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					 AWESOME NEWS FROM COMPUTER SCIENCE & ENGINEERING




                                                       βETA
Written by the Beta Team of the CSE Society.                                                                                   Monday, March 29
Produced by Charles Ma                                                                                                     Week 5, Session 1, 2010
Edited by Avi Knoll,                                                                                                               Gamma edition
Chantal Nguyen,                                                                                                                          Issue #38
Ben Lambert, and
Emily Siow                                                Free as in speech and free as in beer.
Design by Alex Bradner




Australia: Moving up on the
Internet Censorship List
Within a month the Federal Government will introduce legislation requiring ISPs to
filter out Refused Classification material on the internet. Explanation and reac-
tions from the IT industry and CSE.
The People’s Republic of China, Iran,
North Korea and ten other nations be-
long to the select list of ‘Internet En-
emies’ compiled by Reporters Without
Borders (http://www.rsf.org/List-of-
the-13-Internet-enemies.html) and the
OpenNet Initiative (ONI). To earn this
dubious title, each nation must enact a
form of pervasive censorship that re-
stricts freedom of speech and takes re-
taliatory action against those who vio-
late the censorship.

The next level down is nations with a
substantial level of internet censor-
ship. This includes Australia, Bahrain,
South Korea, Saudi Arabia, UAE and
Yemen. ‘Australia maintains some of
the most restrictive Internet policies of          ers to block all RC (refused classifica-            in any crime from [painting] graffiti to
any Western nation’ ONI reported in                tion) rated material hosted on overseas             politically controversial crimes such as
2007. Three years later Australia ap-              servers.                                            euthanasia…exposing these topics to
pears ready to move its censorship lev-                                                                public debate is vital for democracy.”
els from substantial to pervasive.                 The RC classification has been criti-
                                                   cised by a spokesperson for Google                  What is the plan?
In less than a month, amendments to                Australia who stated, “’refused classifi-
the Broadcasting Services Act will re-             cation’ designation is too broad because
quire mandate internet service provid-             it limits access to material instructing             Continue on page 4                    »




News in brief & History                        2   Interview with RocketBoots                      3   Australian Censorship Cont. 4-5

Jobs, Scholarships and Puzzles 6                   Crossword, Comics, & Events                     7   Google’s Go & MS Talk                      8

http://beta.csesoc.unsw.edu.au                                                                           M a rc h 29, 20 1 0         ßeta         1
NEWS



News In Brief
Knox Ltd is releasing a new prod-           Windows 7 but was not made available         to purchase their own TLD. For ex-
uct in its line of protective gear: the     in Windows XP.                               ample, this would allow Canon to have
‘Handroid’. The Handroid is made                                                         it’s home website as http://canon. With
from Kevlar, kangaroo hide and has an                                                    these plans UNSW students may soon
exoskeletal reinforcement of urethane.                                                   be accessing their emails from zmail.
A ratchet system cinches 19 strands of                                                   unsw.microsoft.
wire to distribute the strain along your
forearm when you eventually connect                                                      Nintendo’s newest portable: 3DS
with the pavement at 80km per hour.                                                      Nintendo announced the 3DS, a com-
                                                                                         pletely backwards compatible succes-
Microsoft has released a platform                                                        sor to the DS. It features 3D effects
preview of Internet Explorer 9, which                                                    without the need for 3D glasses. Very
comes with a completely new render-                                                      little information has been released
ing engine and a much faster javas-                                                      about how the 3D will work or what
cript engine. It also includes partial                                                   else is new in the device, but expect to
support for CSS3 and HTML5. Mi-                                                          see more information at this year’s E3.
crosoft have also announced that IE9                                                     Nintendo is aiming to get the portable
will not support Windows XP, specula-                                                    out before March 2011.
tively as another reason to purchase the    ICANN has made a controversial de-
newer Windows 7. The official reason-       cision to open up Top-Level Domains
ing is due to the use of Direct2D (part     perhaps as soon as late 2011. This            Ben Lambert and Prashant Varanasi
of DirectX) which was introduced in         will allow individuals and companies

