Email marketing para Navidad #infografia #infographic #marketing

Hola: Una infografía sobre Email marketing para Navidad. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

A quién no seguir en Twitter #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía sobre a quién no seguir en Twitter. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Atención al cliente en Redes Sociales #socialmedia #marketing

Hola: Una presentación sobre atención al cliente en Redes Sociales. Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Índice de percepción de corrupción en el Mundo 2013 #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre el Índice de percepción de corrupción en el Mundo 2013. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Protege tu información contra el espionaje y las ciberestafas #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía que nos dice: Protege tu información contra el espionaje y las ciberestafas. Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Pagos móviles: códigos QR vs. tecnologías NFC #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre pagos móviles: códigos QR vs. tecnologías NFC. Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Atajos de teclado para Microsoft Office #infografia #infographic #microsoft

Hola: Una infografía sobre atajos de teclado para Microsoft Office. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Yahoo Won’t Let Me Reclaim My Old E-Mail, Hasn’t Purged It Either

Ben was caught in the Great Yahoo Purge of 2013. The company figures that you’re not going to come back for the webmail address that you registered in 1999, and decided to “reclaim” usernames that hadn’t been used in a very long time for reuse. The problem was that Ben’s ID was still in the system, but not available for him to sign in to.

“My account was ‘reclaimed,’” he writes, “but it still has all of the associated data and is not even available for new subscribers.” Oh, dear. He tried to sort this out with Yahoo support, but the representatives he spoke to didn’t understand why this was a problem. They suggested that he register for a new account.

That would be a good idea if it solved any of his problems. It doesn’t. He still had an old account floating around that he couldn’t access but that wasn’t purged either. His information was still in that account. He still didn’t own his old Yahoo ID and e-mail address, which was kind of the point of all this.

He wasn’t getting anywhere with Yahoo. You’d think they’d be delighted that someone still wants to use their service, since apparently employees themselves don’t. so he asked us to. We reached out to Yahoo, and they told us that they would check out the situation, but couldn’t share customer details with us. That’s fair.

Meanwhile, on Ben’s end, mysterious things began to happen. He received some kind of automated reset message at his alternate e-mail address. He tried to log in, and miracle of miracles: it worked. He logged in. Ben and his old account were reunited at last.

What happened to his account? Yahoo can’t tell us. Is there a way to get your own account out of limbo without enlisting Consumerist to chat with the public relations department? Maybe. Ben thinks that it was our prodding that got Yahoo to fix his account, not his own customer service fight.

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Milmillonarios por países y tendencias #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre Milmillonarios por países y tendencias. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Turismo en Extremadura #infografia #infographic #tourism

Hola: Una infografía sobre el Turismo en Extremadura. Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Crecimiento del ecommerce en Navidades #infografia #infographic #ecommerce

Hola: Una infografía sobre el crecimiento del ecommerce en Navidades. Un saludo You will find more statistics at Statista

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Windows 8 no termina de despegar #infografia #infographic #microsoft

Hola: Una infografía que nos dice que Windows 8 no termina de despegar. Un saludo You will find more statistics at Statista

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Court Orders For-Profit College To Pay $1,000/Day For Sidestepping Subpoena

National College has 30 campuses in six states.

National College has 30 campuses in six states.

For three years, the Kentucky Attorney General’s office has been trying to enforce a subpoena related to its investigation into the operators of the for-profit National College schools in the state. Today, a court ordered a $1,000/day civil penalty against the school, retroactive to July 31.

That means that the school already owes $126,000 in fines and that the amount will continue to grow every day until National College honors the subpoena from Kentucky AG Jack Conway.

Additionally, lawyers for the school have been ordered [PDF] to pay $10,000 to the AG’s office, with the court saying that the school has “repeatedly abused the legal system to obstruct a valid investigation by the Attorney General.”

This case goes all the way back to December 2010, when Conway’s office issued a subpoena related to its investigation into allegations of misleading marketing practices at for-profit schools operating in Kentucky.

National attempted to block the subpoena, claiming that disclosing the information requested by the state would be in violation of the Family Education Rights and Protection Act (FERPA), which requires student and/or parent permission to release information from a student’s education record.

But Conway’s office argued that FERPA is intended to protect students, not institutions, and that the requested documentation could be provided without the inclusion of any information that would identify any particular students. Additionally, FERPA itself states that prior consent is not required if “the disclosure is to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.”

