Sure, GCC, Linux, sendmail, SCCS, any many more are essential to the open software stack I would die for. But the importance of a modern, full-featured, open browser simply can't be overstated. Without Firefox, the web would be a much less trustworthy world, and I'd be much less willing to take part in it.
Should all kids be required to take a computer class? Yes. Several? Yes. This stuff is going to be a big part of their lifestyle for the next 70 years. It'd be idiotic not to give them more of a clue that they'll get browsing Facebook.
What should those classes teach?
- OS principles (files, folders, networks, security)
- Basic hardware and architecture, printers, etc
- Troubleshooting, debugging skills
- Basics of software, which includes an intro to programming principles and practices (processes, procedures, loops, bugs, etc)
Computing and data will be such a fundamental omnipresent part of ALL modern life that no one can call themselves educated without gaining some rudimentary understanding of how they work. That includes software, how it works, and how it's made.
Breaking up the NSA will force the issues of what data on Americans may be gathered by whom. Prior to the Patriot Act(s), no data on American citizens could be gathered unless authorization was requested through a search warrant. The FISA court has been a clumsy blunt force attempt to circumvent this, and it has relied on _temporary_ wartime provisions from the Patriot Acts. If the Constitution is to survive, the Pat Acts must be rewritten (or better yet, repealed whole). Only then can these lacerations in law heal, and official abuses of intel will end.
Until the Supremes act and Pat Acts "meet their makers", the only way to minimize this abuse of data is rigorous formal legal oversight either at the agency level, where the FBI has to defend WHY it has gathered this data.
Failing that, we have tio rely on oversight where it matters most but is hardest to apply consistenly -- the evidentiary discovery process in each court case where this data or products of its analysis is used. Unflinching feedback like this is necessary since the interior of agencies like the NSA are black.
Like the souls of lazy pols and bureaucrats...
Google just spent 100 times as much as Dyson ($700M) to hire ~100 top AI talent.
At that market rate Dyson's 5M pounds would yield a staff of five.
In these times of Rising Police State USA, "1984" and "Brave New World" could not be more relevant or compelling as reflections on where unmonitored unchecked government power will lead. Likewise, "The Federalist Papers" serve as perhaps the best reminder that freedom requires cool careful consideration and eternal vigilence -- by each of us, of our own government.
On a lighter tech note, I also choose "Elements of Style" by Strunk and White. Not only is it the best book ever written on how to express yourself clearly, but I know no other book that better prepares you to think clearly too. Likewise, Kernighan and Ritchie's "The C Programming Language" is a paragon of clarity and simplicity in describing the principles and syntax of a programming language. The brevity of the original edition (at 228 pgs) is also a reminder of the need for economy and focus in design, *especially* among today's enormous, complex, one-tool-for-all-problems languages and the 1000+ page tomes needed to describe them.
GEB *is* a great book. Like it or not, it's a read that you will never forget. Hofstader's writing is a fugue itself, composing and playing variations on many themes as the narrative unwinds. Think of it as a fictional tale on metaphysics where the plot ricochets and glances off real ideas grounded in mathematical principles, some of which are apparent, while others need a little coaxing to show themselves.
I think the trick is for the reader to have patience. Don't push yourself to finish the book in a timely manner. Feel free to skip ahead or put it down periodically. As you read, consider adding a subplot or two of your own invention, so that the words of Achilles and the Tortoise might reveal more of your own Matrix.
After much thought, I've concluded that robotics is a Faustian bargain. The best policy to their onset is to delay and obstruct them by any means necessary.
Yes, automation will make products and services more available. But in every case the cost will be the loss of a human skill and a job. This trend will (and must) continue until all human skills and jobs finally perish. Ultimately all human endeavors, not just life's difficulties like work but it's joys like art will be better done by a robot. This progression will be unstoppable.
In a vain attempt to keep up, man will have been upgrading ourselves cybernetically. In the end we will have no biology left -- we'll be 100% robot.
No thanks. It's time to get off this merry go round.
There is no University of Philadelphia, only a Philadelphia University, which would also be wrong.
The news is from the University of Pennsylvania.
You know C. C is simple, as fast as any alternative, it's straightforward to optimize (aside from pointer abuse), and you always know what the compiler/runtime is doing. And threading libraries like pthreads or CUDA are best served via C/C++. Why use anything else?
Another thought: scientific libraries. If you need external services/algorithms then your chosen language should support the libraries you need. C/C++ are well served by many fast machine learning libs such as FANN, LIBSVM, OpenCV, not to mention CBLAS, LinPACK, etc.
And you're claiming the work is invalid because you're unimpressed by the lack of pubs of a new research program. At Stanford?
In short, the Wired article is interesting while your criticism adds nothing. My advice, FWIW: if you must criticize, be specific. Don't gainsay with, "Your work is uninteresting because I'm unconvinced."
That makes you sound like a Creationist.
CompTop: Applied and Computational Algebraic Topology
You need to do more than, "Google: I feel lucky".
Why start small?
Treason is a rare and essentially non-legal label, normally used only by political blowhards like Senator Joseph McCarthy. And now Melissa Mayer.
I suspect Mayer is trying to make Yahoo look good after they sniveled, cowered, and cringed their way into the NSA's good graces by handing over every imaginable user confidence. While joyously waving the flag, of course.
It's OK though. 'Cause she's a PATRIOT.
It's tough enough reading PDFs on a full iPad *with* a retina display. On a smaller form factor like a Mini combined with its lower resolution -- fagetaboudit.
And don't believe for a minute that non-PDF textbooks are an option. Books with equations, graphics, tables, or color render quite poorly and inconsistently as ebooks.
Clearly this school plans to graduate only readers of plaintext fare like novels and poetry. And in that case, why not use cheaper B&W Kindles or Nooks?
The blog does NOT say the son searched for instructions on how to build a bomb. Here it is:
Most of it was innocent enough. I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack. And maybe in another time those two things together would have seemed innocuous, but we are in âoethese timesâ now. And in these times, when things like the Boston bombing happen, you spend a lot of time on the internet reading about it and, if you are my exceedingly curious news junkie of a twenty-year-old son, you click a lot of links when you read the myriad of stories. You might just read a CNN piece about how bomb making instructions are readily available on the internet and you will in all probability, if you are that kid, click the link provided.
Which might not raise any red flags. Because who wasnâ(TM)t reading those stories? Who wasnâ(TM)t clicking those links? But my son's reading habits combined with my search for a pressure cooker and my husbandâ(TM)s search for a backpack set off an alarm of sorts at the joint terrorism task force headquarters.
Thatâ(TM)s how I imagine it played out, anyhow. Lots of bells and whistles and a crowd of task force workers huddled around a computer screen looking at our Google history.
She assumes her son could have clicked on a link. But she does *not* say he did, contrary to your claim.