Forgot your password?

Best Introduction To Programming For Bright 11-14-Year-Olds? 962

Posted by timothy
from the don't-forget-cty-and-other-nerd-camps dept.
firthisaword writes "I will be teaching an enrichment programming course to 11-14 year old gifted children in the Spring. It is meant as an introduction to very basic programming paradigms (conditions, variables, loops, etc.), but the kids will invariably have a mix of experience in dealing with computers and programming. The question: Which programming language would be best for starting these kids off on? I am tempted by QBasic which I remember from my early days — it is straightforward and fast, if antiquated and barely supported under XP. Others have suggested Pascal which was conceived as an instructional pseudocode language. Does anyone have experience in that age range? Anything you would recommend? And as a P.S: Out of the innumerable little puzzles/programs/tasks that novice programmers get introduced to such as Fibonacci numbers, primes or binary calculators, which was the most fun and which one taught you the most?" A few years ago, a reader asked a similar but more general question, and several questions have focused on how to introduce kids to programming. Would you do anything different in teaching kids identified as academically advanced?
GNU is Not Unix

Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) Released 482

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the might-be-time-for-a-topic-icon dept.
SDen writes "Bang on target, the new version of Ubuntu Linux is available for our downloading pleasure. Amongst various changes it sports updates to the installer, improved networking, and a new 'Mobile USB' version geared towards the blossoming netbook market. Grab a copy from the Ubuntu website, and check out Linux Format's hands-on look at the Ibex."
PlayStation (Games)

+ - PS3 Linux performs Real Time Ray Tracing

Submitted by
fistfullast33l writes "A video posted on You Tube shows three PS3s networked together to perform Real Time Ray Tracing. Keep in mind that PS3 Linux runs in a hypervisor, so the RSX graphics chip is not being used at all. Even more impressive, PS3 Fanboy is reporting that Linux also limits the number of SPEs to 6 at once, so not all the horsepower on each of the PS3s is being utilized. According to the You Tube Summary, IBM Cell SDK 2.0 is being used for the IBM Interactive Ray-tracer (iRT). This apparently was done by the same team that presented a tech demo at GDC 2007 of a Linux PS3 rendering a 3 million polygon scene in real time at 1080p resolution."

+ - To find money in open source, look for IP owners

Submitted by
AlexGr writes "Posted by Martin LaMonica (CNET blog) April 4, 2007 In his blog, Martin LaMonica writes that if people want to find money in open source, they have to look for IP owners. "If you want open source to thrive, find people who create the intellectual property and talk to them," said Rod Johnson, the creator of the popular open-source Spring framework and CEO of Interface21. Johnson argued that to create innovative products, somebody needs to be paid. But even with this challenge, Johnson sees no alternative to open source. "There are risks about the open-source industry but there is no alternative," he said. "This business is the future of software.""

Hackers Offer Subscription, Support for Malware 105

Posted by Zonk
from the ingenuity-leads-to-swelled-pockets dept.
Stony Stevenson writes "Organised gangs are taking a page out of security vendors' books and setting up their own websites that offer support and subscriptions for malware and spyware. From the article: 'For subscriptions starting as low as $20 per month, enterprises can sell fully managed exploit engines that spyware distributors and spammers can use to infiltrate systems worldwide, said Gunter Ollmann, director of security strategies at IBM's ISS X-Force team. Many exploit providers simply wait for Microsoft's monthly patches, which they then reverse engineer to develop new exploit code against the disclosed vulnerabilities, Ollmann said. "Then all you've got to do is just subscribe to them on a monthly basis.'"

Three University of Wisconsin Stem Cell Patents Rejected 92

Posted by Zonk
from the i'm-so-torn dept.
eldavojohn writes "A non-profit alumni group from the University of Wisconsin (WARF) has suffered a preliminary ruling against three of their recent patents regarding stem cells. Given that these patents have been upheld in prior rulings, there is a lot of speculation that they will be upheld in a future court case. From the PhysOrg article: 'The patents, which cover virtually all stem cell research in the country, have brought in at least $3.2 million and could net much more money before they expire in 2015, the newspaper said. Companies wanting to study the cells must buy licenses costing $75,000 to $400,000. The newspaper said WARF recently started waiving the fees if the research is conducted at universities or by non-profit groups.' Should universities (or groups within universities) be allowed to hold patents and intellectual property while at the same time gaining donations and grants as an educational institution — or for that matter government funds?"

The Modern Ease of 3D Printing 264

Posted by Zonk
from the can-you-fax-me-a-wrench-please dept.
An anonymous reader writes "What will it mean when 3D fabricators become cheap and common? A NY Times article explores the ease of copying objects by scanning them with NextEngine scanner and sending them to 3d 'print shops'. The experiments were done with Legos because most of the things around his office were protected by copyright. What will happen to the economy for engineering when we can just download a pirated description of a machine and 'print' it out? 'The world is just beginning to grapple with the implications of this relatively low-cost duplicating method, often called rapid prototyping. Hearing aid companies, for instance, are producing some custom-fitted ear pieces from scanned molds of patients. Custom car companies produce new parts for classic cars or modified parts for hot rods. Consumer product makers create fully functional designs before committing themselves to big production runs.'"

+ - Computer Interaction in Science Fiction Movies

Submitted by
MidVicious writes "From futuristic 'Punch Cards' to Voice Recognition HoloDeck Interfaces, human/computer interactions have always mirrored the base concepts of our emerging technologies. This article from a Saarland University CS Seminar highlights Hollywood UI ranging from the moderately feasible (Total Recall's television/scenery display wall) to the often ridiculous (Swordfish's 6-flat screen monitor setup complete with 3-D virus-hacking environment). An interesting read, especially considering some of the technology is on its way to becoming a reality."

+ - Comcast Cuts Off Bandwidth Hogs

Submitted by
CorinneI writes "Customers across the country have been contacted by Comcast with a warning to curb excessive bandwidth consumption or risk a one-year service termination. Comcast, however, is refusing to reveal how much bandwidth use is allowed, making it impossible for customers to know if they are in danger of violating Comcast's limit. Might your service be at risk? Find out on

URL:,1895,2111373, p"

"The medium is the message." -- Marshall McLuhan