“In short, National College’s attempt to invoke FERPA is yet another example of a continuing pattern of meritless litigation tactics to obstruct and delay the lawful investigation of the Attorney General,” reads today’s order, which requires that National, which did turn over some requested documents earlier this year, fulfill the remaining requests of the subpoena within 10 days.

If the school can make good on the subpoena request by that deadline, some of the $1,000 daily sanctions may be suspended, but the $10,000 fine against the school’s lawyers remains.

“National’s actions to date have to make you wonder what they’re trying to hide from investigators, their students and prospective students,” Attorney General Conway said.

The state filed suit [PDF] in September 2011, alleging violations oft the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act by the making of false, misleading and deceptive disclosures regarding the rate at which National students were able to obtain employment in their field of study.

According to the state, the school was dramatically overstating the percentage of its graduates that were able to find work. For example, National had posted on its website that the job-placement rate at its Louisville campus was 96% in 2010, but the numbers reported by the school to its accrediting body were only 60.1% for that year. In fact, alleged the AG’s office, National posted highly inflated job-placement stats for at least four of its locations in Kentucky.

The school subsequently adjusted the stats on its website, before doing a complete revamp in recent years. The 2011 lawsuit is still pending.

We’ve reached out to National for comment on today’s court order and will update if we hear anything back.

In addition to the National litigation, Conway’s office earlier this year also filed suit against the operators of the for-profit Spencerian College campuses over similar allegations of misleading job-placement statistics.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Las taxonomías de Bloom y YouTube #infografia #infographic #education

Hola: Una infografía sobre las taxonomías de Bloom y YouTube. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

3 tendencias emergentes en marketing digital #infogafia #infographic #marketing

Hola: Una infografía con 3 tendencias emergentes en marketing digital. Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Chicken Noodle Soup Taste Test Results: Just Make Your Own At Home

noodleOur warm and comforting colleagues over at Consumer Reports taste-tested different brands of chicken noodle soup, and came to a conclusion straight out of this site’s comments section: consumers are better off taking fifteen minutes to make their own soup at home. [Consumer Reports]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Redes sociales y comunidades digitales: clientes cada vez más conectados #socialmedia #marketing

Hola: Una presentación sobre Redes sociales y comunidades digitales: clientes cada vez más conectados. Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Cómo el móvil y las Redes Sociales cambian al consumidor #infografia #infographic #marketing

Hola: Una infografía sobre cómo el móvil y las Redes Sociales cambian al consumidor. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Reciclaje en España 2012 #infografia #infographic #medioambiente

Hola: Una infografía sobre Reciclaje en España 2012. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Congratulations, US Airways Passengers On Flight With Sick Guy: You Didn’t Get Tuberculosis

It’s not every day where you could be risking contracting a contagious disease just by flying from point A to point B. That’s why passengers on a US Airways Express flight from Austin to Phoenix over the weekend were likely a bit concerned when they were reportedly told to get a tuberculosis test on the chance that their fellow flier might’ve had it.

Health officials for Maricopa County say that while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sounded the alarm that resulted in medical personnel removing the man from the plane before it reached the gate, everything is just peachy.

“All of our preliminary tests have come back negative, and after discussions with the CDC it was decided that this man should be allowed to fly,” a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health told Reuters.

At first no one was officially naming the tuberculosis threat, but passengers had reported being told to get tested for TB after the incident.

The CDC has a “do not board” list of travelers who are contagious, which is supposed to keep them off commercial planes. While that flight was in the air over the busy travel weekend, the CDC contacted the Transportation Security Administration to inform it that the passenger wasn’t supposed to be on a plane.

As soon as the plane landed, firefighters and paramedics met the flight and took the man off. At the time, health officials said that even if passengers had indeed been exposed to active tuberculosis, it wasn’t likely anyone would actually catch it since the flight was so short and the passenger wasn’t coughing.

The medical director for disease control at the county health department also added that no passengers need to go get tested for TB. The all clear has been sounded, and I’ll be bringing a face mask on my next 8-hour flight just in case.

