Page 2 - Technology Facts

US Aircraft Bombers were fitted with a 'Fail Deadly' device that would have automatically released the nuclear weapons on board if the plane was shot down

A dead man’s switch is a device developed for emergency situations.

It does what it name says – it takes over a system or a machine if the operator of that system becomes incapacitated or dies. Originally it was meant to save lives if one life is lost.

It was first used in locomotives to bring the engine to an emergency stop should the engineer be unable to fulfill his duties.

Most gas station pumps are switched off by a fail safe button in case of a fire. These are all life saving functions, but the US military saw another application for emergency situation switches.

The Special Weapons Emergency Separation Systems (SWESS) was invented to kill more people if one person dies! It was meant to be a deterrent of sorts. Since the 1950’s Strategic Air Command ensured that all aircraft bombers were fitted with nuclear bomb release systems.

If a bomber was shot down over enemy territory or the controls failed and the plane dropped below a certain altitude, the SWESS automatically released the nuclear weapons on board. These switches were designed for nuclear weapons and are not used to launch missiles because missiles are designed to hit a specific target.


The first MP3 was Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner,” created in 1987.

It’s pretty impressive how far music has come, on the consumer level. We’ve gone from live music to radio to records to 8 tracks to tapes to cds to simple data. Though many consider the rise of the MP3 player to be when digital music really took off (a claim which has a fair amount of merit), it all began back in 1987. It was Karlheinz Brandenburg who kick started everything when he chose Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner to be the first song to fine tune his MP3 compression algorithm. 

As you likely know, an MP3 is an audio file (and MP4 is a common video file). Brandenburg picked the a cappella version of song because the human voice was the hardest to compress into MP3, and so the challenge helped him to refine his codec. It was that moment that served as the root of the digital music revolution. 

Today, 23% of all music purchases are digital in the US, and services like YouTube and Pandora have helped to remove music sales from many consumers, causing the music industry to be less and less profitable every year. If you haven’t heard Tom’s Diner, you can listen below.



That there is a prank device that generates a combination of sound waves calculated to make a person physically ill.

Sonic technology as a weapon isn’t anything new to the world. Sonic weapons have been in development for years for nonviolent alternatives to forceful crowd control. But this “pranking device” is only barely nonviolent, because it causes headaches, vomiting, and loss of balance. 

You might think this would be something only riot police used, but that’s not the case. In fact, if you have about 40 dollars to spend, it can be purchased in minutes. That’s a little bit of a scary thought because it means anybody who has worked a job for about 5 or 6 hours can go online and cause some pretty hardcore nausea to those who cross him or her. 

It works by generating a series of combined soundwaves that make you physically ill. So if you’ve got some money laying around and think giving someone terrible nausea would be a kick, you can go buy one at any number of online retailers. 


Some awesome lists!

28% of IT professionals hide their career from friends and family to get out of giving free tech support!

Information technology (IT) is the application of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data, often in the context of a business or other enterprise.

The term is commonly used as a synonym for computers and computer networks, but it also encompasses other information distribution technologies such as television and telephones.

Several industries are associated with information technology, such as computer hardware,software, electronics, semiconductors, internet, telecom equipment, e-commerce and computer services.

In a business context, the Information Technology Association of America has defined information technology as "the study, design, development, application, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems".

The responsibilities of those working in the field include network administration, software development and installation, and the planning and management of an organization's technology life cycle, by which hardware and software is maintained, upgraded and replaced.

28% of IT Professionals hide their career from family or friends out of fear of being asked to provide free tech support! I can imagine many other careers that do this such as Doctors, must be pretty annoying.


Bill Gates helped save Apple from bankruptcy!

In 1997, Gates and Microsoft invested $150 million in Apple. He also developed and shipped versions of Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and development tools for Macintosh. Gates and Jobs made the announcement via satellite link at the Macworld Trade Show in Boston, Massachusetts. 

More than 8 million customers of Mac were using Microsoft Office on their Mac computers. It was a move meant to boost Apple popularity while making Gates and Microsoft a load of cash. Additionally, the move was done to keep anti-trust lawyers off Microsoft's back.

It seems like a lot of money to give to Apple, but Microsoft spent $450 million alone that year on WebTV. The companies both agreed to work together on Java programming language and other programming language to be user friendly and consistent with both companies. 

The investment news along with Jobs stating they would be getting new board members pushed the company’s stock up more than 40%. The $150 million investment was to be used in its core markets of education and creative content. They hoped to gain a higher percentage of its revenue from software and services from these core markets. 



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