

Sixteen-year-old prodigy Romanov from Zelenodolsk, a village in the Republic of Tatarstan, first took up music two years ago after being inspired by the works of Mozart and Vivaldi.

In the short time since he has performed for the republic’s orchestra and has found fame on national TV.

Romanov’s music teacher at a specialist school for children with disabilities helped him get started, beginning with the melodies from films including vampire series Twilight and 1990s Hollywood blockbuster Titanic, both popular in Russia.

He credits two friends for teaching him the basics of music and how to read notes. “They still help me. They send me sheet music, which I study and if I like something, I let it settle inside me,” he said.

Romanov, who is at boarding school in Tatarstan’s capital Kazan, was adopted two years ago.

Watch Alexey Romanov perform

His adoptive parents, Vladimir and Luisa Levachkovye, noticed his predisposition for art and bought him a synthesizer. With time and a lot of practice, Romanov began participating in competitions – and winning them.

In February he performed with Kazan’s respected La Primavera chamber orchestra, which led to an invitation to join a music school in the capital.

The orchestra’s chief conductor also invited Romanov to participate in the television programme Guests from Tomorrow, where he performed River Flows in You, a composition written by South Korean pianist Lee Ru-ma for Twilight.

The young musician’s performance, seen across Russia, attracted admiration from the public and attention from the media.

One Facebook user said: “Alexey is a hero, he deserves respect and praise! [I] wish you health and happiness in life.”

“We all are constantly complaining about life. One can only admire such people. The guy is fantastic,” added another.

“During the [TV] concert I was shaking from the tension. I can’t even remember what was happening,” reflected Romanov.

“I walked on to the stage, sat down and started playing. I felt my knees shaking. Then I realised that I was doing well, it’s as if the melody started flowing by itself.”

He explained how hard it was for him to learn the music early on, and how worried he was about trembling when he had to speak in front of a large audience.

Romanov, modest to the point of being shy, seemed embarrassed when it was suggested that his story provides inspiration for young musicians and the wider public.

Last week he travelled to Moscow for the first time to take part in the reality show Let Them Talk and met Australian motivational speaker Nick Vujicic, which he said was a lifelong dream.

As for who inspires him, he said: “Sometimes it seems that there is an invisible, endless spiritual source out of which I can draw strength.”

[Source:- Gurdian]

Buy an Xbox One 1TB Spring bundle for $349, get four great games

If you didn’t buy an Xbox One yet, The US Microsoft Store is currently offering a very interesting Xbox One 1TB Spring Bundle: for only $349.00. Now, you can score a nice Xbox One with 1TB of storage plus full game downloads of Xbox One exclusive titles Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Rare Replay, and Ori and the Blind Forest.

Buy-Xbox-One-1TB-Spring-Bundle-Review-Microsoft-Store-2016-04-18-20-18-46 Buy an Xbox One 1TB Spring bundle for $349, get four great games

The Xbox One 1TB Spring Bundle on the US Microsoft Store.

All these four games are published by Microsoft Studios, and if you’re not familiar with them, both Halo 5 and Gears of War are one of the best shooters games you can play on a current-generation console. Rare Replay is a collection of 30 games spanning from early 2D classics to Xbox 360 titles (including Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, and many more) while Ori and the Blind Forest is a visually stunning action-platformer that received critical acclaim and numerous awards.

If you find this bundle interesting, hurry up and order, as Microsoft indicates that supplies are limited. Please tell us in the comments if you think this bundle is a great opportunity to get started with the Xbox One!


[Source:- Winbeta]

Smart skin is powered by the objects it touches

self-powered smart skin

Researchers have fabricated a smart skin that is self-powered by its frictional contact with the objects that it touches. When a honeybee crawls across the smart skin, the skin not only senses the insect, it also uses the spontaneous triboelectric charge that builds up between the honeybee and the smart skin to power its sensing ability, eliminating the need for batteries. The smart skin could have applications for robots, artificial intelligence systems, and bionic limbs for amputees.

The researchers, led by Haixia Zhang at Peking University in Beijing, have published a paper on the new smart skin in a recent issue of ACS Nano.

“For conventional electronic skins or smart skins, they all need a power supply,” Zhang told “This is a serious problem. It’s awkward for users to take a thin, flexible and light-weight smart skin together with a hard and heavy battery that can work only for hours. The self-powered smart skin fundamentally solves this problem.”

