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The Taiwanese ‘good luck’ snack

laowai 88888888 on Twitter: "Utterly fascinated by "Kuai Kuai culture" in  Taiwan, where green-colored bags of the snack brand Kuai Kuai (乖乖) are  placed on or near computers/machines because it is believed this can help stop the device from breaking down.

Give a Taiwanese machine a packet of crisps and see what happens:

No one is entirely sure exactly when or how the green bags of Kuai Kuai crisps became seen as symbolic tech whisperers whose mere presence could keep electronics in line. The Kuai Kuai company was established in 1968 by Liao Jing Gang and his son Spencer, a team who needed to find a way to keep their main business, a pharmaceutical importing and manufacturing company, busy during slow periods, so they began making snacks and confectionery.

“Kuai Kuai were specifically created to be sold to children. Back then, there was nothing like that on the market,” says Irene Liao, who is Spencer’s daughter and the firm’s current general manager. But that all changed when the crisps, whose name means ‘behave’ or ‘be good’ in both Mandarin and Taiwanese, caught the eye of a graduate student.

Category: Food & Drink, Tech // Tagged:

Hacking Sony’s MemoryStick

Sony and their closed proprietary storage.

Category: Tech // Tagged:

Wired UK covers (1995-1997)

OJ Simpson as a white man

A Flickr collection of 23 Wired UK magazine covers from 95-97.

Category: Design, Tech // Tagged: , ,

The library economics of e-books

In the first days of the lockdown, the N.Y.P.L. experienced a spike in downloads, which lengthened the wait times for popular books. In response, it limited readers to three checkouts and three waitlist requests at a time, and it shifted almost all of its multimillion-dollar acquisitions budget to digital content. By the end of March, seventy-four per cent of U.S. libraries were reporting that they had expanded their digital offerings in response to coronavirus-related library closures. During a recent interview over Zoom (another digital service that proliferated during the pandemic), [Steve] Potash recalled that OverDrive quickly redirected about a hundred employees, who would normally have been at trade shows, “to help support and fortify the increase in demand in digital.” He recalled a fellow-executive telling him, “E-books aren’t just ‘a thing’ now—they’re our only thing.”

(via New Yorker)

Category: Books, Tech // Tagged: ,

Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.

Redditor buba447 made their own mini TV that plays random Simpsons episodes from the first 11 seasons.

Category: Tech // Tagged:

Magazine photos fooled age-verification cameras in Japan

From 2008:

When the reporter went to check out the new age-verifying machines after they were introduced in the Osaka area in June, he soon discovered that the machines equipped with face-recognition cameras would let him buy cigarettes when he held up a 15-centimeter (6-in) wide magazine photo of a man who looked to be in his 50s.

The reporter also went to Kobe, where different face recognition hardware is being used. There, he bought cigarettes using an 8-centimeter (3-in) wide magazine photo of a female celebrity in her 30s. He also reportedly tried to use a 3-centimeter (1-in) wide photo, but the machines rejected it.

Category: Tech // Tagged:

The Nokia 6310 is back

“The new Nokia 6310 has taken the iconic shape of the original Nokia 6310 and has reimagined it for 2021, with a host of new features including bigger buttons, zoomed in menus, a radio and more.”

Category: Tech // Tagged:

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