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Google Glass born again – proof that failures can prove merit

By Jamie Mercer

Java, web, mobile and php news

Despite it being a promising new tech gadget, Google Glass didn’t quite impress the technology fanatics or the public.

But now, Google Glass 2.0, Enterprise Edition (EE) is unveiled and ready to be more than just a mini computer. The new and improved technology will assist in daily working tasks for factory workers and much more.

Additionally, we have rounded up some other important highlights that happened in July plus the positive development of programming languages including Google’s GO and Python.

Google Glass is back

Do you remember Google Glass? It was developed by Google’s (now known as Alphabet’s) X division (the company’s intellectual side of the business where engineers develop way-out ideas).

Glass was created to function as a miniature head-up display (a transparent screen that lets users read data without having to change their viewpoint). On top of the right-hand lens was a tiny rectangular block of glass which worked as a miniature computer monitor. Essentially, Google Glass looked as though you were wearing a mini computer on your head.

When Glass was first announced in 2012, it was made available for the early adopters for $1,500 USD (£1,078), and then made available to the public in May 2014. From a technical perspective, it is a very sophisticated piece of hardware. The ability to be driven by voice commands and take photos or record a video of what you’re looking at is quite impressive.

However, Google decided to pull the plug on the product in January 2015 because of how uneasy it made people feel when they saw someone wear Glass. Also the fact that, Glass made people look strange.

Google soon realised that Glass wasn’t fit to work as a consumer product. However, the product was still powerful to assist in human effort in different areas. In actuality, X’s engineers had been working on Glass 2.0 – an ‘Enterprise Edition’ (EE) aimed at industrial uses.

Recently, factory workers in Minnesota that make tractors were wearing the EE glasses as naturally as they would normally wear safety goggles. The redesign offers the possibility of detaching the electronics and fitting them to safety glasses.

Aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, is currently experimenting with the original version of Glass.

Go language soars to new heights in popularity

As reported in last month’s monthly digest, there was a decline in popularity for the Ruby language according to the Tiobe Programming Community index. This month, the Go language managed to crack the top ten in the Tiobe index for the first time.

The Go language is Google’s open source programming language that has soared to new heights with developers, beating popular languages such as Ruby, Swift, and Perl. The Tiobe Programming Community index works by formulating the frequency of searches of languages in common search engines including Google, Bing, Baidu and Wikipedia.

One year ago, Go was ranked 55th and in January of this year, it was ranked at number 13. Go has been praised for abilities such as concurrency and for being an easy language to learn. Go was conceived in 2007, with the first version arriving in March of 2012. Tiobe named Go the language of the year for 2016 in January, meaning there are signs of more potential for the language in the near future.

Read more about how the Tiobe index works and the future of the Go language.

Girls set AP Computer Science record – skyrocketing growth outpaces boys

For Code.org, which is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to expanding access to computer science, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities, they have everything to be proud about.

A decade ago, only 2,600 female students took the AP Computer Science exam. Fast forward to 2017 and over 29,000 female students took the AP Computer Science exam this year. This figure is more than the entire AP Computer Science participation back in 2013 when Code.org first launched.

This exponential growth is a positive sign that females and underrepresented minorities in technology are fast-becoming a virtue in the industry. This representation in diversity is a glimpse into a hopeful future that the developer workforce will be equally made up of both male and females.

We recently shared an article regarding females in the developer workforce, based on our findings from our Java, Web, and PHP survey.

Survey says Python is top with developers

Python, a very popular language among developers, has recently received another validation as the most popular tool in IT service.

The language is used by almost 20% of respondents, giving it the top spot. This echoes Python’s high rankings in reputation and popularity in the Tiobe index, PyPL, and RedMonk, which all ranked the language in their top 5.

Recently, the language has grown because of convenience, a fully featured standard library, a rich system of libraries and frameworks, and an engaged community.

Packt’s 2017 Developer Skills and Salary Report was based on responses from 4,731 developers and technology experts globally.

Read more about why the Python language is most favoured among developers and see which other programming languages made the top 10.

Apache Spark 2.2. gets streaming and the R language boosts

A long-awaited feature for the multipurpose in-memory data processing framework is now available with the 2.2 version of Apache Spark.

The new feature, structured streaming, permits Spark to process streams of data in ways that are native to Spark’s batch-based data-handling metaphors. As part of Spark’s long-term plan, to become all things to all people in data science.

Structured streaming within the 2.2 version of Apache Spark, benefits from a number of other changes aside from losing its trial design. It has the capability to work as a source or a sink for data coming from or being written to an Apache Kafka source, with minor inactivity for Kafka connections than beforehand.

Read more about how structure streaming is using Spark to improve development.

Which news highlight piqued your interest this month? Let us know in the comments.

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