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ProgrammableWeb

Google Moves Ads API V5.0 Into General Availability

The Google Ads APITrack this API has been moving quickly toward general availability over the past year, with the company committed to moving past beta as rapidly as possible. Version 5.0 of the API was announced in beta less than a month ago on August 26th, this followed quickly after version 4.0 was announced in July.

With the move to general availability, Google is now encouraging developers to include the API in production ready application. This advancement is especially significant given that the Google Ads API has to be reverted back to beta last year, shortly after its initial release. The move last July was the result of developer complaints related to slow response times.

Now that the API is in general availability, developers that are still using hte AdWords API should check out Google’s migration guide. Similarly, for developers that are already using an earlier version of the Ads API, the company has provided a migration guide to assist in that situation. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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ProgrammableWeb

Facebook Begins Rollout of Data Use Checkup to Facebook Platform Developers

In an effort to further protect user privacy, and given past failures in this area, Facebook has recently simplified the company’s platform terms and developer policies in hopes that this will improve adherence to guidelines. To support these goals Facebook has announced the rollout of Data Use Checkup, an annual process for developers that validates data usage.

This new process, which is supported by a self-service tool, was first announced in April of 2020 and will require developers to use check each application they manage for adherence to company standards. Developers will have 60 days to comply with this standard before losing access to APIs.

The rollout of this program will be gradual and developers will begin to be notified over the next several months. The announcement of the rollout notes that developers will be notified “via a developer alert, an email to the registered contact, and in your Task List within the App Dashboard.” To simplify the process for developers that manage multiple apps, Facebook is allowing batch processing via an interface that facilitates this action, although developers will still be required to check each apps permissions.

Developers can check the App Dashboard to verify if they are able to enroll in the program at this time. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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ProgrammableWeb

AND Announces the Launch of an Updated GeoBondaries API

This article is a company-provided press release and although ProgrammableWeb may have edited it, it cannot vouch for the accuracy of the statements within. If you have questions regarding the information below, please contact the company that issued the press release.

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">ProgrammableWeb PR</a>

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ProgrammableWeb

Google Announces Business Application Platform for No-Code Application Development

This week at Google’s Cloud Next virtual conference, Google Cloud Platform is outlining a new solution aimed at enabling citizen developers to automate processes and create applications in a no-code environment. The new Business Application Platform intends to leverage APIs to help enterprise customers modernize legacy apps and create new business channels. 

Google Business Application Platform will lean on existing Google products in order to support hybrid and multi-cloud implementations, AI/ML lifecycle management, and collaboration functionality. 

Amit Zavery, VP/GM and Head of Platform for Google Cloud, summarized the goal of the new product:

“Our mission is to develop a unified solution that empowers both technical developers as well as business developers with the ability to create and extend applications, build and automate business workflows, and connect and modernize legacy applications.”

This new platform will have security features that include customer-managed encryption keys and support for VPC-SC. The Business Application Platform is an ongoing project with a roadmap that hints at future functionality including a newly announced API Gateway. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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ScienceDaily

Sand-sized meteoroids are peppering asteroid Bennu

A new study published this month in JGR Planets posits that the major particle ejections off the near-Earth asteroid Bennu may be the consequence of impacts by small, sand-sized particles called meteoroids onto its surface as the object nears the Sun. The study’s primary author is Southwest Research Institute scientist Dr. William Bottke, who used data from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission.

Launched in 2016, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is currently orbiting Bennu with the aim of briefly touching on the surface and obtaining a sample from the asteroid in October 2020, and then returning to Earth.

“While in orbit, the spacecraft has been sending images of Bennu back to Earth,” Bottke said. “One of the most significant things we’ve noticed is that the asteroid is frequently ejecting materials into space. Tiny rocks are just flying off its surface, yet there is no evidence that they are propelled by sublimating ice, as one might expect from a comet. The biggest events launch rocks as large as a few centimeters.”

Even more curious is the fact that the observed major ejection events tend to occur in the late afternoon on Bennu. Determined to get to the bottom of these events, Bottke reached out to Althea Moorhead at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Moorhead is a member of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, a group that monitors and models meteoroids that may be hazardous to spacecraft.

“Over the years, Althea and her team have built a computer model that determines the number of tiny particles impacting spacecraft,” Bottke explained. “We used this software to calculate the number of meteoroid impacts Bennu would face in its current orbit.”

Many meteoroids originated on comets. As comets approach the Sun, pieces break off as a consequence of solar heating. Some comets even break apart, producing far more small particles than asteroid collisions in the asteroid belt. For this reason, comet fragments are thought to be the major source of meteoroids that fill the inner solar system.

Interpreting their modeling results, Bottke’s study suggests that as Bennu draws closer to the Sun in its orbit, it experiences a higher number of meteoroid impacts. Moreover, sand-sized meteoroids are predicted to hit Bennu with the force of a shotgun blast about once every two weeks, with most striking in the head-on direction. Their impact location on Bennu corresponds to late afternoon and early evening.

Furthermore, Bottke’s study points out that the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) previously made similar observations about impacts on the Moon. As with Bennu, most meteoroids hit the Moon head-on (with head-on defined with respect to the motion of the Earth-Moon system around the Sun). The key difference between Bennu and the Moon is how they rotate around their spin axes. The Moon spins west to east, so head-on impacts correspond to sunrise. Bennu spins in the opposite direction, so head-on impacts hit near dusk.

At first, Bottke’s modeling work seem to predict that meteoroids would eject too little material from Bennu to explain the OSIRIS-REx observations. However, a better match could be obtained if Bennu has a weak porous surface. The possibility that Bennu has this property was recently strengthened by studies of the Bennu-like asteroid Ryugu, the target of Japan’s Hayabusa2 sample return mission. Using explosives to launch a small projectile into Ryugu, the Hayabusa2 team produced a crater that was larger than expected by most impact experts. If Bennu’s surface is indeed similar to Ryugu’s, meteoroid impacts should be capable of ejecting relatively large amounts of debris.

