In which an MIT professor worried about a digital future accidentally creates the field of human-machine conversation, and John flirts with a 54-year-old computer program. Certificate #36441.
Tagged with “computing” (46)
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Alan Turing (1912-1954) whose 1936 paper On Computable Numbers effectively founded computer science. Immediately recognised by his peers, his wider reputation has grown as our reliance on computers has grown. He was a leading figure at Bletchley Park in the Second World War, using his ideas for cracking enemy codes, work said to have shortened the war by two years and saved millions of lives. That vital work was still secret when Turing was convicted in 1952 for having a sexual relationship with another man for which he was given oestrogen for a year, or chemically castrated. Turing was to kill himself two years later. The immensity of his contribution to computing was recognised in the 1960s by the creation of the Turing Award, known as the Nobel of computer science, and he is to be the new face on the £50 note.
In the 1980s, ‘micro computers’ invaded the home. In this episode, Hannah Fry discovers how the computer was transported from the office and the classroom right into our living room.
From eccentric electronics genius Clive Sinclair and his ZX80, to smart-suited businessman Alan Sugar and the Amstrad PC, she charts the 80s computer boom - a time when the UK had more computers per head of population than anywhere else in the world.
Presented by Hannah Fry
Produced by Michelle Martin
"We live in a spectacular time,” says Juan Benet. "We’re a century into our computing phase transition. The latest stages have created astonishing powers for individuals, groups, and our species as a whole. We are also faced with accumulating dangers — the capabilities to end the whole humanity experiment are growing and are ever more accessible. In light of the promethean fire that is computing, we must prevent bad outcomes and lock in good ones to build robust foundations for our knowledge, and a safe future. There is much we can do in the short-term to secure the long-term."
"I come from the front lines of computing platform design to share a number of new super-powers at our disposal, some old challenges that are now soluble, and some new open problems. In this next decade, we’ll need to leverage peer-to-peer networks, crypto-economics, blockchains, Open Source, Open Services, decentralization, incentive-structure engineering, and so much more to ensure short-term safety and the long-term flourishing of humanity.”
Juan Benet is the inventor of the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS)—-a new protocol which uses content-addressing to make the web faster, safer, and more open—and the creator of Filecoin, a cryptocurrency-incentivized storage market.
How did cyberpunks and activists affect the tech industry? Do we understand the history of the internet? How much of what we know comes only from a man’s perspective? This week, Claire L. Evans tells us about her new book, Broad Band, and the women who created the internet.
There Were Women In The Room: This week Paul Ford and Gina Trapani sit down with Claire L. Evans to chat about her new book,
Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet. We discuss the impact of online communities, how weird the dot-com era was, and the stories of the women who made things work. We also get a window into Y△CHT’s future project — the Broad Band Musical!
2:29 — Claire: “[This book is] a corrective if you will, of all the books we’ve all read and love about Silicon Valley, and the garage-to-riches stories of entrepreneurship… These are the stories about the women who were in the room the whole time, and nobody asked about them.”
5:06 — Paul: “Women get forgotten from activist histories too, and it was kind of an activist scene in the early days.”
5:22 — Gina: “Weird was welcome, in a way that is no longer the case.”
7:03 — Claire: “My big takeaway is how little we value long-term care and maintenance when it comes to building things… I profile Stacy Horn, who founded Echo BBS in the late 90s. It still exists. And she has devoted 25 years of her life to fostering and caring for this community. … She’s taking care of something, because she’s responsible for a community, and I think that’s really beautiful.”
8:24— Claire: “We mythologize the box, but it’s the users that change the world; it’s what you do with it. The culture work, the development of making things worth linking is almost as important as making the conventions for linking.
8:24 — Gina: “It’s broadening the definition of what making the web was. It wasn’t just about standardizing protocols and running code, it was about building the places where people wanted to come and connect and share.”
9:07— Paul: “Moderation…it’s critical, it’s key to these communities but it doesn’t get as much appreciation as ‘I wrote a page of code.’”
20:51 — Claire: “We’re all very siloed in the contemporary media landscape.”
Claire L. Evans, Author of Broad Band- The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet | Internet History Podcast
Claire Evans is the author of the new book: Broad Band The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet. This is the best tech history book I’ve read in a while and you know I read them all. Of special note, considering our 90s-heavy focus on this podcast, the book includes the stories of Word.com, which was a competitor to Feed.com (which we’ve previously covered) and Women.com which was a competitor to Ivillage (which, again, we’ve spoke at length about). But you also get an amazing portair of tech in the 1970s, hypertext as a movement outside of the web, and stories about amazing women like Grace Hopper and Jake Feinler.
According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women held just 25 percent of professional computing jobs in the US in 2015. How damaging is this gender gap to the future of the tech industry?
The rise and fall of Britain’s electronic computing industry between 1944–1974 holds clues. In her book, Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing, historian Marie Hicks explores how gender discrimination, changing labor demographics, and government policy during this 30-year period shaped the UK’s path in computing. She also explains how this path had detrimental economic effects on the UK—and why the US may be facing similar risks today.
Dr. Marie Hicks sits down with David C. Brock, Director of the Museum’s Center for Software History, to share insights from her book.
Hicks received her BA from Harvard University and her MA and PhD from Duke University. Before entering academia, she worked as a UNIX systems administrator. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work focuses on how gender and sexuality bring hidden technological dynamics to light and how women’s experiences change the core narratives of the history of computing.
The fourth and final segment of the discussion about the 30-year history of research and development that created the underlying technologies on which the Web is based. Much of this foundation was laid in the 1960s by Douglas Carl Engelbart.
Part three of the discussion about the 30-year history of research and development that created the underlying technologies on which the Web is based. Much of this foundation was laid in the 1960s by Douglas Carl Engelbart.
Part two of the discussion about the 30-year history of research and development that created the underlying technologies on which the Web is based. Much of this foundation was laid in the 1960s by Douglas Carl Engelbart.
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