Where Programming, Ops, AI, and the Cloud are Headed in 2021
In this report, we look at the data generated by the O’Reilly online learning platform to discern trends in the technology industry—trends technology leaders need to follow. But what are “trends”? All too often, trends degenerate into horse races over languages and platforms. Look at all the angst heating up social media when TIOBE or […]
O'Reilly Radar | 25-Jan-2021 13:03

Seven Legal Questions for Data Scientists
“[T]he threats to consumers arising from data abuse, including those posed by algorithmic harms, are mounting and urgent.” FTC Commissioner Rebecca K. Slaughter Variants of artificial intelligence (AI), such as predictive modeling, statistical learning, and machine learning (ML), can create new value for organizations. AI can also cause costly reputational damage, get your organization slapped […]
O'Reilly Radar | 19-Jan-2021 13:21

A few months ago, I said that “making everything into a design pattern is a sign that you don’t know what design patterns really are.” So now, I feel obliged to say something about what design patterns are. Design patterns are frequently observed solutions to common problems. The idea comes from the work of Christopher […]
O'Reilly Radar | 12-Jan-2021 13:56

Radar trends to watch: January 2021
The last month of the old year showed a lot of activity on the border of AI and biology. The advances in protein folding with deep learning are a huge breakthrough that could revolutionize drug design. It’s important to remember the role AI had in developing the vaccine for COVID—and also worth remembering that we […]
O'Reilly Radar | 05-Jan-2021 12:40

Four short links: 14 Dec 2020
End-to-end Entity Resolution for Big Data — Introduction to the entity resolution pipeline and the algorithms at the different stages. Includes a summary of open source tools and their features. (via Adrian Colyer) 33 Engineering Challenges of Building Mobile Apps at Scale — Part 1, covering the first 10, is up. They are: 1. State […]
O'Reilly Radar | 15-Dec-2020 15:52

Four short links: 8 Dec 2020
TextAttack — Framework for generating adversarial examples for NLP models. (Paper) (via The Data Exchange) Measuring Developer Productivity — There is no useful measure that operates at a finer grain than “tasks multiplied by complexity.” Measuring commits, lines of code, or hours spent coding, as some tools do, is no more useful at a team […]
O'Reilly Radar | 15-Dec-2020 15:49

O’Reilly’s top 20 live online training courses of 2020
2020 has been a year of great challenges for so many, but it’s not all negative. Around the world, organizations and their workforces have risen to the occasion, recognizing the importance of expanding their knowledge, taking on new tasks, and bettering themselves both personally and professionally. With the uptick in virtual conferencing, remote work, and, […]
O'Reilly Radar | 09-Dec-2020 15:36

What is functional programming?
It has long seemed to me that functional programming is, essentially, programming viewed as mathematics. Many ideas in functional programming came from Alonzo Church’s Lambda Calculus, which significantly predates anything that looks remotely like a modern computer. Though the actual history of computing runs differently: in the early days of computing, Von Neumann’s ideas were […]
O'Reilly Radar | 08-Dec-2020 18:19

Four short links: 4 Dec 2020
NAND Game — You start with a single component, the nand gate. Using this as the fundamental building block, you will build all other components necessary. (See also NAND to Tetris) Facebook’s Game AI — today we are unveiling Recursive Belief-based Learning (ReBeL), a general RL+Search algorithm that can work in all two-player zero-sum games, […]
O'Reilly Radar | 04-Dec-2020 21:56

Four short links: 1 Dec 2020
AlphaFold — This is astonishing: protein-folding solved by Google’s DeepMind. Figuring out what shapes proteins fold into is known as the “protein folding problem”, and has stood as a grand challenge in biology for the past 50 years. In a major scientific advance, the latest version of our AI system AlphaFold has been recognised as […]
O'Reilly Radar | 01-Dec-2020 21:54

Radar trends to watch: December 2020
This month’s collection of interesting articles that point to important trends is dominated by AI. That’s not surprising; AI has probably been the biggest single category all year. But its dominance over other topics seems to be increasing. That’s partly because there’s more research into why AI fails; partly because we’re beginning to see AI […]
O'Reilly Radar | 01-Dec-2020 18:33

Four short links: 27 Nov 2020
Brian Kernighan Interviews Ken Thompson — From a fun interview: McIlroy keeps coming up. He’s the smartest of all of us and the least remembered (or written down)… McIlroy sat there and wrote —on a piece of paper, now, not on a computer— TMG [a proprietary yacc-like program] written in TMG… And then! He now […]
O'Reilly Radar | 27-Nov-2020 21:51

