The Greatest Designs of Modern Times



Back in 1959, Fortune worked with Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) to produce The 100 “Best Designed” Products. The original article is here and within the list are objects still recognised and valued today: Barcelona chair, Anglepoise lamp, Vespa scooter, Zippo lighter, Chemex coffee maker and Leica camera. Others will be recognisable only from the history books, like the Ford Model T, and others will be bewildering, such as the IBM Time Data Punch.

Sixty years on and still working with the IIT Institute of Design, Fortune has updated the list for the 21st century: The Greatest Designs of Modern Times. This time the list is far more recognisable but has expanded into areas only dreamed of in 1959. Unsurprisingly, numerous Apple products rightly make the list with the Apple iPhone in at #1. There are online services like Uber and Netflix; long loved toys like Lego stand alongside Pokemon and Super Mario Bros; the cult Black Wing pencil makes it in at #100.

Fortunately, it’s not all post-war design and a few of the original 1959 entries make it into this list – the geodesic dome, Futura typeface and Olivetti typewriter. The designers themselves are incredible visionaries and some are household names like Jony Ive and Dieter Rams. Furniture design is particularly timeless – Ray and Charles Eames, Alvar Aalto and Eero ­Saarinen all have mid-century designs recognisable today. It’s not all expensive either: the Braun calculator and the Bialetti Moka Pot are around GB£25. The Ikea’s Billy bookcase puts in an appearance at #41.

Take a break from worries of the day and marvel at some truly wonderful Designs of Modern Times.


Live Call in For Upcoming Shows #1433



On the next show, I will have an open call in following the regular recording of the show and may invite some folks that will participate in the recording of the podcast. We live in weird times so I thought it would be fun to mix things up a little bit. If you want to participate in the live show or be part of the call in after the show the details will be posted during the live recording. You will need to be prepared to use Skype, it is preferable to have a wired connection and some sort of headset or earbud, Lots shared on today’s show. I think we are all getting a little stir crazy so let’s lighten it up a bit.

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WhatsApp Bot Gives Out Covid-19 Information



The amount of misinformation around novel coronavirus and Covid-19 is staggering and presents a real danger both to the health of individuals and the wider community. To combat this threat, the UK Government has launched a WhatsApp bot to provide authoritative information on the virus.

The new free service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information about coronavirus (Covid-19) and reduce the burden on the National Health Service (NHS) and other under-pressure resources.

To engage with the bot, its phone number is 07860 064422 in the UK and connections are accepted from outside the country on +44 7860 064422.

Using the Covid-19 Bot is a little like using an interactive phone system: it’s respond “1 for this, 2 for that”.

     

Prof Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director, Public Health England, said, “This service will help us ensure the public has a trusted source for the right information about coronavirus, updated with the latest public health guidance and providing assurance that they are not misled by any of the false information circulating.

The Bot doesn’t check symptoms or provide diagnoses – it’s purely for information – but it does provide guidance on what to do if you think you have Covid-19, although the guidance information is UK-centric.

Pressing “7” offers a “mythbusters” section from the World Health Organisation that debunks many of the rumours around Covid-19. Some of the myths are pretty farfetched but now there’s an official source to refute them.

The ubiquity of WhatsApp makes it a great tool for this kind of information dissemination but a downside of WhatsApp is that it requires word of mouth to pass the number on – there’s no central index. So get the word out.


Codeacademy Offers Scholarships to Students Affected by COVID-19



Codeacademy is offering 10,000 scholarships to Codecademy Pro for free to high school and college students who are affected by COVID-19. The Pro memberships include Codeacademy programming, data science, and mobile development curriculum, a community of peers, and paths to help students be successful.

Codeacademy teaches millions of learners web development, mobile development, and data science skills. In the wake of COVID-19, we’re offering 10,000 scholarships to Codeacademy Pro for free to high school and college students across the world for the rest of the school year. Those students get access to the same features that every Codeacademy Pro learner does: roadmaps to figure out what to learn, thousands of hours of courses and projects to learn programming and data science, and a community of supportive peers.

CEO of Codeacademy, Zach Simms, said: “This is massively important. COVID-19 is leading to so many changes all at once – disruptions in finance, education, work, and more – and so much of our lives are moving online as a consequence. Online education is the only way for people to stay on top of their learning while kids are learning from home. We hope that what we’ve learned from 45 million users can help millions more during this difficult period. At the same time, we think Codeacademy is also helpful for those that might be out of work as a result of a financial challenge. Learning to retrain for a new job is a sure way to better your opportunity set.”

To get started with a free Codeacademy Pro scholarship, students must visit the Codeacdemy website and click a button called “Join Pro”. Doing so will start their 90-day scholarship. This offer is valid for any student with a valid school email address.


Robot Deployed at Texas Hotel to Zap Pathogens Amid Coronavirus Outbreak



The Westin Medical Center Hotel in Houston has become the first hotel in the country to use new ultraviolet light robots to combat germs and pathogens amid the coronavirus outbreak, and the company that makes the robot says interest in the technology is surging as the crisis escalates.

LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots have been deployed to carry out part of the cleaning process for the hotel in what is now a more effective and quicker way to sanitize room after guests check out.

The technology used by the robot has previously only been seen in the medical healthcare field, but with the growing demand for disinfections due to coronavirus, the robots are being sent into hotels for the first time.

The robot uses an intense UV light to kill bacteria and SARA and MERS, other strains of the coronavirus family, down to the microscopic level. UV light can damage or destroy various types of pathogens and the destructive power of UV light depends on factor such as wavelength and the type of organism the rays are impacting, Melinda Hart, a spokesperson for Xenex Disinfection Services, the technology company that manufactures the robot, told AccuWeather.

Research has yet to be published showing that UV light has the same affect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 outbreak. But some experts believe UV light, which primarily comes from the sun, could also kill the strain.

There may not be many people traveling these days, with all of the social distancing that’s in effect, but travelers who stay in rooms cleaned with the technology may be able to rest a little more easily.

The robot takes only two minutes to clean an area and can even kill certain strains of coronavirus, Dr. Sarah Simmons of Xenex told KTRK-TV. Hart said the robot uses new technology that creates intense germicidal light that can quickly deactivate viruses and spores. Older technology relied on the use of mercury bulbs, which don’t create as strong a UV light.


Shelter in Place has been Ordered #1432



In 3 hours from this post, the State of Michigan has issued a Shelter in Place along with a number of provisions of which you are allowed to travel and or be at a place of employment. Being the New Media Studio is a News Outlet as well as a media broadcast location and a one-man show I will be working in the Office (alone) and then being shelter in place in the evening. Show loaded with deals and free stuff offered up by companies at this time.

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What Happens when you run out of Toilet Paper #1431



Ok, I have a life-saving tip during the show today on what to do when you run out of toilet paper. Plus a smattering of other topics that will entertain and inform. I also discuss my timeline on when the country goes into lock-down an observation I made today at a sports store that will make you go hmmm!

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