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(Huffington Post)   Everything on this 1991 Radio Shack advertisement you can now do on your phone. Please enter your phone number before reading the article   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 29
    More: Interesting, Radio Shack, Western New York, word processing  
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20858 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Jan 2014 at 4:45 AM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-17 12:07:15 AM  
5 votes:
My phone doesn't play CDs

/CDs are the best recording medium in the history of recording
2014-01-17 02:02:04 AM  
4 votes:
if a guy born in 1 C.E time traveled to 1000 C.E. an walked inside the average home, he would be familiar with his surroundings. I can't imagine anything that would look out of place to him. for most of history this is true I think. some luxury items might become more common as time went on(like say, glass instead of wooden mugs),  and fashions changed over time, but the average house and the items in it would appear normal to the average person, for the most part anyway.

But imagine a guy from 1940 coming to 2014. cell phones, electric cars, flat screens, computers, solar panels, video games, microwave ovens, dishwashers, florescent lights, stereos, etc.. just imagine how jarring that would be.
2014-01-17 06:25:10 AM  
3 votes:
Waze is a pretty decent app that comes close to radar capability- at least in major populated areas. It tips me off to police activity, stalled vehicles, and red light cameras.
2014-01-17 04:54:25 AM  
3 votes:
Yes. Your iphone can do all those things.

But it can't do any of them well.
2014-01-17 02:45:49 AM  
3 votes:

log_jammin: But imagine a guy from 1940 coming to 2014.


Nah.  Expectations of this kind of tech was everywhere.   Hell, there's a fark cliche about flying cars that exploits that.  None of the things that you mentioned would be out of the question in the 40s with the exception of computers.  They had analogs to cell phones (DIck Tracy's video watch), electric cars (which really aren't at all futuristic), flat screens (all screens were flat in 1940, they were projections, so it wouldn't seem at all odd), solar panels mimic plants, video games are computers so they fall into my caveat above, microwave ovens would be seen just as an advance on the current ovens of the day, florescent lights were being sold in the last 30s, etc.

The access to information is what would gall someone from 1940.  I see this all the time when I have my in-laws (in their 80s) over to my house for movie night.  After the movie (which is often from the 40s or 50s) we chat about the actors, directors and such.  If they recall a specific scene, song, or moment in another film I can usually find it within a couple of minutes and send it to my television.

Also they'd probably shiat themselves more at the idea of a black woman and a white woman getting married and opening a pot farm in Colorado.

And, depending upon where your theoretical 1st century dude lived, he might consider his 10th century accommodations a huge step back and wonder where all his public works went.
2014-01-17 08:32:54 AM  
2 votes:

havana_joe: I worked at a radio shack in '95 or '96 and one day the store manager had me clean the back room. There were some boxes in a storage area/wall above the bathroom and in the bottom of the boxes there were a bunch of catalogs from the 70's and 80's... It was amazing to see how the technology changed from year to year and how expensive some things were when they first came out... They have all the catalogs online now... It's fun to page through a random year from time to time...

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/


This was my first ham radio, bought it brand new back in late 1989 or early 1990 after I had passed my novice test, but before I actually got my license in the mail:

i40.tinypic.com

I still use it, it's in my car and I use it for communicating with people in Morse code while I'm driving:

i41.tinypic.com

It's the radio farthest to the right in this picture, standing up on its side.

Last 3 contacts with that were with Ton, PA1CC in the Netherlands, Jack G8DX in the UK, and Wayne AB5ZA in Montana, all from upstate NY.

/Will your iPhone still work 24 years from now?
2014-01-17 06:48:44 AM  
2 votes:

downstairs: no I don't believe there is or can be a radar detector app.


Nope - but I use Waze, which (thanks to "the crowd") generally warns me when there is a police presence up ahead.  And construction, and accidents - better than a radar detector.
2014-01-17 01:41:39 AM  
2 votes:

downstairs: Not to be picky, but I don't believe you can get AM radio directly on a smartphone.  No idea why, and I haven't tried in years... but when I did (on a PC) it was always FM only.


AM radios usually use an antenna like this:
i.imgur.com
which would take up too much space in a phone. FM operates at a much higher frequency and can use smaller components.


downstairs: Also to continue to be picky... no I don't believe there is or can be a radar detector app.


You can get Twitter updates of speed trap locations which other users have spotted. That might be close enough.
2014-01-17 12:05:42 AM  
2 votes:
The 3-way speakers with sub-woofers?
2014-01-17 12:01:37 AM  
2 votes:
13 of 15 of the items. Which two are not in your pocket? My first guess is radar detector.

downstairs: Not to be picky, but I don't believe you can get AM radio directly on a smartphone.  No idea why, and I haven't tried in years... but when I did (on a PC) it was always FM only.


