National / International News

Child neglect couple are jailed

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 04:03
A couple jailed for neglecting five of their children are branded "inadequate, stupid, stubborn and reckless" by a judge.

VIDEO: Orphan, and head of family, aged 10

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 03:57
The BBC's Jeremy Bowen is the first western journalist to enter the government-held part of Aleppo by road from Damascus. He meets those left behind.

Man charged with murdering partner

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 03:54
A 41-year-old man appears in court charged with the murder of his partner at her home in Ballymena, County Antrim.

Open confirmed for Royal Portrush

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 03:50
The Royal Portrush course is confirmed as the venue for the world's biggest golf tournament, the Open Championship, possibly in 2019.

In Escalation, Russia Cuts Gas Supplies To Ukraine

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-16 03:37

Russia announced the move after the two sides failed to come to an agreement over the price of natural gas.

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VIDEO: McCanns' anger at libel trial delay

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 03:33
The trial has been postponed of a former Portuguese police chief accused of libel over comments he made about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

AUDIO: Fan wins 'death' in Game of Thrones

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 03:30
A Facebook employee has won the right to appear and die in a sequel to Game of Thrones.

AUDIO: Dentists promise fillings without drills

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 03:14
Nigel Pitts talks to Evan Davis about a new dental treatment that may eliminate the need for fillings.

England confirm Farah to run double

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 03:14
Team England confirm that Mo Farah will run in both the 5,000m and 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

French exams hit by rail strike

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 03:09
Rail workers go on strike in France for a sixth day, as almost 700,000 students take their final school exams., the Baccalaureate.

Lights, Lights, Lights, Action! A Crazy New Light Projector

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-16 03:03

What if you could turn your finger into a paintbrush and, in real time, draw anything on any surface (even in the air), then turn your creation into a moving figure? No, don't imagine. Watch this.

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Lights, Lights, Lights, Action! A Crazy New Light Projector

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-16 03:03

What if you could turn your finger into a paintbrush and, in real time, draw anything on any surface (even in the air), then turn your creation into a moving figure? No, don't imagine. Watch this.

» E-Mail This

Forced marriage law a 'powerful' step

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 02:59
A new law in England and Wales making it a criminal offence to force people into marriage sends "a powerful message", campaigners say.

Eavis defends 'keen' Metallica slot

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 02:56
Glastonbury's Michael Eavis defends Metallica's right to be this year's headline act, saying no band has been as "keen" to play at the festival.

What could China learn from UK?

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 02:51
What could China learn from the UK?

Militant Group Advances In Iraq, Taking Northern Iraqi Town

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-16 02:50

The Iraqi government was trying to verify a claim by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria that the group had killed hundreds of Shiite security forces.

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BBC to take classical music to class

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 02:40
The BBC is to organise school screenings and concerts as part of a campaign to introduce primary school pupils to classical music.

VIDEO: Russia halts gas supply to Ukraine

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 02:40
Ukraine says Russia has cut off all gas supplies to Kiev, in a major escalation of a dispute between the two nations.

AUDIO: Councils 'need power' over troubled schools

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 02:32
David Simmons and Nick Gibb speak to Evan Davis about local councils dealing with troubled schools

How Comp-Sci went from passing fad to must-have major

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-16 02:30

The demand for computer science majors is booming. Even students at liberal arts institutions are itching to learn how to write code and develop artificial intelligence.

It's hard to believe that the field wasn't considered a serious academic discipline back in the 1960s.

Joel Moses has been teaching computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 47 years. But when he first arrived on campus in 1963, it was to be a founding member of Project MAC.

"Machine Aided Cognition, which is another way of saying artificial intelligence. And Multi Access Computers, which is another way of saying time sharing," Moses explained.

Project MAC marked the beginning of the formal study of computer scienceAt first, administrators were skeptical. They viewed computer science as just a passing fad.

"We had to prove ourselves,” Moses said. “And we did!”

Not only did Moses and his colleagues create time sharing, they automated calculus problems.

“People were pleasantly surprised that a computer could do that as well as humans," Moses said.

Then, in the 1970s, MIT's Lab for Computer Science was born. MIT researchers developed some of the basic programming that led to fax machines, e-mail, and the complex operating systems we all take for granted today. Computer science was finally making its mark.

“There was a turning point,” Moses said. “Sometime in the 80s I thought it was OK to major in computer science."

Today, one-third of all MIT engineering students are computer science majors. And the number of undergrads taking advanced courses in the field is growing.

We have to reach further with equipment and we can only do this with computer science," said PhD candidate Dehann Fourie.

Inside the lab, Fourie is working to program a robot that can both explore the deepest reaches of the ocean and be smart enough to know what it's found.

Ten thousand meters down, you are sort of in this dark abyss,” Fourie said. “Now you have to go do something useful and that doesn't just happen by itself."

"All these things people have talked about for decades are coming to fruition and the computers are getting better and better," said Moses. 

But he admits it's still early days: computer science is just beginning to really tackle speech and facial recognition and to advance artificial intelligence by figuring our how the human brain works.

Listen to Kirk’s extended interview with Joel Moses:

MIT is celebrating 50 years of computer science and the birth of a new field. To commemorate the ocassion, the university has compiled a list of 50 ways Project MAC transformed computer science.


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