kevan + computers   53

The Lost Joys of the Screen Saver
"What we abandoned with the death of screen savers—themselves testifiers of disuse—was a culture that could accept walking away from life onscreen."
computers  history  art  via:linkmachinego 
june 2017 by kevan
Automated book-culling software drives librarians to create fake patrons to "check out" endangered titles / Boing Boing
"Instead of being a tool, the data becomes a straightjacket: in order to get the system to admit the professional judgment of librarians, the librarians have to manufacture data to put their thumbs on its scales."
libraries  books  computers  illusions 
january 2017 by kevan
IBM's Chef Watson recipe book lets you cook like a supercomputer - CNET
"The collection of recipes was crafted based on the system's understanding of flavor compounds, food pairing theories and the psychology of people's likes and dislikes."
food  computers 
april 2015 by kevan
Heat Your House with Someone Else's Computers - IEEE Spectrum
"Cloud&Heat pays for the Internet connection and the power required to keep it running, and you get as much warm air and hot water as the servers in the box can produce, free of charge, as it quietly performs cloud computing tasks."
technology  water  computers  via:zarba 
november 2014 by kevan
What a Wonder is a Terrible Monitor « ASCII by Jason Scott
"The phosphor glows [in Asteroids], the shots look like small stars floating across the glass, and a raster line is not to be seen. It’s an entirely different experience, and the teenagers at MAGfest had never seen it before, and unfortunately, it is well on its way out."
games  computers  history  light  via:blech 
december 2012 by kevan
Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction | DVICE
"We left the boxes in the village. Closed. Taped shut. No instruction, no human being. I thought, the kids will play with the boxes! Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, but found the on/off switch. He'd never seen an on/off switch. He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android."
computers  africa  children  language  hacking  via:zarba 
november 2012 by kevan
Your Uncle Wants Tech Support? Give Him This USB Stick | Wired Enterprise |
"Users boot their computer to the flash drive, and it launches a customized version of Linux, which connects with a Jumpshot internet service and proceeds to open a browser interface while it scans the computer’s hard drive for viruses, crapware and signs of misconfiguration."
computers  viruses  via:rwhe 
august 2012 by kevan
Dazed Digital | Nick Gentry's Interface
"As identity evolves in the digital age, and society is constantly discarding, recycling, and moving forward, Gentry’s portraits are set on a canvas of floppy disks; a canvas which unites subject and medium."
art  history  computers  via:travishodges 
july 2012 by kevan
Technology - Alexis Madrigal - The Mechanics and Meaning of That Ol' Dial-Up Modem Sound - The Atlantic
"What you're hearing is the way 20th century technology tunneled through a 19th century network; what you're hearing is how a network designed to send the noises made by your muscles as they pushed around air came to transmit anything, or the almost-anything that can be coded in 0s and 1s."
history  sound  computers  phones  via:waxy 
june 2012 by kevan
The Zombie Network: Beware 'Free Public WiFi' : NPR
"When a computer running an older version of XP can't find any of its "favorite" wireless networks, it will automatically create an ad hoc network with the same name as the last one it connected to -– in this case, "Free Public WiFi." Other computers within range of that new ad hoc network can see it, luring other users to connect."
computers  illusions 
may 2012 by kevan
[1204.1749] Robust Soldier Crab Ball Gate
Crab computing. "After the collision, a united swarm moves upward due to integration of velocities. It results in a united swarm moving to the central corridor located above. It shows that x AND y is 1."
crustaceans  computers 
april 2012 by kevan
F.lux: software to make your life better
"During the day, computer screens look good - they're designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn't be looking at the sun. [F.lux] makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day."
light  time  computers 
february 2011 by kevan
“Dead Drops” preview at Aram Bartholl – Blog
"‘Dead Drops’ is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. I am ‘injecting’ USB flash drives into walls, buildings and curbs accessable to anybody in public space."
art  computers  secrets  via:waxy 
november 2010 by kevan
Binder Clips as Cable Catchers Redux - binder clips - Lifehacker
Clamping a binder clip to the back of a desk, to hold a cable in the crook of its wire handle.
metal  computers  hacking 
april 2010 by kevan
Courthouse News Service - Families Say Schools Snoop in Their Homes With District-Issued Laptops & Webcams
"The named plaintiffs say they learned that Big Brother was in their home when an assistant principal told their son that the school district knew he 'was engaged in improper behavior in his home, and cited as evidence a photograph from the webcam embedded in minor plaintiff's personal laptop issued by the school district.'"
surveillance  children  computers  via:holly 
february 2010 by kevan
A New Theory of Awesomeness and Miracles, by James Bridle, concerning Charles Babbage, Heath Robinson, MENACE and MAGE
"MENACE is a machine that plays noughts and crosses, built out of 304 matchboxes." [...] "When it is MENACE's turn to play, the operator simply selects the matchbox corresponding to the current state of play, shakes it, and opens it to see which move has been chosen."
