The top questions
people in China want to ask the internet...
The Colemak keyboard layout.
Colemak is a new alternative to the QWERTY and Dvorak layouts. Designed for efficient and ergonomic touch typing in English, Colemak places the 10 most frequent letters of English (A,R,S,T,D,H,N,E,I,O) on the home row. Z,X,C are preserved in their QWERTY positions for easy copy and paste operations. It gets rid of the Caps Lock and replaces it with Backspace so you no longer need to move your hand off the home position to correct errors. Available for Windows/Mac/Linux/Unix it works with all standard keyboards, including laptops. [via: Projects], [Previously]
The Red Hill Guide
is an amazingly detailed and well-written compendium of desktop hardware old and new, with a focus on PC and x86 compatibles. Look for your first CPU, hard drive or mainboard.
The Usborne Guide to Computer Games 1982
is full of fun ways to make traditional video games more exciting
and contains some very accurate predictions
Pr0n at Work = Addiction?
Spawning from such cases as a recent lawsuit with IBM over employee termination due to online sex chatting at work, recent debate over whether Internet abuse is a legitimate addiction
, akin to alcoholism, is heating up. Attorneys say recognition by a court—whether in this or some future litigation—that Internet abuse is an uncontrollable addiction, and not just a bad habit, could redefine the condition as a psychological impairment worthy of protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
. Businesses would be required to allow medical leave and provide counseling. The condition could even make it into the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association's DSM
, making it a full-blown neurosis. It wouldn't be a complete surprise, with a recent Stanford study showing that 14% of people state it would be "hard to stay away" from the net for a few days in a row.
- The Toronto PET User's Group. Founded in 1979 and still holding monthly meetings. For all your "PET
Grandma's Little Helper
Tired of bluehairs clogging up the left lane doing 20? Apparently, there are companies who feel the same way. Aware Car has developed a computer system that tracks other cars
and compensates for the losses in reflex that accompany aging. This is only one example of the new industry of providing technology to the elderly, who will reach record numbers in the next 20 years as the Baby Boomers continue to age
. Pictures show GPS tracking for wheelchairs, "caller ID on steroids", and the new driving system in action.
Twenty years of Macintosh
- a well done retrospect about the Apple Macintosh presented in a series of posters, annotated with excellent topical links for further reading.
The downside of being a nerd with your desktop set to a super-hi resolution is that you can rarely find cool wallpapers to use. This massive collection
(in a wide variety of resolutions) should help.
Among his collected works
, in the few, short years before mathematician Alan Turing
was driven to suicide, he published "The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis"
, theorizing how a standing wave
-like distribution of "cannibal" and "missionary" chemicals might explain how plants and animals develop their shape and pigmentation
. Blogger Jonathan Swinton focuses on this more obscure aspect
of Turing's research, and reviews some of his posthumous and unpublished efforts — including one of the earliest known examples
of digital computation applied to the field of biology.
The Information Machine,
[YouTube]. This short animated film was written, produced and directed by Charles and Ray Eames
for the IBM Pavillion at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair
[embedded sound]. Animation by Dolores Cannata
. The topic is the computer in the context of human development.
It's all one's and zero's eh?
The complex patterns of the natural world often turn out to be governed by relatively simple mathematical relationships. A seashell grows at a rate proportional to its size, resulting in a delicate spiral. The gossamer network of galaxies results from the simple interplay between cosmic expansion and the force of gravity over a wide range of scales. As our catalogue of natural phenomena has grown more complete, more and more scientists have begun to look for interesting patterns in human society.
The Vintage Mac Museum
– if there's anything you remember about working or playing on old black-and-white Macs, anything at all
, there's probably an animated .gif screenshot of the program you used somewhere on this site. From MacPaint
to Photoshop 1.0
to, no joke, Norton freaking Utilities
, it's all been preserved on the internet. Go... internet.
Super Columbine Massacre RPG!
A computer role playing game based on the Columbine massacre and the event leading up to it in which the player plays the part of the killers. Think it's in poor taste? A Columbine survivor paralyzed from the chest down disagrees
Does copyright extend to the bit encoding sequences used in P2P applications?
A case is made for the myriad paths bit encoding can take in the formation of MP3 files, the argument being therefore that said bit encoding sequences used in the formation of MP3 files are exempt from copyright law. Furthermore an application is offered to demonstrate the point.
But isn't bit encoding just another 'language' like French, German, Spanish and therefore a copyrightable adjunct to the authors/copyright owners work? (Even if there are myriad dialects.)
Computer Networks: The Heralds of Resource Sharing (Google video)
A fascinating 30 minute documentary about ARPAnet
- the precursor to today's Internet. (Can you spot the real ubernerd mover and shaker at BBN? Hint: He wears no tie!) (via: all over the place)
"To tell the truth ... I'm sorta surprised they haven't caught me yet,"
The Washington Post ran an interesting interview with a botmaster, a young man who made serveral thousands of dollars a month installing XXX spyware on machines that he controlled. He installed the software on the machines of people he did not know by hacking into them remotely. The lenghty article included a partial photo of the botmaster along with vauge descriptions of the small midwestern town where the man lives, and was published with the understanding that the man's identity would be kept secret.
Someone should have told that to the person that manages photos at the Washington Post. An estute reader over at Slashdot was able to locate some extra information stored in the picture's metadata
including the photographer and the location the picture was taken, Roland, Oklahoma, a town of less than 3000 people. Whoops.
