Tuesday, August 10, 2010
It's a complicated but all-together basic electro-mechanical sytem. We can imagine it starting with a basic one-to-one encryption; ie. each letter standing for the one before it in the alphabet (A=>B, B=>C). There is a qwerty keyboard for entering code. When a letter is pressed, a rotor advances such that the letter would now represent the one 2 spaces before it in the alphabet (A=>C, B=>D). Except the Enigma has multiple rotors...You can find the details of it's set-up (and find more pictures) on the wiki.
When you're pros with the concept, check out this fun description sparked by a comparison of wristwatches.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
We are considering a symposium on the topic of whether the Turing test still applies today. Perhaps it is too rudimentary to test modern robot minds? Read this article which outlines the flaws and ultimate infeasibility of the Turing test.
Monday, July 19, 2010
here's a short definition from a computer engineer buddy of mine (from an online conversation):
David: Suuuper simple
They are a thought experiment.
And are useful for proving things (ie, what a computer can and can't do)
David: basically a turing machine is a black box and a piece of tape
and the tape has writing on it
the box can read one character of writing at a time, then either move the tape left or right, replace the character it's reading, or do nothing
and that's pretty much it
but turing showed that that's all you need to do every computation a modern computer can do
David: so modern computers are modeled after the box
me: why is the infinite tape necessary?
David: there are a whole bunch of computations that you can't do with a turning machine
David: but the "tape" in a computer is 8.79609302 × 10^12 characters long, so essentially it’s the same as a Turing machinefor a more in-depth description from another computer scientist (who doesn't believe modern computers qualify as Turing machines!) click here
Friday, July 16, 2010
[note: "Greater Manchester" is a county consisting of 10 boroughs, of which the City of Manchester is one.]
And let us not forget the pride and joy of the city...
and again, the University of Manchester.
Friday, July 9, 2010
A classic, Disney's Snow White was the first feature length animated film. It was created with cel-animation and revolutionized movie marketing and expectations. Snow White was the most expensive Disney film at the time and many thought it would be a failure. It came through as a success however, running at Radio City for more weeks than any film at its release in '38 (popular demand would have had it shown for longer) and getting named as one of the best movies of all time.
~video!! Snow White was allegedly Turing's favorite fairy tale and he found the film fascinating. Most believe his suicide to be inspired by the Queen's poisoned apple.
A lethal dose of cyanide halts respiration usually leading to coma, seizure, heart attack and death. Various solutions have been used for mass murder (hydrogen cyanide was the toxic agent in Holocaust gas chambers. It smells like bitter almond) Cyanide is said to taste bitter-salty...until the tongue fibers in contact die.