games  computers  history 
november 2009 by kevan
"Each alien in the game is created based on a random file on the player's computer. If the player kills the alien, the file it is based on is deleted. If the player's ship is destroyed, the application itself is deleted."
games  computers  via:zarba 
september 2009 by kevan
The Netbook Effect: How Cheap Little Laptops Hit the Big Time
"Netbooks are evidence that we now know what personal computers are for.Which is to say, a pretty small list of things that are conducted almost entirely online."
computers  future  technology  design  business  via:collision 
march 2009 by kevan
BBC NEWS | Technology | 'Oldest' computer music unveiled
From 1951. "During the session, the temperamental [Ferranti Mark 1] managed to work its way through Baa Baa Black Sheep, God Save the King and part of In the Mood."
computers  music  sound  history 
june 2008 by kevan
The Mundaneum Museum Honors the First Concept of the World Wide Web -
"In 1934, Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or 'electric telescopes,' as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files."
computers  web  history  technology  paper  via:waxy 
june 2008 by kevan
The First IBM PC - August 13, 1981
"I.B.M. is also allowing anyone else who wants to do so to write programs for the I.B.M. machine, which the company would evaluate. If the programs were accepted for marketing, the writer would be paid a royalty on sales of the program."
computers  history  via:leonard 
february 2008 by kevan
Desk Set (1957)
Hepburn in a proto-search-engine "research department", fielding phone requests for information, and threatened by the coming of an IBM "electronic brain machine" with a rattly printer, a natural language parser and a big red self-destruct button.
filmlog  4stars  computers  business  books  web  technology 
february 2008 by kevan
Halfbakery: Mass Games Human Computer
"For the monitor you could simply utilise the usual brigade of 60,000 schoolchildren sitting on the spectator benches, each of whom can hold up a red, green or blue card (yielding a quite decent resolution of 200x300 pixels)."
computers  simulation  via:waxy 
february 2008 by kevan
The Morning News - The Laptop Club
"Parents may want to delay their children’s computer use, but here they are drawing their own designs. It reminded me of taking away toy guns and seeing the kids make guns out of sticks instead."
computers  children  simulation  paper  via:waxy 
november 2007 by kevan
Ghostwritten - David Mitchell
A slowly and hugely unfolding story of the roaring power of random interconnection, the way that our lives are so heavily determined by the unplanned acts of strangers.
booklog  coincidences  ghosts  society  japan  russia  crime  computers  terrorism  apocalypse 
october 2007 by kevan
Sneakers (1992)
Arbitrary gadget-heist with an odd mix of realistic and ridiculous pitfalls.
filmlog  2stars  technology  computers  hacking  secrets  crime  via:brendan 
july 2007 by kevan
Hackers (1996)
Watched as the second half of Holly and Brendan's steampunk-rewrite-readthrough. It's great when what you assume is just an abstract neon-cityscape metaphor of boring hack work is revealed to be actually running on their 28.8bps laptop screens.
filmlog  2stars  hacking  computers  crime  viruses 
june 2007 by kevan
Russia accused of unleashing cyberwar to disable Estonia | Guardian Unlimited
"At present, Nato does not define cyber-attacks as a clear military action. This means that the provisions of Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty, or, in other words collective self-defence, will not automatically be extended to the attacked country."
war  computers  russia 
may 2007 by kevan
YouTube - ZX Spectrum - Manic Miner Loading
"I'm not even going to comment on this. It takes a specfic type of person to appreciate this. It may be possible to record the sound and load the game into a real Spectrum from this."
computers  nostalgia  sound  games  via:lmg 
april 2007 by kevan
The Bug: Steampunk Computer Mouse > Jake of All Trades
"One holds the device in a manner similar to the way a wood-worker holds a sanding block. [...] Turning the wheel in the center produces an action similar to turning a page in a book, or cranking a kinetoscope."
technology  art  computers  metal  via:matthew 
april 2007 by kevan
Minsky talks about life, love in the age of artificial intelligence - The Boston Globe
"Your laptop computer has billions of parts, and it would be ridiculous to attribute all its abilities to some spirit inside its battery."
love  philosophy  brains  computers  via:mindhacks 
december 2006 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited Technology | Computers just can't seem to get past Go
"Moore's Law holds that computing power doubles every 18 months, so that means we might have a computer that could play Go using these techniques sometime in the 22nd century."
games  computers  future  via:joh 
november 2006 by kevan
C=64-ize an image
"Given a GIF, JPEG or PNG image, this will shrink and dither it down to something resembling what it would look like displayed on the screen of a Commodore 64."
computers  nostalgia  via:leonard 
october 2006 by kevan
ACM Queue - Silicon Superstitions
"Computer systems exhibit all the behaviors best suited to create superstitious responses. You will try something, it won't work, so you try it again - the exact same way - and this time it works, or not. That's random reinforcement."
