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Comment Re:Arguing over the subjective (Score 2) 523

The easiest distinguishing characteristic between a programmer and a software engineer - empathy for the people who have to test, maintain, document, and extend your code :).

I've always been surprised that people don't consider them separate things (programmers and software engineers) - so maybe it's just me.

Programming

Linus Torvalds In Sweary Rant About Punctuation In Kernel Comments (theregister.co.uk) 523

An anonymous reader shares a report on The Register: Linus Torvalds has unleashed a sweary rant on the Linux Kernel Mailing List, labelling some members "brain-damaged" for their preferred method of punctuating comments. "Can we please get rid of the brain-damaged stupid networking comment syntax style, PLEASE?" the Linux Lord asked last Friday. "If the networking people cannot handle the pure awesomeness that is a balanced and symmetric traditional multi-line C style comments, then instead of the disgusting unbalanced crap that you guys use now, please just go all the way to the C++ mode."Torvalds despises the following two comment-punctuation styles (with his comments):/* This is disgusting drug-induced
* crap, and should die
*/
and:/* This is also very nasty
* and visually unbalanced */
Torvalds prefers the following two styles:/* This is a comment */ and:/*
* This is also a comment, but it can now be cleanly
* split over multiple lines
*/

Social Networks

Facebook Sued for $1 Billion for Alleged Use of Medium for Terror (bloomberg.com) 204

A group of Israelis and American lawyers are suing Facebook for a sum of $1 billion in damages for allegedly facilitating deadly Palestinian militant attacks on their loved ones. The application accuses Facebook of helping Hamas militants plot attacks that killed four Americans and wounded one in Israel, the West Bank and Jerusalem. Bloomberg reports:"Facebook has knowingly provided material support and resources to Hamas in the form of Facebook's online social network platform and communication services,â making it liable for the violence against the five Americans, according to the lawsuit sent to Bloomberg by the office of the Israeli lawyer on the case, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., European Union and Israel. The suit said the group used Facebook to share operational and tactical information with members and followers, posting notices of upcoming demonstrations, road closures, Israeli military actions and instructions to operatives to carry out the attacks.
Canada

Canadian Man Invented a Wheel That Can Make Cars Move Sideways (nationalpost.com) 132

An anonymous reader writes: Canadian man William Liddiard invented a wheel that allows vehicles to move sideways. "True all-way drive for anything with wheels," Liddiard says in an online writeup for his successful prototype of "omni-directional" wheels. They consist of a specialized roller-equipped rim that can move horizontally and a tire that is rounded like a donut. "This is a world first bolt-on application for anything with wheels," wrote Liddiard. "Now you can drive in all directions, and turn on the spot, when needed." His demo video titled "you've never seen a car do this...," has received more than 1.1 million views since it was uploaded on May 10th. The wheels are a "proof of concept" prototype right now, but Liddiard says the design would allow them to be made as durable and safe as standard automotive wheels. Omni-directional wheels are nothing new, though they are typically only used in wheelchairs, robotics and other small-scale applications. Honda Motor Co. debuted an omni-directional wheel at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, but it wasn't for a full-sized car -- it was for a Segway-style mobility device. "My wheel can hold ten times more than the other [wheels], while maintaining speed," Liddiard told Postmedia in an interview earlier this year. He's currently trying to sell his invention to a major tire or automotive company.
Power

Sweden Tests World's First Electric Road For Trucks (inhabitat.com) 106

Kristine Lofgren writes: Electric vehicles are cool, but for industrial vehicles it can be a challenge to get very far on just electric power. That's why Sweden is testing out an electric road where e-vehicles can jump on, get juiced while they travel, and get back on the road. The country just opened a two kilometer test stretch in Sandviken on the E16 where electric vehicles can connect to an overhead system that is very similar to light rail. It's another exciting step towards a fossil fuel-free Sweden. Trucks can use the electric power while riding on the special electric road system -- on regular roads they operate as hybrid vehicles. The testing is scheduled to take place until 2018, which should give the country enough time to see how the technology functions in the real world. Sweden's energy and sustainable growth agencies will fund the project in addition to the transport administration.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 596

Sure, if that sensor reading went from 0 to 100% (or similar) and then stayed registering 100%. It seems very likely, given Tesla's response that there is a very 'human' curve in the application of the accelerator prior to the accident and then a very 'human' curve to the release of the accelerator post impact. Then, a surprisingly totally functioning and normal accelerator afterwards...

Comment " When will people stop lying about..." - Really? (Score 1) 596

People will never stop lying about things they think they can get away with - especially to avoid wounding their pride.
One of the few positives to the surveillance state, the constant tracking of data - is occasionally the ability to point out just like Tesla - "Uh, you're a lying sack of shit..."

