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Published: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:36:11 -0800

Last Build Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:36:11 -0800

 



Serverless computing with AWS Lambda, Part 2: AWS Lambda with DynamoDB

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:09:00 -0800

The first half of this article presented an overview of serverless computing with AWS Lambda, including building, deploying, and testing AWS Lambda functions in an example Java application. In Part 2, you'll learn how to integrate Lambda functions with an external database, in this case DynamoDB. We'll then use the AWS SDK to invoke Lambda functions from our example Java application.

AWS Lambda and DynamoDB

DynamoDB is a NoSQL document store that is hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). DynamoDB defines data abstractions as tables, which accept common database operations such as insert, retrieve, query, update, and delete. As with many other NoSQL databases, DynamoDB's schema isn't fixed, so some items in the same table can have fields that others do not.

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20 years on, open source hasn’t changed the world as promised

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Open source has officially been a thing for 20 years now. Did anyone notice?

No, really. For something as revolutionary as open source, you’d think it would have changed the way all software is developed, sold, and distributed. Unfortunately for those party planners looking to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of open source, it hasn’t—changed software, that is. For most developers, most of the time, software remains stubbornly proprietary.

What has changed in 20 years is the narrative about software. We’re now comfortable with the idea that software can, and maybe should, be open source without the world ending. The actual opening of that source, however, is something to tackle in the next 20 years.

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Serverless computing with AWS Lambda, Part 1

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 10:26:00 -0800

Serverless computing may be the hottest thing in cloud computing today, but what, exactly, is it? This two-part tutorial starts with an overview of serverless computing--from what it is, to why it's considered disruptive to traditional cloud computing, and how you might use it in Java-based programming.

Following the overview, you'll get a hands-on introduction to AWS Lambda, which is considered by many the premiere Java-based solution for serverless computing today. In Part 1, you'll use AWS Lambda to build, deploy, and test your first Lambda function in Java. In Part 2, you'll integrate your Lambda function with DynamoDB, then use the AWS SDK to invoke Lambda functions in a Java application.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Get 33% Off H&R Block's Federal & State Tax Software, Plus a 5% Amazon Bonus

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 06:37:00 -0800

If you're a tax time do-it-yourselfer, this is a deal that will save you money, and potentially make you some money as well.

H&R Block's popular tax software is fully updated for 2018 and designed to make your 2017 tax prep easier and more convenient. Step-by-step interviews guide you through a customized experience relevant to your tax situation, so you know everything is accounted for. This version contains everything you need to prepare your federal and state taxes in one complete program, and everything can be handled electronically (including the PC or Mac software download). Right now the tax software's price is reduced 33% on Amazon to $29.99.

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Anker's Twin USB High Speed Car Phone Charger Is Just $8.99 Right Now

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 06:58:00 -0800

The PowerDrive 2 Elite from Anker is super compact, and can simultaneously charge 2 devices with the fastest possible charge of up to 2.4 amps per port. A soft blue LED light makes it easier to navigate in the dark. 10 safety mechanisms are built in to protect your devices from surge and temperature fluctuations, and an 18-month warranty is included for additional peace of mind.

We haven't personally reviewed this model, but our PCWorld team recently test drove the beefier PowerDrive Speed 2 model and found that it delivered on its promises (See: "Anker PowerDrive Speed 2 car charger review: Anker lights the way").

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What’s new in ECMAScript 2018

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 12:10:00 -0800

ECMAScript, the standard specification underlying JavaScript, is on track for a new release, likely in June.

So far, two proposals have been finalized for inclusion in the ECMAScript 2018 specification. Both are considered as fairly foundational work and not major features, said Zibi Braniecki, a senior software engineer at Mozilla who participates in the development of ECMAScript.

The two proposals include:

  • Lifting of the template literal restriction, to enable the embedding of languages, including domain-specific languages (DSLs). Currently, restrictions on escape clauses make this a problem. The revision cleans up the behavior of literals, letting them be used for DSLs so programmers can create their own minilanguages if neeeded.
  • Adding the s (dotAll) flag for regular expressions, providing consistent behavior for these expressions. The feature is intended to address limitations in which the dot (.) in regular expressions does not match line-terminator characters, said author Axel Rauschmeyer, who has focused on JavaScript. The s flag changes that. This flag will operate on an opt-in basis, so existing regular expressions patterns will not be affected.

