I could write a long post describing Alan Turing‘s outstanding achievements as the founder of theoretical computer science, code breaker, and mathematician. But instead of this, I’ll simply urge people to read Andrew Hodges‘ canonical Turing biography. This is a great book, highly recommended and extremely interesting, as it focuses not only on his scientific achievements, but also on the human and personal aspects of his life.

US Senator Ted Kennedy passed away on August 25, 2009 from brain tumor. His funeral was celebrated today in the “Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica” in Boston, Massachusetts, and he was later buried in the Arlington National Cemetery near the graves of this two famous brothers John and Robert.

The following is a particularly nasty idea that Microsoft has applied a patent for: instead of using the usual image-based captchas to distinguish between humans and robots (which are already bad enough since they put the blind users of Braille terminals at a disadvantage), Microsoft proposes that one must look at ad banners, and name the products they show in order to answer an ad-captcha.

The popular BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay (TPB) has been briefly knocked off the Net a couple of days ago by an order of a Swedish court to an upstream provider of TPB-owned AS13214 network. While the website reappeared after just a couple of hours on a new IP address, the trackers are still offline as I’m writing this.

Even though Russia has finally dropped its communist model, it is still to join NATO. But unlike her former satellites in Eastern Europe, who were eager to slip under the NATO umbrella, Russia has opted to align itself with its regional rival China by signing up to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). With such a confrontational strategy, Russia’s possible membership in NATO, though desirable for many good reasons, has become even more elusive than ever before.