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When shoppers at a fashionable clothing store in Tokyo pull an item off the rack, an image of the item on a model appears right above their heads. That’s thanks to a new use of RFID technology that uses a tag to trigger the ad when the hanger is removed from the rack. The images tell shoppers what the clothes look like on (or at least on a model) and also what other items might go with them to make up an outfit.
Coming soon: a new BlackBerry operating system, BBX. It’s a combination of the existing smartphone OS and QNX, the system for Research in Motion‘s tablet. The new OS will be optimized for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile goods. “The whole company is aligning behind a single platform,” said RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis.
Ever notice how hard it is to get oil off of plastic containers when washing the dishes? It turns out that oil is attracted to plastic while water is not. So when Wendy Schmidt, wife of Eric Schmidt, offered a $1 million X prize to any company that could substantially improve oil-skimming technology for removing oil from ocean water after an oil spill, Elastec/American Marine, a tiny company in Illinois, met the challenge by using plastic to attract the oil in water.
A company issues its quarterly report. Its earnings are solid, but lower than what analysts expected. So a bunch of people sell the stock and its price takes a beating. It’s a familiar story and one that was played out today: Apple announced earnings of $7.02 per share yesterday. That looks great compared to last year’s $4.64 per share, but not so great compared to the average $7.29 analysts had predicted. It was the first time since 2004 that Apple failed to meet analysts expectations.
Herman Cain might be singing “Imagine there’s no pizza,” but in the next 40 years, we might be singing “Imagine there’s no CEO,” says Nigel Rayner an analyst at Gartner. In a “maverick” presentation he argues that machines are better able to perform analytic tasks than humans and will eclipse human decision-making in the near future.