Today in Tech History – May 24, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1844 – Samuel Morse sent the message “What hath God wroughtfrom the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capitol to the Mount Clair train depot in Baltimore, Maryland. It was the first public demonstration of the telegraph.

In 1935 – General Electric Co. sold the first spectrophotometer. It could detect two million different shades of color and make a permanent record chart of the results.

In 1961 – Wes Clark began working on the Laboratory Instrument Computer (LINC), at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory. It was one of the earliest examples of a user-friendly machine that you could communicate with while it operated. It’s credited with setting the standard for personal computer design.

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Today in Tech History – May 23, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1825 – William Sturgeon exhibited the electromagnet in a practical form for the first time. The exhibition accompanied the reading of a paper, recorded in the Transactions of the Society of Arts for 1825 (Vol xliii, p.38).

In 1908 – John Bardeen was born. He grew up to win the Nobel Prize twice, once for inventing the transistor, and once for figuring out superconductivity.

In 1995 – Sun Microsystems Inc. announced the programming language Java and the accompanying Web browser HotJava at the SunWorld ’95 convention.

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DTNS 2499 – Light the Way to Tortillas

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJustin Young joins the show to talk about the latest reason why Apple TV rumors won’t be true, Uber’s autonomous car research and how LED lights in the grocery store can help you find the tortillas you like. Plus Len Peralta illustrates the show!

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Show Notes

Today’s Guest: Justin Robert Young and Len Peralta

Headlines

Happy Birthday Puck-Man!
Hey that Apple TV service that Apple never announced is coming? It got delayed again. Re/Code reports that according to “industry executives familiar with Apple’s plans” Apple wants to include live local TV programming. That’s a tall order. Even CBS and ABC can’t get the rights to stream local channels in their various apps. All this mean that all those rumors that Apple would announce the service at WWDC and launch it in the autumn are likely to be wrong.

There’s a new kind of car cruising the streets of Pittsburgh. Actually it’s a Ford, but the Pittsburgh Business Times took a photograph of a car which has the words “Uber Advanced Technologies Center” on the side, and a box of electronic components on the roof. The Verge reached out to Uber, which said the Ford is NOT a self-driving car, but rather “part of our early research regarding mapping, safety and autonomy systems.” As you may recall, Uber has set up a research center in a strategic partnership with Carnegie Mellon University. In less exciting news the Pirates have already lost six games in extra innings this year making thier record 18 and 22.

9to5 Mac which is actually really good about finding out things before Apple is ready to announce them, has rounded up everything it knows about iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 ahead of next month’s WWDC announcements. A lot of it you’ve heard before but the big takeaway is both OS updates will focus on quality which means a lot of reliability improvements, fewer bugs but also fewer splashy features. Although one feature called rootless, would restrict access to certain files even from Admin-level users as a measure to combat malware.

Ars Technica reports Australian Security researcher Troy Hunt reported Friday morning that data from subscribers to AdultFriendFinder.com is a available in 15 spreadsheets posted on site protected by Tor privacy. The data included 3.8 million addresses as well as age, zip code, sexual orientation and even things like whether the user was seeking an extramarital affair. The spreadsheets include data for current, former and even deleted accounts.
PC World reports Firefox will begin testing advertising tiles based on a user’s browsing history. The ads will be called Suggested Tiles and will appear on a user’s new tab page. Ad display selection happens inside the browser on the user’s machine and only a minimal amount of data leaves the browser. Yo can try it out by getting a build from Firefox’s beta channel next week. Nightly test builds have contained the feature since last summer.

TechCrunch reports Korea’s Yello Mobile, which has acquired 61 companies over the past year, just picked up Singapore-based Gushcloud. Gushcloud is an influencer marketing platform in Southeast ASia, which means it pays people to tweet and vlog and such about stuff. Yello says it plans to acquire 20 more marketing companies across Asia this year. An interesting note is that when Yello Mobile acquires a company it leaves the founders in charge and lets them continue to build the companies as if they were still independent.

