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+ - How Java Changed Programming Forever

snydeq writes: With Java hitting its 20th anniversary this week, Elliotte Rusty Harold discusses how the language changed the art and business of programming, turning on a generation of coders. 'Java’s core strength was that it was built to be a practical tool for getting work done. It popularized good ideas from earlier languages by repackaging them in a format that was familiar to the average C coder, though (unlike C++ and Objective-C) Java was not a strict superset of C. Indeed it was precisely this willingness to not only add but also remove features that made Java so much simpler and easier to learn than other object-oriented C descendants.'

+ - Geeks Hack City Issues in Four-City Event->

destinyland writes: Over the weekend four city governments hosted geeks and concerned citizens for a civic hacking summit organized boy Code for America. “We plastered the grand staircase of City Hall with session notes ideas," one Oakland organizer remembered, tweeting a photograph showing at least 25 easel-sized sheets of paper. Events were also held in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to the City Camp web site, with public officials collaborating with the geek community to create actionable projects and more uses for city data.
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+ - Boo! The House Majority PAC is watching you.->

An anonymous reader writes: I received some interesting mail this week from the House Majority PAC. First, a "voter report card" postcard telling me my voting record was "excellent" (I'm a good citizen!), but also letting me know that they "plan to update this report card after the election to see whether you voted". OK, so one of the Democratic Party's super PACs want me to vote, but it seems to be something of an attempt at intimidation. Today, I received a letter in which they really put the pressure on. Here are some excerpts: "Who you vote for is secret. But whether or not you vote is public record. Our organization monitors turnout in your neighborhood, and we are disappointed that many of your neighbors do not always exercise their right to vote." So why contact me instead of them? Voting is a civic duty, but it isn't illegal to abstain. That's my neighbors' business, not mine. It's one way of expressing dissatisfaction, isn't it? And if there are no candidates you wish to vote for, then why should you vote for someone you don't want? But Big Brother PAC has other ideas: "We will be reviewing the Camden County [NJ] official voting records after the upcoming election to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014. If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not." The letter is signed "Joe Fox Election day Coordinator". So what happens if I don't vote? Well, at least I got a scare this Halloween. Are PACs using similar tactics in other states?
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Comment: It's the Net Neutrality, Tom (Score 5, Informative) 145 145

I wonder if this is just a cynical attempt to appear "tough on monopolies" -- right before Tom Wheeler guts Net Neutrality forever.

Reminder: next Wednesday is a "Day of Action" to publicize the need to maintain Net Neutrality.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/9...

Comment: Are we being used, right now? (Score 1) 226 226

This may be the only question that really needs to be answered. There's very strong feelings about "Big Bang Theory" -- some negative -- and for this to be a real conversation, it probably needs to be addressed in some way.

In fact, I'm curious what made Dr. Saltzberg come to Slashdot. Are the producers aware of a "geek backlash", and are they attempting to address it by sending their show's technical adviser to Slashdot? Are we secretly being monitored for a later article about how real geeks all love "Big Bang Theory" which will just cherry-pick anything vaguely positive that's said in this discussion? Maybe we need some more clarity about how this "Ask David Saltzberg" event come together...

Once we understand what's going on here, maybe then we can segue into examples of Dr. Saltzberg's input on the show -- and how its one true geek interacts with the rest of its production staff

+ - XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller for 5 Months->

destinyland writes: Tuesday is the official release date for the newest book from the geeky cartoonist behind XKCD — yet it's already become one of Amazon's best-selling books. Thanks to a hefty pre-order discount, one blogger notes that it's appeared on Amazon's list of hardcover best-sellers since the book was first announced in March, and this weekend it remains in the top 10. Randall Munroe recently announced personal appearances beginning this week throughout the U.S. (including Cambridge, New York, Seattle, and the San Francisco Bay Area) — as well as a Google Hangout on Friday, September 12. Just two weeks ago he was also awarded the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story — and now many of his appearances are already sold out.
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+ - Arizona Minister Conned by a Photoshopped Fake->

