Happy Birthday BASIC

The first version of BASIC came to be on this day in 1964.  Time magazine did an excellent article about the history BASIC a few years ago.

I still have vivid memories of coding my first dungeon crawling game in GW-BASIC when I was thirteen.  I have been coding in one fashion or another for more than 25 years now.  And that experience has served me and my career very well.  I wouldn’t be nearly as good at problem solving without it.

IBM’s Watson and the Future of Data Analysis

I spend a large amount of my time analyzing and making decisions on various data sets.  It is something I both enjoy, and take pride in doing well.  I am also a fan of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, so this particular article caught my eye.

I’d have to see it in action to truly be sold, but I would certainly love to have a resource like this at my fingertips.  I often worry about business people making decisions based on incomplete or (even worse,) no data.  The article states that Watson will grade the quality of the data as part of the process, but I would have to see more information about how it does this to have real buy-in.

Having said that, I certainly welcome the technology and cannot wait to see what sort of new insights it provides.


Google Does It Again: Introduces Autopilot

The hallmark product is designed to streamline the process of reading and responding to your email.  The intuitive software is based loosely off of Joseph Weizenbaum’s ELIZA.  It is capable of responding to your emails using the same writing styles as you do.  Google’s tagline for the product is “The easiest email could possibly be.”

Here is the full story at via GMAIL.

I am anxiously awaiting Google’s next application, autoblogger, which is expected to be released a year from now.

Facebook is Looking for a New CFO

The popular social networking company did not give an official reason for the departure of its previous CFO, Gideon Yu, but the speculation is that it is looking for an executive with strong a strong background working in public companies.  Essentially, they need a CFO to help them prepare to become a publically traded company.  Facebook is looking for more capital to fund its growth and ever expanding technical cost.

Here is the full story via the WSJ.

Economics at Work: Automakers Respond to Changing Consumer Demand

Nissan Motor Company plans to sell electric cars in the United States and Japan by 2010. Nissan is the first major automaker to put its reputation on the line by promising a time table for bringing the technology to market.  The electric cars are designed to be plugged into electric outlets at consumers homes.

While I welcome this technology, I am curious to see how much this shift in energy consumption will effect electric bills.  It will take years for the vehicles to have any real market saturation, but I suspect that when they do that we will see a spike in electricity bills.  And such a spike should help push the way for more alternative sources of power such as solar, wind, and nuclear.