This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
I had been tracking the “videotext” experiments that big publishers along with broadcasters like Knight-Ridder and Warner were experimenting with: a soon-to-come way of delivering customized information to people in their homes by using telephones as input devices and televisions as output devices. The whole system was centrally controlled, with users punching buttons on their telephone keypads in order to navigate through menus of preprepared information. Billions of dollars were spent on videotext experiments, but none of them included ways for the medium’s users to communicate with—much less create content for—each other
most historians agree that Almon Strowger was spurred into action by his suspicion that callers who asked for his mortuary were being connected to his competitors. Using a cardboard collar box, the undertaker built a prototype of an automatic switch…
Strowger was issued his first patent in 1891. On November 3, 1892, he and his new business partners opened the Strowger Automatic Telephone Exchange in La Porte, Ind
Check out what Norman Waters of the American Television Society said back in 1944 during FCC hearings on how to allocate spectrum for the nascent technology of TV:
It is my belief that it would be just as criminal to hold back television as it would be for a scientist to keep from the public a known cure for one of mankind’s great ills, once he had discovered it. The analogy is fair, for Television will bring about the enlightenment of mankind, and may well hold within its grasp the solution of a lasting peace in the world.
As with movies, the introduction of broadcast radio in the 1920s was accompanied by proponents’ promises of a vast potential to bring a variety of information and entertainment into homes, schools, and churches, ending isolation and unifying the nation.3 Yet opponents feared that radio would undermine activities such as reading and going to church, and they expressed concerns about advertising and poor program quality. Newspapers reported parents’ complaints about children gulping their meals so as not to miss a favorite radio show and waking with nightmares from listening to “lurid radio bedtime stories.”9
Azriel L. Eisenberg, about radio, 1936:
“The popularity of this new pastime among children has increased rapidly … This new invader of the privacy of the home has brought many a disturbing influence in its wake. Parents have become aware of a puzzling change in the behavior patterns of their children. They are bewildered by a host of new problems, and find themselves unprepared, frightened, resentful, helpless. They cannot lock out this intruder because it has gained an invincible hold of their children.”
what is the effect of these broadcasts on the growing minds ? I quote in order that I may not over-state : ” For many hours each day the youngsters gather round the radio and listen with rapt attention to the thrilling adventures of their beloved comic strip heroes and heroines… . So enthralled are they that they have developed the habit of dividing attention between the humdrum preparation of their school assignments and the compelling excitement of the loudspeaker… They gulp their meals in order not to miss the day’s instalment… . At night the children often lie awake in bed restless and fearful, or wake up screaming as a result of nightmares brought on by mystery stories.
While programming began five years ago, it wasn’t until eight days later, on March 21, 2006, that Dorsey sent the famous first (non-automated) tweet
In 1986, a year after digital CDs widely debuted, vinyl records still accounted for 14 percent of all data on Earth, with audiocassettes holding an additional 12 percent