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Submission + - John McCarthy, AI Pioneer, Dead at 84 (wired.com)

mpearrow writes: Wired has an article about the death of John McCarthy, the inventor of the LISP programming language and possibly the single most important contributor to the field of AI.

Submission + - John McCarthy, creator of Lisp, has died (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: John McCarthy, the man who, among other things, first coined the term "Artificial Intelligence" and who invented the Lisp programming language died, aged 84, on October 23, 2011. The first use of the term "Artificial Intelligence" came in John McCarthy's proposal for a two-month, ten-man workshop to be carried out at Dartmouth College in 1956. This event went ahead, with Marvin Minsky, Claude Shannon, Nathaniel Rochester, Arthur Samuel, Allen Newell, Herbert Simon, Trenchard More, Ray Solomonoff and Oliver Selfridge, and is considered as "the birth" of AI.
McCarthy went on to create LISP. motivated by his
"desire for an algebraic list processing language for artificial intelligence work",
Best known as a way to torment students with brackets it is still considered to be the language of AI and it has influenced languages as different as JavaScript and Clojure.


Submission + - Nokia will lay off up to 6,000 next week (techeye.net)

bmo writes: TechEye has heard that Nokia is going to fire up to 6,000 people as soon as next week.

An industry source tells us the lay-offs will mainly be in Nokia's home country, Finland.

There will be job cuts all round — but the majority will be in Finland. We have also heard from that all the work from the Symbian group is going to go to Microsoft.

Submission + - PC Virus Turns 25 (cio.com) 1

Batblue writes: Happy anniversary Basit and Amjad! Twenty-five years ago this month, the Alvi brothers of Lahore, Pakistan, gave the world the Brain Virus, the first bit of malware capable of infecting a DOS-based PC. Back in those relatively innocent times, the brothers actually embedded their real names and business address in the code and later told Time magazine they had written the virus to protect their medical software from piracy.

Who knows what they were really thinking, but by all accounts the Brain Virus was relatively harmless. Twenty-five years later, most malware is anything but benign and cyber criminals pull off exploits the Alvi brothers never envisioned.


Submission + - Hedge Fund Offers $2B for Novell

CWmike writes: A hedge fund that is already one of Novell's largest shareholders offered on Tuesday to acquire the struggling, cash-rich enterprise software maker for $2 billion. The unsolicited offer, from New York-based Elliot Associates L.P., is for $5.75 per share in cash, a dollar a share more than Novell's closing price Tuesday of $4.75 per share. The offer caused Novell's stock to leap 29% to $6.15 in after-hours trading. Because Novell is so cash-rich — it had $991 million in cash and equivalents at the end of January (see PDF) — Elliott says the deal values Novell as an enterprise alone at about $1 billion.

Submission + - Prize for Finding Unintended Acceleration Cause (edmunds.com)

phantomfive writes: Edmunds Auto has offered a $1million prize to anyone who can find the cause of unintended acceleration. As Wikipedia covers, this is a problem that has plagued not only Toyota, but also Audi and other manufacturers. Consumer Reports has some suggestions all automakers can implement to solve this problem, including requiring breaks to be strong enough to stop the car even when the accelerator is floored.

Submission + - South Australian Government gags internet debate (news.com.au) 2

JesseJaimes writes: SOUTH Australia has become one of the few states in the world to censor the internet.
The new law, which came into force on January 6, requires anyone making an online comment about next month's state election to publish their real name and postcode.

The law will affect anyone posting a comment on an election story on The Advertiser's AdelaideNow website, as well as other Australian news sites.


Submission + - AT&T Censors 4chan server 13

An anonymous reader writes: http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/94pf2/att_is_now_blocking_all_access_to_img4chanorg/ Details how img.4chan.org (home of the notorious /b/ — "Random" image board) is being actively blocked by AT&T. According to the scant details available on 4chan and Reddit there are reports that img.4chan.org has become inaccessible from California to Texas and some reports claim as far east as Connecticut. Supposedly this is to stop a ring of pedophiles, but as one Reddit poster said it best "First the came for the pedophiles and I was not a pedophile..."
Disturbing news indeed.
United States

Submission + - What's the Deal With the Amazon Tax (technicallylegal.org)

snitty writes: "Amazon.com has been shutting down affiliate programs left and right because states are trying to make Amazon collect sales tax for them. TechnicallyLegal breaks down the constitutional arguments for and against the tax. Essentially, the states are going to argue that Amazon Affiliates are the modern day equivalent of door-to-door salesmen."

Submission + - Major Advertising Network Compromised (google.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: EyeWonder, a major advertising network, appears to have been compromised today. Its website currently states that it is "down for maintenance", and Google is currently classifying all eyewonder.com search results as being harmful. Both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome use Google's malware detection service, so users of these browsers may encounter malware warnings on a variety of websites that use EyeWonder.

Submission + - GE / CIA obsolete light bulb with OLED light panel

An anonymous reader writes: The Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) collaborated with General Electric (GE) recently to design organic light-emiting diode (OLED) panels that, according to this story will obsolete the venerable light bulb. Beginning next year GE will kicks off its printable organic light-emitting diode (OLED) effort to make flexible light panels using an inexpensive roll-to-roll printing process that fabricates OLEDs on cheap plastic substrates. Right now the panels are not bright enough to replace high-intensity halogen lights, but over the next decade, as they get brighter, look for the light bulbs of all types to be phased out in favor of flat light panels. The market for organic printed electronics will grow to $300 billion by 2028, according to IDTechEx Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.) The CIA designed a wide diversity of architectural, industrial and consumer applications for GE's flexible OLED lighting panels. Check out the photos of some examples here.

Submission + - Stephen Hawking: "Humans Have Entered a New St (dailygalaxy.com)

movesguy writes: "Stephen Hawking said in his lecture: Life in the Universe that "Humans Have Entered a New Stage of Evolution" From the article: "At first, evolution proceeded by natural selection, from random mutations. This Darwinian phase, lasted about three and a half billion years, and produced us, beings who developed language, to exchange information." "I think it is legitimate to take a broader view, and include externally transmitted information, as well as DNA, in the evolution of the human race," Hawking said. In the last ten thousand years the human species has been in what Hawking calls, "an external transmission phase," where the internal record of information, handed down to succeeding generations in DNA, has not changed significantly. "But the external record, in books, and other long lasting forms of storage," Hawking says, "has grown enormously. Some people would use the term, evolution, only for the internally transmitted genetic material, and would object to it being applied to information handed down externally. But I think that is too narrow a view. We are more than just our genes." http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2009/07/stephen-hawking-the-planet-has-entered-a-new-phase-of-evolution.html"

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