Computer scientist sees artistic side to father of computer

Computer scientist sees artistic side to father of computer - UChicago News

Photo: UChicago

“Turing is remembered for developing concepts that made modern computers possible, and for leading complex military decoding efforts that proved critical in World War II. But Soare argues that Turing’s landmark 1936 paper on computability theory contains beauty as well as scientific breakthroughs. He compares the concepts in that paper to Michelangelo’s statue, David. ‘Michelangelo and Turing both completely transcended conventional approaches. They created something completely new from their own visions, something which went far beyond the achievements of their contemporaries,’ Soare writes.” (Steve Koppes, UChicago News)

It Started Digital Wheels Turning

It Started Digital Wheels Turning - New York Times

Science Museum Archive/Science & Society Picture Library

“What it may do, though, is answer a question that has tantalized historians for decades: Did an eccentric mathematician named Charles Babbage conceive of the first programmable computer in the 1830s, a hundred years before the idea was put forth in its modern form by Alan Turing?” (John Markoff, NYTimes.com)

Not Quite Smart Enough

Not Quite Smart Enough - New York Times

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

“An important selling point of smart appliances is that they can link into a smart electrical grid that keeps tabs on energy use and programs them to run during off-peak hours, saving money. But the smart-grid projects are just getting under way in the United States. Christopher Mims, who writes about technology for Technology Review, among others, said he thought that while the energy-saving features on smart appliances were interesting, many others were superfluous.

He recently checked out a Samsung smart refrigerator. ‘It has Pandora and a weather app,” he said. “You have to ask yourself, why wouldn’t you look at your phone that is in your pocket?’ ” (Andrew Martin, NYTimes.com)

New voting tech innovations for 2012

New voting tech innovations for 2012

AP Photo

“In Oregon, where disabled residents used iPads to cast ballots during a pilot test for the special election earlier this month, officials say they are ready to deploy the tablets again in January […] There are also new programs on tap for the back end — in Long Beach, Calif., for example, officials will track the city’s polls and their contents with radio frequency identification chips, a kind of high-tech barcode. Throughout election night, the location of the polls and whether the results there have been reported will light up on a bingo-type board and show if the ballot boxes are securely in transit or scanned and at the dropbox center, City of Long Beach clerk Larry Herrera said.” (Mackenzie Weinger, Politico)