Tech Time Warp of the Week: Steve Jobs Predicts the Future, 1980 (VIDEO)

Steve Jobs knew the world would look like this. He knew we would develop an intimately personal relationship with our computers, and he knew it as far back as the early ’80s. You can see for yourself in this treasure from 1980 (see below) in which a young and mustachioed Jobs lays out his vision for the future of computing.

Today, computers are getting so personal, we’re wearing them on our bodies. Google, with its computerized eyewear, and Samsung, with its smartwatches, are the poster giants of this movement, but you can trace the movement’s roots to the ideas laid down by Jobs in the early years of Apple Computer, when Google was nonexistent and Samsung was focused on TVs and VCRs. Yes, it has become a cliche, but it’s true: Jobs saw where the world would go, and he took it there.

‘There’s something very special — and very historically different — that takes place when you have one computer and one person. Very different than if you have 10 people and one computer’— Steve Jobs

At what was probably an Apple users group meeting, Jobs proclaims that the growth of the early ’80s computer industry is hampered by one major flaw: Machines aren’t ready to use out of the box. You have to learn to program first. That takes time and patience, stuff the average consumer doesn’t have.

Click here to watch the whole video

With Apple, Jobs says, he wants to do something different: one-on-one interaction between humans and machines. “There’s something very special — and very historically different — that takes place when you have one computer and one person,” he explains. “Very different than if you have 10 people and one computer.” At one point, he even likens the computer to another Silicon Valley staple — the bicycle, an intuitive, easy-to-master tool that amplifies our ability to move.

Well, that’s pretty much what we have today, as we celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Apple iPhone. Except that the relationship has flipped. It’s more like 10 computers to one person.

In the video, Jobs also predicts the importance of software in the coming revolution, knowing that hardware is only as good that the stuff that lets you use it. “Notice that every other word is software,” he says. “That should give you some clue.” He mentions interactive software and video, animation, and graphics — technologies that would come to define not only seminal Apple creations such as the Lisa and the Mac, but, well, nearly every machine we use today.

No, he doesn’t mention wearables, but he realizes that it’s the smooth interaction of human and machines that will ultimately win the day. And frankly, wearable makers like Google and Samsung could stand to learn a little from this idea.

But you should also watch this video — gifted as an unlabeled VHS tape to Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum by Apple marketer Regis McKenna – just to see the man in action. “It gives you a look at an early Steve Jobs,” says Dag Spicer, the museum’s curator. “What’s neat is to see [his showmanship] so early, right at the dawn of Apple. That Jobsian DNA is very obvious, even at that early stage.”

At one point, a smiling Jobs recounts how he, Steve Wozniak, and their pals “liberated” parts from Atari, Hewlett-Packard, and other companies around Silicon Valley to build their own computers during the company’s early days. And he recounts the origins of the company’s name. The Apple name stuck “partly because I like apples a lot and partly because apple comes before Atari in the phone book, and I used to work at Atari,” he says. That was Steve Jobs.


Tolkien & Sendak On The Psychology Of Fantasy & The Powerful Effect Of Fairy Tales On The Adult Mind

In March 1939, renowned fantasy writer J. R. R. Tolkien penned an essay enitled “On Fairy-Stories” which explores the nature of fantasy and the cultural role of fairy tales. His argument is the same — that there is no such thing as “writing for children.” Tolkien writes: “A ‘fairy-story’ is one which touches on or uses Faerie, whatever its own main purpose may be: satire, adventure, morality, fantasy. Faerie itself may perhaps most nearly be translated by Magic — but it is magic of a peculiar mood and power, at the furthest pole from the vulgar devices of the laborious, scientific, magician. There is one proviso : if there is any satire present in the tale, one thing must not be made fun of, the magic itself. That must in that story be taken seriously, neither laughed at nor explained away.”

Tolkien adds: “Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else … may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds.” You can read more excerpts from Tolkien’s essay by visiting

JPMorgan files patent for Bitcoin-style payment system

The JP Morgan Chase & Co. headquarters is pictured in New York

JPMorgan Chase has filed a US patent application for a computerised payment system that resembles some aspects of Bitcoin, the controversial virtual currency.

Like Bitcoin, JPMorgan’s proposed system would allow people to make anonymous, electronic payments over the internet, without having to reveal their name or account numbers or pay a fee, according to the patent application.

The application put a spotlight on the behind-the-scenes battle being waged between the biggest banks, credit card operators and companies such as Google, Apple and PayPal – are all keen to grab a slice of the rapidly expanding business of providing mobile and internet payments as more people shift to online buying.

At the same time, traditional finance companies have had to contend with new types of virtual currencies, which some people view as viable alternative payment systems that could one day challenge the biggest banks and credit cards.

JPMorgan said in its patent application – which dates back to 1999 but was recently updated – that the new payment system would compete with debit and credit cards as the predominant way of making online transactions.

But some see the bank’s proposed payments technology as borrowing features from Bitcoin, to date the most prominent of the new crop of virtual currencies.

The price of Bitcoin has soared to more than $1,240 this year as investors have piled in to the fast-appreciating crypto-currency.

JPMorgan’s proposed system involves creating “virtual cash” that would sit in an online wallet, reminiscent of the computer files that hold Bitcoins on behalf of their users.

The JPMorgan system would also create a public record of transactions made using the technology – a feature that would appear to mirror Bitcoin’s use of “blockchain”, a massive block of code stored across a peer-to-peer network of computers that acts as a public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions.


