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Naval Academy to name its cyber building after Grace Hopper (baltimoresun.com)
216 points by okket on Sept 24, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 31 comments



I am very happy to hear that such an important will be named for such an instrumental woman. I did a paper on the woman in history who most inspired me for a contest in middle school on Ada Lovelace. Had I known of Rear Adm. Grace Hopper at the time I would have chosen her instead. I learned about her from my comp sci textbook and was amazed she wasn't covered in more general sources where her story would have more of an opportunity to reach young women.

I am however, not happy to see the dumbing down of America's relationship with technology, the careful manipulation of language to strip meaning and understanding from the words we use.

We are in the middle of a struggle, between disclosure of exploits and retaining them for tactical or strategic advantage, where information can be "shared" by a private company with a government, but under a veil of secrecy. Where we talk about defensive capabilities, but fall victim to the most basic attacks on our network infrastructure, due to a lack of coordination within government. We buy hardware with a name brand badge but an operating system with 14+ year old vulnerabilities. But at the same time endeavor to place privately owned networks under government protection for critical infrastructure protection.


She was a great mind and could explain simple concepts, but also go nose to nose with some of the best. She was very strict but very polite. Every time I saw her she would take time for questions, and would stay late to get as many in as possible.

Big fan, we need more of her today.


I'm glad to see her so honored. For those who have never seen or heard her in action, here is a two minute dose of the Admiral: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEpsKnWZrJ8


For those that don't know: she wrote the first compiler.


She also recorded the first computer bug, which was a moth stuck in a relay.


IIRC the first compiler was for FORTRAN, and I don't think she was involved in that.

Edit: Wikipedia says I'm wrong. TIL.



Close for all practical purposes, but may not accurate with the competition of FORTRAN and LISP. I wonder ld rephrase it a one of the first compilers.


This is great, but they're missing a great opportunity by renaming a "the cyber building" anything other than "the cyber building".

I mean, have you ever been in a cyber building? I wish we had a cyber building at work.


'Cyber' is the internationally accepted term within that field. It may sound a bit 90s to you, but it's become the widely adopted standard.

I understand the term comes from the Greek for 'helmsman', and is used to mean governing systems, such as the systems that govern our infrastructure and businesses, and then cyber operations are presumably attacks or the defence of these systems.

So they are neither ignorant of etymology nor wider industrial understanding of the term. I don't know why people have a problem with it therefore.


I wasn't suggestion ignorance. In fact, you're reading sarcasm where there is none - I think it's a cool name.


"Cyber building" sounds like a weird mix between a sex shop and an internet café. But maybe that's my age speaking. Let me find my robe and wizard hat.


Grace Hopper and Hyman Rickover might be the two greatest minds the Navy ever produced.


They're way up there but have you read on the Naval Research Laboratory? They have some smart people. Several people that helped invent and develop INFOSEC ended up over there at CHACS as an example. Myers wrote the definitive reference on subversion threat as well. Tor got developed by some others.

I think Grace Hopper has more impact than those via compilers and COBOL. Still worth considering NRL if we're measuring Navy's brains. Might be something great in there.


Oh, I don't think they're not super-bright people at NRL, but Rickover invented the nuclear navy _and_ nuclear power. The culture he invented has created an extremely safe power industry that has had essentially two major accidents world-wide in 60 years (I don't count Cernobyl because the Soviets caused that accident, not the Rickover-quality-psychos.


I didn't know he was the one behind that. Yeah, that's amazing on another level. :)


"It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission" -Grace Hopper


Can anyone tell me what a Rear Admiral is?


A one-star or two-star admiral.[1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rear_admiral


To help sargun out more, Hopper was an O-7, where naval officer's ranks go from O-1 (ensign) to O-10 (admiral). This rank -- along with O-8 (rear admiral (upper half)) -- was previously called "commodore," and in some other countries still is, as in Commodore Matthew Perry.

e: What was previously commodore was split into the current two rear admiral ranks.


Nit: although the 'pedia says rear admiral outranks commodore, in the U.S. Navy the rank is equivalent to commodore in other navies.


Thats because the US Navy has two rear admiral ranks. The lower rear admiral is a 1 star officer and is equivalent to commodores in other navys. The upper rear admiral is a 2 star officer is equivalent to "normal" rear admirals in most other navies.


To make it even more confusing, there are still commodores in the US Navy, but they are job positions and not ranks.


Really incredibly high rank for a woman in the military.

I only recently learned Grace Hopper was in the Navy. It is nice to see this decision.


Of the 500,000 us navy personnel, there are currently around 100 that are higher rank than rear admiral.


The Rear Admiral Grace Hopper Center for Scary Machines?

(I'm lamenting "cyber building" there, not in any way mocking the admiral)


Read that as "cyber bullying" and was really confused for about 5 minutes. It's time for bed.


It's only two letters different, and "cyber building" seems far less plausible of a term today than "cyber bullying", so that's easy to explain - the "mental autocomplete" did the same thing for me too.


I'd be interested in a directory or database of these "mental autocorrects" - it seems like the applications of these errors that you don't even notice could be interesting.

For another example, notice the the fact that I incorrectly used "the" twice in a row earlier in this sentence.


It makes me wonder how the brain excels at correcting and completing stuff. In doing so, it keeps jumping backward and forward until it's done doing its job so well!


I caught them on the spot :-)




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