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Comment: Re:Cue lawsuit in ... (Score 3, Informative) 306 306

In this case, the private key is not protecting content

It does protect content, somewhat—iTunes decrypts (and decompresses and recompresses as Apple Lossless) DRMed audio before sending it to an Airport Express. Emulating an Airport Express allows one to obtain the decrypted audio, though not in its original oompressed form; it's no more of a hole than burning to a CD.


The US's Reverse Brain Drain 757 757

We may have to rethink the assumption that Silicon Valley is the hotbed of innovation in which all the world's best and brightest want to work and live. TechCrunch has a piece by an invited expert on the reverse brain drain already evident and growing in the US as Indian, Chinese, and European students and workers in the US plan to return home, or already have. From an extensive interview with Chinese and Indian workers who had already left: "We learned that these workers returned in their prime: the average age of the Indian returnees was 30 and the Chinese was 33. They were really well educated: 51% of the Chinese held masters degrees and 41% had PhDs. Among Indians, 66% held a masters and 12% had PhDs. These degrees were mostly in management, technology, and science. ... What propelled them to return home? Some 84% of the Chinese and 69% of the Indians cited professional opportunities. And while they make less money in absolute terms at home, most said their salaries brought a 'better quality of life' than what they had in the US. ... A return ticket home also put their career on steroids. About 10% of the Indians polled had held senior management jobs in the US. That number rose to 44% after they returned home. Among the Chinese, the number rose from 9% in the US to 36% in China."

Voters Swayed By Candidates Who Share Their Looks 266 266

iandoh writes "Stanford researchers have found that voters are subconsciously swayed by candidates who share their facial features. In three experiments, researchers at the Virtual Human Interaction Lab worked with cheap, easy-to-use computer software to morph pictures of about 600 test subjects with photos of politicians. And they kept coming up with the same results: For the would-be voters who weren't very familiar with the candidates or in perfect lockstep with their positions or political parties, the facial similarity was enough to clinch their votes."

How Should I Teach a Basic Programming Course? 452 452

riverman writes "I have been 'provisioned' at the school where I work to teach a new Computer Science/Programming course. I'm supposed to be teaching everything from the very-very basics (i.e. where that myspace thing is in your computer monitor, and how it knows who your friends are) to the easy-advanced (i.e. PHP classes and Python/Google App Engine). I'm an experienced programmer, but I'm not sure where to start — I could easily assume that my students know something basic they don't. Are there any resources on the internet that could help me find a solid curriculum? What are your suggestions?" I'm sure many of us have gone through intro-level programming courses of some sort; what are some things your teacher or professor did that worked well, and what didn't work at all?

IOC Trademarks Part of Canadian National Anthem 412 412

gravis777 sends us to BoingBoing for news that the International Olympic Committee has trademarked a line from the Canadian National Anthem and is threatening to sue anyone who uses it. The line in question is "with glowing hearts." "The committee is so serious about protecting the Olympic brand it managed to get a landmark piece of legislation passed in the House of Commons last year that made using certain phrases related to the Games a violation of law. The list includes the number 2010 and the word 'winter,' phrases that normally couldn't be trademarked because they are so general."
The Internet

Six Degrees of Wikipedia 296 296

An anonymous reader notes that someone has applied the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon to the articles in Wikipedia. Instead of the relation being "in the same film," he used "is linked to by." From the blog post: "We'll call the 'Kevin Bacon number' from one article to another the 'distance' between them. It's then possible to work out the 'closeness' of an article in Wikipedia as its average distance to any other article. I wanted to find the centre of Wikipedia, that is, the article that is closest to all other articles (has minimum [distance])."