Four short links: 24 Nov 2020
OpenStreetMap is Having a Moment — Apple was responsible for more edits in 2019 than Mapbox accounted for in its entire corporate history. See also the 2020: Curious Cases of Corporations in OpenStreetMap talk from State of the Map. (via Simon Willison) Drone Warfare — The second point, “SkyNet”, is the interesting bit. Azerbaijan and […]
O'Reilly Radar | 24-Nov-2020 13:44

Four short links: 20 Nov 2020
epr — Terminal/CLI Epub reader. I Should Have Loved Biology — Conveys well the magic of the field. Notable also for the reference to A Computer Scientist’s Guide to Cell Biology, which I didn’t realise existed. Ur-Technical Debt — Reviving Ward Cunningham’s take on technical debt. Simply put, ur-technical debt arises when my ideas diverge […]
O'Reilly Radar | 20-Nov-2020 13:25

On Exactitude in Technical Debt
If software is such stuff as dreams are made on, how do we talk about nightmares? Software is not the tangible, kickable stuff our senses are tuned to, so we draw on metaphor to communicate and reason about it. The 1970s offered up spaghetti code to describe the tangle of unstructured control flow. This has […]
O'Reilly Radar | 17-Nov-2020 13:23

Four short links: 17 Nov 2020
NDSS Symposium 2020 Papers — Large pile of security research from the 2020 Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, including papers on topics as wide-reaching as hypervisor fuzzing and The Attack of the Clones Against Proof-of-Authority which sounds like a very niche Star Wars sequel indeed. Liquid Information Flow Control — We present Lifty, a […]
O'Reilly Radar | 17-Nov-2020 13:21

Four short links: 13 Nov 2020
Advanced System on a Chip Lecture Notes (2016) — Topics: 1. Basic Processor & Memory hierarchy; 2. Advanced Out-of-Order Processor; 3. Data-parallel processors; 4. Micro-controller introduction; 5. Multicore; 6. RISC-V core; 7. Advanced Multicore; 8. Multicore programming; 9. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU); 10. Heterogeneous SoC; 11. GPU Programming; 12. Application-Specific Instruction-Set Processor (ASIP); 13 PULP: […]
O'Reilly Radar | 13-Nov-2020 13:20

Multi-Paradigm Languages
The programming world used to be split into functional languages, object-oriented languages, and everything else (mostly procedural languages). One “was” a functional programmer (at least as a hobby) writing Lisp, Haskell, or Erlang; or one “was” an OO programmer (at least professionally), writing code in Java or C++.  (One never called oneself a “procedural programmer”; […]
O'Reilly Radar | 10-Nov-2020 14:29

Four short links: 10 November 2020
Hypothesis as Liability — Would the mental focus on a specific hypothesis prevent us from making a discovery? To test this, we made up a dataset and asked students to analyze it. […] The most notable “discovery” in the dataset was that if you simply plotted the number of steps versus the BMI, you would […]
O'Reilly Radar | 10-Nov-2020 13:13

Four short links: 6 Nov 2020
Dealing with Security Holes in Chips — system security starts at the hardware layer. Ubooquity — free home server for your comics and ebooks library. “Like plex for books.” Noisepage — a relational database management system developed by the Carnegie Mellon Database Group. The research goal of the NoisePage project is to develop high-performance system […]
O'Reilly Radar | 06-Nov-2020 12:59

Four short links: 4 Nov 2020
The AI Who Mistook a Bald Head for a Football — Second-tier Scottish football club Inverness Caledonian Thistle doesn’t have a camera operator for matches at their stadium so the club uses an AI-controlled camera that’s programmed to follow the ball for their broadcasts. But in a recent match against Ayr United, the AI controller […]
O'Reilly Radar | 04-Nov-2020 12:46

Radar trends to watch: November 2020
Perhaps the most important event this month isn’t technical, but the start of the US Justice Dept.’s lawsuit against Google. That will certainly play out over years rather than months, but it’s significance is less about this particular case than the idea that legal and regulatory systems will play a large role in the evolution […]
O'Reilly Radar | 02-Nov-2020 13:28

Four short links: 30 Oct 2020
Mutation Testing — in this paper, we semi-automatically learn error-inducing patterns from a corpus of common Java coding errors and from changes that caused operational anomalies at Facebook specifically. We combine the mutations with instrumentation that measures which tests exactly visited the mutated piece of code. Results on more than 15,000 generated mutants show that […]
O'Reilly Radar | 30-Oct-2020 12:05

