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How To Teach a 12-Year-Old To Program? 799

thelordx writes "I've got a much younger brother who I'd like to teach how to program. When I was younger, you'd often start off with something like BASIC or Apple BASIC, maybe move on to Pascal, and eventually get to C and Java. Is something like Pascal still a dominant teaching language? I'd love to get low-level with him, and I firmly believe that C is the best language to eventually learn, but I'm not sure how to get him there. Can anyone recommend a language I can start to teach him that is simple enough to learn quickly, but powerful enough to do interesting things and lead him down a path towards C/C++?"

Body Heat Energy Generation 214

BuzzSkyline writes "Researchers in Belgium have developed devices to harvest the waste heat our bodies throw off in order to convert it to electricity to run devices such as a wristband blood oxygen sensor and an electrocardiogram shirt. As a side benefit, the power sources help cool you down and keep you looking cool, all while running sundry micropower devices. In fact, the researchers mention that the energy harvesting head band works so well that it can get uncomfortably cold. In that case, they say, 'This problem is solved in exactly the same way as someone solves it on the body level in cold weather: a headgear should be worn on top of the system to limit the heat flow and make it comfortable.' But it would be such a shame to cover up the golden heat-harvesting headband with a hat."

Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 374

If you don't like it, write your own code under your license of choice.

I like the goal of the GPL, just not the means. People should write open source software out of their own free fill (as I do), and not because they are forced to by a license.

You may argue that without the requirements the GPL places on people, there would hardly be any open source software. This is the assumption that most people are "bad" and would not share there code, but the GPL gives them no choice. I have more faith in the world and think that there are enough good-willing developers that would contribute code back anyway.

Also did you not read my original post - why are you telling me to use a different license - when it was clear from my original post that I already do (BSD/MIT variants)?

Comment Re:Well (Score 3, Insightful) 374

I don't win, as someone who writes software licensed under BSD/MIT.

I have to compromise.

Either license my code as GPL, which restricts who can use my code (I want my code to be used as widely as possible - I don't care if MS uses in their software - I give it away with the purpose of improving the quality of software people use - i.e. if Joe Windows User benefits from MS including my BSD licensed software or Bob Linux User benefits from GPL projects including my BSD licensed software - both make me happy).

Or, I re-implement the software as BSD licensed. Now, this is no worse off than if the GPL code had never been written in the first place, true, but it goes against the idea of everyone working towards a common goal (creating open source software for users) - since the result is waste of time duplicating code under different licenses.

Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 374

I never implied the developer has an obligation to let me use his code. Neither does the closed source developer.

My point is by placing this restrictions, the GPL developer prevents not only closed source software using his code - but also certain class of open source software (BSD/MIT-style licensed).

This is obvious - but my in stating it, I was disputing the point of the grandparent who was implying that GPL is good for every open source developer - which is not the case for developers writing BSD-licensed software, as the GPL code cannot be used in their projects.

Comment Re:Well (Score 0, Flamebait) 374

Did you miss the word either in the statement you emphasized?

What I said was fact. Given the premise that I want the above functionality in my app, I either have license my app as GPL or re-implement the functionality as MIT/BSD. This is obvious from the restrictions the GPL places on the software. I don't see the point of dispute in this statement.

Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 374

Actually I never said I wish to restrict the freedom of others.

I follow the "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" school of thought.

Your freedom to write GPL'd code should not be restricted. My point was the license is not the golden chalice for any open source developer (which was the GP's point).

Comment Re:Well (Score 0, Troll) 374

If you ARE writing open source software, it's not a bullshit license.

Unless you want to license your open source code as BSD/MIT...

Suppose you're writing an open source app (let's say 20k LOC) and wish to license it under MIT. Now, suppose you need a specific functionality that's already been implemented by another open source project under GPL (let's say the functionality is 1K LOC).

Now, you can either use that functionality, but would be forced to relicense your project as GPL (thereby giving up your freedom of being able to choose how you want to license the code you have written), or re-implement the same functionality yourself and license it as MIT (thereby duplicating effort).

As an open source software developer wishing to license my code liberally, I am forced to either give up my freedom of choosing the license for my code or re-implement functionality (thereby taking away my time from improving other parts of my open source app).

So, the GPL license IS a bullshit license even if you are writing open source software (in certain circumstances).


Steve Jobs' Macworld Keynotes, 1998-2008 108

Ian Lamont writes "The Industry Standard has put together a collection of video highlights from Steve Jobs' Macworld keynotes since his return to Apple in the late 1990s. It's interesting to watch. Jobs was basically able to turn tech product demonstrations into convincing consumer spectacles that made even the simplest product feature — such as the handle on the clamshell iBook — seem innovative and utterly desirable. And while his appearance changed greatly over the years (compare his 1998 iMac demonstration with his "iPod Mini" keynote in 2004, when he was reportedly trying to treat cancer with a special diet), his enthusiasm never waned. Of course, he may make appearances at Apple's WWDC or other events, but a Macworld expo with Phil Schiller headlining just won't be the same."

Google's Mayer Says Personalization is Key To Future Search 93

rsmiller510 writes "In a wide-ranging interview with Tech Crunch's Michael Arrington on Wednesday at Le Web in Paris, Google's Marissa Mayer talked about all things Google, but what I found most interesting was when the conversation turned toward the future of search. Mayer said the key to the future of search lies in personalization. ... Mayer said in the future, Google (and presumably other search tools) will understand more about the user and be able to deliver more relevant information based on that knowledge. 'We think that when you look at the winning search engine in 2020 and what traits it's likely to have, we think the one thing that will be true is that it will understand more about you the user.'" Video of the interview with Mayer is available at Tech Crunch. The personalization of search content focuses mainly on SearchWiki, which we discussed when it went live last month. The Register has a more cynical take on the discussion, seizing on comments by Mayer which indicated Google employees may evaluate SearchWiki's user ratings and use them to make "obvious changes" to search results for everyone.

What Programming Language For Linux Development? 997

k33l0r writes "Recently I've been thinking about developing (or learning to develop) for Linux. I'm an IT university student but my degree program focuses almost exclusively on Microsoft tools (Visual Studio, C#, ASP.NET, etc.) which is why I would like to expand my repertoire on my own. Personally I'm quite comfortable in a Linux environment, but have never programmed for it. Over the years I've developed a healthy fear of everything Java and I'm not too sure of what I think of Python's use of indentation to delimit blocks. The question that remains is: what language and tools should I be using?"

Forry Ackerman Dead At 92 83

rrohbeck was one of several readers to note the passing of Forrest J. Ackerman at the age of 92. Ackerman, who coined the term sci-fi in 1954, has been called the 'world's biggest fan.' Over a long career he acted as literary agent for Isaac Asimov, A.E. van Vogt, Hugo Gernsback, and L. Ron Hubbard; he published Ray Bradbury's first short story in a fan magazine in 1938. Ackerman wrote over 2,000 articles and short stories, including, oddly enough, lesbian fiction in the 1940s. In recent years, mounting health bills forced him to sell his home, the 'Ackermansion,' and most of the 300,000 items of memorabilia it stored.

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