Posted by samzenpuson Sunday April 29, @11:58AM from the oldest-school dept.
mikejuk writes "John Graham-Cumming is the leading light behind a project to actually build the analytical engine dreamed of by Charles Babbage. There is a tendency to think that everything that Babbage thought up was little more than a calculating machine, but as the video makes 100% clear the analytical engine was a real computer that could run programs. From the article: 'Of course Ada Lovelace was the first programmer, but more importantly her work with Babbage took the analytical engine from the realms of mathematical table construction into the wider world of non-mathematical programming. Her notes indicate that had the machine been built there is no question that it would have been exploited just as we use silicon-based machines today. To see the machine built and running programs would be the final proof that Babbage really did invent the general purpose computer in the age of the steam engine.'"
Posted by samzenpuson Friday April 27, @08:02AM from the gentlemen-we-can-rebuild-him dept.
angry tapir writes "Australian researchers are getting ready to test a bionic eye on patients in 2013. The eye consists of 98 electrodes that stimulate nerve cells in the retina, which is a tissue lining the back of the eye that converts light into electrical impulses necessary for sight, and allow users to better differentiate between light and dark. With the bionic eye, images taken by a camera are processed in an external unit, such as a smartphone, then relayed to the implant's chip. This stimulates the retina by sending electric signals along the optic nerve into the brain where they are decoded as vision."
Posted by samzenpuson Wednesday April 25, @10:56PM from the learning-to-count dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Yupno people of New Guinea have provided clues to the origins of the number-line concept, and suggest that the familiar concept of time may be cultural as well. From the article: 'Tape measures. Rulers. Graphs. The gas gauge in your car, and the icon on your favorite digital device showing battery power. The number line and its cousins – notations that map numbers onto space and often represent magnitude – are everywhere. Most adults in industrialized societies are so fluent at using the concept, we hardly think about it. We don't stop to wonder: Is it 'natural'? Is it cultural? Now, challenging a mainstream scholarly position that the number-line concept is innate, a study suggests it is learned."
Posted by samzenpuson Wednesday April 25, @05:50PM from the not-the-desired-outcome dept.
Barence writes "Microsoft challenged the editor of PC Pro to return to Hotmail after six years of using Gmail, to prove that its webmail service had vastly improved — but the challenge backfired when he had his Hotmail account hacked. PC Pro's editor say he was quietly impressed with a number of new Hotmail features, including SkyDrive integration and mailbox clean-up features. He'd even imported his Gmail and contacts into Microsoft's service. But the two-week experiment came to an abrupt end when Hotmail sent a message containing a malicious link to all of his contacts. 'What's even more worrying is that it's not only my webmail that's been compromised, but my Xbox login (which holds my credit card details) and now my PC login too. Because Windows 8 practically forces you to login with your Windows Live/Hotmail details to access features such as the Metro Store, synchronization and SkyDrive,' he writes."
Posted by Unknown Lameron Wednesday April 25, @10:05AM from the captain-planet-will-still-kill-you dept.
DesScorp writes "James Lovelock, the scientist that came up with the 'Gaia Theory' and a prominent herald of climate change, once predicted utter disaster for the planet from climate change, writing 'before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.' Now Lovelock is walking back his rhetoric, admitting that he and other prominent global warming advocates were being alarmists. In a new interview with MSNBC he says: '"The problem is we don't know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books — mine included — because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn't happened," Lovelock said. "The climate is doing its usual tricks. There's nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now," he said. "The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising — carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that," he added.' Lovelock still believes the climate is changing, but at a much, much slower pace."
Swimming I did go, this morning; although, I only swam about 2/3 of the time normally devoted to the activity. No sense overdoing it since I had not swum since 4/13/2012.
Pulling the weeds that got a head start on me will take some catching-up time. I picked one pint of strawberries night-before-last and another last night; so, Hunky Husband would be feasting - if he would remember that they are in the refrigerator, on his tray. He's pretty tired, so I shan't give him grief over his forgetting them.
