Ced Kurtz’s Techman Texts: A sense of loss prevails with easy web streaming


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When I was but a callow TechYouth, my uncle gave me an old Hallicrafters shortwave radio. I couldn’t pull in much on it but it did create an abiding interest in trying to tune in stations from across the world.

Later I bought a half-decent shortwave radio and even strung up an antenna between my house and a tree in the back yard. I listened to Vatican Radio on Christmas Eve and heard the breakup of the Soviet Union on Radio Moscow.

Today you can listen to streaming programming from anywhere in the world on the Internet. But it has lost its charm. No more trying to pull a station out of the static or stumbling on a station from across the world that you never heard before. Now you can listen to anything with just a URL. Or you can tune in using apps or websites such as live365.com or tunein.com.

You have a slew of stations to choose from the the sound is static-free. But somehow it’s just not as much fun.

I just wanna buy gas. I stopped at a gas station the other day — the name of which I will not mention (hint: it’s the present tense of “got went”) — and discovered something that was no big deal, but sort of annoying. While pumping my gas I had to go through three screens trying to sell me something — either a car wash or a product in the convenience store. I hate when advertising holds me hostage.

Bose beats up on Beats. In a new case in the never-ending patent lawsuit parade, Bose Corp. filed a legal complaint against Beats Electronics for allegedly infringing patents related to its noise-canceling headphones. However, Bose will likely end up in court with Apple, which announced earlier this year that it intends to buy Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $3 billion.

Rambo better not find out who did this. Over the weekend, a near perfect copy of the movie “The Expendables 3” appeared online. In case you don’t know, “The Expendables 3” is an action film due out in mid-August and stars every aging action hero known to man. In no time at all, 200,000 people had downloaded the illegal copy, at one point 65,000 people at one time. The surprising thing is that so many people wanted to watch that movie.

See your collider and raise you one. The Large Hadron Collider, buried near Geneva, Switzerland, is by far the biggest particle collider in the world. But not for long. China is planning to build an even bigger instrument to investigate the smallest particles. The circular underground tunnel of China’s collider would be 32 miles long, compared to the paltry 16.7 miles of the collider in Switzerland. The Chinese model would cost $3 billion and construction could start within 5 years.


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