Alfred Hitchcock’s "Rear Window:" See How Air Conditioning Changed Our World

Alfred Hitchcock’s "Rear Window:" See How Air Conditioning Changed Our World

We seldom appreciate the transformative impact of technology if, for us, “it’s always been there.”  And while we think of technology as smart phones, wifi, computers, etc., technology is anything that transforms inputs into outputs.  Sewers and sewage treatment plants, for example, are technologies that eradicated Cholera by eliminating street drains that overflowed with human waste.  Google the “big stink” or the “great stink” to see just how miserable London was in the 1850s before sewers.  Here’s a start.

Air conditioning (A/C) is another taken-for-granted technology because for many of you, “it’s always been there.”  Of course, it hasn’t.  And like sewers and sewage treatment, A/C has dramatically changed how we live our lives. 

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Start Memorizing PIN Numbers for Your Credit Cards

Hackers have breached customer databases at Neiman Marcus, and now, the latest, SuperValu - at 200 stores. Credit card PINs, the equivalent of two-factor authorization for web sites, are widely used in Europe. Since they’re not widely used in the U.S., American retailers are the easy target. Get ready to memorize PINs for each your credit cards, which will significantly reduce this threat.

2014-08-20 Update: "In all, U.S. lenders will issue more than 575 million chip credit and debit cards by the end of 2015, representing roughly half of the one billion cards now in circulation, according to an industry-group projection."