destinyland writes: An Arizona minister mistook a photoshopped parody of a 1965 suntan lotion ad for a real ad promoting birth control — then used it as the basis for a controversial sermon about how "the birth control movement" is destroying the US. The ad featured wholesome Disney star Annette Funicello — who, ironically, was actually pregnant (and married) when she appeared in the original ad. On the one-year anniversary of her death, the minister's mistake resulted in an erroneous summation of his sermon appearing whenever you searched Google News for Annette Funicello — along with the headline "Childless women on birth control have destroyed the U.S."
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+ - Amazon Offers "All You Can Read" Service for Kindle eBooks->

destinyland writes: Amazon's just announced a new "all you can read" service for Kindle ebooks. (It'll be $9.99 a month, but right now they're giving away a free 30-day trial.) It'll also be available on the iPad and iPhone (as well as Android tablets and smartphones) through the Kindle apps, and the service will also include audiobooks — plus a free three-month subscription to Audible. Although one technology site speculates Amazon made the move because too many Kindle owners were getting their ebooks from Amazon's "free" section.
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+ - Paul Graham: Hackers Embody American-Ness->

destinyland writes: Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham once argued that hackers embody "American-ness" more closely than any group, writing that "unruliness" is the essence of both hacking and the American character. Opposing a 2004 crackdown on civil liberties and copyright, he pointed out that in the end " Civil liberties make countries rich," and that hackers "see increasingly aggressive measures to protect 'intellectual property' as a threat to the intellectual freedom they need to do their job." In the online essay (later published in the O'Reilly book Hackers and Painters) Graham remembered how even Richard Feynman was breaking into safes with classified documents while working on the Manhattan Project. And he adds, "When you read what the founding fathers had to say for themselves, they sound more like hackers."
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+ - Cloud Computing Means Better Applications->

destinyland writes: Cloud computing is transforming the way we communicate, argues Forbes magazine, predicting "Storage will find itself more and more removed from the device as thin clients and ubiquitous Internet access give us endless accessibility to our information from anywhere..." But they also predict that applications will become more robust, since the cloud offers much easier ways to update and distribute software. The first widely popular cloud apps were primitive public/private services like Prodigy, AOL, and Hotmail. (One telecom billing solution company even celebrated their 15th year of providing cloud-based services.) But Forbes attributes the breakout popularity of the cloud to Amazon's AWS service and Apple's iCloud.
Link to Original Source

+ - Arizona Minister Conned by a Photoshopped Fake->

destinyland writes: An Arizona minister mistook a photoshopped parody of a 1965 suntan lotion ad for a real ad promoting birth control — then used it as the basis for a controversial sermon about how "the birth control movement" is destroying the US. The ad featured wholesome Disney star Annette Funicello — who, ironically, was actually pregnant (and married) when she appeared in the original ad. On the one-year anniversary of her death, the minister's mistake resulted in an erroneous summation of his sermon appearing whenever you searched Google News for Annette Funicello — along with the headline "Childless women on birth control have destroyed the U.S."
Link to Original Source

+ - Amazon Is Paying Its Employees to Quit->

destinyland writes: Amazon's started a "Pay to Quit" program where full-time employees are offered up to $5,000 to leave the company (to ensure the remaining workforce is truly motivated). Jeff Bezos revealed the perk in a letter to shareholders, while also announcing that Amazon is welcoming tourists into its fulfillment centers in 6 different U.S. states. But one Seattle blog describes the move as "obviously an attempt to counter all the bad press that Amazon's warehouses have gotten over the past year," linking to an undercover BBC investigation and stories about Amazon's arrival in a former coal-mining town. And this week Gawker began soliciting new horror stories from Amazon employees. ("You literally must re-interview for your position...constantly. It comes up at least every three months...")
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Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955

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