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The Mir Space Station was a true Soviet engineering wonder, an achievement comparable with the US landing on the Moon. Yet in its later years, Mir survived some horrific & hair-raising accidents…
Archimedes is famous for being Ancient Greece’s greatest engineer. Yet a random discovery – a prayers book found in an old church in Turkish Istanbul, casts this mysterious genius in an even more surprising light.
In 1989, a message was found in a virus: “Eddie Lives…Somewhere in Time!”. ‘Eddie’ was a particularly nasty virus, and its discovery led a young Bulgarian security researcher down a rabbit hole, on a hunt for the prolific creator of the Eddie virus: The Dark Avenger.
Are Software Bugs Inevitable? Part 2: The Most Expensive Failed Software Project Ever | Curious Minds Podcast
After describing the Software Crisis in the previous episode, we discuss the various methodologies and practices implemented over the years to combat the complexities of software development. We’ll tell the sad story of the FBI’s VCF project – perhaps the most expensive failed software project ever – and hear about Dr. Fred Brooks’ classic book, ‘The Mythical Man-Month’.
Are Software Bugs Inevitable? Part 1: FORTRAN and the Denver Airport Baggage Disaster | Curious Minds Podcast
Software errors and random bugs are rather common: We’ve all seen the infamous Windows “blue screen of death”… But is there really nothing we can do about it? Are these errors – from small bugs to catastrophic mistakes – inevitable? In this episode, we’ll tell the story of FORTRAN, the groundbreaking high-level computer language, and the sad, sad tale of the Denver Airport Baggage Disaster. Don’t laugh, it’s a serious matter.
In 1983, president Ronald Reagan shocked the world when he announced that the United States was developing an ultra-modern defense system against intercontinental ballistic missiles. Hundreds of billions of dollars were invested in the system’s development – But then, in 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, and with it – the Star Wars initiative. Was Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative the reason for the Soviet Union’s collapse?
The fall of Napster (see Part I of this series) has left a vacuum in the world of file sharing – and as the saying goes, the Internet abhors vacuum… Various File Sharing programs such as Gnutella, Kazaa and others quickly filled the void.
In this episode, we’ll describe Grokster’s legal battle against the Record Companies, the sinister poisoning of file sharing networks by OverPeer – and the rise of BitTorrent.
Napster, a revolutionary Peer-to-Peer file sharing software, was launched in 1999 – and forever changed the media world. In this episode, we’ll tell the story of Sean Fanning and Sean Parker, its creators, and talk about the legal battle it fought with the record companies – and Metallica.
Heroes of Podcasting: An interview with Aaron Mahnke about the role of storytelling in podcasting, his inspirations and how he started Lore.
Todd has an amazing story which begun with a serious injury – but ultimately led to a surprising career as an early entrepreneur in the new media of podcasting. He wrote the first book on podcasting and signed one of the first advertising deals. Today, Todd’s company is one of the biggest players in this new media.
Leo Laporte is one of the very first podcasters.In 2005 Leo left – or almost left – traditional radio to start his own podcasting network, centered around cutting edge technology news, called TWIT. TWIT quickly became one of the most successful podcast networks with millions of downloads and award winning show such as This Week In Tech, Security Now and the New Screen Savers.
Jay Soderberg started in podcasting back in 2006. Jay’s story is rather unique, since his first steps in podcasting were in the corporate world, whereas the vast majority of podcasters back then were independent creators.
This series explores the history and future of podcasting, and each episode will feature a single guest who is a pioneer of podcasting. This time, we’re interviewing Prof. Karlheinz Brandenburg – inventor of the popular MP3 format which a critical innovation in Podcasting history.
In 1998, a group of people broke away from the Free Software Foundation and created instead the Open Source Initiative. What were their motives? Richard Stallman, the founder of the FSF, and Tim O’Reilly who helped popularize the term ‘Open Source’ discuss the history of Open Source & Free Software.
This episode will focus on a few of the lesser-known children of the Solar System neighborhood: The Oort Cloud, Kuiper’s Belt & Dwarf Planets.
The History of Open Source & Free Software, Pt. 1, w/ Special Guest: Richard Stallman| Curious Minds Podcast
In the early 1980’s Richard Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation (FSF): a socio-technological movement that revolutionized the software world. In this episode we’ll hear Stallman himself talking about the roots of the movement, and learn of its early struggles.