Increased trading in the decentralised virtual currency has begun to attract the attention of regulators

While the bank does not name Bitcoin or any other virtual currencies in its patent application, it does hint at “emerging efforts” to challenge the dominance of credit card technology.

“While new internet payment mechanisms have been rapidly emerging, consumers and merchants have been happily conducting a growing volume of commerce using basic credit card functionality,” JPMorgan said in the application.

“None of the emerging efforts to date have gotten more than a toehold in the market place and momentum continues to build in favour of credit cards.”

Critics of Bitcoin added that JPMorgan’s move also highlighted the vulnerability of the new virtual currency to imitations. Already, new types of virtual currencies have emerged that attempt to improve on Bitcoin’s perceived weaknesses.

A person familiar with the original JPMorgan patent said that it had “discussed ideas about different way that payments could evolve in the future.” The notion of providing anonymous payments was first inserted in 2003 and continued to be considered internally.

Claustrophilia: how a live-action game became Budapest’s top tourist activity

In the Hungarian capital, tourists are lining up to … escape from a room. We look at a growing trend, inspired by computer games and horror movies

Set for Claustrophilia game in Budapest

On set at the Claustrophilia game in Budapest

Viktor Oszvald got the idea for Budapest‘s top tourist activity a year ago while juggling dressed as a clown. His daughter had just been born and that evening, while working at a horror-themed show in a suburban factory, he dreamt of breaking free and had a brainwave.

Now Oszvald is founder of Claustrophilia (, TripAdvisor’s top-ranked thing to do in Budapest, and part of a tourist craze sweeping Europe: room escape games. Essentially live-action puzzles (think the Crystal Maze or, for readers of a certain age, Knightmare), the games combine riddles and physical tasks, with the aim being to, well, escape from a room.

Teams of up to five usually get an hour to make a successful exit, paying between £13 and £30 depending on the game. Few succeed. Since late 2012 Claustrophilia has been “beaten” by just 11 teams unaided, of the “many hundreds” Oszvald claims have played. He sometimes takes pity on contenders and hollers hints via a speaker.

Claustrophilia is one of over 30 escape games to crop up in the city since the first, ParaPark (, arrived two years back. Some, like the popular TRAP (Team Race Against Puzzles,, use imagery from the likes of ancient Egypt and medieval Europe. ParaPark’s dank setting, beneath a pub in the city’s rapidly gentrifying Józsefváros district, could have been lifted straight from Saw – the horror movie franchise said to have partly spurred escape games’ popularity. Other influences include TV shows like Survivor, but most claim the format emerged from point-and-click PC games of the early 1990s.

Props from Claustrophilia game, Budapest

Claustrophilia fills its space with intriguing propsClaustrophilia’s own theme lies somewhere between steampunk and Twin Peaks, working in a thinly woven backstory of an old eccentric’s enigmatic bequeathment to explain the cramped assortment of props and furniture – ranging from gas masks and coal stoves to Victorian maps and pork-pie hats. It’s spooky but never scary, and held in an apartment within a disused building (the precise location is shared only upon booking).Like the famous ruins pubs, escape games have flourished in Budapest, thanks to an abundance of pretty-but-dilapidated apartment blocks that owe much to a violent, tragic past, wedged between fascism and communism. Rents in the centre of town cost as little as £200 per month, and property rental siteHousetrip recently reported the destination its cheapest.Buoyed by their successes, many games companies are now branching out: TRAP has a franchise in Berlin’s fashionable Friedrichshain district (, while Oszvald is eyeing several destinations in western Europe. Meanwhile, the games’ popularity at home continues to soar. Most people come to Budapest for the architecture or the nightlife. Many more are coming simply to escape.

Fascinating “Extinction Therapy” Could Be The Holy Grail In Erasing Bad Memories


The human brain is the most complex biological machine in the known Universe.  The human body is made of many parts, each of which replaces itself at a different speed (read more about how much time your body parts require to regenerate themselves by CLICKING HERE). The human brain replaces itself every two months, and is the only group of cells in the human body with linings made entirely of Omega 3 fatty acids.  That means that as a 38-year-old man, my own 8-pound conscious blob of fat and water has replaced itself a total of nearly 228 times in my life time up to now.  But the most fascinating part of this is that my memories have remained almost completely unchanged.  Some of these memories are grand, and — like many people — some of them I’d rather forget.  Now there seems to be a remarkable new therapy called “extinction therapy” which is showing unprecedented success rates in wiping out these bad memories.  The following is an excerpt from Scientific American on how the technique was discovered:

“Two things could explain why extinction therapy during the reconsolidation period is more effective.  t could be that the prefrontal cortex was strongly inhibiting the memory of threat connected to the purple square, or alternatively, the connection between the purple square and the painful shock stored in the amygdala could be diminished.  The fMRI showed that the prefrontal lobes did not become activated when the purple square was flashed in people given extinction therapy during the period of memory reconsolidation.  In essence the brain (amygdala) had forgotten the connection between the electric shock and the purple square, because the prefrontal cortex was not being activated to inhibit the threat memory.  (To be precise, the experiments used various necessary controls that involved three colored squares, one that was used for extinction therapy and one that was used for extinction during the memory reconsolidation period, so that they could compare the efficacy of each approach in each individual.)”


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