Like you're even going to want to.
Looking for new ways to remember Ada Lovelace, wonderful woman of tech history? Of course you are, and you're in luck! You won't be able to get this catchy, if brief, tune out of your head as its electronic sound reminds you how much we owe her.Read More
Benedict Cumberbatch Reading an Alan Turing Letter in Celebration of Written Correspondence is Peak Cumberbatch
Be my penpal?
In anticipation of independent U.K. publisher Canongate's annual Letters Live event, (at which Cumberbatch is a frequent presenter, of course) here's Benedict "Pingwing" Cumberbatch reading a letter from Alan Turing to mathematician Norman Routledge.Read More
In the wake of the Oscar nominated film The Imitation Game, Alan Turing's gotten a lot of attention in the public consciousness— but what often gets left out of his amazing story of code-breaking and computer geniusery is that in 1952, he was convicted of "gross indecency" for being gay and was forcibly chemically castrated by his government. A few years later, he was dead by suicide.Read More
He is infinite (and so posh)
So you know how Tumblr prince/omnipresent man Benedict Cumberbatch is playing King Richard III in The Hollow Crown? Well according to one genealogist, Cumberbatch's connections to the King of yore extend beyond the connection an actor has to their character: Cumberbatch is literally related to King Richard III.Read More
I feel so much better about the Singularity.
You guys remember rad-as-HECK Ada Lovelace from Sam's profile of her earlier this year, right? The Ada Lovelace? The one with a day of the year named after her plus an entire computer language? The woman who essentially wrote the world's first-ever computer program and predicted the creative capabilities of modern machines? Well, good. Because Ada might be about to get a lot more fans, at least if one tech professor has his druthers.Read More
Kleenex at the ready.
Benedict Cumberbatch's previous "Look, ma! I'm playing a tech history icon!" movie, WikiLeaks docudrama The Fifth Estate, crashed and burned both critically and commercially, so here's hoping his Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game does better. There's certainly no shortage of talent on display in the trailers (US above, UK behind the cut).Read More
Computer Officially Passes Turing Test for the First Time Ever by Pretending to Be a 13-Year-Old Boy
Proving that the best way to convince someone of your humanity is to annoy the crap out of them.
For the first time since the inception of the Turing Test in 1950, a computer has been able to pass by convincing humans that it is a 13-year-old boy named Eugene Goostman. Smart strategy—everybody knows that prepubescent teenagers are as irrational as buggy computer programs.Read More
For great justice
Alan Turing Officially Given That Royal Pardon, But What about Everyone Else Convicted of Gross Indecency?
Remember, human decency only applies to you if you are famous.
Remember that online movement to pardon Alan Turing that began to pick up steam recently? Well, it's finally paid off — the famous cryptographer received a formal pardon from Queen Elizabeth II yesterday for being convicted of charges related to homosexuality in 1952. Just him, though. Apparently all the other convicted homosexuals are out of luck.Read More
Pardoning Alan Turing is a nice thought, but it runs the risk of sending the wrong message -- that thousands of other men who suffered his same fate in Britain deserved it.
There's a new movement gaining steam in England to officially pardon British cryptographer and godfather of modern computer science Alan Turing, and it appears likely that this one will finally end in a formal pardon. Now, ordinarily, we'd be all for that, but for one fact. If Turing is issued an official pardon, it will be for the wrong reasons, and runs the risk of ignoring why he actually deserves an apology from his government -- and why many other Britons who were similarly affected by a bad law deserve the same.Read More
Submitted For Your Approval
Scientists Petition to Grant War Hero, Math Genius Alan Turing, Convicted of Homosexuality, An Official Pardon
For great justice
Things We Saw Today
You might have known that Google regularly creates special doodles for certain historic occasions. Today, of all days, is the birthday of Alan Turing -- the man often considered the father of computer science. He'd be marking his 100th were he still alive. To celebrate properly, the doodle even includes a rudimentary form of programming language.Read More
Things We Saw Today
The 2012 London Olympics are not that far off and, of course, there are many preparations in order, including deciding who will be involved in the traditional torch relay. The bearers are to be chosen through a nominations system (which is now closed, sorry) that is aimed to allow people with "inspirational" stories a chance to bear the flame. People with "inspirational" stories and also a robot, apparently.
James Law of Aberystwyth University nominated the iCub robot as a potential torch bearer, and not just as some sort of prank. Here's Law's pitch:
2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing, the founder of computer science and a figurehead for the code breaking efforts of WWII. A robot torch bearer would be a fitting tribute to Alan Turing, and an inspiration to future generations of scientists and engineers.
Bletchley Park, the birthplace of modern computing and cryptography, where the Allied WWII cipher-breaking effort was headquartered. Cold War paranoia caused Churchill to order Bletchley broken up, its work kept secret, its machines destroyed, and, very slowly, it is being rebuilt.Earlier this year, the Bletchley Trust acquired Alan Turing's papers for the collection with a grant from Google.org, and I got this shot of Turing's awesome hand-drawn Monopoly board -- the cryptographers of Bletchley were sequestered from the rest of the world and desperate for distraction, hence this great bit of historical ephemera.
Head on past the jump to see a larger version of the image.Read More
Things We Saw Today
- You find that you are blocked
- You were not spamming
- You had not shown a history of making personal attacks against our writers or otherwise being a jerk (we will notice)