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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

Cow Clicker

Cow Clicker is a Facebook game about Facebook games. It's partly a satire, and partly a playable theory of today's social games, and partly an earnest example of that genre. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jul 22, 2010 - 22 comments

Metafilter: Self-Effacing Wit with Homespun Charm

"My web site will encourage kindness among those who support it, and creative punishment for those who do not." Mefi's own Shepherd "got a little carried away" creating his blog's under construction placeholder page. The result is a terrifying dystopic epic. [via mefi projects]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jul 5, 2010 - 40 comments

You mean it forgets some things, and remembers others?

TVOntario's Bits and Bytes: the world of personal computers explained in 1983 by Billy Van and Luba Goy. [more inside]
posted by Crane Shot on Jul 1, 2010 - 24 comments

"Dad? Why do we always use .net?"

Java 4-Ever (safe for work apart from that one bit) - an amusing language centric film trailer made to promote the Scandinavian JavaZone conference.
posted by Artw on Jun 25, 2010 - 25 comments

if (ourChildren.learning == true)

Why Johnny can't code - David Brin asks how to get kids hooked on programming.
posted by Artw on Jun 22, 2010 - 112 comments

The Works

The Works was a production of the Computer Graphics Lab at the New York Institute of Technology, and (had it ever been finished) would have been the first all 3D CGI feature film. Here are some stills and here's a short clip. [via PopCrunch]
posted by brundlefly on Jun 10, 2010 - 17 comments

The $22 Billion What-If?

Afraid that Jobs' wild spending and Woz's recurrent "flights of fancy" would cause Apple to flop, Wayne decided to abdicate his role as adult-in-chief and bailed out after 12 days. Terrified to be the only one of the three founders with assets that creditors could seize, he sold back his shares for $800. An interview with Apple Computer co-founder Ron Wayne (he also designed Apple's first logo). Had he held out, his shares today would be worth $22 billion.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jun 4, 2010 - 49 comments

Yarchive - Notes from the hinterland.

Yarchive is one man's collection of UseNET posts on the topics of Air Conditioning; Aircraft; Bicycles; Cars; Chemistry; Computers; Electrical, Electronic; Environment; Explosives, Pyrotechnics; Food; Houses; Guns; Jokes; Medicine; Metalworking; Military; Nuclear; Telephones; Physics; Risks; Security; Space mostly from a select group of authors. It has been updated several times since it first appeared here in 2001 and it never fails to sucker me in for hours every time I stumble upon it from a Google Search. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on May 19, 2010 - 37 comments

Model Train Oriented Design

"People who work with computers-especially those being exposed to a machine for the first time-can become quite entranced with these qualities, finding the computer a kind of alter ego. "Sometimes programmers just won't go home, take a bath or anything," reports a computer man who has got over it himself. "They're like a kid falling in love with a hot rod. They'll sit there working with their newfound 'friend' 20 hours a day, just watching the lights and drinking coffee. After a while they get to looking pale and unhealthy. They sit there fascinated and just forget to eat." Life, October 27, 1967 on "How the Computer gets the answer."
posted by geoff. on May 17, 2010 - 49 comments

Ubuntu Light: The web in 7 seconds

In the wake of the release of Lucid Lynx, the latest version of Ubuntu ("Perfect", "Mactastic"), Canonical have unveiled Unity and Ubuntu Light, a new desktop environment and implementgation of Ubuntu aimed at the netbook and tablet market as well as offering an "instant web" experience that can either be stand-alone or on a dual booting device. Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth discusses the design process behind Unity. Ars Technica Hands on. (last two links via)
posted by Artw on May 10, 2010 - 267 comments

Automated Trading Suspected in Stock Market Crash

Major market indices fell almost 10% this afternoon before recovering half of that value. Some blame the failing Greek economy and the related loss of confidence in the Eurozone. But a lot of attention is being paid to the role of automated trading systems. Accenture's stock, for example, dropped from $41 to one penny in two minutes and then recovered just as quickly. Will this trigger a loss of confidence in automated trading?
posted by spitefulcrow on May 6, 2010 - 162 comments

I LOVE YOU VIRUS 10 Years Out

10 years ago yesterday, The ILOVEYOU or LOVELETTER computer worm successfully attacked tens of millions of Windows computers in 2000 when it was sent as an attachment to an email message with the text "ILOVEYOU" in the subject line. Mefi Was There that day when Onel De Guzman released a virus that he had proposed creating as part of his undergraduate thesis. The BBC Looks Back. The key part of the virus was not any technical trick but the wording of the subject line - ILOVEYOU - and its attachment LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.
posted by Blake on May 5, 2010 - 28 comments

You have choices.

