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Someone to watch over me

Once the stuff of academic and corporate experimentation, ubiquitous computation (or "ubicomp") is gearing up for its commercial debut in the very near future. Along the lines of ostensibly "nanotechnological" pants, the reality of ubicomp as made manifest in consumer products may fall somewhat short of the prognostications: buying a personal communicator designed to work seamlessly within a ubicomp context is not the same thing as living in and with a truly pervasive network.

But already there are signs that the ubiquitous visions beloved by the corporate players and enshrined in their hype are coming into being. So which do you think it'll be? Guardian angel or inescapable, panoptical prison? Neither? Maybe both? I have a sinking feeling we're going to find out, one way or another.
posted by adamgreenfield on Sep 24, 2004 - 8 comments

OMG

Alas, the new iMac cannot bow before the cross. "At best, it can only give a downward nod or an upward look, and that would just communicate half-hearted politeness rather than an attitude of worship." So says the editor of the Christian Macintosh Users Group. Love Jesus, but not Jobs? No problem - this list of Christian computer users groups has you covered. And hey - Neo/Luddites? Even if you've left the web behind, the web hasn't left you behind.

MeFites, when you're not bowing before the blue, what's your favorite site that melds the sacred with the techno-profane?
posted by stonerose on Sep 13, 2004 - 17 comments

Happy Birthday BASIC!

Happy Birthday BASIC! On May 1 1964 two Dartmouth College professors, John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz ran the first BASIC programs; and BASIC went on to become many peoples' first introduction to computer programming.
posted by carter on May 1, 2004 - 31 comments

old school

Travis Hallenbeck's website is an awesome collection of links about lo-fi music and art, retro-computing, cheap children's synths, and more. Some gems: CompactFlash for Apple II, Iconolog, The Audio Playground Keyboard Museum (with vintage drum machines reworked in flash). Look around!
posted by mcsweetie on Mar 31, 2004 - 1 comment

jpg2asc

jpg2ascii
posted by crunchland on Nov 4, 2003 - 12 comments

Apple: Innovator & Oppressor of Independent Software:

Apple: Innovator & Oppressor of Independent Software: As they once did with Karelia's Watson software and, to a certain extent, Panic's Audion, Apple has "borrowed" a concept from an independent, third-party developer without credit or compensation. It would seem that Steve Jobs is not as far removed from Bill Gates as he would like the Mac faithful to believe . . .
posted by aladfar on Oct 27, 2003 - 31 comments

Worms!!!!!!!!!!

New Phase for Sobig.f Expected to Hit Friday. Any . . . minute . . . now. . .
posted by archimago on Aug 22, 2003 - 37 comments

Where does he get all his crazy ideas? He reads lots of books!

Fourmilab Switzerland is a large and diverse site created and maintained by John Walker, co-creator of AutoCAD and founder of Autodesk, Inc. A few sub-sites have been mentioned here over the years, but there is plenty to explore -- ranging from free computing utilities, science tools, a diet plan, original fiction and educational texts, to a page on RetroPsychoKinesis: influencing the past with your mind.
posted by ewagoner on Aug 8, 2003 - 4 comments

Saying goodbye to a mentor

Dr. Anita Borg is the Founder of the Institute for Women and Technology (www.iwt.org). Her work to change the world for women has received international recognition. Throughout her career, Dr. Borg has worked to encourage women to pursue careers in computing. Also, she's a heck of a nice lady. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in April 2000, and recently her condition has worsened. {more inside}
posted by dejah420 on Mar 5, 2003 - 9 comments

Google Compute

Google Compute is a distributed computing project involving users of the google toolbar. It's a light application which uses idle processor cycles to analyse data for "carefully selected charitable projects, with the guiding principle being to help humanity and advance scientific knowledge".
posted by walrus on Nov 1, 2002 - 5 comments

Redefining the keyboard.

Redefining the keyboard. CPUs have gotten smaller, monitors have gotten wider, chairs have gotten ergonomic. Technology has resized our machines to fit our lifestyles, business needs, and personal comfort. But for the past 128 years, the mechanics by which we input text into machines has been dictated not by technology, but by the limitations of our hands. Soon, this era may be over if retired engineer John McKown gets his way. McKown has invented a palm-size one-handed wearable keyboard. Should we embrace this giant leap into mobile computing? Or are we not able to part with a century of QWERTY? (Via NYTimes. Similar ideas have also been discussed here previously.)
posted by PrinceValium on Aug 12, 2002 - 19 comments

Adobe has won

Adobe has won 2.8 million from Macromedia for "patent infringements." Apparently Macromedia may be forced to pull Flash MX from their product line. As an avid Flash-developer I am personally affected. Is there something that we can do about this?
posted by banished on May 3, 2002 - 24 comments

www.computerhistory.org

www.computerhistory.org is the virtual incarnation of computer historian and collector Michael Williams' phat-ass computer museum. My favourite, BTW, is the timeline, searchable by year or topic. What technological milestones occured in the year of your birth?
posted by stuporJIX on Feb 15, 2002 - 8 comments

Party Like It's 999,999,999

Party Like It's 999,999,999 "The UNIX epoch dates from January 1st, 1970. Every UNIX system in the world worth its salt keeps track of time by counting every single second since the midnight just before that auspicious date. And soon, they're all going to hit a billion"

How will you celebrate the Gigasecond, September 9 at 01:46:39 UTC ?
posted by otherchaz on Sep 6, 2001 - 13 comments

Modern computing born... film at 11.

