VoyagerRadio writes: Last week I attended a local technology user group's monthly meeting to learn about a programming language I'm not familiar with, Erlang. Wikipedia currently describes Erlang as "concurrent, garbage-collected programming language", a fact that seemed supported by speaker Bryan Hunter's presentation at the event I attended. Mr. Hunter described the language's strengths in concurrency (specifically, shared memory and message passing), in garbage collection (each process has its own garbage collector), in reductions (which provide you with "crazy performance"), and in distribution (which is built-in). He demonstrated how the language is used to create computing clusters, setting up and connecting nodes and then demonstrating some of their unique communication protocols.
The demo impressed upon me the value of functional programming languages (of which Erlang is a member), but I'm still wondering if I should first master one of the more "popular" languages I've been exploring (such as C) or object-oriented languages (such as C++) before trying to fully wrap my mind around Erlang. One thing I picked up from the presentation is that once you learn Erlang, it may be difficult to wrap your mind around OOP once you've gotten used to programming with Erlang.
Should I, as one of the the more well-known resources on the language (http://learnyousomeerlang.com/) suggests, learn me some Erlang?
VoyagerRadio writes: With news that Nintendo will now be collecting revenue from YouTube whenever the console developer's intellectual property (IP) appears in videos uploaded to the Google-owned video distributor, will other game publishers want a piece of the pie? Mario and Luigi may be popular characters in fan-generated YouTube videos, but IP from other game publishers are just as popular, including Blizzard's World of Warcraft and LucasArts' Star Wars universe. Will game publishers such as Activision and even Microsoft pressure Google to make the same kind of deal Nintendo now has with YouTube?
VoyagerRadio writes: Prepaid cellular carriers have long been perceived as providing lesser services than expensive contract carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, which tend to offer the "best" (and most expensive) smartphones and cellular services, leaving the cheapest prepaid carriers with bargain-bin devices and services. This is no longer the case, however, with services such as SIMPLE Mobile enabling consumers to use their unlocked devices over the same cellular networks as the contract carriers — and at lesser expense.
With services such as SIMPLE Mobile available, why do people continue renewing their expensive contracts? Why don't more people get their phones and other devices unlocked and migrate to a less expensive but equivalent prepaid carrier? Is the real reason because they're more afraid of losing their status than losing their service, since going with prepaid services isn't considered as "sexy" as the contract carriers' big-budgeted marketing departments make their own services out to be?
VoyagerRadio writes: "I've encountered Android users complaining when apps are introduced exclusively for iPhones and iPads. Yet once developers do turn their attention to their platform of choice, Android users seem reluctant to put their money where their mouths are and purchase the app(s).
There seems to be a general reluctance within the Android community to financially support the efforts of app developers, while iOS users tend to recognize the value of paying apps and services for their devices.
Is this simply because Apple consumers tend to have more disposable income than Android consumers?"
VoyagerRadio writes: "Kai Staats, known for his work with Yellow Dog Linux, the PowerPC-based distro of Linux, has been developing a new system of communication called iConji. The pictorial language is intended for people to be able to communicate across cultural divides in a potentially more efficient way than the text messaging systems we've become accustomed to using. Though iConji is currently a digital form of communication, one can imagine it also extending beyond the web. iConji is also an open system, inviting anyone to compose their own symbols to share and use with others."
VoyagerRadio writes: "I have a more heightened awareness of a deliberate maintenance of relationships when I am online, and I often wonder how these "Internet relationships" are differentiated from face-to-face relationships. Certainly there are differences between the two, but are they significant enough differences to determine one of these two types of relationships as superior to the other? As for pre-existing, “in person” relationships: Does the quality of an engagement between people improve once certain aspects of communication are facilitated by the Internet? Or does the relationship degrade once it is online? Does it essentially remain the same?"
VoyagerRadio writes: "Christopher Hills is a young man living with a physical disability that makes it impossible for him to walk, to use his hands, or to speak in a manner that is comprehensible to most. Fortunately, the use of assistive software and hardware has until now enabled Hills to use his Macintosh. (See video.) Unfortunately, the software he's been using is a Rosetta application developed by a company that will no longer be upgrading their Mac software. What software or hardware solutions exist for recent Apple products that Mr. Hills can use to continue communicating with the rest of the world through his computer?"
VoyagerRadio writes: "Recently I found myself struggling with a question I should easily have been able to answer: Why would anyone want to use Linux as their everyday desktop (or laptop) operating system? It’s a fair question, and asked often of Linux, but I'm finding it to be a question I can no longer answer with the conviction necessary to “sell” the platform. In fact, I kind of feel like a car salesman who realizes he no longer believes in the product he’s been pitching. It's not that I don't find Linux worthy; I simply don't understand how it's every going to succeed on the desktop with voluntary marketing efforts. What do Linux users need to do to replicate the marketing efforts of Apple and Microsoft and other corporate operating system vendors? To me, it seems you don’t sell Linux at all because there isn’t supposed to be one dominant distribution that stands out from the rest. Without a specific product to put on the shelf to sell, what in the world do you focus your efforts on selling? An idea?"