inkslinger77 notes a Computerworld interview with Martin Odersky on the Scala language, which is getting a lot of attention from its use on high-profile sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn. The strongly typed language is intended to be a usable melding of functional and object-oriented programming techniques. "My co-workers and I spend a lot of time writing code so we wanted to have something that was a joy to program in. That was a very definite goal. We wanted to remove as many of the incantations of traditional high-protocol languages as possible and give Scala great expressiveness so that developers can model things in the ways they want to. ... You can express Scala programs in several ways. You can make them look very much like Java programs which is nice for programmers who start out coming from Java. ... But you can also express Scala programs in a purely functional way and those programs can end up looking quite different from typical Java programs. Often they are much more concise. ... Twitter has been able to sustain phenomenal growth, and it seems with more stability than what they had before the switch, so I think that's a good testament to Scala. ... [W]e are looking at new ways to program multicore processors and other parallel systems. We already have a head start here because Scala has a popular actor system which gives you a high-level way to express concurrency. ... The interesting thing is that actors in Scala are not a language feature, they have been done purely as a Scala library. So they are a good witness to Scala's flexibility..."
hundredrabh writes "Ever had a super needy girlfriend that demanded all your love and attention and would freak whenever you would leave her alone? Irritating, right? Now imagine the same situation, only with an asexual third-generation humanoid robot with 100kg arms. Such was the torture subjected upon Japanese researchers recently when their most advanced robot, capable of simulating human emotions, ditched its puppy love programming and switched over into stalker mode. Eventually the researchers had to decommission the robot, with a hope of bringing it back to life again."
iminplaya writes to tell us that the band "The Presidents of the United States of America" (yes, the peaches guys), are trying to expand their engagement with fans by selling their music via Apple's App store, something others have experimented with but never dealt with on this level. "The app, called 'The Presidents' Music — PUSA,' sells for $2.99 on the App Store (iTunes link) offers users access to four full albums, including the band's early 'lost' recordings. This includes the previously-unavailable FroggyStyle — 'unless you have one of the 500 cassettes the band sold in 1994, you've never heard this before,' reads the app description. The app also features a number of extras and exclusives that the band says are updated regularly, and fans can read the band's blog directly from the app on their iPhones or iPod touches. The music, however, is not actually contained within the application itself; instead, it is streamed to the app from a server, requiring the user to be connected to a network of some kind (iPhone users on the cell or WiFi network, iPod touch users on WiFi) in order to access the media."
Variety reported last week that Atari secured the rights to a Ghostbusters video game from Activision Blizzard, intending to publish something next year to coincide with the first movie's 25th anniversary. "The Ghostbusters game, which features all four actors from the original movie and a new script by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, is a follow-up to Ghostbusters II." Now, Eurogamer confirms that the game is indeed in development for the PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 and DS.
An anonymous reader writes "Cruxlux has a perspective-based search engine up. It provides a map of results laid out by viewpoint. For example, querying 'Obama' shows a map with liberal blog posts, articles, and video clumped together, conservative stuff nearby, and nonpolitical sources farther away. It works for nonpolitical queries too (sports, etc.). It also lets you limit results to certain types of views — you can focus on hot 'Obama' content from a liberal angle, for instance."
Matt_dk writes "A team of internationally renowned astronomers and opticians may have found a way to make "unbelievably large" telescopes on the Moon. 'It's so simple,' says Ermanno F. Borra, physics professor at the Optics Laboratory of Laval University in Quebec, Canada. 'Isaac Newton knew that any liquid, if put into a shallow container and set spinning, naturally assumes a parabolic shape, the same shape needed by a telescope mirror to bring starlight to a focus. This could be the key to making a giant lunar observatory.'"
narramissic writes "Engineers from T-Mobile, AT&T, M2Z Networks, Nokia, Metro PCS, CTIA and XM Sirius have convened at a Boeing facility in Seattle this week to watch as the FCC performs tests it hopes will quiet debate over a proposed spectrum auction. At issue is the FCC's requirement that the winner offer free wireless broadband services in a portion of the spectrum, a move the wireless industry contends will lead to interference for 3G phone users. The FCC is conducting some of the same tests that T-Mobile, one of the more vocal opponents of the FCC plan, has already done plus some additional tests, focusing on interference between handsets running on the different frequencies. Some of the tests involve using handsets connected to WiMax or UMTS networks running on spectrum the commercial providers would use, and then issuing signals using the proposed new service and spectrum, to determine at what signal strength the proposed service causes the WiMax or UMTS call to drop."
