Tag: engineering

  • To the Moon – with extreme engineering

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    Lunar Orbiter

    Apollo space program as a triumph of power and industrial might. The superpowers’ space programs were, of course, political and chauvinistic, designed to showcase national wealth. But there’s a better way of looking at the program, Dennis Wingo reminded me recently. Masses of money helped put man on the Moon of course, but the Moon program is really a tale of engineering improvisation and human organisation.

    Space expert and entrepreneur Dennis Wingo put the first webserver – an Apple Mac … Read More

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  • Rescuing Nokia’s Ovi: a plan

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    Ovi means door in Finnish

    It must be frustrating to sketch out a long-term technology roadmap in great depth, and see it come to fruition… only to goof on your own execution. But to do so repeatedly – as Nokia has – points to something seriously wrong.

    Nokia spent more than a decade preparing for Tuesday this week, when it finally launched its own worldwide, all-phones application store. It correctly anticipated a software market for smartphones back in the mid-1990s, when it was choosing the … Read More

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  • Technorati knocks itself out. Again

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    Technorati, the comically inept search engine, has redesigned itself again – knocking itself out in the process.

    The site was down when bloggers checked in yesterday.

    More importantly, the latest redesign is a tacit admission that it’s given up on its original mission – indexing the world’s weblogs. Technorati now claims to present “zillions of photos, videos, blogs and more”, and rather apologetically adds the rejoinder: “Some of them have to be good.

    No. Why?

    In practice, Technorati … Read More

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  • One Laptop Per Child: it’s a con, says former exec

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    The former security director of the One Laptop Per Child non-profit has blasted the project for losing sight of its goals, accusing chairman Nicholas Negroponte of deceiving the public. It’s all about shipping kit, says Ivan Krstić in an incendiary essay.

    “I quit when Nicholas told me — and not just me — that learning was never part of the mission. The mission was, in his mind, always getting as many laptops as possible out there; to say anything about … Read More

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  • Widget-fiddling at Nokia

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    When one looks at the prime assets of the Nokia of five years ago, it’s alarming to see how many have been discarded. At the turn of the decade, the Finnish giant boasted a formidable reputation for reliability, security and ease of use. Now it’s thrown all three out of the window, with security being the last to go.

    The diminishing reliability of these devices isn’t unique to Nokia, and it may be a consequence of having so many products, … Read More

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    Tim Berners-Lee says some really stupid things, then goes mad

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    In which the Greatest Living Briton says some very silly things, and then loses his temper

    So there we were. In a room devoted to Engineering, the man voted the Greatest Living Briton had exploded in front of me.

    Sir Tim Berners Lee, co-inventor of the World Wide Web, was at Southampton University to deliver an inaugural lecture for School of Electronics and Computer Science, and promote his latest initiative.… Read More

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