Posts tagged ‘time’

Why Watches are Set to 10:10 in Adverts

Once a fundamental tool, the wrist watch is now an accessory more than necessity.

The ubiquity of cellphones eliminated the need for watches on most people’s wrists. However, smart watches that accompany smartphones may catalyze a revival in wrist watches. Although these new fangled smart watches can emulate the analog hands of a traditional timepiece, they lack verisimilitude.

sony-smart-watch

If you’re looking for the real thing, you may notice almost all analog wrist watches are photographed with a time of 10:10. The time doesn’t have any special meaning, it’s just aesthetics. The manufacturer’s logo is typically below 12 o’clock and the hands at 10 and 2 frame the logo proportionally and draw the readers eyes toward the logo itself.

watces

One exception is chronograph watches. Since they often have multiple dials, the logo may not be top and center and/or the hands may be moved to a position that doesn’t block other dials.

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June 3, 2013 at 2:00 am 13 comments

TIME Stands for The International Magazine of Events

By Chad Upton | Editor

The first TIME magazine was published on March 3rd, 1923 and sold for fifteen cents.

Cover Credit: WILLIAM OBERHARDT

It’s the first and longest running weekly news magazine in the United States. There are also European, Asian and South Pacific editions.

TIME is well known for its annual “Person of the Year” edition. This special edition has been running since 1927 and can be controversial. This is most apparent in “Person of the Year” choices such as Adolf Hitler (1938) and Josef Stalin. Many people have earned the title multiple times, including Stalin in 1939 and 1942. Franklin D Roosevelt earned the title three times between 1932 and 1941. Nearly a dozen other presidents have been given the title too. Person of the year is not necessarily an honor or prize, it’s simply a recognition of influence.

Although it’s been called TIME for the better part of a century, the founders originally considered naming it Facts. Through an ad campaign, TIME was assigned the backronym, “Today Information Means Everything.” But, on the landing page for the official Kindle edition of TIME, it is referred to as “The International Magazine of Events.” I guess that explains why the name is always capitalized, TIME.

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Sources: everything2, time.com, wikipedia (time), new world encyclopedia

February 12, 2013 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Daylight Saving Time Was Funded by 7-11

By Chad Upton | Editor

Spring forward, fall back — that’s the phrase that moves our clocks the right way.

Most of North America, Europe, New Zealand and parts of Australia, South America and Africa currently observe Daylight Saving Time (DST). The days and times at which individual countries actually make the shift, varies widely.

In the following image, the blue zones currently observe DST. Orange zones no longer do and red zones never have. It should be noted that the further away from the equator, the more likely a country is to support DST since the daylight hours are more greatly affected.

Daylight saving time was invented by two people in different parts of the world at around the same time. The first man was George Vernon Hudson, an Australian, who proposed the idea in 1895. He wanted longer afternoons following work to spend collecting and studying butterflies and other bugs. The second man was William Willet, who proposed the idea in 1905 and wanted longer afternoons to play golf. He had no knowledge of Hudson’s proposal since he was half way around the world in London, England. Hudson was actually born in London but moved to Australia when he was 14, so two men from London invented daylight saving time on two different continents to enjoy more of life.

Although both men were seeking extra daylight hours for pleasure, the benefit of the idea was electrical savings. Since people would be awake for more daylight hours, they would run their electric light bulbs less.

Since that was a primary use for electricity, this was a big concern all over the world. In fact, there was a time when most of the world observed daylight saving time. But, that’s the not the case anymore: much of Asia and parts of Africa, Australia and South America no longer observe DST.

It’s a surprisingly controversial topic.

Although it was conceived in 1895 and it was a good idea, it didn’t actually get used until Germany saw a need for it in April of 1916. They started using it during World War I because it allowed them to run generators less, which helped ration coal and handle air raid blackouts. The United Kingdom started using it a month later. The United States started using it in 1918 and other countries followed.

When the war ended, many countries abolished its use, including the United States. It was reestablished in 1966 and has continued to grow ever since.

In the mid 1980s, Fortune magazine estimated that 7-Eleven stores could benefit an additional $30 million per year if daylight saving time was seven weeks longer. In 1987, 7-Eleven and Clorox funded the Daylight Saving Time Coalition that sought to extend the length of daylight saving time. More sunlight was good for retail business.

