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Shift Happens: Book about keyboard history now 400% funded on Kickstarter


Shift Happens: A Book About Keyboards
This beautifully designed two-volume book delves deep into keyboard history.
Image: Marcin Wichary/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Shift Happens, a book about keyboards, is now 400% funded on Kickstarter. This makes it the second-most funded non-fiction book ever on the crowdfunding site. The book, by designer/writer Marcin Wichary, “tells the story of keyboards like no book ever before, covering 150 years from the early typewriters to the pixellated keyboards in our pockets,” according to the project website.

Shift Happens is available on Kickstarter until March 9. Donate $150 and you can get the two-volume hardcover set inside a slipcase.

Save up to 98% on Mac apps, backup tools and more [Deals]


Best Deals of the Week
The best deals of this week include massive bundles of Mac Apps, digital marketing lessons, terabytes of backup, and lots more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

This week, the Cult of Mac Store got some massive new deals on useful apps, instruction and digital tools. Below you’ll find a bundle of 10 Mac apps, to a tool for converting websites to searchable text, 10 terabytes of backup storage, and more. Deals range from 50% to 98% off, so read on for more details:

First mobile phone call made 45 years ago today


First mobile phone call re-enacted
Martin Cooper uses a Motorola DynaTAC 8000x to re-enact the first cell phone call.
Photo: Wikipedia

A historic milestone occurred April 3, 1973: the very first call on a mobile phone. It was the phone equivalent of landing on the moon.

But that call wasn’t an inspirational message — some equivalent of “a giant leap for mankind.” Nope, Martin Cooper, who headed up Motorola’s team developing the cell phone, called Joel Engel, his equivalent at AT&T’s Bell Labs, to brag that his company had won the race to produce a working device.

How a grandma with a bum hip sparked a shopping revolution


Jane and Ned Snowball shopping online in 1984. Photo: Courtesy of the Aldrich Archive
Jane and Ned Snowball shopping online in 1984. Photo courtesy Aldrich Archive

A 72-year-old grandmother with a broken hip started the revolution with a television remote in her hand. She pointed it at the screen in her living room in 1984 and bought eggs, cornflakes and margarine.

Jane Snowball of Gateshead, England, spent a few pounds and became the first online shopper. In 2013, online shopping generated more than $1.2 trillion worldwide (with the promise of higher figures when 2014 numbers are reported).

Snowball did not use the computer as we know it. She used a device called Videotex, which merged media and business information systems and made them available to “outside correspondents.” She pressed a button on the remote with a phone icon and was able to connect to her local Tesco supermarket with a telephone number. The store received her list and delivered the items to her door.