19th Century New York Was Covered in an Insane Web of Telephone Wires

Alexander Graham Bell may have invented the telephone in 1875, but the first phone installation didn't come about for another three years. And that's what makes these photos from 1887 so incredible; this tangled mass of telephone wires had already wound itself around New York City's streets just seven years after that… » 3/01/14 3:30pm 3/01/14 3:30pm

That Coke Super Bowl Ad Would Have Been Illegal in 1910s Iowa

Idiots, racists, and old-fashioned xenophobes took to social media this past weekend to express their disgust with Coca-Cola. The international beverage company had the audacity to run an ad during the Super Bowl that featured people singing "America the Beautiful" in different languages. This, of course, was… » 2/04/14 5:38pm 2/04/14 5:38pm

Tomorrow's Telephone and The Leisure Society That Never Arrived

Fifty years ago, the most revolutionary technology of the future was supposed to be the telephone — thanks to some high-tech upgrades just over the horizon, of course. At least that's what the phone companies kept telling us. » 12/11/13 4:22pm 12/11/13 4:22pm

New Tech Could Allow Super-Speed Internet on Old Phone Lines

Gigabit internet is fast and amazing. But that "Download entire movies in mere seconds!" line gets real old if you, like the vast majority of the country, don't have access to those lightning fast fiber lines. But thanks to a new approach from Alcatel-Lucent, your creaky old copper phone lines might be good enough.… » 8/02/13 5:20pm 8/02/13 5:20pm

Listen To Alexander Graham Bell Introduce Himself From 100 Years Ago

It's not often you get to hear with the 19th century sounded like, but thanks to 3D scanning and old wax cylinders, it's possible. And now, for the very first time, we know what Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the all-important telephone, might have sounded like when he made that historic call. » 4/25/13 10:19am 4/25/13 10:19am

Why Would Someone Spend $3,000 On 100 Phone Numbers?

Phone numbers are intangible, frivolous things. No one in their right mind would collect them, right? Wrong. Meet Dennis Mykytyn, the man who purchased 100 coveted phone numbers with 212 area codes for $30 a pop in 2007. Yes, this guy spent $3,000 on phone numbers. » 8/12/11 11:00pm 8/12/11 11:00pm

Like All Their Other Services, Google Voice Is Only Around to Collect…

When Google launched their Voice service a couple of years ago, people made a big deal about what their move into the telecom world meant. In a print-only interview with New Scientist Peter Norvig, Google's head of research, said the main reason they launched the service was so they could better learn how to transcribe … » 5/03/11 1:41pm 5/03/11 1:41pm