Technology

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Rose Gold v Pink – Semiotics and Consumer Technology

Rose gold, however, has quite a different symbolic valence. Deliberately adulterated, it is gold that has an inclination to be something else. Rose gold is perverse. Unlike yellow gold—but like its cooler cousin, white gold, which is an alloy with nickel or manganese that has also risen and declined in popularity throughout the years—rose gold is subject to the vagaries of fashion. The desire it stimulates is inherently temporary. In rose gold, a substance of enduring value is transformed into a consumer item with the half-life of all things modish. Rose gold is decadent. It is gold for people who already have enough gold gold.

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Google, a leader in efforts to create driverless cars, has run into an odd safety conundrum: humans.

Google’s fleet of autonomous test cars is programmed to follow the letter of the law. But it can be tough to get around if you are a stickler for the rules. One Google car, in a test in 2009, couldn’t get through a four-way stop because its sensors kept waiting for other (human) drivers to stop completely and let it go. The human drivers kept inching forward, looking for the advantage — paralyzing Google’s robot.

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On the Ballpoint

Bich didn’t just profit from the ballpoint; he won the race to make it cheap. When it first hit the market in 1946, a ballpoint pen sold for around $10, roughly equivalent to $100 today. Competition brought that price steadily down, but Bich’s design drove it into the ground. When the Bic Cristal hit American markets in 1959, the price was down to 19 cents a pen. Today the Cristal sells for about the same amount, despite inflation.

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Military Gremlins?

In what some might regard as a swipe at certain high-priced fighter jets, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, today announced a new program to develop distributed drones that can be recovered in the air via a C-130 transport plane, and then prepped for re-use 24 hours later. They’re calling them Gremlins.

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