One more 7th Continent post before I shut up :)

The 2nd Kickstarter for 7th Continent ended with 43,733 backers having pledged over $7 million. But if you missed it, there is a possibility to Late Pledge with options limited to getting either just the new expansion, or the whole game plus expansion. I don’t know how long this will be possible, I presume it is until the pledge manager goes live in November.

*Spoiler Alert*
My wife and me are making great progress on the first curse, The Voracious Goddess. We lost on the first attempt and restarted. Knowing the starting island better made things easier, so on the second attempt we managed to get off the island the comfortable way. That gives you a choice of three places to continue, and by pure chance we seem to have chosen the absolutely best one. We found a place to rest and spend our xp on advanced skills. We found a place to hunt and recover all of the adventuring deck. And we found the next two landmarks on the clue map.

It was getting nearly too easy, and so we decided to do something more risky. Instead of following the clue map further, we entered what I can only describe as a dungeon. We didn’t completely clear it out, because there was a rather suspicious lever we didn’t dare to pull. But we did everything else in it and exited with some treasure and more advanced skills. Next we will try to hunt again and then follow the path on the clue map.

Surviving Holiday Heart Attack Season: A Cardiologist’s Advice

More people die from heart disease between December 25 and January 7 than at any other time of the year.

It’s almost that time of year: holiday heart attack season. More people die from heart disease between December 25 and January 7 than at any other time of the year. What’s the answer? Healthier food. As a cardiologist, I’m calling on hospitals to lead by example. Historically, some hospitals have been known for serving their heart attack patients breakfasts of bacon and eggs, conveying a message to patients and families that food does not matter.

That is all about to change. Earlier this year, the American College of Cardiology released Heart-Healthy Food Recommendations for Hospitals, which says that “hospitalization can be a ‘teachable moment’ for patients who are ready to embrace nutrition as part of the healing process.” The ACC recommends having plant-based main dishes available at every meal. It also says that processed meats—bacon, sausage, ham, hot dogs, and deli meats—should be off the menu entirely. The American Medical Association followed suit, calling for similar improvements in hospital food offerings: out with the bacon and sausage, in with the vegan choices.

The plan could save hundreds of thousands of lives a year. A study published this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association linked not eating enough fruits, vegetables and grains to more than 150,000 cardiovascular deaths a year and too much processed meat to 60,000 deaths.

Are you serious? you might be asking. Will hospitals really serve vegan (plant-based) meals, and will patients really eat them (and like them)? The answer is absolutely yes. A generation ago, hospitals banned cigarettes, and the grumbling from smokers ended almost immediately. It was a clear-cut message about what is healthy and what is not. It’s time to do the same with unhealthy foods.   

The ACC and AMA recommendations also have benefits beyond heart health. A recent report from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research found that eating three servings of whole grains per day reduces colorectal cancer risk by 17 percent, while eating just 50 grams of processed meat per day—about the size of a hot dog or a couple of slices of bacon—increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent. 

Other organizations, like the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, are working in hospitals to make healthful hospital food a reality. This year, the Physicians Committee successfully encouraged the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Arkansas Children’s Hospital to remove hot dogs from patient menus, and convinced others to kick out fast food restaurants. The doctors’ group also produced a Heart-Healthy Foods for Hospitals booklet, which includes delicious plant-based recipes: Apple Sweet Potato Breakfast Bake, Cheezy Potato and Veggie Breakfast Casserole, and Mexican Lasagna. It also makes hospital managers’ lives easier by providing list of contractors that provide heart-healthy foods, tips from professionals for how to successfully implement the plan, handouts for patients and cafeteria signage.

In other words, the change could not be easier. Let’s resolve to eat healthfully, and let’s start with our hospitals. While some hospitals are starting to do this, let’s see if we can get them all to take this on in a whole-hearted approach. Instead of being the riskiest time of year, let’s work together to make the holiday season the healthiest.

 

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Switcheroo

I had a typical first-world problem in an affluent society: My wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I didn’t have a good answer. We were in the middle of a large electronics store and had just bought an expensive digital camera as my present for her, so she felt she needed to reciprocate. After some thinking and looking around, we settled on a Nintendo Switch for me, in a bundle with Super Mario Odyssey. And of course also bought Zelda, and a few other games. Normally I wouldn’t have bought a console for a few good games, but we are spending Christmas with family, and so the console wouldn’t just be for me, but also to keep the kids busy.

