You might appreciate modern technology for how it has simplified your life, but most people don’t consider the fact that plenty of trial, error, and weirdness circles around the tech world. For example, in order for the iPhone to become what it is today, it had to go through some trial and error — and have a little bit of an odd backstory.
Below are 25 bizarre and fascinating facts about tech products, the industry, and the people behind it all. These will definitely make you appreciate the process of invention — and also inform you of the behind-the-scenes oddities of the industry. #19 definitely made us smile.
01. In 2012, at least 17 newborn girls were named Siri.
02. There are more than 682 million iPhone across the globe.
03. A red panda is native to the Himalayas and southwestern China. Translated, the English word for red panda is “Firefox,” which is where the browser gets its name.
04. The word robot comes from the Czech “robota.” In English, robota translates to “forced labor.”
05. Created in 1956, the first ever VCR was the size of a piano.
06. The world’s first camera took eight hours to snap a photo.
07. The very first Apple logo featured Sir Isaac Newton sitting underneath a tree, with an apple about to hit his head.
08. Alaska is the only state in America that can be typed on one row of a traditional English QWERTY keyboard.
09. About 1 out of 8 married couples actually met each other on the Internet.
10. Tech companies often test new products in New Zealand. The reasons for this? The country is diverse, its residents speak English, and if a product is a flop, news doesn’t spread as fast because it is relatively isolated.
11. Bill Gates’s house was designed a Mac.
12. In 2012, NYU-Poly constructed a robotic fish and placed it in a tank of golden shiners. The robot simulated the fishes’ motions so well, it was eventually accepted and became their leader.
13. There is a factory in Japan which can run unsupervised for 30 days at a time — it’s almost entirely manned by robots.
14. In Mexico City, there are special bins that offer free wifi to people who properly dispose of their dog poop.
15. There used to be fake Apple stores in China. They were so fake, in fact, that even the staff were convinced they were working for Apple.
16. Carrier pigeons beat internet upload speed as late as in 2010. They actually sent pigeons over with USB sticks the same time they started uploading a video over broadband. The pigeons won.
18. The first alarm clock could only ring at one time of day, four o’clock in the morning.
19. When the first iPod prototype was shown to Steve Jobs, he dropped it in an aquarium. No, it wasn’t just a klutzy move: Jobs used the subsequent air bubbles to prove there was empty space and it could be made smaller.
20. Phantom Vibration Syndrome is the name given when someone thinks their phone is vibrating but isn’t.
21. In 2012, Apple sold 340,000 iPhones every single day.
22. In Japan, 90% of mobile phones are waterproof, as many people even use them in the shower.
23. One of the first Computer Science Ph.D.’s was earned by a nun.
24. If you find a security bug in Facebook’s code, they are willing to pay big money (like $500 and upwards) for you to tell them about it.
25. In the tech world, November 30th is known as “Computer Security Day.”
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