GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), like so many other open source programs, started out as a student project at the University of California, Berkeley. It was developed by Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis in 1995, and the first version (0.54) was released in 1996.
As of the current version (2.10) GIMP has matured into a truly incredible photo-editing program. It’s not as complex as Photoshop, but it’s not as basic as PC Paint either. It rivals all the top dogs on the market today. Best of all, it’s free!
If you’re coming at GIMP by way of Photoshop, however, you may be frustrated by the some of the differences. Here are a few user tips to get you started, whether you're a rookie or a pro.
Graph databases explicitly express the connections between nodes, and are more efficient at the analysis of networks (computer, human, geographic, or otherwise) than relational databases. There has been an abundance of good distributed graph databases recently including Amazon Neptune (OLTP, uses the Gremlin and SPARQL query languages), AnzoGraph (OLAP, uses SPARQL*, an enhancement over SPARQL), Neo4j (OLTP with some OLAP capabilities, uses Cypher); and TigerGraph (hybrid OLTP and OLAP, uses GSQL).
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In the November issue
This month we’ve got the details on Microsoft’s big Surface event, including the new Surface Earbuds and Surface Duo. If you run antivirus software with Windows 10, find out why you can stop right now and save a few dollars in the process.
Picking a gaming laptop is a lot more fun today than it was five years ago, when a “real” gaming laptop meant 12 pounds of back-breaking hardware to haul around. Check out our top picks immediately below, and keep reading to catch up on the latest news and reviews.
With major advances in laptop CPUs and graphics technologies, you can now get great gaming performance in sizes from slender to huge, and prices from budget to sky-high.
Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott is going to be heading up Microsoft's combined AI and Research Group, effective immediately. Harry Shum, who has been heading up the group, is leaving the company, but there's no official word on where he's going.
Brave Software’s new Brave browser, which emerges out of a long beta into a full-fledged Brave 1.0 release today, works in two ways: As a privacy-minded browser that does everything it can to minimize your footprint on the Web, and as a convoluted means of paying people who provide you the content that you read daily.
If you’re short on desk space and funds, Logitech’s MK470 Slim Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo can solve both problems. These lightweight and compact accessories can squeeze into the tightest of workspaces, and their extreme quietness will be appreciated by your open-office mates. Adding to that appeal is a modest $50 price tag.
The MK470 keyboard measures 14.7 x 0.83 x 5.6 inches and weighs just over a pound. It is indeed slim, but durable nonetheless. Unlike with some comparably thin keyboards, I was unable to twist or bend the MK470’s hard plastic case.
You know you want one of Dell’s XPS laptops, but which one? The thin-and-light XPS 13? Its convertible cousin, the XPS 13 2-in-1? Or the brawnier workhorse XPS 15?
We’ll help you pick. Note that Dell typically continues to sell the older models alongside the newer ones. Dell uses the term “new” to differentiate between the latest and greatest and older stock. For this comparison, we’re comparing the latest versions of the laptops with the top-end CPUs: the XPS 13 7390, its convertible cousin the XPS 13 7390 2-in-1, and the XPS 15 7590. We’re also including the XPS 15 2-in-1 7595, which is older but still on sale, with no replacement on the horizon.
Kibana is an open source analytics and visualization tool that makes it easy to search, visualize, and explore large volumes of data through a browser-based interface. Alongside Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Beats, Kibana is a core part of the Elastic Stack (formerly known as the ELK Stack).
Elasticsearch, the search engine at the heart of the Elastic Stack, is one of the most popular open source projects for search and analytics. Elasticsearch is what searches, stores, and analyzes the data that you explore in Kibana—it’s really a search engine, a data store, and an analytical engine all in one.
Elasticsearch allows users to perform Google-style searches on their data, or ask questions like “What countries are the visitors to my website coming from?” It’s also extremely fast and distributed, which allows users to scale to larger data sets. Now take this power and combine it with the rich user interface that Kibana provides, and you have a real-time solution to explore your data.