Traveler pulled from U.S. plane with suspected TB cleared in tests [Reuters]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Todo lo que debes saber sobre el IVA de caja #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía con todo lo que debes saber sobre el IVA de caja. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Non-Profit Sends Cake To Amazon To Remind It Of 3-Year Overdue Invoice

naq5Fl8 MusicBrainz is a free-to-use encyclopedia of music-related metadata (all that information, like artist name, track name, composer, etc.), and like a lot of free-to-use services, it has a commercial tier for companies whose use would put an undue burden on the service. Yesterday, the folks at MusicBrainz sent over a cake to Amazon to remind the online giant that it hasn’t paid a 3-year-old invoice for its commercial use of the service. Let’s hope the accounts payable people got the message before someone just left it in the break room for everyone to gorge on. [via Boing Boing]

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Reciclaje en España (datos de 2012) #infografia #infographic #medioambiente

Hola: Una infografía sobre Reciclaje en España (datos de 2012). Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

8 Things We Learned From Planet Money’s Cotton Seed To T-Shirt Project

pinkfabricHave you ever wondered about the people who made your clothes? Not just the people who sew the fabric pieces together, but the people who produce the fabric, transport it from place to place, grow or extract the raw materials, and every other phase of creating a single item of clothing?

The team over at NPR’s Planet Money did, and they’ve spent years trying to create t-shirts for their listeners from a bale of raw cotton so they can follow the process. They partnered up with Jockey, funded the whole thing on Kickstarter, and now the shirts are here. So is the beautiful site of videos, photos, and explanations of where these shirts came from.

The cotton used for the Planet Money shirts was grown in Mississippi from seeds created in a Monsanto lab. Reporters followed the path it took from there to Indonesia, then Bangladesh, or to Colombia, depending on which version of the shirt you followed. In between, they did the thing that every modern consumer secretly wants to do, whether they realize it or not: met everyone whose hands, warehouses, or ships the shirts passed through.

  1. Humans are kind of incidental to the whole process. Cotton harvest? By machines. Cotton yarn spun? By machines. Fabric knitted? By machines. The part that requires the most human labor is sewing shirts together.

  2. The garment industry follows poverty. Wherever there’s infrastructure for factories and people fresh from rural villages willing to work for the world’s lowest wages, that’s where your clothes come from.

  3. The reverse is also true. When wages climb too high, the industry leaves. While reporting this project, the Planet Money team learned that Jockey plans to end its relationship with the factory in Colombia where the pink women’s shirts for the project were made.

  4. Change follows the garment industry. Two sisters who worked on the Planet Money shirt are living examples of this change: the older sister had a marriage arranged by her parents, and the younger one has her own money, doesn’t live in her parents’ village, and is dating a man who not only isn’t from her parents’ village, but is a different religion. Gasp!

  5. Monitoring the cotton harvest in real time as your $600,000 John Deere self-driving harvester gobbles cotton balls in the field? There’s an iPad app for that. No, really, there is.

  6. The USDA grades cotton so manufacturers can choose the precise best strain for their project.

  7. It is shockingly cheap to ship something from the United States to Indonesia, then to Bangladesh, and then back to the U.S.

  8. When Korea and Bangladesh first teamed up to produce clothing and build factories in the latter country, the workers thought each other’s food was really gross.


Where was the shirt you’re wearing right now made? Mine was made for Banana Republic in Vietnam…but that label doesn’t say anything about where the thread was spun, where the cotton was grown, or anything at all about the family history and future hopes of the people behind it. Maybe just as well: that tag would be really big and probably itchy.


by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Woman Ticketed For Driving With Google Glass Pleads Not Guilty

It's hard to read, but the driver was cited for "Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass)" (Source: Google+)

It’s hard to read, but the driver was cited for “Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass)” (Source: Google+)

Back in October, a California woman was given a ticket for driving while sporting a Google Glass device. Yesterday, she appeared in court to enter a plea of not guilty on the charge of distracted driving.

The ticket, which went viral after the driver posted it to her Google+ account, shows that a ticket was given for “Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass),” an alleged violation of a California law that prohibits drivers from operating a vehicle if he or she can be distracted by a visible TV or other video monitor used primarily for entertainment or business applications. Screens for things like GPS and rearview cameras are allowed.

However, the driver argues that she was merely wearing the Google Glass and it was not turned on, which she maintains is like trying to ticket someone for driving with an unplugged TV in the passenger seat.

“There is nothing illegal about simply wearing the Google Glass while it is not turned on,” said her lawyer.

