Reader's Corner No. 61: Undervalued iOS Features, Cheating AI Robots, Why Qbasic is Still the Best and the Slow Death of Internet Explorer

June 12, 2018

Another Reader's Corner this week means another opportunity for learning more about ever-evolving technology trends and news! This week we cover a little unknown iOS feature you should consider, cheating bots that are causing quite a stir in the mobile game community, a thirty-year-old programming language to reconsider for beginners, and why using Internet Explorer (people still use that?) has become an increasing issue for web developers.

10 Strikes and You’re Out – the iOS Feature You’re Probably Not Using But Should

Amanda Hart

Source: Daring Fireball

Takeaway: The iOS setting "Erase all data on this iPhone after 10 failed passcode attempts." gives a lot of users (myself included) trepidation about enabling it. 10 attempts seems like it could take all of 30 seconds. Turns out, it takes a lot longer than 30 seconds, and there's no good reason to keep this feature off if you own an iPhone.

Tags: #iOS, #iPhone, #Tips&Tricks

A Wave of Cheating AI Robots is Threatening to Ruin HQ Trivia

Hunter Kenny

Source: Ars Technica

Takeaway: A mobile trivia app phenomenon has taken over social media and amassed a following of millions of mobile users all over the U.S. and United Kingdom. Since it's launch in August 2017, HQ trivia hosts a quick, 12-question trivia contest twice daily and offers it's participants the opportunity to win real money each game, provided that they answer all of the questions correctly. The pot that is to be split between all winners in a given game typically goes for $5,000, but prize money offered on Sunday games, holidays and special events has been known to range from $25,000 to $400,000 in the past. That being said, all games have loopholes and with this easy, lucrative opportunity at stake, it was only a matter of time before the competition was for lack of a better word, "hacked". Web developers and computer programmers around the world have created various bots that are designed to use keyword clues to suggest the most plausible answer within the 10-second time frame - and they work. Let's just hope that a few bad eggs don't ruin HQ trivia for the rest of us.

Tags: #Bots, #Trivia, #AI, #iOS, #Android

30 Years Later, QBasic is Still the Best

Jay Roberts

Source: Nicolas Bize

Takeaway: Simple syntax with a tight compile loop is still an effective way to teach young programmers how to write code.

Tags: #Programming, #Qbasic

The Slow Death of Internet Explorer and the Future of Progressive Enhancement

David Minton

Source: A List Apart

Takeaway: Web features and standards are constantly evolving. Unfortunately, adoption is not. The culprit behind this is a simple acronym that starts with “I” and ends with “E.” To deal with the seemingly abandoned Web browser that was the previous standard used by most of the computing world, web designers and developers seem to have fallen into two camps: give up supporting Internet Explorer and optimize for a modern browser such as Chrome, or be stuck using the features that Internet Explorer supports. Is there a middle ground of graceful degradation that allows websites to take advantage of modern features offered by current HTML and CSS, while at least allowing Internet Explorer users to access content? Oliver Williams lays out such a case in his latest blog post.

Tags: #Browsers, #IE

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