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Tagged with “bbc” (299)

  1. BBC Radio - Ouch: Disability Talk, Facebook salad

    Meet Matt King. He’s an enngineer who works at Facebook HQ in California. He’s one of the people on a team who works towards making the big social network accessible. (a transcript of this podcast will appear on this page soon)

    King explains the recent AI innovation on Facebook which describes photos to blind people. He talks about future aspirations and tells us what you can get to eat on Facebook campus, for free, at lunchtime. His favourite is a huge big salad, hence the title of this podcast.

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  2. BBC Radio 4 - Desert Island Discs, William Gibson

    This week the castaway on Desert Island Discs is William Gibson. Long before the existence of the Internet, he wrote about ‘cyberspace’, a boundless world reached only through computers. External space travel, to the Moon and Mars, had become old hat. By creating internal space, he breathed new life into science fiction. In conversation with Sue Lawley, he talks about his life and work and chooses eight records to take to the mythical island.

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  3. An Obsessive Type: The Tale of the Doves Typeface

    Can a long lost design classic be rediscovered at the bottom of the Thames? The obsessive search for the lost Doves typeface of the influential craftsman TJ Cobden-Sanderson.

    In 1916 TJ Cobden-Sanderson threw his precious Doves typeface into the Thames after a bitter row with his business partner. Almost 100 years later designer Robert Green set out on a four year long search to restore it for the digital age.

    A peer of William Morris, TJ Cobden-Sanderson first became known among the proponents of Arts and Crafts and even coined the term. But it was later at the turn of the 20th century that he became a leader of the British Private Press movement seeking to revive the tradition of the book as an object of art and manual skill. In 1900 he established the Doves Press along with Emery Walker in London’s Hammersmith. But when they fell out Cobden-Sanderson sabotaged their greatest achievement. He threw every piece of the Doves type into the Thames from Hammersmith Bridge. The only record of the drowned type was the handful of valuable printed books.

    A century later and graphic designer Robert Green nervously paces along the Thames riverbank. This trip is the culmination of four years of his life and his art. He has persuaded the Port of London Authority divers to look for minuscule metal letters buried at the bottom of the river.

    Robert has spent years painstakingly reconstructing the Doves Type. Using Cobden-Sanderson’s diary entries, he believes he has located the place on the river where the type was thrown. This is the story of Robert’s riverbed search reappraising the impact and legacy of the craftsmanship of the Doves Press and its co-creator Cobden-Sanderson.

    Presenter and produced by Nicky Birch A Somethin’ Else Production for Radio 4.

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  4. BBC World Service - Discovery, “Faster, Better, Cheaper”

    Kevin Fong explores the success and failure of NASA’s missions to Mars

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  5. BBC World Service - Discovery, The Feynman Variations

    Brian Cox presents a tribute to Richard Feynman.

    Widely regarded as the finest physicist of his generation and the most influential since Einstein, Feynman did much to popularise science, through lectures, books and television, not least his revelation at a press conference in which he demonstrated the exact cause of the Challenger Shuttle explosion in 1986.

    Described as the ‘Mozart of physics’, Feynman’s amazing life and career seemingly had no end of highlights.

    A student at MIT and then Princeton (where he obtained an unprecedented perfect score on the entrance exam for maths and physics), he was drafted onto the Manhattan Project as a junior scientist.

    There his energy and talents made a significant mark on two of the project’s leaders, Robert Oppenheimer and Hans Bethe.

    The latter would become Feynman’s lifelong mentor and friend.

    Bethe called his student "a magician", setting him apart from other scientists as ‘no ordinary genius’.

    In 1965, Feynman shared a Nobel Prize for his unique contribution to the field of Quantum Electrodynamics making him the most celebrated, influential and best known American Physicist of his generation

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  6. BBC Radio 4 - Computing Britain, Connected Thinking

    Long before the heroics of the world wide web, the internet was born out of a mixture of American ambition and British thrift. Packet Switching was the name coined by Welsh computer scientist Donald Davies in an effort to link the early computers in the labs of the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington.

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  7. BBC Radio 4 - Computing Britain, ERNIE Picks Prizes

    In 1956, adverts enticed the British public with a brand new opportunity. Buy premium bonds for one pound, for the chance to win a thousand. At the time, it was a fortune - half the price of the average house.

    Behind this tantalising dream was a machine called ERNIE - the Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment.

    ERNIE was built by the team who constructed Colossus, the code-breaking engine housed at Bletchley Park. They had just nine months to make a machine that generated random numbers using all the latest kit, from printed circuit boards to metal transistors.

    In this episode, mathematician Hannah Fry talks to Dr Tilly Blyth from the Science Museum about how ERNIE became an unlikely celebrity. Featuring archive from NS&I, the Science Museum and the BBC Library.

    Presented by Hannah Fry

    Produced by Michelle Martin

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  8. BBC Radio 4 - Computing Britain, LEO the Electronic Office

    Hannah Fry hears the incredible story of how a chain of British teashops produced the first office computer in the world.

    J Lyons and Company was the UK’s largest catering company, with 250 teashops across the country. They also owned their own bakeries, a tea plantation and haulage firm, as Dr Tilly Blyth from the Science Museum describes.

    By the 1950s, this vast business was drowning in paperwork. Lyons embarked on an ambitious new project to build a machine called LEO - the Lyons Electronic Office.

    Their office computer was based on the giant calculating machines being built inside UK universities to solve mathematical equations

    Sure, these machines could manage maths, but could they handle catering?

    Featuring archive from the British Library, the Science Museum and the LEO Society.

    Presented by Hannah Fry

    Produced by Michelle Martin

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  9. BBC Radio 4 - Computing Britain, Electronic Brains

    From the mobile phone to the office computer, mathematician Hannah Fry looks back at 70 years of computing history, to reveal the UK’s lead role in developing the technology we use today.

    In the first episode, she travels back to the 1940s, to hear the incredible story of the creation, in Britain, of the computer memory.

    Three teams from across the country - in Teddington, Manchester and Cambridge - were tasked with designing automatic calculating engines for university research. But which team would be first to crack the tricky problem of machine memory?

    Meanwhile, tabloid headlines proclaimed that engineers were building ‘electronic brains’ that could match, and maybe surpass, the human brain, starting a debate about automation and artificial intelligence that still resonates today.

    Featuring archive from the Science Museum and the BBC Library, plus an interview with technology historian Dr James Sumner from Manchester University.

    Presented by Hannah Fry

    Produced by Michelle Martin

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  10. BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Comets

    Listen in pop-out player

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss comets, the ‘dirty snowballs’ of the Solar System. In the early 18th century the Astronomer Royal Sir Edmond Halley compiled a list of appearances of comets, bright objects like stars with long tails which are occasionally visible in the night sky. He concluded that many of these apparitions were in fact the same comet, which returns to our skies around every 75 years, and whose reappearance he correctly predicted. Halley’s Comet is today the best known example of a comet, a body of ice and dust which orbits the Sun. Since they contain materials from the time when the Solar System was formed, comets are regarded by scientists as frozen time capsules, with the potential to reveal important information about the early history of our planet and others.


    Monica Grady Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University

    Paul Murdin Senior Fellow at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge

    Don Pollacco Professor of Astronomy at the University of Warwick

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