Tagged With past perfect

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The Phlico Predicta was a TV that, in design terms at least, was way ahead of its time. But what if it had come loaded with Netflix? Well, that's what a bunch of Netflix engineers wondered, too — so they decided to adapt one of the 1950s TV sets so that they could watch the streaming service on its ageing screen.

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You've probably seen NASA's so-called "meatball logo," and wondered what it meant. Obviously, the blue sphere represents a planet. What about the red? I'd assumed the chevron stood for aeronautics, and once I heard it represented a certain constellation. But the truth is more interesting.

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Some of my fondest childhood memories involve booting up my parents' Macintosh Plus to play Super Munchers or make pixelated masterpieces in MacPaint. Alas, Apple hadn't gotten into mobile devices just yet, but that didn't stop Pierre Cerveau from imagining what the tech giant's very first smartphone might have looked like if it were made in the 80s, too.

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Once upon a time, long before Twitter or Xbox live, you could turn on a TV that looked a lot like this and watch spacemen valiantly defeat their enemies with rayguns and plutonium-powered rockets. We can't travel back to that simpler age, but we can re-create the experience using 3D printing.

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Back in the 70s and 80s, there was a little piece of technological magic known as Teletext. Basically, it allowed the broadcast of text, and crude text-art, over unused TV spectrum, so long as you had a special decoder. Very proto-internet. And so of course, it was used for pornography.

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The oldest lightbulb in continuous use was installed before the Wright Brothers took flight, is 110 years old, and is still as beautiful as the day she was born. In fact, it's likely the oldest electrical device in continuous use period. Take a moment and consider just how much the world has changed around this one, singular device.

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We've all received that email at least once before. A kind prince/princess/spambot in Nigeria has millions of dollars, and better yet, they want to split it with you. Just hand over your social security code and wait for them to arrive on American soil. As the above newspaper clipping shows, these types of scams were going on even before email came around — in this case, as early as 1876.

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So you want to build a computer in the 18th century. Is it even possible? Probably not. Most people don't think about the actual amount of money and tools needed to produce exactly one transistor-based computer, power it and program it, to say nothing of the social challenges you'd face trying to build this high-tech machine centuries ago.

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Video: Want to know just how badass folks from the boomer generation were? Just watch this nice lady get jammed in the eyeballs with pieces of glass — all in the name of 20/20 vision. Fair warning: you're going to want to keep a finger on the close tab button because ewwwwwwwwwww.

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In the early 20th century, smokers ruining their lungs could do so with the help of a nifty little gadget called the catalytic lighter. It looked like a small double metal tube. Put one tube in the other and, voila, fire. No flint, no sparks. The secret to the catalytic lighter? Platinum.

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The corkscrew, like so many other inventions, was borne out of necessity. For as long as we have sold wine in glass bottles sealed with cork stoppers, consumers have struggled to easily remove those corks. As soon as the earliest glass bottles arrived in late 17th-century England, inventors began dreaming up instruments to ease the removal of corks.