“Thank You, Beep …”: a 1979 look at personal technology

“Thank You, Beep …” has been part of me since the first time I read it, in an hp publication forty years ago. I’ve been wanting to read it again, and, finally, I can, thanks to someone wanting to sell a copy of that publication on ebay today (3/18/19). Tightwad that I am, I searched using info from that posting — [gordon dickson beep] — www.google.com — and found a link to a 15 MB pdf image of the original article in Paula’s Reading Room.

Considering the path personal tech has taken in the last forty years, I hope you’ll enjoy reading this article now as much as I did then.

‘Right to Repair’ Movement Fights Back Against Unfixable Devices

An interesting discussion on Michael Krasney’s Forum program.

” The “right to repair” movement is growing. A range of D.I.Y. groups offer classes and online instructions for how to fix everything from discarded clothing steamers to iPhones and Wi-Fi enabled refrigerators. But technology companies have resisted consumer efforts to repair increasingly software-dependent electronic goods, citing safety concerns. Advocates contend that even modern electronics can be repaired safely, with less waste and expense, if people have access to the proper tools. California Assemblymember Susan Talamentes-Eggman introduced a bill last year that would have forced companies to sell those tools, along with repair guides and replacement parts. The bill died in committee, but the push for a right to repair continues. ”

Hear it here: www.kqed.org/forum. Be sure to also read the comments.

From the mines to your mobile: the questionable lithium battery supply chain

“Laptops, smartphones and tablets are all powered by rechargeable batteries – and lithium-ion is the market choice. Aside from portable devices, these batteries are also crucial to the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage industry, both key elements of the transition towards a greener economy.

The growth of these industries is fuelling a boom in global demand for several metals which make up lithium-ion batteries. This is particularly true for lithium and cobalt, two metals coveted for their unique properties. Lithium makes a battery rechargeable, whereas the high energy density of cobalt provides boosts battery power.

Global reserves for these two metals are strongly concentrated in regions with weak environmental regulations and workers rights, and where the history of natural resource extraction is one of exploitation and environmental degradation.”

Read the full article at: https://sociable.co/.

Read additional comments in the thread that begins here: Battery vehicles not without environmental toll : www.altamontpress.com/discussion/.

100 Websites That Shaped the Internet as We Know It

” [2019] will be the 30th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s first proposal to CERN outlining what he originally called the “WorldWideWeb” (one word). Since then, Berners-Lee has had a few regrets about what’s become a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster, and who knows what the future holds. [In the linked article you’ll] find [Gizmodo’s] somewhat arbitrary idea of the virtual destinations that mattered most, ranked and curated by the Gizmodo staff and illustrated with screenshots that exemplify their history, as we’ve played, shared, fought, and meme’d our way into the current millennium. ” gizmodo.com

How a Bunch of Lava Lamps Protect Us From Hackers

Remember lava lamps? turns out, they’re like tiny universes. After the bulb’s heat distributes fully throughout the lamp’s interior fluids, spherical globules in various pastel colors and sizes begin to move slowly and silently about exactly as the natural laws of physics and fluid behavior require. Smaller globules coalesce into larger ones, then disassemble and separately join with others. Some globules at the base stretch languorously upward, merging with random spheres hovering at the top, and then both reform into a single, larger sphere, and then break apart and reform yet again. Some small globules independently slide around in the fluid, occasionally bumping into one another but bouncing off and traveling on independently.
Read the article at www.patheos.com.

The paragraph below describes how Cloudflare uses lava lamps to generate random numbers.
“Every time you log in to any website, you’re assigned a unique identification number. It should be random, because if hackers can predict the number, they’ll impersonate you. Computers, relying as they do on human-coded patterns, can’t generate true randomness—but nobody can predict the goopy mesmeric swirlings of oil, water, and wax. Cloudflare films the lamps 24/7 and uses the ever-changing arrangement of pixels to help create a superpowered cryptographic key. “Anything that the camera captures gets incorporated into the randomness,” says Nick Sullivan, the company’s head of cryptography, and that includes visitors milling about and light streaming through the windows. (Any change in heat subtly affects the undulations of those glistening globules.)”
Read the article at wired.com.

Google search [The Lava Lamps That Help Keep The Internet Secure]:  www.google.com.