News

- EditorDavid
Stack Overflow Survey Finds Developers Like Rust, Python, JavaScript and Remote Work

For Stack Overflow's annual survey, "Over 73,000 developers from 180 countries each spent roughly 15 minutes answering our questions," a blog post announces: The top five languages for professional developers haven't changed: JavaScript is still the most used, and Rust is the most loved for a seventh year. The big surprise came in the most loved web framework category. Showing how fast web technologies change, newcomer Phoenix took the most loved spot from Svelte, itself a new entry last year.... Check out the full results from this year's Developer Survey here. In fact, 87% of Rust developers said that they want to continue using Rust, notes SD Times' summary of the results: Rust also tied with Python as the most wanted technology in this year's report, with TypeScript and Go following closely behind. The distinction between most loved and most wanted is that most wanted includes only developers who are not currently developing with the language, but have an interest in developing with it. Slashdot reader logankilpatrick writes, "It should come as no surprise to those following the growth and expansion of the Julia Programming Language ecosystem that in this year's Stack Overflow developer survey, Julia ranked in the top… [Read More...]

- EditorDavid
New Linux Foundation Podcast: 'Untold Stories of Open Source'

The nonprofit Linux Foundation pays Linus Torvalds' salary and supports many other open source projects. But they also launched a new podcast series this week covering "The Untold Stories of Open Source." "Each week we explore the people who are supporting Open Source projects, how they became involved with it, and the problems they faced along the way," explains the podcast's GitHub page (where you can put in a pull request to suggest future episodes or track the project's progress.) The podcast is available on its official web page, as well as on Spotify, Apple, Google, or "wherever you listen to your podcasts," according to an announcement from the Linux Foundation. An introductory page says the podcast will be "used to inform the Linux and Open Source communities as to the current state in development of open source initiatives and Linux Foundation Projects. It is vendor neutral, with no interviews of commercial product vendors or sales teams." Here's the first four episodes: Balancing Priorities at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, with Priyanka Sharma, general manager A Life in Open Source, with Brian Behlendorf, general manager at Open Source Security Foundation A New Model for Technical Training, with Clyde Seepersad, senior… [Read More...]

- EditorDavid
Meme-Stock Probe Finds Robinhood Woes Were Worse Than It Let On

Bloomberg writes that the makers of the Robinhood app "faced a more dire situation during the height of last year's meme-stock frenzy than executives at the online brokerage let on publicly, according to a report from top Democrats on a key congressional committee." A more-than-yearlong investigation by staff on the House Financial Services Committee concluded Friday that the frenzied trading in GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. posed a significant threat to the online brokerage. Robinhood avoided defaulting on its regulatory collateral obligations in late January 2021 only because it received a waiver from its clearinghouse, according to the findings... "The company was only saved from defaulting on its daily collateral deposit requirement by a discretionary and unexplained waiver," according to the report. "Robinhood's risk-management processes did not work well to predict and avert the risk of default that materialized...." The 138-page document released on Friday provides the most detailed look yet at how alarmed Robinhood executives grew over the situation in late January 2021. According to the findings, those actions didn't match the firm's public assertions. Read more of this story at Slashdot. [Read More...]

- EditorDavid
US Proposes New Rules to Curb 'Meme Stock' Rallies

America's Securities and Exchange Commission "is considering broad changes to curb the frenetic trading of stocks based on social media activity," reports Reuters: The proposed overhaul would be the biggest change to Wall Street's rules since 2005 and would affect nearly every corner of the market, from commission-free brokerages to market makers and exchanges. The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services on Friday called for the SEC, along with other regulators, to do more to protect the markets from similar events.... The U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Friday urged Congress to adopt legislation mandating the SEC study how its rules need to change to address new technological developments, such as digital engagement practices and social media-driven market activity. Read more of this story at Slashdot. [Read More...]

- EditorDavid
Is Dyslexia an Evolutionary Advantage Rather Than a 'Disorder'?

LinkedIn recently added 'dyslexic thinking' as an official skill. And now the U.K. national newspaper the Telegraph reports on scientists arguing that dyslexia is not a "disorder" — but an evolutionarily beneficial willingness to explore: The experts suggested that dyslexia, which causes difficulty reading, writing and spelling, is a useful specialisation and not a "neurocognitive condition".... About one in five people have dyslexia, and their tendency to push the envelope would have been balanced out by other members of a prehistoric society, leading to a well-rounded group with equally useful skill sets. However, Dr Helen Taylor, from the University of Strathclyde, and Dr Martin Vestergaard, from the University of Cambridge, said that dyslexia was now seen as a problem because modern education systems focused on the things sufferers struggled with and neglected what they excelled at. They reassessed past studies on dyslexic individuals and disagreed with the prevailing theory that it was a cognitive deficit.... [S]ince the invention of written language, dyslexia has been seen as a problem, not a talent. "Schools, academic institutes and workplaces are not designed to make the most of explorative learning," said Dr Taylor. "We urgently need to start nurturing this way of thinking to… [Read More...]

