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ICT Treats

Quick hits

  1. ASCII Star Wars
  2. Double Robotics: Wheels for your iPad
  3. Ergo Desktop
  4. Mac Performance Guide: Apple core rot
  5. Nest: The learning thermostat
  6. TidBITS: Investigating Siri’s English accents
  7. Typing file:/// Will crash almost any Mac App
  8. CBC—The Irrelevant Show: Cyberdisk
  9. Programmers respond to PRISM, the US data-mining program
  10. Android Fragmentation Visualized (July 2013)
  11. Newton: The Greatest Flop of All Time
  12. PRSM: The Sharing Network
  13. Threats to mobile devices using the Android operating system
  14. How IBM’s Watson supercomputer wins at Jeopardy
  15. Leap Motion Controller
  16. Top Products in Two Decades of Tech Reviews: Walt Mossberg’s final column in The Wall Street Journal.
  17. Fortran IV
  18. TrueCrypt: free open-source disk encryption software for Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux
  19. The Woman Behind Apple’s First Icons
  20. X to Close: The origins of the use of [x] in UI design.
  21. Inside Google’s Secret Drone-Delivery Program.

Tasty reading (and viewing)

frame of Apple 1984 adThe ad ran only once, but that was sufficient for us to learn why “1984 [wouldn’t] be like 1984”: into the world of text-based, command-driven human-computer interfaces, like MS-DOS, Apple Computer Inc. (now just Apple Inc.), introduced us to Macintosh. Later that year, Apple bought all of the advertising in the special fall U.S. election issue of Newsweek—the details of which make for some interesting reading.

OLPC logoThe One Laptop Per Child project seeks to “stimulate local grassroots initiatives designed to enhance and sustain over time the effectiveness of laptops as learning tools for children living in lesser-developed countries.” Its Give 1 Get 1 project launched on 12 November 2007.

Tetris tiles locked in a grid from http://www.earrelaphant.com/community/games/images/tetris.jpg On 6 June 2009, Tetris celebrated its 25th anniversary—and Google did too! Computerworld, a respected IT news source, has the story on CNET.

ReCAPTCHA logo from http://www.captcha.net/Familiar? Read how CAPTCHA—Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart—protects websites from abuse.

Happy birthday, Computer! The University of Manchester celebrated the 60th anniversary of the stored-program computer with a site dedicated to “The Baby.”

the first floppy drive from http://www.computerhistory.org/timeline/?category=storIBM provides a concise 100 Years of Magnetic Recording Milestones: 1898 to 1998, where you can learn (amongst other things) that in 1971 an IBM team invented the 8-inch (200-mm) floppy diskette—which could hold 80 KB!

Project Xandu® flameTheodor Holm Nelson, Senior Fellow of the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, University of Toronto, and Visiting Fellow of the Oxford Internet Institute, is “best known for coining the terms hypertext and hypermedia (1965), and pursuing a vision of world-wide hypertext from the early nineteen-sixties” (Ted Nelson: Curriculum Vitae). His Project Xanadu® remains a work in progress.

Project Xandu® flameResearchers from Northeastern University and Harvard University analyzed more than 300 million tweets to derive a time-lapse cartogram of the mood of the U.S. “A cartogram is a map in which the mapping variable (in this case, the number of tweets) is substituted for the true land area.”

Project Xandu® flameYoung women with the power and passion to make a difference, Dot Divas believe in the potential of computing to build a better world—and they know that with computer-science grads in high demand, starting U.S. salaries average nearly $58,000! You’ll want to check out “the excellent adventures of two Dot Divas trying to save the world, one keystroke at a time” in The Webisode.

Jayme Gutierrez musically reveals that sometimes it’s a lot more complicated than you’d think to clean a laptop’s fan!

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[This page last updated 2014-09-03 at 21h35 Toronto local time.]