Isn’t it incredible how much technology has evolved over the past 10-15 years?
Like, yeah, I know, everything is changing over time, but 15 years ago was 2004 and you have to admit that it feels like yesterday!
All this technology has been making our lives easier, more comfortable, and of course, entertaining.
Who would have thought back in the early 2000s that we’d one day have an app on our mobile phone that can tell you within seconds the name of a song playing, the album and artist just by listening to it?
We no longer have to sing mumbling words to other people in order to find the song, and, let’s be honest, it saves us all a lot of embarrassment. (Thank you, Shazam.)
And don’t even get me started on Netflix’s “Skip intro” option. I couldn’t thank them enough either.
So many things changed and improved the face of products, organizations, entrepreneurship, and even the way we behave, our routines all thanks to technology.
Although we have all these options when it comes to tech, its future is so promising and we still can’t get enough.
This evolution has been going strong, and even though us tech lovers are so involved with it, there are many interesting things we don’t know about it.
Did you know that over 4.3 billion people use the internet today, which is over 40% of the world’s population?
Or that there are over 63,000 searches per second on Google?
Well, while doing my research around tech-history, I came across so many interesting facts about well-known brands and products, so I decided to share with you some of the most interesting ones.
Are you ready? Here we go!
Did you know Firefox is not a fox?
Who thought that Firefox’s logo portrays an actual fox? I mean come on, it’s in the name!
However, the free and open-source web browser Mozilla Firefox it’s not actually a fox but a panda!
According to Techland “the Firefox logo was designed after these creatures.”
Firefox’s Live site stated “We’re streaming cuteness. We’re dedicated to doing good. We’re out to make the web a better place”.
Fun fact: Google Rents Goats!
Yes, you read that correctly.
The billion-dollar company has been implementing an eco-friendly approach, and instead of using noisy mowers to clean up the grass at their headquarters, they rented out goats!
In their official blog, Google stated “herder brings about 200 goats and they spend roughly a week with us at Google, eating the grass and fertilizing at the same time. The goats are herded with the help of Jen, a border collie. It costs us about the same as mowing, and goats are a lot cuter to watch than lawnmowers.”
You go Google!
The longest word you can type QWERTY keyboard!
The qwerty keyboard was created by Christopher Sholes and has been around since 1868 (!), and it’s known as the most common type of keyboard ever used.
The fun fact about the qwerty keyboard is that the word “typewriter” is the longest word that can be written using only the letters on one of the rows of the keyboard!
What does the first number on your credit card mean?
As we mentioned in our article “Top 5 FinTech Trends That Will Take Lead in 2020”, its amazing for old credit cards are.
More specifically, credit cards were firstly introduced in the 1950s and within a year, over 20,000 people were using it!
What’s really interesting about credit cards today though, is that the first number of the card represents the type of industry that issued the card.
It goes something like this:
1 and 2 are for airlines, 3 is for travel and entertainment, 4 and 5 indicate a banking or financial institution, 6 is for merchandising and banking, 7 is petroleum, 8 is for telecommunications and 9 is for other assignments.
(I bet you’re all now checking your cards!)
Did you know your devices listen to you all the time?
Did you know that your Alexa device listens to your conversations, like, all the time?
This goes out for Siri as well!
According to The Independent, Alexa has been eavesdropping conversations in order to improve the whole virtual assistant experience. An Amazon spokesman even said in a statement: “We only annotate an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings in order to improve the customer experience. Employees do not have direct access to information that can identify the person or account as part of this workflow. All information is treated with high confidentiality and we use multi-factor authentication to restrict access, service encryption and audits of our control environment to protect it.”
Regarding Siri, Fox Business stated in a report that “Apple’s Siri can be activated by something as mundane as the sound of a zipper — leaving any conversation open to surveillance and accompanied by user data like location and contact details.”
You can learn more about this through our article “Are Your Smart-Devices Spying On You?”
Who pays for your GPS service?
Did you know that the American taxpayers pay for the GPS service that people all over the world enjoy?
According to GPS.gov, the budget passes through the Defence Department, as they are the ones who are responsible for the development, acquirement, operation and modernization of the GPS.
So even though the service is free for us, it actually costs $2 million to operate every day!
What was the first mouse made of?
