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Month: December 2008

12 Good Gadgets for Hard Times


An economic crisis changes the way you think about gadgets. Is a $400 game console bundle really what you want to be spending your hard-earned money on, considering that you could be out of a job in six months?

Maybe not — though we’re sympathetic to the idea that the recently unemployed might need to blow off steam with a few rounds of Wii Boxing.… Read the rest

Unwarranted optimism about the publishing industry.

I’m quoted in Folio magazine’s annual survey of editors and publishers, making an uncharacteristically wild-eyed prediction about how great things are going to be in 2009:

In 2009, we’ll see even more magazine startups, as entrepreneurs with funding (or un-maxed-out credit cards) seize the twin opportunities of cheap journalistic labor and lower competitive barriers to start up publications of their own.

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Dec. 9, 1968: The Mother of All Demos

1968: Computer scientist Douglas Engelbart kicks off the personal computer revolution with a product demonstration that is so amazing it inspires a generation of technologists. It will become known as “the mother of all demos.”

The presentation included the debut of the computer mouse, which Engelbart used to control an onscreen pointer in exactly the same way we do today.… Read the rest

Silicon Valley Conference Aims to Raise Planetary IQ


Forty years ago Tuesday, a Silicon Valley engineer named Douglas Engelbart made a presentation so influential that computer scientists now call it "the mother of all demos." More than a mere product demo, it was a down payment on an ambitious idea: that networked computers could help groups of people work together more effectively, raising the collective intelligence of the human race and making it possible to solve some of our most pressing problems, including pollution, famine, disease, and war.… Read the rest

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