If you don't know who [Alan Turing](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing) was, then shame on you. The British code breaker, mathematics genius and father of both computer science and artificial intelligence is rightly credited with helping to bring the second world war to an end. Turing was also gay, and that's where the shame has stuck firmly on the UK establishment for more than 60 years. Turing was convicted for 'homosexual activity' in 1952, and his punishment was to be chemically castrated. This shameful and appaling conviction meant that Turing was unable to continue his pioneering code-breaking work at Bletchley Park as he lost …

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[ATTACH=right]16125[/ATTACH]Google has been speaking about their commitment to be a[URL="http://www.google.com/intl/en/corporate/green/index.html"] cleaner, greener company[/URL] since they announced their commitment to become a carbon neutral enterprise back in 2007. Now, they have made a new green energy deal that could help give wind power the boost that it needs not only to keep Google green but to help the US finally break its deadly fossil fuel addiction. Google announced last week, that it has signed a 20 year deal with the alternative energy company [URL="http://www.nexteraenergyresources.com/"]NextEra Energy[/URL]. The deal is being carried out by Google's energy division which was formed at the end …

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[ATTACH=RIGHT]19325[/ATTACH]A big part of what makes us human is the way we communicate with each other. We speak words, big deal, machines can do that. But what sets us apart as humans are the flaws, nuances, slang, shorthand and ambiguity we often use when we speak. The famous game show Jeopardy asks questions that are not designed for a computer to answer. They are spoken in natural English language, a form of communication that is not what computers were designed to understand… until now. In 1997 IBM’s Deep Blue defeated the world’s number one chess player. Fast forward 14 years, …

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It has been one of the great blogging success stories, not to mention literary mysteries. But now the true identity of the Diary of a London Call Girl blogger has been revealed, by Belle de Jour herself. The blog, based upon a secret life covering 14 months as a high class escort and prostitute in London, spawned a successful national newspaper column, a best-selling book and even a TV movie. For a number of years now speculation has been rife as to who Belle de Jour really was, with the media 'outing' everyone from the editor of the Erotic Review …

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As if Google Earth wasn't cool and useful enough -- like helping find a new apartment in a faraway city or taking a little tour of a foreign place -- Google's latest version of the program just upped the ante.[ATTACH]16279[/ATTACH]Now you can view live weather patterns of rain and snow. So far the precipitation data covers parts of North America and Europe, according to a Thursday [URL="http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/07/rain-or-snow-now-you-can-see-weather-in.html"]Google Earth blog post[/URL] by software engineer Quarup Barreirinhas. "This is a fun and useful tool for anyone planning to travel or who wants to check a specific area where a friend or relative …

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[ATTACH=RIGHT]16929[/ATTACH]In a blog posting August 26, Microsoft announced that it is revising the licensing terms of its Security Development Lifecycle, moving parts of it to a Creative Commons license. Security Development Lifecycle is a methodology that Microsoft developed that incorporates best security practices at every level of the development lifecycle when security is important--such as in secure business environments or where personally identifiable information is vital. The methodology includes a set of documentation explaining the process and how to follow it, as well as a set of software tools to help in the software development. But there's always been a …

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Textbooks are among the top expenses for college students. Today Barnes and Noble launched its app to eliminate at least some of the production costs for textbooks. The company released NOOKstudy, a Web-based e-Textbook application that can bring students a 50 percent savings, according to an announcement today. [ATTACH]16370[/ATTACH]“We’re thrilled to roll out our revolutionary NOOKstudy application to provide higher education students with unprecedented freedom to access their eTextbooks and other resources on their PC or Mac anytime and anywhere to make it easy to study smarter," said Tracey Weber, executive vice president of textbooks and digital education. The computing …

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Back in 1976, along with Stanford University professor Martin Hellman, Whit Diffie produced quite possibly the most important paper in the history of cryptography. That paper, New Directions in Cryptography, laid the groundwork for solving one of the fundamental problems of cryptography, that of key distribution. Now Diffie himself is taking a different direction by joining the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as Vice President for Information Security and Cryptography. In his new role, Diffie will provide advice on general security matters related to ICANN's mandate, and to ICANN in the design, development and implementation of security …

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Ten percent of people working in the electronics and telecom sector have not read a book for pleasure in the last year. During the same 12 month period, 35 percent had not learnt a new activity or indulged in a new hobby either. According to the Department For Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in the UK, an encouraging 60 percent did think that learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby would make them more confident at work. Photography led the way, with 18 percent wanting to learn that and 11 percent showing an interest in taking up …

