At age 18, William Dampier (1652-1715) was apprenticed to a seaman at Weymouth. He served briefly in the Third Anglo-Dutch War, worked on a Jamaican sugar plantation and aboard merchant ships, before deserting his post to join a buccaneer fleet. After an unsuccessful attack on Panama City, he joined a group of French and English pirates with whom he raided Costa Rica and frequented the buccaneer base at Tortuga before being driven away by Spanish warships. In 1686, Dampier sailed more than 6000 miles across the Pacific from Cape Corrientes, Mexico, to Guam, later carrying on through the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. From there, his ship turned southward and in 1688 became the first English ship to visit New Holland (Australia). His journey continued through India, Sumatra, Vietnam, and the Malay peninsula, until he finally returned to England in 1691, making him the first Englishman to circle the globe since Thomas Cavendish a century before.
Looking for an example of just how quickly time passes? This year marks the 50th anniversary of BMW's legendary 02 Series, and to commemorate the occasion the brand has just unveiled a very interesting concept car for the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este.Known simply as the 2002 Hommage, the car pays tribute to the iconic 2002 and the groundbreaking 2002 Turbo model in particular.
Rendering the Buddhabrot efficiently poses a bit of a challenge. The main problem is that we cannot directly compute the value of the Buddhabrot at a pixel, but have to sample many random trajectories and hope that they pass through the pixels we care about. This "spray and pray" approach works reasonably well for zoomed out images, but zoom-ins and transformations are very difficult to render in a reasonable time frame, since many trajectories land outside the frame and their computation is wasted.
For the second month in a row, the aerospace upstart SpaceX landed a rocket on an ocean platform early Friday, this time following the successful launch of a Japanese communications satellite.A live webcast showed the first-stage booster touching down vertically in the pre-dawn darkness atop a barge in the Atlantic, just off the Florida coast. The same thing occurred April 8 during a space station supply run for NASA. That was the first successful landing at sea for SpaceX, which expects to start reusing its unmanned Falcon rockets as early as this summer to save money and lower costs.Because of the high altitude needed for this mission, SpaceX did not expect a successful landing. But it was wrong. As the launch commentator happily declared, "The Falcon has landed.
Like any transformative technology, however, artificial intelligence carries some risk and presents complex policy challenges along several dimensions, from jobs and the economy to safety and regulatory questions. For example, AI will create new jobs while phasing out some old ones--magnifying the importance of programs like TechHire that are preparing our workforce with the skills to get ahead in today's economy, and tomorrow's. AI systems can also behave in surprising ways, and we're increasingly relying on AI to advise decisions and operate physical and virtual machinery--adding to the challenge of predicting and controlling how complex technologies will behave.
SpaceX has entered into an agreement with NASA for a Dragon mission to Mars, set to take place as early as 2018. Known as "Red Dragon", the variant of the Dragon 2 spacecraft will be launched by the Falcon Heavy rocket, ahead of a soft landing on the surface of Mars. The mission is also part of an agreement with NASA to gain further data on Mars landings.
The stereotype of the socially-awkward, white, male programmer has been around for a long time. Although "diversity in tech" is a much discussed topic, the numbers have not been getting any better. On the contrary, a lot of people inside and outside of the IT industry still take it for granted that this stereotype is the natural norm, and this perception is one of the things that is standing in our way to make the profession more inclusive and inviting. So where does this image come from? Did the demographics of the world's programmer population really evolve naturally, because "boys just like computers more"? What shaped our perception of programmers? This text is about some possible explanations I found when reading about the history of computing.