By Soulskill from Slashdot's hopefully-one-that-doesn't-include-the-word-twerk department
An anonymous reader writes: Throughout human history, different languages have emerged and died, waxed and waned in relative importance, evolved, and spread to new locales. An article in the Wall Street Journal considers what languages the world will speak a hundred years from now. Quoting: "Science fiction often presents us with whole planets that speak a single language, but that fantasy seems more menacing here in real life on this planet we call home—that is, in a world where some worry that English might eradicate every other language. That humans can express themselves in several thousand languages is a delight in countless ways; few would welcome the loss of this variety.
Some may protest that it is not English but Mandarin Chinese that will eventually become the world's language, because of the size of the Chinese population and the increasing economic might of their nation. But that's unlikely. For one, English happens to have gotten there first. It is now so deeply entrenched in print, education and media that switching to anything else would entail an enormous effort. We retain the QWERTY keyboard and AC current for similar reasons. ... Yet more to the point, by 2115, it's possible that only about 600 languages will be left on the planet as opposed to today's 6,000. Japanese will be fine, but languages spoken by smaller groups will have a hard time of it."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's creative-misinterpretation department
writes Heartbleed, Shellshock, Poodle — all high-profile vulnerabilities in widely used libraries that rocked the software industry in 2014. Sadly, experts are now beginning to believe that these aren't the only bugs lurking out there in widely used open source code, just the ones that grabbed the most attention. It's beginning to look like one of the foundation concepts of open source — that with enough eyes, all bugs are shallow — is a myth.
Of course, probably no one believes that all bugs are instantly
shallow, no matter how open is the source, or that open source software is immune from bugs -- particularly ESR, coiner of the phrase
.Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's how-dry-I-am department
An anonymous reader sends word of researchers getting zebra finches drunk for science. "In the latest example of strange science, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland got some finches drunk and watched what happened. Their main finding? Like drunk humans, boozed-up birds slur their 'speech.' For the study, the researchers gave grape juice to one group of zebra finches and an alcoholic juice cocktail to another group. The cocktail-quaffing finches became somewhat inebriated, with blood alcohol levels of 0.05 percent to 0.08 percent, according to NPR. 'At first we were thinking that they wouldn't drink on their own because, you know, a lot of animals just won't touch the stuff,' Christopher Olson, a researcher at the university, told NPR. 'But they seem to tolerate it pretty well and be somewhat willing to consume it.'"Read Replies (0)