Among the most revolutionary devices in terms of telecommunications is, without a doubt, the telegraph. By allowing people in different parts of the planet to communicate in near real time for the first time, it is considered to have been a key to globalization and a precursor to the methods we use today, such as the telephone, mobile phones and the Internet.

However, to get to that point, the telegraph, which first appeared in 1774, had several versions. And they weren’t always so practical. Before Samuel Morse created his famous Morse Code in 1837, the telegraph had 26 wires, one for each letter. It was thanks to this “alphabet” that it could be reduced to a single line, which facilitated the transmission of messages xnxx.

Morse was not a scientist, but rather a painter. However, after belatedly receiving the letter announcing the death of his wife, he decided to create a telegraph that would have a national reach. With the help of Leonard Gale, a professor of science at New York University, they achieved their goal between 1832 and 1837.

Since then, Morse code, based on a system of dots and dashes to represent each letter, has been used in official communications for more than 150 years. Although it is no longer the main means of communication, it is still used in certain areas such as Boy-Scouts, radio amateurs (until 2005 it was mandatory to pass a Morse test to get a license) and instrumental aviation.

Likewise, the International Morse Preservation Society is an organization with thousands of members that is in charge of keeping this means of communication alive. If you’re curious about how to read Morse code, keep reading.



The telegraph

As we mentioned earlier, Morse code is a binary system that uses two symbols to represent each letter: the dot and the dash. For example, E is represented by a point and it is the simplest letter. However, others have up to four symbols like the Y, which is dash, point, dash, dash.

To convey a message in Morse, time is key. The point is transmitted with a minimum pulse. For its part, the line must be three times longer than a point. Likewise, spaces are key to being able to emit a readable message. Between letter and letter a time equivalent to three points must be left, while between word and word it is three lines.

Without a doubt, learning Morse code is not just anything. But there are some tricks that can help make the task easier. One of the most used in the world consists of associating a keyword with each letter or number and this will give us its equivalent in Morse. An example is the word “tree” for A. And it is used like this:

  • The initial of the keyword is the corresponding letter.
  • The number of vowels that the keyword contains indicates the number of digits in Morse code.
  • If the vowel is an O, it is replaced by a dash (—). While if it is any other vowel it is replaced by a point (·).
  • When substituting, only dots and dashes obtained up to the full length in Morse code will be taken into account.
  • Thus, the word “tree” has two vowels: a and o, which would be a point and a dash respectively. That means that the “a” in Morse code is represented by a dot and a dash.




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During the pandemic, Zoom has become the tool of choice for students, teachers, and professionals. However, its limitations in the free version gave rise to the appearance and proliferation of other options with more benefits.

One of them was Google Meets, whose platform had a better loading speed and did not limit the duration of its users’ calls. At least, until today.

Having proven its power and convenience, Google Meets is ready to monetize with a Premium version, limiting the options of its free users. However, this change does not come alone. It comes backed with various new features that make it attractive compared to other platforms on the market.



Before we talk about benefits, let’s clearly define what Google Meets is. If you are an Android user, you will surely remember something called “DUO”. The tool simulated much of what we’ve already seen in video calling apps like Facetime.

Recently, Google made the decision to merge Duo and Google Meet, to create an integrated experience with many more features.

The new “Google Meet” will have the basic features for free. They are between them:

  • Scheduling and creating meetings.
  • Virtual backgrounds.
  • Automatic subtitles.



Among the functions that Google Meet takes from Zoom, is the tool through which the administrator of the call can mute other users without their authorization. Google claims that it is due to a measure to maintain order and amenity in meetings where some participants forget to turn off their microphones porno français.

However, not everything is beneficial for users. Just like Zoom, they will start limiting their free users’ calls to 1 hour when more than two people are on it.


The new system will be designed for the room having passed the 60 minutes, giving a prior warning 5 minutes before. After that time has passed, the link will also stop working.

Luckily for lovers and recruiters, this limitation will not apply to meetings where only two participants join. In these cases, video calls can be made for up to 24 consecutive hours, without any interruption to the platform.



The compensation that Google Meet offers us in exchange for that limitation of time in collective meetings seems sufficient when you put it in the balance against its other benefits.

Collaborative functions between the members of a video call, such as the use of Spotify or YouTube collectively, are expected to be incorporated soon. Other tools will also be integrated, such as:

  • Kahoot!
  • Heads Up!
  • One Mobile

The new Duo-Google Meets hybrid will also offer the possibility of integrating its Drive, Photos and Gmail application into meetings, with all the operational collaborative functions, in addition to a VPN available for Android and iOS.

