The Limits of Computer Trespass Law (Lengthy video with audio available) "Have you ever borrowed a smartphone without asking? Modified a URL? Scraped a website? Called an undocumented API? Congratulations: you might have violated federal law!" Legal and internet thinkers (including Ed Felten, Jennifer Granick, Dan Auerbach, & others) talk about vagueness in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, chilling effects, and the prosecution of Aaron Swartz in a panel discussion at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. [more inside]
Let's go back to 1982 and let Jim Butterfield not only tell you about the Commodore 64, but really show you what it's all about, in a two hour demonstration and training video that takes you from opening the box to coding with the Commodore. (on YouTube, and with a different intro on Archive.org) [more inside]
A Logic Named Joe is a short science-fiction story by Murray Leinster. Published in 1946, the story depicts data-mining, massively networked computers, search engines, privacy/censorship filters and internet porn. Read it here.
What does the crowdfunding landscape look like for game developers one year after Kickstarter exploded onto the scene?
It's still there. A tale of loss.
In less than an hour you can build the simplified digital computer shown in figure 1, using only a pair of scissors, three dozen common pins, and the parts shown in figures 1 and 2.
Check out what the Internet looked like in 1995 in an episode of Computer Chronicles. Topics include: filtering electronic mail in Eudora, using an FTP site, and video streaming a live rock and roll band.
Inventions that Changed the World is a 2004 BBC Miniseries in the vein of Connections (previously) hosted by Jeremy Clarkson (yes the Top Gear guy). The Gun. The Computer. The Jet. The Telephone. The Television
"At the time, Groening was best known as the artist of the comic Life in Hell, as The Simpsons has not yet premiered. The brochure was titled, 'Who Needs a Computer Anyway' and interspersed Groening’s Life in Hell style illustrations with standard information on Apple’s Mac computers." Apple once hired Matt Groening to do some illustrations for them.
"That got me thinking: Could the Romans have built a digital computer using only the technology and manufacturing processes available to them?"
NEW from VIDEO Magazine, arising out of its popular "Arcade Alley" column, it's ELECTRONIC GAMES Magazine!(page of PDF links) Brought to you by editors Frank Laney Jr. and Bill Kunkel, and filled with all the latest news on programmable home console games, computer games (with special coverage for the new ATARI 800 system), stand-alone electronic devices and arcade gaming. [more inside]
New research can detect five different emotions with 81 percent accuracy. [Additional project information].
2012: The year that netbooks Died. A five-year lifespan turned out to be all that netbooks got. Acer and Asus are stopping manufacture from 1 January 2013 - ending what once looked like the future of computing.
This past August, producer Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men) launched a new digital series: H+. The premise: in the near future, 33% of humanity has retired their smartphones, tablets and computers in favor of an implanted computer system, H+, which connects them directly to the internet 24/7. The story begins as a computer virus attacks the implants, killing billions. In intersecting storylines across four continents (told in part through flashbacks,) the series then unravels what happened, who caused it and why. [more inside]
Why 256 bit keys are long enough. A nice graphic explanation by Schneier why brute-force attacks against 256-bit keys will be infeasible until computers are built from something other than matter and occupy something other than space. [more inside]
The simulated brain - "First computer model to produce complex behaviour performs almost as well as humans at simple number tasks." [1,2,3,4,5,etc.]
Gamechanger: $25 tablets, $2 mobile data plans, and zero margins–how the internet is about to gain 3 billion new users and a look inside that world’s cheapest tablet computer, India’s Aakash 2 - includes video.
The BBC reports that the last typewriter to be built in the UK (according to its manufacturers) has been donated to London's Science Museum. "Brother said it had stopped making typewriters because demand had fallen to 30 a day, with most of those being sold in the US." [more inside]
Whenever a new Bond film is released, the promotional push for it is huge. Sony, which is distributing the movie in many territories, has taken the bull by the horns with this one and commissioned a text adventure game loosely based on the character of James Bond.
Eigenfaces for facial recognition. (This post assumes familiarity with the terminology and notation of linear algebra, particularly inner product spaces.)
It is proposed that a memorial to Steve Jobs be erected in St. Petersburg, Russia. The entries are in and you can vote for your favourite online. [more inside]
Some early reviews of Windows 8: "The worst computing experience I've ever had." "A technological, ideological and functional failure." "I’ve felt almost totally at sea — confused, paralyzed, angry, and ultimately resigned to the pain of having to alter the way I do most of my work." (previously) [more inside]
Sony is closing its Liverpool Studio, previously known as Psygnosis, developer of the WipeEout and Lemmings games (DHTML version, previously). The studio created games for 28 years, first gaining attention in the Amiga era for it's high production values and stunning box art (more, more ).
