05272018Sun
Last updateFri, 25 May 2018 5pm

Revisiting the Internet’s ‘Stone Age’ as far back in history as the 1990s!

Over the years I have made it a tradition at this time of year to look back on the most important news events in the world of Information Technology.  This year I am having a bit of difficulty deciding what is really worth reviewing.  Microsoft released Windows 10 (yawn), Apple introduced a smaller iPad (ho hum), and there was more of the same news about government snooping and the erosion of personal privacy.  As I looked back on the tech-related news of 2015 I found myself looking even further back and discovered something much more interesting.


Tech industry spawns confusion with its interchangeable language

As I write this I have just finished a telephone support call made all the more difficult by a failure to communicate.  I really want to blame this problem on an Englishman by the name of Peter Mark Roget, but in truth he did not create the problem in 1805; he just documented it and quantified it.  The real problem is that the English language has so many synonyms and there is no consistency or agreement amongst technical people as to how they should be used.

fixr.com: Most searched-for prices reflect pressing concerns of different nations

A site found on the World Wide Web is fixr.com on which anyone may search for building and remodeling prices.  The next time you need to know how much it might cost to wallpaper a room in Boston, this web site is a good place to start.  The programmers who created this web site obviously had to collect a lot of statistics to populate their database with information about what things cost and where; so in the process of doing this seem to have data-mined Google’s search history producing some results that are at once interesting, revealing, and even entertaining.

How an extra second could provoke electronic chaos

When you wake up  on the morning of Wednesday, July 1, if you discover some electronic device or another is not working, here is a possible explanation.  Tuesday, June 30 is going to be a longer day than the days before … by exactly one second.  Time kept by atomic clocks is constant, but the rotation of the earth is slowing down by about two milliseconds per day, so 25 times since 1972 there has been an extra second added to the length of the year in order to compensate.  This happens every year or two and every time this happens it seems to cause more chaos in cyberspace than it did the last time.