Being game language literate I immediately spotted a potential problem: The bundle doesn’t actually contain the game Super Mario Odyssey. It contains a code to download it. Whatever purists might think of it, you don’t want to unpack game stuff on Christmas and find it isn’t ready to play immediately with kids around. So I unpacked my Christmas present already, to set it up (not to play), charge the batteries, and then pack it again to be ready for the event. That turned out to be a good plan, as even on my ultra-fast VDSL the game needed 37 minutes to download, and over Christmas I will have much lower internet speed.

As this was a spontaneous buy, I hadn’t read up on the Switch. I’ve heard that it was usable both as a console connected to a TV and handheld, but hadn’t pondered that feature any further. It was on unpacking that the truth dawned on me: The Switch isn’t actually a game console, it is a tablet computer. A tablet computer with weird controllers, yes, but at its core a tablet computer. It turned out that for example setting it up and entering text like WiFi passwords, using the touch screen keyboard is far better than trying to type with the controllers.

On the other hand for a tablet computer the Switch has a lousy battery life (not tried myself, just read about it), and rather small screen. I imagine I will end up using it in the stand that turns it more or less into a console far more than handheld. It is a bit annoying that I’ll have to attach the controllers to the tablet after every playing session to recharge them, even if the controllers are reported to have a longer battery life than the handheld tablet.

I’ll report sometimes after Christmas on how playing games on the Switch turns out. I’ll start with a library of 4 games: Super Mario Odyssey (which I got more for the kids than for me, but the reviews are excellent), Mario + Rabbids, Zelda, and Disgaea 5. If you have any advice on good role-playing and strategy games for the Switch, I’m listening.

Do You know who is “Google PanDa” ?

Content quality comes up more and more in the SEO context. Focusing on content quality was the winning underutilised SEO tactic in our expert roundup, and low value content is one of the major causes of manual and algorithmic Google penalties, notably Google Panda.

Google Panda is a series of on-going algorithm updates and data refreshes for the Google search engine that the company rolls out to help refine its search algorithm to improve the value of search query results for users.

Panda is a special “filter” designed to de-rank low quality content, and since 2016, it’s a part of the search engine’s core ranking algorithm. This means that Panda updates are now rolled out faster and more frequently than ever before, with more sites affected by the update.

But the question is, what is “content quality”, exactly? How do you improve it, grow your rankings, and keep Panda away? Here are the 6 essential steps to audit your content against poor quality and fix the issues you find. But before we start.

How does Panda work?

The Panda algorithm (named after Google engineer Navneet Panda) is designed to help Google improve the quality of search results by down-ranking low quality content. The basic principle here is that Google assigns a particular quality score to each website in its index (the score is assigned site-wide, not to separate pages.)
Initially, Panda functioned as a filter applied to a pack of search results that Google considered relevant to a search query. The Panda score was re-ordering them, pushing down the low-scorers, and giving a boost to the highest scored content.
Now, as Panda signals are “baked” into Google’s core ranking algorithm, they no longer re-order the results, but form them together with Google’s other ranking signals.

How does Panda identify high quality content?

Sure thing, there’s no “gut feeling” that helps Panda identify real quality. Panda is only an algorithm that checks your website for a number of factors that Google assumes are features of a high quality website. Then, by applying some math, it gives the site a specific quality score based on the results of this check.

The good news is, if your site’s quality score is based on a number of separate factors, you can influence those factors to improve the score.

The bad news is… Google won’t disclose the exact quality factors it takes into account to calculate the score. So the list of Panda-prone issues below is an educated guess, based on what Google has said on site quality, and what trackable factors it can use to determine it.

6 steps to a Panda-proof content audit

So, we know that Panda is used to assign your website a particular score depending on its “quality” — now let’s think of the factors that may be involved in the assessment.

Step 1. Crawl your website to get a full list of its pages

Unsurprisingly, the first step in completing a content audit is to… find all your content.

And since the Panda score is assigned site-wide, it is not enough to audit just the most important pages — you need to check your entire site to make sure no low quality content is dragging your overall website quality score down.

