Gen Xers like to complain about not having the flying cars they were promised. But it was the Boomers who were promised flying cars. Unless you're that old, the joke goes, you were promised a cyberpunk dystopia: presently under construction for the Millenials to enjoy.
To kids growing up in the 1990s though— born in an empty space between these "generations" of entertainment marketing—such grand concepts were drowned by the mundane reality of the early web. Too young to be on the pre-AOL net, when it was still cool, but old enough for it to remain a new and strange land, this thinly-sliced cohort experienced a certain yearning bathos, a search for the real in a medium freshly proven otherwise.
In Breathing Machine: A Memoir of Computers, Leigh Alexander captures a powerful scent of what it was like to be born into computer gaming's golden age, to have a taste of a "world bigger than the one you can touch" only to spend adolescence in a world of chatrooms, terrible internet speeds and false frontiers. Read the rest
Read the rest
This is the final product of my project for interaction design. Took the whole semester, to get this to work but it was worth it. How it works: The piano sends a Midi-Signal, which is transferred to an arduino. According to the signals, the arduino triggers transistors, which then trigger inputs on a paewang PCB (This is the PCB of an arcadestick). The paewang is connected to an Xbox360 (you can also use it on PS3).The TekkenPiano [Vimeo]
Legendary coder and blogger Dave Winer is frustrated with the New York Times because it doesn't cover technology as "seriously" as it covers other things. Read the rest
Read the rest
The volunteer workforce that built the project’s flagship, the English-language Wikipedia—and must defend it against vandalism, hoaxes, and manipulation—has shrunk by more than a third since 2007 and is still shrinking. ... The main source of those problems is not mysterious. The loose collective running the site today, estimated to be 90 percent male, operates a crushing bureaucracy with an often abrasive atmosphere that deters newcomers who might increase participation in Wikipedia and broaden its coverage.
In web hosting, service and product quality are sliced so thin that much of the business is built around $5 deals and the low standards that come with them. This pushes savvy but non-technical customers to expensive overkill such as managed hosting, or to complicated alternatives such as virtualization. Anyone who has ever gone through this whole rigmarole will understand what Marco Arment means when he writes that "Web hosting is a horrible business."
Web hosting customers are nomads. If your host hasn’t been ruined yet, just wait. Today, news broke that GoDaddy bought Media Temple. GoDaddy is a horrible company run by horrible people selling horrible products. ... If you’re a Media Temple customer wondering whether you should prepare for the worst, the short answer is: probably.
Burke, 35, is known among sports journalists for his ability to capture the moment — whether as a still, a video clip or in his favored format, a GIF — better, faster, more frequently and from more sports events than just about anyone. How he does it is a matter of wonder.
Part of the secret: he's set up a 10-monitor home-office newsroom that can record from 28 sources simultaneously. Sources such as this.
The Federal Airline Administration's quixotic prohobition on the use of gadgets during takeoff and landing is to come to an end, reports Jad Mouawad at The New York Times. But they're digging their heels in on using internet connections, i.e. radios.
But the panel said that restrictions should remain on sending text messages, browsing the Web or checking e-mail after the plane’s doors have been closed. Passengers can do that only when the aircraft’s Wi-Fi network is turned on, typically above 10,000 feet. The use of cellphones to make voice calls, which was not part of the review, will still be prohibited throughout the flight.
Robert McMillan on Bitcoin "maverick" Jed McCaleb, who started Mt. Gox and now offers Ripple, an alternative to the digital currency. [Wired]
After selling Mt. Gox, McCaleb started thinking more deeply about Bitcoin. He was a huge fan, but he thought he could so some things better. First, he wanted to do away with Bitcoin mining — the process by which computers on the network verify transactions in exchange for Bitcoins. Because miners are rewarded in proportion to the processing power they add to the network, Bitcoin mining has become a bit of an arms race, with very specialized and powerful computers now doing the bulk of the work. McCaleb, a 38-year-old surfer and Berkeley dropout from Little Rock, Arkansas, sees this as excessive. By his reckoning, there’s $160 million spent annually on mining the Bitcoin network, “which is insane,” he says. “And this isn’t something that’s going to go away. It just gets worse and worse.”