Posts Tagged ‘computers’

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

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Court Upholds Net Neutrality

June 15, 2016

Court Upholds Net Neutrality

In a 2-to-1 ruling,  the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld new FCC rules prohibiting Internet service providers from selectively blocking or slowing some sites and services and speeding up favored ones, observing:

“Given the tremendous impact third-party internet content has had on our society, it would be hard to deny its dominance in the broadband experience. Over the past two decades, this content has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, from profound actions like choosing a leader, building a career, and falling in love to more quotidian ones like hailing a cab and watching a movie.”

ISPs had argued that they provide luxury “information services” and should be lightly regulated, but the court upheld the FCC’s new rules classifying them as “telecommunications services” or utilities, which are more strictly regulated. Expect this matter to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

More:

“Cable and telecom companies just lost a huge court battle on net neutrality,” Brian Fung, Washington Post

“Tom Wheeler defeats the broadband industry: Net neutrality wins in court,” Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

“Net Neutrality Ruling Finally Rights a Terrible Wrong,” Micharl Copps, BillMoyer.com

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-o0L

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

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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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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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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You May Have Just Lost Broadband

February 3, 2015

You May Have Just Lost Broadband
If you’re in the USA, it could be you’ve just lost your broadband connection. Why? The FCC just changed the definition of “broadband” by raising the minimum download speed from 4Mbps to 25Mbps and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps. Anything slower isn’t considered broadband anymore. 4% of US Internet users have connections slower than 4Mbps, and the new definition adds another 13% of users with sub-broadband speeds. That’s 55 million Americans without broadband.

How does the US compare with other countries when it comes to average broadband speed? We’re tied with Bulgaria at number 25, way slower than superpowers like Moldova, Andorra and Estonia.

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Laptop of Doom

August 31, 2014

Laptop of Doom

A unit from a moderate Syrian rebel force raided an ISIS hideout earlier this year and found a Dell laptop. It appears to have belonged to a former Tunisian university student who dropped out to fight for the Islamic State in Syria. Documents hidden on the hard drive indicated the owner was trying to teach himself how to weaponize bubonic plague.

Is this an active threat? It sounds pretty grave, but this is a drop-out we’re talking about …

More:

“Found: The Islamic State’s Terror Laptop of Doom,” Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa, Foreign Policy

“Recovered ISIS Laptop Reveals Terror Group’s Bio-Warfare Plans,” Andrew Tarantola, Gizmodo

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-jQt

Image (“Blogging the Dunes, after René Péan) 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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