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How to Build a Computer Model of God

My assumption has always been: If something like a soul exists, and it affects our consciousness in any manner, then it must be detectable by some scientific device. I find it difficult to imagine that something can interact with my physical body without leaving any physical trace. But though I find it hard to imagine, is it possible for something like a soul to interact with me without leaving any physical trace?
posted by veedubya on Nov 15, 2011 - 152 comments

 

"We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil." ~C.A.R. Hoare, quoted by Donald Knuth

Save the Scrollbar! [slate.com] Why are Apple, Google, and Facebook eradicating a linchpin of user interface design?
posted by Fizz on Nov 10, 2011 - 82 comments

Machines of Paper and Wood

Building a Computer 1: Numerals - recently my kids have been asking me about how computers work. I like to give in-depth answers to such questions, so we set out on a quest to understand how they work... Follow-up parts 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15.
posted by Wolfdog on Oct 20, 2011 - 17 comments

UNIVAC

To meet this need for high speed data processing, the scientists and technicians of the Eckert-Mauchly division of Remington Rand have created a miracle of electronic development: UNIVAC! [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 7, 2011 - 8 comments

Competing with the MacBook Air

The PC industry is built around an idea of almost infinite variation: different Wi-Fi adaptors, different Ethernet chipsets, different GPUs, different USB3 controllers. This variety is then reflected in the systems available from manufacturers—and more importantly, it's reflected in the way the systems are actually built. … The big reason that HP wants to get out of the PC business is that it's simply not very profitable for HP—and that's true for all the major PC OEMs, Cupertino excepted. Cheap PCs are certainly important for making computing accessible, but they also mean that PC vendors have made themselves vulnerable: endless price cuts and a failure to emphasize the value of a quality product have cut revenues and slashed profitability. Desperate to compete on pricing and pricing alone, the mass-market PC OEMs have ended up cutting their own throats.
Ars technica explains why the PC industry is having such a difficult time trying to build a competitor to the MacBook Air.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Sep 5, 2011 - 316 comments

Pixar, 1972

40 Year Old 3D Computer Graphics, created by Edwin Catmull and Fred Parke (with some help from Bob Ingebretsen) in... wait for it... 1972!
posted by cthuljew on Sep 2, 2011 - 53 comments

Yo dawg, I heard you like minecraft...

The holy grail of minecraft has been achieved.
posted by empath on Aug 31, 2011 - 69 comments

Every good cult needs a shrine

The Shrine of Apple--a (sill in progress) archive of photos and specs for Apple's complete product history.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Aug 30, 2011 - 65 comments

Woman eases release from a cotton disability.

This is what happens when you play the game Telephone with YouTube auto-captioning.
posted by lazaruslong on Aug 29, 2011 - 25 comments

No flying toasters here.

Ever wonder where the Windows XP default wallpaper came from? The man behind the camera is American photographer Charles O’Rear. Don’t let his name fool you into thinking that the photo was in fact taken in Ireland. Bliss, as it turns out, is in.....
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Aug 29, 2011 - 80 comments

Stux to be you

In-depth pieces in Vanity Fair and Wired detail the structure and impact of the Stuxnet worm, and what it means for the future of cybersecurity. (Previously)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 11, 2011 - 43 comments

You have to click on the text box?

Using a computer for the first time. A Firefox UXer has an interesting encounter with someone who has never used a computer before and we all learn something. (Also, Jessamyn has a nice comment.)
posted by dame on Jul 7, 2011 - 132 comments

"What Is This 'sudo' You Speak Of?"

Self-proclaimed "avid, loyal Windows user" and PC World editor Tony Bradley spent 30 days immersing himself in Ubuntu Linux, and chronicled his experiences as a Linux newbie. His previous project: 30 Days with Google Docs (Via: 1, 2)
posted by zarq on Jul 4, 2011 - 149 comments

Paperwork Explosion

In 1967, IBM had the answer to our "paperwork explosion." Somewhat surreal film promoting new IBM dictation technology. Mad Men meets the future with a trippy electronic soundtrack. [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet on Jun 24, 2011 - 41 comments

Internet of Things: how it will change the world

"Over the next five years more and more things will act on our behalf and encourage us to do things based on our actions. " How the Internet of Things will change the world.
posted by cashman on May 26, 2011 - 57 comments