How to check

  • Launch WebSite Auditor and create a new project for your website.
  • Enter your website’s URL and hit Next.
  • Now, give WebSite Auditor a couple of minutes (depending on the size of your website) to collect and list your site’s pages.
  • When the crawl is complete, switch to the Pages dashboard to view all your pages.

The optimal way to deal with problematic content largely depends on the size of your site.

  • For a small website (>100 pages), removing low quality content is something you can not afford. Your key strategy is to improve on every problematic page, rather than delete it.
  • For a medium-sized site (100-1000 pages), removing some of the low quality content is possible. But your main focus will be on improving content at least for the most important pages.
  • For a large website (>1000 pages), improving all problematic pages is a huge piece of work, so your focus would be to “weed out” and remove the unnecessary and low quality content.

Step 2. Check for thin content

Imagine you have a category page with only a few lines of meaningless text and hundreds of links to products. This is what’s generally called thin content. Google’s been focusing on combating thin content a lot lately, with both Panda and Fred.

Search engines use content to determine the relevancy of a page to a query. And if you barely provide any information that’s accessible to them, how are they to understand what the page is about?

How to check

1.In your WebSite Auditor workspace, locate the Word count column. If it’s not there, right-click on the header of any column to enter the workspace editing mode, and add the Word count column to your active columns.

2.Back to your WebSite Auditor workspace, sort the pages by their content length by clicking on the newly added Word count column.

Panda advice

Surely, quality is not all about word count, since there are cases when you can deliver value in a few hundred words. That is why there’s no “minimum word count” threshold that triggers a low Panda quality score. More to that, sometimes pages with a little over a hundred words do exceptionally well on Google and even get included into its rich answers.

But having too many thin content pages will very likely get you into trouble — so on average, word count under 250 words is a good indicator to locate problematic spots across your site.

Step 3. Check for duplicated/very similar content

Another factor that could be a signal of your site’s low quality is duplicated or very similar content across multiple pages.

How to check

1.In WebSite Auditor, switch to the Site Audit dashboard and locate the Duplicate titles and Duplicate meta descriptions factors under the On-page section.

2.If any of these have an Error status, click on the problematic factor to get a full list of pages where duplication occurs.

Panda advice

Very often, bigger sites have to deal with a huge amount of pages that need to be filled with content. And many of them resort to an easy way to fill out those gaps — by writing boilerplate text that’s the same on each page except for a few variables. This is what Google considers automated, low quality content.

So, besides weeding out the word-by-word duplicated content, pay attention to the similar-looking pieces (say, your page titles are absolutely identical in structure and differ only in a product name) that may be a sign of content automation.

Step 4. Check for aggregated content/plagiarism

What’s also synonymous with quality in Google’s eyes is the “uniqueness” of your content. As Google wants your content to add value and not simply repeat what’s already been said, having non-unique content on your website (e.g. plagiarized content, product descriptions duplicated in feeds used on other channels like Amazon, shopping comparison sites and eBay) is an easy way to get under Google’s Panda filter.

How to check

If you suspect that some of your pages may be duplicated externally on other online resources, a good idea would be to check them with Copyscape.

Copyscape gives some of its data for free (for instance, comparing two specific URLs), but for a comprehensive check you may need a paid Premium account.

Panda advice

Even though Google tries to identify the original source of content, experiments show that in many cases they are unable to tell the stolen content from the original.

So, to make sure content thieves don’t hurt your Panda quality score, take appropriate action if you notice someone’s using your content on their sites — either by contacting the webmaster to ask them to remove the copied content, or using this content removal form from Google.

Step 5. Check for proper keyword usage

Keywords and keyword targeting are the most basic and longest-running concepts in SEO. And if you’ve been in the search industry for quite some time, you may remember the days when SEO meant just having the right words in your meta keywords tag.

Sure, these times have passed: search engines now try to detect and punish websites deliberately using too many keywords in their content.

However, whether Google will admit it or not, their algorithms are still built upon keywords. And having a keyword in your title tag does improve your page’s rankings, meaning you simply can’t afford not optimizing pages for keywords.

So, the only ticklish question here is, “How many is too many?” And one of the ways to check this is by looking at top ranking competitors (because the sites that rank in top 10 are the sites that pass Google quality test with an A+.)

