The LA Times has a sweet and sorrowful little piece on AT&T's discontinuation of its automated speaking clock time service, with melancholy interviews with the old maintenance staff for the lumbering, crumbling "time machine" hardware.
"It was always there," said Orlo Brown, 70, who for many years kept Pacific Bell's (and subsequently SBC's) time machines running in a downtown Los Angeles office building. "Everybody knew the number."
Richard Frenkiel was assigned to work on the time machines when he joined Bell Labs in the early 1960s. He described the devices as large drums about 2 feet in diameter, with as many as 100 album-like audio tracks on the exterior. Whenever someone called time, the drums would start turning and a message would begin, with different tracks mixed together on the fly.
"The people who worked on it took it very seriously," Frenkiel, 64, recalled. "They took a lot of pride in it."
In a twist of historical irony, Frenkiel went on to play a leading role in development of the technology that makes cellphones possible -- the very device that's now instrumental in killing time.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has opened an investigation into a former Google employee’s pregnancy discrimination case, CNBC reports.
Post-Brexit, Google plans to move UK user accounts out of the control of European Union privacy regulators, and will place them under U.S. jurisdiction instead, where privacy protections are weaker, reports Joseph Menn at Reuters.
An estimated 550 people who worked at Wayfair lost their jobs last Thursday, in what has been dubbed Wayfair’s ‘Valentine’s Day Massacre.’ The layoffs included 350 workers at the online shopping firm’s Boston headquarters.
Two-thirds of American adults drink coffee every day. On average, they’re each drinking about three cups per day, which works out to nearly 400 million cups downed each and every day. We don’t have stats on what percentage of those cups are God awfully bad, but you have to assume with so many ways to […]
For those with a writing flair, the thought of building a career as a professional copywriter should probably have some appeal. Thankfully, it’s also an in-demand job skill with the average copywriter making a healthy $60,000 a year for their efforts. But even if you have a way with words, you still need the industry […]
While we all love our iPhones and iPads, celebrating the releases of their latest and greatest versions, it’s amusing to consider how much we at the same time HATE the main item that keeps these little tech marvels powered up and working. No, Lightning cables don’t exactly inspire feelings of awe and wonder. It’s more […]