There are four other features under strong consideration, which would make it easier to program with JavaScript, Braniecki said. These include:

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Sonos Play:1 Is Discounted $62 Right Now On Amazon

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 06:33:00 -0800

Sonos has designed the Play:1 wireless speaker to look and sound great in any space, whether it's a kitchen counter or the bookshelf in your bedroom. It contains two Class D amplifiers, one 3.5" mid–woofer for mid–range frequencies and deep bass, and one tweeter for crisp and accurate high–frequency response. Pair multiple speakers together in the same room for a more immersive experience, or add speakers in different rooms. When connected to an Amazon Alexa-enabled device, you can control the Sonos experience hands-free using Alexa voice commands. 

To read this article in full, please click here


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Get a $20 Discount If You Buy 3 Echo Dots on Amazon, For A Limited Time - Deal Alert

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 12:12:00 -0800

Echo Dot is designed to work seamlessly in every room of your house, and right now you can get $20 off your order when you buy 3 Dots, or get one Dot free when you buy 6. Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms, read audiobooks from Audible, and more. New Alexa "skills" are being created all the time. If you're in the market for a few Dots, jump over to Amazon and claim your discount while it lasts.

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41% off CyberPower Surge Protector 3-AC Outlet with 2 USB (2.1A) Charging Ports - Deal Alert

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 06:16:00 -0800

The Professional Surge Protector CSP300WUR1 safeguards common home and office devices, such as computers and electronics, by absorbing spikes in energy caused by storms and electrical power surges. Designed for convenience, the portable CSP300WUR1 is ideal for travelers. It provides 600 joules of protection, has three surge-protected outlets, and a folding wall tap plug. Two USB ports (2.1 Amp shared) charge personal electronics, including smartphones, digital cameras, MP3 players, and other devices. A Limited-Lifetime Warranty ensures that this surge suppressor has passed high quality standards in design, assembly, material or workmanship and further protection is offered by a $50,000 Connected Equipment Guarantee. It currently averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, where its typical list price of $21.95 has been reduced 41% to just $12.99. See the discounted CSP300WUR1 on Amazon.

To read this article in full, please click here


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39% off American Red Cross Blackout Buddy Emergency Nightlight - Deal Alert

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 06:55:00 -0800

Just leave the slim and trim Blackout Buddy in your wall socket and you’ll never be in the dark. It automatically turns on when the power goes out so that you can easily locate it. Then, fold away the prongs and you've got yourself a flashlight. A very bright idea from the American Red Cross. Flip a switch and the Blackout Buddy also doubles as an LED nightlight, so you can keep your kids' rooms, hallways, or kitchen always illuminated. The Blackout Buddy keeps itself charged and provides up to 4 hours of light when needed. It averages 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 1,800 people on Amazon (read reviews). Its typical list price of $14.64 has been reduced 39% to just $8.98.

To read this article in full, please click here


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34% off TurboTax Deluxe 2017 Tax Software, Federal & State - Deal Alert

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 06:32:00 -0800

TurboTax coaches you every step of the way and double checks your return as you go to handle even the toughest tax situations, so you can be confident you’re getting every dollar you deserve. Its typical list price of $59.99 has been reduced a generous 34% to $39.86 in a deal that is exclusive to Amazon. Also exclusive to this Amazon deal, receive a free 1-year subscription to Quicken Starter Edition 2018. Learn more, or take advantage of the deal now, on Amazon.

To read this article in full, please click here


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25% off SanDisk 256GB iXpand Base for iPhone charging and backup - Deal Alert

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 05:19:00 -0800

Here's something you probably didn't know existed. With SanDisk's iXpand iPhone base, you'll never have to worry about losing your memories again. Every time you charge your iPhone with the iXpand Base, it automatically backs up your photos, videos and contacts. The iXpand Base offers plenty of room to save your files in their original quality with no worry about recurring monthly fees for Internet-based storage. Designed for everyday use with a soft rubber top, a sturdy base, and a wrap-around groove to keep your Apple Lightning to USB cable tidy. Its typical list price has been discounted $50, for now, to $149.99. See this deal on Amazon.

To read this article in full, please click here


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32% off Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Display and 10 Year Battery - Deal Alert

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 04:00:00 -0800

Carbon Monoxide is odorless, tasteless and invisible, and it accounts for over 72,000 cases of poisoning each year. Kidde calls their C3010D model "worry free" because its sensor and sealed battery provide 10 years of uninterrupted CO detection, and a digital display that updates every 15 seconds. The unit will chirp when its reaching the ends of its life, so you don't have to wonder. The Kidde C3010D alarm is currently discounted 32% to $34.91. See this deal now on Amazon.