There have been many controversies over the benefits of daylight saving time.

Light bulbs currently account for about 3.5% of energy consumption in the United States and Canada. With the adoption of compact fluorescent bulbs, that number will decrease. In other words, it’s not a significant part of power consumption any longer. Some studies show that daylight saving time actually increases energy costs in some places due to a shift in peak energy consumption patterns and prices. There are many conflicting reports on whether DST really saves any electricity at all.

There are other benefits, such as fewer traffic accidents. It has been shown, and it seems reasonable to expect, that fewer traffic accidents occur during daylight. So, the longer the daylight lasts after work, the fewer accidents occur. But, it can a negative impact on some farming. For example, grain harvesting is best done after dew evaporates, which requires sunlight. But, the field workers go home after an hour less sunlight in the summer, reducing the number of hours that harvesting can take place.

Daylight saving time can also disrupt electronic devices. Most of them are set to change times automatically, but some don’t and some have problems doing it correctly. There was a recent problem in Europe and Australia with iPhones not changing time correctly, causing those who rely on their phone’s alarm clocks to be late for work.

Given all the controversy, perhaps the only concrete thing we can say about Daylight Savings Time is similar to what we already know from Wearing White After Labor Day: summer is for leisure and winter is for business.

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Sources: Engadget, Wikipedia (Daylight Saving Time, George Vernon Hudson)

Photos/Images: Wikimedia Commons (gnu license), Richard Yuan (cc)

November 5, 2010 at 12:29 am 7 comments

Google Search Tricks

By Chad Upton | Editor

Google is an amazing search engine. Most of us use it to find websites with information, but it can do so much more than show you websites with answers. There are hundreds of built in features that can give you the information directly, without having to go to another site.

Movies Times

Enter “movies” followed by your town/city/postal or zip code and you’ll see some movie times for a couple popular movies along with a link to get the full list of movie times for your area.

Track Packages

Just type in a FedEx, UPS or USPS tracking number and Google will give you a link to see the shipping details.

Track Flights

Enter the airline and flight number and search. No more clicks, the info will be right there.

Find the Best Price

Enter the model name or number of a product you’d like to buy. Then click the “shopping” link at the top and Google will show prices at online retailers. To ensure you get the lowest price, you can sort by price (including shipping). There will likely be some retailers that you’ve never heard of, so you can read retailer reviews and sort by their rating as well.

Define a Word

Lets say some fancy pants uses the word “noetic” and you don’t know what it means. You could go to your favorite dictionary site, or you could type “define:noetic” into Google search. It’ll give you a list of definitions from various sites.

Unit Conversion

Whether you need to convert cups to gallons or go between metric and imperial units, Google’s conversion engine can help.

Currency Conversion

Just type in the value and the currency to convert from and to, example: 100 Euros in Australian dollars

Time

You think you’re doing a nice thing, calling somebody far away to make sure they’re well and give them a familiar voice to talk to. Then they answer the phone as if you woke them up in the middle of the afternoon, but you forgot that’s 4am in Tokyo. You can easily avoid this by checking the local time before calling.

Weather

Should you pack shorts or pants for your weekend getaway? Get a 5 day forecast in seconds (and easily switch between F/C).

Stock Quotes

Just enter the stock symbol and search.

There are many more of these features and I’ll be sure to share more later.

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Search a Specific Site

Some websites do not have good search functions on them. Sometimes I’ll read something on a site and then I go back to find it later and the site search is horrible. Otherwise, you might use google as your homepage, so it could be easier to initiate the search from there.

For example, you may remember reading why some knives have serrated blades on BrokenSecrets.com. But, you want to read it again or send the link to someone who was interested in it. You can type in google, “serrated site:brokensecrets.com” and it will only show results from BrokenSecrets.com.

Using Google as a Time Machine

Because Google’s spiders are constantly crawling the web, storing pages of data so they can resolve accurate and timely information for your search requests. Google actually lets you view the last set of data that was captured.

This information is helpful is a website cannot be reached, but you still want information from it. It’s also useful if information has changed, moved or been removed, you can potentially look at a previous version of the information.

October 13, 2010 at 2:00 am 5 comments

How to Increase Mobile Phone Battery Life

By Chad Upton | Editor

Sometimes, you’re far from your charger and won’t be back anytime soon. Here are some tips to extend your battery when it’s running low.

Not all of these tips will apply to all phones, so use the ones that match the features on your phone. If your phone, camera or other gadgets frequently run out of power while you’re away from an outlet, consider an economical backup battery charger.

Turn Off 3G and Data

Most data capable phones can operate in different modes. If you turn off the high-speed wireless data mode, such as 3G, you will significantly reduce the power your phone consumes. This is the single biggest thing I find affects battery consumption.

Dim the Screen

The screen’s backlight uses a lot of power, keeping it off as much as possible will extend battery life. On the iPhone, press the top button, on many BlackBerrys, press ALT + ENTER to lock the keyboard and shutoff the screen. If your phone has an option to adjust the brightness, dim it. If it has auto-brightness, enable it. If you can set an “auto off” time then set it to the shortest time allowed.

Text Message Instead of Calling

If you can get away with communicating by text message, this can save power too. Although, it does require your screen, so short messages are better. These messages are embedded in the signals that your phone is already sending and receiving to normally communicate with the mobile network, even when you’re not using the phone, so it’s a very efficient way to communicate.

Turn Wifi and Bluetooth Off

Wifi and Bluetooth are great conveniences, but when you’re away from your charger and worried about losing phone capabilities, they’re a luxury that can go. Most phones with these features, have an option to disable them.

Don’t Play Games or Music

Well designed mobile phone processors have a low power mode that sips power when the phone is waiting for incoming calls in standby mode. Playing games requires the processor to work at its limit, which requires a lot more energy than standby mode. The same goes for playing music, especially if they’re compressed, high bit-rate or encrypted or drm protected music files — extra processing is needed to process these files and power the headphones or internal speaker.

Stop Background Apps

Some background apps use more power than others, it really comes down to the hardware in the phone the app is using (ex GPS) and how processor intensive the activity is.

Generally, if you’re trying to save power, closing the apps you don’t need can save power. This mostly applies to BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile devices.

It isn’t as important on iPhone since background apps aren’t true background apps, they have limited capabilities and therefore don’t consume a significant amount of battery power. That said, if you have a GPS tracking, VOIP or a music playing app running in the background, it could use significant amounts of power over long periods of time and it should be closed.

If you have any other ideas, drop them in the comments. Thanks to Kraig Brachman for suggesting this secret.

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August 4, 2010 at 5:00 am 58 comments

Shop at Off-Peak Hours for Time Savings

I’ve said it before, I love bananas. But there is one kind of bananas I do not like, busy grocery stores!

I went to my local supermarket yesterday to pickup a few things. Being Super Bowl Sunday, it was pretty much the worst day to go grocery shopping. Normally, I would just go another day but I needed some things for later in the day (like most other people there I’m sure).

All the cart bumping and line shoving could have been avoided if I just went early in the morning or late the night before. That’s what I usually do — try to go shopping around 8pm-9pm, that includes any stores that are open late (ex. Target). Many stores are now until 10pm and some are open 24 hours. I try to take advantage of these hours since I usually get the store to myself. It actually makes shopping peaceful and efficient. (more…)

February 8, 2010 at 12:48 am Leave a comment

What Do AM and PM Stand for?

You might see these acronyms every day and never even think about what they actually stand for. But, at some point, you’ve probably set your alarm for PM and been late for something in the AM.

I asked my dad about AM and PM at the curious age of five. He had a really good answer. It wasn’t the right answer; but, it was a good answer.

According to him at the time, “AM” stood for “At Morning” and “PM” was “Past Morning.” It made sense and kept my mind at bay until now, and it’s not that far from the actual Latin translation.

AM is a Latin acronym for Ante Meridiem, which is “before midday” when translated to English.

PM is Latin for Post Meridiem or “after midday.”

Now, if you want to showoff you can lose the acronym and throw down, “post meridiem” the next time someone asks “AM or PM?”

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Source: WP

January 11, 2010 at 12:46 am 2 comments

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