Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

18th March 2016

The Future of Computing. From The Economist – The era of predictable improvement in computer hardware is ending. What comes next? ‘In 1971 the fastest car in the world was the Ferrari Daytona, capable of 280kph (174mph). The world’s tallest buildings were New York’s twin towers, at 415 metres (1,362 feet). In November that year Intel launched the first commercial microprocessor chip, the 4004, containing 2,300 tiny transistors, each the size of a red blood cell.

The Enormous Power of the Subconscious Brain. ‘A lot of the things we do in everyday life don’t need to involve our conscious mind. In many cases, the more we use it, the less effective we become. (We are) already aware of the fact that breathing and organ functions are things we do “automatically”, but there are lots of other examples’ and the brain is one of them 

The Art of Marketing Marijuana . ‘The people who sell the drug are facing a predicament. In a legal market, cannabis—the plant from which pot is derived—comes to resemble many other farmed products: One grower’s plant looks and tastes a lot like his neighbour’s.

Excellent Idea. Whatismymovie uses intelligent search technology to find the films you are looking for, but can’t quite remember

The inexorable rise of the Selfie. Amazon files a patent application for technology that would enable users to pay for items by taking a selfie. 

Love this idea from The Atlantic. ‘America needs ‘Y’all’ – ‘English has no standard second-person plural word, and it’s time for that to change.’

Why Facebook Canvas could be a significant development in the world of Mobile – It’s fast to get in, It’s fast to get out, It’s a place to put all your content and it’s fast to build

Mastering the art of ignoring makes people more efficient. From John Hopkins University – ‘People searching for something can find it faster if they know what to look for. But new research suggests knowing what not to look for can be just as helpful.’

No longer ‘rats with wings’. Pigeons are put to work as they start tweeting about London’s air pollution 

And finally… why did band Ok Go’s music video  (apparently filmed in zero gravity) go viral? According to this analysis, it was down to a combination of amazement ,surprise, happiness and exhilaration.