1583 posts tagged with technology.
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Tandem Computers

Remembering Tandem Computers: "Tandem was an archetype Silicon Valley company with stock options, an emphasis on taking chances, a recognition that sometimes the answer lies in a place where no one else has thought to go." The company was founded in 1974 by Jimmy Treybig. Though largely forgotten today, Tandem's surviving legacy is the NonStop line of servers, now owned by Hewlett-Packard.
posted by DrAmerica on Aug 26, 2015 - 20 comments

“So you have put your hope in something else.”

Living in the Age of Permawar by Mohsin Hamid [The Guardian]
You see from your nook that humanity is afflicted by a great mass murderer about whom we are encouraged not to speak. The name of that murderer is Death. Death comes for everyone. Sometimes Death will pick out a newborn still wet from her aquatic life in her mother’s womb. Sometime Death will pick out a man with the muscles of a superhero, pick him out in repose, perhaps, or in his moment of maximum exertion, when his thighs and shoulders are trembling and he feels most alive. Sometimes Death will pick singly. Sometimes Death will pick by the planeload. Sometimes Death picks the young, sometimes the old, and sometimes Death has an appetite for the in-between. You feel it is strange that humanity does not come together to face this killer, like a silver-flashing baitball of 7 billion fish aware of being hunted by a titanic and ravenous shark. Instead, humanity scatters. We face our killer alone, or in families, or in towns or cities or tribes or countries. But never all together.

posted by Fizz on Aug 23, 2015 - 7 comments

You're gonna need a bigger block.

Bitcoin's forked: chief scientist launches alternative proposal for the currency [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Aug 18, 2015 - 87 comments

The Internet of Poops

How Ted Benson hacked Amazon Dash (the $5 WiFi enabled single product order button) to track baby data.
posted by Artw on Aug 18, 2015 - 68 comments

0.01 Megapixels in two colors

Kodak’s First Digital Moment
“It only took 50 milliseconds to capture the image, but it took 23 seconds to record it to the tape,” Mr. Sasson said. “I’d pop the cassette tape out, hand it to my assistant and he put it in our playback unit. About 30 seconds later, up popped the 100 pixel by 100 pixel black and white image.”

posted by octothorpe on Aug 17, 2015 - 32 comments

That's intelligent design, not Intelligent Design.

Daniel Dennett, known for having previously explained thinking, religion, and consciousness, recently spoke at the Royal Institution where he did a most excellent job of explaining memes [1-hour video].
posted by sfenders on Aug 17, 2015 - 22 comments

Going Rogue

Fenlason dubbed his clone Hack for two reasons: "One definition was 'a quick [computer] hack because I don't have access to Rogue'. The other was 'hack-n-slash', a reference to one of the styles of playing Dungeons and Dragons." - A chapter long excerpt from David Craddock's Dungeon Hacks, a new book on the history of the Roguelike RPG.
posted by Artw on Aug 16, 2015 - 19 comments

There's a problem with electronic voting machines in the USA

My statistical analysis shows patterns indicative of vote manipulation in machines. The manipulation is relatively small, compared with the inherent variability of election results, but it is consistent. [...W]e have a serious pervasive and systematic problem with electronic voting machines. [more inside]
posted by andrewcooke on Aug 7, 2015 - 74 comments

Sunday, July 2nd, 1978

Farewell - ETAOIN SHRDLU: a short film documenting the production of the last edition of the New York Times to use hot metal typesetting. [via PrintingFilms.com]
posted by cosmic.osmo on Aug 3, 2015 - 13 comments

The Frontier of Biotech

The boom in mini stomachs, brains, breasts, kidneys and more
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jul 31, 2015 - 7 comments

“Writing is healing. Writing is art. Writing is learning.”

The Role of Writers in a STEM Obsessed Society
“As writers, it’s easy to think of how we matter to literature classrooms, but what the appointment of writers-in-residence in hospitals, history classrooms, foreign language learning spaces, and cooking schools reminds us is that we are relevant wherever there is humanity—which is to say, wherever humans are with their stories. Writing is healing. Writing is art. Writing is learning. As such, writing across the disciplines matters. Many models of artist residencies depend upon the retreat model, wherein the artist sequesters herself away with a small community of other artists. While these models have value, especially when considering how solitude relates to the creative process, it’s heartening to me to see more models catch on that value the place of the writer in society, rather than hidden away from it.”

posted by Fizz on Jul 30, 2015 - 44 comments

If a thing is designed to kill you, it is, by definition, bad design.

Dear Design Student - In Praise of the AK-47 (NSFW language)
The AK-47 is often cited as a well-designed object. And this case is usually made by pointing out that the AK-47 is easy to use, maintain, take-apart, modify, and manufacture. It’s a model of simplicity. And the original design, introduced in 1948, is still in use, even as the AK family has continued evolving...
[more inside]
posted by SansPoint on Jul 28, 2015 - 115 comments

Shazam!

