Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Zealand Computer Museum

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

Strandbeest - kinetic sculptures

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

Earn college credits whilst working for Facebook

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

#Apple's wise maps decision

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

Computer history on display at Auckland University

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

Rock paper scissors robot wins every time!

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.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Facebook to use Artificial Intelligence

Another Facebook story this week; Australian Business Insider reports that Facebook is aplanning to use AI and voice recognition to provide search. Mark Zuckerberg is reported as saying "In September, we formed the Facebook AI Group to do world-class artificial intelligence research using all the knowledge that people have shared on Facebook. The goal here is to use new approaches in AI to help make sense of all the content that people share so we can generate new insights about the world to answer people’s questions." Personally I don't believe Facebook will ever be a serious player in the search area since despite the massive number of posts it archives the content is just too random to be really useful.