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Education

Exam Board Deletes C and PHP From CompSci A-Levels 663

VitaminB52 writes "A-level computer science students will no longer be taught C, C#, or PHP from next year following a decision to withdraw the languages by the largest UK exam board. Schools teaching the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance's (AQA) COMP1 syllabus have been asked to use one of its other approved languages — Java, Pascal/Delphi, Python 2.6, Python 3.1, Visual Basic 6, and VB.Net 2008. Pascal/Delphi is 'highly recommended' by the exam board because it is stable and was designed to teach programming and problem-solving."

Comment Re:What's an "industry-recognized standard"? (Score 1) 310

That's the whole point of the patents owned by the body - to ensure that implementations follow the guidelines of the standards body (particularly about compatibility.)

Bull. That was NEVER the point to patenting any parts of a standard. I don't know of any standards that are NOT being broken because of the threat of a patent lawsuit. I can't think of a single one. The point to adhering to a standard is so you have a checkbox on your datasheet. If it doesn't adhere, your customers complain, and they go to a different vendor.

You claim this is your field, but your assertion truly baffles (and enrages) me, unless you are trying to spin patents as "good" to people who watch patent games ruin standards efforts daily.

Earth

Caltech Makes Flexible, 86% Efficient Solar Arrays 439

strredwolf writes "Caltech has released a flexible solar array that converts 95% of single-wavelength incandescent light and 86% of all sunlight into electricity. Instead of being flat-panel, they stand thin silicon wires in a plastic substrate that scatters the light onto them. The total composition is 98% plastic, 2% wire — the amount of silicon used is 1/50th that of ordinary panels. So as soon as they can get these to market, solar could be very viable and cheap to produce." Update: 03/01 21:02 GMT by KD : Reader axelrosen points out evidence that the 80%+ efficiency figure is wrong. MIT's Tech Review, in covering the Caltech announcement, says that the new panel's efficiency is in the 15%-20% range — which is competitive with the current state of the art. And the Caltech panel should be far cheaper to manufacture.
Security

Time Bomb May Have Destroyed 800 Norfolk City PCs' Data 256

krebsonsecurity writes "The City of Norfolk, Virginia is reeling from a massive computer meltdown in which an unidentified family of malicious code destroyed data on nearly 800 computers citywide. The incident is still under investigation, but city officials say the attack may have been the result of a computer time bomb planted in advance by an insider or employee and designed to trigger at a specific date, according to krebsonsecurity.com. 'We don't believe it came in from the Internet. We don't know how it got into our system,' the city's IT director said. 'We speculate it could have been a time bomb waiting until a date or time to trigger. Whatever it was, it essentially destroyed these machines.'"

Comment Re: Defect scandal at Toyota grows -- without boun (Score 1) 913

Further, the Toyota ETC lacks an important safety mechanism: if the customer presses both the throttle pedal and the brake pedal, then the ETC should give priority to the brake. The Toyota ETC gives priority to the throttle. How can Toyota engineers commit such a gross design mistake? Common sense tells us that the brake should receive priority.

When tuning my own ECU, this is the first thing I disabled. It makes left foot braking impossible. Bottom line, we need better drivers, not cars for idiots.

Technology

Using EMP To Punch Holes In Steel 165

angrytuna writes "The Economist is running a story about a group of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology in Chemnitz, Germany, who've found a way to use an EMP device to shape and punch holes through steel. The process enjoys advantages over both lasers, which take more time to bore the hole (0.2 vs. 1.4 seconds), and by metal presses, which can leave burrs that must be removed by hand."
GUI

IDEs With VIM Text Editing Capability? 193

An anonymous reader writes "I am currently looking to move from text editing with vim to a full fledged IDE with gdb integration, integrated command line, etc. Extending VIM with these capabilities is a mortal sin, so I am looking for a linux based GUI IDE. I do not want to give up the efficient text editing capabilities of VIM though. How do I have my cake and eat it too?"
Programming

An Open Source Compiler From CUDA To X86-Multicore 71

Gregory Diamos writes "An open source project, Ocelot, has recently released a just-in-time compiler for CUDA, allowing the same programs to be run on NVIDIA GPUs or x86 CPUs and providing an alternative to OpenCL. A description of the compiler was recently posted on the NVIDIA forums. The compiler works by translating GPU instructions to LLVM and then generating native code for any LLVM target. It has been validated against over 100 CUDA applications. All of the code is available under the New BSD license."
Caldera

Predicting SCO's Actions Post Bankruptcy 102

eldavojohn writes "SCO lost last year and began the bankruptcy filings a long time ago but PJ has some speculative bad news on what they retain through the bankruptcy proceedings. SCO proposes to sell a number of assets to an outfit called UnXis, which PJ characterizes this way: 'It starts to hint that this is more a renaming, taking in some new management who seem to have financial expertise, and SCO keeps skipping along as unXis, with the dangerous litigation spun off safely into a litigation troll.' In their filings SCO says they retain 'their litigation and related claims against International Business Machines Corporation, Novell, Inc., AutoZone Corporation, Red Hat and certain Linux users which are not material customers of UnXis (excluding certain large-scale users of Linux servers) that are claimed to have infringed against UNIX copyrights.' So that's still a possibility they could go after anyone who is a 'certain Linux user.' And what's even worse is that they'll retain a patent for running multiple Java applications on a single Java virtual machine. We may not be out of the SCO litigation woods yet."
Caldera

SCO Sells Its UNIX Product Line To London Firm 95

An anonymous reader writes "SCO just forged a deal to sell its UNIX product line to Gulf Capital Partners LLC of London. Under the terms of the deal, SCO would continue to exist as a separate company helmed by Darl McBride, with its primary remaining assets being related to its mobile platform offerings. However, it's noted that this deal must be approved by the court, and should not be considered 'done' yet. It could fall through as others have in the past."

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