How to check

1. In your WebSite Auditor project, go to the Content Analysis module and select the page you’d like to analyze.

2. Enter the keywords you’ve been optimising this page for and let the tool analyse your page along with your top ranking competitors.

3. What you will see now is the average keyword usage stats, both on your page and competitors’ pages. Ideally, all content-related SEO factors should have a green Correct status. For any factors that don’t, click on them one by one and pay particular attention to the Keyword stuffing column.

4. If you’d like to go the extra mile and see how well your page is optimised for all topically relevant keywords (and not just the ones you specified), switch to the TF-IDF dashboard. Here, you’ll see the terms and phrases that your top ranking competitors commonly use in their content. Pay attention to the Recommendation column to find out which terms you may want to add or use less of.

5. Now switch to the Content Editor module to add or remove extra keywords and see your on-page stats recalculate for you as you type.

6. When you’re done, hit the Save button to save the optimized HTML to your computer, ready for upload to your site.

Panda advice

Remember the Hummingbird algorithm update? The one with which Google learned to recognize the meaning behind a search query and give a common answer to a number of “different-in-keywords” but “same-in-meaning” queries?

This update changed the way SEOs optimize pages — now we no longer think “single keyword optimization“, but try to make our pages comprehensive and relevant for a whole group of synonyms and related terms. So, utilizing synonyms and related terms will help you improve your pages’ relevance, rankings and avoid the keyword stuffing issues.

Step 6. Check for user engagement metrics

Though Google generally states that user experience signals are not included into their search ranking algorithm, real-life experiments show the opposite. And one of the metrics SEOs suspect Google to use is bounce rates.

Think about it — as Google tries to bring users the best search experience, it obviously wants them to find what they were looking for with the first search result they click on. The best search experience is one that immediately lands the searcher on a page that has all the information they need, so that they don’t hit the back button to return to the SERP and look for other alternatives.

Bouncing off pages quickly to return to the SERP and look for other results is called pogo-sticking, and it can be easily measured in terms of bounce rates.

How to check

1. In WebSite Auditor’s Pages dashboard, go the Traffic coming to pages tab.

2. Select all pages in this view, and hit Update Pages. From the list of factors to update, only select Page Traffic.

Panda advice

The thing to remember when analyzing your bounce rates is that “it’s all about user intent”. If the searcher is looking for a very quick answer (think “What’s the capital of Australia?”) — then, quite obviously, they will leave the page as soon as they get the information they need.

If the high-bounce pages you see on your site are of this kind — giving users the immediate answers they were looking for — then they are not something to worry about. In other cases, try to improve your content and user experience to lower the bounce rates.

Other Things To Consider:

1. Check for user-generated content issues.
User-generated content and how it affects Panda has been a hot topic recently, and it has gotten to the point where many SEOs are recommending to get rid of all user-generated content, claiming that Google sees it as a signal of poor site quality.

This is far from true, because we’re still seeing lots of websites based purely on user-generated content (think Quora) that are doing well on Google.

However, user-generated spam — for instance, irrelevant comments on your blog or poorly moderated forum pages — can put your site into trouble.

So if your website features user-generated content, make sure improving your moderation strategy is a priority.

2. Check for grammar mistakes.
Bad spelling and grammar can both impede user experience and lower the trustworthiness of your content in Google’s eyes, so don’t tempt the fate by leaving obvious grammar errors on your pages. You may want to use a specialized grammar tool like Grammarly, or simply copy your pages’ content and paste it into a word processor. This should highlight the spelling mistakes so you can update the content.

3. Check for intrusive ads.
Sure thing, Panda is not the reason to stop using ads on your site. As long as your ads don’t get obtrusive, that is. Not only do excessive and disruptive ads (pop-ups, above-the-fold ads, and so on) annoy visitors, they apparently get on Google’s nerves just as well. Remember, this kind of advertisements can also trigger the Fred update — another reason to say no to intrusive ads.

Want to learn Digital Marketing?

Don’t want to battle for Azeroth

World of Warcraft announced a 7th expansion called Battle for Azeroth. At this point in time I don’t feel any interest in that expansion. If it came out today, I wouldn’t buy it. As it is coming out in a year, there is still time for me to change my mind. But there is a greater than zero probability that this will be the first World of Warcraft expansion I’m opting out of.

