Archive

Posts Tagged ‘world war ii’

After Weeks of Trying, UK Cryptographers Fail To Crack WWII Code

November 23rd, 2012 11:18 admin View Comments

Encryption

An anonymous reader writes “A dead pigeon discovered a few weeks ago in a UK chimney may be able to provide new answers to the secrets of World War II. Unfortunately, British cryptographers at the country’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have been unable to crack the code encrypting a message the bird was tasked with sending and say they are confident it cannot be decoded ‘without access to the original cryptographic material.’”

Source: After Weeks of Trying, UK Cryptographers Fail To Crack WWII Code

Looking Back At Australia’s First Digital Computer

June 16th, 2012 06:30 admin View Comments

Australia

An anonymous reader writes “Sometimes, it’s the oldest machines that are the most fascinating. PC & Tech Authority has posted this gallery of photos of the first automatic electronic stored-program computer in Australia and one of the first in the world — CSIRAC. The photos show a machine massive in size — the main system comprised nine steel cabinets containing 2000 valves that weighed over 7000kg. Using valve technology and World War II radar systems as a starting point, the machine was used for various purposes including weather forecasting, forestry, loan repayments and building design. It boasted a 1000Hz memory clock and a serial bus that transferred one bit at a time. The system generated so much heat, cool air needed to be blown up through the cabinets from the basement below. In addition to being Australia’s first computer, it is also said to have been the first computer to play digital music anywhere in the world. When CSIRAC was turned off for the last time, a witness described it as ‘like something alive dying.’” Museum Victoria has some short but informative pages about CSIRAC, too, including this one about programming the thing, and another about the dangers and annoyances of working on it.

Source: Looking Back At Australia’s First Digital Computer

Squadron of Lost WWII Spitfires To Be Exhumed In Burma

April 28th, 2012 04:29 admin View Comments

The Military

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt that sounds like a good Neal Stephenson plot point: “Like a treasure chest stuffed with priceless booty, as many as 20 World War II-era Spitfire planes are perfectly preserved, buried in crates beneath Burma — and after 67 years underground, they’re set to be uncovered. The planes were shipped in standard fashion in 1945 from their manufacturer in England to the Far East country: waxed, wrapped in greased paper and tarred to protect against the elements. They were then buried in the crates they were shipped in, rather than let them fall into enemy hands, said David Cundall, an aviation enthusiast who has spent 15 years and about $200,000 in his efforts to reveal the lost planes.”

Source: Squadron of Lost WWII Spitfires To Be Exhumed In Burma

‘Mein Kampf’ To Be Republished In Germany

April 27th, 2012 04:08 admin View Comments

Books

Hugh Pickens writes “Jacob Heilbrunn reports in The Atlantic that Germany is taking a new step toward what is often called ‘normalization’ as the state of Bavaria has announced that in 2015 it will publish Hitler’s Mein Kampf, banned in Germany since World War II. In announcing the publication of the book, Bavarian finance minister Markus Soeder says that he wants to contribute to the ‘demystification’ of it. In 2015, the Bavarian state’s copyright to the book will expire and the idea is to publish a scholarly version that will help stem its appeal for commercial publishers. The book is not banned by law in Germany, but Bavaria has used ownership of the copyright to prevent publication of German editions since 1945. Copyright restrictions stop at the end of 2015, 70 years after Hitler’s death. By publishing in 2015 before the expiry of the copyright, Bavaria hopes to make future German editions as ‘commercially unattractive’ as possible. ‘We want to make clear what nonsense is in there,’ says Soeder and to show ‘what a worldwide catastrophe this dangerous body of thought led to.’”

Source: ‘Mein Kampf’ To Be Republished In Germany

Followup: Ultraviolet Vision After Cataract Surgery

February 14th, 2012 02:33 admin View Comments

Medicine

xmas2003 writes “Several months ago, I posted to Slashdot about being able to see ultraviolet light after cataract surgery. While a lot of the discussion whimsically discussed the best way for ‘Captain UV’ or ‘UltraMan’ to use this ‘super-power,’ there were some people who were skeptical or (incorrectly) said this is Tetrachromatic vision. I’ve subsequently done more testing using an Oriel Instruments MS257 Monochromator and was able to see color down to 350nm — below the usual ~400nm limit of the visual spectrum. It’s also easily demonstrable with a pair of 400nm and 365nm UV flashlights. Some readers who also have UV vision commented this can be quite annoying at black-lit Disney Rides, Halloween Haunted Houses, etc. Fortunately for me, it’s just an interesting oddity so far. Along those lines, some interesting related stories about using UV vision during World War II and Star Gazing. Finally, many/most people end up getting vision debilitating cataracts, so my experience having a Crystalens implanted after cataract surgery may be informative.”

