How to use the Files app in iOS 11

One of the most consistent criticisms of Apple’s iOS, the operating system used by the iPhone and iPad, is its limited ability to organize documents and data. Until now, documents created on a mobile device have been saved to an app’s file space, and opening a document generally involved reopening the app — usually with no easy way to sort and organize the files.

The idea behind that process — sandboxing — was to isolate app data from other apps and the operating system, and so limit the potential for security breaches. But the sandboxed nature of iOS apps meant documents could only be saved to, and then accessed from, the apps that created them. Apple over time added ways of sharing data between apps and to contacts, making it easier to share documents first via email and text message and more recently by using online services such as DropBox and OneDrive.

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Microsoft explores ‘safe’ manual memory management in .Net

Microsoft Research has been experimenting with integrating safe manual memory management with garbage collection (GC) in the .Net runtime. The goal is to give developers both the convenience and safety of automated memory management and the opportunity to improve performance by freeing objects from memory manually.

The effort, called Project Snowflake, is the subject of a paper published this week by Microsoft Research and co-authors from the University of Cambridge and Princeton University. With Snowflake, programmers could choose between allocating objects in the GC heap or the manual heap. Snowflake combines the open source .Net runtime with a facility to manage memory manually without compromising performance or safety. Existing applications run unmodified using the GC heap, with no performance degradation.

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Blindsided

Sales rep for a big software company arrives at this government agency to make his pitch for a child-support collections system — but he’s taken aback when an agency director walks in late and puts a tape recorder on the table, reports an IT pilot …

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Data is eating the software that is eating the world

No one doubts that software engineering shapes every last facet of our 21st century existence. Given his vested interest in companies whose fortunes were built on software engineering, it was no surprise when Marc Andreessen declared that “software is eating the world.”

But what does that actually mean, and, just as important, does it still apply, if it ever did? These questions came to me recently when I reread Andreessen’s op-ed piece and noticed that he equated “software” with “programming.” Just as significant, he equated “eating” with industry takeovers by “Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial technology companies” and then rattled through the usual honor roll of Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Google, and the like. What they, and others cited by Andreessen, have in common is that they built global-scale business models on the backs of programmers who bang out the code that drives web, mobile, social, cloud, and other 24/7 online channels.

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