NASA

+ - 154 NASA's Garver Insists that American Commitment to Space Exploration Undiminished->

Submitted by
MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington writes "Space.com reports that NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, at a space-entrepreneurship forum organized by Stanford University's Institute for Economic Policy Research, insisted that the space agency's commitment to space exploration is undiminished. To support her contention, Garver cited overall spending for NASA as compared to that of space agencies of other countries. But other data, from the money spent on the space agency's space exploration and planetary science accounts to a scathing report from the National Research Council tells a different story."
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Earth

+ - 194 Obama Proposes 'Meaningful Action' on Climate Change->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "President Barack Obama called for "meaningful progress" on tackling climate change in his State of the Union speech in Washington, DC on Tuesday night. While acknowledging that "no single event makes a trend," the President noted that the United States had been buffeted by extreme weather events that in many cases encapsulated the predictions of climate scientists. "But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods — all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science — and act before it’s too late," Obama added."
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Microsoft

+ - 117 Xbox Originator: Stupid, Stupid xBox!! 1

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "You can't begrudge Nat Brown for claiming some pride in the birth of Microsoft's game console: ' I was a founder of the original xBox project at Microsoft and gave it its name. Almost 14 years after the painful, pointless, and idiotic internal cage-match to get it started and funded, the hard selling of a compelling and lucrative living-room product to Bill (and then Steve as he began to take over), a product that consumers would want and love and demand, I am actually still thrilled to see how far it has come...' but in his recent ILIKE.CODE blog post he is driven to lament that '...as usual, Microsoft has jumped its own shark and is out stomping through the weeds planning and talking about far-flung future strategies in interactive television and original programming partnerships with big dying media companies when their core product, their home town is on fire, their soldiers, their developers, are tired and deserting, and their supply-lines are broken.' Nat goes on to detail a list of Microsoft's past and present strategic Xbox blunders, while tossing some barbs towards Nintendo's and Sony's game console strategies."
Security

+ - 205 How Lockheed Martin's 'Kill Chain' Stopped An Attacker Already Inside->

Submitted by ancientribe
ancientribe (1057834) writes "Lockheed Martin's director of cybersecurity provided a rare inside look at how the Defense contractor was able to stop sophisticated attackers who had gotten inside its network from actually stealing anything. Lockheed's multi-million dollar Cyber Kill Chain framework, a combination of security intelligence tools and manpower was built to prevent determined attackers who inevitably gain a foothold in the network from taking anything with them. This Dark Reading article highlights an incident where an attacker posed as one of Lockheed's business partners, using legitimate credentials and a stolen RSA SecurID token."
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Education

+ - 169 Missouri Legislation Redefines Science, Pushes Intelligent Design->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Ars reports on new legislation in the Missouri House of Representatives which is seeking equal time in the classroom for Intelligent Design as well as to redefine science itself. You can read the text of the bill online. It uses over 600 words to describe Intelligent Design. Scientific theory, the bill says, is 'an inferred explanation of incompletely understood phenomena about the physical universe based on limited knowledge, whose components are data, logic, and faith-based philosophy.' It would require that 'If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught.' The legislation's references to 'scientific theory' and 'scientific law' make it clear the writers don't have the slightest idea how science actually works. It also has this odd line near the end: 'If biological intelligent design is taught, any proposed identity of the intelligence responsible for earth's biology shall be verifiable by present-day observation or experimentation and teachers shall not question, survey, or otherwise influence student belief in a nonverifiable identity within a science course.'"
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Government

+ - 199 Earth-buzzing asteroid could be worth big bucks: $195B if we could catch it->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "The asteroid NASA say is about the half the size of a football field that will blow past Earth on Feb 15 could be worth up to $195 billion in metals and propellant. That's what the scientists at Deep Space Industries, a company that wants to mine these flashing hunks of space materials, thinks the asteroid known as 2012 DA14 is worth — if they could catch it."
Link to Original Source

+ - 140 Computer Repair Company Takes Revenge on Devious Customer-> 3

Submitted by herrshuster
herrshuster (2839577) writes "Nerds on call, a small computer repair company, was sued for $500,000 dollars by a customer claiming that they had lost critical information in his litigation. But when they looked into his history, they found this was not the first time he had tried to get money from a company through either his own error or ignorance: http://blog.oregonlive.com/complaintdesk/2011/07/when_store_clerks_give_advice.html In retaliation, they posted an explanation of the circumstances on their site that totalled more than 17,000 words in an attempt to google-bomb his name. Their closing statement: "In the end we won’t label him a scam artist, or assume he had nefarious intent, however, we will let the entire history of our interactions with him stand on their own.""
Link to Original Source

