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Comment Suddenly I feel less worried about the future (Score 3, Interesting) 160

Seems "AI" hasn't come much further than the chat bot we had at Waterloo about 2005. We fed it the Star Wars scripts, the Bible, the Complete Works of Shakespeare and a few scholarly articles about the Iraq war. It was occasionally funny. It was about as coherent as that script.

I'm reminded of the remark that a dancing dog is interesting because it has been taught to dance, not because it dances well.

Submission + - Drinking Coffee in Middle Age Promotes Longevity

An anonymous reader writes: If you can never decide whether you want coffee or tea in the morning, these new findings will make the decision easier. Scientists have recently discovered that drinking coffee can add years to a person's life. The study, which involved nearly half a million older Americans, revealed that the risk of death decreased the more cups of coffee participants consumed.

Comment Comparing 1992 and 2007... (Score 1) 605

I did my Master's at a top Canadian university in 1992. I was T.A. for the 4th-year graphics course, one of the "big three" at that school.

Each term we had about 25 students, 5 or 6 of whom were really good.

I went to industry for a decade, then decided my life was too easy.

I finished my Ph.D. at the same school in 2007. I was T.A. again for the 4th-year graphics course.

Each term we had about 50 students, 5 or 6 of whom were really good.

The "gene pool" of good, motivated students didn't change from 1992 to 2007, the profs were every bit as good both in research and teaching skill. The only "improvement" was the pool of fee-paying, half-subsidized students taking the course. The population of the province sure didn't double during the time, but the 1990's drive to get "more technical people" sure doubled the intake. The 5th year of high school was also trimmed back.

I knew faculty who quit for industry rather than teach remedial high-school math.

"Computer Science: because your Mom told you to!" was the headline of a poster seen outside the student society door... hits the nail on the head.

Comment Re:Sheila Bair's quote says it all (Score 2) 470

Corporations are legal entities comparable in law to people and these fines are little worse than traffic tickets. I like the approach of Japan's regulator to these frauds: ban the companies involved from any activity related to LIBOR based instruments. That cuts off the source of the motivation to fraud. It would kill the investment banking arm of these institutions and leave them the quiet, boring banks that we thought they were. Write your MP/Congressperson....

Student Googles Himself, Finds He's Accused of Murder 184

University of Florida student Zachary Garcia was more than a little surprised to find out he was wanted for murder after Googling his name. It turns out the police were looking for a different man but had mistakenly used Garcia's photo. From the article: "Investigators originally released a driver's license photo of Zachary Garcia — spelled with an 'A' — but it was Zachery Garcia — spelled with an 'E'— who was charged in connection with the crime."

Cassandra and Voldemort Benchmarked 45

kreide33 writes "Key/Value storage systems are gaining in popularity, much because of features such as easy scalability and automatic replication. However, there are several to choose from and performance is an important deciding factor. This article compares the performance of two of the most well-known projects, Cassandra and Voldemort, using several different mixes of access types, and compares both throughput and latency."

Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight 140

Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."

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Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.