The NBA 2K franchise back with NBA 2K18 now in the Play Store

2K, Inc

  • NBA 2K18, the newest entry in the iconic franchise, is now on the Play Store
  • The game includes updated mechanics, an expanded script in career mode, and a new game mode
  • The soundtrack features artists like Kendrick Lamar, Naughty by Nature, and Nas

It’s never been a better time to be a sports fan with a smartphone. Not only are there an endless amount of apps like theScore and 365 Sports that keep you up to date on your teams, but sports games are getting better and better. Most of the important sports franchises are available as mobile versions now. The list includes ultra-popular titles like Madden, Fifa, NBA 2K18 and more.

The latest version of NBA 2K just hit the Play Store with a ton of improvements over last year’s version. New features like an improved MyCAREER mode and “The Association” mode join an improved soundtrack. In the updated career mode, the script has been expanded and more interactions are available for your player. Association Mode is a new multi-season mode that reminds us a lot of Dynasty Mode from other games. 

See also

Music has always been a staple of sports games and it’s no different for NBA 2K18. 2K promises an “eclectic mix” of music with artists like Future, Kendrick Lamar, Shakira, Nas and more. Gameplay controls are now improved and new gameplay mechanics like sprinting on defense are now included in the game. 

2K came under fire earlier this year for the console version of NBA 2K. The game is packed with microtransactions for everything from improving your career mode player to giving your player a new haircut. Sadly, it looks like the mobile version is no different. On top of the $7.99 price tag, NBA 2K18 features in-app purchases that range all the way up to $49.99. Ouch.

People don’t seem to mind, though, because the game currently sits at a 4.0 rating on the Play Store. There are only about 250 reviews so that may change, but we’ll have to wait to find out. If you want to check out NBA 2K18, hit the button below.

get it at google play

Combat optional

One of the comments on my previous post on Zelda about combat feeling optional got me thinking. Role-playing games evolved from war games: The full name of TSR, the company that first made Dungeons & Dragons, was “Tactical Studies Rules”; and the game evolved out of a squad-based war game with heroes fighting monsters. Since then combat against monsters has been very much at the heart of role-playing games of all sorts. Frequently you gained experience points, and thus levels, and thus power, by killing monsters. In MMORPGs that even led to players thinking about monsters as being a resource, with other players being a nuisance for “killstealing” or otherwise taking that monster resource away from you.

In Zelda – Breath of the Wild the monster is back where it belongs: In the role of an obstacle. There are no xp to gain, killing monsters doesn’t increase your power. Yes, you might earn a nice weapon in a treasure, but you could also break your weapon while killing the monsters and then find a worse replacement in their treasure chest. Monsters drop monster parts, which can be combined with stuff like insects to cook elixirs (which sell for much more than the monster parts). There is even a special trader in the game that allows you to trade monster parts for another currency with which you can buy special items like monster disguises. But in the long run, killing monsters frequently just isn’t worth it. When exploring in the mountains and getting attacked by a monster, I’d try to punt it over a ledge and got rid of it, even if that meant I wouldn’t loot it.

Combat isn’t completely optional however. At the very least you will need to kill 5 different incarnations of Ganon, the big evil guy, before reaching the closing credits. If you want to do all shrines, about 10% of them consist of a combat trial, and some others have lesser guardian monsters mixed with puzzles. You might also want at some point in time farm certain monster parts to upgrade armor with. But what I like is that you can wander the landscape and decide to circumvent a monster camp if you don’t feel like attacking it. Because you don’t have to fight everything.

A ‘Security Robot’ for the Homeless Has Already Been Tried—It Didn’t Go Well

The 400lb machine that once patrolled outside the San Francisco SPCA prompted a backlash, as some argued its real mission was to drive people away.

To some who are homeless, San Francisco’s latest security robot was a rolling friend on five wheels that they called “R2-D2 Two”. To others living in tents within the droid’s radius, it was the “anti-homeless robot”.

For a month, the 400lb, bullet-shaped bot patrolled outside the not-for-profit San Francisco SPCA animal shelter, rolling around the organization’s parking lots and sidewalks, capturing security video and reading up to 300 license plates per minute. Homeless people who pitched their tents in an alleyway nearby complained they felt the beeping, whirring droid’s job was to run them off.

