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+ - A survey of RAND's contributions to computer science

Submitted by lpress
lpress (707742) writes "RAND Corporation was formed after World War II to do research and development for the Air Force. Perhaps the first "think tank," RAND was instrumental in many computer science developments. They did important early work on communication satellites, artificial intelligence and operations research and RAND's JOHNNIAC was one of the first stored program (Von Neumann architecture) research computers. IPL, the first list processing language, the SIMSCRIPT simulation programming language and JOSS, one of the first interactive time-sharing systems, were developed at RAND. The RAND tablet was the great grandfather of the iPad and its graphical input language (GRAIL) featured object-oriented drawing and character recognition. Paul Baran's work on the design and feasibility of large, distributed, packet-switched networks was RAND's most important theoretical work — leading to the ARPANET.

In 1957, RAND spun off its research division, creating the System Development Corporation (SDC) to build the SAGE air-defense system. SAGE was the first computer network and a huge project that trained most of the system programmers in the US. Those programmers invented many programming and project management techniques and went on to productive careers. SDC also developed the most advanced time-sharing and software development system of its time, which was used in dozens of man-machine research projects."

+ - Routers in orbit – can Elon Musk and Greg Tyler connect the other three bi

Submitted by lpress
lpress (707742) writes "In the early 1990s, cellular pioneer Craig McCaw, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal founded Teledesic with the intention of providing global Internet connectivity using low-earth orbit satellites. The satellite and launch technology were not good enough and the company failed. Today, entrepreneurs Elon Musk (launch technology) and Greg Wyler (satellite technology) are working on a constellation of 700 low-earth orbit satellites to provide Internet connectivity to rural areas and developing nations and Google has several related projects. Will they realize Teledesic's 1990 vision using 2020 technology?"

+ - Cuban and American collaboration -- against ebola and on the early Internet

Submitted by lpress
lpress (707742) writes "Cuban doctors and nurses are working in ebola treatment units funded by the U. S, Agency for International Development and Sprint, a U.S. corporation subsidized by funds from the U.S. National Science Foundation, provided Cuba's first Internet link.

In the days of pre and early-Internet networking, Americans were welcome as visitors to Cuba's National Center of Automated Data Exchange, the organization responsible for Cuban networking at that time, and at Cuban computer science conferences. Cubans, Americans and others worked side by side in the Internet Society Developing Nation Workshops and Conferences. We were not politicians seeking power or representatives of corporations seeking monopoly profits, but technicians and others who believed that computer networks were fascinating and held great potential for improving the world."

+ - A review of CBS All Access online video streaming

Submitted by lpress
lpress (707742) writes "I tested CBS All Access video streaming. It has technical problems, which will be resolved, but I will still pass because they show commercials in addition to a $5.99 per month fee. Eventually, we will all cut the cord and have a choice of viewing modes — on-demand versus scheduled and with and without commercials — but don't expect your monthly bill to drop as long as our ISPs are monopolies or oligopolies."

+ - Nobel laureate Jean Tirole has advice for Internet companies and regulators.

Submitted by lpress
lpress (707742) writes "Companies like Apple and Google face complex pricing decisions since they are in "two-sided" markets and telecommunication policy makers need to find regulatory strategies that will incent network companies to invest, while keeping end user prices low. Tirole has advice for both. European regulators have heeded his advice, but not those of the US.


+ - Annals of sleazy domain name squatting

Submitted by lpress
lpress (707742) writes "The domain name ebola.com is for sale. In the meantime, the folks who own it are redirecting to ebola.org, where you can read frightening articles and purchase BHT, a nutritional supplement that could help with ebola. I don't know which is more depressing — the fact that someone would try to exploit the ebola epidemic this way or that there are enough people who would pay for BHT to fend off ebola to make squatting on disease domain names a profitable business."

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 126

by lpress (#48055167) Attached to: Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

At that high level, the line between corporations and the government becomes blurry, no matter which country you live in. Just look at Standard Oil, Boeing, Halliburton... The list goes on.

For sure, but are there differences in degree? For example, in Chinese dominated Singapore, the government is an explicit shareholder. I wonder if anyone has done a study of explicit ownership of stock by US companies --- e. g., does Haliburton own stock in Standard Oil?

+ - There are now over 2,900 Cuban public interest blogs

Submitted by lpress
lpress (707742) writes "Yoani Sánchez launched her blog, Generation Y, in April 2007. (Her first post contrasted the freedom Cuban's had to display posters saying “Go Santiago!” during baseball playoffs with their inability to display a poster saying “Internet for all!"). Today there are over 2,900 blogs dedicated to debate and discussion of issues related to the public interest in Cuba. It seems that, even in Cuba, Information wants to be free."

+ - Is Alibaba comparable to a US company?

Submitted by lpress
lpress (707742) writes "Alibaba is this weeks hot news — they have had a lengthy PR campaign (preceded by a documentary film) followed by a record-setting stock offering. After a day of trading Alibaba's market capitalization was comparable to that of established tech giants.

But, there are cultural and structural differences between Alibaba and US companies. Alibaba is tightly woven into a complex fabric of personal, corporate and government organization relationships. The same can be said of information technology companies in Singapore. Is owning a share of, say, Apple, conceptually the same as owning a share of Alibaba?"

+ - NBC's Tour de France coverage -- three stars and five suggestions

Submitted by lpress
lpress (707742) writes "NBC covers major sporting events like the Olympics on line and this review looks at their coverage of the just-completed Tour de France bike race. At first, new media mimic old media and NBC's earlier attempts at covering live sporting events online was shaped by their traditional TV coverage — shoot video and insert commercials. This year, they have developed good ancillary data capability to go along with the video and dropped the commercials for a flat fee. Once they get the video and data synchronized and archived, and I can lean back and watch the video or lean forward and play with the data, I'll give them five stars."

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984