Access Main Computer File is a Tumblr that bills itself as “a visual study of computer GUI in cinema”. That is, it’s an overview of computer screens in movies. Enjoy it as an alternate, imagined history of computing or simply a lot of strangeness.
Tag Archives | Computers
Dave Tobin writes in the Syracuse Post-Standard:
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Rome, NY — Computer scientists just up the Thruway at Rome’s Air Force Research Lab have assembled one of the world’s largest, fastest and cheapest supercomputers — and it’s made from PlayStation 3s.
By linking together 1,716 PlayStation 3s, they’ve created a supercomputer that’s very good at processing, manipulating and interpreting vast amounts of imagery. This will provide analysts with new levels of detail from the pictures gathered on long surveillance flights by spy planes.
The PlayStation 3 is a video gaming console that originally sold for about $500. It was developed by Sony, released in 2006 and is known for its sizzlingly clear video graphics.
The Air Force calls the souped-up PlayStations the Condor Supercomputer and says it is among the 40 fastest computers in the world. The Condor went online late last year, and it will likely change the way the Air Force and the Air National Guard watch things on the ground.
The treatment, in the early 1880s, of an Austrian hysteric called Anna O is generally regarded as the beginning of talking-it-through as a form of therapy. But psychoanalysis, as this version of talk therapy became known, is an expensive procedure. Anna’s doctor, Josef Breuer, is estimated to have spent over 1,000 hours with her. Since then, things have improved. A typical course of a modern talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, consists of 12-16 hour-long sessions and is a reasonably efficient way of treating conditions like depression and anxiety (hysteria is no longer a recognised diagnosis). Medication, too, can bring rapid change. Nevertheless, treating disorders of the psyche is still a hit-and-miss affair, and not everyone wishes to bare his soul or take mind-altering drugs to deal with his problems. A new kind of treatment may, though, mean he does not have to.
48% of tablet owners have used their tablet device to transmit sensitive data, according to a new online survey by Harris Interactive.
52% of tablet owners between the ages of 18 and 34 say they’re confident about transmitting sensitive data over their tablet device, versus just 41% between the ages of 35 and 34, and 28% between the ages of 45 and 54. (While just 33% of people over the age of 55 shared the same confidence.)
“There may be an psychological explanation for the main tablet vs smartphone security point,” notes one technology site. “Somebody using a tablet – even though its on a wireless connection – may think of it in the same way as a computer, where it’s well established people are usually happy to transmit sensitive data…With a smartphone, there’s still more of a psychological reminder that any information you send is literally beamed through the air.”
There’s also some other caveats.… Read the rest
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The long-time practice of using police facial sketches to nab criminals has been, at best, an inexact art. But the process may soon be a little more exact thanks to the work of some Michigan State University researchers. A team led by MSU University Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Anil Jain and doctoral student Brendan Klare has developed a set of algorithms and created software that will automatically match hand-drawn facial sketches to mug shots that are stored in law enforcement databases. Once in use, Klare said, the implications are huge. “We’re dealing with the worst of the worst here,” he said. “Police sketch artists aren’t called in because someone stole a pack of gum. A lot of time is spent generating these facial sketches so it only makes sense that they are matched with the available technology to catch these criminals.”
Computers may now be able to win on Jeopardy, but they still cannot quite trick us into thinking that they are flesh and blood. Writing for the The Atlantic, Brian Christian discusses taking part in the annual Turing Test, the goal of which is to design a computer that thinks and talks as a human does, and to fool judges into believing that they are chatting with a living person:
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Each year for the past two decades, the artificial-intelligence community has convened for the field’s most anticipated and controversial event—a meeting to confer the Loebner Prize on the winner of a competition called the Turing Test. The test is named for the British mathematician Alan Turing, one of the founders of computer science, who in 1950 attempted to answer one of the field’s earliest questions: can machines think? That is, would it ever be possible to construct a computer so sophisticated that it could actually be said to be thinking, to be intelligent, to have a mind?
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a number of national governments shut off internet access in attempts to quash dissent. PC World has a guide on how to access the web when the powers that be are blocking it, or post-apocalypse, when telecommunation networks are in shambles. Supposedly antiquated devices such as dial-up modems may someday be direly important amid the smoking ruins of post-America:
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These days, no popular movement goes without an Internet presence of some kind, whether it’s organizing on Facebook or spreading the word through Twitter. And as we’ve seen in Egypt, that means that your Internet connection can be the first to go. Whether you’re trying to check in with your family, contact your friends, or simply spread the word, here are a few ways to build some basic network connectivity when you can’t rely on your cellular or landline Internet connections.
Even if you’ve managed to find an Internet connection for yourself, it won’t be that helpful in reaching out to your fellow locals if they can’t get online to find you.
In an article for the Atlantic, Andrew Blum points out that recent events in Egypt have reminded us of something oft forgotten: the networks that comprise the Internet are connected physically, and can be disconnected by snipping cables. Here in the United States, Verizon and Google have recently gained control over two such “choke points,” which should raise alarm bells:
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The news Thursday evening that Egypt had severed itself from the global Internet came at the same time as an ostensibly far less inflammatory announcement closer to home. Verizon, the telecom giant, would acquire “cloud computing company” Terremark for $1.4 billion. The purchase would “accelerate Verizon’s ‘everything-as-a-service’ cloud strategy,” the press release said.
The trouble is that Terremark isn’t merely a cloud computing company. Or, more to the point, the cloud isn’t really a cloud.
Among its portfolio of data centers in the US, Europe and Latin America, Terremark owns one of the single most important buildings on the global Internet, a giant fortress on the edge of Miami’s downtown known as the NAP of the Americas.
Is this what those tea party Republicans mean by “restoring freedom” and “less government”? CNET reports:
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The House Republicans’ first major technology initiative is about to be unveiled: a push to force Internet companies to keep track of what their users are doing.
A House panel chaired by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin is scheduled to hold a hearing tomorrow morning to discuss forcing Internet providers, and perhaps Web companies as well, to store records of their users’ activities for later review by police.
One focus will be on reviving a dormant proposal for data retention that would require companies to store Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for two years, CNET has learned.
Tomorrow’s data retention hearing is juxtaposed against the recent trend to protect Internet users’ privacy by storing less data. Last month, the Federal Trade Commission called for “limited retention” of user data on privacy grounds, and in the last 24 hours, both Mozilla and Google have announced do-not-track technology.