The “human computers” who operated ENIAC have received little credit
James SumnerExtreme example of something I've been seeing a lot lately: IEEE Spectrum piece on "untold history" of the invisible female ENIAC programmers.
This story has been told more frequently and in more detail than almost any other in the history of computing.
The government's top codebreakers unlock hidden messages from the cult comedy character's creator.
James SumnerWith the usual caveat about harmless-crossword-eccentrics framing of GCHQ, this is a fantastic tale.
One weak point Bletchley exploited was the regular appearance of the sign-off "Heil Hitler". Seems their descendants pulled the same trick with "bobbins"
PLAGIARISM-SCANNING company Turnitin is being acquired by Advance Publications, a private company that also owns Condé Nast, for $1.75 billion, the ...
James SumnerOne point seven five billion dollars for a system that responds like a sloth in a bath of treacle and has no offline grading feature unless you buy a Special Fruit Computer because they simply can't be arsed to implement one.
James SumnerShort piece on researcher Brexit hell, with interviewees inc @kieronflanagan and @JennyRohn.
Worth reading, but I wish the tone were more forensic. "A delay is the best remaining option" is not the kind of woolly cakery you want from an astrophysicist.
After a 60.4% vote to stay, locals admit Brexit confusion and grudging respect for May
James SumnerThis is my city and these people all voted the same way as me and they're still talking total nonsense. The one representative of the real world here is a visitor passing through from Cork
James SumnerMANY reasons to download the new open-access ed vol "Being modern" on early-C20 science and culture.
For many of us, I'm sure the foremost of these will be the inclusion of new work by the desperately missed Jeff Hughes.
But he has excellent company:
Get on the electoral register so you can vote in elections and referendums.
James SumnerTo all colleagues scanning the ruffled zone and mentally compiling a "Git yourself good and registered to vote now because who knows what's a-comin'" message to students: here's your link.
Before the EU referendum Vote Leave said: “There will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK. These EU citizens will automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and will be treated no less favourably than...
James SumnerSigned. I rarely bother with these as HMG obviously holds them in contempt, but the lack of traction for this one is being read as lack of concern for the situation of the 3 Million, which is a Bad Thing.
We cannot leave the EU and retain all the rights we had as members, as the tussle over this vital satellite system shows, says science writer Philip Ball
James SumnerPatiently presented pieces like this from @philipcball are ever more necessary.
I fear I would not be up to the task of writing one of these. Certainly my first 27 or 28 drafts would just be me screaming at the reader for needing to read the thing at all.
James SumnerUnforeseen advantage of #OA: being able to download and read the entire book allows you to find out the names of the authors, which NO PUBLISHER ON EARTH seems capable of listing on the marketing page for any edited collection
Trust has become a major theme in the current UCU ballot. In particular, trust in our employers, UUK, and specifically in their language…
*Breathes deeply and evenly*
The point... of requiring... clear commitments... from an untrusted opponent... is to make it difficult... for that opponent... to obscure the issues... later on.
Particularly when third parties have influence.