nk497 writes "UK computing legend Steve Furber — co-founder of Acorn and ARM designer — believes students are avoiding computing classes because they teach nothing but the boring basics. Currently studying why the number of students signing up for computing has halved in the past eight years, Furber said schools focus too much on teaching kids how to use spreadsheets, word processors and PowerPoint, rather than teaching more challenging areas such as programming. 'What schools are presenting as ICT as an academic subject is very mundane compared with what students know they can do,' he said. 'It's as if maths was just arithmetic or English was taught as just spelling. It's not unimportant that you can do arithmetic or you can spell, but it certainly doesn't open up the whole world of interest and challenge, if that's all you do.'"
bennyboy64 writes "Unlimited broadband plans are all too familiar in many countries; in Australia they're scarce. One ISP offering such a plan between the hours of 8pm and 8am, AAPT, is being looked at as a matter of high interest by a legal group representing the interests of the global film industry, AFACT (the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft). It said AAPT was encouraging users to download copyrighted material. AAPT's advertising states: 'If you want unlimited music, unlimited games and unlimited movies — get unlimited off-peak broadband downloads from AAPT.' AFACT executive director Adrianne Pecotic said: 'In the context of the AAPT promotion, we have a concern that it could be misconstrued to promote illegal downloads and that's something that we'd like clarified.' AFACT is currently involved in what will be a landmark court case with Australian ISP iiNet. It recently claimed in court proceedings that there was a link between iiNet upgrading the service plans of heavy Internet users and the proliferation of film piracy."
theodp writes "Computerworld reports that 60-year-old billionaire John Sall still enjoys cranking out code as the chief architect of JMP ('John's Macintosh Project'), the less-profitable-but-more-fun software from SAS that's used primarily by research scientists, engineers, and Six Sigma manufacturing types. 'It's always been my job to be a statistical software developer,' explains SAS co-founder Sall. So if you didn't have to work — and had more money than George Lucas and Steven Spielberg — would you be like Sall and continue to program? And if so, what type of projects would you work on?"
candiman writes "The Australian PM, Kevin Rudd, has just announced that none of the private sector submissions to build a National Broadband Network was up to the standard, so instead the government is going to form a private company to build a fiber to the premises network. The network will connect to 90% of premises delivering 100Mb/s. The remaining 10% will be reached with wireless and satellite delivering up to 12Mb/s. The network cost has been estimated at 43 billion AU dollars over 8 years of construction — and is expected to employ 47,000 people at peak. It will be wholesale only and completely open access. As an Australian who voted for the other guys, all I can say is, wow."
Anonymous Coward writes ""How and Why AJAX, Not Java, Became the Favored Technology for RIAs" writes Bruce Eckel in his blog entry which JDJ published as part of its JavaOne coverage. "We Can't Wait for Sun to Fix All of Java's Problems...The Solution is to Hybridize Parts of the Language" continues Bruce in his essay. This backlash has only been necessary because of Sun's death grip on the idea of ubiquitous, omniscient Java. It was admirable once, but a language only evolves if its designers and advocates can acknowledge problems. Pretending that a language is successful in places where it's not is just denial." http://java.sys-con.com/read/333329.htm"
rohar writes "SHPEGS is an open design not-for-profit project to design and prototype a base load renewable electrical generation system suitable for moderate climates and built from common materials. The design centers around creating a local geothermal source with an efficient solar thermal water heater system and can be scaled from the single residence to the mega-project. The project was recently featured in an in-depth The Future of Things article. The heliostat system used in Europe's First Solar Thermal Plant could be used in a scaled down SHPEGS system with Practical Solar's small scale heliostats."