Today in TIME Tech History: UFO Sightings (1969), the LP Is Dead (1988), Interactive TV (1994) and More

Let’s hop in the TIME Wayback Machine to see which notable tech-related stories were published on December 26 between 1923 and today.

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Let’s hop in the TIME Wayback Machine to see which notable tech-related stories were published on December 26 between 1923 and today.

If you’re a TIME subscriber, you can click each headline to read the entire story.

Science: Technocrat (Dec. 26, 1932):

Just when the country was most despairing of being run by an engineer in the White House, there emerged in New York a movement, a new “ism,” to have the country run by all its 300,000 engineers and technical experts. Technocracy was the new “ism’s” name and its proponents styled themselves Technocrats Headquartered at Columbia University they announced that, employing three dozen unemployed engineers, architects and draftsmen, they were conducting an “Energy Survey of North America.” Startling was their array of statements about technological unemployment, mankind’s machines destroying mankind’s chance to earn a living “under the present price system.”

Science: Destructive Impulses (Dec. 26, 1938):

On the grounds of the Carnegie Institution of Washington stands a circular, domed building which looks like a modest astronomical observatory. It houses no telescope but a powerful atom-smasher, one of the two biggest in the world. The other is being readied at East Pittsburgh by Westinghouse Electric. Last week, after years of planning and construction, the Carnegie monster started its first test runs, hurling streams of protons (nuclei of hydrogen atoms) into a quartz plate at 5,000,000 volts.

Science: Closing the Blue Book (Dec. 26, 1969):

With almost as much attentiveness as it gives to the comings and goings of its own planes, the U.S. Air Force has carefully logged every unidentified flying object that has been reported in the American skies during the past 22 years. During that time, Project Blue Book, as the operation was called, looked into a total of 12,618 UFO sightings. Yet lately, the flying-saucer business has fallen on hard times.

Sing a Song of Seeing (Dec. 26, 1983):

Increasingly, and perhaps irreversibly, audiences for American mainstream music will depend, even insist, on each song’s being a full audiovisual confrontation. Why should sound alone be enough when sight is only as far away as the TV set or the video machine? Whole generations have had their brains fried with a cathode ray tube, a condition that creates a certain impatience and shortness of attention when limited to aural input. Posterity can rest easy—as Billy Joel points out, “Beethoven didn’t have no videos, and he’s been hanging in there”—but for rockers, popsters and soul brethren, video will be the way to keep time with the future.

RECORDINGS: Alas, 33 1/3 Joins 16 and 78 (Dec. 26, 1988):

The long-playing 33 1/3-r.p.m. record is suddenly spinning toward antiquity, just like the old 78-r.p.m. platter it replaced back in 1948. LPs hold just 10% of the U.S. market for recorded music, in contrast to 52% for cassettes and 34% for compact discs…

While the 80 million turntables in U.S. homes will ensure a lingering market for LPs, customers may have to scrounge for them on the back shelves of record stores. Says Teddy Allweil, manager of a Record Explosion shop in Manhattan: “After this Christmas, LPs are finished.”

Ready for Prime Time? (Dec. 26, 1994):

Critics of interactive television say there are even deeper concerns. “All these other services are just window dressing,” says Mark Stahlman, president of New Media Associates. “The key to this whole thing is video on demand. Is it or isn’t it a business? If it is, it’s a huge opportunity for Time Warner. If it isn’t, the whole house of cards falls apart.” Early trials of interactive TV, he points out, were not encouraging. In one test of a relatively primitive system, families ordered only 2.8 movies a month — hardly enough by itself to justify the billions it will cost to deploy the FSN.

More tech history here…

2 comments
nayelshafei
nayelshafei

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islamkheder
islamkheder

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