A brief history of atuocorrect

Without it, we probably couldn’t even have phones that look anything like the ingots we tickle—the whole notion of touchscreen typing, where our podgy physical fingers are expected to land with precision on tiny virtual keys, is viable only when we have some serious software to tidy up after us.

The Fasinatng … Frustrating … Fascinating History of Autocorrect.

This is how danah boyd works

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For years danah boyd has been watching the internet through an academic lens, studying how society interacts with technology. Her recent book, It’s Complicated, looks at how teenagers, born into an online world, are navigating social media and whether they’re better off for it.

I’m danah boyd, Researcher at Microsoft, and This Is How I Work

What I’ve been up to recently on Light Reading

I went to the MIT Technology Review Digital Summit on 36-hour turnaround. While at the airport I stopped in at the restaurant at the Virgin lounge for dinner, and thought, “Pretty soon I’m going to be a regular here and they’re going to start recognizing me. I wonder how I feel about that?” Then the waiter greeted me with, “Welcome back! You’ve been here a few times, haven’t you?”

Light Reading posted these articles from me while I was away:

Microsoft Planning 7-Day Phone Batteries
SAN FRANCISCO — MIT Technology Review Digital Summit — Microsoft is figuring out how to make mobile phone batteries last longer. How much longer? Try a week…

Is Cisco’s Chambers Retiring in the Fall?
Cisco CEO John Chambers may be planning to announce his retirement soon, and may leave the networking technology giant in the fall.

Cisco Systems Inc. is also embarking on a reorganization that will result in 20,000 people changing jobs inside the company, according to Silicon Valley chatter. The reorganization would be intended to reduce duplicate work. Many employees are developing the same technology for different business units; the reorganization would streamline those redundancies.

Google Exec: Internet of Things Requires ‘Brand New Network’
SAN FRANCISCO — MIT Technology Review Digital Summit — The Internet of Things will require telecom operators to turn their networks upside-down, believes Google Developer Advocate Don Dodge.

The Internet is currently designed for expensive, high-bandwidth connections such as video. The Internet of Things doesn’t need much bandwidth but needs to be inexpensive, Dodge said.

Overture Adds Hardware to Its NFV Pitch
Overture is extending its existing NFV proposition with a new product designed to combine the benefits of virtualized functions with dedicated hardware located at the customer premises.

More to come.

My flight got in very late last night and so I got a late start this morning. Tea, meet neurons.

A brief hsitory of autocorrect


Microsoft shipped Word 6.0 in 1993 with a new feature called “AutoCorrect.” But autocorrect goes back further than that.

The idea of fixing text as it’s typed dates back to the 1960s, says Brad Myers, a professor of interface design at Carnegie Mellon University. That’s when a computer scientist named Warren Teitelman — who invented the “undo” command — came up with a philosophy of computing called D.W.I.M., or “Do What I Mean.” Rather than programming computers to accept only perfectly formatted instructions, Teitelman said we should program them to recognize obvious mistakes.

That was followed by the touch-tone phone, and engineers working on ways to enter text using a “reduced keyboard.” The T9 method of text entry was adapted for use on mobile phones in 1995.

But the hijinks really start when the software stops making suggestions and just replaces things automatically.

Who Made That Autocorrect?

Image: Arnoldius