Of course, there is the little part where she was also allegedly driving 80 mph in a 65 mph zone, but that is — for want of a better word — a pedestrian issue compared to whether or not the simple wearing of Google Glass violates the law. Of course, why would you actually wear the device if you’re not using it? Not saying she was using it, but just curious what purpose it served other than to earn geek cred from other drivers who noticed.

Both sides will make their case when it comes to trial on Jan. 16. We predict that at least 4 tech bloggers will be on hand, attempting to record the trial with their own Google Glasses.

US woman denies distracted driving due to Google Glass [Yahoo]

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

4 Things To Do Instead Of Pulling A Gun When You Can’t Get The Parking Spot You Want

There are things in this world worth fighting over. And while for many a prime parking spot a the grocery store might be one such reason, that doesn’t mean you should pull a shotgun on your fellow shopper for a below par parking job. We’ve got some other ideas on how to handle such a situation.

Police in Manchester, N.H. say the trouble started when a 53-year-old man was pulling into a spot at a supermarket parking lot. Apparently the guy in the next space had made the unforgivable mistake of encroaching into his desired spot, say cops.

So he allegedly started yelling at the culprit, a 38-year-old man with his 2-year-old daughter in the back seat and his mother loading groceries into the trunk.

While the men argued as the guy tried to pull into the tight spot, the man tried to talk his new enemy down.

“I said to him, ‘Look man there’s an infant in this car don’t hit this car it’s not gonna be good. At that point he reached down and pulled up a firearm, which I guess later on was found to be a shotgun and said something to the effect ‘Well how good do you think it’s gonna work out for you?”” the man told WBZ-TV.

He says that’s when the man raised a rifle through the window of his pickup truck and threatened him, although the suspect didn’t point the gun directly at him. Still, scary enough, he told cops.

“He just acted like a complete maniac,” he said.

Police arrived on the scene and found the suspect’s 12 gauge Remington shotgun and 10 shells sitting on the passenger seat, and arrested him on a charge of one count of felony criminal threatening.

4 Things To Do Besides Pulling A Gun When You Can’t Get The Parking Spot You Want:

1. Take a huge, deep lungful of air in slowly through your mouth, and let it out through your nose.

2. Count backwards from 20

3. Go find another spot

4. Make sure you never park less than perfectly in the future to inspire good parking karma

We’ve all been there, we’ve all seen the monstrous SUV taking up two parking spots. But violence, or the threat of it, is never the answer.

NH Man Accused Of Pulling Shotgun On Man In Supermarket Parking Lot [CBS Boston]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

23andMe Stops Marketing Of Genetic Test Kits, But What About Everyone Who Already Has One?

The company has not yet said what is to be done with unused or in-process kits.

The company has not yet said what is to be done with unused or in-process kits.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, the Food and Drug Administration ordered that Google-backed 23andMe stop marketing its at-home genetic testing kits because the company had failed to get regulatory clearance for many of the product’s advertised uses. On Monday, the company announced it was abiding by that decision but hopes to work something out with the FDA, but has yet to tell any of its current customers what is going on with their kits.

FastCompany’s Austin Carr details his own experience trying to get an answer to that question, having purchased one of the $99 kits for his mother to try out.

Carr’s mom had not yet sent in her swab kit, and now he was just trying to find out if she should hold onto it, ask for a refund, or just toss it in the trash as a lesson learned. And what about the customers who had sent their kits back to the company but had not received results?

The FDA order stops the company from marketing and selling the kits as a method for diagnosing diseases and conditions, as that makes the kit a regulated medical device under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. But does the order stop the company from testing those kits it has already received? Maybe there are some tests the company could do that would not violate the FDCA? It’s all very unclear, and the company’s response thus far has not made it any more transparent.

In response to Carr’s questions on this topic, a 23andMe rep would only say, “Our response to the FDA is in progress. I can’t comment any further than what we’ve already stated on our blog and in our communications directly to customers,” and later added, “We are still working on getting answers to your questions, as well as questions from many other customers about the implications of the FDA letter.”

We’ve also reached out to 23andMe to see if it has any updated information for consumers. If so, we’ll post it here.

Meanwhile, the company now faces a possible class-action lawsuit in California from a customer who claims that the advertising for the product was misleading, the results “meaningless” and that 23andMe is more interested in compiling a huge bank of DNA information that it can then market to researchers.

