Category Archives: Interesting Items

Things the staff found interesting, or fun.

Happy Twenty-Fifth Birthday, WWW!

Along with Southwest Cyberport’s Twentieth Anniversary, there’s another important one this March, one which made our birthday and so much else possible: that of the Web itself. The World Wide Web was first proposed in March of 1989. Tim Berners-Lee, a contractor at an atomic lab in Switzerland, put forth an idea how scientists around the world could share their results online across various different computer platforms. His proposal was pretty much ignored at first. It wasn’t until they actually set up a simple system (using a NeXT desktop computer as the server) and invented a primitive browser that people started paying attention. The rest is history. Interestingly, the kind of results the scientists wanted to share is very familiar with science students and harried parents. Called “poster sessions” after the physical form these presentations often took at conferences, where scientists would pin posters to cork-boards and talk about their projects. The displays themselves often just consisted of a bold headline, a brief description with a few subheads, and a few graphs or pictures of the results. These intellectuals only cared about describing their experiments: questions to be investigated, their carefully chosen procedures, and the results and their justification. They wanted simple, clear layouts that could support graphical information such as charts and graphs, pictures of experimental setups, and tables of data.  In other words, the geeks just wanted to share their science fair projects. And in the grand tradition … Continue reading

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Government Surveillance – A Scary Story for Adults

Since this summer, a number of disturbing news reports have come out that highlight the amount of ongoing surveillance of the Internet by the National Security Agency. Mainly due to leaks to leaks from former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, these have outlined a huge systematic government effort to watch everything and everyone online. “Controversial” and “important” do not even begin to indicate just how vital and contentious these game-changing revelations really are. The basics facts now known about\ these programs is outlined in this month’s SWCP Portal, in an article called “The Spooks in the Machine.” It is complete with links to all the original stories. So check it out, especially if you’ve been wanting to follow this important story but haven’t had the time. So stay tuned – you can depend on the Portal continuing to cover this in the future, with analysis of what it means and what, if anything, can or should be done.

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It’s Meeting Time with Tech Fiesta and WordCamp

This month, the Duke City is hosting it’s very first Tech Fiesta. This is a series of get-togethers from 7-15 of September celebrating the very clever people in our fair city working to create a thriving community of technical innovators. Panels, speakers, pitch contests and other fun happenings will be featured. One event is a Coworking Crawl in which SWCP’s own coworking space, Ideas & Coffee, is included. Tech Fiesta week finishes up with the third WordCamp Albuquerque, September 13-15, an intensive weekend of meetings devoted to WordPress, the versatile and most widely-used open source blogging tool in the world. Developers and users, from newbie to pro, come together to share insights, tricks, ideas and inspiration. If you’ve ever wanted to set up your own website to share your ideas, media, or sell stuff, this is for you. Join the fun! Details are available on the websites linked above and are also listed in the September Portal. See you there.

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