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Death of a ‘Toughbook’

(update: after two days of nothing, the device is now booting again and Panasonic have offered to take a closer look at it and tell me what happened.) My faith in my Panasonic Toughbook took a bath today when a waitress poured coffee all over it (and me.) It’s that absurd thing that waiters do of having to put coffee and food down right next to you when you’re clearly in the middle of a key discussion/interview/meeting/nap. It was bound to happen. Still, I held out hope the Toughbook would be up to it. After all, the videos show guys doing stuff to their ToughbookContinue readingDeath of a ‘Toughbook’

News: Copy the customer, get a bigger tip

  A report in Nature confirms what we all knew: the waitress (or waiter, presumably) who imitates the customers gets a bigger tip. Huh?     Turns out, according to some Dutch psychologist Rick van Baaren of the University of Nijmegen, that “Mimicry creates bonds between people – it induces a sense of ‘we-ness.  You know that what you’re doing is ok, and you become more generous.” Van Baaren’s team studied staff in an American-style restaurant in southern Holland: In half of the tests, they primed a waitress to repeat customers’ orders back to them. In the other half, she said something else positive, such asContinue readingNews: Copy the customer, get a bigger tip

Column: Love Online

 Loose Wire: Looking for Love on the Net   By Jeremy Wagstaff   from the 31 October 2002 edition of the Far Eastern Economic Review, (c) 2003, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.   I’ve been suspicious about the benefits of linking computers and romance since the late 1970s, when as a gangly teen I joined an acting tour of New England schools. The stated purpose of the exercise was to bring refined English culture to the colonial heathen (although it wasn’t expressed so explicitly), but we young fellas were really only interested in using our posh English accents to melt tender American hearts. When, priorContinue readingColumn: Love Online

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