“With that [Toyota] recall, the Prius joined the ranks of the buggy computer — a club that began in 1945 when engineers found a moth in Panel F, Relay #70 of the Harvard Mark II system.The computer was running a test of its multiplier and adder when the engineers noticed something was wrong. The moth was trapped, removed and taped into the computer’s logbook with the words: ‘first actual case of a bug being found.’ ” (Simson Garfinkel, Wired)
Svetlana bots, Furbies, Cleverbot, Eliza therapy bot…Tons of info on robots, software bots, and artificial intelligence in the Radio Lab podcast.
“Digital games sales in the Middle East and Africa in 2011 accounted for an estimated $900 million out of the $24 billion global market: but that figure is set to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 29 percent to reach $3.2 billion in 2016, compared with global growth of 17 percent for the same period, according to the research firm Ovum, based in London.” (Dania Saadi, NYTimes.com)
“The concept has been around for years, sometimes called the Internet of Things or the Industrial Internet. Yet it takes time for the economics and engineering to catch up with the predictions. And that moment is upon us […] One [application] is a smart hospital room, equipped with three small cameras, mounted inconspicuously on the ceiling. With software for analysis, the room can monitor movements by doctors and nurses in and out of the room, alerting them if they have forgotten to wash their hands before and after touching patients — lapses that contribute significantly to hospital-acquired infections. Computer vision software can analyze facial expressions for signs of severe pain, the onset of delirium or other hints of distress, and send an electronic alert to a nearby nurse.” (Steve Lohr, NYTimes.com)
“Many companies are placing bets. Amazon.com, Inc. used HTML5 for a Web-based app called Kindle Cloud Reader that sidesteps Apple rules for selling content on its iPhone and iPads. “Angry Birds” creator Rovio Entertainment Ltd. developed an HMTL5 version that lobs avian projectiles at enemy pigs with no need for an app. Pandora Media, Inc. used the technology to overhaul its popular Internet radio website, which launches more quickly and helps users more easily track others’ listening patterns.” (Don Clark, Wall Street Journal)
“Those tools were more than inventive bundles of computer code. The C language and Unix reflected a point of view, a different philosophy of computing than what had come before. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, minicomputers were moving into companies and universities — smaller and at a fraction of the price of hulking mainframes.
Minicomputers represented a step in the democratization of computing, and Unix and C were designed to open up computing to more people and collaborative working styles. Mr. Ritchie, Mr. Thompson and their Bell Labs colleagues were making not merely software but, as Mr. Ritchie once put it, “a system around which fellowship can form.” (Steve Lohr, NYTimes.com)