…Most people don’t know about the decade-long research and development effort by Bell Labs to make Picturephone work–piping a 30hz video signal (with 250 interlanced lines of resolution!) over an existing 1MHz bandwidth line. Pure analog communications, bootstrapped onto Bell’s vast telephone line infrastructure. I was delighted to find a June 1969 copy of the Bell Laboratories Record (PDF), the company’s bi-monthly magazine, dedicated to explaining Picturephone technology, complete with wonderful photographs and diagrams showing the set’s operations. I’ve uploaded it to Scribd here for easy reading. Bell took Picturephone to four cities, and businesses paid $160 a month plus 25 cents per minute to use the service. And even though it failed, the Picturephone was a fetching piece of hardware….
“Maker” and Intel Intern
Joey Hudy is a self-described “Maker,” part of a growing community of young people, adults, and entrepreneurs who are designing and building things on their own time. Joey first shot to fame in 2012 when, at 14-years-old, he attended the White House Science Fair where the President took a turn using the contraption he had made — the “extreme marshmallow cannon” – and launched a marshmallow across the East Room. Joey then handed the President a card with his credo: “Don’t be bored, make something.” Now 16, he has continued to live by his motto, appearing at Maker Faires all across the country. Joey, a proponent of STEM education, is determined to teach other kids about how they can make and do anything they want. Joey lives in Anthem, Arizona with his mom, dad, and older sister. Earlier this month, he started as Intel’s youngest intern, a position Intel CEO Brian Krzanich offered him on the spot at his Maker Faire exhibit.
The above video shows some highlights from last year’s Ada Lovelace Day. Next year should be even bigger when it is hosted at the Royal Institue’s historic lecture theatre.
Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration, sharing stories of women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering and maths. The aim is to highlight and create new role models for women, young and old, by highlighting female ambassadors in STEM subjects.
This year it will be held on Tuesday 14 October and we are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a live Ada Lovelace Day event here in the Ri’s historic lecture theatre.
The event’s namesake, Lady Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, is often referred to as the “first computer programmer”.
Daughter of the poet Byron, Ada held a close and lifelong friendship with the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Charles Babbage, who referred to her as “The Enchantress of Numbers”. Intrigued by his Analytical Engine, she translated a description of it by the Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea, which Babbage then asked her to annotate and expand upon. The resulting notes were the most elaborate and complete programs ever written for his early computing machine.
Ada also had great admiration for one of the Ri’s most eminent scientists, Michael Faraday. She tried eagerly to persuade him to tutor her in maths, once writing that she “entertain[ed] an esteem little short of reverence” for him but, despite a friendly correspondence, Faraday never did acquiesce to her request.
Ada died of cancer at the tragically young age of 36, leaving her great potential unfulfilled. However, whilst Babbage’s Analytical Engine was never built (and her programs therefore never drawn upon), her notes were to become a key inspiration in Alan Turing’s work on the first modern computers during the Second World War. Thanks to her remarkable intellectual and passion for her subject, Ada remains a powerful symbol of women in science and technology.
For more information about Ada Lovelace Day please visit the Finding Ada website findingada.com.
I saw the Puma tennis shoes Saturday night and figured I would email you guys some information about them, assuming anyone is interested. The company that did them was named T&C for Yash Terakura and Gerry Cohen, both ex- Commodore Business Machines employees as I am. It was around 1986, maybe a little earlier.
The electronics of the shoe itself was designed by Yash which benefited from his background and contacts in Japan as that was where mass production was mostly done back then.
The algorithm that converted the impulses from the shock sensor into distance was developed in conjunction with University of Pennsylvania Bio-Engineering Department, one of those early places where you would see people swinging golf clubs with little dots attached to their bodies.
Basically the algorithm maps the length between footfalls to the distance of the stride and and tries to determine the distance covered.
The project was also co-owned by a maker of extended memory cards for the early PC, as in the 4.77mhz IBM PC. It might have been IBM that did the card, however I don’t remember.
The promotion of buying a memory card with the Puma shoes and the cord was called:
“Jog Your Memory”.
