Kay's DynaBook is 40: in 1968 Alan Kay imagined the DynaBook, a then-fanciful machine that anyone today would recognize as a laptop computer. (His original concept did not fold in half like a modern laptop, it was more like a tablet computer.) The Computer Museum recently hosted a panel discussion to honor the anniversary: The Laptop Celebrates 40 Years. Read Kay's vision in his 1972 paper: A Personal Computer for Children of All Ages. As a computer science student in the 1970s my view of the future were informed by the DynaBook and Ted Nelson's 1963 concept of hypertext which presaged the web, as described in his 1974 book Computer Lib/Dream Machines.
Spam: wow, a surprisingly effective victory against spammers: Cybercrime crusaders shut down shadowy Web hosting operation and Spam traffic plunges after report blames server hosting company. Also an in situ analysis of spamming economics: Study shows how spammers cash in, they are profitable even if they get as little as one response to every 12,000,000 spams.
Health: several headlines about cholesterol and heart disease: Cholesterol-Fighting Drugs Show Wider Benefit, How Aggressive Should Doctors Be in Prescribing Statins After Jupiter? and Low Heart Disease Risk? Test May Show Otherwise. An amazing and heartening discovery: A Doctor, a Mutation and a Potential Cure for AIDS. A robotic device to supplement lower body strength for industrial and therapeutic uses: Honda unveils robotic legs (video: Bionic legs made for walking). Cool example of the power of data mining, tracking flu infections via self-reporting in the form of web searches: Google Uses Web Searches to Track Flu’s Spread.
Space: after years of indirect observation, finally the real thing: First Pictures Taken of Extrasolar Planets and Seen, Not Inferred: Exoplanets Galore. Looking back at an eventful five month career: R.I.P: The Mars Lander's Legacy.
Tech afield: most of our technology needs to be connected to lots of other technology for support. Two examples of stand-alone tech designed to operate with no such help: Wiring Disaster Areas to the Outside World and With Microbial Fuel Cells, Energy Project Taps Africa’s Dirt.
Technobits: Google Is Taking Questions (Spoken, via iPhone) --- MGM to Post Full Movies and TV Shows to YouTube --- 5 Sickening Habits of Mainstream Websites --- Why veins could replace fingerprints and retinas as most secure form of ID --- just a few years ago computation photography happened only in research labs, now you can buy it at retail: Taking aim at far-from-perfect photos --- 3D Display Offers Glimpse of Future Media --- for $230, a cell-phone sized HD camcorder with 60 minute capacity: Flip MinoHD --- Would You Buy This Funny-Looking Bulb? --- using cell phones to measure traffic conditions in real time: the Mobile Millennium project --- Exploring Old Rome Without Air (or Time) Travel --- cool electron microscopy: Peering into the micro world --- The world’s most super-designed data center – fit for a James Bond villain.