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Now You Know

Black Iceberg

Sat January 5, 2013

Thought iceberg always appears white? This picture of a black iceberg is going viral via reddit. Apparently, iceberg can also at times appears blue, green, brown, black or a combination of these colors.

According to The Canadian Encyclopedia:

Most icebergs are white except along freshly calved ice cliffs, which tend to appear blue. Others may appear green, brown or black, or combinations of these colours. These icebergs have usually rolled over, exposing basal ice, or have emerged from below water level. The various colorations are caused by differences in density, air-bubble content and impurities. For example, black ice is of high density and bubble free; dark layers indicate the presence of rock materials derived from the base of the parent glacier.

via reddit

Now You Know

Turns Out Adding A Person In Your Landscape Makes It Memorable

Wed May 25, 2011
MIT study shows pictures with people are most memorable

MIT study shows pictures with people are most memorable

We’ve always been told that our pictures will look better if we added some human interest in them. Well, this is now scientifically proven. A new study by neuroscientists at MIT has differentiated between pleasantness and memorability.

Though the human brain can remember thousands of images, it turns out that not all images are memorable. For the study, the researchers used about 10,000 images of all kinds, such as interior-design photos, nature scenes, streetscapes, etc. Human subjects culled from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program were shown a series of images, some of which were repeated. When they saw an image they had already seen, they pressed a key on their keyboard.

The results were consistent: images with people in them are the most memorable, followed by images of human-scale space (such as the produce aisle of a grocery store) and close-ups of objects. Least memorable are natural landscapes, although those can be memorable if they feature an unexpected element, such as shrubbery trimmed into an unusual shape.

So, how can you make your landscape images more memorable? Add a human element in it!

Read more about the study at: physorg.

Now You Know

Scientists Find Choke Point That Could End SPAM

Fri May 20, 2011

This is a study that I believe will interest everyone: a team of computer scientists at two University of California campuses have identified what they call the “choke point” that, if applied, will greatly reduce the flow of spam — or even stop it.

For 3 months, they set out to purposefully receive all the spam they could, even bought items from the merchants advertised and identified that 95% of the credit-card transactions worldwide were handled by… 3 financial companies. If the 3 financial companies stopped processing the spammers, they’re toast.

If a handful of companies like these refused to authorize online credit card payments to the merchants, “you’d cut off the money that supports the entire spam enterprise,” said one of the scientists, Stefan Savage of the University of California, San Diego, who worked with colleagues at San Diego and Berkeley and at the International Computer Science Institute.

Though most banks already refuse to work with shady merchants, not all financial companies are willing to cooperate to stop the flow of spam. Interestingly, when asked, Visa, the largest credit card company, declined to comment.

You can download the study here [pdf].

Read more about this revealing study at: nytimes.

Now You Know, Videos

How Pro Surfer Eco Warrior Saved A Life

Wed April 27, 2011

Read the astonishing story at: OCRegister.

source Yahoo!

Fun Stuff, Now You Know, Videos

Just How Big Does Google Want To Be?

Sat September 11, 2010
Google Infographics

Google Infographics

The name itself is derived from the word googol, which is a 1 followed by 100 zeros.

Google started in 1996 with 25 million pages in its index; today it has approx. 40 billion indexed pages (equivalent to 24 petabytes of info), with 1.5 billion of those images. It takes Google’s computers 0.5 seconds to sift through them all and return relevant matches to your search. How much storage is needed to store all that info? About 1 exabyte.

Google needs $8.3 billion every year to operate. Google’s founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page each earns $1 a year. However, before you feel bad for them, their personal fortune in Google stocks each amounts to $17.5 billion. Google is extremely profitable, averaging $400,000 per employee. Only dog lovers need apply; though dogs are allowed in the offices, cats are persona non grata. Google’s first tweet was “I’m feeling lucky” typed out in binary ones and zeros (“I’m 01100110 01100101 01100101 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101100 01110101 01100011 01101011 01111001 00001010”). Google may not like it, but its name is officially a verb “to google” in the Merriam and Webster and Oxford dictionaries since 2006.

How much does Google want to grow to? It’s goal is to index 100 petabytes of information (wonder if it will change its name then to “Peta”), which is about half of all the material ever printed in human history.

source penn olson

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Now You Know

You Touch, You Buy

Wed July 21, 2010

We’ve all seen the sign on the display table of expensive (and fragile) items: “You Break, You Buy.”

Now, a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research points to evidence that merely touching an object increases the feelings of ownership a person has for the object. This, in turn, results in a person being willing to pay more for most objects that they touch versus objects that they cannot touch.

According to authors Joann Peck (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Suzanne B. Shu (UCLA), “encouraging touch in a retail store, as Apple does for products like the iPhone, may increase the feelings of perceived ownership and influence the amount a customer is willing to pay for a product.”

Now you know why the Apple Store allows you to go around touching and trying all their wonderful gadgets.

But what if it is not possible for consumers to touch the products, as in online shopping? “Having people imagine owning a product increases their perception of ownership and how much they are willing to pay for a product.”

There, now you know.

If you are a seller, let your customers touch and visualize owning a product.

If you are a consumer, keep your hands off the goods to avoid unwanted or unnecessary purchases.

Ah, we all want to handle that brand new Panasonic LX5 or Fujifilm F300EXR now, don’t we? It will look good in your hands…


Now You Know

What Not To Wear On Your Photo Safari Trip

Mon June 14, 2010

Creative Commons License photo credit: The Grumbler

Planning a safari trip to photograph wild animals in their natural habitat? If these include big cats like cheetahs, jaguars, etc., you do not want to wear this cologne: Calvin Klein’s Obsession For Men. [QuickPrice Check]

“Obsession for Men” was launched in 1986 and is still one of the top ten best-selling fragrances for men in the world. The “nose” who helped create the cologne, Ann Gottlieb, said there are a number of ingredients used to make the fragrance such as synthetic musky scent (secreted by the civet) that might attract the big cats.

Zoos and wildlife conservation organizations use the musky perfume to lure the big cats in areas where they can be filmed and researched.

[ via Physorg ]

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Now You Know

Nature Photography for the Tired Soul

Sun June 6, 2010

According to studies conducted by the different researchers at five universities and published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, spending only 20 minutes a day in nature increases a person’s “vitality” and sense of well-being.

Take a walk in the park during lunch time. Not possible? One study shows that even being exposed to photos of nature scenes enhanced subjective vitality. So next time you go for a walk in a garden, bring your camera and capture those scenes to display on your living or office room walls! It’ll make everyone at home and office feel better!

Read the article at:

[ via @alltop ]

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Now You Know

May 25, 2001: Towel Day Honors Hitchhiker Author Adams

Tue May 25, 2010

Happy Towel Day! Fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [QuickPrice Check] will be paying tribute to the author Douglas Adams by carrying a towel prominently displayed over their shoulders today, “Towel Day“.

[ via Wired ]