On This Day: 27th May

MIT de-activates the Whirlwind computer and the successor to CAPTCHA is launched. All on today’s On This Day from TEST Huddle.


1959 –  MIT deactivates Whirlwind photograph of Jay Forrester with Whirlwind staff and Computer, B

On this day in 1959, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) deactivates the Whirlwind computer. The  computer system was the first computer to use video display for output and which could be operated in real time. The computer was unveiled in 1951 on Edward R. Murrow’s national news show “See It Now.”







2007 – The Birth of reCAPTCHArecaptcha_pic

In the United States, Prof. Luis Von Ahn leads a team at Carnegie Mellon University who launch a new service called reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA  (an acronym for repurposes Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart) was developed to protect websites from spambots, but also help digitize books, magazines, and newspapers so that they can eventually be made searchable. The updated version presents two words, one that has been recognized by optical character recognition (OCR) software and one that hasn’t been recognised. The word that the computer recognises confirms that the user is human and increases system confidence that what the second user-entered word is correct.  CAPTCHA was orginially developed by Carnegie Mellon University for Yahoo to prevent computers from registering bogus e-mail accounts.




Images: wikipedia

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Ronan Healy

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