How does Shazam recognize music? Christophe Kalenzaga sifts through an old research paper (pdf) by Shazam's founder and conducts a short (written) course in signal processing, acoustics, Fourier transformations, and fingerprinting music. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Jul 17, 2015 - 13 comments

Whatever happened to the men of Tomorrow?

Over a decade ago, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow laid the foundations for today's effects-driven blockbusters. Why haven't its creators made a film since?
posted by Artw on Jul 15, 2015 - 105 comments

TreeMail

In the last decade, some cities have created unusual municipal projects using personal and institutional technologies and Open Data, to keep things running smoothly. In Chicago, there’s a text-based pothole tracker. Pittsburg, Chicago, NYC and other cities have snowplow trackers during winter storms. Boston asked people to adopt-a-hydrant and shovel them out after snowstorms. In Honolulu, you can adopt a tsunami siren. In 2013, the city of Melbourne assigned email addresses to 70,000 trees as part of their Urban Forest Project, so citizens could report problems. Instead, people wrote thousands of love letters to their favorite trees, and in many cases, the "trees" wrote back. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 13, 2015 - 16 comments

The weird worlds of African sci-fi

African sci-fi features all manner of weird and outlandish things, from crime-fighting robots to technological dystopias. But could they be closer to predicting the future than they realise?

posted by infini on Jul 10, 2015 - 24 comments

Moisture-wicking, four-way stretch, and anti-odor

Violinist Kevin Yu has invented a high-tech tux shirt. The Coregami Gershwin incorporates athletic wear principles and technology to bring symphonic musicians' formal wear into the 21st century.
posted by Faint of Butt on Jul 8, 2015 - 37 comments

No Comment

Technology blog The Verge has decided to turn off their comment system "for a bit". [more inside]
posted by fairmettle on Jul 8, 2015 - 89 comments

Samsung Safety Truck

"In Argentina, a person dies in a car accident almost every hour. 80% of those happen on roads, often when cars are attempting to overtake another vehicle. In a country with hundreds of one-lane roads, large transport trucks that obstruct views ahead can cause many dangerous overtake situations. In an attempt to reduce the danger, Samsung thought maybe a built-in wireless camera broadcasting to TV displays on the back of the truck would let drivers know when it was safe to pass." [slyt] [via]
posted by ellieBOA on Jul 8, 2015 - 28 comments

BBC and partners unveil the landmark BBC micro:bit

The BBC micro:bit – a pocket-sized, codeable computer that allows children to get creative with technology. In the BBC’s most ambitious education initiative for 30 years, up to 1 million devices will be given to every 11 or 12 year old child in year 7 or equivalent across the UK, for free. "We happily give children paint brushes when they’re young, with no experience - it should be exactly the same with technology. The BBC micro:bit is all about young people learning to express themselves digitally, and it’s their device to own."
posted by adept256 on Jul 7, 2015 - 39 comments

After Capitalism, Humanism

Shared Prosperity, Common Wealth, National Equity and a Citizen's Dividend: Nirit Peled takes a look at social experiments in basic incomes for VPRO Tegenlicht, a Dutch public television documentary series. Starting with a German crowdfunded UBI chosen by raffle -- kind of like the opposite of Le Guin's Omelas (or Shirley Jackson's Lottery in reverse) -- the focus moves on to Albert Wenger who wants to disconnect work from income not only as automation progresses but to accelerate the process. Then it's on to Guy Standing who has conducted basic income experiments in India and Namibia (pdf) and is trying to get one off the ground in Groningen (Utrecht apparently is also a go). Finally, a stop in Alaska to ask some of its residents about their views on the state-owned Permanent Fund. This last part brings to mind the question: just what is wealth anyway? [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 2, 2015 - 7 comments

Africa's Innovators

As part of our special focus on innovation in Africa, we have developed a list of 40 remarkable African innovators. Actually, it’s more like 47 but we counted teams as one. Our decision to celebrate these idea creators and solution providers stems from our belief that the true wealth of Africa is not buried under its soil, but in the brains of its best minds. This list is a testament to that belief.

posted by infini on Jul 1, 2015 - 3 comments

Vrrrrrrm

What F1 Cars Would Look Like if F1 Got Its Act Together
posted by Artw on Jun 20, 2015 - 84 comments

"Our underlying goal is to make better clients"

Inside Obama's Stealth Startup Their mission: to reboot how government works.
posted by infini on Jun 16, 2015 - 67 comments

A breakthrough in prosthetic technology.

