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Calculus without limits

Hyperreal numbers: infinities and infinitesimals - "In 1976, Jerome Keisler, a student of the famous logician Tarski, published this elementary textbook that teaches calculus using hyperreal numbers. Now it's free, with a Creative Commons copyright!" (pdf—25mb :) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 17, 2014 - 28 comments

(watch very closely for removal of this title)

Radical Librarianship: how ninja librarians are ensuring patrons' electronic privacy [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 15, 2014 - 38 comments

Very, very, very low graphical settings

Skyrim optimized for a netbook changes the look of the game to something completely strange and different. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Sep 9, 2014 - 31 comments

"I AM ____ LOCKED"

Tony Zhou (previously) has created another great video essay on filmmaking techniques: "A brief look at texting and the internet in film" (also previously).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Aug 17, 2014 - 26 comments

An illustrated guide to the worst computer viruses in history

Computer Virus Catalog (NSFW) shows artists' renditions of famous computer viruses.
posted by codacorolla on Jul 22, 2014 - 8 comments

Evolution of the PC, 2004-2014

A Decade of Computer Design [SL-Engadget]
posted by modernnomad on Jul 5, 2014 - 62 comments

The Machine

HP scaling memristor and photonic computing: "the device is essentially remembering 1s or 0s depending on which state it is in, multiplying its storage capacity. HP can build these chips with traditional semiconductor equipment and expects to be able to pack unprecedented amounts of memory—enough to store huge databases of pictures, files, and data—into a computer. In theory, that would remove the need for a conventional slow disk/fast memory system. With the Machine's main chips sitting on motherboards right next to the memristors, they can access any needed information almost instantly..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 16, 2014 - 66 comments

Supercomputer fools Kryton from Red Dwarf

A supercomputer has fooled judges a third of the time that it is a 13 year old Russian schoolboy named Eugene Goostman.
posted by 0bvious on Jun 8, 2014 - 65 comments

Where we're going we don't need Rhodes

The Back to the Future theme, played by disk drives.
posted by nthdegx on May 22, 2014 - 16 comments

Everything is broken

Everything is broken Next time you think your grandma is uncool, give her credit for her time helping dangerous Russian criminals extort money from offshore casinos with DDoS attacks.
Quinn Norton [previously] breaks down the reasons why computers are so hackable by exploring the realities of how software is made and used.
posted by dobie on May 21, 2014 - 65 comments

10 PRINT "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" 20 GOTO PARTY

"At 4 a.m. on May 1, 1964, Dartmouth professor John Kemeny and a student programmer simultaneously typed RUN on neighboring terminals. When they both got back answers to their simple programs, time-sharing and BASIC were born." This post from the '60s at 50 blog about BASIC's 50th Birthday/Anniversary has several good historical links (including Dartmouth's Anniversary Celebration, which started about 15 hours early), but as for recognition by 'today's media', the 'Guarniad' may be best, with memories of a half-dozen veteran programmers and developers, and Jack Schofield, their "computer editor" (isn't that job title obsolete?), wondering if Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" may have been inspired by the computer language. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on May 1, 2014 - 57 comments

MetaFilter​FrontPage​BlogPost​TitleContent​String

Two of these Java class names from the Spring framework are made up. One of them is real. Can you guess the real one?
posted by schmod on Apr 18, 2014 - 60 comments

1.4 million chips and 5,000 Raspberry Pis

Dave Carlson runs North America's largest (known) Bitcoin mining operation, taking 10% to 20% all bitcoins made. It was reputed to be mining $8 million dollars a month during the peak prices a few months ago. The operation takes up two warehouses (video) and apparently Carlson has special deals on bulk electricity, near Columbia River hydro-power in Eastern Washington. Carlson partnered with a shadowy Ukrainian known only by his handle "Bitfury" who designed a custom ASIC chip controlled by a Raspberry Pi, "he taught himself microprocessor engineering and designed his chip by hand at his kitchen table".
posted by stbalbach on Apr 2, 2014 - 214 comments

Internet Archive Digital Residencies

Each week, the Internet Archive's tumblr account is completely transformed by a digital resident along a theme of their choosing. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2014 - 3 comments

Computer History According to Law & Order

Artist Jeff Thompson received a Rhizome commission in 2012 for his project Computers on Law & Order, for which he watched every episode of the long-running television series and took screenshots of all the computers. Thompson will present an illustrated lecture based on the project this Saturday, Feb 1 at 4pm at the Museum of the Moving Image, followed by a discussion with Law & Order graphic designer Kevin Raper. In this article, he shares some of his findings.
posted by infini on Feb 1, 2014 - 26 comments

i heard you like plotter videos

Mesmerizing: Aston Martin DB9, Space Shuttle, harmonic, Tutankhamun, locomotive, Marilyn(-esque). Slow: Art Plotter, Teapot, big! burny! mighty! Home-made: Rostock, DVD drive, with lasers!, old scanner, Lego, mug, whiteboard. Art Projects: Hektor, Pedro & Sybil, sand plotter, Paul, XY, PolarGraph.
posted by scruss on Jan 27, 2014 - 19 comments

