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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
Think you're in full control of your computer?
Intel has just quietly added one of the necessary components of Microsoft's (and the TCG/TCPA's)
, 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
posted by id
on May 28, 2005 -
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 -
The future is now on Amazon.com: a 10 Ghz processor, 30 Terabyte storage, .14 pound wonder of the world.
Some customer reviews:
"... although Windows still crashes, the machine is so fast it crashes before you even boot it up. So by the time you booted, you've already crashed and rebooted and didn't know what happened. "
"This thing is fast. Bad fast! I can see space and time warping, bending and "melting" around the vicinity of this machine when I run Microsoft Werd. Eventually a strange mini-black hole will open up and Steve Jobs' face will appear. He tells me lots of secrets about the future."
posted by zardoz
on Mar 23, 2005 -
A clickable genealogy
charting the lineage of visual interactive computing systems and user interfaces, by Bruce Damer. Some quirky/broken links, but plenty of interesting stuff there, too.
posted by carter
on Mar 2, 2005 -
Typing...on a screen!
Text (and cover image) of a 1973 issue of Radio-Electronics mag, showing a new fangled way of typing with a TV screen. I like how the mag is billed as "for MEN with ideas in electronics." Heh...
posted by braun_richard
on Feb 28, 2005 -
The World Community Grid
is a project to use spare CPU cycles to help the world. The Grid is Windows only, but Folding@Home
is a cross-platform way to spend your extra CPU cycles, in an effortless (for you) quest to cure disease. And of course there's the original donated cycle project, SETI@home
posted by mosch
on Dec 31, 2004 -
Shake it, don't break it!
Linked article reviews a few laptops that can really take a beating.
Hey, I adore my sexy, sleek Sony Vaio, but I have to admit, if I ever dropped it, I'd have a really big problem.
(This article is from April, so I did search of MeFi and there were no returns, so enjoy!)
posted by erratic frog
on Sep 11, 2004 -
--really interesting group project in and around Delhi, bringing young people together via "Compughars" (fully-equipped media centers in their neighborhoods). Located in LNJP Basti (an illegal neighborhood) in Delhi, and Ambedkar Nagar (a resettlement colony) at Dakshinpuri in south Delhi, and cyberspace, and created by ANKUR - Society for Alternatives in Education (an NGO) with Sarai,
the New Media & Urban Culture Programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, they've created everything from texts, collages, posters, animations, and publications, to videos, and large-scale installations. Don't miss by lanes
--collected excerpts of some of the kids' personal and public diaries (pdfs), and
(55-page pdf) and the animated gifs.
posted by amberglow
on Aug 20, 2004 -