Episode 295: Is it COBOL or Kobol?

This episode contains: Ben is back again. We talk about what we’ve been up to during the quarantine. Devon talks about his new mouse.

Life, uh, Finds a Way: Ancient teeth from Peru hint now-extinct monkeys crossed Atlantic from Africa. Four fossilized monkey teeth discovered deep in the Peruvian Amazon provide new evidence that more than one group of ancient primates journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa. The teeth are from a newly discovered species belonging to an extinct family of African primates known as parapithecids. Fossils discovered at the same site in Peru had earlier offered the first proof that South American monkeys evolved from African primates.


Offspring Song: Time on screens has little impact on kids’ social skills, study suggests. Despite the time spent with smartphones and social media, young people today are just as socially skilled as those from the previous generation, a new study suggests.


Keyboard not Preset, Press Any Key: Unemployment checks are being held up by a coding language almost nobody knows. A survey by The Verge found that at least 12 states still use COBOL in some capacity in their unemployment systems. Over the years, COBOL programmers have aged out of the workforce, forcing states to scramble for fluent coders in times of national crisis. Without additional funding from the federal government, it’s difficult for states to modernize their COBOL code and invest in hardware that can withstand the mounting number of unemployment requests they’re receiving this year.


Sci-Fi: Devon saw Birds of Prey, Aquaman, Dune, Ben tells us about Tales From the Loop, Steven saw It Chapter II, Devon is reading The Singularity Trap by Dennis E. Taylor, Ben asks us about the importance of watching the Star Trek movies in order, Quentin Tarantino was never going to direct a Star Trek movie, Steven subjects us to more Fallout 76.