Wicked Cool PHP 131 131

Michael J. Ross writes "Web developers familiar with a particular programming language, such as PHP, typically turn to books and forums for assistance only when they confront a specific problem that they believe has probably been encountered by many of their peers in the past, and who have published their answers in print or online. Hence the growing popularity of programming "cookbooks", which eschew flowing narratives in favor of self-contained problem descriptions and solutions. One example of a book that combines both styles is Wicked Cool PHP: Real-World Scripts That Solve Difficult Problems, by William Steinmetz with Brian Ward." Keep reading below for the rest of Michael's review.
Book Reviews

Regular Expression Pocket Reference 144 144

Michael J. Ross writes "When software developers need to manipulate text programmatically — such as finding all substrings within some text that match a particular pattern — the most concise and flexible solution is to use "regular expressions," which are strings of characters and symbols that can look anything but regular. Nonetheless, they can be invaluable for locating text that matches a pattern (the "expression"), and optionally replacing the matched text with new text. Regular expressions have proven so popular that they have been incorporated into most if not all major programming languages and editors, and even at least one Web server. But each one implements regular expressions in its own way — which is reason enough for programmers to appreciate the latest edition of Regular Expression Pocket Reference, by Tony Stubblebine." Read below for the rest of Michael's review.

What Programming Languages Should You Learn Next? 759 759

simoniker writes "Over at Dobbs Code Talk, Chris Diggins has been discussing programming languages beyond C++ or Java, suggesting options such as Ruby ('does a great job of showing how powerful a dynamic language can be, and leverages powerful ideas from Smalltalk, Perl, and Lisp') but suggesting Scala as a first choice ('Very accessible to programmers from different backgrounds.') What would your choice be for programmers extending beyond their normal boundaries?"

What's the Best Game Console of All Time? 479 479

The C|Net Crave blog has up an article exploring the history of console gaming, and wonders aloud about the pecking order of the various systems. "Gaming is so subjective that there is no single "greatest" system ever. It might sound like a cop-out, but it really depends on what standards you're using and what generation you grew up in. I loved the SNES, and would personally call it the greatest system of all time. However, the NES and PlayStation could both easily be called the best, based on the standards they set and the advances they presented to gaming." The Guardian follows up this piece, noting that the article's rose-colored recollections of the SNES days may not be entirely accurate. Subjective or not, it's a good question: which consoles have a valid place in history and which ones should be forgotten?

perl6 and Parrot 0.5.2 Released 229 229

mAriuZ writes "Bob Rogers just released Parrot 0.5.2. This monthly release includes a couple of interesting new features. First, we've bundled Patrick Michaud's Rakudo (thats the implementation of Perl 6 on Parrot) such that you can type make perl6 on Unixy platforms and make perl6.exe on Windows and get a working standalone Perl 6 binary. This is experimental and we hope to iron out some installation and deployment issues by next months release, but it was important to demonstrate our progress. The second new feature is a toolkit for starting your own compiler. Max Mohun built a prototype several months ago, and we've added a stripped-down version for now that builds the skeleton of a compiler for you using the Parrot Compiler Tools. I mentioned the LOLCODE compiler in What the Perl 6 and Parrot Hackers Did on Their Christmas Vacation; this is how Simon and Company were able to get LOLCODE up and running so quickly."

Tools For Understanding Code? 383 383

ewhac writes "Having just recently taken a new job, I find myself confronted with an enormous pile of existing, unfamiliar code written for a (somewhat) unfamiliar platform — and an implicit expectation that I'll grok it all Real Soon Now. Simply firing up an editor and reading through it has proven unequal to the task. I'm familiar with cscope, but it doesn't really seem to analyze program structure; it's just a very fancy 'grep' package with a rudimentary understanding of C syntax. A new-ish tool called ncc looks promising, as it appears to be based on an actual C/C++ parser, but the UI is clunky, and there doesn't appear to be any facility for integrating/communicating with an editor. What sorts of tools do you use for effectively analyzing and understanding a large code base?"

Duke Nukem Forever Teaser Released 341 341

smithtuna33 writes "As of today there is a teaser up for Duke Nukem Forever at 3dRealms. It's up on Youtube as well, since the site is already slow. Not much actual game-play, but still ... might this game actually see the light of day after so much talk?" 1up, GameTrailers, and Voodoo Extreme have it too.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson