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    by Published on 01-21-2018 01:07 PM
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    This week, our Communications Pioneers series focuses on people, animals and robots that advanced communications technology.

    Nothing touched by a human has ever traveled this far. Voyager 1 was launched in 1977 to study Jupiter ...
    by Published on 01-19-2018 04:59 PM



    Remember these? Maybe you don't. Even in the 1970s, a home 8-track player was pretty rare. Most people had one in their cars, if they had one at all, and the 8-track format really only lasted about a decade before cassettes took over.

    On the other hand, if that image makes you feel nostalgic for burnt-orange shag carpet and polyester shirts, you might want to take a scroll through DigitalTrends' History of Home Audio. Starting with the hand-cranked phonograph and going all the way to Google Home, it's a pretty comprehensive visual and written dictionary of home audio. Sure, they miss a few of the more oddball '80s and '90s formats (DAT? DCC? SACD?) and they ignore early streaming pioneers like Rhapsody, but no matter what it's a comfort-food-style trip down memory lane for the kind of people who read this blog. Whether your first experience with home audio was a CD player or a wall of LPs, you'll enjoy wasting a few minutes looking.

    I know I did, and I'm a little ashamed to say I miss some of that old gear. Don't you?
    by Published on 01-18-2018 03:44 PM

    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, and other stuff from the past that we think is cool.

    Before there were internet trolls, there was Starlog. It was a pop-culture magazine that specialized in sci-fi movies and TV shows, back when it was rare to have more than one available at a time. So, it spent time hashing over the minutiae of the Buck Rogers show, or Salvage One, or whatever it could. And along the way it exposed the world to a very early iteration of the "sci-fi geek" that we all know and love.

    Starlog had a letters to the editor section, and it was chock full of extremely minor corrections being demanded of articles, heated and impassioned arguments for or against Star Trek, and the sort of overly emotional, yet critically reasoned missives we often find today on blogs just like this one.

    Starlog had trolls before trolls were trolls, in other words.

    If you're curious about how people got their geek cred before the internet, check out The Internet Archive, where a whole bunch of issues have been scanned and stored. Sure, you won't remember half the TV shows or movies they're talking about, but you'll recognize the tone of the comments.
    by Published on 01-12-2018 11:40 AM
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    A generation ago, PC gamers didn't have the option to explore photo-realistic universes and interact with artificial intelligences. It was a simpler time, and games were simpler as well. They were also incredibly addictive, and if you were around ...
    by Published on 01-11-2018 11:15 AM
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    2. Data/Networks
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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, and other stuff from the past that we think is cool.

    The computer mouse has been with us for about half a century. We ...
    by Published on 01-10-2018 10:20 AM
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    Welcome to Someone INVENTED it, our series about everyday things we take for granted that someone spent a lifetime working on.

    For most people it's impossible to imagine life without a zipper. Really. How would you close your pants? Buttons? What about your ...
    by Published on 01-06-2018 02:34 PM
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    Are you looking to stream a new series in 2018? Try The Frozen Dead, the latest Netflix crime drama available for streaming.

    Don’t watch Netflix’s Bright. As Stuart Sweet already pointed out, this highly derivative Will Smith vehicle features a plot that’s easy to predict. The Frozen Dead, on the other ...

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