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Linux in '08

Is the next President of the United States running Linux? The Democrats love open source and the Republicans love Microsoft.
posted by caddis on Jul 5, 2007 - 41 comments

5. ColdFusion

The top 10 dead (or dying) computer skills. "Obsolescence is a relative -- not absolute -- term in the world of technology."
posted by caddis on Jun 25, 2007 - 66 comments

Best hack ever.

We've all seen the multitouch interfaces of Jeff Han, Apple, Tactiva, and Microsoft. Now, fellow mefite you brings us the ultimate guerrilla hack - the $2 multitouch pad. [via mefi projects]
posted by Pastabagel on Jun 13, 2007 - 28 comments

Do modern computers make us more productive?

1986 Mac Plus vs. 2007 AMD Dual Core "When we compare strictly common, everyday, basic user tasks between the Mac Plus and the AMD we find remarkable similarities in overall speed, thus it can be stated that for the majority of simple office uses, the massive advances in technology in the past two decades have brought zero advance in productivity." Factor in the internet, and the technological advances have brought me negative productivity.
posted by jdroth on May 31, 2007 - 77 comments

Victim of The Brain

Victim of the Brain A 'docudrama' about Godel, Escher and Bach author, Douglas Hofstadter, and philosopher Dan Dennett produced in 1988. I'm not sure how to describe it, other than incredibly strange and fascinating.
posted by empath on Apr 11, 2007 - 19 comments

CRAYON!

Before RSS and personalized aggregators such as Personalized Google and NetVibes, there was CRAYON, a service that allowed you to "CReAte Your Own Newspaper" by providing a page with links to chosen sources. [mi]
posted by divabat on Mar 28, 2007 - 11 comments

VIRTUAL REALITY Hi-tech Embraced by Manufacturers & Therapists

VIRTUAL REALITY Hi-tech Being Embraced by Manufacturers & Therapists
Long a darling of the military, aviation and video-game industries, virtual reality is being embraced by more businesses as the falling cost of computer power makes it more affordable. Manufacturers of farm equipment, car seats, mufflers and other products have joined automakers and aircraft manufacturers in using the technology to speed up and improve product design, train workers and configure factories and stores.
THERAPY: Overcoming trauma through virtual reality
posted by Bodyguard on Jan 14, 2007 - 5 comments

The Red Hill Guide to Computer Hardware

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.
posted by loquacious on Jan 6, 2007 - 40 comments

When 1,000 words were enough

Interviews with some early computer people at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
posted by bigbigdog on Jan 1, 2007 - 5 comments

"The first comment is El-Oh-El-exclamation mark-exclamation mark-one-exclamation mark."

Blogs by Phone - for when your family and friends have trouble keeping up with your blog posts. (YouTube video from SixApart)
posted by divabat on Dec 22, 2006 - 23 comments

Circuit Bending a PC

Circuit bending a personal computer. (Server slow? Mirror 1 Mirror 2) (more inside)
posted by loquacious on Nov 8, 2006 - 18 comments

PLOrk: Yet more music made with computers.

PLOrk is the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, a group of students each wielding a laptop synthesizing multiple instruments. PLOrk makes recording of concerts and on-air performances available online.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Sep 16, 2006 - 3 comments

George: I've got rats in my tail pipe.

Meet George -- 39, single, quirky sense of humour, looking for friends to chat with online. Last year, he won the Loebner Prize, to bots who can most successfully pass the Turing Test. More here from BBC. How long before we have our own Mefibots?
posted by amberglow on Sep 16, 2006 - 49 comments

Mainframe - The Art of the Sale

Mainframe - The Art of the Sale. Lesson 1, Lesson 2, Lesson 3. Brought to you by 360comedy. It helps to know what a mainframe is, but is not absolutely essential. Enjoy! (Post contains YouTube links)
posted by purephase on Sep 11, 2006 - 5 comments

This is the internet upside down

They'll never piggyback on your wireless again Your router makes the computer look funny. (via MeTa)
posted by klangklangston on Aug 10, 2006 - 62 comments

Empathic Painting

Don't worry. The painting understands. :)
posted by Tlogmer on Aug 5, 2006 - 8 comments

Buy now, pay later.

