Saturday, January 28, 2017

Things I learned lately - 28 January

  • 3D TV is officially dead. No manufacturers are making them anymore.
  • California Edison is the first power company to start using Tesla's Powerpack storage batteries. A substation has 400 of them installed, which will accumulate power during off-peak hours and provide it back to the grid during peak hours. Message to all utility companies that say the grid can't store electricity: Not anymore, sunshine....
  • iOS has a built in magnifier feature, which can be enabled in settings > general > accessibility > magnifier. Triple click the home button to access it.
  • 70% of Germans can speak English, as can 89% of people from Malta, 82% of people from Belize, 80% of folks from Singapore, 59% of Slovenians and 40% of Armenians.
  • The Mattel electronic Barbie Typewriter, available in 1998, had a secret. It was based on an older model made by Mehano in Slovenia, made pink and purple for Mattel. It had a wonderful secret capability that was never included in Mattel's marketing or manual. It was capable of encoding and decoding secret messages, using one of 4 built-in cipher modes, activated by entering a special key sequence. It was probably thought that secret writing would not appeal to girls, so the coding/decoding instructions were omitted from the manual. Nevertheless, the crypto capabilities can be accessed if you know how to activate them. 
  • On the sidewalks of London, there are tactile patterns for people with sight problems to know where crossings are and to avoid certain hazards, based on the raised shapes. 
  • The Francisco is the world's first high-speed ferry that uses liquefied natural gas as primary fuel. The ship can carry 1,000 passengers and 150 cars while surpassing 58 knots.
  • Aqilokoq is the Inuit word for 'softly falling snow'.
  • The UK spends almost double what Canada does on its military.

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