+ - 198 Progress Bars 6

Submitted by hyperorbiter
hyperorbiter (876833) writes "How come after 25 years in the tech industry someone hasn't worked out how to make accurate progress bars? This migration I'm doing has sat on "less than a minute" for over 30 minutes . . . I'm not an engineer, but is it that hard?"
Science

+ - 194 Appendix Evolved More Than 30 Times->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The appendix may not be useless after all. The worm-shaped structure found near the junction of the small and large intestines evolved 32 times among mammals, according to a new study. The finding adds weight to the idea that the appendix helps protect our beneficial gut bacteria when a serious infection strikes."
Link to Original Source

+ - 315 PeerJ is changing everything in academic publishing->

Submitted by
Mirk
Mirk writes "Academic researchers want to make their papers open access for the world to read. If they use traditional publishers like Elsevier, Springer or Taylor & Francis, they'll be charged $3000 to bring their work out from behind the paywall. But PeerJ, a new megajournal launched today and funded by Tim O'Reilly, publishes open access articles for $99. That's not done by cutting corners: the editorial process is thorough, and they use rigorous peer-review. The cost savings come from running lean and mean on a born-digital system. The initial batch of 30 papers includes one on a Penn and Teller trick and one on the long necks of dinosaurs."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - 269 Is the concept of "Cyberspace" stupid?->

Submitted by
frank_adrian314159
frank_adrian314159 writes "In an article titled "Stop Pretending Cyberspace Exists", Salon writer Michael Lind notes that "Some ideas make you dumber the moment you learn of them. One of those ideas is the concept of 'cyberspace.'” He says that analogizing cyberspace as a real place leads to an inability to think logically about laws, rules, and how and when the governments could or should intervene to regulate the Internet. He states that such a debate is essential, but that that an "[invasion of] a mythical Oz-like kingdom called cyberspace is just as dopey" when talking about governments and corporations taking a larger role in online communications. Is Lind right? Does the notion of cyberspace make the debate over its governance less fruitful?"
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Security

+ - 107 DARPA, FIDO Alliance Join Race to Replace Passwords->

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "Nearly everyone agrees that passwords are the bane of Internet security. For years, industry thinkers have somewhat vaguely referenced the need for Internet fingerprints capable of reliably verifing identities online. Yet here we are, it’s 2013 and passwords remain the primary means of authenticating users onto networks and workstations.

Two groups today announced projects bent on taking passwords to the curb. The first is an industry group calling itself the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance. It consists of the computer-maker, Lenovo, the security firm, Nok Nok Labs, the online payment giant, PayPal, the biometrics experts, Agnito, and the authentication specialists, Validity. The second is the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), a research and development arm of the Defense Department.

DARPA’s Active Authentication program initially sought to develop tools designed to protect desktop workstations. The program is entering its second phase, in which the agency is calling for research that sets out to establish behavioral biometrics based on discernible cognitive processes and the observable ways that users naturally interact with their environment while using their computing devices. The Active Authentication program will also need to develop what DARPA is calling a “biometric platform,” that integrates all available biometrics into a single device that carries out the actual business of authentication."

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Businesses

+ - 265 Tesla Battles The New York Times->

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "Days after the New York Times released a brutal review of Tesla's electric Model S sedan, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has fired back, claiming the Times article was completely bogus and misleading. In the article in question, Times writer John Broder took the Tesla Model S on a test drive from Washington to Boston, stopping at various service plazas in Delaware and Connecticut well within the projected 265-mile range of the car, as rated by the EPA. However, Broder’s Tesla Model S, despite a heftier 85 kilowatt-hour battery for an extra 100 miles of range in “ideal conditions,” died shortly before reaching its final destination. Broder blames the cold weather and heating issues for his abridged trip; Musk, however, claims the driver did not follow Tesla's instructions, which is why his trip was cut so short. 'We’ve taken great pains to ensure that the car works very well in the cold, which is why we’re so incensed by this ridiculous article,' Musk said."
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Open Source