Until We Win's LordKat, who sounds like Anthony Bourdain, looks back in anger (and fondness) on the Top 10 Hardest Adventure Games. [more inside]
... Microsoft made an unobtrusive announcement that brings a degree of closure to a seven year long epic battle between some of the largest technology companies in the world. The same saga pitted open source advocates against proprietary vendors, and for the first time brought the importance of technical standards to the attention of millions of people around the world... [more inside]
Two things about working in coffee shops. First, don't assume everyone else in there is a hipster. Second, don't assume that the elderly person who befriends you is a crazy old man telling tall tales. Else you may miss out on the meeting experience of a lifetime.
35 years ago today, Tandy Corporation announced the most expensive product yet offered in its chain of Radio Shack stores: the TRS-80 personal computer. [more inside]
What do today's kids make of the Commodore 64? BBC News invited Commodore enthusiast Mat Allen to show schoolchildren his carefully preserved computer, at a primary school and secondary school in London.
TextEditors.org: "the largest collection of text editor information on the web" (Because word processors are stupid and inefficient.) [more inside]
The First Photo on the Web: A story of crossdressing, particle physics, humorous science-based novelty songs, and terrible photoshop.
Borrowing a name from another product, Microsoft today announced it's first ever hardware products running a mainstream version of Windows, and the first designed for Windows 8: The Microsoft Surface, in ARM and Intel flaovours. Hands on. Video highlighting the stand and covers.
The ternary calculating machine of Thomas Fowler. And electromechanical calculating machines from the 1960s.
"I started this blog so that anyone wanting to build their own 8-bit computer could learn from my own experience and mistakes."
While growth prospects in the field are incredibly high, recent trends, such as "tools grow[ing] more advanced" (see Adobe Flash Builder or MS Visual Studio) have had people wondering over the past few years if computer science has much room for growth left. Some question whether it is alive. Others, such as Carnegie Mellon, say not so fast. In any case, employment has been a bit iffy (/.). There is the possibility that Computer Science is simply growing up (PDF), then again the U of Florida decided to say good bye to it this past week. But hey, if you are not going to that University, and still are shooting for computer science, here are some tips.
The Onion's AV Club Asks: Just How Prescient Was Hackers Anyway?
The Hacker Shelf is nice crowd-sourced guide to (legally) free books on various computational and mathematical subjects. The topics page gives you an idea of the breadth of material available.
Pipe Dream [2001, CGI (previously)]
Pipe Dream [2011, physical (another video) (yet another)] [MLYT]
Pipe Dream [2011, physical (another video) (yet another)] [MLYT]
Raspberry Pi the £22 ($35) computer was launched today and sold out immediately. It is intended to encourage children to develop a better understanding of computers and get involved in programming. The design is based on a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC with no keyboard or other frills; it's meant to run Linux.
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)
Apple has released a developer preview of the next version of OS X, named Mountain Lion. A key new feature is Gatekeeper, a security system that will allow users to decide what type of applications can be installed or launched on their personal computers. While some security experts think its a good idea, others worry about it being subtly used to discourage users from installing non-App Store applications. Macworld has coverage of the entire update, while Daring Fireball recounts a personal demonstration.
On December 4, 2005, the computer chess community was astonished by the initial release of a free, downloadable chess program named Rybka 1.0 Beta, which within days took a sizable lead on all then-existing chess program rankings, surpassing all commercial programs, including renowned engines Shredder, HIARCS, Fritz and Junior.[snip]
In early 2011 sixteen chess programmers, many of whose programs were direct competitors of Rybka, signed a letter wherein they asserted that Rajlich copied programming code from another engine, Fruit, authored by Fabien Letouzey and released to the public in June 2005, about six months before Rybka 1.0 Beta.A four part analysis of the International Computer Games Association decision. (full paper in pdf) [more inside]
Those of us who enjoy old-school chemical photography often need to calculate f-stop and exposure times. Of course you can use a ginormous table but there exists a solution from a more elegant age in which the sky can be purest blue above a very narrow old street. Marvel at Kaufmann's Posographe, a wonder of the analog age.