If you have a smartphone you can get AM radio, but it's over the internet.

1030 AM WBZ
2014-01-17 10:13:57 PM  
1 votes:

jfarkinB: dittybopper: jfarkinB: Everything on that page (except the solar calculator) is more or less directly dependent on a lot of contemporary infrastructure to keep running. The cellular system is part of that infrastructure now. If you want to save the $20/month that it costs to buy into that infrastructure, I guess I understand, but you're giving up an awful lot.

Except, of course, for your privacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_call_database

Oh, sure. We had so much more privacy when we broadcast our conversations over the CB.

Or maybe you meant old days, when we could talk in private over the party line -- except for the neighbors listening in. Or when we walked to the corner store and paid our cash to the shopkeeper. Nobody building up profiles of our travel or our purchase habits -- except, again, the shopkeeper, and all the folks hanging out in the store, and anybody they gossiped to.


Actually, ironically, CBs (and other radios) are actually more secure than cell phones.

That's because there isn't a massive installed infrastructure the collects the information about your radio communications. Cell phones inherently leave a record of who called who when and for how long and approximately where that phone was.

There is no such infrastructure to monitor CB or other radio services. They are more vulnerable to casual eavesdropping, but you have to be within range (same with DFing).

Plus, if you are just receiving, there is no way anyone eavesdropping on you communications channel can tell where you are. You can't DF a signal that isn't sent. On the other hand, a cell phone periodically transmits to the local cell towers. That's how the system knows where to route your calls, and those records are retained and available to the government.
2014-01-17 03:50:33 PM  
1 votes:

dittybopper: VladTheEmailer: Having said that...the submitter says "Everything on this 1991 Radio Shack advertisement you can now do on your phone...".  Not 'Your phone is a radar detector'.   This seems functionally correct if you tweak the requirements from "Plays a CD" to "Plays music from a CD" or "Detects local police radar" to "Makes you aware of nearby police speed traps".

There is a major functional difference between a radar detector, though, and an app that reports nearby police speed traps.

A functional radar detector will always "go off" when it detects a signal above a certain threshhold.  That's an *IMMEDIATE* indication that there is a radar gun in the area.  You get notified at the speed of light.

For an app like Waze, though, it depends on others reporting the information.  Maybe no one with the app went by that area recently.  Maybe they did 10 minutes ago and no one was there, so nothing was reported, but a cop pulled into the speed trap area 5 minutes ago.  Maybe the opposite:  Waze reports a speed trap, which was valid 10 minutes ago, but the cop left for his lunch break 5 minutes ago.

The information, in other words, is likely to be stale by the time you receive it, unlike an indication from a radar detector, which is immediate, local intelligence.

Of course, there is no reason why you can't use both.


Using that same logic also makes Waze better, as it can predict where the cops will be long before you get close to them. In fact, with constant updating the likelihood is better that you will get an early warning over out of date information.
2014-01-17 08:22:48 AM  
1 votes:
Close, but no cigar. At best, 10/15.

Smart phone can NOT function as an AM radio. Streaming over the internet is NOT AM radio.

Smart phone can NOT function as a police/fire scanner.

Smart phone can NOT function as a CB radio.

Smart phone can NOT function as a radar detector.

Smart phone can NOT function as a regular pair of decent speakers.
2014-01-17 08:01:44 AM  
1 votes:

SansNeural: ImpendingCynic: ransack.: Because AM radio still works from 100 miles away when all the cell towers around have been destroyed by a nuclear weapon?

AM can go a lot farther than that. Last time I was in Seattle, I was able to pick up KFI and KFWB from Los Angeles over the air. My dad once told me that when he was a kid in L.A. in the 50s, he used to be able to pick up AM radio from Chicago.

WLS, I'm guessing.


Medium wave AM radio signals (500 kHz - 1800 kHz) can travel long distances at night when the D-layer dissipates and no longer absorbs the skywave signal.  During the day, you just get the groundwave signal, which means less than 100 mile range from even a very powerful AM station.

At night, those signals can reflect off of the F-layer of the ionosphere and travel very long distances.  Theoretically, with a clear frequency, a good receiver and antenna, and the right conditions, you could hear an AM radio station on the other side of the World.
2014-01-17 07:56:22 AM  
1 votes:

SlothB77: downstairs: Also to continue to be picky... no I don't believe there is or can be a radar detector app.

