WHY THE SUNDAY PAPER WON'T GO AWAY
In today’s electronic age, when everything from traditional books to business travel for face-to-face meetings are threatened with extinction, the lowly newspaper sales coupon has proven to be remarkably resilient. Consumer surveys have shown that most American households use coupons, and that the coupon inserts are the second-most-read part of the Sunday newspaper (after the front page).
“Coupons are an ingrained part of the nation’s shopping culture,” said Charles Brown, co-chairman of the Coupon Council, in an interview with The New York Times.
Coupons remain a powerful marketing vehicle that reach millions of consumers and build brands and customer loyalty. Yet, there is one disturbing fact: An estimated 99 percent of the roughly 300 billion coupons distributed annually in the United States—mainly in Sunday newspapers—end up in the trash, unused and unredeemed.
FASTER THAN SPEEDING (FROZEN) SILICON
Researchers at IBM and the Georgia Institute of Technology set a new speed record this summer that may have gone unnoticed. They say they have broken the speed record for silicon-based chips with a semiconductor that operates 250 times faster than chips commonly used today. It’s an achievement that could lead to faster networks and more powerful electronics at lower prices.
The researchers used a cryogenic system to freeze the chip to 451 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. At 500 gigahertz, the chip is 250 times faster than those used in today’s cell phones, which operate at two gigahertz. At room temperature, the chips operate at a mere 350 gigahertz, still much faster than chips today.
Typically these types of developments find their way into commercial products in 12 to 24 months.
OUR CARS: WE LOVE 'EM, WE HATE 'EM
According to a recent Pew Research Center survey Americans still love their cars, but not as much as the used to. Almost seven of 10 drivers enjoy taking a spin. In 1991 nearly eight in 10 said so.
Why we like driving:
• It’s relaxing, or time to be alone (21 percent)
• Enjoy the scenery or getting away from it all (19 percent)
• Represents freedom, independence (14 percent)
Why we hate driving:
• Traffic (23 percent)
• Bad or rude drivers (14 percent)
• Rising gasoline prices (3 percent)