Thursday, December 12, 2013
Last week I was in Dunedin and visited the Otago Settlers Museum. Hidden amongst exhibits about Dunedin's pioneer settlers, at the farthest reaches of the museum, behind the old motor vehicles was a collection of computers, including the rare ELSIE computer, which used to be used for drawing Bonus Bond winners. You never know what you'll find in a museum.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
This is exciting news. Plans are underway to establish a New Zealand Computer Museum in Auckland's Wynyard Quarter down by the waterfront. The organisers have the support of major patrons and organisations such as Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple), The Institute of IT Professionals (formerly the New Zealand Computer Society) and Auckland University Computer Science Department. You can find out more information and support this project via their crowd-funding campaign and their Facebook page.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
My colleague Bob Doran put me onto this; nothing to do with computing but it certainly is fasinating. Theo Jansen's Strandbeests are wind powered sculptures that use biologically inspired mechanisms to move. Watch the video below to see the remarkable strandbeests.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Facebook has announced that it is partnering with US university computer science departments to provide open source projects for students to work on. The students will earn credits whilst working on projects suggested by Facebook engineers. CompSci students who are interested in participating can visit Facebook’s Open Academy Program page. Of course you'll have to persuade your professors to join the program for you to earn credit.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
A year ago Apple was taking a lot of criticism for its decision to kick Google Maps of the iOS platform. I in a post titled "Apple's mapocalypse" took a different view - for competitive reasons Apple had to develop its own mapping and location services. It now seems that Apple (and I) were right; the Guardian in an article titled "Apple maps: how Google lost when everyone thought it had won" shows that a year on Google has lost tens of millions of Google Map users to Apple in the US alone.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
The Institute of IT Professionals blog features the (re)-opening of the NZ Computer Timeline last Thursday 7 November. In an extended photo essay the blog post not only features the new timeline but other works of art and historical exhibits from through out the Computer Science Department's computing history displays. If you're in Auckland you're welcome to drop in and tour the displays.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Watch the video below of the Japanese Ishikawa Oku Laboratory's Janken robot winning at rock-paper-scissors 100% of the time. Technically it's cheating as it uses high-speed recognition and reaction to operate its hand-like machinery, which takes one millisecond to recognise what shape the human hand is making.