When you see a tweet it’s tempting to think that the person who sent it is using their computer or phone RightNowTM. That’s not always the case. You see, computers can Tweet too. It doesn’t have to be a real person. The picture below shows a list of Tweets for @toacomputing queued up ready to be posted. The app posts one each day.
This doesn’t just apply to Tweets. Computers can do all sorts of clever things for us while we’re asleep / on holiday / in class but not paying attention. Here’s another example from Raymond’s blog. Rather extreme perhaps.
The term ‘The Dark Ages‘ has come to mean a period in history that we know very little about, in large part because today we lack any historical records that can shed light on that period of time. If it wasn’t written down in some form that survived until today then we don’t know about it and hence think of the period as dark.
The amazing thing (if you stop and think about it) about writing things down on something like vellum or paper is:
you don’t need any special equipment to read it
it can survive for 100s or 1,000s of years
How long do you think this post on the internet will last?
What special equipment are you using to read it right now?
Will that equipment be around 50, 150, 250 years from now?
The Internet Archive attempts to store some of the most important (in its opinion) parts of the internet as a series of snapshots. You’ll find it at the appropriately named URL: http://www.archive.org and can read more about it in this Guardian article.
Thinking a little closer to home, how do you make sure that all the digital things in your life – music, pictures, contacts, email from friends, Facebook posts, tweets, videos – are archived? Have you got your own mini-Internet Archive of the things you treasure? If not, why not?
If you watch television or videos streamed on the web then the chances are that the content that you watch has been protected by some form of Digital Rights Management. Next time you’re watching something on iPlayer or LoveFilm try this:
Someone created a game that simulates being a game developer. Neat idea. You create and sell games and make $$$.
The twist? They also released a cracked version of the game which made its way to people that would normally pirate games. Only this version had a slight difference – if you created a decent game people pirated it instead of paying for it. The interesting thing is how people reacted to this…
What happens when pirates play a game development simulator and then go bankrupt because of piracy?
Before computers did graphics, you know, like the graphics in the latest Halo, computers did text. Plain, boring, typewriter text. That didn’t stop people from drawing with computers — they just had to be a littlemore creative. Thus ASCII art was born: