Showing posts with label computers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label computers. Show all posts

Friday, June 22, 2012

Remembering Alan Turing, The Father Of The Computer

Remembering Alan Turing At 100 -- Endgadget

Alan Turing would have turned 100 this week, an event that would have, no doubt, been greeted with all manner of pomp -- the centennial of a man whose mid-century concepts would set the stage for modern computing. Turing, of course, never made it that far, found dead at age 41 from cyanide poisoning, possibly self-inflicted. His story is that of a brilliant mind cut down in its prime for sad and ultimately baffling reasons, a man who accomplished so much in a short time and almost certainly would have had far more to give, if not for a society that couldn't accept him for who he was.

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More News On Alan Turing

Alan Turing, the father of the computer, is finally getting his due -- Washington Post
Alan Turing 100: Visionary, war winner ... game maker? -- The Register
Alan Turing: the short, brilliant life and tragic death of an enigma -- The Guardian
Centenary of the birth of WWII code breaker Alan Turing -- BBC
Happy 100th birthday, Alan Turing -- MSNBC
The Enigma of Computing's Lost Genius -- Wall Street Journal
Alan Turing: The experiment that shaped artificial intelligence -- BBC
How to Pass the Turing Artificial Intelligence Test -- Wired Science
LEGO Turing Machine Is Simple, Yet Sublime -- Underwire
What was Alan Turing's greatest contribution? -- BBC
Alan Turing: Is he really the father of computing? -- BBC

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Could Sarcastic Computers Be in Our Future?

Noah Goodman, right, and Michael Frank, both assistant professors of psychology, discuss their research at the white board that covers the wall in Goodman's office. (Credit: L.A. Cicero)

Could Sarcastic Computers Be in Our Future? New Math Model Can Help Computers Understand Inference -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (May 30, 2012) — In a new paper, the researchers describe a mathematical model they created that helps predict pragmatic reasoning and may eventually lead to the manufacture of machines that can better understand inference, context and social rules.

Language is so much more than a string of words. To understand what someone means, you need context.

Consider the phrase, "Man on first." It doesn't make much sense unless you're at a baseball game. Or imagine a sign outside a children's boutique that reads, "Baby sale -- One week only!" You easily infer from the situation that the store isn't selling babies but advertising bargains on gear for them.

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My Comment: I guess it all comes down to the math and programming.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Computer’s Next Conquest: Crosswords

Matthew Ginsberg with a puzzle from The New York Times that Dr. Fill, the computer program he created, is solving. Dr. Fill will compete this weekend at a Brooklyn crossword tournament. Chris Pietsch for The New York Times

The Computer’s Next Conquest: Crosswords -- New York Times

What’s a 10-letter word for smarty pants?

This weekend the world may find out when computer technology again tries to best human brains, this time at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Brooklyn.

Computers can make mincemeat of chess masters and vanquish the champions of “Jeopardy!” But can the trophy go to a crossword-solving program, Dr. Fill — a wordplay on filling in a crossword and the screen name of the talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw — when it tests its algorithms against the wits of 600 of the nation’s top crossword solvers?

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My Comment: Chess is hard .... but crosswords? Now that is going to be a challenge for the programmers.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Secret To Smarter Computers?

Scientists think adding a baby's imaginative powers and all-around braininess to computers would make these machines smarter and more human. CREDIT: Aphichart | Shutterstock

Baby Brains May Be The Secret To Smarter Computers -- Live Science

Cognitive scientists hope to bottle up a baby's brain — and the imagination and air of possibility that comes with it — and use the result to make computers smarter.

"Children are the greatest learning machines in the universe," Alison Gopnik, a developmental psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley, said in a statement. "Imagine if computers could learn as much and as quickly as they do," said Gopnik, author of the books "The Scientist in the Crib" (William Morrow, 2000) and "The Philosophical Baby" (Picador, 2010).

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My Comment: A unique and different way to look at making computers "smarter".

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Rise And Fall Of Personal Computing

The Rise And Fall Of Personal Computing -- Asymco

Thanks to Jeremy Reimer I was able to create the following view into the history of computer platforms.

I added data from the smartphone industry, Apple and updated the PC industry figures with those from Gartner. Note the log scale.

