152 posts tagged with computing.
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So, would your holiness care to change her password?

The holiday season isn't always relaxing for those in the computing security field. 2011's Chaos Communication Congress brought many gifts in the form of vulnerability disclosures, including: malicious documents that infect HP printers, remote control vulnerabilities in prison lock systems, and denial-of-service attacks against Web servers written in just about every scripting language.
posted by spitefulcrow on Jan 1, 2012 - 32 comments

2061

On November 22, 2011, TEDxBrussels held an all day event whose theme was: "A Day in the Deep Future." Speakers were asked to try and contemplate what life will be like for mankind in 50 years. Overview. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 28, 2011 - 29 comments

Before and After Science

The History and Future of Computing an interactive timeline from the New York Times which crowdsources predictions. [more inside]
posted by gwint on Dec 11, 2011 - 22 comments

Killing techies, the Malaysian way

Malaysia is proposing a Computing Professionals Bill, based on the Registration of Engineers Act [.PDF] which makes it mandatory for all practicing "computing professionals" to be registered with a government body. Dealing in the IT industry, including sending “proposals, plans, designs, drawings, schemes, reports, studies or others to be determined by the Board to any person or authority in Malaysia” without being registered will incur a fine not exceeding RM20,000 (~US$6380) or 6 months in jail. Malaysian IT professionals and geeks are up in arms, and similarities have been drawn to Nigeria's law on computing professionals.
posted by divabat on Dec 8, 2011 - 26 comments

A leaking woodpecker

Security researchers at North Carolina State University led by Xuxian Jiang (who had previously discovered 12 malicious Android applications sold through Google's Android Market) have uncovered holes in how the permissions-based security model is enforced on numerous Android devices. Called "leaks", these vulnerabilities allow new and existing malicious applications to eavesdrop on calls, track the user's location, install applications, send SMS messages, delete data from the device, and more. (via)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 5, 2011 - 30 comments

Occupy Flash

Occupy Flash - The movement to rid the world of the Flash Player plugin [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 21, 2011 - 143 comments

R-via-REST

OpenCPU provides a RESTful interface to the popular open-source statistical package R, enabling the user to perform calculations and create publication-quality or web-embeddable visualizations via standard web requests.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 10, 2011 - 17 comments

Logging out of Facebook is not enough

Logging out of Facebook is not enough - Nik Cubrilovic demonstrates how, even after logging out, Facebook tracks every page you visit on sites that integrate Facebook services [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 27, 2011 - 123 comments

Sacred Electronics

Father Roberto Busa, whose work to analyze and index the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas led to the foundation of the discipline now known as the digital humanities, has died at the age of 97.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Aug 10, 2011 - 11 comments

TermKit

Steven Wittens uses WebKit to rethink the UNIX terminal [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 19, 2011 - 208 comments

HIDs

Over the past 30 years, designer, writer and Principal Researcher for Microsoft Research Bill Buxton has collected input and interactive devices whose designs he found "interesting, useful or important. In the process, he has assembled a good collection of the history of pen computing, pointing devices, touch technologies, as well as an illustration of the nature of how new technologies emerge." This week, he unveiled his collection at the Computer-Human Interaction conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. An extensive gallery has been posted online with images and notes at The Buxton Collection. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 11, 2011 - 6 comments

Open Compute Project

Facebook's Open Compute Project aims to share with the public the social network's efficiency design improvements to its compute nodes. [ via ]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 7, 2011 - 11 comments

Finally you can afford to satisfy your lust for power

The Sinclair ZX81 is 30 years old today. The ZX81 was a hugely successful low-cost home computer produced by Sinclair Research and manufactured by Timex in Dundee, Scotland. The ZX81 came with 1 KB of on-board memory, for extra gaming power Sinclair produced a 16 KB add-on memory module and a thermal printer.
posted by Lanark on Mar 5, 2011 - 60 comments

Apple’s Tablet Computer History

Apple’s Tablet Computer History - A collection of beautiful prototype designs for some of Apple's early tablet computers from the 1980s and 90s, including the famed Newton [ related | via ]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 11, 2010 - 25 comments