+ - 180 DIY Web-Controlled Robot that takes 1 hour to build->

Submitted by
fixpert
fixpert writes "We hooked up Pinoccio (an Open Source, wireless Arduino-compatible microcontroller) to a Pololu 3pi Robot to create an unmanned rover that can be driven via the Web. We posted a quick video where you can see us driving our Web Rover in Nevada all the way from Brazil. We used the iPhone's built-in accelerometer as a super-intuitive interface for driving the bot. You can read all about the project — how we built it, what you need to make your own (including source code), and a simulator of the accelerometer interface that you can play with. We're hoping to make Pinoccio the perfect platform for Software Developers to learn how to hack on DIY hardware."
Link to Original Source
Google

+ - 237 More details on Google Pixels found in ChromeOS source->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Details on the Google Pixel have been found in the ChromeOS source code. The device will have a 2056x1700 touchscreen, an Intel IvyBridge Celeron CPU, LTE support and a back-lit keyboard. It's also interesting to note that Sergey Brin has posted a picture of a jellyfish that's similar (colorwise) to the jellyfish in the Google Pixel video. The Pixel is codenamed Link in the ChromeOS source code which contains many references to the device."
Link to Original Source
Twitter

+ - 110 Twitter, American Express Letting People Purchase Goods via Hashtag->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "What could possibly go wrong with this? American Express has announced a partnership with Twitter, giving customers the ability to sync “eligible cards” with the social network. Tweeting special product hashtags (i.e., #uselessjunk) will purchase a product via that synced card. American Express will then send a purchase-confirmation Tweet, and the usual shipping-and-handling of the product will commence. For Twitter, the partnership also holds significant advantages. If this initial foray succeeds, it could potentially evolve into a workable e-commerce model, and thus a separate stream of revenue for the social network aside from advertising. Also, research has shown that people tend to spend more money when using credit cards as opposed to cash. It’s also quite possible that a streamlined online purchase mechanism—think any number of e-commerce Websites’ “Buy Now” buttons—could compel potential customers to buy more often and in larger amounts."
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Piracy

+ - 110 Alleged Operator of Demonoid Released From Jail->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Last August, BitTorrent tracker Demonoid was taken down by law enforcement in the Ukraine. This followed raids in Mexico to arrest the people who ran the site. Panama is somehow involved, too. However, a recent review filed by the U.S. Trade Representative reveals that the criminal case against the main (alleged) operator of Demonoid has stalled, and the person has been released from imprisonment. 'For how long the alleged Demonoid operator was imprisoned is not mentioned. However, the criminal case is ongoing according to the copyright holders, who further mention that it’s now proceeding in Ukraine.'"
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - 127 Third biggest investor objects to Dell buy out->

Submitted by Dupple
Dupple (1016592) writes "One of the country’s biggest mutual fund managers signaled its opposition to Dell‘s proposed $24.4 billion sale on Tuesday, as another investor disclosed a major step in a campaign to fight the deal.

T. Rowe Price said in a statement that it was opposed to the $13.65-a-share takeover bid being offered by the company’s founder, Michael S. Dell, and the investment firm Silver Lake. With a stake of about 4.4 percent, T. Rowe Price is Dell’s third-biggest shareholder.

The second-biggest shareholder, Southeastern Asset Management, meanwhile disclosed in a regulatory filing that it had retained D.F. King, a big proxy solicitation firm, as an adviser. It also confirmed that it held about 8.44 percent of Dell’s shares, trailing only Mr. Dell."

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Censorship

+ - 215 Philippine cybercrime law put on indefinite hold->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Supreme Court of the Philippines has put an indefinite hold on a controversial law that would, among other things, ban cybersex and porn.

A host of groups, particularly journalists, had resoundingly criticized the law, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, as broad and out of touch with how the Internet works. The Philippines’ National Union of Journalists, for example, called its definition of libel “a threat not only against the media and other communicators but anyone in the general public who has access to a computer and the Internet.”"

Link to Original Source

+ - 95 Ask Slashdot: Should there be a National Tax to Subsidize Scientific Research? 3

Submitted by
Josh-Levin
Josh-Levin writes "Scientific research in the US is hurting. Now there is talk of shutting the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven. I know that the Federal Government is short of money, but cutting back on scientific research is eating our seed corn.

Since basic research has been fundamental to all those hi-tech device we all enjoy, I think there should be a fixed Federal excise tax on hi-tech devices, the proceeds to go to scientific research. There shall be safeguards to prevent this tax money from being used for anything but scientific research.

I hope that Slashdot members who respond to this posting will flesh out this idea. How much money is needed, and how big is the hi-tech market? What should the tax rate be? (If it were 10%, it could be termed a "Techo-Tithe".) Who should be exempt? Should it be used only for terrestrial research, or should it include the space program? For products that are partially hi-tech, such as automobiles, should there be a reduced rate based on the hi-tech content of the product?

