Tech

Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Ethereal Photos Make WiFi Signals Visible

Chances are, invisible forces are swirling around you right this minute — unless you’re surfin’ the ‘net via Ethernet cord, in which case we must ask, do you know what year it is? PhD student Luis Hernan says these forces “can be characterised in the same terms as… ghosts and spectra.” But these ghosts aren’t lost spirits wandering the earth (probably not, anyway): they’re WiFi signals. A whole landscape of electromagnetic signals, flying through the room, powerful but completely unseen. The spectral power of these sprightly signals inspired Hernan to design a system to help us visualize them, shedding some literal light on the mystery of WiFi. … Read More

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A Brief Visual History of On-Screen Text Messages in Movies and TV

In college, one of my professors made an casual observation that struck an eerie chord, and has stayed close to mind since. “In a way, we’ve all become cyborgs,” she said, matter-of-factly. “How often is your phone not within a couple inches of your hand?” Of course, our technological dependence isn’t news anymore. And with the onslaught of wearable tech and Google Glass finally being made available to purchase (for a cool $1,500), we’re becoming more cyborg-ish than ever. … Read More

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The Fate of Television Will Be Decided by People Who Don’t Know What HBO Is

Home Box Office introduced the “It’s Not TV. It’s HBO” slogan all the way back in October of 1996, and in spite of the fact that it seemed culturally ubiquitous in the years that followed, its penetration somehow didn’t extend to the eyeballs of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. So yesterday, during oral arguments for the American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo, Inc. case, Aereo attorney David C. Frederick had to explain to Justice Scalia that HBO is not TV — as in, you can’t get it free, over the airwaves, since it is in fact a premium service. And these are the people who are deciding, in the words of the New York Times, the future of television. Worried yet? … Read More

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What the Hell Just Happened to My iPhone?

Yesterday evening, I shut myself off from the world for about an hour while I downloaded iOS7. When my phone was updating, I sat around without much to do — no one to text, no way to tweet, no Siri to consult — and waited patiently. I had avoided all of the spoilers yesterday about what the update would look like (this is sort of like my personal Breaking Bad), and was anticipating the major changes my phone would bring. Finally, the slow update process finished, and I started swiping my screen. And I didn’t recognize anything at all. … Read More

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How We Evolved Past Our Digital Cameras

There were certain things that I ignored for a long time that became important once I had my diploma in hand, or rather, in whatever box it’s sitting in now. (Fact of life: you spend a lot of time working for a piece of paper that you’ll eventually stuff into a box that says COLLEGE in Sharpie on the outside.) It suddenly became paramount that I go through everything I own and rid myself of the excess accumulated over a lifetime. As the trash bags began to bulge and rip, I realized I hadn’t thrown away a single electronic device I’d ever had. I still owned every cell phone, every gaming device, every iteration of electronic thing that sat in front of the Wonkavision TV Camera and became progressively smaller. The most tombstones in my digital graveyard belong to compact digital cameras. … Read More

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