NewsBits: MongoDB 3.6 Rolls Out, Django 2.0 Debuts, and CryptoKitties


Welcome to NewsBits where you'll find the database, cloud, and developer news from around the net for the week ending December 8th:

And now, those NewsBits in full:

Database Bits

MongoDB 3.6: MongoDB, the company behind the venerable NoSQL database, announced this week that MongoDB 3.6 is now Generally Available. Improvement of existing features was a major theme of 3.6, as better support for sub-document lookups and array update operators took center stage. This version also introduced collection-level validations using JSONSchema as well as the ability to subscribe to real-time notifications of changes to a collection using Change Streams.

PostgreSQL: In a sneak preview of what's to come next year in PostgreSQL 11, PostgreSQL rolled out a new "procedure" object type, allowing developers to natively define return-less methods in PL/PGSQL. This update extends the PostgreSQL syntax with new corresponding CREATE/ALTER/DROP PROCEDURE commands, and the ALTER / DROP ROUTINE methods will apply to both function and procedure objects.

Developer Bits

NodeJS: An OpenSSL vulnerability prompted a new release for all versions of NodeJS. This vulnerability could be exploited by allowing malicious data to be sent using HTTP2 that bypassed TLS. The update was rolled out across all versions of NodeJS and developers are encouraged to immediately upgrade to the latest version.

Django 2.0: Django 2.0, the latest version of the Python web app development framework, makes its debut this week. In addition to removing many deprecated features, the latest version sports a simplified router syntax, a mobile-friendly responsive template for the auto-generated admin interface, and Window Functions which make computing data over querysets more efficient.

WebAssembly: The WebAssembly spec has reached maturity and is now supported by all major browsers, bringing the web one step closer to nearly-native webapp performance. The low-level subset of JavaScript can be easily converted to the assembly language each platform by JavaScript engines. The WebAssembly language is already supported as LLVM compiler targets, and with full support from browsers, developers can expect to see more robust and complex browser-based applications.

AI: In a milestone reminiscent of IBM Watson's Jeopardy victory, or the IBM DeepBlue victory over human Chessmaster Gary Kasparov, DeepMind researchers have created a chess bot that used deep learning learned chess well enough to beat the best existing Chess Bots in the world - in just 4 hours. Based on a generic version of the AlphaGo algorithm called AlphaZero, the algorithm represents a major step forward in AI learning systems as solutions using deep neural networks continue to outperform traditional AI techniques.

And finally, the Ethereum network was all abuzz with CryptoKittes, the digital cryptogame that uses blockchain technology to create cryptographically unique collectible digital avatars. The game created controversy as its popularity not only generated $7MM in revenue for the company but became so popular that it clogged the Ethereum network. Now you can clog the Ethereum network too.

NewsBits. News in bits, every Friday at Compose.

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John O'Connor
John O'Connor is a code junky, educator, and amateur dad that loves letting the smoke out of gadgets, turning caffeine into code, and writing about it all. Love this article? Head over to John O'Connor’s author page to keep reading.

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