Ideally, the tax would be paid by the consumer, so that it is visible. Every time you by a computer, a smart phone, or a digital camera, you will know that your tax will subsidize the research behind the next generation of devices, which may be spintronic or optical rather than electronic.

I hope that this discussion will result in a "We the People" petition to the White House (see https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/how-why/introduction) to ask that such a tax be implemented. We need 150 signatures to make such a petition visible, and 100,000 signatures to make sure the President sees it. Please, readers, do not initiate such a petition on your own, until the Slashdot discussion has reached some sort of consensus. We will want to do it right the first time."
Earth

+ - 156 North Dakota Proposes Ban on Natural Gas Flaring after One Year->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "A North Dakota lawmaker has proposed a bill that would ban flaring at oil and natural gas sites after one year of that site's operation. ISS footage has revealed that now large swaths of North Dakota are illuminated at night due simply to flaring from Bakken oil and natural gas drilling. Democratic Sen. Tim Mathern, proposer of the bill, said "It’s bringing a higher quality of life to western North Dakota, it’s putting an end to waste (and) it’s addressing the issue of climate change" and "This is taking a, what I’d call, a step-wise approach in addressing health and waste." In 2011, waste from global flaring equivocated to a fourth of the United State's natural gas consumption. The major difference between this bill and current law is that no exemptions whatsoever will be made. Mathern claimed that 30 percent of natural gas is flared in western North Dakota compared to the national average which is in single digits."
Link to Original Source
Chrome

+ - 158 Has the local browser cache become useless? 1

Submitted by lesincompetent
lesincompetent (2836253) writes "Think about it. In this age of high end hardware and relatively high bandwidth, storing things on a device many orders of magnitude slower than any other is something we should get rid of. Even for static content: is it really worth the disk I\O effort? How much page loading time am i saving? Not to mention the fact that browser caches are among the first causes of system littering. It's been many years now since the last time i had a browser with disk caching enabled on any of my systems (besides chrome, unfortunately, because you can't deactivate it.)"
Canada

+ - 99 Canadian Internet Surveillance Bill Could Come Back in New Form->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced yesterday that the government will not be proceeding with Bill C-30, the lawful access/Internet surveillance legislation. Yet despite the celebration of the Canadian Internet community, Michael Geist notes that the law could return. On the same day the government put the bill out its misery, it introduced Bill C-55 on warrantless wiretapping. Although the bill is ostensibly a response to last year's R v. Tse decision from the Supreme Court of Canada, much of the bill is lifted directly from Bill C-30. Moreover, there will be other ways to revive the more troublesome Internet surveillance provisions. Christopher Parsons points to lawful intercept requirements in the forthcoming spectrum auction, while many others have discussed Bill C-12, which includes provisions that encourage personal information disclosure without court oversight. Of course, cynics might also point to the 2007 pledge from then-Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to not introduce mandatory disclosure of personal information without a warrant. That position was dropped soon after a new minister took over the portfolio."
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News

+ - 129 Listen to Baby Ants Talking ->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "Complex, socially-tiered societies require complex communication. So perhaps it’s unsurprising that eusocial animals like ants are also incredibly communicative—more so than we previously understood, according to a new study in Current Biology. Many ants begin communicating acoustically from a very young age, in fact, in such a way that scientists suggest may be very important to their survival.

As explained in an article by Carrie Arnold at ScienceNow, scientists believed until only recently that ants communicated only through pheromones, leaving, for example, scent trails behind them for other ants to follow—hence the phenomenon of single-file marching ants. (They can also, newer research suggests, use magnetic and vibrational landmarks to guide themselves around.)"

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Android

+ - 166 Android phones are connecting without carrier networks->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "While the cellphone network in Haiti survived the devastating earthquake in 2010, the added load of international aid workers who arrived in the aftermath caused it to crash. Josh Thomas and Jeff Robble, both working at Mitre, saw this problem and created a working prototype backup network using only the Wi-Fi chips on Android smartphones. This capability won’t be shipped on new mobile phones anytime soon, but it is a really interesting open innovation project to understand and follow, and for some an Android project to which they might contribute.

The Smart Phone Ad-Hoc Networks (SPAN) project reconfigures the onboard Wi-Fi chip of a smartphone to act as a Wi-Fi router with other nearby similarly configured smartphones, creating an ad-hoc mesh network. These smartphones can then communicate with one another without an operational carrier network. SPAN intercepts all communications at the Global Handset Proxy so applications such as VoIP, Twitter, email etc., work normally."

