Sources: Oracle releases Java evangelists

According to reports on Twitter and Reddit, Oracle has released its staff of Java evangelists — mere weeks before the company’s annual JavaOne conference promoting the enterprise software development technology.

Oracle did not respond to requests for comments on Friday morning. But a tweet this morning attributed to kcpeppe, Java performance tuning specialists, cited the loss of the evangelists: “Unsettling event at Oracle. All of the Java evangelists have been let go. Sad this happened to a great dedicated enthusiastic group.” The issue was also discussed in a Reddit thread, which cited the report as unconfirmed.

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IDG Contributor Network: Toyota is going to help us all drive much faster by 2020

I’ve followed the autonomous car market for the past decade, and there’s one troubling problem. If you have ever driven in a car that drives itself, you know the car can be tentative — and really slow. I remember how someone told me once that, when they went for a drive in a Toyota Prius as part of the Google autonomous car experiment, the car drove like his grandmother.

Interestingly enough, Toyota just spilled the beans about a new intelligent car program they are working on in conjunction with Stanford and MIT that’s designed to help humans drive better. They are kicking in a whopping $50M to fund the efforts. Gill Pratt, a roboticist who worked at DARPA, will head the program. One of the goals is to make a car that cannot get in an accident, according to the news reports. It’s a departure from the autonomous car model where you take your hands off the wheel and let a computer drive; instead, it’s a technology to augment driving and to protect you.

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IDG Contributor Network: Here’s the one crazy thing Apple might reveal next week

Voice-activated commands don’t always work. In fact, because of that simple fact, it’s not something that has entered the mainstream. I recently went to the grocery store and noticed multiple people tapping away on their iPhones, but none of them were dictating a text message or even asking Siri about movie showtimes, even though both of those activities work fine (for the most part). If you talk to your phone in public and it doesn’t work, you look stupid. It’s hard to pretend your phone understands you when it doesn’t (insert a joke about marriage here).

That all changes in the privacy of your own home and at the office. I tend to talk to my phone more. I’ve experimented with a British accent, asked Siri about weird Alfred Hitchcock movies, and engaged in conversations with Google Now, which seems to understand context. (Try it for yourself sometime — you can ask about your favorite sports team, then say “who is the catcher” and you will get the right answer.) At work, in the privacy of my office, I also use Google Now and I just started dictating articles using the Voice Typing feature in Google Docs.

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