The HDMI audio/video interface standard is everywhere: TVs, set-top boxes, media streamers, Blu-ray players, A/V receivers, gaming consoles, camcorders, digital cameras, and even a few smartphones. You’ll also find an HDMI output port in most consumer desktop and laptop computers, as well as an input port on many all-in-one PCs, to enable a gaming console or a set-top box may use its internal display.
Given HDMI’s ubiquity, you might have forgotten about the other digital audio/video standard: DisplayPort. Though you’ll find it alongside HDMI on most late-model, high-end video cards, as well as in Macs and laptops marketed to business users, it rarely appears in Windows PCs aimed at consumers. It’s also rare as hen’s teeth in consumer electronics devices.
Roku Streaming Stick vs. Amazon Fire Stick vs. Chromecast vs. Apple TV, and more. Which streaming device is best for cord cutters? Our buying guide will help you pick the right accessories for your TV.
Anybody can become a Twitch star, but getting set up can be complicated, especially on the PC. While console gamers can start streaming quickly, configuring a Twitch stream on your PC involves using third-party software, ensuring all your hardware is detected, wading through audio and video mixing, and more. It’s not that hard, but it sure does involve some busywork. But Twitch’s own Twitch Studio software, which launched in open beta today after a closed beta period, aims to simplify the process and get you streaming to the masses quickly.
Microsoft began rolling out the Windows 10 November 2019 Update to “seekers” on Tuesday, capping off a lengthy testing period on what is expected to be a fairly minor update.
Microsoft typically rolls updates in two ways: to people who actively look for feature updates through the Windows Update tab, and through a more general rollout where updates are pushed to the world at large. This is the first phase, where the Windows 10 November 2019 Update will only download for users who visit Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and select Check for Updates.
These beastly processors aim to stomp all over Intel’s Core i9-9900KS and Core X chips when they launch later this month, and Hallock explains exactly how (though you should always wait for reviews). AMD’s chip whisperer gets nitty-gritty on power efficiency, the new Eco mode coming to 3rd-gen Ryzen processors, why there isn’t a 16-core Threadripper this time around, optimal memory speed and timing for the new chips, cooling for PCIe 4.0-equipped motherboards, how Ryzen’s inclusion in the next-gen Xbox “Project Scarlett” and PlayStation 5 could accelerate multi-core gaming even faster, and more.
Microsoft has pushed Minecraft Earth live to iOS and Android users in the United States in early access, meaning that pretty much anyone can download the preview and start exploring Microsoft’s virtual world.
Microsoft’s Minecraft Earth account tweeted the news on Tuesday morning, and I was able to download the game on an Android phone and begin playing. Microsoft has placed download links for iOS and Android on its Minecraft Earth page.
Even supposed experts in the field can turn out to be frauds, as was recently reported about site TheBestVPN.com. The site’s creator appears to not actually be a cypber-security expert, as he once claimed, but might not actually be a real person, casting serious doubt on any of the site’s VPN reviews and research.
Panama-based NordVPN is a popular choice among VPN users and is also the recipient of much praise from experts. After spending some time with the service, it’s not hard to see why. First off, NordVPN lets you watch U.S. Netflix from anywhere in the world—a rare feat these days. NordVPN also manages to create an interface that’s simple yet feature-rich enough to satisfy power users willing to dig a little deeper.
It’s hard to choose a Windows UI framework. After all, there are so many of them. Do you build an application using the familiar WinForms, the more modern Windows Presentation Framework, or Windows 10’s Universal Windows Platform?
Each has its benefits and drawbacks, with different sets of controls, design tooling, and supported versions of Windows. They support different design languages, with only Universal Windows Platform (UWP) controls offering support for the latest Fluent look and feel. Microsoft has been working to backport the new Windows 10 UWP controls to older frameworks, with tools like XAML Islands. They’re a good option but are limited to running on Windows 10.
ASP.NET Core has built-in support for dependency injection. You can use dependency injection in ASP.NET Core to plug in components at runtime, making your code more flexible and easier to test and maintain. There are three basic ways to inject dependencies, namely constructor injection, setter injection, and interface injection.