AlternativeTo finds substitutes to expensive and/or crappy desktop and mobile software. "Tell us what application you want to replace and we give you great alternatives, based on user recommendations."
posted by gman on May 4, 2010 - 15 comments

How I Met Your Motherboard

How I Met Your Motherboard
posted by gwint on Apr 29, 2010 - 16 comments

Tonight we're gonna party like it's nineteen ninety-six

Your Old Crap Website - This blog is to celebrate the time when web design wasn’t limited by web standards and convention, and when the office geek was given full reign to set up the website on his own since the bosses probably couldn’t see the point in having one.
posted by Artw on Apr 24, 2010 - 45 comments

Read-Write-Erase

A Turing Machine [SLYT]. [more inside]
posted by daniel_charms on Apr 24, 2010 - 41 comments

CSS and JS - so now you know

CSS Tips I Wish I Knew When I First Started - Seven JavaScript Things I Wish I Knew Much Earlier In My Career
posted by Artw on Apr 21, 2010 - 65 comments

Dwarf powered computing

Computation doesn't require complicated electronic circuitry. It can be done with mechanical gears, fluids, marbles, tinkertoys and dominoes, even the human eye. Recently folks have been building computers inside of virtual realities. It's been done with Minesweeper, Little Big Planet, and perhaps most ambitiously, a complete 8-bit computer built within Dwarf Fortress.
posted by empath on Apr 15, 2010 - 50 comments

Salvador Allende's Internet

Cybersyn (or Synco, in Spanish) was computer network constructed in 1970 by an English/Chilean team headed by cyberneticist Stafford Beer (his papers). Cybersyn was an electronic nervous system for the Chilean economy, linking together mines, factories and so on, to better manage production and give workers a clear idea of what was in demand and where. The network was destroyed by the army after the 1973 coup. Later that year Stafford Beer drew upon the lessons of Cybersyn to write Fanfare for Effective Freedom, a eulogy for Allende and Cybersyn, and Designing Freedom, a series of six lectures he gave for CBC, outlining his ideas. Besides the first link in this post, the best place to start is this Guardian article from 2003. If you want to go more in-depth, read Eden Medina's Designing Freedom, Regulating a Nation: Socialist Cybernetics in Allende’s Chile. And if nothing else, just take a look at the amazing Cybersyn control room.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 21, 2010 - 32 comments

The Internet - Where You And I Will Be Spending The Rest Of Our Lives

In the beginning of 1995 before the release of the first graphic browser, Clifford Stoll Of Newsweek said "After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community." Via Metachat.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 21, 2010 - 70 comments

Geek chic

Meet Barbie the Computer Engineer... Barbie, the favorite of little girls everywhere, has been a teenage fashion model, concert pianist, astronaut and even a Miss America. But now there’s a new Barbie, with glasses and a Bluetooth earpiece, and boasting of being a computer engineer. Oh... and five things to make her more realistic.
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar on Feb 13, 2010 - 53 comments

At least it wasn't ritual disemvoweling

"Financial crisis
Stalled too many customers
CEO no more."


Sun Microsystems chief executive Jonathan Schwartz resigns via twitter haiku.
posted by Artw on Feb 4, 2010 - 62 comments

On the rapid proliferation of powerful chess software

"It was my luck (perhaps my bad luck) to be the world chess champion during the critical years in which computers challenged, then surpassed, human chess players. [...] What if instead of human versus machine we played as partners? My brainchild saw the light of day in a match in 1998 in León, Spain, and we called it "Advanced Chess." Each player had a PC at hand running the chess software of his choice during the game. The idea was to create the highest level of chess ever played, a synthesis of the best of man and machine." The Chess Master and the Computer: A article/book review on computer chess and the state of the top-level chess world by Garry Kasparov. [more inside]
posted by painquale on Jan 26, 2010 - 43 comments

Computer Genius

Why it's better to pretend you know nothing about computers
posted by Artw on Dec 23, 2009 - 148 comments

The Setup

You ever wonder what sorts of computers and software people use to get their job done? Yeah, me too.
posted by chunking express on Dec 4, 2009 - 196 comments

Upload this to your alien spacecraft.

This man makes the user interfaces you see in films. (Video)
Bonus: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
posted by seanyboy on Dec 3, 2009 - 184 comments

Harvard Study: Computers don't save hospitals money.

