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ACM Awards 2009 Turing Prize To Alto Creator Charles Thacker 49 49

scumm writes "This year's Turing Prize has been awarded to Charles Thacker, whom they describe as (among other things) the 'creator of the first modern personal computer.' From the ACM's announcement: 'ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery today named Charles P. Thacker the winner of the 2009 ACM A.M. Turing Award for his pioneering design and realization of the Alto, the first modern personal computer, and the prototype for networked personal computers. Thacker's design, which he built while at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), reflected a new vision of a self-sufficient, networked computer on every desk, equipped with innovations that are standard in today's models. Thacker was also cited for his contributions to the Ethernet local area network, which enables multiple computers to communicate and share resources, as well as the first multiprocessor workstation, and the prototype for today's most used tablet PC, with its capabilities for direct user interaction.' For further reading, the Wall Street Journal has an article providing more background about Mr. Thacker and the Turing Prize. In the spirit of full disclosure, the submitter feels compelled to point out that this Mr. Thacker is his uncle, and that he thinks this is really cool."

Comment Re:Javascript is actually a great language (Score 2, Informative) 531 531

All strings coerce to boolean true in JS, as they do in C (with the exception of the empty string):

char* a = "false";
if (a) {
    printf("a is true?\n");

In fact, most values coerce to true except integer zero, NaN, undefined, null and empty string.

Comment Re:Park Plus (Score 2, Insightful) 863 863

Yep, I've used Park Plus here in Calgary and I think it's great. It's convenient for first time users (walk to any Park Plus box, enter your license plate and leave). For more frequent users, the mobile version is even easier.

Being able to pay only for the parking time you need is fantastic.

Comment Re:Pictures versus digital photos... (Score 1) 345 345

Exactly - copyright has never been to encourage "hard work", though it may in some cases. It is primarily for progressing the state of the arts and sciences:

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries"

A small (but trivial) counterpoint: many aspects of mechanical work could involve copyright, but they would have to be genuinely creative (ie: copyrighting your specific plans for laying out a mechanical motor).

Comment Re:The cool thing is... (Score 2, Informative) 192 192

The source for the disassembler is pretty simple.

Porting that to parse x86 out of ELF or another executable container wouldn't be too difficult. Porting it to parse x64 or PPC would be tougher.

Data Storage

Faulty Marvell Chips Delay SATA 6G Launch 90 90

Vigile writes "The SATA 6G standard offers more than simply a faster 6.0 Gb/s data throughput speed, to wit: improved NCQ support, better power management, and a new connector to support 1.8-inch drives. While modern-day, spindle-based hard drives struggle to keep up with SATA 3G speeds, modern SSDs are nearly saturating the existing standard, and a move to SATA 6G was welcome in the hardware community. It looks like that technology will be delayed, though. The only chip supporting the standard today, the Marvell 88SE9123, is having major issues. Motherboard vendors including ASUS and Gigabyte, which had planned on releasing SATA 6G technology using the chip on Intel Lynnfield platform motherboards later this summer, are having to remove the Marvell 88SE9123 and redesign their boards at the last minute due to significant speed and reliability issues."

Frankly, Scarlett, I don't have a fix. -- Rhett Buggler