Friday, October 19, 2012

Signs of the times

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time. ~ Abraham Lincoln
• Remember people shooting around through vacuum tubes in the 1960s TV show The Jetsons? Engineers are working on a concept that would hit speeds of up to 4,000 km/h (2,500 mph), getting you from North America to Europe four hours before you left.

• Once the giants of the electronics world, Japanese companies have been stomped by competitors that deliver acceptable quality at low prices. Sharp's share of the industry dropped from 22% to 5%, while South Korea's Samsung went from 10% to 29%. Sony and Panasonic have also seen their value plummet. It seems that most customers are more interested in getting a good price than having the latest technology.

• The Taiwanese defense ministry will be asking Apple to lower the resolution of some top-secret military bases that showed up on the iPhone 5's new mapping app.

• A French woman received a telephone bill for 11,721,000,000,000,000 euros, which is roughly 7,000 times the French national debt. The phone company initially told her there was nothing they could do to amend the computer-generated statement, then later offered to set up instalments to pay off the bill. Finally, the company admitted the bill should have been for 117.21 euros, and waived it completely.

• 67% of Americans now say there is solid evidence that the earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades according to a Pew Research national survey. That's up four points since last year and 10 points since 2009.

• Men with shaved heads were perceived as an inch taller and 13% stronger than men with full heads of hair, according to an experiment by Albert Mannes of The Wharton School, who said he conducted his study after noticing that he was treated with greater deference after shaving off his own hair. His research shows that men with shaved heads are seen as more dominant than men with full hair, and men with thinning hair are seen as the least powerful of all.
I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. ~ Robert McCloskey

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