Herding Cats: Google Instant Search, E Cigarette Ban and IKEA Goes to the…Cats?

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Stalin is back and making iPhones. And if you don’t believe it, you can get on a plane with the new saddle seats and go meet him yourself. Consumerist : What Happens When You Let 100 Cats Loose Inside IKEA – This is awesome! Instead of staging shots for their newest ad, IKEA decided to let nature take its toll and allow one hundred cats inside the store. Surrounded by cameras and finder crews, the cats explored the store and let their curiosity run rampant. I would suggest watching the entire video–it is really, really cool. 

PC World : 12 Ways the Tech Industry is Screwing You (And How To Fight Back)  – We all have that gut feeling we’re getting screwed in one way or another whenever we make a purchase, but what you wouldn’t expect is the extent to which this happens. Restocking fees are just one obvious example, whereas cookies–those invisible little data trackers–are a silent threat. Cell phone applications are also sneaking onto our bills without our direct consent, which is ironic considering they also restrict us to what we can and can’t install on our phones. In this world of commercial manipulation, its important to know what you’re getting yourself into and how to prevent it. Check out the full article for an in-depth discussion of some obvious and not so obvious remedies. 

Mainstreet : New Airline Seats Smaller Than Ever  – If cross-country flights weren’t bad enough already in coach, folks over at Aviointeriors have designed saddle-like seats five inches smaller than the current average. These seats will allow more room on a plane and therefore lower ticket costs (or, most likely, increase revenue)–but seriously, saddles? Would you pay $30 less per ticket (completely hypothetical) to be an aerospace cowboy? I hope notoriously cheap Ryanair implements these, because then those flights would be even more fun. 

Reuters.comFDA Cracks Down on 5 Makers of e-Cigarettes  – I suppose the FDA has our best interest at heart in trying to stop this “scam,” but I really wish they’d just allow it anyway because it’s in good faith. Apparently these electronic cigarettes emit nicotine vapor that satisfies the recipient’s craving for a cigarette. What the FDA is after, however, is their unsubstantiated claim that it treats nicotine addiction. The FDA seeks to put these cigarettes through the rigor of safety and health testing, and then–if they pass–allow them back into the market. I suppose every now and then every federal agency has to flex its muscles, eh?

Washington Post : Instant Search a New Option in the Familiar Order of Google Domination  – Instant search is here, folks, and it’s more awesome than ever. Now you’ll be prompted with auto-filled search queries as you type. You can hit tab to accept the top suggestion, or hit the down and up arrows to select one from the drop-down list. If you hit the right arrow key, it functions as an “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. Pretty cool? It gets cooler: Instant search populates the search results in real time as you type. Don’t believe it? You should. Head to Google.com and check it out for yourself.  Some are hypothesizing that the extra 1-2 seconds saved on each search will amount to days saved per year, if you did, let’s say, 40 searches per day.

Fortune : This Man Makes 137,000 iPhones Per Day  – Foxconn, the Chinese iPhone manufacturer notorious for the many suicides in the past months, produces 137,000 iPhones per day. With 800,000 employees, that number doesn’t seem too difficult. However, with the attrition rate seemingly increasing every day, Gou, the founder and chairman of Foxconn, was forced to hire a PR company to quell public sentiment that could have potentially resulted in Apple leaving for another manufacturer. If you believe in reincarnation, you might say that Stalin is back–as Gou has been quoted as saying that “work itself is a type of joy,” “a harsh environment is a good thing,” “hungry people have especially clear minds,” and “an army of one thousand is easy to get, one general is tough to find.” Thanks Stalin, for our iPhones.

That’s the roundup for this week, folks. Go check out Google Instant.

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