This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
For more than thirty years, computers have mostly just been about tasks, and they had to be–they were too expensive and clunky and hard to use, so you wouldn’t really want to use them for anything else. But the modern computing device has a very different place in our lives. It’s not just for productivity and business, although it’s great for that too. It’s for making us more connected, more social, more aware.
Home, by putting people first, and then apps–by just flipping the order–is one of many small but meaningful changes in our relationship with technology over time.
The key experiential question of Google Glass isn’t what it’s like to wear them, it’s what it’s like to be around someone else who’s wearing them… The experience of being a citizen, in public, is about to change.
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.
Virtually no one older than 25 uses it, but Pinger, an app that turns iPod Touches, a parent’s castoff iPhone without a service plan, or Wi-Fi-only iPads into “phones” with texting and calling capability, has drawn 8 million active users, with 80% of them between the ages of 12 and 24. Pinger assigns phone numbers and, using software and Wi-Fi, allows kids to call and text for free in exchange for viewing advertising. “We turn non-phones into phones,” said Pinger CMO Terrence Sweeney. Especially for the playground set.
Last year alone, Japanese households bought 1.7 million of the old-style fax machines, which print documents on slick, glossy paper spooled in the back. In the United States, the device has become such an artifact that the Smithsonian is adding two machines to its collection … almost 100% of business offices and 45% of private homes had a fax machine as of 2011
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has teamed up with Mini Cooper in New Zealand to teach three dogs how to drive
“Our parrot, when he’s left alone, screams. It’s ear piercing even if you’re several rooms away,” explained Gray to the university’s WUFT radio station. Now Pepper can manoeuvre himself from room to room by standing on the box-like buggy’s perch and manipulating a joystick with his beak.
The buggy was not the first attempt at solving the noise problem with technology. “What we normally do is spray him with a water bottle and it shuts him up for a little bit,” said Gray. “So I built a voice-activated squirt gun. It worked really well at first, but then he started using it as a bird bath and would scream just to get squirted.”
The 10,000 boards sold out within hours of going on sale in February last year, with an incredible 100,000 boards ordered on that first day.
Today more than 700,000 Raspberry Pi computers have been shipped to modders who are fitting them to robotic drones in the sky and underwater, to hobbyists designing home automation systems, and to wannabe coders looking to build their first programs
Typing on a standard qwerty keyboard can be boring. Typing on a ripe mango, however — now that’s infinitely more interesting. MaKey MaKey is a kit that can make such surrealist dreams come true by turning conductive objects into computer keys and buttons.
The thing about my iPad is that there’s too much going on there. It’s not quite as busy and distraction-prone as my laptop, but when I’m staring into the growing screen of my tablet, my brain knows about all the options it has. I can check Twitter, refresh my Gmail inbox one more time, page through Flipboard… The thing I can never seem to make my way to is the Kindle app, where the books are waiting. That’s why I want a Kindle.
Around one in seven (14%) of all UK children aged 5-15 now use a tablet device at home, a threefold increase since 2011 (5%). Children aged 12-15 are most likely to use a tablet, with 17% saying they do, up from 6% in 2011
At one point in the story, Gulliver encounters a fascinating machine while visiting the Academy of Projectors in the land of Lagando. Gulliver describes the machine, called The Engine: It was twenty feet square, placed in the middle of the room. The superfices was composed of several bits of wood, about the bigness of a die, but some larger than others. They were all linked together by slender wires. These bits of wood were covered, on every square, with paper pasted on them; and on these papers were written all the words of their language, in their several moods, tenses, and declensions; but without any order. This is one of the earliest known mention of a machine that could be considered as a computer in literature, more than a hundred years prior to the first calculating engine designs by Charles Babbage. The Engine might be seen as a computer, but perhaps it’s better thought of as a sort of random-number generator. The machine would create prose and poetry, entirely mechanically. The method of its operation involved turning the frame on which all the words of the language hung and having students read them aloud while capturing the results