Google

Google Is Developing an AI Kill Switch (hothardware.com) 209

MojoKid shares a HotHardware article about Google's research effort "to maintain control of super-intelligent AI agents": [A] team of researchers at Google-owned DeepMind, along with University of Oxford scientists, are developing a proverbial kill switch for AI... The team has released a white paper on the topic called "Safely Interruptible Agents." The paper details the following in abstract: "Learning agents interacting with a complex environment like the real world are unlikely to behave optimally all the time... now and then it may be necessary for a human operator to press the big red button to prevent the agent from continuing a harmful sequence of actions..."
MojoKid adds that the paper "goes on to explain that these AI agents might also learn to disable the kill switch and further explores ways in which to develop AI's that would not seek such an activity."
Google

Ray Kurzeil's Google Team Is Building Intelligent Chatbots (theverge.com) 98

An anonymous reader quotes an article from The Verge. Inventor Ray Kurzweil made his name as a pioneer in technology that helped machines understand human language, both written and spoken. In a video from a recent Singularity conference Kurzweil says he and his team at Google are building a chatbot, and that it will be released sometime later this year... "My team, among other things, is working on chatbots. We expect to release some chatbots you can talk to later this year."

One of the bots will be named Danielle, and according to Kurzweil, it will draw on dialog from a character named Danielle, who appears in a novel he wrote -- a book titled, what else, Danielle... He said that anyone will be able to create their own unique chatbot by feeding it a large sample of your writing, for example by letting it ingest your blog. This would allow the bot to adopt your "style, personality, and ideas."

Kurzweil also predicted that we won't see AIs with full "human-level" language abilities until 2029, "But you'll be able to have interesting conversations before that."
Robotics

Former McDonald's USA CEO: $35K Robots Cheaper Than Hiring at $15 Per Hour (foxbusiness.com) 1023

An anonymous reader shares an article on Fox Business: As fast-food workers across the country vie for $15 per hour wages, many business owners have already begun to take humans out of the picture. "I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry -- it's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who's inefficient making $15 an hour (warning: autoplaying video) bagging French fries -- it's nonsense and it's very destructive and it's inflationary and it's going to cause a job loss across this country like you're not going to believe," said former McDonald's USA CEO Ed Rensi during an interview on the FOX Business Network's Mornings with Maria. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.3 million people earned the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour with about 1.7 million having wages below the federal minimum in 2014. These three million workers combined made up 3.9 percent of all hourly paid workers.
Microsoft

Windows 10 Upgrade Activates By Clicking Red X Close Button In Prompt Message (bbc.co.uk) 564

Reader Raging Bool writes: In a move guaranteed to annoy many people, Microsoft has "jumped the shark" on encouraging users to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft has faced criticism for changing the pop-up box encouraging Windows users to upgrade to Windows 10. Clicking the red cross on the right hand corner of the pop-up box now activates the upgrade instead of closing the box. And this has caused confusion as typically clicking a red cross closes a pop-up notification. The upgrade could still be cancelled, when the scheduled time for it to begin appeared, Microsoft said The change occurred because the update is now labelled "recommended" and many people have their PCs configured to accept recommended updates for security reasons. This means dismissing the box does not dismiss the update.Brad Chacos, senior editor at the PC World wrote about this incident over the weekend, and described it as a "nasty trick".
Microsoft

Microsoft Urged to Open Source Classic Visual Basic (i-programmer.info) 331

"On the 25th anniversary of classic Visual Basic, return it to its programmers..." reads the plea at UserVoice.com from Sue Gee -- drawing 85 upvotes. "The new Microsoft claims to back open source, why not in this case? There is no need for Microsoft to do any more work on the code base - simply open source it and allow the community to keep it alive."

In an essay at i-programmer.info, Gee shares a video of young Bill Gates building an app with Visual Basic in 1991, and complains that in the 25 years since Microsoft has open sourced .NET Core and the .NET Compiler Platform Roslyn, "but it has explicitly refused to open source VB6." She notes that Friday Visual Basic's program manager announced a "Visual Basic Silver Anniversary Celebratiathon," promising he's reaching out to the VB team members from the last 25 years for a behind-the-scenes retrospective, and adding "this is a party, so feel free to be interactive."

"What the post glosses over is that this history was blighted by the fork in the road that was .NET and that many Visual Basic fans are highly unsatisfied that the programming environment they cherished is lost to them..." writes Gee. "Vote for the proposal not because you want to use VB6 or that you think it is worth having -- Vote for it because a company like Microsoft should not take a language away from its users."

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