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According to the British government organisation which helps UK-based companies to succeed in the wider global economy, UK Trade & Investment ([URL="http://www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk"]UKTI[/URL]), it is currently helping some 76 UK companies pitch for business with the European particle physics laboratory, CERN. Apparently, CERN spent a massive £110 million ($175.75 million) on such supply contracts last year. UKTI is working with the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to bring senior procurement officials to the UK who are looking to fulfil contracts in areas such as IT, mechanical engineering and electronics. The UK companies will be meeting with CERN officials at two …

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I can't say I have ever heard of pussy power being used as a driver for advanced chip technology development, but that's precisely what researchers at IBM are claiming. A team of boffins at IBM have been speaking about how they have arrived at something of a milestone breakthrough: a supercomputer that simulates a brain in near real time and has more cerebral cortex capacity than a cat. The cognitive computing team which is headed up by IBM Research managed to achieve what it says are "significant advances in large-scale cortical simulation" as well as "a new algorithm that synthesizes …

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Bletchley Park, the top secret code breaking hub that played a pivotal role in the outcome of World War Two, has finally been awarded development funding of some £460,500 ($735,500) from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money will literally save the place the saved the lives of countless people by shortening World War two by at least two years. With the money, the Bletchley Park Trust will be able to start plans for transforming [URL="http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk"]Bletchley Park[/URL] itself into a world class heritage and educational centre. The Trust now has a further two years in which to finalise the plans before …

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Mainframe literate IT professionals are becoming as rare as rocking horse crap courtesy of demographics, the economy and the fact that the mainframe came close to death some years back. So what, you might think, but business is starting to embrace the mainframe once more and the dramatic exodus of all the geeks skilled in these technologies is starting to show. According to Tim Farrell, co-founder and CEO of solutions developer FutureSoft, experienced IT professionals with a background in evolutionary mainframe technology are "being persuaded to retire" while at the same time some "14 percent of UK IT graduates, increasingly …

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Last week Amazon [URL="http://mashable.com/2009/07/17/amazon-kindle-1984/"]did something despicable[/URL]. They violated the privacy of every Kindle user when without warning they remotely deleted copies of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from Kindle Readers. It seems that Amazon had determined these books had been purchased "illegally." (The irony of choosing these particular books goes without saying.) This set off a firestorm of protest and criticism aimed directly at Amazon and raised some very serious questions about electronic books (and electronic content) in general. If it could be deleted or even altered, what could that do to the integrity of the written word? My …

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Now that's what I call a really cool idea, an air-fuelled battery for the [URL="http://www.itpro.co.uk/blogs/daveyw/2009/05/19/confession-i-am-sleeping-with-my-iphone/"]ever popular iPhone[/URL]. Actually, it is more than an idea, this is a development with legs. University researchers in the UK, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council ([URL="http://www.epsrc.ac.uk"]EPSRC[/URL]) have designed something called the STAIR cell. The STAIR, short for St Andrews Air (the [URL="http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk"]University of St Andrews[/URL] is the lead researcher on the project) battery uses oxygen drawn from thin air to produce a reaction within porous carbon to create the electrical charge. The good news being that this pretty green and clean …

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Imagine my surprise when I learned this morning that an [URL="http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10216733-64.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-5"]IBM researcher believes[/URL] that Moore's Law-- that the number of transistors on a micro processor would double nearly every two years-- could be nearing the end of its run. Amazingly Moore made this prediction in 1965 and his law has stuck pretty much dead true for almost 45 years. So it's Friday and it got me wondering, if Moore's Law is going down, what could this mean to other famous laws: [B]Murphy's Law: Anything that Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong.[/B] Over the next several years, some researchers believe this …

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Following the introduction of the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive, better known as IPRED, which became law on Wednesday last week, the amount of Internet traffic has plummeted by as much as 40 percent according to the Netnod Internet Exchange which measures such things. Sweden has perhaps been best known, until now, for ABBA, Greta Garbo, tennis players who sell underwear and that chef on The Muppet Show. Bork Bork Bork. That, and being host to the Pirate Bay which is the largest and certainly the most notorious BitTorrent tracker on the face of the planet. Described by the [URL="http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-webscout29apr29,0,1261622.story?coll=la-home-entertainment"]Los …

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It all sounds a little science fiction, but according to scientists at MIT it seems that a virus powered iPhone, laptop and even car are all possibilities stemming from research they have been doing. Although the potential for building batteries from viruses was discovered a few years ago, the MIT team behind the research now reckons that it has progressed to a point where the material being produced is powerful enough to power a car. What they have done is use viruses to create both the negative and positive charged anodes and cathodes that make up the component parts of …