“We called it the anti-homeless robot,” said John Alvarado, who was one of numerous people camping next to the animal shelter when the robot arrived. He said he quickly decided to move his tent half a block away: “I guess that was the reason for the robot.”

Officials of both the SF SPCA and Knightscope, who rented the robot to the shelter, denied that the intention was to dislodge homeless encampments.

“The SPCA has the right to protect its property, employees and visitors, and Knightscope is dedicated to helping them achieve this goal,” Knightscope said in a statement.

SF SPCA staff members said the facility had been plagued with break-ins, staff members had been harassed as they went to the parking lot and sidewalks were littered with hypodermic needles. Jennifer Scarlett, the SF SPCA president, said in a release that her organization “was exploring the use of a robot to prevent additional burglaries at our facility and to deter other crimes that frequently occur on our campus – like car break-ins, harassment, vandalism, and graffiti – not to disrupt homeless people”.

But after complaints about the program were shared widely on social media, the organization quickly admitted it had made a mistake in its choice of security guards – and fired the robot.

“Since this story has gone viral, we’ve received hundreds of messages inciting violence and vandalism against our facility, and encouraging people to take retribution,” said Scarlett, noting that their campus had since been vandalized twice. “We are taking this opportunity to reflect on the ‘teachable moment’.”

Some of the homeless people who crossed paths with the white security robot, which bore images of dogs and cats, as it patrolled outside of San Francisco SPCA this month thought it was a cute and a positive addition to the area.

TJ Thornton, whose tent is still pitched across the street from the shelter’s parking lot, nicknamed the bot “R2-D2 Two”. He liked how the machine made little whistling sounds as it moved along the sidewalk and how it would even say “hello” if you walked past it.

Thornton said he thought the bot had a positive influence on the neighborhood and relieved the pressure on local homeless people to always keep an eye on cars parked nearby. “People living on the streets actually watch out for the cars. If anyone does anything stupid, like breaking into cars, it reflects on us.”

Others saw the robot as Big Brother, surveilling their every move with video cameras. “That SPCA robot was the bane of our existence,” said Lexi Evans, 26, who has been living on San Francisco’s streets for 13 years. “It was driving us crazy.”

She said her group of friends had a tent encampment behind the SPCA. When they first saw the robot looking at them, they found it creepy. Then they noticed its white light flashing and thought it was recording their every move on video. Later they observed police officers coming to interact with the robot and wondered whether it was feeding information to law enforcement.

“We started feeling like this thing was surveilling us for the police,” said Evans, whose whole tent encampment has now moved around the block outside another business. “That’s officially invasion of privacy. That’s uncool.”

Evans said that once, someone became so angry with the thing that they knocked it over. The robot made a “whee-ooh wah” sound.

In another instance, somebody “put a tarp over it, knocked it over and put barbecue sauce on all the sensors”, Scarlett, the SPCA president, told the San Francisco Business Times.

Trouble really started for the robot last week, when the city issued an order for it to stay off the public sidewalk or face a daily penalty of up to $1,000 for operating in the public right of way without a permit. Then the story hit the internet, with Scarlett telling the Business Times that “from a walking standpoint, I find the robot much easier to navigate than an encampment”.

But by Friday, SF SPCA was apologizing for having brought in the machine.

“We regret that our words were ill-chosen. They did not properly convey the pilot program’s intent and they inaccurately reflected our values,” said Scarlett. “We are a nonprofit that is extremely sensitive to the issues of homelessness.”

Knightscope’s robots have gotten into trouble in other cities. Last year, a similar robot allegedly ran over a 16-month-old toddler at the Stanford Shopping Center in the town of Palo Alto, causing minor injuries. Another Knightscope security robot became famous on social media for drowning itself in the fountain of the Washington DC office complex it was policing.

“I already miss it,” said Danica Dito, who works in the SPCA administrative offices. “Just the fact that it rolled around discouraged crime.”