It never did quite take off. By the time I was involved we were looking at the issues vs. fixing it or letting it kind of die a quiet death. We chose the latter unfortunately, but the ones you have may be examples of the first electronics in a shoe (or anywhere else?) as I definitely didn’t know anyone else doing this back then. Lol… I recommend you put them in a glass case as they should be pretty rare.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh 128k release, we dug up our teardown of this groundbreaking tech. We have come a long way with our computers (and fashion) since then. Enjoy this blast from the past!
Above is the ninth video in GitHub’s series celebrating female role models in the tech community called Passion Projects. readwrite has the story on how this lecture series started and why it’s an important development in the tech world.
Silicon Valley certainly talks a lot about the dearth of women in technology, but relatively few companies seem to do much about it. Here’s one surprising exception: GitHub, the open-source collaboration site for software developers.
GitHub’s atypical experience with diversity owes a fair deal to an unlikely source—a humble lecture series called “Passion Projects” that features female technologists talking about the work that energizes them. As it turns out, by giving women in technology the spotlight, GitHub has also apparently demonstrated that it’s a great place for women to work.
CEO Tom Preston-Werner said that Passion Projects has had a real effect on recruiting. Over the last six months, a quarter of GitHub’s most recent 60 hires have been women, he said. Some hires wouldn’t have happened without Passion Projects. For example, the company hired Rubyist Rachel Myers shortly after her own Passion Projects talk.
It’s not just about the lectures themselves. Passion Projects is about showing the world that GitHub has made hiring women in technology a priority in a very public way. And women have noticed.
Here’s my second object for my Selfridges window at the Festival of Imagination. I thought to myself ‘what would it sound like if I could hear the things that happened on my left side through my right ear?’ So I decided to make this Reverse Listening Device, and it actually works. It sounds very strange and I now will wear it at all times.
MAKE is the premiere destination for DIY enthusiasts, hackers, tinkerers, and the entire maker movement. The MAKE iPad app helps you boost your builds by offering an interactive, immersive version of our magazine to guide your projects and inspire you in the workshop. It has everything you’ll find in our pages and more.
In each digital issue you’ll find:
• Full project build notes
• Video tutorials and skill builders
• Detailed photos
• 360º viewable renders
• Maker profiles and interviews
craigconnects has a great piece on women run startups. Here, we have grabbed a few to highlight but everyone should check out the full article.
Folks, there are a lot of really good businesses out there, and my team and I want to highlight 10 women run startups that you should really know about. These startups are doing great work and really getting the jobs done in their arenas. We took a little bit from each org’s website to capture what they’re doing in their own words. Make sure to visit their sites, support ‘em, and follow ‘em on Twitter. These women are really changing the world.
CyPhy Works: Helen Grenier, CEO (Pictured above in Adafruit’s coloring book)
CyPhy Works research starts with people -They look to the places where people need empowering technology to reach beyond what they currently can. Then they turn their attention to scouring the market landscape and literature to see what, if any, un-utilized research can be leveraged to enable the people in need. Once they fully understand what people need, and what people have done to address that need, they focus their attention in their labs where their people develop transformational technologies that make it possible for people in need to achieve their goals more efficiently and more effectively than the status quo would allow.
LightSail aims to produce the world’s cleanest and most economical energy storage systems. Compressing air creates heat energy. Until now, this was wasted, drastically reducing efficiency.LightSail isdeveloping breakthrough, high efficiency energy storage systems using compressed air. Our key insight: rapidly capturing the heat of compression with a water spray.
Globally, more than 1.2 billion people live outside the reach of an electricity grid. Consumers in this off-grid world spend hundreds of dollars each year to light their homes and power small electronics, and they do so using expensive sources of energy such as kerosene lanterns and disposable batteries. Modern options such as photovoltaic solar cost far less when amortized over time, but the comparatively high upfront price of these energy alternatives has kept them out of this enormous market.The Angaza Pay-As-You-Go platform enables distributors and manufacturers of energy products to offer pricing that reaches 1.2 billion consumers in the off-grid world.
Pictured here are just 3 of the 10 women highlighted in this moving tribute from scientific american. These women are truly inspirational and deserve to be remembered.
