The January, 1932 issue of Modern Mechanix invited us to weep for poor Thomas Edison, who allegedly bankrupted himself with dumb real-estate deals before dying, going to his grave a poor man. Edison was a notorious rip-off artist (he once told Nikola Tesla that the money he'd been promised would never come to him, and that Tesla just "didn't understand American humor) and liked to electrocute animals for kicks, so a pauper's death sounds like pretty reasonable karma to me.
Mr. Edison secretly expressed to me the hope that some day I would write just this kind of a story so that it might form a sort of guidance to inventors who would pick up the threads of science where he left off.
During our last meeting I distinctly remember how he placed his arm around my shoulder and said, “I have told you all. Be discreet. Do not tell everything until after I am gone. Then, after I have departed, you can do inventors and scientists a great duty by telling the rest..."
Mr. Edison replied, in his own handwriting: “Would not like to do this for many reasons. At present my income has nearly disappeared on account of the depression in business.”
Edison electrocuted an elephant 105 years ago today
Edison and the music biz: nothing's changed
Edison's mistakes recapitulated by RIAA
The first time Merle Rasmussen played Dungeons & Dragons, he thought it was a Halloween game.
“It was October 1975, and I was an 18-year-old freshman at Iowa State University. My roommate got this game filled with skeletons and undead monsters. I had no idea.” The role-playing bug had bitten him, but fantasy wasn’t his genre. So that same year, he started writing a game set in a modern world, the spy game that would become Top Secret.
Janelle Shane trained a recurrent neural network with a data-set of more than 2000 ancient proverbs and asked it to think up its own: “A fox smells it better than a fool’s for a day.”
Jeff writes, “7 years after ‘grassroots mapping’ the BP spill when journalists were denied access, the open source community Public Lab is back with an even more accessible Do-It-Yourself way to take aerial photos: the Mini Balloon and Kite Mapping Kits.”
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]