FlexGo™. Microsoft targets emerging markets with pay as you go and subscription models.
posted by davehat on Jun 29, 2006 - 13 comments

File it, pile it.

BumpTop is based on the long standing idea of piles as a desktop use metaphor, this seems to bring it to life at last. Will this sort out your desktop?
posted by marvin on Jun 21, 2006 - 37 comments

In the olden days, before 1984, not very many people used computers....

Apple Computer 1984 Newsweek Advertising Insert :: a complete scan of Apple's 16-page advertising insert in Newsweek magazine, introducing the new and revolutionary Macintosh computer.
posted by anastasiav on Apr 26, 2006 - 55 comments

ARPAnet

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)
posted by loquacious on Mar 19, 2006 - 30 comments

Well I've got this guitar and I've learned how to make it chat

The Intel-Fender Concept Telecaster Guitar, or Intelecaster, is exactly what you think.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 3, 2006 - 62 comments

2006 Google Earth Census

Seen anyone on Google Earth lately?
posted by divabat on Feb 17, 2006 - 33 comments

You can tell it's futuristic by the techno soundtrack

Multiple-contact sensitive touchscreen doing neat things [Quicktime video]
posted by Pseudoephedrine on Feb 8, 2006 - 18 comments

Privacy and the need or right to know

NSA,FISA, and Privacy It is of course the president who finally approves of actions that may or may not be deemed legal but before 9/11, this is what he had been advised to consider "The largest U.S. spy agency warned the incoming Bush administration in its "Transition 2001" report that the Information Age required rethinking the policies and authorities that kept the National Security Agency in compliance with the Constitution's 4th Amendment prohibition on "unreasonable searches and seizures" without warrant and "probable cause," according to an updated briefing book of declassified NSA documents posted today on the World Wide Web. If this is the sort of reading you enjoy, then by all means dig about here: But then Windows allowed NSA to have a sure access to your machine . And by now we all know that Google will fight the government on making its search data base available in order to protect your privacy.(Reality: to protect Google stuff). And if you worry about search engines tracking you and making data available, then here is a workaround
posted by Postroad on Jan 20, 2006 - 16 comments

Computer Industry News

Dell to partner with AMD.
posted by boo_radley on Jan 10, 2006 - 28 comments

Soda Constructor

Sodaconstructor. "Looking at the fluid, lifelike way these creatures walk and roll and slink across the screen you might think that there must be some very complicated stuff going on behind the scenes. well fear not, it's actually very simple. it only looks complicated because lots of simple bits are working together." Be sure to stop at the sodazoo to see others' creations.
posted by AstroGuy on Jan 9, 2006 - 27 comments

Each member of staff was trained by way of a compulsory three-hour training session.

Computerized physician system linked with increase in child mortality In an effort to reduce medical errors and mortality a children's hospital implemented a commercial physician order entry (CPOE) system.
After the system had gone live, analysis over an 18-month period revealed an unexpected increase in mortality from 2.80% to 6.57% (about one extra death per month)
It seems the big mistake was Changing the Systems of Work to suit the computer system, rather than fixing the technology to meet the needs of a specialist work area (intensive care).
posted by Lanark on Dec 20, 2005 - 13 comments

The concept of the Transhuman: human, the self, consciousness and their effects on the law

The first Transhuman Conference On the Law of Transhuman Persons: Whether or not you believe humans are set to evolve into gods, or AI is destined to achieve self-awareness the idea of the Transhuman is a thought provoking concept. Philosophers have debated the nature of the self, of the human for millennia. Is it time to start drafting new laws to govern all possible sentient beings on this planet? or is it all just a science of fiction? a comfortable humanist illusion?
posted by 0bvious on Dec 13, 2005 - 37 comments

Music by computers

The servers are alive with the sound of music. Wolfram Tones takes patterns found out in the computer universe and converts them to completely original musical scores (which still may sound familiar, weirdly enough). Visitors to the site can then tweak styles, instrumentation and pitch (Phyrigian hexatonic, anyone?). Compositions can be saved, e-mailed or downloaded to your cellphone. Via.
posted by Sully6 on Dec 9, 2005 - 14 comments

Greetings, Professor Falken.

