Informatics

Blogs about informatics

MS-DOS 6

Microsoft has announced the release of the sources of versions 1.25 and 2.0 of its MS-DOS operating system, which were made available on the GitHub website, under the MIT free / open source license. In 2014 the same sources were released to the Computer History Museum but with a restrictive license, for historical reasons. The released versions are very old and Microsoft will not accept pull requests to modify them sent through the GitHub system but anyone can freely not only read the assembly code but also experiment with it, perhaps on a virtual machine.

A view of Summit (Photo ORNL)

IBM and the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced the supercomputer Summit stating that it’s the fastest in the world. Peak performances are declared at 200 petaflops, which are eight times those of the previous ORNL supercomputer, called Titan, activated in October 2012 and for a few months the most powerful in its category. It’s a system designed for scientific applications with an eye to artificial intelligence.

Chris Wanstrath in 2010

The announcement arrived of the agreement that sees Microsoft buy the hosting service for software projects GitHub for $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock. The rumors of the deal begun last week but two years ago Microsoft had already attempted the acquisition.

GitHub is a hosting service for software projects that use the Git distributed version control software, one of the inventions of Linus Torvalds, famous above all for being the father of the Linux operating system. The company behind the service was founded in 2008 with its office in San Francisco, initially as Logical Awesome and since 2010 as GitHub, Inc. rapidly achieving great success.

The ANA Avatar XPRIZE website's home page

Peter Diamandis, Executive Chairman of XPRIZE, announced the start of a new initiative called ANA Avatar XPRIZE with the aim of developing avatars. A competition that will last four years with a prize of $10 millions offering teams all over the world the chance to develop robotic systems that can’t only move but also transmit visual and auditory sensations interacting with the environment and other people like if the user was on site.

Brisbane City Flood 2013 (Photo ShepsSnaps)

An article published in the journal “Computers & Geosciences” describes a research into the possibilities of combining artificial intelligence, Twitter and what is called citizen science to create early warning systems for flood-prone communities. A team of researchers from the British University of Dundee led by Roger Wang worked to create solutions that can detect as quickly as possible the first signs of danger to activate countermeasures.