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Google Zeitgeist 2010

Each year since 2001, Google releases its Zeitgeist summary, showing various lists of top search terms. By examining these lists, we can figure out something about the year -- or at least about the people who use Google to search during that year. For example, this year (so far), here are the "Fastest Rising" search terms:

1. chatroulette
2. ipad
3. justin bieber
4. nicki minaj
5. friv
6. myxer
7. katy perry
8. twitter
9. gamezer
10. facebook

Personally, I don't even know what #4, 5, 6, or 9 are. (Perhaps I should Google them.) And I wish I didn't know what #1, 3, or 7 were. Similar insights come from the "Fastest Falling" list, showing terms that were popular in 2009 but have fallen quickly. I feel a bit wistful looking at these search terms of yore:

1. swine flu
2. wamu
3. new moon
4. mininova
5. susan boyle
6. slumdog millionaire
7. circuit city
8. myspace layouts
9. michael jackson
10. national city bank

Oh New Moon, we hardly knew ye.

Google even has a surprisingly touching video showing the year in search:

Sure, it's part Google promo video (with lots of YouTube clips, Google search, Google Earth, and Google Voice shots finding their way in). But it's also a uniquely technological way to look at the year that was. (It is worth clicking through to the site, as there are interactive graphs showing trends over time, trends by region, and so on. My favorite is the United States view, "People: Music." How is it that I don't own an album by any of these artists?)

Earlier years can be viewed here.

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Apple Is Offering Free Battery Replacements for Some MacBook Models
iStock
iStock

Want to extend the life of your MacBook Pro battery? A new offer from Apple might let you replace it for free.

Some non Touch Bar, 13-inch MacBook Pros that were manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017 are eligible for the program, and you can see if your computer qualifies by entering your serial number on Apple’s website.

The company said some of the batteries in models manufactured during this one-year period may be faulty, which is what prompted the offer. Although it’s not a safety issue, a component in the battery could fail, causing the battery to expand. Affected customers who already paid to have their battery replaced can also contact Apple for a refund.

The service takes three to five days to complete and can be done at any Apple-authorized service provider or retail store. Computers can also be mailed in to a repair center.

Before sending it away for repairs, though, it's important to check for other issues with your computer. Apple notes, “If your 13-inch MacBook Pro has any damage which impairs the replacement of the battery, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the battery replacement. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair.”

[h/t The Verge]

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Amazon Will Now Deliver Packages to Your Car Trunk
Amazon
Amazon

Delivery drivers call them “porch pirates.” It’s a derisive term for people who take advantage of the fact that many residents aren’t home during the day and swipe packages from doorsteps. Bad weather, nosy neighbors, or general privacy concerns may be other reasons you’re not comfortable leaving shipments unattended. Now, Amazon has a solution: Today, the company is introducing Amazon Key In-Car Delivery, a new method for dropping off packages that virtually guarantees they’ll be in one piece when you get home.

When shoppers opt for Amazon Key at checkout and own a vehicle that supports app-based unlocking, the delivery driver will be able to pop open your trunk and deposit your items inside. Essentially, your car doubles as a storage locker.

Your car may be sitting in your office parking lot during the day, but that’s no problem. Drivers will be able to pull up to your car there and make the same drop-off. When you’re done with work for the day, your packages will be waiting. Your car can be parked anywhere within a two-block radius of the delivery address and still be eligible for the service.

But how would a driver find it? The In-Car Delivery program requires a few things in order to work. For one, you need Amazon’s Key app; you also need to give the company permission to lock and unlock your vehicle. Your car must support app-based access, like 2015 or newer GM cars with OnStar subscriptions or recent-model Volvos with a Volvo On Call account. These vehicles have partnership agreements with Amazon that make them compatible with the Key software, as well as GPS functioning that allows drivers to find them when parked offsite. You’ll also need to be in one of 37 markets where Amazon dispatches their own delivery staff.

If this delivery approach is embraced, it’s likely that other carmakers will help Amazon widen their distribution platform. Amazon Key also offers in-home delivery service in select cities, which allows drivers entry into your home to leave packages inside.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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