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  1. We brought you the list of the most popular programming languages as per the Stack Overflow’s annual developer survey. Being the largest survey of its kind, it’s able to deliver some fascinating insights regarding the current software development landscape. We, unsurprisingly, discovered that JavaScript continues to be the most popular programming language with about 70% of respondents using it. In the second article of that series, we are going to tell you about the preferred platforms for development. The development platform is critical as it can either make you fall in love with your work or just drive you nuts. That’s why Stack Overflow asked developers about the platforms they love working for and the ones they’ve actually worked for in the past year. 16 Most popular development platforms As the article’s title has already revealed, Linux is the most popular platform among the survey respondents. Out of the 80,144 responses, 53.3% were in favor of Linux. This means that they’d done development work for Linux over the past year. This number has increased from last year’s 48.3%, which is a really encouraging sign for the open source community. Linux was followed by its closed source nemesis Windows, which gained 50.5% votes. For the first time, Stack Overflow included container technologies in the survey, and Docker ended up at #3 with 31.5% votes. Platforms Votes Linux 53.30% Windows 50.70% Docker 31.50% Android 27.00% AWS 26.60% MacOS 22.20% Slack 20.90% Raspberry Pi 15.20% WordPress 14.50% iOS 13.00% Google Cloud Platform 12.40% Microsoft Azure 11.90% Arduino 10.70% Heroku 10.60% Kubernetes 8.50% IBM Cloud or Watson 1.90% 16 Most Loved Development Platforms Without a surprise, Linux also turned out to be the most loved platform for development with 83.1% votes. It means that developers surely loved working on Linux technologies. This is, again, an encouraging sign as this number has risen considerably as compared to last year’s 76.5%. Platforms Votes Linux 83.10% Docker 77.80% Kubernetes 76.80% Raspberry Pi 72.10% AWS 71.60% MacOS 70.50% iOS 68.10% Google Cloud Platform 66.80% Microsoft Azure 65.40% Slack 65.20% Android 64.50% Windows 64.20% Arduino 61.30% Heroku 52.70% IBM Cloud or Watson 44.60% WordPress 40.50% Keep reading, keep coding! Source
  2. With Nvidia CUDA 10 comes great AI power and VS compatibility Inhabitants of the Venn set overlap between Microsoft Visual Studio users and Nvidia CUDA developers, rejoice. CUDA 10 is once more compatible with Visual Studio. Hidden away among the goodies of Nvidia's CUDA 10 announcement was the news that host compiler support had been added for Visual Studio 2017. Clang 6.x, ICC 18 and Xcode 9.4 were also on the list, but it was, of course, its own platform that Microsoft trumpeted in its post. The Visual Studio problem was a thorny one, because CUDA used to be compatible. However, as Microsoft observed, some of the library headers became less than happy with CUDA's NVCC compiler in 9.x versions as the Windows giant updated its development suite. According to Microsoft, "the crux of the problem is about two C++ compilers adding modern C++ standard features at different paces but having to work with a common set of C++ headers". A cynic might suggest the crux of the problem was actually two groups of engineers not talking to each other. For its part, Microsoft, noting that a group of C++ coders were clinging resolutely to older versions of the frequently updated platform, reckons that it and Nvidia have come up with a solution that allow will all future versions of Visual Studio 2017 to enjoy CUDA compatibility, fuss-free. This is good news because there is much to like in CUDA 10. The 11-year-old CUDA platform arose from engineers realising that the powerful graphics processing units (GPU) in Nvidia graphics cards could be used for far more than jiggling pixels on a screen. Using CUDA to get direct access to the GPU's resources has seen the cards put to use in machine learning and neural networks as well as, infamously, mining cryptocurrencies. CUDA 10 brings support for the Turing microarchitecture (the successor to the Pascal architecture found mainly in the GeForce 10 series of cards), which includes dedicated artificial intelligence processors (referred to as "Tensor Cores"). There are also performance optimisations for linear algebra and matrix multiplication. Anticipating where a lot of its GPUs end up, Nvidia is also keen to tout support for the Tesla T4 GPU for hyperscale data centres. Oh, and there is of course support for the much-touted ray tracing, which Nvidia reckons will allow a single GPU to create considerably more realistic lighting. It isn't all about the neural networks and scientific simulations. Microsoft has promised that it has put in place some additional "tests and validation processes" to ensure it doesn't release a version of Visual Studio 2017 in the future that doesn't play nicely with CUDA. In the meantime, Visual Studio users keen to use new toys from both Microsoft and Nvidia need worry no more. Source
