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Flashback Friday: New Year’s Eve

by Sean P. Aune | December 27, 2013December 27, 2013 11:00 pm PDT

When you look around you, it’s amazing just how much technology really is there in absolutely everything we do. For instance, the famous ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

When I went hunting for a video for New Year’s Eve I was trying to find something from the 1950s or 60s, but then I stumbled on this one from 1990 into 1991. I have no clue why I was so amused by the fact the ABC Time in the corner read 11:59:58 when the ball hits the bottom and 1991 lights up. Someone was obviously out of sync.

It seems as though every year there is a story about how the technology in the ball has changed, or it has gotten brighter, but I always wonder how much it really has changed. Looking back at this one from over two decades ago, boy can you tell the difference.  Thanks to improved lighting technology, better clocks and so on, things really have changed, and it’s just something we don’t think about that often. Sure we notice differences in our phones and TVs, but do you ever really think about the technology changing around you that you don’t interact with directly?

Advances in technology as a whole or always progressing, and while these companies may not have the brand recognition of Samsung or Apple, they work just as hard and should be recognized.

For the record, here are some facts about the 2014 ball from the official Times Square website.

  • The Ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter, and weighs 11,875 pounds.
  • The Ball is covered with a total of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles that vary in size, and range in length from 4 ¾ inches to 5 ¾ inches per side.
  • For Times Square 2014, all 2,688 of the Waterford Crystal triangles introduce the new design Gift of Imagination – featuring a series of intricate wedge cuts that appear to be endless mirrored reflections of each other inspiring our imagination with a kaleidoscope of colorful patterns on the Ball.
  • The 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles are bolted to 672 LED modules which are attached to the aluminum frame of the Ball.
  • The Ball is illuminated by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs (light emitting diodes). Each LED module contains 48 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs – 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white for a total of 8,064 of each color.
  • The Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.

Bit different from the one used in 1991?


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Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...


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