Ernie Smith

Internet

Why Conference Call Technology Never Works

The fact is, despite four decades of evolving technology, video conferencing is a sort of low-level magic that still konks out half the time. Here’s why.
Ernie Smith
3.11.20
Tedium

Smart Devices Will Eventually Die, and the Internet Is to Blame

We may have made a horrible mistake by unnecessarily making our consumer electronics devices smart—and removing generations of future use in the process.
Ernie Smith
3.10.20
Internet

Larry Tesler, the Inventor of Copy-Paste, Was More Influential Than You Realize

Tesler, who worked at Apple for decades, invented copy-paste functionality while at Xerox PARC and is responsible for a major deal that helped turn ARM into a dominant force in computers.
Ernie Smith
2.20.20
tediu

This $200 Laptop Is Like a Chromebook You Can Hack

The Pinebook Pro, a community-built Linux laptop that runs on ARM hardware, offers a few surprises. Fairly inexpensive, it’s the perfect machine for tinkerers.
Ernie Smith
2.17.20
Tedium

Netflix’s First Hit Show Was Bill Clinton’s Impeachment Testimony

The reason we might all be using Netflix today could have a lot to do with a marketing stunt involving the grand jury testimony that got Bill Clinton impeached.
Ernie Smith
2.11.20
Tedium

Why Are Résumés Still a Thing?

The résumé, a document that largely gained prominence in the past half-century, was once a key part of getting a job. Soon, it might just disappear entirely.
Ernie Smith
1.28.20
Tedium

How Caller ID Predicted Our Current Privacy and Robocall Nightmare

Over the past 35 years, our views on privacy and Caller ID technology have totally flipped. The concern used to be about the caller. Now, it’s the recipient.
Ernie Smith
1.14.20
HACK

You Can Play Google Stadia on an E-Book Reader

Turns out that, with the right device, e-ink technology has improved enough that it can keep up with a laggy game-streaming service.
Ernie Smith
1.9.20
Decade of Disillusion

How the Smartphone Became Boring

They’re a lot less impressive when they’re everywhere. Here’s how the smartphone went from innovation icon to standard component.
Ernie Smith
12.30.19
Internet

Getting Drivers for Old Hardware Is Harder Than Ever

At least one major provider of hardware-level BIOS drivers is actively deleting old stuff it no longer supports, while old FTP sites where vintage drivers are often found are soon going to be harder to reach.
Ernie Smith
12.12.19
slack

Slack's New Rich Text Editor Shows That Markdown Still Scares People

The new WYSIWYG editor makes a bloated program even more bloated.
Ernie Smith
11.21.19
Tedium

The Internet’s First Hit File Format Wasn’t the MP3. It Was MIDI

How the professional-minded MIDI format, for an incredibly short but memorable period of time, became the primary way music was shared on the internet.
Ernie Smith
11.8.19
0113