TechCrunch reports that the world’s leading seller of virtual stickers — messaging app Line — is trying out a music service with some of its users in Thailand. Line Music is available for IOS and Android there and integrates into the chat app to share songs with friends and post to timelines. The music service costs the equivalent of $2 a month, though the first month is free.Line has a YouTube like TV service, a payments platform, an Uber like service in Japan and makes most of its money on in-app purchases for games.
PC World reports that Pebble will start shipping its latest smartwatch next Wednesday May 27th and finish manufacturing all orders by the end of May. According the project’s Kickstarter page by mid-June every contributor should be able to track their shipment. Next week, Pebble will introduce new Android and iOS mobile apple that only work with the Pebble Time models.

Oh and hey if you were wondering who it was that was trying to buy Salesforce— and why wouldn’t you be— CNBC reports it was Microsoft the whole time. Likely in a clever mask. People familiar with the situation said Microsoft offered as much as $55 billion. But Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said NOT ENOUGH and wanted as much as $70 billion.

News From You:

TVSTRavis submitted the top story on the subreddit today. A Consumerist article from a couple days ago reports that General Motors attorney Harry Lightsey told a public US Copyright Office hearing that software in GM cars is licensed to the owner of the car. This is similar to claims we discussed regarding John Deere tractors. The Office is expected to issue a ruling in July.

johnsie776 posted the Ars Technica story that researchers from Cambridge University found an estimated 500 million Android phones do not completely wipe data when users choose the factory reset option, even if full disk encryption is on. The researchers were able to recover login credentials, text messages, email and contacts from 21 phones running Android 2.3 to 4.3. The findings are published in the research paper, “ Security Analysis of Android Factory Resets.”

Discussion Links: 

http://www.engadget.com/2015/05/22/philips-led-vlc-navigation/?ncid=rss_truncated

http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/networks/philips-creates-store-shopping-assistant-with-leds-and-smart-

phonehttp://blog.bytelight.com/post/93503988148/place-2014-recap-finding-technologies-to-scale#.VV9yaFnBzGc

http://website-assets.bytelight.com/assets/how_it_works-1ee62918322ee289a0c7d315b2554cd0.jpg

http://www.bytelight.com/http://phys.org/wire-news/193743383/carrefours-led-supermarket-lighting-from-philips-helps-shoppers.html

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150504005274/en/Floor-Ceiling-Philips-Showcases-Latest-Connected-Lighting#.VV9x11nBzGc

http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2015/05/tone-experimental-chrome-extension-for.html

Pick of the Day: The Rufus Cuff

dash2justice was listening to Veronica wishing that the Apple Watch could work on it’s own without having to be tethered to her phone, and has an alternative to the Apple Watch. The Rufus Cuff is a smart watch that has a 3″ screen and can either be tethered to your phone or can run on it’s own because it runs full android Kit Kat (with support for future OS updates). So it can run on it’s own but will stand out. But think about all the cool wrist computers like oh, I don’t know, maybe THE PIPBOY.”

Engadget wrote: “It connects to your Android or iPhone via Bluetooth for mobile data, making calls and sending texts, but it’s running a full version of Google’s mobile OS and can hook on to WiFi if you’re in a cellular dead-zone”

Messages of the Day

I enjoyed the discussion you had with Allison yesterday about social media and other technology. The introduction of the telephone was compared to what is being said about the internet. I am 79 remember when many people didn’t have a phone. My mother would often send me to the neighbors to tell them someone had call our house for them. I remember the family sitting around to listen to the radio. In 1960 , my wife and I moved 2000+ miles from home. Long distant call were expensive and only used for emergencies. We had a stretch of five years without being able to visit family and friends. Now I have daughter who lives in the Seattle area, a granddaughter who lives in Colorado Springs with three of her own children. We Skype with them several times a week. I have been able to re-establish relationships with high school and college classmates with Facebook. Although I don’t understand why kids will text each other when standing next to one another, I prefer the technology we have available today.

