An anonymous reader writes "What was taught to you about computers in High School? Computer use and computer science in schools are regular headlines, but what 'normal' do we compare it to? It's not a shared reference. A special class with Commodore PETs was set up just after I graduated, and I'm only starting to grey. Everybody younger has had progressive levels of exposure. What was 'normal' for our 40-, 30-, and 20-year olds here? And how well did it work for you, and your classmates?" For that matter, what's it like now — if you're in middle or high school now, or know students who are, what's the tech curriculum like?
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hypnosec writes "Entire cities in the World of Warcraft have been destroyed with no one spared, not even the NPCs. About 13:00 GMT, forums on WOW started getting the first comments from users regarding players and NPCs dying on the Ragnaros-EU realm in Orgrimmar. Users of the online game started reporting that Draenor had a similar sight to offer. Some of the other realms where this was reported include Tarren Mill, and Twisting Nether." Also at Joystiq, and (with more screenshots) at WCCF Tech, which reports that "it appears the damage is most severe in World of Warcraft European servers."
First time accepted submitter menno_h writes "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he has hired lawyers to investigate how to sue Prime Minister Julia Gillard for defamation." Assange "says comments made by Ms Gillard in 2010 that WikiLeaks acted illegally in releasing US diplomatic cables have affected the viability of his organisation. 'Mastercard Australia, in justifying why it has made a blockade that prevents any Australian Mastercard holder donating to WikiLeaks, used that statement by Julia Gillard,' he said."
First time accepted submitter thrae writes "Adapteva has just released the architecture and software reference manuals for their many-core Epiphany processors. Adapteva's goal is to bring massively parallel programming to the masses with a sub-$100 16-core system and a sub-$200 64-core system. The architecture has advantages over GPUs in terms of future scaling and ease of use. Adapteva is planning to make the products open source. Ars Technica has a nice overview of the project."
New submitter philip.levis writes "Nick McKeown and I are offering a free, online class on computer networking. We're professors of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford and are also co-teaching Stanford's networking course this quarter. The free, online class will run about six weeks and is intended to be accessible to people who don't program: the prerequisites are an understanding of probability, bits and bytes, and how computers lay out memory. Given how important the Internet is, we think a more accessible course on the principles and practice of computer networks could be a very valuable educational resource. I'm sure many Slashdot readers will already know much of what we'll cover, but for those who don't, here's an opportunity to learn!"
theodp writes "HBS lecturer Robert C. Pozen says it's high time for management to stop emphasizing hours over results. By viewing those employees who come in over the weekend or stay late in the evening as more 'committed' and 'dedicated' to their work, as a UC Davis study showed, managers create a perverse incentive to not be efficient and get work done during normal business hours. 'It's an unfortunate reality that efficiency often goes unrewarded in the workplace,' writes Pozen. 'Focusing on results rather than hours will help you accomplish more at work and leave more time for the rest of your life.'"
Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner has tempted fate with quite a few spectacular skydiving feats; now, he is preparing to be the first man to intentionally exceed the speed of sound by jumping from a balloon instead of staying inside a plane or a rocket. The jump is planned for Tuesday over New Mexico. National Geographic lists some of the various (deadly) things that could go wrong.
An anonymous reader writes "Modern Europeans may have interbred with Neanderthals as recently as 37,000 years ago, after modern humans with advanced stone tools expanded out of Africa, according to a new study. In an attempt to understand why the Neanderthals are more closely related to people from outside of Africa, researchers from Harvard and the Max Planck Institute estimated that while the last sex between Neanderthals and modern humans may have occurred 37,000 to 86,000 years ago, it is most likely that it occurred 47,000 to 65,000 years ago."
Hugh Pickens writes "Draining an infected abscess is a straightforward procedure on Earth but on a spaceship travelling to the moon or Mars, it could kill everyone on board. Now Rebecca Rosen writes that if humans are to one day go to Mars, one logistical hurdle that will need to be overcome is what to do if one of the crew members has a medical emergency and needs surgery. 'Based on statistical probability, there is a high likelihood of trauma or a medical emergency on a deep space mission,' says Carnegie Mellon professor James Antaki. It's not just a matter of whether you'll have the expertise on board to carry out such a task: Surgery in zero gravity presents its own set of potentially deadly complications because in zero gravity, blood and bodily fluids will not just stay put, in the body where they belong but could contaminate the entire cabin, threatening everybody on board. This week, NASA is testing a device known as the Aqueous Immersion Surgical System (AISS) that could possibly make space surgery possible. Designed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Louisville, AISS is a domed box that can fit over a wound. When filled with a sterile saline solution, a water-tight seal is created that prevents fluids from escaping. It can also be used to collect blood for possible reuse."
Ars Technica reports that The Oatmeal's successful fund-raiser has borne fruit; on Friday the non-profit to which Oatmeal founder Matthew Inman's Indiegogo campaign's money was directed completed part of its goal to purchase and turn into a museum Nikola Tesla's former estate Wardenclyffe. There's plenty of work before the land can be a proper museum, but now it is in the hands of the non-profit organization Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today announced it will soon start prompting Firefox users to upgrade select old plugins. This will only affect Windows users, and three plugins: Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Microsoft Silverlight. Mozilla says Firefox users will 'soon see a notification urging them to update' when they visit a web page that uses the plugins."
SpaceX's Dragon capsule, loaded with food and scientific gear, is scheduled to launch toward the ISS tomorrow evening (with backup launch slots on each of the following two days). There's a last-minute wrinkle, though: Space.com managing editor Tariq Malik reports that a piece of space debris "will pass near enough to the space station on Monday morning (Oct. 8) to require an avoidance maneuver as a safety precaution, NASA space station program manager Mike Suffredini said in a briefing [Saturday]." Tomorrow's planned flight is to be the first under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA that calls for a dozen resupply flights by SpaceX, essential in the post-shuttle era."
LucidBeast writes "Mapping the world isn't easy as our friends in Cupertino have found out. Google's maps seem ubiquitous, but there is a less known real heavyweight still mapping the world. Nokia acquired Navteq in 2007, and five years later they are still reading fleet data and scanning cities with LIDAR and 360 degree cameras."
An anonymous reader writes "Techworld is running an interview with Adam Dunkels, author of the open source Contiki operating system for the Internet of Things. The interview touches on the Internet of Things, the future of Contiki, and his newly founded startup Thingsquare." If the whole "Internet of Things" concept still seems amorphous, FedEx CIO Rob Carter provides some concrete examples in which FedEx is using real-time tracking based on IP-enabled sensors.