As the scientists explain, triboelectric charges occur anywhere two objects touch each other, although these charges are so small that they often go overlooked.

“Imagine a scenario where you walk toward a table to get a cup of coffee,” Zhang said. “Opposite charges will be generated on the surface of your shoes and the ground. Then when you pick up the cup to drink, the opposite charges will be generated on the palm of your hand and the handle of the cup. Furthermore, when you swallow the coffee, the charges will even be generated between the surface of your digestive tract and the coffee. We utilized these spontaneous—but often be ignored—charges to make our smart skin totally self-powered.”

This self-powering method is possible because the smart skin consumes very little energy in the first place. Most other previously developed smart skins are digital, meaning their resolution sensitivity is determined by a grid of pixels. Increasing the resolution usually requires increasing the number of pixels and electrodes.

In contrast, the new smart skin uses an analogue method that requires only four electrodes. The electrodes are positioned at four opposite ends of the smart skin. When an object, such as a finger, applies a pressure to the smart skin, it generates a current through the skin that induces a voltage on each electrode. Since the distance between the applied force and each electrode is different, the voltage at each electrode will also be different, and the relative voltages can be used to pinpoint the location of the applied force.

“We use the spontaneous triboelectric charges, combined with planar electrostatic induction, to sense the touch applied on the smart skin,” Zhang said. “The triboelectric charges occur everywhere in our daily life when two surfaces touch each other. And when a charged surface approaches a metal block (or electrode), it will induce the opposite charges, which is the electrostatic induction effect. The intensity of the electrostatic induction effect depends on the distance between the charged surface and metal.”

The researchers’ experiments showed that, when wrapped around a robotic hand, the analogue smart skin can determine the location of an applied force with an average resolution of 1.9 mm. To demonstrate the high sensitivity of the smart skin to very small forces, the researchers showed that the smart skin can detect the presence of a 0.16-gram honey bee, as well as a jumping cricket.

In the future, the researchers hope to further improve the smart skin by increasing its detection resolution and sensitivity, which can be addressed at a low cost since these improvements do not require additional electrodes. The researchers also plan to develop ways to shield the smart skin from interference from the environment and other electronic components, which poses a problem for when the smart skin is integrated into mobile phones.

“Compared with digital smart skins which have been studied extensively, analogue smart skins still need more in-depth study,” Zhang said. “Analogue smart skins have obvious advantages at resolution and energy consumption. I hope our work can draw more attention to the analogue smart skins.”

Student Taken Off Plane After Arabic Call

201015 USA Southwest Airlines plane on the ground in Baltimore

A California university student has claimed he was removed from a flight at Los Angeles International Airport because a fellow passenger overheard him talking on the phone in Arabic.

Southwest Airlines said in a statement that the passenger, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, was removed from a flight from Los Angeles to Oakland on 9 April for questioning and the aircraft took off while that was happening.

Mr Makhzoomi, a 26-year-old senior at University of California, Berkeley, said he had been calling his uncle before the flight to tell him about a speech he had attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

He told the New York Times: “I was very excited about the event, so I called my uncle to tell him about it.”

The student said he was talking to his uncle about asking a question on the Islamic State group at the event, and used the phrase “inshallah” – which means god willing – at the end of the conversation.

A woman on the aircraft sitting in front of him then turned around and began staring at him, he said.

“That is when I thought, ‘oh, I hope she is not reporting me’,” he said.

Mr Makhzoomi said an Arabic-speaking Southwest employee escorted him off the plane and asked him why he had been speaking in the language.

He said he told the employee “this is what Islamophobia got this country into”, and he was then told he could not get back on the plane.

The FBI in Los Angeles said in a statement it had investigated the situation and found no further action was necessary.

Southwest Airlines said it could not comment until he has spoken to Mr Makhzoomi. It added that it regrets any less-than-positive experience by a customer, but said its primary focus is on safety and its crew members followed protocol.

It added the company “neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind”.

Mr Makhzoomi was able to book a flight on another airline and arrived home eight hours later than planned.

He told the New York Times: “Human dignity is the most valuable thing in the world, not money.

“If they apologised, maybe it would teach them to treat people equally.”

