Today in Tech History – July 24, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1874 – Woodward and Evans Light filed a patent for “Artificial light by means of electricity” with the Canadian Department of Agriculture. Woodward later sold the patent to Thomas Edison, who patented a different and more successful version of the incandescent lamp in the US.

1950 – The Bumper 8, made of a German V-2 missile lower stage and WAC-Corporal upper stage launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was the first launch from what would become the Kennedy Space Center.

1969 – Apollo 11 arrived safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first manned mission to land on the Moon.

2013 2013 – Google announced the Chromecast, a $35 HDMI stick, powered by USB, that streamed video from the Internet and other devices to a TV.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Weekly Tech Views – July 23, 2016 (Sort of)

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

Okay, I took a vacation this week, which means today you get the Weekly Tech Vacation Blog. Not a blog post about my vacation, the details of which require a security clearance well above your pay grade, but a post which requires no additional work on my part than typing this intro.

As this also marks a year since I started this little venture, why don’t we flash back to July of last year and Issue #1, when the world was innocent and the stories focused on spunky startups like Apple, Facebook, Logitech and Comcast…

On DTNS, you hear in-depth, reasoned discussion of the day’s most interesting tech stories from Tom Merritt and his esteemed guests. You get research, insight, and analysis.

Now, finally, there’s equal time for the other side.

That’s right, this is your stop for shallow, reckless rambling on a selection of those same stories. Welcome to the Weekly Tech Views Blog, where, at times, up to 12% of what you read could be factual. No, WTVB doesn’t roll off the tongue like DTNS; frankly, it sounds like the call letters for a 5,000 watt radio station in Tateville, Kentucky (WTVB – We’re Tateville’s Best!). If I gave it some more thought, I could probably come up with something better. But, as you’ll discover should you decide to read on, “more thought” is not my highest priority.

 

For the Week of July 13 – 17, 2015 – And, as a premiere issue bonus, some of the previous week as well. Huzzah.

 

Like Shakespeare Said, A G910 Orion Spark Mechanical Gaming Keyboard By Any Other Name…
For much of their product line, Logitech is changing the name to Logi, which is huge news, in that it provides new, exciting territory to be explored by those who love to debate the pronunciation of GIF.

You Say Vulnerable, We Say Quirky
Facebook’s head of security called for Adobe to place an end-of-life date for Flash. An Adobe representative reportedly responded by saying Flash is still extremely functional, a valued and vital part of our internet lives, and how about you guys at Facebook just worry about why the sea lion photos my wife posted from the zoo keep getting tagged as me?

If You Decide You Don’t Want The Game, Just Talk To Three Customer Service Reps For 45 Minutes To Delete It
Comcast is starting a streaming game service with Electronic Arts. How enjoyable an experience this will be–using phones or tablets as controllers–is up in the air, but what is certain is that I would pay significant money to watch Comcast customers Twitch stream Cable Crush Saga, where points are awarded for lining up matching customer service reps. Get five in a row and their headsets tighten until their heads explode, at which point they are replaced by Tier 2 reps. There are infinite levels, and you do not, of course, ever win this game.

Break Out The Face Paint
A Saudi computer–the Shaheen II–entered the Top 500 Supercomputer list at #7, the first time a Middle East computer has been in the top ten. If you stop to think about this, one point in particular really jumps out at you: THERE’S A TOP 500 SUPERCOMPUTER LIST! This list has apparently existed for twenty-two years, and this is the first I’m hearing about it? Is the Associated Press involved? A committee of former supercomputer programmers? Have I been missing playoffs, bowl games… The International Supercomputing Conference Championship Game Sponsored by Tostitos (“Tostitos–Not silicon-germanium, but still a great chip.”)?

I have heard ZERO listeners call in to radio shows complaining about the Cray Titan XK7 Opteron 6274 being ranked ahead of the IBM Sequoia BlueGene/Q Power BQC, claiming that the Titan’s narrow half a petaflop win was definitely a result of an easier number-crunching schedule.

This Just In…
A study claims that Twitter and Facebook are used as news sources by 63% of their users. I’m inclined to buy that, but then I remember that I know people who consider “one of the girls who sang the Nicki Minaj song on Ellen just had a birthday” as news.

I Hope There’s A Deal On Carpal Tunnel Braces
Amazon celebrated their 20th anniversary with Prime Day, a day they claimed would have more discounts than Black Friday. I assume this means customers were able to relive the treasured Black Friday tradition of–for the rare worthwhile item–starting to click their mouse three minutes before the scheduled sale start time so that when the precise second strikes, they may, if the gods are smiling on them, be informed that the item has sold out but they have been granted a coveted spot on the Wait List. Certainly, like waiting for a lottery drawing, half the fun is the exciting anticipation, the “what-if?”, the dreams you dream while your constantly clicking finger cramps and gnarls like that of a fairy tale witch.

