‘I expect to be able to tap my AirPods and ask Siri to get me a loan'

Thanks to Apple’s revolutionary iPhone and the imitators that followed it, banking is on the cusp of profound change and Cupertino has a chance to embrace it.

‘Banking is finished’

“Banking as we know it is finished,” said Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group of one of the world’s biggest financial advice companies today.

His statement comes as a people from across the fintech sector meet at the Innovate Finance Global Summit (IFGS) to talk about the future of the industry. The event, led by a keynote speech from Sir Tim Berners Lee, has a big focus on mobile and digital with a focus on inclusion and on enabling services that benefit communities.

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Windows 3.1: Microsoft's milestone, 25 years on

Windows 3.1: Microsoft's milestone, 25 years on

Happy birthday, Windows 3.1
Microsoft Windows 3.1

Imagine a world without the Start button. No, I’m not talking about Windows 8. Dig deep into your memory and you may recall a time when Windows 3.1 ruled the earth.

Twenty-five years ago this month, Microsoft released Version 3.1 of its MS-DOS graphical-shell-turned-operating-system. Windows 3.1 became the first version of Windows to be widely distributed with new PCs, cementing the dominance of Microsoft’s OS on the IBM PC platform and signaling the dawn of the Golden Age of Windows.

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21 hot programming trends—and 21 going cold

Programmers love to sneer at the world of fashion where trends blow through like breezes. Skirt lengths rise and fall, pigments come and go, ties get fatter, then thinner. But in the world of technology, rigor, science, math, and precision rule over fad.

That’s not to say programming is a profession devoid of trends. The difference is that programming trends are driven by greater efficiency, increased customization, and ease of use. The new technologies that deliver one or more of these eclipse the previous generation. It’s a meritocracy, not a whimsy-ocracy.

What follows is a list of what’s hot and what’s not among today’s programmers. Not everyone will agree with what’s A-listed, what’s D-listed, and what’s been left out. That’s what makes programming an endlessly fascinating profession: rapid change, passionate debate, sudden comebacks.

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New functional language champions type-driven development

Functional programming has added a new language in its ranks with the recent 1.0 release of Idris.

The language is positioned as general purpose, with dependent types. “Dependent types allow types to be predicated on values, meaning that some aspects of a program’s behavior can be specified precisely in the type,” documentation on the language said. Idris also leverages eager evaluation for compilation, in which an expression is evaluated right when it is bound to a variable.

Idris also features totality checking, coinductive types, an extensible syntax, a simple foreign function interface to C, and a Hugs-style interactive environment. Hugs 98 was a programming language based on Haskell 98; Idris is closely related to the Agda and Epigram functional languages. 

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Android Gboard smartens up with federated machine learning

Google has begun using a machine learning approach to learn from user interactions with mobile devices.

Currently under testing in the Gboard on Android keyboard, Federated Learning lets smartphones collaboratively pick up a shared prediction model while keeping training data on the device. This way, the need to do machine learning is decoupled from the need to store the data in the cloud.

Federated Learning provides for smarter models, less power consumption, lower latency, and ensured privacy, Google research scientists said. The model on the phone can help power experiences personalized by how users interact with the device.

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Free at last! D language's official compiler is open source

The D language, long an underdog among programmers, got a significant boost this past week when its developers received permission to relicense its reference compiler as an open source project.

DMD, the reference compiler for D, has been encumbered by legacy licensing, courtesy of Symantec. The license made it problematic to distribute the compiler in conjunction with other open source software — for instance, in a Linux distribution — and often sparked confusion about what it permitted.

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Enterprises get to work in the cloud

Enterprises are finding all sorts of reasons to moved their data and business processes to the cloud.

Capital One Financial Corp., for instance, is using the cloud as it advances from a financial services provider to a tech company with collaborative workspace, IT workers with new skill sets, fast-paced apps, and a focus on leading with cutting-edge technologies.

The American Heart Association is working with Amazon Web Services to set up a cloud-based system where scientists from around the world can store, share and analyze research data. Making that data available in the cloud could accelerate research and lead to a cure for cardiovascular disease, which is the top cause of death worldwide.

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