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Education

Submission + - The Case For The Blue Collar Coder 1

theodp writes: U.S. tech talent shortage discussions tend to focus on getting more young people to go to college to become CS grads. Nothing wrong with that, writes Anil Dash, but let's not forget about education which teaches mid-level programming as a skilled trade, suitable for apprenticeship and advancement in a way that parallels traditional trade skills like HVAC or welding. Dash encourages less of a focus on 'the next Zuckerberg' in favor of encouraging solid middle-class tech jobs that are primarily focused on creating and maintaining tech infrastructure in non-tech companies. Dash also suggests 'changing the conversation about recruiting technologists from the existing narrow priesthood of highly-skilled experts constantly chasing new technologies to productive workers getting the most out of widely-deployed platforms and frameworks.'
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Milkymist System-on-Chip reaches beta stage (milkymist.org)

lekernel writes: "The System-on-Chip design of Milkymist, an open hardware platform for video performance artists, now has all the required features to implement many video effects. The next step for the project is to develop software that leverages the features of this architecture to render MilkDrop-like visual effects on a stand-alone FPGA development board in order to make the first good-looking demos using the system. For the FPGA hackers out there, the hardware design is entirely written in open source synthesizable Verilog. It notoriously features the LatticeMico32 WISHBONE-enabled softcore processor capable of running uClinux, a high performance DDR SDRAM controller, and graphics accelerators for texture mapping and floating point computations. A good introductory paper about the SoC architecture can be found here."
Announcements

Submission + - Paris hosts the second Hacker Space Festival (hackerspace.net)

zoobab writes: "Hackers from all over Europe will meet at the end of the month (27-30 June) at the second Hacker Space Festival (HSF), in Paris. The four-day schedule includes conferences and workshops on: Metasploit, HostileWRT, FPGA for beginners, ICT disaster recovery, Software Patents in Europe, Hadopi, Anonymisation or how to produce your own biodiesel... The future of Hacker Spaces will also be debated. The event will be hosted by the first french hackerspace /tmp/lab, located in an industrial zone in the outskirts of Paris."
Programming

Can We Create Fun Games Automatically? 198

togelius writes "What makes games fun? Some (e.g. Raph Koster) claim that fun is learning — fun games are those which are easy to learn, but hard to master, with a long and smooth learning curve. I think we can create fun game rules automatically through measuring their learnability. In a recent experiment, we do this using evolutionary computation, and create some simple Pacman-like new games completely without human intervention! Perhaps this has a future in game design? The academic paper (PDF) is available as well."
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - WebKit introduces fastest JavaScript engine (webkit.org)

Shin-LaC writes: In a post on their official blog, WebKit developers introduced the "next generation" of their JavaScript engine, SquirrelFish Extreme, claimed to be twice as fast as its predecessor. The post lists several changes contributing to the performance improvements, including "bytecode optimization", a "polymorphic inline cache" (which sounds similar to V8's "hidden class transitions"), and a "context threaded JIT" compiler which generates native code (currently only for x86 processors) and is also applied to regular expressions. The new JavaScript engine is already available in the latest WebKit nightly builds.
According to comparative benchmarks, the new engine is around 35% faster than the V8 engine recently introduced in Google Chrome, and 55% faster than Mozilla's TraceMonkey.

Image

United Airline's Stock Falls On Old Bankruptcy Story Screenshot-sm 5

A six-year-old Chicago Tribune story about United's 2002 bankruptcy filing, was picked up from a Google search by an investment newsletter on Monday morning, triggering a massive sell-off of United shares until trading was stopped. The stock fell as low as $3 before finally bouncing back to $12.30. Attorneys on both sides have started investigations and the incident has caught the attention of securities officials. I wonder what the market is going to do when they learn that Germany has invaded the Sudetenland.

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