“It seems to me to be a very thinly disguised way of getting people to pay them to build a DNA database,” says the plaintiff’s lawyer.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

The Whos Down In California Whoville Are Mad At Grinchy County That Hates Christmas Lights

xmaslightswhobg How’s a person supposed to get into the holiday spirit with Grinches running around putting the kibosh on warm, wonderful and glowing Christmas lights? Well in an Orange County suburb, those so-called meanies are worried not about the strands adorning a particular home, but the strings of lights stretching across neighborhood streets, potentially creating fire hazards and roadway traps for emergency vehicles.

The neighbors in the community see the lights stretching across their suburb’s streets as holiday happiness, but that festive glow is also an “unpermitted encroachment” according to county officials who have ordered them removed, reports the Los Angeles Times.

While there’s the normal amount of outrage from residents who love the zigzagging lights at being told they’ve got to take them down by tonight or face fines and even prosecution (“This is America,” said one), the county says it’s about public safety. Decorate your house in all the lights you want, but going house-to-house isn’t a good idea.

“We don’t have issues with any of the other lights,” a county spokeswoman. “We fully support that.”

Due to the uproar from residents, the county says it’s willing to work with the neighborhood to get a permit for street decorations and consider extending tonight’s deadline, as well as waiving permit fees. But it’s not going to be easy coordinating all those homeowners to come in and apply for one.

“It would be more ideal if the homeowners’ association came to the table and offered themselves as the single permittee,” said the county spokeswoman.

That’s a long shot as well, since the HOA’s president says it isn’t meeting again until next year.

“We want the holiday spirit,” he said. But “the association has zero involvement.”

Time to take matters into your own hands, Whoville. Get a permit or face the Grinch (albeit a Grinch concerned about the safety of people but you get it).

O.C. neighborhood ordered to take down Christmas lights [L.A. Times]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

71% Of Recent College Grads Owe Average Of $29K In Student Loans, Are Scared Pantsless About Paying It Off

The total of student loan debt in the U.S. has long since passed the $1 trillion mark, and a new report shows that this mountain of owed money is just going to keep getting bigger, while a recently released survey indicates just how terrified young adults are of folks’ ability to repay that debt.

According to the new study [PDF] by the Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access & Success, the graduating class of 2012 has a higher percentage of graduates leaving school with debt hanging on their backs, 71%, up from 68% in 2008. And during that same time period, the average amount of debt has increased an average of 6% per year, now standing at $29,400.

Recent college grads currently face relatively high levels of unemployment or underemployment, with 18.3% of young college graduates claiming to be unemployed, working fewer hours than they wanted, or that they had given up looking for a job. That said, the odds of finding employment are still higher for those with a college degree than for those with only a high school diploma.



According to the survey, students graduating from colleges in Delaware had the highest average debt in 2012, at $33,649. In fact, six of the ten states with the highest average student loan debt amounts were in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, while the remaining four are Midwestern and Great Lakes states.

On the other side of the rainbow and country is New Mexico, with the lowest average debt amount ($17,994). Again, there is some geographic clustering with Southwestern and Rocky Mountain states accounting for about half of the states on this second list. Washington, D.C., with its average debt of $22,106, is the only East Coast representative on the lower end of the debt scale.

In terms of which states have the highest percentage of graduates with student loan debt, South Dakota tops the list at 78%, followed by New Hampshire (74%), Iowa (71%), and Pennsylvania (70%).


While the state-to-state averages cover a pretty wide spread of $18K to $34K, the school-to-school comparisons are even more stark, ranging from averages of around $4,500 to nearly $50,000.

And though there is often some correlation between a school’s cost and the average amount of student debt, there are plenty of examples where that isn’t the case.

For example, Princeton University makes the list of low-debt schools because, in spite of the total annual cost of $53,934 to 2012 graduates, the average student loan debt held by the Ivy League school’s graduates was only $5,096. Of course, only about 24% of Princeton graduates took out student loans, as the school tends to attract both those who can afford to pay the steep tuition and those whose academic work earns them grants and scholarships.

Meanwhile, not far away at Rowan University, 34% of the graduates are leaving with an average of $35,027 in student loan debt at a school where the total annual cost to attend is half that of Princeton’s ($26,071).

TICAS has this pretty awesome interactive map that not only shows info for each state, but more granular information about costs and student loan debt averages for all the schools that reported this information in 2012.


Up at Harvard, where 1-in-4 grads leaves with an average of $13,098 in student loan debt, the school’s Institute of Politics has released the results of a new survey showing the mood of “millennials” that vaguely defined group of people between 18-29 that older folks tend to blame all the world’s ills on, what with their texting and rock music.