The first computer mouse was unveiled back in 1968 by Douglas C. Engelbart, although it was originally created in 1964.
It wasn’t however made from plastic, but wood. The rectangular box had a little button on the top right corner and got its name because the cord coming out of the back reminded Engelbart of the tiny mammal.
Where did Spam mail get its name from?
Did you know that the spam mail was actually named after the spam (canned) ham?
Spam luncheon meat was introduced in 1937, and the word was thought by Ken Daigneau, brother of Hormel Food’s VP, who won $100 in the contest for the name “Spam”.
Now I’m guessing you’re wondering how the two are interlinked.
Well, the spam mail was named after a random Monty Python sketch in 1970, when over 2 billion of Spam cans were sold.
The sketch was basically a waitress stating out what the menu had, and everything on the menu also had Spam in it.
Eventually degenerates into a random group of Vikings shouting “spam, spam, spam, spam, lovely spam, wonderful spam!” as the angry cafe waitress screams “Shut up!”
The spam mail’s name is thought to have originated from the annoying Vikings in Python’s sketch.
Why do we always insert our USB the wrong way?
The number of times we tried plugging in a USB… Oh boy.
According to studies 86% of people try to plug in USB devices the wrong way.
Ajay Bhatt that led the team at Intel that created the USB, told the NPR that “The biggest annoyance is reversibility”.
Many even call this the “USB paradox” which means that it seems like we’re all getting it wrong on our first try.
What does PlayStation 3 and the Government have in common?
Apparently, back in 2010, the US Air Force used 1,760 PlayStation 3 consoles in order to build a “supercomputer” for the Defence Department.
According to “Popular Science” they managed to create the fastest interactive computer system in the entire DoD, capable of executing 500 trillion floating-point operations per second!
The weird statement in iTunes’ Terms and Conditions
Did you know that iTunes has a really odd clause on their terms and conditions?
More specifically it states: “You also agree that you will not use these products for….the development, design, manufacture, or production of a nuclear, missile, or chemical or biological weapons.”
Did you know that Nintendo wasn’t always a tech company?
Since Nintendo was founded back in 1889, which is a long time before computers were created, what were these guys selling at the time?
Apparently, Nintendo was once a playing card company, before switching into technology games.
Interestingly they still make playing cards in Japan, and even hold a tournament called “Nintendo Cup”!
What the Apollo 11 astraunats did because they didn’t have insurance
In 1969 when Apollo 11 left for its space mission, astronauts couldn’t afford to pay for insurance because it was really expensive.
Therefore what they did was they signed hundreds of covers si that their families could sell if anything happened to them in space.
What was Snapchat’s original name?
Did you know that Snapchat’s original name was Picaboo?
It wasn’t until 2012 when the brand was renamed.
Is technology affecting the baby names we pick?
We said it before, but we’ll say it again. Technology has been having huge impacts on our lives, even when picking our baby’s name.
According to research, in 2012 49 little boys were named Mac, and 17 girls were named Siri.
Additionally, when Alexa hit the market it came 32nd as the most popular baby name for girls born in 2015, and then dropped to 90th in 2018.
What was Google’s first Tweet?
Google’s first-ever tweet seemed gibberish to all of us who don’t “speak code”.
It read: “I’m 01100110 01100101 01100101 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101100 01110101 01100011 01101011 01111001 00001010”
Which means “I’m feeling lucky” when translated to English.
Did you know that the first iPhone was an apple? Literally.
According to Complex.com, the original design of the iPhone was the actual shape of an apple.
It would be a flip phone with a normal push keypad, that would look like the Apple logo when closed!
NASA and the Internet
If you think the internet you have at home or at work is fast, you’re in for a treat.
NASA’s internet connection is at 91 GB per second! (Now read that again.)
An average household internet speed is about 25MB per second, which is more than fine if you wanna watch Netflix, videos on YouTube, or play games online.
What if maybe we can just move somewhere near NASA and ask them nicely for their wifi password?!
Technology Never Ends
Computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee once stated “The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past.”
We have come a long way in the field of technology for over 20 years now, and it’s amazing how we keep coming up with more cool stuff.
The names of brands, companies, services and the logistics behind these creations can be indeed extraordinary.
But maybe Berners-Lee is right. Maybe this is just the beginning.