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Programming

The Life of a Software Engineer 519

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the code-as-an-art-form dept.
Jonathan Wise writes to share with us an interesting bit of prose describing life as a software engineer. "I am, in the States, known as a Software Engineer. In Canada we're not allowed to call ourselves engineers, although the discipline is no less rigorous than any other kind of engineering. But perhaps its for the best, because 'engineering' describes only a part of what I do. A software developer must be part writer and poet, part salesperson and public speaker, part artist and designer, and always equal parts logic and empathy."
Robotics

Robot Composed of "Catoms" Can Assume Any Form 168

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the come-with-me-if-you-want-to-live dept.
philetus writes "An article in New Scientist describes a robotic system composed of swarms of electromagnetic modules capable of assuming almost any form that is being developed by the Claytronics Group at Carnegie Mellon. 'The grand goal is to create swarms of microscopic robots capable of morphing into virtually any form by clinging together. Seth Goldstein, who leads the research project at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, in the US, admits this is still a distant prospect. However, his team is using simulations to develop control strategies for futuristic shape-shifting, or "claytronic", robots, which they are testing on small groups of more primitive, pocket-sized machines.'"

US Population to Top 300 Million 792

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the won't-just-one-of-them-be-my-bff dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The number of Americans will surpass 300 million this month, a milestone that raises environmental impact questions for the only major industrial nation whose population is increasing substantially. The US census bureau says the 300 million mark will be reached 39 years after US population topped 200 million and 91 years after it exceeded 100 million. That makes US the third most populous country behind china and india. It is noteworthy that sheer number of human beings do not necessarily have the heaviest impact on the environment. Instead environmental impact is a calculation that involves population, affluence and technology. The US consumes nearly 25% of the world's energy though it has only 5% of the world's population and has the highest per capita oil consumption worldwide. Each American produces about 2.3 kg of trash a day, a rate about 5 times that in developing countries."

End of Win 98 Support May Boost Desktop Linux 581

Posted by timothy
from the not-sure-about-the-demographic-overlap dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft kills off support for Windows 98 and Windows ME today, and ZDNet is reporting that the move will boost demand for Linux on the desktop. Unlike two years ago — when support for Win98 was extended because Linux was seen as a serious competitor — this time it seems there is no turning back."

Proposal to Implant RFID Chips in Immigrants 559

Posted by Zonk
from the goes-over-like-a-ton-of-bricks dept.
John3 writes "Some people are OK with voluntarily implanting themselves with RFID chips, but how about making RFID implantation mandatory for immigrant and guest workers? VeriChip Corporation chairman Scott Silverman has proposed implanting RFID chips to register workers as they cross the border. According to Silverman, 'We have talked to many people in Washington about using it...' Privacy advocates see this move by VeriChip as a way to introduce their product to Latin America after a lukewarm reception in North America. Would immigrant workers trade their privacy for the opportunity to work in the U.S.? If this type of tracking is enacted, how long before the government decides to start tracking others for various purposes (for example, pedophiles who are released from prison)?"

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