The innovation has been in wind, . . Those guys are smart, they are having fun, and they do not destroy massive chunks of real estate.
No, they only kill eagles (with the government's blessing). I guess some may consider that fun.
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the ranking of UK universities. The REF replaces the older Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which happened every four years. The last RAE was 4 years ago, and the current REF is just finishing. Established academics have to submit 4 research outputs since the last RAE / REF. These are usually papers, but can be other things (systems you've built and so on).
The REF is a really big deal in UK universities, because it directly impacts the availability of research grants. The CVs of individual researchers are taken into account, but the REF / RAE score of the department is the biggest factor. If you have 4 papers in top-tier publications (conferences or journals, depending on your field), then it's very easy to get hired in the run up to the REF, because a lot of second tier universities are looking to find people who will bump them up the rankings.
Conversely, if you don't have the 4 publications (or other impressive things), then it's very hard to get a tenured position, but if you're not averaging one good paper a year then there's probably something wrong with you as a researcher: part of the point of publicly funded research is that the results are communicated to the public, and if you're not doing this then you're not keeping up your end of the deal.
If you ask a transit rider how to get there by car, they may not give you the best directions. Try asking them how to get there by bus. If they don't know the answer offhand, they certainly know how to quickly find out.
int class = 42;
There are numerous other examples. The interesting behaviour of sizeof() when you have a class and a variable of the same name is one of my favourites.
Yeah, it all seems like small stuff, but the noose is tightening every year. It will all be gone before you realize it's happening.
On the other hand, crowdfunding things like kickstarter make patronage a lot easier. You don't need to be able to afford to hire an orchestra to play, you just need to find enough other people who are willing to do so. There was an article a few months ago about an effort to do this and produce high-quality public domain recordings of a large set of classical pieces.
We're in a world now where a band can produce an okay recording of a few songs in their living room, distribute it for free, and ask for funding for doing a studio recording of the whole album. They can then distribute the album for free and ask for funding for the next one (and bookings for gigs and so on). They're free to set the threshold cost for the next album to whatever they want, and if they have enough fans that think it's worth chipping in for, then it gets made and they get paid.
VMS managed to get the idea of the platform ABI specifying procedure call conventions right very early on. It had quite an easy job though. C, BASIC and Fortran are all structured programming languages with basically the same set of primitive types. None of them have (or, in the VMS days, had) classes, late binding, or real garbage collection. BASIC is kind-of GC'd, but it doesn't have pointers and so everything passed across the language barrier from BASIC was by value, so the GC didn't have to do anything clever.
It's worth remembering that when VMS was introduced, other platforms were still having problems getting C and Pascal to play nicely together (Pascal pushing arguments onto the stack in the opposite order to C), so that's not to belittle the achievement of VMS, but it's a very different world now that we have Simula and Smalltalk families of object orientation, various branches of functional languages, languages like Go and Erlang with (very different) first-class parallelism, and so on.
Imagine a few hundred drones filled with explosives launched from a mile away from the Super Bowl. How are you going to stop them in the short time it would take for them to get to the stadium?
Imagine a mob hit man doing his job from his living room. Or worse, a government hit man doing the same.
Imagine businesses spying on each other and on us, even more so than they do now.
I love technology as much as anyone here, but I don't like the idea of the sky being filled with drones of all kinds.
Spike strips require the police to be able to predict where the runner is going to go, for the runner to not steer around them, and for the runner to not keep going despite a flat. They're also not exactly safe.
Hey, if it was good enough for the nuclear launch code, then it's good enough for me.