This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
And so, for a brief and literally shining moment early in the days of human-harnessed electricity, the future of municipal lighting was glowing orbs suspended high above cities — towers, resembling oil derricks, capped with 4 to 6 arc lamps with a candlepower of 2,000 to 6,000 each. These manmade moons made the ultimate promise to the people below them: that they would never again be in the dark.
An early experiment involved the telephone cord. In the postwar years, the copper used inside the cords remained scarce. Telephone company executives wondered whether the standard cord, then about three feet long, might be shortened. Mr. Karlin’s staff stole into colleagues’ offices every three days and covertly shortened their phone cords, an inch at time. No one noticed, they found, until the cords had lost an entire foot.
From then on, phones came with shorter cords.
In 1986, the BBC gave birth to the Domesday Project… that saw one million Brits crowdsource a cultural snapshot of UK life, including text, photography and video, then ship the resulting database on Laser Discs to schools and libraries as an interactive guide to the country. Over 100,000 square kilometres of British soil was documented, along with just under 150,000 pages of written text and more than 20,000 digitised colour photographs…. For a time it was possible for the information stored online to be updated but today the archive serves as a memorial for a project that took 21st century online ambition and tried to make it work 20 years too soon.
The Swiss Federal Office of Topography has published a complete set of digitized historical maps from 1938 to 2011. The twist: a browser application allows you to create a time travel movie at any place in Switzerland for any zoom level. As an example, you can see the recession of Europe’s biggest glacier over the last 75 years
Some unknown genius discovered that if you hooked two Sears or Monkey Ward telephone sets to the top wire on a barbed-wire fence, you could talk between the telephones as easily as between two “town” telephones connected by slick wire through an operator’s switchboard. A rural telephone system that had no operators, no bills—and no long-distance charges—was born
But the library hasn’t started the daunting task of sorting or filtering its 133 terabytes of Twitter data, which it receives from Gnip in chronological bundles, in any meaningful way…. “You often hear a reference to Twitter as a fire hose, that constant stream of tweets going around the world. What we have here is a large and growing lake. What we need is the technology that allows us to both understand and make useful that lake of information.
Science was being stunted at the time by the limitations of mechanical adding machines, said Mr Hauser.
“Edsac let scientists tackle problems that could never have been solved with mechanical calculators,” he said. “It revolutionised the way a lot of Cambridge scientists thought about what they could do.”
Its introduction represented the biggest step function improvement in computing power ever, said Mr Hauser. Rough estimates suggest it was about 1,500 times faster than the best mechanical hand-cranked calculator of that era
Lamarr’s invention came about, Rhodes said, because “she was keenly aware of the coming war. She was glued to the newspaper, reading the stories. … When German submarines began torpedoing passenger liners, she felt at that point, ‘I’ve got to invent something that will put a stop to that.’ “
Her idea involved making a radio signal “hop around from radio frequency to radio frequency,” Rhodes said, to interfere with signal jamming. Thus, a torpedo could be radio guided with less fear of having the signal jammed.
She and a partner obtained a patent, then gave it free of charge to the U.S. Navy. Brilliant, yes?
The Navy “basically threw it into the file,” Rhodes said. Later, however, the idea of frequency-hopping was resuscitated by the Navy, and “then the whole system spread like wildfire. The most well-known application today is Bluetooth.”
Because of the strange distortions of copyright protection, there are twice as many newly published books available on Amazon from 1850 as there are from 1950
a 3D model of the Giza Necropolis, a free application available to all Internet users, which was unveiled Tuesday at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.
This digital model is the only way we can see Giza in its ancient splendor, due to looting, erosion, urban sprawl and artifacts being sent across the world.