Microsoft Mathematics CAS

Microsoft Mathematics is a free Computer Algebra System (CAS) available from Microsoft. A CAS is a program that can solve purely symbolic mathematical equations. For example, the program can tell you that the derivative of 6x^2 + 12x is 12x + 12. The program has functions for calculus, statistics, linear algebra, and graphing. One interesting feature of the program is that in some cases it can show and describe the intermediate steps involved in solving an equation. Here’s a 16 page tutorial (in MS Word docx format) showing how to use the program. The program can be downloaded from the Microsoft download page. Thirty-two and sixty-four bit versions are available. The program only works on XP/Vista/Windows 7.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on May 23, 2011 - 56 comments

XyWrite

A famously fast, robust, command-driven text processor/file manager that publishers... relied on throughout the '80s and some do even now, [XyWrite] is an unrivaled writer's tool.
posted by Trurl on May 21, 2011 - 65 comments

Solarized

Solarized is the mother of all colour schemes. "Solarized is a sixteen color palette (eight monotones, eight accent colors) designed for use with terminal and gui applications. It has several unique properties. I designed this colorscheme with both precise CIELAB lightness relationships and a refined set of hues based on fixed color wheel relationships. It has been tested extensively in real world use on color calibrated displays (as well as uncalibrated/intentionally miscalibrated displays) and in a variety of lighting conditions."
posted by chunking express on Apr 13, 2011 - 95 comments

X day

OS X is X today! Meanwhile, Bertrand Serlet, father of OS X, is leaving apple.
posted by Artw on Mar 24, 2011 - 123 comments

Cracking voyeurism

Using honeypots and logging tools, some server admins have logged actual server break-in attempts by nincompoop crackers. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Mar 11, 2011 - 50 comments

The Genesis and History of the Macintosh Project

This is a short history and background of the Macintosh research project on the eve of its becoming a product.
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 14, 2011 - 12 comments

I Love the Internet

People fall in love with physical objects. For some reason, this feels more surprising than it should after 54 years of observational experience. Who knew? “A marketer needs to be careful not to judge these people as being weird," says the lead author.
posted by sneebler on Feb 9, 2011 - 62 comments

Some people learn lessons the hard way.

Aaron Barr, of security company HBGary, claimed in the Financial Times to have infiltrated Anonymous and to be collecting information on members of the group. Predictably, Anonymous responded by hacking HBGary's website and replacing its front page, as well as by stealing Barr's research documents on Anonymous (and social networking accounts) and releasing them to the public, along with thousands of internal HBGary emails.
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 7, 2011 - 199 comments

The digital central nervous system

Is earlier interaction with technology creating new and different neurological structures in children’s brains? PBS has featured an interesting series of programs on just this question: one with Miles O’Brien, previously CNN’s science correspondent, who also talks to his kids about their use of tech. Digital Nation is a massive related site on Frontline exploring the ethnography of so-called "digital natives" that includes some interesting celebrity interviews; the site is the sequel to the earlier Growing Up Online [previously].
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jan 26, 2011 - 40 comments

Duke Nukem Forever ship date announced

2K Games and Gearbox Software have announced that Duke Nukem Forever will ship simultaneously for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PCs on May 3. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 21, 2011 - 50 comments

Teaching Computer Science without Computers

Tim Bell teaches computer science to kids without using a computer. CS Unplugged has lots of resources for you to do this on your own. [via reddit]
posted by empath on Jan 8, 2011 - 11 comments

DOES. NOT. COMPUTE!

The next time your computer won't do what you want, just give it a stern talking-to.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 22, 2010 - 26 comments

"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they’re not."

“There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.” - C.A.R. Hoare, from the Top 50 Programming Quotes of All Time.
posted by Slap*Happy on Dec 16, 2010 - 39 comments

Or like a computer. Or like an Egyptian computer.

Multiply like an Egyptian. (SLYT)
posted by overeducated_alligator on Dec 9, 2010 - 24 comments

Yesterday's future is here today

Make it so! This is a video featuring a functional home automation PC interface based on Star Trek's LCARS interface. The attention to detail and everyday usability is awesome. [more inside]
posted by Slap*Happy on Nov 28, 2010 - 18 comments

"It's very sad when it rains in a cathedral"

EMS electronic music pioneer Dr. Peter Zinovieff discusses the story of computers and early electronic music. Transcript here. [more inside]
posted by ifjuly on Nov 26, 2010 - 9 comments

Rabid Squirrel and Future Quirk.

The evolution of Line Rider.
posted by lazaruslong on Nov 8, 2010 - 31 comments

X-it the Xserve

Apple Computers, creator of the worlds first Apple Computer Tablet and the worlds first Smartphone to go to space quitely announced today that despite 35% year over year growth, they are discontinuing the Xserve. [more inside]
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt on Nov 5, 2010 - 74 comments

Truly, a state-of-the art machine.