Modern computing born... film at 11.
"On December 9, 1968, Douglas C. Engelbart and the group of 17 researchers working with him in the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, presented a 90-minute live public demonstration of the online system, NLS, they had been working on since 1962. The public presentation was a session in the of the Fall Joint Computer Conference held at the Convention Center in San Francisco, and it was attended by about 1,000 computer professionals. This was the public debut of the computer mouse. But the mouse was only one of many innovations demonstrated that day, including hypertext, object addressing and dynamic file linking, as well as shared-screen collaboration involving two persons at different sites communicating over a network with audio and video interface."
posted by pascal on Jul 11, 2001 - 5 comments

Future of computing - Light or Molecules?
posted by tiaka on Jun 23, 2001 - 5 comments

Unisys Confesses UNIVAC Sins

Unisys Confesses UNIVAC Sins - The company that invented the first commercial computer apologized on the eve of its 50th anniversary for any "unintended consequences" of its use. - Among other things, they apologized for bad joke emails, the dot com bubble, and destroying the concept of normal working hours. It's a pretty funny article.
posted by chrisege on Jun 13, 2001 - 15 comments

Quantum Computing

Quantum Computing makes a Leap forward
posted by stbalbach on May 16, 2001 - 2 comments

Furbeowulf cluster

Furbeowulf cluster... It could work but there's something about all that yapping from the Furbees that scares me... Considering how literal some geeks can get, I'm afraid... I'm very afraid.. (via NTK)
posted by TNLNYC on May 11, 2001 - 7 comments

.the .product will make you happy.

.the .product will make you happy. It might make ya cream yer pants. .the .product "demonstrates 'realistic' and detailed graphics are possible even within the limitations of the 64kb competition." Over a gig of data compressed into this small a space? The potential is frightening.
posted by ZachsMind on Apr 20, 2001 - 9 comments

The last computer you'll ever own.

The last computer you'll ever own. With the entertainment industry pushing electronics manufacturers towards closed, proprietary hardware, how soon will we be limited to strictly "renting" media, serives, etc.?
posted by harmful on Mar 7, 2001 - 10 comments

Steve Jobs on selling apps based on life beyond the Net

Steve Jobs on selling apps based on life beyond the Net "I edited a digital movie of my children using our iMovie software," he said. "It took me about an hour, and when I showed it to my wife, she started crying. It was clearly the most emotional thing I've ever done on a computer in my life." ... "The Internet is a wonderful thing and for a while it was such a blinding bright light that it obscured every other bright light," he said. "It's a wonderful thing, it's a magical thing, but there are other wonderful things too. Music is a wonderful thing. Movies are wonderful things."
posted by allaboutgeorge on Jan 21, 2001 - 13 comments

NVidia

NVidia just bought all the intellectual properties of 3DFX. [more]
posted by Steven Den Beste on Dec 15, 2000 - 8 comments

Multics, Requiescat in Pace.

Multics, Requiescat in Pace. Wow. What does one say.
posted by baylink on Nov 12, 2000 - 3 comments

Code Name Mainstream (via NYTIMES)

Code Name Mainstream (via NYTIMES)
One of those dumb MF posts that most of you would've found in your daily clicking reports on the strides in acceptance made by opensource advocates. Posted merely for initiating discussion, of course.
posted by rschram on Aug 28, 2000 - 4 comments

I was reading cryptonomicom last night

I was reading cryptonomicom last night..and awoke this morning to read this online.. Deja vu, Datahaven! I'm glad they found good use for that antiaircraft deck.
posted by dabitch on Aug 17, 2000 - 2 comments

When did Claudia Schiffer become an expert in computers?

When did Claudia Schiffer become an expert in computers? And why would I care what she thinks should be installed on one? (Light and casual: jokes. That's the way, now.)
posted by Steven Den Beste on Aug 1, 2000 - 3 comments

What's old is new again.

What's old is new again. This sounds suspiciously like "core", which is what computers used when I was in college.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Apr 9, 2000 - 2 comments

napster code

napster code here is the code and schema behind napster
posted by efader on Feb 27, 2000 - 0 comments

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