"The limb, developed by Professor Hubert Egger of the FH Upper Austria (University of Applied Sciences), allows wearers to tell which surface they are walking on and dramatically improves amputee's balance and coordination. The development could wipe out the phenomenon of phantom pain, where amputees can experience severe discomfort as the brain receives no neural feedback from their missing limb." [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol on Jun 9, 2015 - 5 comments

Ladies and gentlemen: the Vocoder

The Vocoder was invented at Bell Labs in 1939 to transmit voice data, rather than to make rock musicians sound like robots. It could also do much more interesting things to your voice.
posted by DoctorFedora on Jun 7, 2015 - 12 comments

How to fix inequality: Squash the finance industry and redistribute more

Joe Stiglitz on Inequality, Wealth, and Growth: Why Capitalism is Failing (video; if you don't have 30m, skip to 20m for discussion of political inequality, wealth, credit and monetary policy) - "If the very rich can use their position to get higher returns, more investment information, more extraction of rents, and if the very rich have equal or higher savings rates, then wealth will become more concentrated... economic inequality inevitably gets translated into political inequality, and political inequality gets translated into more economic inequality. The basic and really important idea here is that markets don't exist in a vacuum, that market economies operate according to certain rules, certain regulations that specify how they work. And those effect the efficiency of those markets, but they also effect how the fruits of the benefits of those markets are distributed and the result of that is there are large numbers of aspects of our basic economic framework that in recent years have worked to increase the inequality of wealth and income in our society... leading to a society which can be better described, increasingly, as an inherited plutocracy." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 2, 2015 - 27 comments

Money for nothing

Thirty years ago this month, Dire Straits released their fifth album, Brothers in Arms... For the first time, an album sold more on compact disc than on vinyl and passed the 1m mark. How the compact disc lost its shine - the rise and fall of the CD
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 28, 2015 - 90 comments

RMS says Windows, OS X, iOS and Android are all malware

Should you trust an internet of proprietary software things? - "Richard Stallman, known for his instrumental role in the creation of Linux, has written an opinion piece arguing that nearly any operating system you might use today can be considered malware, and that goes for popular mobile platforms as well as desktop operating systems." (via; rms previously)
posted by kliuless on May 27, 2015 - 131 comments

"BECAUSE LIFE IS IN 3D"

My selfie in 3d. This may be the finest use of 3d printing possible. Gifts for everyone you know or want to know. [more inside]
posted by fizban on May 22, 2015 - 43 comments

Welcome... To the world of tomorrow!

Tomorrowland: how Walt Disney’s strange utopia shaped the world of tomorrow - cryogenically frozen head not included.
posted by Artw on May 21, 2015 - 21 comments

Carpe Atmospherum

How spaceships die
posted by Artw on May 17, 2015 - 15 comments

If productivity improves, that is morally good.

"But the problem runs much deeper, because Silicon Valley’s amorality problem arises from the implicit and explicit narrative of progress companies use for marketing and that people use to find meaning in their work. By accepting this narrative of progress uncritically, imagining that technological change equals historic human betterment, many in Silicon Valley excuse themselves from moral reflection. Put simply, the progress narrative short-circuits moral reflection on the consequences of new technologies."
posted by ignignokt on May 17, 2015 - 43 comments

The IPs are coming from inside the house

The hilariously absurd technobabble of CSI Cyber, incoherent techno-paranoid diaper and last best hope of the CSI franchise.
posted by Artw on May 16, 2015 - 77 comments

Tomorrow's Advance Man

The New Yorker's 13,000-word profile of Marc Andreessen
posted by mecran01 on May 12, 2015 - 31 comments

Librarians as privacy warriors

THE FBI HAS NOT BEEN HERE
Watch very closely for the removal of this sign.
posted by Athanassiel on May 11, 2015 - 35 comments

"I don't know but I really want one!"

The Amazing New Thing by Tom Gauld [New York Times] [Magazine]
posted by Fizz on May 1, 2015 - 20 comments

"It's something we must do, and we can do, and we will do."

Tesla Powerwall Battery Economics: Almost There - "Elon Musk announced Tesla's home / business battery today. [video] tl;dr: It'll get enthusiastic early adopters to buy. The economics are almost there to make it cost effective for a wide market... That said, for large scale grid deployment (outside of the home), it still looks like flow batteries[1] and advanced compressed air[2] are likely to be far cheaper in the long run." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 1, 2015 - 101 comments

The Asshole Factory

They are designed to disinfect us of our fragility. To cleanse us of our flaws. To disinfect us of weakness. Love, grace, mercy, longing, forgiveness, passion, truth, nobility, dreams. Their objective is to stamp all that out; to eradicate it; to erase it. To replace it with calculation, ruthlessness, self-concern; gluttony; cruelty; anxiety, despair. By using the most sophisticated technology ever made to subjugate, oppress, and goad us into being little torturers ourselves. Our economy doesn't make stuff anymore. So what does it make?
posted by philip-random on Apr 26, 2015 - 92 comments

