Ernie Smith

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
Tedium

What if We Treated Websites Like Federally Protected Historic Places?

Corporate motivation isn’t enough when it comes to digital preservation. Here’s a case for creating a National Register of Historic Places for websites.
Ernie Smith
11.6.19
Music

The Car Cassette Adapter Was an Unsung Hero at the Dawn of the Digital Age

The cassette deck is fading in popularity in cars, but its former ubiquity in prior decades led headphone-jack adapters to become a fact of life for people who wanted to plug in a phone or iPod. How were they able to do their thing?
Ernie Smith
11.6.19
Internet

This Christian Rock Record Is Hiding a Secret Commodore 64 Program

The nine-line BASIC program was hidden in the run-out groove of a Prodigal record for 35 years until a YouTuber uncovered it over the weekend.
Ernie Smith
10.21.19
Analogue Pocket

This Portable System Plays Game Boy Games and Has a Better Screen Than Your Smartphone

The Analogue Pocket is a premium portable made for hardcore retro gamers.
Ernie Smith
10.16.19
Internet

Flash Is Responsible for the Internet's Most Creative Era

A new book highlighting the visual evolution of web design paints a picture of a risk-taking creative culture that hasn’t been quite the same since Steve Jobs stuck a knife into Flash.
Ernie Smith
10.9.19
Tedium

The Many Ways Planned Obsolescence Is Sabotaging How We Preserve Internet History

We keep screwing over yesterday’s technology due to an intent focus on what we’re doing today. The problem of planned obsolescence is only getting worse.
Ernie Smith
9.6.19
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