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Friday Five: Polyglots, patent trolls and puppies

Elliot Bentley
puppies1

This week, we manage to squeeze in three interesting, technology-related links before the adorable animals come out to play.

This week on the Friday Five, we manage to squeeze in
three interesting, technology-related links before the adorable
animals come out of the woodwork.

1. Planet polyglot

An
interesting piece
on Dr. Dobb’s this week highlights the shift
towards polyglot programming – that is, coders no longer working
with a single language. A survey of Dobb’s’ audience, carried out
in 2010 and again last year, reveals a “quiet revolution” of
cross-discipline coders becoming the norm.

These charts are stunningly different when it comes to
the right side. Two years ago, one-quarter of programmers wrote in
just one language, and half wrote in only two languages. Today,
such a conservative use of languages looks like a luxury.

2. Through the looking glass

Google Glass evangelist Timothy Jordan recently showed off an
early version of the technology’s “Mirror API” at SXSW, and now the
full presentation has been posted online. While still subject to
change, the Mirror API is REST-based, with Google’s servers acting
as an intermediary between the application servers and the user –
no native code here, then.

Glass

3. Taking on the trolls

Patent trolls – companies whose only business model is to buy up
broad patents and sue others making use of them – are a
considerable growing pain for the tech industry: hosting company
Rackspace now spends five times as much on fighting patent trolls
as it did in 2010.

The latest development in Rackspace’s battle against the trolls
is an offensive maneuver against what it describes as “The Most Notorious Patent Troll In America”: a
“patent assertion entity” called Parallel Iron suing over
Rackspace’s use of the Hadoop Distributed File System .

Three cheers for Rackspace? Perhaps, but this madness will only
continue until actual legislation is passed.

4.
Puppy love

Yeah yeah, your trendy startup might have a £5000 coffee machine
or a ball pit to make up for your 18-hour days, but you know what
it doesn’t have?
A room full of adorable, stress-relieving puppies
.

This wacky idea is being tested out next month by the University
of Aberdeen, following successful puppy room rollouts – beginning
at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, and more recently Harvard
Medical School and Yale Law School.

The puppies are are being provided by Guide Dogs Scotland, and
are “specifically prepared for the intense love and affection you’d
expect in a puppy room”.

(Ps – if my boss is reading this, I’d personally prefer an
on-premise cat
cafe
installed in JAX Towers, thanks.)

5. Cat mash

And finally… an oldie but a goodie, Procatinator serves up a random
mash-up involving cats, great songs and endless loops – an all-cat
YTMND. JAXenter takes no responsibility for the lack of work

Photo by Kiwi
NZ
.

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