- EditorDavid
Russia's Cyberattacks Thwarted by Ukraine, Microsoft, Google, and Western Intelligence

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is "the first full-scale battle in which traditional and cyberweapons have been used side by side," reports the New York Times. But the biggest surprise is that "many of the attacks were thwarted, or there was enough redundancy built into the Ukrainian networks that the efforts did little damage... more than two-thirds of them failed, echoing its poor performance on the physical battlefield." Microsoft president Brad Smith says the ultimate result is Russia's attempted cyberatacks get underreported, according to the Times: [A study published by Microsoft Wednesday] indicated that Ukraine was well prepared to fend off cyberattacks, after having endured them for many years. That was at least in part because of a well-established system of warnings from private-sector companies, including Microsoft and Google, and preparations that included moving much of Ukraine's most important systems to the cloud, onto servers outside Ukraine.... In many instances, Russia coordinated its use of cyberweapons with conventional attacks, including taking down the computer network of a nuclear power plant before moving in its troops to take it over, Mr. Smith said. Microsoft officials declined to identify which plant Mr. Smith was referring to. While much of Russia's cyberactivity has focused… [Read More...]

- EditorDavid
On NetHack's 35th Anniversary, It's Displayed at Museum of Modern Art

Switzerland-based software developer Jean-Christophe Collet writes: A long time ago I got involved with the development of NetHack, a very early computer role playing game, and soon joined the DevTeam, as we've been known since the early days. I was very active for the first 10 years then progressively faded out even though I am still officially (or semi-officially as there is nothing much really "official" about NetHack, but more on that later) part of the team. This is how, as we were closing on the 35th anniversary of the project, I learned that NetHack was being added to the collection of the Museum of Modern Art of New York. It had been selected by the Architecture and Design department for its small collection of video games, and was going to be displayed as part of the Never Alone exhibition this fall. From its humble beginnings as a fork of the 1982 dungeon-exploring game "Hack" (based on the 1980 game Rogue), Nethack influenced both Diablo and Torchlight, Collet writes. But that's just the beginning: It is one of the oldest open-source projects still in activity. It actually predates the term "open-source" (it was "free software" back then) and even the… [Read More...]

- EditorDavid
A Single AI-Enhanced Brain Scan Can Diagnose Alzheimer's Disease

Long-time Slashdot reader schwit1 shares an announcement from London's Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine: A single MRI scan of the brain could be enough to diagnose Alzheimer's disease, according to new research by Imperial College London. The research uses machine learning technology to look at structural features within the brain, including in regions not previously associated with Alzheimer's. The advantage of the technique is its simplicity and the fact that it can identify the disease at an early stage when it can be very difficult to diagnose. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, getting a diagnosis quickly at an early stage helps patients. It allows them to access help and support, get treatment to manage their symptoms and plan for the future. Being able to accurately identify patients at an early stage of the disease will also help researchers to understand the brain changes that trigger the disease, and support development and trials of new treatments.... The researchers adapted an algorithm developed for use in classifying cancer tumours, and applied it to the brain. They divided the brain into 115 regions and allocated 660 different features, such as size, shape and texture, to assess each region.… [Read More...]

- EditorDavid
Are 'Google Programmers' the New 'Next-Next-Finish Programmers'?

Long-time Slashdot reader theodp writes: Back in 1998, Ellen Ullman wrote in Salon about The dumbing-down of programming: "My programming tools were full of wizards. Little dialog boxes waiting for me to click "Next" and "Next" and "Finish." Click and drag and shazzam! — thousands of lines of working code. No need to get into the "hassle" of remembering the language. No need to even learn it. It is a powerful siren-song lure: You can make your program do all these wonderful and complicated things, and you don't really need to understand." Twenty-four years later, PVS-Studio has published a translation of Ivan Belokamentsev's cautionary tale of how modernizing his interviewing process from coding on paper to a computer led him to inadvertently hire 'Google Programmers', who dazzled him in interviews and initially on the job, but soon reached a plateau in productivity that puzzled him until he had a gobsmacking realization. From their article: It was like somebody hit me on the head with a sack of flour. It took me about two days to process it. How is it really possible? The beautiful, well-optimized code they showed me at the first interview was from the Internet. The explosive growth… [Read More...]

- EditorDavid
AI-Powered GitHub Copilot Leaves Preview, Now Costs $100 a Year

It was June 29th of 2021 that Microsoft-owned GitHub first announced its AI-powered autocompletion tool for programmers — trained on GitHub repositories and other publicly-available source code. But after a year in "technical preview," GitHub Copilot has reached a new milestone, reports Info-Q: you'll now have to pay to use it after a 60-day trial: The transition to general availability mostly means that Copilot ceases to be available for free. Interested developers will have to pay 10 USD/month or $100 USD/year to use the service, with a 60-day free trial.... According to GitHub, while not frequent, there is definitely a possibility that Copilot outputs code snippets that match those in the training set. Info-Q also cites GitHub stats showing over 1.2 million developers used Copilot in the last 12 months "with a shocking 40% figure of code written by Copilot in files where it is enabled." That's up from 35% earlier in the year, reports TechCrunch — which has more info on the rollout: It'll be free for students as well as "verified" open source contributors — starting with roughly 60,000 developers selected from the community and students in the GitHub Education program... One new feature coinciding with the general… [Read More...]