Constructor injection may be the most widely used way to inject dependencies in ASP.NET Core. However, constructor injection is not always an ideal choice, especially when you need dependencies in just one or a handful of methods. In such cases, it’s more efficient to take advantage of the FromServices attribute, which allows you to inject dependencies directly into the action methods of your controller.
Microsoft’s open source development tool is an important piece of the developer’s toolkit. Built using GitHub’s cross-platform Electron framework, Visual Studio Code is a full-featured code editor that supports a wide selection of languages and platforms, from the familiar C and C# to modern environments and languages like Go and Node.js, with parity between Windows, MacOS, and Linux releases.
One key milestone of tech market maturation is when leading alternatives narrow to a two-way horse race. That now describes the market for AI modeling frameworks, which are the environments within which data scientists build and train statistically driven computational graphs.
The AI modeling horse race narrows to TensorFlow vs. PyTorch
The clear leaders in AI modeling framework are now the Google-developed TensorFlow and the Facebook-developed PyTorch, and they’re pulling away from the rest of the market in usage, share, and momentum.
Though TensorFlow still has the predominant market share among working data scientists, PyTorch has come along fast among key user segments. According to this recent study, PyTorch has become the overwhelming favorite of data scientists in academic and other research positions; whereas TensorFlow continues to have strong adoption by enterprise AI, deep learning, and machine learning developers. PyTorch has built its following on such strengths as seamless integration with the Python ecosystem, a better designed API, and better performance for some ad-hoc analyses.
An MPP (massively parallel processing) database distributes data and queries across each node in a cluster of commodity servers. Greenplum’s approach to building an MPP data warehouse is unique. By building on an established open source database, PostgreSQL, they are able to focus engineering efforts on adding value where it counts: parallelization and associated query planning, a columnar data store for analytics, and management capabilities.
Greenplum is owned and developed by Pivotal, with support from the open source community, and is available free under the Apache 2 license. The latest release, Greenplum 6.0, goes a long way toward re-integrating the Greenplum core with PostgreSQL, incorporating nearly six years of improvements from the PostgreSQL project. These efforts mean that, going forward, Greenplum will gain new features and enhancements for “free,” while Pivotal focuses on making these additions work well in a parallel environment.
Microsoft is continuing to forge ahead with its mission of making meetings better with a new white-glove meeting-room management service, as well as more new features in its Teams collaboration platform.
Microsoft’s shift to a new .NET is nearly complete. .NET Core 3.0 is here, and it’s the foundation for next year’s big bang release of .NET 5.0. That’s when .NET Core becomes the main development branch for all of .NET, and the old .NET Framework slides off into a well-deserved retirement and a very long support lifecycle.
That doesn’t mean all your existing .NET code will run on .NET 5.0. To be honest, odds are it won’t. This is the new Microsoft, not the old, and keeping legacy code alive is no longer a priority. Yes, Microsoft will help you move to the new framework, but you’ll need to do a fair bit of heavy lifting to get your code in shape for the transition. Unless you plan to stay on the .NET Framework forever, you have a year or so to use .NET Core 3.0 as a proving ground for a new, cross-platform .NET future.
At Ignite 2019, Microsoft is announcing new branding and a new strategy meant to make Azure the place IT pros will manage their edge, on-premises and multi-cloud software and services. Here's my best attempt to demystify the new hybrid announcements.
A cookie is a piece of data typically used to store information about the user and is stored on the user’s computer. In most browsers each cookie is stored as a small file, but in Firefox they are stored all together in a single file. Cookies are represented as key-value pairs, and you can take advantage of the keys to read, write, or delete cookies.
To work with the code examples provided in this article, you should have Visual Studio 2019 installed in your system. If you don’t already have a copy, you can download Visual Studio 2019 here.
