The question of nature: Ian Simmons interviews Jaron Lanier who, among quite a number of other things, consulted for Steven Spielberg on Minority Report. That movie slipped past me, but now that I see it was based on a PKD story, I'll have to go catch it on cable. Jared is currently working on protocol-less computing (or "Phenotropics") at the National Tele-Immersion Initiative
See also: A Minority within the Minority: Jared's thoughts on Minority Report.
Preserving Software: Why and How: on keeping the legacy software for future generations to study and say, "huh?"
Where are the early UNIVAC operating systems? The first FORTRAN/COBOL/ ALGOL compilers?
[via Iterations (by way of Bifucated Rivets)]
Yiddish is the caring, authoritative inscrutability of your elders. It has rules, but they're mainly inherited from the tributary languages. It's inconsistent in a way that shows it doesn't matter. It sounds like a beautiful mess (which, considering its mainly Germanic origins, is quite an achievement). Well, it sounds beautiful to me, anyway. Others think it's just a mess - there's a famous National Lampoon "Teach Yourself Yiddish" piece that recommends you make up vaguely German/Russian-sounding words that start with "sch" and just string them together.
See also: Yiddish Dictionary
[via Boing Boing]
K&R, online and free(). [via Borklog]
The Two Doofuses or Why Type Safety and the Garbage Collector Really Exist: Why it pays to read your field's textbooks.
See also: The UCSD P-System Museum
[via Lambda the Ultimate]
It's Still Loading?: Scott Bilas on designing a file system to support today's games.
Every year, engineers are handed more and more content to churn through their game engines, often with the files numbering in the thousands and filling up multiple CD's. Designing a file system to efficiently deal with this kind of quantity will take some careful planning. It will have a significant impact on memory footprint, load times, and general game play chunkiness. Plus, during development it will affect the overall production process, the frustration level of the team, and the tightness of the feature-to-bug-to-fix loop. This paper describes the requirements of a "good" file system and then details how to design and build one. Topics covered include: resource packages, proper use of memory mapping, integrating filters and compression, building tools for packaging, and production process gotchas that proper planning can easily solve.
[via Confessions of a Mozillian]
Going Down with the Ship: comparing the 17th century sinking of the Vasa to software project management.
The Vasa's is a story of a project gone awry, taking the project team down with it. Some of the contributing factors that led to the Vasa sinking centuries ago will seem terribly familiar to software folks today.
Quantum Computers and Quantum Computer Languages: Quantum Assembly Language and Quantum C
We show a representation of Quantum Computers defines Quantum Turing Machines with associated Quantum Grammars. We then create examples of Quantum Grammars. Lastly we develop an algebraic approach to high level Quantum Languages using Quantum Assembly language and Quantum C language as examples.
Visual REGEXP [via Borklog]
Error messages from the MPW C compiler. My favorite: "a typedef name was a complete surprise to me at this point in your program". [via Borklog]
Roedy Green's classic How to Write Unmaintainable Code keeps expanding. [via Voidstar]
Russian computer scientists Mikhail Burtsev, Vladimir Red'ko and Roman Gusarev from the Keldysh Institute say that they have a model for evolving software agents that develop motivation through evolution. [via Nanodot]
The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Smalltalk Compiler [via Lambda the Ultimate]