Posts Tagged “Computer Science”

07w40:2 One Laptop Per Child

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Laptop With a Mission Widens Its Audience | David Pogue
“There are also three programming environments of different degrees of sophistication. Incredibly, one keystroke reveals the underlying code of almost any XO program or any Web page. Students can not only study how their favorite programs have been written, but even experiment by making changes. (If they make a mess of things, they can restore the original.) There’s real brilliance in this emphasis on understanding the computer itself.”

04w36:1 Alice and Bob

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Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 36 number 1 (Alice and Bob)


Teleportation goes long distance | Paul Rincon
“Researchers from the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Science used an 800m-long optical fibre fed through a public sewer system tunnel to connect labs on opposite sides of the River Danube. The link establishes a channel between the labs, dubbed Alice and Bob. This enables the properties, or ‘quantum states’, of light particles to be transferred between the sender (Alice) and the receiver (Bob). In the computers of tomorrow, this information would form the qubits (the quantum form of the digital bits 1 and 0) of data processing through the machines. “

The Story of Alice and Bob | John Gordon
“Against all odds, over a noisy telephone line, tapped by the tax authorities and the secret police, Alice will happily attempt, with someone she doesn’t trust, whom she can’t hear clearly, and who is probably someone else, to fiddle her tax return and to organise a cout d’etat, while at the same time minimising the cost of the phone call. A coding theorist is someone who doesn’t think Alice is crazy.”

Alice and Bob |
“Alice and Bob are common archetypal ‘characters’ used in explanations in fields such as cryptography and physics. The names are used for convenience, since explanations such as ‘Person A wants to send a message to person B’ rapidly become difficult to follow. The names are also said to be politically correct, since they are from both sexes, and were chosen only because of the alphabetical order.”

Chapter 1, Bits | MIT Open Course Ware: Information and Entropy, Spring 2003
“How is information quantified? Consider a situation that could have any of several possible outcomes. An example might be flipping a coin (2 outcomes, heads or tails) or selecting a card from a deck of playing cards (52 possible outcomes). How compactly could one person (by convention usually named Alice) tell another person (Bob) this outcome?” NOTE: links to a PDF file, 144K

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emailed by Timothy on Tuesday 31 August 2004 @ 10:40 PM


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Note: I was using an incorrect calendar for the week numbers – this is week six. – Timothy


The machine that invents | Tina Hesman
“Thaler, the president and chief executive of Imagination Engines Inc. in Maryland Heights, gets credit for all those things, but he’s really just ‘the man behind the curtain,’ he says. The real inventor is a computer program called a Creativity Machine. What Thaler has created is essentially ‘Thomas Edison in a box,’ said Rusty Miller, a government contractor at General Dynamics and one of Thaler’s chief cheerleaders. ‘His first patent was for a Device for the Autonomous Generation of Useful Information,’ the official name of the Creativity Machine, Miller said. ‘His second patent was for the Self-Training Neural Network Object. Patent Number Two was invented by Patent Number One. Think about that. Patent Number Two was invented by Patent Number One!'”
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Biology vs. the Blank Slate | Ronald Bailey & Nick Gillespie
“Pinker: […] The blank slate mentality is popular with people who believe that any human trait can be altered with the right changes in social institutions. It’s popular in the more radical branches of feminism, although not with the original core of feminism that stressed the drive for equity between the sexes. I think it allies to some degree with Marxist approaches to society. Not that Marx literally believed in a blank slate, but he certainly believed that you could not intelligently discuss human nature separate from its ever-changing interaction with the social environment. […] The noble savage myth is behind the sensibility that violence is learned behavior, a slogan that is repeated endlessly whenever violence is chronicled in the news. It’s also behind the Romantic idea that violent nonconformists are actually seeing the hypocrisy of society and challenging social institutions from a marginalized viewpoint, as opposed to the idea that such people are psychopaths and that we should prevent them from wreaking havoc on everyone else. [The doctrine of the ghost in the machine…] is there in a vaguer way, too, among others who fear that a materialist viewpoint–the idea that human experience and choice are products of a physical organ called the brain–is corrosive of morality, meaning, and ultimate purpose.
reason: Why do you call these ideas myths?
Pinker: Because they’re wrong. ”

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 02 February 2004 @ 1:15 AM

04w04:4 Computer Security vs. Robertsons

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All screwed up and nowhere to show | Brad Wheeler
“The package was delivered to London’s Rebecca Hossack Gallery well in advance of the fair’s gala opening on Wednesday evening. Just one problem, though: The screws used to fasten the crate were Robertson square drives — a circular screw with a recessed square made to receive a matching hand driver. Quite common in Canada, the make is all but unheard of across the pond”.

A Visit from the FBI | Scott Granneman
“Dave also had a great quotation for us: ‘If you’re a bad guy and you want to frustrate law enforcement, use a Mac.’ Basically, police and government agencies know what to do with seized Windows machines. They can recover whatever information they want, with tools that they’ve used countless times. The same holds true, but to a lesser degree, for Unix-based machines. But Macs evidently stymie most law enforcement personnel. They just don’t know how to recover data on them. So what do they do? By and large, law enforcement personnel in American end up sending impounded Macs needing data recovery to the acknowledged North American Mac experts: the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Evidently the Mounties have built up a knowledge and technique for Mac forensics that is second to none.”

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emailed by Timothy on Friday 30 January 2004 @ 4:39 PM