Rediscovering WWII's female "computers"
. While researching a documentary in Philadelphia, filmmaker LeAnn Erickson came across two women with a story she'd never heard before: thousands of women with advanced mathematical skills employed as "computers", working day and night during WWII to supply soldiers in the field with precise ballistics algorithms. Some of those women also went on to program ENIAC
, the first general-purpose computer (previously
). Erickson turned their stories into Top Secret Rosies
, a documentary released to theaters last year and to DVD this month. One of those programmers, Betty Jean Jennings Bartik, spoke at length
to the Computing History Museum in 2008. [youtube, 1:07:19] [via
posted by Errant
on Feb 8, 2011 -
I've never really had a clear understanding of how mechanical computing worked, until today when I watched these US Navy training films from 1953. Part 1
focuses on shafts, gears, cams and differentials. Part 2
explains mechanical component solvers, integrators and multipliers. More information about ship gun fire-control systems here
posted by drmanhattan
on Feb 14, 2010 -
Bush skeptical of ballistic fingerprinting.
This article talks about Bush's (and the NRA's) reluctance to set up a national ballistic fingerprinting system to trace bullets back to the guns which fired them. Some feel this technology could be helpful in finding the DC sniper. Apparently, legislation to set up this system has been in the works for about 2 years, but this is the first I've heard of it. Any MeFi people know more about this?
posted by botono9
on Oct 16, 2002 -
Washington, D.C. Killing Linked To At Least Three Of The Montgomery County, Maryland Shootings The ballistics tests reported last night established the connection between the District shooting [Thursday night]and three of the Thursday morning attacks in Montgomery.
and in the same story:
Man Tied to Militia Groups Sought for Questioning, N.C. Police Say . . . The Raleigh News & Observer said a bulletin from the ATF said the man had once lived in North Carolina and had been affiliated with militia and white supremacist groups.
I can't find out why
the authorities want to talk to this man, just that he isn't a "suspect" yet, but is wanted for questioning.
posted by Corky
on Oct 5, 2002 -