Chasing Pirates: Inside Microsoft’s War Room

Chasing Pirates: Inside Microsoft’s War Room - From the special thread that Chinese factories counterfeit in mile-long spools that adorns software authenticity stickers, to near-perfect bootleg discs leaving microscopic evidence of their factory origins, to Mexican and Russian gangsters who are dealt with very carefully, the NYT covers Microsoft's multi-pronged, international war on piracy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 7, 2010 - 30 comments

Exact String Matching Algorithms

Exact String Matching Algorithms - Source code for Boyer-Moore, Horspool and other string-matching algorithms, along with visualizations of their operation
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 26, 2010 - 15 comments

Firesheep demonstrates how ineffective Web security is

“When it comes to user privacy, SSL is the elephant in the room.” Meet Firesheep: a Firefox plugin that sniffs out unencrypted HTTP sessions on your network segment and lets you impersonate any of the users found. Eric Butler unveiled it today at Toorcon 12, a San Diego conference on computing security, and it demonstrates what amounts to a gaping hole in the Web security model.
posted by spitefulcrow on Oct 24, 2010 - 67 comments

"[T]he most important decisions you make are not the things you do – but the things that you decide not to do."

"He’s a minimalist and constantly reducing things to their simplest level. It’s not simplistic. It’s simplified. Steve is a systems designer. He simplifies complexity." John Sculley On Steve Jobs, The Full Interview [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 15, 2010 - 82 comments

My dentist keeps telling me to FLOSS

Do you like manuals? Do you like Wikis? Do you like open source software? Check out FLOSS Manuals for wiki-fied manuals for popular and fun open source software, including PureData, Inkscape, Blender, Ardour, among others. Taking a page from programmers, the group endorses "book sprints", where creative writers, editors and artists work closely together to complete an online book in a short, intense burst of effort.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 1, 2010 - 6 comments

Meet Eater

Meet Meet Eater, a plant that sustains itself through Facebook interaction. This project was created by designer and artist Bashkim Isai as a university project to explore the idea of "affectionate computing" and currently sits at digital hub The Edge in Brisbane, Australia. Meet Eater has a good sense of humour, but also perhaps a drinking problem.
posted by divabat on Sep 16, 2010 - 8 comments

"Without the participation of Microsoft, these criminal cases against human rights defenders and journalists would simply not be able to occur"

Russia Uses Microsoft to Suppress Dissent - Adding to its long-running series on corruption and abuse in post-Communist Russia, the New York Times has reported on Russian authorities using the pretext of software piracy to seize computers from journalists and political dissidents critical of current policies. In a surprising twist, lawyers representing Microsoft have been found working with Russian police, despite reporters and NGOs providing evidence of legitimate software purchases. An official response to the NYT piece suggests impostors claim to represent Microsoft in Russia, and notes the company's offer of free software licenses to these and similar groups.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 12, 2010 - 25 comments

The Man Who Makes Your iPhone

The Man Who Makes Your iPhone - Bloomberg Businessweek profiles Terry Gou, the founder and chairman of Foxconn, the controversial manufacturer of consumer electronic devices for Apple, Sony, HP and Dell, among others.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 11, 2010 - 19 comments

How to operate the first digital computer.

Learn how to operate the world's first fully electronic digital computer in this helpful instructional video. No, not ENIAC - the Atanasoff Berry Computer. Here's an operator's manual. More information about the reconstruction.
posted by loquacious on Aug 13, 2010 - 24 comments

This is your brain on... a layer of bits?

The first massively parallel evolutionary circuit has been built. Brain-like computing on an organic molecular layer. I, for one... overlords... you know.
posted by cross_impact on Apr 27, 2010 - 42 comments

Read-Write-Erase

A Turing Machine [SLYT]. [more inside]
posted by daniel_charms on Apr 24, 2010 - 41 comments

Lifestreams

David Gelernter, professor of computer science, painter, neoconservative columnist, and unabomber victim, on rethinking the internet. The structure called a cyberstream or lifestream is better suited to the Internet than a conventional website because it shows information-in-motion, a rushing flow of fresh information instead of a stagnant pool.
posted by DZack on Apr 11, 2010 - 20 comments

The Secret Origin of Windows

The Secret Origin of Windows, recollections of the development and release of Windows 1.0 and 2.0 by its project manager Tandy Trower (via)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Mar 10, 2010 - 75 comments

