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Ada Lovelace, early computer whiz, gets Doodle love

Today's Google Doodle honors the birth of a computer visionary who believed such machines could be more than just number crunchers.

Born December 10, 1815, Ada Lovelace is perhaps best known for her contributions toward Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine, Designed but never actually built until 1991, the Analytical Engine is in many ways one of the ancestors of today's computer systems.

A mathematician and writer, Lovelace took on the task of first translating and then expanding upon an article describing the Analytical Engine. Her notes contains what some people think of as early computer progams or algorithms, … Read more

Celebrate Ada Lovelace Day

How to get women more involved in technology as a career is a conversation that we've been having lately at CNET.

We hosted a Women in Tech panel at CES in January, with (at the time) Google Vice President Marissa Mayer, Cisco CTO Padma Warrior, and Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr and successful entrepreneur. CNET editor Molly Wood wrote a column back in May about why we need to keep talking about women in tech. If you question why there's still a reason to keep focusing on this issue, all you have to do is read some of the comments on our site to see that sexism is still thriving. … Read more

Netflix sued by deaf group over lack of subtitles

Netflix has been sued by the National Association of the Deaf for failing to offer closed-captioning on enough of its streaming content.

In a lawsuit (PDF) filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the district of Massachusetts, the NAD alleges that Netflix is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing captions for most of its "Watch Instantly" streamed movies and TV shows.

Pointing to the approximately 36 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, the National Association of the Deaf says that it and members of the deaf community have already … Read more

Driving assistance systems use to explode by 2016

As Advanced Driver Assistance Systems become more prevalent in the vehicle industry, their market value will grow at an exponential rate, a new study from ABI Research has found.

This year alone, the market value of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which are built by vendors, is expected to hit $10 billion, the research firm reported today. ABI Research forecasts the ADAS market to reach a value of $130 billion in 2016.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems offer several important functions for drivers, including adaptive cruise control that speeds up or slows down the car based on road conditions; warnings when the vehicle starts to drift into another lane; and low-speed collision mitigation. ADAS has been available in some luxury vehicles for well over a decade. However, this year, ADAS will start making its way to "higher-volume" cars, ABI Research says, including the Ford Focus and Mercedes Benz C-Class.

The shift to more popular cars is the result of the improvement ADAS has undergone over the years. Aside from delivering better functionality, the systems are becoming easier to produce. That combination of better performance and lower production cost is helping to bring more car makers into the ADAS game.

New features in ADAS systems are also helping to attract new-car buyers. As ABI Research pointed out, simple warnings when a car drifts into another lane are no longer the norm for ADAS. Now, automakers are installing systems that can turn the car back into the lane. The systems are also capable of maintaining speed limit information to keep drivers informed.… Read more

New Mexico group lobbies to ban Wi-Fi in public buildings

A group of "electro-sensitive" Santa Fe residents has asked the city government to ban Wi-Fi from public buildings. The group's members attribute a range of symptoms, such as chest pains and headaches, to the electric fields produced by Wi-Fi routers and cell phones.

The citizens claim that Wi-Fi networks in libraries and other civic buildings constitute discrimination as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The city attorney is looking into the matter and expects to make a legal recommendation by the end of the month.

This isn't the first report of a so-called "gadget … Read more