Humans have yet to have set foot on a different planet, but today, from their limited vantage point on Earth, astronomers are able to notice a few breathtaking phenomena that are beyond human imagination. This episode reveals some of the greatest, most amazing, violent and impressive meteorological phenomena seen on other planets in the Solar System.
In the previous part of the episode we learned how linguists were able to reconstruct bits of the ancient & long lost Indo-European language. In this episode we’ll discover what can these words tell us about life in the Bronze Age, family ties and nomadic relationships. We’ll also learn about the links between Genetics & Linguistics: a recent genetic finding that explains the unprecedented success of that language: a single lucky mutation that enabled the Yamna People, as they are called today, to digest milk.
A surprising discovery made by a William Jones, British judge in India uncovered the existence of an ancient language, the ancestor of an amazing variety of modern languages – from English and French, to the Persian Farsi and Indian Sanskrit. The speakers of this language didn’t leave any written evidence behind, but researchers were able to reconstruct it never the less. How? it’s a kind of a fairy tale, really… 😉
A journey to outer space has many dangers and challenges; but for those courageous astronauts, the trip might be worthwhile. Some of the planets and moons in the Solar System have views that are really, but really, out of this world: The Caloris Basin, Iapetus and Miranda.
The universe we live in is really big: It’s vastness is difficult to even comprehend. That vastness is why, even if our universe is teeming with life, it is unlikely that we will ever meet other intelligent life forms. Let’s take a closer look at the scales of distances, speeds and volumes in our universe.
How a single navigation error cost the Royal Navy Four battle ships and 1,505 men – and led a humble carpenter to solve one of the most difficult & important engineering challenges of the last 300 years.
Dr. Timothy Leary help kickstart the LSD’s involvement in the Hippie movement of the 1960’s – and was imprisoned for it. But what really makes LSD so dangerous? We’ll delve deep into the effects of LSD on the human brain.
A 2-parts series on LSD history: it’s discovery, it’s initial uses by psychologists and the CIA and it’s role in the ‘hippie revolution’ of the 1960’s. Also, how does LSD affects the brain?
The Black Death that swept across Europe in the 14th century wasn’t the first time nor the last that the Bubonic Plague decimate large cities and brought empires to their knees. For many thousands of years, its cause and way of spreading was totally unknown – until two brave (and some might say – insanely brave) French physicians took to the streets of Hong Kong and Bombay, and risked their own lives in the name of ridding Mankind – and the fleas – from their worst nightmare: The Plague.
The male Y Chromosome holds tantalizing clues about our own, personal past – but that past can turn out to be very troubling. Tatiana Zerjal’s research on DNA samples brought by Spencer Wells from central asia revealed uncomfortable truths, such as the extend of rape and murder in Genghis Khan’s Mongol empire. Dr. Karl Skorecki’s interest in his priestly Jewish origins has the potential to sow division and strife amongst jews. Do we really want to know the secrets our DNA holds?
In the 1970s and 80s, an interesting academic dispute rose between two rival camps of scientists in the field of Paleoanthropology, the study of human evolution. The main question dealt with the theories of when and where the modern human, the Homo-Sapiens, appeared.
Arsenic Poisoning was the weapon of choice for many women over the centuries. Find out Arsenic’s deadly history – and how it kills.
What can we learn from the BBC’s failed Domesday Project about the digital preservation of the wealth of information we produce each year?
A 2-part series, exploring the role of technology in the Battle of the Atlantic in WW2. How did technical innovations by German, American and British engineers determine the ebbs and flows of the naval battles and the ultimate fate of the German U-Boats fleet? Read the Full Text or Listen to the Podcast Subscribe: iTunes … Continue reading U Boats in WWII, Pt. II: Wolf Packs and Floating Coffins | Curious Minds
How did the small, outgunned German fleet manage to strike painful blows to the Great British Navy? The credit for this success belongs to the German flotilla of submarines: the Unterseeboots, or U-Boats.
In 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen was an honored and admired physics professor. But reputation aside, Röntgen was 50 years old – and at that age, it is rare for a scientist to make a significant contribution to his or her field.