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nikola tesla (getty images) / istock (wifi)

There's a Nikola Tesla Statue That Provides Free Wi-Fi

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nikola tesla (getty images) / istock (wifi)

Nikola Tesla, one of the most influential inventors of the 20th century, spent his life working with electricity and dreamed of the possibility of wireless communication. Although he died about 30 years before the first call was made on a wireless cell phone, his work is invaluable to the technology available today. What could be a more fitting tribute to this man than a statue in his likeness that is equipped with free Wi-Fi? 

Entrepreneur Dorrian Porter was inspired to create the life-size statue after learning that he had a lot in common with Tesla– both men were immigrants who found professional success after moving to America. One of Porter’s companies, Northern Imagination, organized a Kickstarter in May of 2013 that raised over $127,000 to erect the statue. 

Standing at Tesla’s actual height of 6'2", the bronze tribute sculpted by Terry Guyer features Tesla holding a giant wireless light bulb. In addition to providing complimentary Wi-Fi to those visiting its new home in Silicon Valley, the statue also houses a time capsule to be opened on January 7, 2043—the 100th anniversary of Tesla’s death.

Porter also used this project to comment on the need to balance innovation with the economics of venture capital. His short tongue-in-cheek video imaging what Tesla’s pitch to modern investors would look like reached over 230,000 views, greatly pleasing Porter. “This unique project … is also intended to inspire the entrepreneurs who come to the Silicon Valley to think big and selflessly—as Tesla did,” says Porter. “The free exchange of information and affordable access to sustainable energy have the potential to solve the critical issues of poverty and education, and inspire peace.”

Tesla continues to be a big part of tech today—even tweeting and taking selfies:

[via: Reddit’s Today I Learned]

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Zillow to Introduce 3D Tours of Houses and Apartments
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Chances are you’ve been fooled by a too-good-to-be-true housing ad, from that “spacious, light-filled” abode that was actually dark and cramped to the “two-bedroom” apartment that was just a single unit with a large living room. To spare prospective homeowners and renters these types of experiences, Zillow, the online real estate database company, is working on a free app that will soon allow customers to take 3D house tours, according to Engadget.

Real estate agents with iPhones will use the Zillow Group Home Capture App to upload 360-degree pictures of rooms to Zillow Group, sans special equipment and hosting fees. The photos will then be fused together into a panoramic walk-through, and the virtual tour will be added to a Zillow listing.

About 44 percent of homebuyers and 47 percent of renters search for homes from a distance, according to data from the 2017 Zillow Group Housing Report. 3D tours “will help buyers and renters more easily visualize themselves living in the home, no matter how far away they happened to be,” said Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow Group’s chief marketing officer, in a news release. “Photos have always been vital to the home search process and now 3D tours can give buyers and renters a realistic understanding of what it would be like to live in the home."

The Zillow Group Home Capture App isn’t quite ready for release, as it’s currently being tested by a focus group in Scottsdale, Arizona. But if you live in Phoenix, you may see it hitting the iTunes store as early as 2018, with a nationwide rollout expected by the end of next year. In the meantime, you can get an online preview of Zillow’s 3D tours here.

[h/t Engadget]

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The iMac Was Almost Called the MacMan
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After breaking out with its Macintosh line of personal computers in the 1980s, Apple was in a slump. Sales had flagged as Microsoft's Windows operating system made waves. In 1998, the company was set to unveil a product that it hoped would reinvigorate its brand.

And they almost blew it.

According to Ken Segall, the advertising genius behind their "Think Different" campaign, Apple founder Steve Jobs was expecting the iMac to reverse the company's ailing fortunes. Where older Macs had been boxy, beige, and bland, the iMac came in an assortment of colors and had a transparent chassis that showed off its circuitry. The problem, as Segall writes in his new book, Insanely Simple, was that Jobs didn't want to call it the iMac. He wanted to call it the MacMan.

"While that frightening name is banging around in your head, I'd like you to think for a moment about the art of product naming," Segall writes. "Because of all the things in this world that cry out for simplicity, product naming probably contains the most glaring examples of right and wrong. From some companies, you see names like 'iPhone.' From others you see names like ‘Casio G'zOne Commando' or the ‘Sony DVP SR200P/B' DVD player."

According to Segall, Jobs liked the fact that MacMan was slightly reminiscent of Sony's Walkman branding concept for its line of cassette players. (Later, Sony had a Discman, Pressman, and Talkman.) But Segall, who named products for a living, feared the name would take away from Apple's identity as being original. It was also gender-biased, and alienating an entire demographic of consumers was never a good thing.

Instead, Segall suggested "iMac," with the "i" for internet, because the unit was designed to connect easily to the web. Jobs "hated" the idea, along with other suggestions, even though Segall felt the iMac could provide a foundation to name other devices, just as Sony's Walkman had. Segall kept suggesting it, and Jobs eventually had it printed on a prototype model to see how it would look. After encouragement from his staff, he dropped MacMan. With this key contribution, Segall made sure no one would be lining up to buy a PhoneMan 10 years later. 

[h/t FastCoDesign]

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