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+ - Google quadruples Nobel Prize in Computing to $1M->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "The Association for Computing Machinery has announced that its annual A.M. Turing Award, sometimes called the Nobel Prize in Computing, will now come with a $1M award courtesy of Google. Previously, the award came with a $250K prize funded by Google and Intel. The award, which goes to "an individual selected for contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community," is generally doled out in February or March. This past March, the winner was Microsoft Research principal Leslie Lambert. The ACM says the bigger prize should raise the award's visibility."
Link to Original Source

+ - Taking photos of Eiffel Tower at night is illegal->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The next time you're in the City of Lights and are about to snap nighttime pictures of the Eiffel Tower don't: you could be fined.

An obscure clause in EU law states that the tower's evening light display is an "art work" — and therefore is copyrighted.According to the Daily Mail, under the EU's 2001 information society directive, tourists could be fined for taking pictures of the Eiffel Tower at night and sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, or online.

Built in 1889, the structure is the most-visited paid monument in the world that attracts almost seven million of tourists to Paris each year. Tourist flock to see the glittering lightshow, which made its first appearance in 1985. Originally the work of Pierre Bideau, an electrician and lighting engineer, the golden lights that flank the sides of the tower sparkle for five minutes every hour from dusk til dawn.

The tower is classified as public domain, so when the lights are off, picture taking and sharing is permitted."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Quick - destroy the records! (Score 2) 284

by DavidHumus (#48261155) Attached to: Skilled Foreign Workers Treated as Indentured Servants

...the U.S. changed its H-1B record retention policy last week, declaring that records used for labor certification, whether in paper or electronic, "are temporary records and subject to destruction" after five years under the new policy. "There was no explanation for the change, and it is perplexing to researchers," reports Computerworld.

"Perplexing to researchers" would not be perplexing to criminal investigators.

Comment: Importance of hyphenation (Score 1) 339

by DavidHumus (#48253405) Attached to: LAX To London Flight Delayed Over "Al-Quida" Wi-Fi Name

Clearly this would not have been a problem but for someone's ignorance of hyphenation. If the intent was to declare the network was free of "Al-Quida", the proper spelling would have been "Al-Quida-Free Terror Network", but someone with that level of sophistication would probably have spelled "Al-Qaeda" correctly as well.

This is the like the difference between "high-school boys" and "high school-boys".

Comment: Backwards Compatibility - Backward Languages (Score 4, Insightful) 240

by DavidHumus (#48140361) Attached to: Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

So far, I don't think I've seen a single comment here that got the point of the essay.

He's not talking about incremental "improvements" to existing languages, he's pointing out that the common attitude of "we'll make this language easy to learn by making it look like C" is a poor way to achieve any substantial progress.

This is true but everyone who's invested a substantial amount of time learning the dominant, clumsy, descended-from-microcode paradigm is reluctant to dip a toe into anything requiring them to become a true novice again.

I've long been a big fan of what are now called "functional" languages like APL and J - wait, hold on - I know that started alarm bells ringing and red lights flashing for some of you - and find it painful to have to program in the crap languages that still dominate the programming eco-system. Oh look, another loop - let me guess, I'll have to set up the same boilerplate that I've done for every other loop because this language does not have a grammar to let me apply a function across an array. You want me to continue doing math by counting on my fingers when I've got an actual notation that handles arrays at a high level, but I can't use it because it's "too weird". (end rant)

There have been any number of studies - widely ignored in the CS world - going back decades (see this http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/...) - pointing out how poorly dominant programming memes mesh with the way most people think about problems and processes. Meanwhile, the 1960s called - they want their programming languages and debugging "techniques" back - "printf", anyone?

Comment: Re:Paving to the road to hell (Score 1) 135

by DavidHumus (#47678663) Attached to: The Man Responsible For Pop-Up Ads On Building a Better Web

Not to troll, but the problem with restricting advertising is that you are restricting free speech. This is a legitimate concern: who makes the decisions and on what basis when you start down the path of "strictly factual"? It's not that simple. Any number of repressive governments across the globe have laws against publicizing "false" statements but these laws are clearly used to suppress anything they don't like.

Comment: Naive predictions (Score 1) 306

by DavidHumus (#47646257) Attached to: New NSA-Funded Code Rolls All Programming Languages Into One

Without having looked at the post or scrutinized the language, here's a couple of guesses:
1) looks like C: i.e. verbose, vacuous, loopy.
2) has crappy (i.e. industry-standard) array-handling.
3) fails to incorporate any of the decades of research about how people approach problems versus how programming languages do.

Comment: Popular + backwards-compatible = glacial progress (Score 1) 315

by DavidHumus (#47566027) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

Basing one's choice of language to learn on its current popularity - though this may be economically prudent - retards progress in programming languages almost as much as new languages' emphasis on backwards compatibility and ease of learning for novices.

"Backward compatibility" gives us the backward languages that predominate today. Making things easy for beginners gives us languages mostly only suitable for newbies.

Contrast this novice-oriented, backward-looking orientation with the little-understood idea that a language can be a tool of thought, that it can provide us with useful conceptual building blocks for thinking about computation at a high level.

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

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