The Use of Computers in Movies. High-tech computers, such as those used by NASA, the CIA, or some such governmental institution, will have easy to understand graphical interfaces. Those that don't, have incredibly powerful text-based command shells that can correctly understand and execute commands typed in plain English.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Oct 23, 2005 - 61 comments

Herding Zombies

Interesting "New Yorker" article about online extortion via DDoS attacks. Call me naive and underinformed, but I had little understanding of how this works. "In the most common scenario, the bots surreptitiously connect hundreds, or thousands, of zombies to a channel in a chat room. The process is called “herding,” and a herd of zombies is called a botnet."
posted by dersins on Oct 7, 2005 - 34 comments

Kids + Computers = ???

Are computers counterproductive to a child's development? Wittenberg University education professor and former computer teacher Lowell Monke thinks so, and has written a provocative essay arguing that, among other things, computers render children "less animated and less capable of appreciating what it means to be alive, what it means to belong in the world as a biological, social being," and "teach children a manipulative way of engaging the world.” His polemic is partially supported by evidence (.pdf academic paper; BBC gloss here) indicating that, above a certain threshold, computer use is correlated with lower test scores. The latest salvo in the continuing debate over education and the culture of simulation.
posted by googly on Oct 5, 2005 - 46 comments

Faberge Mice

Because everybody needs a beautiful mouse.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy on Sep 19, 2005 - 18 comments

LEGO Case mod

LEGO case mod.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Sep 9, 2005 - 19 comments

Intelligent Design by Trial and Error

A more efficient microbe genome. A more efficient sorting algorithm. A more efficient keyboard layout.
posted by fatllama on Aug 26, 2005 - 8 comments

Euler? I never even met her!

Project Euler is a running contest of programming challenges to hone your algorithm skills. "Each problem is designed according to a 'one-minute rule', which means that although it may take several hours to design a successful algorithm with more difficult problems, an efficient implementation will allow a solution to be obtained on a modestly powered computer in less than one minute."
posted by Wolfdog on Aug 20, 2005 - 11 comments

The Girls of '64

Girls of '64... preserving the sexy side of the C64. (NSFW)
posted by Ljubljana on Aug 9, 2005 - 11 comments

Top Billing

Inventor of CTRL-ALT-DEL ridicules Bill Gates. "'I may have invented CTRL-ALT-DEL, but Bill Gates made it famous". Video clip of the episode, via TUAW, who say "The funniest part is the expression, or lack thereof, on the face of Bill."
posted by nthdegx on Jul 28, 2005 - 50 comments

crave it

LCD computer keyboard
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jul 14, 2005 - 57 comments

Public computers get security help

Securing public computers isn't easy, but a Microsoft kit to do that may also help families share home computers. If you share a Windows XP Home or Professional computer with other users, particularly, children, or family members, you may find the Shared Computer Toolkit beta an interesting idea. But caveat emptor: this is free "beta" software, has a spooky "validation" process to confirm your copy of Windows is "genuine," and installation is not for the faint of heart. Then again, neither is re-installing Windows after a friend/relative/SO inadvertently trashes your computer.
posted by paulsc on Jul 7, 2005 - 18 comments

EDSAC/USER FIRST (DIAL 0/1)

EDSAC - home of the first videogame, OXO.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jun 19, 2005 - 5 comments

