Why Microsoft Developers Need a Style Guide
'Occasionally, Microsoft's recommendations verge on the absurd. For example, you might not think it necessary to admonish developers to "not use slang that may be considered profane or derogatory, such as 'pimp' or 'bitch,'" but apparently it is.'
IT skews dramatically male, and those men skew dramatically towards the socially inept. Making explicit rules about not using profane or derogatory slang in your UI is completely appropriate.
I find it far more likely that this has something to do with Office 365: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/online-software.aspx
Microsoft Demos C++ AMP At AMD Developers Summit
Because "CUDA" and "GPGPU" are such obvious bits of terminology ... ?
Amazon Fake Products and Fake Reviews
Having been recently thrown out and banned from Staples, Bestbuy, and Futureshop, for setting the IE Homepage on the display computers to the small local competitor down the street, I had no where to reasonably go but online.
Shoulda gone to the small local competitor down the street...
A Peek At South Korea's Autonomous Robot Gun Turrets
Especially because North Korea's macro is so bad...
Medical Researcher Rediscovers Integration
"If you can't get rich off of that over the course of your career, you are doing it wrong" -- remember, this discussion was started by an article in which a med school graduate and research scientist reinvented the trapezoid method of integration, presumably because he never learned it in math class. So we're not talking math geniuses here.
The Problem With the Top500 Supercomputer List
Did you miss the part of the artlcle where the TITECH team working on the Linux Top500 run on Tsubame also had to rewrite their HPL stack?
Computer Defeats Human At Japanese Chess
Computer programs have already beaten Go professionals at 7-stone handicap games. Mogo and Many Faces of Go have both done it for sure, and Zen is very competitive with both of them. If you go to http://gokgs.com/ and sign into the Computer Go room you'll see that Zen is ranked 3 dan and ManyFaces is ranked 2 dan, and they routinely win games off strong amateur humans. Both Zen and ManyFaces are single-box SMP programs, and the algorithm they use is a Monte Carlo algorithm so it should scale to hundreds of machines, while Mogo already runs on 600 processors...
So Go programs are getting there. Not as fast as chess, but they're still getting there.
Google Readying To Pull Out of China
Microsoft can't possibly withdraw from China -- it has a huge investment there that has nothing to do with the search engine market. Microsoft Research Asia is headquartered in Beijing; and a number of product teams have development teams in Shanghai (disclosure: including mine). They just opened a 4000-FTE office complex in one of Shanghai's technical districts.
So I doubt Microsoft is going to close down Bing China out of principle.
Hollywood Sets $10 Billion Box Office Record
Microsoft routinely grosses more than Hollywood does at the domestic box office.
Hmm, that's an apples-to-oranges comparison because that's Microsoft's international gross income compared to Hollywood's domestic income. But still ... I thought it somewhat eye-popping.
How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class?
Windows 7 now features a math input panel, which converts handwritten mathematics to MathML.
You can see screenshots at this link:
Apple Seeks Patent On Operating System Advertising
I definitely approve of companies patenting technology I never want to see anywhere.
IBM's Answer To Windows 7 Is Ubuntu Linux
Linux has been at it for 15 years and (as indicated by an earlier slashdot story this very day) sound is still broken out of the box on Ubuntu.
And you still can't reliably cut and paste between apps.
Not exactly ready for prime time.
Microsoft Accused of Squandering Billions On R&D
- Parallel Extensions to .NET
- WorldWide Telescope
I don't know if Parallel Extensions is worth $8 billion, but it's a huge deal and the cornerstone of the ManyCore/Multicore work MS is doing. It's pretty freaking cool. (And the Mono folks have already implemented it...)
Blizzard Wins Major Lawsuit Against Bot Developers
It's not the same principle at all. This ruling is based on the fact that Blizzard distributes its software under an end user license. The GPL is not an end user license. The GPL gives you a blanket right to make copies of the software for any reason, to modify those copies as you see fit, and to use the software in any manner you like. The only thing you may not do without following the GPL is distribute modified copies to other people.
jsac hasn't submitted any stories.
What's wrong with "literary" fiction
There's a long list of genre authors who are writing or have written great stories and great prose: Patricia McKillip, Lois McMaster Bujold, Rex Stout, Iain M. Banks, John Varley, and Samuel R Delany, to name a smattering. Toss Annie Proulx from the train.
In my mail -- week of December 3, 2001
- America West frequent flyer miles update
- Newsletter from my old parish in St. Paul
- International Linear Algebra Society conference invitation and membership application form.
