Archive for the ‘computers’ Category

Not Easy

May 27, 2017

IBM’s AI program Watson helped write this song with Alex Da KidX Ambassadors, Elle King, and Wiz Khalifa.

See more here.

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Cyber Cafés of 1996

January 5, 2017

At the end of the last century, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and nobody owned a laptop or cellphone, early humans paid money to rent desktop computers and drink Jolt Cola in public accommodations known as cyber cafés. Let us return to those thrilling days of yesteryear (via Mental Floss) to visit the best cyber cafés of 1996:

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-mV1

Image (“Au Cyber Café, after Jean Béraud”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Prince & Kate Bush: ‘My Computer’

April 25, 2016

Prince & Kate Bush: 'My Computer'

Prince Rogers Nelson (1958 – 2016) started with personal computers in the early 1980s, and used the PC as a metaphor in 1983’s “Computer Blue” before writing a song about online dating (“Emale“) and dropping a few more computer references in other tunes. At times Prince mistakes his own computer’s memory for the Internet, which seems a natural consequence of a vast imagination.

Prince and Kate Bush recorded “My Computer” in 1996. It starts and ends with AOL audio prompts:

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WiFi on Mount Fuji

July 8, 2015

WiFi on Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji, Fujisan, is one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains,” a place of ancient shrines, a designated national Historic Site and Special Place of Scenic Beauty. UNESCO added Mt. Fuji to the World Heritage List, noting it had “inspired artists and poets and been the object of pilgrimage for centuries.”  The tallest peak in Japan, a volcano, the distinctive mountain has long been a place to contemplate the wonders of nature.

All Mt. Fuji needed was decent digital connectivity. That’s why NTT Docomo collaborated with Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures to offer free Wi-Fi hotspots on Fujisan from July 10th to September 10th. We mark the occasion in haiku:

Climbed the rocky slope
Clutching my iPad tightly
Opened your email

More:

“Climbers to get free Wi-Fi on Mount Fuji,” Kohei Watanabe, Asahi Shimbun

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Shortlink: http://wp.me/p6sb6-lD5

Image (“WiFi on Mount Fuji, after Utagawa Toyoshige”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Mobile is Murdering the Cyber Café

June 10, 2015

Mobile is Murdering the Cyber Café

Internet Cafés are an endangered species. Why? Because everyone has a smartphone now, even in RwandaBangladeshChina, India and Nigeria. In the USA, some cyber cafés are staying solvent by offering an extra amenity: Illegal gambling.

More:

“Internet cafes in the developing world find out what happens when everyone gets a smartphone,” Newley Purnell, Quartz

“No takers: After the smartphone boom, cybercafés dying a slow death in Mumbai,” Debasish Panigrahi, Hindustan Times

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-lqO

Image (“Au Cyber Cafe, after Jean Béraud”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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American Airlines iPad Crash

May 3, 2015

American Airlines iPad Crash

70 American Airlines flights were delayed last week when an app on the pilots’ iPads crashed. The problem wasn’t with the planes or the iPads but with the software, made by a division of Boeing. According to Re/Code a conflict between two versions of the Washington National Airport map jammed up the software, and the glitch was finally solved by deleting and re-installing the app.

American Airlines has been using Apple tablets in all its planes since 2013, replacing the 35 pounds of reference papers and manuals each pilot used to haul on board for each flight. The airline says going paperless and replacing 24 million pages of documents with 8,000 iPads saves the company 400,000 gallons of fuel each year.

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9mm Computer Tech Support

April 24, 2015

9mm Computer Tech Support
Last Monday evening in Colorado Springs when Lucas Hinch saw his computer monitor go solid blue, he saw red. He took the Dell  XPS 410 off the desk and into a back alley, pulled out his Hi-Point pistol, and uploaded a clip of 9mm bullets into it, right through that useless motherboard.

The police cited him with discharging a firearm within the city limits, but the Internet resounded with accolades.

More:

“‘Fed Up’ Colorado Man, 38, Busted For Killing His Computer In Cold Blood,” The Smoking Gun

“Man puts 8 bullets in his Dell, tells police it’s worth the ticket,” Megan Geuss, Ars Technica

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Short link:  http://wp.me/p6sb6-lca

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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NY Times, 1985: Laptops Are Dead

March 19, 2015

NY Times, 1985: Laptops Are Dead
“Whatever happened to the laptop computer?” asked Erik Sandberg-Diment in the New York Times of December 8, 1985. It was just a passing fad, he wrote:

“Was the laptop dream an illusion, then? Or was the problem merely that the right combination of features for such lightweight computers had not yet materialized? The answer probably is a combination of both views. For the most part, the portable computer is a dream machine for the few.

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Internet Neutrality

February 27, 2015

Internet Neutrality

“The internet is the ultimate vehicle for free expression. The internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.” —  FCC Chair Tom Wheeler

The FCC voted to adopt stronger Network Neutrality rules on Thursday. Network Neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all internet traffic equally, that ISPs shouldn’t be allowed to block or degrade access to certain websites or services or set aside a “fast lane” to allow ISP-favored content to load more quickly. Broadband providers will now be regulated as public utilities, and it is this “Title II reclassification” move that will give the agency broader authority to establish network neutrality rules.  Expect resistance from ISPs, in the form of PR campaigns and lawsuits.

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Social Media Skirmishers

February 5, 2015

Social Media Skirmishers

The British army is creating a special force of social media soldiers to wage digital warfare. The 77th Brigade will be based at Denison Barracks near Hermitage, Berkshire and will begin operations in April. 1,500 keyboard commandos, half of them reservists, will battle on many fronts, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and YouTube.

 More:

“British army creates team of Facebook warriors,” Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian

“Wanted: Brit Facebook and Twitter trolls for counter-jihad psyops,” John Leyden, The Register

“The British Army Is Going to Start Fighting in the Social Media Trenches,” Lily Hay Newman, Slate

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-kQl

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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