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Tomorrow's World (BBC)

Watch Technologists Get Excited About Pen Computers in 1991

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Tomorrow's World (BBC)

In this clip from a 1991 episode of Tomorrow's World we learn about a revolution in computing: A FREAKIN' TOUCH-SCREEN! Of course you don't actually touch it with your fingers, you use a stylus instead. And the screen is monochrome. And it's bulky. But still, you can kind of draw on it and that's a big deal.

The early computers demonstrated in this clip struggle to do very basic handwriting recognition, but they do work. In a fascinating segment, they visit a Jaguar factory and note how the touchscreen is actually used in the wild, to ensure quality in paint jobs.

My favorite quote from this bit:

"It's predicted that we will soon see an electronic checkbook which can read the amount, verify your signature, and communicate directly with the bank's computer."

Not a bad prediction, though of course the checkbook itself was largely made obsolete by ATM cards.

For special bonus points, after the touchscreen computer segment we learn about an exciting new technology that will allow for widescreen "high definition" TV. The future was so exciting in 1991. Enjoy:

One of the computers shown appears to be a Kyocera Refalo KX-1601, which actually ran MS-DOS!

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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

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Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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iStock

If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

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