Four short links: 28 Oct 2020
Phantom of the ADAS — In this paper, we investigate “split-second phantom attacks,” a scientific gap that causes two commercial advanced driver-assistance systems (ADASs), Telsa Model X (HW 2.5 and HW 3) and Mobileye 630, to treat a depthless object that appears for a few milliseconds as a real obstacle/object. Turns out neural networks can […]
O'Reilly Radar | 28-Oct-2020 12:39

Our Favorite Questions
“On peut interroger n’importe qui, dans n’importe quel état; ce sont rarement les réponses qui apportent la vérité, mais l’enchaînement des questions.“ “You can interrogate anyone, no matter what their state of being.  It’s rarely their answers that unveil the truth, but the sequence of questions that you have to ask.“–  Inspector Pastor in La […]
O'Reilly Radar | 22-Oct-2020 16:33

Four short links: 21 Oct 2020
Justice Department Antitrust Filing Against Google — Claims advertising was an artificially limited market because of their exclusivity deals, including the Android anti-forking arrangements and Browser paid-default-search deals. New York Times has a write-up. This may be more important, historically, than the election results. Differential Dataflow — Differential dataflow programs look like many standard “big […]
O'Reilly Radar | 21-Oct-2020 13:34

Four Short Links: 16 October 2020
Automerge — (Github) Data structure library for Javascript (and Rust) providing Conflict-Free Replicated Data Types (CRDTs). Automerge is designed for creating local-first software, i.e. software that treats a user’s local copy of their data (on their own device) as primary, rather than centralising data in a cloud service. Alan Turing — (BBC) An excellent episode […]
O'Reilly Radar | 16-Oct-2020 13:21

Four short links: 14 Oct 2020
Data Organization in Spreadsheets — Focusing on the data entry and storage aspects, this article offers practical recommendations for organizing spreadsheet data to reduce errors and ease later analyses. The basic principles are: be consistent, write dates like YYYY-MM-DD, do not leave any cells empty, put just one thing in a cell, organize the data […]
O'Reilly Radar | 14-Oct-2020 13:46

AI Product Management After Deployment
The field of AI product management continues to gain momentum. As the AI product management role advances in maturity, more and more information and advice has become available. Our previous articles in this series introduce our own take on AI product management, discuss the skills that AI product managers need, and detail how to bring […]
O'Reilly Radar | 13-Oct-2020 14:55

Four short links: 9 October 2020
T-SQL in SQLite — CG/SQL is a code generation system for the popular SQLite library that allows developers to write stored procedures in a variant of Transact-SQL (T-SQL) and compile them into C code that uses SQLite’s C API to do the coded operations. CG/SQL enables engineers to create highly complex stored procedures with very […]
O'Reilly Radar | 09-Oct-2020 13:32

AI and Creativity
The release of GPT-3 has reinvigorated a discussion of creativity and artificial intelligence. That’s a good discussion to have, primarily because it forces us to think carefully about what we mean when we use words like “creativity” and “art.” As I’ve argued in the past, each time we have this discussion, we end up raising […]
O'Reilly Radar | 06-Oct-2020 14:04

Four short links: 6 October 2020
Algorithms Can Collude — To analyze the possible consequences, we study experimentally the behavior of algorithms powered by Artificial Intelligence (Q-learning) in a workhorse oligopoly model of repeated price competition. We find that the algorithms consistently learn to charge supracompetitive prices, without communicating with one another. The high prices are sustained by collusive strategies with […]
O'Reilly Radar | 06-Oct-2020 13:25

Four short links: 2 October 2020
Single Device Behaves Like a Neuron — On its own, using a simple DC voltage as the input, the device outputs not just simple spikes, as some other devices can manage, but the whole array of neural activity—bursts of spikes, self-sustained oscillations, and other stuff that goes on in your brain. (Paper) USB-C Is a […]
O'Reilly Radar | 02-Oct-2020 13:46

Radar trends to watch: October 2020
This month, the big surprise is that there’s no significant technology news about COVID. And there is more news than ever about legislation and regulation. I suspect that the legal system will be a big driver for technology over the next year. Another trend that doesn’t quite count as technology news but that definitely bears […]
O'Reilly Radar | 01-Oct-2020 13:50