And I Can Now Name Every American Girl Doll
One feature of the wrist-worn Kickstarter product Doppel is to keep you focused at times you might be inclined to doze off–boring meetings, dinner with your spouse’s friends, an opera–by issuing rapid taps to your arm. This could replace the less-portable device many of us have–the CINDY (Constantly Interrupting Niece Disturbing You). CINDY is typically triggered after Thanksgiving dinner, moments after you position yourself on a recliner in front of the Cowboys blowout. As your eyes begin to close and sleep threatens, CINDY—with no need for prior programming!– initiates an insistent tapping on your arm. If this fails to rouse you, audio prompts are activated: “Hey, guess what?… Hey guess what?…Hey, Uncle Mike, guess what?” I have not fallen asleep at a family gathering in six years.

I’m Going As The Start Button
Microsoft will be throwing Windows 10 launch parties in thirteen major cities around the world, so expect Harry Potter book release-levels of excitement–parents letting their kids stay up late to be one of the first to claim an OS-wielding USB drive from the stacks piled high on folding tables, spirited discussions of which new desktop themes will be available, and of course everyone will be dressed as their favorite Microsoft icon, presumably 99% CEO Satya Nadellas, and, off in a corner, drinking fruit punch, a subdued handful of Clippies. Refreshments will be provided, and in keeping with the spirit of the new mandatory Windows updates, attendees will eat a slice of pizza whether they want it or not.

With Special Musical Guest “Nancy In Accounts Payable’s Kid” On The Clarinet
And finally, Apple announced the new iPod Touch this week at an event featuring appearances by Pete from PR and a Whole Foods veggie tray.

 

There you have it. One down. Back next week with more of… this.

(And I say it’s pronounced “lodgy.”)

Looking for more 2015 ridiculousness? I guess you could go back and read the rest of the blogs on this site, but why not get them collected in a convenient Kindle format for just $.99 in The Internet is Like a Snowblower (And 200 Other Things I Got Wrong About Tech This Year)? That’s what I’d do. Here’s a handy clickable sentence to make it easy for you.

The Internet is Like a Snowblower: (And 200 Other Things I Got Wrong About Tech This Year) by [Range, Mike]

Back with new stuff next week. Now back to vacation, where… okay, I’ll tell you–I’m appearing at Comic Con! Stupid autocorrect–I’m peering at Comic Con. On the Roku app. So I probably didn’t need to spend quite so much time on my Ghostbusters Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man cosplay.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

Creative Commons License
Weekly Tech Views by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Today in Tech History – July 23, 2016

20140404-073853.jpg1903 – Ford sold its first car to Dr. Ernst Pfenning of Chicago. The two-cylinder Model A was assembled at Mack Avenue Plant in Detroit.

1985 – Commodore introduced the Amiga personal computer at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York’s Lincoln Center. Amiga cost $1,295 and shipped with a base configuration of 256K of RAM.

1996 – The first commercial HDTV signal was broadcast in North Carolina by WRAL channel 32 operating at 100 kilowatts with an antenna 1,750 feet above the ground. 200 members of the press watched the broadcast at WRAL.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

DTNS 2816 – Can Yahoo Me Now?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comIt looks Yahoo’s sale is almost over. Iyaz Akhtar and Tom Merritt trace the history, what is being sold and how it might fit into Verizon.

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Daily Tech Headlines – July 22, 2016

DTH_CoverArt_1500x1500Nvidia’s 4th big video card in two months, Google improves comics, Facebook soars in the air.

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

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Show Notes
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Today in Tech History – July 22, 2016

20140404-073853.jpg1933 – Wiley Post returned to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York, 7 days, 18 hours, 49 minutes after leaving, becoming the fastest person to circumnavigate the Earth by air and the first to do it solo.

1962 – The first Mariner space probe to Venus had to be destroyed shortly after lift-off because of “improper operation of the Atlas airborne beacon equipment.” The error was caused by a missing overbar in the program that must have disappeared during hand transcription.

1997 – Apple announced OS 8 for Macintosh computers. It added easier Internet integration and a 3D look to the OS.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

DTNS 2815 – The Skype Train is leaving you behind

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comMicrosoft’s leaving behind older Skype install as it transitions off P2P and some folks are mad. When is a company allowed to ditch an old platform? Chris Ashley and Tom Merritt discuss.

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

If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 5 cents 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
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Daily Tech Headlines – July 21, 2016

DTH_CoverArt_1500x1500Firefox says no to Flash, Tinder just wants to be friends, and VCRs go the way of Betamax.

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Follow us on Soundcloud.

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

If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 5 cents a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the theme music.

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
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Today in Tech History – July 21, 2016

20140404-073853.jpg1975 – Xerox announced its withdrawal from computer mainframe manufacturing. The company did indicate it would continue activities in other computer-related businesses like computer disk drives, serial printers, and apparently giving away secrets to companies like Apple and Microsoft.

2002 – WorldCom filed for the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US history. It was the number two long-distance phone company, at a time when that still meant something. It would end up changing its name back to MCI, and its remains exists as Verizon’s business division.

2011 – The Space Shuttle Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility, Runway 15, ending the US space shuttle missions.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

DTNS 2814 – John Deere Hackt0rz

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comFarmers in Nebraska fight for the right to repair their own tractors. Dealers use copyright law to stop them from using the software on their vehicles. Scott Johnson and Tom Merritt discuss.

MP3

Using a Screen Reader? Click here

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

Follow us on Soundcloud.

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

If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 5 cents 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
To read the show notes in a separate page click here!