Strange but true
At least three private companies have fallen victim to 'deep fake' audio fraud. In each case, a computerised voice clone of the company CEO "called a senior financial officer to request an urgent money transfer."
2. Placebos are so effective that placebo placebos work: A pain cream with no active ingredients worked even when not used by the patient. Just owning the cream was enough to reduce pain.
3. Spotify pays by the song. Two three minute songs are twice as profitable as one six minute song. So songs are getting shorter.
4. Disco, a Japanese high tech manufacturing company, has introduced an internal billing and payment system, where every cost is charged back to workers. Renting a conference room costs $100. "People really cut back on useless meetings," says one staffer.
5. A man who bought the personalised number plate NULL has received over $12,000 of parking fines, because the system records 'NULL' when no numberplate has been recorded.
6. "Polling by phone has become very expensive, as the number of Americans willing to respond to unexpected or unknown callers has dropped. In the mid-to-late-20th century response rates were as high as 70%… [falling to] a mere 6% of the people it tried to survey in 2018."
(52 things I learned in 2019 by Tom Whitwell)
I'll have the plastic-wrapped egg sandwich
A restaurant in Malaysia is offering airline food to customers. AirAsia, a low-cost carrier, has opened the first restaurant on the ground inspired by its in-flight food offerings at a mall in Kuala Lumpur. The airline's boss admits that when he first came up with the idea, "everyone thought I was crazy".
Old school banter
In late May 1927, when the world had been rejoicing for a week over Charles Lindbergh's nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic, Robert Benchley sent a telegram to his mate Charles Brackett in Paris:
ANY TIDINGS OF LINDBERGH? LEFT HERE WEEK AGO AM WORRIED.
Brackett wrote back:
DO YOU MEAN GEORGE LINDBERGH?
Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Premium - Sideswipe: December 5: The definition of a perfect marriage
• Premium - Sideswipe: December 6: Early sighting of red-suited one
• Premium - Sideswipe: December 4: Are Cessnas the new status symbol?
• Premium - Sideswipe: December 2: The Christmas plot thickens