 

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Will Python replaCe JaVa ?

will python replace java

Is Java Dying? of course not but Python growing in popularity day by day. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

According to IT programming trends, Java is more popular than any other programming language in terms of number of jobs, number of existing Java developers, and overall usage statics in IT. According to the latest usage statistics posted on a popular technology survey site, Java is being used by 3.0% websites as a server-side programming language, whereas only 0.2% of websites use Python. However, all the recent reports have highlighted that the usage and popularity of Python is growing drastically compared to Java, where usage is coming down year on year.
At myTectra, we have been monitoring the trend of Python and Java since 2013 based on the number of Jobs posted in Naurki for the Bangalore region since 2013. In the below table, we can see that Java requirements are coming down year over year, whereas Python requirement has grown from 200 in 2014 to 6500+ in 2017.

Following job posting statistics from Indeed shows Python is the only programming language consistently growing, compared to Java.

job posting in IT for proramming

Difference between Java and Python

There are three main language characteristics that make programmers more productive with Python than with Java.
In Java, all variable names (along with their types) must be explicitly declared. Attempting to assign an object of the wrong type to a variable name triggers a type exception.That’s what it means to say that Java is a statically typed language.
Java container objects (e.g. Vector and ArrayList) hold objects of the generic type Object, but cannot hold primitives such as int. To store an int in a Vector, you must first convert the int to an Integer. When you retrieve an object from a container, it doesn’t remember its type, and must be explicitly cast to the desired type.

In Python, you never declare anything. An assignment statement binds a name to an object, and the object can be of any type. If a name is assigned to an object of one type, it may later be assigned to an object of a different type. That’s what it means to say that Python is a dynamically typed language.
Python container objects (e.g. lists and dictionaries) can hold objects of any type, including numbers and lists. When you retrieve an object from a container, it remembers its type, so no casting is required.

Java is a verbose containing more words than are necessary but Python is concise expressing much in fewer words. Java is not compact but Python is a compact language.

Python  is powerful, flexible, open source language that is easy to learn, easy to use, and has powerful libraries for data manipulation and analysis. Its simple syntax is very accessible to programming novices, and will look familiar to anyone with experience in Matlab, C/C++, Java, or Visual Basic. Python has a unique combination of being both a capable general-purpose programming language as well as being easy to use for analytical and quantitative computing.

Python become a language of choice for all the current trending Technologies in IT. If the current trends continues Python will become the most sought after language and overtake the number of jobs requirement in next 2-3 years.

Want to Learn Programming?

The Stolen Honduran Election: Only The People Can Save Themselves

Current President Juan Orlando Hernández has destroyed whatever minimal legitimacy the state institutions once had.

‘The people are calling it a fraudulent and stolen election’, said Dr. Luther Castillo Harry, when I asked him about the late November election in Honduras. Castillo Harry, who was the National Commissioner of Ministry of Health in the Honduras, looks despairingly at his native country. The institutions in his country have succumbed to bribery and coercion. He nods his head in pain, thinking about how a combination of the oligarchy and the United States has suffocated Honduras.

The current president – Juan Orlando Hernández – has destroyed whatever minimal legitimacy the state institutions once had. In 2012, as the head of the Honduran Congress, Hernández sacked four of the five Supreme Court justices and put in their place those loyal to him. This Court, friendly to Hernández then suggested that the term limits on presidential power were ‘inapplicable’ to him. He could run for re-election in November 2017. When it became clear that he was not winning the popular vote, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) shut down its system. Thirty-six hours later, when the vote count appeared, Hernández was in the lead. He has now been declared the winner.

Castillo Harry’s despondency is not without basis. Things are so bad that even the Organization of American States (OAS), normally quite happy to toe the US line, has been outspoken in its condemnation of the stolen election. The OAS asked Dr. Irfan Nooruddin of Georgetown University to look at the TSE data and at the dramatic vote swing that occurred over the thirty-six hour period of silence. His report – published on 17 December – shows that there are glaring irregularities in the process. ‘The pattern of votes,’ Dr. Nooruddin writes, ‘is suspicious.’ He shows that the irregularities cannot be explained ‘as pure chance.’ This is out-and-out rigging.