NICTA



L4 Kernel
UNSW’s Achievements in Computing - L4 Kernel
L4 is a family of second-generation         mentation of the kernel was released,        Gerwin Klein, achieved the world-first
microkernels based on the original de-      which still holds the record for the fast-   machine-checked proof of functional
signs and implementations by German         est IPC (message-passing) operation on       correctness for a general-purpose op-
computer scientist Jochen Liedtke.          single-issue processors.                     erating system kernel: the seL4 (secure
Originally implemented as highly                                                         embedded L4) microkernel.
tuned Intel i386-specific assembly lan-     The project moved to NICTA, and in
guage code, the API has seen extensive      2006 the ARM version started shipping        The kernel was designed with formal
development in a number of directions,      on mobile phones. In the same year, OK       verification in mind by another UNSW
both in achieving a higher grade of plat-   Labs spun out from NICTA and L4, un-         and NICTA team around Kevin Elphin-
form independence and also in improv-       der the name OKL4, was improved and          stone in the OS group of Gernot Heiser
ing security, isolation, and robustness.    productised further. By the end of 2008      and is now owned and being commer-
                                            it had shipped in more than 250 Mil-         cialised by Open Kernel Labs.
UNSW began work on the L4 micro-            lion phones.
kernel in 1995 and later turning into
                                                                                          Brad Hall                          »
a kernel for highly security embedded       In 2009, the L4.verified team at UNSW
devices. In 1997 the first 64-bit imple-    and NICTA, lead by UNSW Conjoint
QUOTES


Speech to text
Steve Jobs Edition

“        “
    Innovation has nothing to do
    with how many R&D dollars
you have. When Apple came up
                                               We think basically you watch
                                               television to turn your brain
                                            off, and you work on your com-
                                                                                         “   I’m the only person I know
                                                                                             that’s lost a quarter of a
                                                                                         billion dollars in one year.... It’s
with the Mac, IBM was spending              puter when you want to turn                  very character-building.”
at least 100 times more on R&D.             your brain on.”
It’s not about money. It’s about
the people you have, how you’re                                                            Miranda Zhang                     »
led, and how much you get it.
2 http://beta.csesoc.unsw.edu.au
INTERVIEW



