Tag Archives: internet

Technology

9 Jun

When I was a teenager in the ’80s, my parents finally got a microwave oven and a VHS VCR…they both seemed so “high-tech” back then.
The microwave could heat food in literally seconds! It seemed so “futuristic”! And the VCR allowed us to program it to record a TV show while we weren’t at home so that we could watch it later! How convenient!
(Never mind that no one could actually understand how to program it…even setting the clock on it was a chore!)

I think every housewife had a copy of this video in the ’80s when VCRs became popular.

Other “new” technology back then were CD players, the “Walkman“, and video games. They were all so popular.

(Click here and read a post I wrote a while back about the Walkman).

In the ’80s, everyone was surprised how “small” this music player was!

A popular TV show when I was in junior high was “Knight Rider“. It was about a vigilante and his “partner”…a super-intelligent Trans-Am that was bullet-proof (even the tires!) and it could do an endless array of unbelievable things. But the three things it did in every episode were: carry on a “witty” conversation with it’s driver and/or whomever else was near it, drive itself and “turbo-boost” over things.
I couldn’t wait for cars like that to become reality!

How often would this really be necessary?

A teacher of mine in the ’80s once told my classmates and me that by the time we were thirty there would be “flying cars”. Obviously that didn’t happen! What a let-down!

I was looking forward to this!

Another “high-tech” item that my family got was I was a kid was a “push-button” telephone with a “re-dial” button. It seems so ordinary now…but it was such a time-saver compared to how telephones had been until then!

Remember these? Yes? Then you must be at least my age. ;)

Now we have a huge variety of technology all around us that we would have never dreamed of even twenty years ago.
For example, when I was dating my wife, one time I misunderstood our meeting place and we couldn’t find each other. That date was lost!
Today’s young people couldn’t imagine such a thing happening because they grew up after cell-phones were invented and became something that everyone carries at all times—like a wallet and keys. If my wife and I had cell-phones when we were dating, my mistake wouldn’t have been an incident at all.

The internet and computers are extremely convenient and useful. They can do so many things and are practical in our daily lives now.
I have had a cell-phone with internet-access for a number of years now…I can barely remember how I used to “kill time” on the train during my daily commute before I had a cell-phone!

Nowadays, nearly everyone uses the phone on the trains in Japan.

But all of this new technology isn’t always good.
When I came to Japan, I had no idea what to expect. There was no internet back then.
And when I got here, everything was different and unusual to me!
But nowadays, most people never travel anywhere without “researching” the destination online first. Nothing’s a surprise! Is that always good?

And there are often stories in the news about people (usually teenagers) bullying others online. It’s regrettable.

I wonder what new technology we’ll see in the future.

October 1609 and 1969

28 Oct

Did you know that the internet started this week forty years ago (in 1969 October)?

It was much simpler then than it is now and it was only used by the U.S. military as a way for computers to “talk” to each other.
Supposedly the first message sent between two computers via the internet was “L-O-G”…and it crashed at “O”!

Do you remember what Yahoo! looked like when it first started in 1996?

Here’s a screen-shot of an early Yahoo! page from thirteen years ago:

yahoo-96

What "Yahoo!" looked like when it first started in '96.

Also, four hundred years ago today in 1609 October, the Italian scientist Galileo invented the first telescope.

It was nothing compared to today’s telescopes, but it helped Galileo discover that the sun and other planets don’t revolve around the Earth (which was the common belief at the time).

When he published his findings, the Catholic Church dubbed him a heretic and demanded that he recant lest he tried in court for heresy!

What’s wrong with the internet?

28 Nov

I like the internet alot. I think it’s amazing. And convenient.
But, I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s not perfect.

A few problems that I think should be corrected to make the internet better:

  • There are no ratings
    I think every website should be rated according to it’s content and language. And parents and schools should be able to set their computers to what level they want to allow their children to have access to.
    As it is, it’s too easy for children to view all kinds of unmentionable things.
    I suppose some people will read that and think “It’s the parents’ job to monitor what their kids look at!“…to which I’d say that’s precisely why I want sites to be rated—so I can monitor what my kids have access to!
    I mean, movies are rated for that reason. Noone expects parents to go to a theater and watch a movie so that they can decide whether or not to allow their kids to watch it! I think the internet should be rated similiarly.
  • Uninformed opinions posing as fact.
    If you’re not 100% positive of something that you’re writing, just say “I think…” or “Maybe…”! I mean when I search the web for the answer to a question, I’d like to think that the answer I find is correct and not the webmaster’s opinion. There’s nothing wrong with posting your opinion or observations on your site…but you should clarify it as such!
    For example, I saw a blog by someone who visited Japan and at one point he stated that Japan has no sales tax. This is wrong. Japan’s sales tax is currently 5%. I’m sure that he thought there’s no sales tax here because a few years ago it became mandatory for shops to show the after-tax price…so the cost on the price tag is the amount you pay.
    He should have either researched Japan’s sales tax online…or simply stated something like: “I think Japan has no sales tax“.
  • Unanswered email and comments.
    If you put your email address and/or comment section on your site…you should reply to every email and comment that you receive! As soon as possible. Especially if you’re a company!

Just my opinion.

++++
On a different note, Guns ‘N Roses, the American rock ‘n roll band that was immensely popular in the late ’80s and early ’90s, just released a new album after seventeen years!

I believe that the only original member in the current line-up is W. Axl Rose, the vocalist.

The name of the new album is “Chinese Democracy“.

guns

If they released this album in the early ’90s, soon after their 1991 two-album release (Use Your Illusion I and II), it surely would’ve been a big hit.

But I wonder how relevant Guns ‘N Roses are now.

Anyways, I read online that the Chinese government was upset with the title track and removed it from the pressings of the album in China…and that the Guns ‘N Roses website is inaccessible there.

Also, the American soft drink company, Dr. Pepper®, had a campaign that was if the Guns ‘N Roses album “Chinese Democracy” is released before the end of the year 2008…they’d give a free Dr. Pepper drink to every person in America. And, according to this website, they did it!
Did you live in America? Did you get a free Dr. Pepper?

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