  3. At Node Summit, coders served some humble pie Wise words ... Snyk's Guy Podjarny Software developers have been lionized in recent years for their influence over the information economy. At the Node Summit in San Francisco, California, on Wednesday, Guy Podjarny, CEO and cofounder of security biz Snyk, reminded an audience full of devs that they've become a popular vector for malware distribution. Programmers, he said "have become far more powerful today than ever before" in terms of their access to information and their reach. At the same time, he said, they're often overconfident about their susceptibility to attack. He pointed to an internal Salesforce phishing test that found developers were the second most likely group of employees to click on a phishing link. Marketers were the most gullible, apparently. To underscore that point, he recounted the 2013 hack of The Financial Times by the Syrian Electronic Army and an analysis posted by developer Andrew Betts, then director of FT Labs, that acknowledges as much. "Developers might well think they’d be wise to all this – and I thought I was," Betts wrote. To highlight the risk, Podjarny reviewed several examples in which developers propagated malware. Apple's XCode IDE, presently a hefty 5.3GB, weighed in at about 3GB in 2015, he said. That was still too much for programmers in China who had to endure slow download speeds due the country's Great Firewall. In response, someone placed a copy of XCode on a Baidu file sharing site, however, the software had been altered to include compiler malware called XCodeGhost. The malware, which went undetected for four months and compromised hundreds of apps, modified a CoreServices object file with malicious code that infected iOS apps during compilation. It created extra interface elements designed to capture personal information. "What's interesting is how it propagated," said Podjarny. "CoreServices not an executable. It is a library linked by the LLVM linker." Developers in effect were the distribution mechanism. They were the virus. Malware exploiting developers and their tools goes back further still, Podjarny said. There was a similar attack on the Delphi compiler in 2009, known as Induc. And back in 1984, computing luminary Ken Thompson, wrote a paper, "Reflections on Trusting Trust," describing how he created a C compiler that automatically inserted a backdoor in the programs it created. "The moral is obvious," Thompson wrote. "You can't trust code that you did not totally create yourself." That sentiment poses a particular problem for the Node.js community, where developers often rely on dozens or hundreds of code libraries (each of which may incorporate other libraries) written by someone else. Developer David Gilbertson touched on the issue in a blog post in January about how easy it would be to create an npm package to steal credit card data. And there have been several attacks on npm and other developer resources like Pypi and RubyGems in recent years. Podjarny offered several mitigation strategies. He advocated automating security controls, as Apple and npm have done with malware scans, and adopting multi-factor authentication for accounts. Organizations, he said, should make it easy to be secure, by auto-expiring access tokens for example. And they should do more to educate developers about security. Vladimir de Turckheim, lead Node.js engineer for security monitoring biz Sqreen, echoed this point in the session that followed, a roundtable discussion of Node.js security. "We are not good at evangelizing good practices in terms of coding," he said. Podjarny, also participating in the roundtable discussion, joked about that his CTO recently gave a presentation titled, "Stack Overflow, the vulnerability marketplace," in reference to the insecure code examples that get copied and pasted from the coding community site into apps because they're blessed with a green check mark as the accepted solution. Podjarny's message to developers was to be humble about the possibility that your code may be insecure. "With great power comes great responsibility," he said. "You're trustworthy but you're not infallible." Source
  4. An expert in Android security is warning users that some developers of crappy Android apps have come up with a new trick for fooling users into installing their apps. The trick relies on app devs registering Google Play Store developer accounts that mimic install counts, instead of their real name, such as "1 million installs," Installs 1,000,000," "100,000,000 Downloads," "5,000,000+," "1,000,000,000" and other similar formats. The idea is that the official Google Play Store lists an app entry by displaying the app's icon, name, developer name, and a star rating. Sneaky devs creating a fake sense of safety By replacing the developer name with a faux install count, some developers are trying to fool users into thinking the app is extremely popular, and hence, somewhat safe to use. But in reality, they are not. According to ESET malware researcher Lukas Stefanko, most of the apps using this trick that he analyzed were mostly adware. The majority were just empty shells, with little to no functionality except for showing ads on top of other apps or the user's screen. Source
