Amazon – we’ll sell books online, even though users are still scared to use credit cards on the web. Their shipping costs will eat up any money they save. They’ll do it for the convenience, even though they have to wait a week for the book.
Meanwhile, Phil Porter, who had worked with [Richard] Frenkiel on the original system, came up with a permanent answer to an interesting question. Should a cellular phone have a dial tone? Porter made a radical suggestion that it shouldn’t. A caller should dial a number and then push “send.” That way, the mobile caller would be less rushed; also, the call would be connected for a shorter time, thus putting less strain on the network. That this idea – dial, then send – would later prove crucial to texting technology was not even considered.
Text messaging may not have come along either, had mobile phones had dial tones. Now how’s that for a thought?
It’s been forty years since the first mobile phones arrived… but it wasn’t until 1995 that I finally caved in and acquired one. A Motorola, though I can’t recall what exact model.
Forty years later, we’re still dropping calls like bad habits and struggling to get a signal inside a supermarket. Not that it matters, because we rarely use our phones to make phone calls. Instead, they’re a gateway to our digital lives, a means of doing everything from sending texts to updating our status to posting photos and listening to music.
The very first version of disassociated.com went online in 1997 – whoa, that’s sixteen years ago – and thanks to this article that recalls certain of the software and hardware in use at the time, it seems just like it was yesterday.
It’s hard to believe just how lo-tech our lives were a mere thirteen years ago in 2000, the year that had, in the past, been looked to as the shining beacon of what a futuristic world was meant to represent:
Frustrated, you decide to take the rest of the day off and book your next vacation. You make yourself comfortable on your balcony in the afternoon sun, a bottle of beer in your hand, your laptop ready to search and book a nice place to recover from this exhaustingly un-digital future. Then it dawns you… You have no internet access out here (the Ethernet cable is too short). And even if you had, searching for nice places, good hotels and cheap flights would be almost impossible, not to mention booking online. That’s when you decide you need a different trip, one straight back to the present, to 2013.
“We suggest that the outer regions of the Galactic disk are the most likely locations for advanced SETI targets,” they wrote. The reason for this is that sophisticated intelligent communities will tend to migrate outward through the Galaxy as their capacities of information-processing increase. Why? Because machine-based civilizations, with their massive supercomputers, will have huge problems managing their heat waste. They’ll have to set up camp where it’s super cool. And the outer rim of the Galaxy is exactly that.
So, there you go, that’s why no sign of intelligent life beyond the Earth has yet been detected, we’ve been looking in the wrong places.
Laser, or energy guns, called phasers, were often carried by the starship crews seen in sci-fi TV/film series “Star Trek”, and now it looks like we’ve finally caught up following the arrival of an actual phaser. The purpose, and more crucially, the way these phasers work, somewhat differs from what we’ve seen up until now however:
Using a nanoscale drum, scientists have built a laser that uses sound waves instead of light like a conventional laser. Because laser is an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation,” these new contraptions – which exploit particles of sound called phonons – should properly be called phasers. Such devices could one day be used in ultrasound medical imaging, computer parts, high-precision measurements, and many other places.
Everything the body needs – that we know of, anyway – vitamins, minerals and macronutrients like essential amino acids, carbohydrates and fat. For the fat, I just use olive oil and add fish oil. The carbs are an oligosaccharide, which is like sugar, but the molecules are longer, meaning it takes longer to metabolise and gives you a steady flow of energy for a longer period of time, rather than a sugar rush from something like fructose or table sugar. I also add some non-essentials like antioxidants and probiotics and lately have been experimenting with nootropics.