Obama Staff Arrives to White House Stuck in Dark Ages of Technology

If the Obama campaign represented a sleek, new iPhone kind of future, the first day of the Obama administration looked more like the rotary-dial past.

Two years after launching the most technologically savvy presidential campaign in history, Obama officials ran smack into the constraints of the federal bureaucracy yesterday, encountering a jumble of disconnected phone lines, old computer software, and security regulations forbidding outside e-mail accounts.



Hello Worlds, Why humanities students should learn to program

The first program most people learn to write in any computer language is called Hello World. Its sole function is to display those two words on the screen. But the act of writing and then running Hello World can raise some intriguing questions: Who, or what, exactly, is saying hello to the world? The original author of the program? The neophyte who just transcribed it on a computer? The computer itself? All of these somehow together? Whose "world" is being greeted? The world around us, or the virtual world inside the machine? Is anyone (or anything) expected to return the salutation? Hello World, whose syntax varies from one computer language to another, is a postmodern cultural artifact, and to me such questions are irresistible. | 0 Comments

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