New Articles

Microsoft Kin

Technology Computing Telecommunications Brands Microsoft

Kin was a short-lived mobile phone line from Microsoft designed for users of social networking. The phones, aimed at people between ages 15 and 30, were manufactured by Sharp Corporation and sold through Verizon Wireless.

Microsoft invested two years and about US$1 billion developing the Kin platform, beginning with its acquisition of Danger Incorporated. The Kin was based on Windows CE.

The Kin ONE and TWO went on the market on May 14, 2010. Within two months, Verizon stopped selling the phones because of poor sales. Microsoft scrapped its planned European release, stopped promoting the devices, ceased production, and reassigned the Kin development team to other projects.

Microsoft updated its unsold Kin inventory with firmware that removed social and web-based features, and in December 2010 offered these re-purposed units through Verizon stores as limited feature phones, the Kin ONEm and the TWOm. In January 2011, Microsoft shut down the kin.com website, which controlled most of the earlier phones' features.

The Kin TWOm was discontinued in August 2011; unsold inventory could still be found for sale on deals sites as late as June 2013.

Discussed on

Tree Shaking

In computing, tree shaking is a dead code elimination technique that is applied when optimizing code written in ECMAScript dialects like JavaScript or TypeScript into a single bundle that is loaded by a web browser. Often contrasted with traditional single-library dead code elimination techniques common to minifiers, tree shaking eliminates unused functions from across the bundle by starting at the entry point and only including functions that may be executed. It is succinctly described as "live code inclusion".

Discussed on

Organopónicos

Cuba

Organopónicos or organoponics is a system of urban agriculture using organic gardens. It originated in Cuba and is still mostly focused there. It often consists of low-level concrete walls filled with organic matter and soil, with lines of drip irrigation laid on the surface of the growing media. Organopónicos is a labour-intensive form of local agriculture.

Organopónico farmers employ a wide variety of agroecological techniques including integrated pest management, polyculture, and crop rotation. Most organic materials are also produced within the gardens through composting. This allows production to take place with few petroleum-based inputs.

Organopónicos first arose as a community response to lack of food security during the Special Period after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is publicly functioning in terms of ownership, access, and management, but heavily subsidized and supported by the Cuban government.

Discussed on

Paige Compositor

Typography

The Paige Compositor was an invention developed by James W. Paige (1842–1917) between 1872 and 1888. It was designed to replace the human typesetter of a lead type-composed printing form with a mechanical arm. In the early 1890s, a group of inventors signed a contract with Towner K. Webster in Chicago to produce 3000 compositors. However, the machine was not nearly as precise as it should have been and never turned a profit because of its complexity and continual need for adjustment based upon trial and error. As a result, it was the Linotype typesetting machine, which composed in a hot metal typesetting process, that became the new popular typesetting machine.

The Paige typesetting machine is notable for substantial investment that the prominent writer Mark Twain made into the failed endeavor: $300,000 ($6,000,000 today). Twain, a former printer, invested not only the bulk of his book profits but also a large portion of the inheritance of Olivia Clemens, his wife. Many point to his over-investment in the Paige typesetting machine and other inventions as the cause of not only his family's financial decline but also the decline of his wit and humor.

Webster Manufacturing made fewer than six machines costing $15,000 apiece, over three times as much as the initial production estimates. One was donated by Cornell University for a scrap metal drive during World War II. The only surviving machine is displayed at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut.

Discussed on

Patentleft

United States/U.S. Government United States Law Open

Patentleft (also patent left, copyleft-style patent license or open patent) is the practice of licensing patents (especially biological patents) for royalty-free use, on the condition that adopters license related improvements they develop under the same terms. Copyleft-style licensors seek "continuous growth of a universally accessible technology commons" from which they, and others, will benefit.

Patentleft is analogous to copyleft, a license which allows distribution of a copyrighted work and derived works, but only under the same or equivalent terms.

Discussed on

Potoooooooo

Horse racing

Potoooooooo or variations of Pot-8-Os (1773 – November 1800) was an 18th-century thoroughbred racehorse who won over 30 races and defeated some of the greatest racehorses of the time. He went on to be a sire. He is now best known for the unusual spelling of his name, pronounced 'Potatoes'.

Discussed on

Dusty Hill of ZZ Top Dead

United States Biography United States/Texas Biography/Musicians

Joseph Michael "Dusty" Hill (May 19, 1949 – July 28, 2021) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter, best known as the bassist and secondary lead vocalist of the American rock group ZZ Top; he also played keyboards with the band. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of ZZ Top, in 2004.

Discussed on

Capitol Hill's mystery soda machine

United States United States/Washington - Seattle United States/Washington

Capitol Hill's mystery soda machine was a Coke vending machine in Capitol Hill, Seattle, that was in operation since at least the early 1990s until its disappearance in 2018. It is unknown who stocked the machine.

Discussed on

Most Livable Cities

Cities

The world's most livable cities is an informal name given to any list of cities as they rank on an annual survey of living conditions. In addition to providing clean water, clean air, adequate food and shelter, a ‘livable’ city must also generate a sense of community and offer hospitable settings for all, especially young people, to develop social skills, a sense of autonomy and identity.

Regions with cities commonly ranked in the top 50 include Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Europe. Three examples of such surveys are Monocle's "Most Liveable Cities Index", the Economist Intelligence Unit's "Global Liveability Ranking", and "Mercer Quality of Living Survey". Numbeo has the largest statistics and survey data based on cities and countries. Deutsche Bank's Liveability Survey is another ranking of cities by quality of life.

Discussed on

Oregon Trail Generation

Sociology

Xennials or xennials (also known as the Oregon Trail Generation and Generation Catalano) are the micro-generation of people on the cusp of the Generation X and Millennial demographic cohorts. Researchers and popular media use birth years from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. Xennials are described as having had an analog childhood and a digital young adulthood.

In 2020, xennial was included in the Oxford Dictionary of English.

Discussed on