National / International News

486 new jobs at NI accountancy firm

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 03:04
Almost 500 jobs are being created in Belfast by EY, formerly known as auditors Ernst and Young.

VIDEO: 'Worst game ever' found in landfill

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 03:04
A film production team has found potentially "thousands" of copies of the infamous computer game "ET: The Extra-Terrestrial" in a landfill site in New Mexico.

Ecclestone avoids potential £1bn tax

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:58
The threat of a possible £1.2bn tax bill was lifted as a result of a secret HMRC settlement with Ecclestone family trusts for £10m, Panorama learns.

Tributes to air crash servicemen

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:53
Tributes are paid to two Welsh serviceman who died alongside three others in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan.

New unemployment rules in force

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:50
The Help to Work scheme, which requires long-term unemployed people to do voluntary work, training or visit the Job Centre each day, comes into force.

Algarve golf courses' growing thirst

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:48
The Algarve has some of the best and most popular golf courses in Europe, but they need a huge amount of water to stay in tip-top shape.

De Silvestro completes first F1 test

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:47
Swiss Simona De Silvestro, one of two women drivers employed by F1 teams, completes her first test for the Sauber team.

Reconstruction in artist murder hunt

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:43
A reconstruction of the murder of a woman who was house-sitting in Bosham over Christmas will be shown on Crimewatch.

US security firm creates 130 jobs

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:40
A US cyber security company is to set up its European HQ in Cardiff and a UK data centre in Newport, creating almost 130 jobs.

Killer Tornadoes Rip Through Arkansas, Oklahoma

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:35

The most powerful of the twisters touched down north of Little Rock and tore an 80-mile path through the area. At least 17 people have died.

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Desert dig unearths Atari games dump

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:34
Video game archaeologists have found a huge cache of old Atari games that were buried in the desert 30 years ago.

The difference between coders, programmers and engineers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:31

There's a line in the new HBO show "Silicon Valley" that's making people ask a really basic question: What's the difference between a coder, a programmer and an engineer?

In the show, our hero is Richard Hendricks, a college dropout who works at the software company "Hooli" (which may or may not parody Google) and who has written a valuable algorithm on the side.

In an early scene, Richard is approached by two male co-workers. And under his breath, Richard seems to say "programmers, oh no, no."

The scene puzzled a lot of viewers, including Sid Gidwany, head of engineering at August, a startup in San Francisco.

"I thought that scene was kind of weird because he, himself, is a programmer," Gidwany says.

Hendricks, after all has written his own algorithm, so isn't he a programmer, too? Or maybe he's a coder, or maybe an engineer. Or maybe, because he wrote the program on his off hours, does that make him a hacker?

If you're confused, you're not alone.

Most Americans don't work at software companies, which means most of us have no idea about the distinction between these terms. If there even is one.

"There's not too much of a distinction," says Gidwany. "He can call himself a coder or engineer or whatever."

It turns out that you can indeed self identify as pretty much anything you like if you work in the software business these days.

Coder? You're a shut-in who spends most of his (yes, statistically, you're probably a dude) hunched over a laptop and rarely see the light of day.

Hacker? You're a bit dangerous (or at least you imagine you are).

Programmer? You're proud to be a nerd.

Engineer? You're filling in your Match.com profile.

In other words, you can call yourself whatever you think is cool. But it wasn't always that way. In fact, the distinction is a bit of a throwback, which is why it would make sense if the creator of the TV show Silicon Valley referred to it.

"Mike Judge was a Silicon Valley guy maybe 20 years ago," says Nick Heyman. He calls himself an engineer. I met him and Goodwani at the Founder's Den, a co-working space in San Francisco.

"There was was a big distinction back then," Heyman says. "Now much less."

Godwani agrees. "Especially, late 70s, early 80s," he says. "Companies back then made a distinction between engineers and programmers."

He says, back then computer science degrees weren't offered by a lot of colleges so if you wanted to learn about computers, you would get a more traditional engineering degree.

"Programmers were generally self-taught," Gidwani says. "So a lot of times, there was a distinction of 'I am more formally trained, I am more highly educated.'"

While some big tech companies still reserve the title of "engineer" for people with degrees, college dropouts like Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple, helped disrupt that hierarchy.

And in recent years, new software tools have blurred the distinction even more by enabling people without formal training to build amazing tech products. So now anyone can call themselves a coder, programmer, hacker and even an engineer.

Oh and by the way, that scene in the show where Richard Hendricks recoils at the sight of his colleagues? A number of people told me what actually says is, "Bro-grammers, oh no, no!"

Yeah, who wouldn't be freaked out!

When ads start jumping to the second screen

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:21

It’s enough to give advertisers nightmares: more and more people picking up their phones and tablets during commercial breaks and tuning out the ads. (That’s if they’re still watching broadcast TV at all).

"As an advertiser, you're never really sure if the audience that the networks say they're delivering to you actually watch your ads," says analyst Paul Sweeney with Bloomberg Industries.

Now the company Xaxis has developed a product called Sync to reclaim those “lost” TV viewers. It sends complementary ads to the ones you’re ignoring on TV right to websites you’re likely to visit online.

"Oh, you're hearing a commercial for a food company and then, oh, I'm looking at my Facebook and there's a sponsored post there," says Xaxis' Larry Allen.

The big idea: There’s no escape during commercial break.

New York's median rent is $1,100. Seems low...

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:18

Rents in New York City are up 75 percent since the year 2000, according to a new report from the New York City Comptroller's office.

"The data from the report is chilling," says Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Since 2000, median incomes are down, but rents are up far more than elsewhere in the U.S. And, there are fewer apartments available to the middle class.

"We've actually lost 400,000 apartments renting for less than a $1000," Stringer says.

But the median rent -- the point at which half of rents are below and half above -- might not be what you think. In New York, it's now $1,100 a month, according to the report.

Anyone who notices New York real estate knows that rent averages are often reported to be much higher. Reis, one company that compiles such data, says it's now around $3,200 a month.

But that number only looks at apartments on the open market. In New York, more than 60 percent of rentals are public housing, or subsidized or rent regulated.

Ryan Severino, a senior economist at Reis, says that can limit supply and, "It can make apartments more expensive for anyone who has to compete in the more competitive market."

And, yet, people keep moving here, far faster than new units are built.

US and EU step up Russia sanctions

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:15
The US and EU are preparing to impose fresh sanctions against Russian individuals and companies amid continuing action by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

Aleppo gripped by barrel bomb fears

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 02:08
A BBC team witnesses the effects of barrel bombs on Syrian civilians after gaining rare access to rebel-held areas of the city of Aleppo.

Deadly tornadoes devastate US states

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 01:58
At least 17 people are killed by tornadoes as a huge storm system sweeps across the central and southern US.

Obama hails Philippines defence pact

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 01:58
Obama says a Philippine military pact expanding US troop presence will promote stability - and says the US is not trying to contain China.

Check for fifties under the mattress

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 01:54
There are still millions of Houblon £50 notes in circulation, days before they are due to be withdrawn.

UK 'a tax haven for multinationals'

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 01:53
Why the UK is viewed as 'a tax haven for multinationals'
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