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The Saints of Silicon at the Centre for Computing History have got hold of the original build of Sinclair's...

Date Published: Wed, 6 Mar 2019 22:30:23 +0200

The Saints of Silicon at the Centre for Computing History have got hold of the original build of Sinclair's ZX Spectrum - Hopes to bring silicon back to life over next few weeks

The hardware had been in the possession of Nine Tiles, a company responsible for the BASIC ROM in the ZX80 and ZX81 and called upon to provide the new BASIC for Sir Clive's new colour computer. Judging by labels on the ROM chips, the computer dates from around July 1981.

The Register had a chat with museum curator and CEO Jason Fitzpatrick, who told them the hardware had been fired up at some point in the past, and that the museum hoped to bring it back to life in the coming weeks, if the silicon cooperates.

And the value? In world where a working Apple 1 board can fetch $350,000, it's difficult to put a price on the one-off. Fitzpatrick remarked "It's in the eye of the beholder."

Yes I behold this computer with awe. The ZX81 (its predecessor) was the second computer I owned and where I really cut my teeth on programming in BASIC and hex. The ZX81's and ZX Spectrums launched many a successful computer career back then by sparking interesting in young minds.

See https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/03/05/the_first_zx_spectrum_prototype_laid_bare/ and don't miss the video at the bottom of the article

#zxspectrum #retro #vintage


The first ZX Spectrum prototype laid bare... (What? It was acceptable in the '80s) • The Register

Stephen Wolfram's (Founder of Wolfram and WolframAlpha) Productivity Hacks and Personal Infrastructure Hacks he Employs

Date Published: Wed, 6 Mar 2019 22:20:02 +0200

What a fascinating read how this really high productivity always connected CEO has organised his life around the tech he uses through decades of productivity hacks. I love the fact he mostly works remotely from home and even gives his talks from there. He "runs" his meetings whilst walking on his treadmill! And yet for some things he carries a pen and paper.

If you know anything about WolframAlpha and some of the AI technology his company has been creating for the last 32 years you'll probably want to read his story. He does not just sell a product... he created those products for himself to use, and they happen to be useful for everyone else too. I wish more CEO's were so into using their own products (although I suppose the founders always are, its what happens after the business passes onto someone else).

"At an intellectual level, the key to building this infrastructure is to structure, streamline and automate everything as much as possible—while recognizing both what’s realistic with current technology, and what fits with me personally. In many ways, it’s a good, practical exercise in computational thinking, and, yes, it’s a good application of some of the tools and ideas that I’ve spent so long building. Much of it can probably be helpful to lots of other people too; some of it is pretty specific to my personality, my situation and my patterns of activity."

"I’ve had the same big wooden desk for 25 years. And needless to say, I had it constructed with some special features. One of my theories of personal organization is that any flat surface represents a potential “stagnation point” that will tend to accumulate piles of stuff—and the best way to avoid such piles is just to avoid having permanent flat surfaces. But one inevitably needs some flat surface, if only just to sign things (it’s not all digital yet), or to eat a snack. So my solution is to have pullouts. If one needs them, pull them out. But one can’t leave them pulled out, so nothing can accumulate on them:"

"These days I don’t deal with paper much. But whenever something does come across my desk, I like to file it. So behind my desk I have an array of drawers—with the little hack that there’s a slot at the top of each drawer that allows me to immediately slide things into the drawer, without opening it."

In some ways, I do similar things but at a way more superficial level... seems I have a role model now to follow here 😉

I love that he also lists at the end of his article all the products and tech that he uses. It confirms too that that old fashioned looking phone is, in fact, an Iridium satellite phone and not a 20-year-old Nokia phone.

Read his story at blog.stephenwolfram.com/2019/0…

#productivity #wolfram blog.stephenwolfram.com/2019/0…

Stephen Wolfram's (Founder of Wolfram and WolframAlpha) Productivity Hacks and Personal Infrastructure...

Date Published: Wed, 6 Mar 2019 22:15:02 +0200

Stephen Wolfram's (Founder of Wolfram and WolframAlpha) Productivity Hacks and Personal Infrastructure Hacks he Employs

What a fascinating read how this really high productivity always connected CEO has organised his life around the tech he uses through decades of productivity hacks. I love the fact he mostly works remotely from home and even gives his talks from there. He "runs" his meetings whilst walking on his treadmill! And yet for some things he carries a pen and paper.

