This week in Five Lessons Learnt, find out how to undo email mishaps, how much it would cost you to buy Wikipedia, why Taylor Swift is about to save the world and why you shouldn’t mess with people’s pets…
1. Don’t mess with Taylor Swift
The American singer-songwriter has been all over the news this week after taking on probably the biggest international corporation in the world… and winning. Apple recently revealed plans for a new streaming service called Apple Music – and a free three-month trial. The catch? For those three free months, artists, producers and writers would receive no payment for the use of their music.
Because of this, Taylor refused to allow Apple to stream her album 1989 and sent an open letter to the company in explanation, where she argued that the plan was ‘unfair’ (particularly, she points out, on newer indie artists who don’t have a back catalogue like Taylor’s to support them). “We don’t ask you for free iPhones,” she wrote. “Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
And it worked. Apple swiftly (sorry) announced that they had changed their policy and would now be paying artists throughout the three-month trial period. And now the Twittersphere is wondering what else Taylor can fix, imploring the singer to turn her attention to bigger problems – like FIFA corruption, climate change, the Greek economy, world hunger, and iPhone battery life. Give her a week or two…
So Taylor is a legend in the music industry – but have you read about our heroes in the trading world? Check out our Littlefish Legends series here and find out who inspires us to do what we do…
2. You can buy Wikipedia
Fancy a bit of light bedtime reading? You can now buy a print copy of Wikipedia – but you’ll have to clear some space on your bookshelves. Artist Michael Mandiberg has written software to convert the site 11.5 million entries into one printable file using print-on-demand site Lulu.com.
Want to be one of the only people in the world to own a print copy of the digital storehouse of human knowledge? No worries, as long as you have space for 7,600 volumes (the contents make up 91 volumes alone), two weeks to wait for the enormous file to upload – oh, and £50,000 to pay for all the paper.
Another small catch is that Wikipedia is continuously updated by volunteers all over the world – so before your new book is finished printing, it’ll already be out of date. We’ll probably stick to the web version…
If you don’t fancy hauling 7,600 volumes of Wikipedia on your jollies with you for a bit of holiday reading, try one of our favourite trading books instead – click here for the Top 6 Trading Books to Read this Summer.
3. You can bring emails back
Have you ever accidentally clicked ‘Reply All’, or sent out an important email only to notice a handful of typos moments later? Or maybe you’ve experienced the utter nightmare that is typing out a not-so-complimentary message about a colleague or acquaintance, only to accidentally send it to the person in question.
Well, Google has solved all of those problems with the introduction of ‘Undo Send’, a new feature that gives users the option of setting up a five, ten, twenty or thirty second delay period during which they can recall any waylaid emails. The option is disabled as standard, so to opt in you’ll have to go into your mail settings. Once you’ve set up the feature, a yellow bar will appear at the top of your screen every time you send an email, give you the chance to cancel its delivery.
Apparently, Google have been developing and testing this new option for several years and it’s now ready to go live (and save Gmail users copious amounts of humiliation).
For more genius (and possibly life-changing) technological innovations, check out the Top 7 Future Tech Trends We’re Excited About.
4. How to put your face on your coffee
A new 3D-printing inspired machine allows you to literally print a replica of your face onto your morning coffee (if you’re really that vain). In fact, you can print any image including portraits, logos, landscapes and anything else you like.
Gone are the days of messing around with sprinkling chocolate through stencils to create coffee art – now there’s a machine to do it for you. Coffee artwork doesn’t come cheap, though – the Ripple Maker machine, which combines old-fashioned inkjet and 3D printing techniques to create the images – will set you back $999 or £634. So is it really worth that much just to see your face on your morning latte? You decide.
5. Dogs really are a man’s best friend
A beagle owner found himself in a bit of a pickle when his beloved pet and his girlfriend didn’t hit it off. After four years of trying to work things out, he was presented with an ultimate from his partner: “It’s me or the dog.”
One of them had to go, so the poor guy took to Craigslist to advertise his predicament. His ad read – “Free to any willing home. My girlfriend does not like my dog Molly, so I have had to rehome her. She is a purebred from a wealthy area and I have had her 4 years. She likes to play games. Not totally trained. Has long hair so she’s a little high maintenance, especially the nails but she loves having them done. Stays up all night yapping but sleeps while I work. Only eats the best, most expensive food. Will NEVER greet you at the door after a long day or give you unconditional love when you’re down. Doesn’t bite but she can be mean as hell!”
You may be expecting the twist… the last line of the Craigslist ad reads “So… anyone interested in my 30 year old, selfish, wicked, gold-digging girlfriend? Come and get her! Me and my dog want her re-homed ASAP!” Ouch… (A later update withdrew the ad, advising users that she had been ‘returned to her original breeders’ – a.k.a. her parents).