Tech Companies Leave Phone Calls Behind

Via: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/07/technology/tech-companies-leave-phone-calls-behind.html?_r=3&ref=technology

The companies argue that with millions of users every day, they cannot possibly pick up a phone.

“A lot of these companies don’t have enough employees to talk to,” said Paul Saffo, a longtime technology forecaster in Silicon Valley. Facebook, for example, has just one employee for every 300,000 users. Its online systems process more than two million customer requests a day.

Google, which at 14 years old is a relative ancient in Silicon Valley, is one of the few companies that publishes phone numbers on its Web site. Its phone system sends callers back to the Web no less than 11 times. Its lengthy messages contain basic Internet education in a tone that might be used with an aging relative, explaining, slowly and gently, “There’s nothing Google can do to remove information from Web sites.”

Amelia Earhart Distress Call Details Emerge

Via: http://news.discovery.com/history/amelia-earhart-distress-calls-120601.html

Dozens of previously dismissed radio signals were actually credible transmissions from Amelia Earhart, according to a new study of the alleged post-loss signals from Earhart’s plane.

The transmissions started riding the air waves just hours after Earhart sent her last inflight message.

The study, presented on Friday at a three day conference by researchers of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), sheds new light on what may have happened to the legendary aviator 75 years ago. The researchers plan to start a high-tech underwater search for pieces of her aircraft next July.

Visualizing English Word Origins

Via: http://ideasillustrated.com/blog/2012/04/01/visualizing-english-word-origins/

I have been reading a book on the development of the English language recently and I’ve become fascinated with the idea of word etymology — the study of words and their origins. It’s no secret that English is a great borrower of foreign words but I’m not enough of an expert to really understand what that means for my day-to-day use of the language. Simply reading about word history didn’t help me, so I decided that I really needed to see some examples.

Using Douglas Harper’s online dictionary of etymology, I paired up words from various passages I found online with entries in the dictionary. For each word, I pulled out the first listed language of origin and then re-constructed the text with some additional HTML infrastructure. The HTML would allow me to associate each word (or word fragment) with a color, title, and hyperlink to a definition.

The $180,000 Del Popolo Pizza Food Truck

Via: http://www.7×7.com/tech-gadgets/180000-del-popolo-pizza-food-truck

There’s only one possible reaction upon first seeing Jon Darsky’s pizza truck: Whoa. Hitched to a mighty rig that weighs 14 tons, Del Popolo begins serving Neapolitan pies this spring from its 5,000-pound oven. This much muscle comes at a cost—over $180,000 in all. The good news: Del Popolo is inimitable. “You’d have to be a fool to try and copy it,” says Darsky. “This thing was f*cking expensive.” Here, a few of the highlights.

Young people would rather give up cars instead of smartphones

Via: http://grist.org/article/high-gas-prices-whatevs-my-phone-gets-me-where-i-want-to-go/

“The iPhone is the Ford Mustang of today,” Thilo Koslowski, Gartner’s lead automotive analyst, recently told the New York Times.

What’s caused the change? For starters, driving has lost its cool with young Americans, who frankly have better things to do than sit behind the wheel of a tin can lodged in gridlock. And then there are gas prices that are expected to top $4.25 a gallon by April.

I’m Being Followed: How Google—and 104 Other Companies—Are Tracking Me on the Web

Via: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/12/02/im-being-followed-how-google-and-104-other-companies-are-tracking-me-on-the-web/253758/

This morning, if you opened your browser and went to NYTimes.com, an amazing thing happened in the milliseconds between your click and when the news about North Korea and James Murdoch appeared on your screen. Data from this single visit was sent to 10 different companies, including Microsoft and Google subsidiaries, a gaggle of traffic-logging sites, and other, smaller ad firms. Nearly instantaneously, these companies can log your visit, place ads tailored for your eyes specifically, and add to the ever-growing online file about you.

It’s Time to Stop Talking About the Apple Cult

Via: http://techland.time.com/2012/01/26/can-we-stop-talking-about-the-apple-cult-now/

Thirty-seven million iPhones. Fifteen million iPads. Fifteen million iPods. Five million Macs. A million Apple TVs. No matter how you do the math, that’s a boatload of gadgets–and it’s how many Apple sold in the final three months of 2011. The company’s profits–$13.06 billion–were the second-highest in the history of American business, after ExxonMobil’s last quarter of 2008.

But I don’t care about Apple’s bottom line. What I find fascinating about these big numbers is what they say about the size of Apple’s customer base. It’s enormous, and still growing. And the larger it becomes, the weirder it gets that some people reflexively dismiss Apple owners as empty-headed, style-obsessed cult members.

One of the original “Mad Men”

Via: http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/01/i-am-lousy-copywriter.html

British-born David Ogilvy was one of the original, and greatest, “ad men.” In 1948, he started what would eventually be known as Ogilvy & Mather, the Manhattan-based advertising agency that has since been responsible for some of the world’s most iconic ad campaigns, and in 1963 he even wrote Confessions of an Advertising Man, the best-selling book that is still to this day considered essential reading for all who enter the industry. Time magazine called him “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry” in the early-’60s; his name, and that of his agency, have been mentioned more than once in Mad Men for good reason.

Ron Paul in an Astros rainbow uniform (1976)

Via: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/ron-paul-stars-astros-rainbow-uniform-76-congressional-135224691.html

Almost nobody likes Congress. The polls say so. But I’ll say this for the federal legislature: Republicans and Democrats play each other in a baseball game every year, and that partly makes up for whatever it is they do the rest of the time.

Back in December, Summer Anne Burton of NotGraphs published a wonderful post called “GOP Presidential Candidates and Baseball” that explored how each of the hopefuls has been affiliated with the national pastime.