The BBC offers an interesting look at the history of technology

A brief history of telephones

It’s hard to be surprised when people talk about the rapid growth of various sectors of the tech industry. It’s hard for me, anyway. That’s probably due to the fact that most of the crazy booms have been an integral part of my life – I was born after the “good old days,” when phones were tethered to the wall. The rate of innovation will always be interesting to me, even if I’ve missed some of it. To think about the difference between cell phones a decade ago and cell phones today is to see, in some small way, the crazy pace of development humanity has witnessed over the last half-century or so.

As is often the case, the BBC covers things best. Michael Blastland (awesome name) put together ‘A Brief History of Gadgets,’ complete with graphs like the one you see above. It’s definitely worth reading through, especially at a time of year when we’re wrapping and unwrapping some of the best technology our species has to offer. As Blastland says it, “For a while, the home phone will be part and parcel of many an internet connection. But will we, one day soon, watch the Christmas comedy repeats and, in a scene when the phone rings – Ha! It’s stuck to the wall by a wire. Hilarious! – wonder how those pre-mobile primitives managed?”

A solar charger powerful enough to run devices directly

Suntactics PC5.Solar charging has been a bit of a novelty for some time now. It can be nice on a bright day, but you need long hours in the sun to really see the benefit from most chargers. A company called Suntactics is hoping to change that with the release of its PC5 unit, a charger the company claims is strong enough to run devices directly.

Suntactics says the difference is that the PC5 pumps higher wattage than competitors, which function more like a battery charging a battery. At five watts, the company says the PC5 doesn’t just charge, it can actually run a device that has no independent battery life left.

I’d really love to see this in action. It could be a very cool breakthrough in solar charging technology.

Photo and Source: Earthtechling

Top 50 Gawker passwords are comically bad

Gawker password length.

Every time a prominent site gets hacked, someone always goes through the trouble to analyze the passwords contained in the data leak, usually to my own comic amusement. With sites from the Gawker network, especially sites like Gizmodo and Lifehacker, where users commonly claim to be among the web’s most savvy users, you would expect the passwords to be a little better.

Numbers one, two, and three? 123456, password, and 12345678. The full list is even funnier, though, and contains things like “letmein,” “princess,” and “starwars.” Well done, nerds of the internet.

You can find more entries, along with some graphical analysis of the passwords included at the Wall Street Journal.

Samsung announces the $1,000 luxury Galaxy tablet

Galaxy Tablet.I spent a solid 18 or so of my last 72 hours traveling and I was shocked to see how many tablets are out there. I knew that tablets were likely doing well, but in every airport it seemed there was always one in my field of vision. Tablets, for the most part, are fairly affordable devices, but Samsung wants to offer something for the people with deeper pockets.

At the Millionaire Fair (a concept so deplorable I could puke), Samsung announced that it would offer a Luxury Edition of its Galaxy tablet that would run roughly $1,000. Now, a grand isn’t all that bad for a piece of tech, but it is still a tablet, and it’s still running Android, which doesn’t charge for licensure. I suppose if you have piles of money to swim in, a $1,000 tablet doesn’t seem so bad. The Luxury Edition will be limited, available only until the end of January.

The device is expected to launch on Wednesday.

Chrome CR-48 unboxing videos are out

The Chrome OS notebook pilot program is in full swing, to the point that several applicants have received their laptop. I’ve looked through a bunch of the application videos, but this unboxing by Ed Albro from PC World seems to be the most thorough and clear so far. Check it out.