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Materials provided by Southwest Research Institute. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Hackster.io

SparkPunk Sequencer Kit // Chill Soldering Session

We could all use a chill break now and then. Today, let’s put together this synthesizer sequencer from SparkFun. You can use it to create musical sequences with up to ten steps; although it’s designed to work with another, now-defunct kit, you can use the control voltages with lots of different synth modules to create something totally unique!

// Kit page (with links to documentation): https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12707
// Resistor color codes: https://www.seeedstudio.com/blog/2019/04/23/resistor-color-codes-and-chart-for-3-4-5-and-6-band-resistors/
// 3D-printable resistor lead bending tool: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:26025
// Forrest Mims’ technical guides: http://www.forrestmims.com/engineers_mini_notebook.html
// Circuit Classics: https://circuitclassics.com/
// More electronics texts for beginners: https://www.hackster.io/news/getting-started-in-electronics-read-these-597953150c42

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ScienceDaily

A how-to guide for teaching GIS courses online with hardware or software in the cloud

In a new paper this week, geographer Forrest Bowlick at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and colleagues at Texas A&M offer first-hand accounts of what is required for GIS instructors and IT administrators to set up virtual computing specifically for providing state-of-the-art geographic information systems (GIS) instruction.

Bowlick says, “Our research is very applicable in the current remote learning era that we’re working through, because it provides expertly driven insight into how to set up a virtual computing environment in different modes: with hardware and with software in the cloud. While tailored to those needing GIS support, it is also very applicable for other high-performance software needs.”

“By capturing the experiences of both setting up the system and of students using the system, we provide an important resource for others needing to make this investment of time, equipment and energy,” he adds. Such technical practice is becoming required for GIS and other instruction, he points out.

Writing in the Journal of Geography in Higher Education, the authors compare an onsite server set-up and a virtualized cloud set-up scenario and report some student feedback on using a course taught this way. The growing need for fast computers, they point out, has made it harder for everyone to build the machines they need. “Our work talks about how to build fast computers in different ways and shares what we know about making fast computers for digital geography,” Bowlick notes.

He says, “UMass is just one of several programs nationally, but regionally it’s very attractive, especially at the graduate level, because there are not that many in New England. Ours certainly started at the right time, too. With the turn toward using more computational skills and GIS practices, how to use different computer constructs and programming language are become more fundamental needs in education.”

Bowlick has directed a one-year M.S. geography degree program with an emphasis in GIS at UMass Amherst since 2017. He says there may be 10 or 15 students from every college on campus with different majors in the introductory course in a given semester. They need to gain fundamentals of spatial thinking, operating software and problem solving applicable to the diverse interests that students bring to the course.

Generally, these applications involve how to think through spatial problems on such topics as political geography, for example, which might ask who is voting and where, or on gerrymandering and how to discover it. Others are creating COVID-19 virus maps and spatial data to show its prevalence for spatial epidemiology and health geography, while others are modeling ecosystems for fish and wildlife.

Bowlick explains that geographic information science is “a bridging science” — a suite of technologies, a way of thinking and a way to store spatial data including satellite systems for navigation. GIS handles imagery, computer mapping, spatial planning, modeling land cover over time, even helping businesses decide where to open their next location.

GIS was first developed in the late 60s when the Canada Land Inventory needed ways to store, manage and analyze land resource maps over huge areas using new computer technology, Bowlick says. His two co-authors at Texas A&M, both experienced GIS instructors, are Dan Goldberg, an associate professor in geography, and Paul Stine, an IT system administrator for geography.

The authors describe the setup, organization and execution of teaching an introductory WebGIS course while considering student experiences in such a course.

The paper also defines an operational set of resource metrics needed to support the computing needs of students using virtual machines for server-based CyberGIS classes, as well as comparing costs and components needed to build and support an on-premise private cloud teaching environment for a WebGIS course in an on-premise private cloud teaching environment vs. a comparable cloud-based service provider.

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ProgrammableWeb

Infotech Launches API for its E-Ticketing Services

This article is a company-provided press release and although ProgrammableWeb may have edited it, it cannot vouch for the accuracy of the statements within. If you have questions regarding the information below, please contact the company that issued the press release.

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">ProgrammableWeb PR</a>

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Hackster.io

Xilinx Freebie Friday: STEMlab 125-10 Starter Kit

This month’s giveaway from Xilinx is the Red Pitaya STEMlab 125-10, which provides a fleet of hardware prototyping tools, as well as the ability to write your own. This powerhouse can use any popular consumer device as a display and control interface, adding tons of functionality to your workbench in a tiny amount of space.

// Take our quiz to win one of 3 kits, plus a mini screwdriver tool kit: https://events.hackster.io/freebie-friday

// Read more about the STEMlab 125-10 Starter Kit: https://www.redpitaya.com/Catalog/p57/stemlab-125-10-starter-kit?cat=c99

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ProgrammableWeb

Google Releases Guidance for Search Console API Updates

Google has slowly been introducing changes to the Google Search Console APITrack this API, all geared toward improving API performance in light of increased demand. The most recent changes will affect developers that are querying the API for internal data. 

In regard to changes related to the Google Cloud Platform dashboard, the company noted that developers will see a drop in the old API usage report and an increase in the new report. Additionally, developers may need to update API key restrictions, as recent changes may have affected authentication standards. The announcement of these changes provides a how-to for developers that need to update key restrictions. 

Google also announced modifications that will require developers that are “querying the API using a third-party API library or querying the Webmasters Discovery Document directly,” to update these specs by the end of the year. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>