1615 posts tagged with Technology.
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Teenagers find the internet very difficult to use ....

Teenagers find the internet a frustrating experience A survey in the north east of England finds that teenagers are increasingly being alienated in their online experience because they aren't being given the skillsets to cope with finding or using the information. Seems to be the old story of schools buying computers but the kids not being engaged enough on how to use them (which has been the case since I was stuck in front of an Acorn Archimedes fifteen years go). Here is a similar article from Australia which describes how their eductation system is coping with the issue.
posted by feelinglistless on Jul 23, 2003 - 14 comments

What do you know about CALEA?

Bob Cringely thinks the government's information gathering capability is a disaster waiting to happen. Does our government have too much faith in computers as a solution to our problems? Just as electronic voting is looked at skeptically by the computer-savvy among us, so should the use of computers to gather information.
posted by TedW on Jul 16, 2003 - 13 comments


What Happens When Technology Zooms Off the Chart? (pdf) Singularity is the subject of the Spring 2003 issue of Whole Earth magazine.
posted by Ty Webb on Jul 10, 2003 - 14 comments


Badgirs (Farsi) or barjeels (Arabic) are windcatchers that work as low-tech air conditioners. The city of Yazd, Iran is probably best known for them. Badgirs are built so that they can be opened to catch the wind from different directions, the air is then cooled as it travels down the tower, and in turn cools the rooms below. When there is no wind, air in the tower is heated and rises, which draws cooler air from the courtyard into the house. (There is no URL to link to for the search result for “badgir” on Encyclopaedia Iranica, but I recommend checking out their definition and diagrams even though you’ll have to go through three different PDF pages.) Badgirs have been around in some form “since the New Kingdom (1500- 300 BC) in Egypt”, but global warming might make them ineffective.(scroll down to #16-#18) Variations, such as malqafs, can be found from Egypt to Pakistan. You can get a modern one for your own house. You can win an award shaped like one for advancements in sustainable development. Or you could just stay in the Fairmont Dubai Hotel which is shaped like a huge badgir. So even after all this, I still don't know what those sticks sticking out of the sides are for.
posted by lobakgo on Jul 10, 2003 - 28 comments

Keep walking.

The Future is Now. "It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face… was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime…"
posted by the fire you left me on Jul 9, 2003 - 15 comments

Heaven or Hell? It's Your Choice

Heaven or Hell? It's Your Choice
A new shareware E-Book is out, penned by the likes of Captain Crunch and Matthew Smith, that makes the claims:
Don't bother planning your pension, the world is about to change and we can prove it, please just take 2 minutes out of your life to read this page, it may change your life. Artificial intelligence is coming and it may become smarter than any of us. Smart networks using grid technologies could become a threat to us ALL, this is the real Matrix. From Dot.Net to the X-Box, from M-Theory to the Playstation 3 the future is V.R. / A.I. and Nanotech. If you ever wanted to know what the system is and what it has done to you, then this ebook is for you. You left school, you were standardised, you took an exam, you were graded, they made you believe in money, this is the last great social control mechanism. There's more to this, than you can imagine.
...and there you have it. Or do you?
posted by metameme on Jul 7, 2003 - 24 comments

History and culture of computing

While there are a number of sites devoted to the history of computer and information technologies, their invention, design and manufacture is also a human story. So I'm glad that there are sites devoted to computing history and culture that also look at the lives of those involved. The Charles Babbage Institute and Center for the History of Information Technology, includes oral histories of engineers and 500 photographs of the Burroughs Corporation form the 1890s on. The Smithsonian Museum Division of Information Technology and Society is a gateway to a large number of 'real life' and online Smithsonian exhibitions related to the history of science and technology, including more oral histories and PDFs of the original DoD press releases for ENIAC. The Oxford University Virtual Museum of Computing includes tributes to information science pioneers, as well as much other stuff. Finally, the Silicon Valley Cultures Project is using anthropology to document the lives of many of those in the Valley.
posted by carter on Jun 22, 2003 - 6 comments

ephemera: (noun) a short lived thing

Ever since I became a TiVo addict, I've found myself wanting to use its features in real life, wishing I could rewind & replay moments of random comedy & chaos, usually involving my pugs. Soon, thanks the good folks at Deja View, I will be able to, with the help of a head mounted micro video camera unit that is always on, recording a 30 second buffer of real time, and up to four hours of manually recordable space for once you activate the record button. The scourge of ephemera will be wiped out in our lifetime.
posted by jonson on Jun 19, 2003 - 13 comments


Self destruct files to secure DVDs and CDs. Songs and movies will expire after a single play, unless you pay up.
posted by Ron on Jun 17, 2003 - 41 comments

The Future Is Now (Spiffy!)

