Finally, a university that understands how to reach the teenage nerd demographic

Reading a mammoth history of BBN (a contractor involved in ARPANET) and this chapter mentions that their PDP-1 (their second ever computer) cost $1.2 million in 2018 dollars, was leased rather than purchased, and they bought it because they knew it would be useful but didn't have projects for it. They then sought out contracts that could pay for the computer.

PDF link to book, authored by many BBN employees and edited by Dave Walden:

Daniela Saderi kicking off ! It's a community conference based around open science scholarship.

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A valiant December 1960 attempt to explain programming to non programmers by C. J. Shaw of the System Development Corporation

RAND seems to have been particularly interested in the possibility of shoving a bunch of Russian language documents into a computer and having it extract intelligence from the documents automatically. HMMMM I WONDER WHY

Another cool computational linguistics paper from Jane J. Robinson in 1966

(All men)
(The men)
(Old men)
(Men on the corner)
(All the men)
(All old men)
(The old men)
(All the old men)
(All men on the corner)
(The men on the corner)
(Old men on the corner)
(The old men on the corner)
(All the old men on the corner)

Here's a 1965 RAND report demonstrating a conversational interface with an algebraic processing system. They determine that a conversational user interface vastly improves usability in their tests.

Full PDF:

Hello from the storage warehouse of the Computer History Museum, BTW.

This looks like a really interesting event about the future politics of federated networks. I will unfortunately be too busy attending other events at this time to be there (via @gaba)

Twitter screenshot, elections Show more

I read that mastodon article you all were talking about the other day and idk, it seems fine to me

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Friend Camp

The decentralized web is about trust. You should only join Friend Camp if you personally trust Darius Kazemi with your social media data. You probably only have that level of trust if we are IRL friends or have been internet friends for a long time. Generally speaking this is a small, closed community. In the end, Darius is the arbiter of what is allowed here. If you don't have a good idea of the kind of behavior that flies with Darius, again, you probably shouldn't join this instance. In the interest of specificity, we do have a code of conduct and privacy policy which you should read.

Friend Camp features several modifications that were requested by our users.

  • you can log in via any subdomain, which means you can log in to multiple accounts in the same browser session (for example, log in once on and then as another user on
  • they are no longer called "toots", they are now "posts"
  • if you have a locked account and you get a follow request, a reminder appears under your "post" button (on normal Mastodon mobile it is otherwise buried in a sub-menu and you might not see it for a long time)
  • the emoji dropdown is a neutral smiley face instead of the cry-laughing smiley
  • @mentions are rendered as "@user" for a Friend Camp user and "@user@domain" for remote users. This helps clear up when you follow two people who have the same username on different servers.
  • there is a "never ask me again" checkbox on the confirmation for clearing your notifications -- more info here
  • images in a CW'ed post are collapsed behind the CW. When you expand the CW, you can see the whole image immediately. more info here
  • When an mp3 link is in a post, we also embed an inline mp3 player. git commit here
  • 500 characters of profile text git commit here, requested by @emma

Important Bit from the Privacy Docs

If you want decent privacy (the info doesn't leave this server), the only way to do that is to set your account to private, only accept friend requests from other users, and only ever @ mention other users. Once you start talking to people on other servers, all bets are off. Any private message you send to someone on another server could be looked at by the admin of a different server. This is kind of like email: if you are on a private email server, and you send an unencrypted email to a gmail account, congrats, Google now has the content of that email. But also, you do this every day, so, hey. The internet!

Our beautiful icon is based on photo3idea_studio from, licensed CC 3.0 BY. It has been modified by!