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Friday Five: Polyglots, patent trolls and puppies

Elliot Bentley

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.


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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