1837: The U.S. Patent Office approves Thomas Davenport’s application for a patent on an “Improvement in Propelling Machinery by Magnetism and Electro-Magnetism.” We’d call it an electric motor.
Davenport was a Vermont blacksmith and an amateur tinkerer, not a trained scientist or engineer.… Read the rest
While magazine, newspaper and book publishers wrestle with the logistics and technical details of publishing to the Apple iPad, Scribd has an alternative: a “send-to-device” feature that lets people send documents to their e-readers or smartphones for reading on the go.… Read the rest
Review: Kayland Zephyr Hiking Boots
Hikers usually have to choose between boots that are lightweight and boots that are protective and supportive. Kayland’s Zephyrs override that dilemma with a polyurethane exoskeleton that gives the boots leatherlike rigidity, while keeping them lightweight (about 2.5… Read the rest
Someday, you’ll be able to fit as much data in a small, square CompactFlash card as AT&T carries on its entire network in a week.
In theory at least, version 5 of the CompactFlash standard will allow CF cards to hold 188 petabytes of data.… Read the rest
Review: Blunt Umbrella
On a recent stormy San Francisco day, pedestrians all around me struggled as the wind made their bodega-bought umbrellas leap like impatient leashed puppies, or worse yet, flip inside-out like starfish stomachs. But not me. My umbrella kept its rounded shape in the nastiest of rainy gusts, its architectural integrity as unbroken as the dome of St.… Read the rest
A new app invites you to command your iPhone in the same way that Captain Kirk addressed the Enterprise’s computer.
Siri’s visual interface displays a transcription of what you say, then hands the data off to an appropriate web service or search engine.
… Read the rest
Sun’s erstwhile CEO Jonathan Schwartz announced his retirement Wednesday night in a uniquely geeky way: With a haiku posted to Twitter.
Stalled too many customers
CEO no more
Schwartz’s decision to announce his departure in the form of a short, Japanese lyric was, perhaps, a veiled jab at Sun’s new boss, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, a noted Japanophile who has spent years building a $200 million house, in the wealthy Silicon Valley suburb of Woodside, that’s said to be a replica of a 16th-century Japanese emperor’s castle.… Read the rest