Among the questions posed by the IOP were are few about student loan debt, and the answers show that young whippersnappers are worried about this problem, regardless of their political affiliation.

First, 42% of respondents said they, or someone in their household, currently has student loan debt, and that 58% of college graduates responding to the survey said they still had debt to pay off.

More importantly, 78% of respondents said the issue of student loan debt is a problem for young people with 57% declaring it a “major” problem.

70% of millennials also say that their ability to pay for school was an important factor in choosing whether or not to attend college. This number is significantly higher (87%) for those in community colleges or 2-year programs.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

You Need A Wi-Fi Egg Tray, Or Maybe Nobody Does

41G7-31ryDLEggs keep for a long time when refrigerated, especially if kept toward the back of the shelf, but how do you keep track of when your eggs are going to expire? Sure, you could look at the packaging and expiration dates printed on the carton. Whatever, Grandma. Why would you want to do that when there’s a wi-fi enabled egg tray?

How does it work? This handy video is here to explain that to you. The answer is wi-fi, tiny LEDs, and human laziness.

The item does have (sarcastic) rave reviews. “No longer will I have to suffer counting anywhere from 1 to 14 now,” writes one Amazon reviewer. Amen, sibling!

Egg Minder – Wink-Enabled Egg Tray [ThinkGeek] (via The Worst Things For Sale)

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Drones, Shmones: Google Is Building An Army Of Androids That Don’t Fall When You Kick’em

While we’ve all got our eyes in the sky waiting for the robot revolution to start with Amazon (and burrito) drones, we must not be distracted by the threat on the ground. By threat I mean intelligent, walking, talking robots. Or more fittingly for Google, which quietly snapped up seven technology companies, androids.

Because drudgery and repetitive tasks like working in the back of a warehouse is something that robots can do to save humanity for more enlightened work, Google’s former head of Android smartphones, Andy Rubin, has bent his mind to the task of robotics.

He tells the New York Times that it’s a “moonshot” that won’t be aimed right away at consumers, and will instead focus on the manufacturing aspect of things like electronics assembly and automating parts of its own retail delivery system.

“The opportunity is massive,” a principal research scientist at the M.I.T. Center for Digital Business tells the NYT. “There are still people who walk around in factories and pick things up in distribution centers and work in the back rooms of grocery stores.”

What! People are still working at jobs where they have to pick stuff up? Crazy.

Anyway, it’ll be awhile before any robots start tramping around your neighborhood.

“Like any moonshot, you have to think of time as a factor,” Rubin said. “We need enough runway and a 10-year vision.”

To get a glimpse of what the future may look like, Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici checked out a few of the companies Google acquired recently to see what kind of robots they’re working on. There’s Meka, which focuses on “dexterous manipulation in unstructured environments, force controlled compliant actuation, human safe robotics, integrated mechatronic engineering, and the design of humanoid robots.”

Translation: Humanoid heads with eyes that will definitely follow you wherever you go.

And because robot armies can’t be stopped by a little thing like say, a pile of humans recently mowed down by laser beams, there’s Schaft, a Japanese team of roboticists with a penchant for humanoid robots that include biped algorithms that enables robots “to walk uneven ground and not to fall down even if kicked by human.”

Did you read that? You can’t even kick these guys into submission. I’m all for a burrito or a shipment of toilet paper arriving from the sky but I’m not going to let that distract me from our future masters waging robot war against humankind on the ground.

Google Puts Money on Robots, Using the Man Behind Android [New York Times]

Google Is Building Robots. These Demos Show Them At Work. [Forbes]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Should Nissan Leaf Driver Have Been Arrested For “Stealing” $.05 Worth Of Electricity From Public Outlet?

An Atlanta-area man admits that he didn’t have permission to charge up his Nissan Leaf outside a local middle school while waiting for his son to finish tennis practice on a Saturday, but he also believes he shouldn’t have been arrested for using about 5 cents worth of electricity from a publicly available outlet.

The man tells Atlanta’s Channel 11 [via Ars Technica] he’d had his Leaf plugged in for about 20 minutes when he was approached by a police officer.

“He said that he was going to charge me with theft by taking because I was taking power, electricity from the school,” recalls the driver.

