tommy flowers’ diary

At least parts of the personal diary of ↑Thomas Harold Flowers (1905-1998) soon will be on display at ↑The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) at Bletchley Park, ↑reported the BBC two days ago. Flowers was crucial in constructing ↑Colossus—for the whole story see Randell 1980 and the excellent book edited by Jack Copeland (2006) including texts by Flowers himself (2006 [1998]a, b).     The story of the Colossi—all in all ten of them were at work at Bletchley until the end of the war—not only illustrates the outstanding relevance of electronic computing technology, but is also an example for … Continue reading

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fun times ahead

According to Kaspersky ↵Stuxnet has ↑an heir. Here are two snippets from Wired’s report on it—mind the rhetorics: “It’s pretty fantastic and incredible in complexity,” said Alexander Gostev, chief security expert at Kaspersky Lab. […]     “It took us half-a-year to analyze Stuxnet,” he said. “This is 20-times more complicated. It will take us 10 years to fully understand everything.” To my cyberpunk-infested mind this sounds as if some mysterious AI has written the thing, maybe even ↵Colossus himself … And if ↑this is true as well, there for sure are fun times ahead. … Continue reading

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huxley to orwell

↑Letters of note has put online the following letter (Huxley 1970: 604-605) from ↑Aldous Huxley [on the right] to ↑George Orwell [on the left]: Wrightwood. Cal. 21 October, 1949 Dear Mr. Orwell, It was very kind of you to tell your publishers to send me a copy of your book. It arrived as I was in the midst of a piece of work that required much reading and consulting of references; and since poor sight makes it necessary for me to ration my reading, I had to wait a long time before being able to embark on Nineteen Eighty-Four [Orwell … Continue reading

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desert mecha

The above 3D-scene, called ‘Desert Lion,’ was done by Andrew March in 2004 and since then sat on my HDD. Andrew used the model of the Cougar ↑mech (which at least dates back to 2002, but you can still ↓download it) by Pawel Czarnecki—until today a legend within the scene—, the model of the ↑AMX-30 tank by Deespona, and nicely composed and rendered them within his own scene. Obviously the piece of art was created under the impression of the ↑Iraq War.     The picture immediately rung a chord within me back then, but somehow I never came around … Continue reading

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colossus

But—and it was a very large but—his had been the guiding brain, the one with the big overall concept, the vision. And that was the one that counted. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)     Briefly he considered his future, but the idea of life without the Project lacked reality. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)     They were both roughly the same age, in their very early fifties, though a hundred years earlier they would have appeared much younger. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)     Now it’s all over, and in the last few weeks, I’ve begun to realize what it … Continue reading

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hartmann the anarchist

‘↑Captain Nemo was a technical anarcho-terrorist.’ wrote Bruce Sterling (1991: 39) about the main protagonist of ↑Jules Verne‘s ‘↓20,000 leagues under the sea‘ (1870). The same can be said about the character Robur appearing in Verne’s ‘↓Robur the Conqueror‘ (1886) and its sequel ‘↓Master of the World‘ (1904). By way of his submarine ‘Nautilus’ Captain Nemo rules the oceans. Robur rules everything above through his vessels, the ‘Albatross’ and the ‘Terror.’ Just recently I learned that around the same time yet another literary ‘technical anarcho-terrorist’ appeared: ‘↓Hartmann the Anarchist‘ by Edward Douglas Fawcett (1893): ↑A sensational tale of the evil … Continue reading

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propaganda war games

In ↵manchurian operations club among other things I mused about the detailled historical naturalism of ↑Kuma Reality Games‘ ‘Kuma\War’ [scroll down a bit]. Now those games seem to have generated a dramatic backlash into empirical reality. The ↑Day 6 Documentary: Propaganda Games by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: You don’t have to be a Middle East expert to recognize the relationship between Iran and its western foes has gotten just a wee bit tense.     There’s been sabre rattling military exercises, threats to slow the flow of oil to a trickle, downed drones and uranium enrichment in a highly protected … Continue reading

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orwellian documentaries

In the sidebar of his blog ↑Dialogic blogger Thivai Abhor maintains a nice list of documentary films which are available online. After having skimmed through a bit, my personal interests were most matched by the three shortly described below. But Dialogic also points to ↑Top Documentary Films, a blog reviewing, commenting, and linking to 1800+ documentary films, all available online, and ↑sorted into categories. ‘↑All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace‘ (Curtis 2011) A series of films about how humans have been colonized by the machines they have built. Although we don’t realize it, the way we see everything … Continue reading

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tahta al-hisar—under siege

  ↑Tahta al-Hisar—Under Siege is a “real life 3D game shooter” developed and produced by ↑Afkar Media in Damascus, Syria. The game strives to mediate a middle-eastern view of the middle-eastern conflict to middle-eastern youngsters—and yes, (for technical testing ONLY ;-) there even is a playable demo online [.zip | 23.1MB], able to spread the idea way farther. Here is the game’s official description by the developers:    When you live in middle-east you can’t avoid being part of the image, as a development company we believe that we had to do our share of responsibility in telling the story … Continue reading

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