Vitalik Buterin invented the world's hottest new cryptocurrency and inspired a movement — before he'd turned 20 - "I think a large part of the consequence is necessarily going to be disempowering some of these centralized players to some extent because ultimately power is a zero sum game. And if you talk about empowering the little guy, as much as you want to couch it in flowery terminology that makes it sound fluffy and good, you are necessarily disempowering the big guy. And personally I say screw the big guy. They have enough money already." [more inside]
Fenlason dubbed his clone Hack for two reasons: "One definition was 'a quick [computer] hack because I don't have access to Rogue'. The other was 'hack-n-slash', a reference to one of the styles of playing Dungeons and Dragons." - A chapter long excerpt from David Craddock's Dungeon Hacks, a new book on the history of the Roguelike RPG.
Coding Like a Girl - sailor mercury at Medium:
"Apparently, presenting as feminine makes you look like a beginner. It is very frustrating that I will either look like not a programmer or look like a permanent beginner because I have programmed since age 8. I have basically always wanted to be a programmer. I received undergrad and grad degrees from MIT. I’ve worked as a visiting researcher in Honda’s humanoid robotics division on machine learning algorithms for ASIMO.[more inside]
"I don’t think that any of these things make me a better programmer; I list them because I am pretty sure that if i were a white man with these credentials or even less than these credentials no one would doubt my programmer status."
WYNC's Manoush Zomorodi investigates the gender gap in tech and computer science, and finds a number of people working towards bridging that gap, from childhood to university: completely restructuring a required computer science course to make it more welcoming to female university students, celebrating women in computing history (and recognizing that computer science wasn't so male-dominated, and making children's books and toys (even dollhouses!) for kids to explore programming concepts on their own. She also noticed that the majority of female computer science students in the US had grown up overseas - possibly because computer science isn't a common subject in American high schools. This is slated to change: a new AP Computer Science subject is in the works, with efforts to get 10,000 highly-trained computer science teachers in 10,000 high schools across the US. If you want to join Mindy Kaling in supporting young girls entering computer science, tech, and coding, there's a lot [more inside]
How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio actually makes a case against austerity and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
The year was 1986, and Lynda had just joined a small cadre of female engineers working for FI, a groundbreaking IT firm that laid the foundations for outsourced development and women’s rights in the workplace. The company, originally called Freelance Programmers, was founded in the early 1960s by Stephanie Shirley, a German who had been evacuated to Britain — along with many fellow Jewish children — as part of the kindertransport shortly before the Second World War.Gender equality is still a major issue in the technology industry, but 50 years ago one British company was blazing trails.
New research can detect five different emotions with 81 percent accuracy. [Additional project information].
"We worked through every possible disaster situation," Reed said. "We did three actual all-day sessions of destroying everything we had built."
This is just the top 30, what I consider to be the most likely candidates for actual new programming jargon based on community upvotes, not just "funny thing that another programmer typed on a webpage and I felt compelled to upvote for hilarity". Because that would be Reddit. Coding Horror presents the top 30 Stack Overflow New Programming Jargon entries.
Following a jury finding that Google had not infiringed upon Oracles patents, a development described as a near disaster for the database company, Judge William Aslup has ruled that the Java APIs cannot be copyrighted. That leaves Oracle with only the 9 lines of rangeCheck code and a handfull of decompiled test files to show for the massivecourt case. CEO Larry Ellison remains confident, claiming that the aquisition of Java creator Sun has still paid for itself.
The Control Revolution And Its Discontents - "the long process of algorithmisation over the last 150 years has also, wherever possible, replaced implicit rules/contracts and principal-agent relationships with explicit processes and rules."
Programmers Who Defined The Technology Industry: Where Are They Now?
Who gets to make money off WordPress? Dust-up brewing in the world of WordPress as theme author Chris Pearson and WordPress head honcho Matt Mullenweg battle out the question: Is a theme a 'derivative work'? [more inside]
Java 4-Ever (safe for work apart from that one bit) - an amusing language centric film trailer made to promote the Scandinavian JavaZone conference.
India's Outsourcing Problems One of the most controversial aspects of the global economy has been the newfound freedom of companies from physical location and the subsequent spread of outsourcing jobs. No country had embraced tech outsourcing with the passion of India. Of late, problems there are beginning to rise: engineers start a project, get a few months' experience, and then bolt for greener pastures, bringing a level of attrition that replaces entire staffs within the course of a year. Combine that with salaries in Bangalore that are rising at 12% to 14% per year and it is no surprise that companies are leaving India for a slew of emerging hot spots for IT outsourcing such as the old Soviet Bloc, China, and Vietnam. This comes as companies such as Microsoft continue to laud outsourcing and proudly proclaim that it is here to stay, and it looks as if Ho Chi Minh City will be the next Bangalore.
How I lost my childhood: It may seem hopelessly lame to many, but as as child I, and many others of the same time period -- the first children of the microcomputer revolution -- spent many hours in front of our shiny new home computers reverently copying in BASIC programs from source printouts in books and magazines. For some, myself included, this was the launchpad into a sexy, exciting, fascinating career as a professional geek. Now, the book that was one of my sacred texts during this time period, David Ahl's BASIC Computer Games, is available, scanned, online. [via Boing Boing]
"This is getting ridiculous!" complained one veteran programmer on USENET a bit over two years ago... after being out of the workforce for a while, he was having trouble getting back in the door. While there's no way to put yourself in his prospective employers shoes and make a real judgement, it looks like he had the chops. Wonder how he's doing today...general conditions don't seem good, and I know several people with the same problem. The longer a period of unemployment goes, the worse your resume looks, and the harder it is to get a job. How do you break the cycle (from either a policy or a jobseeker standpoint)?
While poking around today, I found a link to Treefold, which isn't all that impressive in and of itself. The reason for my interest was that it's the first use I've come across of the Proce55ing language, which is a sort of continuation of John Maeda's teaching language, DBN(Design by Numbers). While still not ready for general release, it's grown a lot since the last time I looked at it.
Go for the gold! Concord 2002: Site of the upcoming Loebner Prize. Can reigning champion A.L.I.C.E. repeat her triumph? Chat bots from around the globe are scouting out their rivals on the AI competitive circuit and studying their crib notes.
Is it sloppy programming, or do full computer security vulnerability disclosure make it too easy for hackers?
Is it sloppy programming, or do full computer security vulnerability disclosure make it too easy for hackers? Microsoft has a personal interest in minimizing the exploit of their code, but the evil you know is better than the evil you don't. Others have weighed in on this debate in the past, or provided a fair but vague blueprint for the computer security community. Do you think that a middle ground exists?
Someone reverse engineered the Win-XP activation mechanism. It's not as bad as many people thought. It's certainly no cause for paranoia.
The Story of Mel - Almost everyone's seen the Story of Mel on USENET or via email... the story of the guy who wrote programs for a particular ancient drum computer by using the characteristics of the drum to handle memory allocation and time delays. In a footnote on the Jargon File, it seems that his last name is known... An interesting footnote to an interesting and probably true story.