Mad Cow Disease
Ethics of Cloning
Top 10 conservative idiots
Missile defense blues
The dangers of Cipro?
Assault on public sector makes terrorists' jobs easier
Naomi Klein makes a compelling case that neglect of public services in the U.S. makes terrorists' goals easier to achieve.
It has become fashionable to wryly observe that the terrorists use the West's technologies as weapons against itself: planes, e-mail, cellphones. But as fears of bioterrorism mount, it could well turn out that their best weapons are the rips and holes in the United States' public infrastructure.
Is this because there was no time to prepare for the attacks? Hardly. The U.S. has openly recognized the threat of biological attacks since the Persian Gulf war, and Bill Clinton renewed calls to protect the nation from bioterror after the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa. And yet shockingly little has been done.
The reason is simple: Preparing for biological warfare would have required a ceasefire in America's older, less dramatic war -- the one against the public sphere. It didn't happen. Here are some snapshots from the front lines.
Selfish communities hoist by their own petard
"Frankly, Dallas is not the same town it was 10 or 15 years ago," said resident Morris Smart of Vickery Place in East Dallas. "It makes a lot of sense now. I'm all for it. And I live about as close as you can get to where the station would be."
Before Mr. Smart moved to Vickery Place, residents there, along with neighbors in next-door Cochran Heights, fought a proposed station for Knox-Henderson more than a decade ago.
Now, they're working together to appeal to city leaders and DART board members to build an underground station there.
But the effort is late in coming. DART has told neighbors that although the space for a future station was excavated when the tunnel was built, there's no money in the budget for one now and probably won't be for years.
"That neighborhood was very opposed to what we were doing, but we over-excavated that area because we knew someday we'd like to have a station there," said Mike Miles, DART's senior manager of community and member city relations. "But now that's a long way off. The money is committed elsewhere. They basically have to get to the end of the line."
I like to see places like this get their comeuppance.
I say Osama, you say Usama
Arthur Koestler, in an appendix to The Thirteenth Tribe , notes:
T. E. Lawrence was a brilliant
orientalist, but he was as ruthless in his spelling as he was in
raiding Turkish garrisons. His brother, A. W. Lawrence, explained
in his preface to Seven Pillars of Wisdom:
The spelling of Arabic names varies greatly in all editions, and I
have made no alterations. It should be explained that only three vowels are
recognized in Arabic, and that some of the consonants have no equivalents in
English. The general practice of orientalists in recent years has been to
adopt one of the various sets of conventional signs for the letters and vowel
marks of the Arabic alphabet, transliterating Mohamed as Muhammad, muezzin as
mu'edhdhin, and Koran as Qur'an or Kur'an. This method is useful to those who
know what it means but this book follows the old fashion of writing the best
phonetic approximations according to ordinary English spelling.
Clearly the problem is not a trivial one.
Hiking around Japan's hot springs
Spongiform encephalopathies are here to stay
State officials here fear that some elk that may be infected with a fatal illness were sold to private ranches in as many as 15 states and could spread the disease to the wild elk and deer throughout the nation.
The fact of the matter is that some sort of encephalopathy is waiting to happen in the U.S. -- meat industry practices assure it. We can only hope that it will be a visible and diagnosable one like Mad Cow disease, rather than a quiet one that isn't obviously a neuropathy. For more information -- enough to turn you vegetarian, if you're sensible -- read Mad Cow U.S.A.: Could the Nightmare Happen Here? by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber.
What is the Koran?
The future of warfare is information warfare
Terrorists in the Pentagon
DAVID RUPPE, ABC NEWS: In the early 1960s, America's top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba. Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities. The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.
America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." Details of the plans are described in 'Body of Secrets,' a new book by investigative reporter James Bamford about the history of America's largest spy agency, the National Security Agency. However, the plans were not connected to the agency, he notes.
The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years. "These were Joint Chiefs of Staff documents. The reason these were held secret for so long is the Joint Chiefs never wanted to give these up because they were so embarrassing," Bamford told ABC News . . .
This is why the military needs strong civilian oversight -- and why Heinlein was on crack when he suggested in Starship Troopers that only veterans get to vote.
The comic for the rest of us
Garrison Keillor couldn't make this up...
Second, Prior Lake High School let a journalist in for a whole year, and were dismayed when the subsequent book aired all the dirty laundry. Sex, pot, and rebellion, in a Minnesota school? Who would have thought ...