Sep 21, 2009 | 25
Martin Campbell-Kelly’s September article on the origins of computing traces the history of machine computation from Charles Babbage, the 18th century British mathematician, through the 20th century. Yet according to many of our readers, we made a critical omission.
John Hauptman, a professor of physics at Iowa State University, writes:
The first person to build and operate an electronic digital computer was a physics professor, as correctly noted in your excellent article “Dr. Atanasoff’s Computer,” Scientific American, August 1988 [not online]. Atanasoff’s first computer was a 12-bit 2-word machine running at 60Hz wall-plug frequency and could add and subtract binary numbers stored in a regenerative memory using a logic unit built with seven triode tubes. This was 1937. There was no war, no Pearl Harbor, just a theoretical physicist trying to solve problems in quantum mechanics with his students at Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa.
Mar 12, 2009
SAN JOSE, CALIF. (March 11, 2009) -- If you want to create a more sustainable world, you need to build better cities. If you want to build better cities, you need to understand the networks that make up cities. And if you want all of those networks to actually connect, you need to improve the "dumb grid" and make it a smart grid.
That, in a nutshell, was the message of the third day of the eTech conference. Perhaps unwittingly, Chris Luebkeman of the global design firm Arup encapsulated the theme in his morning keynote: “We need to build [X] for the elderly population,” he said, “because hopefully, we’ll all get old some day.” His X was cities -- specifically, the need to design cities so that seniors can easily get around without cars -- but X could have been networks, copyright, the environment, energy systems or experimental science itself. Improve the future. Build it better. Here’s how.
Mar 11, 2009 | 6
SAN JOSE, CALIF. (March 11, 2009)—What are the emerging technologies that promise to change our world two, five, 10, 20 years from now? And what technologies need to be developed to solve the world’s great problems? More than a thousand self-described hackers and geeks have flocked to the eTech conference here to brainstorm them, and energy is a key theme.
Alex Steffen, the executive editor of Worldchanging, kicked off yesterday's agenda with a stark warning: “If poor people become rich like we have become rich,” warned Steffen, “we will destroy ourselves.”
The Western world became rich largely through unsustainable means—denuding forests, burning carbon stored under the Earth, extracting minerals to put into our electronics—and if the developing world does the same, argued Steffen, worldwide environmental catastrophe will ensue. He talked about “vertical emulation,” in which the poorest people in the world can see the conspicuous consumption of the richest people of the world (think Slumdog Millionaire), and how because of that the rich world needs to lead the change.
Deadline: Dec 11 2013
Reward: $52,000 USD
Platform technologies – tools, techniques, and instruments that enable entirely novel approaches for scientific investigation across a b
Deadline: Jan 27 2014
Reward: $15,000 USD
The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
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