Bill Burlingame
Huntsville, AL

Hi Tom, Jenny, et al,

On Wednesday Llamar was talking about his disappointment in ad block. I understand that it is tough as a creator to see a revenue source blocked by the user, but there has to be a reason they are choosing to do this. Advertisements on the web are annoying to me, and while I want the creators I love to get paid, I want them to get paid because I am enjoying content, not because I am annoyed. I run add block on my machine and would on my phone with no reservation because I support the content I want to support (like this show) of my own accord. Didn’t make me a free loading jerk.

Anthony from finally thawed Maine

Ted Dushane from lovingly academic Ann Arbor, Michigan.

I listened with interest to your discussion of the very bad practice of using security questions.

My wife and I have developed a workaround that I recommend for your audience:

Following are the rules for our system:

(1) make up a secret phrase which will apply to all answers. Call it:

OURPERSONALPHRASE

(2) examine each security question. For each one, determine the subject of the question, call it:

SUBJECT

(3) the answer to the question will then be:

OURPERSONALPHRASESUBJECT

(4) Almost all sites give you several optional questions, but in case they force one of them to have a date for the answer, my wife and I have chosen a date which we always use for that question. Obviously, it is not a date of any importance to us but one we determined using a random number generator. We have never found a site requiring more than one date among the answers.

Here are 2 examples, where the phrase chosen is “I love summer”

Security question: “What is your favorite touring car?”

Answer: Ilovesummercar (since “car” is the subject of the sentence)

Security question: “What is your wife’s first pet’s name?”

Answer: Ilovesummername

Monday: DTNS contributor Veronica Belmont!

Today in Tech History – May 22, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1973 – Bob Metcalfe of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center wrote a memo on an IBM selectric typewriter, outlining how to connect personal computers to a shared printer. Metcalfe says “If Ethernet was invented in any one memo, by any one person, or on any one day, this was it.”

In 1980 – Namco released an arcade game called Puck-Man. When it was released in the US in October the name was altered to Pac-Man.

In 1990 – Microsoft released Windows 3.0. It featured big improvements in interface and multitasking. It’s Control Panel feature caught the eye of Apple which sued, and lost.

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DTNS 2498 – I Spy with my Five Eyes…

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comAllison Sheridan is on the show. Are you addicted to your smartphone because of social networks? Has the Internet made you antisocial? Can these both be true?

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A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guests: Allison Sheridan

Headlines: 

The CBC reports the ‘five eyes’ intelligence alliance of Canada, US, UK, Australia and New Zealand sought to find ways to intercept app updates from the Google and Samsung app stores in order to install spyware. According to documents, the agencies targeted mobile app servers in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Cuba, Morocco, the Bahamas and Russia. The same agencies also found security gaps in Alibaba’s UC Browser, the most popular 3rd-party browser on smart phones. Citizen Lab, a human rights and technology group in Toronto recently found the leak and alerted Alibaba in mid-April.

“sources briefed on the plans” have told 9to5 Mac that Apple could demonstrate a split-screen applications feature for the iPad in iOS9 at WWDC. Multi-user login support and the mythical 12-inch iPad — code names J98 and J99— are also in the offing later this year… still. Also a TV! And a car! And the iPony!

Engadget reports that YouTube now supports 60fps for LIVE streaming. For now you’ll need an HTML5-compatible browser to see the streams. YouTube will encode these streams in both 720p60 and 1080p60 formats but will automatically throttle down to 30FPS for devices that can’t handle 60. Other new HTML5 playback features include rewinding a live stream and double speed video play back to catch up. YouTube collaborated with Elgato and Spilt to ensure continued compatibility of Elgato Game Capture, Xsplit Broadcaster and Gamecaster.

Trivia game QuizUp is now a social network according to TechCrunch. The new app includes forums with comment threads, likes, and photo-sharing. Users can search for a specific type of user by location age and gender. QuizUp has more than 12,000 topics. There are 33 million users worldwide, who play approximately 7 million games per day, the average user spending 30 min a day playing.

