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Comment: Re:It's not hard to do, just moderately expensive (Score 5, Informative) 56

by JohnGrahamCumming (#41750033) Attached to: Building Babbage's Analytical Engine

You are quite correct that we have not built a single demo part. In the two years since I started talking about this project the following has happened:

1. Persuaded the Science Museum to digitize all of Babbage's plans and notebooks (this in itself was a non-trivial task involving a great deal of effort at all levels and they should be thanked for taking on the task).
2. Got the leading Babbage experts to join and work with me (Doron Swade who built the Difference Engine No. 2 and Tim Robinson)
3. Started a UK-based charity (again these things take time as there are legal requirements and the recruitment of a board of trustees)
4. Started research on the Babbage archive itself
5. Begun fund-raising.

No. 4 is non-trivial because there are literally thousands of pages of notes and > 230 large scale plans to decipher. Plus there's a hardware description language to work with. And the archive is not well documented. There are a number of different cross references that conflict with each other. I realize that all this stuff is boring and people would like to see an immediate result, but that's not going to happen. It's years of work to properly study this stuff and build a historically accurate machine.

Note that we have not proposed building the 1,000 memory location machine. That's far too much to demonstrate that it would work and would add to the cost and size. As for the number of parts, until we've deciphered all the plans and come up with a definitive plan that it's hard to answer but we believe there will be roughly 40,000 to 50,000 components to be made.

Comment: Re:Great idea, probably not happening (Score 5, Informative) 132

by JohnGrahamCumming (#39839421) Attached to: The Greatest Machine Never Built

You are correct that I care about the PR side of things. I need to because I need to raise a substantial amount of money.

But it's far from all PR. There's now a registered British charity with a board of trustees and the pre-eminent Babbage expert, Doron Swade, who built the Difference Engine No. 2 at the Science Museum is running the technical side of the project.

Study of the digitized plans has been underway since February and some first results will be announced this summer. We actively want to build a 3D working model in a tool like Autodesk.

+ - Why We Gain Weight As We Age->

Submitted by
Ant
Ant writes "National Public Radio (NPR), with its streaming audio, reports that "... the idea that you just can't eat what you used to. But why is that so? And is it avoidable? There are a number of reasons why we put on the pounds as years go by, but take heart: There are ways to fight back — and win!

There are some particular biological changes that happen as we age. For one, aging muscles actually contribute to the increase in the amount of fat we store in our bodies, ... ... In large part, that's because we lose muscle cells as we age. When younger muscle cells get damaged, they're quickly repaired. That's not the case with older muscles..."

Seen on Neatorama."

Link to Original Source
Google

+ - YouTube to kill IE6 support on March 13

Submitted by Joel
Joel (666) writes "Over six months ago, Google announced it would start phasing out support for Internet Explorer 6 on Orkut and YouTube, and started pushing its users to modern browsers. The search giant has now given a specific kill date for old browser support on the video website: "Support stops on March 13th. Stopped support essentially means that some future features on YouTube will be rolled out that won't work in older browsers."

YouTube will have an interstitial appear when users on older browser try to watch a video on YouTube. Google says the interstitial will show up indefinitely every two weeks until the user upgrades to the most recent version of their browser. Google deems anything below IE7, Firefox 3.0, Chrome 4.0, and Safari 3.0 as an "older browser."Users on these browsers will still be able to watch YouTube videos, but additional features that Google plans to roll out may not be supported in these older browsers."

+ - Secure Password Management

Submitted by Itninja
Itninja (937614) writes "My organization supports hundreds of large databases. Most of the support requires the Tier I staff to log into dozens of different databases each day via the web. Until recently, all the support staff had used a single god-level account. But management are finally coming to realization (after many years of prodding from IS) that this is a security issue. However asking staff to 'just remember' so many passwords is unrealistic.

We want to avoid another security problem (i.e. users printing out a list of passwords) so are looking for some
kind of device to provide secure password management. I am looking at the IronKey, but want to ask the Slashdot community if there are other solutions they have found for similar dilemmas."

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