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17 May 2011

The REport

Blast off! In what is being described as “picture perfect,” NASA’s Endeavor finally launched after weeks of delay.  In the words of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose husband is the commander, “good stuff.”

Can the roots of social media be traced back to Tupperware®?

According to trend forecasters Reality Check Inc., the 1950’s-era Tupperware Party, with its gathering of like-minded friends to socialize and shop, is being compared to an early form of social networking akin to the effect of Facebook.

E-mail and social media applications, it seems, are now a part of many people’s morning routines. After shutting off the alarm, 35 percent of Americans surveyed said they use an Android or iPhone application while still under the covers, with eighteen percent logging onto Facebook.  How quick are you to check status updates in the morning?

Once out of bed, the research firm ComScore finds more than 17 percent of smartphone users are posting to location-based check-in services.  Despite the good publicity these services have enjoyed in the past year or so, this research concludes that location-based activity is still “the province of the early-adopter crowd rather than a mainstream mobile activity.”

A few stories that offered a potential glimpse into the high-tech future caught my attention this past week.

Google is lobbying the Nevada government to make it legal for driverless vehicles. The company claims that these cars — guided by a laser rangefinder, radar and camera sensors — are actually safer than those driven by humans.

Another story centers on researchers in Canada who developed a prototype for a flexible computer.  In other words, a device that “looks and feels like a small sheet of interactive paper.”

Robot cars and paper-thin computers…who would have thought!

It’s that time of year again, when television network executives make their selections for the Falls season’s new shows. The Wall Street Journal reports that 500 pitches for potential television shows are brought to the table each year.  For a look at how the “Upfront” process actually results in a handful of fall premiers, I found this article of great interest.

Lady Gaga has broken another social media record.  On Saturday, the songstress reached 10 million followers on Twitter, becoming the first to reach this milestone.

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