A postal service in Croatia has started using QR codes on its stamps in an attempt to better track mail and confirm when a parcel or letter has been delivered.
The stamps, created by Croation agency Bruketa & Zinic OM, give those that send mail all kinds of information about when their letters or parcels were shipped, how far they travelled and when they were delivered to the recipient.
There's a website dedicated to tracking the stamps and even an interactive map showing where all the different packages and letters have been going.
We've some across plenty of crazy uses of QR codes, like on clothes and cookies, but this is probably one of the most useful examples we've seen so far.
Steve Jobs, the well-known entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple has passed away aged 56.
Instead of analysing his life or discussing the future of Apple, we'd rather just leave you with the moving tribute from the Apple website this morning along with one of Steve's most inspirational talks at the 2005 Stanford commencement address.
"Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."
- From the Apple website this morning.
The Papyrus is a device which allows users to view historial sites and architecture with what Yanko Design describes as 'restored vision', so what you may see as ruins will actually be shown in all of its glory on the screen!
It's a very useful tool for tours and visits to sites of interest and would be a great way to engage those that may not usually be tantalized by castles, crypts and colosseums.
Via Yanko Design.
Rehab is now available for addiction to social networking and online gaming. For only $14,500, Internet addicts can spend 45 days kicking the habit at the first US Internet addiction rehab center.
If you don't happen to have $14,500 handy to help you swear off Facebook and/or World of Warcraft permanently, maybe you could just move to an obscure corner of the US where wi-fi has not yet arrived.
The new Internet addiction rehab center is located in aptly named Fall City, Washington, oddly close to headquarters for one of the Internet's chief pushers, Microsoft. Still, the rehab center is a start at closing the yawning Internet addiction rehab gap with China, which is said to have declared Internet addiction its number one health problem and opened 400 Internet addiction rehab centers to combat it.
The sole US rehab center's founders claim that as many as one in 10 of us is an Internet addict. I'm wondering if that isn't an underestimate. If you consult a list of Signs and Symptoms of Internet/Gaming Addiction, you'll see that "Being dishonest with others" is one of them. Since nearly everybody lies to somebody sometime about something, does that mean nearly everybody is an Internet addict?
Depends. Turns out that this is another common sex stereotype--men always state conclusions firmly while women always hedge and dither--that does not truly reflect behavior.
What makes people dithery is perceived lack of expertise when the topic under discussion is associated more with one gender than the other, according to researchers. Some topics cause women to communicate tentatively when the topic is "masculine"--like changing a tire--and firmly when it is "feminine"--like cosmetics. And vice-versa. And with some gender-neutral topics, like picking a good restaurant, both women and men appear equally tentative.
A new survey is reporting that the more macho a man is, the more likely he is to resist preventive health measures like prostate exams.
That helps explain, researchers say, why US women currently average 5 years more of life, to age 80, than men do. The researchers speculate that especially macho men don't like taking advice from anyone else, even a doc.
If the data hold up, I wonder if there isn't a less psychological, more human explanation. We all secretly believe we're immortal--at least until hair-raising experience teaches each of us that death isn't going to make a special exception in our own case. Some of us are forced to learn that hard lesson sooner than others. Maybe men whose ideal is the tough guy are able to hang on to the fantasy longer than most.
Once more women will be calculating whether the men in their lives are sponge-worthy because the Today contraceptive sponge has just returned to drugstore shelves.
The sponge, and sponge-worthiness, became famous due to this episode of "Seinfeld," where Elaine hoarded her dwindling supply, vetting prospective bedmates severely to decide if they merited using up one of her precious sponges.
The contraceptive sponge, once the most popular barrier method of birth control for women, is made of polyurethane covered with spermicide. No prescription needed. It has twice disappeared from the market, although not for safety reasons. Natasha Singer's New York Times article explains the complexities.
An amusing take on Twitter, the e-fad du jour. It turns the Twitter question--what are you doing?--into an occasion for self-examination by Twitterers. Warning: this video was not put together by a fan.
Thanks to Katy Abby at Windows Secrets.
Although President Obama is a great representative for the US in many respects he has become known on the other side of the pond for being a bit of a lame gift-giver. When he met up with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Washington last month, he handed him a pack of 25 DVDs. Which weren't compatible with British DVD players. Hardly the most thoughtful present.
This week he's been in the UK meeting The Queen, the 82 year old monarch who has been head of state of Britain and the Commonwealth for over 50 years and who is not known for her tech savvy. And he brought her... an iPod. Now, I wouldn't turn down a free MP3 player myself, but it hardly seems like Obama was considering his audience. Couldn't he have got her something more personal, more appropriate? And he even got it engraved, so there's no way she can get a refund.
Clara Cannucciari remembers the economic chaos of the 1930s, so there's no way she's going to let the current credit crunch get her down. Her YouTube series Great Depression Cooking began when her grandson Christopher started filming her cooking in her kitchen, and now she's a genuine celebrity chef, with her own DVD coming out soon.
Clara's recipes are cheap but good quality. There's no junk food here but her lean meats, pasta and veggies are all easy to prepare. Watching Clara in action could be a great way for students and cash-strapped young families to learn how to cook on a budget. Or you could just sit back and listen to her charming childhood reminiscences - you won't regret it.