Archive for the ‘Historic Technology’ Category

New Web Address Endings coming soon?

Posted on April 16th, 2009 in Computer software/hardware, Historic Technology, Site of the Day, Software/Hardware Reviews, Tech News, Webpage/SEO | No Comments »

According to an article in USA today,

“The familiar .com, .net, .org and 18 other suffixes — officially “generic top-level domains” — could be joined by a seemingly endless stream of new ones next year under a landmark change approved last summer.

The current TLDs are :
.aero  –  Air-transport industry
.asia  – Asia-Pacific region
.biz  – Business
.cat  – Catalan language sites
.com –  Commercial entities (open to anyone)
.coop – Cooperatives
.edu –  Educational
.gov  – Governmental
.info –  Information
.int  – International organizations
.jobs –  Companies
.mil – U.S. military
.mobi –  Mobile devices
.museum – Museums
.name –  Individuals, by name
.net –  Network
.org – Organization
.pro – Professions
.tel – Internet communication services
.travel – Travel and tourism industry related

(List of TLDs from here)

What the ICANN is proposing would allow anyone to register .”anything”.  Instead of it could be diet.coke.  That’s it.  Our website could be flash.ladybug. could become Explosiontheory.bang.   Google could have .google,,

On one hand, this could open up some interesting web addresses.  No more adding in “.com” after to check my email.  On the other hand, this chage is removing one of most important orginizing features of the internet.  So that I’m not turning this post into a product pitch, I’m going to use Slum Cola from Futarama as my example product.


Right now, Slurms website would be Slurm.Com.  That’s their main site.  Slurm would probably also own Slurm.Net,, and maybe Slurm.Info as well.  All of those sites re-direct you back to Slurm.Com, so that there’s almost no chance of someone missing the Slurm website.  Along with “Slurm,” there’s probably SlurmCola, SlurmIsAddicting, and numerous other promotional sites registered under the .com, .net, and .biz domains.  The last thing someone wants is for a brand to get hijacked.  Companies work hard to make sure that they’ve got as many different combinations of names and phrases that they might want under their control.  So, as things stand now, Slurm only needs to worry about 4 or 5 major domains (Slurm. _____)

Now, under the changes the ICANN is proposing, they’d have to worry about a lot more.  There could be Slurm.Cola.  Slurm.Soda  DietSlum.Soda.  GetAddictedToSlurm.Soda  Drink.Slurm  SlurmIsDa.Bomb.  Slurm.Pop  Slurm.Drink    The list could go on and on and on.  So what happens to corporate identity then?  If I’m looking for Slurm now, its probably going to be a .com.  But if I’m looking for Slurm online  in the future, it could be ANYWHERE.  It wouldn’t have to be .com.

It might not seem very important when it comes to buying Slurm.  But the same problem of brand identity could hit your bank.  Scammers and phishers could find ways to mimic the banks official website.  As things stand now, the banks website is .com  In the future, it could be .bank, .banking, .financial, etc.  It would be very easy for a scammer to create a website that was .financial, or .banking to mimic a real page that was supposed to be .bank.

This quote from the USA Today article really worries me :

“To beat a competitor to the punch, a company might decide it needs to control a new generic domain, such as .cereal or .detergent, but it would be costly. The currently proposed application fee is $185,000, says Levins, plus an annual “continuance” fee of $25,000. If more than one company wants a suffix, there could be a bidding war.”

It would cost almost $200,000 to register a different TLD ending??? There are millions of businesses out there that could, in theory, benefit from more specific domains – like having .hardware as an ending.  But what if I giant chain buys up the .hardware ending?  That creates a major problem for all the other hardware stores out there, especially since a lot of web users might mistakenly think that .hardware is somehow better, more professional, or just the authoratitive source for harware information, when in reality, its the same old .com it was before, just $200,000 more expensive.

I don’t like this idea at all.

-Confusion between domain names could make it hard to find things

-Scammers could take control or create fishing websites that mimic originals, but could end in anything.

-Companies will have to spend more money guarding their corporate images (and the expenses will get passed on to us, the conumers.)

-With something as large as the internet, some organization is a good thing.  Libraries have the dewy decimal system.  Graphic designers have different standardized color codes to organize and share specifici colors.  The internet needs its top level domains.

