Let’s say you’re an evil Imperial overlord in the Star Wars universe, and you want to keep the rebels in line. You should build something they fear, say, a Death Star. How much will advancing your evil plans set you back? Short answer: it’s more expensive than you can possibly imagine.Read More
Space is a dirty place. Over 16,000 pieces of debris over 10 cm wide have been left behind since Sputnik took to the skies in 1957. And now the Swiss want to do something about it. Scientists with the Swiss Space Center at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, are developing a “janitor” satellite, known as CleanSpace One, to make space tidier.
During World War II, the Nazis used complex codes to obfuscate commands, and cracking those codes was one of the keys to the Allies’ success. This codebreaking was accomplished in part by Colossus, the world’s first digital, programmable computer. The National Museum of Computing (NMOC) in Bletchley Park, England, says that Colossus “shortened the war by two years and…saved countless thousands of lives.” Now it’s time for us to help Colossus, or rather, the NMOC.
Recently, over 23,000 people signed an online petition to ask the UK government to pardon Alan Turing for homosexuality, considered the crime of “gross indecency” by the Labouchere Amendment of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885. Yesterday, the motion was dismissed by the House of Lords. Considering that Turing performed stellar and unique service to the British government during World War II, and his work provided much of the basis for the modern computer, this is unconscionable.
Siri hates you if you’re Scottish. That’s one possible explanation as to why the iPhone 4S digital assistant can’t understand a word the Scots are saying, as you can see in this hilarious video, below. (Warning: foul language.)
Cellphones are a fact of 21st century life, and if you’re a musician, you may have been interrupted by the strident sound of ringtones during a performance. But you probably haven’t handled it as entertainingly as Slovak musician Lukáš Kmit.
On February 7, 2012, SpaceX, the private space transportation company, will be launching its reusable spacecraft, Dragon, to the International Space Station (ISS). Because you and I won’t be riding the Dragon just yet, I have the next best thing to being there: a panoramic view of its interior.
The Priceline Negotiator, who showed his audience how to save up to 60% on name-your-own-price travel deals, recently died while rescuing a bus filled with potential customers. His last words were, “Save yourselves…some money.” He was 5 years old.
QR codes. I hates ‘em. The Quick Response code (QR code) popped up in our lives a few years ago, a strange square that looks like what you get when you cross Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House textiles (as seen in Blade Runner)...Read More
Recently, my husband and I were arguing about TiVos, and it’s not just because we like to argue. He says that our homegrown MythTV system is a customizable, open-source way to record television, and I say that I miss the chirpy little noise a TiVo remote control made when I fast-forwarded through the commercials. Then we paused to remember Tivo’s competitor, ReplayTV. What the heck happened to it?
Nov 1, 2011 | Technology
When I first encountered End User License Agreements (EULAs), I can honestly say I ignored them. After all, they were written in Legalese, a language I never learned. It was easy enough to click “I accept” and ignore it in the same way that I once ignored my father’s demand that I stop wearing a push-up bra.
Later I thought, “Wow, this bra is awfully revealing,” and “Maybe I should read this EULA, after all.”
Life is too short to want to punch a website in the face, but there I was, staring at Apple.com, feeling the rage. I was struck for the nth time by the sheer badness of the name iPad when I realized there were worse names of tech companies, products, and services. In fact, there are entire categories of bad.
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