[Source:- Skynews]

IS Files Reveal Danish Recruiters’ Links To UK

IS files

Sky News can reveal that a group of men arrested in Denmark two weeks ago were all named in Islamic State recruitment files leaked to us in March.

The link between the arrests and the files also exposes a connection between Danish IS recruiters and British extremists.

On 7 April, Danish police raided properties in several parts of Copenhagen. A number of arrests were made.

Two days earlier, a 20-year-old man was arrested at the city’s airport. It is understood he was trying to board a plane with a large quantity of cash.

In total, five people were detained and a further four “detained in absentia”. Their whereabouts are not known.

Belgium And Belgians Referenced In Cache Of IS Documents

However, authorities refused to give many further details. In a so-called “double-locked door” legal hearing, the media were prevented from publishing the names of the men.

But Sky News has seen their names and those of the men still being sought. All appear in files leaked to Sky by a disillusioned IS member in March.

Filled out by IS gate keepers when recruits entered the self-proclaimed caliphate, the files are now exposing fighters who have slipped back into their home countries.

One by one authorities are picking them up and piecing together a terror franchise that spans the continent.

We rang the doorbell at the address of one of the detained men.

His entry form lists him as married. He lists his occupation as “childcare” and it states that he entered IS territory on 1 July 2013. It is not clear when he returned to Denmark.

A neighbour told us she knew the man well.

Iraqi security forces work on lowering the Islamic State flag, west of Ramadi

“I would say hello to him every time I walk in or out of the door. A really nice guy, very helpful. He offers to drive me so I don’t have to take a cab,” Lise-Lotte Christensen said.

We showed her the man’s file. “It really surprises me. I had no idea he was that kind of guy, he was just really nice. A lovely, warm person,” she said.

She confirmed to us that he has two young children and a Danish wife, all information which tallies with the associated file.

As with all the files, it lists the person who recommended the man’s entry to IS. In his case it was an individual called Abu Hifs al Pakistani, one of two names which crops up frequently in the files.

Across town, we visit another neighbourhood and the scene of another raid.

One man was taken from a second floor apartment in a block. The name on the doorbell is the same as that on the file which lists further details.

Born 1990, married, entered IS – 9 September 2013, recruiter – Abu Khatab al Pakstani. His name is the other which appears in a number of the files.

Stuart Ramsay

The form of the man arrested at the airport details him as a 20-year-old former mobile phone technician who travelled to Syria on 10 July 2013 when he’d have been just seventeen.

A well-known Copenhagen mosque is listed as his home address.

We know the man was close to the mosque’s imam. We were told the imam was away in Mecca and our calls to his mobile phone didn’t connect.

The recruit’s sponsor is, once again, Abu Hifs al Pakistani.

Between them, Abu Hifs and Abu Khatab are named as the recruiters in all but three of the Danish files.

We have obtained footage of Abu Khatab at a rally in Copenhagen in late 2012. The IS files show us that he would have been recruiting people for jihad at this time.

In the footage, he is seen plugging a mobile phone into a loudspeaker.

A still image from video shows documents identifying supporters of Islamic State

On the other end of the line is the radical cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who was once based in Britain and whose connections to radical groups in the UK remain strong.

YouTube footage shows Abu Khatab alongside Abu Hifs in Syria in 2013.

Both men are now dead, but both had contact with known British extremists like Bakri Mohammed and another who can’t currently be named for legal reasons.

The two men’s exposure as high profile recruiters helps European intelligence agencies join up the dots.

A former analyst at the Danish Intelligence Service says that highlighting patterns in the forms is crucial in helping to understand IS.

“One of the most interesting things in the files is who recommended the recruits,” Anja Dalgaard-Neilsen said.

Ms Dalgaard-Neilsen is now the director of the Institute for Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College. She says the files help not only to apprehend suspects but to prosecute them.

“It has now been criminalised to join a terrorist organisation and that’s the reason why these files are potentially very interesting to the authorities, because they could support the argument of the authorities of the prosecution that these people joined a terrorist organisation,” she said.

“It is, for obvious reasons, difficult to gather evidence in a war zone.

“Until recently it wasn’t a crime in and of itself to travel to Syria so you couldn’t know if people were doing humanitarian work or whether they had actually joined a terrorist organisation.”