Interview with RocketBoots
Robin Hilliard, the CTO of RocketBoots gives us an industry perspective of software
development. CSE Alumni and RocketBoots interns Manoj Patel and Sushant Verma
also joined us in the interview
RocketBoots is a small innovative           was eventually bought by a company          charge of something where you won’t
software company that develops Rich         called Liberty One. This was in 98          necessarily be at risk of going to prison
Internet Applications (RIA).                where there were some good ideas, but       or going bankrupt. You can’t get that
                                            also lots of really dumb ideas. Investors   experience anywhere else.
Disclaimer: The interview below is          were just throwing money at them. I
paraphrased from an audio podcast           saw some companies pull people off          Develop yourself in a lot of ways, if
available on line, answers are              the streets and put them in an office so    you’re interested in something, doesn’t
summaries and are not exact quotes of       when the investors came they could say,     have to be technical, go learn it.
what was said.                              “these are our programmers.”
                                                                                        What’s it like working for
What do you do?                             I’ve also worked as a sales engineer for
                                            Allaire, makers of ColdFusion which         RocketBoots and what
The main thing that we do is solve other
people’s problems. Businesses come to       was one of the first engines for web        kind of people do you hire?
us with an issue and they think, “IT will   programming. Interesting fact: when         We want to do new things. You can get
fix it!” They don’t always have a clear     Microsoft was deciding what to use          a lot of money pushing stuff in and out
idea of what the problem or solution        for their web services, they tried to buy   of a database, but we want to do cool
might be, so we go from figuring out        ColdFusion, but they eventually had to      things as well. We have what’s called
exactly what problem they have to           go for their second choice which was        research days where we just do research
building the solution to solve it.          ASP.                                        on what we want. For example, we
                                                                                        where thinking of setting up some
One of the things that I never realised                                                 Flash clients for distributed computing.
when I was a computer science student
in uni was that success or failure comes                                                Manoj: One of the things that I did
down to whether or not you understand                                                   was implement Fast Fourier Transform
the problem. It’s a huge part of what                                                   in Flash and made a quiz so when
RocketBoots does and I think we do it                                                   people say “hooo” it’s interpreted as a
pretty damn well.                                                                       yes, and when people say “shhhhh” it’s
                                                                                        interpreted as
Another challenge we face is realising                                                  a no.
that clients pay for requirements, but it
costs us to develop components, so we                                                   We look for people who like to learn,
have to map those requirements into         What made you                    start      people who are good communicators,
                                                                                        people who are open minded and don’t
components we can build. When I was         RocketBoots?                                get too religious about a particular
at uni I was completely uninterested        I worked at Macromedia for a while
in this, but my whole experience                                                        technology.
                                            and saw that there was a lot of
afterwards have shown me that this is       demand for consulting because a lot
really important.                           of programming projects were going          Some other              words        of
I would recommend the book by Kovitz,
                                            wrong. For example, most of the Flash       wisdom
                                            clients were written by designers, not      Programming is the opposite of being a
“Practical Software Requirements”.          programmers. That’s one of the reasons      pilot. When you’re flying the priorities
It’s a book that people who go work in      why Flash has a bad reputation of being     are aviate, navigate, and communicate.
industry for a few years, make all the      slow.                                       When you’re programming, the first
mistakes and then reads it and they                                                     thing you have to do is communicate
smack themselves on the head and say        Manoj: You can actually write some          so everyone knows what you’re doing.
“of course!”.                               really efficient graphics programs in       The biggest risk in programming is
                                            Flash particularly with Pixel Bender.       you end up solving the wrong problem
Tell me a bit about your                    We’re doing a bit of computer vision        which is why 75% of software projects
                                            and augmented reality stuff with it at
background                                  the moment as well.
                                                                                        fail. Communication is key. Then you
I went to the University of Sydney for                                                  navigate which is where you plan, and
a degree in Computer Science and                                                        at last you aviate where you actually do
                                            37 signals book - “Getting Real”            the programming.
Pure Mathematics. I loved graphics,
                                            and a book called “The Pragmatic
compilers and some of the pure math
                                            Programmer” are good to read about          Special thanks to Manoj Patel for
stuff by Turing and Godel.
                                            starting and running a software             helping me set up this interview.
                                            business.                                   The full podcast with nearly an hour of
After that I went to work for Accenture.
It was a good place if you take an                                                      content will be up soon athttp://beta.
interest in what you’re doing and find      Advice for uni students                     csesoc.unsw.edu.au/category/podcasts/
people you can learn from.                  If you’re still at uni, get involved in
                                            some clubs and societies. It’s the only       Charles Ma                         »
I then joined a .com called Zivo, which     time in your life where you get to be in
                                                                                         M a rc h 29, 20 1 0         ßeta        3
NEWS



