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Programming

ECMAScript Version 5 Approved 158

systembug writes "After 10 years of waiting and some infighting, ECMAScript version 5 is finally out, approved by 19 of the 21 members of the ECMA Technical Committee 39. JSON is in; Intel and IBM dissented. IBM is obviously in disagreement with the decision against IEEE 754r, a floating point format for correct, but slow representation of decimal numbers, despite pleas by Yahoo's Douglas Crockford." (About 754r, Crockford says "It was rejected by ES4 and by ES3.1 — it was one of the few things that we could agree on. We all agreed that the IBM proposal should not go in.")
The Military

Trojan Kill Switches In Military Technology 392

Nrbelex writes "The New York Times reports in this week's Science section that hardware and software trojan kill switches in military devices are an increasing concern, and may have already been used. 'A 2007 Israeli Air Force attack on a suspected, partly-constructed Syrian nuclear reactor led to speculation about why the Syrian air defense system did not respond to the Israeli aircraft. Accounts of the event initially indicated that sophisticated jamming technology was used to blind the radars. Last December, however, a report in an American technical publication, IEEE Spectrum, cited a European industry source in raising the possibility that the Israelis might have used a built-in kill switch to shut down the radars. Separately, an American semiconductor industry executive said in an interview that he had direct knowledge of the operation and that the technology for disabling the radars was supplied by Americans to the Israeli electronic intelligence agency, Unit 8200.'"
Wireless Networking

No Hand-Held Devices In Ontario Cars 584

NIK282000 writes "To cut down on accidents caused by drivers who aren't paying attention, in Ontario it is now a ticketable offense to text, email, or navigate with your GPS while driving. But it seems to me that they have thrown the baby out with the bathwater, because it is now also a $500 fine to change your radio station, change songs on your MP3 player, or even drink your morning coffee. It can also be enforced to the point where changing the climate controls on your dash can get you fined because it requires you to take your hands off the wheel. Though this was a good idea, it seems to have been taken a little too far."
IT

Moving Away From the IT Field? 783

irving47 writes 'With the economy the way it is, it's a little iffy to even think about switching careers completely, but lately, I've gotten more and more fed up with trying to keep up with the technical demands of companies and customers that are financially and even verbally unappreciative. While I might be good at it, and the money is adequate, I'm curious to hear from Slashdotters who have gone cold-turkey from their IT/Networking careers to something once foreign to them. How did you deal with the income difference, if any? Do you find yourself dealing with people more, and if so, how did that work out?'

Comment Open ended (Score 1) 160

I recommend that you read Brain Rot by Theodore Grey and Jerry Glynn. Among other things, it discusses this very topic. The summary I took away from it is you should make the game open-ended, giving full freedom to the player to go down the wrong paths, rather than being led down the right path.

Interesting snippets:

Software should not be unnecessarily hard to use, but neither should it shy away from or disguise the inherent richness of the subject matter. It should be open-ended, deep, and capable of doing senseless things if asked.

In a continuation of the above point, in a discussion of programs to teach geometry:
If students decide to build a completely useless geometrical construction, the program won't stop them. It lets them discover for themselves that their construction is uninteresting. This is very important: By allowing freedom to go off in the wrong direction, the software is giving students the opportunity to learn.

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