By EditorDavid from Slashdot's legacy-code department
Slashdot reader RockDoctor brings an update on a project to build Babbage's Analytical Engine:
Between 1822 and 1847, Charles Babbage worked on a number of designs for general-purpose programmable computing engines, some parts of which were built during his lifetime and after.
Since 2011 a group under the name of "Plan-28" have been working towards building a full version of the machine known as the Analytical Engine. (The group's name refers to the series of Babbage's plans which they are working to -- versions 1 to 27 obviously having problems.) This week, they've released some updates on progress on their blog. Significant progress includes working on the machine's "internal microcode" (in today's terminology; remember, this is a machine of brass cogs and punched cards!) [and] archive work to bring the Science Museum's material into a releasable form (the material is already scanned, but the metadata is causing eyestrain). "One of the difficulties in understanding the designs is the need to reverse engineer logical function from mechanical drawings of mechanisms -- this without textual explanation of purpose or intention..." Progress is slow, but real.
Last year marked the bicentennial of Ada Lovelace, who wrote programs for the Analytical Engine and it's predecessor, the Difference Engine, and whose position as "the world's first programmer" is celebrated in the name of the programming language Ada.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's which-side-are-you-on? department
An anonymous reader writes:
Today comic book stores around the world celebrate "Free Comic Book Day," offering free comic books to anyone who pays them a visit. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the event is offering 50 free titles this year, including Doctor Who, Serenity, The Simpsons, Love and Rockets, and a brand new comic from Stan Lee. Marvel is giving away both an Avengers/Civil War comic and a separate one featuring Captain America, and there's also comics with Grumpy Cat, The Tick, and even a Street fighter V comic.
But the Los Angeles Times notes there's different opinions about whether the event creates repeat business (though one comic shop owner told them "as far as that one day goes, it's a great day.") Another store owner says he even stopped participating temporarily because "It's just the hyenas looking for free stuff," while a third described it instead as a way to give back to the community of comic book readers.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's false-alarm department
Hundreds of millions of email login credentials -- affecting Gmail, Yahoo, Mail.ru (Russia's most popular email service), and Hotmail among other websites -- were being traded earlier this week in Russia's criminal underground. According to a report on Ars Technica, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Mail.ru have now assured that the vast majority of leaked credentials are invalid. For instance, "More than 98% of the Google account credentials in this research turned out to be bogus," Google said. Dan Goodin reports: What has been clear all along to anyone paying attention is that the plaintext credentials recovered by Hold Security almost certainly didn't come from hacks on the e-mail providers. Instead, they most likely were collected by hackers who hit dozens, hundreds or thousands of third-party Web services over the years and dumped the account databases into a single list.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's be-afraid-very-afraid department
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft's user identity management systems, made up by Microsoft Account (formerly Live ID, for home users) and Azure Active Directory (for its cloud/corporate services), see over 13 billion user logins per day, with 1.3 billion for AAD. The company says that over 10 million (per day) of these login attempts are cyber-attacks, which the company is able to detect. This information comes via Microsoft's most recent Security Intelligence Report, which also reveals details about a new cyber-espionage group named Platinum and that hackers are still using the same vulnerability (CVE-2010-2568) even today, which was used in the Stuxnet attacks. According to Pew Research Center, there's an increasingly growing fear among Americans about cyberattacks. In fact, it's the second most feared entity to them, the first being ISIS.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's greater-good department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The whistleblower behind the Panama Papers broke their silence on Friday to explain in detail how the injustices of offshore tax havens drove them to the biggest data leak in history. The source, whose identity and gender remain a secret, denied being a spy. The whistleblower said the leak of 11.5m documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca had triggered a "new, encouraging global debate," thanks to the publication last month of stories by an international consortium of newspapers, including the Guardian. The source gave Suddeutsche Zeitung leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca's internal database in real time installments. The papers included details of the beneficial owners of offshore companies, passport copies, and emails. The source said they decided to act after understanding the "scale of the injustices" the documents described. Mossack Fonseca denies wrongdoing and says its operations in Panama and elsewhere are "beyond reproach." Intriguingly, the source said they originally offered the documents to "several major media outlets." Editors reviewed the Panama Papers but in the end "chose not to cover them," they alleged. It is unclear which media organizations declined the material. The anonymous whistleblower also approached WikiLeaks -- again without success. "Even WikiLeaks didn't answer its tip line repeatedly," the source complained, adding: "The media has failed." The source used the name "John Doe" when they approached Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's exponential-growth department
Year-over-year the 3D printing industry has grown by as much as 30%. Now, it's set to triple in revenue over the next four years, according to a new report. For comparison, this year the industry will reach nearly $7.3 billion, and by 2020, it is expected to reach nearly $21 billion. Published by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the United Parcel Service (UPS), the study, called "3D Printing: The Next Revolution in Industrial Manufacturing," revealed that the two biggest industries representing a combined 40% of the growth are consumer electronics and automotive. Medical devices will represent about 15% of the growth. North America and Europe will account for more than 68% of the 3D printing market revenue, while the Asia Pacific market will account for about 27% of sales. Here's an impressive stat: 3D printing represents only 0.04% of the global manufacturing market right now. However, if 3D printing captures 5% of global manufacturing capacity, which researcher firm Wohlers Associates believes it will, the industry would be worth a staggering $640 billion. "This is a market ripe for disruption," the report said. "Technology adopters that move beyond prototyping to use 3D printing in supporting and streamlining production can achieve new manufacturing efficiencies. Plus, there is an enormous opportunity for companies that get it right."Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's growing-trend department
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki: "Today, I'm happy to announce that on mobile alone YouTube now reaches more 18-49-year-olds than any network -- broadcast or cable. In fact, we reach more 18-49-year-olds during primetime than the top 10 TV shows combined. At a time when TV networks are losing audiences, YouTube is growing in every region and across every screen." Ben Popper, writing for The Verge: Those numbers are a bit vague. We don't know exactly how many people are watching, or whether any individual channel comes close to matching the reach of network TV programming. Most importantly, that doesn't break out what percentage of the audience is watching Google Preferred content, the pre-approved brand-safe stuff that nets big ad dollars, versus the long tail of cat videos and home movies that have steadily dwindling value. Still, it seemed clear that YouTube's clout was not lost on the agencies handling big budgets. Wojcicki used her time on stage to announce that Interpublic Group, one of the world's largest ad holding companies, planned to shift $250 million from traditional TV networks to YouTube over the next year.Read Replies (0)