Tuesday, August 25, 2009

James Marsters - RIP

creator of the TTY machine.

In a world of smartphones with full keyboards it's sometimes easy to forget how huge of a step forward in accessibility the TTY was. As someone who had a TTY at my desk and used it occasionally for work, they were surprisingly simple and efficient, but they also appeared increasingly anachronistic as SMS like services began to proliferate.

As the 21st century got its legs underneath itself it seemed young TTY users wanted nothing to do with them, preferring the always-on chat-enabling access of portable devices.

It's hard to imagine there being just a few machines early, and still surprising that the numbers are as low as 30,000 as of 2006. I do wonder how many were in use at their peak and when that was.

Also significant was Dr. Marster's development of the California Relay Service, which remains in effect to this day. However probably most important from an impact on a larger segment of society is how his actions as a pioneer in communications played a role in the development of regulatory policies at the state and federal level that forced open access to networks for special devices as manifested in the FCC's 1968 Carterphone decision. The TTY, as an early modem, and eventually the development of TDI as an institution brought to a head the idea of a right to connect one's own device as right to access the network out of need rather than as a business model (as was the Carter phone). In many ways this issue continues to play out on wireless networks and the very smartphones that have been reducing the numbers of TTY devices in use year over year.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I do love watchin the bastards die

This one ends "now if hank kissinger will finally up and kick it"

Ernest Lefever died. He was a real bastard. I love it when real bastards die.

Like the shoeshine boy for the ruling elite that he was, taking up where Hank Kissinger left off completely and totally having no morals and rationalizing destroying latin america in the name of American process. One of the worst Americans ever.

It's a damn shame there weren't any residual Iberians around to torture him on the way out.

I hope your death was painful you bastard.

oh yeah, I'm not going to retype the first line, but it goes here.