The challenge for the authorities is identifying all those in the files.

There are many more Europeans named in files than there have been arrests. Some individuals may have died in Syria. But others could have travelled back to their home countries.

After the atrocities in Paris and Brussels, and IS’ pledge to attack again, there is an urgency to find them.

[Source:- Skynews]

Researcher designs robot that jumps like a grasshopper

Rhodri Armour with Jollbot

The first robot that can jump like a grasshopper and roll like a ball could play a key role in future space exploration.

The ‘Jollbot’ has been created by Rhodri Armour, a PhD student from the University of Bath. It’s hoped his creation, which can jump over obstacles and roll over smoother terrain, could be used for space exploration or land survey work in the future

One of the major challenges that face robots designed for space exploration is being able to move over rough terrain. Robots with legs are generally very complex, expensive to build and control, and encounter problems if they fall over. Wheels are a simpler solution to this, but are limited by the size of obstacles they can overcome.

To solve the problem, Rhodri and colleagues in the University’s Centre for Biomimetic & Natural Technologies have been looking to nature for inspiration – designing a robot that jumps obstacles in its path like an insect.

The ‘Jollbot’ is shaped like a spherical cage which can roll in any direction, giving it the manoeuvrability of wheels without the problem of overturning or getting stuck in potholes.

The robot is also flexible and small, weighing less than a kilogramme, meaning it’s not damaged when landing after jumping and is therefore less expensive than conventional exploration robots.

Mr Armour explained:”Others in the past have made robots that jump and robots that roll; but we’ve made the first robot that can do both.

“In nature there are two main types of jumping: hopping, like a kangaroo, which uses its fine control and direct muscle action to propel it along; and ‘pause and leap’, such as in a grasshopper, which stores muscle energy in spring-like elements and rapidly releases it to make the jump.

“We’ve made a robot that jumps in a similar way to the grasshopper, but uses electrical motors to slowly store the energy needed to leap in its springy skeleton.

“Before jumping, the robot squashes its spherical shape. When it is ready, it releases the stored energy all at once to jump to heights of up to half a metre.”

Mr Armour, who has just submitted his PhD thesis, took measurements using a high speed camera to analyse how the robot jumped and to predict how it might behave in a low-gravity environment, such as in space.

He added: “Future prototypes could include a stretchy skin covered in solar cells on the outside of the robot, so it could power itself, and robotic control sensors to enable it to sense its environment.”

The components of the robot were made by rapid prototyping technology, similar to that used by the RepRap machine pioneered by the University, which builds parts by “printing” layers of plastic on top of each other to produce a 3D object.

Microsoft submits patent application for enhanced TrackPoint-like controller

In the United States, part of the process of invention includes filing a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Last week, that office published a Microsoft patent application for what is being called a “next generation low profile notebook pointing stick.”

The patent makes it seem as though Microsoft wants to bring back technology to the enterprise market that it once abandoned and eventually revived by IBM.  The patent filing also shows that Microsoft may be considering using this technology in a future Surface Book, to perhaps better help appeal to enterprise users.

As per the patent description on Patently Apple, the Microsoft invention covers a low profile and is a small footprint gel-based pointing device with a tactile surface on the first side. The underside, meanwhile, is a base surface that is opposite to the first side. Additionally, it also appears that the tactile surface will be the main source of input from a user.

6a0120a5580826970c01b7c83c7247970b Microsoft submits patent application for enhanced TrackPoint-like controller

The Microsoft patent, (Photo from Patently Apple)

In the same patent description, Microsoft also describes that the pointing device can use different layers of force to trigger a translation of gestured by the Surface Book to modify a user interface.  It also appears that the gel-based pointing device is a combination with an optical lens and image sensor,  meaning that the image sensor can be used for authentication.

The patent was initially filed last December, so it remains unclear if these features will be introduced anytime soon. Any filed patent frequently requires levels of both bewilderment and acknowledgment, so this patent may also not necessarily mean a lot at the moment.  Microsoft may just be using this description in the patent to protect the invention from getting pre-empted, but also, gain proper the legal protection for their idea.