To be sure, even with the bad news, this new Google experiment promises to dethrone Zoom with its new array of features. Do you think that soon Google Meet will be more used than any other video call application?



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PDA (Personal Digital Assistants) Use Study

For over six months, a background application tracked every use I made of my Sony CLIE SJ-22 PDA (PalmOS 4.1, grayscale 320×320 resolution, 16MB internal & 128MB expansion memory). I do not represent an average user, but rather an enthusiast user who tried as broad a spectrum of programs as possible. The PDA was accessible (in pocket) at almost all times every day, was hotsynced daily, and internal and external memory was always kept within 10% of capacity. Like any good enthusiast, I used a lot of third party (enhanced from the default) applications.

Study Results

Overall number of uses: 9539. Overall time of uses: 173 hours. All numbers in the table are estimates. Table ordering is retained in the histograms.
The combined calendar and address book program was used most frequently–it accounted for 43% of total uses and 25% of the total time. It is a good sign a program (or programs) that performs these functions ships standard on all PDAs.
Overall, functions that were performed by programs that shipped with this PDA (address book, calendar, memo pad, calculator, to do list, email) accounted for 64% of the total uses and 35% of total time. Even though this is a large amount of use, this still leaves the majority of time and a very significant percentage of uses in the hands of third-party developers–and distributed across a lot of programs. There is obviously a lot of use that PDA manufacturers do not make available by default to users. The use analysis still leaves important questions about PDA usage unanswered: Are there advantages of PDAs that most users are missing? Are these advantages usable by non-enthusiast users? If so, could PDA manufacturers take advantage of these to make their products more useful (and desirable) to users? The following section addresses some of these issues by categorizing and explaining types of use.

A major application was not included in this analysis is the English-language dictionary (it was not recorded by the use logger). This is only a guess, but I think that I probably spent at least as many uses on it as I did on the memopad. The hotsync application, though logged, was not included in the analysis because it reflects computer interface time–not human use.

How can PDA uses be categorized? Can these uses be performed in a paper-based format?

Because analysis of usage data alone cannot give the reason why programs are useful, I categorized PDA programs into three categories based upon the cognitive advantage they offer to users. Besides a cognitive and physical justification for these categories, I analyzed the possible cognitive advantages PDAs have over traditional paper alternatives in these areas:

1) Offloading long-term and short-term memory
Long-term memory is aided by programs (e.g. datebook, address book, memopad) that provide representations of thoughts that are normally expected to be committed to either internal human memory or an external memory agent (like paper). This represents the bulk of my PDA use, and these are the programs that are most likely to be included by default on PDAs. This can also be accomplished well with paper, though it might involve a somewhat hefty planner/organizer.
Short-term memory is aided by programs that provide representations of things that people normally have to commit to human memory. My favorite is Diddlebug–an elegant and simple open-source program. It allows the user to scribble on the PDA screen and then set an alarm to sound after a prescribed time period. The scribble can be anything from text to a picture–thus, any visual short-term memory can be offloaded and forgotten about. When the time comes to remember, the PDA beeps and the scribble is displayed. Certainly, paper cannot function as a time-based reminder–unless that paper is associated with something that keeps track of time.

2) Enabling the use of massive amounts of data
Programs (e.g. Hypertext references, books, newspapers, medical references) can enable users to reference or query large databases of information. Most of my references involved task-specific encyclopedia or dictionary material (e.g. “Who was in that movie?,” “How old is that person?,” or “What is that word in Spanish?”), but there were some non-task-oriented data references as well (books, newspapers). Though massive reference material can be referenced via paper-based tomes, these are being displaced by searchable electronic formats. This advantage is not being exploited as well as it could be most PDA users and even simple dictionaries are not included by default on PDAs.

3) Enabling the use of complex interactive reference tools
Programs (e.g. calculators, unit converters, electronics and astronomical references) can enable users to make use of interactive reference tools. While some (not all) of these functions can be accomplished by operating with paper-based tables, the complexity of use is an issue.

4) Interactive entertainment
Some uses had no purpose but pure entertainment (though I usually turned to the newspaper first for entertainment). The PDA allows for many choices in terms of interactive entertainment (the only entertainment program I used was a “vintage” interactive fiction game I remember playing on an Apple IIe as a child). This offers great advantages over paper, where interactivity is impossible (or at least very limited).

How can this use be applied to the world of PDA manufacturers? An assumption being made here is that PDA manufacturers want PDAs to be used more, with the logic being that increased use will lead to increased sales. I have gone from a non-consumer of PDAs to a consumer of PDAs because I cannot imagine myself getting rid of the item in my life–as long as I have the choice to carry it, I will. It truly is valuable to everyday life. Isn’t it a luxury? Yes. But given the choice, I will make sacrifices to carry a PDA. That, and I associate my mindset to incorporate the item–much like I could live without a phone, I will include its use in my foreseeable life. Many other users have not made this transition when it comes to PDAs–they find them to be of little value and though they may have owned one once, they are not in the market for a new one. If the PDA could have been made a valuable part of their lives, they would have continued to use and buy them.
Making an item so valuable to to one’s life as to be almost indispensable is not a new concept. Many people (myself included) have elected to marry themselves to other conveniences–for instance we consider cars to be nearly indispensable transportation tools (most people have plans to always own one) and mobile phones to be almost indispensable communication tools (most people make sacrifices to always carry one). Along these same lines, I have also chosen to marry myself to my Swiss Army Knife (I am using this term generically–I actually own a Leatherman Micra) because it has valuable physical advantages. I use it enough to personally justify carrying it everywhere. [In addition to utility, a host of physical (size and weight), financial (cost), and social (style and legality) factors influence whether a person consider an item to be worthwhile enough to carry on his body.]

The PDA as a mentally valuable item. Many people carry a Swiss Army Knife because it has a lot of physical uses, but virtually nobody carries the individual component devices of a Swiss Army Knife because they would have a limited scope of uses. The PDA has to be a mental Swiss Army Knife before people will carry it. Although PDAs have a few “killer apps” included by default, PDA software has to be heavily modified to enable other uses. Why do PDA manufacturers only include one or two mental tools in their products? This is the equivalent of Victorinox including a great blade on its Swiss Army Knives but then leaving metal stubs for users to change into whatever else they might want–“simply file the stub into a bottleopener, screwdriver, or file”! Of course, most people would not buy the knife in the first place and only a small percentage of purchasers would actually invest the time to make the modifications. Thus, the knife would sit on the shelf for a great majority of purchasers. By not being carried, the utility of the knife is nil. It is only when people start carrying the knife that it will become a truly indispensable item. There are two principles in play here:

1. Realizable (not potential) utility creates use. Swiss Army Knifes are most likely to be useful when they present the greatest chance of everyday use. Thus, Swiss Army Knives include most tools that are “everyday useful.” This sounds stupidly simple, but it requires a focus on utility that Victorinox has but PDA manufacturers do not. PDAs only have the potential to present great everyday utility, and thus are only potentially very useful. Currently, the potential is only met by users investing resources into including the mental tools (i.e. programs) that they consider useful to their lives. If the PDA reaches a threshold where it is “useful enough to always carry” then the individual user will reach the second principle, that of making the item available at all times. Of course, there are some consumers for whom the usefulness of the default programs alone is considerable, and they don’t modify the software. I can only imagine that this group would grow if the default program base grew as well.
2. Realized utility will cycle into more use as the user considers the PDA to be mentally valuable. PDAs have to be made useful enough to warrant being carried in all situations. Who would want to carry a tool in all situations unless that tool can be used in all situations? This is why most electronic items are not touched until the user anticipates a specific use. PDAs are only truly powerful when they reverse this trend–that is, when they are carried universally–even before the user has a specific use in mind.

What is the take-home message from this case study interpretation? The case study data show that PDA use can offer a diversity of mental advantages to users. By fulfilling the category needs that are outlined above (by installing software), users can find their PDAs to be more useful than they currently do. If individual users find PDAs extremely useful, they will begin to consider them to be indispensably-valuable mental tools. Thus, an effective step that PDA manufacturers can take to reach new users and retain old users is to consider ways they can expose customers to the mental advantages that PDAs offer. This is likely to mean that manufacturers should include (by default) software that allows users to do this.

Problems in implementing this interpretation. One assumption that has been made throughout the above argument is that useful software could be made available to PDA users. Obviously, if programs are very difficult for most consumers to use then then they would not make PDAs more useful–in fact, they could make the device more frustrating and video porno italiani less appealing. PDAs offer a unique interface when compared to most other computing devices, so the process of creating useful software may require a substantial investment into researching the user experience.

Notes on the personal side of PDA use

Up to this point, I have written about the behavior that I engaged in with a PDA–the numbers and reasons. Another important aspect about PDA use is emotional in nature. I use my PDA no fewer than 5 times a day, and I consider the useful of its data to have been life-changing.