Harvard Study: Computers don't save hospitals money. An article from Computerworld cites a clinical research study in the American Journal of Medicine. Four years of research finds that "the immense cost of installing and running hospital IT systems is greater than any expected cost savings." (Also on Wired and Slashdot.) [more inside]
posted by eleyna on Dec 1, 2009 - 89 comments

BBS documentary author tries to raise funds work full-time on computer history

Mefi's own Jason Scott (jscott) wants to raise $25,000 using waxy's Kickstarter to work full-time on computer history. He made BBS documentary (previously), founded the Archive Team, and owns textfiles.com (previously) and, yes, sockington. So far, 237 people have pledged $20,340. On Nov. 4, Jason did a 5-hours, non-stop Scottathon. Apparently, fundraising ain't easy. [more inside]
posted by Monday, stony Monday on Nov 8, 2009 - 38 comments

How To Program

A free computer-programming course on reddit. Click "prev" for more lessons. 113 lessons so far.
posted by grumblebee on Oct 24, 2009 - 89 comments

A Geek Itinerary

Technology innovation will be a large part of late 20th century American history. Now the gearheads can explore the roots of all that geekdom. The Geek's Guide to Seattle is a virtual tour of some of the region’s most interesting and notable technology locations. A Geek's Tour of Silicon Valley hits hotspots there. Don't forget The Tech Museum and the Computer History Museum. Back east, there's Research Triangle Park (pdf) in North Carolina, and The Computing Revolution at the Museum of Science in Boston.
posted by netbros on Aug 28, 2009 - 8 comments

a pink sliver of rat brain sat in a beaker

The simulated brain - "The scientists behind Blue Brain hope to have a virtual human brain functioning in ten years... Dr. Markram began by collecting detailed information about the rat's NCC, down to the level of genes, proteins, molecules and the electrical signals that connect one neuron to another. These complex relationships were then turned into millions of equations, written in software. He then recorded real-world data -- the strength and path of each electrical signal -- directly from rat brains to test the accuracy of the software." Is it possible to digitally simulate a brain accurately? Can it only be analog? And are there quantum effects to be considered? (previously 1 2 3 4) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 18, 2009 - 251 comments

Inside the World's Greatest Keyboard

From the satisfying click of its keys to its no-nonsense layout and solid steel underpinnings, IBM's 24-year-old Model M is the standard by which all other keyboards must be judged. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 22, 2009 - 106 comments

The dry, technical language of Microsoft's October update did not indicate anything particularly untoward.

Its reach is impossible to measure precisely, but more than 3 million vulnerable machines may ultimately have been infected. : The inside story on the Conficker Worm at New Scientist.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 15, 2009 - 84 comments

Girlputers by "Della"

Dell have recently opened a new sub-site called "Della" aimed at women in the most offensive way possible. Bereft of any technical information about their hardware, or indeed any information at all, the site instead includes "Tech Tips" about keeping track of your weight... [more inside]
posted by Zarkonnen on May 16, 2009 - 114 comments

1965 - Kemeny and Kurtz go to 1964

A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages
posted by Artw on May 8, 2009 - 47 comments

I know what's wrong and that's good.

"...criticism, for lack of a better word, is good. Criticism is right. Criticism works. Criticism clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit…
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 6, 2009 - 52 comments

Wait... No Pirate Vs. Ninja?!

Haven't you always secretly wondered what would happen if a ninja accidentally stumbled into, say, Bill and Ted's time traveling Phone Booth and ended up somewhere around 7th century BC, only to come face-to-face with a feisty Spartan? Have you not pondered what would happen if you locked up an Apache with a Gladiator inside some sort of 21st century battle dome? Are you frustrated because you feel like there's nobody doing proper scientific studies to see what would happen when you pit two historically violent warriors that could have never actually met in real life? Worry no more people - I present to you Spike TV's newest offering - Deadliest Warrior! [more inside]
posted by Bageena on May 5, 2009 - 110 comments

Mmm, fully rugged.

Your laptop computer says a lot about you. Maybe my husband and I need to put more thought into our purchases. We'd want to make sure we're projecting the correct images, right? [more inside]
posted by Neofelis on Apr 30, 2009 - 63 comments

Old School EGA Goodness in your Browser

Welcome to Sarien.net, the portal for reliving the classic Sierra On-Line adventure games. With its focus on instant fun and a unique multiplayer experience, Sarien.net hopes to win new gamers' hearts and promote the adventure game genre. Available currently: Leisure Suit Larry 1, Police Quest 1, and Space Quest 1.
posted by spec80 on Apr 20, 2009 - 58 comments

Why Minds are Not Like Computers

Why Minds are Not Like Computers: an in-depth analysis.
posted by jon_hansen on Apr 19, 2009 - 95 comments

IOKIYO

Beyond even the outrageously broad "state secrets" privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and -- even if what they're doing is blatantly illegal and they know it's illegal -- you are barred from suing them unless they "willfully disclose" to the public what they have learned. - Glenn Greenwald. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Apr 7, 2009 - 102 comments

Wanted: Go-getter with inquisitive nature and a high tolerance for gore, sleaze, and the baser instincts of humanity.

Last year, Infoworld published their list of the 7 dirtiest jobs in IT. This year, they're back with 7 even dirtier jobs. [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on Apr 6, 2009 - 38 comments

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