Ahistoric technology & things that caught my eye this week

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Wired magazine had an interesting article on revisiting old technology magazines. The idea was that while in some ways technology has progressed. In other ways, good ideas got bypassed. There are a number of Good ideas that might have more currency now. There is a contrasting ahistoric technology view held by some Silicon Valley luminaries.

The ahistoric technology viewpoint ignores things that are right in front of us. Fuzzy logic and early machine learning (based on software neural networks) desktop software do much the same things (with less computing power and network bandwidth) that Google and Apple do now.

Bret Victor gave a presentation ‘from 1973’, showing the fallacy of the ahistoric technology viewpoint. These ideas will be of more relevance to the audience of programmers, but you can grasp the gist of what’s going on.

One of the reasons I stuck with the Mac platform was that small development houses and lone programmers built useful software based on similarly niche concepts.

Now these software applications, alongside web services that have been developed in a similar way, like Newsblur and Pinboard are a key part of my workflow.

McDonalds Japan have a reputation for doing localised products to appeal to Japanese consumers. The flavours and the marketing are grounded in Japanese culture. They have tapped a well loved manga Touch (published during the 1980s) for an advert to promote the 30th anniversary of the chicken Tatsuda burger.

McDonalds Japan

More on Touch here.

The Oxford Union is trying to keep its programme of speakers going via online sessions. Including Hong Kong exiled dissident Nathan Law.

Oxford Union

Finally Asian Boss appealed to viewers for donations as they are struggling financially and are likely to shut down soon without money. This raises questions about the effectiveness of monetisation on YouTube, even with a lightweight structure media organisation like Asian Boss.

Should you wish to do so, you can donate directly to Asian Boss here.