[Source:- Winbeta]

Docker, not production-ready? Not so, says Docker

Docker, not production-ready? Not so, says Docker

“We have never seen a technology become ubiquitous so quickly [as Docker],” RedMonk analyst James Governor declares. Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has also joined the Docker fray, telling investors that Docker is the “single biggest topic that comes up among … [Red Hat’s] leading [customers].”

Yes, Docker interest is off the charts. As Apprenda executive Chris Gaun puts it: “Everything else looks tiny in comparison.” Whether or not you’re aware of it, developers have very likely spun up Docker in your organization.

Yet the question remains: When will Docker be used in production? Developers have driven Docker adoption because it streamlines development and vastly simplifies deployment. But the immature nature of security and container management solutions around Docker have kept it largely a dev-and-test affair.

That may be changing. According to a recent O’Reilly Media study, 40 percent of respondents already run Docker in production. Docker has 75-plus paying enterprise customers for its data center product, which was made generally available in February, and almost 6,000 paying customers of Docker Cloud, the company’s hosted service.

It seems safe to assume that Docker isn’t being used to containerize existing enterprise applications. Instead, developers are bringing in Docker for new application deployments, greenfield opportunities that aren’t dependent on yesterday’s infrastructure. As RedMonk analyst Fintan Ryan has said:

Where we are seeing a massive difference with the use of containers is around greenfield projects. These greenfield projects generally have as close to a blank slate as you are going to find in the enterprise, and with them containers are going into production incredibly quickly — much faster than before.

Indeed, former Appfog CEO Lucas Carlson believes Docker containers are suitable for such cloud-native applications only: “[T]he benefits of containers can only be achieved when the applications run within containers have been built-for-cloud.”

Not everyone agrees with that assessment. On the contrary, Docker CEO Ben Golub told me, “there is ample evidence to show that Docker is being embraced by early majority/pragmatist organizations,” among them Fortune 100 pharmaceutical, retail, health care, manufacturing, and media companies. Some specific customer examples:

  • ADP is moving its core application to a solution based on Docker Data Center and Docker Swarm
  • Goldman Sachs is moving 90 percent of its applications to Docker over the course of the next 12 months
  • The General Services Administration is basing its entire next-generation platform (which tracks $1.7 trillion) on Docker
  • Multiple U.S. Department of Defense agencies are running truly “mission-critical” apps on Docker

Others include a variety of DockerCon speakers from Barclays, ING, Electronic Arts, Fox, and Oxford University Press, all of which talked about how they’re using Docker in production. While there have been concerns about orchestration, security, and networking, Docker Inc. and the surrounding ecosystem have rapidly filled in the gaps, and Docker is poised for enterprise adoption.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter much: Developers are writing the future with Docker containers, whatever the near-term roadblocks to world domination. Yes, Docker may be used to package legacy applications, and management and security will continue to improve as vendors rally around the standard.

Docker’s speedy adoption, however, isn’t about legacy migrations. It’s about building and deploying applications in the cloud, as well as the developers who live there.

This story, “Docker, not production-ready? Not so, says Docker” was originally published by InfoWorld.

[Source:- JW]

Pearl Jam join Springsteen in cancelling North Carolina show over anti-LGBT law

Band follow Ringo Starr and Bryan Adams in calling off concert, calling new law ‘a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination’

Pearl Jam Perform
No Carolina … Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder. Photograph: Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns via Getty Images

Pearl Jam have cancelled their concert in North Carolina on 20 April because of the state’s new law on LGBT rights.

In a statement issued Monday on the band’s website, Pearl Jam called the new law “a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens”.

The Seattle rock group, who were scheduled to perform at PNC Arena in Raleigh, join the likes of Ringo Starr, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen and Cirque du Soleil in boycotting the southeastern state due to the law.

Pearl Jam’s statement says the band has communicated with local groups and will give them money to oppose the law.

The law, known as HB2, prevents transgender people from using the public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity, stating that public institutions must post signs saying that bathrooms and locker rooms are to be used only based on biological sex. It also prevents municipal governments from passing anti-discrimination laws.

The anti-discrimination ordinance approved in February in Charlotte led to a special legislative session. Legislators overturned the ordinance and blocked all cities and counties in North Carolina from passing similar anti-discrimination rules.

Read Pearl Jam’s full statement below.

Pearl Jam statement
Pearl Jam statement Photograph: Pearl Jam Facebook

[Source:- Gurdian]