If you know anything about WolframAlpha and some of the AI technology his company has been creating for the last 32 years you'll probably want to read his story. He does not just sell a product... he created those products for himself to use, and they happen to be useful for everyone else too. I wish more CEO's were so into using their own products (although I suppose the founders always are, its what happens after the business passes onto someone else).

"At an intellectual level, the key to building this infrastructure is to structure, streamline and automate everything as much as possible—while recognizing both what’s realistic with current technology, and what fits with me personally. In many ways, it’s a good, practical exercise in computational thinking, and, yes, it’s a good application of some of the tools and ideas that I’ve spent so long building. Much of it can probably be helpful to lots of other people too; some of it is pretty specific to my personality, my situation and my patterns of activity."

"I’ve had the same big wooden desk for 25 years. And needless to say, I had it constructed with some special features. One of my theories of personal organization is that any flat surface represents a potential “stagnation point” that will tend to accumulate piles of stuff—and the best way to avoid such piles is just to avoid having permanent flat surfaces. But one inevitably needs some flat surface, if only just to sign things (it’s not all digital yet), or to eat a snack. So my solution is to have pullouts. If one needs them, pull them out. But one can’t leave them pulled out, so nothing can accumulate on them:"

"These days I don’t deal with paper much. But whenever something does come across my desk, I like to file it. So behind my desk I have an array of drawers—with the little hack that there’s a slot at the top of each drawer that allows me to immediately slide things into the drawer, without opening it."

In some ways, I do similar things but at a way more superficial level... seems I have a role model now to follow here ;-)

I love that he also lists at the end of his article all the products and tech that he uses. It confirms too that that old fashioned looking phone is, in fact, an Iridium satellite phone and not a 20-year-old Nokia phone.

Read his story at https://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2019/02/seeking-the-productive-life-some-details-of-my-personal-infrastructure/

#productivity #wolfram


Seeking the Productive Life: Some Details of My Personal Infrastructure—Stephen Wolfram Blog
Some of Stephen Wolfram’s “productivity hacks” to make his days and projects more productive. Daily life, desk environment, outside the office, presentation setup, filesystem organization, Wolfram Notebook systems, databases, personal analytics.

How Air Purifiers Became the Newest Wellness Craze - Air purifiers are being sold as health devices. But do they work?

Date Published: Wed, 6 Mar 2019 19:15:20 +0200

There’s growing sentiment that air purifiers are a panacea for conditions as wide ranging as bronchitis and pet allergies to masking pipe tobacco smell in a “man cave.” On the internet, air purifiers are marketed as the new CBD oil, a proposed solution for all health ills. In Facebook mom groups and Amazon customer reviews, people share their favorite makes and models, and while some occasionally gripe about defects, the overall consensus appears to be that if you or a loved one struggle with asthma or pet allergies, air purifiers can be a game-changer.

The air purifier market is experiencing an unprecedented boom — especially abroad. In South Korea, air purifier sales have tripled since 2016, with the government recently announcing a plan to install the devices in all kindergarten and pre-K classes. In China, where severe air pollution has been linked to an estimated 1.6 million preventable deaths, as many as 7.5 million devices were sold last year, up from 3.1 million in 2013.

A report from TechSci Research projected that the industry would be worth $3.9 billion by 2023, up from $2.6 billion in 2017. Air purifiers won’t just be niche medical devices for families living in high-pollution areas, but appliances as ubiquitous as the air conditioner. Some scientists believe that air purifiers are little more than a Band-Aid concealing a much larger problem. Ultimately, they don’t address the source of air pollution.

The article does not actually give a definitive answer about whether they work or not. But what is clear is we need to be cautious about the cheaper products. The ones that do work are likely to be the much more expensive HEPA filter purifiers, and also when maintained properly. Much of what we see at bargain prices are actually gimmicks. The newer PECO technology may actually be better, but the pity is we are spending money on fixing the symptoms instead of the causes of air pollution...

See onezero.medium.com/how-air-pur…

#airpollution #airpurifier onezero.medium.com/how-air-pur…

How Air Purifiers Became the Newest Wellness Craze - Air purifiers are being sold as health devices...

Date Published: Wed, 6 Mar 2019 19:09:02 +0200

How Air Purifiers Became the Newest Wellness Craze - Air purifiers are being sold as health devices. But do they work?

