Pluck a string and it vibrates. As it vibrates there are points along the string where it is absolutely still. Pluck a companion string and sometimes those points line up. If you pull that string tighter there are more points of stillness and a greater chance that points will line up. If you pull it too tight, it snaps.
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What Happens When History Fights Back — A Review of “11/22/63: A Novel” by Stephen King. Read the full post (380 words, 1 image, 1:31 minutes estimated reading time)
Ron Murray, a colleague at the Library of Congress (and no known relation to me), sent me a note about the history of the term “mash-up” in the Oxford English Dictionary (subscription required). The definition of the first sense is “A mixture or fusion of disparate elements” with the notation that usage is rare before the late 20th century, and the OED includes this quotation:
1859D. BOUCICAULT Octoroon I. 13 He don’t understand; he speaks a mash up of Indian, French, and Mexican.
The reference to “Octoroon” appears to be for a play called The Octoroon that was first performed in 1859, making the mashup term about 151 years old.
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Just as it turns 40, the internet comes of age. One day before of the anniversary of the first two computers connected together by a prototype network in 1969 — a move that foreshadowed the worldwide network of computers we know today — the U.S. Government announced that it was forever releasing direct control over a key governance organization that makes the internet run. Called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), that governance organization is what runs the top level domain name servers (DNS). And that is important because it is the DNS that translates human-friendly names such as “www.google.com” and “dltj.org” into network-friendly addresses.
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The Internet Comes of Age. Read the full post (434 words, 2 images, 1:44 minutes estimated reading time)