The Inside Story of Pong and the Early Days of Atari

WIRED

Nolan Bushnell, the tall, brash, young engineer from Alcorn's work-study days at Ampex, had shown up at Alcorn's Sunnyvale office. Bushnell was driving a new blue station wagon. "It's a company car," he said with feigned nonchalance. He offered to drive Alcorn, recently hired as an associate engineer at Ampex, to see the "game on a TV screen" that Bushnell and Ted Dabney had developed at their new startup company. The two men drove to an office in Mountain View, near the highway. The space was large, about 10,000 square feet, and looked like a cross between an electronics lab and an assembly warehouse. Oscilloscopes and lab benches filled one area. Half-built cabinets and screen with wires protruding from them sat in another. Bushnell walked with Alcorn to a sinuous, six-foot-tall fiberglass cabinet with a screen at eye level. Bushnell was proud of what he called its "spacey-looking" shape.


The Inside Story of 'Pong' and Nolan Bushnell's Early Days at Atari

WIRED

Al Alcorn knew he was being wooed. Nolan Bushnell, the tall, brash, young engineer from Alcorn's work-study days at Ampex, had shown up at Alcorn's Sunnyvale office. Bushnell was driving a new blue station wagon. "It's a company car," he said with feigned nonchalance. He offered to drive Alcorn, recently hired as an associate engineer at Ampex, to see the "game on a TV screen" that Bushnell and Ted Dabney had developed at their new startup company.


Understanding Web Archiving Services and Their (Mis)Use on Social Media

AAAI Conferences

Web archiving services play an increasingly important role in today's information ecosystem, by ensuring the continuing availability of information, or by deliberately caching content that might get deleted or removed.Among these, the Wayback Machine has been proactively archiving, since 2001, versions of a large number of Web pages, while newer services like archive.is allow users to create on-demand snapshots of specific Web pages, which serve as time capsules that can be shared across the Web. In this paper, we present a large-scale analysis of Web archiving services and their use on social media, shedding light on the actors involved in this ecosystem, the content that gets archived, and how it is shared. We crawl and study: 1) 21M URLs from archive.is, spanning almost two years; and 2) 356K archive.is plus 391K Wayback Machine URLs that were shared on four social networks: Reddit, Twitter, Gab, and 4chan's Politically Incorrect board (/pol/) over 14 months. We observe that news and social media posts are the most common types of content archived, likely due to their perceived ephemeral and/or controversial nature. Moreover, URLs of archiving services are extensively shared on "fringe" communities within Reddit and 4chan to preserve possibly contentious content. Lastly, we find evidence of moderators nudging or even forcing users to use archives, instead of direct links, for news sources with opposing ideologies, potentially depriving them of ad revenue.


Toward Artificial Sentience, Significant Futures Work, and more

#artificialintelligence

An autonomous idea-creation system that already has invented patentable concepts has itself now been patented. The U.S. Patent and Trade Office has awarded a patent to Stephen L. Thaler, president and CEO of Imagination Engines Inc., for his Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience (DABUS). Formally, the patent is titled "Electro‐Optical Device and Method for Identifying and Inducing Topological States Formed Among Interconnecting Neural Modules," which Thaler says constitutes a "successor to deep learning and the future of artificial general intelligence." With DABUS, "vast swarms of neural nets join to form chains that encode concepts gleaned from their environment," Thaler said in a press release. "It also teaches the noise‐stimulation of such neural chaining systems to generate derivative concepts from their accumulated experience (i.e., idea formation)."


Internet Archive wants to get rid of link rot

Mashable

You know that thing where you're reading something interesting but then you see a super interesting link and you're like, yeah, I'm gonna click the shit out of this, and then you do, and your computer fritzes, blinks at you, and then you get a 404 error? Internet Archive has built a tool to make that stop happening. Internet Archive has long chronicled deceased web pages with the Wayback Machine, allowing users to access stuff that is no longer readily available. But, of course, users would have to know about the Wayback Machine and how to use it. Now Internet Archive has built a Wayback Machine Chrome extension.