GabrielF writes "Artificial Intelligence pioneer Joseph Weizenbaum, who created the first chatbot Eliza in the 1960s, died last Thursday at the age of 85. The New York times has an obituary. Weizenbaum designed Eliza so that a user's interaction with the program would approximate the conversation a patient might have with a Rogerian therapist. Although the realism of the interaction was limited, Weizenbaum noted that many users became deeply attached to the program, sharing their deepest secrets with it. This observation contributed to Weizenbaum's later ambivalence about computer technology and worry about the potential implications of artificial intelligence."
Submission Summary: 0 pending, 22 declined, 2 accepted (24 total, 8.33% accepted)
GabrielF writes "In a press release today, Apple confirmed that NBC TV shows will no longer be sold on iTunes. According to Apple, NBC, which accounted for 30% of Apple's TV sales, wanted to double the wholesale price of each episode, resulting in a new retail price of $4.99 an episode instead of $1.99. The other four networks, as well as more than 50 cable channels, will be selling their next season's shows on iTunes for $1.99 an episode."
GabrielF writes "Steve Jobs has followed up on the success of his Thoughts on Music editorial by publishing a new piece on Apple's website aimed at responding to a different set of critics. In A Greener Apple , Steve acknowledges that Apple has been a frequent target of environmental groups such as Greenpeace for building products that "contain hazardous substances that other companies have abandoned." Jobs describes Apple's current use of a variety of toxic chemicals, contrasts his company with others in the industry and outlines ambitious plans for the future, for example, eliminating the use of arsenic in displays, and PVC plastics in all products by 2008 and expanding its recycling program to 19 million pounds per year by 2010, or 30% of the product weight Apple sold 7 years earlier. By comparison, Apple, Dell and HP each currently recycle about 10% of the product weight they sold seven years ago. How will this new piece be received by environmentalists? Will it help kick-start industry-wide changes like Thoughts on Music?"
GabrielF writes "As we learn more about the victims of yesterday's massacre at Virginia Tech it is becoming clear that the international community has been dealt a significant blow. Thus far, the identities of three murdered professors have been announced. They are:
- Kevin Granata — Described as one of the top 5 biomechanics researchers in the US
- Liviu Librescu — 76, a Romanian-born Israeli Holocaust survivor "recognized internationally for his research in aeronautical engineering". He reportedly saved the lives of his students by throwing himself in front of the shooter when the man tried to enter the classroom
- G. V. Loganathan — 51, an Indian-born civil engineering professor
GabrielF writes "What could cause more speculation than a brief announcement involving two of Slashdot's most beloved companies: Apple and Google? Well, today, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google joined Apple's already high-powered board of directors. Schmidt joins Al Gore and the CEOs of Intuit, J. Crew and Genentech on Apple's board. Does this move signal the start of a closer relationship between Apple and Google or is it just an irrelevant insider deal?"