The top 10 Technology books in the UK for Saturday 17th November 2018

Get Children CodingThese are the unofficial top 10 Technology books in the UK for the week ending Saturday 17th November 2018. What an interesting mix of titles this week.  Of note are the “Get Coding Learn HTML, CSS and Javascript and build a website, app and game” books.  I’ve gone through the various intro to coding titles with my children and looked at languages like Scratch, Beebot etc which while useful dumb down the technology a little too much for my liking.  When my generation learnt to code we were straight into simple BASIC and then machine code as soon as we discovered the limitations of BASIC.  These new Get Coding books look great because at least they are teaching real, marketable skills that will actually be of use in the workplace or on a real-life project.  If you are looking for an alternative to Scratch or a follow on from Scratch for your children (KS1 / KS2) then I’d certainly recommend you take a look at these two titles.


Cover Title Price*
1 Amazon Alexa: 2018 Ultimate User Guide For Alexa, Alexa Skills, Amazon Echo, and Echo Dot, Including Tips, Tricks, And Easter Eggs (Paperback)
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2 Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine (Hardcover)
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3 Get Coding! Learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and Build a Website, App, and Game (Paperback)
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4 Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (Paperback)
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5 The Nostalgia Nerd’s Retro Tech: Computer, Consoles & Games (Tech Classics) (Hardcover)
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6 Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions (Paperback)
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7 300 Fortnite Tricks: The Ultimate Fortnite Battle Royale Strategy Guide (Paperback)
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8 Making YouTube Videos (Dummies Junior) (Paperback)
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9 Get Coding 2! Build Five Computer Games Using HTML and JavaScript (Paperback)
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10 Why Social Media is Ruining Your Life (Hardcover)
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* Price as of publication, click through for live pricing. This is an unofficial top ten Technology books in the UK This is created by our team who are constantly monitoring Amazon and other websites to see what is selling. If you have any questions about how this works or if you would like to find out more please leave a comment below.

Tech thoughts for June 16th 2018

  1. Docker and Kubernetes: Major software vendors are now using Docker and .  Kubernetes is an open-source container-orchestration system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications. It was originally designed by Google and is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. This means that you don’t need VMWare and probably won’t need Linux or Windows licences. Vendors ship their software in Docker contains which are preloaded, preconfigured with Ubuntu and all the software stack. The host is controlled by Kubernetes.   This is a great way to roll out patches. One speaker from IBM claimed that they can now patch complex systems in minutes rather than hours. RedHat have OpenShift which is an alternative to Kubernetes.
  2. GDPR: 80% of companies don’t think they will be fully GDPR complaint before the end of 2018 – it’s a long journey and to a large extent it’s never complete and has to become Business As Usual.
  3. Compressing time to value“, this can be achieved through Self Service Applications and Automation.
  4. Continual Touch“, this is a business model objective where you try to be constantly working in partnership with your customer to provide a service. It’s an extension of cloud and SaaS (annuity model hosting).
  5. TIM WOODS“, I’ve read a lot on Lean-Agile over the years but somehow this brilliant acronym hadn’t come to my attention. It spells out the areas where waste happens in a business.

    T – Transport – Moving people, products & information
    I – Inventory – Storing parts, pieces, documentation ahead of requirements
    M – Motion – Bending, turning, reaching, lifting

    W – Waiting – For parts, information, instructions, equipment
    O – Over production – Making more than is IMMEDIATELY required
    O – Over processing – Tighter tolerances or higher grade materials than are necessary
    D – Defects – Rework, scrap, incorrect documentation
    S – Skills – Underutilizing capabilities, delegating tasks with inadequate training

  6. Security concepts – “Session Break” and “Secure Proxy”: These are useful concepts for keeping backend systems secure. Session Break means that a process can’t talk directly end to end to achieve a given outcome. For example, a customer might place an order via a website. Instead of having the website write the order directly to the fulfilment system it places an XML or JSON representation of the order on a file server. An entirely separate process then picks up any new order files.  This helps protect the backend fulfilment database as the web application doesn’t have any access to that database.  Secure Proxy is similar, it means that external users login to an application using a  set of user credentials that are only valid on the proxy itself. The proxy then forwards requests to the backend or maps the external user to an internal user. This again protects the backend application.

Twitter client for Mac #Twitter

The official Twitter client for the Mac died yesterday. When you try and start it now it fails to authenticate any of your accounts. This is because Twitter announced recently that they were going to stop developing and supporting their client on the Mac in an attempt to people to use their Web-based client instead.

For me and I suspect many others I really don’t like using the web client. It’s something simple to do with it suiting the way I think and work but having Twitter in its own client app away from the work I’m doing in Safari suits me.

So having looked at a few options I’ve bought TweetBot for the Mac and it seems fine and an easy transition.  What I don’t understand is the business logic behind Twitter’s decision to kill their Mac-based client.  For a company, the size of Twitter employing one or two developers to support a Mac client is hardly a significant investment. Most of the code base should be in common with their iOS version and the skillset is basically the same.  There’s also the expectation that at WWDC 2018, the annual Apple developer conference that they will announce support in iOS and MacOS for universal apps. This will allow developers to create a single app that can be downloaded and run on Mac and iPhone for example.  Why would Twitter kill the Mac client now rather than wait and create a good universal MacOS/iOS app?

In effect what Twitter has yielded control of thousands of influential Mac Users to third-party clients which they will struggle to control and gain advertising income from so easily.

When you see such irrational business decisions being made you have to wonder if there aren’t fundamentally more serious problems at Twitter.

Let me know what you think in a comment below.