But rather than ticket the man or arrest him then and there, the officer filed a report. It wasn’t until 11 days later that a pair of deputies showed up at his house to arrest him.

While police say they determined that the man didn’t have permission to charge his vehicle, they also admit they didn’t check with the school to see if it wanted to press charges against the driver.

And one police sergeant says the officer should have arrested the man at the time of the incident, and that it doesn’t matter about the low dollar value of the alleged theft.

“I’m not sure how much electricity he stole,” explains the sergeant. “He broke the law. He stole something that wasn’t his.”

The driver, who spent about 15 hours behind bars before being released, likens his supposed crime to someone being arrested for drinking water out of a tap.

“People charge laptops or cell phones at public outlets all the time, and no one’s ever been arrested for that,” he contends.

Did the police overreact in this incident? We have a feeling that part of the issue here is the lack of public understanding about how much electricity it takes to charge up an electric vehicle. After all, it takes a huge amount of cash to fill a tank with gasoline so it might make sense that charging an EV would also be costly. Thus, the officer may have assumed this man was getting away with stealing significantly more than five cents worth of juice.

We want to know what you think…

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Calling 9-1-1 Will Not Convince Mall Security To Push Your Wheelchair To The Apple Store

Sometimes you just need a lift to the Apple Store. Borrowing a wheelchair from the mall, then calling emergency services and demanding that security officers push you there is not how we recommend that you get there.

According to police, a 35-year-old woman borrowed a wheelchair at a mall in Massachusetts. That’s not unusual: sometimes people who don’t own their own wheelchair need one to get around the vast expanses of the American mallscape. In this case, the woman said that she had an injured leg. That’s a valid reason to borrow some wheels.

The strange part is what happened next: she asked for security to transport her to the Apple Store. they obliged, taking her from the store to her car, but wouldn’t make a return trip. That’s when she dialed up emergency services. Of course.

Instead of taking her side, the officers who showed up on the scene had a chat with her about the proper use of 9-1-1. Her rational and measured response? She called 9-1-1 again and asked for an ambulance.

Let’s review. If you have been critically injured and need an ambulance to pick you up and take you to the hospital, then it’s okay to call 9-1-1. That’s what they’re there for. If your iPhone has been critically injured and you need to transport it to the Genius Bar, this is not an acceptable use of emergency resources. Even if you really, really love your iPhone.

Police: Woman calls 911 for a push around mall [Salem News]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Ohio Residents Most Likely To Drop F-Bombs During Customer Service Phone Calls

If Santa Claus wanted an easy way to separate the nice from the naughty for his list, all he’d have to do is look at the numbers culled from recorded phone calls. And no, not the sneaky tracking you’re thinking of — when you call a customer service line or your credit card company and hear that “this call may be recorded” notification, there’s data to show if you drop an f-bomb (or two or three or four) during that call. And Ohio has the sassiest mouths in the nation.

The Atlantic looked at data culled by Marchex Institute, which pulled the numbers from phone calls consumers make and specifically looked at how often people are cursing.

Spread across 600,000 phone calls in the last year from consumers to businesses in 30 different industries nationwide, Marchex used mining technology to pick out the curses in those conversations and tag them with the caller’s state.

Ohioans are in need of a shipment of soap to clean out everyone’s mouths: That state had callers swearing in one of about every 150 phone conversations. No word on how many of those centered on Michigan football.

Next up on the naughty list were Maryland, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Illinois.

The angels among us (at least so far as cursing is concerned) live in Washington, where callers only dropped f-bombs and other swears in one out of every 300 conversations.

It’s not only that Ohio residents swore at twice the rate of Washington folk — it turns out the Midwest isn’t all cheese casseroles and help your neighbor niceness — Ohio is also the least courteous state, according to Marchex, followed by its heartland sibling Wisconsin, then Massachusetts, Indiana, and Tennessee.

Most likely to drop a “please” here and a “thank you” there during a customer call was South Carolina, with polite runners-up North Carolina, Maryland, Louisiana, and Georgia.

The data also showed that more cursing occurred when phone calls were more than 10 minutes long, which makes sense because if you can’t get something solved or resolved during that time, the tongue is gonna get loose.

Congratulations, Ohio! You Are the Sweariest State in the Union [The Atlantic]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

McDonald’s Customers Order Breakfast, Get Sack Of Cash Instead

(NewsChannel 5)

(NewsChannel 5)

After all those times you’ve gotten home and realized that you got the wrong or incomplete order from the fast food drive-thru, it’s always a minor triumph when you find out you accidentally received an extra order of fries, or even an additional dipping sauce or two. But what if that happy accident wasn’t extra food, but thousands of dollars in cash?

