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]
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)
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.
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]
"...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…
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]
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]
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.
Why Minds are Not Like Computers: an in-depth analysis.
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]
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]
Computer data storage through the ages. From the punch card to the cassette drive to the Jaz, and much more.
Microsoft announced today, it will open a small number of stores to compete directly against Apple. Some think it's a dubious idea. "In a statement, Microsoft said the first priority of Mr. Porter, who is also a 25-year veteran of Wal-Mart, will be to define where to place the Microsoft stores and when to open them."
BeOS is back! Immortalised by Neal Stephenson as the Batmobile of operating systems, it's been reincarnated as Haiku :P
"The avionics system in the F-22 Raptor, the current U.S. Air Force frontline jet fighter, consists of about 1.7 million lines of software code. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter...about 5.7 million lines of code...Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner...about 6.5 million lines of software code. These are impressive amounts of software, yet if you bought a premium-class automobile recently, it probably contains close to 100 million lines of software code."
What real-life bad habits has programming given you? "This has actually really happened to me. I was trying to hang a glass picture frame on the wall and accidentally dropped it. And in the shock of the moment, I loudly yelled 'Control Z!' Then the glass hit the floor and smashed."
Newspapers rush to deliver news online. A look at the future from 1981.
Electronic Masks and Calculated Movements are two early computer animation projects featured at EVLTube, the YouTube channel for UIC's Electronic Visualization Laboratory. In additon to the video archive, the EVL website also features a trove of interesting current EV projects like snstncntnrs and Unfolding Space, not to mention extensive notes on the fascinating research conducted and devices used at the facility. [more inside]
The Wired Vaporware Awards, an institution since 1999 has taken some heavy hits this year, and has had to resort to some pretty naked padding to make a list (products in late beta whose release date has merely slipped? come on) – however, if there is anything that remains constant in these uncertain times we live in it is that one game rules the list, debuting in the No 2. slot in 2000, it then latched on to the top spot, with only editorial edict able to to shift it. Ladies and gentlemen, Duke Nukem - FOREVER.
Mac Vs. PC. Inspired by Transformers, this short visual effects piece shows us what would happen if our home computers could turn into robots and started beating each other up.
The coming memristor revolution in electronics and how it works. The newly created memristor, only the fourth fundamental fundamental type of passive circuit element, has the promise of computing advances both prosaic (faster, cheaper and "bigger" flash drives) and momentous (relatively effortless mimicry of brain cells and their activity). This is the story of the memristor's genesis, told by R. Stanley Williams, the leader of the team that created the device. [more inside]
Evidence of a Global SuperOrganism. "My hypothesis is this: The rapidly increasing sum of all computational devices in the world connected online, including wirelessly, forms a superorganism of computation with its own emergent behaviors." [Via]
Wanna play the first two Fallout games for totally cheap? Good Old Games is now open to the public. Via Blue's News, some interesting discussion there about "DRM Free" claims and whether or not Freespace 2 is really "free."
It's hardly the case today (unless you live in Iran), but once upon a time, all computer programmers were female. While the (male) engineers who built ENIAC, the world's first modern computer, became famous and lauded, the six women who actually programmed ENIAC have been largely overlooked. Now a team of researchers and programmers is trying to raise money to tell the story of these pioneering women in a new documentary, before it's too late. [more inside]
Google rolls out Mail Goggles, designed to prevent drunk or otherwise impaired emailing by forcing you to answer basic math questions. And no, it's not April 1st.
The best criminal hacker is the one that isn't caught — or even identified. These are 10 of the most infamous unsolved computer crimes as selected by PC Magazine. However, some do get caught. Here are nine of the most infamous criminal hackers to ever see the inside of a jail cell. PCMag also reached back into the early days of computing and dredged up the most inspiring examples of hacker brilliance they could find. [more inside]
Ken Levine, creator of Bioshock, gives a funny and inspiring speech about growing up geek before the internet and the era of 'geek chic'. (SLGV, and annoying age check)
You may have never heard of Kane Kramer, but it's likely you use the product and online store he patented. In 1979.
