So the guy who invented the zipper, the simple object that has caused both great convenience and a lot of suppressed discomfort to the masses, is more popular than the cricketing legend who has diligently served his nation for over twenty years.
Gideon Sundback (April 24, 1880 – June 21, 1954) was not so popular till today, but for the latest Google Doodle, now every Google junky, which is virtually every one of us, knows his name.
Gideon Sundback was a Swedish-American electrical engineer. Born in 1880 in Sweden, he eventually immigrated to the United Stated in 1905. Sundback improved Whitcomb Judson’s 1851 patent for the Clasp Locker, working for Judson at his Universal Fastener Company in St. Catherine, Ontario.
While we wish a very happy birthday to Sachin Tendulkar, the little master, the master blaster, the living legend, and the very lifeline of Indian cricket, the inventor of the zip is simply too hard to ignore now that he has been highlighted by Google. So here we delve into some interesting facts about the simple ‘zipper’.
• Wait a minute, simple? Wrong! The development of the zip happened over a period of 8 years, from 1906 to 1914.
• Sundback filed for a patent for the design of the zipper (or the Hookless No.2 as it was known then) in 1914. It was issued to him in 1917.
• The name “zipper” was created in 1923 by B.F. Goodrich.
• Before the name ‘zipper’ was coined, the device was called “Hookless No.2”.
• Initially, boots and tobacco pouches were the primary use for zippers; it took another twenty years before they caught on in the fashion industry.
• About the time of World War II the zipper achieved wide acceptance for the flies of trousers and the plackets of skirts and dresses.
• Thousands of miles of zipper are manufactured daily.
The inventor of the zipper was pretty much an unknown entity until today. We verily took for granted the existence of the zip and the essential role it has been fulfilling for us for such a long time.
But when Google decided to do a doodle on the zipper, the whole story was suddenly brought to the forefront and everybody took notice. This, folks, is the power of social media to bring to light something that was obscure, to influence minds and to cultivate opinions. Don’t let it pass you by.
The Britannica encyclopedia officially announced recently that they would be scrapping their print edition for good. This decision was long pending in the wake of plummeting sales. In the world of infinite and instant knowledge, spending upwards of a thousand dollars for the hardcover library simple does not make much sense anymore. But Britannica will continue with the digital version of their once revolutionary encyclopedia.
The sales of the Britannica encyclopedia have been on a downward spiral for quite some time now with 120,000 in 1990 to 40,000 in 1996 and 8,000 since 2009. The 2010 version of the 15th edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica sold 8,000 sets generating $11 million in revenue. Meanwhile, the Wikimedia foundation collected more than $60 million in contributions to fund Wikipedia and its other projects.
In spite of their claims, one cannot stop comparing Britannica with online knowledge sources like Wikipedia. Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. President Jorge Cauz says “This has nothing to do with Wikipedia or Google. This has to do with the fact that now Britannica sells its digital products to a large number of people”.
But one only wonders how successful even the digital version of Britannica will be in the time of free knowledge. On one hand you get the online subscription of Britannica at $ 70 per year, whereas on the other hand all of the info on Wikipedia is available for free. There are about 65,000 articles in the latest edition of Britannica and about 3,890,000 articles on Wikipedia. The difference between the qualities comes in when we talk about the contributors to both these encyclopedias. Britannica has about 4,000 contributors which include 110 Nobel Prize winners and 5 US Presidents. Although Wikipedia, has about 751,426 contributors, and your neighbor could be one of them.
It’s a given that Britannica is much more reliable than Wikipedia. But people today are not inclined on spending money for information when it is available online for free, albeit the risk of it being misleading. How long with the digital edition of Britannica last? Share your opinions here.
Kids love it, elders love it and now the cops love it too. Social networking sites meant for fun, reuniting long-lost pals have now turned out to be a tracker for law enforcements.
Social media sites are now proving to be a key element involved in nailing criminals.
Keeping the above context in mind let’s talk about the most intriguing stories about criminals nabbed via social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc.
The latest to make the headlines is the high-profile case that FBI cracked with the help of Facebook.
• The Federal Bureau of Investigation has managed to capture most-wanted Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, through a publicity campaign they had run on Facebook. Bulger, who became a household name with the Martin Scorcese film The Departed, was nabbed in California, along with his girlfriend Catherine Grieg, a day after the Facebook effort kicked off.
• Next on our list is Maxi Sopo, a 26-year-old criminal, who was hiding in Mexico. Maxi bragged about his fun on his Facebook wall and ended up in jail. The criminal wrote: “living in paradise” and “loving it” on his wall. Too bad for him, his paradise stint was interrupted by cops.
• Another criminal, who was caught via social media, is Chris Crego. The man was on the run, but was nabbed when he posted his workplace on his MySpace and Facebook pages.
• Robert Powell, from Florida, who murdered his friend Joseph Duprey, was nailed, when he posted pictures of Duprey on his MySpace page next to the words “rest in peace” and “live through me,” hours before Duprey’s death was even reported to police.
• The hilarious case of Facebook addict Jonathan G. Parker, 19, left many in splits. Jonathan was arrested and charged with burglary after a woman found her home ransacked, her precious stones missing and Jonathan’s Facebook account open on her computer.
“Data posted on blogs and various social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are used to validate information, about the target of an investigation, which helps in cracking a case,” says a source.
Last on our list is Al, who didn’t see the need to be on Facebook, but today he swears by it. The reason behind his sudden fondness for Facebook is the fact that the thief, who stole his belongings was caught using Facebook.
Al was at work, when he saw his car’s windscreen smashed and his stereo and other belongings missing, he immediately called his wife, who informed all her pals through Facebook. Within few hours, one of the friends claimed that she saw the thief and the culprit was nabbed.
“I love Facebook,” says Al.