The Banana Jr. 9000 lives. No, really. The Bloom County icon comes to life thanks to RetroMacCast co-host John, a "highly modified" Mac Plus shell, and a Mac Mini. Via Cult of Mac.
posted by mcwetboy on Oct 23, 2010 - 36 comments

CODE 4 LIFE

Programmers Who Defined The Technology Industry: Where Are They Now?
posted by Artw on Oct 22, 2010 - 18 comments

The Macintosh's new App hub

Apple has decided to follow the success of their iOS App store by making a Mac App store. Yes, applications for the Mac OS will soon be available, in addition to the previous methods, for one click download and installation from a single online source. Engadget covers the guidelines for App submissions, CNET has a FAQ about the store, while Ars Technica, PC Mag, ZDNET, MSNBC, CNN, Computerworld and Macworld discuss the pros and cons of this development.
posted by nomadicink on Oct 22, 2010 - 289 comments

Computer defeats women's shogi champion

Four different shogi-playing software programs combined forces to "aggressively pursue" and defeat female champion Ichiyo Shimizu in 86 moves. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 12, 2010 - 25 comments

You're Stealing it Wrong: 30 Years of Inter-Pirate Battles

You're Stealing it Wrong: 30 Years of Inter-Pirate Battles. A presentation at DefCon by Jason Scott.
posted by chunking express on Oct 9, 2010 - 22 comments

Useful information is useful.

The goons of Something Awful's Serious Hardware/Software Crap subforum operate an informative website with lots of useful articles, including guides to data recovery and mostly free bits of useful Windows software.
posted by Pope Guilty on Oct 1, 2010 - 13 comments

The Osbornes

The Osborne 1 was the first commercially successful portable microcomputer, released in April 1981 by Osborne Computer Corporation. It weighed 23.5 pounds, cost $1,795, and ran the then-popular CP/M 2.2 operating system. The computer shipped with a large bundle of software that was almost equivalent in value to the machine itself. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 1, 2010 - 33 comments

OpenOffice ousts Oracle

The OpenOffice.org Project has unveiled a major restructuring that separates itself from Oracle and that takes responsibility for OpenOffice away from a single company. ... Driving home the changes, OpenOffice.org project is now The Document Foundation while the OpenOffice.org suite has been given the temporary name of LibreOffice.
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 28, 2010 - 45 comments

Bahnhof ISP

Located in a nuclear bomb shelter which was built during cold war under 30 meters of rock mountain, Bahnhof ISP is host to the Wikileaks servers. [more inside]
posted by gman on Sep 20, 2010 - 42 comments

40 years of Xerox Parc

"The Office of the Future" 40 Years Later - 40 years of Xerox Parc, the Palo Alto research group responsible for the desktop computer interface as we know it today.
posted by Artw on Sep 20, 2010 - 24 comments

Build it and they will come

PC Gamer: Do you have a good sense of piracy rates with Steam games?
Gabe Newell: They’re low enough that we don’t really spend any time on it.

Gabe Newell on Steam, piracy and DRM, part of PC Gamer's Valve Week.
posted by Artw on Sep 15, 2010 - 153 comments

OH MY GOD I AM SO EXCITED

Home Computing in the Future, according to Freescale Semiconductor (Vimeo) [more inside]
posted by azarbayejani on Sep 7, 2010 - 65 comments

Classrooms, Customized by Computer.

A Warm Hug from a Cold Algorithm: Ta-Nehisi Coates checks out an inner-city school where every student takes a diagnostic test daily, and then is assigned individual work and tutelage based on a computer's nightly re-assessment.
posted by darth_tedious on Aug 20, 2010 - 29 comments

Position-based quantum cryptography theoretically proved

Our results open a fascinating new direction for position-based security in cryptography where security of protocols is solely based on the laws of physics and proofs of security do not require any pre-existing infrastructure.
posted by Joe Beese on Aug 8, 2010 - 47 comments

ROCK LOBSTER

The Amiga, 25 years later
posted by Artw on Jul 27, 2010 - 100 comments

Tastes like effeciency.

TabCandy. A new way to intuitively browse the web.
posted by lazaruslong on Jul 24, 2010 - 122 comments

There is no try.

Tan Le shows off a headset that reads your brainwaves in action. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Jul 23, 2010 - 34 comments

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