Tag Archives: Alan Turing

today’s holiday:St. Agatha Festival (2015)


St. Agatha Festival (2015)

Sant’ Agata (St. Agatha) is especially revered in Catania, Sicily, where her relics are preserved in a silver casket. On February 3, 4, and 5 each year, a silver bust of St. Agatha wearing a jewel-encrusted crown is carried in procession from the cathedral to Catania’s various churches. Included in the procession are the ceri, huge wooden replicas of candlesticks that are carved with episodes from the saint’s martyrdom. The streets are lined with streamers and flowers, and illuminated by strings of colored lights after dark. The festival ends with a fireworks display in the piazza. More… Discuss

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today’s image: The first large-scale electronic digital computer



The first large-scale electronic digital computer

A press conference for what is considered the first computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC), was held at the University of Pennsylvania on February 1, 1946. The machine (shown here with a technician) took up an entire room, weighed 30 tons and used more than 18,000 vacuum tubes to perform functions such as counting to 5,000 in one second. ENIAC, costing $450,000, was designed by the U.S. Army during World War II to make artillery calculations. The development of ENIAC paved the way for modern computer technology–but even today’s average calculator possesses more computing power than ENIAC did.

Image: U.S. Army

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.nEYt4xhf.dpuf

today’s birthday: Stephen Hawking (1942)


Stephen Hawking (1942)

Despite suffering from a neurodegenerative disease that has made it impossible for him to communicate without a voice synthesizer or to move around without a wheelchair, Hawking is one of the world’s top theoretical physicists. While most experts in his field are little known outside the scientific community, Hawking has taken pains to make his work accessible to the layperson and, in so doing, has become a household name. What is the title of his bestselling book on cosmology? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Sir Winston Churchill (1874)


Sir Winston Churchill (1874)

Churchill was prime minister of the UK during World War II and led the country through both its darkest and finest hours. He was a writer, artist, legislator, soldier, and one of the most influential leaders in modern history. After being appointed prime minister in 1940, he forged a strong alliance with the US and an uneasy one with the USSR. These alliances were two key factors in the defeat of the Axis Powers. A prolific painter, Churchill exhibited his art under what pseudonym? More… Discuss

Machines such as this US Navy ‘Bombe’ were used in deciphering German Enigma codes pic — Historical Pics


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President Obama calls on the FCC to uphold Net Neutrality

news: “Eugene” Passes Turing Test


“Eugene” Passes Turing Test

In 1950, British mathematician and computer theorist Alan Turing predicted that by 2000, a computer could be programmed so that after 5 minutes of questioning, the average interrogator would not have more than a 70% chance of telling whether he was talking to a machine or another person. The ability of a machine to carry on a conversation indistinguishable from that of a human, he contended, is the true measure of artificial intelligence. And while he was a little off on the timing, a computer program has finally passed the Turing test. Last Saturday, a program called Eugene Goostman convinced 33% of the judges at the Royal Society in London that it was human. More… Discuss