Google+! Everyone's doing it! No seriously: it went from zero users to zillions in a matter of days. Not bad for a me-too social network entering a space already inhabited by two 900-pound gorillas.
Not all public places should be illuminated equally. Take urban parks, which need more artificial light than a busy boulevard that's already aglow, day and night, in endless rows of shops and bars and restaurants. Mass-produced street lamps, of course, aren't attuned to such subtleties. So a lot of times, you're left with spaces that are either underlit, and unsafe, or grossly overlit, and a drain on the city's electricity bill -- not to mention the environment.
It never ceases to amaze me how ostensibly innovative companies expect their employees to work in perfectly uninspiring digs. For all their "out-of-the-box" thinking, they still think it appropriate to stuff their creatives into office cubicles or, worse still, station them at long, sterile white desks, where all accessories are kept at right angles.
To the casual student of history, Stalinist Russia represented a creative Dark Ages for the country that gave the world the likes of Marc Chagall and Tolstoy. But as a new exhibit on Soviet propaganda posters reveals, artists, illustrators, and writers managed to thrive, and even innovate, despite the iron fist of Stalin's regime.
To most Americans, Philadelphia can be summed up thusly: the Liberty Bell and cheese steaks. After recently garnering the sad distinction of Travel + Leisure's second-dirtiest city in the United States (behind New Orleans), poor Philly could use a public-image overhaul.
Toothpaste tubes count among the worst-designed packaging on the shelf today. Even those of you who are meticulous about squeezing from the bottom wind up wasting toothpaste simply because it's too hard to extract the last few drops that gather near the top edges. With all that Aquafresh we've thrown out over the years, we could've fixed the dental hygiene of the entire nation of England.
The old saw that "on the Internet, no one knows you're a dog" has mutated into something much weirder: Thanks to social networks, everyone knows you're a dog. But a bot? That's harder to tell. Or at least it might be, if a web service called Rep.licants.org catches on. The site, created by Matthieu Cherubini, installs a bot to be "you" on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. After all, in this day and age maintaining an ideal social-media persona is hard work.
Recently, we brought you a fascinating infographic that showed the flow of new hires between Silicon Valley's major startups. But a reader of ours, Gene Lu, pointed out that the chart was actually misleading, and took it upon himself to create something better.