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Programming

+ - 238 Can You Do The Regular Expression Crossword? ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Programmers often say that regular expressions are fun ... but now they can be a whole lot of fun in a completely new way. Want to try your hand at a regular expression crossword?
The idea is simple enough — create a crossword style puzzle with regular expressions are the "clues". In case you don't know what a regular expression is — it is a way of specifying what characters are allowed using wild-card characters and more. For example a dot matches any single character, an * any number of characters and so on.
The regular expression crossword is more a sort of Sudoku style puzzle than crossword however because the clues determine the pattern the the entries in a row have to satisfy. It also has to use a hexagonal grid to provide three regular expressions to control each entry.
This particular regular expression crossword was part of this year's MIT Mystery Hunt, and if you don't know anything about it then good — because it could waste a lot of time. This annual event is crammed with a collection of very difficult problems and the regular expression crossword, created by Dan Gulotta from an idea by Palmer Mebane, was just a small part of the whole — and yes there is a solution.
http://www.coinheist.com/rubik/a_regular_crossword/grid.pdf"

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Security

+ - 119 Unintended and Malicious Applications of Augmented Reality->

Submitted by
Orome1
Orome1 writes "Augmented reality technologies overlay computer generated data on a live view of the real world. Anticipated application domains include entertainment, travel, education, collaboration, and law enforcement, among numerous others. Expect the wondrous, the compelling, and the creepy. We will see all three. This article combines augmented reality with reasonable assumptions of technological advancement, business incentives, and human nature to present a less optimistic, but probable, future augmented reality applications."
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Programming

+ - 185 Learn COBOL, Because It Will Outlive Us All-> 1

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "Here's an old computer science joke: What's the difference between hardware and software? If you use hardware long enough, it breaks. If you use software long enough, it works. The truth behind that is the reason that so much decades-old COBOL code is out there still driving crucial applications and banks and other huge companies. Many attempts to replace COBOL applications flopped in the 1980s and '90s, and we're stuck with them for the foreseeable future — but the Baby Boomers who wrote all that code are now retiring en masse. So if you want a successful IT career, you should probably learn COBOL."
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Android

+ - 118 Turning A Kindle Fire HD Into A Power Tablet->

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "The Kindle Fire HD is in theory a powerful device at a reasonable price — but its Android-based OS is so oriented towards Amazon's ecosystem that it can be tricky to unlock its full potential. Still, with a little savvy you can get underneath the covers, improving battery life, getting full access to cameras and other devices, and even listening to music you've purchased through iTunes."
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EU

+ - 107 EU Budget Cuts Remove Rural Broadband Support->

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "The European central budget is being cut, and one casualty will be rural broadband plans, according to a blog post by Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for the Ditial Agenda. The whole budget for digital projects has been cut from €9.2 billion to €1bn. and rural broadband will get none. This is a big setback for a project which was originally supposed to ensure a minimum speed of 30MBPS across Europe by 2020."
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Linux

+ - 110 Linux real-time scheduler SCHED_DEADLINE v7 released->

Submitted by
c1oud
c1oud writes "ReTiS Lab and Evidence Srl have just released SCHED_DEADLINE v7 on LKML.

SCHED_DEADLINE is a new deadline-based real-time task scheduling policy for the Linux kernel with bandwidth isolation (aka "resource reservation") capabilities. It supports global/clustered multiprocessor scheduling through dynamic task migrations.

This is a major release, and the RFC tag has been now removed. It seems also that the interest from the industry is growing."

Link to Original Source

+ - 155 Adobe bows to pressure and cuts Australian prices->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Software giant Adobe has bowed to public pressure and slashed the price of some of its products for Australian customers a day after being ordered to front a parliamentary committee hearing to explain its excessive charges."
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Microsoft

+ - 108 Bill Gates Surprised Programming Not Simplified 2

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Answering questions about everything from his favorite book (The Better Angels of our Nature) to his favorite band (Weezer) to the Microsoft product he wished made it to the market (WinFS), Bill Gates hosted a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) Monday morning. Asked if he still codes, Gates responded, 'Not as much as I would like to. I write some C, C# and some Basic. I am surprised new languages have not made more progress in simplifying programming." So, is Bill right (Exhibit A: old-school Microsoft BASIC vs. newfangled Google GO), or are there other new languages he should check out?"