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Gentlemachines
What's new at the crossroads of culture, technology and science
Curated by Artur Alves
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The History of Early Computing Machines, from Ancient Times to 1981

The History of Early Computing Machines, from Ancient Times to 1981 | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
From the abacus to the IBM personal computer, calculating devices have come a long way. Let's take a look through the history of these machines and the remarkable progress that came with the 20th century.
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Open Peer to allow direct peer-to-peer signaling to initiate connection between people, using browsers

Open Peer to allow direct peer-to-peer signaling to initiate connection between people, using browsers | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

While WebRTC is a protocol that allows direct communication between individuals on the internet, using their browser, there is a bottleneck that needs to be resolved. 

WebRTC does not have a "signaling protocol", which allows the initial contact, the "handshake" between two computers, to be performed without the assistance of a dedicated server.

The trouble is that firewalls are preventing that initial communication from happening. They close your computer within a space that others, on the outside, cannot penetrate.

 

Now there is some important work in progress to establish an open peer-to-peer signaling protocol that will overcome the handshake bottleneck.

More at http://openpeer.org/

 

Open Peer is peer-to-peer signalling protocol taking advantages of the IETF advances of firewall penetration techniques for moving media and adds a layer to performs the media signalling in a peer-to-peer fashion but does expect that a minimal requirement of rendezvous servers existing. Beyond the initial rendezvous to get past firewalls, the servers should drop out of the protocol flow and are no longer required.

 

Open Peer was designed with these main goals in mind...

 

There is also a reference here to a previous article about WebRTC

 

http://tinyurl.com/d3y28sm

 


Via Sepp Hasslberger, P2P Foundation
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Titan supercomputer debuts for open scientific research - CNET

Titan supercomputer debuts for open scientific research - CNET | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"Titan supercomputer debuts for open scientific researchCNETThe Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility is home to Titan, the world's most powerful supercomputer for open science with a theoretical peak performance exceeding 20 petaflops"

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Robot wars: How high frequency trading changed global markets: TBIJ

Robot wars: How high frequency trading changed global markets: TBIJ | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The biggest cyber battle you've never heard of is being waged on the stock markets.

Via Nicholas Ripley, P2P Foundation
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Q&A: Hacker Historian George Dyson Sits Down With Wired’s Kevin Kelly

Q&A: Hacker Historian George Dyson Sits Down With Wired’s Kevin Kelly | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The two most powerful technologies of the 20th century—the nuclear bomb and the computer—were invented at the same time and by the same group of young people. But while the history of the Manhattan Project has been well told, the origin of the computer is relatively unknown. In his new book, Turing’s Cathedral, historian George Dyson, who grew up among these proto- hackers in Princeton, New Jersey, tells the story of how Alan Turing, John von Neumann, and a small band of other geniuses not only built the computer but foresaw the world it would create. Dyson talked to wired about the big bang of the digital universe.
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On algorithms - is there still a place for human judgment?

On algorithms - is there still a place for human judgment? | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Computers could take some tough decisions out of our hands, if we let them. Is there still a place for human judgement?
Artur Alves's insight:

One the most important questions of our times: what can we externalize into algorithms, and what should we keep as human responsibility?

 

"What lies behind our current rush to automate everything we can imagine? Perhaps it is an idea that has leaked out into the general culture from cognitive science and psychology over the past half-century — that our brains are imperfect computers. If so, surely replacing them with actual computers can have nothing but benefits. Yet even in fields where the algorithm’s job is a relatively pure exercise in number- crunching, things can go alarmingly wrong."

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Rethinking the Computer at 80

Rethinking the Computer at 80 | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

«Dr. Neumann (pronounced NOY-man) has remained a voice in the wilderness, tirelessly pointing out that the computer industry has a penchant for repeating the mistakes of the past. He has long been one of the nation’s leading specialists in computer security, and early on he predicted that the security flaws that have accompanied the pell-mell explosion of the computer and Internet industries would have disastrous consequences.

“His biggest contribution is to stress the ‘systems’ nature of the security and reliability problems,” said Steven M. Bellovin, chief technology officer of the Federal Trade Commission. “That is, trouble occurs not because of one failure, but because of the way many different pieces interact.”«

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Why Big Data Falls Short of Its Political Promise

Why Big Data Falls Short of Its Political Promise | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"It in its simplest form, Big Data describes the confluence of two forces — one technological, one social. The new technological reality is the amount of processing power and analytics now available, either free or at no cost. Google has helped pioneer that; as Wired puts it, one of its tools, called Dremel, makes “big data small.”

This level of mega-crunchability is what’s required to process the amount of data now available online, especially via social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Every time we Like something, it’s recorded on some cosmic abacus in the sky.

Then there’s our browsing history, captured and made available to advertisers through behavioral targeting. Add to that available public records on millions of voters — political consultants and media strategists have the ability drill down as god-like dentists"

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Scared of Anonymous? NSA chief says you should be

Scared of Anonymous? NSA chief says you should be | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The director of the National Security Agency says the hacktivist group is growing more powerful and could eventually attack our power grid. So beware. Read this blog post by Don Reisinger on The Digital Home.

"Anonymous has made no indication that it plans to attack the power grid. And its hacks, while decried by government officials, are celebrated by others who say the group is acting on the average citizen's behalf."

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