December 4, 1974: Donald Sherman, who lives with the neurological disorder Moebius Syndrome that results in impaired speech among other challenges, used a computer to order a pizza over the telephone. The system was developed by computer scientists Jerome (J.J.) Jackson and John Eulenberg, director of Michigan State University's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Domino's hung up on Sherman and the computer. Several tries later, Mr. Mike's Pizza patiently took the order for a 16" pie with mushrooms, pepperoni, ham, and sausage, and this "high-tech sociolinguistic experiment," as Eulenberg described it, was deemed a success. (Thanks, David Steinberg!)
Stephen Wolfram's podcast features a 90-minute lecture that he delivered at the 2019 Wolfram Summer School (MP3), recapitulating the history of mathematics from prehistory to the present day.
In the 1930s photographer Dorothea Lange was hired by the U.S. government’s Farm Security Administration (FSA) to take photos of farm workers affected by the Great Depression. She took this photo of Florence Owens Thompson with her children in 1936 in Nipomo, California and titled it “Migrant Mother.” “I saw and approached the hungry and […]
Seamus Blackley, "father of the Xbox," worked with Egyptologist Serena Love and microbiologist Richard Bowman to extract yeast from 4,500-year-old Egyptian bread-making and beer-making potter held in the collection of Harvard's Peabody Museum; though nearly all of the samples are being cultured for analysis and addition to a microorganism library, Blackley cultured one sample to […]
If your office works at all, it uses Microsoft Office. Those icons for Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook are as familiar around some workplaces as the coffee machine. So familiar, in fact, that they get taken for granted – and rarely used to their full potential. Whether you need a crash course in the essential tools […]
It’s a great time to be a maker. 3D printers are on store shelves for anyone to buy, and coder kits like Arduino and Raspberry Pi are letting kids as young as 9 or 10 dive into the Internet of Things. Here are a few examples of our favorite tech toys, all priced low enough […]
Want to make a hit? The right software is out there for anyone, but any music producer will tell you that finding the right sound can still take time and talent. Still, the right tools are a great shortcut, which makes this Synth & Sound Pack Bundle absolutely priceless. And now that it’s on sale […]