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Us geeks have known it for ever, but the secret is now out: computer science rocks! That would seem to be the conclusion that a panel of international experts, admittedly they are experts in Computer Science and Informatics (CS&I), has arrived at. The [URL="http://www.rae.ac.uk/"]Research Assessment Exercise 2008[/URL] decided that the computational thinking driving the computer science field is a key tool for solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior in many disciplines. The survey highlights increased levels of influence when it comes to computer science on other disciplines such as bioinformatics and medicine. It also showed that research funding …

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With loan foreclosures up 176% this year, compared to 2007, it’s high time that we took a good look at the software tool – and the company that makes it – that promises to help troubled mortgage holders work out more favorable terms for their mortgages. In doing so, Computer Sciences (the company that created the mortgage adjusted software I’m talking about) could make a boatload of money on fixing bad mortgages. Loan “workouts” are up 125% since 2007 but there are millions of anxious homeowners who, the U.S. Treasury Department says, won’t pick up the phone and seek help …

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Telecommuters are among the luckiest employees out there: we can eat donuts during conference calls (use the mute button, please!), lay our heads on our desks when the mood strikes, and can show up to work in a canary-yellow caftan and no one is the wiser. That is, unless your employer suddenly decides to turn the hairy eyeball of technology on you. [URL="http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/narikannan/working-from-homeyour-boss-may-be-watching-you-work-remotely-26374"] ITtoolbox's Nari Kannan[/URL] writes about a [URL="http://www.star-telegram.com/business/story/802951.html"]somewhat disturbing story[/URL] that's recently made it to syndication from the Wall Street Journal. It details the lengths some employers will go to in order to keep tabs on employees who …

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A rather interesting [URL="http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=206903246"]article in the EETimes[/URL] suggests that the holy grail of artificial intelligence, the ability to pass the Turing Test, may become a reality later this year courtesy of a collaboration between IBM and the [URL="http://www.rpi.edu/"]Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute[/URL]. The [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test"]Turing Test[/URL] was first described by Alan Turing back in 1950, and requires a human being acting as a judge to hold a natural language conversation with a machine and with another human being and not be able to tell which is which. So far, no machine has been able to pass this simple test. But now the AI …

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Scientists from the University of Glasgow in Scotland have developed a nanotech switch, the size of a molecule, which could herald the 500,000 GB iPod. [URL="http://www.electropages.com/viewArticle.aspx?intArticle=10607"]The scientists reckon[/URL] that the breakthrough means an iPod could increase its capacity by no less than 150,000 times the current storage capability. Professor Lee Cronin and Dr Malcolm Kadodwala say that the 500,000 GB capacity will be possible on a single square inch, compare that to the current maximum for such a space of just 3.3 GB and you'll understand why people are getting excited. If, as the Glasgow team believe, it means that …

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Anyone with an interest in the history of computing will know that the first mechanical computer was invented by one Charles Babbage, British mathematician and visionary. If you happen to be in the vicinity of the Science Museum in London you can even see a working difference engine, something Babbage never did in his lifetime as he died before a prototype could be completed. Amazingly, according to [URL="http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=313000&intsrc=hm_list"]this story[/URL] a number of scientists in the US are now working once more on mechanical computers. Fair play, they are likely to weigh less then the two ton steampunk Babbage creation, a …

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Scientists at IBM have finally managed to get around the problem of electrical interference that prevented signals from working correctly while using the carbon mesh material of grapheme. It means that they can now get on with the job in hand of building nanoscale transistors according to this [URL="http://www.technewsworld.com/rsstory/62064.html"]report[/URL].

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How small can a laser get? Good question, and according to the physicists at the [URL="http://www.nist.gov/"]National Institute of Standards and Technology[/URL] (NIST) the answer is very small indeed, one single quantum dot small perhaps. To put this into some perspective, a typical microdisk laser of the type currently used in experiments by NIST and Stanford Univeristy is constructed of layers of indium arsenide on top of gallium arsenide, the resulting etched out diskj being 1.8 micrometers across and containing an average of 130 quantum dot islands of indium arsenide in each one. The newly developed micrometer-sized solid-state lasers see a …

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Some would say blue, given the amount of sex that can be found on the web. Others might go for black, thinking along the lines of increasing online crime. To many the whole idea of Internet technology is a grey area. But, my friends, thanks to researchers at the Chinese Academy of Science, the University of Leuven in Belgium and Washington State University, the answer could soon become a lot more black and white as they plan to dye the Internet to make it run faster. No, I have not been on the sherry again, this is a serious technology …

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The End.