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Programming

The Most Important Obscure Languages? 201

Nerval's Lobster writes: If you're a programmer, you're knowledgeable about "big" languages such as Java and C++. But what about those little-known languages you only hear about occasionally? Which ones have an impact on the world that belies their obscurity? Erlang (used in high-performance, parallel systems) springs immediately to mind, as does R, which is relied upon my mathematicians and analysts to crunch all sorts of data. But surely there are a handful of others, used only by a subset of people, that nonetheless inform large and important platforms that lots of people rely upon... without realizing what they owe to a language that few have ever heard of.

Comment Re:A free search engine (Score 1) 129

In many countries, it is illegal for a company to unfairly exploit its dominance in one market to gain advantage in another market.

But Google aren't doing that.

The argument of these complaining companies boils down to "our business is so crappy and generic that we have no customer loyalty at all, and as such our customers simply click on whatever result comes first when they search". Therefore they argue "we should be first because otherwise it's not faaaaaaaair".

If the only justification for your existence is that hapless customers end up at your website due to an accident of ranking, why should anyone care about your business? Facebook, for most of its history, wasn't crawlable at all - the entire site was behind the login screen. Literally the only search term they showed up for was Facebook. Guess what - it didn't hurt them at all, because their customers wanted to go there.

Submission + - Cities Wasting Millions of Taxpayer's Money in Failed IoT Pilots->

dkatana writes: Two years ago at the Smart Cities Expo World Congress, Antoni Vives, then Barcelona’s second deputy mayor, said he refused to have more technology pilots in the city: “I hate pilots, if anyone of you [technology companies] comes to me selling a pilot, just get away, I don’t want to see you.” He added, “I am fed up with the streets full of devices. It is a waste of time, a waste of money, and doesn’t deliver anything; it is just for the sake of selling something to the press and it does not work.”

Barcelona is already a leading city in the use of IoT and, according to Fortune, “The most wired city in the world”. Over the past 10 years, the city has experienced a surge in the number of sensors, data collection devices and automation and has become “a showcase for the smart metropolis of the future”.

Over the past few years technology companies have sold pilot programs costing millions of dollars to cities all over the world, claiming it will enhance their “Smart City” rating. Unfortunately, after the initial buzz, many of those pilots never get beyond the evaluation stage and are abandoned because the cities cannot afford them in the first place.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - The Most Important Obscure Languages? ->

Nerval's Lobster writes: If you’re a programmer, you’re knowledgeable about “big” languages such as Java and C++. But what about those little-known languages (Dice link) you only hear about occasionally? Which ones have an impact on the world that belies their obscurity? Erlang (used in high-performance, parallel systems) springs immediately to mind, as does R, which is relied upon my mathematicians and analysts to crunch all sorts of data. But surely there are a handful of others, used only by a subset of people, that nonetheless inform large and important platforms that lots of people rely upon... without realizing what they owe to a language that few have ever heard of.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Red Fireworks Go Green->

An anonymous reader writes: Makers of fireworks and flares have long believed that the beautiful red color in their explosions could be attained only with chlorine-based compounds. But after these ingredients combust, they can transform into cancer-causing chemicals that then fall to the ground. New chlorine-free pyrotechnics could pave the way for a generation of red fireworks and flares that are better for the environment and for people’s health.

Chemists formulated the new explosive by replacing polyvinyl chloride on the old ingredient list with either hexamine, a preservative in citrus washing solutions, or 5-amino-1H-tetrazole, an air-bag propellant.

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Submission + - Shape-shifting Navigation Device Points You in the Right Direction->

Zothecula writes: Even in today's GPS-enabled world, asking someone to point you in the right direction can often be easier than wrestling with your smartphone. Enter the Animotus, a wirelessly-connected, 3D printed cube that acts like a sort of haptic compass. Developed by Yale engineer Adam Spiers, the device literally changes shape to point you in the right direction.
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Comment Naming things after politicians (Score 2) 318

Naming things after politicians is stupid. Politicians are gone and forgotten in a matter of years; things like mountains are around for hundreds of years.

If you want to name a building after a politician, knock yourself out, but I fail to see why anyone would support remembering some politician for hundreds of years.

Comment Re:Not a new idea (Score 3, Informative) 318

and the mountain was named after him BEFORE he was elected.

Well, given it was named after him 16 years after he was assassinated and unless they let dead presidents stay in office, I would say that at the point it was named after him he had already been president as long as he would ever be.

Comment Re:For me, it will always remain the mountain... (Score 4, Interesting) 318

I can't remember who it was... it might have been Halldór Laxnes... who said that a piece of nature isn't really a piece of nature unless it doesn't have a name. That is, the first thing people do once they start interacting with an object or place is to give it a name, and so once something is named it starts to become about the history of people rather than the history of the land itself. And that if you want to establish a real connection with nature, you don't go sit on top of that well-known named peak that people climb... you go to that little nameless stream or that remote nameless cliff or whatnot - places which tell only their own story.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Do Unlimited Mobile Internet Options Still Exist?

An anonymous reader writes: Right now, my family uses Clearwire for mobile Internet. Which to my knowledge, has no data caps implemented. Using the mobile modem, we can tether a number of devices to it. While the speed may be slow for what we're paying for it ($39.99/month before discount for 1.5mpbs if I'm not mistaken), it is satisfactory.

However, with Sprint acquiring them and WiMax being shut off around November 6th, this won't be an option anymore. Does there exist any unlimited mobile Internet plan out there in which tethering can be done to a standalone device, or are those days gone? I thought about Freedompop, however, those aren't unlimited.

Any advice?
Classic Games (Games)

Unearthed E.T. Atari Game Cartridges Score $108K At Auction 58

MojoKid writes: Hundreds of Atari 2600 cartridges of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial that were excavated last year from a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico collectively raked in nearly $108,000 through eBay auctions. Some $65,000 of that will go to the city of Alamogordo, while the Tularosa Basin Historical Society will receive over $16,000. Over $26,600 went to shipping fees and other expenses. A team of excavators led by operational consultant Joe Lewandowski unearthed the E.T. cartridges in front of a film crew. The high profile (among gaming historians) dig was the basis a documentary called Atari: Game Over, which is available for free through the Microsoft Store.

Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"

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