Bonding with your robot vacuum
posted by Tlogmer on Jun 16, 2003 - 6 comments

Make a Mac Friend

Is it me, or does Mac Mentor sound like the name of a comic book super-villian? (Say it slow.)
posted by sudama on Jun 13, 2003 - 5 comments

Yet another reason to buy a mac

Microsoft to discontinue development of IE for the Mac... Surprisingly this apparently isn't being done because of the low market share for Macintosh, but rather as a side effect of the increasing integration (whether real or alleged) between IE and the Operating System, which on the Mac is closed, so MS can cease development as support for their claims of mandatory integration between browser & OS. I await the next step, mandatory integration between email & OS? IM? Media tools? Net access?
posted by jonson on Jun 13, 2003 - 68 comments


From the better late than never dept: Now you can send instant messages between AIM/AOL and ICQ. AOL finally added interactivity support for their two IM protocols. Best new feature...
IM with yourself
Once you have the latest ICQ beta software, you'll be able to IM with the AIM and/or AOL on your own computer!

posted by riffola on Jun 12, 2003 - 27 comments

Everything about telephones

Everything you ever wanted to know about telephones. Really. I went to the list of History of the Telephone links first.
posted by carter on Jun 11, 2003 - 4 comments

Newly Digital

Newly Digital is an electronic anthology of sorts. Due to the technological advancement of these things we call "computers", it's a subject ripe for nostalgia. As seen here by bloggers writing about their first . . .
posted by jeremias on Jun 2, 2003 - 1 comment

a bed you wouldn't want to wake up in...

isolation stretcher: staff at a japanese medical system support company demonstrate the company's 'isolation stretcher': "The highly protective stretcher, which costs 5.2 million yen (a half million dollars?), has been in demand since the spread of SARS" ...a 'bed' you wouldn't want to wake up in.
posted by n o i s e s on May 30, 2003 - 5 comments

New feature for MetaFilter?

Login, check out a link, post a comment, find out what gender you are... By noting the subtle differences in the words used by men and women, a new computer programme identifies the sex of an author. By implementing this new software, MetaFilter could potentially become even more informative than it already is.
posted by orange swan on May 30, 2003 - 25 comments

Tiny digital drives

Child Pornographers Using Small Storage Drives. Small drives like this are giving the police quite a bit of trouble. One of the more interesting quotes from the story, "Even if the photos are encrypted, computer forensics specialists can break through most encryption schemes these days anyway."
posted by banished on May 29, 2003 - 33 comments

Consumer Report on Computers

The most reliable computer you can buy is... June's Consumer Reports surveyed 39,000 readers and...dare I say it? That not said, how reliable are reliability reports?
posted by Carlos Quevedo on May 27, 2003 - 49 comments


Denim "A team at the University of California at Berkeley has developed a software sketching tool that helps designers create fully interactive websites using just a graphics tablet or mouse...

Developed by the Group for User Interface Research at UC Berkeley, Denim allows designers to play around with different ideas with the speed and ease of drawing on paper. Even better, sketches can be hyperlinked, allowing a series of rough drawings to become a fully interactive site.

'We're trying to replicate the way designers have traditionally worked in the early stages of design, which is with pen and paper,' said the project's lead, James Landay, an associate professor at the university."

(Quote above is from this Wired News article.)
posted by eyebeam on May 12, 2003 - 17 comments

And the best part is...no VJs!

The Scopitone was a French video jukebox that made its debut in 1960 and was imported into the US in 1964. Although they usually featured high production values, catchy melodies, and lots of gratuitous cheesecake, the singers were often relative unknowns and the music was square even by the standards of the day. Consequently, they never caught on in a big way outside of Europe, and many of the original Scopitone jukeboxes and films were destroyed. Fortunately for us, a few Scopitone enthusiasts have catalogued the songs, scanned the advertisements, and even preserved a few Quicktime clips of the original French and American Scopitone films.
posted by MrBaliHai on May 4, 2003 - 9 comments

Wi-Fi vs. FM?

With Tungsten C - it's most powerful handheld ever (according to themselves) Palm is making some aggressive moves to turn its business around and brings wireless 802.11b-based connectivity to the Palm family of devices. Microsoft, on the other hand, is to use FM radio waves for news, weather and traffic, etc - on your watch. Is this a race or PDA technology diversity at its best? ...and here I'm sitting around with my stone age Visor.
posted by psychomedia on Apr 25, 2003 - 25 comments

Put safety first

Technology comes to the rescue via the Department of Homeland Security. Now we will never have to fear terrorists, or criminals again. This post is 23 days late, but remains ever so relevant.
posted by caddis on Apr 24, 2003 - 9 comments

I thought Grub was a bootloader?