Matt Amato writes "With the recent discussion of the ISS having to dodge some space junk, many people's attention has once again focused on the amount of stuff in orbit around our planet. What many people don't know is that USSTRATCOM tracks and publishes a list of over 13,000 objects that they currently monitor, including active/retired satellites and debris. This data is meaningless to most people, but thanks to Analytical Graphics, it has now been made accessible free of charge to anyone with a copy of Google Earth. By grabbing the KMZ, you can not only view all objects tracked in real-time, but you can also click on them to get more information on the specific satellite, including viewing its orbit trajectory. It's an excellent educational tool for the space-curious. Disclaimer: I not only work for Analytical Graphics, but I'm the one that wrote this tool as a demo."
smooth wombat writes "Imagine a database whose aim is to centralize and analyze data on people aged 13 or above who are active in politics or labor unions, who play a significant institutional, economic, social or religious role, or who are 'likely to breach public order.' At first glance one might think the country in question is Russia or Zimbabwe but the truth is, it's a democratic nation which is implementing this database. Specifically, France. Now, with the summer break over and as the people of France return to work, there is a small but growing movement to storm this electronic Bastille. Michel Pezet, a lawyer and former member of a body charged with protecting French citizens from electronic prying, had this to say about this new data-gathering law: 'The Edvige database has no place in a democracy. There is nothing in the decree that sets limits or a framework. Whether the database is used with or without moderation depends only on orders from up high. The electronic Bastille is upon us.'"
2006? I thought the name change was recent.
http://www.i4u.com/article951.html (article from 2003 where it was called "tea cube" or perhaps t-cube)
An anonymous reader sends word of the CherryPal, a tiny desktop computer that its maker says will consume just 2 watts. It uses a Freescale processor that runs Linux and has no moving parts. The CherryPal has integrated software and an embedded Linux (based on Debian) that has been stripped down to support Open Office, Firefox, iTunes, instant messaging, and multimedia access locally. More applications are available in the cloud, and 50 GB of cloud storage is included. It comes without keyboard or mouse but with ports for VGA, USB, Ethernet, and built-in Wi-Fi. It's claimed that the CherryPal will boot up in 20 seconds from 4 GB of flash. They've buried Linux so that the end user doesn't see it; the entire UI is presented through Firefox. The CherryPal site says: "There's no software or upgrades to install, no risk of viruses, and no operating system to deal with and free 24/7 support."
Ferret55 writes "Wine has been released after fifteen years of development 1.0 is here! from the site "The Wine team is proud to announce that Wine 1.0 is now available. This is the first stable release of Wine after 15 years of development and beta testing. Many thanks to everybody who helped us along that long road!" rejoice people, we are on step further away from windows!"
Ponca City, We Love You writes "The tower of Pisa began to lean five years after its construction began, in 1178, and by 1990 it had tilted more than four meters off its true vertical. Conservationists estimated that the entire 14,500-ton structure would collapse 'some time between 2030 and 2040.' Now the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been stabilized and declared safe for at least another three centuries. The stabilization, which cost $30M, was accomplished by anchoring it to cables and lead counterweights, while 70 tons of soil were removed from the side away from the lean, and cement was injected into the ground to relieve the pressure. The tilt has now returned to where it was in the early 19th century. Nicholas Shrady, author of Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa, says that the tower was destined to lean from the outset because it was built on 'what is essentially a former bog.' Shrady adds that the tower previously came close to collapsing in 1838, 1934, and 1995. (The commission convened in 1990 to study the tower's stability was the 17th such.) Although Galileo Galilei is said to have dropped cannon balls from the tower in a gravity experiment, Shrady says the myth is the result of 'the overripe imagination of Galileo's secretary and first biographer, Vincenzo Viviani.'"
alphadogg writes "Every day is something like April Fools' Day at the University of California, Berkeley joke recommendation site, dubbed Jester. Now on Version 4.0, the site tosses visitors a handful of jokes to rate on a scale of "less funny" to "more funny." It then recommends jokes based on the user's taste (or lack thereof), dynamically making recommendations based on the user's most recent ratings. Jester's more than a joke jukebox though. Underlying it is a Berkeley-patented "collaborative filtering algorithm" dubbed Eigentaste , now on Version 5.0. The more people who use the system and rate jokes, the more data Berkeley researchers have to advance their understanding of recommendation systems, like those used by Amazon.com and other Web sites."