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Don’t be downcast
about podcasts

Posted by on May 31, 2018 at 2:41 pm

EVERY TIME a new communication technology emerges, people lose no time predicting the demise of an existing one.  The printing press was going to ruin the human mind. Motion pictures, radio, and TV were all going to eliminate reading. TV and, later, streaming were going to do in movie theaters. Digital media threatens the death [...]

Luddites,
reverse-Luddites,
and value

Posted by on May 25, 2018 at 1:39 pm

“Luddite” sounds like an indestructible substance over which wars are fought in the Marvel Universe.  The word originally referred to workers in early 19th century Nottinghamshire, England, who protested low wages and poor working conditions by destroying their employers’ machines. Today, Luddite has morphed into a reference to people who oppose technological advances. Contemporary Luddite-type voices arise with [...]

Google’s Duplex et al:
Wow or Yikes?

Posted by on May 15, 2018 at 7:05 pm

I have empathy for writers of futuristic science fiction. It’s almost impossible to correctly envision the future. You may have noticed, for instance, that 2001 came and went without the discovery of an obelisk on the moon. But last week, Google’s I/O Conference apparently conjured up visions of 2001: A Space Odyssey’s rogue robot Hal for a few [...]

Bungled bank robberies

Posted by on May 7, 2018 at 1:18 pm

There’s nothing quite so entertaining as an incompetent bank robber. Alas, as digital banking marches forward, we may see fewer and fewer of them. Before the art all but disappears, here are some favorite tales of mishaps and ineptitude. • Never underestimate a teller. In Dallas, a would-be robber demanded a teller hand over the [...]

The CLOUD Act
or
Look what rode
in on the omnibus

Posted by on April 30, 2018 at 4:10 pm

You may have heard of the Fourth Amendment. It says, in essence, that if the cops want to search your home, they’d better convince a judge to issue a warrant. In theory, anyhow. It’s another matter in practice, for things have changed since the Amendment’s ratification in 1792. For instance, we didn’t have trash collection back then. [...]