Source: Followup: Ultraviolet Vision After Cataract Surgery

WikiLeaks To Ship Servers To Micronation of Sealand?

January 31st, 2012 01:24 admin View Comments

Censorship

Velcroman1 writes “Julian Assange’s investors are in the process of purchasing a boat to move WikiLeaks servers offshore in an attempt to evade prosecution from U.S. law enforcement, FoxNews.com has learned. Multiple sources within the hacker community with knowledge of day-to-day WikiLeaks activities say Assange’s financial backers have been working behind the scenes on the logistics of moving the servers to international waters. One possible location: the Principality of Sealand, a rusty, World War II-era, former anti-aircraft platform off the coast of England in the North Sea. Based on a 1968 British court ruling that the facility is outside the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, Sealand’s owner has declared the facility a sovereign state, or ‘micro-nation.’”

Source: WikiLeaks To Ship Servers To Micronation of Sealand?

Is American Innovation Losing Its Shine?

November 13th, 2011 11:43 admin View Comments

Education

kenekaplan writes American ingenuity and innovation, the twin engine of the country’s economy since World War II, is in danger of losing steam and job growth potential if federal legislators allow ‘automatic’ spending cuts to kick in next year rather than earmarking federal funds to advance education, research and manufacturing, according Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Susan Hockfield.”

Source: Is American Innovation Losing Its Shine?

Bletchley Park Gets £4.6 Million Restoration

October 5th, 2011 10:19 admin View Comments

United Kingdom

mikejuk writes “Bletchley Park has secured a £4.6 million Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for the establishment of a visitor center dedicated to the World War II Codebreakers. This year saw the unveiling of a new memorial to the Codebreakers in the grounds of Bletchley Park by the Queen. Shortly after her visit, a new fundraising campaign for the restoration of the iconic huts where the code-breaking teams worked was inaugurated, with help and sponsorship from Google. The grant will enable the restoration of Codebreaking Huts 1, 3 and 6, and create a world-class visitor center and exhibition in the currently derelict Block C. The Bletchley Park Trust has launched the ‘Action This Day‘ campaign to raise the match funding now needed.”

Source: Bletchley Park Gets £4.6 Million Restoration

Bletchley Park Gets £4.6 Million Restoration

October 5th, 2011 10:19 admin View Comments

United Kingdom

mikejuk writes “Bletchley Park has secured a £4.6 million Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for the establishment of a visitor center dedicated to the World War II Codebreakers. This year saw the unveiling of a new memorial to the Codebreakers in the grounds of Bletchley Park by the Queen. Shortly after her visit, a new fundraising campaign for the restoration of the iconic huts where the code-breaking teams worked was inaugurated, with help and sponsorship from Google. The grant will enable the restoration of Codebreaking Huts 1, 3 and 6, and create a world-class visitor center and exhibition in the currently derelict Block C. The Bletchley Park Trust has launched the ‘Action This Day‘ campaign to raise the match funding now needed.”

Source: Bletchley Park Gets £4.6 Million Restoration

Bletchley Park Gets £4.6 Million Restoration

October 5th, 2011 10:19 admin View Comments

United Kingdom

mikejuk writes “Bletchley Park has secured a £4.6 million Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for the establishment of a visitor center dedicated to the World War II Codebreakers. This year saw the unveiling of a new memorial to the Codebreakers in the grounds of Bletchley Park by the Queen. Shortly after her visit, a new fundraising campaign for the restoration of the iconic huts where the code-breaking teams worked was inaugurated, with help and sponsorship from Google. The grant will enable the restoration of Codebreaking Huts 1, 3 and 6, and create a world-class visitor center and exhibition in the currently derelict Block C. The Bletchley Park Trust has launched the ‘Action This Day‘ campaign to raise the match funding now needed.”

Source: Bletchley Park Gets £4.6 Million Restoration

YOYOYOOYOYOYO