Read the original USA Today Article Here

51-year-old TV wired for the “digital age”

Posted on June 12th, 2008 in Historic Technology, Picture of the Day, Site of the Day, Time Wasters | 1 Comment »

Richard Howard is an antique enthusiast and a furniture restorer from Norfolk, England. He’s got a passion for old things, like old cars, his 1920s house (which his grandfather built), and his old telelvision set – the same Walnut-encased unit his father bought in 1957.

“”It was my family’s first TV”, Mr Howard said.

“My father was
walking past the store and was just taken by it. I think there were
cheaper ones available but he liked the way it looked like a piece of
furniture instead of just a big screen sitting in corner of the room.”

He has even kept and framed the receipt for the £113 purchase of the Bush Television Receiver.

was away at boarding school at the time but I remember coming home and
being amazed. I think the first programme I saw on it was the Lone

“I have a lot of fond memories of Christmas time when the
whole family would gather round and watch it together. I could never
bear to throw it away it had too much value attached to it.””

Mr. Howard can even continue to watch his television after a 200-pound revamp, including a converter so the classic unit can decode the new digital TV signal and display it in the correct format on the 1957-vintage television.

Photo, quotes, article from


Evolution of Cell Phones 1985-2008 (Video)

Posted on May 21st, 2008 in Historic Technology, Photos/Videoes | 1 Comment »

‘Mobile’ phone enjoys centenery

Posted on May 13th, 2008 in Historic Technology | No Comments »

“Invented by Nathan Stubblefield in 1908, the device came complete with an
unwieldy metal transmitter.

A far cry from the tiny mobile phones in use today, the telephone was made up
of a system of wire suspended between metal rods with the transmitter placed
on a train carriage or boat.

When the vehicle neared, a signal was sent through the air to the telephone
using magnetic fields. It could be heard near the other end of the wire
through another phone.”

(Photos of just how big this thing actually was are included in the link.)’Mobile’-phone-enjoys-centenery.html

March 20, 1800: Volta’s Battery Shows Potential

Posted on March 22nd, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Historic Technology, Time Wasters | 1 Comment »

It was almost 207 years ago that the first battery was developed by Italian physicist Alessandro Volta.  For the first time, electricity could be gathered and stored, instead of just being handled as a static shock.  So the next time you open your laptop, listen to your mp3 player, or pick up the TV remote controll, remember that the battery started with Volta.

And. here’s a list of some common things we use all the time that depend on batteries :

Bluetooth devices
Cell Phones
Cordless power tools
Digital watches
Digital cameras
MP3 players
Telephones – non-cell (Early phones used batteries to keep the phone line voltage up.)
TV Remotes

Okay, so its not the best list ever, and without batteries in general, we wouldn’t have made nearly as many advances in electrical technology as we have today.
As usual, if anyone has any other good ideas/strange places that we find batteries, feel free to leave your ideas in the comments so I can add em to the list.

TEAM 0.5

Posted on February 6th, 2008 in Historic Technology, Labs/Experiments, Photos/Videoes, Picture of the Day, Science!, Tech News | 2 Comments »

A bit of science for us all. TEAM 0.5 has debuted. What is TEAM? Its the worlds most powerful transmission electron microscope. It gives images with .5 angstrom resolutions, which just so happens to be half the diameter of a single hydrogen atom. It’s located at NCEM at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. THey hope to setup a control room that shows the sample on a screen that looks like an HD flatscreen. 🙂 As of now, their opening date for outside users, is October 08. It corrects for a aberration that has long plagued such high res microscopes that make points of light look like disks. Fixing this has upped the resolution greatly. As of now, they can perform spectroscopy on one atom at a time, which allows scientists to precisely locate impurities of 1 atom per sample.
Here…is a mindblowing example:
Shown here is a gold crystal bridge. Those dots…..those are gold atoms

Thanks Eurekalert, and congrats to the folks at NCEM

Whats Inside a MacBook Air?

Posted on February 2nd, 2008 in Historic Technology, How To's, Photos/Videoes, Software/Hardware Reviews | 1 Comment »

Take a look at whats inside the MacBook Air, the different chips, really thin display, and how easy it was to take it all apart.
I found this nice pictorial/text guide from Ifixit, showing the relatively simple process of disassembling the MacBook Air.
So just how much do you have when it’s all taken apart?