computers  delusions  programming  psychology  technology  via:jones 
october 2006 by kevan | The Dial-Up BBS Revisited
Dialling up dead BBSes through VoIP. "In door sections (online games), you'll find abandoned TradeWars 2002 games, still in progress, that haven't been touched in eight years."
computers  phones  history  nostalgia  via:waxy 
august 2006 by kevan
VisualIDs: Scenery for Data Worlds
Autogenerating random, unique icons for files, so that the user can use visual memory to find them again. "People actually have little trouble learning to recognize arbitrary icons and their relationship to content."
design  memory  computers  brains  via:infosthetics 
july 2006 by kevan
Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)
A snarkily dispassionate cold-war doomsday machine and its evitable rise to power. Bit of a weird totalitarian-flatshare sitcom segment in the middle, but the film ends on a bravely downbeat note and at *exactly* the right moment.
filmlog  4stars  apocalypse  computers  surveillance  war 
july 2006 by kevan
Wired 14.06: 18 Days of Reckless Computing
Clicking every spam link. "My desktop is soon stuffed with pornography, MP3s in Arabic, and pirated copies of Tomb Raider. Within minutes, Explorer has a grand mal seizure - 95 pop-ups and innumerable error messages."
computers  spam  viruses  via:lmg 
june 2006 by kevan
plusminus design: flashbag
Design for a USB storage device that inflates to illustrate the amount of data it holds.
design  computers  air  via:waxy 
april 2006 by kevan
The Top 10 Weirdest Keyboards Ever - Fosfor Gadgets
"The orbiTouch creates a keystroke when you slide the two domes into one of their eight respective positions. You type the different characters by sliding the domes to create letters and numbers."
computers  technology  design  hands 
april 2006 by kevan
CNET Distributed computing cracks Enigma code
"More than 60 years after the end of World War II, a distributed computing project has managed to crack a previously uncracked message that was encrypted using the Enigma machine."
computers  history  secrets  war  via:lmg 
february 2006 by kevan - Spectrum references in popular music
"This is a list of musicians and bands who have included Sinclair Spectrum references in their music, artwork, or lyrics. Short clips of the music are included, where possible."
computers  music  nostalgia 
january 2006 by kevan
Grand Idea Studio - Hard Drive Coffee Table
"The Hard Drive Coffee Table is built from an original 26'' diameter hard drive platter from an early storage device, the Control Data Corporation 6603 Disk File Controller manufactured by Bryant-Excello circa 1967."
computers  furniture  metal  via:qwghlm 
january 2006 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited Technology | Scientists, be on guard ... ET might be a malicious hacker
"[Carrigan] believes scientists searching the heavens for signals from extra-terrestrial civilisations are putting Earth's security at risk, by distributing the jumble of signals they receive to computers all over the world."
space  computers  aliens  viruses 
november 2005 by kevan
The Portable Freeware Collection
Archive of freeware utilities that can be run independently from any directory, and hence from a USB drive.
computers  download  software 
november 2005 by kevan
Amazon Mechanical Turk - Welcome
Gosh. An API where automated questions can be passed to a bank of volunteer human brains, paying them in loose change. (Hopefully this won't be used to sidestep CAPTCHAs.)
computers  brains  programming 
november 2005 by kevan
Information Design Lab - Growable Media Design
Plants as ambient information. "If users have a friend whom they often meet, corresponding plants will grow up well. In this case, they will feel happy. If users have a friend whom they have not met for months, corresponding plants will wither."
plants  computers  technology  water  via:wmmna 
october 2005 by kevan - Spyware can constitute illegal trespass on home computers
"While the court acknowledged that this historical legal doctrine over time has applied to personal property (such as damaging or stealing a person's bicycle), the court [...] denied the motion, allowing the cause of action to proceed to later trial."
law  computers  crime  spam  web  via:ole 
october 2005 by kevan
REGRETS [Cambridge]
"Six to ten purpose-built mobile computer stations publicly located in and around Cambridge collect anonymously submitted regrets from the public to comprise a sociological database of contemporary remorse."
computers  secrets  via:wmmna  memory 
october 2005 by kevan
Living in text files
"A while ago, I thought I'd try an experiment: could I organise all my work, all my personal stuff, all my writing, in one huge text file?"
writing  computers 
october 2005 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited Books | Escaping the net
The flimsy transience of text on computer screens, compared to printed paper. "[Imagination and memory] respond better to the impact of physically embodied things in surroundings that are themselves the product of long and deep human connection."
books  computers  psychology  memory 
august 2005 by kevan
Optimus keyboard
Wonderfully overambitious dynamic keyboard design, with tiny LED displays on each key allowing it to be configured for different languages, or games.
computers  design  technology 
july 2005 by kevan
Transparent Screens - a photoset on Flickr
Laptops bearing desktop wallpaper that's a carefully-aligned photo of the scenery behind them.
computers  illusions  photos 
march 2005 by kevan

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