In a 32-page filing with the FCC last week, AT&T asked that the requirement that it support a landline network be repealed. It's an aggressive bid to get rid of the cumbersome wall jack and move entirely to VoIP. An all-IP phone network may be inevitable someday, but AT&T is clearly hoping for that day to be as soon as possible. Landlines are less efficient and more expensive to maintain for the carrier, and don't add much consumer benefit either.
A voice from yesteryear calls out through the decade -- via his iBook with a 56k modem on Al Gore's series of tubes -- to see how far we've come. December 31, 1999, 11:59 p.m.Hello, people of 2010, and congratulations on finding this time capsule! I'm writing this chronicle of my era to the sweet clackety-clack of the keyboard on my state-of-the-art Apple iBook. Can you imagine? 366 MHz? This thing's faster than a jackrabbit on a date! And unlike the iMac, it's not like I put a VW Beetle on my desk. I only hope I'm able to reboot after midnight.
This map by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre examines the travel times from any spot on the globe to the nearest city of 50,000 or more inhabitants by land or water. The surprise?
As NewScientist observes, less than 10% of the world is more than two days away from a major city using ground-based travel. That stat only jumps to 20% when scaled to the Amazon, where river and expanding road networks have made even jungle terrain semi-assessable.
Made from a WWII German fighter plane and Yamaha Wild Star motorbike, this sidecar bike looks like a less-colorful Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. [Henrik Toth via LikeCool]
Garmin's 450T GPS is their highest end without an integrated camera, and so, the best discreet outdoor GPS they make. It has a barometer, altimeter, waterproofness, tilt-compensated compass and a receiver sensitive enough for quick fixes in canyons and forests.
I remember spending countless hours playing Lucasarts' X-Wing in college, painfully defending these Rebel frigates against TIE Fighters. Then I got TIE Fighter, and enjoyed destroying them. I wouldn't have the heart to reduce to bricks the enormous Nebulon-B.
Each month, the best new iPhone apps-and some older ones-are considered for Gizmodo's Essential iPhone Apps Directory. Who will join? Who will live? Who will die? Here are the best of December, and of the entire year. Censoring the Dalai Lama in China iPhone Apps
Oh dear--this isn't going to end well, and it's a shame. Apple, which usually enjoys a rosy-tinted PR glow, has soured its image by censoring iPhone apps that relate to the Dalai Lama in China. Is this the cost of doing business in China?