If you woke up in North Korea tomorrow possessed by the desire to overthrow Kim Jong Un, your revolution would be over before it began. On a basic practical level, you would find yourself unable to coordinate anything on a scale large enough to effect change. But you would also find yourself in a paralyzing state of mind. Disconnected from others, unable to communicate, you would begin to wonder whether you were the only unhappy citizen. You would wonder whether you were wrong. Imagine the alienation you’d feel. Imagine the paranoia. Because for all you know, you’re the only one who feels the way you do, and decades of education, propaganda and policy have made contrarianism a source of deep shame and mortal fear. That is a scary, debilitating, ineffectual place to be. And that, more than any logistical hurdle, is the reason that North Korea has not staged its revolution.
Vanity Fair received an amazing level of access to Microsoft’s internal documents along with dozens of employees to publish Microsoft’s Downfall: Inside the Executive E-mails and Cannibalistic Culture That Felled a Tech Giant. While Steve Ballmer’s picture leads the article, it’s clear the issues with the software giant are not just its CEO. If you think that organizations don’t have their own culture or that such things don’t matter, you definitely need to read this.
I was reading this amusing article by Jarrett Bellini on $1,300 HDMI cables when I noticed he linked to a $6900 AC power cable on Amazon.
Yes, you read that correctly. A single AC power cable for $6,899.75. It’s only rated 4 stars, which is surprising given its astronomic cost but what do I know? But then I read the reviews and I was enlightened.
Alexis Madrigal has done an analysis of the dial-up modem sound, in case you wondered what it all meant.
This post assumes you have an idea what the terms “modem” or “dial-up” mean. If not, nothing to see here, move along.
You have to admit that 3-D printing is pretty cool. Just build a model in software and see it made real before your eyes. It’s like half of a Star Trek transporter. But of course, it’s just like everything: fun and games until the lawyers show up.
Folks of, um, a certain age will no doubt recall the Moog synthesizer and its unique sound. Today would have been the 78th birthday of its inventor, Bob Moog, and Google has an interactive Moog synth you can actually play and tweak the knobs on.
And in case you wondered, Moog Music is still in business and still makes synthesizers along with other hardware and software products. They even have an iPhone app ($0.99 until the end of the month).
One final historical note. I played guitar with a guy who owned a Mini Moog back in the late 70s. Sometimes just for the hell of it we’d patch my guitar into the Mini Moog and use its filters to alter the sound. That became hard to do once synths became integrated. Of course now you can just use your computer to do all of that, no big deal.
David Peter is a student at RIT who is also the only deaf person at 1000memories, a San Francisco startup.
Lots of politicians and business leaders says lots of things about education, jobs and technology but until we reform the H-1B visa program jobs are going to leave the US for overseas. The only shortage is in the number of US citizens willing to work for low wages.
Kids are smart, they see that the tech jobs are dead ends and they’re not going to invest the effort to earn a STEM degree just to get a temporary job that gets sent to India.