There’s growing sentiment that air purifiers are a panacea for conditions as wide ranging as bronchitis and pet allergies to masking pipe tobacco smell in a “man cave.” On the internet, air purifiers are marketed as the new CBD oil, a proposed solution for all health ills. In Facebook mom groups and Amazon customer reviews, people share their favorite makes and models, and while some occasionally gripe about defects, the overall consensus appears to be that if you or a loved one struggle with asthma or pet allergies, air purifiers can be a game-changer.

The air purifier market is experiencing an unprecedented boom — especially abroad. In South Korea, air purifier sales have tripled since 2016, with the government recently announcing a plan to install the devices in all kindergarten and pre-K classes. In China, where severe air pollution has been linked to an estimated 1.6 million preventable deaths, as many as 7.5 million devices were sold last year, up from 3.1 million in 2013.

A report from TechSci Research projected that the industry would be worth $3.9 billion by 2023, up from $2.6 billion in 2017. Air purifiers won’t just be niche medical devices for families living in high-pollution areas, but appliances as ubiquitous as the air conditioner. Some scientists believe that air purifiers are little more than a Band-Aid concealing a much larger problem. Ultimately, they don’t address the source of air pollution.

The article does not actually give a definitive answer about whether they work or not. But what is clear is we need to be cautious about the cheaper products. The ones that do work are likely to be the much more expensive HEPA filter purifiers, and also when maintained properly. Much of what we see at bargain prices are actually gimmicks. The newer PECO technology may actually be better, but the pity is we are spending money on fixing the symptoms instead of the causes of air pollution...

See https://onezero.medium.com/how-air-purifiers-became-the-newest-wellness-craze-2f8ecff51049

#airpollution #airpurifier


How Air Purifiers Became the Newest Wellness Craze – OneZero
Air purifiers are being sold as health devices. But do they work?

When it comes to conspiracy theories - intuition and stress conspire against you

Date Published: Wed, 6 Mar 2019 19:02:58 +0200

Conspiracy theories are dusted amid the violent videos, racist comments, and death threats that Facebook moderators face every day. That putrid flood of information can be traumatic, as The Verge’s Casey Newton found when he reported on the working conditions endured by moderators in Phoenix, Arizona. Some of the workers bombarded with conspiracy theories told Newton that they were starting to believe the ideas they were seeing.

What makes people start believing that the Earth is flat, or that 9/11 wasn’t a terrorist attack? And, in this case, did the stressful working conditions have anything to do with it? To answer some of those questions, The Verge turned to Mike Wood. Wood, a psychologist at the University of Winchester, studies conspiracy theories, and how they spread from the fringes to the mainstream. The Verge spoke to him about the current research into conspiracy theories, and whether there’s anything people can do to make themselves less susceptible to them.

It's often a case of a message hitting soft ground where it is easily absorbed, in other words, its something a person thinks is likely or wants to actually believe (for whatever reason) and where stressful situations were experienced (like death of a family member, divorce, major disruption to their lives ). They are less likely to strike home with someone who is already a skeptic or is broadly informed on matters.

And you will find it difficult to change someone's mind once it has taken root and is believed by many others because other research has shown that being exposed to facts doesn’t seem to change people’s minds.

Social media of course also allows conspiracy theories to spread quickly without any filter (like editors and journalists would check facts for a newspaper).

Some may find them amusing but consequences can be devastating.

See www.theverge.com/2019/3/4/1825… www.theverge.com/2019/3/4/1825…

When it comes to conspiracy theories - intuition and stress conspire against you

Date Published: Wed, 6 Mar 2019 18:57:42 +0200

When it comes to conspiracy theories - intuition and stress conspire against you

Conspiracy theories are dusted amid the violent videos, racist comments, and death threats that Facebook moderators face every day. That putrid flood of information can be traumatic, as The Verge’s Casey Newton found when he reported on the working conditions endured by moderators in Phoenix, Arizona. Some of the workers bombarded with conspiracy theories told Newton that they were starting to believe the ideas they were seeing.

What makes people start believing that the Earth is flat, or that 9/11 wasn’t a terrorist attack? And, in this case, did the stressful working conditions have anything to do with it? To answer some of those questions, The Verge turned to Mike Wood. Wood, a psychologist at the University of Winchester, studies conspiracy theories, and how they spread from the fringes to the mainstream. The Verge spoke to him about the current research into conspiracy theories, and whether there’s anything people can do to make themselves less susceptible to them.

