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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The graduation speech no one ever gives.


(via http://poorlydrawnlines.com/)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Best film synopsis ever.



Via ‏@_youhadonejob

Monday, May 11, 2015

Via NPR: Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

"Back in 1890, Thomas Edison gave us some of the world's first talking dolls. Today, the glassy-eyed cherubs that are still around stand about 2 feet tall; they have wooden limbs and a metal body; and they sound supercreepy.... Edison built and sold about 500 of them back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing them possible for the first time in decades."
The dolls were a commercial failure in part because they were expensive, and in part because the primitive wax recording technology required speech at a very high volume --- too loud for kids to produce, in fact.

The mechanism:



So, Edison used adult employees to fake childrens'  voices.

The results were, um, not euphonious.

Sample ("Now I lay me down to sleep..."):
http://www.nps.gov/av/ner/avElement/edis-heitz-dilg-edison-c-now-i-lay-me-20020211-90rpm.mp3

Full story:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/05/05/404445211/edisons-talking-dolls-can-now-provide-the-soundtrack-to-your-nightmares

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Wristwatch computer concept, 1981

Byte Magazine  cover, 34 years ago, in 1981 --- the year the IBM PC debuted. (Obviously, this is a visual fantasy and not an actual product proposal. :)  )



Close-up:



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Carly Fiorina, billed as a tech maven, failed to register this domain.

http://carlyfiorina.org/


(And BTW, for those of you not in tech; she is not a generally beloved figure in the tech community. She's a 'profits over people' gal, as you'll see when you visit the above domain.)