On January 19, 1986, the first PC virus — Brain
— was detected. It was virtually harmless, and the Pakistani creators claim that
it was only intended to protect their copyrights. (They did, after all, include their own address and phone number in the machine code.) In the past 20 years, though, both creating viruses
and destroying them
have become billion-dollar industries.
Google and Wal-Mart to launch the Google Computer
[GoogleFilter] - Rumor-merchants around the industry are abuzz with speculation that Google is about to launch a no-frills, $200 networked computer via (ahem) Wal-Mart. They will also announce Google Cubes, media and home automation control devices. Will this be a watershed event or an infamous folly? Film at 11.
Mass Producible Quantum Computer
- Christopher Monroe
has produced the first quantum computer capable of being scaled to a production model at the Trapped Ion Quantum Computing
facility at the University of Michigan. (via
Stupid Computer Tricks.
Photo array of one computer service employee's favorite customer problems. Don't miss the intense AOL user
, the sealed floppy
, the floating hard drive
, and the extreme case mod
has got to be the awesomest pumpkin ever.
It turns out the Osborne Effect has nothing to do with Osborne, after all.
Conventional wisdom has it that Apple's announcement of long-term plans to move to Intel
will dramatically hurt the company in what is termed the "Osborne Effect"
, after the 1980s British computer company that seemingly went bankrupt due to announcing new products so soon that no one would buy anything.
, inventor of the monolithic integrated circuit (microchip)
at Texas Instruments
in 1958, died Monday
. His vision lives on through the Kilby International Awards
and Kilby Laureates "who symbolize the power of the individual creative mind to change the world, forever."
Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby So you’ve got to know that synergy doesn’t actually mean synergy in this book. I can’t do normal synergy. No, in this book, synergy means cartoon foxes. What I’m saying is: this book will be starting off with an exorbitant amount of cartoon foxes.
And I will be counting on you to turn them into synergy.
Possibly the funniest computer programming book ever written.
_grau | robert seidel
- KunstFilmBiennale 2004; the jury assigns the movie «_grau» by robert seidel an honorary award, because of the technological mastership which is used to show never seen phenomena in the borderland of science and aesthetics.
quicktime - cached 50Mb
; cached 160Mb
began his pioneering work in interactive art in 1969. He was one of the first to explore the aesthetics of interactivity with his "responsive environments." While preparing a talk that included a reminiscence of Krueger demoing Videoplace
in the 80s, I was surprised he'd not yet merited even a stub in the Wikipedia. While that may eventually motivate me to register and start the page, for now, I will just share some links. [more inside, including videos]
A new usage for Palm OS PDAs.
Cant dish out for a matrix orbital LCD display? You can still have the awesomeness of a small display telling you vital cpu load, ram usage and winamp info via a palm pilot. Emulates a matrix orbital screen and can work with palms thru serial, USB, even bluetooth! (Project no longer maintained, maybe one of ya's can take it over and fix it so it works for my cheap zire!)
Remember that film which spread like wildfire across the net in
'98 nicknamed "Bad Day at the Office". It showed an angry office worker bashing his computer? Well the computer is back, and he ain't happy
Somehow I don't see this selling very well. A virtual keyboard
Cray Supercomputer for sale on Ebay.
Starting price is only 10% of it's original cost!
, widely considered the father of the Macintosh computer, has died
. Visit folklore.org
chronicling the birth of the computer Jef named after his favorite varietal (but misspelled in order to avoid confusion
). Jef's contributions to the development of simple, intelligible
computing environments didn't end with the Mac; learn more here
The clueless reviews the Mac Mini
His chief gripes are "The Mini boots up into a stripped-down operating system which Apple calls OS X, similar to the stripped-down WindowsCE OS found on many handhelds." and "No serial ports, no way to connect a printer, no PS/2 ports, no floppy drive, no 5.25" bays." Let the hate mail campaign begin!
Life in the future.
In the year 2,000 "everything will be so easy that people will probably die from sheer boredom." Workweeks will be 24 hours and the home computer will be the new status symbol.
I am writing this memo to explain what happened
to the case our NeXTCube Computer, Serial Number AA001032....
- based on the classic text game of the same name
- was the first game ever to contain an easter egg.
It seems laughably primitive these days, but when it first hit shelves, Adventure was a programming masterpiece. The text version
of Adventure (by Willie Crowther and Don Woods) required hundreds of KB and a mainframe computer to operate, so much that Atari brass told Warren Robinett
not to even bother with a 2600 version.
He did anyway, and the results are near legendary. The 2600 version of Adventure went on to sell over a million copies at $25 a pop. For his effort Robinett recieved absolutely nothing beyond his $22,000/year salary.
the 2600 Adventure. (Flash) If you're one of those who requires some eye candy, why not download the Quake 3 Adventure Map
Apple-1 CPU, VG-Mint.
"This computer, as is documented, was bought from Steve Job's parents garage. The checks for the purchase and the original manual are included." More photos here
. [via coudal]
A nice article
on some of the engineering and economics aspects of WiFi, and the history of frequency regulation in the USA.
: Because not everyone gets off on calling India for tech supportvia something positive, who also has a funny comic thread on this
Meet the new Walkman.
20GB HD, 25 minutes of cache for skip-free playing. Works with Sony's Connect
music service. Sharp-looking little player.
Remember Mac System 6?
If you do, then P.dro Classic™ is for you. Relive the glory days of 1 bit-per-pixel porn (it's almost life-like if you squint) and Pong-like games with the mouse! Hey, it's Friday and this is Flash.
For me, it's the Startup Sound that makes this.