Programming “Petting Zoo” (Hour of Code)

I see that grade schools all over the world participated in an “Hour of Code” last week.  Lots of PR.  Kids had a great time. “Hey, I programmed a Star Wars game on my iPad!”  In my town, a person called, “information literacy instructor” said, “It’s all about critical thinking skills and logic.  They are […]

Computers, People: Why can’t we just, well, talk?

Ever go to France with a guidebook and French-English dictionary and try to have a conversation with a native? (I’m assuming that you are a native English speaker and know little or no French).  “Why do they talk so fast?” 🙂 While it may be possible to order a meal or get directions, it’s impossible to […]

Is a Washing Machine a Robot?

Sure, but it’s a little limited “going to it’s left”  🙂  How about a “spam filter”, or one of those remote controlled cars? Most references talk about entities that are autonomous and those that are not.  When I talk about the “robotics-revolution”, I mean robots with the following 4 broad qualities: 1. Something physical that can […]

“Uh-Oh” Robots are about to take over our jobs! + a Puzzle

Scare piece 1,994 (this week), entitled, “The Rise of the robots: Is this Time Different?”.  Actually, it’s a good article and answers the question with a definite, “maybe”.  Always a good answer when forecasting the future. (redundant? Anyone forecast the past? just historians increasing their narrative’s punch.) The problem here is that a., the future is […]

Program Taxonomy (sort of)

The, “sort of” is because a rigorous classification of computer languages is probably impossible & a lot of the details fall into the “who cares” category. From the computer itself to the folks programming them: Machine Language — all zeroes and ones — and lots of them.  The only one that a given computer can […]