Short-Termism, Secular Stagnation and Political Decay

Foundation: Public Goods and Options for the Bottom Billions - "Human beings just don't handle the very long run well" and that's where government increasingly comes in... (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 23, 2015 - 6 comments

Homeless Millennials Are Transforming Hobo Culture

Hobos in the digital era.
posted by mokin on Apr 22, 2015 - 48 comments

Welcome To The World Of Tomorrow

The 1964 NYC World's Fair. Period photos. Then and now. What remains. Video of the Futurama II ride. Stock footage at the Fair. NBC's ' A World's Fair Diary'.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 21, 2015 - 35 comments

How Super Angel Chris Sacca Made Billions, Burned Bridges...

...And Crafted The Best Seed Portfolio Ever
But his track record is also flecked with broken friendships and hard feelings. While he keeps a relatively low media profile–this story marks the first time he’s cooperating for a major story–his big mouth, incessant name-dropping and blunt elbows cause eyes to roll. “He’s got a bit of a hero complex,” says a peer who knows him well. “He’s an amazing investor, but that’s not enough–he has to do this heroic stuff.” At Google he crashed every meeting he could and then wouldn’t shut up. Twitter eventually had to pass a rule, driven in part by Sacca, barring nonemployees from showing up at all-staff meetings. He and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, once close friends, now barely speak, despite Sacca’s major stake in the company.

posted by ellieBOA on Apr 17, 2015 - 28 comments

Charging toward an era of genetically modified humans

The CRISPR Revolution [ungated: 1,2,3] - "Biologists continue to hone their tools for deleting, replacing or otherwise editing DNA and a strategy called CRISPR has quickly become one of the most popular ways to do genome engineering. Utilizing a modified bacterial protein and a RNA that guides it to a specific DNA sequence, the CRISPR system provides unprecedented control over genes in many species, including perhaps humans. This control has allowed many new types of experiments, but also raised questions about what CRISPR can enable." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 16, 2015 - 28 comments

The glorious history and inevitable decline of one of technology’s great

IEEE Spectrum has published a "Special Report: 50 Years of Moore's Law," with a selection of a dozen short articles looking back at Moore's original formulation of the law, how it has developed over time, and prospects for the law continuing. Here are some highlights.
posted by infini on Apr 14, 2015 - 34 comments

A Day In the •Life

A bulbous, friendly little thing - The Verge’s Nilay Patel spends a day with the Apple Watch. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Apr 8, 2015 - 205 comments

The Overdose - Harm in a Wired Hospital


The nurses and doctors summoned to the hospital room of 16-year-old Pablo Garcia early on the morning of July 27, 2013, knew something was terribly wrong. Just past midnight, Pablo had complained of numbness and tingling all over his body. Two hours later, the tingling had grown worse.

A five part series from Backchannel at Medium.

Part One - How Medical Tech Gave a Patient a Massive Overdose
[more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Apr 3, 2015 - 54 comments

I'm only happy when it...

Rainworks are positive messages and art that only appear when it rains. Peregrine Church watched a video showing off the properties of superhydrophobic coatings and got an idea uniquely suited to his environment: famously rainy Seattle.* Using a spray-on coating, he did a stencil at a bus stop. It's invisible in dry weather, but as rain hits it and the wet concrete darkens, the writing and art becomes clear. Since then, more have been added: tentacles, hopscotch grids, environmental messages, lily pads, and more. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Mar 21, 2015 - 35 comments

♫Do you want to scrape a website?♫

Did you ever just want a bunch of web data as painlessly as possible but don't know a thing about command-line webscrapers (curl, wget) or parsing libraries (BeautifulSoup, JSoup, pandas)?
import.io will try to auto-magically hash any website you give it into structured data. (Here's MetaFilter.)
Need a bit more control over those results?
Kimono gives you a point-and-click environment for choosing page elements and pagination indicators. (Requires a Chrome add-on or browser bookmarklet.)
posted by Going To Maine on Mar 17, 2015 - 36 comments

being unable to achieve the impossible: keeping everybody happy

Creating just online social spaces - Aria Stewart, Geek Feminism
"The last two months have seen two Slack chats start to support marginalized groups in the technology field, LGBTQ* Technology and Women in Technology, and we’ve had a lot of discussions about how to run the spaces effectively, not just being a place for those who it says on the tin, but to support, encourage and not be terrible to people who are marginalized in other ways than the one the particular group is trying to represent. "This is a sort of how-to guide for creating a social Slack that is inclusive and just, and a lot of of this will apply to other styles and mediums for interaction."
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 16, 2015 - 4 comments

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