Morning Advantage: What If Smartphones Were the Old, Old Thing?

Suppose smartphones had arrived before PCs were invented? We’d have a very different view of progress, contends, Edward Tenner at the American Enterprise Institute, in this intriguing thought experiment. In that world, the 8-inch iPad mini would be a great usability improvement over the iPhone 5, and the 12-inch iPad, following on, would be truly transformative. Third-party vendors would soon offer external devices modeled on typewriters that would make those annoying keyboarding errors a thing of the past. Then, inspired by the clamshell cell phones of the 1990s, a clever engineer would connect the keyboard to the screen with a hinge, making tablet covers and stands obsolete.

To get around the cloud’s various vulnerabilities, engineers would build in increasing amounts of on-site storage, ultimately separating out the processor from the screen so that the new “monitor” could be positioned at eye level. Rather than depend on batteries, these sturdy, hard to steal devices would plug in to any wall outlet. Voilà, the fully mature PC would have arrived! Of course, some pathetic senior citizens would continue to squint at their smartphones, but who would care about them?


Getting More Women into the C-Suite (McKinsey Quarterly)

Just a 10% increase in the number of women advancing through the average Fortune 500 from manager to director to VP would yield 90 more female top execs, including five senior VPs and one executive committee member, argues this excellently comprehensive McKinsey study. But only 18% of entry and mid-level women have their sights set on the C-suite, compared with 36% of men. Inspirational leaders should intervene with talented female middle managers, McKinsey strongly contends, to discuss their aspirations, embolden them to aim higher, and seek ways to make line roles more palatable.


The Money in Color (CNN MoneyWatch)

As anyone who’s watched the line at a typical Dunkin' Donuts drive-through can attest, most cars in the U.S. are silver or black or white. Not so for the smallest cars, where odd-ball colors rule, for three reasons. First, says Nancy Lockhart, the color marketing manager for DuPont’s automotive coatings division, buyers of small cars tend to be younger people who haven't yet had nonconformity crushed out of their souls (though they eventually will, she warns). Second, bright colors look good only in small doses. And third, these cars, although new to the U.S., are not new everywhere — and they sport the colors popular in their original home markets of Europe and Asia.


Lighten Up

How a Rubber Chicken Became a NASA Celebrity (Wired Science)
Why Do Humans Blush? (Smithsonian)
Live Lazy, Live Long — Look at Britain's Oldest Man (The Guardian)

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