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Do you get the picture? – Computer Vision

Why is machine vision a hard problem? As humans, we look at a dog and we see the dog. That’s all there is to it. Surely making machines that do the same isn’t that hard, right?

It actually turns out to be one of the toughest problems around, because that ‘simple’ seeing we do is in fact managed by our brains more than our eyes – and the brain is, well, the most complex object in the universe.

Hitting the fun switch: theme park engineering

A lot of what engineers do is hidden away. Few members of the public give much thought to sewer systems, road bridges, power grids and flood barriers, impressive feats though they are. As Councillor Hamann says to Neo in The Matrix Reloaded, “See that machine? It has something to do with recycling our water supply. I have absolutely no idea how it works. But I do understand the reason for it to work.”

Training the next generation of cybersecurity experts

England’s Bletchley Park, famous for its World War II codebreaking success, is about to put on display some of the actual Nazi messages it decrypted. Bletchley’s National Museum of Computing houses a working replica of the five-tonne ‘Colussus’ decryption engine, of which 10 were in use at the peak of the wartime codebreaking effort. The ‘original and freshly discovered’ messages will be available for visitors to marvel at.

Starving IT researcher? Sniff out bugs for cash

The first ever bug bounty program was launched in 1983. The prize for finding a bug in the software? A Volkswagen Beetle (a bug – geddit?). Such is the pressure on software firms to produce vulnerability-free code that they will offer cash rewards to white hat security researchers who can find and report flaws. Bug-hunting has become an industry, and anyone with the right smarts can try for a slice of the bug bounty pie.

Stamping out fake degrees: the Disciplina blockchain

In August last year published an article about how blockchain technology might be used to prevent the falsification of academic records. Development of such a blockchain was being developed by Sony and IBM in collaboration at the time. A shocking statistic quoted in the article was that 21% of U.S. job applicants’ resumes stated fraudulent degrees.

London School of Economics launches cryptocurrency course

The cryptocurrency boom and its underlying blockchain technology is generating such levels of global interest that even authoritative institutions like the London School of Economics – a world leader – are sitting up and taking notice. The bitcoin scene has been like the Wild West for years, but as understanding matures, educational structures are emerging to better prepare those who want to enter the fray.