Pioneering scientists and engineers are often overlooked in popular retrospectives commemorating the year’s departed. In particular, women in such fields tend to be given short shrift. To counter this regrettable circumstance, I present here a selection of 10 notable women in science who left us in 2013. Each of these individuals contributed greatly to her field and should be remembered for her exceptional accomplishments.
A dual expert in physics and psychology, Eleanor Adair was a trailblazing American researcher in the field of microwave radiation safety. She carried out numerous controlled studies in which she exposed monkeys and human volunteers—including herself—with microwave radiation. Her conclusions were always the same: environmental microwaves such as those emitted by cell phones, microwave ovens, and power lines have no adverse effects on health. Adair’s work ultimately helped set international standards for microwave exposure. She died on April 20 at age 86.
Austrian-born British immunologist Brigitte “Ita” Askonas contributed many influential works on the nature of the human immune system. She is best known for her groundbreaking studies elucidating the behavior of antibody-producing B cells and determining the role of T lymphocytes in viral infections. Askonas served for 12 years as head of the Division of Immunology at the National Institute for Medical Research in London and was both a fellow of the UK’s Royal Society and a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Askonas was 89 when she died on Jan. 9, 2013.
Holder of 55 patents and a 2008 inductee to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Ruth R. Benerito was an American chemist best known for her invention of “easy-care” permanent press cotton, a staple of modern fabrics. Her work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in New Orleans focused on chemically bonding cotton fibers in a way that would prevent wrinkling. Today, many think of her inventions as having saved the cotton industry. Benerito passed away at age 97 on Oct. 5, 2013.
At its peak, thousands passed through its massive, light-filled atrium. Today, Bell Labs Holmdel stands empty, all of its 1.9-million-square-feet utterly without life. An iconic example of the now-disparaged office park, the campus in central Jersey, was shuttered in 2007 and vacated soon after. Years later, it remains in an abandoned, if not unkept state. The grounds are cared for, the floors swept clean, and the interior plantings trimmed, however haphazardly. (That’s saying something; in the laboratory’s heyday, plastic shrubbery filled its glorious central hall.)
For zombie fans, it isn’t much of a stretch to imagine the luckless protagonists of the Walking Dead holed up here, fenced off from the rest of the world by six-story high glass walls. (Alternatively, it would make a great lair for the Governor.) Of course, in such a scenario, it’s plausible that the virus capable of raising the dead would have originated inside the lab itself. As is often noted, the building is as highly prized by scientists as it is by architects. It was here, in Saarninen’s quarter-mile fortress, that has housed some of the last century’s most significant scientific discoveries.
Jokes that Apple’s new Mac Pro looked a bit like a trash can began almost as soon as the computer was announced, but one person has taken the comparison to its logical extreme: he has built a “Hackintosh” out of standard PC components and stuffed all of them in a bathroom trashcan with more than a passing resemblance to the actual Mac Pro.
The images from the German DIY-er responsible for the project were posted to the TonyMacx86 forums earlier this month and dug up by 9to5Mac earlier today—TonyMacx86 is a popular resource for users who like to get OS X running on standard PC hardware. The build begins with a Gigabyte z78n Wi-Fi mini-ITX motherboard mounted to a couple of stands and a ribbon cable that allows the AMD Radeon HD 7750 graphics card to be mounted parallel to the main board. Additional stands hold the device’s two 2.5-inch drives (one SSD and one HDD, possibly in a Fusion Drive configuration). Fans mounted inside the case at the top and the bottom help with airflow. The whole computer is about 26cm high and 18cm in diameter, not far from the 25.1 cm height and 16.7 cm diameter of the actual Mac Pro.
It goes without saying that this machine’s performance will come nowhere near that of a fully decked-out Mac Pro. It uses a dual-core Haswell Core i3 chip instead of a four-, six-, eight-, or 12-core Ivy Bridge Xeon; it uses one standard gaming GPU instead of two FirePro workstation GPUs; it lacks the Mac Pro’s dual Ethernet ports and six Thunderbolt 2.0 ports; and it uses standard SATA storage and consumer DDR3 rather than the PCI express storage or 1866MHz ECC DDR3 of the Mac Pro. The DIY version has also got at least four fans spinning inside, rather than the single fan used in the real thing….