Stone the crows, it’s Frisk #170! That was the year in which Marcus Aurelius ordered humane treatment for slaves throughout the Roman Empire. It’s also the State Route number of the Hollywood Freeway, one of the USA’s busiest roads. We ran these two facts through the computer and they don’t intersect at all.
If you’ve ever spent time agonising over your order choices in a fast-food queue, then found yourself dumbstruck as you approached the counter, maybe you should move to China.
KFC have teamed up with search engine giants Baidu to offer a facial recognition service at the till – it predicts what you’ll order based on what it guesses your age, gender and mood might be. So you don’t have to give it any thought whatsoever, you just walk up to the counter, receive the meal that a computer has decided you probably want, and you’re done.
An inspired move for KFC, of course – they can just programme it to give everyone the most expensive thing on the menu. ‘No, go on, it’s what you want – the machine says so.’
Selling your home, it’s often said, is one of the most stressful things you can do. Aside from all of the unexpected hidden expenses, you’re at the mercy of a whole bunch of other people who may or may not decide to do things, or change their minds like this fickle species is prone to.
Nested, then, is a business that aims to relieve the pressure a bit. They guarantee to sell your home for you in ninety days, and if they don’t manage it, they’ll just buy it off you anyway.
“The whole property chain and selling process is broken, with sellers complaining about slow lawyers, endless phones calls, untrustworthy estate agents, and of course, being let down by the buyer at the last minute,” says co-founder Matt Robinson. “The trick for me was to give people certainty from day one."
Fair enough. Hope it works. Otherwise he’s going to end up owning loads of houses surrounded by angry loan sharks with hammers.
The Fighting Boys
Well, that’s a strong name for a boyband.
China’s favourite new babyfaced trio sing about love, heartbreak and communism; despite strict government censorship stifling creativity in the pop scene, they’ve become poster boys for Chinese nationalism and are working hard to improve the country’s image abroad. Their oeuvre ranges from songs about teen love (still a taboo over there) to a cover of the popular anthem ‘We Are the Heirs of Communism’ – it’s as close to having their own Sex Pistols as China’s ever come.
(To save you having to endure their music on YouTube, just imagine a bunch of children in Beatle wigs harmonising to late-nineties Eurodisco.)
Daniel Bevis, Senior Knowledge Editor
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