Plenty of apps warn you if a cop is ahead. Waze is one. Close enough.


Not really.

Those aren't updated in real time.  In other words, we don't have 100% instant tracking information on police cars, so we can't tell where they are, so any reported information is likely old by the time you get it, and you might be the first to get nailed anyway.

There is a way to get that information in pretty much real time, however.  Almost all police cars are now equipped with mobile data terminals that also report their position back to HQ on a regular basis.  This allows for better dispatching.  You could either break the encryption they use and report their positions on the web.

Failing that ability (because hey, you're not the NSA), you could set up a number of relatively simple automated radio direction finding stations that listen on that one frequency, or set of frequencies, and have them report back to a server with their own GPS position, a time-stamp, and bearing for each signal.  Server would take all the reports and combine them into position reports, and report those on the web.  You'd get a pretty good indication of where all the police are in pretty much real time.  The automated DF stations would be pretty cheap to make, maybe $300-$500 a piece, and the server could be some crappy old computer, because the math for calculating positions isn't particularly hard.
2014-01-17 07:33:51 AM  
1 votes:

Ed Grubermann: Mobile CB, $49.95. Ad says "You'll never drive 'alone' again!" iPhone.

Yeah, this one doesn't quite work. But who uses CBs anymore? Maybe after the Zombie Apocalypse takes out the internet and the cell phone system...


Actually, people in areas where you don't have any cell service (like much of the Adirondacks in New York, for example) use radio services like CB, FRS, GMRS, MURS, and Ham radio to keep in touch while mobile.  Best part is:  They work without any infrastructure, so no matter what happens, as long as the batteries hold out, you can communicate.

Also, if you go ahead and listen, CBs are used.  I used to keep one or two around as "just in case" radios, because not everyone has a ham radio license, but I've replaced them with FRS/GMRS radios, which are much more common anyway, and you don't have to listen to idiots with annoying reverb on their signal yelling obscenities.

/What is the point of an echobox anyway?
2014-01-17 07:20:22 AM  
1 votes:
+1 for Waze
if more people used it it would be an ever better app.
2014-01-17 07:14:45 AM  
1 votes:
Found an old coffee table book for day in the life of a Californian from 1987. Other than fashion I really did not see much of a difference on daily life and now except that kids are not as outgoing and the electronic technology is different. One picture was of a business meeting and the table was clean. The attendees did not paper coffee cups, water bottles, laptops, only some prepared paperwork and Secretary taking notes on pad of paper.
2014-01-17 07:08:10 AM  
1 votes:

Deathlok: To me the real surprise is that they were still selling (new!) 10mhz 286 desktops 2 years after the introduction of the 50mhz 486.


(looks closer)  I think that was a couple months after I got my first DOS machine, a 9.54 Mhz 8088 with amber monochrome CRT for about $999.
2014-01-17 06:48:52 AM  
1 votes:

markie_farkie: Radar detector is built into smartphones, too?

NSA SEEKRIT FEETURZ!!!!11


Use Waze, people report radar traps all the time.
2014-01-17 06:17:41 AM  
1 votes:

smask: log_jammin: But imagine a guy from 1940 coming to 2014. cell phones, electric cars, flat screens, computers, solar panels, video games, microwave ovens, dishwashers, florescent lights, stereos, etc.. just imagine how jarring that would be.

My dad is born in 1940. If it's technological, he will only learn which buttons in what order he has to press to get what he wants. If he managed to press the wrong button or the right buttons in the wrong order, he will resort to press every button on the remote until it works. And then I have to sort it out. He's had a stroke 16 years ago so motor coordination in his hands is bad. When I tell him to make a quick tap on a button, he will mash it. He hates computers with a gusto and everything with a menu. Unfortunately manufacturers put processors into everything they make now.


Reminds me of my days working for a certain office supply store in the late 90s, and having octogenarians come in to buy an adding machine.  They'd try one out, pressing the buttons firmly but slowly, and soon some number would come up twice because he held it down too long.  'Why did it do that?  This is no good to me.  Show me a different one.'  Uh, they all do that when you hold the button down.
2014-01-17 05:59:21 AM  
1 votes:

smask: My dad is born in 1940. If it's technological, he will only learn which buttons in what order he has to press to get what he wants. If he managed to press the wrong button or the right buttons in the wrong order, he will resort to press every button on the remote until it works. And then I have to sort it out. He's had a stroke 16 years ago so motor coordination in his hands is bad. When I tell him to make a quick tap on a button, he will mash it. He hates computers with a gusto and everything with a menu. Unfortunately manufacturers put processors into everything they make now.


my dad was born in 47. he despises computers, and after using his dvd player for the first time(and the only time he's used it) he asked if he needed to rewind the dvd. his clamshell cell phone he uses for emergencies only.

but my grandparents born in the late 20s/early 30s had a computer since the 80s.
2014-01-17 05:10:38 AM  
1 votes:

ransack.: Because AM radio still works from 100 miles away when all the cell towers around have been destroyed by a nuclear weapon?


