Pretty much everything that’s great about technology today is thanks to the microprocessor. Billions of them are manufactured every year and they are one of the many reasons you can read this fine website. But few people understand what’s going on inside that little integrated circuit. Here’s a crash course.
The fine folks at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge have a half-ton machine that blows up all of the little details happening in a microprocessor to a size that’s more easily inspected. It has been dubbed “The Megaprocessor” and its creator, James Newman, walks us through how it works in the video below.
Newman’s creation is cool enough to just admire it on its own. Using about 40,000 transistors and 10,ooo LEDs, it diagrams all of the various communications and number crunching going on inside a microprocessor in order to ultimately play a big ass game of Tetris.
To really grok the fine details, you’ll have to pay a visit to the museum itself and spend some time with The Megaprocessor. But I assure you, in a little less than seven minutes you can understand the basics of what goes on in a microprocessor well enough to fake it at a really nerdy party.
Since many of us can’t visit, I highly recommend the CCH’s Twitter account. It always has great old school gear and graphics to check out.
A group of women at NASA called “human computers,” many of them black, helped put a man on the moon. Their intellect was an essential part of America’s ability to launch rockets into space. Jan Crawford shows us how they were relegated to a footnote in history — until now.
A book was published about these women call “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race” by Margot Lee Shetterly.
Also a movie is coming out in Jan 2017 about these women……
With the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming a “big deal”, IEEE has started a big push to get ahead of the game. They created a new IoT Web Portal for the latest news and also started a new IEEE IoT Journal.
There is also work underway to create Standards for IoT communications protocols so IoT devices can talk to each other on ONE standard (maybe we can finally get to that “Digital Convergence” we were prommissed back in 2000 by the CueCat)
You might want to also check out THIS ARTICLE on a Kit for the Internet of Things that IBM and ARM have teamed up to create.
Members are making it possible for all your appliances and devices to communicate with each other
That once-futuristic vision of a home full of smart gadgets that anticipate our needs, keep us healthy, and save us money is slowly taking shape. Thermostats now learn our preferred settings and schedule, lights turn on and off as we come and go, and refrigerators adjust their temperatures according to how much food they hold.
Such applications make the home a bit smarter, but they’re not really intelligent. That’s because most home-automation devices are loners: They don’t work with each other. They’re made by different manufacturers, and by the way, they lack privacy and security protection. IEEE is working with industry to build an architecture that provides connectivity; simultaneously, it is developing standards and addressing security concerns.
Computer science is a foundational field that opens doors for all boys and girls. Starring Sheryl Sandberg, Jasmine Lawrence, Karlie Kloss, May-Li Khoe, Mia Epner, Alice Steinglass, Jess Lee, Jessica Alba, Paola Mejía Minaya, Malala Yousafzai, and Susan Wojcicki.
I have often wondered what would happen if a solar flare hit the earth now like it did in 1859 (see wikipedia “Solar Storm of 1859”). Since we are at the peak of the solar cycle, it might be a good time to take a look at the question. With everything stored by computer would we enter a digital dark age?
Well today on “On the Media” they talked about this issue and also the loss of historical digital information.