Google may have an answer to Huawei’s ‘Lite OS’ for the Internet of Things when Google I/O rolls around next week. Ars Technica reports on an Information piece that Google’s OS is codenamed Brillo, will be marketed under the Android name and is developed by a group “linked to the Android unit.” So it’s probably Android-based. Brillo will be aimed at devices with 32-64MB of RAM and will allegedly be offered free to OEMs.

TechCrunch reports on a new study from Google regarding security questions like ‘what was your first pet’s name’. Researchers looked at ‘hundreds of millions’ of these questions and their answers from Google users and concluded that “secret questions are neither secure nor reliable enough to be used as a standalone account recovery mechanism.” The answers are either too easy to guess or too hard to remember. Google’s researchers recommend sites use SMS backup codes, secondary email addresses and other means to securely authenticate users.

Reuters says the US Department of Commerce proposed new export controls Wednesday that would treat zero-day software flaws as potential weapons. Among other things, that would require bug hunters to get a license to collect bug bounties from any company outside the ‘five eyes’ countries. The new rules are subject to a 60-day comment period.

The Pew Research Center has two reports out that show people in the US are fairly certain their privacy is gone in public and in private but they haven’t done anything to protect it themselves. More than 90% of adults surveyed felt that who gets information and what is collected about them is important. 31% are confident the government and phone companies can keep their info secure. 38% felt the same confidence in credit card companies. However 91% have not made any changes recently to internet or phone use to avoid tracking.

News From You:

themoke got the top vote getter on the subreddit today with a post of an Imgur gallery in which MacMAnsen uses a photocopier to back up his Kindle copy of Orwell’s 1984. He even made it a hardbound book. And then re-uploaded the scanned pages as an ebook.

the_corely sent us this The Next Web story that Amazon’s Prime Now service now offers one-hour delivery from local stores starting in select neighborhoods of Manhattan delivering from D’Agostino, Gourmet Garage and Billy’s Bakery. Amazon says it will expand its service across Manhattan in the coming weeks and add Eataly and Westside Market. Other cities with Prime Now will follow. If you’re in the area, you can place your orders through the Prime Now app to take advantage of Amazon’s new offering.

Discussion Section Links:  

 http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/humble/news/smartphone-use-while-driving-grows-beyond-texting-to-social-media/article_975e8fc9-482a-5687-b4e8-810aeec1df5a.html
 http://www.govtech.com/data/Iowa-State-University-Researchers-Examine-No-Mobile-Phone-Phobia.html
 http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alexander_Deursen/publication/271041232_Modeling_habitual_and_addictive_smartphone_behavior._The_role_of_smartphone_usage_types_emotional_intelligence_social_stress_self-regulation_age_and_gender/links/54bcb3bd0cf24e50e9408231.pdf
 http://wilsonquarterly.com/stories/the-call-of-the-future/

 

Pick of the Day:

Mobee Magic Bar, Magic Feet

Messages: 

Chris, one of our nickel-backers from Fresno identified another reason that Spotify might be rolling out a running option for their service. He writes:

“As a consumer, I’ve got a budget for paying for services, and if I’m a runner/gym rat/fitness enthusiast who likes to listen to music mostly while I’m working out, there are already options that are geared towards my use like Rock My Run, and FIT Radio. By including similar features inside Spotify, that might get me to cancel my paid subscription to a different service and upgrade my free Spotify account to put all my music listening into a single app.

Michael from Scotland laments:

“Why can’t Spotify just be like an good ol’ PC music player (or an mp3 player on mobile) – I open it up and boom I am straight into a list of all the favourites songs, albums and artists I have added! No friend list! No recommended playlists! No trending whatevers! … Why does it feel like when music went online I suddenly needed to be constantly nagged about what I should be listening to? …It should just be a music player, for the music I like! Every Spotify annnouncement just sounds like feature creep.”
Sonia in Pure Michigan country assures us that up there in 4 season Southeast Michigan they have the self-driving car in winter problem covered! She writes:

“The Mcity test facility on U of M’s North Campus (home to the School of Music, my alma mater, as well as the School of Engineering, which I abandoned due to an allergy to physics) is slated to open this summer. It’s interesting to note that Google is moving their Ann Arbor presence to North Campus as well, building a new campus — an increase of jobs from their former home in downtown Ann Arbor. Coincidence? Perhaps — but I think not.

