WSJ: How Cashews Explain Globalization

This profile by Bill Spindle and Vibhuti Agarwal appeared in the Wall Street Journal this morning (Friday, December 1st, 2017). They examine the history of the international trade in cashews, starting with large farms in Kollam, Kerala, India employing vast hordes of low-cost workers in the late 1920s, and continuing to the present, where automated factories in…

AOL in December, 1994

AOL competitors in 1994 included CompuServe, Prodigy, GEnie, and Delphi. The population of the USA was 263M people. The World Wide Web was in its infancy. Here is a summary of AOL metrics and features in December, 1994: * 9600 baud modems (~200 cities), and 14,400 modems (~100 cities) * Plan to add 28,800 and…

Joining Camera Video Files

I have a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, bought recently, but a 2015 design. I love the 16x optical zoom Leica lens, all the SLR-like controls, and it captures 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) video! But — like many cameras — it insists on splitting a video recording into 4Gb chunks. This made sense in an era…

purple (a poem by Afrose Fatima Ahmed)

For the delight of guests at the Literary Voices fundraising dinner this past May, the  UW Libraries organizers asked Ms. Ahmed to bring her manual typewriter, small pieces of colored paper, and her creative wits.  She sat at a table with a sign: heart-crafted poems. I walked up to her, and she asked me to give her…

The Web is the Next Platform, 5/27/1995

I started working full-time on what became Internet Explorer 1.0 in early October, 1994, grew the engineering team to 67 individuals by the time we shipped IE 3.0 in August, 1996, and got very little sleep (I worked 80-100 hours/week for 17 of the 22 months I led the IE team). There were (naturally) a…

My Internet Search ideas on 9/13/1994

Gil Press posted a short article on Forbes on 8/13/2017 that included this section: August 15, 1994 Microsoft engineer Ben Slivka sends an email message suggesting to his colleagues that a World Wide Web browser should be bundled with the Windows 95 operating system. Released on August 16, 1995, Internet Explorer reached peak browser market share (95%)…

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

On Amazon.com: The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (1951) Due to an accident, author Eric Hoffer lost his eyesight at age 7, but it returned inexplicably at age 15. Not knowing if he would lose his eyesight again, he read voraciously for the rest of his life. Though he never attended college and…