The Sharp Rise and Steep Descent of AOL Instant Messenger

The free instant messaging service introduced millions to the joys of online communication, but it fell behind in the social media age

Want to Learn Cherokee? How About Ainu? This Startup Is Teaching Endangered Languages

Tribalingual founder Inky Gibbens explains how saving languages is a means of preserving different worldviews

Unlike Samuel Morse's one-key telegraph, Baudot's used five keys.

The Roots of Computer Code Lie in Telegraph Code

Émile Baudot, born a year after the first long-distance telegraph message was sent, helped advance the technology

Emma Nutt was just the leading edge of the wave.

Long Before Siri, Emma Nutt's Voice Was on the Other End of the Line

She was the first female telephone operator. Before her, telephone operators were teenaged boys. That didn't go so well

Watch Gentoo Penguins Hunting From a Bird's Eye View

New footage is helping researchers untangle the meaning behind these tuxedo-clad birds' calls

Tropical Storm Harvey as seen the morning of August 24, 2017 by NOAA's GOES-16 satellite.

Why Amateur Radio Operators Are Watching Hurricane Harvey

Ham radio underwent a resurgence in the United States after Hurricane Katrina

A TEMS device mounted on eyeglasses, with the electrical signal recorded.

Blink Once For Yes: You Can ‘Talk’ to This New Computer Interface With Your Eyes

A tiny sensor mounted to eyeglasses can track eye blinks, allowing communication from locked-in patients

Alexander Graham Bell used the money from his telephone patent to fund Volta Laboratories, which later became Bell Laboratories.

Telephones Were Silenced for One Minute After Alexander Graham Bell Died

By the time Bell died, he had moved on to other inventions. But the telephone made a huge mark on American society

The team has developed many different prototypes. Their latest iteration can display six characters at a time and images the text using an internal camera.

This Device Translates Text To Braille in Real Time

Team Tactile hopes to create an inexpensive and portable device that can raise text right off the page

Corbin Fleming plays with President Obama's desk phone in 2012.

Before 1929, Nobody Thought the President Needed a Telephone in his Office

Herbert Hoover got a phone in the Oval Office over fifty years after the White House first got a switchboard

Sometimes when we say "you," we really mean "me"

When I Say "You" But Really Mean "Me"

In some cases, the use of the second-person pronoun could help us put distance between ourselves and negative emotions

Israeli company Intuition Robotics developed a talking device named ElliQ, now being tested by older adults.

How Will Artificial Intelligence Help the Aging?

The key, researchers say, is finding the right roles for machines

Could This Chatbot Prevent Some Deportations?

Visabot helps immigrants and visitors to the United States obtain and keep visas

Engineers tested the new technology with this poster at a Seattle bus stop.

In Smart Cities of the Future, Posters and Street Signs Can Talk

University of Washington engineers show how "smart" posters can send a message via FM radio waves to smartphone or car radio

A collage of the work distributed by the British propaganda effort.

The Fake British Radio Show That Helped Defeat the Nazis

By spreading fake news and sensational rumors, intelligence officials leveraged “psychological judo” against the Nazis in World War II

The first "phone book" (really a one-page sheet) came long before phones like this, but it was an important step towards the printed directories that were ubiquitous in the twentieth century and are now often considered outdated.

The First Telephone Book Had Fifty Listings and No Numbers

It came out less than two years after Alexander Graham Bell invented the device

The phone that made the first 9-1-1 call in the U.S. is still in Haleyville, Alabama, now on display in the town's City Hall.

'9-1-1' Has Meant 'Help, Please' Since 1968

The first 911 call ever placed came from the small town of Haleyville, Alabama

Patients wear a NIRS apparatus—typically a neoprene helmet with dozens of optical sensors sticking out of it.

Patients With Locked-in Syndrome May Be Able to Communicate After All

A new use for brain-computer interfaces gives insight to life with ALS

People lined up to buy the first iPhone in New York, June 29,2007

What Tech Writers Said About the iPhone When It Debuted Ten Years Ago

Not everyone thought the sleek phone/browser/music player would have mainstream appeal

Social media is changing the nature of personal communication

How the Cell Phone Is Forever Changing Human Communication

An ongoing study by Smithsonian anthropologists investigates the dramatic shifts wrought by the smart phone

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