Sunday, October 14, 2018

Bob Doran - R.I.P



I'm really sad to have learned that my colleague Bob Doran has died. He had been fighting cancer for many years and has finally succumbed. He was a founder of my Computer Science department in 1982 and in recent years was the curator of our excellent computer history museum, a passion that I shared with him. Though, I have to say I wasn't as interested in the history of the New Zealand Tote as he was. He was a regular contributor to this blog on all aspects of computing history and I will miss him dearly. 

The Head of the Computer Science Department, Robert Amor, commented: "New Zealand has lost a true pioneer of Computer Science. His passion for the history of computing, especially in New Zealand, leaves us with an extraordinary museum collection and investigations of the many important milestones in the nation’s computing history. He also leaves an enormous legacy with the thousands of students he has taught since the 1970’s."

My sincere condolences to his wife, Joyce, and his family.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Memo That Allowed IBM's Women to Get Married

My colleague, Bob Doran, brought this piece of computing history to my attention. Imagine a time when women employed by IBM had to quit when they got married! This article in The Atlantic recounts one woman's experience of, what now seems, a bizarre situation. Thankfully times have moved on.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/
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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Use your library

I'm a huge fan of my local library and am really puzzled that people will spend their money on buying books they will probably only read once when they can read the same books for free from the library. I travel a lot and I love my e-book reader on my iPad; being able to travel with a dozen boo ks that weigh nothing and take up no space is just great. Auckland Council Library has for several years provided e-books that you can download to your device and read for free, but the service wasn't easy to use. However, this has all changed with their new app, Libby, available on Android and iOS. The app makes browsing and searching for books simple and then you can download and read them directly, "easy as", as they say in New Zealand. Moreover, they have another app, RBDigital, that provides you free access to 100s of magazines. So go and join your local library, read more and save money!

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

The 2018 Top Programming Languages

IEEE Spectrum has published its fifth annual interactive ranking of the top programming languages. As they point out: "because no one can peer over the shoulders of every coder out there, anyone attempting to measure the popularity of computer languages must rely on proxy measures of relative popularity." Auckland University's very own R language is in 7th place reflecting the growing popularity of data science and analytics.




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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Half a million page views!

This blog has just passed 500,000 page views! Now I realise that not all of those views are individual readers, many will be web crawlers and bots, but those are the only stats I have. The most viewed post is Turing and the Apple logo (49,030 views), with The largest prime number is... (19,815 views) coming in second. Now to hit 1 million.

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Top 20 Python AI and Machine Learning Open Source Projects



Dataquest has compiled a very useful resource for new data scientists, as they say: "Getting into Machine Learning and AI is not an easy task. Many aspiring professionals and enthusiasts find it hard to establish a proper path into the field, given the enormous amount of resources available today. The field is evolving constantly and it is crucial that we keep up with the pace of this rapid development. In order to cope with this overwhelming speed of evolution and innovation, a good way to stay updated and knowledgeable on the advances of ML, is to engage with the community by contributing to the many open-source projects and tools that are used daily by advanced professionals." You also might want to take a look at the book "Python: Machine Learning."


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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Artificial intelligence will be net UK jobs creator

A recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers has argued that AI would create slightly more jobs (7.2m) than it displaced (7m) by boosting economic growth in the UK. The firm estimated about 20% of jobs would be automated over the next 20 years and no sector would be unaffected. This counters a lot of doomsayers who have predicted that AI will potentially decimate employment. In some sectors these pessimists are not wrong: PWC predicts that transportation and storage will lose 38% of its jobs to AI. However, PWC are predicting that these job losses will be more than countered by gains in health and social work, education, professional and IT work, and other service sectors. You can read PWC's full report here.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/
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