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+ - Mozilla Rolls Out Sponsored Tiles To Firefox Nightly's New Tab Page 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla has rolled out directory tiles, the company’s advertising experiment for its browser’s new tab page, to the Firefox Nightly channel. We installed the latest browser build to give the sponsored ads a test drive. When you first launch Firefox, a message on the new tab page informs you of the following: what tiles are (with a link to a support page about how sponsored tiles work), a promise that the feature abides by the Mozilla Privacy Policy, and a reminder that you can turn tiles off completely and choose to have a blank new tab page. It’s quite a lot to take in all at once."

+ - 'MythBusters' drop Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci 1

Submitted by rbrandis
rbrandis (735555) writes "In a video announcement Thursday on Discovery Channel, "MythBusters" hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman revealed that longtime co-hosts and fan favorites Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, and Tory Belleci are no longer on the show.

"This next season we're going back to our origins with just Adam and me," Hyneman said in the video, which explained that the change took hold as of the season's last episode on August 21."

+ - U.S. University Restricts Network Access to Social Media, Political Content 1

Submitted by onproton
onproton (3434437) writes "Northern Illinois University recently began restricting student access to webpages that contain "illegal or unethical" content which, according to University policy, includes resources used for "political activities...and the organization or participation in meetings, rallies and demonstrations." A student raised concerns after attempting to access the Wikipedia page for Westboro Baptist Church, and receiving a filter message informing him that his access of this page would likely violate the University's Acceptable Use Policy, along with a warning that "all violations would be reviewed." This has lead to questions about whether some policies that restrict student access to information are in the best interest of the primary goal of education."

+ - Gmail Now Rejects Emails With Misleading Combinations Of Unicode Characters

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google today announced it is implementing a new effort to thwart spammers and scammers: the open standard known as Unicode Consortium’s “Highly Restricted” specification. In short, Gmail now rejects emails from domains that use what the Unicode community has identified as potentially misleading combinations of letters. The news today follows Google’s announcement last week that Gmail has gained support for accented and non-Latin characters. The company is clearly okay with international domains, as long as they aren’t abused to trick its users."

+ - Patents that kill->

Submitted by wabrandsma
wabrandsma (2551008) writes "The Economist:
The patent system, which was developed independently in 15th century Venice and then in 17th century England, gave entrepreneurs a monopoly to sell their inventions for a number of years. Yet by the 1860s the patent system came under attack, including from The Economist. Patents, critics argued, stifled future creativity by allowing inventors to rest on their laurels. Recent economic research backs this up."

Link to Original Source

+ - Everyday is Goof Off at Work Day at the US Patent & Trademark Office-> 1

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "An internal investigation by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office found that some of its 8,300 patent examiners repeatedly lied about the hours they were putting in and many were receiving bonuses for work they did not do. While half of the USPTO's Patent Examiners work from home full time, oversight of the telework program — and of examiners based at the Alexandria headquarters — was “completely ineffective,” investigators concluded.

The internal investigation also unearthed another widespread problem. More than 70 percent of the 80 managers interviewed also told investigators that a “significant” number of examiners did not work for long periods, then rushed to get their reviews done at the end of each quarter. Supervisors told the review team that the practice “negatively affects” the quality of the work. “Our quality standards are low,” one supervisor told the investigators. “We are looking for work that meets minimal requirements.”

Patent examiners review applications and grant patents on inventions that are new and unique. They are experts in their fields, often with master’s and doctoral degrees. They earn at the top of federal pay scale, with the highest taking home $148,000 a year."

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Comment: Re:Yes, but no (Score 1) 637

by rujasu (#47618133) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

Small school. The top CS guy was my advisor and I did talk to the IS prof who was teaching the course. The CS and IS departments were involved in some kind of interdepartmental pissing contest. I believe a database class for CS students was introduced shortly after I graduated. They knew about the issue, but it was my senior year when this came up, so basically just bad timing for me.

Networks wasn't optional for us, we had to take at least a semester of it.

Comment: Re:Yes, but no (Score 2) 637

by rujasu (#47616171) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

Yeah, the database thing is a big issue. In college, I actually tried to sign up for a database management class and couldn't, because it was in the Information Systems department instead of the CS department, and I hadn't taken the official pre-requisites. (I had taken a similar class in CS, but that didn't count. From everything I heard, the CS version was harder, but who knows.) So I had to get on-the-job training to understand databases, and it's still one of the weaker points in my skillset.

Comment: Re:Computer Science (Score 1) 637

by rujasu (#47616115) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

In my experience, successful CS students are typically solid programmers before starting the curriculum, or become solid programmers early in their studies. (If they don't, they change majors.) Good CS programs go beyond just programming to teach theory, but taking courses in programming language design and analysis of algorithms is what turns decent programmers into great programmers. That's why, while a degree in CS isn't a degree in programming per se, CS students do tend to be better programmers and are well-prepared for real-world coding.

Comment: What do you plan to DO with your degree? (Score 2) 637

by rujasu (#47615963) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

Web development? Keep learning Java. You will rarely ever have to worry about memory management. Learning C won't make you a better Java programmer, and there are plenty of jobs for people with Java backgrounds. Of course, you should also know HTML/CSS etc. if you're going this route.

Video games? Learn C and C++, probably in that order. Java isn't going to cut it, you'll need to learn things like memory management and graphics programming. However, the object-oriented programming stuff you learn in a Java-centric curriculum will still be very helpful in C++ (or C# if you go in that direction), so you have a solid base to work with.

Embedded systems? You're in either the wrong school or the wrong major for that, you need to focus on C and Assembler for that. Completely different world from Java.

You get the idea. Figure out what you plan to do with your career if you don't already know (in a broad sense, you don't have to nail down a specific job), and steer your studies that way. If you want to keep your options open, teach yourself some basic C or C++ and see if it's right for you. If you can't figure out how to manage pointers, then you know what type of programming not to get into.

+ - Wikipedia reports 50 links from Google 'forgotten'->

Submitted by netbuzz
netbuzz (955038) writes "The Wikimedia Foundation this morning reports that 50 links to Wikipedia from Google have been removed under Europe’s “right to be forgotten” regulations, including a page about a notorious Irish bank robber and another about an Italian criminal gang. “We only know about these removals because the involved search engine company chose to send notices to the Wikimedia Foundation. Search engines have no legal obligation to send such notices. Indeed, their ability to continue to do so may be in jeopardy. Since search engines are not required to provide affected sites with notice, other search engines may have removed additional links from their results without our knowledge. This lack of transparent policies and procedures is only one of the many flaws in the European decision.”"
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+ - Programmers Tools Group Test: Linux Text Editors->

Submitted by jrepin
jrepin (667425) writes "In this group test Mayank Sharma of Linux Voices looks at five humble text editors that are more than capable of heavy-lifting texting duties. They can highlight syntax and auto-indent code just as effortlessly as they can spellcheck documents. You can use them to record macros and manage code snippets just as easily as you can copy/paste plain text. Some simple text editors even exceed their design goals thanks to plugins that infuse them with capabilities to rival text-centric apps from other genres. They can take on the duties of a source code editor and even an Integrated Development Environment."
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+ - Programmers: Why Haven't You Joined The ACM?-> 1

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "The Association for Computing Machinery is a storied professional group for computer programmers, but its membership hasn't grown in recent years to keep pace with the industry. Vint Cerf, who recently concluded his term as ACM president, asked developers what was keeping them from signing up. Their answers: paywalled content, lack of information relevant to non-academics, and code that wasn't freely available."
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"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." -- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown