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The Copyright Alert System

Over the course of the next two months, each participating ISP [*AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon] expects to begin rolling out its version of the [Copyright Alert System] – a system through which ISPs will pass on to their subscribers notices sent by content owners alleging copyright infringement over peer-to-peer networks. Educational alerts will come first, followed by acknowledgement alerts that require the recipients to let their ISP know they have received the notices. For accounts where alleged infringing activity continues, enhanced alerts that contain “mitigation measures” will follow. - Jill Lesser, Executive Director, Center for Copyright Information [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 21, 2012 - 136 comments

 

2012 Nobel Prize in Physics

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche (France) and David Wineland (US) for discovering ways to measure and manipulate quantum particles, a discovery which many are suggesting may soon allow us to build computers with virtually limitless capabilities. The Nobel press release provides a layman friendly PDF summary of the research and its potential applications, as well as a less layman friendly PDF with additional scientific background information. The press release cites two older Scientific American articles for further reading, and the magazine has made these articles available to read free online for the next 30 days:
Monroe, C. R. and Wineland, D. J. (2008) Quantum Computing with Ions, Scientific American, August.

Yam, P. (1997) Bringing Schrödinger’s Cat to Life, Scientific American, June.

posted by dgaicun on Oct 15, 2012 - 51 comments

>_

To understand the command line you must first understand Unix...
posted by Artw on Oct 2, 2012 - 145 comments

Take Those Damned Goggles Off

Television Without Pity re-capper Jacob Clifton has written a short steampunk story for Tor.com. “There’s a level on which the story is an indictment of using steampunk as a fashion or trend. It came about because I wanted to see what would happen if you substituted Jane Austen for Jules Verne in the steampunk equation...” The Commonplace Book
posted by The Whelk on Oct 2, 2012 - 19 comments

Slate celebrates the 20th anniversary of Sneakers

1992 saw the release of this caper movie. John Swansburg and Julia Turner discuss the film's enduring appeal; actor Stephen Tobolowsky fondly recalls his role as Werner Brandes; and Lowen Liu investigates how the movie's "Setec Astronomy" ended up on a black-ops uniform patch and attempts to re-create one of the most memorable scenes. [more inside]
posted by Z303 on Sep 10, 2012 - 97 comments

The Slow Web Movement

Timely not real-time. Rhythm not random. Moderation not excess. Knowledge not information. These are a few of the many characteristics of The Slow Web.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Sep 6, 2012 - 36 comments

use value vs. exchange value

What Is Value? What Is Money? (via via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 1, 2012 - 15 comments

An Operating System for Songs from God.

LoseThos is an operating system written by a schizophrenic programmer. [more inside]
posted by dmd on Aug 29, 2012 - 255 comments

Cats Who Code

Khan Academy unveils its new interactive Computer Science learning platform. More coder resources: Free Tech Books, WiBit.net, Google Code University, the W3C's Web Standards Curriculum, a Beginner's Guide to HTML & CSS, and codepen.io, a social sandbox for web design.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Aug 14, 2012 - 26 comments

How Microsoft blew it

Microsoft’s low-octane swan song was nothing if not symbolic of more than a decade littered with errors, missed opportunities, and the devolution of one of the industry’s innovators into a “me too” purveyor of other companies’ consumer products. ... How did this jaw-dropping role reversal happen? How could a company that stands among the most cash-rich in the world, the onetime icon of cool that broke IBM’s iron grip on the computer industry, have stumbled so badly in a race it was winning? [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Jul 26, 2012 - 124 comments

New Programming Jargon

This is just the top 30, what I consider to be the most likely candidates for actual new programming jargon based on community upvotes, not just "funny thing that another programmer typed on a webpage and I felt compelled to upvote for hilarity". Because that would be Reddit. Coding Horror presents the top 30 Stack Overflow New Programming Jargon entries.
posted by Artw on Jul 20, 2012 - 66 comments

Steam’d penguins

Valve confirms Steam for Linux
posted by Artw on Jul 17, 2012 - 88 comments

Skinable!

Winamp's woes: how the greatest MP3 player undid itself
posted by Artw on Jun 24, 2012 - 221 comments

The Computer Tree

The Computer Tree from Electronic Computers Within the Ordnance Corps. More computer chronology, including this list of fictional computers at Wikipedia.
posted by OmieWise on Jun 14, 2012 - 8 comments

List of future TLDs

Here's a list of new top-level domains that will soon compete with .com and other TLDs (previously).
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jun 13, 2012 - 110 comments

An unauthorized certificate could be used to spoof content, perform phishing attacks, or perform man-in-the-middle attacks. This issue affects all supported releases of Microsoft Windows.

"Flame" is the name of a newly-identified malware program which utilizes a previously unknown MD5 collision attack to successfully spoof Microsoft Terminal Services, and install itself as a trusted program using Windows Update, Microsoft has confirmed. The program appears to have targeted computers in the Middle East, and specifically Iran; analysts have alleged it is likely created by the same entity that designed Stuxnet. Flame has been live and actively spying since 2010, but went undetected until recently, due to sophisticated anti-detection measures. [more inside]
posted by mek on Jun 8, 2012 - 53 comments

Power to the people

25 years of HyperCard—the missing link to the Web
posted by Artw on Jun 2, 2012 - 56 comments

when woz cries

Apple's Crystal Prison and the Future of Open Platforms (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 29, 2012 - 121 comments

Can You Jam With The Console Cowboys In Cyberspace?

Around 1992 Mondo 2000 magazine asked: "R.U A Cyperpunk?"
posted by The Whelk on May 24, 2012 - 123 comments

"To me, a personal computer should be small, reliable, convenient to use and in expensive."

Steve Wozniak introduces the Apple II
posted by Artw on May 18, 2012 - 30 comments

Whiz Kids

In the early 80’s, personal computers were a new innovation. Films like WarGames made it seem as if a kid with a keyboard could hack into anything: a school or corporate mainframe, NORAD, the US nuclear arsenal or your neighborhood bank. Hoping to capitalize on this, in 1983 CBS premiered a show which could have been considered WarGames’ intellectual successor. It featured a group of resourceful kids who solved crimes by hacking and cracking, led by Matthew Laborteaux, child star of Little House on the Prairie, and advised by a Gavilan SC-toting, mustachioed reporter played by Max Gail, formerly of the show Barney Miller. Whiz Kids lasted only a single season: 18 episodes, but all of them live on in cyberspace, on YouTube. Complete episode links contained within. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 8, 2012 - 41 comments

Embrace the colour clash!

The ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on, discussing what became 80s Britain's most popular home computer and gaming platform, despite stiff competition from the technically superior Commodore 64.
posted by Artw on Apr 23, 2012 - 59 comments

I'm at my best in the flesh - in person

In the silence of connection, people are comforted by being in touch with a lot of people — carefully kept at bay. We can’t get enough of one another if we can use technology to keep one another at distances we can control: not too close, not too far, just right. The flight from conversation.
posted by cashman on Apr 22, 2012 - 38 comments

Telnet Times Ten Thousand

If you've ever worked with the command prompt on a Unix-based computer, you're likely familiar with SSH (Secure SHell), which is a program and a protocol that allows you (yes, you!) to securely access a remote system. While SSH has certainly earned the "Secure" portion of its namesake over the years, it's functionality as a shell has ironically received very little attention, and has begun to show signs of age and obsolescence: SSH doesn't work very well on mobile connections, and its support for Unicode is buggy and incomplete. A group of MIT researchers think they've found solutions to these problems, and have created Mosh as a potential successor to SSH, which fixes many of the old protocol's annoyances and shortcomings, while retaining all of SSH's security features.
posted by schmod on Apr 12, 2012 - 77 comments

The Electronic Coach

In the main link in griphus' post this morning, there was this little aside: "In 1957...a physics student named Don Knuth built a program for the IBM 650 to help the 1958 Case Institute of Technology basketball team win the league championship." Yes, THAT Don Knuth. Here's a young Don with the team and the IBM 650 (capable of making 50,000 calculations a minute!), and here he is talking about it. [more inside]
posted by MtDewd on Apr 10, 2012 - 16 comments

25 Years of IBM’s OS/2!

25 years ago today, IBM released it's next-generation operating system OS/2. It never took the world by storm as planned, but it also never really went away.

A look at OS/2: Beginnings - OS/2 1.0 - OS/2 1.1 - OS/2 1.2-1.3 (screenshots) - OS/2 2.0 (screenshots) - OS/2 Warp - OS/2 Warp 4 (screenshots) - eComstation
posted by dunkadunc on Apr 2, 2012 - 111 comments

Dad and Windows 8

A guy videotapes his father trying out Windows 8 for the first time.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 14, 2012 - 127 comments

Part time virus hunter

It arrived at MIT in the middle of the night... 1988 computer virus - (via Dangerous Minds) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 5, 2012 - 34 comments

COMPUTERS ... IN ... SPACE ... (and in films, and on TV. Oh, and in other works of fiction, too)

Starring the Computer is a website dedicated to the use of computers in film and television. Each appearance is catalogued and rated on its importance (ie. how important it is to the plot), realism (how close its appearance and capabilities are to the real thing) and visibility (how good a look does one get of it). Fictional computers don't count (unless they are built out of bits of real computer), so no HAL9000 - sorry. (See also: computers in fiction)
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 24, 2012 - 22 comments

Kuang Grade Mark Eleven

He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings "loaner" devices, which he erases before he leaves the US and wipes clean the minute he returns . In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi , never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery , for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, "Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop." - Travel precautions in the age of digital espionage.
posted by Artw on Feb 13, 2012 - 125 comments

Stupid new future

If people thought Apple's voice assistant Siri was conservative, then Iris, a similar feature for Android (which uses the search engine ChaCha), will blow their mind.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 9, 2012 - 84 comments

Program or be Programmed

Programming is the new High School Diploma
posted by DU on Feb 8, 2012 - 73 comments

Gizmo's Freeware

Gizmo's Freeware is a non-commercial community website staffed entirely by volunteers. Our primary function is to help you select the best freeware product for your particular needs.
posted by Trurl on Jan 21, 2012 - 8 comments

Writing machines

Previously the Guardian has done a series on Writer's Rooms, now they have started on Writer's Desktops - "where writers show us around their working lives by revealing what's on their computer desktops" (Previously)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 19, 2012 - 10 comments

Electron cloud computing...

"Researchers at I.B.M. have stored and retrieved digital 1s and 0s from an array of just 12 atoms, pushing the boundaries of the magnetic storage of information to the edge of what is possible." [NYT]
posted by BobbyVan on Jan 12, 2012 - 27 comments

The Restart Page

Watch your favorite operating systems reboot at The Restart Page.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jan 6, 2012 - 65 comments

World's cheapest tablet computer

IIT and a firm called Datawind have designed the world's cheapest tablet - costing about $50 for components. Their first customer is the Indian government, and they have had inquiries from several other governments as well. Wikipedia on the Aakash (also called the Ubislate 7); the first are sold out, but may be pre-booked for 3000 rupees (just under $60 USD).
posted by jb on Jan 2, 2012 - 32 comments

Redefining "big iron"

The world's first general-purpose, programmable computer was Charles Babbage's mechanical Analytical Engine, which was a formidable accomplishment even if the cost of its construction was prohibitive. While Babbage focused on engineering challenges, mathematician Ada Lovelace wrote the first program for the Analytical Engine, and provided some important insights into the power of a programmable computer. Unfortunately, Babbage never completed an Analytical Engine. Mike James has written an interesting piece on his blog speculating about how our world would be different a working Analytical Engine had been constructed. This topic also was covered in William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's 1990 novel, "The Difference Engine", a seminal work in the steampunk genre. It's interesting to think about how the world would be different had engineers and scientists had access to fast, high-speed computers a hundred years before the birth of UNIVAC. [more inside]
posted by wintermind on Dec 28, 2011 - 33 comments

Save as new

Matthew Kirschenbaum, an English professor at the University of Maryland, is exploring the literary history of word processing. In a lecture at the New York Public Library entitled Stephen King's Wang, Kirschenbaum asks "When did literary writers begin using word processors? Who were the early adopters? How did the technology change their relation to their craft? Was the computer just a better typewriter, or was it something more?"
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 27, 2011 - 41 comments

A knowlege of Java may also be required

How to Ace a Google Interview
posted by Artw on Dec 26, 2011 - 146 comments

How Computers Work

How Computers Work. Recently recovered & scanned in by the good folks at BoingBoing, this was an early textbook explaining the fundamental concepts & inner workings of modern computing systems. I believe a slightly different edition of this book was my own introduction to computers when I was in 6th grade or so, which explains a lot about my approach to using them.
posted by scalefree on Dec 22, 2011 - 44 comments

Things CPU architects need to think about

Things CPU architects need to think about. Bob Colwell gave this lecture in 2004, for the Stanford University Computer Systems Colloquium (EE380). Colwell was the chief architect of the Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III, and Pentium 4 processors. [About 90 minutes, Windows Media format] [more inside]
posted by FishBike on Dec 21, 2011 - 29 comments

An optimist lectures his children...

10 Things Our Kids Will Never Worry About Thanks to the Information Revolution. An optimist's take on how the lives of future generations will improve based on technology.
posted by downing street memo on Dec 20, 2011 - 104 comments

Data Driven to Distraction

As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential for Distraction Grows — Do too many digital devices distract doctors from their daily rounds and endanger patients?
posted by cenoxo on Dec 17, 2011 - 24 comments

Mr Jobs comes to Lund

In 1985, Apple started the "Apple University Consortium Europe" collaboration program, and one of the first universities to enroll was that of Lund, Sweden. To celebrate the collaboration, Apple CEO Steve Jobs came to Lund - and a 16 minute film of his visit has now been found and been made available by the University of Lund. You can see the clip here (.mov).
posted by mr.marx on Dec 16, 2011 - 5 comments

Hidden Meanings : Datamining Early English Print

Datamining Shakespeare --- Othello is a Shakespearean tragedy: when the hero makes a terrible mistake of judgment, his once promising world is led into ruin. Computer analysis of the play, however, suggests that the play is a comedy or, at least, that it does the same things with words that comedies usually do. On October 26, 2011, Folger Shakespeare Library Director Michael Witmore discussed his recent work in Shakespeare studies which combines computer analysis of texts, linguistics, and traditional literary history. Taking the case of Shakespeare's genres as a starting point, Witmore shows how subtle human judgments about the kinds of plays Shakespeare wrote — were they comedies, histories or tragedies? — are connected to frequent, widely distributed features in the playwright's syntax, vocabulary, and diction. (approx. 30 minute lecture.) [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Dec 8, 2011 - 29 comments

Leisure Suit Larry

Leisure Suit Larry is a series of adventure games written by Al Lowe and published by Sierra from 1987 to 2009. The main character, whose full name is Larry Laffer, is a balding, dorky, double entendre-speaking, leisure suit-wearing (but still somewhat lovable) "loser" in his 40s. The games follow him as he spends much of his life trying (usually unsuccessfully) to seduce attractive women. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Dec 7, 2011 - 68 comments

“We try and illustrate a “universe-next-door” where the new product is the only novelty. Where there is still tea, and the traffic is still miserable.”

Future Drama is a tumblr devoted to that particular kind of futurism - corporate prediction demos of how their products will change the world - See The Mother Of All Demos from 1968 introducing the mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing - Apple in 1987 - Philco-Ford The Future Now!
posted by The Whelk on Dec 6, 2011 - 23 comments

Posh kids only

The BBC Micro is 30 years old today. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 1, 2011 - 27 comments

"We’re allowing a whole new level of intelligence in the networks...We can take a copy of everything coming through our switch and dump it off to the FBI."

The Surveillance Catalog: Where Governments Get Their Spying Tools The Wall Street Journal has obtained a "trove" of documents from the secretive retail market in surveillance technology sold to world governments, and has created a searchable database for your enjoyment. "Among the most controversial technologies on display at the conference were essentially computer-hacking tools to enable government agents to break into people's computers and cellphones, log their keystrokes and access their data..." E.g., FinFisher installs malware by sending fake software updates for Blackberry and other devices; VUPEN's Exploits for Law Enforcement Agencies "aim to deliver exclusive exploit codes for undisclosed vulnerabilities" in software from Microsoft, Apple and others. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Nov 20, 2011 - 37 comments

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