Here’s a link to the Mcity website:
http://www.mtc.umich.edu/test-facility

Can’t wait to see the data coming out of there!

Tim among the people:

(including Dave immediately in the chat room yesterday) Google bought songza (for a fraction of the price of beats) after Apple bought beats.

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Friday’s guest:  Justin Robert Young and Len Peralta

Today in Tech History – May 21, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1937 – North Pole-1 became the first scientific research station to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean. The Soviet Union established it about 20 km from the North Pole. It operated for 9 months, and travelled 2,850 kilometres.

In 1952 – IBM announced the Model 701, the first computer designed for scientific calculation. The 701 used electrostatic storage tube memory and kept information on magnetic tape. It sold much better than expected with 19 governments and large companies snapping them up.

In 2010 – The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), launched a solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS aboard an H-IIA rocket. The vessel would test out the performance of solar sails, and make a Venus flyby later in the year.

In 2013 – Microsoft announced their newest game console, the Xbox One at a press conference in Redmond, Washington.

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DTNS 2497 – Run, Spotify, Run

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comScott Johnson and Lamarr Wilson join the show to discuss Spotify’s new custom playlist and running features. And can adding video and podcasts boost the money it makes from music?

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A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guests: Scott Johnson and Lamarr Wilson

Headlines: 

Spotify announced the addition of Spotify Now— Songza-like custom playlists — Spotify Running— sophisticated playlists for running that change with your pace— as well as the addition of videos and podcasts. Spotify Running will integrate with Nike + and RunKeeper apps later this year. Spotify Now launches for iOS in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Sweden today. Spotify Running comes to iOS globally today.

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reports that Twitter user @h0x0d discovered a download page marked ‘Microsoft Confidential’ for a Microsoft-made iOS app called ‘Flow by Outlook.’ Text describing the app read “Reach anyone with an email address and all conversations for you and others are also in Outlook.” Only conversations started in Flow appear in Flow. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company had nothing to share about Flow.

Engadget is reporting that Adblock Plus app is returning to the Google Play Store after being pulled in 2013 for “interfering” with other apps. To avoid problems the new Adblock Plus is a modified version of the Firefox Android browser with ad blocking built in. It does not support extensions or Firefox’s synchronization feature. The app hasn’t yet gone live in the Play store so users are encouraged become testers by signing up to Adblock Plus’s Google+ community and download the app directly.

TechCrunch reports that Microsoft is now offering the digital tv tuner designed by Hauppage for the Xbox One. The tuner is compatible with Snap, voice control, OneGuide and streaming to other devices, even if someone else is using the Xbox for gaming. It does not support DVR functions, though you can pause, FF and rewind live TV for up to 30 minutes. Microsoft is offering a bundle that includes the tuner and a Mohu Leaf 50 antenna for $100.

PCMag.com reports on Google’s Tone Chrome extension. When you want to send a URL, click the blue button and the service broadcasts a series of tone. Any machine within earshot that also uses the extension (including those on a phone or Hangout) will receive the URL. Just remember that ANY computer that can hear the tone will get the URL.

Yonhap News reports that LG Display has unveiled an OLED display panel that sticks to the wall. The 55-inch wallpaper panel is 0.97 mm thick, weighs 1.9kg and sticks to the wall using a magnetic mat. LG’s existing 55-inch OLED panel is now seemingly fat 4.3 mm. No word on when the new wallpaper panel wil make it in to production.

