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Programming

Submission + - Happy Birthday to Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer (wired.com)

MrBeeudoublez writes: Honored by a Google Doodle, Ada Lovelace is the first computer programmer. From the article,
"Ada’s life as a member of British society (first as the daughter of Lord Byron, and later as the wife of the Count of Lovelace), brought her into contact with Charles Babbage, whose concepts for mechanical calculating machines (early computers) she took a great interest in. Ultimately, her work on explaining Babbage’s design for the Analytical Engine resulted in her being credited as the first true computer programmer in history, even if the computer she programmed for was not actually built until 2002."

Idle

Submission + - Funding sought to create prototype date-rape-drug-detecting drinkware (salon.com) 1

boneglorious writes: Funding is being sought by startup company DrinkSavvy to complete a prototype of drinkware (cups, straws, etc) that turn from clear to red-striped when they come into contact with drugs such as Rohypnol. The article makes the point that in order to be attractive to bars, it will need to not be too expensive. However, if this proves successful, I suspect some drinkers will be willing to bring their own cup to the bar.

Submission + - Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself (with a bad trip)

carmendrahl writes: "In Austria, people can submit their street drugs to a lab-on-a-bus to ensure they got what they paid for. The government is using the bus to track emergence of new variants of bath salts and other drugs. Now, researchers have developed a test they'd like to add to the bus's offerings: it assesses drug action instead of just reporting chemical structure."

Comment encouragement (Score 1) 306

My dad was laid of after many years as a developer/technical writer/manager at the same company when he was in his early 60s. After roughly a 6-month job search, he found a great position as an "automation engineer" (he basically wanders around looking at people's processes and then automates the boring parts for them). So hang in there, it can be done. If you just start from the assumption that you have to prove to them you've gotten wiser and smarter with age rather than getting "set in your ways", that could probably help.

Comment Decimal time (Score 1) 475

I don't see why it matters if I get up at 6 or at 7. I know a lot of people who hate it so much they constantly talk about "real time" vs. "government time", but I see it as all "government time". They're just labels so we can manage to meet up with people. The thing I really care about is, why can't we switch to a decimal time system? That would be a lot more functional.

Comment R. Buckminster Fuller approves! (Score 1) 383

The estate's claim that the use of the name infringes on their rights (which is a patently ridiculous claim, in my view) is apparently quite consistent with R. Buckminster Fuller's views --- supposedly he would claim credit to his student's work but saw himself as simply protecting his own intellectual property by so doing.

Comment Re:IQ tests are getting dumbed down... (Score 1) 421

Well, seeing as how Idiocracy is fiction, I really don't see that as good evidence of anything. And even if IQ tests are really being dumbed down now --- which I doubt --- I doubt it was occurring already in 1951, when the short story on which Idiocracy was based was written.

Comment Re:Media Researcher? (Score 1) 288

I agree with your question, but even if she researched robotics, it wouldn't mean anything. I can't tell you how many grandiose papers exactly like this I have read from early-career social roboticists (many of whom couldn't qualify as roboticists without qualifying the term, granted) seeking tenure. And then someone writes an article suggesting it somehow has policy implications? Next, please.

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