Censorship In Australia -
Continued




The Federal Government’s plan is to         ing Herald found 96% of people were         resentative added, “It’s the first time
mandate that ISPs filter Refused Classi-    opposed to the censorship plan pro-         I’ve seen this group so quickly reach
fication (RC) –rated content. The pub-      posed by Senator Conroy. An ABC News        consensus in its opposition to a govern-
licly released implementation details       poll found 85% in opposition. However,      ment initiative.”
point to the following:                     in February this year McNair Ingenuity
The filter will be based on URL filter-     Research conducted a poll that phrased      What does CSE think?
ing of a blacklist of between 1,000 and     the question more broadly, replacing        Academics in CSE have voiced their
10,000 URLs.                                the word ‘censorship’ with ‘regulation’.    opinions and experiences with internet
                                            62% of people were in favour of this.       censorship to Beta. In an open email,
The list of URLs will be based on the                                                   academics and PhD students were
current ACMA blacklist, and will be         Professional organisations have also        asked if they ‘had ever lived or worked
supplemented by lists from interna-         put forward proposals and open let-         in a country (or experienced) govern-
tional organisations (probably IWF).        ters in response to the new legislation.    ment internet censorship’ and ‘what ef-
                                            The System Administrators Guild of          fect do you think ISP level filtering will
RC computer games will be excluded          Australia (SAGE-AU) is opposed to the       have on the internet infrastructure and
from mandatory filtering until the com-     filtering scheme on technical grounds,      is it technology feasible’.
pletion of the R18+ review.                 including:
                                                                                        Senior Lecturer William Uther states
Additional funding will be available to      * The proposed Internet filter cannot      that he is, ‘like many academics, con-
encourage ISPs to offer voluntary filter-   achieve its stated goal as it is only ca-   cerned about the clean feed’ and
ing systems.                                pable of blocking traditional web traffic   pointed out that Australia has no Con-
                                            across HTTP.                                stitutional right to free speech. The
The policy aims to protect people from       * Fast-functioning filters block one in    Australian Parliament acknowledged
material that is deemed inappropriate       12 legitimate websites                      this fact (Research Note no. 42 2001-
for public consumption, the most com-        * Slow filters decrease Internet speeds    02), adding, “In theory, therefore, the
mon being child pornography. This ap-       by as much as 87 per cent                   Commonwealth Parliament may re-
proach is similar to that currently used     * Testing of the filter was not conduct-   strict or censor speech through censor-
for Television or Radio, in which the       ed on connections over 12Mbps, which        ship legislation or other laws.” It must
government has the ability to ban cer-      will soon be the speed of most connec-      be noted that the Constitution does
tain types of material.                     tions
                                            * The filtering scheme is also opposed
What does industry think?                   by the Computer Research and Educa-
                                            tion Association (CORE) whose rep-            Continue on next page               »
A poll conducted by the Sydney Morn-
4 http://beta.csesoc.unsw.edu.au
NEWS



Censorship In Australia -
CSE’s Views
provide for some limited rights such as        ty” or whatever happens to upset a par-       100% effectively ... with a massive
the right to trial by jury and the right to    ticularly vocal special interest group - in   maintenance effort , you might filter
freedom of religion. However, the High         both cases it falls to the government of      most “inappropriate” material, but you
Court ruled in 1992 that there are im-         the day to make it look like something


                                                                                             T
plied rights to free speech and commu-         is being done to protect rights hold-
nication on matters concerning politics        ers, children, religious fanatics, cabinet        he best you can get
and government.                                members etc.”                                     is a ‘somewhat clean
                                               Semenovich continued, “With internet
In commenting on the feasibility of the        infrastructure as it exists now there is
                                                                                             feed’. Is the effort worth
filter, Uther added, “’ISP level filter-       very little hope of genuinely controlling     it?”
ing’ is a very loose phrase, and there         access to “restricted” information. And
are many trade-offs involved. If you           while for the present we get worthless
spend enough money, then I’m sure              populism like refusing classification of      won’t get it all. The best you can get is
pretty much anything is possible. As it        certain games, the “clean feed” or the        a ‘somewhat clean feed’. Is the effort
                                               occasional “piracy” show trial, it is im-     worth it?”


A        ustralia           has
         Constitutional right
to free speech. The
                                         no
                                               T he      hope
                                                 maintaining
                                                                    of
                                                                  civil
                                                                                             Senior Lecturer Oliver Diessel spent a
                                                                                             year in Singapore and has heard about,
                                                                                             “Singaporean academics being jailed
Australian Parliament liberties and limiting                                                 and deported for unfavourable com-
                                                                                             mentary about the Government on the
acknowledged this fact government                                 and                        web.” However he also noted that it