  5. Today, Mozilla is announcing a plan that grows collaboration with Microsoft, Google, and other industry leaders on MDN Web Docs. The goal is to consolidate information about web development for multiple browsers – not just Firefox. To support this collaboration, we’re forming a Product Advisory Board that will formalize existing relationships and guide our progress in the years to come. Why are we doing this? To make web development just a little easier. “One common thread we hear from web developers is that documentation on how to build for the cross-browser web is too fragmented,” said Daniel Appelquist, Director of Developer Advocacy at Samsung Internet and Co-Chair of W3C’s Technical Architecture Group. “I’m excited to be part of the efforts being made with MDN Web Docs to address this issue and to bring better and more comprehensive documentation to developers worldwide.” More than six million web developers and designers currently visit MDN Web Docs each month – and readership is growing at a spectacular rate of 40 percent, year over year. Popular content includes articles and tutorials on JavaScript, CSS and HTML, as well as detailed, comprehensive documentation of new technologies like Web APIs. Community contributions are at the core of MDN’s success. Thousands of volunteers have helped build and refine MDN over the past 12 years. In this year alone, 8,021 users made 76,203 edits, greatly increasing the scope and quality of the content. Cross-browser documentation contributions include input from writers at Google and Microsoft; Microsoft writers have made more than 5,000 edits so far in 2017. This cross-browser collaboration adds valuable content on browser compatibility and new features of the web platform. Going forward, Microsoft writers will focus their Web API documentation efforts on MDN and will redirect relevant pages from Microsoft Developer Network to MDN. A Broader Focus Now, the new Product Advisory Board for MDN is creating a more formal way to absorb all that’s going on across browsers and standards groups. Initial board members include representatives from Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and the W3C, with additional members possible in the future. By strengthening our relationships with experts across the industry, the Product Advisory Board will ensure MDN documentation stays relevant, is browser-agnostic, and helps developers keep up with the most important aspects of the web platform. “The reach of the web across devices and platforms is what makes it unique, and Microsoft is committed to helping it continue to thrive,” said Jason Weber, Partner Director of Program Management, Microsoft Edge. “We’re thrilled to team up with Mozilla, Google, and Samsung to create a single, great web standards documentation set on MDN for web developers everywhere.” Mozilla’s vision for the MDN Product Advisory Board is to build collaboration that helps the MDN community, collectively, maintain MDN as the most comprehensive, complete, and trusted reference documenting the most important aspects of modern browsers and web standards. The board’s charter is to provide advice and feedback on MDN content strategy, strategic direction, and platform/site features. Mozilla remains committed to MDN as an open source reference for web developers, and Mozilla’s team of technical writers will continue to work on MDN and collaborate with volunteers and corporate contributors. “Google is committed to building a better web for both users and developers,” said Meggin Kearney, Lead Technical Writer, Web Developer Relations at Google. “We’re excited to work with Mozilla, Microsoft, and Samsung to help guide MDN towards becoming the best source of up-to-date, comprehensive documentation for developers on the web.” MDN directly supports Mozilla’s overarching mission. We strive to ensure the Internet is a global public resource that is open and accessible to all. We believe that our award-winning documentation helps web developers build better web experiences – which also adhere to established standards and work across platforms and devices. MDN Board Members Ali Spivak, Chair, Mozilla Daniel Appelquist, Samsung Internet Dominique Hazael-Massieux, W3C Meggin Kearney, Google Patrick Kettner, Microsoft Christopher Mills, Mozilla Erika Doyle Navara, Microsoft Robert Nyman, Google Kadir Topal, Mozilla Source Alternate Source - BleepingComputer
  6. Facebook Bans Devs From Creating Surveillance Tools With User Data Without a hint of irony, Facebook has told developers that they may not use data from Instagram and Facebook in surveillance tools. The social network says that the practice has long been a contravention of its policies, but it is now tidying up and clarifying the wording of its developer policies. American Civil Liberties Union, Color of Change and the Center for Media Justice put pressure on Facebook after it transpired that data from users' feeds was being gathered and sold on to law enforcement agencies. The re-written developer policy now explicitly states that developers are not allowed to "use data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance." It remains to be seen just how much of a difference this will make to the gathering and use of data, and there is nothing to say that Facebook's own developers will not continue to engage in the same practices. Deputy chief privacy officer at Facebook, Rob Sherman, says: Transparency reports published by Facebook show that the company has complied with government requests for data. The secrecy such requests and dealings are shrouded in means that there is no way of knowing whether Facebook is engaged in precisely the sort of activity it is banning others from performing. Source
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