Java Development Kit (JDK) 14 continues to take shape, with three features officially targeted and several more expected. Capabilities including switch expressions and NUMA-aware memory allocation have been proposed for possible inclusion while now-official features include JFR (JDK Flight Recorder) Event Streaming and non-volatile mapped byte butters.
JDK 14 is scheduled for a production release on March 17, 2020, following the six-month release cadence set for Java. Here are descriptions of the features officially targeted to JDK 14 thus far:
Angular provides dependency injection, which is particularly useful for assembling data services for applications, along with use of an HTML template to compose components. In Angular, developers still compose components with an HTML component that connects to TypeScript code for imperative parts of the program.
Microsoft is at capacity with some of its Azure resources in the East US2 region, users are reporting, and Microsoft acknowledges it is placing restrictions on additional quota on some customers there.
When you’re working with a mix of different technologies and are asked to perform an application, workflow, or data integration, you have to select the right tool for the job. Some integrations are complex and involve multiple data sources, real-time data streaming, and strict requirements around data protection. For those integrations, you might consider enterprise integration platforms such as Boomi, or SnapLogic to be the hub to connect multiple data sources, perform transformations, and provide access to downstream applications.
Billed as a cloud-native data platform for analytics, AI, and machine learning, Qubole offers solutions for customer engagement, digital transformation, data-driven products, digital marketing, modernization, and security intelligence. It claims fast time to value, multi-cloud support, 10x administrator productivity, a 1:200 operator-to-user ratio, and lower cloud costs.
What Qubole actually does, based on my brief experience with the platform, is to integrate a number of open-source tools, and a few proprietary tools, to create a cloud-based, self-service big data experience for data analysts, data engineers, and data scientists.
If you want to get the most out of cloud-native applications, you need to think very differently about how you build your code. Scaling depends on stateless microservices, using APIs for interservice communications. Technologies such as Kubernetes help manage microservice scaling by monitoring resources or using KEDA (Kubernetes-based event-driven autoscaling) to trigger scaling based on events, whereas HTTP-based technologies such as gRPC are the foundation for treating APIs as method and function calls.
Building distributed applications often seems like reinventing the wheel, building new tools to do the same thing, time and time again. That’s finally starting to change. As an industry we’re putting together a pattern language for distributed applications, along with the first generation of tools to take advantage of these patterns and practices. Announced at the same time as OAM (Open Application Model) and Rudr, Dapr (the Distributed Application Runtime), is a tool to build and run microservice-based distributed systems.
Create an ASP.Net Core MVC project in Visual Studio
First off, let’s create an ASP.Net Core project in Visual Studio 2019. Assuming Visual Studio 2019 is installed in your system, follow the steps outlined below to create a new ASP.Net Core project in Visual Studio.
Applications are permeating the online economy. However, it’s not entirely clear whether their deployment is moving in a mainly centripetal or centrifugal direction—that is, whether they are gravitating to the cloud center or moving outward to the edge.
Applications—in the form of software, services, workloads, and business logic—tend to move in rough alignment with the data that they generate and consume. Depending on whom you ask, apps are either flocking en masse into the core of the cloud—attracted by the growing volume of data lakes—or scattering as minute microservices out to the edges, following the spread of mobile, embedded, and Internet-of-things devices.
Is data gravity real?
We live in an increasingly cloud-to-edge world, so the trend could easily go in either direction. Some observers cite the nouveau notion of “data gravity” to support whatever directional shift they’re seeing in the deployment of online applications.
Kubernetes is rapidly becoming the de facto platform for container-based applications. Kubernetes automates the deployment and scaling of containerized applications and simplifies maintenance tasks such as updates and upgrades. The technology has been an incredible success story since Google open sourced it in 2014.
As a result, developers, system admins, and tech enthusiasts around the world are not only interested in learning Kubernetes, but Kubernetes is increasingly becoming part of their jobs.
However, despite its huge benefits, Kubernetes is a complex container orchestration tool that can easily frustrate and overwhelm beginners. Anyone who has worked with Kubernetes, or has tried to, is all too familiar with the pain of getting a Kubernetes deployment set up and running.