Tag Archives: technology

The Walkman’s Invention 40 Years Ago Launched a Cultural Revolution

In 1979, when Sony introduced the Walkman—a 14-ounce cassette player, blue and silver with buttons that made a satisfying chunk when pushed—even the engineers inside Sony weren’t impressed. It wasn’t particularly innovative; cassette players already existed, and so did headphones. Plus, the Walkman could only play back—it couldn’t record. Who was going to want a device like that?

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How much space does all of humanity’s knowledge take up?

No one can know everything all the time—but we humans sure like to pretend we do. So it’s no wonder our species has a long-standing tendency to compile information. What started with some old dudes writing down their own observations morphed through the years into compendia, libraries, and now vast repositories of digitally gathered knowledge. Here’s how much space our worldly understanding took up, in bits and bytes, as we chewed off bigger and bigger chunks.

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Trump Reportedly Preparing Tariffs on Everything Imported From China, Including Tech

Donald Trump’s administration is planning to propose by early December tariffs on “all remaining Chinese imports” if an upcoming summit between the president and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping does not work out, Bloomberg reported on Monday, a move that if enacted would virtually guarantee pain for companies like Apple that have so far evaded Trump’s masochistic trade war. Continue reading Trump Reportedly Preparing Tariffs on Everything Imported From China, Including Tech

The Woman Who Made a Device to Help Disabled Veterans Feed Themselves—and Gave It Away for Free

In 1952, Bessie Blount boarded a plane from New York to France to give away her life’s work. The 38-year-old inventor planned to hand over to the French military, free of charge, an extraordinary technology that would change lives for disabled veterans of the Second World War: an automatic feeding device. To use it, a person only needed to bite down on a switch, which would deliver a mouthful of food through a spoon-shaped tube. Continue reading The Woman Who Made a Device to Help Disabled Veterans Feed Themselves—and Gave It Away for Free