Reagan's Star Wars Missile Program Had Its Own Video Game

Remember President Ronald Reagan's plan for space weapons in the 1980s? Today, it's little more than a punchline, but it used to be serious business. How serious? Video game serious. Yes, there really was an SDI video game, and thanks to the Internet Archive you can even play it. » 2/27/15 2:40pm Friday 2:40pm

Japan Is Holding Actual Funerals For Sony's Robotic AIBO Dogs

When a decades old toy breaks down and stops working with no hope of repair, you usually just toss it or find some way to recycle the parts. But what if you're as attached to that toy as you were a pet? In Japan, people are giving Sony's robot AIBO dog actual funerals to say goodbye to their faithful, electronic… » 2/26/15 12:07pm Thursday 12:07pm

Director Billy Wilder: Don't Worry About Those Nerds In Silicon Valley

Billy Wilder directed some of the greatest films of midcentury, including Double Indemnity, Some Like it Hot, and my personal favorite Wilder film, The Apartment. But Wilder was pretty skeptical of emerging tech, as we can see from this 1986 acceptance speech at the American Film Institute. » 2/24/15 5:00pm Tuesday 5:00pm

The Medical Miracle Headlines of the Future (from 1951)

On January 2, 1951, the Rex Morgan, M.D. comic strip featured a New Year's greeting insisting to readers that time is measured by progress instead of simply by years. And it's not a bad thought! But looking at the "headlines of the future" from 1951, one can't help but be a little bummed out. » 2/19/15 3:40pm 2/19/15 3:40pm

These Headphones From 1927 Look So Much Worse Than Earbuds

Throughout the 20th century, radio nerds were trying to figure out how to build the perfect headphones. Over-the-ear varieties could get hot and sweaty. In-ear varieties would fall out. And then there were these clamp-ons from 1927, which looked like the least comfortable of the bunch — despite what the manufacturers… » 2/17/15 12:00pm 2/17/15 12:00pm

The Computer Simulation That Almost Started World War III

Remember the 1983 movie WarGames? The film is about a computer "game" with the potential to start thermonuclear war. But strangely this scenario is more truth than fiction. Because in 1979 programmers at NORAD almost started World War III when they accidentally ran a computer simulation of a Soviet attack. » 2/16/15 6:20pm 2/16/15 6:20pm

Here's What Skype Was Like In 1947

Thanks to tech like Skype, the ability to both see and hear someone across thousands of miles is a mundane exercise for most of us here in the early 21st century. But back in 1947, signing a contract over videophone was like looking into the future. Even if that future turned out a bit different than we were expecting. » 2/13/15 6:20pm 2/13/15 6:20pm

1980s Science Fiction Where The Cold War Never Ends

The 1980s were the final decade of the Cold War — but nobody knew that at the time. The Soviet Union looked unstoppable, and few outside observers saw its collapse coming. So it's not surprising that lots of 1980s science fiction included Cold War futures. Here are 1980s visions of a future where the Cold War never… » 2/13/15 4:09pm 2/13/15 4:09pm