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    by Published on 08-15-2017 04:07 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Cell Phones
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    Of course it all depends on how you define "smart."
    If it's 1996, it means some very basic internet (what else was there?) plus room for 200 contacts, a clock, a calendar and a fax program. (Yeah, that's right! FAX!) That's what you got with this Nokia 9000-series communicator. ...
    by Published on 08-12-2017 03:39 PM
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    2. Online/MobileTV
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    This week’s Streaming Saturday
    looks a lot like last week’s column. While this might seem repetitive, it’s actually very good news for streamers.

    We have good news for streamers this week. In a nutshell, it has to deal with recent developments at Netflix and DIRECTV NOW. These two streaming services are aggressively pursuing market share, each in its own way. Netflix is ...
    by Published on 08-10-2017 02:13 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Online/MobileTV
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    So the other day I was having lunch with a friend and his son. The son is in his 20s, and lives on his own. We were talking about Mr. Robot, which is not coming back until the fall much to our mutual chagrin. Then he gleefully told me that he is still working on getting a password to be able to stream USA ...
    by Published on 08-10-2017 11:21 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Misc. Gadgets

    In Throwback Thursday, we're looking back at the articles we're most proud of from the first ten years of The Solid Signal Blog, as well as other old stuff we think is super-neato.

    Beta ED. Super VHS. 8mm Video. Man, the days when people actually wanted CDs. I didn't get to go to the Consumer Electronic Shows then -- and back then there were two of them every year -- so I had to be content with waiting until new technology came to my local Highland Electronics Superstore.

    Thanks to one YouTube user, though, we can relive those days, and it's an extra added bonus that they come to us through wobbly standard-definition camcorder video, as all worthwhile things in the 1980s did. You even get blocky titles! Love it!

    This is an hour-long expedition into the future of technology, as seen from the past. It's a reminder that today's tech will look pretty dorky in 30 years, too.

    by Published on 08-04-2017 11:00 AM

    Well, not quite. This recently unearthed video, "The "Automatic Motorist," is a six-minute short showing a look at the future of travel, as it was seen before the first world war. It looks pretty antique and cheesy to us, but not only are the effects state-of-the-art for their day, audiences at the time would have seen this as exceedingly modern. In 1911 most Americans still didn't own a car, most streets were still unpaved, and most towns didn't have any large buildings.

    And then, there's the robot driver. Or, as audiences at the time would have said, "automatic motorist," since the word "robot" hadn't even been invented yet!! Obviously this is a rather silly looking thing but interestingly, this film was made about 50 years before most of those 1950s and 1960s sci-fi classics and the robot (uh, automatic motorist) looks like he came right out of one of those drive-in cheeseballs. That's pretty impressive if you think about it.

    I'll bet you ten million dollars that the movies we make today won't age as well as "The Automatic Motorist." Of course you'll have to wait about 85 years to collect on that bet, and by then ten million dollars ought to just about buy you a cup of coffee.
    by Published on 08-03-2017 02:47 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Misc. Gadgets,
    3. Online/MobileTV
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    In Throwback Thursday, we're looking back at the articles we're most proud of from the first ten years of The Solid Signal Blog, as well as other old stuff we think is super-neato.

    Last week I brought you a look back at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, which ...
    by Published on 07-28-2017 01:58 PM

    Do you remember when you were a kid and you used to play grownup? You would pretend to be a teacher or firefighter or something and then go about doing what you thought that person did.

    Except, I'm pretty sure no one imagined a life where they would be a faceless hack, a slave to the machine and to "the man."

    When you go home at night, if you're a fan of simulation games, you might pretend to be an adventurer or star pilot, but you probably don't pretend to be a "cube monkey."

    Except, now you can.

    Check out a completely free game called "It is as if you were doing work." This "game" requires no installation and runs in every browser I tested. The purpose, if there is one, is to complete the meaningless tasks you're given and deal with constant distractions. You know, just like your job. You're put in a passable imitation of Windows 3.1 and forced to deal with a ceaseless number of menial tasks popping up one on top of the other. The faster you do these tasks, the more meaningless promotions you get... making it a passable imitation of most workplaces.

    There's a part of me that worries that this is some sort of exercise designed to steal your identity, but it really does just seem to be a harmless, if slightly sadistic, exercise.

    If you don't believe me, check it out, but don't be surprised if your own office work seems fun by comparison.

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