It's often a case of a message hitting soft ground where it is easily absorbed, in other words, its something a person thinks is likely or wants to actually believe (for whatever reason) and where stressful situations were experienced (like death of a family member, divorce, major disruption to their lives ). They are less likely to strike home with someone who is already a skeptic or is broadly informed on matters.

And you will find it difficult to change someone's mind once it has taken root and is believed by many others because other research has shown that being exposed to facts doesn’t seem to change people’s minds.

Social media of course also allows conspiracy theories to spread quickly without any filter (like editors and journalists would check facts for a newspaper).

Some may find them amusing but consequences can be devastating.

See https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/4/18250292/facebook-moderation-conspiracy-theory-mike-wood-psychology-interview


When it comes to conspiracy theories, intuition and stress conspire against you
The enduring appeal of crap

Aftershockz Bone conduction open ear headphones

Date Published: Wed, 6 Mar 2019 18:39:12 +0200

Aftershockz Bone conduction open ear headphones

I've been hearing mention of these headphones a bit in the last week and it really seems people fall into two camps - they either love bone conduction or they hate them. I'm in the 3rd camp as I really need to try some first to know what I think.

Plusses given are:
* Safety factor in that you can still hear ambient sounds around you for traffic, sirens, etc
* Nothing pressing inside your ear creating a sense of discomfort
* Works for people with small ear canals
* For some types of hearing disorders this may work better (f you have a conductive hearing loss or unilateral hearing loss)
* You can still opt to block your ears if there is any external sound you want to block
* Some have space for more battery than in-ear earbuds
* Can have less sound leakage than speaker type headphones
* "High volume" is not going to damage the eardrum (but may still not be safe)
* Can work for scuba drivers...

Minusses:
* They are more noticeable than in-ear earbuds
* Some say the sound is just not as good eg. stereo separation
* Not ideal if you want to actually cancel ambient sounds

These Aftershockz at least are totally wireless and I also do not like have a wire hanging around the back on my neck as it tends to snag when I turn my head. I do at least prefer this more rigid headphones-like design. I see they give six hours of continuous music + calls on a single charge and two hours to charge. Something I have not seen mentioned with other brands is an "Audrey Says" voice prompt to guide users through power, pairing, playing and talking.

It certainly looks like bone conduction headphones have been advancing steadily along and improving and is something I'll add to my of different things to try out - if anything just to judge how good or bad the sound really is.

See https://aftershokz.com/collections/homepage-collection/products/trekz-air

#Aftershockz #boneconduction #headphones


Trekz Air - AfterShokz

The Brio True Wireless Earbuds - These wireless earbuds last up to 50 hours and are way cheaper than...

Date Published: Tue, 5 Mar 2019 23:14:55 +0200

The Brio True Wireless Earbuds - These wireless earbuds last up to 50 hours and are way cheaper than AirPods

Each pair features the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology that never lags or drops your audio — AirPods still use the 4.2 version, for reference — and offered up to 50 total hours of on-the-go listening when you use their compact, portable charging case, or 8 hours on a single charge. (Apple's version, meanwhile, only lasts about 24 hours with its charging case, and about 5 hours on a single charge.) We're not saying the Brios are perfect, but hey — they seem to come pretty close, don't they?

One other interesting point is I suspect these will also fit better in most ears than the AirPods.

See https://mashable.com/shopping/march-5-brio-wireless-earbuds-on-sale/

#brio #airpods #earbuds


These wireless earbuds last up to 50 hours and are way cheaper than AirPods
Use our promo code to snag a sweet deal.

"Why I chose Brave as my Chrome browser replacement" vs Vivaldi

Date Published: Tue, 5 Mar 2019 22:39:46 +0200

"Why I chose Brave as my Chrome browser replacement" vs Vivaldi

"This year, I’m pretty sure I’ve found the ideal Chrome alternative in the Brave browser. If your reasons for sticking with Chrome have been (a) extensions, (b) compatibility, (c) syncing across devices, or (d, unlikely) speed, Brave checks all of those boxes. What’s more, it’s just one of a growing number of really good options that aren’t made by Google."

An interesting account to read as the author also started out with Vivaldi (the most customisable Chrome alternative with stacked tabs etc). But Brave bowser may be a bit more stable, it has a mobile app (which Vivaldi still does not have) and of course its original claim to fame which was built in privacy.

Read the post at https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/4/18249623/brave-browser-choice-chrome-vivaldi-replacement-chromium

#brave #chromium


Why I chose Brave as my Chrome browser replacement
Shaking the Chrome habit is getting easier.
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