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My Comment
: I love the graphs that he posted.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Next Generation of Computer Chips

Caltech engineers have developed a new way to isolate light on a photonic chip, allowing light to travel in only one direction. This finding can lead to the next generation of computer-chip technology: photonic chips that allow for faster computers and less data loss. (Credit: Caltech/Liang Feng)

Engineers Solve Longstanding Problem in Photonic Chip Technology: Findings Help Pave Way for Next Generation of Computer Chips -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Aug. 5, 2011) — Stretching for thousands of miles beneath oceans, optical fibers now connect every continent except for Antarctica. With less data loss and higher bandwidth, optical-fiber technology allows information to zip around the world, bringing pictures, video, and other data from every corner of the globe to your computer in a split second. But although optical fibers are increasingly replacing copper wires, carrying information via photons instead of electrons, today's computer technology still relies on electronic chips.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

All The Digital Data In The World Is Equivalent To One Human Brain

Supercomputer An IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer rack. Wikimedia Commons

From Popular Science:

If you could put all the data in the world onto CDs and stack them up, the pile would stretch from the Earth to beyond the moon, according to a new study. The world’s technological infrastructure has a staggering capacity to store and process information, reaching 295 exabytes in 2007, a reflection of the world’s almost complete transition into the digital realm. That's a number with 20 zeroes behind it, in case you're wondering.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Computer Pioneer Ken Olsen Dead At 84

Ken Olsen (Credit: Computer History Museum)

From The CBS News:

Ken Olsen, co-founder of the defining technology company of a bygone era, Digital Equipment Corporation, has died. He was 84.

A spokeswoman for Gordon College in Massachusetts, where Olsen was a trustee and prominent donor, confirmed Monday evening Twitter reports of his death on Sunday. Olsen's company dominated the minicomputer era of the tech industry from the 1960s through the 1980s with the PDP and VAX series computers, and was a key part of the famed Route 128 technology corridor just outside Boston, along with companies like Data General and Wang.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Millions Of Computers Shut Down As Faulty Anti-Virus Program Causes Havoc Around The Globe

Big freeze: A faulty software update from McAfee led to thousands of PCs repeatedly rebooting in offices, hospitals and schools around the world

From The Daily Mail:

Computers in companies, hospitals and schools around the world slowed down or froze after an antivirus program identified a normal Windows file as a threat.

While the problem has now been identified, IT technicians are today having to deal with extra workloads to ensure their systems are protected.

Antivirus vendor McAfee Inc confirmed that yesterday a software update had caused its antivirus program for corporate customers to target a harmless file, leading PCs to repeadedly reboot themselves.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Microsoft Debuts 'Fix It' Program

From The BBC:

Microsoft has launched "Fix It" software that keeps an eye on a PC and automatically repairs common faults.

The software basically adds the automatic diagnostics system in Windows 7 to older versions of Microsoft's operating system.

The software, currently available as a trial or beta version, is intended for users of Windows XP and Vista.

The package also tries to anticipate how security updates will affect a PC before they are installed.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

With Processor Speeds Stagnating, Researchers Look Beyond Silicon Toward Computing's Future

Flexible Silicon More flexible circuits can help silicon stay relevant in the future of computing Science/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

From Popular Mechanics:

After a breathless race through the '80s and '90s, desktop computer clock speeds have spent the last decade languishing around the 3 gigahertz mark. That stagnation in processing speeds has prompted scientists to debate whether it's time to move beyond semiconductors -- and what better place to debate than in the journal Science? Ars Technica gives a top-down overview of several future paths laid out in the journal's latest issue by researchers such as Thomas Theis and Paul Solomon of IBM.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Light-Speed Computing One Step Closer

Until now, infrared germanium lasers required expensive cryogenic cooling systems to operate (Source: iStockphoto)

From ABC News (Australia):

A new infrared laser made from germanium that operates at room temperature could lead to powerful computer chips that operate at the speed of light, say US scientists.

The research, by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published in a forthcoming issue of Optics Letters

"Using a germanium laser as a light source, you could communicate at very high data rates at very low power," says Dr Jurgen Michel, who developed the new germanium laser.

"Eventually you could have the computing power of today's supercomputers inside a laptop."

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Amazing Facts And Figures About The Evolution Of Hard Disk Drives

Above: Three decades of shrinkage.

