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Programming

The World's Best Living Programmers 274

Posted by timothy
from the yeah-but-do-you-have-his-rookie-card? dept.
itwbennett (1594911) writes "How do you measure success? If it's by Stack Overflow reputation, Google engineer Jon Skeet is the world's best programmer. If it's winning programming competitions, Gennady Korotkevich or Petr Mitrechev might be your pick. But what about Linus Torvalds? Or Richard Stallman? Or Donald Knuth? ITworld's Phil Johnson has rounded up a list of what just might be the world's top 14 programmers alive today."
AI

The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers 159

Posted by samzenpus
from the running-on-time dept.
Taco Cowboy writes The subway system in Hong Kong has one of the best uptimes: 99.9%, which beats London's tube or NYC's sub hands down. In an average week as many as 10,000 people would be carrying out 2,600 engineering works across the system — from grinding down rough rails to replacing tracks to checking for damages. While human workers might be the ones carrying out the work, the one deciding which task is to be worked on, however, isn't a human being at all. Each and every engineering task to be worked on and the scheduling of all those tasks is being handled by an algorithm. Andy Chan of Hong Kong's City University, who designed the AI system, says, "Before AI, they would have a planning session with experts from five or six different areas. It was pretty chaotic. Now they just reveal the plan on a huge screen." Chan's AI program works with a simulated model of the entire system to find the best schedule for necessary engineering works. From its omniscient view it can see chances to combine work and share resources that no human could. However, in order to provide an added layer of security, the schedule generated by the AI is still subject to human approval — Urgent, unexpected repairs can be added manually, and the system would reschedule less important tasks. It also checks the maintenance it plans for compliance with local regulations. Chan's team encoded into machine readable language 200 rules that the engineers must follow when working at night, such as keeping noise below a certain level in residential areas. The main difference between normal software and Hong Kong's AI is that it contains human knowledge that takes years to acquire through experience, says Chan. "We asked the experts what they consider when making a decision, then formulated that into rules – we basically extracted expertise from different areas about engineering works," he says.
Encryption

Encryption Keys For Kim Dotcom's Data Can't Be Given To FBI, Court Rules 148

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-not-pass-go,-do-not-encrypt-$200 dept.
the simurgh writes: As many who follow the Kim Dotcom saga know, New Zealand police seized his encrypted computer drives in 2012, copies of which were illegally passed to the FBI. Fast-forward to 2014: Dotcom wants access to the seized but encrypted content. A New Zealand judge has now ruled that even if the Megaupload founder supplies the passwords, the encryption keys cannot be forwarded to the FBI.
Earth

Swedish Farmers Have Doubts About Climatologists and Climate Change 565

Posted by timothy
from the collection-of-data-is-not-an-anecdote dept.
cold fjord (826450) writes with this excerpt from ScienceNordic: Researchers the world over almost unanimously agree that our climate is changing ... But many farmers – at least Swedish ones – have experienced mild winters and shifting weather before and are hesitant about trusting the scientists. The researcher who discovered the degree of scepticism among farmers was surprised by her findings. Therese Asplund ... was initially looking into how agricultural magazines covered climate change. Asplund found after studying ten years of issues of the two agricultural sector periodicals ATL and Land Lantbruk that they present climate change as scientifically confirmed, a real problem. But her research took an unexpected direction when she started interviewing farmers in focus groups about climate issues. Asplund had prepared a long list of questions about how the farmers live with the threat of climate change and what they plan to do to cope with the subsequent climate challenges. The conversations took a different course: "They explained that they didn't quite believe in climate changes," she says. "Or at least that these are not triggered by human activities." (Original paper here.)

Comment: Good Reason (Score 1) 398

by Jaysyn (#47178749) Attached to: The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy

The signatures on the letter reads like a who's who of ISP industry presidents and CEOs, including AT&T's Randall Stephenson, Cox Communications' Patrick Esser, NCTA president (and former FCC commissioner) Michael Powell, Verizon's Lowell McAdam, and Comcast's Brian Roberts.

Case closed, we all know they know what's best for us, right?

Comment: Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (Score 1) 208

by Jaysyn (#47054959) Attached to: Congress Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality

As someone who, over the past 20 years, has designed outside plant for literally every single major ISP in the country, his ideas are hilarious. It's like a plumber watching House M.D. & then telling a neurosurgeon that he could do it better. "They can just upgrade the poles!" "They can just bury everything they can't put on a pole!" "Who care about that gas line & power cable!"

Cloud

Don't Be a Server Hugger! (Video) 409

Posted by Roblimo
from the old-stewball-was-the-most-loyal-server-horse-we-ever-done-had dept.
Curtis Peterson says admins who hang onto their servers instead of moving into the cloud are 'Server Huggers,' a term he makes sound like 'Horse Huggers,' a phrase that once might have been used to describe hackney drivers who didn't want to give up their horse-pulled carriages in favor of gasoline-powered automobiles. Curtis is VP of Operations for RingCentral, a cloud-based VOIP company, so he's obviously made the jump to the cloud himself. And he has reassuring words for sysadmins who are afraid the move to cloud-based computing is going to throw them out of work. He says there are plenty of new cloud computing opportunities springing up for those who have enough initiative and savvy to grab onto them, by which he obviously means you, right?

Comment: Re:Eliminate the FCC (Score 1) 182

by Jaysyn (#47011791) Attached to: FCC Votes To Consider Next Round of 'Net Neutrality' Rules

Congress created the FCC in 1934 to "regulate interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable". If they had the political will, they could disband it just as easily. They could also revisit the FCCs charter periodically to make sure that it's keeping up with technological progress. Instead, they'd rather hold 50+ votes on repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.

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