is, I’ll believe you’ll find that the current
                                              corporate powers is lost                       didn’t seem to affect him directly as he
                                                                                             already had a faster connection in Sin-
proposal requires filtering a few thou- the very moment we                                   gapore than when he was in Sydney.
sand http URLs from low traffic sites. accept that there are
High traffic sites (e.g. YouTube) would                                                      Is it possible to get around a filter?
sit outside the filter because otherwise types       of information
the delays are unacceptable. That pro- that require restriction.                             There are a multitude of ways to cir-
posal seems a) relatively cheap, b) quite                                                    cumvent almost any form of internet
feasible, and c) completely useless.”                                                        filtering; the proposed ‘clean feed’ filter
His largest concern? “…that the list of        portant to realise that with censorship       for example will most likely filter urls
blocked sites will be secret. If the fil-      as well as “intellectual property” protec-    and only on HTTP. The way that most
ter works, why keep the list secret? If        tion there are only two possible policy       people get around content filters is by
the filter doesn’t work, why have it? It       directions available - grossly dispropor-     using a proxy server that is located in a
has already been shown, looking at the         tionate punishments to act as a deter-        country that does not filter the internet.
leaked list, that sites that shouldn’t be      rent (as only a tiny minority will ever be    Such a server could be setup by anyone
on the list can end up on the list (e.g. a     prosecuted) or gradually implementing         with some basic computing knowledge
Queensland dentist).”                          technological measures that will allow        however there are even easier ways to
                                               monitoring of all communications com-         get around a filter.
Rather than filter the internet directly       bined with criminalisation of counter
at the ISP level, Uther explained an opt-      measures such as encryption etc. There        There are a few free applications, some
in solution, “I really wish that this filter   are simply no other degrees of freedom,       with Firefox add-ons that will route
was handled the same way that phish-           any government policy to control access       your network traffic through internet-
ing links are now handled. Simply have         to information will result in deteriora-      friendly countries.     Three common
a government list of bad links, and give       tion along these two dimensions.”             ones are: Jap JonDo (jondos.de), Hot-
it to google to put into their ‘phishing                                                     spot Shield (hotspotshield.com) and
site’ list. Most modern browsers will          Semenovich concluded by saying, “So           UltraSurf (ultrareach.com). Many such
check with google before accessing a           the hope of maintaining civil liberties       applications are already used by report-
URL. Most of the annoying links will           and limiting government and corporate         ers and travellers to countries with the
be blocked. No muss, no fuss. No man-          powers is lost the very moment we ac-         most pervasive internet censorship.
datory filter.”                                cept that there are types of information
                                               that require restriction. It is a difficult   Thank you to John Shepherd, Oliver
Phd Student Dimitri Semenovich                 position to defend but anything else is       Diessel, William Uther, Chris Petrov,
delved into the fundamental issue of           admitting defeat.”                            Manuel Chakravarty, Malcolm Ryan,
censorship itself, “To me it seems that                                                      Oleg Sushkov and Dimitri Semenovich
any sanity in this and related debates         Senior Lecturer John Shepherd noted           for their comments and contributions.
ends the moment we accept that there           that he had never lived in a country
exist restricted classes of information.       with government censorship although
Conceptually there is no difference be-        he thinks he is ‘about to’. Overall Shep-       Adam Brimo                             »
tween flavours of “intellectual proper-        herd thinks, “It’s a joke. It can’t be done
                                                                                              M a rc h 29, 20 1 0          ßeta       5
JOBS



Jobs & Scholarships
RocketBoots from our interview is hiring                             Apple Univ. Consortium Scholarship
Part Time Rich Internet Application Developer Intern                 The AUC is seeking up to three students who have a talent
                                                                     for, and demonstrated experience in, programming on Mac
RocketBoots is a small, innovative software development com-         OS X and/or iPhone; a strong academic record, and an in-
pany that delivers nicely architectured, smart rich internet         novative project idea that doesn’t reinvent the wheel.
applications to clients of all sizes (Telstra, Adobe, Melbourne
Airport and TiVo to name a few) using some really interest-          This is a golden opportunity for top-tier student develop-
ing technologies. We’ve been working with some great CSE             ers to further their development skills and produce a great
graduates and students and would love to find some more who          software product.
would be interested in working with our team on a part-time
basis.                                                               The Scholarships are valued at nearly $10,000 over a two
                                                                     year period and a macbook pro, mentoring and travel to
Apart from being a 2nd or 3rd year student in a CS course,           conferences including Apple’s World Wide Developer Con-
we expect you to be able to work with, talk and listen to other      ference, and AUC DevWorld Conference in 2010.
human beings, have a sense of humour and a real interest in
using new technologies and methods to solve problems for             Selection is based on:
people. Some knowledge of Internet technologies (Javascript/         - The student’s development experience and capacity to un-
HTML/Flash) or computer graphics (OpenCV, OpenGL, 3D                 dertake and complete the proposed project,
concepts) is an advantage.                                           - The student’s academic record,
                                                                     - The nature of the proposed project in terms of novelty,
If you’re curious please send your CV to joel@rocketboots.           utility, and its relationship to the goals and values of the
com.                                                                 Apple University Consortium,
                                                                     - The student’s interest in and ability to communicate their
                                                                     passion for Apple technology.
                                                                     Apply at
                                                                     http://www.auc.edu.au/Student+Developer+Scholarships