That’s what happened the other day to a couple in Hermitage, TN, who thought they were just getting their regular breakfast order to go, but ended up with a bag full of money that was supposed to be deposited at the bank.

NewsChannel 5 in Nashville reports that a McDonald’s employee had placed the bag o’ cash near the drive-thru area and another employee, assuming it contained various breakfast foods, handed it to the customers through the drive-thru window.

“My husband opened the bag and discovered the money inside,” the wife tells NewsChannel 5. “He said, ‘You are not going to believe this.’ Sure enough, it was their bank deposit money.”

Before the couple had a chance to return the money themselves, the folks at McDonald’s realized the huge mistake and raced to catch up with the customers at their home, where they were happy to hand the cash back over.

“There is no other way to have it,” says the wife. “I couldn’t live with myself.”

The owner of that McDonald’s says he is looking into how this kind of screw-up could happen, and presumably telling his employees to not leave bags of cash hanging around, and maybe put them in something other than the eatery’s standard to-go bags.

“[W]hat is most important to us is knowing that we are part a community with the values that were evidenced by this person’s actions,” says the owner.

Last July, Taco Bell customers in Michigan went through a similar situation when they unwittingly drove away with a bag containing $3,600 in cash. Like the Tennessee couple, these customers had no problem returning the money to the restaurant.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Oh Look, Someone Wants To Deliver Something Else With A Drone (Burritos) Because Drones!

Like some kind of unknown debutante at the ball who ends up dancing with George Clooney at the ball (just go with it), now that Amazon let everyone know that drones are the “it” way to deliver stuff in the future, everyone wants a turn in the spotlight. UPS is looking to dabble into drones as well — so why keep deliveries in boring boxes?

We are a nation of hungry people, and many of us are hungry for burritos. That’s why two engineers who met while working at Yelp have decided they’ve got a mission to provide for the rest of us, reports CNNMoney. Perhaps they had access to secret burrito files detailing the eating habits of the country, who knows?

The friends came up with the idea during a company-sponsored hackathon, wherein a customer would order their burrito through a smartphone app, prompting the tortilla-toting drone to soar through the skies to the delivery location based on the customer’s GPS.

Once the burrito is released, a parachute opens to allow your precious cargo to make its way safely to your eager hands.

Of course, it’s only a prototype right now because the Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t currently allow unmanned aircraft in U.S. airspace. But come 2015 when the FAA looks at those rules again and we could live in a land with skies full of burritos. There are worse things I can imagine.

Drone carries your lunch: Burrito Bomber [CNNMoney]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

House Tells TSA To Fork Over $531,395.22 In Passengers’ Unclaimed Change

Unlike when you flip over the couch cushions and dig into the seats of your car looking for change, it’s not a finders keepers situation with the leftover nickels and dimes the Transportation Security Administration found in 2012. Those loose coins left behind by passengers totaled $531,395.22 in fiscal year 2012 and the House just voted on what to do with it.

No, the TSA will not get to keep it to fund Friday pizza parties or buy new vending machines for a sweet employee game room — the House voted yesterday to use the change to help fund military programs at airports.

In the past, the TSA had used the spare change for aviation security, as under current law it’s required to deposit that left behind money into a special fund that’s spent bolstering security. In March the TSA reported that it had spent $6,539.94 so far translating airport checkpoint signs into foreign languages, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Instead, the new legislation will now have that money go into nonprofits that provide nice place for Armed Forces members to sit back and relax when they’re going through our nation’s airports. It sounds like a nice idea — after all, if business travelers need a break from the stress in a comfy lounge, why not someone who also has a very stressful job get a place of respite?

“The TSA has been keeping the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters from your change purse to pay for their bloated bureaucracy,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeff Miller (R., Fla.), said in a written statement Tuesday. “I would much rather see unclaimed change go to help military personnel on their way home from the battlefield.”

The Senate may or may not consider the bill, it’s not really clear at this point whether or not it’ll do so.

In the meantime, keep an eye on that pocketful of change you dumped into that plastic bin on the conveyor belt. It adds up.

House to TSA: Don’t Keep the Change [Wall Street Journal]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist