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NEW IDEAS AND TRENDS (old)

World's First Pear Genome Sequence Announced by Joint China-US Research Project

Fruit fans rejoice, pears could be getting bigger, tastier and more resistant to drought and disease! Now that researchers from the Chinese-American "International Pear Genome Cooperation Group" have finished the world's first pear genome sequence, we can expect new high-yield, high quality, low-input varieties of pears to land on store shelves someday soon.

Blue Curry Adds Odd Color to Tokyo Cafe's Menu

On a diet and looking for a light meal? Try a light blue meal instead: Tokyo's Tea Room 2525 has brought back a turquoise temptation from last summer, disingenuously dubbed "Blue Curry Loss of Appetite". It's a great way to get the blues while losing weight.

'Happy Farm' Online Game Inspires Eco-friendly Pig Cottages

A Chinese pig farm project inspired by the hugely popular online game “Happy Farm” has seen over 500 eco-friendly pig cottages spring up in the coastal province of Jiangsu. Though these swine are living fine, don't get jealous: their luxurious digs are intended to encourage tastier meat.

Siri Takes Lead From SNL's Self-Deprecating Humor Making Apple Butt Of Joke

Does anyone remember when iPhone prototypes were left behind in Silicon Valley bars only to be found by those looking to make a quick buck while providing the techie world with an advance sneak peak at Apple's latest iteration? In both cases, Apple execs were none too pleased and subsequent police investigations and threats of litigation were filed against Gizmodo and ex-Apple employees responsible.

From "Finish Line" To "Shut The Mother F-er Down": OTB Employees Struggle To Be Heard

If one was to ask what happened on December 7, 2010 and 2011, most folks would reference the 69th & 70th-year anniversaries of Pearl Harbor. Few people would know or care that New York's Off-Track Betting Office doors were shuttered that first year, depriving thousands of workers from earned health benefits. And on its anniversary date the following year, it marked the day that OTB worker Patti McCole entered the hospital for brain cancer.

Is Buffy, The Mobile Slayer, Facebook's Ace In The Hole?

Being left behind on the mobile landscape has motivated countless bloggers and techie prognosticators to cyberventilate as to FB's future. Based on an 11th hour stock devaluation by the company themselves (see previous post, "Facebook's IPO Morality Tale…"), coupled with the claim the company can't survive in the public sphere relying solely on ad revenues, Zuck has ridden a roller-coaster of criticism in one week's time that has cast yet another shadow over the world's largest social network.

Aston Martin's Lagonda SUV Concept Spies Well-Heeled Chinese Drivers

Aston Martin Lagonda Limited, famed for its high performance GT sports cars favored by the likes of James Bond, reckons its future lies far to the east of MI6 headquarters in the garages of China's rich and famous. The super-luxury 4x4 Lagonda SUV is expected to cost a pretty moneypenny and would likely leave 007 shaken, not stirred.

Coin Laundry Calls When Your Clothes Are Clean

Kyoto Laundry Service announces "Hello Call”, Japan's first coin-operated laundry voice information service. Got things to do and people to see? No problem, your machine will phone when it needs more detergent, more change or more repairs.

Facebook's IPO Morality Tale: If The Green Shoes Fit, Wear Them?

Facebook's reversal of fortunes in such a short span of time has played out almost like a modern-day morality tale.  The fall-out of the social network post-IPO, after such an enthusiastic build-up was telling. While it lined the pockets of some (namely investment bankers), it deprived the 99 Percenters (or Dumb F*cks as Zuckerberg so adroitly labeled them back in 2004) full-disclosure, resulting in a subsequent short-fall on their FB investment.

Chengdu's Love Zebra Crossing: Street Hearts for Sweethearts!

Cross your heart and hope to... live? In an effort to ensure the often bumpy road to romance gets off to a smooth start, the Chinese city of Chengdu has provided a Love Zebra Crossing painted up in lovely red & white.

Peak Download: Internet Access Arrives at Remote Tibetan Village

A pilot project to provide network services for a tiny Tibetan village has allowed residents to connect to a wider world many did not know even existed. The project, sponsored and funded by China Telecom, also provides villagers with internet-ready computers, Tibetan-language web development and skills training.

Chinese RoboCop Keeps An Electric Eye On Crime

A robot policeman equipped with a CCTV cyclops eye and a navel-mounted panic button is the new face of crimefighting in China. Though fixed to the pavement and unable to chase feeling suspects, the ersatz RoboCop nonetheless has brought peace to the mean streets of Kunming.

Do You Have Enough Klout To Fly The Friendly Skies Or Land The Perfect Job?

Klout is to 'personal influence' what Google is to 'page ranking.' While the Big G's algorithms determine the relevance of the Internet's every web page, Klout supposedly ranks the influence of every person online. As a 3-year old start-up, it's raison d'être is to measure influence based on the digerati's ability to drive action.

How Many "Dumb F*cks" Rocked Facebook's IPO Like It's 1999?

The term "Dumb F*cks" has hung over Mark Zuckerberg like a dark cloud over the course of the last 8 years. Not because his nickname "Zuck" rhymes with the expletive, but because the CEO of today's largest social network derided his early FB users as such. In 2004, when first percolating the idea of FB in a Harvard dorm room and asked how he attracted so many followers so quickly, he off-handedly responded they were following him blindly, like "Dumb F*cks."

KDDI's Concept IIDA Smartphone Features a Manual Analog Clock

Look Ma, hands! Japan's KDDI is showcasing a curiously retro smartphone that's a real blast from the past. The phone's bezel features a manually-wound analog clock, thus creating a fusion of elegance and technology.