All your content are belong to us

Think you're in full control of your computer? Think again. Intel has just quietly added one of the necessary components of Microsoft's (and the TCG/TCPA's) DRM technology, Palladium, to the PC platform. Some say this is a move against rampant Chinese software piracy, others think it's a power grab by the content producers. Left unchecked, content and software producers will have the final say in how you use your computer, fair use be damned.
posted by id on May 28, 2005 - 55 comments

zaptastic

A widget of mass destruction (warning: clicking this link will install a widget) may be the answer to all those who have been fervently wishing or imagining that Mac users will soon experience the joys of viruses and worms... if, that is, you have taken the leap of faith to upgrade to OS X Tiger and can't get enough of Dashboard (last 2 are Quicktime video links). Konfabulator was the precursor -- there is a Windows version available (shareware).
posted by indices on May 8, 2005 - 49 comments

A history of the GUI

A history of the GUI from the 1930s through the 90s. Also see Vannevar Bush's visionary 1945 essay As we May Think, which helped to set the wheels in motion. (Check out the Ars Technica discussion for good related links and commentary.) (via The Sideshow)
posted by madamjujujive on May 7, 2005 - 15 comments

What the Dormouse Said

California Dreaming: A True Story of Computers, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll (Reg. req'd) Engineers can be so cute. In the early 1960's, Myron Stolaroff, an employee of the tape recorder manufacturer Ampex, decided to prove the value of consuming LSD. So he set up the International Foundation for Advanced Study and went about his project in classic methodical fashion.

But John Markoff, a senior writer for The New York Times who covers technology, makes a convincing case that for the swarming ubergeeks assembling in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960's, approaching drugs as they might any other potentially helpful tool or device - from a soldering iron to a computer chip - was only natural. The goals were broad in the 60's: the world would be remade, the natural order of things reconfigured, human potential amplified to infinity. Anything that could help was to be cherished, studied and improved.

Judging by the record presented in What the Dormouse Said, it is indisputable that many of the engineers and programmers who contributed to the birth of personal computing were fans of LSD, draft resisters, commune sympathizers and, to put it bluntly, long-haired hippie freaks.
posted by gleenyc on May 7, 2005 - 32 comments

Singularity

According to the developmental spiral we are heading towards an unfathomable point in time known as singularity. Could the futurists and science fiction writers such as Vernon Vinge be right?
posted by ttopher on May 6, 2005 - 57 comments

Bridging the gender gap in computer gaming.

Bridging the gender gap in computer gaming. Computer games often portray women as victims or prizes . But things seem to be changing. Some see hope in the growing number of games where women play the leading character, especially when the game (NSFW) completely focuses on the character herself. Change, however, may be more apparent than real. If this is real change, it may reduce gender drift (.pdf) in gaming. Women are getting out of the closet (discussed here). Their motto: They grow stronger !
posted by joaovc on Apr 29, 2005 - 44 comments

Future Computer?

Future Computer: Atoms Packed in an 'Egg Carton' of Light?
posted by dfowler on Apr 29, 2005 - 11 comments

Here we go again

Adobe announces new round of design applications. Inspring groans from designers everywhere who just got used to the CS apps, Adobe announced today CS2, 18 months after the last version. Included in the updates are Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Golive and a new component called Bridge. The only hitch in the planned obsolescence model is that all the applications will now require product activation, thereby inspiring crackers everywhere to get busy.
posted by jeremias on Apr 4, 2005 - 57 comments

Mac OS X viruses

Putting his money where his mouth is regarding the recent Symantec (Norton Utilities, Anti-Virus etc.) Mac OS X virus claims...? Seems not to be, but the fellow who was sponsoring the $25,000 reward has a, shall we say, checkered past. Mac users are still waiting for the first real attack. I could live without it, but this particular religious war (however insane and inane it can get) does liven up our computing experience. If the pop-unders at MacDailyNews get around your browser's pop-up blocker, go here.
posted by indices on Mar 26, 2005 - 14 comments

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