Talking about sign language

Plus, is this mic on?
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The Futurist is your daily tech, cosmic, and science (both weird or otherwise) newsletter with articles and content curated just for you.

Tech Trivia:

Who invented the microphone?

Hint: Like most inventions — it depends on who's talking.


(Scroll to the bottom for the answer!)

How sign languages evolved | Axios

“Empires, alliances and cultural exchanges formed connections between deaf communities around the world that can be traced with a new method for studying sign languages. Computational tools have revealed how different spoken languages are related, helping to trace the histories of the people who speak them. There are more than 300 sign languages but they ‘marginalized, underdocumented and understudied,’ leaving a gap in understanding about human communication, the researchers write in the journal Science.”

Meet Tello's supercharged phone plans [Partner]

Time to start experiencing phone plans in an entirely new way with Tello Mobile. Think lower phone bills, more savings, and the same reliable 4G LTE/ 5G network you're used to without the premium price tag. Mix & match mins & data as you please to build your phone plan just the way you like it and never pay more than $25/mo. Tello's Unlimited plan comes with 35GB of high speed data and 5GB of free hotspot for only $25/month. NO contract, NO hidden fees, NO bulk buying. Just MAX flexibility. [Ad]

NASA craft snaps extraordinarily close images of volcano-covered world | Mashable

“Behold the volcano-blanketed moon, Io. After swooping by Jupiter's tortured moon on Feb. 3, NASA's Juno spacecraft beamed back some of the closest-ever images of this unique world. The agency's deep space probe came within just 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) of Io, following a similar pass just over a month ago. Planetary scientists hope these much-anticipated flybys will answer fundamental questions about the mysterious, lava-spewing moon.”

Windows version of the venerable Linux “sudo” command shows up in preview build | Ars Technica

“Microsoft opened its arms to Linux during the Windows 10 era, inventing an entire virtualized subsystem to allow users and developers to access a real-deal Linux command line without leaving the Windows environment. Now, it looks like Microsoft may embrace yet another Linux feature: the sudo command. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, a user found settings for a Sudo command in a preview version of Windows 11 that was posted to the experimental Canary channel in late January. Windows Latest experimented with the setting in a build of Windows Server 2025, which currently requires Developer Mode to be enabled in the Settings app. There's a toggle to turn the sudo command on and off and a separate drop-down to tweak how the command behaves when you use it, though as of this writing the command itself doesn't actually work yet.”

StackSocial - Faster, smarter, easier coding? Yes, please. [Partner]

For those ready to unleash their coding prowess while looking nostalgically back at the days of simpler software, Microsoft Visual Studio stands as a beacon of hope. It's the latest tool for developers seeking to create cutting-edge apps for mobile, desktop, and the web. The software is packed with features to enhance productivity, like advanced debugging, AI-assisted code completion, and collaborative tools for real-time code sharing with peers — so you can spend less time thinking and more time actually coding. [Ad]

Threads leak suggests fediverse sharing is coming soon | PCMag

“Threads users could be getting fediverse features in beta very soon, new screenshots from a leaker have revealed. The post suggests Threads users may soon have the ability to easily copy one's fediverse username and enable fediverse sharing directly through the Threads app. The fediverse is a group of online networks whose users can interact with each other despite being on different platforms. The screenshots, which have not been confirmed by Threads parent company Meta, were posted by Android developer and self-described leaker Alessandro Paluzzi on Threads and then shared by The Verge.”

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The answer: Emile Berliner. (Though Thomas Edison gets the posterity)

The answer: Emile Berliner. (Though Thomas Edison gets the posterity)

According to the Sweetwater musical instruments shop website: After lots of different concepts and prototypes … “On June 4, 1877, Emile Berliner applied for a patent that set off a 15-year transatlantic firestorm between himself and Thomas Edison, with Edison also dragging British-American inventor David Edward Hughes (and even Lord Kelvin) into the mix. Interestingly, while Hughes revealed his findings in 1878 and may have even claimed the invention as his own, he never attempted to patent it. When the smoke cleared, the Supreme Court of the United States recognized Berliner as the microphone’s inventor by granting him a patent on November 17, 1891. … Then, a year later, they overturned their decision and gave the title to Edison.”