News From You:

Starfuryzeta submitted the ArsTechnica report on a new attack on HTTPS-protected websites detailed in a research paper called “Imperfect Forward Secrecy: How Diffie-Hellman Fails in Practice.”. The attack, being called ‘logjam’ affects servers that support Diffie-Hellman key exchange by downgrading to 512-bit encryption. It takes advantage of a weakness in the encryption added in the 1990s to allow US law enforcement to break the encryption if used by foreign entities. It’s similar in this way to the FREAK attack uncovered in March. The attack is estimated to affect 8.4% of the top 1 million websites as well as a slightly larger percentage of mail servers. Internet Explorer is protected and updates to other browsers are expected in the next few days. Server admins are encouraged to disable support of DHE_EXPORT ciphersuites that allow downgraded connections. ore info can be found at weakdh.org/

cdnDude74 submitted the TechRepublic article that Google plans to roll out their own VPN service. A reference to Google VPN was found in “Google Connectivity Services” in Android 5.15 on a Nexus 6. However the service isn’t active yet.

mranthropology submitted The Verge article about Huawei’s announcement of an Internet of Things operating system called LiteOS, that’s 10 kb large. LiteOS is meant for any smart device from wearables to cars and will be made open to all developers with zero configuration necessary for users. Huawei is also marketing its Agile Network architecture to help companies manage all those incoming connections.

Discussion Section Links:  

 http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/20/8629623/spotify-video-podcast-fitness-profit-loss-music
 http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/20/spotify-introduces-video-clips-podcasts-and-activity-based-playlists/?ncid=rss
 http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/20/8629335/spotify-adds-podcasts-videos
 https://news.spotify.com/us/2015/05/20/say-hello-to-the-most-entertaining-spotify-ever/

Pick of the Day:

J. wrote in with an explanation of why customer service reps often ask you for all the information you already told the phone tree:

“I’m a tech support rep for a major ISP. In regards to account info when you call customer service. With large companies, different call centers handle different regions. The system is in place more to route you to the right person than to give that person your account. That having been said, I do get a pop-up with your account number about 60% of the time. The account number is generated and auto-pops based on the phone number you typed or said in most cases. The difficulty is that a person with your phone number may or may not be a person you want accessing your account, so we ask for it anyway, along with other CPNI info. Consider it 2 factor authentication.

Short version… I’m not gonna be that Apple rep who let someone into Tom Merrit’s email account.”

Messages: 

Doug wrote regarding municipal broadband:

“First, the existing monopolies or near monopolies on broadband are the direct result of municipal interference in the market. Both telephone companies and cable companies were granted monopolies to encourage infrastructure buildout. Why should I expect further interference in the market to be more competently accomplished?

Second, in most cases where cities provide services, they grant themselves monopolies and charge monopolistic prices. An example: My last house was in an unincorporated part of the county I live in, and I could get trash service for $10 per month, up to 10 containers, the trash company would return the containers from the curb to the side of my house, and recycling was free. After moving to a municipality that has city pickup, the price is $30 per month, I have to buy containers at $60 ea. from the city, and if I want to recycle, I have to buy a separate container for that. Three times the price for much less service.

If you could guarantee that cities:
1. Had to charge their real costs (that is, that they were prohibited from subsidizing broadband with other revenues, including amortization of the buildout costs) OR had to allow access to any subsidized infrastructure to any competitor at an audited fair price
2. Were prohibited from enforcing a monopoly on broadband
I’d support municipal broadband.

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Thursday’s guest:  Allison Sheridan

Today in Tech History – May 20, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1875 – 17 nations (including the US) signed the ‘Convention du Mètre’ in Paris, France, establishing the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.

In 1891 – The first public demonstration of a prototype Kinetoscope was given at Edison’s laboratory, for approximately 150 members of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs. The New York Sun reported on the demonstration.

In 1958 – Robert Baumann obtained a patent for a satellite. (US. No. 2,835,548). The patent stipulated the government could use the technology without having to pay royalties.

In 1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope sent its first light image back to Earth, taken with the wide field/planetary camera.

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