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COBOL Turning 50, Still Important 314

Death Metal writes with this excerpt from a story about COBOL's influence as it approaches 50 years in existence: "According to David Stephenson, the UK manager for the software provider Micro Focus, 'some 70% to 80% of UK plc business transactions are still based on COBOL.' ... Mike Gilpin, from the market research company Forrester, says that the company's most recent related survey found that 32% of enterprises say they still use COBOL for development or maintenance. ... A lot of this maintenance and development takes place on IBM products. The company's software group director of product delivery and strategy, Charles Chu, says that he doesn't think 'legacy' is pejorative. 'Business constantly evolves,' he adds, 'but there are 250bn lines of COBOL code working well worldwide. Why would companies replace systems that are working well?'"

Greg Bear To Write Halo Trilogy 73

SailorSpork writes "Many gaming websites are reporting that Hugo and Nebula award winning sci-fi author Greg Bear will be writing a 100,000-year prequel trilogy to the Halo series, focusing on the Forerunners and presumably the construction of the Larry Niven knock-offs. Will he be able to balance the needs of his hard sci-fi fanbase with the Halo fans' need for a soft introduction to 'chapter books?' Despite my sarcasm, as someone who considers both of them guilty pleasures, I am actually really looking forward to seeing how he handles this."

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