Is Grub out of control? Barely more than a week old, the distributed search engine is already causing headaches. It does not properly follow the Robot Exclusion Standard and thus spiders sites against their owners' wishes. Because it is a distributed client run by thousands of volunteers (and therefore connects from many different IP addresses), it is non-trivial to block. The Wikipedia project, for example, is experiencing slowdowns because of it. Let's hope they can solve these problems, as the idea seems to be quite cool.
posted by Eloquence on Apr 23, 2003 - 7 comments

Has Burt Rutan done it again?

Scaled Composites unveils a privately built spacecraft Could this be the leapfrog event that all of us sci-fi fans have been waiting for? If successful he will open up space for organizations other than the worlds most wealthy governments. Warp speed Mr. Sulu! (sorry getting a little carried away).
posted by canucklehead on Apr 20, 2003 - 11 comments


Mmm. Oh yeah, that's right. That's perfect, right there, yeah. Dutch technology means you no longer need someone else if you want a good massage. And don't try to tell me that this works.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Apr 17, 2003 - 24 comments

Future's so bright...

Pessimism bad - With the recent kabal surrounding the "dishonesty without intent" (whatever that means) Bjorn Lomborg committed in his book "The Skeptical Environmentalist", Matt Ridley speaks out for more "technological fixes" and against the technological pessimism that pervades the public debate about technology, and which can have perverse side effects, according to him. "In the 1990s Ingo Potrykus genetically engineered some strains of rice to contain a natural vitamin A precursor precisely because he was affronted by the fact that half a million children go blind every year in the third world for lack of vitamin A. He gave up his intellectual property rights, and persuaded Syngenta and other companies to waive their patents so that he could give the rice away for free in poor countries. Yet the crop remains tied up for years to come awaiting regulatory approval as a "drug" because of precautionary regulations urged on third world countries by environmental groups. " Future's so bright, I gotta get an eye upgrade!
posted by NekulturnY on Apr 7, 2003 - 13 comments

Then there were two

Seattle PI have picked up the news that there's now competition in the race to build a space elevator. Liftport are the new kids on the block, with a website that only went online about 24 hours ago. I'm watching them build the message board as I type. Nothing like a bit of uplifting science news (pun unavoidable).
posted by krisjohn on Mar 18, 2003 - 14 comments

CTHEORY, the international journal of theory, technology, and culture

CTHEORY the international journal of theory, technology, and culture.
Recent articles:
The Ambiguous Panopticon: Foucault and the Codes of Cyberspace
Posterchild for the Future: Living with Michael Jackson
The Post-Cyborg Path to Deconism
posted by signal on Mar 14, 2003 - 22 comments

Christopher Andrew Phillips, hacker?

Christopher Andrew Phillips, the University of Texas at Austin student accused of "hacking" the school's computer system, has turned himself in. But reading about his method makes me wonder if this really is hacking and/or illegal...
posted by Big_B on Mar 14, 2003 - 13 comments

Talk about recycling

Got Dog Food Cans? Get Broadband. David Taylor, an IT manager in Britain, has built a 802.11 receiver out of dog food cans, in order to have his access reachable at a Travelodge hotel across town. A fascinating arrangement, and quite the entreprenuerial showing.
posted by djspicerack on Mar 11, 2003 - 3 comments

Tracking language evolution through Internet

Hot, or Not? (via Corante)
posted by anathema on Mar 7, 2003 - 6 comments

Saying goodbye to a mentor

Dr. Anita Borg is the Founder of the Institute for Women and Technology (www.iwt.org). Her work to change the world for women has received international recognition. Throughout her career, Dr. Borg has worked to encourage women to pursue careers in computing. Also, she's a heck of a nice lady. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in April 2000, and recently her condition has worsened. {more inside}
posted by dejah420 on Mar 5, 2003 - 9 comments


3 launches the first 3G mobile phone network - but was it worth the wait?
posted by brettski on Mar 3, 2003 - 31 comments

Shift folds

Shift given shaft - After over 10 years, it looks like Shift Magazine (founded by Evan Solomon and Andrew Heintzman and published by Multi-Vision Publishing Inc.) is going away...again. The last issue will hit newsstands the first week of March.
posted by boost ventilator on Feb 20, 2003 - 13 comments

Rook! I'm Invisibir!

Japanese create "invisible" cloak. Well, not really. Technically, just a two sided cloak, the front of which is a projector, and the back of which is a camera. Only works, one would imagine, if you're looking at a person straight on, and even then it would help if you were partially blind, or at the very least, raised in the wilderness & easily fooled by modern technology.
posted by jonson on Feb 5, 2003 - 55 comments

Baked Apple

Baked Apple. "PowerBook G4 cooked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. The machine still booted, video and all..." [details at MacFixIt; no permalink]
posted by kirkaracha on Feb 4, 2003 - 22 comments

Gutenberg for the 20 and change.

