Sunday, September 16, 2012

Things I learned this week 16 Sep

  • For the price you can pay for a parking spot in Hong Kong, you could buy a few houses in the US. Not foreclosed houses either.
  • The first deodorant was trademarked in 1888, while the first antiperspirant, was launched in 1903. But many people, if they had even heard of them, thought they were unnecessary, unhealthy or both. It wasn't until 1919, when ads claimed that women may be stinky and offensive and they might not even know it. After that deodorants and antiperspirants sold like crazy.
  • For serious stargazing, there is a place about an hour and a half southeast of Calgary called the Big Sky Observatory. There's a donated telescope there, near the Twin Valley dam. It's one of the darkest (but close) spots in the province.
  • In the last two and a half years, America lost almost 3,000,000 cable TV subscribers. Over 300,000 Americans cut their land line connections to everything (including cable TV, broadband internet, satellite and hard-wired phones) - just in Q2 of 2012.
  • Billy Joel can't read music. He used to, but can't anymore, being very out of practise. He plays everything by ear.
  • The next generation of TV resolution is 4K TV. Take four 42" full HD televisions and arrange them in a square - with the same pixel density (the pixels are just as tiny). That's what we're talking about. 
  • Bug-a-salt is a gun that shoots flies and other bugs dead using nothing more than a pinch of table salt.
  • It will cost you $29 to buy an adapter to use old iPhone accessories with the new iPhone 5 (new connector). But the adapter doesn't support video or audio out. Old apps won't work full screen on the new iPhone either (for now).
  • Opus is an open-source audio codec (read - no licensing required) that works better than every other audio codec combined. It could become the new audio standard for digital multimedia.
  • According to Mitt Romney, 'middle income' refers to $200,000-$250,000. But that income is actually top 2-3% territory. 'Middle' income in reality is between $30,000 and $100,000.

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