PUZZLES


Pick Your Brain
We thought last weeks puzzles were quite challenging, yet 2 people answered ev-
erything correctly: Congratulations to Simon Garrod and Jorgen Peddersen
1. A vinyl record measures 32cm across.       at the top (T) and has its opening the                     14 = 2 x 7
There is a 1cm margin round the edge          same distance below the water level as                     15 = 3 x 5
and a centre label which measures             the center of hole (B). Ignoring any fric-
10cm in diameter. There are 30 grooves        tion effects, out of which the opening       The first three consecutive numbers to
per cm. How far does the needle travel        will the water flow faster, and why?         have three distinct prime factors are:
if the record is played from start to fin-
ish?                                                                                             644 = 2 x 2 x 7 x 23
                                                                                                   645 = 3 x 5 x 43
                                                                                                  646 = 2 x 17 x 19.
2. Your are driving during rush-hour
from Sydney to Newcastle at a speed of                                                     What are the first four consecutive in-
50km/hr. On you return journey there                                                       tegers to have four distinct primes fac-
is little traffic, and you can maintain a                                                  tors?
steady speed of 100km/hr. What is your
average speed for the whole journey?
                                                                                           Check how you ranked this year
3. Find a number with 10 digits, the                                                       against others in the puzzle leader
first digit being the number of ‘0’s in the                                                board:
number, the second the number of ‘1’s,                                                     http://beta.csesoc.unsw.edu.au/
etc. up to the last, being the number of                                                   puzzle-leaders/
‘9’s in the number.

4. Consider a bucket of water with two
holes of equal area through which wa-         5. Project Euler 47: The first two con-
ter is discharged. The water can flow         secutive numbers to have two distinct
out through hole (B), at the bottom, or       prime factors are:                             Tim Wiley                         »
through the down-sprout, which begins
6 http://beta.csesoc.unsw.edu.au
CROSSWORD                                                                       WHAT’S ON


         1           2           3                    4
                                                                                Events
                                                                                Robocode Competition
                                                                                When:
                                                                                1:00-2:00pm, Tuesday 30th March
  5                              6
                                                                                Where:
                                                                                K17 Building, Level 1, Seminar Room
                                                                                More info: There will be pizza for par-
                                                                                ticipants, so make sure you RSVP to
                                                                                robocode@atlassian.com
         7                                     8

  9                                                                             CSE Revue:
                                                                                Front of House team intro meeting
                                                                                When: 4:00-5:00pm, Thursday 1st
              10                 11            12            13                 April (no it’s not an April fools joke!)
                                                                                Where: K17 Building, Basement, Room
  14     15                                                                     B01

                                                                                CSE Soc Pokemon Night,
  16          17                 18                                             CSESoc is going to host a Pokemon
                                                                                night! Starting from the original epi-
                                                                                sode 1
         19
                                                                                Wednesday, 31 March, at 6pm in the
                                                                                K17 Seminar Room (lvl 1) for more fun
                                                                                times. We’ll have pizza and drinks for
Across                                Down                                      $5 a person (free for all Arc members!)
1. Communications Minister: Stephen   1. Wireless networking protocol (Abbr.)
____                                  2. Government Plan: ____ Broadband        Working at Microsoft Talk
5. Radiate Energy                     Network                                   What: Microsoft Presentation and Free
6. USB Drive: ____ drive              3. Telecommunications Company             Pizza!
7. Compiler type                      4. Team Fortress 2 character              When: Thursday 1st April, 2pm (Pizza
8. Markup language                    9. Microprocessor                         at 1.30pm)
9. Canada TLD                         11. CSE Lab                               Where: K17, Level 1 Seminar room
10. #!                                12. Basic operation                       Who: ALL CSE students (undergrad
14. Unique Attribute                  13. Pattern Match                         and postgrad) are encouraged to come!
16. Camera Angle                      15. Printer type: ____ matrix
18. HTML element: ____ button         17. Virtual Reality (Abbr.)
19. Tree based data structure


