Tag Archives: Manhattan Project


My Wife, the Computer

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… came during WWII when a young Richard Feynman created a competition of sorts while working on the Manhattan Project. Human computers would square off against a machine named the Punched-Card Tabulator to do calculations required for the plutonium bomb. Bravely, the humans held out for two days, maintaining an equal pace to their mechanical counterpart. But on the third day the machine rose to take the lead; the humans had tired and couldn’t keep up their original enthusiastic pace. …

Tags: computer David Alan Grier human computation Manhattan Project mass collaboration Richard Feynman

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Michael S Hart: a man of many words

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… geeks. Way back in 1971 (when “the Internet” had a grand total of 100 users) Hart founded Project Gutenberg, a non-profit enterprise to “encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks”. As a commenter on our recent Google Ngrams blog pointed out, not only was Project Gutenberg the first large-scale project to digitize books, it used distributed labor to do it.

Since 1981 Project Gutenberg has been run entirely by online volunteers (for the first 10 years, Hart apparently …

Tags: crowd crowdsourcing E-book google Google Books Hart iPhone Michael Hart microwork Project Gutenberg Steve Jobs

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Shining a light on local government

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… problems logged on Fixmystreet had been fixed in the last month alone.

Another example is  Project Fosbury. Also run by mySociety, it is a wider project intent on bringing people together to solve everyday problems like those dealt to by Fixmystreet.

Project Fosbury is a modular platform that breaks down complicated civic tasks into pieces which can then be allocated to one or more people. Each task is completed within a joined up infrastructure and is designed to be easy and …

Tags: crowd crowdsourcing crowdsourcing platform distributed work Fixmystreet local government mySociety Project Fosbury

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Make future history

Posted on by Otto Chrons

… Right now we are scouring the earth for a Senior Software Test Engineer, a Delivery Project Manager and an experienced Software Engineer to join our rapidly expanding team. Working with a committed team of industry leaders, our new recruits will help develop our product and customer projects. We are looking for goal-driven, articulate and enthusiastic people, who are personable and positive. The roles will be based in our development office in Tampere, starting in September …

Tags: crowdsourcing Delivery Project Manager Experienced Software Engineer jobs available Senior Software Test Engineer

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Every murder draws a crowd: Homicide Watch DC

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… the 5th season of The Wire ). Instead Homicide Watch is a crowdfunded, crowdsourced reporting project, covering every homicide in the District of Colombia.

This claim is so bold as to almost be suspect. More than a hundred people are murdered in the US capital every year. That’s a huge number of stories, requiring an awful lot of information.

This information is partly official reports and court documents, but much of it comes from the crowd. Using social media and the help of the …

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