AM can go a lot farther than that. Last time I was in Seattle, I was able to pick up KFI and KFWB from Los Angeles over the air. My dad once told me that when he was a kid in L.A. in the 50s, he used to be able to pick up AM radio from Chicago.
2014-01-17 04:59:04 AM  
1 votes:

dameron: log_jammin: But imagine a guy from 1940 coming to 2014.

Nah.  Expectations of this kind of tech was everywhere.   Hell, there's a fark cliche about flying cars that exploits that.  None of the things that you mentioned would be out of the question in the 40s with the exception of computers.  They had analogs to cell phones (DIck Tracy's video watch), electric cars (which really aren't at all futuristic), flat screens (all screens were flat in 1940, they were projections, so it wouldn't seem at all odd), solar panels mimic plants, video games are computers so they fall into my caveat above, microwave ovens would be seen just as an advance on the current ovens of the day, florescent lights were being sold in the last 30s, etc.

The access to information is what would gall someone from 1940.  I see this all the time when I have my in-laws (in their 80s) over to my house for movie night.  After the movie (which is often from the 40s or 50s) we chat about the actors, directors and such.  If they recall a specific scene, song, or moment in another film I can usually find it within a couple of minutes and send it to my television.

Also they'd probably shiat themselves more at the idea of a black woman and a white woman getting married and opening a pot farm in Colorado.

And, depending upon where your theoretical 1st century dude lived, he might consider his 10th century accommodations a huge step back and wonder where all his public works went.


And wonder he would, since he would be unable to understand a word that anybody was saying.
A man from 1940, today, would have the benefit of speaking the language.
2014-01-17 04:17:03 AM  
1 votes:

hervatski: You can probably stream am radio.

Also I always thought vhs camcorders were the shiat. Something about them was insanely awesome.


because they looked like the cameras news crews used. they looked like a "real" camera.
2014-01-17 03:07:15 AM  
1 votes:

dameron: Nah.  Expectations of this kind of tech was everywhere.   Hell, there's a fark cliche about flying cars that exploits that.  None of the things that you mentioned would be out of the question in the 40s with the exception of computers.  They had analogs to cell phones (DIck Tracy's video watch), electric cars (which really aren't at all futuristic), flat screens (all screens were flat in 1940, they were projections, so it wouldn't seem at all odd), solar panels mimic plants, video games are computers so they fall into my caveat above, microwave ovens would be seen just as an advance on the current ovens of the day, florescent lights were being sold in the last 30s, etc.


I'm not saying it would be magic to them or they wouldn't be able to relate to any of it. I'm saying it would be different. I'm saying an old mans house in 1940 isn't going to be much different than the house he grew up in 60 years earlier. but his grandson born in 1940 is going to live in a very different house in 2014. progress is accelerating.

dameron: The access to information is what would gall someone from 1940.  I see this all the time when I have my in-laws (in their 80s) over to my house for movie night.  After the movie (which is often from the 40s or 50s) we chat about the actors, directors and such.  If they recall a specific scene, song, or moment in another film I can usually find it within a couple of minutes and send it to my television.


when I'd go to the local VFW for a beer, I'd list to my dad and some other guy trying to remember the name of a movie, or an actor on tv. they'd argue back and forth for a bit, until I got bored with it. then I'd get my phone out and look it up on the internet, and blurt out the answer. I don't know why that amused me as much as it did.

on the same lines as that...when I was a kid I'd wonder about something. then try to remember to look it up the next time I was at the library. then hope the books I got actually told me what I was trying to find out, otherwise rinse and repeat. today I can find out what I want to know in seconds and I love it. but I'm still uncomfortable telling my son "google it" for some reason.
2014-01-17 12:21:16 AM  
1 votes:
Also to continue to be picky... no I don't believe there is or can be a radar detector app.
2014-01-16 11:59:57 PM  
1 votes:
867-5309
2014-01-16 11:54:47 PM  
1 votes:
Not to be picky, but I don't believe you can get AM radio directly on a smartphone.  No idea why, and I haven't tried in years... but when I did (on a PC) it was always FM only.
 
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