COMICS - XKCD.COM




      Statistics suggest that there should be tons of alien encounter stories, and in
      practice there are tons of alien encounter stories. This is known as Fermi’s Lack-
      of-a-Paradox
                                                                                 M a rc h 29, 20 1 0        ßeta      7
NEWS



Give it a Go
Google presents a solution for those who are sick and tired of the classic program-
ming languages.
If you are one of those programmers
who often have to trade the coding ease
of interpreted languages for the execu-
tion speed of compiled languages and
vice versa, you might soon be able to
rejoice. Google has further spread its
wings by announcing the Go program-
ming language – a happy solution for
your dilemma.

Go, which got its name from the first
two letters of ‘Google’, was born from
the idea of developing a new program-        provides the coding convenience of in-       of those, another ray of light for hard-
ming language which suits present            terpreted languages.                         ened C and Java programmers, is the
computing problems better than the                                                        absence of mandatory semicolons from
aging existing standards such as C. The      Go facilitates object-oriented style pro-    the end of the lines. No more frustrat-
project was started in September 2007        gramming, without the cumbersome             ing semicolon-induced compilation er-
by Google engineers Robert Griesemer,        type hierarchies of conventional object-     rors!
Rob Pike and Ken Thompson. What              oriented languages. The controlled
was initially a list of goals for a new      module dependencies it applies sig-          Currently, Go is still under develop-
programming language soon evolved            nificantly increases compilation speed-      ment and not yet ready for industrial
into design plans and ideas, and the         which removes an age-old barrier to          use. However, the team seems optimis-
part-time project turned full-time in        productivity, familiar to anyone who         tic about the future of their creation-
mid-2008. The new language was offi-         has had to compile (and recompile) a         Pike has dubbed it “early yet promis-
cially announced in November last year       large project in C. Go fulfils modern        ing”. Some language changes, among
alongside the release of its Linux and       client-server software architecture’s        them implementation of generics and
OS X implementations.                        need for concurrency support through         exceptions, are being considered.
                                             go-routines. Not actually threads them-
The Go founders adopted the basic            selves, go-routines are parallel-running     You can give it a go at http://golang.org
syntax of the C-family languages and         functions multiplexed across threads.
combined it with features from the Pas-      Programmers are freed from the task
cal/Modula/Oberon family and Tony            of managing memory allocations by the
Hoare’s CSP. This resulted in a stati-       inclusion of a garbage collector. Many         Nathania Astria                     »
cally typed, compiled language which         other features are provided in Go- one




EVENTS


Microsoft Presentation
Martin Mao will be giving a talk about working at Microsoft this Thursday.

Interested in becoming a technical Intern or Graduate for           For those of you who cannot make the presentation, but are
Microsoft US? Martin Mao, a 5th year CSE student, is going          interested in these positions, please check the following links:
to give you an insight into what it’s like to work for Microsoft.
He will also outline the interview process and give you some        http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~csesoc/ms/Fulltime.docx
tips! Oh and there will be free food!                               http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~csesoc/ms/Internship.docx

What: Microsoft Presentation and Free Pizza!                        If you are interested in applying, please send your resumes
When: Thursday 1st April, 2pm (Pizza at 1.30pm)                     to Lisa Harris <lisabar@microsoft.com> before the 15th of
Where: K17, Level 1 Seminar room                                    April! Make sure you include your expected graduation date
Who: ALL CSE students (undergrad and postgrad) are en-              and past work/project experience!
couraged to come!


                                                                      Belinda Teh                                               »
8 http://beta.csesoc.unsw.edu.au

				
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