We’re left with 88 screws and lots of parts. It’s hard to believe everything here weighs in at only three pounds.”

My personal take on the MacBook Air is that its a really neat idea, but I don’t see it being practical at all.  A laptop without a CD drive?  I mean, I own a 17inch MacBook Pro.  My only complaint about the thing so far is that, well, its too darn big, but I knew that when I chose the 17inch.  I don’t mean its too heavy, or too thick.  It’s just too wide.  And for the occasional train trip, or airplane ride, its not that much of a big deal.  If I actually wanted something smaller and more compact, I’d just buy a MacBook, or get a smaller MacBook Pro.  I mean, the MB is 5 lbs, the MB Air is 3 lbs. . . . .I think most people I know can handle carrying 5 lbs.

Space (Two-Item post)

Posted on January 31st, 2008 in Historic Technology, Photos/Videoes, Science!, Tech News | 2 Comments »

Item #1 : Space Shuttle Atlantis from above.
It’s a nice, large hi-res image too, much larger then shown here.

The Space Shuttle Atlantis begins the slow journey to Launch Pad 39A from
the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).

This dramatic view looking directly down onto the Shuttle atop the Mobile
Launcher Platform (MLP) and crawler-transporter was taken from the VAB roof
approximately 525 feet (160 meters) above the ground. Atlantis is scheduled to
lift off on Mission STS-79 around September 12.” (Official full photo description)

More info about the image can be found here, along with larger/smaller versions of the image.

Ed. Note : Launched on Sept. 16, 1996, STS-79 spent 10 days, 3 hours and 19 mins. in space, landing Sept. 26 @ the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  “The
new SPACEHAB Logistic Double Module (LDM) debuted
on STS-79, providing commercial logistics resupply
services for Phase I of the International Space
Station Program.”

Item #2 : NASA to beam “Across the Universe” by The Beatles into space on Feb. 4, at 7pm East Coast Time.

The transmission over NASA’s Deep Space Network will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the day The Beatles
recorded the song, as well as the 50th anniversary of NASA’s founding
and the group’s beginnings. NASA is full of anniversaries this week:
The launch 50 years ago this week of Explorer 1, the first
satellite, and the founding 45 years ago of the Deep Space Network, an
international network of antennas that supports missions to explore the

The transmission is being aimed at the North Star, Polaris,
which is located 431 light years away from Earth. The song will travel
across the universe at a speed of 186,000 miles per second.”


The Theory of Everything 3.0

Posted on November 26th, 2007 in Historic Technology, Science!, Site of the Day, Tech News | 1 Comment »

A few days ago, an unlikely individual published a paper on the theory of everything. This guy isn’t a college professor or any typical “Einstein” like figure. And yet, he has struck upon a possible theory of everything based on a mathematical pattern. The Theory of Everything 1.0 Beta was essentially Einstein’s Space-Time continuum. TOE 2 was String Theory. It is still a widespread theory though still contested heatedly. And now, TOE3 arises from a mathematical pattern named E8. It is an intricate pattern of 248 points distributed over 8 dimensions.
To introduce the Theory of Everything…it is the holy grail of physics. It is the quest to find a mathethematical set of formulas that would unite the forces of Electromagnetism, strong force, weak force, and gravity. Standard Model as of now unites 3 out of these 4. It leaves gravity alone, as no one has been able to make gravity “work” with the others.
This individual, Garrett Lisi was studying the E8 pattern and realized that some equations about this structure resembled the equations governing particles. He was able to place particles on each of the points. Any blank points left are supposedly particles that we have not yet discovered, such as the elusive graviton. Using the family of patterns that E8 belongs to, he was able to fill the object. By rotating the pattern using a computer and projecting it into 2 dimensions, he could see different interactions between the particles. He could see gravity-electro-weak interactions between particles. So far, all the observations made using this pattern have fit real-world observations. This model uses nothing but simple math and of course…8 dimensional geometry. However, this appears at first glance to be much more elegant and simple than String Theory. We may be seeing the discovery of the Theory of Everything…or, simply a spectacularly wrong theory that is elegant nonetheless. Read the article on NewScientist

The Internet Circa 1994 (Video)

Posted on July 18th, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Historic Technology, Photos/Videoes | 1 Comment »