The irises have bloomed bountifully. I took a couple of stems into the client shelter and a bouquet into the office. Everyone seemed to enjoy them.
I'll shut up now and post photos of our yard. Most of the photos are of irises - and they speak for themselves.
The irises (above photo) are in our yard, but they crept over from the neighbor's yard. The window to the right in the photo is the neighbor's basement window. One of these days, I'll probably replace the concrete blocks with blocks that are better looking. No sense using good blocks until I'm sure that they are where I want them. (After five or ten years, they are probably well placed.)
These two irises (above photo) came from WalMart. The sage was dug up, last fall, from the large bunch of sage that is beside our back steps (photo below). This is the sage clump that Bogie was kind enough to identify for me. I had thought/misremembered that it was basil of some sort!
Ooooh! I nearly forgot a couple of photos that show evidence of good things to come. The photo on the left (below) shows bountiful blooms on our two dwarf pyracantha while the photo on the right shows fruit to come on our Northstar cherry tree. With any luck, the berries on our pyracantha will, this year, rival those of Bogie's pyracantha last year (see Firethorn).
If you care to know what Hunky Husband and I have been up to since 4/13/2012, I've posted on Volunteer Endeavors.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States experienced 1,691 tornadoes in 2011, the highest number on record. In addition, 95 tornadoes occurred in January, 57 in February, and approximately 220 in March 2012. The tornado numbers for these two seasons are significantly higher than the 1991-2010 tornado average. Jurisdictions across the U.S. should ensure that they are prepared for the effects of tornadoes.
NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with the space shuttle Discovery mated on top rolls into position for demating at Washington Dulles International Airport, Wednesday, April 18, 2012, in Sterling, VA. Discovery, the first orbiter retired from NASA’s shuttle fleet, completed 39 missions, spent 365 days in space, orbited the Earth 5,830 times, and traveled 148,221,675 miles. NASA will transfer Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum to begin its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and to educate and inspire future generations of explorers.
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Space Shuttle Discovery Arrives at Udvar-Hazy
Space shuttles Enterprise, left, and Discovery meet nose-to-nose at the beginning of a transfer ceremony at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Thursday, April 19, 2012, in Chantilly, Va. Space shuttle Discovery--the first orbiter retired from NASA’s shuttle fleet, completed 39 missions, spent 365 days in space, orbited the Earth 5,830 times, and traveled 148,221,675 miles--will take the place of Enterprise at the center to commemorate past achievements in space and to educate and inspire future generations of explorers at the center.
Space Shuttle Discovery Flown Over the U.S. Capitol
Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, is seen as it flies near the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Washington. Discovery, the first orbiter retired from NASA’s shuttle fleet, completed 39 missions, spent 365 days in space, orbited the Earth 5,830 times, and traveled 148,221,675 miles. NASA will transfer Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum to begin its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and to educate and inspire future generations of explorers.
Many years ago, I flew my parents from Kansas City MO to Tulsa OK where they attended the 50th wedding anniversary of the couple who had lived next door to us, in Tulsa, in the early 1940s. As we approached the Tulsa airport (at which my father had been a "line boy" for a time during our Tulsa residency) air traffic control called to tell us to look at our nine o'clock position to see the space shuttle. I thought they were kidding! Fortunately, my mother looked - and there the shuttle was, looking much as Discovery looks in the above photo, with a small (it looked like a toy!) chase plane (an F-104, as I recall). I was to see other shuttles, in free flight, as they returned to Edwards AFB from orbital missions.
Kay (Kay's Thinking Cap) posted a video a few hours ago of a flash mob for a Russian wedding. I don't normally go for flash mobs and miscellaneous videos; but, Kay's words enticed me. I am still grinning, ear to ear, from the nearly six minutes of joy. Here's the link to Kay's Gotta Love it!!! posting. I highly recommend that you go see the video.
Thanks to Buffy of Arrrgh!!! for sending me the link via email. (Buffy's link is no longer in my side bar, not because we are no longer blog friends, but because she does most of her posting on FaceBook these days. She is one busy woman! For those who do not know, Buffy is a master quilter IMHO.)