Ants with dead-end vision, backtracking capabilities

I’m trying to build a jigsaw puzzle. I wish I could show you what it will be, but the picture isn’t on the box. But I can show you some of the pieces that snapped into place this year, and try to share a context for why they mattered so much to me.
Bret Victor discusses scientific thinking and computing from a deeply humane perspective through the eyes of Douglas Engelbart, Alan key and other great thinkers of our time.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jan 7, 2014 - 30 comments

Fixing Windows 8

Wow! Microsoft is thinking about bringing back the Start Menu and Modern apps on the Desktop. This is perfect timing! Here you’ll why it’s a good idea and how they should do it.
posted by Artw on Dec 12, 2013 - 174 comments

Twenty Years of Ultra-Violence

Twenty years ago tonight, id Software uploaded Doom to an FTP server at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completely changed the video gaming industry. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Dec 9, 2013 - 92 comments

Home James, and Don’t Spare the Horses

Auto Correct — Has the self-driving car at last arrived? From The New Yorker, November 25, 2013.
posted by cenoxo on Nov 18, 2013 - 173 comments

Science Journalism Award winners

2013 Science Journalism Award winners from the American Association for the Advancement of Science: [via Romenesko] [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Nov 6, 2013 - 4 comments

The First Botnet, 25 Years Ago Today

How a grad student trying to build the first botnet brought the Internet to its knees. via
posted by nevercalm on Nov 3, 2013 - 7 comments

Automation turns us from actors into observers

Nicholas Carr's latest article for The Atlantic posits that automation presents risks, specifically of losing skill and talent. "The lack of awareness and the degradation of know-how raise the odds that when something goes wrong, the operator will react ineptly. The assumption that the human will be the weakest link in the system becomes self-fulfilling."
posted by Athanassiel on Nov 2, 2013 - 92 comments

The dawn of an era, available and emulated in your browser to play.

A few months ago there was a list of links to classic video game emulators posted. Very recently, I'm pleased to report, those links all came true. The Internet Archive bespoke upon aforementioned consoles, computers, and mileposts on our way to the tech utopia of today, (seriously, where's my flying car?) and they asked us to do something: Imagine every computer that ever existed, literally, in your browser. And it was so. I have absolutely no affiliation with jscott, btw. Thought I should disclose that.
posted by jdaura on Oct 25, 2013 - 37 comments

High frequency networking

In New York, there are at least six data centers you need to collocate in to be competitive in equities. An in-depth look at the insanity behind modern high-frequency trading, where the speed of light is the only limit.
posted by bitmage on Oct 18, 2013 - 63 comments

Inside the fall of BlackBerry

Inside the fall of BlackBerry: How the smartphone inventor failed to adapt. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Sep 29, 2013 - 108 comments

Breakthrough: The World’s First Carbon Nanotube Computer

"It’s only got 178 transistors, but it’s an important proof-of-concept that’s poised to keep Moore’s Law right on track. The breakthrough, in which a basic computer was powered by microscopic chains of carbon atoms, means we may have finally found a viable alternative to silicon chips."
posted by marienbad on Sep 28, 2013 - 27 comments

Well, It Was Time For Skeuomorphism To Die

What should you know about the newly released iOS 7: How to find Spotlight search (aka swipe right to search), a few tricks you should know, 12 new and hidden settings, a ridiculously thorough review, an exhaustive list of the new features and reasons why should and shouldn't update right now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 19, 2013 - 234 comments

Hello World Quiz

Guess the programming language by "Hello World" snippet.
posted by Artw on Sep 11, 2013 - 62 comments

What is Computer Literacy?

People spend more time on computers than ever before, but Marc Scott, a computer teacher and writer for Coding 2 Learn, says computer literacy is at an all time low.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia on Aug 9, 2013 - 162 comments

David Bradley, IBM engineer, and father of the three-finger salute

David Bradley is an engineer, one of the 12 strategists who worked around the clock to hammer out a plan for hardware, software, manufacturing setup and sales strategy for the first IBM PC from 1980-1981. At that time, Bradley and others were tired of wasting time rebooting the system without powering it down. So, one day he had something like "write keyboard shortcut to reboot system" on list of things to do, and Control-Alt-Delete was created. Years later, he said "I may have invented it, but I think Bill made it famous." (YouTube) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 8, 2013 - 21 comments

Lucy Kellaway's 'History of Office Life'

A series of BBC News Magazine articles on the office as workplace: (i) How the office was invented; (ii) The ancient Chinese exam that inspired modern job recruitment (previously); (iii) The invention of the career ladder; (iv) The arrival of women in the office; (v) Do we still need the telephone?; (vi) Are there too many managers?; (vii) The era of the sexually charged office; (viii) The decline of privacy in open-plan offices; (ix) How the computer changed the office forever and (x) Why did offices become like the home?—by columnist Lucy Kellaway. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Aug 2, 2013 - 22 comments

