New Zealand Computer Museum

This is exciting news. Plans are underway to establish a New Zealand Computer Museum in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter down by the waterfront. The organisers have the support of major patrons and organisations such as Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple), The Institute of IT Professionals (formerly the New Zealand Computer Society) and Auckland University Computer Science Department. You can find out more information and support this project via their crowd-funding campaign and their Facebook page

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2013/11/new-zealand-computer-museum.html

Strandbeest – kinetic sculptures

My colleague Bob Doran put me onto this; nothing to do with computing but it certainly is fasinating. Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests are wind powered sculptures that use biologically inspired mechanisms to move. Watch the video below to see the remarkable strandbeests.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2013/11/strandbeest-kinetic-sculptures.html

Earn college credits whilst working for Facebook

Facebook has announced that it is partnering with US university computer science departments to provide open source projects for students to work on. The students will earn credits whilst working on projects suggested by Facebook engineers. CompSci students who are interested in participating can visit Facebook’s Open Academy Program page. Of course you’ll have to persuade your professors to join the program for you to earn credit.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2013/11/earn-college-credits-whilst-working-for.html

#Apple’s wise maps decision

A year ago Apple was taking a lot of criticism for its decision to kick Google Maps of the iOS platform. I in a post titled “Apple’s mapocalypse” took a different view – for competitive reasons Apple had to develop its own mapping and location services. It now seems that Apple (and I) were right; the Guardian in an article titled “Apple maps: how Google lost when everyone thought it had won” shows that a year on Google has lost tens of millions of Google Map users to Apple in the US alone.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2013/11/apples-wise-maps-decision.html

Computer history on display at Auckland University

The Institute of IT Professionals blog features the (re)-opening of the  NZ Computer Timeline last Thursday 7 November. In an extended photo essay the blog post not only features the new timeline but other works of art and historical exhibits from through out the Computer Science Department’s computing history displays. If you’re in Auckland you’re welcome to drop in and tour the displays.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2013/11/computer-history-on-display-at-auckland.html

Rock paper scissors robot wins every time!

Watch the video below of the Japanese Ishikawa Oku Laboratory’s Janken robot winning at rock-paper-scissors 100% of the time. Technically it’s cheating as it uses high-speed recognition and reaction to operate its hand-like machinery, which takes one millisecond to recognise what shape the human hand is making.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/2013/11/rock-paper-scissors-robot-wins-every.html