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CockroachDB review: A scale-out SQL database built for survival

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Until very recently, when you shopped for a database you had to choose: Scalability or consistency? SQL databases such as MySQL guarantee strong consistency, but don’t scale well horizontally. (Manual sharding for scalability is no one’s idea of fun.) NoSQL databases such as MongoDB scale beautifully, but offer only eventual consistency. (“Wait long enough, and you can read the right answer”—which isn’t any way to do financial transactions.)

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)


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C completes comeback in programming popularity

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800

The once-declining C language has completed a comeback in the monthly Tiobe Index of language popularity, winning the 2017 Programming Language of the Year designation from Tiobe as the biggest gainer in share.

Although the language only grew 1.69 percentage points in its rating year over year in the January index, that was enough beat out runners-up Python (1.21 percent gain) and Erlang (0.98 percent gain). Just five months ago, C was at its lowest-ever rating, at 6.477 percent; this month, its rating is 11.07 percent, once again putting it in second place behind Java (14.215 percent)—although Java dropped 3.05 percent compared to January 2017. C’s revival is possibly being fueled by its popularity in manufacturing and industry, including the automotive market, Tiobe believes.

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What’s new in Ruby 2.5

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Ruby, one of the more venerable dynamic languages, has just gained in performance with the new 2.5 release.

Arriving on Christmas Day 2017, Ruby 2.5.0 is the first stable release in the 2.5 series.

New performance features in Ruby 2.5

It boosts performance by 5 to 10 percent by removing trace instructions from bytecode that has been found to be overhead. A dynamic instrumentation technique is used instead. Also, block passing by a block parameter has been made three times faster than it was in Ruby 2.4, through use of the Lazy Proc allocation technique.

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What is agile methodology? Modern software development explained

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Every software development organization today seems to practice the agile software development methodology, or a version of it. Or at least they believe they do. Whether you are new to application development or learned about software development decades ago using the waterfall software development methodology, today your work is at least influenced by the agile methodology.

But what exactly is agile methodology, and how should it be practiced in software development?

Agile was formally launched in 2001 when 17 technologists drafted the Agile Manifesto. They wrote four major principles for developing better software:

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2017: The year in programming languages

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

For programming languages, languages like Java and Kotlin garnering a lot of attention in enterprise and mobile development in 2017. The JavaScript ecosystem, critical to web development, continued to expand as well.

Overall, the year presented a mixed bag of improvements to both long-established and newer languages.

Developers followed a soap opera over Java, with major disagreements over a modularization plan for standard Java and, in a surprising twist, Oracle washing its hands of the Java EE enterprise variant.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Weird science: The 9 strangest tech stories of 2017

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

The Space Age is here, just weirder than expected
(image)

Image by Thinkstock

The last 12 months have brought significant developments in what I term retro-future technologies: Space Age concepts like robots and flying cars that creative fiction writers of past generations have long predicted would populate our future. I am happy to report that these have finally moved from science fiction to science fact.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Get 3 Years of NordVPN Service for Just $2.75 Per Month - Holiday Deal Alert

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 11:25:00 -0800

NordVPN promises a private and fast path through the public internet, with no logs and unmetered access for 6 simultaneous devices. They are currently running a holiday promotion, but you'll have to use this link to find it. Its typical price has been discounted to $99 for 3 years of service. That's a good deal at just $2.75 per month.  See the $2.75/month NordVPN holiday deal here.

To read this article in full, please click here


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It's not to late! See Amazon's Last Minute Gift Ideas, On Your Doorstep By Christmas - Deal Alert

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 06:45:00 -0800

If you still need to buy, don't worry -- there's still time. Amazon still has deals running every day, in every category imaginable, and with Prime shipping you'll have it by Christmas.  Discounted USB cords, chargers, phone accessories, BlueTooth speakers, splitters, and other gadgets. Jump over to Amazon's "Last Minute Deals" page. If you're not a Prime member, sign up for a free trial and you'll instantly get access to free 2-day shipping, which will be critical at this point. 

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Google Cloud Platform’s secret sauce: Its time is now

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

2017 was a good year for Google Cloud Platform. But 2018 promises to be even better. Although Google still sits well behind Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in cloud revenue, with just 2.3 percent market share against AWS’s 44.1 percent and Azure’s 7.1 percent, according to Gartner data, 2018 could well prove Google’s breakout year.

That is, if it can just deliver on one, eensie weensie thing: helping enterprises operate more like Google.