The Rapture of the Nerds

Science Fiction writers Alastair Reynolds, Vernor Vinge, Karl Schroeder and MeFi's own Charles Stross discuss the Singularity - which, Stross cheekily points out, has been around the corner for a good 20 years.
posted by Artw on Feb 17, 2010 - 27 comments

The R Project for Statistical Computing

R is quickly becoming the programming language for data analysis and statistics. R (an implementation of S) is free, open-source, and has hundreds of packages available. You can use it on the command-line, through a GUI, or in your favorite text editor. Use it with Python, Perl, or Java. Sweave R code into LaTeX documents for reproducible research. [more inside]
posted by parudox on Feb 15, 2010 - 114 comments

Basic Mechanics in Fire Control Computers

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 - 28 comments

Roger Penrose is looking more credible

Quantum processes involved in photosynthesis? "[A]lgae and bacteria may have been performing quantum calculations at life-friendly temperatures for billions of years. The evidence comes from a study of how energy travels across the light-harvesting molecules involved in photosynthesis. The work has culminated this week in the extraordinary announcement that these molecules in a marine alga may exploit quantum processes at room temperature to transfer energy without loss. Physicists had previously ruled out quantum processes, arguing that they could not persist for long enough at such temperatures to achieve anything useful." (via mr)
posted by kliuless on Feb 10, 2010 - 43 comments

Loosening up locked-down corporate IT

Over on Slate, Farhad Manjoo writes that corporate IT ought to allow users more freedom in web browser selection and installation rights on their work computers. John C. Welch responds.
posted by porn in the woods on Sep 1, 2009 - 172 comments

Chain reaction

A year before his passing at the age of 102, LSD discoverer Albert Hofmann pens a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs (who had remarked publicly about his own use of the hallucinogenic as a creative factor) asking for Jobs' support for further research into the use of LSD in psychotherapy. In the remainder of the article, Ryan Grim touches briefly on the use of LSD by scientists and computer programmers who have transformed the world through novel discoveries and inventions.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 9, 2009 - 64 comments

Technomadics

Inspiration to do something with your holiday weekend: Steven K. Roberts is an interesting guy with a bit of a hobby problem. In 1983 his recumbent bike sported "only" a security system, lights, a CB radio and a state-of-the-art TRS80/100 laptop. Winnebikeo would eventually evolve into BEHEMOTH, the "Big Electronic Human-Energized Machine... Only Too Heavy". BEHEMOTH incorporated (amongst other things) HUD, cooling system, small Sun SPARCstation, HAM Radio, credit card verifier, bubblejet printer, hydraulic disk brakes... [more inside]
posted by Ogre Lawless on May 21, 2009 - 28 comments

Verlets fluttering in the wind

Cloth Physics Simulation
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 29, 2008 - 25 comments

shake shake shake

"The Quake-Catching Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world's largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers." The Economist's writeup notes that, since network communications are (sometimes) faster than the speed of sound in the earth's crust, a distributed network's observations of a temblor might reach a warning network before the quake itself reaches a traditional seismometer. [more inside]
posted by fantabulous timewaster on Sep 30, 2008 - 8 comments

Radiohead's House of Cards video

Radiohead's promo for their single House of Cards was "shot" using light and laser-based scanning systems rather than cameras, with data being generated in real-time. Includes video and making of, and you can even play around with a 3D visualization of Thom Yorke's head.
posted by hnnrs on Jul 14, 2008 - 109 comments

You got your E.coli in my pancakes and it's AWESOME

Cool: Scientists have genetically tweaked bacteria to create simple computers. Scary (probably unnecessarily): They're E.coli bacteria. Funny: The bacteria are able to solve the “Burnt Pancake Problem”. Money quote: “It’s kind of like that computer in ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. It’s been working on a problem so long that by the time it comes up with an answer, everybody forgot the question.”
posted by wendell on Jun 2, 2008 - 41 comments

Writer, musician, polymath

Stan Kelly-Bootle began his career as a member of the earliest wave of computer programmers, who wrote prolifically about a wide range of computing issues. Back in his home town though, he's probably best known for his contributions to a lexicon of local slang, Lern Yerself Scouse, and for his canonical and not-so-canonical contributions to the British folk repertoire. [more inside]
posted by PeterMcDermott on May 12, 2008 - 9 comments

