Now creating buzz: Zano, a powerful little drone that comes with a promise: "Taking your selfies to new heights." It can perch on a palm then rise up to snap high quality still or video images with a 5-megapixel camera. "Oh, the noble quest for the perfect selfie," says Jill Scharr, a staff writer for Tom's Guide, an industry review. "Meet the Zano, a camera-equipped drone barely bigger than a person's hand, and designed to let users take high-quality photos that even a selfie stick can't reach."
Now that the holiday rush is over, change is afoot in the nation's mail. On Tuesday, outgoing Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, who has led the oft-challenged U.S. Postal Service for four years, heads to the National Press Club for some candid talk about the future of an organization that handles 40 percent of the world's total mail volume - that's 158 million assorted pieces of mail a year. Some change is already underway though. On Monday, the service lowered its standards for mail delivery across the nation - delivery will be slower in some cases - and consolidated some facilities in a cost-cutting measure to counter financial losses of $26 billion in the last three years.
The Digital Policy Council, a nonpartisan think tank, has analyzed the tweeting realm to reveal that 82 percent of world leaders use Twitter, sending out their 140-character missives to a combined audience of 116 million followers. "President Obama confidently retains the No. 1 spot with a vast following of 51 million. The U.S. president actually holds the third largest number of followers in the entire world."
Business is getting brisk. Hunters with an eye for camouflage patters, natural wood and 18-gauge metal are now pre-purchasing, well, caskets themed around their favorite activity. Yes, it's the "camo casket," lined with camouflage material and personalized embroidered panels of turkeys, bass, deer and pheasant - with special display features to show off a favorite rifle or shotgun.
The public is either uncomfortable with drones or fascinated by them. Those novel flying machines with nifty cameras and technical embellishments have their charm. The presence of drones overhead is multiplying, however, and concerns about their intrusions are now reaching to the far ends of the Earth. Really. The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators is cautioning all potential travelers to Antarctica, who pine to fly a drone to check with their travel agent or tour operator before packing their device. So reports Travel and Tour World, an industry source.
A certain Texas Republican still has plenty of fans. Sen. Ted Cruz has won the Federalist Today Presidential Straw Poll with 26 percent of the nearly one thousand votes cast. "Placing a respectable second and third, Senator Rand Paul (22 percent) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (16 percent) showed that they also have considerable support among the 'lovers of freedom and anxious for the fray' Federalist faithful," report David Corbin and Matt Parks, two analysts for The Federalist - a learned but vibrant online journal.
Undecided and unconvinced voters: 'Other/Not sure' currently leads GOP presidential pack, poll finds
This could annoy Republican presidential hopefuls who are racing to make a footprint on the 2016 campaign. "In a potentially huge field of candidates vying for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, the winner today is Other/Not Sure with 19 percent of the vote," reports pollster John Zogby, who surveyed several hundred likely Republican primary voters.
"There is no question that the IRS as an agency, and its leaders individually, directed and implemented a scheme to silence and demoralize tea party groups. We knew it was going on before Congress and the Treasury Inspector General confirmed it," declares Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.
Well that did not take long. President Obama's announcement of a major policy change towards Cuba is only days old, but would-be turistas are already scurrying towards the allure of the long isolated nation. Insight Cuba, a non-profit travel organization that has specialized in legal "people-to-people" travel to Cuba for Americans for years, has just added 70 additional departure dates to keep up with the sudden surge in interest and bookings since Mr. Obama's revelations.
Just in time for President Obama’s winter holiday in Hawaii: State and local officials in the Aloha State have submitted their formal proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Center — this to The Barack Obama Foundation, a year-old nonprofit that’s coordinating the project and entertaining pitches from Chicago and New York City as well.
It is not much reported in the mainstream media, but huge majorities of Americans back the "historical accuracy" of the Christmas story, as revealed in the Bible's New Testament. The manger, the guiding star, the virgin birth - most support the idea according to a new Pew Research Center poll. Eight-of-10, in fact say they believe "Baby Jesus was laid in a manger," the research states.
The U.S. Congress is on the naughty list in the last week before Christmas - they're at the very bottom of the public's rating for honest and ethical standards, this according to a new Gallup poll. At the tip top of the roster: the nation's nurses.
Now that the first cyberwar is underway, the IT experts are taking a close look about the particulars. And with every war comes weaponry, and predictions that privacy technology must keep up with aggressive hackers. It's a reality of the "knowledge economy" - where business and enterprise is fueled by data at lightening speed, and often personal data at that. But it’s complicated. Even the United Nations is laboring on a resolution to put before the General Assembly that calls upon nations to "respect and protect a global right to privacy." Is it possible?
Though Christmas is a beloved holiday for many reasons, a new survey finds that 56 percent of Americans view Christmas as primarily a religious holiday, while 21 percent view it as a cultural holiday — and 22 percent say it’s a little of both.
Ben Carson is midway through a significant trip to Israel to see the Holy Land for himself - including the spiritual, political and security-minded factors that are realities for the nation. His journey includes a visit to Nazareth, Galilee and Bethlehem - along with tours of the Gaza strip, terrorist tunnels, a military base and Hadassah Medical Center
"It's the most wonderful time of the year - for spotting a Geminid meteor," noted NASA, referring to the 2014 Geminid meteor shower which peaked on Saturday evening, through early Sunday. They will still be visible for up to two weeks - so don't stop looking up. And they will be traveling at 22 miles a second, incidentally.
At long last, a Congressional Gold Medal has been awarded to the founding members of the Civil Air Patrol, which began operation under the Office of Civilian Defense on Dec. 1, 1941. Using civilian aircraft and their own money, the unpaid volunteers provided essential support to the U.S. Army and Navy, including armed convoy and antisubmarine patrols off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
Politicians who think that Americans overlook the constant, stubborn impasse on Capitol Hill are kidding themselves. The public takes it to heart: 71 percent report that the problem of political gridlock is "very important to them personally," this according to a new Associated Press poll released Wednesday. Sadly enough, another 86 percent say there's nothing that can be done about it. And the most cited reaction to the current political climate is "disappointment," the survey found, followed by "frustration."
It is a new educational phenomenon: Ivy League law students at three major universities - Columbia, Harvard and Georgetown University - are now exempt from taking final exams if they feel "traumatized" by the grand jury decisions made in Ferguson and New York City. The students are also being offered counseling if they need it. A few professors with impressive credentials now have a few questions.
The same group that has already rounded up 23,000 volunteers for Ben Carson and raised $10.5 million for his potential White House campaign are upping their ante. The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, an independent political action committee formed to draft the retired neurosurgeon and author has opened a 1,700-square-foot "Draft Ben Carson for President Victory Center" in Manchester, New Hampshire.