From Pingdom:

It took 51 years before hard disk drives reached the size of 1 TB (terabyte, i.e. 1,000 GB). This happened in 2007. In 2009, the first hard drive with 2 TB of storage arrived. So while it took 51 years to reach the first terabyte, it took just two years to reach the second.

This article looks back at how hard disk drives have evolved since they first burst onto the scene in 1956. We’ll examine the radical changes over time for three different aspects of HDDs: Size, storage space, and price.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Computers That Use Light Instead of Electricity? First Germanium Laser Created

Image: MIT researchers have demonstrated the first laser built from germanium that can produce wavelengths of light useful for optical communication. (Credit: Graphic by Christine Daniloff)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Feb. 5, 2010) — MIT researchers have demonstrated the first laser built from germanium that can produce wavelengths of light useful for optical communication. It's also the first germanium laser to operate at room temperature. Unlike the materials typically used in lasers, germanium is easy to incorporate into existing processes for manufacturing silicon chips. So the result could prove an important step toward computers that move data -- and maybe even perform calculations -- using light instead of electricity. But more fundamentally, the researchers have shown that, contrary to prior belief, a class of materials called indirect-band-gap semiconductors can yield practical lasers.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Back In Fashion: The Mother Of All Computers No Longer Looks That Old

From The Economist:

GEEKS may roll their eyes at the news that Namibia is only now getting its first mainframe—a technology that most consider obsolete. Yet the First National Bank of Namibia, which bought the computer, is at the leading edge of a trend. Comeback is too strong a word, but mainframes no longer look that outdated.

Until the 1980s mainframes, so called because the processing unit was originally housed in a huge metal frame, ruled supreme in corporate data centres. Since then, these big, tightly laced bundles of software and hardware have been dethroned by “distributed systems”, meaning networks of smaller and cheaper machines, usually not based on proprietary technology. But many large companies still run crucial applications on the “big iron”: there are still about 10,000 in use worldwide. Withdraw money or buy insurance, and in most cases mainframes are handling the transaction.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

'Wet' Computing Systems To Boost Processing Power

Sketch of artificial wet neuronal networks.
(Credit: Image courtesy of University of Southampton)

From Science Daily:

Science Daily (Jan. 12, 2010) — A new kind of information processing technology inspired by chemical processes in living systems is being developed by researchers at the University of Southampton.

Dr Maurits de Planque and Dr Klaus-Peter Zauner at the University's School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) are working on a project which has just received €1.8 from the European Union's Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Proactive Initiatives, which recognises ground-breaking work which has already demonstrated important potential.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Got A New Computer? Install These Nine Programs Right Away

New computer? Feed it a healthy diet of powerful software.
Heather McKinnon/The Seattle Times/Newscom

From Christian Science Monitor:

’Tis the season for a new computer. Whether Santa sneaked a PC under the tree or you’ve decided to install Windows 7 onto an older machine, millions of Americans this month will be booting up a fresh start.

What better time to get your computer on a healthy diet of lean but powerful software and to throw out the bloated junk food that comes preinstalled on many machines? Here are some free programs that’ll help your new PC chug along for many winters to come.

(Disclaimer: While most of the Monitor’s software suggestions cover both PCs and Macs, Apple fans will need to sit this article out.)

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Technology Changes 'Outstrip' Netbooks

Netbooks are under pressure as tech firms concentrate on mobile computing.

From The BBC:

Rising prices and better alternatives may mean curtains for netbooks.

The small portable computers were popular in 2009, but some industry watchers are convinced that their popularity is already waning.

"The days of the netbook are over," said Stuart Miles, founder and editor of technology blog Pocket Lint.

As prices edge upwards, net-using habits change and other gadgets take on their functions, netbooks will become far less popular, he thinks.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Intel Shows 48-Core Processor For Research

From Gadget Lab:

Intel’s six- and eight-core processors are the fastest chips that consumers can get their hands on. But if you are among the research elite, the company has a new experimental chip that can offer nearly 20 times the computing power.

Intel showed an 48-core processor nicknamed the “single-chip cloud computer” that consumes about the same power as desktop processors available currently. The fully programmable 48 processing cores are the most Intel has ever had on a single silicon chip, says the company.

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