Print life! Forget this photo-realism nonsense. Scientists have modified ink-jet printers to print living cells. Like many innovations in sci-tech, I find this scary and fascinating at the same time.
posted by pinto on Jan 29, 2003 - 9 comments


Textfiles.com: Before the Web, before Google, we scoured Fidonet, absorbing the forbidden fruits of anarchy, occult and a lot of bad fiction. For better or worse, TEXTFILES are relics of that age.
posted by magnificentsven on Jan 23, 2003 - 12 comments

It took long enough...

Mitnick Free! Kevin Mitnick, a hacker who went without trial in the US for years, has finally been freed from his computer-free probation today. Buy his stuff on ebay, or buy his book. Or don't, it's really up to you.
posted by shepd on Jan 21, 2003 - 5 comments

Vibrating cellphones of love!

Vibrating cellphones of love! "Within a year you could be able to "touch" someone over your mobile phone", says the BBC. Some people have been waiting for this for quite a while - and dreaming up VERY specific applications.
posted by theplayethic on Jan 21, 2003 - 8 comments

Simcity 4

Simcity 4 and memories of misspent youth You don't need to be a geek to enjoy creating (and destroying) cities in the funky llama-loving world of Simcity. Simcity 4 has just been released, for good or bad. A lot of people seem to have "that game" that sticks with them. Maybe an old console or PC simulator such as Simcity still pops up in your mind once-in-awhile. Do you ever get hungry and say to yourself "Must build more farms."?
posted by Tystnaden on Jan 17, 2003 - 62 comments

Ambient Information

Ambient Information (NYT reg. required) Ambient information can be defined as material objects, such as computers, watches or furniture, which interact with digital information and react in certain ways such as sound, color, or light. Apple has filed an intriguing patent for a computer that could change color when you get an e-mail, for example. So, is this concept the next “new thing” or the next pet rock?
posted by jeremias on Jan 13, 2003 - 15 comments


"This is getting ridiculous!" complained one veteran programmer on USENET a bit over two years ago... after being out of the workforce for a while, he was having trouble getting back in the door. While there's no way to put yourself in his prospective employers shoes and make a real judgement, it looks like he had the chops. Wonder how he's doing today...general conditions don't seem good, and I know several people with the same problem. The longer a period of unemployment goes, the worse your resume looks, and the harder it is to get a job. How do you break the cycle (from either a policy or a jobseeker standpoint)?
posted by namespan on Jan 4, 2003 - 29 comments

Net tech saving the world

Lee Felsenstein, saving the world with wifi and a bike. This old school computer hacker built a human powered wireless internet station named as one of the best inventions of 2002. Now he needs to raise $25,000 to wire five villages of farmers to the web (to obtain weather info, pricing data) and to each other. This is another story that reminds me not all of this technology is for gadget geeks. It really can help improve peoples' lives, as shown by the varied projects coming out of the Tech Museum grant winners and groups like this.
posted by mathowie on Jan 2, 2003 - 42 comments

Cloudmark SpamNet

Distributed spam filtering. Sure, your spam filter may be hot stuff, but Spamnet takes filtering to the communal level. With its easy install, point and click simplicity, and Outlook support could Spamnet be the SpamCop for the masses?
posted by skallas on Dec 19, 2002 - 36 comments


Invisibles are scenes from films with the actors removed. Can you guess the film? Its pretty hard actually. I would imagine actually making the images is hard as well - clever colour matching in Photoshop, or is there another way?
posted by Orange Goblin on Dec 14, 2002 - 26 comments

Robots @ Home?

Have Home Robots become a "thing of the now" rather than "thing of the future"? This company seems to think so. It's even got a list of the Top 25 things to do with their new robot, the ER1. This is certainly a big step up from the "toys" that The Sharper Image and other shops sold in the 80's and early 90's, which would bring you a drink on your tray via remote control, etc.
posted by djspicerack on Dec 12, 2002 - 9 comments


'At 52x CD-ROM speeds (27,500rpm) disks shatter in a "rain of plastic particles". Is technology spinning out of control? "I haven't experienced an exploding CD but did have my copy of Neverwinter Nights somehow levitate out of the CD holder and bury itself in the nether parts of my machine with a nasty metallic thunk" Are these violent video games a danger to society?
posted by asok on Dec 10, 2002 - 24 comments

The Postmodern Shoestring

The shoestring (string and shoe holes) was first invented in England in 1790. But there is nothing so simple that man cannot complicate, and so some calculate the optimal way to tie a shoe, some seek zen enlightenment through shoe-tying, and others craft Shoelace Parables to improve psychological health. Contrarians find their peace by eschewing the tying altogether.
posted by rushmc on Dec 4, 2002 - 11 comments

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