Entries by Eric W. Austin

A look at the top stories in The Town Line in 2017

by Eric W Austin We’ve published a lot of stories over the past year, but which ones stood out from the crowd? More than 20,000 people visited townline.org in 2017, with pages on the site viewed more than 70,000 times. One of the advantages of a website over a traditional newspaper is the ability to […]

TECH TALK: Does the future spell the end of local news?

Eric’s Tech Talk by Eric W. Austin Writer and Technical Consultant In August of 1981, an upstart cable TV station began broadcasting these slick new videos set to music. They called it “music television.” The first music video to air on the new channel was the Buggles’ song “Video Killed the Radio Star.” It was […]

TECH TALK: Net Neutrality goes nuclear

ERIC’S TECH TALK by Eric Austin Computer Technical Advisor Do you like your cable TV service? I hope so, because your internet service is about to get a whole lot more like it. On Thursday last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), headed up by Trump appointee and former Verizon employee Ajit Pai, voted 3-2, […]

Opiates in Central Maine: Not just a National Crisis

Part 1 by Eric W. Austin With words like ‘epidemic,’ ‘crisis,’ and ‘national emergency,’ the opioid problem has been in the news a lot lately. But how is this important issue impacting our local communities here in Central Maine? That’s the question I set out to answer. I started by contacting an old friend of […]

TECH TALK: Bug hunting in the late 20th century

ERIC’S TECH TALK by Eric W. Austin Computer Technical Advisor The year is 1998. As the century teeters on the edge of a new millennium, no one can stop talking about Monica Lewinsky’s dress. September 11, 2001, is still a long ways off, and the buzz in the tech bubble is all about the Y2K […]

TECH TALK: A.I. on the Road: Who’s Driving?

ERIC’S TECH TALK by Eric Austin Computer Technical Advisor In an automobile accident – in the moments before your car impacts an obstacle, in the seconds before glass shatters and steel crumples — we usually don’t have time to think, and are often haunted by self-recriminations in the days and weeks afterward. Why didn’t I […]

TECH TALK: Welcome to the world of Big Data

ERIC’S TECH TALK by Eric Austin Computer Technical Advisor   What exactly is Big Data? Forbes defines it as “the exponential explosion in the amount of data we have generated since the dawn of the digital age.” Harvard researchers, Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel, explore this phenomenon in their book, Uncharted: Big Data as a […]