In Wired magazine, Nicholas Thompson writes about system known as “Dead Hand.” It was designed by Soviet scientists in the mid 1980s to automatically retaliate against a nuclear strike from the U.S. Thompson reports that the purpose of Dead Hand, also known as Perimeter, was to make certain the USSR could hit back after being attacked, even if the Kremlin was destroyed. Thompson says Dead Hand still exists.

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A recognized genius in mathematics, cryptography, and computer science, Alan Turing cracked German naval code in World War II, and is thought to be the father of modern computer science. Despite his achievements he was treated poorly in his home country of Great Britain, which prosecuted him for homosexual acts, which were illegal at the time. That treatment likely led to his suicide in 1954 at the age of 41.

John Graham-Cumming, a British computer programmer, believes Turing is owned an apology.

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Yahoo announced last week it would shut down its GeoCities personal website service later this year. Yahoo paid about $3 billion for the company in 1999.

Geocities allowed users to design personal websites. but the pioneering service has long since been eclipsed by blogs and social networks.

What will become of the million-plus GeoCities home pages out there? Yahoo is saying only that it will provide details later this summer on how customers can save their own data.

Jason Scott believes GeoCities deserves saving. Scott runs textfiles.com, a site devoted to computer history. He’s lead organizer for a new group called the Archive Team, which is working to rescue a growing body of endangered Internet content, including GeoCities.

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