“Person of Interest” Becomes Real

So the TV show Person of Interest just became real in the city where it’s set. In the show, Michael Emerson (Ben Linus from Lost) plays a computer programmer who created The Machine for the government. This black box system sorts all the data feeds from all the CCTV cameras, cell phones, computers, and other digital detritus looking for [Read More...]

The Oxyrhynchus Project: Desktop Papyrology

ancientlives

el-Bahnasa is a sand-blasted village about 100 miles south of Cairo. Once known as Oxyrhynchus (“City of the Sharp-Nose Fish”), it prospered under the Greeks, and became largely Christian under the Romans and Byzantines. It had a gradual decline until about the 7th century, when Arab invasions finished it off. Its structures–including a number of churches and monasteries–were [Read More...]

When Disability Becomes an Unfair Advantage

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No, this isn’t a cue for me to start complaining about how the disabled are so lucky because they get all the best parking spaces and cool motorized chairs and awesome things like that.* What I’m talking about is this man: Oscar Pistorius, who I admire tremendously, and about whom I’ve written before. Pistorius was born [Read More...]

Technology and Archaeology in the Holy Land

Thomas Levy, the Norma Kershaw Chair in the Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Neighboring Lands at the University of California (San Diego), gives a TEDTalk about the convergence of technology and archaeology in the Holy Land. In particular, he explains about “cyber-archaeology”: using the latest tech for visualization, data collection and management, and site analysis. New techniques are pumping out vast amounts [Read More...]

The Very First Tech?

“Technology” is a pretty broad category. It encompasses the practical application of knowledge to the fabrication of tools or methods for solving a problem. Picking up a rock and hammering a nail with it is not technology, because the rock has not been modified for a particlar purpose. If we had to guess, the first [Read More...]

Turing’s Death Not a Suicide?

Professor Jack Copeland, an expert on the life of Alan Turing, believes there’s no evidence that Turing committed suicide. Turing was found dead in his bed from cyanide poisoning on June 7th, 1954. He was 41 years old. Two years earlier he had been prosecuted for gross indecency after his homosexuality came to light during a [Read More...]

Printing a Human Bladder and Kidney

Dr. Anthony Atala gives an interesting TED talk about printing organs on 3D printers using cells. One of the printers is on stage printing an organ while he speaks. He goes through many of the techniques, and even introduces a patient who received a printed bladder a decade ago. The patient, Luke Massella, talks about the [Read More...]

Mac Users Paying More at Orbitz?

Macs are more expensive than PCs and tend to be used by a more rarefied and appealing demographics (better educated, more disposable income), so it’s inevitable that online shopping by Mac users is different than online shopping by PC users. Orbitz noticed that the people accessing their site from Macs pay, on average, 30% more [Read More...]


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