Will Wright's PC game Spore was released yesterday. The 'Sim Everything' game from the creator of Sim City and The Sims takes the player from cellular growth to space colonization with several stages in between. Reviews are in, and the consensus is that it's good but not as legendary as its scope (and multi-year development cycle) would suggest. The game's 'draconian' DRM has sparked controversy, causing Amazon users to bomb it with one-star reviews.
Science Hack is a unique search engine for science videos focusing on Physics, Chemistry, and Space. For example, things to do with sulfur hexafluoride. Still growing, the editors are presently indexing other scientific fields of study including Geology, Psychology, Robotics and Computers. Ever wonder why things go bang?
Using OmniFocus to manage a 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons character sheet. Nerds. Dungeons and Dragons. Obsessive overuse of Mac software.
95% of degree courses in video gaming at British universities leave graduates unfit to work in the industry, according to Games Up?, an organisation set up to address the UKs video games skills shortage. Maths skills are a particular weakness.
The first known recording of a digital computer playing music, recorded by the BBC in 1951. The music played on a Ferantti Mark 1, one of the first commercial general-use computers, and was entered via punchtape and played on a speaker usually used for making clicks and tones to indicate program progress.
Flash, PDF, two great tastes that go great together? And now you can use PDF flash movies to put videos in your powerpoint – er… what?
Tips for getting ahead in the increasingly competitive low cost small laptop market: When you go to Getty Images, grab some stock photography of smiling kids in a classroom and photoshop in your product, you better make sure your competitor hasn't used the exact same image.
The History of Computing Project is a collaborative effort to record and publish the history of the computer and its roots. The site includes a chronological timeline, biographies of computing pioneers, a look at computing hardware through the years, as well as software and games. [more inside]
I was a Teenage Wares Freak? San Diego Republican Party chairman Tony Krvaric may have been Strider, co-founder of Fairlight. via Slashdot
Great Mostly Pretty Good and Hopefully Correctly Attributed Quotes About Computers and Programming. But Wait There's More! Yep, 101 More Quotes plus an extra extra added bonus for a limited time, the second list as originally published in Spanish, because it's fun to read Isaac Asimov and Emo Philips in another language, and Lou Dobbs will get so pissed off. [more inside]
Having trouble connecting to a site? It may be you and many others got too close to a network event horizon and the packets ...disappeared.... The internets has black holes, too. via
Three columns on technology and eduction by Robert Cringely: the clash between those who grew up with computers and those who didn't in War of the Worlds, Amish Paradise looks for learning models in unexpected places and Ozzy knows best talks about how important digital games, not video games, could be to education. [more inside]
"Once you've constructed your Hexapawn opponent, it's time to start playing against it... If you play this game repeatedly ... you'll quickly notice that your matchbox opponent plays better and better until it is unbeatable!" Martin Gardner created a game called Hexapawn, and also devised an artificially intelligent opponent you can build yourself out of matchboxes and colored beads. Bonus link: An interview with Martin Gardner.
40 Years in the Future - Another "what will life look like in the future" article. This one from Mechanix Illustrated, 1968. (via Boing Boing)
During a January blizzard thirty years ago in Chicago, Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss came up with the idea for a computerized bulletin board system. One month later on February 16, 1978, the first public online community was officially established, and it was named CBBS. [more inside]
The Anonymity Experiment. Is it possible to hide in plain sight? Privacy-minded people have long warned of a world in which an individual’s every action leaves a trace, in which corporations and governments can peer at will into your life with a few keystrokes on a computer. Now one of the people in charge of information-gathering for the U.S. government says, essentially, that such a world has arrived.
Ubuntu has quickly become the number one Linux distro for the desktop. Not only is it free, but it has also made Linux easier to use than ever. Now, Wubi enables Windows users to install Ubuntu just like any other application, so you no longer have to mess around with partitions, burning CDs, etc. [more inside]
The Algorithm: Idiom of Modern Science - an allegory told with iPods as Universal Machines.