Computing   53884

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IBM unveils 'world's smallest computer' with blockchain at Think 2018
March 19 is the first day of IBM Think 2018, the company's flagship conference, where the company will unveil what it claims is the world's smallest computer. They're not kidding: It's literally smaller than a grain of salt.

But don't let the size fool you: This sucker has the computing power of the x86 chip from 1990. Okay, so that's not great compared to what we have today, but cut it some slack — you need a microscope to see it.
ibm  computing  hardware  article 
3 days ago by cyberchucktx
SXSW 2018: A Look Back at the 1960s PLATO Computing System - IEEE Spectrum
Author Brian Dear on how these terminals were designed for coursework, but students preferred to chat and play games [...]

“Out of the top 10 programs on PLATO running any day, most were games,” Dear says. “They used more CPU time than anything else.” In one popular game called Empire, players blast each other’s spaceships with phasers and torpedoes in order to take over planets.

And PLATO had code review built into the OS:

Another helpful feature that no longer exists was called Term Comment. It allowed users to leave feedback for developers and programmers at any place within a program where they spotted a typo or had trouble completing a task.

To do this, the user would simply open a comment box and leave a note right there on the screen. Term Comment would append the comment to the user’s place in the program so that the recipient could easily navigate to it and clearly see the problem, instead of trying to recreate it from scratch on their own system.

“That was immensely useful for developers,” Dear says. “If you were doing QA on software, you could quickly comment, and it would track exactly where the user left this comment. We never really got this on the Web, and it’s such a shame that we didn’t.”
plato  computing  history  chat  empire  gaming  code-review  coding  brian-dear 
4 days ago by jm
Cambridge Analytica and the long history of computer science and psychology.
integration of digital media devices and psychological techniques is one of the most underappreciated developments in the history of computing. For more than 50 years, this has been the domain of computer scientists who have approached the brain as a “human processor,” just another a machine to be tinkered with. The work has taken place almost entirely in the domain of computer science, with little input from clinical psychologists, ethicists, or other academic fields interested in the messy details of human social life. ...

Psychological models shaped the development of computers from the very beginning. Kurt Lewin, one of the founders of social psychology, was a participant in the 1946 Macy Conference, a now-legendary gathering of computer scientists and scholars interested in human behavior that helped birth both cybernetics and systems theory. This combination of psychology, systems analysis, and computer science became a hallmark of other Cold-War era research institutes like the RAND Corp. and the Stanford Research Institute. ...

Also in the 1960s, computer scientist Hilary Putnam developed the idea of the “computational theory of mind,” which understood the brain as a computing machine and helped shape the field of cognitive psychology around thinking of brains as “information processors.”...

It was this development—metaphorically understanding brains as computers—that really began to knit psychology and computer science together in the field of human-computer interaction. A critical moment came with the 1983 publication of The Psychology of Human Computer Interaction by three scientists working for the Xerox Corp.’s Palo Alto Research Center—Stuart K. Card, Thomas P. Moran, and Allen Newell. Together, they made up the Applied Information-Processing Psychology Project at PARC, which had an outsized impact on a wide range of developments in personal computing between the 1970s and 1990s. ...

The kind of communication with machines envisioned by the PARC authors was based on understanding the human being as a functional analogue to the computer. The goal of the authors was to “integrate all the units of the human processor to do useful tasks.” These tasks could be processed through the collection of human data: about physiological response rates, movement dynamics, and other processes amenable to the digital languages of computing....

Card and his co-authors had great ambitions for human-computer interaction as a new way to shape our behavior. They called it “an applied psychology” grounded in understanding a human and computer as one single unit through numerical tracking, task analysis, and calculability.... Branches of psychology already dealing with evaluations by number, like psychometricians, found human-computer interaction research especially amenable to their experiments....

Happily, human-computer interaction has changed over the past decade to include a more diverse set of methods and disciplines, including insights from designers, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists. Unfortunately, social media platforms were already up and running under the auspices of computer science as “psychological civil engineering,” via digital means without much input from the social sciences. The humble online quiz... And with Facebook and Twitter performing nearly constant behavioral experiments to test ways their users could be nudged into spending more time on their sites, the amounts of behavioral and psychological data collected by our digital devices is only getting bigger. .... The behavioral, demographic, and personal information Facebook and other social media platforms now collect through what I call algorithmic psychometrics has the sensitivity of medical data, and should be treated as such by regulators around the world.
cognitive_science  brain  processing  computing  methodology 
5 days ago by shannon_mattern
Clojure transducers from the ground up: using them in practice.
"This is the second part of an article dedicated to Clojure transducers. […] In this article, we are going to explore how they are used."
clojure  transducers  beginner  reference  functional  programming  computing 
5 days ago by sometimesfood
Pyonkee - Visual Programming with iPad
>Pyonkee is a real visual-programming environment for iPad. It is based on Scratch from the MIT Media Lab.
>Projects made for Scratch are compatible with Pyonkee.
looks interesting. I *think* pyonkee is based on Scratch 1.4?
scratch  ios  classroom  Computing 
6 days ago by johnjohnston
Steve's Computer Collection
The museum of old, rare, vintage, antique computers
computing  history 
8 days ago by tonys

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