In the past, this has seemed like a fairy tale. Mainstream enterprises, after all, lack the DNA necessary to push thousands of changes a day to their systems in the way a Google routinely does. Early indicators, however, suggest that maybe this isn’t as true as we once thought and that, in fact, “run like Google” just might be an attainable goal for the typical enterprises. If so, that be what gets Google Cloud seriously into the enterprise mix.

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$50 off PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB Console: Star Wars Battlefront II Bundle - Deal Alert

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 06:00:00 -0800

Right now Amazon has the PS4 Slim 1TB console, Star Wars Battlefront II bundle for $50 off its typical list price, so you can buy it now for $249. This bundle will vault you into the greatest galactic battles in the Star Wars universe. Featuring a Jet Black 1TB PS4 and a DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller, there's no better place to be a hero and dominate the galaxy. Crush the Rebel Alliance, or fight for freedom from the Empire. Dismantle the Resistance, or protect it from the First Order. The choice is yours in an all-new playground of intense galactic struggle. From epic ground assaults to stunning vehicle play and heart-pounding aerial dogfights, dominate every game mode in battles that span across all eras of the Star Wars universe. See this deal on Amazon.

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25% off Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard for Computer, Phone & Tablet - Deal Alert

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 07:11:00 -0800

Rewrite the rules of desktop typing. Logitech's K780 is the type-on-everything keyboard with full-size keys and a convenient number pad. Enjoy quiet, comfortable typing, on your Windows PC or Mac, and switch typing to your phone or tablet at the touch of a button. An integrated rubber stand holds your mobile devices within reach and always at the perfect typing angle. A generous two-year battery life virtually eliminates the need to switch out batteries. The K780 typically lists for $79.99, but right now is discounted 25% to $59.99. See this deal now on Amazon.

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30% off APC 1500VA Compact UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 06:33:00 -0800

An APC UPS provides backup power power and surge protection to power and protect your PC or Mac, network router, gaming consoles like Xbox and PS4, AV and other business electronics from the dangers of power surges, spikes, lightning and power outages. By powering your critical electronics with a backup battery during blackouts, you ensure personal and professional connectivity when it matters most. Improvements in efficiency, size and surge protection come at an affordable price, making the Back-UPS Pro mini-tower battery backup UPS models a perfect solution for your power protection needs. Right now the Back-UPS Pro from APC averages 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon, where its typical list price of $170 is discounted 30% to $119. See this deal now on Amazon.

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How to excel in agile software development

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

If you are leading or participating in an agile development process and have selected an agile model like the scrum methodology, you have a fundamental process to help align product owners with customer needs and teams on delivering results. You have the team’s responsibilities outlined, a meeting structure defined and scheduled, and an agile collaboration tool to manage the backlog.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)


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Java JDK 10: What new features to expect in the next Java

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

Developers who may be just getting used to Java 9, released in September 2017, will have only a few months left before the next generation of Java is out. In mid-December, the planned Java Development Kit 10 upgrade moved to a rampdown phase. In the initial rampdown phase, only P1 through P3 bugs can be fixed.

When JDK 10 will be released

JDK 10, an implementation of Java Standard Edition 10, is due for production release on March 20, 2018. Key improvements proposed include a local type inference and a “clean” interface for garbage collection.

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New Amazon Echo Discounted $20 Right Now - Deal Alert

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 05:59:00 -0800

Amazon has a discount of $20 active right now on their all new Echo smart speaker, which features a new speaker, new design, and is available in a range of styles including fabrics and wood veneers. Echo connects to Alexa to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, control smart home devices, and more --
instantly. Echo averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 2,200 reviewers, and with the current discount you can grab it for yourself (or someone else) now for just $79.99. See the discounted Echo deal now on Amazon.

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Jenkins tutorial: Get started with Jenkins continuous delivery

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

Jenkins is one of the earliest and still one of the most-used continuous integration and continuous delivery (CICD) servers. It has lots of competition these days, but still has a robust community and a wide range of plugins (1,400 when I last checked). Even if you wind up using a different automation server, it is worth understanding how to use Jenkins: The underlying concepts of CICD don’t change much from one implementation to another, even though the vendors do tend to make up their own terminology.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)


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Why old-school PostgreSQL is so hip again

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

PostgreSQL (aka Postgres) is old as dirt, yet over the past five years it has panned out as pure gold. MongoDB got the billion-dollar IPO and AWS launched the mind-bendingly cool Aurora Serverless, but it’s PostgreSQL that keeps having its moment—again and again and again.

Now the world’s fourth most popular database, according to DB-Engines’ multicomponent ranking, PostgreSQL has a ways to go before it surpasses Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL Server. Yet at its current pace, there’s every reason to expect it could get there.

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