Four short links: 29 Sep 2020
When Coffeemakers Demand Ransom — So he then examined the mechanism the coffee maker used to receive firmware updates. It turned out they were received from the phone with—you guessed it—no encryption, no authentication, and no code signing. Nothing remarkable here other than it’s 2020 and companies still put crappy software into their hardware. Returns […]
O'Reilly Radar | 29-Sep-2020 13:23

Four short links: 25 September 2020
  1. Adapton — A program P is incremental if repeating P with a changed input is faster than from-scratch computation. Adapton offers programming language abstractions for incremental computation.
  2. Migration Lessons Learned — Keep your migration scripts away from your production code; Keep it low-tech, don’t deserialize; Write tests to exercise each migration script individually; Consider […]

O'Reilly Radar | 25-Sep-2020 14:25

Four short links: 18 Sep 2020
CS349 – Contemporary Issues in Computer Science — This class examines ethical frameworks, modern ethical concerns related to computer science and technology, and clear oral and written communication. Topics we will explore include policy vacuums created by new technology, copyright and patent, software bugs and liability, freedom of speech, privacy, security, employment and job markets, […]
O'Reilly Radar | 18-Sep-2020 14:52

Four short links: 16 Sep 2020
A Concurrency Cost Hierarchy — a higher level taxonomy that I use to think about concurrent performance. We’ll group the performance of concurrent operations into six broad levels running from fast to slow, with each level differing from its neighbors by roughly an order of magnitude in performance. They are: Contended Atomics, System Calls, Implied […]
O'Reilly Radar | 16-Sep-2020 12:58

How to Set AI Goals
AI Benefits and Stakeholders AI is a field where value, in the form of outcomes and their resulting benefits, is created by machines exhibiting the ability to learn and “understand,” and to use the knowledge learned to carry out tasks or achieve goals. AI-generated benefits can be realized by defining and achieving appropriate goals. These […]
O'Reilly Radar | 15-Sep-2020 13:47

Four short links: 11 Sep 2020
Accurately Lipsync Video to Any Speech — In our paper, A Lip Sync Expert Is All You Need for Speech to Lip Generation In the Wild, ACM Multimedia 2020, we aim to lip-sync unconstrained videos in the wild to any desired target speech. (Paper) Impressive. Temporal — Open source “workflow-as-code” engine. I can’t decide if […]
O'Reilly Radar | 11-Sep-2020 13:21

Four short links: 9 Sep 2020
Things I Learned to Become a Senior Software Engineer — Full of relatable growth moments, such as changing your code to make the test pass vs understanding why the test failed. The Future is Software Engineers Who Can’t Code — “There are lot of definitions of what a developer is […] It’s not just people […]
O'Reilly Radar | 09-Sep-2020 13:02

Pair Programming with AI
In a conversation with Kevlin Henney, we started talking about the kinds of user interfaces that might work for AI-assisted programming. This is a significant problem: neither of us were aware of any significant work on user interfaces that support collaboration. However, as software developers, many of us have been practicing effective collaboration for years. […]
O'Reilly Radar | 08-Sep-2020 14:41

Four short links: 4 September 2020
Inside the Digital Pregnancy Test — … is a paper pregnancy test and watch-battery-powered microcontroller connected to three LEDs, a photo-cell, and an LCD display. That (8-bit) microcontroller runs at 4MHz, almost as fast as an IBM PC did. The Incredible Proof Machine — Fun game (modelled on The Incredible Machine from the 90s) that […]
O'Reilly Radar | 04-Sep-2020 12:40

Four short links: 2 September 2020
VSCode Debug Visualizer — A VS Code extension for visualizing data structures while debugging. Like the VS Code’s watch view, but with rich visualizations of the watched value. The screencast is wow. Userland — an integrated dataflow environment for end-users. It allows users to interact with modules that implement functionality for different domains from a […]
O'Reilly Radar | 02-Sep-2020 13:15

Radar trends to watch: September 2020
Compared to the last few months, there are relatively few items about COVID. And almost no items about Blockchains, though the one item I’ve listed, about China’s Blockchain Services Network, may be the most important item here. I’m seeing a steady stream of articles about various forms of no-code/low-code programming. While many programmers scoff at […]
O'Reilly Radar | 01-Sep-2020 13:57

Four short links: 28 August 2020
Activity Watch — Open source, privacy-first, cross-platform app that automatically tracks how you spend time on your devices. Natural Language Database Queries — An interesting comment thread on Hacker News. Sample comments: I’ve done some previous digging into natural language SQL queries — there’s a good amount of research around this. But the error rate […]
O'Reilly Radar | 28-Aug-2020 13:17

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