Starting next year, you can call or text friends from up in the air — if your airline allows it. (Joy thinks it’s amazing that calling from an elevator is virtually impossible but calling from the air won’t be. The reason, of course, Bob says irritatingly smugly, is the steel shell of the elevator acts as what’s called a “Faraday cage,” named for the famous scientist. This cuts off wireless transmission. You can look all this up.)
Here’s the future calling: Windows 8.1 is already set up for the day when we will all have 3D printers sitting on our desk. You know, those devices that will make almost any object you select or design. Some of these printers are around $1,300 now, only a fraction of what laser printers cost back when they were new. Make your own bobble-head. You’ll still need 3D software to design your object but the software won’t care what kind of printer you have. As explained in TomsGuide.com, it will be just like when you get a new ink jet printer: Microsoft Word doesn’t need to know about the new device. It still uses the print command. Here’s the rub, as Bill Shakespeare might say: your 3D printer […]
According to a Reason-Rupe poll of more than 1,000 adults, 61 percent said they don’t trust Facebook “at all,” 48 percent said they don’t trust Google “at all;” and 41 percent don’t trust their cell phone provider “at all,” no matter who it is. Forty-five percent also said they don’t trust the IRS (which is perfectly understandable). Interestingly, the IRS and other government agencies rated higher in trust than most web services. More info at Reason.com/poll.
More Android-based tablets than Apple iPads shipped in the second quarter. But iPad revenue still beats Android revenue, since they’re more expensive. The majority of tablets sold this year have been in the smaller, seven-inch screen size. The new iPad Air ships in November.
Only 35 percent of parents will shop for back-to-school supplies, including clothes, at a physical store, according to a survey by SOASTA, an organization of Internet retailers. Sixty-five percent shop by computer, tablet or phone. (Notice any closed stores in your neighborhood?)
Three fourths of those surveyed say it’s less stressful to shop online. They don’t have to fight traffic, find a place to park, wait in line, or deal with other shoppers. It’s true you pay for shipping, but you don’t have to buy gas.
We listen to online radio nearly every day but still enjoy our FM radio stations. Turns out we’re not alone. Ninety-three percent of teens and adults use old fashioned radio, according to a Pew Research report. Though online radio use has surged from 28 percent to 56 percent of the population, it’s still common to flip on a regular radio station. Regular TV use is even more common. Some 98 percent of us watch TV the ordinary way at least some of the time, in addition to whatever devices bring us the online version.
Over a million people have used a free tool from the mathematics giant, Wolfram Alpha, to find out interesting things about their Facebook account. Joy’s report showed the average length of her posts was 5.6 words, her percentage of female Facebook friends was 72 percent, her oldest Facebook friend was 90 and her youngest was 21. The report also listed the friends with the most mutual friends. Start at WolframAlpha.com/facebook. If you don’t already have a Wolfram Alpha account, you’ll have to register but it doesn’t take long and it’s free. There are other neat things there: Wolfram’s main calculator tool is a great way to find out answers to quantitative questions, like, “how much would a ton of gold […]