JOBS REPLACED BY ROBOTS

Forty-seven percent of U.S. jobs are in danger of being taken by smart machines and software in the next two decades, according to a recent study by Oxford University’s Martin School. Oddly enough, knowledge workers at the middle and top of the work force are more at risk than those doing physical labor. Already, for example, some news services are using robots to write financial and sports stories.

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NUMBERS REPORT: STREAMING

Consumer research outfit NPD.com projects that within two years, 40 percent of households will get TV, movies and apps from a streaming stick plugged into their TV. So far there are five: Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Walmart’s new Spark. This is a hot area for innovation and we can expect fast and wide development; basically, everything is going to come from the Internet.

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NUMBERS REPORT – THE GROWTH OF PINTEREST

Freelancer.com, claims to be the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace for freelance jobs and recently noticed some changes in the way listings are being posted. They looked at nearly 300,000 jobs posted in the most recent quarter and found that “Pinterest,” a social networking site where you pin items of interest onto your own virtual corkboard, is becoming more essential than Twitter and Facebook. Pinterest recently expanded “Promoted Pins,” which are bookmarked sites promoted by advertisers. Eighty percent of Pinterest 70 million users are women. The average user spends 98 minutes a month there. Pinterest is second only to Facebook in steering people to websites.

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GAMES CAN MAKE YOU SMARTER

According to researchers at Florida State University, playing the video game “Portal 2″ makes you smarter than training your brain with the well-known Lumosity system.

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THE IPHONE VERSUS THE GIRLFRIEND

One in five men would rather have an iPhone 6 than a girlfriend, according to a Yahoo survey. That’s worse than last year, when only one in eight said they’d rather have a girlfriend than a new phone. Girlfriends are losing ground.

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THE NUMBERS REPORT

A “Phablet” is the new word for a cross between a phone and a tablet. There will be more of these sold this year than portable computers, according to IDC Research. They figure it at 175 million phablets compare to 170 million laptops.

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WATCHING PEOPLE PLAY

In our favorite non-violent action game is Peggle, a kind of cartoon pinball game. We once made a move so cool we would have liked to share it with others. Now the instant replay feature of the free game service “Raptr” lets you save video clips of your game play in any length up to 20 minutes. You could use your clips to start your own video channel online. There is a surprising large number of people who like to see video game replays.

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WHO’S LOOKING AT YOU KID?

If you’re one of the 271 million Twitter users, you may want to know how many people are potentially viewing your tweets. Go to Analytics.Twitter.com to find out. We found that our tweets were received daily by around 1800 people. Of course, just because someone is getting your tweets doesn’t mean they’re actually reading them. Stop us before we tweet again!

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THE NUMBERS REPORT

American homes gained a billion more electronic gadgets between 2010 and 2013, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, but national electricity consumption declined by 12 percent. New electronic devices, including TVs and computers, use less energy then older models. So buying new equipment is “green,” as they say. Meanwhile … all those devices are clogging up something else: Smart phone apps account for 25 percent of all Internet traffic, according to a recent report by Kleiner Perkins. An increasing amount of that traffic is for shopping: buying things from your cell phone will reach $100 billion this year, according to Forrester Research.

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THE NUMBERS REPORT

We’ve never started a column with a “Numbers Report” before. This is a frequent subject in our column but always placed well down. But some numbers have become so extraordinary in recent times, that they are worth talking about right up front. Such is the case with web sites.

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