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25 Feb 2012 19:54


Culture: Steve Kordek, father of modern pinball, passes away at 100

Pinball Machine

  • He brought the flippers and the tilt: Kordek, who died last Sunday, revolutionized what were then called “pin games”, in which a user would drop a ball into a maze of pins, by creating the tilted game-board and dual-flipper system we’re all familiar with today. (Which, by the way, is a totally underrated form of entertainment.) When asked about his invention by the Chicago Tribune, in 2009, Kordek replied, “I was taught to be very conservative to hold down costs. There was no way I was going to put six flippers on a game when I could get away with two.” Kordek retired in 1999, and lost his wife in 2003. He’s survived by two sons, two daughters, two brothers, a sister, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. (image courtesy of flickr user jlstern)  source

22 Feb 2012 22:45


Tech: Open-source fans, here you go: Ubuntu for Android ahoy!

  • After months of rumors, Canonical has unveiled Ubuntu for Android, a version of the ultra-popular Ubuntu Linux kernel that boots from Android mobile devices. We’ll let the video do the rest of the talking. source

22 Feb 2012 21:16


Tech: Crazy but true: Google wants to be your cable TV provider in Kansas City

  • then In May 2011, Google made Kansas City, Missouri the second location of their highly-sought-after Fiber Project. The deal? A reasonably-priced one gigabyte-per-second fiber optic internet connection for roughly 50,000 to 500,000 people. Google: Your internet company.
  • now Google just filed for a video franchise license with the Missouri Public Service Commission. Reports claim Google will do something similar in Kansas next week — suggesting Google’s ready to tackle Time Warner Cable on the television front, too. source

22 Feb 2012 16:17


Tech: Storify comes to the iPad: Full story curation, at your fingertips

  • “Whether you’re at a conference or at home … you now have storytelling at your fingertips.” Storify co-founder & CEO Xavier Damman’s totally psyched about bringing his popular online story-telling tool to the iPad. While Storify, which pulls content from a variety of social networks, does not contain all the functionality of it’s Internet-based counterpart, the team at Storify is confident that they’ve successfully migrated the core Storify experience to iOS. The team also added an additional function not found on the Storify website: The ability to tweet, inside the app, while creating a story. Have you tried it yet? source

18 Feb 2012 13:08


Biz, Tech: Mike D gets respect, opportunity to vote on AT&T’s net neutrality policy

  • They didn’t say anything about cash or jewelry, but the SEC did side with three AT&T investors — including the Beastie Boys’ Michael “Mike D” Diamond — who believed that shareholders should have a vote in the company’s net neutrality policy, because it has become part of the national debate. AT&T argued that the vote would “directly interfere with its network management practices”, but ultimately the SEC ruled that wireless providers must now allow for shareholder votes on net neutrality proposals. Should such proposals pass, providers would be required to “operate a neutral network with neutral routing along the company’s wireless infrastructure.” source

18 Feb 2012 11:10


Tech: Growl creator thinks his notifications are cooler than yours

  • I’m sure that in the next 2-3 years we’ll see it all translated back to the desktop from the mobile devices. I’m sure it won’t be as cool as Growl, but it’ll be interesting.
  • Growl creator Christopher Forsythe • Discussing the nature of desktop notification systems with The Verge. He was a bit off — OSX Mountain Lion’s recently-announced desktop notification system basically does what he said, and it’ll be out by the summer. Forsythe (in reacting to the news) noted that, unlike Apple’s new system, Growl still gives users a multitude of customization options. Is Growl, which has basically had the OSX notification market to itself for years, a goner? Do you use it and dig it? Would you keep using it? Personally, nothing against him, but Growl’s notifications are starting to wear a little thin for us. source

11 Feb 2012 15:04


Politics, Tech: The official 3G dead-zone map, courtesy of the FCC

The Official 3G Deadzone Map, Courtesy of the FCC

  • FCC announces creation of mobility fund: In a press release Friday morning, the FCC reaffirmed its commitment to increasing broadband and mobile coverage in rural areas. The agency announced the creation of a new Mobility Fund, a new addition to the Connect America Fund, created to “accelerate our nation’s ongoing efforts to close gaps in mobile wireless service.” Included in the press release was a reminder that the agency will soon host a $300 million reverse auction, with the winner receiving $300 million to provide rural broadband coverage. They also revealed an interactive map of the nation’s worst coverage areas, created with online map-making tool MapBoxsource

23 Dec 2011 08:59


Tech: Scientists used math on Twitter to tell us we’re sad… which makes us even sadder.

  • Happiness is trending downward. Great.  After studying the Twitter accounts of 63 million users for 33 months, science tells us that we’re not using as many happiness keywords. Users seem to reach their peak happiness on and around holidays and the weekends; happiness “plummets” on Mondays and Tuesdays. All in all, people shouldn’t be using Twitter as their go-to source of human emotions; do they even count Sockington?  source

11 Nov 2011 11:17


Tech: Listen, let’s make a pact to not tell magicians about this, okay?

  • We really can hide objects. … We can switch for a short moment and make it disappear.
  • Ali Aliev, a physicist at the University of Texas at Dallas, about his “invisibility cloak” technology • Right now, the “cloak” is only as big as a few threads. Those threads are made of carbon nanotubes which light bends around when heat is applied to the strands. Aliev said that the technology could “easily hide large objects, such as military tankers” eventually. Anyone else get a tremor of terror when they read that? See it in action at the source — it’s pretty freaking crazy. source

23 Oct 2011 22:26


Tech: Apple’s most iconic device celebrates a major milestone

  • Happy 10th Birthday, iPod: Apple has sold more than 300 million iPod devices since it was introduced on October 23, 2001. The first iPod had a five-gigabyte hard drive and could hold 1,000 songs. It sold for $399. Today, the iPod Classic can hold 30,000 songs on its 160-gigabyte hard drive at a cost of $249. source