It feels good to know. People need references when they are in the everyday world. I often like to read at coffeeshops. When I would read a word I did not know the definition for, I would consider the work I would have to put in to get the definition (write it down, look it up when I get home) to not be worth the trouble, especially considering that the utility of the definition was small (I had already read past that point in the book by the time I left the coffeeshop). However, the work it takes to look up a definition in the PDA is minimal (it is always faster than a paper-based reference for me) and the results are immediate. Thus, the number of words I look up has increased substantially when I compare my life to the time when I had to rely on paper-based references.

The PDA is never nagged. Social requests for information are bound by social etiquette. No one likes being asked for boring information or being asked many times. In contrast, the PDA is not inconvenienced when I ask it for boring information–even if I have to ask for a third time. PDAs are uniquely able to fill this social role because of speed-of-use and because it is present in social situations.

The joy of geekdom. Yes, there is an emotional satisfaction that one gets using a PDA to uncover an obscure bit of information. It is not quite the same as the satisfaction that one gets from recalling information mentally, but it is satisfying nonetheless. A friend of mine has a similar PDA and similar programs. When situations arise socially where we need information, we see whose system is best able to produce the useful information. It is usually through these situations that we come to know about new programs and share them with each other. PDAs certainly have social characteristics.

My mindset changed over time of ownership. The questions I asked about the PDA took this course:

What can it do? (Then I discovered useful programs.)
What do I want it to do? (Then I got experience using in everyday life.)
What can it assist me with?

These questions apply well to PDAs because PDAs have changeable software tools. However, my mindset has also changed over the time of owning a Swiss Army Knife. It has certain things it can do (prescribed functions), which perhaps can be changed to become what I want it to do (e.g. the leather punch makes a great mini-screwdriver), but (eventually) it just assists. Obviously, a knife is less flexible than a PDA, but the logic still applies to some degree.
The PDA is a powerful form of distributed cognition. Popular culture has been influenced by a school of thought that tries to address a physical merger of the human body with technology. This school of thought has produced images of artificial electronic limbs, computing devices implanted into the brain, and the like. To apply the philosophy I write about in Brain Machine Interfaces, the human system is able to accept a variety of these devices right now. The only “letdown” is that instead of having artificial limbs and computers internally integrated with the human body, these items have to be made available externally. In other words, a Swiss Army Knife has to be held in the hand and not become part of the physical hand. Likewise, that also means that the mentally-assisting device has to be made available in the form of a handheld PDA. My personal conceptualization of distributed thinking involves a gray line between the internal and external mental systems anyway–so the future is now. The two main areas for the future are device improvements (networking, hardware, and software) and interface improvements (wearability, viewability, and input).


June 16.04
I went to see Don Norman speak about his latest book, Emotional Design, last night. It was a pretty good talk–I was surprised at how different his examples were from a similar speech he gave last year. I enjoy the emphasis on emotional design in general, but I saw two minor potential problems that may arise from emotional design.

May 19.04
After much fiddling and revising, I am finally done with the PDA use study. I did a case study of my PDA use over a six-month time period. The article summarizes the data and I analyze the reasons why PDAs are used and what can be done to improve them. In other news, summer means a lot of reading and a lot of dissertation writing.

Apr. 29.04
The semester is coming to an end and I have collected what I anticipate to be all (or most) of my dissertation data. I will finally be able to finalize some of the articles that I have been working on and post them here. Until then, I changed my article on the Maytag Skybox, partially due to the fact that the previous version of the article was hastily-written and partially because I have been influenced by reading the book Emotional Design. Also, I am almost ready to post an article on PDA use that includes a case study.

I am committing to updating this website more often, even though this site has competition from a million other things in my life, including a time-intensive dissertation. The latest Alertbox ( has an informal review of an interesting social study “Why mobile phones are annoying.” Although the study does not answer all of the questions that it raises, it is useful nonetheless. Nielsen ranted about the difference between face-to-face and mobile phone conversations in terms of noticability, intrusiveness, and annoyance. However he ignored the story of the data he posted (some of which appeared to be reported incorrectly, but that is another story), and strongly interpreted it:
“What is certain is that the research documents the fact that mobile phones are annoying […]”
However, people rated mobile phone conversations as less annoying and less intrusive than neutral in terms of both having had an “annoying” volume of conversation and as being “intrusive.” The mean rating was barely above this neutral mark in terms of being “noticeable.” In other words, people hardly thought the mobile phone conversations were annoying at all–just less non-annoying than face-to-face conversations. Regardless of the interpretation issue, the original study brings up good queries: Are mobile conversations annoying for casual eavedroppers (because half of the conversation is inaudible)? How can social protocol and mobile phone design be changed to provide a better “bystander” experience?