“An Efficient Representation for Sparse Sets”

An Efficient Representation for Sparse Sets. Or, Using Uninitialized Memory for Fun and Profit [more inside]
posted by orthogonality on Mar 15, 2008 - 82 comments

The Algorithm: Idiom of Modern Science

The Algorithm: Idiom of Modern Science - an allegory told with iPods as Universal Machines.
posted by loquacious on Jan 19, 2008 - 42 comments

Core Memory

Photographer Mark Richard's very cool pictures of computing equipment: A visual survey of vintage computers. [via]
posted by ClanvidHorse on Jan 13, 2008 - 17 comments

of mice and men and women

Nine Ways to Make Your Mouse Roar l elegantly hand painted mouse l visual mouse software l Mouser: Operate your mouse with your keyboard [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Dec 29, 2007 - 12 comments

A Map of the Cat

Richard P. Feynman { Information Junkie PhD Atomic Bomber Professor/Lecturer on Physics + Mathematical Artist [DIY] + Nanotech Knowledgist 33.3% Nobel laureate + QEDynamic Speaker + Tiny Machinist + Challenger of Conclusions + Best-Selling WriterXBusted [outside Tuva] Star Trek TNG Shuttlecraft Pepsi Black/Blue U.S. Postage Stamp }
posted by Poolio on Sep 16, 2007 - 51 comments

The future is not clean and antiseptic

Slime molds may control our future computers and robots, and fungi may protect us in outer space.
posted by bad grammar on Jun 16, 2007 - 25 comments

Playing with my Wang (heh heh)

The Wang Freestyle (warning: Google Video; part one of video). A curious footnote in the history of computing that took the desktop metaphor to new levels back in 1988. Featured sampled sound, high-res graphics, and the ability to stack documents on top of each other, the last of which is due in a certain big cat operating system later this year. Watch for how slow the system is, and the subsequent magician-like distraction techniques used by the presenter to avoid people noticing.
posted by humblepigeon on Jun 14, 2007 - 26 comments

Donald Knuth, Computing's Philosopher King

“I wanted to try to capture the intelligence of the design, not just the outcome of the design.” “In 1977, [Donald] Knuth halted research on his books for what he expected to be a one-year hiatus. Instead, it took 10. Accompanied by [his wife] Jill, Knuth took design classes from Stanford art professor Matthew Kahn. Knuth, trying to train his programmer’s brain to think like an artist’s, wanted to create a program [TeX] that would understand why each stroke in a typeface would be pleasing to the eye.”—from a profile of Knuth in the Stanford Magazine (May '06). Salon calls him “computing’s philosopher king(Sep '99). NPR’s Morning Edition interviews Knuth as “the founding artist of computer science(Mar '05). Perhaps a MeFite somewhere has one of these? (Previously)
posted by Ethereal Bligh on Apr 23, 2007 - 40 comments

Quantum ain't just for leaping

So.. who's ready for Quantum Computing?

British Colombia-based D-Wave says they've got one and they're going to demo that sucker in Mountain View, CA on Feb 13th and then at the Telus World of Science in Vancouver, Canada on February 15th.

Quoting from TechWorld :
"Multiple quantum states exist at the same time, so every quantum bit or "qubit" in such a machine is simultaneously 0 and 1. D-Wave's prototype has only 16 qubits, but systems with hundreds of qubits would be able to process more inputs than there are atoms in the universe."
Naturally, the tech-savvy blogosphere is skeptical. But what do you think? (previously, previously)
posted by revmitcz on Feb 9, 2007 - 54 comments

Google Research Picks for Videos of the Year

Google Research Picks for Videos of the Year
Some examples: Ron Avitzur tells The Graphing Calculator Story [mefi thread], Dr. James Watson on DNA and the Brain, Steve Wozniak talks about founding Apple and Silicon Valley's boom period, Doug Lenat (of Cyc) on Computers versus Common Sense and a talk on The Archimedes Palimpsest [a little info]
posted by MetaMonkey on Jan 4, 2007 - 7 comments

Science

Free Science and Video Lectures Online A nice blog collecting science videos. The most recent post on Cognitive Computing, Consciousness, Science Philosophy and Mind Video Lectures has some hum-dingers.
posted by MetaMonkey on Dec 30, 2006 - 10 comments

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