Fifty Years of BASIC, the Programming Language That Made Computers Personal

TIME

Knowing how to program a computer is good for you, and it’s a shame more people don’t learn to do it.

For years now, that’s been a hugely popular stance. It’s led to educational initiatives as effortless sounding as the Hour of Code (offered by Code.org) and as obviously ambitious as Code Year (spearheaded by Codecademy).

Even President Obama has chimed in. Last December, he issued a YouTube video in which he urged young people to take up programming, declaring that “learning these skills isn’t just important for your future, it’s important for our country’s future.”

I find the “everybody should learn to code” movement laudable. And yet it also leaves me wistful, even melancholy. Once upon a time, knowing how to use a computer was virtually synonymous with knowing how to program one. And the thing that made it possible was a programming language called BASIC.

John KemenyJohn…

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http://gigaom.com/2014/04/24/is-net-neutrality-dying-has-the-fcc-killed-it-what-comes-next-heres-what-you-need-to-know/

http://gigaom.com/2014/04/24/is-net-neutrality-dying-has-the-fcc-killed-it-what-comes-next-heres-what-you-need-to-know/

Is net neutrality dying? Has the FCC killed it? What comes next? Here’s what you need to know

Twitter Will Blow Up Your Feed With 15 Kinds Of Ads

TIME

Your Twitter feed will return after these brief messages.

The Twitter is adding a slew of new advertising types in an effort to attract e-commerce companies and mobile-game developers and boost its ad revenue, the Wall Street Journal reports. The social media platform will begin releasing 15 types of new advertising products over the next six months that will encourage users to download apps through Twitter.

The strategy will follow Facebook’s approach to mobile advertising apps which include an “install now” or “shop now” button on their ads.

Twitter’s advertising revenue more than doubled in the fourth quarter to $219.6 million, compared with the same period last year, but the company has yet to turn a profit.

[WSJ]

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Smoggy Sand: How Deserts Spread Air Pollution

TIME

For the last few days, the skyline of London—so often an indifferent gray—has resembled Los Angeles in the 1960s, or Beijing. A nasty bout of smog has gripped Britain’s capital and much of England, with pollution levels so high that people with health problems and the elderly have been warned to avoid strenuous activity outside.

London’s current smog is nothing compared to the air pollution the city once suffered—the city was choked in coal smoke for much of the 19th century, and the Great Smog of 1952 killed some 4,000 people. But what’s truly unusual is the cause: not just local emissions from cars and power plants, but from dust that has blown in from the Sahara Desert in northern Africa, over 2,000 miles (3,218 km) away. The dust has blown in on northern winds, where it mixes in the air with local pollutants. The dust is brought down to…

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