Based on Dr. Nooruddin’s report, the OAS Secretary General – Luis Almagro – offered a most detailed denunciation of the election. It is worth reading in full, ‘Deliberate human intrusions in the computer system, intentional elimination of digital traces, the impossibility of knowing the number of opportunities in which the system was violated, pouches of votes open or lacking votes, the extreme statistical improbability with respect to participation levels within the same department, recently printed ballots and additional irregularities, added to the narrow difference of votes between the two most voted candidates, make it impossible to determine with the necessary certainty the winner.’ This is as close to an invalidation of an election as one could get.

The person who ‘lost’ the stolen election – Salvador Nasralla – of La Alianza de Oposición contra la Dictadura, the opposition front, has called for a re-election. This is just what the OAS has also demanded – ‘a new call for general elections.’

Hernández is not keen to call a new election. He has tried to use the full force of the military and police establishment to crush any protest. Hundreds of people have been injured and tens of them killed. The numbers rise with each hour. Castillo Harry says that the same kind of repression used in the 1980s is now visible. In fact, Hernández’s advisor for security comes from the CIA created death squad, Battalion 316. Sections of the security forces loyal to Hernández have been entering people’s homes at night, arresting them, disappearing them. ‘We have a large group of missing comrades,’ says Castillo Harry. They ‘have been captured and disappeared and are not yet reported as missing.’

But matters are not entirely grave. Castillo Harry points to the sections of the security forces that have refused to comply with the President’s orders. Four hundred members of the elite COBRAS special unit of the police returned to their barracks. They would not fire on their fellow Hondurans. Castillo Harry says that the President personally called the barracks to urge them on. He promised higher salaries and better benefits for the military if they too did his bidding. That there have been these some ‘human rights mutinies’ suggests that there is a fracture in the repressive forces. There is hope here.

The United States has fully backed Hernández in his campaign for re-election. Professor Dana Frank of the University of California (Santa Cruz) and a close observer of Honduras told me that Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelley was close to Hernández when Kelly ran the US Southern Command. He called Hernández a ‘good guy,’ a ‘great friend’ and said that Hernández was doing a ‘magnificent job.’ Stolen election or not, Frank says, ‘Everyone knows that the US wants Hernández in power no matter what.’

The US has an airbase – Palmerola (Soto Cano) Air Base – in Comayagua, fifty miles northwest of the capital Tegucigalpa. This is one of the few major US military bases in Latin America. It was set-up in 1983 for the US to support its contra allies in Nicaragua and its allies in the Honduran military. It is said in Honduras that the US actively participated in the coup against President Zelaya in 2009 because his agenda included the closure of this base. It should be pointed out that the US has directly intervened in the Honduras several times to protect its interests – in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919, 1920, 1924 and 1925. Since the 1980s, however, it has relied on friendly people in the Honduran military and in the Honduran oligarchy to do its bidding. No wonder then that the US is keen to keep the oligarchy in power rather than allow left-leaning Nasralla and his popular alliance to take office.

Castillo Harry is on tour of the United States to speak out about the stolen election. He is being joined by mayors of several cities in Honduras, including Mayor Jose Arnold Avelar Hernandez, who is a leading member of La Alianza de Oposición contra la Dictadura. They would like the people of the United States to ensure that the Trump administration not be allowed to validate the stolen election. Heide Fulton, the top US diplomat in Honduras, said that the US ‘is ready to work with whomever is the winner.’ The problem is that in a stolen election, the winner did not necessarily win.

Dario Euraque, who was in the cabinet of the deposed government of Zelaya, told me that there is ‘extreme anger, sadness and hope’ in the country. Hope comes from the ‘mobilizations and creativity of the people despite the repression and isolation.’ These protests are indeed continuing. Frank agrees, ‘The current protests build on deep, brave commitments on the part of ordinary Hondurans.’ Castillo Harry says that these protests are ‘in the hands of the community based organizations.’ This element, he says, did not exist so robustly in 2009 to defend the government against the coup. Today, he says, there are more than 134 places around the country held by the resistance – with young people in the lead. Almost all those who have been killed are young activists.

‘Only the people save the people,’ Castillo Harry says, repeating a slogan that has appeared in the protests. The walls of cities and towns in Honduras have been painted with the orchid, the national flower. Until 1969, the national flower of Honduras was the rose, although the rose is not native to the country. The orchid however is native to Honduras. There is a poetic sense that this protest is of people who want to take their country back. The stolen election is perhaps the last straw.

 

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