"They didn't know what they were doing, so they tried everything"

"The Future of Programming" by Bret Victor, July 9, 1973.
posted by mrgrimm on Jul 31, 2013 - 28 comments

Cortex considers this list worthless without Rogue

Professor Matthew Kirschenbaum, as part of his larger interest in the problem of software preservation, asks the provocative question What are the 10 most influential software programs of all time?
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 30, 2013 - 93 comments

4. A robot must not scalp restaurant reservations

If you find it impossible to make restaurant reservations online it might be because you're competing against bots. A developer explains how it works and just how common it might be in San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jul 25, 2013 - 65 comments

Doug Engelbart has died

Reports abound that Douglas Engelbart most famous for creating the computer mouse and for demoing much of what we take for granted in desktop computing in 1968's Mother of All Demos (YT), died last night at age 88. [more inside]
posted by artlung on Jul 3, 2013 - 68 comments

ILOVEYOU & other trips down viral memory lane

Relive techno fears of yore ... malware aficionado Daniel White collects vintage computer viruses, infects his machines and records the results. See more examples at his YouTube channel.
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 30, 2013 - 22 comments

Apple's Folly

The story of the Pippin game console
posted by Artw on Jun 11, 2013 - 53 comments

Маша и Медведь

Bear has retired from the circus to the Russian woods and now just wants to be left alone to sleep, or pursue his hobbies, or chase after Lady Bear. Unfortunately he has been targeted by Masha, the six-year-old terror of the forest, as her Very Best Friend. Their adventures are chronicled in the computer-animated Russian cartoon series Masha And The Bear. (Make sure to watch past the 2D opening. Although dialogue is in Russian, you don't have to speak it to enjoy these. Click through for episode titles and notes.) 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31 - 32 [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 7, 2013 - 26 comments

"Now do it on one foot"

Man with virtual reality headset films his friends trying it out for the first time. Hijinx ensue.
posted by MegoSteve on May 9, 2013 - 26 comments

"From where I sit it's a great adventure and an unending mystery."

"I am a master at sullying my own name and, all things considered, being associated with the worst software on the planet ranks way down the pole." John McAfee (previously) answers questions about his latest shenanigans
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 8, 2013 - 26 comments

Remembered, NeXT

As the roots of Apple's OS X, NeXT is fairly well known. Have you actually seen one, though?
posted by gilrain on May 3, 2013 - 116 comments

Computers replace grad students

A new software program grades essay answers automatically. While not the first to do so, the program released by EdX is expected to gain more traction as it will be used to give instant feedback for the non-profit's free online courses offered by top universities. Critics have already found ways to game the system.
posted by DoubleLune on Apr 4, 2013 - 69 comments

This looks like a job for...

SUPERHERO.JS - Creating, testing and maintaining a large JavaScript code base is not easy — especially since great resources on how to do this are hard to find. This page is a collection of the best articles, videos and presentations we've found on the topic.
posted by Artw on Mar 22, 2013 - 10 comments

Student Data to Be Legally Given (and then Sold) to Capitalist Ventures

via Reuters A joint venture sponsored in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a vast student database including personal information on students grades K through 12 will be shared with corporations selling "personalized" educational software. Information can include social security numbers, presence of learning disabliities, or anything else school officials choose to share with any companies involved in this venture.
posted by DMelanogaster on Mar 6, 2013 - 88 comments

Textverarbeitung

Bomber, by Len Deighton - the first novel ever written on a word processor.
posted by Artw on Mar 2, 2013 - 18 comments

The archaeology of Photoshop

But like anything, the original Photoshop was a product of its time. Knoll’s foundations grew to support functionality he’d never imagined; as the features piled on, more staff was added. What started as mostly a photography tool turned quickly into a graphic design powerhouse. And when a port to Windows became inevitable, things started to really get messy.

Photoshop is a city for everyone: how Adobe endlessly rebuilds its classic app.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Feb 13, 2013 - 118 comments

Lotus 1-2-3 is 30 years old.

Lotus 1-2-3 is 30 years old.
posted by chunking express on Jan 30, 2013 - 41 comments

Programmer Swears at Computer, Computer Swears Back

IBM's supercomputer Watson (previously) (and more previously) best known for crushing puny humans on the game show Jeopardy, recently began using profanity after researchers - attempting to teach it more nuanced language styles - had Watson memorize the Urban Dictionary. When the adolescent computer began responding to its progenitors' questions with phrases like "that's bulls**t" the irate programmers scrubbed its memory of the foul language. No word yet on whether the supercomputer has been grounded or not.
posted by wolfdreams01 on Jan 14, 2013 - 66 comments

Is the Steam Box here?

Valve and Xi3 team up to bring the Piston to CES.
posted by Artw on Jan 8, 2013 - 112 comments

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